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Dec 17th
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From the Editor

greg_archerS2sPlus Letters to Good Times
Altered States
No New Water for UCSC
Good Signs

When we sought to find several inspiring stories for the New Year, we didn’t have to look much farther than UC Santa Cruz. It seems that there is always something innovative unfolding at the university, so this week, News Editor Elizabeth Limbach shines the light on five interesting UCSC individuals and/or projects that are worthy of your attention. But beyond that, these projects happen to be fascinating and are poised to bring more attention to the Central Coast. There’s a man who’s eager to alleviate blindness—yes, it’s true—and another team busy researching a cure for cancer. Gamers will appreciate a forward-thinking UCSC game designer. Meanwhile, farming is actually fun for one group while several Long Marine Lab researchers can’t stop making new discoveries here in the Bay. Find out more details in this week’s cover story.

A new year is always a good time to focus on new discoveries and make changes. But for one local, change has been in the cards for some time. I’m talking about the unique efforts of surfer Kyle Thiermann. GT wrote about Thiermann last year as his “Claim Your Change” campaign was taking off. This week, the guy who is hoping to get other locals to bank locally, among other things, is branching out further with various outreach projects.

The only thing left, besides reading the rest of the paper, might be to ponder on some of the changes you’re striving to make in the New Year. That may take a lot of reflection, which, for most people, might mean just sitting still and being quiet. Sounds like bliss to me. Let me know how it goes.

Until next time ...
Greg Archer
Editor


Letters to Good Times Editor

Altered States
Regarding "Drug Me Please" by Kimberly Wein, yes, we need to know what we put in our bodies. Clean water, fruits and vegetables free of pesticides, meat without hormones and toxins. Eat Omega-3's and B-complex. Why wasn't finding freedom from marijuana mentioned? Pot is one of the psychoactive substances that most all medical professionals in this county avoid talking about.
Weed is not a safe and "natural" substance for everyone. It has the side effects and profits to match the pharmaceutical companies. No, I won't prescribe it. No, I won't recommend it. Yes, I educate about the side effects. Let's stop fooling ourselves. Be bold and different. To be fully healthy, be weed free.
Ramona Smith
Santa Cruz

No New Water for UCSC
When the county parroted “reports” that it takes 70 years for Davenport residents and visitors to risk cancer from Chromium 6, I said it was not rooted in science—and a morally indefensible argument favoring employment and tax of Cemex, over health concerns for Bonny Doon elementary school, which is in apparent need of a science teacher.
The Sentinel ran a full page story in 1998 about Santa Cruz child Forrest Hernandez (5), who died thirtysomething hours after getting a bleeding ulcer from Chromium 6 ingestion in Willits Creek, Calif. Don’t they read their own paper?
Incidentally, Hex chromium contamination was discovered accidentally, while exploring the effects of dumping mercury as far as the wind blows in Davenport for 35-plus years. Like passing through farm country, wash your tires.
Our county supervisor owns a bookshop, but doesn’t take the time to educate himself on this problem facing a minority of 5th District voters, electing instead to rubber stamp every consultant’s rosy report on the subject. Obviously this; “Stay to the board agenda or shut-up!” attitude is failing us. Now we learn the Health Department will raise the danger level for Cr6 by 600 percent from 50 parts per billion to .06 ppb; making every well in Watsonville and Soquel contaminated. Water for UC expansion; I don’t think so.
Billy Quealy
Santa Cruz

Good Signs
I  enjoyed the cover story “Don’t Stop Believin’” (GT 12/22) about the editor’s family's interesting background in Europe and Africa. Thank you for sharing this personal history. I also appreciated your review a few weeks ago of the mac ’n’ cheese specials at Red Restaurant. When I read of those menu specials a few weeks prior, they sounded interesting, though I'm not a beer drinker so the combos would not have been worth it for me.  In the future it would be fun to read other articles/reviews of special menu offerings by a variety of writers, not just the food critic. Keep up the good work in Good Times.  
Judi Gunstra
Santa Cruz

Sign Language
I , too, see various “signs” from time to time (GT 12/22). And when I look at a clock, it’s the numbers 1,2,3,4 that I see. I think it just means that we’re on the right track or something. Thanks for the inspiring words and thoughts. I definitely think there is something out there—something positive—that helps us along the way from time to time.
Jake Anderson
Capitola

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