Santa Cruz Good Times

Oct 04th
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From the Editor

Greg 12Plus letters to the editor

It’s 2013. We have no business partaking in activities that don’t A) water our spirit and, more importantly, B) send some good juju back into the ethers of the Universe. Alright, that sounded entirely too “California Woo Woo,” a term my Chicago pals may have been using of late. Regardless, as we venture into this decade, more and more, we may find ourselves questioning our motivations and why we are participating in some of the things we are (or have been) participating in. Especially in the realm of “work.” We get a few reminders—nudges, really—on that subject and a whole lot more this week in our exclusive interview with Marianne Williamson. The best-selling author, who hits the Rio Theatre this weekend, rounds out GT’s “Three Women to Watch” in the month of February. The first was local author Belinda Farrell, who penned “Find Your Friggin’ Joy.” Then came local teen crooner Jackie Partida. And now, Williamson. Her new book “The Law of Divine Compensation” certainly offers plenty of insights about work, profession, money, love and ... forgiveness. Williamson crafts an interesting narrative and looks at the current state of the economy as well and how all that—and all that we do—sends out ripple effects.

 In the meantime, turn to News (page 6) this week, too. Is Abbott Square in Downtown Santa Cruz primed for a reboot? It could happen if some locals have their way.

Elsewhere, the Oscars are upon us and film critic Lisa Jensen looks at this year’s nominees and offers her predications. Personally, I was disappointed that Moonrise Kingdom failed to get a Best Picture nod. The Oscar telecast airs Sunday.

There’s plenty more to absorb in this week’s issue, so take a look. And be sure to go online at and vote in the official Best of Santa Cruz Readers Poll.
Onward ...

Greg Archer | Editor-in-Chief

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editor letters

There Are ‘Silving Linings’

For years I have enjoyed Greg Archer’s articles; moreover, I loved his book, “Shut Up, Skinny Bitches!” but I respectfully disagree with his movie review of Silver Linings Playbook. I was diagnosed with bipolar in 2007 just two months post-partum. I almost lost my life to this mental illness numerous times, but I am now in remission. I will be explaining how I became well holistically in my book, “Birth of a New Brain,” to be published in 2014 by Praeclarus Press. 
My L.A. Philharmonic violinist father was diagnosed with bipolar disorder, so I witnessed firsthand how bipolar could destroy a family. Archer states that actor Bradley Cooper “lacks believability” and is “grating on the nerves.” I felt that Cooper’s portrayal of a man with bipolar disorder was accurate and heartfelt. I loved this movie; and it made me become a Robert DeNiro fan as well. I hope it wins Best Picture at the Academy Awards! To cope with this stigmatizing mood disorder, I founded the DBSA (Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance) of Santa Cruz County, which offers free, peer-run support groups for those suffering from bipolar and/or depression and DBSA also serves as a resource to family members and friends. For information on current meetings in Santa Cruz, please call (831) 246-1893 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Visit the website
Dyane Leshin-Harwood
Ben Lomond

The ‘Eco’ Part of Rehabing
Regarding the Eco Rehab “Good Idea of the Week,”I like this idea but it needs much more heavy thinking and doing.
It makes sense and allows human beings to feel like they "belong.” I would give my time to help this program get up and running.
I see so many able-bodied individuals who can work in some capacity and yes, there are many with with mental disabilities but can be taught and placed in a useful situation. They need to earn their space daily.this homeless problem is ridiculously out of control and being allowed to grow. The idea of men, women, and children sleeping in freezing cold and unsanitary conditions drives me crazy. Buying, donating, offering and handing out dollar bills is no longer working for the amount of disengaged persons in the community.
This concept is worthy of the hierarchy of Santa Cruz to check out. if they do not seem interested then the tax-paying blessed people of Santa Cruz and surrounding communities should come together and show compassionate action at its best.
L. Ilch
Santa Cruz

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Fashion Meets Digital Art
Kudos to the folks over at the Museum of Art & History for creating a successful Third Friday event last week. MAH’s "Fashion & Digital Art Night" lured in more than 500 local souls, who were captivated by the eye-catching runway shows that unfolded—so creative. Elsewhere, students and alumni artists from UCSC's Digital Arts and New Media (DANM) grad program showed off their works as well. Inventive evening all around.

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Fair Trade
The issue of buying “fair trade” grabs the spotlight with a new service from  Trade as One. Based in Santa Cruz, the group hopes to make it easier for people to eat healthy food that also “does good” through by providing quarterly packages of ethical food products from around the world delivered directly to one’s doorstep. Trade as One is announcing the new service at the upcoming Justice Conference in Philadelphia on Feb 22. Have a “Good Idea?” Send them our way: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Online Comments
On ‘Friggin’ Joy’ ...
I was astounded at Belinda Farrell’s book, “Find Your Friggin’ Joy.” I learned more about her there—an authentic person to know. May she be here in another 68 years, living life with her own brand of "Friggin Joy"!
Eric B.

On ‘Mini Microbes’ ...
I'd like to express desire for Dr. Worden to study the impact of microbes created from the pollution sewage from our coastal cities. This will provide support for the use of recycled water, eliminating pollution and conservation. The proposed desalination plant would use this pollution as a diluter for the brine, when perhaps it should be recycled for irrigation use. At this time this is a very pressing need for someone of this caliber to show the effect of our increased human population has on the planet, and how decisions on a local level can make a huge difference.
Bill Smallman

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“Miracles appear naturally as an expression of love. So, whenever we think with love, we are summoning a miracle.”
            Marianne Williamson

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As it celebrates its 30th year, Santa Cruz County’s Open Studios is one of the most successful in the country—and a make-or-break event for many local artists


A Ritual & Initiation

The Pope has come and gone, but his loving presence ignited new hope and goodness in many. While he was in NYC, China’s ruler arrived in Washington D.C. East (China) and West (Rome), meeting in the middle, under Libra, balancing sign of Right Relations. The Pope arrived at Fall Equinox. Things initiated at Fall Equinox are birthed at Winter Solstice. The Pope’s presence was a ritual, an initiation rite—like the Dalai Lama’s visits—offering prayers, teachings and blessings. Rituals anchor God’s plan into the world, initiating us to new realities, new rules. The Pope’s presence brings forth the Soul of the United States, its light piercing the veils of materialism. The Pope’s visit changed things. New questions arise, new reasons for living. A new wave of emerging life fills the air. Like a cocoon shifting, wings becoming visible. The winds are different now. Calling us to higher vision, moral values, virtues that reaffirm and offer hope for humanity. A changing of the guard has occurred. Appropriately, this is the week of the Jewish Festival of Sukkoth (’til Oct. 4), when we build temporary homes (little huts in nature), entering into a harvest of prayer and thanksgiving, understanding our fragile and impermanent existences. We are summoned to reflect upon our lives, our humanity, our nature, our spirit and each other. Offering gratitude, becoming a magnet for others. We observe. We see the needs. We love more.


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