Santa Cruz Good Times

Nov 28th
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From The Editor

Greg 12Plus Letters to the editor

What inspires you? What helps you become more empowered? We tap into those ideas, in part, in this week’s cover story. And we have 18-year-old Jackie Partida to thank. Partida is at the helm of the all-girl indie pop group Dressed In Roses. The local has been singing and performing since she was a toddler but what readers might walk away from the article appreciating—and learning more about—is how songwriting can actually empower teen girls. It wasn’t the main intention when we first began exploring Partida, but we soon stumbled upon a fascinating tool for personal growth.

Elsewhere, for those of you in the romantic mood this weekend (Valentine’s Day celebrations will certainly linger beyond just Feb. 14), take note of one of this week’s News stories where we ponder why, when it comes to marriage proposals, men typically are the ones doing it. (Page 6.) Also in News, take note of Alexandra Worden, a local scientist who recently nabbed a a coveted ocean research award.

Moving onto A&E, we learn about a compelling new art show that features the work of Watsonville native Scott Serrano. Dubbed “Picturesque Flora Wallaceana: Botanical Ambulations In Greater Wallaceana, 1854 to 1857,” it runs Feb. 15-March 15, at the Cabrillo Gallery.

In the meantime, with the big President’s Day weekend ahead of us, locals may be inspired by MAH’s Third Friday endeavor, “Fashion & Digital Art Night.” Expect a curious mix of the latest local fashions with new emerging digital art. It promises to be a creative soiree. See you there, Friday, Feb. 15. Learn more at

What’s left? Plenty. I recently picked up the book “The Best Year of Your Life,” written by Debbie Ford. Consider adding it to your reading list. The bestselling author asks: If you were living the best year of your life, what would you be doing ... this day ... this hour ... this minute?
A good question indeed. Onward ...

Greg Archer | Editor-in-Chief

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editor letters

Blood, And Saving A Life
Regarding “What’s Blood Have To Do With It? (GT 2/7), if you want to save a life, there are many ways to do it. I chose two. I pulled people out of burning structures and vehicles as a firefighter (years ago) and I donate my blood. The latter is by far the easier.
I first decided to donate blood when I was a teen and my father came home from work with a 10-gallon blood donor pin and I realized I could make a difference, too. Since then I’ve  donated 103 pints and I continue to donate every two months. Hopefully, I’ll still be able to do so until I’m a ripe, old age. Why do I donate blood? In addition to saving lives (up to three lives per pint), I like the fringe benefits—an hour or so of casual reading time, friendly treatment from caring, competent Red Cross blood bank staff, and munching on cookies, crackers and trail mix afterwards. Not to mention that my employer encourages blood donors by offering paid time off for donations.
Lots of people think they don’t qualify to give blood, but many of them actually do.  At first glance, I don’t seem like a good candidate—I barely meet the minimum weight limit, I’ve travelled overseas extensively, I take daily meds, and my vegan diet is typically low in iron. However, they love my blood. (As long as I remember, to boost my iron level I eat lots of leafy greens and legumes beforehand.)
Now if you have hepatitis or feel faint at the thought of a needle, then perhaps you will want to volunteer elsewhere. Otherwise, come join me. I’ll hold your hand, make you laugh, or just let you chill and read your novel. The Red Cross makes it easy and convenient. Call them at
462-2881 or go online at  to find out when and where the next blood bank is. As they say at the Red Cross, “the need is constant and the gratification is instant!”
Susan Kauffman
Santa Cruz

Eco Rehabing
In response to last week’s “Good Idea,” Franklin William’s idea of "Eco Rehab" is an excellent suggestion for addressing part of the homelessness problem. All taxpayer subsidized aid should be "earned" by the receiver. Every person is capable of performing some sort of service, starting as simply as just being a watchful presence where one is needed. Many homeless people would welcome the opportunity to be of service, if there was an interface that would handle what, where when and how for them.
This facilitation is where the problems lay. Where would an affordable, reliable management and outreach come from? I can envision a self-managed system existing eventually, but establishing the training, operation and oversight will take time and not an inconsiderable amount of money. Things like this, that take sustained high energy and commitment by the founders, plus significant up-front funding, are very hard to achieve.
Allan McLean
Scotts Valley

editor goodwork

Peace Out, UCSC

Good news from UC Santa Cruz. The university was recently listed among the top 20 schools for attracting Peace Corps volunteers. It ranked 17th among U.S. universities boasting more than 15,000 students. Currently, there are 60 undergraduate alumni serving the Corps. It’s a nice step up from last year’s figures— UCSC placed 24th. But it also marks the 11th consecutive year the school has hit top 25. Way to go Banana Slugs.

editor goodidea

AMGEN 2013 & YOU
The good news: For the very first time, AMGEN, the revered cycling extravaganza will run south to north. The race begins in Escondido on May 12. The twist? It does not run through Santa Cruz. It does, however, arrive in San Jose (on May 17). How Santa Cruz may be able to cash in on some of the visitors heading into the area for the event remains to be seen. The event is a few months off. Time to put on the thinking caps now. 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 ‘A Sharp Problem’ ...
Don't harass me while I'm hiking. I was hiking in Pogonip on Saturday morning, which I do five or six days a week. I was sitting on a bench enjoying the view when the field was suddenly overrun with many people. Children were running about and asking me if I had seen any garbage. One woman walked over to me and told me I couldn't hike in Pogonip anymore. She insinuated that I was homeless and that I might want to re-think walking in Pogonip. I laughed in her face and told her I have a job and my own apartment. If the clean-up team wants to clean Pogonip, fine, but do not harass people. You do not own the park.

editor quoteed qow

“The worst thing that can happen in a democracy—as well as in an individual's life—is to become cynical about the future and lose hope.”
            —Hillary Clinton

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The full moon of Wednesday brings light to Thanksgiving (Thursday) under the Sagittarius Sun and Mercury. Mercury in Sag offers humanity the message (Mercury) of thankfulness and joy (Jupiter). No other sign represents food, music and joy better than Sagittarius (only Pisces, when not in despair). Beginning on Thanksgiving, we can list what we’re grateful for. Then we can continue the list, creating a daily Gratitude Journal. What we are grateful for always increases in our lives. On Thanksgiving Saturn/Neptune square (challenging) is in full effect. This can manifest as traditions not being honored, disappearing, falling away. It can also create a sense of sadness, confusion, of things not working out as planned. It’s best to be as simple as possible. And to focus on gratitude instead. Gratitude is a service to others. It is scientifically and occultly a releasing agent. Releasing us from the past, allowing our future—the new culture and civilization, the new Aquarian laws and principles, the rising light of Aquarius, the Age of Friendship and Equality—to come forth. Gratitude and goodwill create the “thought-form of solution for humanity and the world’s problems.” The hierarchy lays great emphasis upon expressing gratitude. Gratitude illuminates all that is in darkness. Let us be grateful during this season together. Being, for others, the light that illuminates the darkness. A Poem by R.W. Emerson: We are grateful … “For each new morning with its light/For rest and shelter of the night/For health and food/For love and friends/For everything thy goodness sends.” (poem by R.W. Emerson). I am grateful for my family of readers.


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