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Feb 12th
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Fixing California

Fixing California

Author Mark Paul on what’s wrong with our state’s initiative process

Californians pass initiatives that prevent lawmakers from doing their jobs. Their inability to do much in turn frustrates residents, who then pass more laws that, in turn, frustrate and impede lawmakers. This, says author Mark Paul, is what’s wrong with California. He calls it “the cycle of contempt.” Paul served as deputy treasurer of California and is a former editorial writer and editor for the Sacramento Bee. He co-authored the book “California Crack Up: How reform broke the Golden State and how we can fix it,” and will give a talk in Santa Cruz on Thursday, Nov. 15 titled “Breaking the Cycle of Contempt: How to Fix the Initiative.” GT caught up with Paul the day after the election.

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Business

Finding Our Brand

Finding Our Brand

Can the Monterey Bay Area agree on how to market the region globally?

What do places like the “Wine Country” of Napa-Sonoma County, the French Riviera, or, closer to home, Silicon Valley, have in common? Roger Wasson, a PR expert and president of Wasson Idea Farming, argues they have identifiable brands that evoke a certain image around the world. The “brand” gives these places an identity that potential visitors and customers already know something about.

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Local News

Dealing With Disorders

Dealing With Disorders

The Lotus Collaborative tackles eating disorders in Santa Cruz

Anorexia has the highest premature mortality rate of any psychiatric disorder, with most deaths attributable to physiological complications. Yet, says Dr. Elizabeth Esalen, there is still a dangerously misguided public perception of eating disorders.

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Town Hall

Town Hall with Assemblymember Bill Monning

Town Hall with Assemblymember Bill Monning

How prepared is California for implementation of the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, and what does the state have to do before it can comply?

California has been described by others as setting the pace in its implementation of federal healthcare reform, also known as the federal Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), as the state was one of the first to establish a healthcare benefit exchange. Starting in late 2013, the California Health Benefit Exchange will make it easier for individuals and small businesses to compare healthcare plans and purchase healthcare insurance in the private marketplace.

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Local News

Good On Paper?

Good On Paper?

Proposition 32 promises campaign finance reform, but is there a catch?

If you liked the Citizens United Supreme Court decision—which recognized corporate “personhood” and equated money with free speech—California labor unions are saying you’re also bound to like Proposition 32. But unions aren’t the only forces coming out against Prop. 32, or the “Political Contributions by Payroll Deduction, Contributions to Candidates Initiative.” Two of the state’s leading, nonpartisan government reform groups, the League of Women Voters and Common Cause, say Prop. 32 is a “deceptive measure” that will greatly expand the political influence of one particular interest group: large businesses and corporations.

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Local News

Painting A Brighter Future

Painting A Brighter Future

Emanuel Project comes to Santa Cruz County Juvenile Hall

The silent, hollow halls and squeaky clean interior of the Santa Cruz County Juvenile Detention Center have recently begun to glow with new colors. Giant painted heads with windows for eyes are coming alive in the courtyard; bright stacks of books have begun to illuminate the walls of the cafeteria. The paintings are meant to shed light on the hope and possibilities of the future.

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Town Hall

Town Hall with Rep. Sam Farr

Town Hall with Rep. Sam Farr

Congress did not taken action on the Federal Farm Bill before its Sept. 30 expiration date. What does this mean for Americans, and what can we expect to happen on the Farm Bill front after the election in November?

One of the biggest failures of the do-nothing Republican-led Congress was allowing the Farm Bill to expire. The Farm Bill is a vital piece of legislation that helps regulate the prices of the food we grow. This is a bill that doesn’t just benefit the Midwest states but has value for the entire nation, including families here in California.

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Environment

Sonic Waves

Sonic Waves

PG&E's fault line research could blast marine mammals with sound

Marine mammals including whales, dolphins, seals and sea otters that live and migrate along the Central California coast could be in for some mind-rattling commotion come November if Pacific Gas & Electric Co. receives clearance next month for a controversial research project. California's largest electric company is seeking permits to conduct high-energy and possibly harmful seismic testing in the waters just offshore of the Diablo Canyon Power Plant in San Luis Obispo County.

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Local News

Local Tooth Fairy Turns Twenty

Local Tooth Fairy Turns Twenty

Dientes celebrates two decades of nonprofit dentistry

Since its inception, Dientes Community Dental Care has focused on reaching underserved populations. At first, when the nonprofit was founded by a small group of private dentists in 1992, that population was HIV-infected patients who, because they were shunned from dental insurance plans, had nowhere else to turn for dental care.

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Town Hall

Town Hall with Supervisor John Leopold

Town Hall with Supervisor John Leopold

There has been a lot of community discussion about the kind of development happening throughout the county. How can residents get involved in shaping upcoming land use decisions in the county?

The last comprehensive county planning process for the unincorporated Live Oak, Soquel, Santa Cruz Gardens and Aptos communities was completed in 1994 as part of the General Plan update. In the nearly 20 years since that plan was adopted, many aspects of our community, from transportation to development, have changed. During this time of limited public resources, a comprehensive General Plan update is not anticipated in the foreseeable future. However, we do have a unique opportunity to envision our community's sustainable future.

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Heart Me Up

In defense of Valentine’s Day

 

“be(ing) of love (a little) more careful”—e.e. cummings

Wednesday (Feb. 10) is Ash Wednesday, when Lent begins. Friday (Feb. 12) is Lincoln’s 207th birthday. Sunday is Valentine’s Day. On Ash Wednesday, with foreheads marked with a cross of ashes, we hear the words, “From dust thou art and unto dust thou shalt return.” Reminding us that our bodies, made of matter, will remain here on Earth when we are called back. It is our Soul that will take us home again. Lent offers us 40 days and nights of purification in preparation for the Resurrection (Easter) festival (an initiation) and for the Three Spring Festivals (at the time of the full moon)—Aries, Taurus, Gemini. The New Group of World Servers have been preparing since Winter Solstice. The number 40 is significant. The Christ (Pisces World Teacher) was in the desert for 40 days and 40 nights prior to His three-year ministry. The purpose of this desert exile was to prepare his Archangel (light) body to withstand the pressures of the Earth plane (form and matter). We, too, in our intentional purifications and prayers during the 40 days of Lent, prepare ourselves (physical body, emotions, lower mind) to receive and be able to withstand the irradiation of will, love/wisdom and light streaming into the Earth at spring equinox, Easter, and the Three Spiritual Festivals. What is Lent? The Anglo-Saxon word, lencten, comes from an ancient spring festival, agricultural rites marking the transition between winter and summer. The seasons reflect changes in nature (physical world) and humanity responds with social festivals of gratitude and of renewal. There is a purification process, prayerfulness in nature and in humanity in preparation for a great flow of spiritual energies during springtime. Valentine’s Day: Aquarius Sun, Taurus moon. Let us offer gifts of comfort, ease, harmony, beauty and satisfaction. Things chocolate and golden. Venus and Taurus things.

 

The New Tech Nexus

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

 

Making Dreams

Coen brothers salute vintage Hollywood in sly comedy ‘Hail, Caesar!’
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Pub Watch

Mega gastro pub-in-progress at the Old Sash Mill, plus the best pasta dish downtown

 

How do you know love is real?

When you feel the groove in your heart and you’re inspired to dance. Becca Bing, Boulder Creek, Teacher

 

Temple of Umami

Watsonville’s Miyuki is homestyle cooking, Japanese-style

 

How would you stop people from littering?

Teach them from the time that they’re small that it’s not an appropriate behavior. Juliet Jones, Santa Cruz, Claims Adjuster