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Mar 02nd
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The 2012 Santa Cruz County Readers' Poll

The 2012 Santa Cruz County Readers' Poll

What is the best new business in Santa Cruz County? Where do you find the best calamari? Which local mover and shaker captured your interest? The answers to all that—and much more—awaits. Welcome to our annual Best Of Santa Cruz Readers’ Poll. It’s our biggest issue of the year, and in it, we spotlight all of the local businesses, restaurants and humans that captured your interest over the past year. Our hats go off to our readers, for voting, and to all of the individuals recognized as being the “best” they can be in the creative realms they operate in. They’re a passionate bunch, these winners, so take some time and appreciate their time in the spotlight. Also, take note of our annual Critics’ Picks on page 100, where our editorial posse unveils a different kind of “list.”  As always, thank you for reading. And here’s to another year of making Santa Cruz County the very best it can be.
As always, thanks for reading. And here’s to another year of making Santa Cruz County the best it can be.
—Greg Archer, Editor

Best of Santa Cruz County Index:
| Critics’ Picks | Shops | Food & Drink | Arts & Entertainment | Health & Fitness | Professionals | The Rest |

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Best Shops

Best Shops

Category:Winner
Adult Store:Pure Pleasure
Antiques:Mr. Goodies
Arts & Crafts:Palace Art
Auto (New):Toyota Of Santa Cruz
Auto (Used):Ocean Honda
Auto Repair:Specialized Auto    
Bank (local):Bay Federal  
Beachwear:O’Neill
Bicycle Shop:The Bicycle Trip

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Best Food and Drink

Best Food and Drink

Category:Winner
Açai Bowl:Cafe Brasil
Appetizer:Crow’s Nest
Bagel:The Bagelry
Bakery:Gayle’s Bakery
Bar:515 Kitchen & Cocktails
Bloody Mary:Harbor Cafe
Barbecue:Aptos St. BBQ
Burger & Fries:Betty Burgers
Burrito:Tacos Moreno
Bread:Gayle’s Bakery

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Best Arts & Entertainment

Best Arts & Entertainment

Category:Winner
Art Gallery:Davenport Gallery
Local Band:Extra Large
Billiards:Surf City Billiards
Dance Club:Motiv
Dance Studio:Motion Pacific
Festival:Capitola Art & Wine Festival
Karaoke:Karaoke Sound Co.
Local Solo Musician:James Durbin
Movie Theater:Del Mar Theatre

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Best Health & Fitness

Best Health & Fitness

Category:Winner
Acupuncture:Five  Branches
Aerobics Studio:Santa Cruz Dance Co.
Alternative Health:Five Branches
Bike Trail:Nisense Marks
Botox:Laser Hair & Skin
Day Spa:Caress Day Spa
Facial:L’Atellier Day Spa
Fitness Center:Toadal Fitness
Fitness Trainer:Kyle Haynes (Santa Cruz Strength)
Golf Course:Pasatiempo

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Best Professionals

Best Professionals

Category-Winner
Aerobics Instructor-Jaimi Ellison / Lee Pate (tie)
Artist of the Year-Maggie Renner Hellman
Astrologer-Risa D’Angeles/Good Times
Bartender-Eric Adams/Michael’s on Main
Carpenter-Richard Singer
Chiropractor-Dr. Katie Griffin
Contractor-Costa Bella Builders
Dentist-Guy W. Peabody DDS
General Practitioner-Michelle Massie
Landscaper-Neu-Scapes

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Best of the Rest

Best of the Rest

Category-Winner
Activist Group-Occupy Santa Cruz  
Beach-Seabright
Childcare-Santa Cruz Toddler Care
Computer Training-Cruzio
Green Service-Greenspace
Local Hero-James Durbin
Mover & Shaker (Local)-Danny Keith
New Business-Vice Salon
Nonprofit (Local)-Save Our Shores
Place To Learn New Things-Cabrillo College

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Marley

Marley

Has the ‘definitive’ documentary about the reggae superstar finally arrived? Bob Marley’s daughter, Cedella, opens up about her famous father and the new film that reveals the (hu)man beyond the legend.

It’s hard not to be taken in by the opening moments of the new documentary Marley. Waves—so passionate, so lush— crash onto the shores of West Africa. A moment later, we spot a few men standing up in a long canoe as they paddle toward an unknown destination. And then, a majestic image appears on screen. At least it looks majestic—from the outside. It’s Cape Coast Castle. And perched here in Ghana, West Africa, it remains a sobering reminder of one of history’s more darker eras. You see, the castle was the threshold where enslaved Africans were held and later shipped to the Caribbean, to North America and to other places in the world in the 18th century. A tall man—a “tour guide” of sorts—informs  viewers that 10,000 enslaved Africans were shipped from the spot year after year—and that eventually millions of Africans were taken from their homeland.

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Occupied

Occupied

Three days of barricades, meetings, dance parties and sleeping inside a vacant bank—and charges of trespassing, vandalism and conspiracy against 11. A deeper look inside some of the lesser-known aftereffects of the local Occupy Movement.

Seventy-four days after the birth of the Occupy Movement in September 2011, a self-described “anonymous, autonomous group standing in solidarity with Occupy Santa Cruz,” entered a building in Downtown Santa Cruz that had been vacant for three years. A press release from occupiers explained that the building, formerly owned by Wells Fargo and now leased to the bank, would be “transformed into a community center.”

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The Battle at the Plate

The Battle at the Plate

With a new book, ‘No Happy Cows,’  and the forthcoming Virtual Food Revolution Summit, author John Robbins stirs up a food uprising unlike any other. Why the push for more natural foods and less processed, industrial foods has never been greater.

Julia Child and John Robbins walk into a veal barn. (This sounds like the start of a great joke, but it is actually the beginning of a true story.) It was the late ’90s, and the pair were speakers at a conference in Philadelphia, Penn. Child, the iconic American cook and gastronomic Francophile, was well into her eighties; Robbins, who is a Santa Cruz County resident, was a decade into his reign as the leading advocate of a plant-based diet.

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Green Swell

Local surfboard company greens up the industry with an eco-conscious business model

 

Two Fish Bound by a Golden Cord

Until March 20, (Spring Equinox), Earth and her kingdoms (mineral, plant, animal, human) experience the influence of Pisces, sign of the World Savior. Whereas the task of Aquarius is as world server, the Pisces task is saving the world—tasks given to the two fishes. Pisces never really enters matter, and as the last sign of the zodiac includes all the signs. During Pisces, having gathered all the gifts of the previous 11 signs, it is a good time to prepare for new initiating plans when Aries (sign of beginnings) begins. No wonder Pisces, like Scorpio, is so difficult (both are ruled by Pluto, planet of death, new life, regeneration, transformations). Both signs (with Scorpio drowning in dark and deep waters) find life on Earth a hardship, disorienting (from the spiritual perspective), at times feeling betrayed. Life is a paradox, especially for Pisces. Each zodiacal sign represents and distributes a different phase and facet (12) of the Soul’s diamond light, Pisces is the “Light of Life itself, ending forever the darkness of matter.” It takes two fish to complete this work (creating eventually an extraordinary human being). One fish turned toward the material world (in order to understand matter), the other fish toward the heavenly world. Around the two fish is a silvery cord binding them together. The two fish are forever bound until all of humanity is redeemed (lifted up into the Light). This is the dedication of all world saviors (Buddha, Christ, the NGWS). Thus the sacrifice and suffering experienced by Pisces. Knowing these things about Pisces, let us help them all we can. Sometimes all of humanity is Pisces.

 

The New Tech Nexus

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

 

Seal Change

Celtic selkie lore comes alive in dazzling ‘Song of the Sea’
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