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Jan 27th
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Top of the Class

Top of the Class

Five UC Santa Cruz innovators break the creative mold with projects destined to make a positive difference
There is a lot more going on at the UC Santa Cruz campus than you may know— revolutionary computer games, gardening that’s “hip,” ocean advocates, and a cure for cancer and solution to blindness. As a brand new decade begins, take note of five innovators whose work is already generating powerful change.

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10 Things That Stood Out Locally in the Last Decade

10 Things That Stood Out Locally in the Last Decade

Editor’s Note: Welcome to the light at the end of the dark, sometimes daunting tunnel that was the decade of the ’00s. Y2K what? Oh that Bush and Dick. (Don’t assume I’m talking about George and Cheney.) And terrorism—thanks for the fear? Ah, Barack! Happy to have you at the helm ushering in the post-George Bush Jr. era. I can go on and on about the last decade, and all those things that stand out—the gutting of most major media, celeb obsessions and the silly notion that we are communicating better with each other because we have more gadgets that can “communicate” better. Wrong. Instead, for now, I propose that in 2010, we turn off the TV more often, quit texting each other from across the table, look into each others eyes more and relish the fact that we’re human. It might be a decent thing, too, to give something back to a planet that seems to be in need of environmental CPR. But let’s not preach. Ponder all this in your free time. Meanwhile, take a peek back at 10 things that stood out locally in the past decade. And let’s enjoy the new one. | Greg Archer

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Tales of Tanzania

Tales of Tanzania

Not too long ago, I walked into my office and found a picture of my family on my desk. This may not seem unusual. After all, many people have framed pictures of their loved ones, especially on their desks. Pictures of my family, however, have a different home. They’re perched on a shelf, facing me, three feet away from my desk, and I often look up admiringly and find family members staring back.

“What are you up to now?” I imagine them asking.

“The usual: trying to get out of my own way,” I might silently respond. (It’s this thing we have.)

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The many faces of Joe

The many faces of JoeThe life and times of Joseph Ribeiro is full of drama. And he likes it that way.

Midway through our interview, Joseph Ribeiro pauses to take a deep breath. “Are you bored yet?” he asks, chuckling.
Pity the poor jaded soul who manages to find himself bored in Joseph Ribeiro’s company. “I’m snowed under with teaching and rehearsing and choir work and saving the universe,” the longtime local actor offers, obviously tongue-in-cheek. It’s his explanation for having no time to meet in person. Regardless, his accent, a velvety blend of his native South Africa and the British cadences forced on him during his boyhood schooling, only seem to lure you in further.
“The teachers told me, ‘If you speak like that any longer, you’ll always be lower class.’ Just like Eliza Doolittle,” Ribeiro laughs. “I know what she went through, poor gal. I learned to speak posh.”
There’s also a tiny hint of an American inflection in his voice, just the barest suggestion of the last 20 years, which he’s spent mostly as a teacher, performer, and choirmaster in the Bay Area. Dec. 18 will find him playing the title character in the Cabrillo Stage production of “Scrooge,” where he’s been a Theater Arts instructor since 1996.

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Freshly Cut

Freshly Cut

Four local bands make a fast impression
Just because it’s winter, it doesn’t mean you have to stay at home. We all know it’s easy to feel the lethargy that sets in at the end of a long year as the start of El Niño advisories kick into gear, but wallowing in a season of bedroom iPod sessions doesn’t have to be the call. With Santa Cruz teeming with musicians, the following are four local bands whose live shows leave no room for idle observation. During the past year, each has corralled audience participation and allegiance that’s making heads turn. Whether through jagged classic rock mayhem, a feverish  ska whirlwind, amorphous post-punk power or a blistering funk shake-up, each tantalizes with a reputation for a high-adrenaline show that’s spreading as infectious and as fast as the H1N1.
No matter how epic your playlist may be, seeing the real thing live will keep you toastier than your long underwear—so go to a show and leave your coat at the door. You’ll stay warm through the music.

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What happens if it’s legal?

What happens if it’s legal?

The decades-old push to legalize marijuana finally gains political momentum in California. But is it the right thing to do?

On Oct. 28, Dale Gieringer did what millions of marijuana smokers have only dreamed of doing: He sat before lawmakers and told them why marijuana should be legal.
Gieringer serves as the state coordinator of the San Francisco-based California chapter of the National Organization to Reform Marijuana Laws (NORML). Founded in 1970, NORML is the nation’s oldest and largest organization dedicated to lobbying governments to legalize the possession, cultivation and sale of marijuana.

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Community Ties

Community Ties

Five nonprofits pave the way for transformation in our annual Community Fund issue

A community is only as strong as the individuals who inhabit it. Therefore, it only makes sense that communities should work together to empower their residents and provide a safe haven for children to grow up in. Such is the shared ambition of the five family resource centers throughout Santa Cruz County, each dedicated to serving the members surrounding their specific geographic location. There’s the Davenport Resource Service Center to provide services to families on the North Coast, Mountain Community Resources in the San Lorenzo Valley, Live Oak Family Resource Center located mid- county, Familia Center in Santa Cruz and La Manzana Community Resources in Watsonville. Together, these family resource centers provide a host of helpful programs to ensure parents, children and individuals have the opportunity to lead safe, healthy and constructive lives. See donation guide at bottom

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The Music

The Music

Emily Howell and UCSC professor David Cope make beautiful music together

Dried reeds, seashells, metal tubes, bells and tiny tin cans labeled “beer” jostle for space among the 200 or so wind chimes hanging from the ceiling of David Cope’s home office. One wall is lined with schemes for elaborate satellite dishes, scrawled in pencil on large sheets of tan paper. Textbooks, novels, sheet music and CDs spill from the shelves onto the cluttered floor.
“This is the sanctuary,” Cope says, negotiating a path to his desk, head bobbing from side to side to avoid the low-hanging and varied tentacles. There are chimes from every continent except Antarctica, he explains. “Some make lovely, extraordinary sounds, and some don’t.”

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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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Force of Nature

Santa Cruz’s Carlie Statsky brings her love of the natural world to the hyper-personal art of wedding photography

 

Mercury Retrograde in Aquarius

The magical time of Mercury’s retrograde cycle is here once again, until Feb. 11, and then some. The Mercury retro cycle actually lasts eight weeks when we consider its retrograde shadow, giving us six months a year for review. We know the rules of Mercury retro: Be careful with everything; cars, driving, money, resources, friends, friendships, groups, interactions, thinking, talking, communications. Avoid big purchases, important meetings and important repairs. Mercury retrograde times are for review, reassessment and rest. Our minds are overloaded from the last Mercury retro. Our minds need to assess what we’ve done since October—eliminating what is not needed, keeping what’s important, preparing for new information in the next three months (till mid-May). Mercury in Aquarius retrograde … we reinvent ourselves, seek the unusual, we don’t hide, we’re just careful. We live in two worlds; outer appearances and inner reckonings, with both sides of our brain activated. Yet, like the light of the Gemini twins, one light waxes (inner world), the other (outer realities) wanes. Like Virgo, we see what’s been overlooked—assessing, ordering and organizing information. It’s an entirely inner process. When speaking we may utter only half of the sentence. We’re in the underworld, closer to Spirit, eyes unseeing, senses alerted, re-doing things over and over till we sometimes collapse. Because we’re in other realms, we’re wobbly, make mistakes, and don’t really know what we want. It’s not a time for decisions. Not yet. It’s a time of review. And completing things. Mercury retro: integration, slowing down, resolution, rapprochement.

 

The New Tech Nexus

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

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of January 23

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >
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Bye Bye Benten!

Benten closing, plus Award-winning gin, a massive burrito and chocolate review

 

Trout Gulch Vineyards

Scanning the shelves of Deluxe Foods of Aptos, which carries an impressive selection of local and imported wines, I picked up a bottle of Trout Gulch Vineyards Chardonnay 2012, described as “a local favorite” by the busy market.

 

Cremer House

What’s old is cutting-edge again in Felton

 

How are you going to make a tangible difference in your community this year?

Spread more kindness and compassion.