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Aug 27th
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Area Opinions

Columns - Opinion

Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell: The Repeal

Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell: The RepealAs I sit writing this, somewhere in the space between Memorial Day weekend and Santa Cruz Pride, I’m reflecting on what a strange trip the last few weeks has been in the fight to repeal the law known as Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell (DADT). We’ve made a significant leap forward but still have much to do. Here’s a bit about what’s happened, and what to watch for over the next weeks and months.
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Columns - Opinion

My Mother, My Self

My Mother, My SelfMy mom has been gone a couple of months now, but I still feel her presence in my life every day. And not just metaphorically. As we speak, my spare room is full of stuff, random bits and pieces of my mom's 89 years on this planet, souvenirs of a long, full, and exuberant life.

Back in March, when the wildflowers were popping out to dazzling effect all over Highway 46, Art Boy and I drove down to Hermosa Beach to help my brothers excavate the house Mom lived in for over 50 years. I've always joked that my mom was a packrat who never threw anything away, but even I never realized how literally true that was.

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Columns - Opinion

May Day Riots

May Day Riots

A community at a crossroads
Recent violence and attacks on downtown have done more than torn through the fabric of our historically peaceful community; it has left many residents simply asking, “What happened to the Santa Cruz I know?” In search of easy answers we often look toward short-term policy changes (more police overtime) or easy scapegoats (elected officials). But a micro approach, while satiating the initial visceral need to do something, really does little to address the underlying issue. That issue, simply stated, is that our community is no longer the community we knew.

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Columns - Opinion

The Peace Corps’ 50th Anniversary

The Peace Corps’ 50th Anniversary

A call for increased strength and a new commitment
In less than a year, on March 1, 2011 in Washington, D. C., there will be vibrant speeches and sustained applause for the United States Peace Corps. The agency will be 50 years old. More than 200,000 volunteers will have served in 139 countries around the world.  The Peace Corps volunteer contributions deserve both commendation and recognition.  

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Columns - Opinion

May Day Riots

May Day Riots

A community at a crossroads
Recent violence and attacks on downtown have done more than torn through the fabric of our historically peaceful community; it has left many residents simply asking, “What happened to Santa Cruz I know?” In search of easy answers we often look toward short-term policy changes (more police overtime) or easy scapegoats (elected officials). But a micro approach, while satiating the initial visceral need to do something, really does little to address the underlying issue. That issue, simply stated, is that our community is no longer the community we knew.

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Columns - Opinion

It’s Time to Lose the Cynicism

It’s Time to Lose the Cynicism

I was looking in the mirror one day last week when I realized that when it comes to the public dialogue, I’m part of the problem. Chances are that you are too.

I had been watching one of the endless congressional hearings going on these days. It might have been about Goldman Sachs or maybe Fannie Mae or maybe even the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Then came on the analysis. Who was at fault? Who is to blame? What did he know and when did he know it?

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Columns - Opinion

The Challenge to Our Community

The Challenge to Our Community

We are just as outraged and frustrated as you are about the recent violence that has descended upon our town. Between the shocking damage done in Downtown last weekend and the horrible news that another young person had his life cut short by senseless criminal activity, we have been inundated with requests by community members about what they can do to help and what the City Council is doing as well.

It is time that we all roll up our sleeves and get to work. The reality is that neither the City Council nor the police alone can solve the enormous challenges facing our city. We need to remember how this incredible place we all call home has risen to challenges before and know that we can do so again. But it will take unprecedented commitment and cooperation from people across this community.

Here are 10 ways that you can help to make our community safer:

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Columns - Opinion

The Beer Party

The Beer Party

Came to your party/ drank all your beer/ we’re a bad trip. —Camper Van Beethoven
By now, we are well familiar with the splendid machinations of the Tea Party. This well-publicized movement of fear and hatred that has co-opted their attention-grabbing demonstration theater straight out of a UC Santa Cruz protest manual, has managed to strike the fear of Darwin into every good-hearted believer of freedom and democracy.

Obama is finally striking back against these purveyors of insanity, and so should we. Which is why it’s time for a wholly different protest party. Tea and coffee are already spoken for. Herbal tea is nice, but maybe too nice. Wine would be good, but liberals have already been accused of elitism which is Republican speak for smart. Water, though entirely necessary to our survival, is simply no fun unless you’re naked and splashing in it. So we’re left with little choice but beer. Oh well …

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Columns - Opinion

SC Innovation Pays Off Again

SC Innovation Pays Off Again

While the headlines often focus on the negative, what is less apparent is that this global recession has once again proven that Santa Cruz is both resilient and innovative.  All-too-real economic challenges remain, but thanks to the hard work and ingenuity of the people in this community, we will emerge from the recession with a vibrant and sustainable local economy.

Here is just some of good economic news of late: Cruzio and Ecology Action are redesigning the Sentinel Building into a hub for sustainability and data processing. Cruzio also helped the Central Coast Broadband Consortium, a collection of local governments, submit a $46 million Federal Stimulus grant to bring 310 miles of fiber to Santa Cruz, Monterey and San Benito Counties.  Simultaneously, the tech community is partnering with the City to lobby for Google Fiber (visit networksantacruz.org to help).

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Mercury Enters Libra

It’s the week of Burning Man, the temporary, intentional, alternative, art-filled community on the playas of Nevada. Mercury, messenger of the Sun, enters Libra this week. Libra is the equalizer, a sign of balance and right human relations. Sometimes with Libra, we can be indecisive and confused while learning how to make balanced and right choices. Sometimes to keep the peace we communicate only what others want to hear. Eventually, we learn how to speak from the heart.

 

Final Cut

Cedar Street Video to close after 10 years at downtown location

 

Banter and Spark

Engaging actors, wry script distinguish lightweight rom-com ‘What If’

 

Back to Silicon Beach

With a new wave of startups, the future of Santa Cruz tech looks more promising than ever
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Himalayan Kitchen

Chef Purna Regmi on the secrets of Nepalese cooking

 

What’s the nicest thing you’ve done for someone this week?

Germany  |  Beekeeper

 

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

 

A Cab To Be Coveted

I first tasted Villa del Monte’s 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon at a Fourth of July party, where the hosts had bought a case of it because they love it and didn’t want to run out. It’s one of those wines that will grab you—in the best way—with its full body and rich fruit characteristics.