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Dec 22nd
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Cover Stories

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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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Please Stand By

Please Stand By

Dynamic, enterprising and inventive, Community Television of Santa Cruz County weathers the modern media storm but still faces an uncertain future

This past May, YouTube turned 7 years old. To mark its birth, the Official YouTube Blog proudly announced that 72 hours of video are uploaded to the site every minute. Though it seems that now, more than ever before, individuals are creating videos with their smartphones, digital cameras, and computers with the purpose of sharing their footage with as many people as possible via the Internet, YouTube’s success has one local nonprofit scratching its head.

For nearly 18 years, Community Television of Santa Cruz County has been putting locally made videos on the air via three area channels. Whether those videos were produced onsite at its Pacific Avenue studio or produced elsewhere, CTV will air “anything that’s not illegal” and stream it on its website, Keith Gudger, vice chair of CTV, says with a laugh.

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The Art of Awareness

The Art of Awareness

A community of local visionary artists is making higher consciousness visible

As I step inside a cave-like structure on Soquel Avenue, a burly, tattooed man glances up from a laptop computer. He’s heavily peacocked in exotic jewelry and space-age gypsy/tribal rock star clothing, and there’s a sizeable splash of blue-green dye in the punky plumage erupting from his scalp. It’s an impressive look: Picture a Road Warrior character whose battle gear has been given a lysergic acid patina.

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Putting the "U" Back in Tourist

Putting the

The “T” word. You’ve muttered it under your breath after witnessing an ill-advised left turn, while shaking your head at an unwieldy load of beach paraphernalia, or maybe when overhearing someone declare “I can see Hawaii!” while pointing straight at Moss Landing. The “T” word is an easy catchall for behaviors we don’t deem local. It’s not flattering. However, anyone who understands, even in the most general terms, the concept of our tourism-based local economy and tax dependency will keep these mutterings to a minimum. Taken a step further, those lucky enough to travel and explore the world outside of our awe-inspiring climes recognize the joy of being the tourist (the definition of which, contrary to popular opinion, is not “one who takes my street parking” but is actually “one who travels for leisure, recreation or relaxation”).

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Santa Cruz Was In His Heart

Santa Cruz Was In His Heart

In an excerpt from his forthcoming book, Geoffrey Dunn chronicles the life of his late friend, Godofredo ‘Freddy’ Alnas—and a dark and forgotten chapter in Santa Cruz County history

Why was America so kind and yet so cruel?
It was like going to war with other soldiers;
some survived death, but could not survive life.
-Carlos Bulosan, America Is in the Heart

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Quantum Fashion

Quantum Fashion

In the Eye of the Storm
... our bravest archetypes "dress it up"
The Daredevils
The Burners
The Animal Activist
The Goddess
The Lovers
The Cyclist
The Cool Chick
Surfer-Hipster-Sk8R
The Non-Conformist
The Techie
The Performer
The Hunk


Words and concept by Greg Archer. Photo shoot design by Stripe Design Group.
Photos by Keana Parker

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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