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Sep 01st
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Cover Stories

Cover Stories

Finding Grace

Finding Grace

Santa Cruz singer/songwriter Tess Dunn captivates audiences with her music, but the 17-year-old inspires the masses in other ways. How her life-threatening adversity gives her the courage to take big risks and live life to the fullest.

At 17, Tess Dunn has knocked more off of her bucket list than most people will in their lifetime.

A three-year veteran of the Vans Warped Tour with two EPs under her belt—the most recent of which, Honesty Box, will be released on Friday, Feb. 24 at Kuumbwa Jazz—the Santa Cruz singer/songwriter is the definition of a rising star in the local music scene. Named one of the Top 11 Bay Area artists of 2011 by 99.7 FM and winner of the radio station’s Triple Ho Show 2.0 Local Video Battle, it’s easy to forget that she’s still in high school.

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Cover Stories

Metamorphosis

Metamorphosis

Bill Veltrop—social visionary, leading architect of organizational design and the revered local who believes the next big thing isn’t a ‘thing’

Every morning Bill Veltrop rises at 4 a.m. and enters into a meditation and conversation with the Universe. By mid-morning, he’s either working on a project or holding a workshop.

It’s 10 a.m. now, but before Veltrop proceeds with our interview he clangs together two golden meditation chimes and the three people in the room with him breathe in unison. Slowly the resonance fades to silence. The group is invited to recap their thoughts, hopes and stresses in a ritual Veltrop calls “stringing the beads.”

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Cover Stories

Dead Men Rocking

Dead Men RockingMeet Santa Cruz’s musical masters of fun horror, Stellar Corpses.

Weekend after weekend, the salty air of Beach Street fills with the screams of Boardwalk patrons on mechanical thrill rides. Folks from all walks of life turn up in droves, sometimes waiting in line for more than an hour for that exhilarating jolt of fear—the same rush that draws people to horror movies, skydiving, morbid rock concerts and Ouija boards. For some, it’s a type of reanimation ritual: a way of shocking back to life feelings that have been deadened by years of clock-punching, TV-watching and zombie-marching in a culture empty of spirit, where the motels, drive-ins, strip clubs and burger shacks loom like tombstones above the buried bones of massacred masses, and the pulse of the planet fights to be heard, “Tell-Tale Heart”-style, through smothering layers of concrete, asphalt and smog.  
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Cover Stories

Wedding Edition

Wedding Edition

The Shoot
The Girls
The Boys
The Bride
Simmons’ Wedding Tips

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Special Publications

Bridal Expo

Bridal Expo

The Cocoanut Grove
Seascape Flowers
Hollins House
Crown Café Catering
Alexis Party Rental
Music Now DJ

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Cover Stories

Knowing the Nexties

Knowing the Nexties

Jacob Martinez, Monica Martinez, Jeremy Neuner and Mark Davidson top the list of creative innovators in Santa Cruz Next’s annual awards gala

Editor’s Note: With a motto like “inform, inspire and involve,” it’s hard not to appreciate the efforts Santa Cruz Next has been making locally to not only unite innovative minds, but also to foster a networking environment that allows those minds to possibly work together to create powerful changes in our local government and culture. It’s fitting then that Santa Cruz Next begins the new year with an awards gala that illuminates the work of four locals doing just that. As the third annual Nexties unfolds on Jan. 28, all eyes will be on the fab four who grabbed this year’s honors: Jacob Martinez, Monica Martinez, Mark Davidson and Jeremy Neuner. Oh, what a collection of passionate souls this foursome is. Jacob is creating a sea change among the Latino and tech communities; Monica is forging ahead to combat homelessness; Neuner is the enterprising man who helped launch NextSpace, and Davidson’s love of mountain biking has somehow transformed an entire sports community. As you peruse the following pages and learn more about these dynamic individuals, you’ll note that their commitment to strengthening our community is as impressive as it is inventive. Onward …

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Cover Stories

Chris Rene

Chris Rene

The now-famous local opens up about ‘The X Factor,’ growing up in Santa Cruz, life after addiction, and what’s next on the creative road ahead

Less than a year ago, then 28-year-old Santa Cruz native Chris Rene was collecting trash for a living and battling a drug and alcohol addiction. Today, exactly three weeks after taking third on the first season of FOX’s The X Factor, Rene is at the top of the iTunes charts, nearing a record deal, designing a fashion line, and just over 11 months sober. Motivated by fellow Santa Cruz musician James Durbin’s rise to the top on American Idol, the rapper/songwriter worked up the courage to audition for The X Factor back in September. It was there that Rene touched the heart of America with his original rap song “Young Homie,” and his inspiring story.

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Cover Stories

Music HEALS!

Music HEALS!

Meet the locals who play a fundamental role in the fascinating world of music therapy

At Dominican Hospital, music is respiratory therapist Earl White’s secret weapon. With the stressful job of treating anyone—from infants to geriatrics—having difficulty breathing with medication, a ventilator, and/or a breathing tube, White is constantly surrounded by patients and families in distress.

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Cover Stories

Santa’s Performance Review

Santa’s Performance Review

Editor’s Note: The following article was birthed thanks, in part, to the fearless efforts of “private, secret and classified media” from anonymous"whistleblowers”—otherwise known as gtleaks. In fact, our exclusive website, which was secretly launched early last year, has nabbed too many secret documents to list—and most of them hitting front pages of major news organizations. Early releases included major documentation of Wal-Mart hitting Santa Cruz, a Banana Republic outlet store arriving somewhere along Pacific Avenue and just-released data of a three-way thoroughfare along a major Downtown Santa Cruz strip. There’s more. (There’s always more …)

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Cover Stories

Tradition for the Non-Traditional

Tradition for the Non-Traditional

One Woman’s (Holiday) Story

Happy Solstice, Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah and Joyous Kwanzaa to you. Or, if you are of the ilk, Hello, it’s Thursday!

This time of year it is difficult to avoid a winter holiday of one flavor or another in our culture, whether religious, spiritual, cultural or familial. While it is undeniable that the long, dark and cold nights lend themselves to inner contemplation, whether or not this self-examination is part of a larger celebration for you is really none of my business. I don’t plan to change that. What I do plan to do, however, is make my “me time” a little bit of your business. Not because it’s special. In fact it is just the opposite.

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Cover Stories

Water Divide

Water Divide

When it comes to regional water planning, where is the county headed?
It’s one week after Water Conservation Manager Toby Goddard presented the draft 2010 Urban Water Management Plan to the Santa Cruz City Council and he’s reflecting on some aspects of the report he feels were overlooked. For one thing, he says, nearly all of the citizens who spoke during the public comment period fixated on one sliver of the plan. (Not surprisingly, that sliver concerned the city’s divisive intent to pursue desalination.) Having spent the better part of five months crafting the UWMP (the fourth he’s written for the city), Goddard had hoped the rest of the hefty document would garner some interest, too. He notes that not a single person inquired about his careful choice of cover art—which, in a way, also had something to do with desalination.  

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Mercury Enters Libra

It’s the week of Burning Man, the temporary, intentional, alternative, art-filled community on the playas of Nevada. Mercury, messenger of the Sun, enters Libra this week. Libra is the equalizer, a sign of balance and right human relations. Sometimes with Libra, we can be indecisive and confused while learning how to make balanced and right choices. Sometimes to keep the peace we communicate only what others want to hear. Eventually, we learn how to speak from the heart.

 

Final Cut

Cedar Street Video to close after 10 years at downtown location

 

Banter and Spark

Engaging actors, wry script distinguish lightweight rom-com ‘What If’

 

Back to Silicon Beach

With a new wave of startups, the future of Santa Cruz tech looks more promising than ever
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Himalayan Kitchen

Chef Purna Regmi on the secrets of Nepalese cooking

 

What’s the nicest thing you’ve done for someone this week?

Germany  |  Beekeeper

 

Best of Santa Cruz County

The 2013 Santa Cruz County Readers' Poll and Critics’ Picks It’s our biggest issue of the year, and in it, your votes—more than 6,500 of them—determined the winners of The Best of Santa Cruz County Readers’ Poll. New to the long list of local restaurants, shops and other notables that captured your interest: Best Beer Selection, Best Locally Owned Business, Best Customer Service and Best Marijuana Dispensary. In the meantime, many readers were ever so chatty online about potential new categories. Some of the suggestions that stood out: Best Teen Program and Best Web Design/Designer. But what about: Dog Park, Church, Hotel, Local Farm, Therapist (I second that!) or Sports Bar—not to be confused with Bra. Our favorite suggestion: Best Act of Kindness—one reader noted Café Gratitude and the free meals it offered to the Santa Cruz Police Department in the aftermath of recent crimes. Perhaps some of these can be woven into next year’s ballot, so stay tuned. In the meantime, enjoy the following pages and take note of our Critics’ Picks, too, beginning on page 91. A big thanks for voting—and for reading—and an even bigger congratulations to all of the winners. Enjoy.  -Greg Archer, EditorBest of Santa Cruz County Readers’ Poll INDEX

 

A Cab To Be Coveted

I first tasted Villa del Monte’s 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon at a Fourth of July party, where the hosts had bought a case of it because they love it and didn’t want to run out. It’s one of those wines that will grab you—in the best way—with its full body and rich fruit characteristics.