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Apr 19th
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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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A Recipe for a Brighter Future

A Recipe for a Brighter Future

Good food is an investment in our future. Learn about three local programs that address access, education and opportunity surrounding food.

Longtime doctors, like Donaldo Hernandez, MD, have watched from the front row as our nation has ballooned at the waistline over the years. 

“You can see the shift—it’s not subtle,” says Hernandez, a hospital physician for the Palo Alto Medical Foundation and past president of the Santa Cruz County Medical Society. “I see the effect of it every day in the hospital, when people get admitted with respiratory abnormalities, sleep apnea, diabetes, coronary disease, pulmonary disease, and other things related to obesity.”

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Smells Like Team Spirit

The organizers of TEDx Santa Cruz don’t just talk about this year’s theme, ‘radical collaboration’—they live it

 

Pluto Retrograde, Aries New Moon, Lyrid Meteor Showers

As the Lyrid meteors, radiating from the star Vega in the Harp constellation, begin showering heaven and earth with light, Pluto, planet of transformation (or die) turns stationary retrograde (Thursday, April 16), 15 degrees Capricorn. Retrogrades have purpose, allowing humanity time to review, reassess, research and reinvent while returning to previous situations. Retrogrades are times of inner activity, seeds sown in bio-dynamically prepared soil. Pluto retrograde is the most serious and resolute of retrogrades—a pure tincture, or, as in homeopathy, a “constitutional” touching the essences of all that matters. Pluto offers deep insight into confusion or puzzlement and areas where transformation is still incomplete. It’s valuable to have one’s astrology chart to follow what area of life the major planets— especially Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto—are influencing. These outer planets have long-term and lasting effects on our psyche, inner/outer life events, how people see us and how we see and process our world. Pluto, retrograde for five months (until Sept. 24) offers deep earthquakes of change, awakens humanity to the task of building (Capricorn) the new culture and civilization, flailing our inner world about, deepening us until we transform and do things differently. Pluto is an unrelenting teacher. New moon (29 Aries) is Saturday, April 18. With the personality-building keynote, “Let form again be sought.” Mars anchors the new creative fires of Aries into our world. The New Group of World Servers participates together in the new moon festival, while also preparing for the Taurus Wesak, Buddha Full Moon Festival (May 3). Join us everyone.

 

The New Tech Nexus

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

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of April 17

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >
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Mighty Leaf

Radicchio from Dirty Girl Produce, wine etiquette fail, and a treat from Gayle’s

 

What would you like to see a TED talk about?

Hydrogen-gas cars that are coming this summer. Scott Oliver, Santa Cruz, Professor

 

37th Parallel Wines

I visited the Capitola Mall recently to check out the newly launched Third Fridays Walking Art Tour, and was surprised to find an impressive assortment of artwork from local artists.

 

New Bohemian Brewery

New Santa Cruz brewery focuses on European style lagers