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Apr 16th
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Cover Stories

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reflextions

reflextions

How yoga maven Ann Barros became the creative catalyst in an enlightening Hollywood tale

In October 2006, Ann Barros took a walk to the beach and a neighbor called out to her, “You’re in this book, ‘Eat, Pray, Love.’” And indeed she was. On page 221 in the book, author Elizabeth Gilbert tells a medicine man in Indonesia:
“I don’t think you remember me, Ketut. I was here two years ago with an American Yoga teacher, a woman who lived in Bali for many years.”
He smiles, elated, “I know Ann Barros!”
“That’s right. Ann Barros is the Yoga teacher’s name. But I’m Liz. I came here asking for your help once because I wanted to get closer to God. You drew me a magic picture.”   
Ketut Liyer, an old Indonesian man whom people visit for spiritual and personal guidance, had painted a picture for Gilbert when she visited Bali in 2002 on a Yoga retreat led by Barros, a long-time Santa Cruz yoga teacher.

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Articulations

Articulations

Residents say the best is yet to come for the Tannery Arts Center.  Plus: A look at the center’s funding and the hurdles ahead.

One year ago, on a cold and drizzly November day, more than 100 artists and their families camped outside of the soon-to-be Tannery Arts Center with hopes of securing a residence. Today, nearly 230 people live in the 100 Tannery live/work units, where the household artists work on everything from painting to poetry, piano to ballet, and pottery to hip-hop.

The center, a long time in the making, began as a mere dream of Santa Cruz arts organizations that hoped for a day when local artists and nonprofits could have an affordable home. The Santa Cruz Cultural Council had completed a Cultural Action Plan in 1999 that assessed local arts, concluding that it was a $32 million per year industry that employed 750 full-time equivalents and paid $3 million in taxes, according to Tannery Arts Center Director George Newell. The hitch was the high cost of living that was sending local talent over the hill. “You need affordable housing, you need an affordable studio, and you need some venues in which to present your art,” says Newell, describing the findings of the study.

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Food & Wine

Food & Wine

A feast of chefs, vintners and 10 wild dishes that just make you want to grab a fork.

Charlie Parker, Cellar Door Café

Chef Charlie Parker cares about cooking, and cares about making people happy with food. This is evident when you taste his creations at Bonny Doon Vineyard’s Cellar Door Café. Whether it’s a small plate or a selection from the three-course prix fixe menu, each dish is memorable with its wonderful seasonings and thoughtful presentation.

“I love different flavors and how things taste together,” Parker says. “It’s what drives me.”  His passion is apparent and his journey is interesting to chronicle.

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World War II

World War II

In the George Bush Sr. era, they ruled the Santa Cruz music scene, worked with the real-life ‘more cowbell’ guy and came inches away from becoming rock superstars. Almost two decades later, World Entertainment War is back to launch a new assault on mass media.

The 2006 film Idiocracy depicts a dystopian society of the future in which the movie Ass—a 90-minute close-up of a man’s buttocks, with the occasional fart serving to spice up the plot—wins an Oscar for Best Screenplay, and the most popular show on TV is called Ow! My Balls! (It’s exactly what it sounds like.)

Absurd as this scenario might seem, the bizarre truth is that much of what passes for entertainment in the present day makes the media as depicted in Idiocracy look downright benign. In recent times, we’ve watched game show contestants vie for cash prizes by eating bowls of blended rats on Fear Factor, and we’ve seen Entertainment Weekly praise Jackass—a TV program whose stars captured the public imagination by attaching leeches to their eyeballs, receiving kicks in the groin from children (Ow! My balls!) and taking massive amounts of laxatives in order to poop into toilets that were up for sale—as one of the greatest shows of the past 25 years.

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Santa Cruz & the Loma Prieta Earthquake

Santa Cruz & the Loma Prieta EarthquakeShe rattled the earth—and our senses—but the great quake of 1989 also made us take action. A look back at the unforgettable events that forced the county to shape the future.  Maybe it’s just the DNA of nature, the world or the universe, but if you look closely enough, you’ll notice that great things emerge from rubble. Plants, in their seedling states, in fact, have to rise through a lot of manure before they shine proudly toward the sun. You can say that about Santa Cruz County, too. It’s certainly had its challenging days, as the 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake proved all too well. Loma, powerful as she was, shook the county to its core on Tuesday, Oct. 17, 1989. Registering 7.1. on the Richter scale (later downgraded to 6.9), it annihilated most of downtown Santa  Cruz, devastated portions of Watsonville and ravaged many parts of mountain communities like Ben Lomond and Felton. Nobody seemed to have been left unscathed—inside and out. But in the aftermath, as the fires burned and locals sifted through all the wreckage, the community came together in ways nobody could have expected. On the following pages, GT looks back at the events of that fateful day. We chronicle the unique takes of a photographer who was on the scene on Pacific Avenue, right after the quake hit (Reflections Behind the Lens). We showcase the beginning stages of how downtown Santa Cruz began a new journey ahead. We also interview local politicos of the day (Looking Back, Looking Ahead) and look back on the importance of remembering such events (Memory Matters, On That Day, Rumblings form the Past). Beyond that, there are celebrations to note, too (see below) and other first-hand accounts of an unforgettable day that generated a powerful ripple effect—and a monstrous sea change—into a community whose spirit always seemed destined to soar. --GREG ARCHER
See all Loma Prieta earthquake articles in the Santa Cruz History section >
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Masterpiece Theater

Masterpiece Theater

A chronicle of the wildly inventive evolution of Cabrillo College and its new Visual and Performing Arts Complex
On a perfect fall day, sunlight streams through the trees at Cabrillo College in Aptos, illuminating the recently constructed Visual and Performing Arts Complex like a shiny new penny. The $80 million facility consists of five buildings totaling 122,300 square feet. The Crocker Theater and the recital hall may be the crowning glory of the new complex, but there are also three new buildings dedicated solely to art instruction.
“There has been a total transformation of our campus in the last five years,” says Cabrillo College President Brian King. Now is a great time to be a Cabrillo College art student of any genre because gone are the days of 50-year-old classrooms and art supplies left over from the Jurassic Age. The school’s new Visual and Performing Arts Complex is a masterpiece of spacious, well-lit classrooms and performance areas equipped to fully train a new generation of artists in Santa Cruz County.

The decision to undertake the massive project of creating this multi-mullion dollar complex was not taken lightly. In fact, the faculty at Cabrillo College has been hoping to see this dream become a reality since 1978, but obtaining sufficient funding—particularly for the arts—has always been the pressing issue. But the State of California smiled on Cabrillo College (fortunately before its coffers ran dry), providing $20 million in state bond money. Additional funds came from the Federal government and directly from our community, with voters passing measure C in 1998, which granted $85 million, and measure D in 2004 which provided another $118.5 million.

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Dancing Queen

Dancing Queen

Watsonville’s Ruby Vasquez keeps Mexican folk dancing alive
“Every region in Mexico, every state, has its own unique style of dance,” says Watsonville native Ruby Vasquez. As she speaks, her eyes shine with a passionate enthusiasm for the Mexican folk dancing that has played such a major role throughout her life. “In the style of Jalisco and many other styles in the Mexican dances, one of the main articles of clothing that is a common thread for the women is a rebozo,” she explains as she gently twirls the multicolored woven garment in her hands. “You’ll still see in Mexico women using the rebozo as a daily article of clothing. They use it like a shawl, in the marketplaces to display their produce, and they use it to carry their babies with them. For me, at a young age learning about the different dance styles from each state and the outfits that represent them allowed me to start growing up and start making connections with other cultures. There are a lot of commonalities that you can make and you can really draw on those connections when you get exposed to them.”

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Home & Garden

Home & Garden

The Great Cover Up

Rest and rejuvenation for your weary soil, green manure gives back

by Bruce Willey
The transition between summer and fall has always been an especially acute time for vegetable gardeners. Not only must we reacquaint ourselves with store-bought tomatoes that taste like gopher fur dipped in wood shavings, but we must also adapt to all the extra time on our hands as our garden beds lie fallow.  There is, after all, nothing worse than a gaggle of gardeners wearing overalls and floppy hats, fondling their hoes outside a 7-Eleven and asking strangers for a spare heirloom tomato.

But as any good organic gardener knows, late summer/early fall is time to sow the cover crop. Often called green manure, cover crops have been around before the invention of the “green” light bulb, or for that matter, before “green” meant something other than the color of plants, grass and trees. Organic gardeners have long touted the benefits of green manure with the same zeal of growing their own vegetables. And they know that the two have a symbiosis that works magic in the garden.

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What’s For Lunch?

What’s For Lunch?

A record number of students are qualifying for the federal free lunch program; but what are we feeding them?

With the country abuzz over health care reform—decrying supposed death panels or outraged over soaring insurance premiums—it seems the health care fervor has forgotten something pretty important: health. Not sickness, not insurance, but health. Wellness. It’s something that is quickly slipping from our grasp as a society, and yet the debate rages on about what drugs and surgeries to use and how to pay for them, instead of how to stay healthy in the first place.

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Lest We Forget

Lest We Forget

One high school reunion and a bundle of memories spawn a bunch of headscratching. Welcome to Human Memory 101

You know, there’s a cold, cruel poetry to the phrase “over the hill”: At birth, we begin an uphill climb—struggling to stand on two legs, growing, learning, reaching for the stars, rising in stature and status, aspiring to great heights of achievement, etc. Arriving at the top of the hill—life’s peak—we bathe in the sun’s warmth, enjoying equally clear views of all that lies behind us and all that lies ahead. All too soon, however, we begin the inevitable decline, the slow march down the other side of the hill. The force of gravity tugs at our flesh and bones with increasing insistence as we gain momentum on our descent, gradually causing our spines and faces to droop earthward, as if in haste to merge with the soil that waits to reclaim us at our journey’s end.

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Aries Solar Festival

Sunday is Palm Sunday. Symbolizing victory and triumph, paradise, sacrifice and martyrdom, the Pisces World Teacher entered Jerusalem (City of Peace) on a donkey (signifying humility).

 

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.

 

Animal Magnetism

Bear, mouse dare to be friends in charming ‘Ernest and Celestine’ It’s not exactly Romeo and Juliet. It’s not even a romance, although it is a love story about two individuals separated by prejudice who find the courage to form an unshakable bond despite the rules and traditions that keep them apart.

 

Printer's Devil

Iconic editor Buz Bezore, who died last month at the age of 68, left a huge mark on Santa Cruz journalism   Eventually, it’s all a blur. You live long enough, and maybe a little too hard at times, so that when you hit the rewind button of faded memory, it moves so fast that you can hardly sort and gather the details. One scene skips to the next, and to the next, without proper editing or sequencing. Chronologies get distorted. Which came first: stealing the chickens or coloring the eggs?
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Foodie File: Yan Flower

Yan Belleville has owned Yan Flower, an affordable Chinese restaurant in Downtown Santa Cruz, with her husband Raymond for eight years, and it’s a family affair. Her brother, sister, sister-in-law, and cousins work there too. Locals know the joint for its massive lunch specials starting at $4.

 

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

 

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

 

Comanche Cellars

Pinot Noir 2010 I first tasted Comanche Cellars Pinot when a friend brought a bottle to share over lunch at Center Street Grill in Santa Cruz. Upon trying it, I knew I had to find out more about it.