Santa Cruz Good Times

Nov 28th
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From The Editor

Greg 1editNotePlus Letters To the Editor

Time, as they say, marches on. But what happens when you run out of time? That idea is explored to rewarding ends in Cabrillo Stage’s “Lunch,” reviewed this week by Lisa Jensen. The show marks a festive kickoff for Cabrillo Stage this year, but also for 2014 itself, where no doubt many of us ponder fresh starts, new beginnings and all the renewal that promises to come with it.


In the meantime, this week’s cover story explores something new and, to some extent, something that’s been in the news for quite a while—marijuana legislation. Considering that Colorado  has now become the first state to fully legalize marijuana, the issue remains a hot topic, both locally and nationally. To that end, there are a number of angles surrounding the current cannabis laws and other marijauna legislation here in Santa Cruz County. Staff Writer Joel Hersch explores all this. One question remains: How will the local community, county officials and the canabis industry all find common ground?

In our eexclusive web content. This week: Our new Santa Cruz Warriors blog should entice. Also, be sure to explore the inner workings of the popular group Sophistafunk, which hits Moe’s Alley on Wed, Jan. 15.

Sophistafunk—it’s not a word I thought I’d ever write, proving, perhaps, that you really can explore and learn something new every day. On that note ... how are all of those New Year’s resolutions going? One friend fondly renamed them “intentions.” Meanwhile, another pal of mine back in the Midwest has taken it upon himself to do something bold in 2014: write a letter each day to somebody he has known and illuminate how their friendship has positively affected his own life.

Cheers to that. So ... while I have you here: Thank you for reading. More soon ...

Greg Archer | Editor-in-Chief



Back In Black? Maybe Not
The "Back in the Black" article (GT 1/2) induced a surreal experience. We are five years after the housing bubble burst but the author still thinks the recession was caused by a "subprime mortgage crisis." The no-docs approach to lending certainly helped inflate the bubble, but the majority of the loans were not sub-prime. The recession was caused when the unsustainable increase in real-estate prices caught up with the real world and the bubble burst. It is a political failure of the governing class (both the Bush administration and the Greenspan Fed) that they let the bubble inflate to such an extent.
A normal person will not see the reinflation of a bubble after it burst as a positive sign for anything, yet we read that this is a sign that the Santa Cruz County economy is healing. We also read some quotes from the SCC Association of Realtors in that regard. For those who forgot, the chief economist of the National Association of Realtors (David Lereah) famously published his book: "Why The Real Estate Boom Will Not Bust and How you Can Profit From It", as the bubble reached the stratosphere. One should not confuse PR with analysis.
The individual examples of how different people adjusted in the wake of the recession are very informative. Apparently it was impossible for the author to find any worker who lost his/her job and from whom we could learn something about their experience. This is in spite of the different quotes stating that the unemployment is still at an unacceptable level. My guess is that many lives were destroyed in the downturn, for no fault of their own.
Yaron Rozenbaum | Santa Cruz

Cheers to Year-end Films
I love it that Lisa Jensen always honors "big and small films. (GT 1/2). Its always best to see films on the big screen, but there are always the ones that got away. Thanks to Lisa, I can add 20 Feet from Stardom, Ginger and Lisa, and Museum Hours to my Netflix queue. Great service to us film lovers.
Judy Slattum | Capitola

Online Comments

On ‘Back In Black’ ...     
The economy is being fluffed up by the FED handing dollars out to their buddies on the street corner, artificially suppressed interest rates, a stock market that is about to pop, tweeked unemployment numbers, and cheap gas prices. Once the FED begins to significantly stop QE and interest rates go up ... things will get interesting, especially in the housing market.
Add to this, too many people are up to their eyeballs in credit card debt, car payments, student loans, and mortgage debt. During the Great Depression, most citizens either owned their land or had a good bit of equity in their land. But today, this is not the case.
In the past, most were also not dependent on big corporations for all their food and supplies. This is quite different today as well. Back in the days of the Great Depression, we still had a manufacturing base that the entire world depended upon, Instead today, we have offshored our manufacturing, become fat, spoiled. Add to this the dozens of different ways we are being sucked dry by various types of taxes, some of us paying up to half of our incomes. Today our federal gov't also has an unmanageable amount of debt, the largest in world history. So much so that it threatens the entire global economy. Neither did we have financial weapons of mass destruction known more popularly as derivatives (Google Warren Buffet's warning).  
The truth of the matter is that our Ponzi scheme economy is teetering on top of a giant pyramid of debt that is on the verge of coming down like a house of cards. Civil unrest anyone?
Maybe instead what should be focused upon is how we can reshape the FIAT based economy with alternative currencies, examples of self-sufficiency, and economic resilience?.

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photo contest

POW-forest-tubSOAKING UP NATURE  After discovering an abandoned tub in the redwoods on a trail in Big Basin, one local opts to take a little break. photo//bev blach This month’s theme: Quirky and amusing. 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

Cheers to Vickie Powell
Chances are most locals may be aware of the significant work that the late Vickie Powell has done for Santa Cruz County. Powell, who passed away in November, fought for 17 years against developing the cliffside park. Porter-Sesnon, or Wingspread. She formed the Friends of Porter-Sesnon and wrote the winning ballot measure to halt development. Take note:  A memorial is set for Powell at 1 p.m. Feb. 1 at the Corralitos Grange. For more information, email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Cheers to all the strides Powell made locally.

good idea

Unplug More in 2014?
The movie Her opens this week at Nickelodeon Theatres in Downtown Santa Cruz and the buzz is good (see review page 32). But what happens after audiences leave the theater may prove to be interesting—the film is a major reality check for the way in which we now interact with modern technology. Could the film spawn a movement to unplug more in the new year? Perhaps. Starring Joaquin Phoenix, it chronicles the surprising “romance” a man develops with the voice running his OS (Operating System). Illuminating and haunting. Read on ...


“Here we are, trapped in the amber of the moment. There is no why.”
—Kurt Vonnegut

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