Santa Cruz Good Times

Nov 25th
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From The Editor

Greg 1editNotePlus Letters To the Editor
A recent visit back to Chicago proved to be enlightening. In making homemade pierogi with my Polish mother and my 86-year-old aunt, I have decided that the secret to life can be found in kneading dough. Really. (I may write “If You Knead Dough, The Money Will Follow” at some point, but let’s not get sidetracked.)

In any case, few things trump slowing down and actually having conversations—face to face—with family members. So, while I had my Polish hands in the mixing bowl of flour, butter milk, vegetable oil and water, I asked my mother: “Don’t you measure your ingredients?” She looked at me and shrugged. “No. I go by how it feels!” To which I thought: “How very Zen of her!” (And Chicagoans think they’re all about planning!) That said, my clan and I may have more similarities than differences.

Surely, I’m not the only one swirling around in this orbit. Look around. Many of us may feel we’re so vastly different from each other—we are, but, you know, we’re not (really). I suppose it’s a matter of degrees, or, in this case, ingredients. Meanwhile, as I watched my dear Aunt Jenny sitting there, deeply dedicated to pinching the edges of a filled pierogi—just the way her mother taught her back in Eastern Poland so many decades ago— I was reminded of how life can be both delicate and resilient.

Speaking of resilience, this week’s cover story spotlights a showstopper—and current “it” girl (again)—who boasts plenty of that. After more than 30 years in the entertainment business, the girl still just wants to have fun—and give back, too. I’m referring to pop-rock icon/civil rights activist Cyndi Lauper. She just won a Tony Award (for the hit musical “Kinky Boots”) and is currently on a concert tour commemorating her breakout album She’s So Unusual. Catch her at Mountain Winery in nearby Saratoga on June 19. Read our interview with the icon on page 12.

In the meantime, this week, don’t be afraid to drop your hands in the mixing bowl of life. Be proactive: Stir it up and get messy.

More next time ...

Greg Archer | Editor-in-Chief


Nice Casa
In response to the Casa Nostra feature (GT 6/6), excellent on all accounts. The trio has brought us a gem in San Lorenzo Valley. A fresh new ambiance to a run- down building. A fantastic well-rounded menu of excellently prepared foods. presented and priced well. Service is prompt and courteous. And Mario and his partners are the kind of people and friends that are always welcome here in SLV. I could go on, but I'll just say visit them.
Dana Barth | Santa Cruz

Missing the Point
The struggle in the Middle East came to UC Santa Cruz recently. The movement known as BDS, Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions is an international movement to undermine support for Israel and ultimately to destroy her. A highly divisive resolution was offered by student supporters of BDS at UCSC last month. It was defeated as it fell far short of the votes needed for passage. The BDS proponents pretend that they are human rights activists. Norman Finkelstein, a well-known Israel critic, described BDS as "a hypocritical, dishonest cult led by dishonest gurus who want to selectively enforce the law and tries to cleverly pose as human rights activists, whereas their real goal is the destruction of Israel."
The hypocrisy is evident in the UCSC resolution. Theoretically, Israel was not the target as the resolution was aimed at companies that do business in Israel. Some of the targeted companies also operate in the Palestinian Authority, including Caterpiller, whose bulldozers are used to remove mines planted by the Jordanians. The resolution ignored the discrimination against gays and women in Gaza and the West Bank or terrorism against Israel.
By describing Israel as an apartheid state it chooses to demonize Israel, the only Mideast country where the Christian population isn't threatened, and where laws protect gays and lesbians. Israeli Arabs serve in all levels of government: attend colleges, including the West Bank Ariel University; and benefit from the same national health care system as all citizens. The sponsors of the resolution were defeated this time. One would think that with thousands killed in Syria and the oppression in Egypt, Iran and elsewhere these "human rights" activists might have better things to do than attack the only democracy in the Middle East.
Gil Stein | Aptos

photo contest

lettersLONG WALK, SHORT PIER? This photo of the wharf at Capitola Beach, taken around sunset, casts interesting shadows on the wooden pier. Meanwhile, fog shrouds the portions of the distant mountains of the Monterey Peninsula. photo/ Ed Garner.

Submit photos to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Include information about the photo (location, etc.) and your name within the body of the email.
Photos may be cropped to fit.

good work

Ag Industry Still Booming
Big news for the local ag industry. According to county Agricultural Commissioner Mary Lou Nicolettia, the industry tilled the soil to nearly $1.5
billion in 2011, offering more than 11,000 jobs to the local economy. The numbers are twofold. They represent both a direct and indirect economic
contribution from local farm production as well as food processing. Better still, it’s the first kind of study to look at such economic factors. Good growth indeed.

good idea

PAPÁS Hits No. 10
Father’s Day is here, which means celebrations are afoot. But one idea continues to hit our radar—the PAPÁS program. This year, it celebrates its 10th anniversary and will launch the 7th Annual Father’s Day event Fatherhood Awards on Saturday, June 15 in Watsonville. To celebrate a father’s involvement in the lives of his children, the event also sends a message that “fatherhood is a gift and staying involved as a responsible father to both family and community is fundamental to thrive not only through tough times but always.” Visit


“What matters is that people—all kinds of people—think all kinds of ways. And it’s our differences—our differences—that makes us stronger.”
—Cyndi Lauper

Online Comments

On ‘Corbin Dunn’s Plug Bug’...
Nice job—on both the article and the Plug Bug. Nine months! I hope my 914 Conversion doesn't turn into nine years, it's been almost six already, but things have started moving quicker lately. I now have the lithium batteries and, thanks to Corbin's Treehouse, a few new ideas to move things along. —914Mike

On ‘Angela Davis’...
Let's get local and current, please. It would have be nice if you'd asked Aptheker about the rise of right wing, one might even say "neo-fascist," hysteria attacking needle exchange, homeless services, "illegal" campers, the mythical "culture of tolerance" and releasing (nonviolent) prisoners. Recent videos widely circulated on line and reprinted in other publications document a police officer dropping a drunk face forward onto the concrete for a quick trip to the hospital and a member of one of the anti-homeless groups abusing and then physically harassing a homeless guy in a sleeping bag. —Robert Norse

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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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