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Apr 24th
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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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Best of Santa Cruz County 2014

The 2014 Santa Cruz County Readers' Poll Come on in, and have a look around. There’s a lot to see—hundreds of winners selected by thousands of GT readers across Santa Cruz County. So if some of this looks familiar, it’s probably because you helped make it happen. But there are always new things to discover, too—you could go to a different winner or runner-up every day in the Food and Drink category alone, and you’d be booked just about until next year’s Best of Santa Cruz County issue comes out.

 

Something Essential Disappears

Lunar and solar eclipses follow one another. Lunar eclipses occur at full moons, and solar eclipses at new moons. Two weeks ago at the full moon we had the blood red moon—a total lunar eclipse (the next one is Oct. 8). On Monday night, April 28 (new moon), as the Sun, Moon and Earth align, a solar eclipse (Sun obscured) occurs. Eclipses signify something irrevocably is changed in our world. The Sun is our essential life force. Monday’s new moon, 9 degrees Taurus, is also an annular solar eclipse when the Moon moves centrally in front of the Sun, yet does not cover the Sun completely. The Sun's outer edges, still visible, form a “ring of fire” around the Moon.

 

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.

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of April 24

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Palate-Stretching 101

A wine education with Soif’s experts As a veteran of many weekend wine “seminars” at Soif, I have to confess that I’ve never known less (going in) and learned more (coming out) than I did last week at the Spanish Wine Tasting with ace rep Brian Greenwood. These are classy, casual events and it’s hard to imagine having this much flavor fun anywhere for $20.

 

Martin Ranch Winery

Sauvignon Blanc 2011 One of my favorite wines is Sauvignon Blanc, and this one made by Martin Ranch is particularly lovely. Bright, crisp and refreshing, it’s perfect to pair with fish and shellfish—and good for picnics as it has an easy screw-cap bottle. There’s nothing worse than setting down your blanket, pulling out your sandwiches—and then realizing you don’t have a corkscrew.

 

Foodie File: Red Apple Cafe

Breakfast takes center stage at Gracia Krakauer's Red Apple Cafe Before they moved to Aptos, Gracia and her husband Dan Krakauer would visit friends in Santa Cruz County and eat at the Red Apple Café all the time. Then they moved up here from Santa Monica five years ago, and bought the Aptos location (there’s a separate one in Watsonville) from the family who owned it for two decades.

 

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