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Dec 18th
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Staycation

The Little Basin That Could

The Little Basin That Could

Try Little Basin Campground for a local camping getaway

Local state parks make for the perfect summer staycation: they are nearby, affordable, beauteous, and, in Santa Cruz’s case, there are several to choose from. And now we can add one more valuable state park campground to our local trove—Little Basin Campground.

Formerly a retreat center for Hewlett Packard employees, the year-round campground is now part of Big Basin Redwoods State Park in Boulder Creek. Its 524-acre lot is a medley of grassy meadows and majestic coastal redwoods, checkered with 38 tent sites, 12 tent cabins, and RV sites.

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The Ticker

New Slugs

New Slugs

SLUG REPORT > UC Santa Cruz gears up to welcome diverse freshman class following record-breaking application figures

For every few dozen incoming students who attended UC Santa Cruz’s freshman orientation last week, there was a “yellow-shirt” clamoring to organize them.

“Yellow-shirts,” more commonly known as orientation leaders, are nothing new at UCSC’s summer orientation week, but after a record-breaking 40,622 applications this past fall (an applicant increase of more than 17 percent since last year, second only to UC Los Angeles), these student workers were working with an evolving demographic.

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Mind & Body

Yoga For Fear

Yoga For Fear

NAVIGATING YOGA > Fear is a natural part of being alive. It reminds us that we are human, and that we are, in fact, imperfect. And we are afraid of everything, aren’t we? We are afraid of death, deadlines, change, the proverbial monster living under our beds, afraid we fear too much … Incessant worrying about the possibility of things going wrong or completely destructing around one’s self can cloud every experience in life. Mark Twain once famously quipped, “I have been through some terrible things in my life, some of which actually happened.” I love this quotation because it reminds me that fear is instinctual, and that when we let ourselves be consumed by fear, we lose grasp of our ability to distinguish what is real and what isn’t.

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CultureBeat

Space-Age Entertainment

Space-Age Entertainment

Dancetronauts and Dancetrohotties hit the Cocoanut Grove

Ever seen a spaceship in Santa Cruz? How about one with a fuzzy white interior, fully equipped with a booming sound system, LED lights, DJs dressed like spacemen, and futuristic GoGo dancers?

The collaboration of CEOs Philip Plastina (Captain Philthy Phil) and Travis Richards (Captain Trav Nasty), the Dancetronauts are now a group of 30 members whose mission is to “live, love, laugh, and dance.” Together, the group has created a mobile entertainment unit that is a combination of fire, light, and the ultimate sound experience.

The Strip Ship, as this Burning Man-ready vehicle is called, will roll back into their hometown of Surf City on Thursday, July 26 to co-host a large, bright, electro space showdown with Bounce Camp for BOOM!, a show at Cocoanut Grove. Proceeds go to the Dancetronauts Burning Man camp, which will aid the Dancetronauts’ mission to inspire and support self-expression through music, dance, art, and an all-around good time.

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The Ticker

Surf’s Up

Surf’s Up

Cancer benefit for Surf City legend

“I was so involved with surfing that I barely graduated from high school,” says Thomas Hickenbottom. The class cutting was worth it. Hickenbottom bought his first board from Renny Yater in 1959, and continued on to become one of the top rated surfers in the world.

Since he first hit the sand as a young child in Santa Cruz, Hickenbottom has lived, breathed, and dreamed about the beach. He became an original member of the O’Neill surf team, and spent years traveling between Hawaii and Santa Cruz chasing waves.

“We competed locally and up and down the California coast,” he says. “It was such an honor to be involved with all those great surfers on the same team. We were like rock stars back then.”

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The Ticker

The Story of KP2

The Story of KP2

SLUG REPORT > Hawaiian monk seal inspires UCSC researchers and conservationists an ocean away

“If we can teach people about wildlife, they will be touched … humans want to save things that they love.” ― Steve Irwin

This is the story of an unusual monk seal pup, whose claim to fame, though not without tragedy, has triggered a renewed effort in species protection. In 2008, Hō‘ailona was speeding toward the trend of low seal pup survival rate, after being abandoned by his mother on a beach in Kuaui at two days old.

Biologists from the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), who have jurisdiction over the monk seal species, found this Kauai Pup 2 (KP2) and oversaw his rehabilitation at a facility in Oahu. By completion, however, the seal pup had become whole-heartedly domestic—a regular at Molokai beaches who preferred spending time with humans over other monk seals.

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Staycation

Taking Refuge

Taking Refuge

A day at Carmel’s best day spa is just what the doctor ordered

Just a short drive south from Santa Cruz, tucked behind the remote Carmel Valley Athletic Club, is the small oasis of relaxation known simply as Refuge. It’s a day spa, but exists on a realm above most other establishments of the sort. Visitors enter through lavish locker rooms, plush white robe and towel in tow, and, from there, step into the equivalent of a very fancy, very large backyard. The spacious patio-like area is fenced in and lined with pleasant landscaping. Small pools of varying temperatures—cold, cool, warm, and hot—create a checkerboard of water across the co-ed space, where bathing suits are mandatory and the atmosphere is one of quiet relaxation. Spa goers sit meditatively around several fire pits, despite the warm day.

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The Ticker

Setting the Pace

Setting the Pace

Now a ‘pacesetter’ community, Santa Cruz County pushes forward with grade-level reading efforts

It always helps to have a light at the end of the tunnel.

For Santa Cruz County educators interested in addressing grade-level reading, that light is the All-America City award, an incentive from the National Campaign for Grade-Level Reading to increase the reading ability of third grade and below students. The campaign, a branch of the National Civic League, emphasizes cross-coordination between all sectors of the community to strengthen the resources available to low-income students.

A network of thousands of funders, nonprofits, state leaders and other communities across the nation comprise the campaign, which focuses on grade-level reading by the third grade. Reading proficiency at that cutoff has been identified as a strong predictor of later academic success, as it allows students “to shift from learning to read to reading to learn,” according to the campaign’s website,

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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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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

Why there’s no such thing as too much Italian food in Seabright

 

Guitar or surfboard?

Guitar. The closest thing I ever came to surfing was sliding down a rock hill. Charlie Tweddle, Santa Cruz, Hats and Music

 

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