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Dec 21st
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Community Fund

Community Fund

Create a sea of change. Begin by learning more about five local nonprofits in our annual Community Fund issue.

Sometimes the best gifts come unwrapped. No curly ribbons or bows. No frills. Often, these gifts come in the form of generosity and kindness—from family and loved ones, or from people we  hardly know at all. All of this factors into the mix of our annual Community Fund issue, in which we shine the spotlight on the very important and vital issue of housing. Look around: Many of us either have close friends or family who have experienced a housing issue, or, we know of people who have been thrust into such challenges. Whether it’s the young adult aging out of foster care or others we know that have been forced onto the streets, housing remains a serious issue in this county. To that end, take note of the five organizations featured on the following pages: Transition Age Youth Program, Habitat for Humanity, Watsonville Law Center, Homeless Services Center, and Pajaro Valley Services Center. The dynamics of these local nonprofits may surprise you, but here’s where you come in: Learn how your own contributions to the Community Fund are more vital now than ever before. One-hundred percent of your contribution goes to the nonprofit of your choice. In addition, the David & Lucile Packard Foundation and Santa Cruz County Bank will match those funds. And be sure to read an additional feature this year, which spotlights the 30th anniversary of the Community Foundation at the bottom. In the meantime, consider giving the gift of making a difference.  | Greg Archer, Editor

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William’s Westside

William’s Westside

How William Ow transformed a colossal chewing gum factory into a promising center for local business

One day, about nine years ago, William Ow stood at the entrance to the former Wrigley’s chewing gum factory on Santa Cruz’s Westside, waiting for his father, George Ow, Jr.

The younger Ow had a big idea that he needed to sell his dad on. He wanted the family real estate business, Ow Family Properties, to buy into a majority of the 385,000-square-foot property and convert it into a bustling, multi-tenant beehive for business. This was a daunting prospect even for the Ows, a prominent local family that, under George’s leadership, has achieved notable success in real estate, but one Ow was hell bent on making happen. He arranged for his father to scope out the building for the first time, and waited for him near the lobby with a small group of other brokers and building owners.

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Good Egg

Good Egg

Santa Cruzan Raquel Cool discusses the pros and cons of the controversial human ovum trade and how she makes a living by donating her eggs.

Standing 5-foot-8-inches, and weighing in at 130 pounds, Santa Cruz resident Raquel Cool hardly stands out in a crowd—but she’s a hot commodity if you’re in the market for human ova. The 27-year-old, college-educated, trilingual triathlete of Chinese-American descent, who was born and raised in Panama, is currently making a living by donating her eggs to couples that cannot conceive by natural means.

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Election Guide 2012

Election Guide 2012

State & National
Santa Cruz
Watsonville
Capitola
Fifth District
Local Measures
State Propositions

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Shots of War

Shots of War

Santa Cruz photojournalist James Clark speaks on his decision to join the Marines, his two deployments to Afghanistan and how he managed to discover the most fascinating understanding of life—through his camera lens

James Clark is only 25 years old. But if you sit and talk with the young local writer and photojournalist you can immediately spot a rare wisdom etched into his face and soulful hazel eyes; wisdom that, for most of us, might typically take a lifetime to absorb or comprehend. For it’s on Clark’s face, and in his expressions, that the ideas of life, death, survival, courage and brotherhood all seem to gather together in one place to create a rare composite of inner knowing that can only come from having served two tours of duty as a Marine in the War in Afghanistan, now into its 11th year.

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Michael Pollan

Michael Pollan

The best-selling author and super food-and-ag champion opens up about the fate of the Farm Bill, GMOs and why big business and politics can taint the soil of modern agriculture. Plus: A rare glimpse at what really fueled the advocate’s career path.

 Every five years, Congress revamps the Farm Bill, which is the major food and agricultural tool that sets policy for a variety of significant matters affecting agriculture, rural development and nutrition programs for low-income individuals. The 2008 Farm Bill expired at the end of September and Congress has yet to give it a green light, mostly due to a bundle of controversies that revolve around tweaks to nutritional programs. Money seems to be the bottom line. Republicans want to make cuts. Democrats object.

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Vote for Bill

Vote for Bill

On the eve of a rare Santa Cruz gig, we probe the mind of Bill Maher and explore how comedy and politics helped send the comedian’s celebrity soaring into one hell of an orbit.

It’s political hunting season and, man, is Bill Maher on the prowl. Of course, this isn’t “breaking” news. The unabashed liberal comedian has fiercely pointed his creative Uzi toward the American political system—and its mixed bag of politicians—for nearly 20 years now. Back in the ’90s, when Comedy Central’s Politically Incorrect first aired (it later moved to ABC), Maher quickly became known for being not just your garden-variety envelope-pusher, but somebody far more crafty (and sane). He was able, through a clever mix of wit, wisdom and insight, to help reinvent the way modern comics and commentators approach the issue of politics and present it to television audiences. In the years that followed, especially when the comic found success on HBO with Real Time With Bill Maher (beginning in 2003), others followed suit. Without Maher, some would argue, the likes of Jon Stewart or Stephen Colbert may not have been so lavishly embraced by the masses.

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Frosty

Frosty

Pleasure Point surfing icon Richard ‘Frosty’ Hesson opens up about being the subject of the soon-to-be-released film, ‘Chasing Mavericks,’ his new book and the importance of enjoying life’s simple pleasures—and enduring its toughest challenges.

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Fall Home & Garden

Fall Home & Garden

Inside:
Cob Together, Right Now, Naturally
The Solar Upgrade
Home Sweet Loan
Love Apple Farms
Tips for your fall and winter garden
Blown Away
Autumn-atic Gardening
‘Brown’ is the new ‘Green’

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What the Fash?

What the Fash?

A look inside fashionART Santa Cruz 2012

It doesn’t take much to convince Santa Cruz residents to dress up—at least in the costumed sense. Any week here could look like Monday, Tuesday, Burning Man, Renaissance Faire, Halloween, Saturday, Sunday (rest, repeat). We will gladly don rabbit ears, a feathered mask or a tablespoon of glitter at the drop of a hat, and fly our freak flag at the most public of venues. However, translate that same practice to a night on the town, or, heaven forbid, daily workaday expression, and many among us tend to be guilty of choosing between “dressy” or “casual” flip-flops. (There’s also the classic barometer, that is thankfully becoming passé, but still bears repeating, if for no other reason than as a cautionary tale: a trip to Shadowbrook Restaurant = wear long pants. Most other destinations = anything goes.)

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Is This a Dream?

A beginner’s guide to understanding and exploring the uncanny world of lucid dreams

 

Giving and Giving, Then Giving Some More

2014 is almost over. Wednesday, Dec. 17, the Jewish Festival of Light, Hanukkah, begins. We are in our last week of Sag and last two weeks of December. Sunday, Dec. 21 is winter Solstice, as the sun enters Capricorn (3:30 p.m. for the west coast). Soon after, the Capricorn new moon occurs (5:36 p.m. for the west coast)—the last new moon of 2014. Sunday morning Uranus in Aries (revolution, revelation) is stationary direct (retro since July 22). Uranus/Aries create things new and needed to anchor the new culture and civilization (Aquarius). We will see revolutionary change in 2015. Capricorn new moon, building-the-personality seed thought, is, “Let ambition rule and let the door to initiation and freedom stand wide (open).” Capricorn is a gate—where matter returns to spirit. But the gate is unseen until the Ajna Center (third eye), Diamond Light of Direction, opens. Winter solstice is the longest day of darkness of the year. The sun’s rays resting at the Tropic of Capricorn (southern hemisphere) symbolize the Christ (soul’s) light piercing the heart of the Earth, remaining there for three days, till Holy Night (midnight Thursday morning). Then the sun’s light begins to rise. It is the birth of the new light (holy child) for the world. A deep calm and stillness pervades the world.The entire planet is revivified, re-spiritualized. All hearts beating reflect this Light. And so throughout the Earth there’s a radiant “impress” (impressions, pictures) given to humanity of the World Mother and her Child. The star Sirius (love/direction) and the constellation Virgo the mother shines above. For gift giving, give to those in need. Give and give and then give some more. This creates the new template of giving and sharing for the new world.

 

The New Tech Nexus

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

 

Stocking Stuffers

The men behind the women of the Kinsey Sicks Dragapella Beautyshop Quartet explain their own special brand of ‘dragtivism,’ and their holiday show at the Rio
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Tramonti Pizza

Why there’s no such thing as too much Italian food in Seabright

 

Guitar or surfboard?

Guitar. The closest thing I ever came to surfing was sliding down a rock hill. Charlie Tweddle, Santa Cruz, Hats and Music

 

Fortino Winery’s Intriguing Charbono

At the opening celebration of the new Santa Clara Wine Trail in August, one of the wineries we visited was Fortino. This is where I first tasted their intriguing estate-grown Charbono—a varietal that is one of the rarest in California, with only 80 acres grown statewide.

 

Beyond the Jar

How Tabitha Stroup has built her rapidly expanding jam empire