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Jul 28th
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Toy Story

Toy Story

Santa Cruz Toymakers celebrates 25 years with library exhibits

The story goes that Al Raboff, a Santa Cruz local, loved to fashion wooden roosters, helicopters, puzzles, trucks, and critters of any kind for his grandchildren to play with. But as the children grew up, Raboff never did.

He expanded his woodworking project to include friends. The group began meeting once a month at (the now defunct) Tiny’s Restaurant in Capitola to swap ideas, and show off the toys they had created. The collective began donating their toys to local kids via nonprofit daycare centers recommended by the County Board of Education.

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Drumming a Dream

Drumming a Dream

Watsonville Taiko breathes new life into ancient Japanese tradition

When Ikuyo Conant was growing up near Mount Fuji in Japan, she never imagined she would play the Taiko drums. Every summer, her family and neighbors used the instrument to celebrate the Obon, a festival which she compares to Christmas in terms of importance. But as a child and a female, the drums were forbidden to her.

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Viva Los Mejicas

Viva Los Mejicas

Mexican folkloric dance group celebrates its 40th anniversary at UCSC

once a Mejica, Always a Mejica,” reads the motto for Grupo Folklórico Los Mejicas; it’s a tagline that holds both literal and symbolic meaning, one that represents more than the simple association of having once participated in the group. It indicates something deeper, an acknowledgement of where one has come from, and the promise to take that knowledge into the future. And now at the impressively ripe age of 40, the group has certainly accumulated a substantial amount of members who will always consider themselves as such.

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Renewing Pride

Renewing Pride

Annual Santa Cruz Pride Parade returns—with a twist

When the Diversity Center of Santa Cruz was thinking about a slogan for this year’s Pride Parade and Festival, its organizers immediately thought of Dan Savage’s “It Gets Better” campaign and the Gay Straight Alliance’s “Make it Better” campaign. “We wanted to riff on that theme,” says Jim Brown, executive director at the Diversity Center. “Some teens can’t wait for life to get better—they need to do something now.”

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Beauty and the Scientist

Beauty and the Scientist

Upcoming exhibit features inspired collaborations between scientists and local artists

It’s not hard to find art that makes you think. It’s much less common to find art that actually requires scientific collaboration—a seemingly counterintuitive pairing. But, the upcoming show “earth • science • art / sixteen collaborative explorations,” at the R. Blitzer Gallery, does just that.

Featuring the work of 16 artists from the Central Coast and the greater San Francisco Bay Area working in collaboration with 16 research scientists from the Santa Cruz-based U.S. Geological Survey’s Pacific Coastal and Marine Science Center, the exhibit opens on June 1, with two evening panel discussions on June 7 and 14.

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Art in Action

Art in Action

Middle school art students make colorful mark on the city

When Kathleen Crocetti’s Mission Hill Middle School art students installed mosaics on the Water Street Bridge last year, the City of Santa Cruz helped pay for the art supplies. But this year, when she approached the City with a plan to place 93 mosaics depicting the agricultural products of Santa Cruz County onto the Soquel Avenue Bridge, she learned the chances for funding were slim.

“I wrote to the art commission, a proposal for doing the Soquel bridge, and they said, ‘Yes, yes, we love it, we want to do it—if we have funding,’” says Crocetti. “Well, of course, the redevelopment agency closed and everything is a mess financially in our state. And so I could see the writing on the wall that the City wasn’t going to be able to pay for this, but I’m sort of driven and I really wanted it to happen anyway.”

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Live, Work, Create

Live, Work, Create

Tannery Arts Center announces Grand Opening of new art studios complex

In phase two of the Tannery Arts Center’s three-part project, the City of Santa Cruz is close to becoming a model living-working-performing artistic community.

“I call this phase the ‘open the Tannery to the public phase,’” says Rachel Anne Goodman, Tannery Arts Center executive director, about the unveiling of the Tannery’s new Digital Media and Creative Arts Center. More than 70 working artists currently rent space in this 25,000-square-foot art studios complex, where the public can take classes, purchase art, and watch masters at work.

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Blues Brother

Blues Brother

Pat Simmons hits the Blues Fest. In a GT interview, The Doobie Brothers’ guitarist/vocalist waxes nostalgic about Santa Cruz, opens up about the band’s origins and ponders the road ahead.

Who knew that the Santa Cruz Blues Festival, which began in 1993 as a one-day Chicago and Texas blues celebration in Aptos Village Park, would be alive and kicking 20 years later? And who could have predicted that the festival would boast a list of past performers that includes B.B. King, Ray Charles, John Lee Hooker, Joe Cocker, Etta James, Bonnie Raitt, Buddy Guy, Bobby “Blues” Bland and Albert Collins?

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Wave of Change

Wave of Change

Documentary about local nonprofit challenges stereotypes concerning the disabled and surf culture

Special education teacher/videographer Julie Pollack, remembers filming from West Cliff in 2000 as one of her students, Brandon Arthur, went surfing for the first time.

“He was a little guy in a wheelchair, not able to sit up on his own, talk, or really hold himself up in the water,” she says. “His parents told me about this woman who wanted to take him surfing, so I held my breath from the cliff and watched them paddle this little guy out on the water. We all kind of got hooked on it from there because you could tell he was just so thrilled.”

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Senior Miss Sunshine

Senior Miss Sunshine

Flamboyant seniors help redefine beauty in Walter Matteson’s documentary ‘Pretty Old’

Walter Matteson was in Copenhagen, Denmark to visit his then-girlfriend (and now wife) when he first saw the photograph that sparked it all. The photo, hanging at the 2007 World Press Photo Exhibit, displayed three senior women in a backstage setting. “I had just seen sports photography and war photography, and I was like, ‘What in the world is that?’” remembers Matteson. “It almost looked something like a David Lynch painting to me; it was a large print—it was giant—that I saw from across the room and it didn’t look real.” The caption was simple: “Ms. Senior Sweetheart Beauty Pageant, Fall River, Massachusetts.”

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Mars Enters Scorpio: The Nine Tests

Over the years I’ve mentioned the nine tests of Mars and Scorpio. The tests are given to everyone—unawakened, beginning to awaken, and the awakened. The purpose is to test our strength, courage, ability to adapt, discriminate and have discernment. To see if we are deceived by illusion or are “warriors triumphant, emerging from the battle.”

 

Final Cut

Cedar Street Video to close after 10 years at downtown location

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of July 25

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >

 

The Maestra Returns

Cabrillo Festival’s Marin Alsop is back to ‘rock the boat of tradition’
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Time is Ripe

Local fruit harvests hit markets, Storrs Winery celebrates ‘Best White’, and a salt fix from heaven

 

I remember Santa Cruz when…

Santa Cruz | Librarian

 

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

 

Hunter Hill Cabernet Sauvignon

Smooth with soft tannins, this velvety crimson Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 is delicious and very drinkable.