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Dec 25th
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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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The Ticker

All Grown Up

All Grown Up

SANTA CRUZ COUNTY > Big Brothers Big Sisters celebrates 30 years

In 1982, just 40 “littles” were matched with “bigs” in Santa Cruz County. Now, currently celebrating its 30th anniversary, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Santa Cruz County (BBBS) has placed more than 4,500 youths (called “littles”) in positive mentoring relationships with adult volunteers (called “bigs”).

The organization turned 30 on Thursday, June 14 and celebrated with an event that showcased the relationships created over the years. Julie Munnerlyn, coordinator of the 30th anniversary event, says the goal of BBBS is to create lasting, caring relationships that have a positive influence on both the big and the little involved.

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The Ticker

Woodies Once Again

Woodies Once Again

The 1950s Santa Cruz surf lifestyle is back—at least for a day this coming weekend.

On Saturday, June 23, 200-plus antique wood-bodied cars from across the country will come together for their 18th annual reunion on the Santa Cruz Wharf. The group will include an enormous variety of pre-1952 woodies.

In addition to showing off an impressive array of vintage cars to sizable crowds, the annual event brings back a feeling of nostalgia for many of its owners, as well as Santa Cruz locals. Don Iglesias, founder and “Club Kahuna” of the Santa Cruz Chapter of the National Woodie Club, says the event takes him back to his childhood—revisiting the vehicles recalls the feeling of being “a little boy peeking over the seat” in his parents’ old woodie, he says.

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The Ticker

Town Hall with a Twist

Town Hall with a Twist

SANTA CRUZ > Local nonprofit plans community meetings on the economy

“Doing something constructive always makes us feel much better about this mess in which we find ourselves, currently, in this nation,” says John French, founder of local nonprofit Article V for Our Children’s Future.

The organization looks to put heads together in Santa Cruz County, with the goal of discussing recent news in Washington, D.C. related to the declining job market in the United States. French hopes to make progress on the creation of jobs by bringing the community’s thoughts together with local and regional congressional representatives and economic experts.

To accomplish this, French is planning a series of virtual town hall meetings. Dubbed “e-town hall” meetings, the events will consist of Internet-based video conferences that will be taped in the Community Television Studio and streamed live online. Meetings will include a call-in number to help with widespread audience participation. French says the meetings will focus on subtopics of the main issue–like the best ways to create jobs–and will aim to reach a consensus among participants, representatives, experts, and citizens of the county regarding next moves.

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Mind & Body

A Love/Hate Relationship

A Love/Hate Relationship

Locals learn to love running in an unconventional program

According to Maggie Ellis, “If you think you hate running, [or] if you couldn’t run a half mile to save your life,” the Hate to Love Running Program is right up your alley.

Ellis is a certified health counselor and the director of The Hate to Love running program, which is now in its third year. Ellis was inspired to start the program by her own relationship with running: through a gentle progression of exercises, running transformed from a chore she hated doing into a true passion. Her program is geared toward beginning runners, and aims to help train them in a manageable way with the goal of completing a 5K run by the program’s end.

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The Ticker

O’Neill Makes History (Again)

O’Neill Makes History (Again)

Original surf shop established as California Point of Historic Interest

First they made the world’s first viable wetsuit, allowing surfers worldwide to dive into waters too icy for most. Now O’Neill is making history again.

The California State Historical Resources Commission voted unanimously earlier this month to approve the site of the original O’Neill Surf Shop (located at the entrance to Cowell Beach) as a “California Point of Historic Interest.”

What does that mean for the little beach shack that made history? For one, it’s going to get a sign explaining its historic significance. But for most Santa Cruzans, including Santa Cruz City Council Member David Terrazas (who spearheaded the designation effort), it’s just an official recognition of something they already know.

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Dancing In the Rain

District Attorney Bob Lee’s death in October stunned the Santa Cruz community, but he had battled cancer fiercely—and privately—for more than a decade. Now one of his closest friends reveals the remarkable inside story

 

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

 

Pinned Down

Actors shine in true-crime wrestling drama ‘Foxcatcher’
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Best Bites of 2014

A look back at the year in good taste

 

What downtown business is good for both one-stop shopping and last-minute gifts?

The Homeless Garden Project store. Because it is a community effort and has really useful and beautiful things, and allows you to connect with a lot of folks who are doing great work in Santa Cruz. Miriam Greenberg, Santa Cruz, UCSC Professor

 

Vino Tabi Winery

One of Santa Cruz’s most happening areas to go wine tasting is in the westside’s Swift Street Courtyard complex. Ever since a group of about a dozen wineries got together and formed Surf City Vintners (SCV), the place has been a hive of activity, and a wine-tasting mecca. Adding to the mix is the lively Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing beer company—making Swift Street Courtyard a perfect spot for a glass of wine or a pitcher of ale.

 

Betty’s Eat Inn

Yes, she’s a real person; no, this isn’t her