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Feb 12th
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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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Heart Me Up

In defense of Valentine’s Day

 

“be(ing) of love (a little) more careful”—e.e. cummings

Wednesday (Feb. 10) is Ash Wednesday, when Lent begins. Friday (Feb. 12) is Lincoln’s 207th birthday. Sunday is Valentine’s Day. On Ash Wednesday, with foreheads marked with a cross of ashes, we hear the words, “From dust thou art and unto dust thou shalt return.” Reminding us that our bodies, made of matter, will remain here on Earth when we are called back. It is our Soul that will take us home again. Lent offers us 40 days and nights of purification in preparation for the Resurrection (Easter) festival (an initiation) and for the Three Spring Festivals (at the time of the full moon)—Aries, Taurus, Gemini. The New Group of World Servers have been preparing since Winter Solstice. The number 40 is significant. The Christ (Pisces World Teacher) was in the desert for 40 days and 40 nights prior to His three-year ministry. The purpose of this desert exile was to prepare his Archangel (light) body to withstand the pressures of the Earth plane (form and matter). We, too, in our intentional purifications and prayers during the 40 days of Lent, prepare ourselves (physical body, emotions, lower mind) to receive and be able to withstand the irradiation of will, love/wisdom and light streaming into the Earth at spring equinox, Easter, and the Three Spiritual Festivals. What is Lent? The Anglo-Saxon word, lencten, comes from an ancient spring festival, agricultural rites marking the transition between winter and summer. The seasons reflect changes in nature (physical world) and humanity responds with social festivals of gratitude and of renewal. There is a purification process, prayerfulness in nature and in humanity in preparation for a great flow of spiritual energies during springtime. Valentine’s Day: Aquarius Sun, Taurus moon. Let us offer gifts of comfort, ease, harmony, beauty and satisfaction. Things chocolate and golden. Venus and Taurus things.

 

The New Tech Nexus

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

 

Making Dreams

Coen brothers salute vintage Hollywood in sly comedy ‘Hail, Caesar!’
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Pub Watch

Mega gastro pub-in-progress at the Old Sash Mill, plus the best pasta dish downtown

 

How do you know love is real?

When you feel the groove in your heart and you’re inspired to dance. Becca Bing, Boulder Creek, Teacher

 

Temple of Umami

Watsonville’s Miyuki is homestyle cooking, Japanese-style

 

How would you stop people from littering?

Teach them from the time that they’re small that it’s not an appropriate behavior. Juliet Jones, Santa Cruz, Claims Adjuster