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.
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.
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 .”
An animated speaker, Sheehan makes even the finer points of federal legislation evocative and thought provoking.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
SANTA CRUZ > How one local is moving past his foreclosure
Local Ken Foster exemplifies the harm that can be done by just one foreclosure. After his ecological landscaping business, TerraNova, began “flat lining” in 2008, Foster says he took some risks to save his business, ultimately at the cost of his home. In order to meet business expenses and make payroll, he fell behind on mortgage payments, beginning more than two years ago. Facing default and foreclosure, Foster began what would be more than two years of struggle with Chase Bank on his qualifications for a loan modification so he could keep his home with reduced income.