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Apr 25th
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Cover Stories

Cover Stories

Weird is as Weird does

Weird is as Weird does

People assume Santa Cruz is ‘weird.’  But is it—really? Our gal-about-town tells all.

A dreadlocked midwife, a transgendered Unitarian Universalist minister, and a polyamorous Republican walk into a bar … stop me if you’ve heard this one.

The Premise

You’ve seen the bumper sticker. You own the bumper sticker. You’ve considered covering an entire wall in your bathroom with the catch phrase (that would, after all, be quite fitting). It could be that you, like me, have caught yourself shouting to a friend or acquaintance as you part ways, “Keep it weird!” You laugh to yourself, give a thumbs-up and go on your merry way. But do you sometimes walk away wondering, “Am I keeping it weird? Am I doing my part? Am I, as a private citizen, putting my best weird foot forward?”

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Cover Stories

Eating for Wellness

Eating for Wellness

Inside the remarkable—and healthy—world of local chef and nutritionist David Wells
David Wells can’t recall his first memory of food. He can, however, remember the period in his youth when he went without it.

Wells, who is now an Aptos-based chef and nutritionist with a long, impressive career as a celebrity chef behind him, traces his gastronomical calling back to this time when, as a teenager, he found himself neglected and hungry. His mother sent him to Mendocino to live with his father, who Wells says “wouldn’t even notice if I didn’t come home for a week.” At 15 years old, he got a job washing dishes at a local restaurant just to be around a food supply.

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Cover Stories

Environmental Evolution

Environmental  Evolution

Surfer and environmental activist Kyle Thiermann has grown in many ways since he first made waves in Good Times. Back in 2009, Thiermann was a wide-eyed 19-year-old kid, living the dream. He was a pro boarder, sponsored by Patagonia and Sector 9, and just beginning his university studies at Gaia University—a college that offers students accredited degrees for pursuing social change projects of their own design.

He landed on the cover of GT in September 2009 for his first Gaia project, Claim Your Change, a short video which explored how banking locally was a simple way to support the local community—and at the same time casting a no vote on environmentally damaging projects, such as coal mining and oil drilling, which are often financed by major banks.

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Cover Stories

Rogue Warrior

Rogue WarriorGeoffrey Dunn’s new book, ‘The Lies of Sarah Palin,’ takes on the most polarizing political figure of our time
Note: On May 10, popular Santa Cruz writer and filmmaker Geoffrey Dunn entered the national political discussion for the 2012 presidential election with the release of his fascinating and illuminating new book, “The Lies of Sarah Palin: The Untold Story Behind Her Relentless Quest for Power” (published by MacMillan/St. Martin’s Press), a portion of which is excerpted in this edition of Good Times.
Already on several national bestseller lists, including in the No.1 spot on Amazon for Political Biography, Dunn’s work has been called “a tour de force in investigative journalism.” One early review called it the “best adversarial piece” ever written about Sarah Palin. Bloggers in Alaska from across the political spectrum have called it everything from “superb” to “brilliant.”
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Cover Stories

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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Cover Stories

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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Cover Stories

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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Cover Stories

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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Cover Stories

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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Cover Stories

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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Cover Stories

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 of Santa Cruz County 2014

The 2014 Santa Cruz County Readers' Poll Come on in, and have a look around. There’s a lot to see—hundreds of winners selected by thousands of GT readers across Santa Cruz County. So if some of this looks familiar, it’s probably because you helped make it happen. But there are always new things to discover, too—you could go to a different winner or runner-up every day in the Food and Drink category alone, and you’d be booked just about until next year’s Best of Santa Cruz County issue comes out.

 

Something Essential Disappears

Lunar and solar eclipses follow one another. Lunar eclipses occur at full moons, and solar eclipses at new moons. Two weeks ago at the full moon we had the blood red moon—a total lunar eclipse (the next one is Oct. 8). On Monday night, April 28 (new moon), as the Sun, Moon and Earth align, a solar eclipse (Sun obscured) occurs. Eclipses signify something irrevocably is changed in our world. The Sun is our essential life force. Monday’s new moon, 9 degrees Taurus, is also an annular solar eclipse when the Moon moves centrally in front of the Sun, yet does not cover the Sun completely. The Sun's outer edges, still visible, form a “ring of fire” around the Moon.

 

Sugar: The New Tobacco?

Proposed bill would require warning labels on sugary drinks Will soda and other saccharine libations soon come with a health warning? They will if it’s up to our state senator, Bill Monning (D-Carmel). On Feb. 27, Monning proposed first-of-its-kind legislation that would require a consumer warning label be placed on sugar-sweetened beverages sold in California. SB 1000, also known as the Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Safety Warning Act, was proposed to provide vital information to consumers about the harmful effects of consuming sugary drinks, such as sodas, sports drinks, energy drinks, and sweetened teas.

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of April 24

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Palate-Stretching 101

A wine education with Soif’s experts As a veteran of many weekend wine “seminars” at Soif, I have to confess that I’ve never known less (going in) and learned more (coming out) than I did last week at the Spanish Wine Tasting with ace rep Brian Greenwood. These are classy, casual events and it’s hard to imagine having this much flavor fun anywhere for $20.

 

Martin Ranch Winery

Sauvignon Blanc 2011 One of my favorite wines is Sauvignon Blanc, and this one made by Martin Ranch is particularly lovely. Bright, crisp and refreshing, it’s perfect to pair with fish and shellfish—and good for picnics as it has an easy screw-cap bottle. There’s nothing worse than setting down your blanket, pulling out your sandwiches—and then realizing you don’t have a corkscrew.

 

Foodie File: Red Apple Cafe

Breakfast takes center stage at Gracia Krakauer's Red Apple Cafe Before they moved to Aptos, Gracia and her husband Dan Krakauer would visit friends in Santa Cruz County and eat at the Red Apple Café all the time. Then they moved up here from Santa Monica five years ago, and bought the Aptos location (there’s a separate one in Watsonville) from the family who owned it for two decades.

 

How would you feel about a tech industry boom in Santa Cruz?

I feel like it would ruin the small old-town feeling of Santa Cruz. It wouldn’t be the same Surf City kind of vacation town that it is. Antoinette BennettSanta Cruz | Construction Management