Santa Cruz Good Times

Nov 30th
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Congressman Sam Farr

SamFarrNewWhat projects are in store for the Central Coast through the 2010 Consolidated Appropriations Act, which passed in December?

Congress had already passed five of the appropriations bills that fund the federal government. The omnibus appropriations bill, which passed in early December, included six separate bills; the final bill was passed soon after.

There are a number of local projects funded through those seven bills, including anti-gang programs in Monterey County, ocean research and education programs, agriculture training programs and more.

Santa Cruz will see funds for several projects: The El Pajaro Community Development Corporation will receive $90,000 for a commercial kitchen business incubator to help support local businesses. The Monterey Bay Sanctuary Scenic Trail will see another $800,000 to continue development of a 52-mile trail around the Monterey Peninsula. This transportation and tourism project will create jobs and become a major draw for the region’s tourism industry. The Water Quality Protection Program for Monterey Bay Sanctuary will see $400,000 to continue protecting the Monterey Bay Sanctuary while sustaining the economic viability of the agricultural industry.

There were also a lot of larger, national programs that will help many residents of Santa Cruz County. I’d like to point out just a few of those. The bill includes $2.2 billion for community health centers, which provide primary health care to 17 million patients around the country. Another $7.2 billion will go toward sustaining high-quality, comprehensive early childhood services through the Head Start program. Title I grants for low-income children totaled $14.5 billion. These funds will help 20 million disadvantaged kids in 55,000 public schools. We directed another $1.4 billion to provide training and other services to workers affected by mass layoffs.

These are just a sampling of funded programs. This year’s appropriations process continued the work that Congress is doing to support Americans as we get our economy back on track.

As dawn breaks on the new decade, what do you believe are the largest issues facing the Central Coast? How do you plan to address them?

In 1992, during President Bill Clinton’s successful run for president, political guru James Carville tacked a list up in campaign headquarters. Two of the items on that list were “Don't forget health care” and “The economy, stupid.”

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

The first order of business in 2010 will be health care. Now that the Senate has passed its health insurance reform bill, the House and Senate versions will have to be reconciled. This won’t be an easy process, especially considering the changes the Senate made concerning key provisions. Once that final bill is negotiated, I’ll have to look closely at the costs and benefits before I decide how to vote. Both the House and Senate will need to vote on that final bill.

The economy is the other key as we roll into the New Year. We’ve seen more positive signs recently, including an increase in the hiring of temporary workers that usually precedes an uptick in full-time employment.

One of the appropriations bills passed in December extended unemployment benefits and COBRA subsidies through February 2010, an important part of supporting out-of-work Americans.

The House also passed the Jobs For Main Street Act. This bill includes longer extensions for unemployment benefits and COBRA. It also redirects $26.7 billion from the Troubled Asset Relief Program to stabilize public service jobs such as teachers, firefighters and police officers and redirects $48.3 billion to create infrastructure jobs. As of press time, the Senate has not taken action on this bill.

There are also a wide range of local initiatives I’m continuing to work on. We’re getting closer to an agreement to build a veterans cemetery on former Fort Ord land in Monterey County. We’re also nearing the finish line for a new clinic for veterans and active duty members.

I also expect that we’ll see a groundbreaking in the near future on the new Monterey Bay Sanctuary Visitors Center at Pacific and Beach Streets in Santa Cruz. I continue to see the tourism industry as a key to reviving our local economy, and the sanctuary is a big piece of that.

And as always, I encourage readers to write my office and let me know what’s on their minds. They can reach me at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger


Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share


Santa Cruz Gives

A look at the organizations we’re asking you to support in our new holiday giving campaign


Gratitude—For Each New Morning With its Light

The full moon of Wednesday brings light to Thanksgiving (Thursday) under the Sagittarius Sun and Mercury. Mercury in Sag offers humanity the message (Mercury) of thankfulness and joy (Jupiter). No other sign represents food, music and joy better than Sagittarius (only Pisces, when not in despair). Beginning on Thanksgiving, we can list what we’re grateful for. Then we can continue the list, creating a daily Gratitude Journal. What we are grateful for always increases in our lives. On Thanksgiving Saturn/Neptune square (challenging) is in full effect. This can manifest as traditions not being honored, disappearing, falling away. It can also create a sense of sadness, confusion, of things not working out as planned. It’s best to be as simple as possible. And to focus on gratitude instead. Gratitude is a service to others. It is scientifically and occultly a releasing agent. Releasing us from the past, allowing our future—the new culture and civilization, the new Aquarian laws and principles, the rising light of Aquarius, the Age of Friendship and Equality—to come forth. Gratitude and goodwill create the “thought-form of solution for humanity and the world’s problems.” The hierarchy lays great emphasis upon expressing gratitude. Gratitude illuminates all that is in darkness. Let us be grateful during this season together. Being, for others, the light that illuminates the darkness. A Poem by R.W. Emerson: We are grateful … “For each new morning with its light/For rest and shelter of the night/For health and food/For love and friends/For everything thy goodness sends.” (poem by R.W. Emerson). I am grateful for my family of readers.


The New Tech Nexus

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


Pluck of the Irish

Mid-century immigrant tale engagingly told in ‘Brooklyn’
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments


Second Street Café

Pies and tarts for all tastes—from traditional to adventurous


How are you preparing for El Niño?

Getting ready to buy some rain gear. Cory Pickering, Santa Cruz, Teaching Assistant


Fortino Winery

Cabernet and superb fruit wine from Fortino Winery


Tap Dance

West End Tap & Kitchen’s impressive menu to expand to Eastside location