Unless you plan to trek to the mountains any time soon for some white wonder, you may want to consider attending Snow Night this year. It comes to life around dusk on Thursday, Dec. 6 in Downtown Santa Cruz. The popular outing typically draws a large crowd and is always festive. This year: 35 tons of snow will be dropped on the corner of Cooper Street and Pacific Avenue. Snowball making is encouraged. Bring gloves. Wear boots. Don a scarf. Have a ball. (Learn more at downtownsantacruz.com.)
Nature calls in a different way in this week’s cover story, in which we once again explore the fertile ground behind the Food Justice movement. In this case, it all revolves around the persistent and adventurous efforts of Santa Cruzan Maya Salsedo, who has nabbed national honors for launching a food bill of rights manifesto unlike any other. Learn more about how Salsedo’s personal history helped fuel her committment to not only creating change in local food systems, but also how it is now inspiring youth to do similar things within their own communities. We need more souls like this creature. Read on …
Elsewhere, be sure to learn more about a summit designed to explore how to end homelessness in the area. What’s at stake? More importantly, what will it take to generate real change? Turn to News to learn more.
Over in Film, Lisa Jensen gives us her take on the new historic drama, Anna Karenina. Does it measure up to all the hype?
What’s left? How about a few causes to support this time of year. Learn more about Second Harvest Food Bank’s “Plate for Kate” program at thefoodbank.org. And it’s best to once again remind everyone of this year’s Community Fund. Learn how you can contribute to one (or more) of five very special nonprofits making a difference in the lives of locals.
Thanks for reading.
Onward we go …
Greg Archer | Editor-in-Chief
Letters to the Editor
Blinded By The Light
I want to second, and double the intensity of, a recent letter’s sentiments about the new bright white street lights: I loathe them. They destroy Westcliff at night, casting a ghastly fluorescent pallor on the water’s surface and dimming the healthy glow of the full moon. I’m sure there’s some money or energy-saving rationalization for this choice, but I’m equally certain that there is a way to make the light less aesthetically offensive.
These street lights are beginning to appear everywhere. I can perhaps see why it might make sense to illuminate thoroughfares like Delaware to look like daylight (although one of the lights from Delaware glares annoyingly into my backyard—and I would be infuriated if the light right outside my house were replaced with the new bulbs! Why aren’t more homeowners protesting when their immediate environments are so adversely affected?). But I particularly can’t understand why we would tolerate making Westcliff Drive ugly. It’s one of our local treasures.
Replacing the soft yellow street lights with these eyesores changes the tenor of the evenings, in our neighborhoods, and particularly on Westcliff, where people often go to appreciate the stars and moon over the water. These white lights don’t just affect our local community—they have been known to disorient animals and they emit a blue glow that ruins viewing of the night sky, not just for casual appreciators like me, but for professional astronomers in observatories. There must be others out there who agree with my strong objections to these lights—let’s do something to influence decisions that affect the aesthetics of our outdoor spaces.
Westside Santa Cruz
On ‘Hoop Dreams’ and the Santa Cruz Warriors …
I am so happy Santa Cruz has made this happen. I am looking forward to professional basketball in my backyard. Thank you to the open minds that didn’t get caught in the mire of this town’s usually glacially slow decision- making process. Hooray for our team. Go SC Warriors!
On ‘Let’s Talk About Sex’ …
Thank goodness we have such a beacon of sanity and curiosity around sexuality and desire in our community. Thank you Dr. Amy Cooper for creating a safe and approving container for us to talk about such an important aspect of our lives.
GT offices will be closed Monday, Dec. 24 through Tuesday, Jan. 1 in observance of Christmas and New Year’s. Deadlines for Dec. 20 issue are: Display, Class Display and Classified ads and Calendar listings: 4 p.m. Wednesday, Dec. 12. Deadlines for Dec. 27 issue: Display, Class Display and Classified ads and Calendar listings; 4 p.m., Friday, Dec. 14. Deadline for Jan. 3 issue: Display, Class Display and Classified ads: 3 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 18. Calendar: noon, Tuesday, Dec. 18.