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Sep 18th
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Playa Style

Playa Style

Geoffrey Nelson on the art of Burning Man costuming

Geoffrey Nelson’s artist loft at the Tannery Arts Center in Santa Cruz is brimming with eye-catching Burning Man costumes. Mannequins in elaborate getups stand around in the bright, open space, hinting at the troves of funky clothes hiding in the home’s many closets (including the kitchen pantry) that are stuffed with Black Rock City digs.

Nelson shares his clothing creativity with fellow Burners—veterans and “newbies,” alike—in annual costume workshops.

He wasn’t born a costume aficionado, however. “My first time, I thought wearing a hair clip was really radical,” he laughs. “I walked around with this hair clip on top of my head.” But after 12 years of going to Burning Man, Nelson has his playa style down: like his theme camp, Mo’s Mini Martinis and Erotica, it draws heavily on a Bedouin aesthetic, which harkens back to childhood years he spent living in Morocco and is fitting for the festival’s desert environment.

While his daytime outfits capture a mellow Arabic influence, his nighttime getups are big, bold and colorful. He has an impressive collection of marching band uniforms, as well as traditional Masonic garb. “The Masons are getting rid of all of their traditional, ritual clothes, so I buy them on eBay for around $20,” he explains. He enlivens these already striking outfits with “EL” wire (a long-lasting, durable wire that glows brightly) to make it pop in the desert darkness.

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CultureBeat

Around Town Photos

Around Town Photos

In this week's installment of Around Town, GT's photography intern Sal Ingram captured the action at the 38th annual Santa Cruz Pride parade and festival and the fourth annual Santa Cruz Beach Soccer Championships on Sunday, June 3.

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The Ticker

Local Org Wins $100,000

Local Org Wins $100,000

SANTA CRUZ > Nonprofit aims to unleash potential from the inside out

Ami Chen Mills-Naim’s approach to individuals seems well suited to Santa Cruz.  As co-founder and education director for the Center for Sustainable Change (CSC), Chen Mills-Naim drew on philosopher Sydney Banks’ studies to design a very “human,” yet rare, approach to access the universal “core of peace” found in all people, and to improve communities from the “inside-out.” The center’s mission was recently bolstered by a $100,000 grant from the Kellogg Foundation, which they have used to help open a new location, and to continue spreading their services nationally.

Chen Mills-Naim’s goal is to help individuals with psychosocial distress to realize their own inner strength and capabilities as a method of finding relief—a drive that began for her via personal experience. As a young journalist in the ’90s, Chen Mills-Naim was intrigued by new medical discoveries that claimed they had “found the answer” to psychological issues exhibited in individuals. The answers to these “problems,” according to big national magazines, were prescription pills.  

The CSC offers more holistic, natural alternatives that that focus on healing the harmful views that people hold of their own selves, and how those translate into their daily lives.   The center, as explained in detail on their website, offers a range of services including one-on-one intensive consulting, leadership retreats, research projects, and couples’ and family consulting. All of center’s actions employ Dr. Banks’ three principles, which boil down to the idea that through showing individuals how to view themselves from a better perspective, they are able to live a more peaceful and rewarding life.

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The Ticker

Insider Insights

Insider Insights

SLUG REPORT > Daniel Sheehan wraps up UCSC lecture series

Drawing on a lifetime of “progressive litigation,” Harvard-trained civil rights attorney Daniel P. Sheehan concluded his four-part public lecture series on Thursday, May 31. For those who missed it, the series is slated to run online beginning this fall. If you’ve ever wished you had an insider’s perspective on Iran-Contra, this isn’t a series to pass up.

A veteran of legislation in cases ranging from the Pentagon Papers and the Watergate scandal to the Iran Contra Affair and the Greensboro massacre, Sheehan has been offered his insights on government covert action via a class at UC Santa Cruz that ran during the 2012 spring quarter.

Sheehan was the first to challenge the Reagan-Bush administration’s illegal and covert sale of weaponry to Iran to fund the Contra war against the Sandinista government in Nicaragua.

“The case is actually a chronological story of the ’60s,” says Sheehan. “It’s an attempt to shine a light on a lot of the issues of that generation—it goes from 1968 to Iran-Contra [1986].”

An animated speaker, Sheehan makes even the finer points of federal legislation evocative and thought provoking.

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The Ticker

New Center Makes a Splash

New Center Makes a Splash

SANTA CRUZ > Sanctuary Exploration Center lights up with art

A one-ton whale tale and an enormous arctic glass mural are the latest sculptural additions to Santa Cruz’s coast.  

The new Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary Exploration Center at 35 Pacific Ave. unveiled its two featured public art pieces on the evening of Tuesday, May 29. In anticipation of its grand opening in July, the center invited contributors and locals alike to a lighting ceremony in honor of the construction of the center, which will aim to provide an outlet for learning and discovering more about our waters and coast.

The event invited the artists of the two pieces to speak about the processes involved in constructing the center’s main works. “Fluke,” a life-sized whale tail cast from bronze, sits near the main entrance to the center, inviting visitors to touch and experience the piece firsthand. “The texture of the [whale] itself is really intriguing,” explain artists Scott Constable and Ene Osteraas-Constable of Wowhaus studio. “How it will change over time with weather and with use is intended ... [it] is something really exciting to see. This has truly been our favorite public project to date.”

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The Ticker

I Can Too!

I Can Too!

SANTA CRUZ COUNTY > New autism center opens in Aptos

Although nearly one in 88 children are being diagnosed with Autism, quality services aren’t necessarily becoming easier to find.  

The I Can Too! Learning Center, a division of Trumpet Behavioral Health (TBH) in Aptos hopes to address this locally. The center is wrapping up construction, and, upon its opening early this month, will begin work to provide Santa Cruz County with a group of professionals who can teach and care for families with Autistic children starting early on in their development. According to Camille Summers-Godfrey, Santa Cruz head teacher for TBH, providing intervention and educational services at a young age for children with developmental delays is imperative to progress and can lessen the need for greater assistance later in life.

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Mind & Body

Self Defense Tips

Self Defense Tips

Local jui jitsu instructor gives his top self defense tips

Seated behind the desk of his East Cliff Drive dojo, jui jitsu instructor Claudio Franca explains that it is not always possible to protect oneself or prevent an attack.

“Unfortunately, sometimes you don’t have a choice,” he says in a thick Brazilian accent. “Twelve o’clock, Downtown Santa Cruz … sometimes you can’t [prevent an attack],” he adds, referencing the May 7 fatal stabbing of downtown business owner Shannon Collins that still has the community reeling.

In some circumstances, however, Franca assures that self-defense training can be helpful. “The idea is avoiding the confrontation,” he says. “Move away, call another person.”

Franca, who originates from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, has been teaching the martial art for 25 years. He also teaches two women’s self defense classes a week at the Santa Cruz location and one a week at his Watsonville studio.

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The Ticker

Signatures Delivered

Signatures Delivered

SANTA CRUZ > Coalition delivers 8,800 signatures in an effort to place desal amendment on November ballot

The Right To Vote On Desal coalition rallied in front of Santa Cruz City Hall on Tuesday, May 29, at 12:45 p.m. to deliver 8,800 signatures to city officials for processing.

The signatures were gathered in order to add a Charter Amendment to the November ballot that would guarantee the Santa Cruz community the right to make the final decision on the construction of a controversial desalination plant.

Since mid-February, volunteers have been gathering signatures from city voters in an attempt to hit the 5,400-in-180 days requirement to qualify the initiative for the November ballot. At 8,800 in 120 days, they have far exceeded requirements.

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CultureBeat

Take One Screenwriting Competition Films

Take One Screenwriting Competition Films

Watch the winning films from the Take One Screenwriting Competition

If you recall, back in August 2011, Good Times teamed up with local production company *IMPACT and the Santa Cruz Film Festival to host Take One: A Screenwriting Competition. The rules were simple: Submit a short script of any genre (two pages maximum) for a one- to two-minute movie.

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The Ticker

Transit of Venus

Transit of Venus

SLUG REPORT > Venus will soon pass in front of the sun

It’s been a busy couple of weeks in the world of astronomical events. First we had the partial solar eclipse on May 20, and now we’ve got Venus swooping in front of the sun on June 5. The transit of Venus in front of the sun is something not slated to occur again until 2117, so block out some time on June 5 to stare at the sun (using filters and common sense, of course).

A public viewing station will be set up at the Porter Wave sculpture, or the Porter “squiggle” as nearly everyone calls it, on the UC Santa Cruz campus. Telescopes equipped with the proper filters will be available at 3 p.m. Additionally, Lick Observatory will be hosting viewings from 2 - 8:30 p.m.

A series of lectures by UCSC professors and lecturers have been presented on campus, aimed at covering a variety of topics relevant to the upcoming transit. Ranging from the exploration of Venus via spacecraft to comparisons between life-supporting Earth and the acidic atmosphere of Venus, the talks focus on expanding public understanding of the importance of the event.

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Catwalk on the Wild Side

Meet the artists and designers behind this year’s edition of FashionART, SantaCruz’s most outrageous fashion show

 

The New Tech Nexus

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

 

Feeding Frenzy

Culinary journey ‘The Trip to Italy’ isn’t the foodie film you’d expect 

 

Watch List

From Google to the government to data brokers, why your privacy is now a thing of the past
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Sweet Treats

Local cannabis bakers win award for cookies

 

What fashion trends do you want to see, or not see?

Santa Cruz  |  High School Guidance Counselor

 

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

 

Santa Clara Wine Trail

My memories of growing up in England include my mother pouring port after Sunday dinner—and sometimes a glass of sherry before dinner. My family didn’t drink much wine back then, but we certainly made up for it with the port and sherry.