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Apr 16th
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From the Editor

Greg 12Plus Letters to the Editor

One political debate down. A few more to go. With less than a month to go until Election Day 2012, the political season just continues to heat up. So, who better to offer more perspective, as biting as it is, than Bill Maher? The comedian/author and Emmy-nominated host of HBO’s Real Time With Bill Maher descends upon Santa Cruz in what promises to be a wild night at the Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium on Sunday, Oct. 21. Maher is our cover boy this week and in our GT interview with the comic, he waxes political about President Barack Obama, GOP frontman Mitt Romney, legalizing marijuana and oh so much more. But the man also opens up about some of his earlier influences and reveals the curious emotional and mental tightrope most comics walk. Dive into the journey.


Speaking of politically charged issues, there comes some bright news on the Breast Density Notification Bill, which recently passed in California. The bill, designed to improve breast cancer detection in women with dense breast tissue, was inspired by Santa Cruz resident Amy Colton. Visit gtweekly.com to read past articles about the topic by News Editor Elizabeth Limbach. And, in case you aren’t already aware, October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Also in News, if you’ve been following our stories and blogs on the 180/180 campaign, an effort that is striving to house 180 of “the most vulnerable, chronically homeless individuals by July 2014,” you will want to read our report this week about one of the first people to be housed by the program.

There’s plenty more in between all these pages, so enjoy. But as we move deeper into the fall season, and toward the end of the year—did you spot those Christmas trees at Costco?—it’s fitting, perhaps, to reflect upon all the change that may have transpired for you—and in the community—in 2012. What moments stood out the most? And, more importantly, what have you learned from them?

Some things to ponder in the weeks ahead.

Onward ...

Greg Archer | Editor-in-Chief


Letters to the Editor  

 

Desal And You: The Bottom Line
Regarding “Desal and You” (GT 9/20), water is an important factor of how many people can live harmoniously on the planet. Desal is used to create cities, like Dubai. So, it is a fallacy that desal is needed now because of droughts we have many times endured. This is a county-wide issue, and I believe that the city will steer us in the right [direction]. The alternatives are exciting, and need more consideration and study. They are better for the environment and economy, and will create many jobs. Not building the desal [plant] will make us face [the] reality that needs are finite.
Bill Smallman
Santa Cruz

Downloading The Desal 411
In response to “Desal and You,” 25 percent of the city's $160 million yearly budget comes from utility taxes mostly and fees, same as comes from both property taxes and sales taxes. Imagine how much more will be coming from utility taxes once the one time $40 million, but now around $180 million (including financing costs), desal plant is being paid off through our utility bills and charges.

Yet, does anybody really think there can possibly be enough new revenue generated to continue on paying all of a 59,000 resident city's current and future numerous six-figured salaried, planned, pensioned, and perked civil servants?
Douglas Deitch
Santa Cruz


Fifth District Response
I was surprised to read Barbara Sprenger’s unfounded letter, “The FLOWdown” printed in the Oct. 4 Good Times in which she incorrectly states that then Sen. Bruce McPherson wouldn’t meet with her about Friends of Locally Owned Water’s effort to purchase the Felton water system. First of all, consider that Sprenger is a leader in Hammer’s campaign. Second, McPherson told me he never remembers Sprenger trying to talk with him. Also, McPherson told me he asked his former “chief aide” if he ever recalled talking to Sprenger about the issue, and he said no. Third, the FLOW decision was finalized in 2008, four years after McPherson has been termed out of the California Senate. And fourth, anyone who was here when McPherson was in the Senate and Assembly knows he was one of the most attentive legislators we’ve ever had in listening to us and discussing our needs—ask educators, fire and sheriff officials, environmental leaders, etc. That’s why he was always at the top of the list in the California Journal’s rankings in “integrity” and “hard working.”
Bert Bly
Santa Cruz


Online Comments On

‘Santa Cruz Open Streets’
Eleanor, as a new family to both the Santa Cruz area and Santa Cruz Montessori, I am so inspired by your passion and accomplishment to see this wonderful event come to pass! I look forward to meeting you and having my daughter have such a fantastic role model at her new school! I hope [Open Streets was] all you envisioned.
—Amy Geller

On ‘TedEx’ ...
Whitney [Smith, CEO of Girls for a Change] has an amazing story and her work in helping thousands of young women change is a wonderful result of her personal story. I am one of her board members with GFC (Girls For a Change) and was not aware of her pain. Thank you for sharing.
—Onagh Ash




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Aries Solar Festival

Sunday is Palm Sunday. Symbolizing victory and triumph, paradise, sacrifice and martyrdom, the Pisces World Teacher entered Jerusalem (City of Peace) on a donkey (signifying humility).

 

Sugar: The New Tobacco?

Proposed bill would require warning labels on sugary drinks Will soda and other saccharine libations soon come with a health warning? They will if it’s up to our state senator, Bill Monning (D-Carmel). On Feb. 27, Monning proposed first-of-its-kind legislation that would require a consumer warning label be placed on sugar-sweetened beverages sold in California. SB 1000, also known as the Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Safety Warning Act, was proposed to provide vital information to consumers about the harmful effects of consuming sugary drinks, such as sodas, sports drinks, energy drinks, and sweetened teas.

 

Animal Magnetism

Bear, mouse dare to be friends in charming ‘Ernest and Celestine’ It’s not exactly Romeo and Juliet. It’s not even a romance, although it is a love story about two individuals separated by prejudice who find the courage to form an unshakable bond despite the rules and traditions that keep them apart.

 

Printer's Devil

Iconic editor Buz Bezore, who died last month at the age of 68, left a huge mark on Santa Cruz journalism   Eventually, it’s all a blur. You live long enough, and maybe a little too hard at times, so that when you hit the rewind button of faded memory, it moves so fast that you can hardly sort and gather the details. One scene skips to the next, and to the next, without proper editing or sequencing. Chronologies get distorted. Which came first: stealing the chickens or coloring the eggs?
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Foodie File: Yan Flower

Yan Belleville has owned Yan Flower, an affordable Chinese restaurant in Downtown Santa Cruz, with her husband Raymond for eight years, and it’s a family affair. Her brother, sister, sister-in-law, and cousins work there too. Locals know the joint for its massive lunch specials starting at $4.

 

How would you feel about a tech industry boom in Santa Cruz?

I feel like it would ruin the small old-town feeling of Santa Cruz. It wouldn’t be the same Surf City kind of vacation town that it is. Antoinette BennettSanta Cruz | Construction Management

 

Best of Santa Cruz County

The 2013 Santa Cruz County Readers' Poll and Critics’ Picks It’s our biggest issue of the year, and in it, your votes—more than 6,500 of them—determined the winners of The Best of Santa Cruz County Readers’ Poll. New to the long list of local restaurants, shops and other notables that captured your interest: Best Beer Selection, Best Locally Owned Business, Best Customer Service and Best Marijuana Dispensary. In the meantime, many readers were ever so chatty online about potential new categories. Some of the suggestions that stood out: Best Teen Program and Best Web Design/Designer. But what about: Dog Park, Church, Hotel, Local Farm, Therapist (I second that!) or Sports Bar—not to be confused with Bra. Our favorite suggestion: Best Act of Kindness—one reader noted Café Gratitude and the free meals it offered to the Santa Cruz Police Department in the aftermath of recent crimes. Perhaps some of these can be woven into next year’s ballot, so stay tuned. In the meantime, enjoy the following pages and take note of our Critics’ Picks, too, beginning on page 91. A big thanks for voting—and for reading—and an even bigger congratulations to all of the winners. Enjoy.  -Greg Archer, EditorBest of Santa Cruz County Readers’ Poll INDEX

 

Comanche Cellars

Pinot Noir 2010 I first tasted Comanche Cellars Pinot when a friend brought a bottle to share over lunch at Center Street Grill in Santa Cruz. Upon trying it, I knew I had to find out more about it.