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May 6-13, 2009

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Reinventing

IN THE LAST 15 years, Santa Cruz has experienced a renaissance from a traumatized, earthquake-hobbled community and recaptured its identity. It seemed like a good time for this newspaper to do the same. We were tired of being confused with the bus company. And it was time to cut the ties to the mother ship.

Metro Santa Cruz was born as a spinoff of a paper in the mostly landlocked county next door. That publication had been started by Santa Cruzans who had ventured over the hill and wanted to come home. The company's style and heritage was always more Santa Cruz than Silicon Valley; it had been conceived and incorporated in Santa Cruz, owned by shareholders who lived in or had roots in Santa Cruz. Nonetheless, the metropolitan flavor of the name never fit well with the character of Santa Cruz, so it was time to shed it.

It may be a bold move to Wednesday-punch our readers with a new name without notice. Some astute followers may have suspected something was up when we added the word "weekly" to our logo a few issues ago and then last week the word "Metro" started sliding off the page. We hope the energy and thinking that inspired this rebranding will provide a fertile field for Santa Cruz's artists and writers.

At a transformative moment in the publishing industry, we've adopted a decidedly newspaper-y name to express our optimism about weekly print. From a business standpoint, the last two years have been our best ones, which is counterintuitive. We appreciate the strong support we've gotten from the community. We are committed to quality and not debt-laden from buyouts like most big publishers these days. As one of the Bay Area's last owner-operated publishing companies, we're as local as it gets. Our staff and owners live, work and play here, which keeps us connected.

The handsome, classic look developed in-house by a design team led by Kara Brown is part of a broader reinvention that will allow us to deliver information to readers throughout the week. You'll find us on the web at SantaCruz.com, on Facebook at SantaCruzFB.com, on Twitter as santacruzweekly. Our goal is to deliver Santa Cruz County's best suite of local information and marketing services to Santa Cruz residents, visitors and businesses.

Please drop us an email or comment on your favorite web service to let us know how we're doing.

 Traci Hukill, editor
Dan Pulcrano, executive editor

 

Utter Paleness

HONESTLY, did you not notice that practically every photo ("Faces of Santa Cruz," Cover Story, April 29) was that of a white person? I was saddened that page after page highlighted one white person after another. For those who read this and may either be (1) annoyed by this observation or (2) running back to re-look at the pages to confirm this fact, please understand that the media influences so much of our reality. If one were to use this publication as a reflection of our society then it would look like people of color played little or no role in the make-up and leadership of this county (after all, isn't Metro Santa Cruz a countywide publication or only a city publication?). The point is simple. For all you you white people who have put "Yes we Can" Obama stickers on your cars, please remember, we notice when you neglect us. Honestly, the only good thing that came out of this issue was an example of neglect that I was able to use as a teaching took to my 10-year-old daughter about how media makes us, people of non-white descent, invisible. Yep, you did it again.

Tajin Ramos,
Watsonville

Typical Maleness

THE PHOTOS of well-known Santa Cruz people are a nice feature, but as usual there are 37 men and only 21 women. Couldn't you have featured at least as many fabulous Santa Cruz women? It is discouraging that here in our usually very liberated community, our local media still fall into the old ways of unconsciously (we hope) reflecting a man's world.

Kim Tyler,
Santa Cruz

Subjects, Not Lords

RICHARD VON BUSACK'S commentary on nature documentaries ("Animal Planet," Film, April 22) is excellent. My husband and I are old people in our eighties who get through our morning stiffness and grogginess by watching Jack Hanna's program, even though we've seen the programs at least twice. We enjoy Vida Salvaje on the Gala channel, even though we can't understand Spanish. The photography is amazing.

I wonder if the multitude of nature programs and movies is helping people to realize that humans are the dominant animal on this planet and are agents of profound change. We humans behave just like all life forms. We are consuming all the available energy and matter on this planet in order to have the ability to reproduce ourselves and to fulfill our biological needs and human desires. We have an economic system that follows this biological imperative. It's called consumerism. We are urged by the financial industry and the Holy Economy to be consumers. Presently we are trapped into "restoring a healthy economy and making the economy grow" by enabling people to go into debt and buy more stuff. This trap forces us to continue to plunder the planet that is running out of oil, water and other resources.

This worldwide consumerist economy (a.k.a. capitalism) did give a lot of people very affluent life styles for a while, but it has never assured to every child on this planet the opportunity to have the resources and social care needed in order to achieve a healthy adulthood. Nor does the worldwide economy prevent millions of people lacking enough food, shelter, health care and education to lead a decent life. Millions of poor people. Who knows, perhaps a billion of the more than six billion humans living on this planet today are living very difficult if not miserable lives.

Can we change and create a sustainable and steady state economy that puts humanity in balance with the limited resources on our planetary home? We are within nature, part of nature, not apart from nature. We have obeyed the biological imperative to be fruitful and multiply, but another part of our biological human nature is the cultural ability to think about what we are doing and to choose to try and do them differently.

Patricia Rayne,
Aptos


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