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Dec 28th
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From The Editor

Greg 1editNotePlus Letters To the Editor

Let’s face it, the moods swing. Sometimes too often for some of us. But if you ever think you don’t have it in you to get through something challenging, perhaps this week’s cover story on Santa Cruzan Alekz Londos will help you shift some limited thinking. Londos, perhaps one of the most enterprising locals we’ve come across in the past year, has a tremendous amount of disaster-relief training under his belt. He’s also quite brave. In the past decade, he’s been on hand for relief efforts in the aftermaths of several storms and hurricanes that plagued the United States and beyond. 

 

This week, the photojournalist and humanitarian shares with GT his story—and his captivating photos—of his experience offering aid in the Phillipines in the wake of the tragic typhoon that struck the region in November of 2013. Learn more about Londos’ unique disaster-relief kits, too, among other things, which he’s created as he moves forward in his personal mission to become a better humanitarian.

Lately, I have been intrigued with the subject of survival. Some of that has to do with being in the midst of penning a memoir on my Polish family’s tale during the 1940s in the wake of Stalin’s wrath. But survival themes have been illuminated to winning ends recently in pop culture. I’m not talking about Lohan and Bieber. Just one look at some of the films that made a dent last year—Captain Phillips, Gravity, 12 Years A Slave and The Book Thief—and you can see that survival theme in full glory. What is that thing that makes us perservere—against all odds? It takes grit. Some grace, too. Either way, we all seem to have it in us. We just need to access it. Alekz Londos has. This week, we’re fortunate to receive some big reminders about all of that—and how fragile life can actually be. 

Onward ...

Greg Archer | Editor-in-Chief


letters

 

Healthcare and You
Regarding the recent “Local Talk” (GT 3/6), I  was disappointed to see the responses to the question: "How have you been affected by healthcare reform?” They were not accurate about how necessary ACA is. It seems many people do not understand how the insurance works. 

You can even get a catastrophic policy if you would pay more than 8 percent of your income for the low-cost bronze policy. I could not afford any insurance last year due to a pre-existing condition and Anthem's policy, even under the state, became too much. Now I am insured with Blue Shield of California and I pay $30 for a doctor's visit and my prescriptions are less.

For all of us, the main issue and the time that a deductible really comes into play is when you have to go for a surgical procedure or cancer treatments or any long-term treatments. Then you will be happy to only have to pay, at the most, that deductible. Believe me, I know. If you do not have those problems, then you are still paying less for visits and prescriptions. You can get the catastrophic coverage for almost nothing to cover you if you ever get ill or are in an accident and you can get a wellness visit with it. Good Times has a responsibility to do a better job of educating the community it serves.

Linda Milgate | Santa Cruz

Online Comments

On ‘Race For the Third ...’ 
Lomonica has been speaking out on various issues for decades. He just may have a point on the progressive lockdown of Santa Cruz society. As the old saying goes: “Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” After 40 years, there are many who are tired of the good ol' progressive network.

—Steven  D. Hartman

On ‘Capitola Book Café ...’
It's amazing the decline and bric-à-brac filled shelves of recent years. As a loyal supporter, and sad bystander, it's not the e-book that killed the cafe but the pathetic lack of business skills. It should have roared, instead random cookies were offered as an after-thought. The brand is worthy of a group swoop. Any takers?

—Christine Flaherty

I would ask Ms. Flaherty if she has ever run an independent bookstore? This commentary is cruel and easily spoken as a "sad bystander." If you have stood by and seen this coming and had a miracle cure up your sleeve, why didn't you come forward? I think there are many issues of which you are not aware. Where is your house of glass? I want to throw a brick through it. 

—Cynthia Fraula-Haun

As an employee of the bookstore for the past six and a half years, I can tell you that it was passion and a commitment to the community that kept the store from closing a few years ago. Cookies, bric-à-brac, magazines, books, free events, wine events, great service—whatever it took to keep our customers coming back. 

The current owners put up a good fight. Thank you from all of us in the community for your dedication over the past years.

 —Tamera

On ‘Water, Water, Water ...’
1. Remove/salvage RR tracks, invest $100-plus million to construct a bike path, plus recycled water mains ... Recycle 100 percent wastewater from both Watsonville and Santa Cruz. 2. Redesign Zayante Diversion Dam, pump 80 percent large storm flow up to quarries transformed into reservoirs /recreation areas. 3. Set up conservation accounts on water agency invoices. Visit "Water Solutions for Santa Cruz County" at billsmallman.com for more on these plans.

 —Bill Smallman

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


letters POW
RUBBLE AND PLAY  Children in the Tacloban region of the Philippines find brief comfort amidst the destruction in the aftermath of Super Typhon Haiyan in November of 2013. (See page 14.) photo//Alekz londos. 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



A Deeper Look at Barbie
A study by researchers at UC Santa Cruz and Oregon State University found that girls who play with Barbies believe they have fewer career options available to them than boys do. The authors published an article about their findings, titled “Boys Can Be Anything: Effect of Barbie Play on Girls' Career Cognitions," on March 5 in the Springer journal Sex Roles. The results were the same irrespective of what the Barbie was wearing (“Doctor Barbie” versus “Fashion Barbie”).


good idea


Dining for Women Day
The Santa Cruz chapter of Dining for Women—a global giving circle dedicated to raising money for women and girls in the developing world so that they can achieve their potential, gain equality, and overcome economic limitations and social bias—will host founder Marsha Wallace, at a special event at the Tannery Arts Center Gallery on March 23. Mayor Lynn Robinson will proclaim March 23 “Marsha Wallace-Dining for Women Day in Santa Cruz.” Attendees will enjoy wine, appetizers, music, a raffle and presentation. RSVP by March 19 by emailing This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

quote


Caroline-Myss

“Live one day at a time. Keep your attention in present time. Have no expectations. Make no judgments. And give up the need to know why things happen as they do. Give it up.” —Caroline Myss




Comments (1)Add Comment
Re: Book Cafe Demise.
written by George Ow, Jr., March 13, 2014
The Capitola Book Cafe owners and staff fought the good fight and stayed alive, doing what they could when most people would have given up or died a long time ago. Blaming them is like blaming the dinosaurs when they died out or the buggy whip manufacturers when cars came on the scene.

Please note that in the last decade, thousands of independent and chain book stores have gone belly up, closed, kaput. There are urban areas with hundreds of thousands of people, even millions of people, without a real book store.

Amazon has spent billions of dollars cornering the book market and has now expanded into many other areas. Their money comes from hedge funds and other investors. They don't need to make a profit now. They are after market share--meaning that they want to knock out all competition and be the last one standing. What do you think will happen to prices then?

Amazon and other internet marketeers were subsidized by not having to pay sales taxes. This put bricks and mortar businesses at a disadvantage.

Kindles and non-paper books are changing the business.

Things are always changing. Always, some people are helped and some people are hurt. If you like having local book stores, then go and buy books at Bookshop Santa Cruz, Logos, Crossroads and Literary Guillatine. It's up to us.

George Ow, Jr.

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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