Santa Cruz Good Times

Friday
Mar 06th
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Briefs: Slow Ride, Reaching the Top

briefsSlow Ride

As the fog burned off on a warm Saturday morning around the Oakwood Chapel on Paul Sweet Road, friends gathered to remember an actor and activist no longer with them.

“He was so enthusiastic and full of life,” said Sue Brenner, longtime friend of Paul McGrath, at the Aug. 23 memorial. Brenner met McGrath 20 years ago at an improvisational acting class.

McGrath, an 11-year member of improv group Um … Gee … Um, took his own life Aug. 3.

Friend Datta Khalsa compared McGrath’s contagious wit to that of the late Robin Williams, who committed suicide a week later.

“He could make everyone laugh, except possibly himself,” Khalsa said.

To the general public, however, McGrath was better known for his transportation activism and for tirelessly criticizing the county’s Regional Transportation Commission for a failed experimental rideshare program. He would bring a 18-foot bar graph to RTC meetings, as covered by GT (“Crash for Carpools,” 7/23) in a recent news story he had shared on his Twitter page.

McGrath, an engineer originally from the United Kingdom, ran RideSpring, a business that encouraged people to walk or bike to work. It entered participating employees from its clients, like the city of Santa Cruz and GAP, in lotteries for gift cards and other prizes.

RideSpring had 61 client companies, with 204 worksites and 7,600 users. It distributed 5,300 gifts. In McGrath’s absence, RideSpring faces an uncertain future.

Two slideshows showcased pictures of McGrath camping, biking and picnicking. In keeping with McGrath’s love for the outdoors, friends are asking that donations be made to the California State Parks Foundation, in lieu of sending flowers.

Suicide Prevention Services in Santa Cruz offers a free, confidential 24-hour hotline for people considering suicide, and friends and family of those suffering from depression. Call 831-458-5300 or visit suicidepreventionservice.org for more information.

Reaching the Top

The War on Poverty, which created a lot of social programs still used today, is hitting a big birthday, and some community organizers want to get together to talk about it. The Community Action Board of Santa Cruz County is organizing a discussion about the 50th anniversary that might generate some new ideas.

“It could really stir things up,” says Fin Finley, an administrator for the CAB, which was created as part of President Lyndon B. Johnson’s War on Poverty 49 years ago.

Sam Farr will discuss a trip he made to Latin America, where he learned about what social programs have worked there. Mark Stone will also be at the Sept. 4 discussion on the roof of the Community Foundation in Aptos, and the Raging Grannies will perform.

The richest 10 percent of Americans own 84 percent of the nation’s wealth, and the richest one percent of people own nearly half of the world’s wealth, according to a report last year from the Credit Suisse Research Institute. But Finley says she’s more worried about the conditions people live in than gaps in wealth.

“To me, it’s OK to have the wealth be unequal, but it’s not OK to have people be suffering and still be working as hard as they are,” Finley says.

Finley says the free event might be the first step in a bigger discussion.

“There’s a limited space on the roof, but maybe the next conversation needs to be in an auditorium,” Finley says. “Maybe the conversation needs to be so much larger. Maybe it doesn’t need to be a physical conversation. It could be Facebook-y or YouTube-y.

Everyone knows someone who has lost a job or been homeless.”


INFO: Sept. 4, 4-7 p.m., Community Foundation, 7807 Soquel Dr. Aptos. To R.S.V.P. and reserve a spot on the roof contact Ryan Magcuyao at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or 831-763-2147 ext. 294.

Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

Crop Circles

How the confusion over GMOs is undermining the organic movement

 

Week of Festivals: Full Moon, Lantern Festival, Purim, Holi

It is a week of many different festivals along with a full moon, all occurring simultaneously. Thursday Chinese New Year celebrations end with the Lantern Festival (at full moon). Thursday is also the Pisces Solar festival (full moon), Purim (Jewish Festival) and Holi (Hindu New Year Festival). Sunday, March 8, Daylight Saving Time begins at 2 a.m. The festival of Purim celebrates the freedom of the Hebrew people from the cruel Haman (a magistrate) seeking to destroy them. Esther, the Queen of Persia, who was secretly Jewish, saved her people from death. The sweet cookie hamentaschen celebrates this festival. Friday, March 6, is Holi, the Hindu Spring Festival celebrated after the March full moon. Bonfires are lit the night before, warding off evil. Holi, the Festival of Colors, is the most colorful festival in the world. It is also the Festival of Love—of Radha for Krishna (the blue-colored God). It is a spring festival with singing, dancing, carnivals, food and bhang, a drink made of cannabis leaves. Holi signifies good over evil, ridding oneself of past errors, ending conflicts through rapprochement (returning to each other). It is a day of forgiveness, including debts. Holi also marks the beginning of New Year. At the Pisces Solar festival we recite the seed thought, “We leave the Father’s home and, turning back, we save.” Great Teachers remain on Earth until all of humanity is enlightened. The New Group of World Servers is called to this task and sacrifice. Sacrifice (from the heart) is the first Law of the Soul, the heart of which is Love. This sacrifice saves the world.

 

The New Tech Nexus

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

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of March 6

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Water Street Grill

YOLO gets reincarnated

 

What would make Santa Cruz better?

A lot more outdoor activities such as outdoor movies and concerts, food and art festivals, and more multicultural activites. Emmanuel Cole, Santa Cruz, Bicycle Industry Product Developer

 

Thomas Fogarty Winery

When looking for a bottle of something to have with dinner, Gewürztraminer 2012 is not the first wine to come to mind. Given the popularity of Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot and Pinot Noir—to name but a few—Gewürztraminer sits low on the totem pole.

 

So Long, Louie’s

Louie’s Cajun Kitchen & Bourbon Bar closes, plus Back Porch pop-up, and 2015 Outstanding in the Field tour