Santa Cruz Good Times

Nov 28th
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From The Editor

Greg 1editNotePlus Letters To the Editor

Three good things. Name them. Think about it. Think of three good things about 2013, your life in 2013 or ... ? There’s an old saying: “What you focus on grows.” No doubt, this time of year, we’re reminding to A) practice gratitude and B) focus on the good. So, perhaps these are the “good” tasks at hand as we inch ever-closer to—gasp!—2014. If we focus on some good ... more good arrives. At least that’s the idea. Personally, I sense 2014 is going to be a stellar year. Don’t you? The Universe has a way of balancing things out, and after all that Santa Cruz County has faced in the last 18 months—the loss of two police officers and other  anomalies—2014 seems primed for some happier times.



So what better way to begin the new year than with a musical. But this week’s cover story on “Lunch,” which hits Cabrillo Stage Jan. 3, is more than a story on a show that has Broadway written all over it. It’s actually more about those creative seeds we plant and water. (Something we all seem to do around this time of year.) Sometimes those seeds surprise us by the life they grow into. Such is the case with “Lunch,” a seredipitous tale that boasts even more serendiptity behind the scenes. Discover its allure, how it has made its way to Cabrillo Stage and how that might help fuel this captivating little tale’s future. Turn to page 14.

In the meantime, there is plenty of New Year’s Eve playlist action in Music (page 30) and in Film (page 42), Lisa Jensen shines the light on a few of the year’s best films—and why they stand out. Over in News (page 8), you may be interested to learn more about the scientific breakthroughs that UC Santa Cruz produced in 2013. Now ... that’s some interesting work there. Read on ...

What’s left? Celebration comes to mind. Ritual, too. Isn’t that what the New Year is all about? So ... as you and yours head into 2014, know this: Unlmited possibility awaits. Tap into it. I love this quote: “It’s not what you have in you that ultimately matters. It’s what you get out.”

Ruminate on that. And Happy New Year from all of us at GT

Greg Archer | Editor-in-Chief



What’s Up With Water?

Regarding your articles on water and beyond, water is essential to life. A prudent decision would source multiple sources of water in case of drought. A regional desal facility, next to the PG&E plant in Moss Landing, would provide economies of scale for the larger Monterey Bay Area. There is an old saying: “You don’t miss the water till the well runs dry.”

John Callahan | Santa Cruz

Online Comments

On ‘Pain Management’ ...

Everyone knows that narcotics are abused and our government in its infinite wisdom has just cut funding for interventional pain procedures that allow widespread alternatives to more narcotics. No one is discussing this. About 40 percent of the doctors that practice legitimate pain management are about to be driven out of business by the most recent government cutbacks. What is even worse is that the only places left for people to have access to these interventions will be in hospitals, which will drive up their cost even more. Anyone who reads this should go to the website and write to their congressman or woman. The number of pill mills is about to explode as the legitimate pain management providers are driven out of business by the government.

This is a profoundly difficult issue. But so is trying to live a life in constant chronic pain. What if your pain level minute by minute is more severe than the pain of drilling a tooth cavity without the dulling effect of novocaine? And what if the disease you suffer from (your specific situation) has no treatment and will likely continue until death (idiopathic peripheral neuropathy)? Have opioids “cured” my pain? No. Do they help me to survive and obtain a moderate level of tolerable life minute by minute? With daily meditation, a superior diet, a spinal cord stimulator, calmare treatments and constant effort, yes they very much do, Please do not decide that they are “bad for me” and take them away before you have a replacement.

On ‘Cafe Rio’ ...

Awesome, congrats, Jake! His food is definitely top quality, and the care and consideration he takes into creating insightful, unique, and DELICIOUS dishes is of upmost importance. Can’t wait to visit and try his dishes again.

On ‘Desal’ ...

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

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photo contest


NOTEWORTHY Planning for the future? Perhaps. photo//randall fox, greybeard images. New Year’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

Three Memorable Moments
The year stands out for many reasons, but take note of three things that redefined Santa Cruz and the county, in general. 1) The memorial procession/service of the late Sgt. Loran “Butch” Baker and detective Elizabeth Butler: The strength of a community uplifts and defeats the most brutal challenges. On one morning in March, Santa Cruz proved that.  2) Season One—Santa Cruz Warriors: Speaking of community ... was there anything more spirited than witnessing how this basketball team brought locals together? 3) Civinomicon: A chance for locals to voice their civic-minded initiatives? More please.

good idea

DIY: Last Night Santa Cruz
It’s been a success for eight years, so why stop now? “Last Night” is the “decentralized, collective, open, public New Year's Eve celebration” in Santa Cruz. Think of it as a grassroots, entirely organic event that boasts no city sponsorship or corporate donors. The  parade and celebration are created by the people, for the people. The fun—free by the way—begins at 5 p.m. Dec. 31, at Saturn Cafe parking lot on Pacific Avenue and Spruce Street in Downtown Santa Cruz. Learn more about the festivities at
Happy New Year.


“We spend Jan. 1 walking through our lives, room by room, drawing up a list of work to be done, cracks to be patched. Maybe this year, to balance the list, we ought to walk through the rooms of our lives ... not looking for flaws, but for potential.” —Ellen Goodman

Comments (1)Add Comment
written by dave234, December 29, 2013
Unfortunately both government and medicine can't get it right when it comes to pain care. Greedy doctors prescribed opioids for conditions they had no effectiveness for-and government failed to recognized restricting opioids doesnt equal good pain care. But I think most of the blame is due to medicines failure to take pain seriously- as noted by Dr. Landis comment that treatments for pain are "woefully inadequate". Whose fault is that- doctors who belive since no one dies from pain its not a serious matter-and let us blame doctors for refusing to have education in pain care.

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