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Oct 21st
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Town Hall

Congressman Sam Farr

Congressman Sam Farr

With the elections finally over, what’s the aftermath for congress? What changes, improvements or dangers will we see to government and policy?
The end of the 2010 election cycle has delivered a shift of power in the House of Representatives that will unfortunately bring in a new wave of challenges and partisan agendas. In fact, the majority leadership has indicated that Republicans will seek to overturn some of the historic legislation passed by the 111th Congress, which today is expanding access to healthcare and helping families survive our country’s economic uncertainty.

But as is inherently the case, new challenges bring the possibility of new opportunities. I am committed to moving forward, and continuing to work aggressively for the Central Coast. However, we will all need to do so under an air of caution, because of the uncertainty of Republicans’ intentions to deal and work for progress.

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Environment

Something Old Something New

Something Old Something New

Local Business and Non Profit Partner to Revitalize Sentinel Building
The long-anticipated retrofit of the Santa Cruz Sentinel building is about to nearly open for business. The designers, builders, owners and future tenants of the revamped building welcomed Good Times to a preview of its new “green” home on Friday, Nov. 12. Our tour inspired feelings of pride to see what can be accomplished when business works to preserve tradition while developing a modern workspace.

The original Sentinel building was operated by our local newspaper from 1966 to 2007 when it moved to Scotts Valley. In 2008 local internet provider Cruzio and the progressive non-profit Ecology Action partnered with Appenrodt Commercial Properties to purchase and redesign the space at the corner of Cedar and Church Street in Downtown Santa Cruz. Out first impression? Nothing short of wow.

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Local News

Growing Pains

Growing Pains

Neighbors, builders wait another month before word on Ocean Street Extension project
It’s a late October evening and the Santa Cruz Memorial Cemetery looks coolly picturesque. The last hint of sunlight dips behind the bordering mountains, patchy storm clouds gather, and dusk settles over the gravestones. Elsewhere in Santa Cruz, people are huddled around their televisions, cheering as the Giants win game two of the World Series. But here a group of neighborhood residents have gathered, standing on the unpaved shoulder of Ocean Street Extension, to talk over some collective concerns.

Recently, the group made a splash by opposing a proposal before the City of Santa Cruz for a 40-unit development to be built at 1930 Ocean Street Ext., directly across from the cemetery and adjacent to the Santa Cruz Memorial Crematory.

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Local News

Governor Terminates Childcare

Governor Terminates Childcare

Childcare subsidies for working low-income families get cut in series of line-item vetoes by Schwarzenegger
At a rally on the steps of the State Capitol Thursday, Nov. 4, Anna Martinez, a single mother of four from Clovis, Calif., asked the question that had inspired the event: “If I lose Stage 3 subsidies, I’ll have to quit my job and re-apply for cash aid,” she said. “I can’t afford day care on my own and I like my job. I work hard. What good does it do anybody for me to quit my job?”

Despite the intense political wrangling that finally produced this year’s state budget agreement 100 days late, there was bi-partisan agreement that subsidizing childcare for parents who had graduated off welfare and were now working was money well spent and should not be cut.

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Town Hall

Supervisor Mark Stone

Supervisor Mark Stone

Some of your constituents are currently fighting a proposal before the City of Santa Cruz to build a 40-unit development just across the county line from their homes on Ocean Street Extension. Among their concerns are traffic and density impacts. How have county/city relations and disconnects played into this situation?

Land use decisions are the heart of any local jurisdiction’s authority and responsibility. Retaining local control over those decisions in an environment of increasing state regulation is key to any locally elected official. Whenever a jurisdiction, using its land use authority, considers a new project, it has the responsibility to consider the location and other details of its setting. But what happens when that project is located adjacent to constituents in a neighboring jurisdiction? In this case, the project is proposed within the city limits, but clearly affects residents county living in the neighborhood.

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Environment

Timber!

Timber!

New ruling tightens logging regulations by requiring companies to obtain point source permits
The snake nest of logging roads that curl through the Santa Cruz Mountains could soon be lined with paper from logging permits and the lawsuits that challenge erosion.

Here in the southernmost tip of America’s iconic redwood landscape, old growth cathedrals used to physically block erosive winds, pack soil into hillsides with root clusters, and maintain organic binders in the soil by dropping seeds onto the forest floor.

After the trees were cut, the winter rainstorms carried sediment to the streams. Fish eggs have been smothered by sediment, insects and other foods have been buried, and silt raises temperatures in the cool ponds used by spawning fish.

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Local News

Delaware Addition Gets Revived

Delaware Addition Gets Revived

After a two-year economic stalemate, plans for the live/work development move forward
When the Santa Cruz City Council unanimously approved the Delaware Addition project in July 2008, the 20-acre live/work development on the Westside promised to be the answer to commuters’ prayers.

The prospect of a mixed-use neighborhood that could house not only your pre-established or start-up business but also your family sounded almost too good to be true, with its eco-friendly design, prime location and considerably low prices.

Then, the economy tanked.

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Town Hall

Assemblymember Bill Monning

Assemblymember Bill Monning

Since passage of the state budget in early October, the governor vetoed $1 billion in line item vetoes— including the elimination of funding for Stage Three Childcare programs that serve mostly women who are transitioning from welfare to the workforce. What are you and the legislature doing about this?

The governor’s line item vetoes went counter to the bipartisan agreement achieved in the legislature. The vetoes cut funding to disabled students, HIV/AIDS patients, mental health programs for children, and Stage Three Childcare programs.

The loss of childcare will directly impact more than 260 families in Santa Cruz County where mostly single mothers will have no other choice but to leave paying jobs in order to take care of their children. Additionally, private childcare providers will lose business and California will forfeit federal dollars. 

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Local News

Decisions, Decisions

Decisions, DecisionsState ballot measures you need to know about
Proposition 19
Proposition 21
Proposition 23
Proposition 24
Proposition 25
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Local News

Take Your Pick

Take Your Pick

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.

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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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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