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Aug 27th
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Cover Stories

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Best Professionals

Best Professionals

Category-Winner
Aerobics Instructor-Jaimi Ellison / Lee Pate (tie)
Artist of the Year-Maggie Renner Hellman
Astrologer-Risa D’Angeles/Good Times
Bartender-Eric Adams/Michael’s on Main
Carpenter-Richard Singer
Chiropractor-Dr. Katie Griffin
Contractor-Costa Bella Builders
Dentist-Guy W. Peabody DDS
General Practitioner-Michelle Massie
Landscaper-Neu-Scapes

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Best of the Rest

Best of the Rest

Category-Winner
Activist Group-Occupy Santa Cruz  
Beach-Seabright
Childcare-Santa Cruz Toddler Care
Computer Training-Cruzio
Green Service-Greenspace
Local Hero-James Durbin
Mover & Shaker (Local)-Danny Keith
New Business-Vice Salon
Nonprofit (Local)-Save Our Shores
Place To Learn New Things-Cabrillo College

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Marley

Marley

Has the ‘definitive’ documentary about the reggae superstar finally arrived? Bob Marley’s daughter, Cedella, opens up about her famous father and the new film that reveals the (hu)man beyond the legend.

It’s hard not to be taken in by the opening moments of the new documentary Marley. Waves—so passionate, so lush— crash onto the shores of West Africa. A moment later, we spot a few men standing up in a long canoe as they paddle toward an unknown destination. And then, a majestic image appears on screen. At least it looks majestic—from the outside. It’s Cape Coast Castle. And perched here in Ghana, West Africa, it remains a sobering reminder of one of history’s more darker eras. You see, the castle was the threshold where enslaved Africans were held and later shipped to the Caribbean, to North America and to other places in the world in the 18th century. A tall man—a “tour guide” of sorts—informs  viewers that 10,000 enslaved Africans were shipped from the spot year after year—and that eventually millions of Africans were taken from their homeland.

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Occupied

Occupied

Three days of barricades, meetings, dance parties and sleeping inside a vacant bank—and charges of trespassing, vandalism and conspiracy against 11. A deeper look inside some of the lesser-known aftereffects of the local Occupy Movement.

Seventy-four days after the birth of the Occupy Movement in September 2011, a self-described “anonymous, autonomous group standing in solidarity with Occupy Santa Cruz,” entered a building in Downtown Santa Cruz that had been vacant for three years. A press release from occupiers explained that the building, formerly owned by Wells Fargo and now leased to the bank, would be “transformed into a community center.”

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The Battle at the Plate

The Battle at the Plate

With a new book, ‘No Happy Cows,’  and the forthcoming Virtual Food Revolution Summit, author John Robbins stirs up a food uprising unlike any other. Why the push for more natural foods and less processed, industrial foods has never been greater.

Julia Child and John Robbins walk into a veal barn. (This sounds like the start of a great joke, but it is actually the beginning of a true story.) It was the late ’90s, and the pair were speakers at a conference in Philadelphia, Penn. Child, the iconic American cook and gastronomic Francophile, was well into her eighties; Robbins, who is a Santa Cruz County resident, was a decade into his reign as the leading advocate of a plant-based diet.

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My, What a Big Whereas You Have!

My, What a Big  Whereas You Have!

Proclamation Day saves the world!

a  PROCLAMATION: Whereas April 1 is fast approaching and is a day of great importance. It marks the 92nd day of 2012. Ninety-two is the atomic number for uranium, a chemical element high on everyone’s list during these tense times; additionally, 92 is the international telephone code for Pakistan (a fact unrelated to the uranium tidbit); and 92 is also a very respectable age to reach.

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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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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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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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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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Mercury Enters Libra

It’s the week of Burning Man, the temporary, intentional, alternative, art-filled community on the playas of Nevada. Mercury, messenger of the Sun, enters Libra this week. Libra is the equalizer, a sign of balance and right human relations. Sometimes with Libra, we can be indecisive and confused while learning how to make balanced and right choices. Sometimes to keep the peace we communicate only what others want to hear. Eventually, we learn how to speak from the heart.

 

Final Cut

Cedar Street Video to close after 10 years at downtown location

 

Banter and Spark

Engaging actors, wry script distinguish lightweight rom-com ‘What If’

 

Back to Silicon Beach

With a new wave of startups, the future of Santa Cruz tech looks more promising than ever
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Himalayan Kitchen

Chef Purna Regmi on the secrets of Nepalese cooking

 

What’s the nicest thing you’ve done for someone this week?

Germany  |  Beekeeper

 

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

 

A Cab To Be Coveted

I first tasted Villa del Monte’s 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon at a Fourth of July party, where the hosts had bought a case of it because they love it and didn’t want to run out. It’s one of those wines that will grab you—in the best way—with its full body and rich fruit characteristics.