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Apr 27th
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From The Editor

Greg 12

Plus Letters To The EDITOR

It’s good to raise your level of awareness about numerous things but can you do it through art? Why not? But, like being an artist, provoking thought may require certain skills. This is what writer Damon Orion realizes in his exploration of several local visionary artists whose works not only stand out, but also manage to capture one’s interest in truly inventive ways. Explore the journey with him.

In the meantime, we’re in the thick of a very contentious, often divided, political year—and feeling the ripple effects from two national conventions, each with its own highs and lows. From the much-Tweeted-about Republican National Convention last week to this week’s Democratic rebound, we seem to be living in a time when so many politicians are further divided than ever before. Curiously left out of much of this political blather is an honest, sobering discussion about the environment. (Yes, remember that?) Greenland melted this summer. And, last week, an article in the L.A. Times reported that greenhouse gases may be lurking beneath the Antarctic ice sheet, some of which has been melting dramatically, too. UC Santa Cruz professor of Earth and planetary sciences Slawek Tulaczyk co-authored the study, noting with the other scribes that the methane reservoirs are likely to be shallow. The L.A. Times article states that this “could contribute to global warming if the east and west Antarctic ice sheets begin to thin and retreat, as they have earlier in Earth’s history.”

Meanwhile, in the Arctic ... the arctic ice pack has shrunk to a record low. It’s alarming—although some would say not surprising—that very little of this news has made its way into this year’s fiery political season. But knowing Santa Cruzans, ever diligent and fearless in raising the level of awareness on such things—through art and beyond—at the very least, somebody, somewhere might be paying attention, too. Send your thoughts to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

More next time. Have a memorable week ...
Greg Archer | Editor-in-Chief


Letters to the Editor

Sounding Off On Sam Farr
I love your paper (for 40 years now). I usually don't have time to write because my family has owned a small business locally for over 30 years now. I had to take time this week because of "Town Hall with Sam Farr" column.

Farr really must believe that people in Santa Cruz are stupid. Well, we are not stupid and when Farr promises jobs I don't believe him anymore. When Farr says the Republicans want to hurt our farmers I don't believe him. When Farr says the Republicans want to drive us off a "fiscal cliff," I believe the deficits were created by the Democrats. When Farr says the Republicans want to bankrupt medicare, I say Obama already has, and Paul Ryan can save Medicare. When Farr says Republicans want to tax the middle-class and don't care about the Main Street Americans, I say Farr is a liar and has failed to help Americans.

People, please look around you and listen to Clint Eastwood who has run small business and saved our state parks. Who do you believe? Please finally vote out Sam Farr after years of his b.s. and false promises. I'm so tired of paying my hard- earned tax money for partial birth abortion, planned parenthood, welfare for our Nation with no jobs, and on and on. Socialism does not work in any country and it has not worked here. Thank you and God bless America.
Steve Austen
Capitola

Online Comments

On ‘Charter Schools’  ...
This article failed to note that overall, charter schools are less successful than comparable public schools. The best-known large-scale study revealing that was conducted by CREDO, part of the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. The study showed that 46 percent of charter schools were similar in performance to comparable public schools; 37 percent did worse than comparable public schools; and only 17 percent did better.

School funding is so complex that it's practically impossible to figure out what school gets more than another. The charter sector has complained that its schools got less than public schools even in cases where realistic analysis has showed that to be false. More significant is that charter schools drain resources from public schools.

The description of the Montessori charter brouhaha in Santa Cruz downplayed the extent to which that school would have done direct harm to students in Santa Cruz city schools, taking resources from kids in existing schools and causing programs to shut down. By the way, claims of "long waiting lists" are a standard line from the charter sector, are often false, and are entirely unverifiable. No reporter should quote a self-promoting, unverified and unverifiable boast as gospel.

The reporter must have been caught off guard by the charter sector's billionaire-funded propaganda machinery. I hope you'll make more of an effort to recognize hype and propaganda in the future and tell both sides of the story.
CarolineSF

The spokespeople above are fighting charters because charters do much more with much less. Let's recognize that forced membership and forced dues are relics from the last century (or the one before that). The use of forced dues to fight innovation is the civil rights issue of the 21st century. Time to recognize reality and get constructive.
— Taxpayer

On ‘Gangs’  ...    
I believe in an ever more aggressive form of educational support (i.e. schools/families) to take out glamour joining gangs and prove how truly stupid it really is. I applaud these organizations for taking up this effort, but wish the local schools/families would a join in, with discussion with an effective education/support system. Speakers of former gang members perhaps, part of it to show how dumb it is to believe what they see in movies is reality. Show it is noble to "rat out" gang members because this is serious community/civil issue which often leads to senseless tragedy.
Bill Smallman

Clarification
The photo used to accompany last week's A&E story, "Born To Ride," was not of Santa Cruz Mission State Historic Park. Rather, it was a photo of the chapel, which belongs to the Roman Catholic Parish of Holy Cross.

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Every April 22, humanity celebrates International Mother Earth Day and Earth Day. As more than a billion people participate in Earth Day activities every year, Earth Day has become the world’s largest civic observance. The massive concern to build right relations between humanity and the living being we call Earth is evidence of humanity’s love of the Mother. In 2009, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed April 22 International Mother Earth Day, with a significant resolution affirming “the interdependence existing among human beings, other living species (the kingdoms—mineral, plant, animal and human) and the planet itself, the Earth which we all inhabit.” The Earth is our home. Celebrating Earth Day helps us define new emerging processes (economic, social, political) focused on the well-being of the kingdoms. Through these, humanity seeks to raise the quality of life, foster equality and begin to establish right relations with the Earth. We dedicate ourselves to bringing forth balance and a relationship of harmony with all of nature. Learn about planting a billion trees (the Canopy Project); participate in 1.5 billion acts of green. Disassociation (toward Earth) is no longer viable. We lose our connection to life itself. Participation is viable—an anchor, refuge and service for all of life on Earth. Visit earthday.org; harmonywithnatureun.org; and un.org/en/events/motherearthday for more information. From Farmers Almanac, “On Earth Day, enjoy the tonic of fresh air, contact with the soil, companionship with nature! Go barefooted. Walk through woods, find wildflowers and green moss. Remain outside, no matter the weather!” Nature, Earth’s most balanced kingdom, heals us. The New Group of World Servers is preparing for the May 3 Wesak Buddha Taurus solar festival. We prepare through asking for and offering forgiveness. Forgiveness purifies and like nature, heals.

 

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