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Nov 27th
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Cover Stories

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George Ow’s Chinatown

George Ow’s Chinatown

An excerpt from ‘Santa Cruz is in the Heart Vol. II’

In the spring when the willows and chickens grew fat again and the plum trees blossomed pink and white in the Chinatown yards near the river, the old man with the scruffy beard and tobacco breath sat back in the quiet splendor of the warm April sun and watched with great delight the group of young children playing at his feet.

Far off in the distance, he could hear the children’s grandmother, Gue Shee Lee, turning over the soil of her garden, and the San Lorenzo River tumbling gently through the town. He could smell the fish drying on the porches and the herbs from the kitchens and the faint, sweet wisps of Chinese tobacco in the air. The world had changed many times in his life he thought, as he watched the scene unfolding before him, and it would change many times more before he was gone.

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Courage Under Bombs

Courage Under Bombs

One family's mind-bending journey to survive war is captured in candid email exchanges between a Santa Cruzan and a Syrian woman. A GT exclusive.

The last time Santa Cruz’s June Magnaldi visited Syria in 2011, she sat comfortably with her friends sipping tea on the balcony of their second-floor apartment, overlooking a small city street of Homs, the third-largest city in the country. Nearby, a tall green cypress tree reached toward the sky above the neighborhood of Christians and Muslims. June exchanged stories with Suha, a university graduate of literary studies who had become a teacher and whose family ties to Syria go back 1,000 years. The two friends recalled the time they had met 10 years before at Mar Musa Monastery, deep in the silent Syrian desert. June had ventured there to visit, “this beautiful monastery above the desert, open to all faiths and nationalities.” Suha told GT that Mar Musa is “heaven on Earth” and she had gone there “to be away from the city’s moral and actual pollution. I spent three days there and most of the time was with June.”

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Let Them Eat Fashion

Let Them Eat Fashion

Fashion and art merge together in one of the most festive artistic events of the season.

Behold: FashionArt Santa Cruz 2013.

The definition of strut: “To display in order to impress others.”

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Blasphemy

Blasphemy

…And Other esoteric Musings Await in our Big, Luscious Fall Lit Preview, Featuring Award Winner Sherman Alexie

+ The Six Books (and authors) That Top Our Must-Read List This Season

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Gangaji

Gangaji

In GT’s Living Legends series, one of the most revered spiritual teachers on the planet opens up about self-inquiry and much more. PLUS: The impetus behind her return to Santa Cruz after 20 years.

Stop for a moment; notice what you’re thinking. Where do thoughts come from? What is present when there are no thoughts? This direct questioning is called self-inquiry. It’s an ancient and profound action that, according to many spiritual leaders, brings us in direct contact with what is rather than clinging to concepts that represent what is.

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Finding Freedom in Prison

Finding Freedom in Prison

From despair to hope. An inside look at the local men whose sea-changing efforts offer prisoners a voice and an opportunity to make significant personal transformations.

The facts are staggering. Between 1982 and 2000, California’s prison population grew by 500 percent, according to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR). The CDCR spends almost $11 billion annually, funding 70,000 employees to oversee and supervise inmates at 33 state prisons at an average cost of $49,000 per prisoner. No other country incarcerates a higher percentage of its population than the United States. Equally disconcerting is that within the gray walls of these monolithic structures, the voices, stories and rights of prisoners are rarely heard or acknowledged.

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Santa Cruz Is in the Heart

Santa Cruz Is in the Heart

An inside look at the creative adventures of prolific local writer-filmmaker Geoffrey Dunn. Why his three new books and big MAH exhibit are poised to showcase Santa Cruz history in the most captivating light.

Nearly a quarter-century ago, Santa Cruz writer and filmmaker Geoffrey Dunn released a collection of his writings in a volume entitled “Santa Cruz Is in the Heart,” the first edition of which sold out in a few weeks and which has gone into a phenomenal six printings over the years. Dunn’s writings, with their unique mixture of personal reminiscences and observations, along with their revelatory accounts of regional history, capture the zeitgeist of our community as few others ever have.

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The Napolitano Complex

The Napolitano Complex

What does the arrival of the former U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security at the helm of the UC mean for higher education in California?

In September, Janet Napolitano will leave her post as the United States' Secretary of Homeland Security in Washington D.C. and head west to Oakland, Calif., where she will assume duties as the 20th president of the University of California system.

As she prepares to take the reins of one of the nation's most prestigious institutions of higher learning, her background as the chief administrator of the world's most powerful surveillance and security organization promises to be her greatest strength—and quite possibly her greatest weakness.

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Wild About Willie

Wild About Willie

Man, myth, country music legend Willie Nelson descends upon Santa Cruz. The story you’ve been waiting for.

WARNING: This article contains mood swings, deep, sometimes haunting personal confessions and occasional marijuana usage. On the flipside: No animals were harmed during the creation of this story.

Willie Nelson is a bona fide music legend, yes. And that’s a very good thing. Willie Nelson also happens to be coming to Santa Cruz, which is, perhaps, even a better thing. Let’s face it: if there’s anybody Cruzans love to embrace with arms wide open, it’s a creative beast with liberal leanings who advocates the legalization of marijuana. The last time Nelson performed here, back in 2012, he attracted a huge crowd.

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Soul Man

Soul Man

In a warm, laughter-filled GT exclusive, the beloved spiritual teacher Ram Dass shines a light on attachment, psychedelic drugs, out-of-body experiences, the ’60s revolution and more.

Ram Dass has spoken four words to me so far, and the cosmic humor has already begun to flow. Some initial audio trouble has just been resolved, and the famed spiritual teacher’s voice has materialized from my laptop, kicking off our Skype session with an unforgettable opening line:

“Can you hear now?”

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Good Times Holiday Giving

Giving Where It Helps

 

Giving Thanks: The Thought-Form of Solution

We are in the time and under the influence of Sagittarius, sign of the wanderer, good food, good music, and the joy (Jupiter as ruler) that occurs from giving to others while simultaneously giving thanks from our hearts. Having the Thanksgiving holiday during the month of Sag is not a mistake. No other sign understands joy (an aspect of the Soul) as Sag (except Pisces when not in despair). “Sag is a beam of directed and focused light. The beam reveals a greater light ahead, illuminating the Way to the center of the Light,” emitting the Ray of Joyfulness. Thanksgiving is a time for gratitude; in the form of prayers, thoughts, feelings, wishes, hopes and greetings. Gratitude is something we still need to learn. Gratitude creates goodwill. Together, gratitude and goodwill create the “thought-form of solution” for humanity and our world’s problems. Gratitude and goodwill are the prerequisites for the reappearance of the Christ, the Aquarian World Teacher. In Ancient Wisdom texts it is written, “being grateful is the hallmark of one who is enlightened.” Gratitude comes from the Soul—the characteristics of which are love and wisdom (Ray 2). Gratitude is scientifically and occultly (mental, not emotional) a releasing agent. Gratitude liberates us and everything around us. Also a service to others, gratitude is deeply scientific in nature, releasing us from the past and laying open our future path leading to the new culture and civilization, the new laws and principles, the rising light of Aquarian, the Age of Friendship and Equality. The Hierarchy lays much emphasis upon gratitude. Let us be grateful this year and this season together. And so now the days of light illuminating the darkness begin (December’s festivals and feast days). Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. I am grateful for all of you, my readers.

 

The New Tech Nexus

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

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of November 28

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >
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Round About Now

The glory of persimmons, plus Ivéta scone mix and lunch at Assembly

 

What charities would you like to see people support this season?

Judy Allen, Scotts Valley, Consulting

 

Big Basin Vineyards

I was just in the process of purchasing a bottle of Big Basin’s 2012 Homestead in Vinocruz when Matt Ryan walked into the store. Ryan manages the tasting room, sales and the mailing list at Big Basin, and, considering the popularity of their wines, he’s a very busy man.

 

Ashby Confections

Local chocolate maker talks chocolate and self control