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Oct 22nd
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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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Field Work

Santa Cruz Mountain winemakers explain how the harvest works, and what kind of wine to expect from this year's crop

 

Libra's Two Choices

Libra (our last week) is the sign of creating right relations and values. In Libra we are asked to choose how to be, our identity in the world. We can maintain a hermetic sealed-off attitude (my life, my work, my money, etc.) or we can gain knowledge of world events and learn more about those in need. Libra is a group sign—self with others. Here are some events occurring in our world this week concerning food, poverty, spirituality, values and global realities. The UN (a spiritual experiment) each month places a “light” upon world problems. This week a light shines on Rural Women, Farms, Food & Poverty. Before we choose to respond we must have knowledge. “So we can each do our part.” Oct. 15 - International Day of Rural Women (unrecognized with few resources); Oct. 16 - World Food Day & Family Farming: Feeding the World, Caring for the Earth; Oct. 17 - Eradication of Poverty Day (international). During the month of Libra (with Saturn exalted), we pause, contemplate and assess what it is we know, don’t know, and need to know. Libra receives and distributes Ray 3 of divine intelligence, right relations, right choice and right economy (Venus). Use your intelligence “tips the Libran scales” in terms of being able to see and then choose between the two paths Libra offers (return to the past or step forward into Scorpio’s Discipleship). Libra (the oscillating light) prepares us for the great tests and conflicts in Scorpio. In Libra we are subtly tested as we learn the nature of polarized energies (s/he loves me, s/he loves me not). In Libra we learn more about ourselves through others. Libra’s Ray 3 asks us to become more adaptable and skillful. And then we are to teach each other what we know. In Libra, we all become teachers. In all these ways love is cultivated.

 

The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program

 

Docs Without Borders

United Nations Association Film Festival showcases documentaries from around the globe
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Nut Kreations

Co-owner Craig Olsen goes nuts over nuts

 

What artist or artists participating in the encore weekend of Open Studios should not be missed?

Santa Cruz | Teacher

 

Martin Ranch Winery

Friends who are wine club members of Martin Ranch invited us to the winery’s fun and festive annual barbecue, where the wine is flowing and the food just keeps on coming. Music and dancing are part and parcel of the action, and a good time is guaranteed.

 

Beer Bus

Santa Cruz’s new Brew Cruz, award winning ales, mole by el Jardín, and Wildcat Ridge Chardonnay