Santa Cruz Good Times

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Mar 31st
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Cover Stories

Cover Stories

The Holiday Spirit

The Holiday Spirit

Reclaiming the winter holiday, Santa Cruz-style
Here in the winter holiday season, we take time out to honor our loved ones, cultivate camaraderie and compassion and huddle together for warmth during the darkest, coldest part of the year. But what to do when the nonstop barrage of elevator-friendly Christmas tunes and falsely perky TV commercials dampens our holiday cheer, and the true song of Yuletide joy is drowned out by the clinking of coins and the beeping of barcode scanners?

Thankfully, there’s no shortage of Santa Cruzans who have found inventive ways to combat mall-culture consumerism and rediscover the original meaning of the holidays. A prime example is “An Altared Christmas” (altared.com), which made its sixth annual run at The Rio on Dec. 11. In this offbeat yet heartfelt Christmas celebration, an assembly of world-class musicians performs traditional Christmas numbers, but with a unique twist: The songs have all been transposed to minor keys. Rather than being a mockery of these tunes, this fresh take on well-known seasonal standards offers listeners a chance to hear songs to which they’ve become numb due to endless repetition in mercantile venues in a new way. In the process, many audience members receive a much-needed reminder of what the holidays are all about.

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Cover Stories

Smells Like Teen Spirit

Smells Like Teen Spirit

Meet five local teens whose passions are positively affecting their community.


“The young do not know enough to be prudent, and therefore they attempt the impossible—and achieve it, generation after generation.” – Pearl S. Buck


While the idea of a teen “acting out” traditionally espouses a negative connotation—runaways, drugs, parties, or gangs—there are teens who are currently standing up and acting out on behalf of their conscience.

Contrary to most news headlines, there are plenty of remarkable teens serving as progressive role models who are just plain getting a bad rap—soldiering on amidst all the stereotypes of 2010 teens that prefer to dwell on the depressing, the violent, or the discouraging.

While focus tends to remain on a videogame-obsessed legion of kids that could be labeled Generation X-Box, there’s also something to be said for the advantages of modern technology and how it’s utilized by modern youth. More than ever before, teens have worlds of information at their texting fingertips, with a plethora of outputs of information constantly surrounding them—all the i-things, TVs, computers and cell phones. And there are many kids now tapping into these modes of communication for research, support and strength as they fight for sundry causes.

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Cover Stories

In the Field

In the Field

Spend a week with cops and you start hearing the same things over and over.

“People think it’s like a cop show on television. They think we can solve crimes in an hour.”

Or: “We’re human. Sometimes we make mistakes.”

Or: “It does get frustrating when we know someone is guilty but we have to spend so much time and energy just to prove it.”

Or: “Yeah, they (criminals) come over here because they know that if they get caught, the sentences are less than other places.”

Welcome to the inner workings of the Santa Cruz Police Department. It’s not Iraq or Afghanistan, but Interim Police Chief Kevin Vogel recently invited me to “embed” with his department for a week. The deal was this: I had complete access. I was welcome at staff meetings, briefings and on any calls. I was free to report whatever was said, except, of course, spilling the beans about a specific case, an upcoming arrest or details of an investigation. Then again, I wasn’t interested in specific cases. What I wanted to find out was this: are Santa Cruzans being well served by their cops?

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Cover Stories

The Forgotten Epidemic

The Forgotten Epidemic

Thirty years ago, AIDS emerged and changed the fates of millions. But even after great strides were made medically and otherwise, three decades later, some ask: Is AIDS awareness fading?
Almost 30 years ago in the summer of 1981 while IBM was rolling out its first PC and NASA was celebrating its first shuttle launch … and  Charles, Diana, Luke and Laura were all still single while MTV was just about to kill the radio star, two separate reports were issued from the Centers for Disease Control. The first, on June 5, reported that between October 1980 and May 1981, five young men were treated for biopsy-confirmed pneumocystis carinii pneumonia in three different hospitals in Los Angeles. All five patients had laboratory-confirmed previous or current cytomegalovirus (CMV) infection and candidal mucosal infection. Two of the patients died. All five were sexually active homosexuals men.

 

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Cover Stories

Community Fund

Community Fund

Profiles in service:
Planned Parenthood
Hospice of Santa Cruz
Barrios Unidos
Family Service Agency of the Central Coast

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Cover Stories

Bill Says the Darnedest Things

Bill Says the Darnedest Things

One of history’s best-loved comics comes to the Santa Cruz Civic. In this exclusive interview, Bill Cosby speaks his mind on humor, Barack Obama and the African-American condition.
There’s an outtake from the second season of The Cosby Show that speaks volumes about Bill Cosby’s role in American history. Seated on a couch, Cosby leans over a chessboard on the living room coffee table and asks the show’s director, “What are we doing?” A reply comes from off-camera: “Take the black pieces off the board, and we’ll start with you just putting ’em on.” Raising his eyebrows in mock indignation, Cosby shoots back, “Take the black pieces off?” To riotous crowd response, he decisively removes all the white pieces from the chessboard in a single swift swoop. Then, staring stone-facedly at the camera, he does one of his trademark head wiggles.

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Cover Stories

Baseball By The Beach

Baseball By The Beach

The San Francisco Giants may have won the World Series in 2010, but a look back in time, sheds light on the team’s origins, its tenacity and a local ball game that captured the interest of Cruzans
Back in 1887, when local entrepreneur Fred Swanton—the man who would eventually inspire the idea for the Boardwalk and become mayor of Santa Cruz—heard that the Giants were coming to San Francisco, he hurried to the city and paid a call on Walter Appleton, the New York club’s advance man. “The managers of Dolphin Park offered us such liberal inducements to come here,” Appleton advised the Santa Cruz Sentinel, “that we were determined to not disappoint the people.”

It had been a banner year for Santa Cruz baseballists. The local club, led by former major leaguer Scott Hastings, had recently won the Central Coast League championship.  Hastings, who had caught the best pitchers of the time, including Al Spalding, Candy Cummings and the ill-fated Jim Devlin, had passed on his knowledge of curves and drops to a strong-armed local twirler known as Reynolds.

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Cover Stories

Morton Marcus Lives On

Morton Marcus Lives On

It has been a year since poet, film scholar, teacher, colleague and dear friend Morton Marcus left us, and he is still sorely missed. Author of 12 volumes of poetry, one espionage novel, and the lavish, informative autobiography, “Striking Through the Masks,” Mort contributed hundreds of poems to anthologies and literary journals, and was the longtime co-host of The Poetry Show on KUSP radio. He was a regular contributor to GT and other local papers and a fixture at literary and cultural events around town. A passionate advocate for human rights as poet, teacher, columnist, and union organizer, he was also a celebrated and rigorous English instructor, and film guru to generations of awed Cabrillo College students.

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Cover Stories

Food & Wine

Food & Wine

Inside: Tortilla Flats
Main Street Garden & Café
Vino Tabi, Equinox
11 Great Pizzas
Hot Deals 11 for under $11
11 Desserts & more

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Cover Stories

In School & War

In School & War

In 2005, the club Students Against War led hundreds of UC Santa Cruz demonstrators in successfully ousting military recruiters from the school’s spring career fair. Again in April of 2006, four military recruiters fled the campus in a hurry with student protestors shouting “Don’t Come Back! Don’t Come Back!” behind them. Crowds of dissenters have continued to infiltrate UCSC career fairs, toting signs emblazoned with “Hey recruiters, leave them kids alone!” and the like. Their message has been clear: the military is not welcome on our campus.

This sentiment makes UCSC an interesting environment for one, small faction of students. Marine, Navy, Army, Air Force, Coast Guard—there are Slugs who have served in each. Currently there are 100 students attending UCSC on the GI Bill, and, over time, there have been many more.

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Cover Stories

Get Loopy

Get Loopy

Founder Rick Walker on what makes the inventive Y2K-X Live Looping Music Festival a global hit. And why it will be his last.

Rick Walker can't sit still. Sporting a black Nine Inch Nails T-shirt and sipping his preferred drink of choice, a cosmopolitan, the local drummer tells an endless supply of stories with animated hand gestures and impassioned sound effects. To illustrate his points, he spontaneously acts out air drums, air guitar, air maracas, air sitar, air (insert remote African instrument you’ve likely never heard of before).

When he goes over his 40-year music career, it’s like he’s reliving the excitement of each chapter; there’s the time in college at UC Santa Cruz in the early ’70s when he witnessed a Central African pop band and it made him discard his rock records for world music and, he says, “changed my life;” and then the time decades later when hearing Aphex Twin jolted him further into electronic-infused music and, again, he says, “changed my life.”

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Best of Santa Cruz 2015

In 40 years of publishing, Good Times has seen a lot of “bests.”

 

Spring Triangle: Three Spring Festivals—Aries, Taurus, Gemini

The Spring signs Aries, Taurus and Gemini constitute a triangle of force that sets the template for the nine signs that follow and the template for the entire year (Spring 2015 - Spring 2016) ahead. Aries initiates new ideas, Taurus stabilizes the new thinking of Aries and Gemini takes the initiating stabilized ideas of Aries/Taurus and disperses them to all of humanity. It is in this way that humanity learns new things, with the help of Mercury, the messenger. As Spring unfolds, three elements emerge: the Fire of Aries (initiating new ideas), the Earth of Taurus (anchoring the ideas of God through Mercury) and the Air of communicating Gemini. These three signs/elements are the Three Spring Festivals. They are the “triangle of force” forming the template (patterns) of energy for the upcoming new year. After these three we then have the soothing, calming, warming, nurturing and tending waters of the mother (Cancer). Cancer initiates our next season under the hot suns of summer. Planets, stars and signs create the Temple of Light directing humanity towards all things new. March 29 is Palm Sunday, when the Christ, World Teacher, was led into Jerusalem (City of Peace) on a donkey (humility). Palms waving above His head, signified recognition of the Christ’s divinity. Palm Sunday is the Sunday before the Easter (Resurrection Festival). Palm Sunday begins Holy Week, the week of capture, imprisonment, passion, sacrifice, crucifixion, death and resurrection of the christ. All events in the Christ’s life represent events (initiations) that humanity experiences through many lifetimes. We turn our attention to these holy events this week. Their concepts portray and reveal to us greater spiritual understanding. Then, Aries, the “light of life itself” shines through us.

 

The New Tech Nexus

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

 

Best of Santa Cruz 2015 Editor's Picks

BEST NIGHT CAP WARSAW MULE AT SHADOWBROOK
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Latest Comments

 

Spring Spirits

Sean Venus’ gin straight up, remembering Rosa’s and a tasting of Hungarian wines

 

What’s your favorite most recent outdoor discovery in Santa Cruz?

A hike that’s across from Waddell Beach. I didn’t realize you could go across the highway and do a super simple loop, and it’s beautiful. You can see the coastline. Liz Porter, Santa Cruz, Community Outreach

 

Martin Ranch Winery

Muscat 2012

 

Front Street Kitchen

Pop-up spot attracts paleo crowd with locally sourced low-carb meals