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Dec 28th
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From The Editor

Greg 1editNotePlus Letters To the Editor

If you’re still pondering last-minute gift items, fear not—GT’s Holiday Gift Guide is out at newstands and kiosks. But you may be interested in this week’s cover story. Penned by Entertainment Editor Jenna Brogan, it captures some the best books of the year written by local authors. A few of those authors weigh in on their creative process, too, which is always intriguing. And let’s face it: it doesn’t hurt to promote reading in a day and age when Tweets and short messages polluted with abreviations run rampant.

 

Connection—connecting with others—seems to be a major theme this time of year. But how well do we do it these days? Have we stumbled a bit in this area? I often wonder about that, and I was curious about a recent article I read about modern technology and how it can alter the way people live their daily lives—the use of smart- phones and those Google urges seem to be truly altering how we live now. I wasn’t surprised by a report that there is prominent research suggesting that modern tech is having profound effects on people’s memories—such as short-term, or working memory. In fact, Nicholas Carr, author of “The Shallows: What The Internet Is Doing To Our Brains” once wrote that, "the depth of our intelligence hinges on our ability to transfer information from working memory, the scratch pad of consciousness, to long-term memory, the mind’s filing system. When facts and experiences enter our long-term memory, we are able to weave them into the complex ideas that give richness to our thought.” Basically, our long-term memory boasts nearly an unlimited capacity, but the short-term memory has more limited storage space, and that space seems to be more “fragile.” Carr mused that "A break in our attention can sweep its contents from our mind.” Imagine that. Perhaps we’ve all experienced something like that over the last few years. That said, as we move deeper into the 2013 holiday season and closer to 2014, the time is ripe for real connection—moments that can be treasured and, most importantly, savored.

Have fun with that ... and have a memorable week ...

Greg Archer | Editor-in-Chief


letters

 

Doctor, Doctor
Regarding “Pain Management,” (GT 12/12), excellent article—one of the best I've read on the subject. Dr. Morris knows of what he speaks, and he speaks it well. Doctors should not now pay the price for the drug companies' having mismarketed these drugs and understated the drugs' hugely powerful addiction potential.  
Steve Meister | Santa Cruz

Weighing in on Measure P
Thanks for your informative water article. The overwhelming passage of Measure P makes it clear that Santa Cruz voters want to be informed and involved in decisions about water. As we stare down the barrel of the third drought year in a row, conservation measures like municipal greywater and rainwater catchment need to be seriously considered. We also need to take a hard look at limiting development to water-friendly projects that will benefit us all, not just a privileged few.
Why, then, is the Santa Cruz City Council refusing to let voters weigh in on expanding water services for UCSC expansion? In 2007 the City settled a
law suit out of court and agreed to expand municipal water services to provide for UCSC's expansion—without any voter input. After the City's Environmental Impact Report was thrown out for not considering any alternatives, the city left a directive in place to ask LAFCO for that expansion—again circumventing voter participation.
Why won't the city let voters
decide what happens with our limited water supply?
  Leonie Sherman | Santa Cruz
   
Political Action—Now
I am a senior at local Aptos High School. I am currently working on a project in my government class with the name of Political Action Project. We have chosen something we want to inform people on, and my goal is to inform the public on issues in our county. My duties are to bring awareness to the Santa Cruz County community on the issue of Cyber Bullying. Sadly there are many adults and children who aren’t informed well on Cyber Bullying. For those of you who may not know what Cyber Bullying is, it is using technology as a way of victimizing and/or harming others through technology such as email, Facebook, Twitter, Ask.fm, and many other social networking websites. Cyber Bullying is harming many students mentally. Most teens suffer with insecurities; I’m speaking by experience. My goal is to inform others about the risks and issues of our technology on our future teens along with kids. Making sure your child is safe online is important to me and other people in our community. I would like you to encourage your child to tell you if they have experienced cyber bullying or if they are receiving inappropriate content about others. It’s important that your children are educated on what cyber bullying is. Thank you.
Keeaira M | Santa Cruz


Online Comments

On ‘Pain Management’ ...     Dr. Morris is right. The problem is opioid use has become path dependent and morally and mentally lazy doctors would rather use opioids than obtain education in pain care and make use
of other treatments for pain. It is time to require by law doctors have education in treatments for pain other than opioids, for good pain care doesn’t come from
just not using opioids as silly government officials seem to believe. It’s unfortunate in pain care there is a great lack of "adults" both in government
and medicine.
—dave444


Letters Policy
Letters should not exceed 300 words and may be edited for length, clarity, grammar and spelling. They should include city of residence to be considered for publication. Please direct letters to the editor, query letters and employment queries to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ." All classified and display advertising queries should be directed to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ."  All website-related queries, including corrections, should be directed to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ."


photo contest
POW-kids


THE CHRISTMAS TREE HUNT Two young souls ponder their options. photo//Alana Escobar. December’s theme: Good spirits, bright lights, giving, fun. Submit  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. Preferably, photos should be 4 inches by 4 inches and minimum 250 dpi.


good work



High Marks For Farr
The National Food Policy Scorecard wins points for its comprehensive information on the most important food legislation considered by the House and Senate—and how those members of Congress voted on specific issues. Most recently, Congressman Sam Farr, who represents California’s Central Coast, ranked 92. The scorecard, which reflects the consensus of top food policy experts who select the key food policy votes each year, scores food policy issues—from domestic and international hunger to food safety and farm subsidies. Nice job.

good idea



Gifts of Good Cheer
Santa Cruz’s Homeless Services Center has a misison to coordinate provision of services for homeless persons. The goal is to offer both emergency and transitional services to homeless individuals and families. This season, the organization is seeking groups of volunteers to, well, give—specifically some holiday cheer in the Rebele Family Shelter. This includes everything from creating Christmas tree ornaments and decorating cookies to reading favorite holiday stories to children. Interested? Learn more about how to get involved by visiting scshelter.org.


quote



“Nothing says holidays like a cheese log.”
—Ellen DeGeneres


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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

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