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Jan 26th
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Mind & Body

A Lighter Touch

A Lighter Touch

Lymphatic treatment with local massage therapist Miriam Janove

The mind/body connection that inspired this blog series becomes all too real to me when a stressful workweek results in a persistent headache or unbearable neck and shoulder tension. There are many ways I cope with this strain—exercise, baths, yoga, wine (the latter of which might not be doctor approved…)—but the ultimate solution is a session with Miriam Janove, the certified massage therapist behind Santa Cruz Bodywork and a guaranteed muscle melter.

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The Ticker

More Pioneer Women

More Pioneer Women

We continue in the theme of this week's cover story, 'Pioneer Women,' with two more profiles of local female change-makers 

Rising International
Carmel Jud knows a thing or two about following dreams. In 2003, when the global plight of women became too important of a cause to her, the local abandoned a promising advertising career in order to establish the Santa Cruz-based nonprofit Rising International. The organization seeks to empower women around the world by selling their handmade crafts at home shopping parties reminiscent of those held by companies like Avon. Since its launch, Rising International has helped homeless women, women with AIDS, and human trafficking survivors in more than 45 countries.

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The Ticker

The Great Debate

The Great Debate

SANTA CRUZ > Local debate explores whether public employees should be paid less

Santa Cruz has entered the debate on California’s budget deficits, and the Santa Barbara-based California Center for Public Policy (CCPP) is proposing a solution that some people may not agree with: reducing public employee compensation.

The CCPP, a libertarian think tank, organized a “Great Debate” on the subject as part of a statewide campaign to draw attention to the issue. The debate was held at the Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History on Tuesday, March 13 and was the first of seven debates in cities across California.

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Obsessive Beauty

A New Obsession

A New Obsession

Farewell to Obsessive Beauty, hello to The Penny Rose

Dear readers,

As you may have noticed, Obsessive Beauty has been on a hiatus for the last few months. That's because we've been working hard to transition the blog to the web. While Obsessive Beauty will still remain live on the Good Times' website, this will be our swan song. We say goodbye to its home here at GT and welcome its new incarnation at thepennyrose.com.

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The Ticker

Protecting the Home Front

Protecting the Home Front

SANTA CRUZ > Real estate agent lobbies for struggling local families

Barbara Palmer, president of the Santa Cruz County Association of Realtors, met with 28 out of the 55 U.S. Representatives from California, as well as Treasury and Federal Housing Finance Agency executives on five separate trips to Washington D.C. last year. Lobbying on behalf of cash-strapped homeowners and the statewide realtors association, Palmer emphasized the devastating impacts of foreclosures on families and neighborhoods.  

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Mind & Body

Workplace Workouts

Workplace Workouts

Another day, another dollar. In this economy, it’s easy to make work a fulltime priority at the expense of seemingly dispensable endeavors like a fitness routine. But not only does all work and no play make Jack a dull boy, it also puts him at risk for headaches, back aches, listlessness, and lowered productivity. (Not to mention this could pack a few pounds on him.) If you have the kind of workplace flexibility that affords you lingering lunch breaks at the gym—great. Pack a salad, grab your towel, and take advantage of it.

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The Ticker

Battle of the Bags

Battle of the BagsSLUG REPORT > Students push for local cities to ban plastic bags

UC Santa Cruz students are joining the fight to ban plastic bags in Santa Cruz. The campus chapter of the California Public Interest Research Group, or CALPIRG, staged a demonstration in Quarry Plaza on the UCSC campus on Wednesday, March 7. The students gave a brief presentation and handed out literature to people passing through the bustling plaza. The demonstration included a six-foot-tall board covered with bags to illustrate the 380 plastic grocery bags used in California every second.

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The Ticker

Caffe Lucio Fundraises for Local Child

A month ago, 7-year-old Ishmael Gomez went to sleep with his eyesight and woke up without it. The sudden loss of his sight remains a mystery for Ishmael, who is currently at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at the Stanford Medical Center, and his family.  “He was an absolutely normal kid—normal as normal comes—until one Tuesday morning he woke up and could not see anything,” Caffe Lucio owner Lucio Fanni writes to GT in an email. Ishmael’s father, Joel Gomez, has worked at Caffe Lucio for five years. The restaurant will host a fundraiser on Thursday, March 8, when 25 percent of all sales will go to the Gomez family. “This has been a great hardship on [the] Gomez family and a real medical mystery,” says Lucio. “I am inviting everyone to come in ... for a good cause.” Caffe Lucio, 381 Soquel Ave., 427-0164, caffelucio.com.

Mind & Body

The Down Low on Dozing

The Down Low on Dozing

It's National Sleep Awareness Week—ready to improve your sleep habits? 

Do you have difficulty catching some shuteye? If so, you’re not alone. According to the National Institutes of Health, 60 million Americans suffer from sleep disturbances every year. In light of National Sleep Awareness Week, which kicked off on Monday, March 5, we’ve taken the opportunity to look into the most common sleep disorders and unearth some tips for improving bedtime habits.

“There are simple ways to get a restful night’s sleep,” says Nora Distefano, physician and patient services representative at Central Coast Sleep Disorders Center. “Avoid any stimulant, like caffeine, before bedtime. Take a hot bath or shower to promote relaxation. If you’re having trouble sleeping in your bed, get out of bed and into another room.”

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Staycation

Sampling Sacramento

Sampling Sacramento

The state capital turns a skeptic into a satisfied visitor

The Citizen Hotel in Downtown Sacramento is an oasis of charm and style in an otherwise shabby neighborhood. The park directly across the street is, apparently, the most popular place for homeless to sleep, and an entire block to one side of the hotel is boarded up and vacant. Aided by the fact that I visited on a weekend, when the masses of legislators and their staffs are gone, the empty storefronts and sparsely populated streets gave off an eerie, downtrodden vibe.

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Force of Nature

Santa Cruz’s Carlie Statsky brings her love of the natural world to the hyper-personal art of wedding photography

 

Mercury Retrograde in Aquarius

The magical time of Mercury’s retrograde cycle is here once again, until Feb. 11, and then some. The Mercury retro cycle actually lasts eight weeks when we consider its retrograde shadow, giving us six months a year for review. We know the rules of Mercury retro: Be careful with everything; cars, driving, money, resources, friends, friendships, groups, interactions, thinking, talking, communications. Avoid big purchases, important meetings and important repairs. Mercury retrograde times are for review, reassessment and rest. Our minds are overloaded from the last Mercury retro. Our minds need to assess what we’ve done since October—eliminating what is not needed, keeping what’s important, preparing for new information in the next three months (till mid-May). Mercury in Aquarius retrograde … we reinvent ourselves, seek the unusual, we don’t hide, we’re just careful. We live in two worlds; outer appearances and inner reckonings, with both sides of our brain activated. Yet, like the light of the Gemini twins, one light waxes (inner world), the other (outer realities) wanes. Like Virgo, we see what’s been overlooked—assessing, ordering and organizing information. It’s an entirely inner process. When speaking we may utter only half of the sentence. We’re in the underworld, closer to Spirit, eyes unseeing, senses alerted, re-doing things over and over till we sometimes collapse. Because we’re in other realms, we’re wobbly, make mistakes, and don’t really know what we want. It’s not a time for decisions. Not yet. It’s a time of review. And completing things. Mercury retro: integration, slowing down, resolution, rapprochement.

 

The New Tech Nexus

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

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of January 23

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >
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Bye Bye Benten!

Benten closing, plus Award-winning gin, a massive burrito and chocolate review

 

Trout Gulch Vineyards

Scanning the shelves of Deluxe Foods of Aptos, which carries an impressive selection of local and imported wines, I picked up a bottle of Trout Gulch Vineyards Chardonnay 2012, described as “a local favorite” by the busy market.

 

Cremer House

What’s old is cutting-edge again in Felton

 

How are you going to make a tangible difference in your community this year?

Spread more kindness and compassion.