Santa Cruz Good Times

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Dec 18th
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Cover Stories

Cover Stories

School’s Out...(forever)

School’s Out...(forever)

Homeschooling and unschooling. A look at the alternatives in Santa Cruz
School isn’t for everyone. Some critics even say that mass schooling makes kids dumber and less creative, less confident and less capable of thinking for themselves. Today in the United States, about 56 million children attend compulsory schools while the trend in learning outside of schools is growing as more families decide to avoid the socialization of control that’s a hallmark of “public education.” If “regular” schools are symbolized by a regimented system of bells and rules, the freedom and flexibility of homeschooling and unschooling might be characterized by this maxim: trust that children learn everywhere, all the time.

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Cover Stories

What’s So Funny?

What’s So Funny?

Searching for laughs in Santa Cruz—seriously

To Get to the Other Side

Readers’ Digest said it best, or at least most famously: Laughter is the Best Medicine. The adage is thought to come from the Bible, Proverb 17:22,  “A merry heart does good, like medicine, But a broken spirit dries the bones.” Similarly, the Koran supports the funny with, “He deserves Paradise who makes his companions laugh.” And who among us can argue with Siddhartha Gautama’s observation, “When you realize how perfect everything is you will tilt your head back and laugh at the sky.” Of course historically we laugh with equal gusto at all that is imperfect (see What’s Up With Airline Food?).

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Cover Stories

Kyer Wiltshire

Kyer Wiltshire

Views the world through a spiritual lens
This moment. Yes, this one right here. Are you enjoying it? Are you milking it for all it’s worth, savoring its nuances, pouncing on its opportunities?

The reason I ask is that this moment happens to be the only game in town. Not to be a downer, but the paper on which these words are printed will one day yellow and fade, then wither and crumble. Everything we see—as well as the eyes we see it with and the brains we’re using to process it with—will eventually return to the earth, and all of our efforts, dreams, struggles and schemes will be forgotten. The truth of Emerson’s assertion “Life is a journey, not a destination” couldn’t be more evident: The end of the line is oblivion (or at the very least, the oblivion of our present forms), so let’s not be in such a hurry to “get there.” Instead, let’s make damned sure we enjoy the ride, shall we?

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Cover Stories

Harbor Life

Harbor Life

Vibrant and full of all the natural wonders the coast has to offer, the Santa Cruz Harbor is a thriving close-knit community. It’s also one filled with neighbors who pull together during challenging times.

Don Lind, 84, pinches off pure Virginia tobacco, stuffs it into his pipe and lights a match. Beyond the curls of smoke he watches kayakers and couples in dinghies glide by outside his port window.

“Everything is alive here,” he says.

It was never a long sought-after dream to live on a boat for Lind. He hadn’t even been out on a boat until he was in his sixties. But, when he finally did go out onto the ocean he knew something was right. He said he got the feeling that he’d been there before. Now when he plays music in the cabin of his 32-foot motorboat, he looks out the window and to the trees on the hillside.

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Cover Stories

Thirty & Thriving

Thirty & Thriving

Cabrillo Stage’s Lile Cruse and Jon Nordgren open up the theater company’s milestone season.
Plus: a look back at how it all began.

Lile Cruse. Jon Nordgren. They are the two masterminds behind Cabrillo Stage. Cruse is the founding artistic director of the much-admired local theater company and Nordgren is the current artistic director. And they’re both in the spotlight as Cabrillo Stage celebrates its 30th anniversary this year.

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Cover Stories

The World On My Back

The World On My Back

Camping and backpacking - and back again. Our adventurous scribe unveils all—just in time for summer
I’m writing this from inside my tent. I managed to erect it just as the first sprinkles started, and now it’s steadily raining. It’s a new tent, and so far has no leaks. Fingers crossed there.

Bringing this laptop is fairly indulgent, weight-wise, on a backpacking trip. Same with my wilderness survival books. But I knew this weekend was going to be rainy, and my original hike would likely be too hazardous when wet, so I picked an easier destination and figured I could deal with a little extra weight.

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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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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