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Dec 19th
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From The Editor

Greg 1editNotePlus Letters To the Editor


Welcome to 2014 and another cycle around the sun. So, let’s get rolling, shall we? The business at hand in this week’s cover story revolves, in part, around business and the economy. Remember that subprime mortgage crisis in the summer of 2007 and the ensuing recession of 2008? Do you recall how the county was affected? And what about the recession that blossomed in late 2008? Back in 2009, consumer confidence plummeted as annual taxable sales dipped to the lowest figure in more than a decade. Several years later, here we are in 2014 and one question lingers: has the local economy mended?

 

Catch up on all of that and much more in this week’s cover story (page 14) in which writer Aric Sleeper unravels the findings in the latest Community Assessment Project, and then talks to several locals to see how the last few years have affected their work. Read on ...

Locals may find this week’s A&E lead story on the annual 8 Tens @ 8 Festival interesting. Every year, this enterprising fest manages to lure in a variety of diverse (and yes, short) creative works. Learn what’s about to unfold this year.
In Film (page 38), take note of the upcoming movies that are about to hit Santa Cruz—and the ones you should be putting on your must-see list.

Up front, in News (page 8), two fascinating reports await. One, on a former Salinas gang member who is dedicating his life force to assisting local youth on variety of healthy life choices  is downright inspiring. Also in News, take note of our report on the Affordable Healthcare Act and Covered California and what, if any, discrepancies exist. It’s a whole new ball game as far as healthcare is concerned, so stay abreast of the news.

In the meantime, detox anyone? After six weeks of an abundance of sweets and holiday food, doesn’t a bowl full of organic greens sound inviting? You bet.

Indulge in all that. Thanks for reading and here’s to the year ahead.

Greg Archer | Editor-in-Chief


letters

 

Quick Beta Fix for Initiative Categories?
Regarding Civinomics and its website (GT 12/12), Manu I know you are very busy, but is it possible to have multiple categories for "got fields?" I would like Community, Land Use, Economy as well as Sports. Also Dennis Speer, my landlord had a heck of a time trying to log on to Civinomics. Upset as he can get, he's an excellent "test case" for your beta site's "user friendliness.”
  Jhond Golder | Santa Cruz
   
Online Comments

On ‘Elon Musk’ ...
Excellent article. Thank you for watching out for the 99 percent.
Jody B.

The information in this article is misleading. You criticize Solar City and Tesla for being subsidized by the tax payer, but oil, gas, and coal are also subsidized by tax payers. According to Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), American Tax payers are spending $10 billion a year to subsidize fossil fuels. The NGO, Earth Track, estimates it as high as $52 billion a year when you include defense spending to protect pipelines and shipping channels in the Persian Gulf. The National Academy of Sciences estimates that the U.S. spends $120 billion annually in fossil-fuel-related health care costs. Compared those costs to Tesla's $133,000,000 worth of subsidies the government has given buyers of Teslas and Elon does not seem that bad. In fact, the U.S. loaned Tesla $450 million and the company paid it back.
JM

The amount of tax-payer money used on his companies is dwarfed by comparison to defense spending and entitlement programs. And when I say dwarfed, I mean really really really dwarfed. This guy is creating American jobs and is pushing the boundaries of how we think. I find this article to be very short-sighted. I’m so sorry he hasn't wiped out all the coal- burning factories in less than 10 years. Unfortunately, things take time, especially good things.
bballyanks

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 cubacks. 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 asipp.org 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.
Pain Management Provider

Both in the Editor’s Note and the article on opioids you refer to these pills as over-the-counter drugs. They are available by prescription only, which is the opposite of an OTC medication. The term over the counter refers to one’s ability to purchase medications like aspirin, NyQuil, and the like over the counter in a drugstore, that is without a prescription. These opiates are still controlled and must be prescribed by a physician. Just wanted to correct a glaring error.
Steve Bontadelli


Letters Policy
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photo contest
pow-cliff


SUNRISE, ANYONE? Early-morning winter walks along West Cliff Drive in Santa Cruz showcase stunning beauty and bold inspiration. photo//charlie price
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



MPF Offers Hope for County Healthcare
Good news arrived late last year when the Monterey Peninsula Foundation, which delivers a stunning soiree with the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am Golf Tournament, offered $800,000 for specific health and dental services to Santa Cruz County residents who are not able to afford certain care. The Santa Cruz Women's Health Center was alloted $450,000—$300,000 of it goes toward a  project to open a second clinic in Live Oak. Meanwhile, Dientes Community Dental Care nabbed $350,000. Cheers to the all of that. And kudos to MPF for taking action.

good idea



The Musical ‘Lunch’ Heads to Cabrillo Stage
So ... you work on Wall Street and you meet your maker. What do you do? Well, if you’re lucky, as is the main character in “Lunch,” the new musical opening at Cabrillo Stage on Jan. 3, you get a second chance to make things right. “Lunch” promises to win points for its inventive premise and engaging music—all of that thanks to Emmy-winning writer Rick Hawkins, lyricist Steve Dorff and composer John Bettis. Revisit GT’s interview with Hawkins online at gtweekly. In the meantime, buy tickets to the show, which runs through Jan. 19 at cabrillostage.com.


quote



“A bridge of silver wings stretches from the dead ashes of an unforgiving nightmare to the jeweled vision of a life started anew.”
—Aberjhani, “The River of Winged Dreams”


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Giving and Giving, Then Giving Some More

2014 is almost over. Wednesday, Dec. 17, the Jewish Festival of Light, Hanukkah, begins. We are in our last week of Sag and last two weeks of December. Sunday, Dec. 21 is winter Solstice, as the sun enters Capricorn (3:30 p.m. for the west coast). Soon after, the Capricorn new moon occurs (5:36 p.m. for the west coast)—the last new moon of 2014. Sunday morning Uranus in Aries (revolution, revelation) is stationary direct (retro since July 22). Uranus/Aries create things new and needed to anchor the new culture and civilization (Aquarius). We will see revolutionary change in 2015. Capricorn new moon, building-the-personality seed thought, is, “Let ambition rule and let the door to initiation and freedom stand wide (open).” Capricorn is a gate—where matter returns to spirit. But the gate is unseen until the Ajna Center (third eye), Diamond Light of Direction, opens. Winter solstice is the longest day of darkness of the year. The sun’s rays resting at the Tropic of Capricorn (southern hemisphere) symbolize the Christ (soul’s) light piercing the heart of the Earth, remaining there for three days, till Holy Night (midnight Thursday morning). Then the sun’s light begins to rise. It is the birth of the new light (holy child) for the world. A deep calm and stillness pervades the world.The entire planet is revivified, re-spiritualized. All hearts beating reflect this Light. And so throughout the Earth there’s a radiant “impress” (impressions, pictures) given to humanity of the World Mother and her Child. The star Sirius (love/direction) and the constellation Virgo the mother shines above. For gift giving, give to those in need. Give and give and then give some more. This creates the new template of giving and sharing for the new world.

 

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