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Dec 21st
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Food & Wine

Food & Wine

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Food and Wine Dining Guide

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Cover Stories

The Plant Whisperer

The Plant Whisperer

George Rembao finds his roots, becomes ‘plant’s best friend’ and medic to all things green

Halfway through a load of laundry and my second cup of coffee, I noticed a man in a corner of the Ultramat Laundromat facing a potted fern. He rubbed his fingers slowly over the leaves of a deep-green plant with palm-like leaves and when finished with one leaf, he moved onto the next. One by one, he moved from plant to plant, specifically touching each leaf with his hands. As he reached up to touch the taller plants’ leaves, a series of faded tattoos stretch out from beneath the sleeves of his T-shirt.

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Cover Stories

Pioneer Women

Pioneer Women

Meet six local female change-makers whose stories inspire

Author’s Note: When I first decided to do a series of profiles on inspiring local women, and announced that fact to my sphere, I was flooded with heartfelt recommendations. Two things were crystal clear from that tidal wave of a response: people never forget the remarkable women who have touched their lives, and there is no shortage of such women in Santa Cruz. What follows here is a look at six women—all trailblazers and dreamers in their own right—whose paths I have crossed over the years, and whose stories I just couldn’t forget. Now, I share their stories with you.

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Cover Stories

Ready to Thrive

Ready to Thrive

Local filmmakers Foster and Kimberly Gamble unlock a universal code that they believe will dramatically shift today’s social systems and alter the way human beings live

There are two ornate Chinese guardian lions that command attention outside of The Forbidden City in Beijing, China. Built in 1420, the regal guardians, often referred to as Fu Dogs in the West, are believed to have immense mythic and protective benefits, but their placement in traditional Chinese culture isn’t just limited to imperial cities. They can be found, often in pairs—male and female—at imperial tombs, temples, residences and, over time, in front of businesses. Under the paw of the male guardian lion is a ball. On the ball is a symbol that holds many circular overlaying loops that form the appearance of a flower. The guardian is believed to be protecting that ball, which represents the knowledge of truth.

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Cover Stories

Coffee Talk

Coffee Talk

Verve Coffee Roasters goes against the grind, taking java culture to new realms.
PLUS: The South West Regional Barista Competition hits Santa Cruz.

Starbucks—drink your caffeinated heart out. Java drinkers aren’t buzzed anymore on their coffee-in-a-box options. People want an experience to go along with their jolt of energy for the day. That’s where local coffee shops come in—they take out the corporate feel of things and re-inject the coffeehouse notion with smiling baristas, espresso from far-flung places, modern architecture, top-notch service, time spent lingering over those foam designs, and perfectly-timed brew. Such a place can even convert tea drinkers to the other side. That’s what happened to me one fine day at Verve Coffee Roasters in Downtown Santa Cruz. Co-owner Colby Barr slipped out of our interview briefly when he heard that I didn’t believe black coffee could taste good.

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Cover Stories

2012 Health Issue

2012 Health Issue

Editor’s Note: We live in an era where staying centered and healthy may seem like it’s becoming more and more challenging. With so many things capturing our attention these days—from the bastion of media information suddenly flooding our senses via Smartphones, Facebook and Twitter—we’re bound to eventually ask ourselves: What’s the best way to find balance and stay grounded? Hopefully we can offer some answers to that question in our health issue. This year, we decided to spotlight several local health advocates whose work is steering people toward living—or, in some cases, having—a more healthy life. And take note of our new health probe, dubbed On Our Radar, where we spotlight innovative happenings and humans. Enjoy. And here’s to your good health. —Greg Archer

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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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Is This a Dream?

A beginner’s guide to understanding and exploring the uncanny world of lucid dreams

 

Giving and Giving, Then Giving Some More

2014 is almost over. Wednesday, Dec. 17, the Jewish Festival of Light, Hanukkah, begins. We are in our last week of Sag and last two weeks of December. Sunday, Dec. 21 is winter Solstice, as the sun enters Capricorn (3:30 p.m. for the west coast). Soon after, the Capricorn new moon occurs (5:36 p.m. for the west coast)—the last new moon of 2014. Sunday morning Uranus in Aries (revolution, revelation) is stationary direct (retro since July 22). Uranus/Aries create things new and needed to anchor the new culture and civilization (Aquarius). We will see revolutionary change in 2015. Capricorn new moon, building-the-personality seed thought, is, “Let ambition rule and let the door to initiation and freedom stand wide (open).” Capricorn is a gate—where matter returns to spirit. But the gate is unseen until the Ajna Center (third eye), Diamond Light of Direction, opens. Winter solstice is the longest day of darkness of the year. The sun’s rays resting at the Tropic of Capricorn (southern hemisphere) symbolize the Christ (soul’s) light piercing the heart of the Earth, remaining there for three days, till Holy Night (midnight Thursday morning). Then the sun’s light begins to rise. It is the birth of the new light (holy child) for the world. A deep calm and stillness pervades the world.The entire planet is revivified, re-spiritualized. All hearts beating reflect this Light. And so throughout the Earth there’s a radiant “impress” (impressions, pictures) given to humanity of the World Mother and her Child. The star Sirius (love/direction) and the constellation Virgo the mother shines above. For gift giving, give to those in need. Give and give and then give some more. This creates the new template of giving and sharing for the new world.

 

The New Tech Nexus

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

 

Stocking Stuffers

The men behind the women of the Kinsey Sicks Dragapella Beautyshop Quartet explain their own special brand of ‘dragtivism,’ and their holiday show at the Rio
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Tramonti Pizza

Why there’s no such thing as too much Italian food in Seabright

 

Guitar or surfboard?

Guitar. The closest thing I ever came to surfing was sliding down a rock hill. Charlie Tweddle, Santa Cruz, Hats and Music

 

Fortino Winery’s Intriguing Charbono

At the opening celebration of the new Santa Clara Wine Trail in August, one of the wineries we visited was Fortino. This is where I first tasted their intriguing estate-grown Charbono—a varietal that is one of the rarest in California, with only 80 acres grown statewide.

 

Beyond the Jar

How Tabitha Stroup has built her rapidly expanding jam empire