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Feb 12th
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Transition in Scotts Valley

transitioninsvScotts Valley says farewell to longstanding city councilmember while his replacement gears up to tackle the town’s key issues

There were seven candidates vying for three open seats on Scotts Valley’s city council this November. Councilmembers Randy Johnson and Dene Bustichi were re-elected, both with 23 percent of the vote, making retired police sergeant Donna Lind, who was close behind with 22 percent, the only newcomer in the victorious trio. She will be taking the place of Cliff Barrett, who has served on the city council for almost a decade.

Looking back over his years on the Scotts Valley City Council, Barrett is proud of many things. There was the off-leash dog park, one of his first successful projects, and the first of its kind in the county. He also helped make the creek clean-up, e-waste pick-up, green building ordinance and Styrofoam ban realities. Overall, Barrett says he spent his time on the council “trying to keep Scotts Valley the nice town it is,” which he says currently means completing the downtown center.

“The town center is vital to Scotts Valley’s continued growth and vitality and should be the main focus,” he says. He hopes that other items on the table won’t distract the incoming council from getting the center built in the next five years.

“It’s like Bush’s situation—he started with Afghanistan and then went off to Iraq. He lost his focus. I hope our council doesn’t loose its focus and go ahead with Target instead,” he said. His advice for the next council is to go through with the proposed town center first, and let the Target development happen afterward if it must. He foresees negative impacts on the town center if both developments are allowed to progress simultaneously. But it’s someone else’s problem now, he jokes.

“That was my concern and I don’t have to worry about it anymore,” he says. “I’m about ready to have some fun.”

Fortunately for Barrett, while he is enjoying his retirement, his successor plans to be addressing his concerns. As with Barrett, the town center is at the top of Lind’s list.

“The town center is first,” says Lind. “A heart for the city, something to tie it together, is something I’ve hoped to see come to be for 20 years. The town center is and has been my biggest priority.” Having followed the plans closely, Lind is happy with how the current council has pushed the matter, and looks forward to helping in the process. “I can work with the current council, and be part of the team,” she says.

However, while Barrett would like to see the incoming council delay the Target project until after the completion of the town center, Lind feels that some overlap is inevitable.

“The town center is further along in the process, and it’s appropriate that it comes up first,” she says. “But some of the issues go hand in hand [with Target], and it’s also appropriate that we look and see how one affects the other.” She adds that it is hard to know exactly how the two developments will pan out, as the city is still receiving and considering information from various studies and reports.

Although the fruition of the town center is her number one—and she promising not to lose focus, as Barrett would say—Lind does not deny that there are pressing economic challenges to be tackled. These difficulties will unavoidably be at the forefront of the new council’s agenda.

“We have several developments, as far as the town center, Target, moving the propane tanks—a lot of things going on,” she says. “But the economy is a challenge for all cities. The bottom line is that we need to find ways to generate revenue without raising taxes, and without giving up our core services.”

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Heart Me Up

In defense of Valentine’s Day

 

“be(ing) of love (a little) more careful”—e.e. cummings

Wednesday (Feb. 10) is Ash Wednesday, when Lent begins. Friday (Feb. 12) is Lincoln’s 207th birthday. Sunday is Valentine’s Day. On Ash Wednesday, with foreheads marked with a cross of ashes, we hear the words, “From dust thou art and unto dust thou shalt return.” Reminding us that our bodies, made of matter, will remain here on Earth when we are called back. It is our Soul that will take us home again. Lent offers us 40 days and nights of purification in preparation for the Resurrection (Easter) festival (an initiation) and for the Three Spring Festivals (at the time of the full moon)—Aries, Taurus, Gemini. The New Group of World Servers have been preparing since Winter Solstice. The number 40 is significant. The Christ (Pisces World Teacher) was in the desert for 40 days and 40 nights prior to His three-year ministry. The purpose of this desert exile was to prepare his Archangel (light) body to withstand the pressures of the Earth plane (form and matter). We, too, in our intentional purifications and prayers during the 40 days of Lent, prepare ourselves (physical body, emotions, lower mind) to receive and be able to withstand the irradiation of will, love/wisdom and light streaming into the Earth at spring equinox, Easter, and the Three Spiritual Festivals. What is Lent? The Anglo-Saxon word, lencten, comes from an ancient spring festival, agricultural rites marking the transition between winter and summer. The seasons reflect changes in nature (physical world) and humanity responds with social festivals of gratitude and of renewal. There is a purification process, prayerfulness in nature and in humanity in preparation for a great flow of spiritual energies during springtime. Valentine’s Day: Aquarius Sun, Taurus moon. Let us offer gifts of comfort, ease, harmony, beauty and satisfaction. Things chocolate and golden. Venus and Taurus things.

 

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