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May 23rd
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From the Editor

greg_archerS2sPlus Letters to Good Times...
Sounding Off About H1N1
Fire in ‘Flex’
HOLIDAY DEADLINES

Crime is on everybody’s mind lately, especially in Santa Cruz, which has seen a curious wave of short-lived criminal activity. But overall, is crime up—or down? It’s one of the things discussed in this week’s main news story. Here, writer Anna Merlan reports on a recent Santa Cruz City Council meeting where the issue of crime was the main agenda. Actually, it may have been more of a empowering session of healthy venting. Locals weighed in on their concerns and new actions were taken to increase crime watch locally.

On a much brighter note, there’s always music—it’s the subject of this week’s cover story. In what has to be one of the more inventive creations to come out of UC Santa Cruz—and there are many—Nick Veronin explores the mystique of Emily Howell. She’s not actually real—at least in the physical sense. Howell is the computer program designed by UCSC prof David Cope. The program actually creates music. Ponder that one.

Elsewhere, be sure to catch Lisa Jensen’s review of the new film Precious. It’s one of the most powerful and hypnotic films of the year. (I sat there afterwards wanting to experience more of the film’s truly original main character.) Find out more in this week’s film section (page 34).

What’s left? Well, Thanksgiving is fast approaching. I don’t know about you, but there’s nothing like some fine home-cooking to soothe the soul. And, really, after a year like 2009—and a decade like the one we’re emerging out of—it’s never too early to start giving thanks and reflecting. Preferably with a plate of full of food and something strong to toast with.

Cheers to that. More next time ..

Greg Archer
Editor

 


Sounding Off About H1N1
I was very disturbed by the letter (GT 11/12) by Randy Baker MD, persuading pregnant women not to receive the H1N1 vaccine. I have no idea where he got his information claiming that the “chance of a pregnant woman dying form swine flu is one in 4 million.” In addition, his referral to Russell Blaylock is concerning, considering that he makes his living as a quack creating fear about such things as vaccines. Overwhelming evidence suggests that vaccines save lives.
The potential benefits of taking the H1N1 vaccine for the mother (and her unborn fetus) as well as the risk of serious illness or death from H1N1, outweighs theoretical risks to the fetus. Studies continue to show that vaccines aren’t associated with autism.
Pregnant women who catch the virus in their second or third trimester, are more likely to suffer complications, like pneumonia and severe respiratory distress. On Oct. 1, the CDC reported that 100 pregnant women infected with H1N1 were hospitalized in intensive care units in the first four months of the outbreak, and that 28 had died.
An Oct. 2, Washington Post article by David Brown stated, “most previous influenza pandemics have also had what appeared to be unusually high death rates in pregnant women. In one series of 1,350 Spanish flu cases in pregnant women in 1918, 27 percent were fatal. In the Asian flu outbreak of 1957, half the women of reproductive age in Minnesota who died of the infection were pregnant.“
According to the CDC, “Pregnant women have had higher rates of hospitalization than the general population. About 6 percent of confirmed H1N1 2009 influenza deaths in the U.S. have been in pregnant women, while only about 1 percent of the general population is pregnant at any given time. One recent large case control study found that the seasonal flu shot given to pregnant women reduced flu illness in their infants under 6 months of age by 63 percent.”
I encourage pregnant women and others to talk with their own doctors. Don’t listen to Randy Baker or Russell Blaylock.
Susan Smith
Aptos

Fire in ‘Flex’
I wish I could afford one of those yoga retreats reported on last week. (GT “Flex, Pray, Love,” above) It doesn’t really matter. What an interesting story on a local gal [Ann Barros] trying to help other people by hosting yoga retreats in Bali. I never tire, nor am I surprised any more, of the great souls that nurture and love in this fine community.
Paige Thompson
Ben Lomond

HOLIDAY DEADLINES
GT offices will be closed Nov. 26-27 for the Thanksgiving Holiday. Take note of the following holiday deadlines, which will be in effect for the Wednesday, Nov. 25 issue:  Display, Class Display, Bulletin Board and Classified ads:  3 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 19. 

The following deadlines will be in effect for the Thursday, Dec. 3 issue: Display, Class Display and Bulletin Board: 3 p.m., Wednesday, Nov. 25. Classified ads: 10 a.m., Monday, Nov 30. Calendar: noon Monday, Nov 23.
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Gate Openers

Up-and-coming artists like Ryan Bingham are a great reason to show up early to the Santa Cruz American Music Festival

 

Gemini Sun, Pentecost, Shavuot—Enlightenment and Gladness

As the sun enters Gemini on Sunday, sign of speaking, communication, thinking, inter-relations, writing and understanding languages, the feast days of Pentecost & Shavuot (Catholic and Jewish festivals) occur. During Pentecost’s 50 days after Easter, tongues of fire appear above the heads of the disciples, providing them with the ability to understand all languages and all feelings hidden in the minds and hearts of humanity. It’s recorded that Pentecost began with a loud noise, which happened in an upper room (signifying the mind). The Christ (World Teacher) told his disciples (after his ascension) when encountering a man at a well carrying a water pot (signs for Age of Aquarius) to follow him to an upper room. There, the Holy Spirit (Ray 3 of Divine Intelligence) would overshadow them, expand their minds, give them courage and enable them to teach throughout the world, speaking all languages and thus able to minister to the true needs of a “seeking” humanity. Pentecost (50 days, pentagram, Ray 5, Venus, concrete and scientific knowledge, the Ray of Aquarius) sounds dramatic, impressive and scary: The loud noise, a thunderous rush of wind and then “tongues of fire” above the heads of each disciple (men and women). Fire has purpose. It purifies, disintegrates, purges, transforms and liberates (frees) us from the past. This was the Holy Spirit (Ray 3, love and wisdom) being received by the disciples, so they would teach in the world and inform humanity of the Messiah (Christ), who initiated the new age (Pisces) and gave humanity the new law (adding to the 10 Commandments of the Aries Age) to Love (Ray 2) one another. Note: Gemini is also Ray 2. Shavuot is the Jewish Festival of Gladness, the First Fruits Festival celebrating the giving of the 10 Commandments to Moses as the Aries Age was initiated. Thus, we have two developmental stages here, Jewish festival of the Old Testament. Pentecost of the New Testament. We have gladness, integrating both.

 

The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program

 

Off Her Meds

Kristin Wiig runs wild—and transcends her sketch comedy roots—as a truly strange character ‘Welcome to Me’
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Santa Cruz locals are really friendly once you know them. I think a lot of them have a hard time leaving, and I would too. Ryan Carle, Santa Cruz, Biologist

 

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