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Sep 19th
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Cover Stories

Cover Stories

Save The Ocean, Save The World

Save The Ocean, Save The World

Man of the 'hour,' local marine biologist Wallace J. Nichols, delivers a sobering message about the state of the world’s oceans: ‘Really, no kidding—this is our 11th hour’

The International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources (IUCN) recently released its Red List. Using the mental manna from a group of global authorities, the renowned list assesses the risk of extinction on various forms of ocean life.

Polar bears are listed as “threatened.” It’s not necessarily “good” news, but it does sit somewhere north of “endangered.” That’s the spot reserved for the right whale, the black-footed albatross, the blue whale and, something that will turn heads locally, sea otters.

But the future looks far more daunting for other forms of life, such as the pacific leatherback turtle, the vaquita marina (a harbor porpoise in the Gulf), the southern bluefin tuna, the angel shark, black grouper and black abalone. They are all considered “critically endangered.”

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Cover Stories

Six Degrees of Eleanor

Six Degrees of Eleanor

You’re closer to her than you think. Meet the local treasure who you’re already connected to.

Santa Cruz Mayor Emily Reilly leans in close, as if she’s going to tell me a secret. And she does. It’s a secret to living a long life; living a happy life; a healthy life. It’s one of the secrets that makes Reilly such a favorable politician.

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Cover Stories

Sign Language

Sign Language

A local skeptic goes on a cosmic quest for a reason to believe in astrology

Look, before we get into this, let me put one thing on the table: I’m the last person on Earth who has the right to judge anyone for being “out there.” I mean, I’m named after a freaking constellation—all by itself, that qualifies me as a full-fledged frosted flake in a lot of people’s minds. I couldn’t count the times I’ve seen that sardonic little twinkle in someone’s eyes when I’ve introduced myself: the one that says, “So very nice to meet you, Mr. Orion. I’m Hawkfart Thunderbunny, and this is my beloved, Moonclover Space Omelette. Listen, I’ve got a magic unicorn out back—wanna fly to Care-a-Lot Forest with us?”

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Cover Stories

Rev. Rochelle Knight, Officiant

Rev. Rochelle Knight, Officiant

"I do” isn’t the hard part.

Finding someone to usher you along on that white wedding day is where couples can sometimes get stumped. Say he’s a Buddhist and she’s a Christian. What then? Who marries them? For some lovebirds, it’s an easy decision. But for those in a quandary, here’s an easy answer: Meet Rev. Rochelle Knight.

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Cover Stories

Pageturner

Pageturner

Steeped in family and tradition, the Coonerty clan takes the little bookseller that could into its milestone year

some years ago, the alarm started buzzing in Bookshop Santa Cruz. Owner Neal Coonerty looked up to find his thief, and there was a nun, decked out in her habit. Apologizing for what must have been a hiccup in the alarm system, Coonerty approached the sister. She inched away from him, grabbed a local newspaper and proceeded to head toward the exit. Meanwhile, Coonerty was still acting contrite.
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Cover Stories

The New "Old"

The New November, 2005. I shove way too much luggage into the trunk of my green Jetta, and slip into the front seat. It’s the day before Thanksgiving—a time to supposedly be thankful. Instead, I’m feeling a rush of anxiety and I try some of those breathing exercises I learned in my one and only yoga class a few years ago. Then I let the car warm up, and I’m off to Los Angeles to visit my 92-year-old grumpy grandmother and her 96-year-old husband. Grandma Martin is miserable, in chronic pain, and her body is hunched over in the shape of a banana. Although she’s physically a mess, her faculties are all in order, and her mind is still fast enough to tell you, “Don’t get old like me. It’s horrible. I’m ready to die.”
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Cover Stories

Knight Fever

Knight Fever

She made quantum leaps with the indie hit ‘What the Bleep Do We Know?!’ Now, JZ Knight, the woman the channels Ramtha, preps for the re-release of the ‘Bleep’ in extended format and hopes to take people farther down the rabbit hole on her world tour

In the amount of time it takes the average person to order a soy latte and walk out of the crowded coffeehouse sipping it—10 minutes and 22 seconds—JZ Knight can reveal why the mind is extraordinary. Well, more or less. Follow along …

First off, know this: “The extraordinary is in you.” From there, consider that God, however you want to say it, is “that which you are.” Given that, then what are the mechanics of the divine mind and what can the divine mind do? Basically, it’s like this: You have to learn the components of “creating a fantastic reality.” Here it might be best to sidestep the full diagnostic summary of what consciousness is and that nobody seems to know what it really is, because when all is said and done—after all that scientific rigor—you will ultimately discover that “everything is alive.”

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Cover Stories

The Advocate

The Advocate

He bashes the Bush Administration and holds his own over the hot issue of global warming.
Inside the fiery mind of Robert F. Kennedy Jr. Why his visit to Santa Cruz is destined to turn heads.

The biggest concern is George Bush, and if you ask any of the leaders in the environmental community five years ago what was the biggest concern, they’d give you a range of issues from global warming, habitat destruction and overpopulation. Today, they’ll all tell you the same thing—that it’s this White House.

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Cover Stories

Fractured Fairy Tale

Fractured Fairy Tale

A New Year's Romance To Remember

I am 600 feet in the air stuffed inside a petite blue and white Cessna cruising over the Pacific, and I am about to get married. Married. Me? I can hardly believe it. Neither can my friends. But it is going to happen. By the time I land, I will be a married man.

As the plane, which seats four, rattles further over the water, leaving the Watsonville Airport behind us, I gaze down at the cerulean sea. I take my lover’s hand and give it an affectionate squeeze. After all the stops and starts, after all the years together—the highs, the lows, the breakups, the makeups, the emotional forks in the roads, not to mention the thousands of therapy dollars doled out for sumptuous sanity checks—I would have never realized it would culminate here … in the air, with the breezes kissing the plane and the seagulls romancing the open sky below us.

My partner—perfect. We’ve registered. We’ve gone to the county clerk for a marriage license. We’re ready to get married—in the air, above the world, somewhere where we can see “the bigger picture.”

This is an unconventional wedding ceremony, yes. And I sense that everything after my honeymoon with my beloved, everything about this particular marriage, will also be “unconventional.” By its very design, it has to be. I’m marrying myself.

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Cover Stories

The Chronicles of Charlie

The Chronicles of Charlie

His holidays will never be same

Charlie Price shot himself a long, hard look in the rearview mirror of the convertible mustang he had just rented near Chicago O’Hare airport. “OK,” he tried to convince himself. “You can do this. You can do this.”

True. He could. But somewhere deep inside Charlie’s mixed up, coming-off-the-loss-of-a-pathetic-love-affair mind, he was painfully aware of one thing: He didn’t want to. He didn’t want to spend three long, gonna-retain-water days with his family during the holidays. In fact, if he was smart and actually used the almost-acquired psych degree back in college, he’d return the damn convertible to the asinine rental clerk who’d just mocked him because he insisted on renting a convertible in the middle of December in the first place. Then he’d hop back on the drafty shuttle bus and head right back to Santa Cruz; back home, where all his neuroses would be waiting—naked, unwrapped and ready for the taking—under some sort of imaginary mistletoe. But Charlie was far from home. He was just home.

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Cover Stories

The Three Lost Boys of Sudan

The Three Lost Boys of Sudan
In their gripping memoir, three Sudanese boys share a tale of horror—and hope—and uncover the mindbending plight of war-torn Sudan.
The last time Alephonsion Deng saw his mother he was 7 years old. He was out tending to his goats when marauders attacked his Dinka village, Juol, in Southern Sudan. He knew what to do—his mother had always told him if something happened, if the government’s soldiers came to kill them, flee. He did.
“Before they reached my house they began shooting. People scattered everywhere. Roofs went up in flames … I watched them kill our cattle, set the millet and sorghu fields on fire, Benjamin Ajak, from “They Poured Fire on Us From the Sky.”
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Catwalk on the Wild Side

Meet the artists and designers behind this year’s edition of FashionART, SantaCruz’s most outrageous fashion show

 

The New Tech Nexus

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

 

Feeding Frenzy

Culinary journey ‘The Trip to Italy’ isn’t the foodie film you’d expect 

 

Watch List

From Google to the government to data brokers, why your privacy is now a thing of the past
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Sweet Treats

Local cannabis bakers win award for cookies

 

What fashion trends do you want to see, or not see?

Santa Cruz  |  High School Guidance Counselor

 

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

 

Santa Clara Wine Trail

My memories of growing up in England include my mother pouring port after Sunday dinner—and sometimes a glass of sherry before dinner. My family didn’t drink much wine back then, but we certainly made up for it with the port and sherry.