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May 24th
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Finding Freedom in Prison

Finding Freedom in Prison

From despair to hope. An inside look at the local men whose sea-changing efforts offer prisoners a voice and an opportunity to make significant personal transformations.

The facts are staggering. Between 1982 and 2000, California’s prison population grew by 500 percent, according to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR). The CDCR spends almost $11 billion annually, funding 70,000 employees to oversee and supervise inmates at 33 state prisons at an average cost of $49,000 per prisoner. No other country incarcerates a higher percentage of its population than the United States. Equally disconcerting is that within the gray walls of these monolithic structures, the voices, stories and rights of prisoners are rarely heard or acknowledged.

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Santa Cruz Is in the Heart

Santa Cruz Is in the Heart

An inside look at the creative adventures of prolific local writer-filmmaker Geoffrey Dunn. Why his three new books and big MAH exhibit are poised to showcase Santa Cruz history in the most captivating light.

Nearly a quarter-century ago, Santa Cruz writer and filmmaker Geoffrey Dunn released a collection of his writings in a volume entitled “Santa Cruz Is in the Heart,” the first edition of which sold out in a few weeks and which has gone into a phenomenal six printings over the years. Dunn’s writings, with their unique mixture of personal reminiscences and observations, along with their revelatory accounts of regional history, capture the zeitgeist of our community as few others ever have.

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The Napolitano Complex

The Napolitano Complex

What does the arrival of the former U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security at the helm of the UC mean for higher education in California?

In September, Janet Napolitano will leave her post as the United States' Secretary of Homeland Security in Washington D.C. and head west to Oakland, Calif., where she will assume duties as the 20th president of the University of California system.

As she prepares to take the reins of one of the nation's most prestigious institutions of higher learning, her background as the chief administrator of the world's most powerful surveillance and security organization promises to be her greatest strength—and quite possibly her greatest weakness.

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Wild About Willie

Wild About Willie

Man, myth, country music legend Willie Nelson descends upon Santa Cruz. The story you’ve been waiting for.

WARNING: This article contains mood swings, deep, sometimes haunting personal confessions and occasional marijuana usage. On the flipside: No animals were harmed during the creation of this story.

Willie Nelson is a bona fide music legend, yes. And that’s a very good thing. Willie Nelson also happens to be coming to Santa Cruz, which is, perhaps, even a better thing. Let’s face it: if there’s anybody Cruzans love to embrace with arms wide open, it’s a creative beast with liberal leanings who advocates the legalization of marijuana. The last time Nelson performed here, back in 2012, he attracted a huge crowd.

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Soul Man

Soul Man

In a warm, laughter-filled GT exclusive, the beloved spiritual teacher Ram Dass shines a light on attachment, psychedelic drugs, out-of-body experiences, the ’60s revolution and more.

Ram Dass has spoken four words to me so far, and the cosmic humor has already begun to flow. Some initial audio trouble has just been resolved, and the famed spiritual teacher’s voice has materialized from my laptop, kicking off our Skype session with an unforgettable opening line:

“Can you hear now?”

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A Recipe for a Brighter Future

A Recipe for a Brighter Future

Good food is an investment in our future. Learn about three local programs that address access, education and opportunity surrounding food.

Longtime doctors, like Donaldo Hernandez, MD, have watched from the front row as our nation has ballooned at the waistline over the years. 

“You can see the shift—it’s not subtle,” says Hernandez, a hospital physician for the Palo Alto Medical Foundation and past president of the Santa Cruz County Medical Society. “I see the effect of it every day in the hospital, when people get admitted with respiratory abnormalities, sleep apnea, diabetes, coronary disease, pulmonary disease, and other things related to obesity.”

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The Fashion Issue 2013

The Fashion Issue 2013

Featuring: The Penny Rose, the popular local fashion, style and beauty blog. Designs from Blank Verse, Sally Esposito, Legs, Wallflower, Cameron Marks, Stripe and others. A big peek at the latest styles.

Santa Cruz has long been typecast as a hippie enclave or a surf mecca, a lackadaisical locale where its citizens entertain nary a thought for the latest styles and trends. But it is becoming increasingly apparent that there’s more to Santa Cruz fashion than Birkenstocks and flip-flops. What may once have been considered an underground fashion scene has bubbled to the surface in the form of a fresh crop of local boutiques and designers. And at the forefront of this local fashion renaissance is The Penny Rose. This multi-faceted media outlet, which includes a blog and professional production team, is fast becoming the final word in Santa Cruz style and beauty.

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Shakespeare-ing Things Up

Shakespeare-ing Things Up

The world-renowned festival returns with a breathtaking new season featuring ‘Henry V’ and ‘Taming of the Shrew’—plus an inviting Fringe Show to boot. A vivid look behind the scenes.  

Every summer, a special kind of magic finds its way through the towering redwoods in the Sinsheimer-Stanley Festival Glen on the UC Santa Cruz campus. Since the 1980s, audiences have gathered here—beneath the moon, stars and tree-streaked sky—to enjoy food, wine, and the timeless poetics and wisdom of William Shakespeare. It’s a theatrical triumph, one that has won many critics over, making Shakespeare Santa Cruz both a Santa Cruz staple and a world- renowned festival.

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The Summer of Sound

The Summer of Sound

One day, seven venues, 11 stages, more than 90 acts, and 85-plus hours of entertainment. The inaugural Santa Cruz Music Festival hits Downtown Santa Cruz on Saturday, July 20, and we have one question for you: Can you handle it?

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Stripping Down

Stripping Down

In the new book, ‘The Rise of the Naked Economy,’ local authors Ryan Coonerty and Jeremy Neuner examine the transformation of how people do work

Over the past decade, the modern workplace has undergone profound transformations. The traditional models that enveloped employees, like regular work hours, office cubicles, full-time work weeks, and benefit packages, have fallen away, forcing many to take multiple part-time jobs, or proffer their services as independent contractors. According to Ryan Coonerty and Jeremy Neuner, the authors of the new book “The Rise of the Naked Economy”— they are also the founders of Santa Cruz's NextSpace—the loss of traditional workplace infrastructures can feel a lot like being caught in your birthday suit, totally naked and vulnerable.

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Gate Openers

Up-and-coming artists like Ryan Bingham are a great reason to show up early to the Santa Cruz American Music Festival

 

Gemini Sun, Pentecost, Shavuot—Enlightenment and Gladness

As the sun enters Gemini on Sunday, sign of speaking, communication, thinking, inter-relations, writing and understanding languages, the feast days of Pentecost & Shavuot (Catholic and Jewish festivals) occur. During Pentecost’s 50 days after Easter, tongues of fire appear above the heads of the disciples, providing them with the ability to understand all languages and all feelings hidden in the minds and hearts of humanity. It’s recorded that Pentecost began with a loud noise, which happened in an upper room (signifying the mind). The Christ (World Teacher) told his disciples (after his ascension) when encountering a man at a well carrying a water pot (signs for Age of Aquarius) to follow him to an upper room. There, the Holy Spirit (Ray 3 of Divine Intelligence) would overshadow them, expand their minds, give them courage and enable them to teach throughout the world, speaking all languages and thus able to minister to the true needs of a “seeking” humanity. Pentecost (50 days, pentagram, Ray 5, Venus, concrete and scientific knowledge, the Ray of Aquarius) sounds dramatic, impressive and scary: The loud noise, a thunderous rush of wind and then “tongues of fire” above the heads of each disciple (men and women). Fire has purpose. It purifies, disintegrates, purges, transforms and liberates (frees) us from the past. This was the Holy Spirit (Ray 3, love and wisdom) being received by the disciples, so they would teach in the world and inform humanity of the Messiah (Christ), who initiated the new age (Pisces) and gave humanity the new law (adding to the 10 Commandments of the Aries Age) to Love (Ray 2) one another. Note: Gemini is also Ray 2. Shavuot is the Jewish Festival of Gladness, the First Fruits Festival celebrating the giving of the 10 Commandments to Moses as the Aries Age was initiated. Thus, we have two developmental stages here, Jewish festival of the Old Testament. Pentecost of the New Testament. We have gladness, integrating both.

 

The New Tech Nexus

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

 

Off Her Meds

Kristin Wiig runs wild—and transcends her sketch comedy roots—as a truly strange character ‘Welcome to Me’
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Flats Bistro

Pizza with an artisan twist comes to Aptos Beach

 

What’s your take on Santa Cruz locals?

Santa Cruz locals are really friendly once you know them. I think a lot of them have a hard time leaving, and I would too. Ryan Carle, Santa Cruz, Biologist

 

Soquel Vineyards

If Soquel Vineyards partners Peter and Paul Bargetto and Jon Morgan were walking down the street wearing their winning wine competition medals, you’d hear them coming from a mile away. This year was particularly rewarding for the Bargettos and Morgan—they won two Double Gold Medals and five Gold Medals at January’s San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition.

 

Enlightened Flavors

Squash & Blossom’s artisanal alternative-flour delights, beet kvass from Cafe Ivéta, and the Santa Cruz Baroque Festival