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Dec 21st
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Peeling Back the Label

Peeling Back the Label

At the Imagine Supported Living Services Short Film Festival, individuals with disabilities prove there is more to them than meets the eye

“You can’t judge a book by its cover,” Brianne Holeman proudly asserts across the quiet conference room. “I live by that every day.” 

We’re sitting in the Santa Cruz chapter of Hope Services, one of more than 50 agencies in Santa Cruz County that serve children, adults and seniors with developmental disabilities. Holeman is here as a client. She may have been diagnosed with a learning disability 23 years ago, but she refuses to let it define her.

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United by Jazz

United by Jazz

With the Monterey Jazz Festival around the corner, one of its many stars, Charlie Hunter, opens up about the community fostered by music

At his home on the East Coast, Charlie Hunter is just another suburban dad, indistinguishable from any other chauffeur driving his kids to soccer practice. But on stage, Hunter is famous for his agility on seven- and eight-string guitars. His music intersects with jazz, funk, blues, and many other genres, making his performances both eclectic and treasured.

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The Poems of Ron Lampi

The Poems of Ron Lampi

Editor’s note:  Ron Lampi is a philosopher-poet, writer, astrologer, lecturer, discussion group facilitator, and creativity consultant. He sees himself as a bard who shares his New Age vision, and, on a local level, as a poet who celebrates his place: the Santa Cruz and Monterey Bay area, where he has lived for more than 35 years. In this week’s Poetry Corner, we spotlight two of Lampi’s poems, taken from his 2012 book, “On the Cruz: Poems of Santa Cruz.”

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Boy Wonder

Boy Wonder

Homegrown producer, Tree, branches out, embraces all things weird

Though the record comprises only three songs, local producer and singer Oliver Nickell says he spent the better part of a year cobbling together the pieces for his debut EP, Demons.

"It was incredibly time consuming," the 20-year-old Santa Cruzan says of the album, out now on R&S imprint Apollo Records. "I really wanted to emphasize quality over quantity."

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Comedy Strikes Back

Comedy Strikes Back

A resurgence of stand-up comedy brings loads of laughs to Santa Cruz

Whether they’ve been at it for nine weeks or nine years, local stand-up comedians will tell you, trying to draw laughs from a Santa Cruz audience is no walk in the park.

“If you can’t deal with rejection in a way that doesn't permanently crush your spirit, then you shouldn’t get into stand-up,” warns DNA, local comedian, Good Times contributor, and longtime host of The Blue Lagoon’s Thursday Comedy Night. “I’ve seen comedians come off the stage crying—it’s brutal. You’re going to get eaten up and spit out.”

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Finding Claraty

Finding Claraty

Local art studio offers space for developmentally disabled to shine

Five years ago, Santa Cruz residents Robin Blake and Andy Pereira were searching for a better way to meet the needs of the developmentally disabled. 

Blake, who is developmentally disabled herself, had always admired her mother’s Capitola craft gallery while growing up, but never had the opportunity to create her own art. While Pereira, who ran an agency that provided services for developmentally disabled clients, including Blake, was looking for a way for them to learn more about their own history.

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Strange Attractor

Strange Attractor

Johannes Moser and Enrico Chapela’s ‘Magnetar’ is a big draw for Cabrillo Festival goers

When it came time for Mexican composer Enrico Chapela to put together a concerto featuring the electric cello, he drew his inspiration from the source of that instrument’s power: electromagnetic energy. Specifically, he based the music on data from flares produced by three different magnetars, an unusual type of pulsar with the largest magnetic field in existence. After compiling a chart of notes that described the shape of each magnetar’s light, he put his guitar in the traditional C-G-D-A tuning of a cello and jammed some ideas that made use of these materials. The resultant concerto, “Magnetar,” can be heard at the Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium on Saturday, Aug. 10 as part of the 2013 Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music.

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Peace in the Middle East

Peace in the Middle East

New dance-concert explores Palestinian-Israeli conflict

Inspired by the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, local choreographer Karl Schaffer’s “Mosaic” is a dance-concert featuring Jewish Diaspora and Arab music from the women’s choral group Zambra, singer Fattah Abbou and a troupe of local dancers. In between rehearsals for the show, which runs June 21-22 at Motion Pacific, Schaffer shared the story behind its creation.

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Breaking the Waves

Breaking the Waves

Free Radio Santa Cruz celebrates 18 years of subversive programming

Though the term “free radio” comes to us from the Summer of Love—a time when some folks splashed the word “free” on their nouns like an all-purpose verbal condiment—you can rest assured that the name Free Radio Santa Cruz (FRSC) is no mere tip of the hat to the psychedelic era. For the past 18 years, the colorful characters at the helm of our community’s own pirate radio station have been enjoying the freedom to broadcast whatever they damn well please, be it up-to-the-minute, uncensored local and worldwide news, programs in the Spanish language, shows produced by children, teens and homeless people, or all manner of music, from death metal to free jazz.

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Poems from the 20th Annual High School Poetry Competition

Poems from the 20th Annual High School Poetry Competition

Editor’s note: For this edition of Poetry Corner, we’ve chosen to spotlight the first and second place winners of the 20th annual Santa Cruz County High School Poetry Competition: Ellie Loustalot and Erin Gudger of Harbor High School. Poetry Santa Cruz administers the annual contest, which is open to all high school students in the county.

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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

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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