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Sep 18th
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A&E

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For The Love Of Words

For The Love Of Words

Santa Cruz Writes fosters a literary community in Santa Cruz County

heir tagline is “Enhancing literary opportunities for Santa Cruz County writers.” And in the past year since Santa Cruz Writes first started, that’s exactly what the group has done.

After attending a writing conference in Washington, D.C. at the beginning of 2011, local writing colleagues Jory Post, Julia Chiapella and Karen Ackland were inspired to start a literary journal that would feature the works of Santa Cruz County writers. Their idea for an online literary magazine soon ballooned into a collaborative literary hub—complete with live readings, literary outreach in local schools, a poetry contest and community-based projects. This multifaceted hub is sheltered under the umbrella organization Santa Cruz Writes—with the online literary journal “phren-Z” (phren-z.org), launched in February of this year, as its main outlet.

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The Man Behind the Kirtan

The Man Behind the Kirtan

Krishna Das lets his soft white underbelly show

Jim Carrey’s single greatest contribution to humanity is quite possibly his statement, “I think everybody should get rich and famous and do everything they ever dreamed of, so they can see that it’s not the answer.” In 1969, a Long Island-born bus driver named Jeff Kagel came close to learning the truth of those words the hard way. Kagel, an aspiring singer, had a daunting decision to make: join a newly signed band called Soft White Underbelly, thereby fulfilling his lifelong dream of being a rock star, or follow his heart by moving to New Hampshire to be with his spiritual teacher Ram Dass (who, in his former incarnation as Harvard professor Richard Alpert, had also discovered that prestige, accolades and worldly accumulations didn’t add up to a state of fulfillment).

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Doomed and Confused

Doomed and Confused

Mark Bryan’s paintings address the (sometimes ugly) state of the union

In Mark Bryan's oil painting, “Ship of State,” a massive vessel reminiscent of the Titanic, but with The U.S. Capitol building for a super structure, angles downward, slipping into a calm sea strewn with icebergs. Amidst the flailing arms of the passengers struggling to stay afloat, two lifeboats occupied by self-satisfied men in top hats, with bags of money, have their henchmen row them away from the scene.

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A Decade of Passion

A Decade of Passion

Salsa by the Sea celebrates 10 years

The sun is setting as a crowd gathers around a makeshift dance floor next to the Santa Cruz Wharf. At the center of the circle, a diverse group of beaming locals appears liberated as they writhe to the sensual sounds pouring out of the speakers.

The energy is infectious.

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Money, Money, Money

Money, Money, Money

Fundraiser workshop hopes to illuminate the hidden beliefs surrounding the green stuff

It’s a small five-letter word but boy, does it pack a wallop: Money. It’s also the theme of an upcoming workshop open to the public at Inner Light Ministries, which hopes to reveal to its participants some of their hidden beliefs and/or shadow elements surrounding money and abundance.

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Spellbound

Spellbound

Mythic Games invites wizards of all ages to gather and compete

On a Friday evening in Downtown Santa Cruz, a battle between wizards is taking place. Utilizing magical spells, items, and fantastical creatures, these wizards—known here as “planeswalkers”—wield wit as a weapon and brandish brainpower as brawn.

The venue is Mythic Games on River Street, the event is “Friday Night Magic,” and the game is Magic: The Gathering. With an emphasis on “gathering,” the event encourages the participation of younger players by offering kids under the age of 16 the opportunity to play for free.

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Dead is Alive

Dead is Alive

UC Santa Cruz’s Grateful Dead Archive finally opens to the public

It might be a slight exaggeration to say, “in the beginning was the Grateful Dead and post-modern culture flowed forth from that mighty stream”—but, the band’s new archive at UC Santa Cruz makes a compelling case.

The exhibit, entitled “A Box of Rain: Archiving the Grateful Dead Phenomena”—which officially opens to the public on June 29—features a wide variety of Grateful Dead memorabilia, and is housed at Dead Central: a 1,400-square-foot space inside the McHenry Library at UCSC.

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The World at Our Fingertips

The World at Our Fingertips

Santa Cruz-based project aims to change the way we interact with technology

Jay Silver has a degree in electrical engineering from The Georgia Institute of Technology and another one in Internet technology from The University of Cambridge. But while that educational background helped him build a foundation of knowledge, it left something to be desired.

“One of the biggest things that my education taught me, was that education doesn’t teach you how to make things,” says Silver. “So I went through years of getting degrees and I still didn’t know how to change the world, I didn’t know how to make things.”

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An 8-bit Epic

An 8-bit Epic

'Samson's Quest' revels in a 1993 that could have been

I hate graphics," Christopher Rosenberg says, explaining that his disdain for the ultra-real renderings found in many of today's most popular videogames is likely directly linked to the many hours of his youth that he spent playing 8- and 16-bit Nintendo and Super Nintendo consoles.

"Some of my earliest memories are of playing Zelda II on an NES console," the 24-year-old Los Altos resident says. It is a time of great nostalgia for Rosenberg, though he doesn't always accurately recollect his childhood.

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Inside Out and Larger Than Life

Inside Out and Larger Than Life

Santa Cruz Public Libraries joins global art project

The libraries' most powerful asset is the conversation they provide – between books and readers, between children and parents, between individuals and the collective world. Take them away and those voices turn inward or vanish. Turns out that libraries have nothing at all to do with silence."

Bella Bathurst ended her 2011 essay, “The Secret Life of Libraries” with this insight. The conversation she started in the Manchester Guardian has jumped the pond and landed squarely in Downtown Santa Cruz, and it sounds a lot like the shutter of a camera. (Remember those?)

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Catwalk on the Wild Side

Meet the artists and designers behind this year’s edition of FashionART, SantaCruz’s most outrageous fashion show

 

The New Tech Nexus

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

 

Feeding Frenzy

Culinary journey ‘The Trip to Italy’ isn’t the foodie film you’d expect 

 

Watch List

From Google to the government to data brokers, why your privacy is now a thing of the past
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Sweet Treats

Local cannabis bakers win award for cookies

 

What fashion trends do you want to see, or not see?

Santa Cruz  |  High School Guidance Counselor

 

Best of Santa Cruz County

The 2013 Santa Cruz County Readers' Poll and Critics’ Picks It’s our biggest issue of the year, and in it, your votes—more than 6,500 of them—determined the winners of The Best of Santa Cruz County Readers’ Poll. New to the long list of local restaurants, shops and other notables that captured your interest: Best Beer Selection, Best Locally Owned Business, Best Customer Service and Best Marijuana Dispensary. In the meantime, many readers were ever so chatty online about potential new categories. Some of the suggestions that stood out: Best Teen Program and Best Web Design/Designer. But what about: Dog Park, Church, Hotel, Local Farm, Therapist (I second that!) or Sports Bar—not to be confused with Bra. Our favorite suggestion: Best Act of Kindness—one reader noted Café Gratitude and the free meals it offered to the Santa Cruz Police Department in the aftermath of recent crimes. Perhaps some of these can be woven into next year’s ballot, so stay tuned. In the meantime, enjoy the following pages and take note of our Critics’ Picks, too, beginning on page 91. A big thanks for voting—and for reading—and an even bigger congratulations to all of the winners. Enjoy.  -Greg Archer, EditorBest of Santa Cruz County Readers’ Poll INDEX

 

Santa Clara Wine Trail

My memories of growing up in England include my mother pouring port after Sunday dinner—and sometimes a glass of sherry before dinner. My family didn’t drink much wine back then, but we certainly made up for it with the port and sherry.