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Jan 26th
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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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The Ticker

Going The Distance

Going The Distance

Can an electric car make the journey from Santa Cruz to Los Angeles and back in one day? Aptos resident Jack Brown thinks so

Electric cars are known for being eco friendly—not necessarily for covering long distances or being the most time efficient mode of travel. But Jack Brown, an information technology manager and consultant who recently moved to the Aptos area, believes that it’s all about “making the journey.”  

On Friday, Sept. 14, Brown will depart from the Community Foundation of Santa Cruz County in Aptos at 12:01 a.m. and attempt to take his electric BMW on a more than 700-mile round trip journey from Aptos to Los Angeles and back before midnight that same day. “This will be the first time I have driven so far from my predictable commute,” Brown says.

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CultureBeat

An Endangered Adventure

An Endangered Adventure

New educational iPad game features endangered Santa Cruz species

Curious gamers of all ages can learn about some of Santa Cruz’s endangered critters in a new, educational iPad game titled “Isopod: The Roly Poly Science Game.”

Mike Parisi, the owner of Xylem and Pholem LLC, recently released the Isopod iPad app, which synthesizes arcade-quality gameplay and the scientific encyclopedia. His intention, he tells GT, is to inspire in the game’s users a fascination with insects and their relationship to a variety of life science subjects. Designed for gamers and learners ages "10 through 110," Isopod explores 24 scientific topics with a deep focus on the world of entomology and insects.  

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The Ticker

Reaction To The Crackdown

Reaction To The Crackdown

Homeless and allies take to the streets for a candlelight vigil

A candlelight vigil protesting the recent crackdown and clearing out of homeless camps by the Santa Cruz Police Department made its way through Downtown Santa Cruz on Friday night, Sept. 7, with the aim of raising awareness about those with no other option but to sleep outside. About 60 homeless people, homeless activists and sympathizers gathered in front of City Hall, formed an orderly procession through downtown, paid a visit to the levy of the San Lorenzo River that has recently been cleared of all homeless camps, and returned to City Hall, hearing speeches and testimonials along the way.

The SCPD, aided by the city’s Public Works and Parks departments, is now in the eighth week of its intensive effort to clear out homeless camps and arrest anyone involved in criminal activity. By law enforcement standards, the task force has been successful: 75 homeless camps have been cleared, 126 arrested, and 378 citations issued as of Sept. 1, according to Deputy Police Chief Steve Clark. “It’s time to return these open spaces to their intended uses to the citizens of Santa Cruz,” Clark says. “It’s our job to make it as inconvenient as possible to engage in criminal activity, and this project has been successful doing that.”

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The Ticker

Crossing the Continent to Cross Disciplines

Crossing the Continent to Cross Disciplines

SLUG REPORT > UC Santa Cruz's plans for an art and science museum move forward with new director

A space conceived to connect the arts with the sciences will also be connecting the West Coast with the East Coast.

“I’ve been aware of this project for a long time,” says John Weber, currently the Dayton Director of the Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery at Skidmore College in New York. Weber was recently hired by UC Santa Cruz to direct the University Museum of Arts and Sciences, a planned museum meant to link the disciplines.

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Staycation

A Gardener’s Getaway

A Gardener’s Getaway

Flowers, fresh food and respite await at Cambria Pines Lodge

Because your front yard gardens bloom so graciously all year round, I am going to let you in on a secret staycation that may as well have been designed just for you, Santa Cruzans.

About an hour south of Big Sur (where I strongly suggest camping for a night or two on the way down), a short walk from Downtown Cambria, Calif., and a stones' throw away from one of the most serene beaches on the planet (Moonstone Beach), resides the Cambria Pines Lodge and its exquisite collection of gardens.

The lodge’s 152 rooms offer a variety of accommodations, from Disney-esque stand-alone cottages, like the one I enjoyed, to 19-room hotel-style clusters.

“It’s so quiet here that even when the property is fully booked you can feel almost like you’re alone,” says Becky Evans, the director of sales and marketing who has worked at Cambria Pines for 22 years.

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The Ticker

The Gift Of Growth

The Gift Of Growth

SLUG REPORT > UCSC receives funding for organic farming and ocean health programs 

Deep in the east field of the UC Santa Cruz campus, tucked beneath a sequoia grove, are nine tent cabins. Within these cabins reside 36 apprentices, who daily get their hands dirty in research and development of organic, sustainable food systems through the six-month Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems’ (CASFS) “Grow a Farmer” apprenticeship program.

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CultureBeat

Mumford's The Word

Mumford's The Word

London’s own folk-rock dynamo Mumford & Sons enchants Monterey 

Huddled underneath a canopy of hanging light bulbs Saturday night, thousands of loyal followers stood in silence as the main stage at the Monterey County Fairgrounds went as dark as the sky. Then, after what felt like hours of excruciating anticipation (which was, in reality, only a couple of seconds), Mumford & Sons exploded on to the platform.

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The Ticker

Fixing The Future

Fixing The Future

Upcoming screening features a documentary that says the future is ours to fix

After several years of trudging through economic hardship, it can be overwhelming to think about the future. But what if all people need is a boost of inspiration to think outside the box in order to create jobs and build economic prosperity? That’s the message in the PBS documentary Fixing the Future, which Transition Santa Cruz and the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) will be hosting a free screening of on Tuesday, Aug. 28.

The film itself features host David Brancaccio visiting people and organizations across America who are determined to reinvent the American economy. The film highlights effective, creative community practices such as local business alliances, community banking, time banking/hour exchange, worker cooperatives and local currencies.

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Mind & Body

Tree Pose

Tree Pose

NAVIGATING YOGA > Vrkasana, a.k.a Tree Pose

This week’s yoga pose, Tree Pose, is one of my favorites to teach—it is always a great way to introduce balancing exercises, as it focuses on engaging your body from the ground up.

To begin, root down through your feet. While standing with your feet apart, press your weight into your heels and relax your toes. Engage your left leg by flexing those muscles, not so tight that you lock your knee, but enough to feel those muscles work. Begin to stand on that leg by lifting your right heel to your left ankle. Balance at that point. Focus your gaze on a particular spot in front of you that is not moving. Engage your core by bringing your belly button to your spine, and drop your tailbone underneath you so that you are balancing from your center rather than from your lower back. When you’re feeling balanced, you can start to inch that heel up a little higher up your left leg. If you’re feeling really balanced, reach down with your right hand to grab a hold of your right ankle, draw the foot up to place the sole of your foot against your inner thigh. Engage your hips by squeezing your inner thighs together and bring your right knee inward slightly so that you’re not hyper extending your hips or your low back.

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Force of Nature

Santa Cruz’s Carlie Statsky brings her love of the natural world to the hyper-personal art of wedding photography

 

Mercury Retrograde in Aquarius

The magical time of Mercury’s retrograde cycle is here once again, until Feb. 11, and then some. The Mercury retro cycle actually lasts eight weeks when we consider its retrograde shadow, giving us six months a year for review. We know the rules of Mercury retro: Be careful with everything; cars, driving, money, resources, friends, friendships, groups, interactions, thinking, talking, communications. Avoid big purchases, important meetings and important repairs. Mercury retrograde times are for review, reassessment and rest. Our minds are overloaded from the last Mercury retro. Our minds need to assess what we’ve done since October—eliminating what is not needed, keeping what’s important, preparing for new information in the next three months (till mid-May). Mercury in Aquarius retrograde … we reinvent ourselves, seek the unusual, we don’t hide, we’re just careful. We live in two worlds; outer appearances and inner reckonings, with both sides of our brain activated. Yet, like the light of the Gemini twins, one light waxes (inner world), the other (outer realities) wanes. Like Virgo, we see what’s been overlooked—assessing, ordering and organizing information. It’s an entirely inner process. When speaking we may utter only half of the sentence. We’re in the underworld, closer to Spirit, eyes unseeing, senses alerted, re-doing things over and over till we sometimes collapse. Because we’re in other realms, we’re wobbly, make mistakes, and don’t really know what we want. It’s not a time for decisions. Not yet. It’s a time of review. And completing things. Mercury retro: integration, slowing down, resolution, rapprochement.

 

The New Tech Nexus

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

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of January 23

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >
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Bye Bye Benten!

Benten closing, plus Award-winning gin, a massive burrito and chocolate review

 

Trout Gulch Vineyards

Scanning the shelves of Deluxe Foods of Aptos, which carries an impressive selection of local and imported wines, I picked up a bottle of Trout Gulch Vineyards Chardonnay 2012, described as “a local favorite” by the busy market.

 

Cremer House

What’s old is cutting-edge again in Felton

 

How are you going to make a tangible difference in your community this year?

Spread more kindness and compassion.