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Dec 25th
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Arts, Entertainment, Dining, Calendar

Literature

Lost Memory

Lost Memory

Russell Banks’ new novel tackles taboo topics of sex offenders, Internet porn addiction and the ephemeral line between reality and fantasy

From the window of his Miami Beach condo, acclaimed author Russell Banks looks out onto Biscayne Bay, where a tunnel causeway stretches from mainland Florida to the barrier island on which he lives. At first a seemingly ordinary bridge spanning a stunning view, the causeway began to capture his imagination several years ago when it attracted the attention of the media: living beneath the bridge was a modern-day leper colony of convicted sex offenders.

Due to a 2005 city of Miami ordinance that banned convicted sex offenders from living within 2,500 feet of schools, parks, bus stops—or anyplace where children congregate—the Julia Tuttle Causeway was the only place in the city proper that these men could call home. So what began with a few tents quickly expanded into a shanty town complete with makeshift toilets, kitchenettes and gasoline-powered generators to charge residents’ cell phones along with the GPS tracking devices many of them were required to wear around their ankles.

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A&E

Monsters, Inc.

Monsters, Inc.

Monsters beware: a potions master has it out for you

Monsters are under the bed. They lurk behind the door. They tiptoe around a toddler’s room. Even Pixar made a movie about the monsters that scare children. But no one has fought with monsters like Stephanie Corey. The potions master created a line of products that offer several functions: Spray her Monster Armor on a monster and the creature will turn into a friend, or spritz it around the house and monsters will stay away. Or take a bath and your whole body will be covered in armor, protecting you from one-eyed ghouls and vampires. Of course, this might sound like child’s play, and that’s partly correct.

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A&E

Motion ... at the Mill

Motion ... at the Mill

New dance spaces and the Third Annual Ethnic Dance Festival mark an exciting time in the world of dance in Santa Cruz

Do you remember visiting Disneyland when you were a kid (or maybe with your kids) and taking a spin on the “It’s a Small World” ride? The little boats sail through all the cultures of the globe, as tiny robots representing the citizens of each country serenade visitors with the local dance, costume and culture. Sure it’s trite, and the cloying sweetness of the music may leave you wanting to abandon ship, but the idea of using dance as a way to unite the world’s cultures is one that should not be underestimated.

This weekend, the Third Annual Ethnic Dance Festival hits Santa Cruz by storm. A kind of live action version of “It’s a Small World,” dancers representing more than a dozen different cultures will assemble in Downtown Santa Cruz to offer classes and performances open to the public. This year, the festival has moved to Laurel Park behind Louden Nelson Center.

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A&E

Getting High

Getting High

Inner High Foods brings whole-food edibles and teas to the medicinal marijuana market

Two years ago, Jacqui Pearson* noticed that her father was wheezing and coughing—and he began to complain of shortness of breath. After a few medical tests, his doctor diagnosed him with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The third leading cause of death in the United States this progressive lung disease manifests itself as emphysema, chronic bronchitis or, most often, both. As the integrity of lung tissue is destroyed, it gets harder and harder for the patient to breathe. Usually, COPD is caused by smoking tobacco. But Pearson, now in his late fifties, has smoked less than one pack of cigarettes throughout his entire lifetime. The culprit for Pearson’s lung disease is a decades-long habit of smoking marijuana.

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Theater

Tangled Up in 'Blue'

Tangled Up in 'Blue'

Outstanding performance highlights Jewel Theatre's 'House of Blue Leaves'

There's a lot going on in the new Jewel Theatre production of John Guare's "The House of Blue Leaves." A visiting Pope, surprise appearances by a Hollywood filmmaker and a famous movie star, a gaggle of comic nuns, spontaneous piano duets, and a bomb-wielding malcontent all figure into the plot that director Susan Myer Silton has tumbling in and out of the play's single set with farcical speed. Not to mention the thematic cacophony of mid-life disappointment and shattering dreams.

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A&E

Creation Happens

Creation Happens

Art duJour re-tools the art of learning—and paints it yellow

How may times have you said to yourself, “Santa Cruz would be great if only there was a place to learn about beekeeping, watch movies in the backyard, decorate my bicycle helmet and take in some splendid local artworks—all under one roof. And it should be yellow.”

Well, you’ve said that for the last time, bub, because now there is such a place, and they are calling it Art duJour.

“They” are Heather Young and Christine Currie, two moms (a teacher and a marketing consultant) who have managed to coax a common dream out of the ether and will it to materialize in our midst. That dream was to create a space and fuel the momentum for a nonprofit arts-education program for adults and children. And it was to be inspiring, community-oriented, and inviting.

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Literature

Pleasure Cruise

Pleasure Cruise

Russell, Holmes, sail high seas in Laurie King’s entertaining new mystery novel 'Pirate King'

cclaimed Corralitos mystery writer Laurie R. King has shepherded her husband-and-wife detective team through some dark, sobering themes in her last couple of books—religious fanaticism, moral corruption, even human sacrifice. Her latest novel, “Pirate King,” takes another tack entirely. For this 11th outing in her popular mystery series, King places her intrepid heroine, Mary Russell, and her equally redoubtable husband, Sherlock Holmes, smack in the middle of a witty, lighthearted romp of an adventure involving the early days of the silent film industry, Gilbert and Sullivan operettas, and, of course, pirates.

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Literature

The Poems of Dorine Jennette

The Poems of Dorine JennetteEditor’s note:  Dorine Jennette is the author of “Urchin to Follow” (The National Poetry Review Press, 2010). Her work has appeared in The Georgia Review, the Journal, the Los Angeles Review, the New Orleans Review, Puerto del Sol and Verse Daily. She earned her master of fine arts degree at New Mexico State University and her doctorate degree at the University of Georgia.
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A&E

The Fabrica

The Fabrica

At the end of Pacific Avenue sits a DIY fashionista’s gathering place

Surrounded by used sewing machines, heaps of scrap fabric, spools of thread and buttons, Elaina Ramer instructs a visitor on how to mend the hem of her shirt in the middle of The Fabrica: a hole-in-the-wall sewing and textile arts workshop that opened in March of last year. Ramer, Ann Altstatt and Stefanie Wolf are the founders of The Fabrica, where locals can take sewing classes for free (though donations are welcome), and bring in sewing projects to work on, like a visitor in the early days—a man who wanted to sew a yurt, a portable, canvas-covered, wood lattice-framed dwelling structure traditionally used by Mongolian nomads.

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Theater

Full House

Full House

Jewel Theatre debuts “The House of Blue Leaves”
The Pope is coming to town. OK, not the real Pope, and not this town, but that’s the premise of a play debuting at Center Stage and produced by Jewel Theatre. “The House of Blue Leaves,” written by John Guare and directed by Susan Myer Silton, tells a compelling story about celebrity worship, not listening to other people, family and even humiliation.

The story unfolds in Queens, New York, on Oct. 4, 1965, when the Pope is coming to America. Our cast is a wild bunch of characters: There’s Artie, a zookeeper, who hopes to strike it rich as a songwriter. He’s married to a woman named Bananas. And yes, she really is fruity. She’s a homemaker whose son, Ronnie, just joined the Army. Meanwhile, Artie is having an affair with his neighbor, Bunny, who’s trying to push Artie to make contact with an old Hollywood friend. And on top of all that, Ronnie is planning to blow up the Pope.

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Dancing In the Rain

District Attorney Bob Lee’s death in October stunned the Santa Cruz community, but he had battled cancer fiercely—and privately—for more than a decade. Now one of his closest friends reveals the remarkable inside story

 

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

 

Pinned Down

Actors shine in true-crime wrestling drama ‘Foxcatcher’
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Best Bites of 2014

A look back at the year in good taste

 

What downtown business is good for both one-stop shopping and last-minute gifts?

The Homeless Garden Project store. Because it is a community effort and has really useful and beautiful things, and allows you to connect with a lot of folks who are doing great work in Santa Cruz. Miriam Greenberg, Santa Cruz, UCSC Professor

 

Vino Tabi Winery

One of Santa Cruz’s most happening areas to go wine tasting is in the westside’s Swift Street Courtyard complex. Ever since a group of about a dozen wineries got together and formed Surf City Vintners (SCV), the place has been a hive of activity, and a wine-tasting mecca. Adding to the mix is the lively Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing beer company—making Swift Street Courtyard a perfect spot for a glass of wine or a pitcher of ale.

 

Betty’s Eat Inn

Yes, she’s a real person; no, this isn’t her