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Jan 26th
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From The Editor

Greg 12Plus Letters To The EDITOR

What heated times we live in. Blog haven turned über tabloid, The Huffington Post (at which, curiously, I am still a blogger), heads into live streaming, NBC gets flack over the Olympics and meteor showers streak across the sky. Meanwhile, Downtown Santa Cruz gets an economic boost with the arrival of Forever 21 yet still debates whether to make its main thoroughfare one-way or two-way. And let’s not forget all the commentary on the homeless camp situation (see letters). So, it seems as if each day ushers in a new series of “Look here/No, look there!” And somehow, we search for levity in between. And some fun.

It was with that idea in mind that we ventured forth in crafting this year’s Fashion Issue. In fact, three words came to mind: Fun, bold and adventurous. To that end, this year’s fashion soiree is dubbed Quantum Fashion, because “fashion” exists on all levels—inside and out; visible and invisible. It features a local posse who were ready to play in industrious new settings—literally. The grand theme? Archetypes. Because we move through life admiring and/or morphing into various “archetypes”—from The Cool Chick to The Daredevil—we thought it might be festive to illuminate a few of them... CONTEST ALERT: Head to gtweekly.com and vote for your favorite archetypes. In addition to a few extra online exclusive “looks,” there are a number of fashion slideshows to peruse. Vote for your favorite for a chance to win gift certificates to a local retailer. Winners be will chosen from a random drawing. Have fun.
All this fashion chatter reminds me of the fashion faux pas of yesteryear. Was I the only young person who really dug his brown ’70s pants and yellow pullover shirt? Hmm. Probably.
Have a playful week. More next time ...
Greg Archer | Editor-in-Chief


Letters to the Editor
Bad Journalism?
Your recent article on police raids of homeless camps was downright bad journalism, reprinting the official police line—that homeless are all criminals who choose to be there for their own selfish reasons—without any fact-checking or investigation. I interact daily with homeless people in Downtown Santa Cruz, including some of them quite disturbed and/or with substance abuse problems. So I understand there are legitimate concerns, yet it is simply false, and offensive, to suggest that the entire class of very-poor individuals are all criminals and unworthy of basic human decency. In a society where even in boom times there is 5 percent official unemployment, how can we be so callous as to celebrate police charging in, guns drawn, to the makeshift homes of those poorest among us?
I also fail to see any benefit in such raids. We all know these people are not going away, they're just going to find a new place to camp. In the meantime, we may be throwing more fuel on the fire by harassing and intimidating a population with some already quite disturbed and unstable individuals. I have personally been threatened multiple times as a volunteer at the Bike Church, and once had to chase off an aggressive homeless man in Harvey West Park who was shouting obscenities at the Mission Hill students I had taken there on an after-school bike ride. I would surely rather not have to deal with such situations, and yet after watching the SCPD push homeless around for over 10 years it seems obvious to me that it is not helping in the slightest.
Steve Schnaar
Santa Cruz

Online Comments
On Homeless Camps’  ...
I am a person who lives in fear of being homeless. While I currently am collecting unemployment benefits, and paying my rent, I have exhausted all monetary resources, retirement accounts, etc.
I no longer have a car—it broke and there was no money to fix it. I owe money to the IRS for siphoning off my IRAs to survive and for collecting unemployment benefits. I haven't been able to find work, and well ... I read with interest how society would plan to treat me, especially as a single man. There's really no help if you are single and male.
Down in the Dumps, But I Used to be Somebody!

What Don Lane, et al, do not mention about the 180/180 project is that it will displace those already waiting years in line for Housing Authority assistance. And, as far as I am able to ascertain, those chosen for this program do not have any obligation to clean up their act: go to rehab, counseling, work, make amends, be responsible. The main argument for the 180/180 project is that it will be cost effective in the long run. I have yet to be entirely convinced of this.
Don Honda

As a point of clarification, 180/180 does not displace anyone from the Housing Authority waiting list. We are asking the Housing Authority to establish a preference for disabled and medically vulnerable homeless people already on the waiting list, those with a high mortality risk (at risk of dying on the streets) as defined by the Vulnerability Index, which detects medical vulnerability and is based on research from Boston's Healthcare for the Homeless and has been implemented throughout the country through the national 100,000 Home campaign. To learn more, visit 180santacruz.org.
There are smart solutions to ending chronic homelessness that have been thoroughly tested and proven to work in other communities. One of the primary "smart solutions" is Permanent Supportive Housing. Check out an L.A. Times article about Project 50. Here in Santa Cruz County we're applying this proven methodology and expect to see similar cost-effective results with the 180/180 campaign.
Phil Kramer, 180/180 Project Manager

Comments (3)Add Comment
...
written by a guest, November 03, 2012
180/180 has an honorable goal of increasing awarenesss of the homelessness as a social problems facing our community and our contry. Unfortunately they do not provide any direct service to homeless people and very little material support.
...
written by Don Honda, August 16, 2012
http://www.gtweekly.com/index....-most.html

Quote: The 180/180 campaign requested three weeks ago that the Housing Authority set a preference for chronically homeless individuals, arguing that they have less opportunity to access the vouchers due to their circumstances, he says. They hope to have two or three set aside each month.

180/180 appealed to the County Board of Supervisors, who sent a letter to the Housing Authority supporting the priority list of Section 8 housing vouchers, Kramer says.
...
written by Don Honda, August 16, 2012
Sorry, Phil Kramer. The Information out there says that 180/180 will displace those already on the Housing Authority Wait List.

http://www.santacruz.com/news/2012/07/02/doing_a_180_on_homelessness/SP2

Quote: Kramer, Martinez and company want not only to add 180 new names to the closed list, they want to bump them to the front of the list (at a rate of two per month) to guarantee these people housing above everyone else on the list who, by the way, is struggling too—that’s what Section 8 is.

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Force of Nature

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Mercury Retrograde in Aquarius

The magical time of Mercury’s retrograde cycle is here once again, until Feb. 11, and then some. The Mercury retro cycle actually lasts eight weeks when we consider its retrograde shadow, giving us six months a year for review. We know the rules of Mercury retro: Be careful with everything; cars, driving, money, resources, friends, friendships, groups, interactions, thinking, talking, communications. Avoid big purchases, important meetings and important repairs. Mercury retrograde times are for review, reassessment and rest. Our minds are overloaded from the last Mercury retro. Our minds need to assess what we’ve done since October—eliminating what is not needed, keeping what’s important, preparing for new information in the next three months (till mid-May). Mercury in Aquarius retrograde … we reinvent ourselves, seek the unusual, we don’t hide, we’re just careful. We live in two worlds; outer appearances and inner reckonings, with both sides of our brain activated. Yet, like the light of the Gemini twins, one light waxes (inner world), the other (outer realities) wanes. Like Virgo, we see what’s been overlooked—assessing, ordering and organizing information. It’s an entirely inner process. When speaking we may utter only half of the sentence. We’re in the underworld, closer to Spirit, eyes unseeing, senses alerted, re-doing things over and over till we sometimes collapse. Because we’re in other realms, we’re wobbly, make mistakes, and don’t really know what we want. It’s not a time for decisions. Not yet. It’s a time of review. And completing things. Mercury retro: integration, slowing down, resolution, rapprochement.

 

The New Tech Nexus

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

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of January 23

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >
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How are you going to make a tangible difference in your community this year?

Spread more kindness and compassion.