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Apr 19th
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The Ticker

Blunting Hunger Pangs

Blunting Hunger Pangs

WATSONVILLE > Friday discussion aims to spread awareness of CalFresh eligibility

Santa Cruz County has been taking advantage of more food assistance programs than ever over the last few years, but Second Harvest Food Bank thinks that public awareness of available resources could use a boost.

This Friday, May 11, Second Harvest Food Bank will hold an event highlighting the CalFresh program (formerly known as food stamps and now federally known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP). According to a Second Harvest press release, CalFresh is being seriously underutilized.

“Currently, less than 50 percent of eligible Californians are benefiting from this valuable program,” says Second Harvest’s Deborah Yashar in the press release.

Food aid programs in Santa Cruz have been seeing spikes in use over the past several years. In 2003, 32,618 people in Santa Cruz County were served by the Second Harvest Food Bank. By 2010, that number had grown to 52,400.

 

Students benefiting from free or reduced cost school meals have also increased in number—while still below the California average, students receiving these benefits went from 36.4 percent of students to 50.9 percent.

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The Ticker

Fatal Stabbing Information Released

Fatal Stabbing Information Released

SANTA CRUZ > Police have released the identity of the local woman who passed away yesterday, Monday, May 7, due to a brutal stabbing attack. The victim was Shannon Collins, the well-known and beloved co-owner of Camouflage in Downtown Santa Cruz.

Collins, who was 38-years-old, was accosted and repeatedly stabbed on the 300 block of Broadway Street around 11:50 a.m. yesterday. She was pronounced dead on the scene. Police say the suspect, 43-year-old transient Charles Anthony Edwards, hails from San Francisco—where they say he has “an extensive violent criminal history”—and had been in Santa Cruz for about a week. He did not know Collins.    

“After interviews with multiple witnesses, and Mr. Edwards, investigators established that the victim did not know Mr. Edwards,” said a Tuesday SCPD press release. “It appears as though this was a senseless, unprovoked and random attack by Mr. Edwards upon an innocent victim. There is no clear motive.”

Edwards was booked at 9 p.m. Monday and remains in police custody. His photo will be released after the police department has finished conducting photo lineups with witnesses, of which they say there were “a high number.”

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The Ticker

Progress for Project Homeless Connect

Progress for Project Homeless Connect

SANTA CRUZ > Data from the third annual event is in

The variety of offerings at the recent Project Homeless Connect (PHC) included everything from reading glasses and dental screenings to one-on-one assistance and ID cards.

The April 17 event was the third annual installment of PHC—a one-stop shop that crops up once a year to provide a wide range services and support for the growing homeless population in Santa Cruz County.

“Homelessness is a really hot topic in Santa Cruz,” says Samantha Green, research analyst for Watsonville-based nonprofit Applied Survey Research, which organizes the event along with the United Way of Santa Cruz County. Together, the organizations gather 45 service agencies and 450 community volunteers for an eight-hour event that Green says has visibly changed lives.  

 “It’s wonderful to see people who were homeless two years ago who have a home now, who have gained weight, who we can see again, and who can see people who they’ve been helped by,” says Green. “It’s really amazing.”

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CultureBeat

Sunni Side Up

Sunni Side Up

How art can change the world: Renowned poet/activist Sunni Patterson speaks out

Celebrated spoken word artist, poet, and activist Sunni Patterson heads to UC Santa Cruz on Sunday, May 6, to take part in the sixth annual Birth of Word Festival, presented by Rainbow Theater. Prior to her visit, GT caught up with Patterson to discuss her craft, the role of an artist in today’s world, the culture of her hometown, New Orleans, and more.

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The Ticker

Remembering Derby Park

Remembering Derby Park

SANTA CRUZ > Facelift of historic skate park draws local nostalgia, ire, and some hasty negotiations by city officials

The face of one of the first public skate parks in the world is being replaced by four inches of rebar and concrete. Derby Skate Park, which was built in the 1970s, is a landmark of skateboarding history stationed on Santa Cruz’s Westside. Recently, Santa Cruz public officials felt that the timeworn curves and slopes of Derby had become too dangerous to allow.

“Derby Skate Park is undergoing a much needed resurfacing,” says Mauro Garcia, parks superintendent of the City of Santa Cruz. But Garcia noted that the community is, to put it mildly, miffed about the repairs.

“When Zack [Wormhoudt] went to the city to fight for his father’s park, the city told him that the bell had been rung,” says local skater Owen Commons. “[City councilmember] Ryan Coonerty wrote to my brother [and told him] that it was a foregone conclusion.”

 Skaters and community members were angry largely due to what they saw as poor communication by the city regarding the impending repairs. The city has changed tack recently, and has moved to work more closely with the local skating community following the rush of public outrage.

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The Ticker

Cowell Lime Works Botanical Tour

Cowell Lime Works Botanical Tour

SLUG REPORT > Botanical tour of historic district to be given by plant experts and historian

Plant experts Angel Guerzon and Suzanne Schettler and historian Frank Perry will be offering a guided botanical tour of the Cowell Lime Works this Saturday, May 5 on the UC Santa Cruz campus. The leisurely one-mile, two-hour walk will be interspersed with snippets of information from resident experts.

“We’ll be examining the district's garden plants and native vegetation, and learning what they tell us about the historical development of the site,” Perry says.

 

According to Perry, the lime works supplied lime for the building of San Francisco on the heels of the Gold Rush. Facts like these will be par for the course, along with others like “How big does a Monterey Cypress grow in 145 years?” (This answer, and others, will be provided on the tour.)

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The Ticker

A Step in Cancer Research

A Step in Cancer Research

SLUG REPORT >  New database built at UCSC allows for massive data storage, allowing for leap in cancer research

A large-scale data repository has just been built at UC Santa Cruz, bringing cancer researchers one step closer to a truly comprehensive biomedical cancer research database.

Funded by the National Cancer Institute, UCSC’s new Cancer Genomics Hub will allow researchers to manage and analyze the large quantities of gathered data necessary for precision treatment of cancer. UCSC bioinformatics expert David Haussler’s team established the hub, which is in an initial “beta” release.

 

“By providing researchers with comprehensive catalogs of the key genomic changes in many types of cancer, these efforts will support the development of more effective ways to diagnose and treat cancer,” Haussler said in a UCSC press release.

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CultureBeat

Around Town Photos

Around Town Photos

A Dance Flash Mob, organized by Zumba instructors Angell Estrada and Jillian Chesley, excited the crowd at the Downtown Farmers Market at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, April 25.

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Cardinal Grand Cross in the Sky

Following Holy Week (passion, death and burial of the Pisces World Teacher) and Easter Sunday (Resurrection Festival), from April 19 to the 23, the long-awaited and discussed Cardinal Cross of Change appears in the sky, composed of Cardinal signs Aries, Libra, Cancer, and Capricorn, with planets (13-14 degrees) Uranus (in Aries), Jupiter (in Cancer), Mars (in Libra) and Pluto (in Capricorn), an actual geometrical square or cross configuration. Cardinal signs mark the seasons of change, initiating new realities.

 

Sugar: The New Tobacco?

Proposed bill would require warning labels on sugary drinks Will soda and other saccharine libations soon come with a health warning? They will if it’s up to our state senator, Bill Monning (D-Carmel). On Feb. 27, Monning proposed first-of-its-kind legislation that would require a consumer warning label be placed on sugar-sweetened beverages sold in California. SB 1000, also known as the Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Safety Warning Act, was proposed to provide vital information to consumers about the harmful effects of consuming sugary drinks, such as sodas, sports drinks, energy drinks, and sweetened teas.

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of April 17

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >

 

Growing Hope

Campos Seguros combats sexual assault in the Watsonville farmworker community Farm work was a way of life for Rocio Camargo, who grew up in Watsonville as the daughter of Mexican immigrants. Her parents met while working the fields 30 years ago, and her father went on to run Fuentes Berry Farms.
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