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May 24th
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Hotel Paradox

Hotel Paradox

Style with a dash of whimsy at the new Hotel Paradox  

Is Hotel Paradox actually paradoxical, as its name would suggest? It does contain some notable contradictions: for one, it butts up to bustling Downtown Santa Cruz and is situated on busy Ocean Street, but feels peaceful and private from within the fenced-in, tree-lined grounds. It is also a nice hotel in the heart of Santa Cruz, and some may say that that, itself, is a contradiction, although one that’s (hopefully) becoming passé.

But the moniker mostly speaks to the fact that the new 170-room hotel is intriguing. It's slick, hip and classy, with a good dose of quirk. The latter is embodied by the hotel's pervasive forest theme, which is executed with décor aimed at bringing the woods inside. Trees, with their beautiful bark and greenery, spruce up the sleek, modern, mostly white space and drive home a uniquely Santa Cruz vibe. “We have this white, contemporary box, boutique hotel with an organic feel,” explains General Manager Tony Eichers.

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The Ticker

The Morning After

The Morning After

Tales from the Democrats' debate viewing party

If you like being in a large room full of Democrats who support President Barack Obama, the newly remodeled Hotel Paradox on Ocean Street was the place to be on Wednesday night. About 400 people gathered for a “debate watch party” sponsored by the Santa Cruz County Democratic Central Committee (DCC) and the local Obama for America campaign organization. Although the crowd was mostly attentive throughout the debate (which was projected on a huge screen with a good sound system), there was a live, on-going audio barometer of approval and disapproval with periodic yells and applause mixed with boos and hisses. At the end of the debate, reactions were mixed.

Comments from the crowd following the debate seemed to be generally reflective of disappointment with Obama’s performance. This reporter overheard comments like “Obama played it a bit too cool, he missed some real opportunities to hit back,” and “Sadly, Romney came across more human than usual … Obama wasn’t at the top of his game.”

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CultureBeat

Jazz Royalty

Jazz Royalty

55th annual Monterey Jazz Festival wows, leaves enthusiasts craving more

Festivals come and go, but for 55 years the Monterey Jazz Festival has maintained a level of excellence that sets the bar for all others. What makes MJF so unique is that from top-down—from organizers to the people guarding the gate—everyone is incredibly positive, sunny and happy to be there. Maestro Timothy Orr runs the event with the slightly manic energy one can expect from someone with so much on his plate—and yet, he always takes the time to make patrons feel like they’re getting special treatment. This overall upbeat tone creates an incomparable ambience of camaraderie and fellowship.

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The Ticker

UC Look Onward

UC Look Onward

SLUG REPORT > UC-championed Onward California tour highlights the university’s contributions to society

On Tuesday, Oct. 2, Onward California will be stopping over at UC Santa Cruz’s Quarry Plaza as it snakes its way around the Golden State. A traveling stage to showcase the UC’s contribution to society on a state, national, international, and personal level, the campaign is working to re-vamp public visibility and attract stronger financial partnership.  

Documentary-flavored clips on the campaign’s website include three of UCSC professor of astronomy and astrophysics Steve Vogt (pictured) working in the UC Lick Observatory, demonstrating how the telescope uses light particle detection to locate distant, potentially inhabitable planets.

“This is the only job I’ve ever had,” Vogt says in one of the videos. “But why would you want to work anywhere else?”

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The Ticker

The Candidates On Desal

The Candidates On Desal

SANTA CRUZ > The eight candidates for Santa Cruz City Council sat on a panel on Thursday evening, Oct. 4, at the Louden Nelson Community Center while moderator Rick Longinotti grilled them about their stances on the proposed desalination plant.

Longinotti, a spokesman for “Yes on Measure P” and advocate for alternatives to desalination in Santa Cruz, questioned each of the candidates regarding their positions on desalination. At one point, tensions ran high and one candidate—Richelle Naroyan—abruptly departed the forum saying she was uncomfortable with the format of the meeting. Mayor Don Lane, who is among the candidates, also spoke out, saying the format frustrated him due to the amount of time the moderator took to speak against desalination, while candidates were given no more than two minutes to respond.

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The Ticker

Becoming An Awareness Advocate

Becoming An Awareness Advocate

Local teen rallies for increased epilepsy awareness

Epilepsy affects 65 million people worldwide and is the fourth most common neurological disorder in the United States, according to the Epilepsy Foundation’s (EF) website. Despite the prevalence of the condition both in the United States and in the world, the website argues that “epilepsy is among the least understood of major chronic medical conditions.”

Monterey Coast Preparatory School student Samantha Hampton agrees, and hopes to change this. The local teen has epilepsy, and is taking strides to improve awareness about the condition.

In an effort to spread the word, she decided to become an advocate for the Northern California branch of EF. “I wish to help anyone with epilepsy and want to raise as much awareness as possible,” she says. “Knowing that I could help make a difference in someone’s life, [which] includes raising awareness, [gives] us hope that people might finally understand and accept it.”

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CultureBeat

Getting Pumped

Getting Pumped

The Radical Reels Tour heads for the Rio

With summer coming to a close, and school nearly back in session, the UC Santa Cruz Recreation department is getting its game face on with its annual screening of National Geographic’s Radical Reels Tour. The featured short films allow us to bear witness to some of the world’s most serious adrenaline seekers as they bike tough trails, paddle wild waters, and ski treacherously steep slopes. The film screening will take place on Saturday, Sept. 22 at 7 p.m. at the Rio Theatre, and will highlight some of the most outrageous mountain sport films from the 36th Annual Banff Mountain Film Festival, which, of course, aim to thrill and inspire with mind-blowing big-screen adventures.   

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The Ticker

An Organic Leader

An Organic Leader

Q&A with Zea Sonnabend, recipient of a national award for organic leadership

Call Zea Sonnabend on the telephone and chances are that the answering machine will tell you that she is “either out standing in my field, or out standing in someone else’s field”—a good bet, considering the CCOF organic farm inspector and policy specialist recently started farming again, herself.

But for today, at least, Sonnabend will instead be standing on a stage in Maryland, receiving the Organic Trade Association’s prestigious Organic Leadership Award. Given annually since 1997, the award is given to influential and innovative figures in the organic movement. Sonnabend certainly falls into that category: from her career at CCOF, to her involvement with the Organic Foods Production Association of North America, the National Organic Program, the Organic Materials Review Institute, and the Ecological Farming Association, she has led the organics movement forward in more ways than one.

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CultureBeat

The Price Of Art

The Price Of Art

A generous donation takes the Tannery’s performing arts center one step closer to becoming a reality

“Our goal is for the Tannery to be, essentially, a cultural magnet as well as an arts center for the whole Central Coast,” says Tannery Art Center Executive Director Rachel Goodman.    

The local arts hub is celebrating a recent donation of $100,000 from Santa Cruz-based Plantronics that will go directly toward building a brand new performing arts theater and plaza.

The grant allows the Tannery, which is currently two-thirds of the way complete, to maintain its momentum and move closer to fulfilling its overall plan for a vibrant community cultural center where visitors will be able to enjoy plays and music, work in art studios, and get in touch with their own artistic side through art and dance classes.

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The Ticker

Hooray For Sea Otters

Hooray For Sea Otters

SLUG REPORT > UCSC researchers analyze 40 years of data to go beyond cuteness

In tackling their primary prey, sea otters also tackle global warming. A new study, credited firstly to UC Santa Cruz professors and researchers Christopher Wilmers and James Estes, finds that sea otters have a significant impact on global carbon sequestration. Because the otter’s favored snack is the sea urchin—a scavenger known to devastate kelp forests when populations go unchecked—more sea otters translates to more kelp. And because the giant algae is a bit of a photosynthesis machine, that translates to a lot of sequestered carbon.

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Gate Openers

Up-and-coming artists like Ryan Bingham are a great reason to show up early to the Santa Cruz American Music Festival

 

Gemini Sun, Pentecost, Shavuot—Enlightenment and Gladness

As the sun enters Gemini on Sunday, sign of speaking, communication, thinking, inter-relations, writing and understanding languages, the feast days of Pentecost & Shavuot (Catholic and Jewish festivals) occur. During Pentecost’s 50 days after Easter, tongues of fire appear above the heads of the disciples, providing them with the ability to understand all languages and all feelings hidden in the minds and hearts of humanity. It’s recorded that Pentecost began with a loud noise, which happened in an upper room (signifying the mind). The Christ (World Teacher) told his disciples (after his ascension) when encountering a man at a well carrying a water pot (signs for Age of Aquarius) to follow him to an upper room. There, the Holy Spirit (Ray 3 of Divine Intelligence) would overshadow them, expand their minds, give them courage and enable them to teach throughout the world, speaking all languages and thus able to minister to the true needs of a “seeking” humanity. Pentecost (50 days, pentagram, Ray 5, Venus, concrete and scientific knowledge, the Ray of Aquarius) sounds dramatic, impressive and scary: The loud noise, a thunderous rush of wind and then “tongues of fire” above the heads of each disciple (men and women). Fire has purpose. It purifies, disintegrates, purges, transforms and liberates (frees) us from the past. This was the Holy Spirit (Ray 3, love and wisdom) being received by the disciples, so they would teach in the world and inform humanity of the Messiah (Christ), who initiated the new age (Pisces) and gave humanity the new law (adding to the 10 Commandments of the Aries Age) to Love (Ray 2) one another. Note: Gemini is also Ray 2. Shavuot is the Jewish Festival of Gladness, the First Fruits Festival celebrating the giving of the 10 Commandments to Moses as the Aries Age was initiated. Thus, we have two developmental stages here, Jewish festival of the Old Testament. Pentecost of the New Testament. We have gladness, integrating both.

 

The New Tech Nexus

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

 

Off Her Meds

Kristin Wiig runs wild—and transcends her sketch comedy roots—as a truly strange character ‘Welcome to Me’
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Flats Bistro

Pizza with an artisan twist comes to Aptos Beach

 

What’s your take on Santa Cruz locals?

Santa Cruz locals are really friendly once you know them. I think a lot of them have a hard time leaving, and I would too. Ryan Carle, Santa Cruz, Biologist

 

Soquel Vineyards

If Soquel Vineyards partners Peter and Paul Bargetto and Jon Morgan were walking down the street wearing their winning wine competition medals, you’d hear them coming from a mile away. This year was particularly rewarding for the Bargettos and Morgan—they won two Double Gold Medals and five Gold Medals at January’s San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition.

 

Enlightened Flavors

Squash & Blossom’s artisanal alternative-flour delights, beet kvass from Cafe Ivéta, and the Santa Cruz Baroque Festival