Santa Cruz Good Times

Wednesday
Jul 01st
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Town Hall with Supervisor John Leopold

John LeopoldSThe 2011 Community Assessment Project Report was released in November, examining various quality of life indicators in the county. What stood out to you as areas we excel in, and what struck you as areas we need to most work on?

In a country where health insurance issues are debated, demagogued and seemingly irresolvable, I think we can all be proud of how our community has rallied to build an effective health insurance system that has resulted in 97 percent of our children being covered by some form of insurance. The community, local business and the county has contributed to the creation of Healthy Kids, which works to insure every child under 18 in Santa Cruz County. This is critically important because we know that getting kids off to a healthy start in life will likely lead to better health outcomes throughout their lives. We are fortunate to have an organization like the Health Improvement Partnership in our county, which manages this program and works with all of our safety net clinics to provide an effective continuum of care for so many people.

It is disturbing to see some of the crime statistics detailed in the report. We need to strengthen programs that address the core issues of anti-social behavior, substance abuse, family dysfunction and lack of education, employment or employment skills. Recently Smart on Crime Santa Cruz County held a successful forum attended by more than 200 people who heard about the struggles of former offenders and the drive to turn lives around which ultimately leads to better public safety. We also heard about innovative efforts in our neighboring county of San Benito that engages the community is determining accountability for offenders. Working together in our community we can support services that use evidence based practices to ensure that we break the cycle of recidivism that our current justice system has proven ineffective in addressing.

The Santa Cruz outpost of Occupy Wall Street had been going strong at the County Courthouse since October. What was your take on it?

From my office window I watched this movement grow. It is an amazing coalition of young and old, housed and homeless, employed and unemployed—a diverse representation of our community. They have formed in solidarity with the worldwide “Occupy” movement and are working to represent many in our county who are suffering as a result of the economic collapse in 2008.

The Board of Supervisors recently heard startling statistics about the local impact of what has become known as the Great Recession/Lesser Depression: one in five county residents is on some form of public assistance; 4,500 homes have been foreclosed since 2008; and unemployment is stubbornly high at 10 percent countywide and more than twice as high in South County at 22 percent.

Perhaps like any movement, protesters are being criticized. Occupiers are being criticized for not having a list of demands, off-shoot groups have engaged in illegal activities and much discussion has been focused on problems that have emerged during this movement, including their sleeping arrangements, health concerns, and unacceptable behavior. While these are indeed legitimate concerns that must be addressed, it is also important to recognize what the “Occupy” movement has highlighted. There is a growing national debate about inequality, people are moving their money away from financial institutions that do not represent their interests, and many are questioning tactics used against peaceful demonstrators. This is all healthy in a democracy. It is important to recognize the significant contributions that the “Occupy” movement has made to public discourse.

Comments (1)Add Comment
...
written by SMiranda, December 22, 2011
I grew up in Los Angeles in the 1950's and '60s and studies proved over and over again that jobs programs brought gang participation and violence down and when those programs lost funds, violence escalated. I wish we could come up with paying public works projects for young men and women who are at risk. Our green spaces and waterways have become dumping grounds for trash. Let's pay these young people to maintain them.,

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

I Was a Teenage Deadhead

Memories of life on tour, plus the truth about that legendary Santa Cruz Acid Test

 

I Build a Lighted House and Therein Dwell

Wednesday, June 24, Chiron turns stationary retrograde (we turn inward) at 21.33 degrees Pisces. We usually speak of “retrograde” when referring to Mercury. But all planets retrograde. Next month in July, Venus retrogrades. What is Chiron retrograde? Chiron represents the wound within all of us. Wounds have purpose. They sensitize us; make us aware of pain and suffering. Through our wounds we develop compassion. Through compassion we become whole (holy) again. Chiron helps develop these states of consciousness. Everyone carries a wound. Everyone carries family wounds (family astrology tracks the astrological “DNA” through generations). Chiron wounds are deep within. We’re often not aware of them until Chiron retrogrades. Then the wounds (through pain, hurt, sadness, suffering) become apparent. They seem to break us open emotionally, psychologically. Painful events from the past are remembered. They are brought to the present for healing. Through experiencing, talking about and deeply feeling what is hurting us, healing takes place. We begin to understand and bring healing to others. All week, Jupiter and Venus move closer together in the sky. They meet in Leo at the full moon, Cancer solar festival, on Wednesday, July 1. The Cancer keynote is, “I build a lighted house and therein dwell.” The soul’s light has finally penetrated the “womb” of matter. The New Group of World Servers is to radiate this light. At the end of each sign are keywords to use and remember during the Chiron retrograde.

 

The New Tech Nexus

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

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of June 26

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

 

Kickin' Chicken

Local kitchen alchemist Justin Williams is fast becoming a cult flavor master. His late-night wizardry, which began last fall delivering mainly to starving UCSC students, is catching on with taste buds beyond campus. Kickin’ Chicken delivers its spicy-sweet fried chicken and waffles to Westside residents between 9 p.m. and 2 a.m. nightly. Or you can catch him and his brother and sister, Candice and Danny Mendoza, serving it up at their “Sunday Mass” at the Santa Cruz Food Lounge at 1001 Center St. in Santa Cruz. Using sous vide, a French method of cooking chicken in a water bath at a tightly controlled temperature, they then flash fry it for an amazingly crispy coat. Candice Mendoza spoke to GT about Kickin’ Chicken’s rise.

 

What’s a creative new approach to addressing summer beach litter?

Robotic dogs, with duct tape on their paws, that walk around picking up litter wherever they go. Joaquin Heinz, Santa Cruz, Barista

 

Pelican Ranch Winery

The most popular red wines found on store shelves are also those most commonly known, such as Pinot, Zinfandel and Merlot. But when you come across a more unusual varietal, like Pelican Ranch Winery’s Cinsault ($19), it opens up a whole new world. Cinsault is a grape that can tolerate heat, so it is found in countries with warmer climes such as Morocco, Algeria, Lebanon, and France. It’s rare in California but grows well in places like Lodi—Silvaspoons Vineyard in this particular case—where it’s hot and dry. Often used as a blending grape, the silky Cinsault is just fine on its own.

 

Open Wide

Soif’s soft reboot leads to expanded menu, plus the ‘thinking woman’s ketchup’