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Jul 28th
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Best of the Rest

Best2_rest_seabright_beachBeach
SEABRIGHT
Smack in the middle of Santa Cruz, in the sunny belt of the Seabright neighborhood, Seabright Beach is (once again) your top pick for sunbathing and sand revelry. Around the bend from both the Santa Cruz Harbor and the Boardwalk, it’s got easy access to all your family’s needs. Fourth of July fireworks mayhem and lights show? Check. A Museum of Natural History for a little education across the street? Check. Ample bars and eateries along the Seabright strip for your post-beach volleyball indulgence? Check. When you want to wet yourself before you wreck yourself, you do it right—you do it at Seabright. TAKE NOTE: Because the old Scholl-Mar Castle used to sit at the entrance to the beach from 1928-1967, some local elders know it as “Castle Beach.” | Linda Koffman
Runners-up Cowell’s, Capitola, 16th

Click Read More for all the rest>

Computer Training
CRUZIOBestOof2010icon
Always a champion in this category, Cruzio wins points for its knowledgable employees and great variety of learning opportunities—from hands-on trainings with no more than 10 students to classes that educate you onto build your own website and so much more. Dig in at cruzio.com. TAKE NOTE: Each month, Cruzio hosts a number of classes, many at affordable rates. An upcoming one that captured our interest: May 4’s “Plan Your Web Presence” or “One Night Website.” | Charlie Price
Runners-up Cabrillo College,
Wilkin Computers, Gary’s Computers

(Worst) Eyesore
HOMELESS ON PACIFIC

True, America might be able to do so much more for its homeless population, but I’d venture to guess we’re actually much more grateful than we let on. And while the homeless may be considered an “eyesore” on Pacific Avenue in Santa Cruz, it might be a good idea to thank our lucky stars that we don’t have to walk through downtown Baghdad to get our triple decaf lattes or designer bags at specialty stores. In other words: Can’t hurt to keep things in perspective.
TAKE NOTE: The 2009 Santa Cruz County Homeless Census and Survey notes that the number of homeless people in Santa Cruz County at any given time is close to 4,600, or about 2 percent of the total population. | CP
Runners-up Downtown Santa Cruz,
County Building, Gang Graffiti

Green Service Painter
T. PAUL SEK PAINTINGBestOof2010icon
A double win! The business is the first certified green painting contractor in the Monterey Bay Area and, clearly, it’s captured the interest of readers here seeking painting alternatives. Some standouts: Well, all of the products TPS uses are non-toxic—either Zero-VOC or Ultra Low “volatile organic compounds” (VOC). Plus, a vast amount of the products it uses are considered “food grade” by the FDA. Beyond that, there’s the devotion and professionalism owners T. Paul and Debbie Sek offer.  TAKE NOTE: A number of harmful gases can be emitted by “conventional” paints, stains and solvents. Prolonged contact with these “volatile organic compounds” (VOC) may cause cancer to the liver and kidneys and damage the central nervous system. | CP
Runners-up (Green)  Go Green Cab, Greenspace, Ecology Action  (Painter) Sharon Medler,
Cat Anderson Painting, Phil Matthews

Hottest Trend
GOING GREENBestOof2010icon
Many economic strides have been made over the last decade, so let’s hand out some kudos to some local businesses that are generating new possibilities by going “green.” They include: L’Atellier Salon, Granite Construction, Lorri Kershner Design, The Center for Conscious Living, Inner Light Ministries, Seascape Resort, Chaminade, Terra Nova Landscaping, O’Neill Sea Odyssey—the list goes on. At the very least, change your lightbulbs to fluorescent bulbs and bookmark Ecology Action’s website, ecoact.org, to absorb as many environmentally rich details as you can. Carry on, Eco Patriots! TAKE NOTE: Use low VOC paint for your office and bring your own coffee cup. It’s time we had a reality check on going green. But until we find ways to create better linkages to major employers in the region (read Silicon Valley) and encourage the development of startups, and small businesses as well as quality retail and services on this side of the hill, we're not really making major headway on our carbon footprint when thousands of us drive more than 50 miles a day to work during the week, and shop on the weekends.  | Tammy Patterson
Runners-up Skinny Jeans, 80s Fashion, Buying Local

Best2_rest_dannyLocal Hero
DANNY KEITHBestOof2010icon
He nabbed a Nextie Award this year—and countless other awards over the past two years—for his enterprising efforts launching and overseeing Grind Out Hunger. Keith works with local school kids, encouraging them to know more about hunger issues in the county and how they can help combat it. His tenacity with the issue, coupled with bold moves he’s made partnering with Second Harvest Food Bank, make this local hunger fighter your best local hero. Learn more about Danny Keith and Grind Out Hunger at grindouthunger.org.
TAKE NOTE: Keith is one of the hosts of “Morning Madhouse” on KDON. | Greg Archer
Runners-up Ryan Coonerty, Jack O’Neil, Zach Friend

Local Mover & Shaker Politician
RYAN COONERTY
BestOof2010icon
Ryan Coonerty has been busy working to better Santa Cruz. As Vice Mayor and presumed future mayor of Santa Cruz for his second go-around, he keeps fighting the good fight while making sure to keep his toes dipped in the family’s business, Bookshop Santa Cruz, and at NextSpace, the mecca of innovation that Ryan co-founded in 2008. Ryan also recently authored a book for National Geographic entitled “Etched in Stone,” chronicling great words found in monuments around the country. All this business has made Ryan the poster boy for a young generation turning to civic and community involvement—and inspiring us all to ask: What’s NEXT?  TAKE NOTE: Professor Ryan imparts lessons of constitutional law and civil liberties up on the Hill. | Chip

Runners-up (Mover & Shaker) Hilary Bryant, Danny Keith, Kirby Scudder  (Politician) Sam Farr, Mike Rotkin, John Laird

 

Best2_rest_campusPlace To Learn New Things
CABRILLO COLLEGE BestOof2010icon
It’s one of about 110 public California colleges, but we suspect that you, and its 13,000 students dig it because A) it’s affordable and B) it’s conveniently situated right along Soquel Drive in Aptos. It doesn’t hurt that a multi-million dollar make-over helped give the college a nice facelift and offer new spaces, particularly the dashing performing arts theater. That’s enough to earn an A. Learn more at cabrillo.edu. TAKE NOTE: Cabrillo just launched its “Green Steps” program, which is designed to make the campus more “green” with a  goal of reducing Cabrillo’s energy use by 15 percent below 2000-01 levels. | GA
Runners-up Library, Nourish, SC Integrative Medicine & Chi Center


Political Issue
HEALTHCARE BestOof2010icon
What came first, the pain or the payment? This past year has seen plenty of headaches over a groundbreaking healthcare debate. But while all the political talk was brewing, Anthem Blue Cross was reeling in the dough. This week 800,000 Californians will hear if the state’s largest for-profit insurer will get to cash in on the fare hikes it tried to implement in the new year. On May 1, an official actuary report will announce if the insurance companies’ rates for individual policy holders will indeed increase up to 39 percent after public outcry caused a freeze on the price changes faster than you can say ‘Poizner.’ The rumble in California did, at least, help tip the scale in Obama’s favor to enact healthcare reform. But whichever side of the line you’re on, we can all agree that keeping your body from breaking shouldn’t break your wallet. TAKE NOTE: An estimated 30 million people who currently lack health care will now have access to coverage. | LK
Runners-up Gay Marriage, Homeless, Economy

Student Hangout
CAFFE PERGOLESI BestOof2010icon
True, it’s dubbed “the oldest coffeehouse in Santa Cruz” but it welcomes some of the youngest population the city has—students. What’s the allure? The art? The music? The java, teas and brews? Sure. But true fascination may be just the  “vibe,” a delicious balancing act of post-apocalyptic hip assertiveness by way of laid-back arty progressiveness. All that, coupled with a fine downtown location, plenty of rooms to study and lounge in—this is an old Victorian, after all—make the Perg perf. TAKE NOTE: The Perg gets its moniker from the revered 16th century Italian composer, Bustimonte Pergolesi. | CP
Runners-up The Abbey, Red Room, Asana

Website for Local 411
GOOD TIMES BestOof2010icon
Aw … shucks! And thanks. We’ve been steadily improving the site over the last year. Now, you can find a bundle of blogs—from that Slug Report to Action Sports—and original, and, can we say, award-worthy, videos on GTv. There’s plenty to peruse. All that, plus original editorial content and the most extensive local calendar sections around. Of course, online versions of stories from our print edition are on hand, too, all the week’s events, movie listings, music listings, dining reviews and astrology from Best Astrologer, Risa D’Angeles. Thanks for the nod. And thanks for reading. Experience more at goodtimessantacruz.com. TAKE NOTE: More than 4,000 GT readers voted online in this year’s Best of Santa Cruz County Readers Poll. | GA
Runners-up Cruzio, birthsantacruz.com, Google

Nonprofit Organization (TIE)
SECOND HARVEST FOOD BANK,
SAVE OUR SHORES
BestOof2010icon
A tie. And a good one. The mission of Second Harvest is “to end hunger and malnutrition by educating and involving the community.” Today, Second Harvest distributes 7.4 million pounds of food per year to local hungry families, children, individuals and seniors in our community through 180 agencies and programs—more than half of the food distributed is fresh fruits and vegetables). By using 95 cents of every dollar to fund programs, Second Harvest is one of the most efficient nonprofits in Santa Cruz County. Volunteers drive this exceptional nonprofit with a 10 to 1 ratio of hours worked providing the true community connection. In the last few years Second Harvest has not only serviced the needs of food distribution, but has also championed nutrition as part of its programs to educate the community around eating healthier. Visit thefoodbank.org. TAKE NOTE: Launched in 1972, The Food Bank was the first in California and is the second oldest in the nation. It began in a parking lot, distributing food to groups operating the Breakfast For Kids programs. Meanwhile, Save Our Shores has made just as many creative strides. Its mission is to “care for the marine environment through ocean awareness, advocacy, and citizen action.” It was instrumental in creating the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary in 1992, working up and down the coast of California to prevent offshore oil rigs and setting guidelines for sewer outflow management and education of children to be aware of how debris in the ocean affects marine life. Save Our Shores has always been creative on how to include the community in the caretaking of ocean health, from lobbying Congress (with the support of Leon Panetta), creation of the DockWalker program working with boaters, Annual Beach Cleanup day supported by thousands of volunteers, coordinated efforts with Surfrider, Pack Your Trash and most recently, the Adopt-A-Beach program. Currently Save Our Shores works through three channels; Plastic Pollution Initiative, Clean Boating Initiative and Ocean Awareness Initiative. Visit saveourshores.org for more info or to get involved.  TAKE NOTE: It was founded in 1978 by concerned citizens to prevent oil rigs from being placed off the Central Coast. | Danny Keith
Runners-up Boy Scouts

Best of 2010 Index:
Best of Santa Cruz Shops
>
Best Arts, Entertainment & Nightlife>
Best Food & Drink>
Best Health & Fitness>
Best Professionals>
Critics’ Picks>

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