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Mar 02nd
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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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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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Green Swell

Local surfboard company greens up the industry with an eco-conscious business model

 

Two Fish Bound by a Golden Cord

Until March 20, (Spring Equinox), Earth and her kingdoms (mineral, plant, animal, human) experience the influence of Pisces, sign of the World Savior. Whereas the task of Aquarius is as world server, the Pisces task is saving the world—tasks given to the two fishes. Pisces never really enters matter, and as the last sign of the zodiac includes all the signs. During Pisces, having gathered all the gifts of the previous 11 signs, it is a good time to prepare for new initiating plans when Aries (sign of beginnings) begins. No wonder Pisces, like Scorpio, is so difficult (both are ruled by Pluto, planet of death, new life, regeneration, transformations). Both signs (with Scorpio drowning in dark and deep waters) find life on Earth a hardship, disorienting (from the spiritual perspective), at times feeling betrayed. Life is a paradox, especially for Pisces. Each zodiacal sign represents and distributes a different phase and facet (12) of the Soul’s diamond light, Pisces is the “Light of Life itself, ending forever the darkness of matter.” It takes two fish to complete this work (creating eventually an extraordinary human being). One fish turned toward the material world (in order to understand matter), the other fish toward the heavenly world. Around the two fish is a silvery cord binding them together. The two fish are forever bound until all of humanity is redeemed (lifted up into the Light). This is the dedication of all world saviors (Buddha, Christ, the NGWS). Thus the sacrifice and suffering experienced by Pisces. Knowing these things about Pisces, let us help them all we can. Sometimes all of humanity is Pisces.

 

The New Tech Nexus

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

 

Seal Change

Celtic selkie lore comes alive in dazzling ‘Song of the Sea’
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Teresa’s Gourmet Foods

New owners for Santa Cruz’s leading local salsa company

 

What defines a good dive bar?

It’s slightly dirty, and they serve cheap drinks. Stella Celeste, Santa Cruz, Barrista

 

Picchetti Winery

After enjoying its contents, I couldn’t throw away the empty bottle of Picchetti Winery’s Red Table Wine.

 

Happy Birthday, Manny

Manuel’s turns 50, farmers market steel head pairs with Pinot, and a Birichino Malvasia