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May 23rd
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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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The Ticker

Beyond Foreclosure

Beyond  Foreclosure

 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.  

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The Ticker

Keeping the Peace

Keeping the Peace

SANTA CRUZ > Resource Center for Nonviolence gets new digs

Beats from local band Ancestree and the scent of falafel filled the halls of 612 Ocean St. on Sunday, May 20, during the Resource Center for Nonviolence’s open house at the new location. Visitors mingled among freshly painted hallways lined with volunteer sign-up sheets, fare-trade olive oils, scarves from the Middle East, and what may well be the largest collection book written or inspired by Gandhi on the West Coast.

The open house was celebrating the RCNV’s move into what once was the Christian Science Church on Ocean Street. The new building is reportedly a much better space for the organization, which is dedicated to promoting peace and social justice through the principles of nonviolent social change.

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Gate Openers

Up-and-coming artists like Ryan Bingham are a great reason to show up early to the Santa Cruz American Music Festival

 

Gemini Sun, Pentecost, Shavuot—Enlightenment and Gladness

As the sun enters Gemini on Sunday, sign of speaking, communication, thinking, inter-relations, writing and understanding languages, the feast days of Pentecost & Shavuot (Catholic and Jewish festivals) occur. During Pentecost’s 50 days after Easter, tongues of fire appear above the heads of the disciples, providing them with the ability to understand all languages and all feelings hidden in the minds and hearts of humanity. It’s recorded that Pentecost began with a loud noise, which happened in an upper room (signifying the mind). The Christ (World Teacher) told his disciples (after his ascension) when encountering a man at a well carrying a water pot (signs for Age of Aquarius) to follow him to an upper room. There, the Holy Spirit (Ray 3 of Divine Intelligence) would overshadow them, expand their minds, give them courage and enable them to teach throughout the world, speaking all languages and thus able to minister to the true needs of a “seeking” humanity. Pentecost (50 days, pentagram, Ray 5, Venus, concrete and scientific knowledge, the Ray of Aquarius) sounds dramatic, impressive and scary: The loud noise, a thunderous rush of wind and then “tongues of fire” above the heads of each disciple (men and women). Fire has purpose. It purifies, disintegrates, purges, transforms and liberates (frees) us from the past. This was the Holy Spirit (Ray 3, love and wisdom) being received by the disciples, so they would teach in the world and inform humanity of the Messiah (Christ), who initiated the new age (Pisces) and gave humanity the new law (adding to the 10 Commandments of the Aries Age) to Love (Ray 2) one another. Note: Gemini is also Ray 2. Shavuot is the Jewish Festival of Gladness, the First Fruits Festival celebrating the giving of the 10 Commandments to Moses as the Aries Age was initiated. Thus, we have two developmental stages here, Jewish festival of the Old Testament. Pentecost of the New Testament. We have gladness, integrating both.

 

The New Tech Nexus

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

 

Off Her Meds

Kristin Wiig runs wild—and transcends her sketch comedy roots—as a truly strange character ‘Welcome to Me’
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Flats Bistro

Pizza with an artisan twist comes to Aptos Beach

 

What’s your take on Santa Cruz locals?

Santa Cruz locals are really friendly once you know them. I think a lot of them have a hard time leaving, and I would too. Ryan Carle, Santa Cruz, Biologist

 

Soquel Vineyards

If Soquel Vineyards partners Peter and Paul Bargetto and Jon Morgan were walking down the street wearing their winning wine competition medals, you’d hear them coming from a mile away. This year was particularly rewarding for the Bargettos and Morgan—they won two Double Gold Medals and five Gold Medals at January’s San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition.

 

Enlightened Flavors

Squash & Blossom’s artisanal alternative-flour delights, beet kvass from Cafe Ivéta, and the Santa Cruz Baroque Festival