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Aug 31st
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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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The Meaning of ‘LIFE’

With a new documentary film about his work, and huge exhibits on both coasts, acclaimed Santa Cruz nature photographer Frans Lanting is having a landmark year. But his crusade for conservation doesn’t leave much time for looking back

 

Seasons of Opportunity

Everything in our world has a specific time (a season) in which to accomplish a specific work—a “season” that begins (opportunity) and ends (time’s up). I can feel the season is changing. The leaves turning colors, the air cooler, sunbeams casting shadows in different places. It feels like a seasonal change has begun in the northern hemisphere. Christmas is in four months, and 2015 is swiftly speeding by. Soon it will be autumn and time for the many Festivals of Light. Each season offers new opportunities. Then the season ends and new seasons take its place. Humanity, too, is given “seasons” of opportunity. We are in one of those opportunities now, to bring something new (Uranus) into our world, especially in the United States. Times of opportunity can be seen in the astrology chart. In the U.S. chart, Uranus (change) joins Chiron (wound/healing). This symbolizes a need to heal the wounds of humanity. Uranus offers new archetypes, new ways of doing things. The Uranus/Chiron (Aries/Pisces) message is, “The people of the U.S. are suffering. New actions are needed to bring healing and well-being to humanity. So the U.S. can fulfill its spiritual task of standing within the light and leading humanity within and toward the light.” Thursday, Aquarius Moon, Mercury enters Libra. The message, “To bring forth the new order in the world, begin with acts of Goodwill.” Goodwill produces right relations with everyone and everything. The result is a world of progressive well-being and peacefulness (which is neither passive nor the opposite of war). Saturday is the full moon, the solar light of Virgo streaming into the Earth. Our waiting now begins, for the birth of new light at winter solstice. The mother (hiding the light of the soul, the holy child), identifying the feminine principle, says, “I am the mother and the child. I, God (Father), I Matter (Mother), We are One.”

 

The New Tech Nexus

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

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of August 28

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >
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Land of Plenty

Farm to Fork benefit dinner for UCSC’s Agroecology Center, plus a zippy salsa from Teresa’s Salsa that loves every food it meets

 

If you knew you had one week to live, what would you do?

Make peace with myself, which would allow me to be at peace with others. Diane Fisher, Santa Cruz, Network Engineer

 

Comanche Cellars

Michael Simons, owner and winemaker of Comanche Cellars, once had a trusted steed called Comanche, which was part of his paper route and his rodeo circuit, from the tender age of 10. In memory of this beautiful horse, he named his winery Comanche, and Comanche’s shoes grace the label of each handcrafted bottle.

 

Cantine Winepub

Aptos wine and tapas spot keeps it casual