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Dec 29th
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From The Editor

Greg 1editNotePlus Letters To the Editor

Fall is quickly approaching. Labor Day is just over a week away. A new school season is upon us. Oh ... where did 2013 go? A good thing to ponder—the quickening of time and all that—but for now, let’s stay present and be in the moment, shall we?

This week’s news over top city officials recommending a step back on the whole desalination plan certainly turned heads. Thoughts? Read our blog on the matter online at and let us know what you think.

 


In other news-related matters we take a look at parole revocation. The process was previously handled by the state Board of Parole Hearings. However, as of July 1, the matter fell to local courts. That’s right, local courts will now be considered the main parole authority and you can expect parole violation hearings to be held at a local level. There’s more in this week’s news section, so dive in.

For artists near and far—and for those who appreciate art, for that matter—where writer Dave DeGive shines the light on a local art studio offering space for developmentally disabled people. Uplifting. Read on ...
In the meantime, take note of this week’s cover story. Penned by GT Staff Writer Joel Hersch, the article delves deeply into the shift taking place within the University of California system, particularly the appointment of Janet Napolitano as its new president. Napolitano has been U.S Secretary of Homeland Security since 2009. Some feel the appointment of a political figure into the UC heirarchy is not the best fit—at all. It also begs the question: What does the arrival of a soon-to-be former U.S. Secretary of Homeland Secutiry at the helm of the UC mean for higher education in the state? Learn more about the matter and sound off with your opinions by commenting online or emailing us at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ."
Onward ...
Greg Archer | Editor-in-Chief


letters

 

Vocal About Violence
Regarding GT’s recent reports on crime, once again our community is being plagued by gun violence and yet we still seemed focused on the symptoms and not the disease. From my first day of law school I had a running argument with my Constitutional Law professor about the Second Amendment and the public perception that the right to bear arms was constitutionally protected. I argued that the right to arm oneself was necessary at a time when citizens had no other means of safeguarding themselves and their homes. But in today's world, we have police forces and standing armies for exactly that purpose. Like the license to operate a motor vehicle, gun ownership is a privilege, not a right, and as such must be exercised responsibly. When we accept this basic premise and act accordingly, we will be one step closer to preventing gun violence in our community.
Steve Pleich | Santa Cruz

Oh, That Ram Dass
The recent article about Ram Dass (GT 8/8) was very interesting. I met him in the late ’70s when a friend of his, Bhagavan Das, (aka Kermit Riggs) was selling cars for me. Kermit had just returned from India, he was looking for a job. He did not look like he would fit in appearance wise, and he knew it. He asked me [whether], if he would make himself presentable, I [would] give him a chance. I said yes. Two days later he came back to talk with me and I hardly recognized him. I hired him, and he became a pretty good salesman. The San Jose Mercury News found out about him and wrote an extensive article about it. I have many memories about his tenure in our association.
Wolfgang Thrun | Santa Cruz

Online Comments
On ‘Moving The Needle’ ...
Perhaps the cynical hysteria-cultivators from Take Back Santa Cruz can give us some stats on how many actual needle sticks there have been reported in the last decade (what with the big Needle Menace and all)? And of those, how many have actually had a health consequence? To my understanding it's very very few.
—Robert Norse

Robert, The question regarding needle sticks is a valid one. I have asked it of people and there doesn't appear to be a procedure in place for reporting/gathering that information so we have only anecdotal reports over time and in various online forums. You are correct on the few health consequences, but the question is do you want HIV or Hep C from stepping on a needle that shouldn't be there in the first place?
—Ethan Bearman

On ‘Willie Nelson’ ...
This story is so wonderfully written. I do hope he can interview Mr. Nelson before the entertainer is, "rolled and smoked." Thanks for such a great story. I love your writing style and sense of humor.
—Mimi Bennett

On ‘Town Hall/Mark Stone’ ...
Plastic waste greets you everywhere and breakdown to tiny particles will be a huge threat to everyone as it passes into the food chain. I feel that the cruise ships and others need to have their waste audited at the beginning and end of each trip. The shore waste should be analyzed and the products that appear more often should have a percentage cost levied on the brands with the largest pollution footprint. Those brands can then pass this cost on to their customers. That way the polluter will pay for the clean up. Some of this can be applied to land-based pollution.
—Grahame Leach


Letters Policy
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photo contest



Photo-of-weekALL SHIPS ARRIVE ON A CALM SEA A tall ship enters the harbor at sunset—say “hello” to that great view of the two lighthouses. photo/ Paula Maziar. Submit to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Include information (location, etc.) and your name. Photos may be cropped.


good work



New Leaf’s Taste at the Tee
Golf and skateboarding merged together quite nicely at the recent second annual New Leaf’s Taste at the Tee golf tournament fundraiser. The event at Seascape Golf Club in Aptos collected $21,802 for Grind Out Hunger, the nonprofit dedicated to thwarting local hunger and malnutrition. It’s another nod to the effectiveness of GOH, which, since 2004, has been diligently working with local youth. To date, it has collected more than two million “healthy” meals for county families. Learn more at grindouthunger.org. Nice job all around, folks.

good idea



Strong Yoga4Fertility
Brenda Strong, the award-winning actress from TV’s Desperate Housewife and Dallas, is bringing her Strong Yoga4Women to the Central Coast with a Strong Yoga4Fertility Certification and Teacher Training in Monterey from Aug. 22-27. A workshop for couples is also set for Aug. 23-25. All of it is designed to shift the shame surrounding infertility stigmas and increasing awareness about the effectiveness of alternative approaches to women’s wellness. Learn more at strongyoga4women.com and read our blog online at gtweekly.com.


quote



“In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth is a revolutionary act.”
—George Orwell


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Dancing In the Rain

District Attorney Bob Lee’s death in October stunned the Santa Cruz community, but he had battled cancer fiercely—and privately—for more than a decade. Now one of his closest friends reveals the remarkable inside story

 

Our Gifts - Fiery Sacrificial Lights to One Another

Wednesday is Christmas Eve, Hanukkah ends and the Moon is in Aquarius, calling for the new world to take shape at midnight. Thursday morning, the sun, at the Tropic of Capricorn, begins moving northward. The desire currents are stilled. A great benediction of spiritual force (Capricorn’s Rays 1, 3, 7) streams into Earth. Temple bells ring out. The heavens bend low; the Earth is lifted up to the Light. Angels and Archangels chant, “On Earth, peace, goodwill to all.” As these forces stream into the Earth they assume long swirling lines of light, in the likeness of the Madonna and Child. The holy child is born. Let our hearts be “impressed” with and hold this picture, especially because Christmas may be difficult this year. Christmas Day is void of course moon (v/c moon), which means we may feel somewhat disconnected from one another. It’s difficult to connect in a v/c moon. Try anyway. Mercury joins Pluto in Capricorn. Uh oh … we don’t bring up the past containing any dark and difficult issues. We are to attempt new ways of communicating—expressing aspirations and love for one another, replacing wounding, sadness, lostness, and hurts of the past. Play soothing music, pray together, have the intention for peace, harmony and goodwill. Don’t be surprised if things feel out of control and/or arguments arise. We remember, before a new harmony emerges, chaos and crisis come first to clear the air. We are to be the harmonizers. Christmas evening is more harmonious, less difficult, more of what Christmas should be— radiations of love, sharing, kindness, compassion and care. Sunday, Feast Day of the Holy Family, is surprising. Wednesday is New Year’s Eve, the last day of 2014. Taurus moon, a stabilizing energy, ushers in the New Year. Happy New Year, everyone! Peace to everyone. Let us realize we are gifts radiating diamond light to one another. Living sacrificial flames!

 

The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program

 

Let My People Go

There’s a lot to like in Ridley Scott’s maligned ‘Exodus’
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Best Bites of 2014

A look back at the year in good taste

 

What downtown business is good for both one-stop shopping and last-minute gifts?

The Homeless Garden Project store. Because it is a community effort and has really useful and beautiful things, and allows you to connect with a lot of folks who are doing great work in Santa Cruz. Miriam Greenberg, Santa Cruz, UCSC Professor

 

Vino Tabi Winery

One of Santa Cruz’s most happening areas to go wine tasting is in the westside’s Swift Street Courtyard complex. Ever since a group of about a dozen wineries got together and formed Surf City Vintners (SCV), the place has been a hive of activity, and a wine-tasting mecca. Adding to the mix is the lively Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing beer company—making Swift Street Courtyard a perfect spot for a glass of wine or a pitcher of ale.

 

Betty’s Eat Inn

Yes, she’s a real person; no, this isn’t her