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Jan 30th
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SC History

Santa Cruz - SC History

Memory Matters

Memory Matters

Twenty years after the fact, a geologist and a historian say we must not forget

Loma Prieta was a humbling experience for most of us. a reminder of our diminutive stature in the grand scheme of things. I think that remembering events like that is a perfect antidote for our collective hubris; it keeps us honest.—Sandy Lydon, ‘History Dude’

 

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Santa Cruz - SC History

Loma Prieta Earthquake video

Exclusive '89 earthquake footage shot by filmmaker Peter McGettigan.


See all Loma Prieta earthquake articles in the Santa Cruz History section >
Santa Cruz - SC History

Reflections Behind the Lens

Reflections Behind the Lens

Twenty years ago, Chip Scheuer was a photographer for the Pajaronian. He happened to be on the scene after the quake pummeled downtown Santa Cruz. The following is his story—in words and pictures.

THE GROUND WAS STILL SHAKING AS I ran toward a mushroom cloud of black smoke billowing from a home engulfed in flames on Myrtle Street across from the Santa Cruz High School pool. One of the residents was fleeing the inferno and I photographed him as firefighters battled the intense flames.  Approaching Pacific Avenue, I couldn’t believe the devastation. Santa Cruz looked like a bad Japanese science fiction movie—as if a drunken Godzilla had stumbled through the center of town.

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Santa Cruz - SC History

Looking Back Looking Ahead-Remembering Loma

Looking Back Looking Ahead-Remembering Loma

The 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake may have shaken Santa Cruz to the core, but it did one thing and one thing very well—it brought the community together. Here, GT probes the minds of several well-known Cruzans to get a better perspective of how things unravelled back then and … what may lie ahead. (Pictured: Mark Primack on a piece of the old Cooper House.)

What do you remember most? With my family safe and our home secure, I walked the length of Pacific Avenue a half hour after the earthquake. As an architect and Zoning Board Chair, I felt compelled to attempt my own assessment of damages. I didn’t have a camera, so I tried hard to take indelible mental notes on the apparent condition of each building I passed. Those first impressions informed later efforts at housing displaced businesses and saving older buildings. It is those white-knuckled images of cracked and battered buildings that come most clearly to mind when I remember the ’89 quake.

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Santa Cruz - SC History

On That Day

On That Day

We were inundated with essays for The Loma Prieta Earthquake writing contest. This one stood out.

It was 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 17, 1989.   I had one hour left before 30 people would show up at my front door for a meeting on Child Abuse Prevention. Our guest speaker was Diane Siri, the new Superintendent of Schools for the Santa Cruz County Office of Education.  As Board President of the Santa Cruz County Child Abuse Prevention Council, it had taken me months to pull together this gathering of department directors and social service providers. But it was worth it. This was going to be a golden opportunity to integrate the sometimes contentious elements that impacted the life of every foster child in Santa Cruz County.  Ms. Siri would be the spark that ignited this important effort. I could sense the possibility of change. I wanted everything to be perfect.

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Santa Cruz - SC History

Rumblings from the Past

Rumblings from the Past

UCSC class captures earthquake survivors’ recollections in new audio archive

“Twenty minutes before the earthquake, the dog suddenly stopped and just went down, spread-eagle, on the ground, and would not budge … like, holding the earth.”
So spoke one longtime local to the students of “20 Years after Loma Prieta,” a five-week UCSC class that examined the infamous 1989 earthquake’s repercussions on the City of Santa Cruz. Sarah Yahm, a graduate student in the university’s social documentation program, created this class with the goal of creating an audio walking tour of downtown Santa Cruz that would reflect the experiences of locals during and after the quake. The results can be heard at santacruzafterthequake.wordpress.com.

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Santa Cruz - SC History

The Cooperhouse

The Cooperhouse

It was a true crosswalk of Santa Cruz. The location was absolutely perfect, right at the corner of Pacific Avenue and Cooper Street. Notice how even the space in front of O’Neill’s where the Cooperhouse stood, attracts people. If you came here after 1990 or you are under 20 “The Cooperhouse” is only a bunch of old photos and wild stories. Now it’s just a part of Santa Cruz history. It was once our County Courthouse and from June 1972 to 1990 it was the happiest, busiest, gathering, shopping-drinking place (or as we now say, “small locally owned business incubator”) in all of Santa Cruz. For a little while longer, while we older long time residents last, the Cooperhouse will be a bit more important than the Santa Cruz Mission or the vanished bridge at Natural Bridges because it was a real part of our lives.

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Throwing It All Away

Everybody’s for recycling, right? So why are we all doing it wrong? Our reporter gets down and dirty to uncover 10 secrets that will finally make the recycling process make sense

 

Aquarius Calling, Humanity Rising

Aquarius (11th sign after Aries) is the sign of service—serving one another, building community. Aquarius is fixed air, stabilizing new ideas in the world. When new ideas reach the masses the ideas become ideals within the hearts and minds of humanity. Air signs (Gemini, Libra and Aquarius) are mental. They think, ponder, study, research, gather and distribute information. For air signs, education and learning, communicating, writing, being social, tending to money, participating in groups and creating sustainable communities are most important. One of the present messages Aquarius is putting forth to the New Group of World Servers is the creation of the New Education (thus thinking) for humanity—one based not on commodities (banking/corporate values) but on virtues. Humanity and Aquarius Aquarius is the sign of humanity itself. We are now at the beginnings of the Age of Aquarius, the Age of Humanity (rising). The “rising” is the Aquarian vision of equality, unity, the distribution and sharing of all resources and of individual (Leo) creative gifts for the purpose of humanity’s (Aquarius) uplifting. This is the message in the Solar Festival of Aquarius (at the full moon) on Tuesday, Feb. 3. We join in these visions by reciting the World Prayer of Direction, the Great Invocation.Tuesday’s solar festival follows Monday’s Groundhog Day, or Imbolc (ancient Celtic fire festival) the halfway mark between winter solstice and spring Equinox). The New Group of World Servers (NGWS) during these two days are preparing for the upcoming Three Spring Solar Festivals: 1. Aries Resurrection/Easter Festival (April); 2. Taurus Buddha/Wesak Festival (May); and 3. Gemini’s Festival of Humanity (June). Aquarius and the new and full moons together are the primary astrological influences behind all of humanity’s endeavors. The NGWS are to teach these things, calling and uplifting humanity. Join us everyone. (301)

 

The New Tech Nexus

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

 

Job Insecurity

Woman fights for her job in thoughtful, life-sized ‘Two Days One Night’
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