Santa Cruz Good Times

Monday
Oct 20th
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

 

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
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

 

Nut Kreations

Co-owner Craig Olsen goes nuts over nuts

 

What artist or artists participating in the encore weekend of Open Studios should not be missed?

Santa Cruz | Teacher

 

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