Santa Cruz Good Times

Friday
Aug 22nd
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

From The Editor

ednote stevePlus Letters To the Editor

Green is everywhere. The supply of eco-friendliness has caught up to the demand, and everyone and their brother claims to be pro-environment. It’s the shift in attitude that activists at the forefront of the movement have been working toward for years.

But with the spread of green consciousness has come a certain fatigue, too. What’s special anymore about ecology-conscious businesses, products or science when everyone is trying to be greener?

I hope that this week’s Green Issue reminds us that ecological innovation still has the power to amaze. Certainly the research at UCSC that promises a cheap supply of hydrogen fuel from nothing but sewage and sunlight, as explained by Hanae Armitage in this week’s cover story, is incredible. It’s pretty much the ultimate recycling. The only downside I can see is that it led to some terrible joke headlines around the office that you will not see in the story, and which I won’t go into (OK, one was “Powering Your Car with Last Night’s Burrito”).

Also in our Green Issue coverage, Anne-Marie Harrison looks at a local invention designed to ease concerns about smart meters, and Maria Grusauskas hangs out with the Santa Cruz Fruit Tree Project as they bring the party to sustainability.

Steve Palopoli | Editor-in-Chief


letters

 

CASH OF COURSE
Re: “Down the Drain”: Instead of wasting precious potable water, many California communities already are successfully using approved, affordable and abundant recycled water sources for golf courses and other irrigation applications. Why is Santa Cruz lagging so far behind?

The City identifies the two golf courses as among its largest irrigation revenue sources. The other irrigation accounts include UCSC, Dominican Hospital, Chaminade, the cemeteries, schools, and parks.

The golf courses use over 100 million gallons of potable water annually, equivalent to the proposed energy-intensive desalination plant operating 24 hours per day for 40 days.

Currently, the significant quantities of water regularly consumed by the city’s irrigation and landscape accounts is sold exclusively by its Water Department, where the revenue goes directly into an Enterprise Fund.

However, city taxpayers subsidize the entire cost of the water and associated energy used by the municipally owned DeLaveaga golf course and the adjacent park areas.

Yet in 1989, the City’s Water Master Plan identified the reuse of treated wastewater from Scotts Valley to be a viable cost-effective reclamation program available to Santa Cruz to irrigate golf courses.

When the City decided to v igorously pursue and promote the construction of a regional desalination plant over a decade ago, it also decided that the use of recycling water produced by the Scotts Valley and the city's waste water treatment plants to be either low or non-priorities.

For a water district of its size— along with the city’s cultural, economic and hydrological characteristics—no other single systemic alternative supply measure would so quickly result in a dramatic and permanent reduction in potable water consumption.
-PAUL GRATZ | CO-AUTHOR OF MEASURE P, SANTA CRUZ

QUESTIONS ON JAIL
Concerning your recent article on the Grand Jury report about deaths in our county jail: in my view, these deaths are a tragic and unacceptable symptom of a disease. That disease is mass incarceration driven by the prison/industrial complex, and fueled by institutional racism, and several questions need to be asked if we are to honestly address this issue.

We need to ask why our country imprisons a greater percentage of its citizens than any other country in the world. We need to ask why Black Americans, who comprise 12 percent of the population, compose 40 percent ofallprisonpopulations. Weneedto ask why our county jail has decided to outsource its medical care beyond local control, when the federal court has found that medical care provided to state prison inmates violates their constitutional protection against cruel and unusual punishment. And, perhaps most immediately, we need to ask why our governor is designating millions in state funds for “brick and mortar” jail programs, and not one cent for the rehabilitative and support services.
-STEVE PLEICH | SANTA CRUZ


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
photo-contest


MOON SHOT A night vision from Sky Park in Scotts Valley. Photograph by Don Spencer.
Submit to 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



BACKPACKS FOR ALL
Do you get excited about cracking a new pack of pens open and writing those first crisp words on a blank sheet of paper? Not everyone can relate to that thrill, but one local organization has spent five years trying to make it a possibility for homeless and low-income children in Santa Cruz County. United Way will hold a backpack and school supply drive through July 31, with a goal of amassing 1,000 backpacks.With an estimated 4,200 children in the county who are identified as homeless or "in transition," United Way is working to get them off the streets and into the classroom.


good idea



SUMMER READING
Last year the Department of Education found that 14 percent of the adult population were illiterate, and 21 percent read below a fifth- grade level. The local Boys and Girls Clubs of Santa Cruz is doing what it can to combat these statistics with a program designed to prevent the summertime reading slump. Its 10-week program strives to engage youth with interactive activities and learning modules—trying to keep bored kids out of trouble and increase their reading skills to p repare them for the coming year. To learn more, go to boysandgirlsclub.info.


quote


The environment, after all, is where we all meet, where we all have a mutual interest. It is one thing that all of us share.” — LADY BIRD JOHNSON



Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

Trending Now

Whether you live by the Vogue bible or choose to go into your day wearing what you slept in, odds are you wear clothes.

 

The Thought Form of Solution

It’s our last week of Leo before the sun enters Virgo (next Friday/Saturday). The planets this week make complex patterns and relationships (vibrational cadences and rhythms) with the outer planets, mainly Neptune—the planet that veils, obscures, protects and finally refines us. Neptune offers us entrance into a deeply spiritual sense of comfort and solace. Neptune is the personality ruler of Pisces (saviors of the world) and soul ruler of Cancer (world mother). “The fish goddesses who leapt from earth (Virgo) to water (Pisces) unitedly give birth to the Fish God (Christ, the Soul) who introduces the waters of life  (Neptune & Aquarius) into the ocean of substance (matter, mother bringing light to the world. Thus does Neptune work.” (Esoteric Astrology).

 

Final Cut

Cedar Street Video to close after 10 years at downtown location

 

Cultures Collide

No surprises, but lots to savor in foodie film ‘The Hundred-Foot Journey’
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

 

Foodie File: Kauboi

Japanese-Western themed unites sushi with whiskey and beefgrill

 

How should Santa Cruz develop downtown around the San Lorenzo River?

Santa Cruz | Artist/Show Promoter

 

Best of Santa Cruz County

The 2013 Santa Cruz County Readers' Poll and Critics’ Picks It’s our biggest issue of the year, and in it, your votes—more than 6,500 of them—determined the winners of The Best of Santa Cruz County Readers’ Poll. New to the long list of local restaurants, shops and other notables that captured your interest: Best Beer Selection, Best Locally Owned Business, Best Customer Service and Best Marijuana Dispensary. In the meantime, many readers were ever so chatty online about potential new categories. Some of the suggestions that stood out: Best Teen Program and Best Web Design/Designer. But what about: Dog Park, Church, Hotel, Local Farm, Therapist (I second that!) or Sports Bar—not to be confused with Bra. Our favorite suggestion: Best Act of Kindness—one reader noted Café Gratitude and the free meals it offered to the Santa Cruz Police Department in the aftermath of recent crimes. Perhaps some of these can be woven into next year’s ballot, so stay tuned. In the meantime, enjoy the following pages and take note of our Critics’ Picks, too, beginning on page 91. A big thanks for voting—and for reading—and an even bigger congratulations to all of the winners. Enjoy.  -Greg Archer, EditorBest of Santa Cruz County Readers’ Poll INDEX

 

Have Mercy!

Looking for a frisky summer wine at a reasonable price? Look no further than Mercy Vineyards’ 2013 Sauvignon Blanc ($20). Richly textured “with an exotic flavor profile,” the wine reveals aromas of honeydew melon and honeysuckle, with anise appearing as a star attraction. Smidgeons of pineapple and honeycomb add a touch of sexiness to this well-balanced, easy-drinking wine, which pairs well with a variety of cuisine —especially ceviche, calamari and other not-too-heavy foods.