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Aug 22nd
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This week's Editor's Note & Letters to Good Times

greg_archerS2sPlus Letters to the Good Times Editor...
New Sea Change Needed
For the Birds
Goes Down Well?

I remember my school lunches. For a long while, my mother used to hand me a paper bag and off to school I went. During lunch, I unwrapped either a ham and cheese sandwich with mayo on Wonder Bread, or, better yet, one of those peanut butter and jelly mixes—Goobers, from Smucker’s. I’d nosh away, always craving more. During junior high, I’d forgo the paper bag lunches completely, opting for the cafeteria food, which, at the time, sadly, felt like a treat. Mac ‘n’ cheese on Wednesdays, hot dogs on Mondays and always pizza on Fridays.

I’d usually down three slices. I always wondered why, by the end of the quarter, I could no longer fit into my Husky blue jeans or why, for that matter, the gym teacher insisted I be placed in the heaviest weight class during wrestling season. (I always admired the view of the gym’s bright lights from where I was always pinned down.) All this is to say that my old school lunches, coupled with the meaty European dishes my mother used to make, helped me become the curiously overweight teen I was. It was only later in life that I learned about eating more healthily.

So, it comes as a refreshing surprise that this week, we’re focusing on all the new improvements unfolding with the county’s school lunch programs. News Editor Elizabeth Limbach offers a unique take on the topic in this week’s cover story, so dive in and learn more about how local children are being giving healthier food choices.

In the meantime, there’s nothing wrong with chowing down on a peanut butter and jelly sandwich from time to time. (But Goobers? What were we thinking?)

More next time ... Greg Archer, Editor

 


Letters to Good Times Editor

New Sea Change Needed
I was a bit skeptical when I first started reading your cover story [of Sept. 3] on the young local guy (Kyle Thiermann) who wants everybody to use local banks, but I have to admit, I was taken in by the guy’s drive. It’s pretty neat, especially in this day and age, to stumble across a kid under 20 who cares about something other than his iPod Touch or Wii games.  I did think that the response from Bank of America wasn’t all that off the mark, but the bottom line is, we need to really be more aware of where our silly money is going.
Tom Jackson
Santa Cruz

For the Birds
Thanks for the interesting account of the Ashy Storm Petrel. I was a bit disappointed to learn that is has been taken off the endangered species list. What’s more shocking is that this happened after almost a year of review on the issue. I think if the murrelet can be placed on the endangered species list after a drop in population, that the petrel should be placed on that same list, too. Somebody needs to wake up.
Beth Hansen
Ben Lomond

Goes Down Well?
Food writer Karen Petersen should receive a standing ovation for her review of Ciao Bella Act II. There may a be a misplaced modifier in the “Dressed with a  touch of mayonnaise, I embellished the flavorful patty with ketchup and dijon mustard,” but, as written, this culinary touch outdoes even the great gustatory enthusiasm of the late Julia Child.
Richard Lynde
Watsonville

BEST OF THE ONLINE COMMENTS
If Santa Cruz does become the "center of the universe" for this "living oil slick" concept, it should be great for bringing tons more tourists to Santa Cruz's downtown area, which will be great for our ailing economy. Another less exciting side effect will also probably be dramatic increases in traffic in the Santa Cruz area, especially on 17. Will local surfers appreciate competing for waves with plastic bags filled with green sludge-from-sewage?
—lokelyokel

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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

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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.