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Apr 24th
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Cover Stories

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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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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 17

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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