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Mind & Body


Navasana: Boat Pose


Navasana: Boat Pose

NAVIGATING YOGA > When I find myself moving at the speed of light, unable to regroup and slow down, I head straight for my yoga mat. This week’s featured yoga pose—Navasana, or “Boat Pose,”—concentrates on strengthening the core while lifting the torso and ultimately lifting the human spirit.

A strong core in yoga helps to support your spine when trying to balance, move into a backbend, or even while sitting in a meditative position. When your core is strong, tension can slowly release from your spine. Paripurna Navasana is considered one of the great core-strengthening postures in an asana practice. So for flat abs and a healthy back, practice this pose step by step:

1. I like to begin the posture on my back, hugging my knees into my chest, and rocking back and forth from the shoulders to the low back like a rocking chair to roll out the spine. Eventually, you can rock yourself all the way to sitting on your sit bones. With your legs still elevated, draws your hands underneath your knees for support.

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CultureBeat

Calling All Extras

Calling All Extras

'Sizzle reel' to be filmed at the Capitola Book Cafe

Written by a local-gone-screenwriter and set in Santa Cruz, the film Jane is Santa Cruzan through and through.

Deborah Allen, who was born in Santa Cruz, wrote the screenplay for Jane after spending the first half of her career in theater. Inspired by traumatic events in her own life and formed with the help of film production companies in Monterey and Los Angeles, Allen’s vision of creating a movie about real, brave, “smart women” is now becoming realized.

This coming Tuesday, July 10, Allen and her crew will be filming a “sizzle reel” for Jane at the Capitola Book Cafe. A sizzle reel resembles a film trailer and is meant to entice potential investors to get involved with the project, or, as the film’s website says, “to show possible backers, financial people, and friends what our visual story can look like.” Allen hopes that the reel will bring to fruition her story of Jane, a 15-year-old who embarks on journey of self-discovery and healing after a traumatic sexual experience.

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The Ticker

Before the Flood

Before the Flood

Independent study calls for action against the projected effects of sea level rise

As ocean temperatures rise and ice caps melt, sea levels rise. But what happens then? The National Research Council (NRC) recently released a 250-page report on the precise projections of how California, Oregon and Washington will be affected.

According to Gary Griggs, director of the Institute of Marine Sciences at UC Santa Cruz (UCSC) and the voice of the committee that published the report, previous sea level data was based on worldwide averages. Tide gages showed that global sea level is rising at double the rate that it did in the last century.

The NRC report, which was made possible through the participation of a number of state and federal agencies and a committee of scientists, focuses specifically on the West Coast, which is unique due to its geological composition and active coastline. California from San Diego to Cape Mendicino is sinking, while California north of Cape Mendicino, Oregon, and Washington, are rising.

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CultureBeat

Summer Reading

Summer Reading

Not sure what to read this summer? The staff at Capitola Book Café and Bookshop Santa Cruz reveal their favorite book picks of the season

Capitola Book Café:

“This is How” by Augusten Burroughs: The kind of wry, observational self help book that might have been written by a 21st century Mark Twain. Snarky hope for cynical optimists.

“Turn Right at Machu Picchu” by Mark Adams: This is armchair travel at its best, with all the exotic locales, physical challenges, off-beat humor and grand history anyone could ask for. Read it and look south. The mountains of Peru are waiting.

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Mind & Body

Upavista Konasana

Upavista Konasana

NAVIGATING YOGA > Try this wide-angle seated forward bend

Here it goes, our first post in a weekly series that will spotlight different yoga poses. This week, we are focusing on Upavista Konasana—a wide-angle seated forward bend or seated angle pose. Practice this asana for a greater openness in the hip flexors, a glorious stretch for the entire back side of your body as well as your inner thighs, and to strengthen your spine. To accomplish this, move through it slowly. Move into the posture from Dandasana (seated staff pose), by sitting upright, lengthening through your spine from your tailbone and out through the crown of your head. Open up your legs at about a 90 degrees angle or as far as you are able. Root down through your sit-bones and feel your hips externally rotate away from you so that your knees and feet are flexing skyward.

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The Ticker

Condors vs. Hunters

Condors vs. Hunters

SLUG REPORT > Lead poisoning in California condors still to be resolved

In the March 2011 Good Times article “Will Hunters Have to Bite the Bullet?” we reported that nearly all of the free-flying condors in California have had lead poisoning at least once, and that researchers have confirmed that lead ammunition from hunting is the most plausible source of exposure to the birds. Now, more than a year later, UC Santa Cruz researchers have concluded that lead from this type of ammunition is indeed the culprit.

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The Ticker

Baking for Barack

Baking for Barack

SANTA CRUZ > Local chapter of President Barack Obama’s reelection campaign kicks off with a bake sale

In the days of unlimited, anonymous corporate cash funding the political campaigns of both major parties, what could be more folksy, community-based and transparent than a bake sale? Such is the reasoning of Harvey Dosik, a key organizer of the local chapter of Obama For America 2012, the president’s official re-election campaign organization.  

While nodding to the conventional wisdom that California is considered a solidly blue state in the upcoming presidential election, and will probably not see the flood of television advertising that will saturate “battle ground” states, Dosik says there is still much for local volunteers to do to help President Barack Obama get reelected, starting with baking or buying some cookies at the “Bake For Barack” tables that will be set up across the county on Saturday, June 30.

“Tabling is a way to create relationships, to talk one-on-one with people, and we’ve been tabling all over the county for many weeks,” Dosik says. Dosik is expecting nothing less than widespread “spontaneous participation” across the county with the Bake for Barack event. “I’m expecting at least a dozen or so tables in strategic locations around town on June 30,” Dosik says, ”with several others hopefully just jumping in and spreading the word of the campaign.”

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The Ticker

Rescuing Pregnant Mares

Rescuing Pregnant Mares

WATSONVILLE > Local nonprofit saves pregnant mares from pharmaceutical ranches

As president and founder of the nonprofit Pregnant Mare Rescue (PMR), Lynn Hummer devotes the extra time she has between her family, her day job, and her love for horses to doing some important work for the large, majestic animals. “I’ve been a horse lover all my life and I’ve ridden all my life and I just wanted to give back,” Hummer says.

PMR, which is based at Hummer’s ranch in Watsonville, works to rescue mares and foals who were victims of pharmaceutical testing, with the fate of being sent to slaughter.

Premarin, a drug used to treat menopause in women, is the primary culprit, says Hummer. Premarin ranches in the United States take mares, impregnate them continuously, use their urine in the drug’s manufacturing process, and then send their offspring to slaughter.

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The Ticker

Giant Voices

Giant Voices

SLUG REPORT > Two baseball bloggers stand out from crowd

+PLUS: Their predictions for the 2012 Giants season

Being a sports blogger might not be the most original thing to do, especially considering the dull roar of fanboy adulation that surrounds the San Francisco Giants. But Thomas Todd and Daniel Zarchy stand out from their black-and-orange compatriots with a well-produced podcast (“Two Guys, a Glove and a Coke Bottle”), a thriving website (GiantsPod.net) and a team dynamic matched only by their subject matter.

Both UC Santa Cruz alums, Todd and Zarchy, who graduated in 2009 and 2010, respectively, met when they both worked at student publications (Fishrap for Todd and City on a Hill Press for Zarchy). From there, everything just seemed to fall into place for the pair.

“The podcast came about when we spent the whole football season talking about baseball,” says Zarchy. “At some point, we decided that there might be other fans out there who want to talk Giants, so we decided to record it and see what happened.”

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The Ticker

Biking for a Cause

Biking for a Cause

Riders rally America for MS

“I’m somewhere in Missouri,” Don Fraser tells me. As we speak, the program director for the organization “Bike the US for MS” is on his way to rendezvous with a group of fellow bicyclists.

After college, Fraser wasn’t quite sure what his next step should be. One thing he did know was that he wanted to bike across the country. Living with a mother who was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS), Fraser started planning how he could make a difference via bicycling for her and others who suffered from the same health issue.

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Mercury Enters Libra

It’s the week of Burning Man, the temporary, intentional, alternative, art-filled community on the playas of Nevada. Mercury, messenger of the Sun, enters Libra this week. Libra is the equalizer, a sign of balance and right human relations. Sometimes with Libra, we can be indecisive and confused while learning how to make balanced and right choices. Sometimes to keep the peace we communicate only what others want to hear. Eventually, we learn how to speak from the heart.

 

Final Cut

Cedar Street Video to close after 10 years at downtown location

 

Banter and Spark

Engaging actors, wry script distinguish lightweight rom-com ‘What If’

 

Back to Silicon Beach

With a new wave of startups, the future of Santa Cruz tech looks more promising than ever
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Best of Santa Cruz County

The 2013 Santa Cruz County Readers' Poll and Critics’ Picks It’s our biggest issue of the year, and in it, your votes—more than 6,500 of them—determined the winners of The Best of Santa Cruz County Readers’ Poll. New to the long list of local restaurants, shops and other notables that captured your interest: Best Beer Selection, Best Locally Owned Business, Best Customer Service and Best Marijuana Dispensary. In the meantime, many readers were ever so chatty online about potential new categories. Some of the suggestions that stood out: Best Teen Program and Best Web Design/Designer. But what about: Dog Park, Church, Hotel, Local Farm, Therapist (I second that!) or Sports Bar—not to be confused with Bra. Our favorite suggestion: Best Act of Kindness—one reader noted Café Gratitude and the free meals it offered to the Santa Cruz Police Department in the aftermath of recent crimes. Perhaps some of these can be woven into next year’s ballot, so stay tuned. In the meantime, enjoy the following pages and take note of our Critics’ Picks, too, beginning on page 91. A big thanks for voting—and for reading—and an even bigger congratulations to all of the winners. Enjoy.  -Greg Archer, EditorBest of Santa Cruz County Readers’ Poll INDEX

 

A Cab To Be Coveted

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