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Mar 05th
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From the Editor

greg_archerS2sPlus Letters to Good Times...
Matters of the Art
A Harvest for Second Harvest
Obama’s Nation
Holiday Deadlines

We have published a few days earlier this week because, well, there’s so much to share before our New Year’s issue.  At the top of the list is, of course, the obvious—the holidays and the fact that the year is racing to an end. But first, there’s plenty of celebrating to do—whether you’re doing it for spiritual or religious reasons, or just gearing up for a festive time on New Year’s Eve. It’s certainly been one whopper of a year, so, in my book, it doesn’t hurt to celebrate just getting through it.
But what about the year ahead? Well, I recall that during my youth in Chicago, my Polish aunt always used to remind me to “never stop dreaming!” or to “think big.” Sometimes it got me into trouble, but the gift in all is that life has never been boring. Read more about my Polish clan, the holidays and other curious motivational signs and anomalies in this week’s cover story.

In between, turn to News this week where writer Ezra Koch focuses on marine biologist Wallace J. Nichols and the “Slow Coast Movement,” which hopes to illuminate the precious areas along the coast, organic farming methods, sustainable ranching and forestry practices, among many other things. Elsewhere, scribe Kimberly Wein has the details on a new program on something unique that may help the unemployed. Shoreline Workforce Development Services (Shoreline) has teamed with Goodwill Industries of Santa Cruz, Monterey and San Luis Obispo Counties in an effort to link employers with locals seeking jobs. It’s all part of the the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act’s federally funded stimulus program and Subsidized Employment Training (SET). Learn more about these unique efforts in News.

What’s left?. In between your times of giving this week, don’t forget to take time to receive. It will make for a fruitful week.

Until next time ...

Greg Archer
Editor

 


Letters to Good Times Editor

Matters of the Art
Thank you very much for the article on artist Brian Barneclo’s mural at Old School Shoes (GT 12/17). While I was flattered to be mentioned in context with public art projects around town, as Arts Program Manager for the City of Santa Cruz Redevelopment Agency, nothing I do would be possible without the combined efforts of many other city staff, contractors, volunteers, service organizations and property owners. Brian’s mural was initiated by Old School Shoes’ owner Ellen Gil and manager Sonja Brunner, sponsored through the Redevelopment Agency façade improvement program, and produced with the support of Arts Commissioner Timerie Gordon, Bob Farmer of Coyote Construction and many others. Other public art projects such as SculpTOUR rely on a broad network of volunteers and the support and efforts of many other City departments. Thanks for your continued coverage of Santa Cruz’ vibrant creative life, and happy holidays!
Crystal Birns
City Arts Program Manager
Santa Cruz

Obama’s Nation
Despite a few protests here and there it should be no surprise that Santa Cruzans, by and large, have readily accepted the appropriateness of the Nobel Peace Prize going to President Barack Obama. After all, this action fits very well with the philosophy of our liberal citizenry who understand that, when winning prestigious awards, just like Obama’s programs for socialized medicine and redistributed wealth, one should have to work to receive them.
At least the Norwegian panel didn’t award him the prize for economics, too. Although, I must admit, he actually accomplished something in this field with his “Cash for Clunkers” program. The accomplishment? Getting most of the Obama bumper stickers off the road.
Harding D. McCrat
Freedom

A Harvest for Second Harvest
I’ve been doing some more volunteer work locally and I wanted to point out that the county is full of hungry people. I found GT’s Community Foundation stories helpful in that it showed the resources some organizations offer, but I can’t stress enough how vital it is to feed the community, especially those in need—if you fork over only a buck, Second Harvest can feed a family of five. Thanks to Second Harvest, some of my friends and their families have been able to get through some pretty tough times. They’re grateful.
Jessie Winters
Santa Cruz

Holiday Deadlines
GOOD TIMES offices will be closed Wednesday, Dec. 23 through Friday, Jan 1 in observance of Christmas and New Year’s.

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It is a week of many different festivals along with a full moon, all occurring simultaneously. Thursday Chinese New Year celebrations end with the Lantern Festival (at full moon). Thursday is also the Pisces Solar festival (full moon), Purim (Jewish Festival) and Holi (Hindu New Year Festival). Sunday, March 8, Daylight Saving Time begins at 2 a.m. The festival of Purim celebrates the freedom of the Hebrew people from the cruel Haman (a magistrate) seeking to destroy them. Esther, the Queen of Persia, who was secretly Jewish, saved her people from death. The sweet cookie hamentaschen celebrates this festival. Friday, March 6, is Holi, the Hindu Spring Festival celebrated after the March full moon. Bonfires are lit the night before, warding off evil. Holi, the Festival of Colors, is the most colorful festival in the world. It is also the Festival of Love—of Radha for Krishna (the blue-colored God). It is a spring festival with singing, dancing, carnivals, food and bhang, a drink made of cannabis leaves. Holi signifies good over evil, ridding oneself of past errors, ending conflicts through rapprochement (returning to each other). It is a day of forgiveness, including debts. Holi also marks the beginning of New Year. At the Pisces Solar festival we recite the seed thought, “We leave the Father’s home and, turning back, we save.” Great Teachers remain on Earth until all of humanity is enlightened. The New Group of World Servers is called to this task and sacrifice. Sacrifice (from the heart) is the first Law of the Soul, the heart of which is Love. This sacrifice saves the world.

 

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