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May 04th
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Briefs: Just for Funds, Splash Dance

Just For Funds

Last week’s city council meeting began with a song and dance led by the Santa Cruz Follies, but eventually devolved into audible groans of exasperation from community members. The source of unrest? The debate over campaign finance reform in Santa Cruz, which came to a thudding halt when councilmember Micah Posner’s latest campaign finance proposal was voted down, 5-2.
The latest proposal from Posner and Vice Mayor Don Lane would have put a plan on the November ballot to offer pubic one-for-one matching funds in $5,000 increments for city council candidates.

The mood was tensely cordial despite impassioned input from locals and councilmembers, including Pamela Comstock and David Terrazas, who spoke against the proposal.

“I think it should be vetted more properly through the public and get the signatures required for the ballot measure,” said Pamela Comstock, who had encouraged Take Back Santa Cruz members to write council letters against the plan. “This seems like a pet project.”

Terrazas didn’t think the program, which would have cost up to an estimated $80,000 a year, was worth the city’s “scarce public resources,” although Posner said he thought the public was conscious of the city’s financial situation.

“We could have more people run for office: college students, people of color,” Posner said in comments made before the vote.
Community members who took the opportunity to speak on the issue overwhelmingly supported the plan, citing a variety of concerns, including fears of fascism.

Just over half of the 70 emails to the council were also in support. Anne-Marie Harrison

Splash Dance

The city of Santa Cruz is weighing two new water rate increases—one that would hopefully be temporary and another that would increase 10 percent annually over the next five years.

When people use less water—even under mandatory water restrictions, it means less money in the bank, or in this case, in the water fund. But meanwhile the Department’s costs have not gone down.

With that in mind, the Water Commission voted last week to recommend a two-year drought recovery fee, as well as a 61 percent rate increase over five years. The latter is being driven by a separate factor—the costs of water system repairs, including ones to the Bay Street reservoirs.

Also: last month Standard & Poor downgraded the city’s bond rating, based on what it views as an unreliability in the Department’s water supply. “If you don’t have supply, you can’t operate the system much less pay the bonds,” water director Rosemary Menard explains.

Or pump anyone water, for that matter, so let’s hope things never get that extreme. Jacob Pierce

Comments (1)Add Comment
Isn't It Intersting?
written by Don Honda, July 20, 2014
Isn't it interesting that Posner feigned shock and outrage in his email to his "constituents" when advising about the issue he and Lane put before the CC re: campaign finance reform? Then Stacey Falls and her husband Steve Schnarr put down TBSC in regards to same and liken the group to Tea Party tactics?

Now, Lane and Posner wouldn't think of having their minions flood the CC with endorsements for the same proposal while implying that anyone opposing them are fascists, would they?

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Wesak (Water) Taurus Solar Festival, Buddha Blesses the Earth

A most important celebration occurs Sunday, May 3—the Wesak Taurus Buddha Solar Festival/full moon. At the moment of the full moon the Buddha’s presence enters the Earth plane for eight minutes. He brings the Will-to-Good from the Father, which, when reaching humanity becomes goodwill (Mother Principle). Held yearly in a valley hidden deep within the Himalayas, the Wesak festival is prepared for for months in advance (beginning at Winter Solstice). On festival day, amidst pilgrims, disciples and Holy Ones gathered in the valley, the Buddha is invoked through movement, symbols and mantrams. At the moment of the full moon, hearing the words, “We are ready, Buddha, come,” the Lord of Illumination (brother of the Christ) appears in the clouds above the altar to emanate forth the will and purpose of God to earth. The blessing of the father is then held in safekeeping for distribution at the June full moon Goodwill Festival. The day of Wesak (May 3, 8:42 p.m. West Coast) all disciples (east and west) place crystal vessels filled with pure water outside (in gardens, on rooftops, porches and steps) under the heavens. As the Buddha blesses the world, all waters, including waters within our bodies, are blessed. The Buddha is accompanied by the Forces of Enlightenment to illuminate humanity’s minds. Humanity then begins to express new constructive, productive and beneficial ways of the Art of Livingness. Wesak covers five days—two days (before) of dedicated preparation, the actual festival “Day of Safeguarding,” and two days (after) distributing goodwill (the NGWS to humanity). Join us in the Valley by reciting the Great Invocation, mantra of direction for humanity.

 

The New Tech Nexus

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

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of May 1

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