.Opinion January 18, 2017


Some people make fun of how the sudden commitment that many of us make to health and fitness in January seems arbitrary—in their minds, it represents a critical level of commitment missing, like if you weren’t exercising in December you don’t deserve to be exercising in January, either.

I’ve never totally understood this, but in any case I’m a firm believer that the New Year’s Resolution is not as arbitrary as it seems. Personally, I find December to be the worst possible month to exercise. Between short days, family commitments around the holidays, bitter cold and rain, last month was an ongoing disaster for my preferred form of exercise, running. That’s true pretty much every year, and every Jan. 1 I start telling myself I’ve got to pull it together again.

This year, I haven’t bounced back with the same quickness I’m used to. (How did I not notice in other Januarys that the days are still short and it’s still really cold?) The slow progress has been so frustrating that it had started to overshadow everything that I like about exercising—enjoying the outdoors, feeling the rush, slipping into a Zen-like state in the afterglow.

Reading this week’s cover story by Andrew Steingrube and the story on laughter yoga by Maria Grusauskas made me stop and take a breath. I had been obsessing so much over results I had forgotten basically everything else about being healthy. I’ve pledged to take it slower, look at a bigger and more complete picture of health and be grateful every day that I’m still here to put one foot in front of the other.



Read the latest letters to the editor here.

Older and Bolder

Re: “Walk the Walk” (GT, 1/11): What a wonderful—yes, empowering—issue is this week’s Good Times!

The cover will go on my study’s wall with other inspiring visuals. And yes, the article on the upWising of activism by Maria Grusauskas is inspiring, informing and so well-written.

But now I need to give a clear and important recommendation to the artist who created and designed the colorful drawing of women on pages 16 and 17 showing us the lovely image of brown, white and beige-skinned young, lean, (with short and long hair of brown and red) with happy faces of women together in striped, polka-dotted, many-colored blouses and shirt styles. Great. But I want to add that many of us activist feminists now have gray and white hair (that is short and long or braided or kinky) and many of us enduring activist women are not lean in shape but round and chubby. So the wonderful diversity of these two pages would have been enhanced by including some images of white and silver-haired women, heavy-built, fat and thin. Age inclusion is Important. (I kept looking—“Where’s Waldo?”—for at least one white-haired sister.)

As an artist (out of the closet) and an activist for more than 60 years, who has become older and bolder, I am totally delighted by this resurgence of grassroots activism and I’m ready to dance in the streets, go to jail (again) and speak Truth to Power. Thank you, Toddler Trump (who was never given boundaries or nurturing as a toddler) for being a catalyst (with your unacceptable cabinet) that is energizing the inner wisdom and righteous indignation among all of us who are paying attention.

“We are each other’s miracle.” (Marge Piercy, novelist and poet).

Muchas gracias for this great issue of Good Times.

Fearless Phyl Greenleaf | Live Oak

Women Rise!

Thanks so very much for the article by Maria Grusauskas on local protests, many led by women, around Trump’s incoming presidency.

Somehow (less intellectually and more intuitively) I feel that women are really going to lead this charge … as they seem to be doing already. When I look at Trump, I see a man I think many men could and do admire. A strong “leader” who, well all right, lies sometimes, but isn’t that just the way to do business?

Yet, for those of us—enlightened men included—who have been looking closely and even not so closely, the insults, the fear mongering, the demeaning and threatened harm, and now actual harm, reflected by the explosive rise of hate crimes in this country (some of which have affected my own friends and family), the appearance of treason, and collusion with Russia, the attacks on the media, press, union leaders and even essayists and movie stars—all erupt like a Pandora’s box of Constitutional and democratic attacks, let loose by this PEOTUS and his cabinet. It is time for women to rise and (taking a lesson from men) assert themselves in ways we never have before.

I am active and will be joining with General Strike downtown on Inauguration Day, Jan. 20 (12 p.m. at clock tower), the Women’s March, locally, on Jan. 21 (1:30 p.m. at City Hall), the national women’s strike, and the flood of actions yet to come, both local and national. In fact, I already have. And I have a feeling the Chump will not be able to withstand this righteous, sweeping, rising tide. Women rise!

Ami Chen Mills-Naim | Santa Cruz


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The flu has been flying around town these past couple of weeks and knocking people on their butts, so the Santa Cruz County Health Department is reminding residents that it isn’t too late to get their vaccine. And if the flu doesn’t worry you, just try remembering the virus by its longer, more scientific and way scarier name: “influenza.”


At least one spiritual leader is welcoming a decision by UCSC to offer free meditation sessions for students and faculty. Rajan Zed, a Hindu statesman from Nevada, released a statement lauding the move. The non-denominational sessions began over the summer and will soon grow to five days a week. No prior meditation experience is needed. Visit news.ucsc.edu for more information.


“It kills me to hear Donald Trump talking.”

-George Takei


  1. I noticed that you collect old sheet music. I have “Santa Cruz” printed in 1922 – written by Elmer McHugh – I imagine of McHugh & Bianchi fame. It is a beautiful song. It’s rather tattered but if you would like, I could mail it to you.


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