Candidates for Santa Cruz City Council sound off
Eight will run; three will win. In the ring are incumbent Lynn Robinson, transportation commissioner David Terrazas, insurance executive Kevin Moon, nonprofit workers Steven Pleich and Gus Ceballos, parks and recreation commissioner Hilary Bryant, planning commissioner David Foster, and transportation commissioner Ron Pomerantz. Gus Ceballos did not participate in the questionnaire.
Local spiritual bookstore searching for buyer in order to keep its doors open
One of the things that makes Santa Cruz such a special community to so many people is its sense of spiritual diversity and tolerance. Zen centers, Baptist churches and Jewish synagogues coexist in peaceful harmony, allowing area residents to find their spirituality in the precise way they see fit. To find that fit, people have been turning to Gateways Bookstore for the past three decades. More than just a bookstore, Gateways is a spiritual haven; a harbor if you will, where people can discover their inner anchor and find refuge from life’s storms.
The who’s who and what’s what in the Capitola and Watsonville city council races
Behold Part One of Good Times’ election guide, where readers can feast on Q&As with city council candidates and, hopefully, get a better idea of who to vote for. This week we grill the candidates for Capitola (below) and Watsonville (left). (Scotts Valley had two incumbents running unopposed—they both got their seats back, so we’ll forgo the coverage.) Check back next week for Part Two of the election guide, where you’ll find information on candidates for Santa Cruz City Council, Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors, and important state ballot measures.
Watsonville City Council candidates sound off
There are a total of seven candidates in the Watsonville City Council race. Watsonville’s council is districted, and two of the candidates—District Three’s Bill Neighbors and District Seven’s Nancy Bilicich—are running unopposed. The remaining candidates are Marty Corley, Eduardo Montesino and Nick Rivera in District Four, and Daniel Dodge and Gabriel Gonzalez in District Five. Rivera, Gonzalez and Bilicich did not participate in the questionnaire.
Santa Cruz City Council candidates deliberate on water issues
It’s not often that competing politicians agree. But in this year’s Santa Cruz City Council race, all of the contenders—rather, all five of those in attendance at the Oct. 6 forum at the Louden Nelson Community Center—see eye to eye on one issue: water.
A crowd of Santa Cruzans filled the hall to hear David Terrazas, Lynn Robinson, David Foster, Ron Pomerantz and Steve Pleich speak about what water supply strategies they will support if they are elected on Nov. 2.
Attendees were informed that candidate Hilary Bryant was home with a fever, but Kevin Moon, who does not appear at forums regularly, and Gus Ceballos, who is known to play the “I haven’t done my homework on this issue” card, were both missing in action.
Q&A with Congressman Sam Farr
ONE—He’s not sweating the election.
GT: You’re running against Republican Jeff Taylor in the Nov. 2 election. How’s your campaign going, and what has your main message been?
I’m the first to know and admit—because I’ve seen it all—that we’re in tough times; that there is a lot of hurt. There are a lot of stores closed. And behind each store is a person who worked there, their family, and a janitor, and a property manager. It’s a crisis.
I’m running on if you want someone to jumpstart our economy, it’s got to be about jobs, jobs, jobs. First is jobs. Second is jobs. Third—it’s all about jobs. And who has the experience in the federal system to make sure we get those jobs? Seniority counts back there. It’s a huge learning process.
Measure H promises to maintain public safety funding with an increased utility tax. Is there a catch?
The City of Santa Cruz has been in reduction mode for 10 years. They employ 110 fewer full-time staff than they did in 2000, and most of the current employees have taken voluntary 10 percent pay cuts, not to mention furloughs. The city has cut spending across the board, and altogether axed funding for services like the Teen Center, Beach Flats Community Center and Harvey West Park.
And yet they continue to face a massive budget deficit.
Before retiring earlier this year, former City Manager Richard Wilson issued a budget memorandum to the city council predicting a $2 million deficit for the 2011 Fiscal Year. But that figure has continued to grow and is now closer to $5 million, says new City Manager Martin Bernal.
Gary Patton’s ‘Land Use Report’ gets pulled off the air
Effective Dec. 1, environmental advocate Gary Patton will say farewell to his weekday “Land Use Report” program on the radio station KUSP.
The report, which has held the 6:49 a.m. and 8:49 a.m. weekday slots for the last nine and a half years, is an 80-second opportunity during NPR’s “Morning Edition” for Patton to expound on local land use issues like water, farmland protection, transportation, and housing, as well as a time for him to inform listeners on how they can help.
But while the station asked Patton to host the report a near decade ago, in mid-September, KUSP Talk and Information Producer JD Hillard put an end to the segment.
The county recently created new rules on medical marijuana dispensaries. Why, and what will they accomplish?
In 1996, the voters of Santa Cruz County passed Proposition 215, the California Compassionate Use Act, by a 74 percent margin. This overwhelming support demonstrated the resolve of our community to ensure access to alternative medicines that provide relief to those suffering from illness.
Since that time there has been an evolving set of regulations to fulfill the voters' wishes. Thirteen other states have passed compassionate use regulations. The election of President Barack Obama led to a new direction in federal drug policies; a memo from Attorney General Eric Holder specifically articulated that U.S. Justice Department law enforcement agencies would not pursue cases involving dispensaries operating within local laws.