Plus Letters To the Editor
I was struck by something spiritual leader Gangaji was quoted as saying (see “Quote of the Week”): “Need nothing and see what happens.” Imagine that. Now imagine what does not happen when the need for something is calmed—less mental chatter, more fulfillment perhaps? I’m game. Here’s to stepping into that possibility. In the short-term, however, I do need you to read this week’s cover story. Well, it’s not really a need—more like a suggestion.
In it, writer John Malkin takes readers along a compelling interview with Gangaji, who returns to Santa Cruz for the first time in 20 years for a special outing at Inner Light Ministries. As part of GT’s Living Legends series, we hope to inspire and generate some good by illuminating several unique agents of change throughout the year. Gangaji is one of those agents. Dive into the tale beginning on page 12. Send us your thoughts to
In other news—big news—the community is still buzzing over the recent announcement from UC Santa Cruz that it would not be continuing Shakespeare Santa Cruz. This week, GT’s Joel Hersch dives into the matter, collecting thoughts from students and locals. But concern has spread throughout the Bay Area and beyond. Carey Perloff, artistic director of American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco wrote in, noting that “the way in which this closure was handled displayed a profound insensitivity to everyone involved in the extraordinary 32-year-old enterprise that was SSC. How is it possible that you didn’t think it worthy to honor Audrey Stanley, who founded SSC, or to permit Marco Barricelli, who has led it so admirably for six years, to even make a statement? Was it necessary to delay the announcement until the last week of SSC’s season, when no dialogue could be held with its audience, an audience that, at the very least, deserved the opportunity to celebrate and honor the artistic leadership they had come to so deeply admire? Such behavior is typical of corporate culture; was it appropriate for a university?” Thoughts? Send them our way. Onward ...
Greg Archer | Editor-in-Chief
Giving Them A Break
It is wonderful to learn about the services and accomplishments of the Inside Men's Foundation (GT 9/5]. If GT readers would like to provide support and connection for people incarcerated in our extremely dysfunctional correctional system, but may not have time or inclination to make in-person visits, they might consider becoming a prison pen pal. It is a great way to create meaningful, personal connection with people who have few opportunities for [the] same in a brutalized environment. Receiving a letter in the daily mail call makes a huge difference in the life of an inmate.
Further information is available through the Prison Dharma Network (prisondharmanetwork.net) or the San Francisco Zen Center (sfzc.org-go "Outreach"). In the case of SFZC, they match prisoners who wish to discuss their Buddhist practice with volunteer pen pals. You need not have learnings in Buddhist scholastics; merely a compassionate heart, a wish to be of service, and about half an hour a month. Guidelines, a sample first letter and ongoing support are provided. You don't need to be a member. If you work through PDN, you need to sign up through their website but you don't need to pay to do so.
This is a great opportunity to be of service—and—revive the lost art of "ink on paper" letter writing.
Laurie McCann | Santa Cruz
An Idea to Save SSC
First, I believe with the decision to close Shakespeare Santa Cruz, that the financial records should be disclosed. This would give anyone in the public with business experience to perhaps save SSC and eliminate any controversy that some money was misspent. My idea to save it involves taking any UCSC costs out of the budget, (if any exist). This would include any UCSC paid staff and any costs with providing the venue (i.e. room and board for actors, parking, insurance, security, etc). These costs would be paid out of UCSC's budget.
I think SSC’s value of providing a cultural and educational experience are well worth the cost to the University. The entire staff of SSC including actors, art directors, promoters etc. would organize a board of five members which would develop a budget which would pay each staff member a percentage of the total ticket and concession sales, and any other creative way to make more money. This would eliminate SSC from going in debt, and it would make certain that whatever money it generates goes directly to the people responsible for putting on the show.
Bill Smallman | Lompico
On ‘Pay To Park’ ...
I now choose not to go downtown if I cannot find a free space. I live over by Natural Bridges and I do not want to take a walk downtown just to purchase something. If want to take a walk, I will walk along West Cliff. I now will go somewhere else to do any shopping, or eating out, instead of going downtown. This includes coffee, movies, etc. It's already too expensive here, and I will not be nickle and dimed, just to enjoy downtown.
Watsonville, Aptos and Capitola have very nice theaters with lots of free parking. Watsonville and Capitola also have independent bookstores with lots of free parking. There are plenty of places throughout the county where you can get excellent food, drinks, and listen to live music and park for free. Downtown is not the center of our community, it is a tourist trap.
In last week’s story about the Inside Men’s Foundation, GT incorrectly identified Lucas Roy Lehman. We regret the error.
New Hope For State Parks?
Now Serving: Reality TV
Santa Cruz County continues to attract reality television show producers. Entering the fold this fall is the Food Network. A film crew will follow four cooking students at Cabrillo College for an entire semester as they delve into their studies and hone their craft in what has been touted as one of the most reputable cooking schools around. The name of the show is The Freshman Class. An airdate is slated for February, so mark your calendars. You can dig into the festivities at that point. We’ll keep you updated as the weeks roll on.
“Need nothing and then see what happens.”
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