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Dec 19th
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Literature

A&E - Literature

Owning up to History

Owning up to History

Novelist weaves local history and fiction as a vehicle for finding truth in ‘The Curse of Santa Cruz’

Stephanie Michel's new novel opens with a character encountering thousands of frenzied birds descending upon Santa Cruz—a depiction of an actual event which took place in 1961. The Santa Cruz Sentinel reported on the occurrence, which later became the basis for Alfred Hitchcock's 1963 horror film, The Birds. That grizzly scene serves as the precursor to many historic events woven into Michel’s novel, “The Curse of Santa Cruz.”

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A&E - Literature

In Their Shoes

In Their Shoes

Local author Wei Wei releases new memoir, ‘Tracing Our Footsteps: Fifteen Tales of Hope, Struggle, and Triumph’

Wei Wei emigrated from China to the United States more than 30 years ago as an international student. Now she is a Fellow of the Special Libraries Association and the former Engineering Librarian at UC Santa Cruz, but she admits that, due to cultural differences, it took her almost 30 years to feel like the U.S., and particularly the West Coast, was home.

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A&E - Literature

Sky-high Ambition

Sky-high Ambition

Ben Lomond author gives prolific inventor, John J. Montgomery, the long-overdue credit he deserves

Few Santa Cruzans know that some of the breakthrough experiments in aviation history occurred right in their own backyard. When humankind began to believe in the seemingly impossible notion of controlled flight in the early 1900s, the Wright brothers held the spotlight for their powered aerial flights in Kitty Hawk, N.C. Meanwhile, another man’s breakthrough inventions took to the skies above Aptos.

“Aptos was the Kitty Hawk of the West,” says Craig Harwood. The Ben Lomond resident recently co-authored the book “Quest for Flight,” which tells the tale of a prolific inventor named John J. Montgomery, whose breakthroughs in human-controlled air flight—many of which took place in the Santa Cruz region—fueled the legacy of American aviation. “It was this significant transition from idea and model to being fully demonstrated in a controlled flight hundreds of feet above the earth,” he explains.

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A&E - Literature

The Power of Conversation

The Power of Conversation

Local author Cecile Andrews emphasizes importance of community engagement in newest book

Cecile Andrews, author of the new book “Living Room Revolution: A Handbook for Conversation, Community and the Common Good,” probably wouldn’t get along too well with Larry David’s character from HBO’s Curb Your Enthusiasm, known for hiding his face and avoiding communication with anyone he runs into on the street. Andrews is a longstanding part-time Santa Cruz (part-time Seattle) resident who says something that’s struck her about this town over the years is people's willingness to participate in a practice she’s dubbed the “Stop and Chat”—which is exactly what it sounds like.

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A&E - Literature

Exposed

Exposed

David Cay Johnston’s new book explains how big companies rob us blind

In his late teens David Cay Johnston started to ask questions. “Why do we have these guys in uniforms with guns driving around in cars all day?” “Why is the Santa Cruz County Courthouse being built in such an unusual shape?”

He wrote an article, while still living in his hometown of Santa Cruz, proving that the off-kilter courthouse building, which officials had promised would save money, actually cost more than a conventional building.

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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