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The Ticker

Local Nonprofit Participates in National Contest

Local Nonprofit Participates in National Contest

Rising International makes it to the top 16 in a Huffington Post-sponsored fundraising challenge

Rising International, a Santa Cruz-based nonprofit focused on helping women around the globe, is taking part in The Raise for Women Challenge. Created in collaboration by The Huffington Post, Skoll Foundation, and Half the Sky Movement, the event runs from April 24 to June 6, and encourages the public to participate by "investing in women who change the world."

So far, Rising International has raised enough money in The Raise for Women Challenge to earn them a spot in the top 16 charities. The charity that raises the most money will receive a $40,000 donation, while second place receives $20,000 and third place receives $15,000.

"This is a friendly competition, where we are all raising money for a great cause," says President Carmel Judd. "This is all about women and girls winning, because they need our help."

Judd (pictured) founded the organization in 2002 after reading about how Afghan women were imprisoned in their homes for five years during the time that the Taliban was in control.

"I have freedom as a woman in this country, so the idea that it was modern day and we had women imprisoned in their homes spoke to me," says Judd. "I wanted to get involved."

Judd connected with Nadia Hashimi, a student at the Monterey Institute of International Studies, to create the Afghan Dolls Project in 2003. Afghan widows would make dolls, and Rising International would market and sell them, and donate the profits back to the women.

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The Ticker

Update on Police Shooting Investigation

Update on Police Shooting Investigation

Law enforcement maintains that nothing could have been done to prevent police deaths in February 

Santa Cruz County and city officials gave an update Thursday morning, May 23, on the investigation of Jeremy Goulet, the man who murdered two Santa Cruz police officers on Tuesday, Feb. 26. The agencies maintained that the officers had followed protocol to a tee and that they could not have been prepared for what happened.

Santa Cruz County Sheriff Phil Wowak and Santa Cruz Police Chief Kevin Vogel said that they do not expect to change policies or safety procedures based on findings in the investigation so far.

Wowak said the protocol officers Sgt. Loran "Butch" Baker and Detective Elizabeth Butler were adhering to has been in tact for a "number of years."

The way they conducted the investigation was "completely thorough and very professional and I don’t see a need to make change there at all," Wowak said. "They were completely unprepared for what had occurred and there was no reason for them to suspect that [Goulet] was going pull a weapon."

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The Ticker

The Goat Alternative

The Goat Alternative

Graniterock uses goat grazing as a way to rehabilitate the environment and manage weeds

Graniterock, a Watsonville-based company that produces and distributes construction aggregates and supplies, has turned to a unique approach for habitat enhancement and weed management: goats.

Since September 2012, Graniterock has used goats for grazing at the Santa Cruz Sand Plant, located up Highway 1 across from the entrance of Wilder Ranch State Park. These goats have been grazing on tule grass for pond management, enabling a better breeding and living habitat for the endangered California Red-Legged Frog.

Alex Simmons, environmental specialist at Graniterock, developed the idea for using grazing goats as an alternative to weed management machinery. Simmons was looking at the equipment usage and wanted to find a low-cost alternative that was also nature-friendly.

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The Ticker

Seven Things to Know About London Nelson

Seven Things to Know About London Nelson

No, that’s not a typo in the headline. The local historical figure and namesake for Louden Nelson Community Center was actually named London—not Louden—Nelson. Which brings us to the first of seven fascinating facts about the man, who was born 213 years ago this Sunday, May 5.

1. His name was London, but, starting in the 1930s, it appeared as Louden. In an April 2007 missive, local historian Phil Reader wrote, "One of the more perplexing and frustrating aspects of the London Nelson story is the constant misspelling of his given, or Christian name. Perplexing in that it is difficult to determine the origin of this mistake and frustrating because of the countless number of well-meaning people who continue to perpetuate and compound the original error." In his investigation into the matter, Reader found that all primary sources up until the 1930s correctly listed Nelson’s first name as London. But after that, it mysteriously shifted to Louden. The source may be the engraver of (or the person who gave the engraver the text for) a marble headstone, which read "Louden," that replaced the original wooden monument to Nelson. Reader concludes his memo with the following plea: "It is my hope that someday, someone will bring this mistake to the attention of those who can take the necessary steps to change all of the monuments and plaques so at last the true name of LONDON NELSON can take its rightful place of honor in our community."

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The Ticker

Slugs Make Green Honor Roll

Slugs Make Green Honor Roll

The Princeton Review dubs UC Santa Cruz one of the greenest colleges in the country

Every year, The Princeton Review releases books like "The Best 377 Colleges" and "The Complete Book of Colleges" to provide a ranking system for colleges in the United States. In this year’s edition, UC Santa Cruz earned a position among 21 of the Review’s greenest colleges in the nation.

The finalists for the Green Honor Roll were chosen based on a 50-question survey given to four-year colleges in 2012. The survey asked about campus infrastructure, course offerings, career preparation, and activities, all in relation to the obligation of sustainability.

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CultureBeat

Earth Day in Santa Cruz

Earth Day in Santa Cruz

Gear up for Earth Day with numerous local events and eco-friendly tips from Ecology Action

Each year, on April 22, citizens of the earth come together to raise awareness and demonstrate appreciation for the planet. And in today’s world of rising energy costs and changing weather patterns, it’s more important than ever to pay attention to Mother Nature. To gear up for this year’s event, we sat down with Anna Hirst, Marketing and Communications Manager at Ecology Action, to find out how to be environmental stewards, and we compiled a list of exciting Earth Day celebrations taking place in the Santa Cruz area.

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The Ticker

Keeping Santa Cruz Human

Keeping Santa Cruz Human

Community Safety and Compassion Forum covers topic of needles and drug use

Concerned members of the community nearly filled Santa Cruz High School’s theater on Wednesday, April 10 for the first in a series of “Santa Cruz Forums on Safety and Compassion” co-sponsored by local nonprofits, churches, and social service providers.

“One of the things that I love the most about living in a democratic society is our opportunity for discourse,” said Rev. Deborah L. Johnson, who moderated the event. “I truly believe that the more minds that come together, and the more opinions that we hear, the more likely we are to come up with very fine solutions.”

The event, titled “Drugs, Public Health, and Needle Exchange,” featured a varied panel that included two recovering drug addicts. The speakers provided their knowledge and insight into the realities of syringe exchange programs and drug addiction, in light of the burgeoning public outcry against used syringe needles showing up in parks and on beaches.

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The Ticker

Alternative Church Faces Uncertain Future

Alternative Church Faces Uncertain Future

The Universal Church of Baba’s Kitchen faces a financial setback

When Alx Utterman and Jonathan Rosen returned to Boulder Creek in 2005 after living in India for five years, they felt an overwhelming desire to heal the needy through spiritual healing, and to share their knowledge with others through social work. As a result, Utterman and Rosen, who both moved to India to learn ancient miracle-healing techniques, created an alternative healing center in Bonny Doon called Universal Church of Baba’s Kitchen (UCBK). According to Utterman, they received formal recognition as a church from the IRS in 2007.

The name is a nod to Indian guru Sai Baba of Shridi. Utterman and friends were trying to decide on a name for their center, and informally suggested Baba’s Kitchen. At that moment, the guru’s photo, which was sitting on a nearby altar, fell off. They brushed it off, put the picture back on the altar, and further discussed the possibility of Baba’s Kitchen. Upon saying the guru’s name once more, the picture fell off the altar again. Utterman found this repeated incident to be more than coincidence, and settled on honoring Baba in the center’s name.

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The Ticker

Students Develop Green Skills, New Pogonip Trail

Students Develop Green Skills, New Pogonip Trail

High school volunteers participate in a yearlong program dedicated to environmental job training

Many—particularly teenagers—find it difficult to wake up early on the weekends, but for 150 local high school students, recent Saturdays have been spent dedicating a total of 700 hours of manual labor to learn environmental stewardship.

These youth are volunteers through the Earth Stewards Program, which began in October 2012 and is a partnership between the City of Santa Cruz and the Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History.

The volunteers, who include students from Kirby and Ponderosa high schools, improve parks through trail development while receiving green job training. For the first project in the Earth Stewards Program, they are assisting with construction of the multi-use Emma McCrary Trail in Pogonip.

The idea for the 1.5-mile trail was born about four years ago, and construction began last spring, once the community support, donations and permits had been acquired, according to Heather Reiter, the chief ranger for the Santa Cruz Parks and Recreation Department.

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The Ticker

O’Neill Legacy Memorialized

O’Neill Legacy Memorialized

Mural and plaque honor the original Santa Cruz O’Neill surf shop

When Jack O’Neill opened his first surf shop in Santa Cruz, in 1959, he had no idea just how famous his brand would eventually become.

The shop, which originally opened in San Francisco in 1952, relocated to near Cowell Beach where it had a profound impact on the surfing culture in Santa Cruz County.

O’Neill invented neoprene wetsuits, which allowed surfers to brave the icy cold waters of Santa Cruz. Wetsuits revolutionized the sport of surfing, as well as the Santa Cruz economy.

“A global industry grew from that small family-run storefront,” says Crystal Birns, the city arts program manager for economic development in Santa Cruz. “The business grew steadily, earning global recognition as a pioneer and leader in the world of surfing.”

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Jawing

Monterey Bay scientists are working to crack the mysteries of—and dispel the myths about—great whites. But in the highly contentious world of shark experts, there’s a fin line between love and hate

 

Altars of Remembrance, Forgiveness & Rapprochement

We’re in Scorpio now—things mysterious, ageless, hidden, sometimes scary. Friday is Halloween; Saturday, All Saints Day; Sunday, All Soul’s Day. Sunday morning at 2 a.m. (after midnight), Daylight Savings Time ends. Clocks are turned back. Tuesday is the General Election. Our vote is our voice. Each vote matters. Applying freedom of choice—Libra’s teachings. It’s time to build Halloween, All Saints and All Souls altars—with marigolds, pumpkins, sugar skeletons, copal (incense), pomegranates, persimmons, candy corn and cookies, orange and black. It’s so Saturn (now in Scorpio). Saturn is the dweller on the threshold (like St. Peter at the gates of heaven). Saturn can look like a Halloween creature—a gargoyle—a fantastic dragon-like creature protecting sacred sites. The dweller (Saturn) stands at the door or threshold of sacred mysteries, wisdom temples, inner sanctums of churches, offering protection, scaring evil away. The last day of October and first two days of November, when veils between worlds thin and spirits roam about, are times of remembrance, forgiveness, reconciliation and rapprochement. These actions liberate us. At death, when reviewing our lives and the consequences of our actions if we have forgiven, then we are free, less encumbered with grief and sadness. We place forgiveness on our altars. Happy Halloween, everyone! It’s good to dress up as what we’re afraid of. Or whom we would mentor. Then we become one with them. Note to readers: by Thanksgiving I will need a place to live (with purpose). Please contact me if you know of a place where I can rest for awhile. Teach and build community. [email protected] I will be leaving my mother’s home for the last time.

 

The New Tech Nexus

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

 

Not Cool

Even Bill Murray’s hipster cred can’t elevate ‘St. Vincent’
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Back Nine Grill & Bar

The secrets of remodeling and juicy steak

 

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Alberti Vineyards

Looking for some blood-red wine for your Halloween party? Then I have a recommendation for a new brew.

 

Turning Point

New revolving restaurant on the wharf, plus Cafe Ivéta and the last great Jack cheese