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Oct 30th
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Cover Stories

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More Than Numbers

More Than Numbers

Inside the Community Assessment Project, what it means for locals and why it is important for Santa Cruz County

PLUS: Take the CAP Community Goals Survey click here


"People think that how you improve quality of life is so complicated that it can’t be done, but really, it should be no more complicated than this,” says Susan Brutschy matter-of-factly.


Brutschy, the enthusiastic president of local social research nonprofit Applied Survey Research (ASR), is referring to her firm’s magnum opus, the Santa Cruz County Community Assessment Project (CAP), an extensive annual report on the county’s quality of life. The report includes a variety of data—from the acres of organic farmland (3,341) and how many miles the average resident commutes to work (26.9) to what percentage of the county’s children live beneath the federal poverty level (17.8). It also notes that, in 2009, 72 percent of residents surveyed were “very satisfied” with their overall quality of life.

But the interesting information doesn’t stop there.

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2012

2012

Why are we so fascinated with the end of the world?
To this day, you’ll hear people say that the film Psycho has left them permanently afraid to take showers, or that they’re still terrified of the ocean because of Jaws. But no tale of terror has made a longer-lasting impression on American minds than the New Testament’s Book of Revelation. Nearly 2,000 years after John of Patmos penned this weighty prophecy of cataclysm and deliverance, adherents continue to anticipate the day of reckoning, simultaneously haunted by the fear of global demolition and elated by the promise of salvation.

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Q & A Water Ways

Q & A Water Ways

Is desalination the answer? Local parties sound off.
The city of Santa Cruz plans to build a desalination plant to offset water deficits during the worst summer droughts—the kind that hit once every 10 to 30 years. Models predict that if Santa Cruz continues to grow, and UC Santa Cruz expands, we will be left bone dry—at least if current water use trends continue during the driest of all summers.

When Santa Cruz doesn’t need the water, the Soquel Creek Water District will run the desalination plant, supplementing underground water reserves that have dipped dangerously low due to prior over-use. Soquel aquifers now face the danger of saltwater intrusion from the Bay, which could damage water quality indefinitely. This is why the district needs to find an alternative water supply, or perhaps heighten conservation and the regulation of pumping from competing private wells, depending on who you ask.

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The Taoist Way

The Taoist Way

Mantak Chia on life, spirit, the soul, chi and the art of guiding the inner you
If you walk through a busy park in the morning, you’ll likely find countless joggers and dog walkers, but if you’re lucky, you may stumble upon a tranquil person or group practicing the ancient Chinese art of Tai Chi. This unique form of martial arts is graceful and harmonious, emphasizing that spiritual tranquility within the individual complements Confucianism’s focus on social duty. Slow movements flow into one another in a sort of trancelike dance, as graceful as a tutu-clad Ballet Russe dancer. Mind, body and spirit seem to coalesce, and even just watching someone else perform this ritual can be a soothing experience in itself.

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ECO Patriots

ECO Patriots

Editor’s Note: The oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico dominates the headlines as this goes to press, which makes our annual environmental issue a fitting reminder that the call to be an eco patriot grows louder by the day. This year, we found a special group of luminaries whose work in the world somehow makes a positive difference in the environment. From the guy whose “hippie” parents gave him the high spirits he needed to become a titan on the Green landscape to the gal whose fashion designs curb environmental waste, it’s hard not to be inspired. Behold: The Eco Patriots of 2010. 
See also: Eleven Steps to Green Living in 2010 and Tips for Greening Your Business (below).

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Tracking the Trade of Rare Meat

Tracking the Trade of Rare Meat

Researchers use biotechnology to identify foods made from endangered species
The burgeoning global meat trade has taken its toll on the Kouilou region of the Congo. A stretch of unprotected rainforest supplies a clandestine gorilla meat market, and last fall, investigators revealed that Kouilou gorillas are poached at a rate of two per week.

“The population of gorilla that we located is in sharp decline, and will probably become extinct in a few years if we do not stop that trend,” says Pierre Fidenci, president of the San Francisco-based Endangered Species International, which conducted the investigation.

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Wheel Power

Wheel Power

Stage 3 Guide
AMGEN heads into town. Meanwhile, local cyclist Shelley Olds Evans preps for the 2012 Olympics

When the AMGEN Tour of California, the biggest and most prestigious bike race in the United States, returns to Santa Cruz for Stage 3 on May 18, the city, the cycling community and its stars will enter the international spotlight. Santa Cruz can expect greater worldwide exposure this year because race organizer AEG will deliver increased media coverage of the eight-day, 800-plus mile road bike race that travels from Nevada City to Thousand Oaks, from May 16 to 23. This is the second year in a row that Santa Cruz was selected to take part in the Amgen Tour of California (TOC). One major change is that this year’s event was moved from February to May.

“I think it’s going to make a huge difference to have the race in sunny weather,” predicted Matt Twisselman, the chairman of TOC’s Local Organizing Committee and the one who spearheaded the years-long effort to put Santa Cruz on the TOC route. “We will have an even bigger turn-out.”

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Take 9

Take 9

Behind the scenes banter, local filmmakers and some wildly inventive programming stand out as the Santa Cruz Film Festival enters brand new territory

Under a newly created Leadership Team of longtime board members and Festival veterans, the ninth annual Santa Cruz Film Festival begins Thursday, May 6, and runs through Sunday, May 15. Expect 133 fiction—and non-fiction features and shorts—from 33 countries (40 of them locally produced), which will unspool at three venues in Downtown Santa Cruz: the Del Mar Theatre, the Regal Riverfront Stadium Twin, and Community TV. The festival also offers a full slate of panels, workshops, parties, live music and gala receptions.

SCFF IX continues its longstanding commitment to green politics, partnering once again with the EarthVision Film Festival to present nine features and 18 short films dedicated to environmental activism. Other local, national, and international features are organized into thematic categories: World Cinema, Documentaries, and “Keep Santa Cruz Weird”—local films by local artists. Five documentaries and five fiction features are in competition for Jury prizes. SCFF IX will also see the inauguration of a new prize: the Morton Marcus Audience Award for Best Feature. Several film-related panels and workshops will also be offered free to the public.

The festival kicks off May 6, the day this issue publishes, at the Del Mar, with the music documentary Soundtrack For A Revolution, followed by a gala reception at the Museum of Art & History on Front Street. The festival concludes May 15 with a closing night gala and awards ceremony at the Del Mar and a screening of the locally made feature, Etienne, followed by a closing night party at the Cypress Lounge.

In our ongoing coverage of the Santa Cruz Film Festival, GT interviewed several locally affiliated filmmakers whose work will be showcased this year. Dive in … | Lisa Jensen
Festival passes are available for $175 (general admission), $150 (senior) and $100 (student). Tickets can also be purchased on a per-program basis, $7-$9 for regular programs, $18-$20 for the opening night, and $10-$12 for the closing night galas. For a complete lineup of films, events, schedules, and ticket info, visit the festival website at scfilmfest.org. Film Schedule & Tickets

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The Best of Santa Cruz County

The Best of Santa Cruz CountyWelcome to the 2010 Best of Santa Cruz Readers' Poll, in which you the reader voted for the area's most popular shops, dining spots, arts and entertainment, and so much more. This year’s voting attracted more than 4,000 online voters and features more than 150 little-known facts about all of the winners. There's more: Take note of our Critics' Picks, too, where GT scribes ponder the Best and Worst around town. It's our most extensive collection—ever!—of what's best in the county. Dive in ...
Best of Santa Cruz Shops>
Best Arts, Entertainment & Nightlife>
Best Food & Drink>
Best Health & Fitness>
Best Professionals>
Best of the Rest>
Critics’ Picks>
 
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Jawing

Monterey Bay scientists are working to crack the mysteries of—and dispel the myths about—great whites. But in the highly contentious world of shark experts, there’s a fin line between love and hate

 

Altars of Remembrance, Forgiveness & Rapprochement

We’re in Scorpio now—things mysterious, ageless, hidden, sometimes scary. Friday is Halloween; Saturday, All Saints Day; Sunday, All Soul’s Day. Sunday morning at 2 a.m. (after midnight), Daylight Savings Time ends. Clocks are turned back. Tuesday is the General Election. Our vote is our voice. Each vote matters. Applying freedom of choice—Libra’s teachings. It’s time to build Halloween, All Saints and All Souls altars—with marigolds, pumpkins, sugar skeletons, copal (incense), pomegranates, persimmons, candy corn and cookies, orange and black. It’s so Saturn (now in Scorpio). Saturn is the dweller on the threshold (like St. Peter at the gates of heaven). Saturn can look like a Halloween creature—a gargoyle—a fantastic dragon-like creature protecting sacred sites. The dweller (Saturn) stands at the door or threshold of sacred mysteries, wisdom temples, inner sanctums of churches, offering protection, scaring evil away. The last day of October and first two days of November, when veils between worlds thin and spirits roam about, are times of remembrance, forgiveness, reconciliation and rapprochement. These actions liberate us. At death, when reviewing our lives and the consequences of our actions if we have forgiven, then we are free, less encumbered with grief and sadness. We place forgiveness on our altars. Happy Halloween, everyone! It’s good to dress up as what we’re afraid of. Or whom we would mentor. Then we become one with them. Note to readers: by Thanksgiving I will need a place to live (with purpose). Please contact me if you know of a place where I can rest for awhile. Teach and build community. [email protected] I will be leaving my mother’s home for the last time.

 

The New Tech Nexus

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

 

Not Cool

Even Bill Murray’s hipster cred can’t elevate ‘St. Vincent’
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Back Nine Grill & Bar

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Alberti Vineyards

Looking for some blood-red wine for your Halloween party? Then I have a recommendation for a new brew.

 

Turning Point

New revolving restaurant on the wharf, plus Cafe Ivéta and the last great Jack cheese