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Apr 16th
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Area Opinions

Columns - Opinion

Babes, Ditzes, and Moms

Babes, Ditzes, and Moms

What I tried not to learn from '60s TV
There we were at Bookshop Santa Cruz, Art Boy, me, and a crowd of fans, listening to my friend and colleague Wallace Baine read from his new book of essays, "Rhymes With Vain." Wallace launched the event with one of his vintage Sentinel columns "Jed Clampett, Molder Of Men," his ode to the male role models provided to impressionable youth on 1960s TV shows.

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Columns - Opinion

Are Race Relations Improving?

Are Race Relations Improving?

Nearly two years ago, America elected its first African-American president. Observers by the score commented on the significance of a biracial president, and wondered whether it finally signaled that race relations had improved in America.

So have the intervening months proved anything about prejudice? Do minorities now feel that all things are possible in America? Do whites feel free of their own prejudices?

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Columns - Opinion

Methyl Iodide Unsafe at any speed

Methyl Iodide Unsafe at any speedThe decision of the California Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR) to support the registration of the pesticide methyl iodide is irresponsible because its proposed mitigations will not avert potentially devastating health and environmental impacts.

The proposed registration is misplaced in light of compelling evidence presented by the external scientific peer review committee commissioned by DPR. Once methyl iodide is approved, there will be no turning back from its dangerous and potentially lethal effects.  Workers and families in rural regions deserve protection from this highly volatile and toxic pesticide. The only means to protect public health and the environment is to prohibit the use of methyl iodide in California.

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Columns - Opinion

The Great Disconnect With Washington

The Great Disconnect With WashingtonAt the time of this writing, all eyes here are on Capitol Hill, where Elena Kagan is sitting through her third day of hearings, and congressional negotiators are hard at work in the aftermath of the death of Robert Byrd, the 92-year-old Democratic senator from West Virginia.

People around town are parsing Kagan's words. An entire cohort of folks are counting up votes to see if financial reform is dead or alive as a result of the passing of Sen. Byrd. Passions rise and fall, as if it's a World Series or a World Cup match.

Washington is a company town—and the company is the government that runs our entire country and dominates the world stage.

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Columns - Opinion

Vote Bluto Tuesday For Change Today

Vote Bluto Tuesday For Change Today

or I Can’t Believe I Watched the Whole Thing
The June 8 election has come and gone, and now, with the exhale of relief as the primaries fade, comes the gasping inhale of sheer exhilaration as the California general election looms. From now until Nov. 2  it’s campaign free-for-all season. Some of you are pretty excited about this; some of you dread it like a root canal. Still others are making that confused golden retriever face right now, muttering “election?” Being a fan of overworked clichés, I’d like to say I’m as political as the next guy, but here in Santa Cruz that can be a dangerous statement. Some of the next guys are much more informed, embroiled and passionate than I; some of the next guys don’t believe in voting.

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Columns - Opinion

City Manager’s Smart Take on Santa Cruz

City Manager’s Smart Take on Santa Cruz

Something is missing in our public debate. Something big. It's the difference between politics and governance. From Washington to Sacramento to Santa Cruz, people are debating the issues, but it's unfortunate that the issues they care about really don't get at the reality of how government runs day to day.

Opinion, as discussed and argued about on television, can be exciting. Olbermann can get in his licks. O'Reilly can be outraged. CNN can invite people in from both sides of the political divide to holler at each other. And we're not much better here in Santa Cruz. Just take a look at the recent State Senate election where neither Democrat John Laird nor Republican Sam Blakeslee bothered with commercials discussing their own records. They just trashed each other.

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Columns - Opinion

Depth Perception

Depth Perception

“I don't want Johnny Depp in my lap." These are eight little words that no one who knows me would ever expect me to utter. I was as shocked as anybody when I heard them cross my own lips at a recent Memorial Day party. Art Boy naturally assumed the most logical explanation: my brain had been taken over by aliens.

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Columns - Opinion

A Breath of Fresh Air

A Breath of Fresh Air

Several years ago, I was having lunch with U.S. Rep. Sam Farr, who mentioned between bites that he would soon meet with a class of students from Mount Madonna School during one of their periodic visits to Capitol Hill.

Farr must have seen me stifle a yawn, because he seemed to read my mind: “No. You don’t get it. What they do at Mount Madonna School is something different. It’s something that is known around the Capitol as the best program in the nation.”

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Columns - Opinion

Bookstores, e-readers and the Future of the Written Word

Bookstores, e-readers and the Future of the Written Word

A few months ago, I wrote a column about the written word, and wondered whether sentiments like “That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet” have forever transformed into texts like “U R gr8.”

The basic “harrumph!” quality of that column drastically missed the mark, somehow suggesting that the beauty of the written word was being replaced by something short and horrid, that the future of writing depended on the literary value of a teen’s text or a mini-blogger’s 140 words.

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Aries Solar Festival

Sunday is Palm Sunday. Symbolizing victory and triumph, paradise, sacrifice and martyrdom, the Pisces World Teacher entered Jerusalem (City of Peace) on a donkey (signifying humility).

 

Sugar: The New Tobacco?

Proposed bill would require warning labels on sugary drinks Will soda and other saccharine libations soon come with a health warning? They will if it’s up to our state senator, Bill Monning (D-Carmel). On Feb. 27, Monning proposed first-of-its-kind legislation that would require a consumer warning label be placed on sugar-sweetened beverages sold in California. SB 1000, also known as the Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Safety Warning Act, was proposed to provide vital information to consumers about the harmful effects of consuming sugary drinks, such as sodas, sports drinks, energy drinks, and sweetened teas.

 

Animal Magnetism

Bear, mouse dare to be friends in charming ‘Ernest and Celestine’ It’s not exactly Romeo and Juliet. It’s not even a romance, although it is a love story about two individuals separated by prejudice who find the courage to form an unshakable bond despite the rules and traditions that keep them apart.

 

Printer's Devil

Iconic editor Buz Bezore, who died last month at the age of 68, left a huge mark on Santa Cruz journalism   Eventually, it’s all a blur. You live long enough, and maybe a little too hard at times, so that when you hit the rewind button of faded memory, it moves so fast that you can hardly sort and gather the details. One scene skips to the next, and to the next, without proper editing or sequencing. Chronologies get distorted. Which came first: stealing the chickens or coloring the eggs?
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Foodie File: Yan Flower

Yan Belleville has owned Yan Flower, an affordable Chinese restaurant in Downtown Santa Cruz, with her husband Raymond for eight years, and it’s a family affair. Her brother, sister, sister-in-law, and cousins work there too. Locals know the joint for its massive lunch specials starting at $4.

 

How would you feel about a tech industry boom in Santa Cruz?

I feel like it would ruin the small old-town feeling of Santa Cruz. It wouldn’t be the same Surf City kind of vacation town that it is. Antoinette BennettSanta Cruz | Construction Management

 

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

 

Comanche Cellars

Pinot Noir 2010 I first tasted Comanche Cellars Pinot when a friend brought a bottle to share over lunch at Center Street Grill in Santa Cruz. Upon trying it, I knew I had to find out more about it.