Santa Cruz Good Times

Sunday
Aug 02nd
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

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

Health Screening

Santa Cruz wellness expert releases app to improve workplace well-being

 

Leo Sun; Full Moon, Venus Retro in Leo; Saturn Direct

It’s a complex week of planetary movements, challenges, demands and callings. We’re in the time of the Leo Sun. Leo—fixed fire, gold, the heart, generous, strong, noble, the king/queen—needs appreciation and praise from everyone in order to move forward. During Leo we gain a greater sense of self-identification by recognizing our creativity. It’s therefore a perfect time for Venus retrograding in Leo. In Venus retrograde we review and re-assess values. Venus retro in Leo concerns our self as valuable, acknowledging talents, gifts, abilities and offerings. Friday, Venus re-enters Leo (29 degrees, a critical degree) continuing the retrograde to 14 degrees Leo on Sept. 6. Friday (Full Moon) is also the (8 degrees) Leo solar festival, Festival of the Future. Leo is the heart of the sun, the heart of all that matters. When attuned to this heart, we have understanding and inclusivity. The heart of the Lion is Mitra (think “Maitreya,” the coming World Teacher). Leo prepares humanity to receive divine love from subtle sources and later to radiate that love to the kingdoms. Sirius, Ray 2, where love originates, streams through Regulus (heart of Leo), into the heart of the sun (Ray 2) and into all hearts. The heart of Leo is Regulus. Joining Venus, the love underlying all of creation appears. Saturday is Sun/Neptune (confusion or devotion) with late night Saturn turning stationary direct. Ideas, plans and structures held long in abeyance (since March 14) slowly move forward. (Read more on Leo and the week at nightlightnews.org and Risa D’Angeles’ Facebook page, accessed through my website.)

 

The New Tech Nexus

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

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of July 31

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

 

Holy Cannoli

New bakery opens in Ben Lomond, plus Randall Grahm’s quest to grow 10,000 new grape varieties, and Mexican cooking classes

 

Is Santa Cruz turning into Malibu North?

It's got a ways to go before it gets wrecked like Malibu, but I think we need to be very careful about growth. Maria Mattioli, Santa Cruz, Psychotherapist

 

Bargetto Winery

A much-anticipated annual event at Bargetto Winery is the release of their very special La Vita red wine. June 7 was the day to be heralded this year, and I happily squeezed my car into their overloaded car park in eager anticipation of tasting the new La Vita nectar.

 

Margaritaville

Popular Capitola spot gets new owner and complete makeover