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From the Editor

greg archerPlus Letter to the Editor 

Awards season is upon us. Last week, The Golden Globes unfolded in a wild spectacle and the Oscars are next month. Locally, Santa Cruz is no stranger to honoring its own, which brings us to Santa Cruz Next and The Nexties. In its third annual outing, Santa Cruz Next honors a fine foursome whose local efforts to build a better community have been both noteworthy and inspiring. This year’s winners: Jacob Martinez, Monica Martinez, Mark Davidson and Jeremy Neuner. Jacob Martinez caught the attention of locals with the brilliant work he’s done inspiring the younger Latino community to know more about, and possibly work within, the tech arena. Meanwhile, Monica Martinez’s tireless efforts with the issue of homelessness is enlightening. (And she says she’s just getting started.) There’s also Mark Davidson, who’s at the helm of Mountain Bikers of Santa Cruz—learn why his bike advocacy efforts stand out. And NextSpace’s CEO and cofounder Jeremy Neuner nabs an award too for his ongoing efforts to bring the local workforce together in one unique hub. The awards gala, which unfolds Saturday, Jan. 28 at the Museum of Art & History in Downtown Santa Cruz, is sure to be an attention-grabber. We profile the winners beginning on page 14. Dive in. In other MAH news, it has teamed up with Homeless Services Center for a project to help clean up Evergreen Cemetery. Read all about that in News (page 6). There’s a update on budget cuts, too, and how that all affects UC Santa Cruz. Read on.

We got tremendous reader response from last week’s cover story on Chris Rene. No doubt the local, who wowed America on The X Factor and is about to release a CD, has been a true inspiration to locals. Read this week’s letters, and become part of the discussion online at goodtimessantacruz.com.

What’s left? Plenty of inspiration. It’s around. Take a good look.

More next time ...

Greg Archer | Editor-in-Chief

Letters to the Editor 

Challenging ‘Town Hall’
In Sam Farr's response to the questions posed to him regarding President Obama's recent highly questionable tactic appointing yet another “czar,” (“Town Hall with Congressman Sam Farr”) he made a couple of statements with which I take issue.

I do not vote for representatives to “govern” me: I vote for them to represent me. If I don't agree with the policies of the party or individual in power I will vote for representatives who will counter them. This is clearly what the “Tea Party” representatives are doing: i.e. representing their constituents.

Nor do I elect politicians to “lead” me. I am not blind, nor am I senile. I am educated and have 65-plus years of life experience to draw upon: I don't need no stinking “leader!”

Within President Obama’s power as the chief executive is the power to have his attorney general investigate, and quite possibly file criminal charges against the Wall Street banksters, involved in this whole financial meltdown mess.

Our government is working exactly as the authors of our constitution intended for it to work: not smoothly, quickly and authoritatively, but cautiously, carefully and with deliberation. There are clearly a large number of citizens, hopefully a majority, who think that our Nation is “Progressively” headed in the wrong direction and want it to change.

Edgar Darwin
Santa Cruz

Best Online Comments

On Chris Rene ...
Regarding last week’s cover story, I am so excited for Chris. He is in my prayers to continue the fight against life's temptations, especially in the music business. I am a 61 yr old white woman, not much into rap music, but he touched my heart and soul with his words, his smile, and his joy. I knew when I heard him the first time that he was going to go far. I agreed with Simon Cowell, he wasn't the best singer, but he has something that just made you want to listen and then want more. God bless you, Chris. I'm on disability, suffer from depression and other things, but you make me want to Love Life!

—Sheryl Leigh

I love this interview. I hope to see more of Chris Rene and his music. Don't stop!

—Green

I just love this kid! Well to me he is a kid. I am 49 and usually don't like the younger music, but Chris is different. He is infectious with his smile,his lyrics and his zest for life.. I wish him nothing but the truest form of happiness in whatever he does. I can't wait to get his CD!! —Becky M I am from Brazil and watched The X Factor by chance. I was flipping channels when I got Chris sitting with his brother Mike telling it was time to entertain America and show who he was. From his touching life history to the mind-blowing "Young Homie" performance, he got me as a fan since audition one. For me Chris Rene is the winner, cuz he's 100 percent authentic, the real deal. He doesn't sound like anybody else and don't want to imitate the style of anyone else. As original as one can be. SC guys rock! Definitively lightning struck Santa Cruz twice! I can’t wait for Chris’ album!

— Zenólia

On ‘A Westside Proposal ‘..
What the article doesn't point out is that the City of Santa Cruz seems to have misappropriated funds for about 30 years. Tens of millions of dollars! This is serious misconduct which should be investigated by a state agency. Santa Cruz has avoided accountability for official misconduct far too long.

— John Colby

I am a born and raised SC homeowner, taxpayer and work over the hill to afford this spot. Please consider some of this space for well-built, suitable dog recreation as well. Dog owners enjoy dog sports as much as human sports.

— J. Home owner 
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