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Jun 30th
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Santa Cruz Film Festival Diary, Day 6

Santa Cruz Film Festival Diary, Day 6

Frances Causey & Donald Goldmacher’s ‘Heist: Who Stole the American Dream?’ and Turner Clay’s ‘State of Emergency’

On Tuesday—for the second time during the course of the Santa Cruz Film Festival—I caught up with a film that had eluded me at the Mill Valley Film Festival last fall, yet another reminder of just how much one inevitably misses at all these shindigs. In fact, it was at Mill Valley that Frances Causey and Donald Goldmacher’s Heist: Who Stole the American Dream? made its world premiere; at The Nickelodeon, the documentary screened to an audience that it hardly needed to convince.

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CultureBeat

Santa Cruz Film Festival Diary, Day 5

Santa Cruz Film Festival Diary, Day 5

Q&A with ‘Franky, Frankly’ writer-director Matthew Anderson

Instead of seeing any new films at the Santa Cruz Film Festival on Monday, I spent part of the day chatting with Santa Cruz native Matthew Anderson, writer-director of the short film Franky, Frankly, which appeared in the Only in Santa Cruz shorts program on Saturday. The film remains, for me, the highlight of the festival so far. Our conversation follows:

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The Ticker

A March for Shannon

A March for Shannon

SANTA CRUZ > Residents participate in ‘I am Shannon’ march
Yesterday, Monday, May 14, marked one week since the tragic death of 38-year-old Shannon Collins, a Santa Cruz resident and business owner. Collins was stabbed to death in broad daylight in the Lower Broadway neighborhood of Santa Cruz while walking back from a hair appointment. The suspect, Charles Anthony Edwards, is a transient from San Francisco with a history of violent crime. (Read more in this week’s news section.) To commemorate Collins, a few hundred residents participated in a Take Back Santa Cruz-organized rally and march at 7 p.m. yesterday.

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CultureBeat

Santa Cruz Film Festival Diary, Day 4

Santa Cruz Film Festival Diary, Day 4

Kurt Kuenne’s ‘Shuffle’

With its mid-May scheduling, the Santa Cruz Film Festival, which I continued to explore at a moderate tempo over the weekend, creates the ultimate first-world conundrum for attendees: How does one take advantage of all the festival has to offer when it’s 70 degrees outside? There’s a reason, I think, why many of the world’s most distinguished film festivals happen in places(or during seasons) that wouldn’t merit an extended stay sans said festival.

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CultureBeat

Santa Cruz Film Festival Diary, Day 3

Santa Cruz Film Festival Diary, Day 3

Locally-produced short film program, ‘Only in Santa Cruz'

One of the responsibilities of any given film festival is to spotlight local talent, and this year’s shorts program, Only in Santa Cruz, which screened on Saturday, May 12 at the Nickelodeon, exists in that spirit—and, as is the case with many a short film program, this collective is a bit of a mixed bag.

It opens with Good Morning, Day!, in which several strangers interact while waiting for the bus and on the strange ride that follows; ultimately, it’s a potentially interesting concept rendered almost incomprehensible by its nauseating form. 

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The Ticker

Taking New Steps Abroad

Taking New Steps Abroad

Locals race for a greener China

Kimberly Bingham and her husband were only planning to stay in China for a year. Six years down the road, the Santa Cruz couple—along with their two children—have found themselves making leaps and bounds to help the biggest continent on Earth a greener place for us all.

Bingham, who was born and raised in Santa Cruz, is now teaching in Suzhou, China.  She is currently training with a team for the Great Wall Marathon, a race that has been run by only about 11,000 people to date. She plans on running not only as a test to her own physical strength—the race consists of 5164 steps—but also as a fundraiser for the Million Trees Project, which is dedicated to improving both ecological and humanitarian conditions in inner Mongolia.

 

“Living abroad, especially living in Asia, you see things that are sometimes really difficult to see—both human suffering and just general damage to the planet ... you have to decide pretty early on if you are going to care about the things you see,” Bingham says.  “If this were about planting a tree in China and walking away, it would be a waste. I really appreciate that the Million Tree Project is focused on the big picture ... reforestation is of critical importance for the overall health of our entire planet.”

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CultureBeat

Santa Cruz Film Festival Diary, Day 1

Santa Cruz Film Festival Diary, Day 1

Opening night: Sascha Rice’s “California State of Mind: The Legacy of Pat Brown”

With relatively modest pomp and circumstance, the Santa Cruz Film Festival kicked off its 11th year on Thursday night at the Del Mar Theatre, although not without a technical hitch (or several). Ultimately, the opening night menu had to be flipped; the feature film screened first, followed by the Good Times/Impact/SCFF screenwriting contest winners short film program, which was originally scheduled to precede the feature. But if the night was destined to be an unpredictable one due to those aforementioned technical difficulties, it’s lucky, then, that the selected entrée delivered so reliably.

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Mind & Body

Yoga for a Better Night’s Sleep

Yoga for a Better Night’s Sleep

NAVIGATING YOGA > As anyone who practices yoga can tell you, it is a powerful way to relax. As such, it also can mean better, deeper sleep. But what exactly about yoga aids healthy sleep? Is it the long, luxurious stretching? Is it the meditation aspect, or the deep breathing? Or it is because “savasana” basically feels like a nap? In short, the answer is yes to all of the above. Yoga is one of the best ways to promote relaxation—so how can we take advantage of its positive affects on sleep?

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The Ticker

I am Shannon

I am Shannon

SANTA CRUZ > Take Back Santa Cruz plans community event to commemorate Shannon Collins

Late last night, Tuesday, May 8, Take Back Santa Cruz founder Analicia Cube posted the words “I am Shannon Collins” on the group’s Facebook page.    

At the time of this writing, nearly 20 others—men and women, alike—had followed suit and commented that they, too, are Shannon Collins.

Collins was a 38-year-old Santa Cruz resident and downtown business owner who was brutally murdered on Monday, May 7 in the city’s Lower Broadway neighborhood. According to the Santa Cruz Police Department, the attack was random and had no clear motive. The attacker was Charles Anthony Edwards, a 43-year-old transient from San Francisco with “an extensive violent crime history.” You can read more about the incident here.

 “I am Shannon” is also the name the TBSC event Cube has planned for Monday, May 14—one week after Collins’ death. “We are all her,” Cube says. “You could be her. I could be her. She was one of us. That’s the basic sentiment.”

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The Ticker

Blunting Hunger Pangs

Blunting Hunger Pangs

WATSONVILLE > Friday discussion aims to spread awareness of CalFresh eligibility

Santa Cruz County has been taking advantage of more food assistance programs than ever over the last few years, but Second Harvest Food Bank thinks that public awareness of available resources could use a boost.

This Friday, May 11, Second Harvest Food Bank will hold an event highlighting the CalFresh program (formerly known as food stamps and now federally known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP). According to a Second Harvest press release, CalFresh is being seriously underutilized.

“Currently, less than 50 percent of eligible Californians are benefiting from this valuable program,” says Second Harvest’s Deborah Yashar in the press release.

Food aid programs in Santa Cruz have been seeing spikes in use over the past several years. In 2003, 32,618 people in Santa Cruz County were served by the Second Harvest Food Bank. By 2010, that number had grown to 52,400.

 

Students benefiting from free or reduced cost school meals have also increased in number—while still below the California average, students receiving these benefits went from 36.4 percent of students to 50.9 percent.

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I Was a Teenage Deadhead

Memories of life on tour, plus the truth about that legendary Santa Cruz Acid Test

 

I Build a Lighted House and Therein Dwell

Wednesday, June 24, Chiron turns stationary retrograde (we turn inward) at 21.33 degrees Pisces. We usually speak of “retrograde” when referring to Mercury. But all planets retrograde. Next month in July, Venus retrogrades. What is Chiron retrograde? Chiron represents the wound within all of us. Wounds have purpose. They sensitize us; make us aware of pain and suffering. Through our wounds we develop compassion. Through compassion we become whole (holy) again. Chiron helps develop these states of consciousness. Everyone carries a wound. Everyone carries family wounds (family astrology tracks the astrological “DNA” through generations). Chiron wounds are deep within. We’re often not aware of them until Chiron retrogrades. Then the wounds (through pain, hurt, sadness, suffering) become apparent. They seem to break us open emotionally, psychologically. Painful events from the past are remembered. They are brought to the present for healing. Through experiencing, talking about and deeply feeling what is hurting us, healing takes place. We begin to understand and bring healing to others. All week, Jupiter and Venus move closer together in the sky. They meet in Leo at the full moon, Cancer solar festival, on Wednesday, July 1. The Cancer keynote is, “I build a lighted house and therein dwell.” The soul’s light has finally penetrated the “womb” of matter. The New Group of World Servers is to radiate this light. At the end of each sign are keywords to use and remember during the Chiron retrograde.

 

The New Tech Nexus

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

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of June 26

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >
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Kickin' Chicken

Local kitchen alchemist Justin Williams is fast becoming a cult flavor master. His late-night wizardry, which began last fall delivering mainly to starving UCSC students, is catching on with taste buds beyond campus. Kickin’ Chicken delivers its spicy-sweet fried chicken and waffles to Westside residents between 9 p.m. and 2 a.m. nightly. Or you can catch him and his brother and sister, Candice and Danny Mendoza, serving it up at their “Sunday Mass” at the Santa Cruz Food Lounge at 1001 Center St. in Santa Cruz. Using sous vide, a French method of cooking chicken in a water bath at a tightly controlled temperature, they then flash fry it for an amazingly crispy coat. Candice Mendoza spoke to GT about Kickin’ Chicken’s rise.

 

What’s a creative new approach to addressing summer beach litter?

Robotic dogs, with duct tape on their paws, that walk around picking up litter wherever they go. Joaquin Heinz, Santa Cruz, Barista

 

Pelican Ranch Winery

The most popular red wines found on store shelves are also those most commonly known, such as Pinot, Zinfandel and Merlot. But when you come across a more unusual varietal, like Pelican Ranch Winery’s Cinsault ($19), it opens up a whole new world. Cinsault is a grape that can tolerate heat, so it is found in countries with warmer climes such as Morocco, Algeria, Lebanon, and France. It’s rare in California but grows well in places like Lodi—Silvaspoons Vineyard in this particular case—where it’s hot and dry. Often used as a blending grape, the silky Cinsault is just fine on its own.

 

Open Wide

Soif’s soft reboot leads to expanded menu, plus the ‘thinking woman’s ketchup’