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Nov 24th
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From the Editor

greg archerPlus Letters to the Editor 

I like this week’s Quote of the Week. Perhaps we’ve seen each other in the “in between” place? (Yes—that was you.) Clarity, balance, fun. So, how do we embrace all of that effectively in 2012? With Facebook, Tivo, Xfinity on Demand, Twitter, and a slew of other media offerings, sometimes finding that balance is not as easy as we’d like it to be. But, we’re Santa Cruzans, after all, and we don’t need to look far for some guidance and inspiration. This week, we’re fortunate to have plenty of that at hand. For starters, there’s First Friday, which continues to morph into one of the most successful ongoing community gathering events outside of Shakespeare Santa Cruz. Peruse this week’s insert to get all the updates you need on the artists being featured around town at local businesses and art galleries. In the meantime, for an extra boost of inspiration, take note of Bike Dojo’s first anniversary soiree on Friday, Feb. 3, too. Beyond celebrating a year of success as Downtown Santa Cruz’s premier spin studio and network for cycle enthusiasts, Bike Dojo is launching a new iniative dubbed Project B.I.K.E., which will, in part, donate bikes they themselves have restored—from local donations and drops offs—and offer them to children in need. And for those kids that do not know how to ride a bike, Bike Dojo will happily help teach them how, with an emphasis on safety. Learn more about the program page 28, and what sparked Dojo’s owners, Rob and Kim Mylls to launch it.

Beyond that, take note of News this week, where our reporter chronicles the Santa Cruz Climate Action Plan. How effective is it?  Over in Film, be sure to read up on how the new Glenn Close film, Albert Nobbs, measures up.

Heads up Marilyn Monroe fans and lookalikes: To discover how you can be a part of the Marilyn Monroe Look-alike Contest. More details at goodtimessantacruz.com.

Happy reading. More soon ...

Greg Archer | Editor-in-Chief
Letters to the Editor

Revamping School Foods
I was delighted to read the new USDA guidelines requiring schools to serve meals with twice as many fruits and vegetables, more whole grains, less sodium and fat, and no meat for breakfast. The guidelines were mandated by the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act signed by President Obama in December of 2010 and will go into effect with the next school year.

The new guidelines offer a welcome change from USDA’s tradition of using the National School Lunch Program as a dumping ground for meat and dairy surpluses. Not surprisingly, 90 percent of American children are consuming excess fat, only 15 percent eat recommended servings of fruits and vegetables, and one-third have become overweight or obese. These early dietary flaws become lifelong addictions, raising their risk of diabetes, heart disease, and stroke.

In recent years, Hawaii, California, New York, and Florida legislatures asked their schools to offer daily vegetarian options, and most school districts now do. The Baltimore public school system offers its 80,000 students a complete weekly break from meat.

Parents should continue to insist on healthful plant-based school meals, snacks, and vending machine items. They can consult fns.usda.gov/cnd, healthyschoollunches.org, and vrg.org/family.
Preston Daniels
Santa Cruz

Best Online Comments

On ‘Heart Surgery for UC’ ...
I think most people are fed up with hearing about any money woes, especially from UCSC. They want to sprawl into the forest for 3,000 new students. Where is that money coming from? And this will help force the issue of building a desal plant for water that costs four-five times more. They raised rates 32 percent, and again last year, plus have plenty of over 200K salaries. I think they have been over-subsidized and need to exist within their means from the money they get from tuition and hospitals and cancel the expansion. We don't have the water, and we don't want to pay for desal water.
—Bill Smallman

On ‘Skov Winery’ ...
I don't know much about wine but I recently took a tour of Skov Winery from the owner, Annette. She was so informative about how they make wine and the process of wine making. She wasn't intimidating to talk to and answered my questions so nicely. I think their Sauvignon Blanc is great and I love their newly released Zinfandel Port, which you can only get in their tasting room. I hope that they'll make a bubbly wine soon, but in the meantime, I definitely recommend stopping by their tasting room on a Saturday.
— Brenda LaHood

On ‘A Westside Proposal’ ...
For water conservation, they should consider using recycled water for landscaping. Or maybe artificial turf, which I don't really like.
—Bill Smallman

On ‘Music Heals’ ...
Using our sense of listening to be healed, comforted, and maybe a reminder we are not alone is a grand gift to us all. Thank you to all involved in the music you share. We are quite blessed in our part of the world here in Santa Cruz. Continue on with the passion that drives the gift you give to others!
—Icy Young

The stories of Earl, Kelsey, Marti, and Marya are beautiful testaments to the healing power of music and to the generosity of those who use their voices and instruments to reach out and comfort others. I am so grateful to them for their work! I am also grateful for Jenna Brogan's excellent coverage of this important community action. Great article!
—Doreen Conte

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