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Jun 29th
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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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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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I Was a Teenage Deadhead

Memories of life on tour, plus the truth about that legendary Santa Cruz Acid Test

 

I Build a Lighted House and Therein Dwell

Wednesday, June 24, Chiron turns stationary retrograde (we turn inward) at 21.33 degrees Pisces. We usually speak of “retrograde” when referring to Mercury. But all planets retrograde. Next month in July, Venus retrogrades. What is Chiron retrograde? Chiron represents the wound within all of us. Wounds have purpose. They sensitize us; make us aware of pain and suffering. Through our wounds we develop compassion. Through compassion we become whole (holy) again. Chiron helps develop these states of consciousness. Everyone carries a wound. Everyone carries family wounds (family astrology tracks the astrological “DNA” through generations). Chiron wounds are deep within. We’re often not aware of them until Chiron retrogrades. Then the wounds (through pain, hurt, sadness, suffering) become apparent. They seem to break us open emotionally, psychologically. Painful events from the past are remembered. They are brought to the present for healing. Through experiencing, talking about and deeply feeling what is hurting us, healing takes place. We begin to understand and bring healing to others. All week, Jupiter and Venus move closer together in the sky. They meet in Leo at the full moon, Cancer solar festival, on Wednesday, July 1. The Cancer keynote is, “I build a lighted house and therein dwell.” The soul’s light has finally penetrated the “womb” of matter. The New Group of World Servers is to radiate this light. At the end of each sign are keywords to use and remember during the Chiron retrograde.

 

The New Tech Nexus

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

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of June 26

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >
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Kickin' Chicken

Local kitchen alchemist Justin Williams is fast becoming a cult flavor master. His late-night wizardry, which began last fall delivering mainly to starving UCSC students, is catching on with taste buds beyond campus. Kickin’ Chicken delivers its spicy-sweet fried chicken and waffles to Westside residents between 9 p.m. and 2 a.m. nightly. Or you can catch him and his brother and sister, Candice and Danny Mendoza, serving it up at their “Sunday Mass” at the Santa Cruz Food Lounge at 1001 Center St. in Santa Cruz. Using sous vide, a French method of cooking chicken in a water bath at a tightly controlled temperature, they then flash fry it for an amazingly crispy coat. Candice Mendoza spoke to GT about Kickin’ Chicken’s rise.

 

What’s a creative new approach to addressing summer beach litter?

Robotic dogs, with duct tape on their paws, that walk around picking up litter wherever they go. Joaquin Heinz, Santa Cruz, Barista

 

Pelican Ranch Winery

The most popular red wines found on store shelves are also those most commonly known, such as Pinot, Zinfandel and Merlot. But when you come across a more unusual varietal, like Pelican Ranch Winery’s Cinsault ($19), it opens up a whole new world. Cinsault is a grape that can tolerate heat, so it is found in countries with warmer climes such as Morocco, Algeria, Lebanon, and France. It’s rare in California but grows well in places like Lodi—Silvaspoons Vineyard in this particular case—where it’s hot and dry. Often used as a blending grape, the silky Cinsault is just fine on its own.

 

Open Wide

Soif’s soft reboot leads to expanded menu, plus the ‘thinking woman’s ketchup’