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Dec 29th
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From The Editor

Greg 1editNotePlus Letters To the Editor


Are we all wet yet? This week’s forecast for rain should offer some relief—both emotionally and geographically—as California continues to experience one of the worst droughts on record. But will the rain be enough? That is something GT scribe Jessica Pasko explores in more detail in this week’s cover story. She also creates an interesting composite of the water issues plaguing the area and what some locals are doing to a) generate more attention about it and b) create some effective solutions as everybody moves forward. Read the full report. And send us your thoughts to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

 

Meanwhile, in News this week, you may find yourself moved and intrigued by a number of stories offered there. For starters, one of the area’s iconic bookstore/coffehouses closes its doors. Read up on the final days of Capitola Book Café.
And what’s this? Another beloeved Santa Cruz icon fading from the spotlight? Could it be true? It appears that The Great Morgani is folding up his accordion—sort of—due to the city’s controversial 14-foot ordinance. Learn more about all of that and more beginning on page 10. Of course, continue to give us your thoughts on the matter by commenting online or emailing This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ."

In the meantime, change is in the air. Spring is nearly here and, while it’s hard to believe we’re moving even deeper into the first quarter of 2014, the reality is that life continues to move forward—with or without us. That said, it may be a good time to check in on some of our life passions and ask ourselves whether we are living our lives to the fullest. Good conversation with friends and less texting seems to help me. I try to take a sabbattical from modern devices—smartphones included—at least once or twice a week. So, how do you stay connected? Something to ponder.
Onward ...
Greg Archer | Editor-in-Chief


letters

 

Making A Real Connection
A few nights ago, Claudine and I stopped at Sang's (Circle Market). Approaching my driver window was a man (around 60). He had a pink post-it. On it was an address located about 10 blocks away. If you know the circles on the Westside, then you know that it can be easy to get lost in the neighborhoods.
He is Persian, only speaks his tongue and a bit of French, and continued to show me his passport. His culturally innocent eyes, brown-polyester-Eastern-wear, and energy were unique (probably a visiting relative of a university employee) (imagine). He wanted to get back to the post-it address. After attempting sign-language-directions in the circles, turning Spanish into French as a way of futile communication, and smiles. He hopped into the Winnebago and we took him to his destination.
I so value these gifts of spontaneous life experience. Our ride was classic, he was stoked, smiles all around (passport continuously in hand). I have seen him each day since ... walking along West Cliff ... in the same outfit... smiling!
Geopolitics is one thing, but I am reminded that we are all human.
Scott Talbot| Santa Cruz

Online Comments
On ‘One Year Later ...’     
Please, while we remember and honor the fallen officers, would someone please take down the tattered, sad looking, artificial wreaths on the phone pole by where the shooting occurred? I know the intent is to remember and honor, but it looks run down and disrespectful to me. I also think that if I were one of their family members I wouldn't want to see that every time I drove down Branciforte. Let the permanent memorial being created at the department headquarters be "enough."
—Rob Marx

On ‘Tales From The Vine ...’
There is a great book by Paul Theroux called “Blinding Light” that you might find interesting. It’s about a group of tourists as well as an author visiting Ecuador to experience the nature of mind-altering drugs.
—Cecelia

You do not necessarily need psychedelics to experience the Godhead. Cool, however. I went there when my husband tried to murder me. No fear, incredible experience. Very much the same. Lucky guy. I think this is way probably less dangerous than my experience however.
—Romona K. Meng

On ‘Fukushima Fallout ...’
Steer manure. Within hours of the explosion at Fukushima the CTBTO was getting real time readings of the radiation from bouys deployed in the Pacific to monitor test band treaties. The government of many countries knew this was to bad to publish and the USA removed radiation stations in Alaska.
If you are waiting for an official source to tell you the truth, you are as good as dead.
 —Norman Frazier

On ‘Radiation Rundown ...’    
I'm sure you either a) work for the government, or b) are getting paid off to write this non sense. You are wrong in every point you make. Radiation does not dilute—ever. Get your facts straight. Is seafood safe to eat? Absolutely not. Studies show
100 percent of tuna caught off the coast of California had Fukushima radiation. I'm sure this comment will just get
deleted, but what you are spreading is wrong.
—Anonymous


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 harbor


ILLUMINATION The entrance to the Santa Cruz Harbor never looked more inviting. photo//joshua coville. This month’s theme: Quirky and colorful. 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



What a Pageturner!
Kudos to best-selling author James Patterson. The prolific writer has become one of the most generous patrons for independent bookstores in the United States. Patterson has laucnhed a program to give away $1 million of his own income to select bookstores, which would allow them to invest in improvements, employment bonuses and literacy outreach programs, among other things. More than 50 stores will nab the cash grants. Best of all: Santa Cruz’s own Bookshop Santa Cruz is on that list.

good idea



Drought Relief Legislation
The recent decision by California legislative leaders to give birth to Emergency Drought Relief Legislation is set to deliver immediate assistance to communities that are or will deal with the ripple effects of the drought—2013 was the driest year on record in California. Approximately $650 million in funding will be set aside for assistance, which includes bond funds for various projects for local communities to capture and manage water supply. Learn more about the drought in this week’s cover story (page 14) and visit gtweekly.com for additional news.


quote



“You should be sensitive. Our gift is to be sensitive and emotional; to be able to cry at the drop of a hat. Our gift is to be outraged. We're lucky to be this sensitive. I think
sensitivity makes you available to the thing at hand. I think it's a great thing and more people should cultivate it."
—Anna Deavere Smith


Comments (1)Add Comment
...
written by Scott Talbot, February 28, 2014
I appreciate the transition from Note to Letters.. TY

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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