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Jul 30th
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Santa Cruz Film Festival

Santa Cruz Film Festival

Famke Janssen opens up about her premiere in the Santa Cruz Film Festival. How she morphed into writer-producer-director of the new, inventive comedy-drama, ‘Bringing Up Bobby’

Local filmmakers deliver a provocative look at street youth and the transformational power of music in ‘Don’t Cost Nothin To Dream’   

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The Cannabis Couple

The Cannabis Couple

With April 2’s Oaksterdam University raid still fresh in collective memory, this year’s 4/20 celebration was more than just a holiday for stoners; it was a “We shall overcome”-style show of solidarity. Like persecuted minority members lighting candles at a vigil, the ganja smokers of America hoisted their doobies high, refusing to be vilified for their love of a plant that promotes giggling, quesadilla appreciation and thoughts of how cool it would be if the moon were triangular. 

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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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Health Screening

Santa Cruz wellness expert releases app to improve workplace well-being

 

Leo Sun; Full Moon, Venus Retro in Leo; Saturn Direct

It’s a complex week of planetary movements, challenges, demands and callings. We’re in the time of the Leo Sun. Leo—fixed fire, gold, the heart, generous, strong, noble, the king/queen—needs appreciation and praise from everyone in order to move forward. During Leo we gain a greater sense of self-identification by recognizing our creativity. It’s therefore a perfect time for Venus retrograding in Leo. In Venus retrograde we review and re-assess values. Venus retro in Leo concerns our self as valuable, acknowledging talents, gifts, abilities and offerings. Friday, Venus re-enters Leo (29 degrees, a critical degree) continuing the retrograde to 14 degrees Leo on Sept. 6. Friday (Full Moon) is also the (8 degrees) Leo solar festival, Festival of the Future. Leo is the heart of the sun, the heart of all that matters. When attuned to this heart, we have understanding and inclusivity. The heart of the Lion is Mitra (think “Maitreya,” the coming World Teacher). Leo prepares humanity to receive divine love from subtle sources and later to radiate that love to the kingdoms. Sirius, Ray 2, where love originates, streams through Regulus (heart of Leo), into the heart of the sun (Ray 2) and into all hearts. The heart of Leo is Regulus. Joining Venus, the love underlying all of creation appears. Saturday is Sun/Neptune (confusion or devotion) with late night Saturn turning stationary direct. Ideas, plans and structures held long in abeyance (since March 14) slowly move forward. (Read more on Leo and the week at nightlightnews.org and Risa D’Angeles’ Facebook page, accessed through my website.)

 

The New Tech Nexus

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

 

Jailbreak with Reality

‘The Stanford Prison Experiment’ revisits one of the most notorious studies of all time
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Holy Cannoli

New bakery opens in Ben Lomond, plus Randall Grahm’s quest to grow 10,000 new grape varieties, and Mexican cooking classes

 

Is Santa Cruz turning into Malibu North?

It's got a ways to go before it gets wrecked like Malibu, but I think we need to be very careful about growth. Maria Mattioli, Santa Cruz, Psychotherapist

 

Bargetto Winery

A much-anticipated annual event at Bargetto Winery is the release of their very special La Vita red wine. June 7 was the day to be heralded this year, and I happily squeezed my car into their overloaded car park in eager anticipation of tasting the new La Vita nectar.

 

Margaritaville

Popular Capitola spot gets new owner and complete makeover