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Dec 20th
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The Ticker

Halfway There

Halfway There

The 180/180 campaign celebrates housing 90 of the county's most vulnerable homeless 

The keynote speaker at a celebration this week marking the halfway goal for the 180/180 campaign, a multi-agency initiative to house the county's most vulnerable 180 homeless individuals, was Becky Kanis, director for the 100,000 Homes national campaign. 

The 100,000 Homes campaign, the parent initiative to 180/180, aims to coordinate communities across the whole country, including Santa Cruz County, to house 100,000 chronically homeless people by July 2014. 

Kanis, a bright-eyed military veteran with short cropped hair, praised a room packed with volunteers, homeless service advocates and community leaders at the Simpkins Family Swim Center on Thursday, Oct. 3, describing the local initiative's strengths, sharing what other communities have accomplished, and urging everyone to keep up the momentum. 

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The Ticker

Powering Up

Powering Up

An Electric Vehicle Workshop and National Plug-In Day celebrate and educate about electric vehicles

A key point that electric vehicle (EV) advocates are pushing is the idea of return on investment—that the savings people are making by unshackling themselves from the volatile costs of gasoline and oil are more than making up for the upfront expense of a car with rechargeable batteries. 

Considering available tax rebates and other incentives from the state and federal government and increasingly accessible costs, coupled with advancements on vehicle drive range and the appeal of zero reliance on gas stations, EVs are shaping up to be America's most viable future for personal transportation, says Rick Corcoran, a local advocate, EV owner, and member of the Monterey Bay Electric Vehicle Alliance (MBEVA).

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CultureBeat

Age is Just a Number

Age is Just a Number

Local author Olga Cossi continues writing children’s books in her nineties

She may be in her nineties, but Santa Cruz author Olga Cossi says she still has a plethora of untold children’s stories up her sleeve. “I have a lot of books I’m still working on,” says Cossi, who published her first book in 1967. “My favorite piece of writing, which I regard as my best work, has not been published yet.”

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The Ticker

Wary of War

Wary of War

Local activists respond to administration’s call for strike against Syrian regime

Protesters gathered at the intersection of Ocean and Water streets in Santa Cruz Saturday morning, Aug. 31, in response to President Barack Obama’s recent call for the use of military force against the Syrian government.

The protesters held signs with slogans like “Bombing Syria doesn’t help people, it kills them” and “More lies like Iraq, no war with Syria” amidst honking from passing traffic. Many expressed outrage over rhetoric they see as foreshadowing a long-term United States military presence in Syria.

“I am sickened that our country has been bullied by the weapons industry and is starting up another war, even though we haven’t recovered from the last one,” said Melinda Clark, an activist at the protest.

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The Ticker

Is Desal Headed for the Back Burner?

Is Desal Headed for the Back Burner?

Mayor and City Manager announce recommendation to reassess plan for contested desalination plant

If two top Santa Cruz city officials have their way, the hotly debated desalination project may soon find itself shelved.

This morning, Tuesday, Aug. 20, Santa Cruz Mayor Hilary Bryant and City Manager Martin Bernal announced their formal recommendation that no vote be held on the proposed desalination project in 2014, as planned.

Plans for the joint Santa Cruz/Soquel Creek Water District plant, which would produce up to 2.5 million gallons per day of desalinated seawater, has been part of the city’s water plan since the 2005 Integrated Water Plan deemed it the most feasible water supply option.

The plant would be used by the Santa Cruz Water Department to supplement supply in dry years and by Soquel Creek Water District in an effort to reprieve their depleted groundwater basins.

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The Ticker

Frowning on Fracking

Frowning on Fracking

Santa Cruzans speak up about offshore fracking at Coastal Commission meeting

With the new knowledge that oil companies are using controversial fracking methods off the coast of Southern California to extract fossil fuels, the state's Coastal Commission will begin an investigation on the practice and determine how they can regulate it. 

About 30 people attended the commission’s Thursday, Aug. 15 meeting at the Santa Cruz County building to voice their concerns and call the state into action.

Oil companies are using fracking, which injects highly pressurized water mixed with sand proppants and hazardous but unknown chemicals into the ground to extract fossil fuels, and predominantly avoiding government regulation through trade secret loopholes, says Brian Segee, an attorney with Environmental Defense Center in Santa Barbara, who addressed the commission about its dangers.

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CultureBeat

New Frontier

New Frontier

McCoy Tyler Band brings its unique ‘California country’ amalgam to The Crepe Place

“I’ve met my goal of getting out of Santa Cruz and spreading our wings,” McCoy Tyler says, reflecting on the two tours his eponymous band has completed so far this year. “We are playing lots of shows this August, and have shows booked up to November.”

The locally based band, which also features Chad Bowen (bass) and Clinton Brown (drums), is touring in support of its first and only album since forming in 2011—Cabin Fever Blues—and will make a stop at The Crepe Place on Aug. 16.

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The Ticker

Bracing for Coverage

Bracing for Coverage

Santa Cruz Women's Health Center to open new clinic in Live Oak

On Jan. 1, 2014, when the Affordable Care Act (ACA) goes into effect, close to 9,000 Santa Cruz County residents will become eligible for Medi-Cal insurance coverage for the first time. And just as many will be able to purchase affordable health plans through the state's new health insurance exchange, called “Covered California.”

In preparation for the thousands of newly eligible patients, the Santa Cruz Women’s Health Center (WHC) announced on Monday morning, Aug. 5 a $6.8 million deal to open a second state-of-the-art clinic in Live Oak.

The downtown WHC health center, which currently serves about 5,000 local women and children, aims to double its service capacity with the new clinic over the next five years, opening its doors to men as well, says Leslie Conner, WHC executive director.

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CultureBeat

The Up and Comers

The Up and Comers

Local teen punk outfit Spokesman has big sound, big plans

Spokesman has the energy and sound of a band that has been playing together for years—except three of the members will be juniors in high school next year, and another will be attending college in the fall. “We all started joining bands in middle school," says lead singer Austin Corona. “We all ended up together in this band by common musical goals and inspirations. We’re inspired by The Clash, Gaslight Anthem, Pink Floyd, and Black Flag, among many others.”

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The Ticker

Measure T Shot Down

Measure T Shot Down

Watsonville's proposal to annex ag land for development fizzles

Watsonville's Measure T, an initiative that proposed the city annex 95 acres of active agricultural land for retail development, was struck down on Tuesday, June 4 with more than three quarters of the vote in opposition to the proposal. 

The measure, which Watsonville City Councilmember Daniel Dodge first initiated a year and a half ago and maneuvered into position for voters, was defeated 77.36 to 22.64, according to votescount.com. 

The areas that were being considered—a 15-acre area called “Greenfarm” and another 80-acre region called “Sakata-Kett”—would have been paved over and used for new businesses that proponents of the measure believed would have boosted the city's low employment numbers (20 percent of residents are unemployed) and served as a much-needed jumpstart for the local economy. 

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Is This a Dream?

A beginner’s guide to understanding and exploring the uncanny world of lucid dreams

 

Giving and Giving, Then Giving Some More

2014 is almost over. Wednesday, Dec. 17, the Jewish Festival of Light, Hanukkah, begins. We are in our last week of Sag and last two weeks of December. Sunday, Dec. 21 is winter Solstice, as the sun enters Capricorn (3:30 p.m. for the west coast). Soon after, the Capricorn new moon occurs (5:36 p.m. for the west coast)—the last new moon of 2014. Sunday morning Uranus in Aries (revolution, revelation) is stationary direct (retro since July 22). Uranus/Aries create things new and needed to anchor the new culture and civilization (Aquarius). We will see revolutionary change in 2015. Capricorn new moon, building-the-personality seed thought, is, “Let ambition rule and let the door to initiation and freedom stand wide (open).” Capricorn is a gate—where matter returns to spirit. But the gate is unseen until the Ajna Center (third eye), Diamond Light of Direction, opens. Winter solstice is the longest day of darkness of the year. The sun’s rays resting at the Tropic of Capricorn (southern hemisphere) symbolize the Christ (soul’s) light piercing the heart of the Earth, remaining there for three days, till Holy Night (midnight Thursday morning). Then the sun’s light begins to rise. It is the birth of the new light (holy child) for the world. A deep calm and stillness pervades the world.The entire planet is revivified, re-spiritualized. All hearts beating reflect this Light. And so throughout the Earth there’s a radiant “impress” (impressions, pictures) given to humanity of the World Mother and her Child. The star Sirius (love/direction) and the constellation Virgo the mother shines above. For gift giving, give to those in need. Give and give and then give some more. This creates the new template of giving and sharing for the new world.

 

The New Tech Nexus

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

 

Stocking Stuffers

The men behind the women of the Kinsey Sicks Dragapella Beautyshop Quartet explain their own special brand of ‘dragtivism,’ and their holiday show at the Rio
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Tramonti Pizza

Why there’s no such thing as too much Italian food in Seabright

 

Guitar or surfboard?

Guitar. The closest thing I ever came to surfing was sliding down a rock hill. Charlie Tweddle, Santa Cruz, Hats and Music

 

Fortino Winery’s Intriguing Charbono

At the opening celebration of the new Santa Clara Wine Trail in August, one of the wineries we visited was Fortino. This is where I first tasted their intriguing estate-grown Charbono—a varietal that is one of the rarest in California, with only 80 acres grown statewide.

 

Beyond the Jar

How Tabitha Stroup has built her rapidly expanding jam empire