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Dec 18th
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Cover Stories

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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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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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Is This a Dream?

A beginner’s guide to understanding and exploring the uncanny world of lucid dreams

 

Giving and Giving, Then Giving Some More

2014 is almost over. Wednesday, Dec. 17, the Jewish Festival of Light, Hanukkah, begins. We are in our last week of Sag and last two weeks of December. Sunday, Dec. 21 is winter Solstice, as the sun enters Capricorn (3:30 p.m. for the west coast). Soon after, the Capricorn new moon occurs (5:36 p.m. for the west coast)—the last new moon of 2014. Sunday morning Uranus in Aries (revolution, revelation) is stationary direct (retro since July 22). Uranus/Aries create things new and needed to anchor the new culture and civilization (Aquarius). We will see revolutionary change in 2015. Capricorn new moon, building-the-personality seed thought, is, “Let ambition rule and let the door to initiation and freedom stand wide (open).” Capricorn is a gate—where matter returns to spirit. But the gate is unseen until the Ajna Center (third eye), Diamond Light of Direction, opens. Winter solstice is the longest day of darkness of the year. The sun’s rays resting at the Tropic of Capricorn (southern hemisphere) symbolize the Christ (soul’s) light piercing the heart of the Earth, remaining there for three days, till Holy Night (midnight Thursday morning). Then the sun’s light begins to rise. It is the birth of the new light (holy child) for the world. A deep calm and stillness pervades the world.The entire planet is revivified, re-spiritualized. All hearts beating reflect this Light. And so throughout the Earth there’s a radiant “impress” (impressions, pictures) given to humanity of the World Mother and her Child. The star Sirius (love/direction) and the constellation Virgo the mother shines above. For gift giving, give to those in need. Give and give and then give some more. This creates the new template of giving and sharing for the new world.

 

The New Tech Nexus

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

 

Stocking Stuffers

The men behind the women of the Kinsey Sicks Dragapella Beautyshop Quartet explain their own special brand of ‘dragtivism,’ and their holiday show at the Rio
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Tramonti Pizza

Why there’s no such thing as too much Italian food in Seabright

 

Guitar or surfboard?

Guitar. The closest thing I ever came to surfing was sliding down a rock hill. Charlie Tweddle, Santa Cruz, Hats and Music

 

Fortino Winery’s Intriguing Charbono

At the opening celebration of the new Santa Clara Wine Trail in August, one of the wineries we visited was Fortino. This is where I first tasted their intriguing estate-grown Charbono—a varietal that is one of the rarest in California, with only 80 acres grown statewide.

 

Beyond the Jar

How Tabitha Stroup has built her rapidly expanding jam empire