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Aug 02nd
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Cover Stories

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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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Best of Best of Food and Drink 2011

Best of Best of Food and Drink 2011It’s official: you dig El Palomar Restaurant. For many things. But the local Food Giant is just one of many favorites. Last year, Soif nabbed Best Appetizers, but this year, Crow’s Nest too back the crown. Meanwhile, Soif racked up other wins. New category: Best Hog Dog. Take a peek.
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Best of A.E. & Nightlife 2011

Best of A.E. & Nightlife 2011So many votes, but how did it all play out? Felix Kulpa Gallery, once again, takes best honors for Best Gallery. Back take note of stellar wins for All About Theatre and The Crepe Place.
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Best of Best Health & Fitness 2011

Best of Best Health & Fitness 2011

Toadal Fitness has been around for years. It’s run by locals. It’s great. This year, it grabbed the top spot as Best Health Club, edging out Spa Fitness for the first time in years. See how the votes fell elsewhere.

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Best Professionals 2011

Best Professionals 2011

Long before GT ran its cover story on UC Santa Cruz professor David Jay Brown, the votes were stacking up high for the local writer. This year, he claims the top spot as Best Writer. See how the others faired.

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Best of the Rest 2011

Best of the Rest 2011

That dreaded River Street sign still gets on your nerves (Worst Eyesore), and Ryan Coonerty still keeps you interested (Best Mover & Shaker) but which group nabbed Best Activist Group? Take a look.

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Best of Santa Cruz Critics’ Picks

Best of Santa Cruz Critics’ Picks

Best Singer/Performer
James Durbin

see feature article >


Worst Attack on Reading: Proposed Closure of Santa Cruz Public Libraries

“I like big books and I cannot lie
You other readers can’t denyThat when a book walks by with an itty-bitty spine
And a wide page in your face
You get sprung … ”

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Page 28 of 43

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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

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of July 31

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >
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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