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Apr 24th
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Cover Stories

Cover Stories - Cover Stories

Compost: Recycling's Last Frontier

Compost: Recycling's Last Frontier

Food waste is collected in more than 100 American communities. When will Santa Cruz County get on board? 

There they stand, proffering fistfuls of carrot peels, zucchini tops and kale stems, scanning the kitchen in bewilderment.

“Where’s the compost bin?”

Any Santa Cruz County household that has hosted guests from San Francisco—or Portland, Ore., Seattle or a number of other American cities—may be familiar with the scene.

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The Gen X/Gen Y Generation Gap

The Gen X/Gen Y Generation Gap

Every 20 years, Time magazine depicts people in their 20s as "lazy, entitled, selfish and shallow." This time the target is the Millennial generation (Americans born between roughly 1980 and 2000, with Baby Boomer parents). According to (cough, cough) the Boomer-run media, twentysomethings/Gen Y/Millennials are narcissists.

Whatever.

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Hope Amidst Ruin

Hope Amidst Ruin

Local humanitarian and photojournalist Alekz Londos captures a powerful look at relief and despair in the aftermath of Super Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines

At first glance, Alekz Londos may appear to be like other Santa Cruzans. He’s healthy, boasts a tremendous amount of creativity and has a strong desire to contribute something valuable to society. But the 33-year-old is definitely in a category all his own. Equal parts bold humanitarian and intrepid daredevil, Londos’ relief efforts in the Philippines in the wake of Super Typhoon Haiyan (also known as Typhoon Yolanda) in November of 2013 makes him one of the more visible agents of change, both locally and internationally.

Typhoon Haiyan devastated Southeast Asia and the Philippines in particular. More than 6,200 people were reportedly killed and more than 1,780 people went missing. Cost of the devastation: $1.5 billion. It is the deadliest Philippines typhoon on record.

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11 Things You Should Know About Steve Martin

11 Things You Should Know About Steve Martin

The popular icon hits Santa Cruz and dives into some unforgettable bluegrass with the Steep Canyon Rangers*

Steve Martin’s celebrity really took flight back in the 1970s. Then a sharp, unforgettable stand-up comic, the man’s absurdist humor and talented musicianship became something to savor. Nearly four decades later, after establishing himself as a major box office draw, Martin’s orbit remains intact—but for reasons that might have eluded other performers of his generation. For starters, he managed to learn that cookie-cutter Hollywood films may not be the best way to (always) go and, instead, turned to matters of the heart. In his case, that was a deep love of music and performance. Blend all that into his already prolific writing and acting career—among other creative proclivities—and you get the sense that these days, Martin isn’t so much about staying “relevant” as he is giving birth to, and nurturing, good, memorable work. On the eve of a much-anticipated Santa Cruz outing with bluegrass besties the Steep Canyon Rangers, we dissect the icon as he shares a variety of bons mots. Behold: 11 Things You Should Know About Steve Martin …

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Water, Water, Water

Water, Water, Water

Savor every drop. Despite forecasts for rain, California remains in a state of drought emergency. Officials weigh on the steps being made to generate solutions

California is running out of water.

It’s rare to go anywhere within recent weeks without hearing Chicken Little-like proclamations about the state’s dwindling water supplies. While much of the East Coast and the Midwest has been pounded with snowfall this winter, California has struggled with what experts say is the least amount of rainfall in more than 150 years. The state is now in its third year of severe drought, the worst on record.

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One Year Later

One Year Later

On Feb. 26, 2013, Sgt. Loran ‘Butch’ Baker and Detective Elizabeth Butler lost their lives in the line of duty. One year later, in the midst of heightened awareness around local crime and safety, the Santa Cruz community continues the collective healing process

Wednesday Feb. 26 marks the one-year anniversary of the fatal shootings of Sgt. Loran "Butch" Baker and Detective Elizabeth Butler. Members of the wider Santa Cruz County community will likely be reflecting on the lives of the Santa Cruz police officers, the loss of which, coupled with an immense sadness for their deaths and heightened concern for public safety, have kindled a profound sense of emotional solidarity locally. 

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Bigger, Bolder, Louder

Bigger, Bolder, Louder

Muralist Taylor Reinhold’s dynamic push for public art gains speed

For muralist Taylor Reinhold, art is more than a talent or a trade. It’s a lifestyle.

Nearly everything in his small home in the Soquel hills is the product of someone’s artistic ability, from paintings that cover every inch of wall to the ceramic cups he drinks from and the screen-printed T-shirts hanging in his bedroom closet. Mixed in with pieces that belong to Reinhold’s own portfolio of vivid, street-art-inspired paintings are contributions from his robust network of artists. The crew of local creatives, which officially launched in 2009 but whose members go back much further, is known as the Made Fresh Collective (MFC).

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Tales of the Vine

Tales of the Vine

How gonzo journalist Rak Razam met his maker in the Peruvian Amazon—and lived to tell about it   

In the summer of 2006, an Australian journalist named Rak Razam ventured to South America to put together a story on Amazonian shamanism for Australian Penthouse. In the thick of the Peruvian jungle, he repeatedly drank ayahuasca, a powerful psychedelic tea made from a vine called Banisteriopsis caapi and plant leaves containing the hallucinogenic compound DMT. Legally recognized by the Peruvian government as a sacred medicine and a national treasure, ayahuasca is said to detoxify the body and mind and imbue its drinkers with a sense of connection to the Divine.

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Surveillance City?

Surveillance City?

Santa Cruz officials, locals and others weigh in on implementing Automatic License Plate Readers   

It had been a bright day in September and the clocks were striking 8 p.m. “You’ve had a long day,” said the man in the police uniform. It was Sept. 10, 2013, and the Santa Cruz City Council was about to hear Deputy Chief of Police Steve Clark request that a $37,000 Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) from the Bureau of Justice be approved to purchase Automatic License Plate Readers (ALPRs) for the Santa Cruz Police Department (SCPD).

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Best Shot

Best Shot

Two local wedding photographers prove that love and creativity are a powerful mix

It may not be News at 11, but it’s worth noting—especially during wedding planning season —that love sparks creativity. (And, quite often the other way around, too.)

That has certainly been the case for one young, local couple, Jeff and Doriana Hammond, who, after just a few months of meeting in Santa Cruz County back in 2009, fell in love—and then tossed aside their conventional “day jobs” for a creative stint in El Salvador, which lasted nearly a year.

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Best of Santa Cruz County 2014

The 2014 Santa Cruz County Readers' Poll Come on in, and have a look around. There’s a lot to see—hundreds of winners selected by thousands of GT readers across Santa Cruz County. So if some of this looks familiar, it’s probably because you helped make it happen. But there are always new things to discover, too—you could go to a different winner or runner-up every day in the Food and Drink category alone, and you’d be booked just about until next year’s Best of Santa Cruz County issue comes out.

 

Something Essential Disappears

Lunar and solar eclipses follow one another. Lunar eclipses occur at full moons, and solar eclipses at new moons. Two weeks ago at the full moon we had the blood red moon—a total lunar eclipse (the next one is Oct. 8). On Monday night, April 28 (new moon), as the Sun, Moon and Earth align, a solar eclipse (Sun obscured) occurs. Eclipses signify something irrevocably is changed in our world. The Sun is our essential life force. Monday’s new moon, 9 degrees Taurus, is also an annular solar eclipse when the Moon moves centrally in front of the Sun, yet does not cover the Sun completely. The Sun's outer edges, still visible, form a “ring of fire” around the Moon.

 

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

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Palate-Stretching 101

A wine education with Soif’s experts As a veteran of many weekend wine “seminars” at Soif, I have to confess that I’ve never known less (going in) and learned more (coming out) than I did last week at the Spanish Wine Tasting with ace rep Brian Greenwood. These are classy, casual events and it’s hard to imagine having this much flavor fun anywhere for $20.

 

Martin Ranch Winery

Sauvignon Blanc 2011 One of my favorite wines is Sauvignon Blanc, and this one made by Martin Ranch is particularly lovely. Bright, crisp and refreshing, it’s perfect to pair with fish and shellfish—and good for picnics as it has an easy screw-cap bottle. There’s nothing worse than setting down your blanket, pulling out your sandwiches—and then realizing you don’t have a corkscrew.

 

Foodie File: Red Apple Cafe

Breakfast takes center stage at Gracia Krakauer's Red Apple Cafe Before they moved to Aptos, Gracia and her husband Dan Krakauer would visit friends in Santa Cruz County and eat at the Red Apple Café all the time. Then they moved up here from Santa Monica five years ago, and bought the Aptos location (there’s a separate one in Watsonville) from the family who owned it for two decades.

 

How would you feel about a tech industry boom in Santa Cruz?

I feel like it would ruin the small old-town feeling of Santa Cruz. It wouldn’t be the same Surf City kind of vacation town that it is. Antoinette BennettSanta Cruz | Construction Management