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Dec 28th
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From The Editor

Greg 1editNotePlus Letters To the Editor


A 106-room hotel, business, traffic, safety issues and more seem to have collided recently as plans to erect the Hyatt Place Hotel in the Lower Ocean Street neighborhood of Santa Cruz move forward. It’s all captured in this week’s main news story, beginnning on page 6. A number of locals claim that they were not given enough say in the matter when the planning of the hotel was discussed in a recent community meeting. On the flipside, the project would usher in the first Hyatt hotel in Santa Cruz. Read on—there’s more to absorb. And send us your thoughts to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

 

Also in News, will the success of the county’s ecomony now fall into the hands of local entrepreneurs and small business owners? Perhaps. Read on and learn what GT has uncovered about the one entity shedding light on that very idea.

In the meantime, this week’s cover story revolves around perfect unions and how to best capture them. For that, we turn to local couple Jeff and Doriana Hammond, who, just a few months after meeting in Santa Cruz County back in 2009, fell in love. They then chucked their conventional “day jobs” and eventually launched Sun + Life Photography. The idea was to narrow their creative focus onto wedding couples. In a relatively short amount of time, they have won accolades—their most recent triumph came from Rangefinder Magazine, which named them one of the “30 Rising Stars of Wedding Photography.” Take note of their unique journey—and some other thoughts on love, in general.

Here’s to the week ahead. Have a good one. Get inspired. Inspire others. More soon ...
Greg Archer | Editor-in-Chief



Greg Archer | Editor-in-Chief


letters

 

San Lorenzo River Redux
Regarding “Rallying the River” (GT 1/16),  thanks for sharing with Santa Cruz what this public-private partnership, the San Lorenzo River Alliance, can do. Imagine how different Santa Cruz would look and feel if our riverfront was a draw for residents and tourists, a cool place to hang out, and a driver of economic activity instead of what we have today. Here's to progress that's informed by what the community wants.
Greg L. Pepping | Santa Cruz

Online Comments

On ‘Sam Farr/ Town Hall’ ...         
This article is well thought out and provides the hope for a more equatable healthcare system that will benefit doctors, communities and the people. Thank you, Sam Farr.
—Jean L. Edwards

Farr, as usual you are full of it! Money doesn't trickle up, being as how there is nothing to trickle up. You are for redistribution of wealth, which is a very old. failed ideology, i.e., communism, socialism. People do well when business is allowed to thrive without government intervention. Johnson and the Dems took social security out of its trust and put it into the general fund for the war in Vietnam.
Tax and spend is all you know. Also, under Obamacare, doctors will get less reimbursed monies for their services and that's why so many are opting out of it. Equitable heathcare for who? All the people forced to buy insurance to pay for those people who can't. Redistribution of wealth.
—Realist

On ‘What Does the Phrase ‘Take Back Santa Cruz’ Mean to You?’ ...
I just moved here from a fairly crime-ridden neighborhood in Brooklyn, N.Y., and was shocked to learn that the crime rate per thousand people here in Santa Cruz is higher than in Brooklyn! My old neighborhood earns a higher safety rating than Santa Cruz. This is unfortunate and hard to believe, considering the size of the town, and sense of community that I've witnessed here so far. This is a great place with hardworking, friendly citizens willing to help each other out. The crime numbers should not be so high. Neighbors working together to make the town a better place, for all demographics of residents, is what Take Back Santa Cruz should mean.
—NYTransplant

I have seen first hand the drinking and drug activity of most of the homeless. I am the keeper of the Cliff Street Stairs and when I first began, the stairs stayed crowded with prostitutes, drunks, druggies, gang activity—you name it. You could not even use the stairs without being harassed, intimidated, or even assaulted for using them. Well, with the help of SCPD and me going up there five times a day the stairs are now mostly safe and clean. Now that's what I call TAKING BACK SANTA CRUZ one step at a time.
—HipCowboy420

On ‘Town Hall With Watsonville Mayor
Karina Cervantez’ ...
The old council did not care about the main resource in town, the wetlands. They are trying to open them up for agriculture. They put a garden on one that is 10 feet from the slough. No one wanted it but the city. The only thing this town has going for it is the wetlands.
Thanks for bringing it up. I do not think we will see any change with this new lady in charge—when she was on the Parks and Recreation board, she voted to have the garden placed on the wetlands. They did not listen to the more than 30 people who came to ask "why put more agriculture on the wetlands?” They continue to miss the big picture and have no plan for long-term viability of Watsonville.
—We Care For Nature


Letters Policy
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photo contest
pow


remembering the king Santa Cruz philanthropist Curtis Reliford parks his donation truck on Pacific Avenue the morning of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day. photo//nola b. frances This month’s theme: color. 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



Wilder Ranch Hits 40
Wilder Ranch State Park hits an official milestone this year—it turns 40. True, it was documented in historic accounts long before 1974—from as far back as the mid-1700s, in fact—but this year is certainly significant. To that end, officials at Wilder are looking for  additional docents as a number of celebratory events are now being planned. Take note: training to become a docent begins Feb. 1 and runs for about two months. There will be 10 training sesssions that will cover Wilder history. Interested? Learn more about the docent program and/or join in the fun. Call 426-0505 for details.

good idea



Clean-up On Aisle 11
Things took a curious turn for the U.S. Postal Service at 120 Morrissey Blvd. in Santa Cruz. USPS and its landlord were unable to come to a lease renewal and now the property owner has paved the way for Grocery Outlet to occupy the space by next year. This isn’t the first time that this location attracted a food haven. The nearly 1,800-square-foot locale, which employees about 55 employees now, was actually a Lucky supermarket some time ago. How this all plays out will be interesting to note, considering Safeway is across the street, and Staff of Life and Whole Foods less than a half-mile away. Stay tuned. Thoughts? Email us.


quote



“Your power is in your thoughts, so stay awake. In other words, remember to remember.”
—Rhonda Byrne, “The Secret”


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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

Yes, she’s a real person; no, this isn’t her