Plus Letters To the Editor
If you morphed Facebook with something more, well, socially and civic-minded, it might resemble the likes of Civinomics. The fairly new enterprise has been capturing the attention here, and, this week, GT’s Joel Hersch explores how two locals wound up creating the area’s first civic governance networking site. Click here for the full report and learn how your own ideas and comments can help generate conversation on the local front.
In News this week, there are few things that might capture your attention. The first is a big hats off to Fishwise, which celebrates its 10-year anniversary. Having partnered with New Leaf Community Markets for their initial pilot program, the organization discovered that Santa Cruz County residents appreciated knowing the environmental impact of the seafood they were purchasing. There’s more on that from GT’s Aric Sleeper. Also in News, Joel Hersch’s report on over-the-counter drugs that contain hydrocodone may prove to be illuminating on a number of levels. Turn to page 8 to learn more about that and what is now being iniated to curb lethal overdoses.
Over in Film, it’s time to reflect a bit on some of the year’s more inventive themes in fim. For that, Lisa Jensen expounds upon the recent success of Disney’s Frozen—one of the most inventive outings the studio has come out with in some time, me thinks—and other related fare. See page 44 for more on that.
In the meantime, the “holy” days are among us and holiday fervor is reaching fever pitch. I long for a big, home-cooked meal with my Polish mother and my Polish clan in Chicago, but, for now, I may just have to invite over friends and bond over pierogi-making, perhaps the best seasonal therapy of all. This week: connect with close friends before the holiday activities keep you too busy to recall their spark in your life.
And Zeuf—this week is dedicated to you ...
Greg Archer | Editor-in-Chief
Picture of the week
Pelican POWER This spirited creature was spotted south of the Santa Cruz Harbor photo//John Bland. December’s theme: Good spirits, bright lights, giving, fun. Submit
’Home Grown’ Chatter
It is interesting what stories we tell ourselves and why. Regarding “Home Grown” (GT 11/26), for more than a year we've been inundated with unfounded claims that homeless people travel here "for our services," and yet the data doesn't describe this. In fact it has been shown that chronically unhoused folks barely travel at all. The poor travel for job and housing opportunities.
This week a small group of team members from the Sanctuary Camp campaign visited homeless camps in the northwest including Dignity Village/Portland; Right To Dream Too (rest area)/Portland; Opportunity Village/Eugene, OR; Whoville/Eugene, OR; Camp Quixote & Quixote Village/Olympia, WA; Tent City #3/Seattle, WA.
In the towns we visited, we heard over and over that homeless people are migrating from California to be homeless in their town. We've heard the same refrain up and down the West Coast. There is obviously a small percentage of travelers who've come to Santa Cruz just as many people from Santa Cruz have left for other areas. People come and people go. This is after all a tourist and university town that has an intentional welcome mat out.
What is true is that the West Coast has played host to the many people who've arrived here from other areas. In fact, many of us or our parents came "out West" for the sun and/or job opportunities. Many of those came here and camped on our beaches and our couches as they gained footing to begin their lives here. It is nothing new. If we go back only five or six generations, none of our families existed here in Santa Cruz at all.
We encourage a change of conversation. It’s time we realize that our homeless problem is our own. These are our neighbors, friends and even family and we can do better by them. Instead of shutting them out by turning them into the "other," lets create a safe space for them to be.
Brent Adams | Santa Cruz
America’s True Values
In the Nov.14 issue ("The Science of Happiness"), it appears there is confusion between the 'Declaration of Independence' and the 'U.S. Constitution'. Some religions are trying to change the U.S. into a theocracy and enjoy this confusion. I hope you are not one of them. Neither god nor 'our creator' are mentioned in the constitution. The differences between these two important documents should be clear and not muddled in the minds of all Americans.
Gil Stratton| Santa Cruz
On ‘H20 in Limbo’ ...
Desal is like the River Street Sign. A designer lacking talent gave it to an engineer to build. Both the sign and desal work. The sign looks like c#$%^, and desal is a c#$%^y plan. I’m concerned this group is also going to lack talent; either too slow, or still favor desal. For one, “Drought Solutions …” title is wrong. Be specific to the mission; “Alternative Water Plan to Desal” will do. Second, Rick Loginotti should serve and be the main recruiter. He knows the legal, environmental, engineering, etc. talent to effectively brainstorm and come up with the best solution.—Bill Smallman
On ‘Homegrown Issue’ ...
Santa Cruz County 2012 population is estimated at 266,776. For what it's worth, on a percentage basis: Santa Clara County 7631/1,800,000 = 0.4 percent; Monterey County 2590/426,762 = 0.6 percent; Sonoma County 4280/491,829 = 0.9 percent; Santa Cruz County 3536/266,776 = 1.3 percent —mathgeek
Robin Janiszeufski Hesson
She was known as “Zeuf” and her spirit soared high despite life’s challenges. Robin Janiszeufski Hesson died on Dec. 9, after two bouts with breast cancer that spanned nearly two decades. She was 54. Several years ago, the active surfer was featured in the doc Surfing Thru, directed by Chloe Webb. Zeuf was revered for her endurance and “supernatural” strength. In October, as word got out about the shift in her health condition, the community invited Zeuf to a memorable ceremony at-sea honoring her life. She, of course, attended. Godspeed Zeuf.
Date Night Santa Cruz
Cheers to Nickelodeon Theatres’ partnership with The Downtown Association. “Date Night Santa Cruz” on Dec. 16, is a collaboration with several local restaurants and boasts a “Dinner & A Movie” package—dinner for two and a movie for two every Monday-Thursday. Restaurants include Gabriella Cafe, Laili Restaurant, Chocolate, and more. Prices range from $45-$50. Each restaurant is offering something different and locals can enjoy a film at The Nick, Del Mar Theatre or Aptos Cinema. Learn more at thenick.com.
“I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the
triumph over it. The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.”
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