Santa Cruz Good Times

Friday
May 22nd
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From the Editor

greg archerPlus letters to the editor

Glorious weather does wonders for the mood, so chances are most of us have been been enjoying what Mother Nature has sent our way recently. And if not, maybe it’s time to get out and have some fun. I did that last weekend when I attended the Third Annual Day of Wine And Wet Noses soiree at Skov Winery in Scotts Valley. Kudos to winery owners Annette and David Hunt for hosting what turned out to be a festive (and sunny) day, one that also raised more than $3,000 for the Santa Cruz County Animal Shelter and Unconditional Love Animal Rescue of San Jose. On that note, I’d like to thank the owners of the three Great Pyrenees dogs I romped with—and the parent of the Bernese Mountain Dog I wanted to take home with me. Live music was on hand, too—thanks to you, Ginger, for the dance during the set featuring Red Beans and Rice.


Another big event this coming week falls on Monday, May 14, when the county hosts the Stage 2 finish of the Amgen Tour of California. The race skipped Santa Cruz last year—although we were hosts in 2009 and 2010. This year the riders venture through Soquel Village and into Aptos for a powerful finish at the Cabrillo College campus. Dive into this week’s insert for all of the details.
  
 In the meantime, in Downtown Santa Cruz, the big buzz is the 11th annual Santa Cruz Film Festival, which comes to life May 10. The fest runs through May 19 at various venues. In A&E (page 22), take note of all the local filmmakers whose works are featured in the festival. And, in this week’s cover story (page 14), learn more about first-time producer-writer-director Famke Janssen’s outing, Bringing Up Bobby, which screens several times during the fest’s run. Janssen shares the genesis of the film with GT. Plus: A look at the captivating documentary made by locals Kathy Bisbee and Emery Hudson, Don’t Cost Nothin To Dream, which chronicles how youths in places such as Cuba and Guatemala have been using music and singing to bring about change. Powerful.
  
 Just as uplifting: this week’s Queer Youth Leadership Awards, which celebrates its 15th year. Congratulations to its creators and supporters. (Learn more on page 6.)

There’s more. (There’s always more.)  Have a good week. See you out and about ...

Enjoy the issue.

Greg Archer | Editor-in-Chief


Letters to the editor

La Bahia Boondoogle
With your huge advertising issue on "Best of everything in the world," Good Times is once again piling on Mark Stone in an effort to promote business in Santa Cruz. Like other moves, such as the "take your dog everyplace and it will increase business" law (has anyone done a survey to see if that boneheaded deregulation worked?), your position does little for the community at large.
  
 Mark Stone should be given a medal for saving the environment rather than pillaged for opposing development. The City Council bent its own rules for a large developer, who refused to follow the rules of the Coastal Commission. The developer could have developed the La Bahia Hotel, but demanded to squeeze more profit from the project by not following environmental rules.  

Santa Cruz does not need more Rittenhouse building white elephants, eight-lane freeways, businessmen writers, such as Tom Honig attacking Stone, or other monstrous developments. If developers who throw money at cultural events in Santa Cruz cannot abide by the rules, let them change their ways.
Don Monkerud
Aptos

The Highs And Lows
of Cannabis
Sympathetic though I am to David Bienenstock’s support for cannabis legalization (GT 5/4), I think his arguments go off the rails in at least two important places. First, he relates anecdotes about pot’s medical efficacy and states that these cases are not “outliers.”  Maybe, but how does he know? That would require double-blind clinical trials. He doesn’t say whether and to what extent these studies have been done or with what results.

“Outliers” is a statistical term.  Where are the statistics? Second, he states that Big Pharma opposes legalization, because they believe legal pot will reduce use of proprietary pharmaceuticals, thus reducing profits. This seems highly unlikely.  Drug companies don’t fear the competition, when they can own it, hence the huge scale of consolidation in the industry in the last 30 years.  
    
The single biggest potential drag on drug profits is probably expired patent protection. Big Pharma has neatly removed this from the equation by persuading Congress to extend patent protection for even longer, more absurd periods. It can take 20 years for some labels to go to generic status. There is nothing stopping them from owning big shares in the generics, anyway. By comparison, competition from a start-up pot industry is almost inconsequential. Also, Big Pharma is uniquely positioned to do research on the multiple potentially medically significant or beneficial alkaloids present in cannabis, of which THC is only the most familiar. Legalized pot would likely be taxed, licensed and regulated in a manner not dissimilar to that of pharmaceutical drugs or at least, of alcohol. Big money (like Big Pharma) would be better able than a small operator to negotiate the numerous regulatory, tax and other burdens from the federal government right down to city planning. This complexity, as well as significant potential profits, of course, favors big money. Why wouldn’t Big Pharma try to get in on the ground floor, by producing and distributing the product themselves? They could do it at a respectable distance by operating partly or wholly owned subsidiaries, etc, if that was needed.
  
 Legal pot will make money for somebody.  Most people aren’t going to set up a little grow in the backyard or the bathtub. They’ll buy it elsewhere. During Prohibition, Seagram’s Gin was basically a bootlegger. Now they are one of the largest companies on Earth. Wouldn’t Big Pharma want in on the game?
Joshua Reilly
Ben Lomond


Best Online Comments

On ‘The Cannabis Couple’ ...
Had the pleasure of meeting Elise at the serventh National Patients Out of Time conference. It was wonderful to sit down and speak with a reporter who was intelligent, knowledgeable, and completely puts you at ease, when you are not media savvy. Thank you for making the conference better by your presence.
Kimberly Haslett, SWAPA

On ‘Homes For The Homeless’ .
..
Thank you for covering this new effort. It excites me to see smart efforts that align public financial interest with saving lives. From a policy point of view, it doesn't get any clearer than that.
Sibley Verbeck Simon

 

Comments (1)Add Comment
...
written by Don Honda, May 14, 2012
I believe the 100,000 Homes' focus on housing the most vulnerable chronically homeless people combines compassion for some of the most disabled and troubled people in our community with a truly smart, proven approach that saves the public real money and helps reduce the impacts of homelessness on our city,” Lane writes to GT in an email.

What is the price of a human life, i.e. Shannon Kathleen Collins? How does one erase the impact her murder had on our community?

Please answer these two questions, Mr. Mayor.

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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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