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May 23rd
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Thirty & Thriving

Thirty & Thriving

Cabrillo Stage’s Lile Cruse and Jon Nordgren open up the theater company’s milestone season.
Plus: a look back at how it all began.

Lile Cruse. Jon Nordgren. They are the two masterminds behind Cabrillo Stage. Cruse is the founding artistic director of the much-admired local theater company and Nordgren is the current artistic director. And they’re both in the spotlight as Cabrillo Stage celebrates its 30th anniversary this year.

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The World On My Back

The World On My Back

Camping and backpacking - and back again. Our adventurous scribe unveils all—just in time for summer
I’m writing this from inside my tent. I managed to erect it just as the first sprinkles started, and now it’s steadily raining. It’s a new tent, and so far has no leaks. Fingers crossed there.

Bringing this laptop is fairly indulgent, weight-wise, on a backpacking trip. Same with my wilderness survival books. But I knew this weekend was going to be rainy, and my original hike would likely be too hazardous when wet, so I picked an easier destination and figured I could deal with a little extra weight.

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Weird is as Weird does

Weird is as Weird does

People assume Santa Cruz is ‘weird.’  But is it—really? Our gal-about-town tells all.

A dreadlocked midwife, a transgendered Unitarian Universalist minister, and a polyamorous Republican walk into a bar … stop me if you’ve heard this one.

The Premise

You’ve seen the bumper sticker. You own the bumper sticker. You’ve considered covering an entire wall in your bathroom with the catch phrase (that would, after all, be quite fitting). It could be that you, like me, have caught yourself shouting to a friend or acquaintance as you part ways, “Keep it weird!” You laugh to yourself, give a thumbs-up and go on your merry way. But do you sometimes walk away wondering, “Am I keeping it weird? Am I doing my part? Am I, as a private citizen, putting my best weird foot forward?”

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Eating for Wellness

Eating for Wellness

Inside the remarkable—and healthy—world of local chef and nutritionist David Wells
David Wells can’t recall his first memory of food. He can, however, remember the period in his youth when he went without it.

Wells, who is now an Aptos-based chef and nutritionist with a long, impressive career as a celebrity chef behind him, traces his gastronomical calling back to this time when, as a teenager, he found himself neglected and hungry. His mother sent him to Mendocino to live with his father, who Wells says “wouldn’t even notice if I didn’t come home for a week.” At 15 years old, he got a job washing dishes at a local restaurant just to be around a food supply.

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Environmental Evolution

Environmental  Evolution

Surfer and environmental activist Kyle Thiermann has grown in many ways since he first made waves in Good Times. Back in 2009, Thiermann was a wide-eyed 19-year-old kid, living the dream. He was a pro boarder, sponsored by Patagonia and Sector 9, and just beginning his university studies at Gaia University—a college that offers students accredited degrees for pursuing social change projects of their own design.

He landed on the cover of GT in September 2009 for his first Gaia project, Claim Your Change, a short video which explored how banking locally was a simple way to support the local community—and at the same time casting a no vote on environmentally damaging projects, such as coal mining and oil drilling, which are often financed by major banks.

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Rogue Warrior

Rogue WarriorGeoffrey Dunn’s new book, ‘The Lies of Sarah Palin,’ takes on the most polarizing political figure of our time
Note: On May 10, popular Santa Cruz writer and filmmaker Geoffrey Dunn entered the national political discussion for the 2012 presidential election with the release of his fascinating and illuminating new book, “The Lies of Sarah Palin: The Untold Story Behind Her Relentless Quest for Power” (published by MacMillan/St. Martin’s Press), a portion of which is excerpted in this edition of Good Times.
Already on several national bestseller lists, including in the No.1 spot on Amazon for Political Biography, Dunn’s work has been called “a tour de force in investigative journalism.” One early review called it the “best adversarial piece” ever written about Sarah Palin. Bloggers in Alaska from across the political spectrum have called it everything from “superb” to “brilliant.”
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the gleeks

the gleeksInventive and just downright fun, our local ‘glee’ clubs rock. We tell you why.

What is glee?

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines it as “exultant high-spirited joy.” But unless you’ve been living under a rock, the word now conjures up one thing: Fox’s hit TV series Glee. Since its pilot episode aired almost exactly two years ago today, the show has skyrocketed in ratings and on the iTunes charts. Here in Santa Cruz, local singing groups have seen the impact first hand. But is it possible that the award-winning musical dramedy could be both a blessing and a curse? You’ll just have to keep reading to find out …

‘Teenage  Dream’

You’ll never find a happier group of pre-teens than the New Brighton Middle School Glee Club. Stop by Joanne Roster’s classroom during lunchtime on a Thursday, and you’ll be overwhelmed by the number of smiling kids who give up their recess to belt out Owl City’s “Fireflies,” The Lovin’ Spoonful’s “Do You Believe in Magic,” and a special (tween-appropriate) version of Michael Jackson’s “Beat It,” called “Eat It.”

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Ruffo's Wild Ride

Ruffo's Wild Ride

Filmmaker Rocky Romano is not the first person to fall for Santa Cruz. (So many have, but who has the space to document it all?) So, when grilled about what he believes makes the area stand out, Romano just laughs. “Yeah—there’s something in the water here, right?”

Maybe it’s not the water—maybe it’s the people.

That’s something Romano discovered all too vividly when he embarked on filming a documentary about surf icon Anthony Ruffo. The film makes its much-anticipated debut in the 10th annual—so big, so bold—Santa Cruz Film Festival [SCFF] May 14 (see insert). It chronicles, sometimes quite dramatically, Ruffo’s curious journey of late.

The doc’s trailer, in the filmmaker’s words, says it all: “On Oct. 1, 2010, I contacted professional surfer and methamphetamine addict Anthony Ruffo in regard to making a documentary film about his life. I thought that this would be a story about the rise and fall of a surfing icon. Instead … I got a story about being human.”

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Best Of Santa Cruz 2011 index

Best Of Santa Cruz 2011 index

If there’s one thing we have learned this year—more than any other year that GT has published The Best Of Santa Cruz Readers’ Poll—is that you really want to have your voice heard. More of you showed up to log in your votes (see below). As a result, we find ourselves having produced our biggest Best of Santa Cruz edition ever. We’ve even added a new category for next year in our A&E section, thanks, in part, to the inspiration of the local guy who graces our cover this week (see page 100). So, dive in. And thanks for voting—and reading. —Greg Archer, Editor

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Best Shops 2011

Best Shops 2011

For years, Camouflage took home the Best Adult Store prize, but this year, the race was heated. Did Camouflage win? Check it out.

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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