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Apr 24th
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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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The Ticker

March for Equality

March for Equality

Santa Cruz Pride precedes momentous Supreme Court rulings 

During the five months between June 2008, when the Supreme Court ruled equal protection for same-sex marriage in California, and November of that same year, when Proposition 8 limited legal marriages to those between a man and woman, thousands of gay couples felt a pressing urgency to attain wedlock before Election Day.

Like so many of those couples. Bob Correa, a former director of the Santa Cruz Diversity Center, and his partner of 24 years, Denny Carroll, found themselves racing the clock. Forced to forsake visions of an exciting, proper wedding, the two found themselves standing in their garage before a minister, both terribly sick with the flu, while two friends looked on.

Today they joke about the impromptu ceremony, calling it their “drive-by, garage door wedding,” Carroll says.

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The Ticker

Local Psychologist to Appear on National Television

Local Psychologist to Appear on National Television

Lucie Hemmen discusses raising teenage girls on The Steve Harvey Show

Last December, Lucie Hemmen, licensed clinical psychologist and Santa Cruz resident, received a phone call from a producer of The Steve Harvey Show about making an appearance on the show. Later that week, she was flown out to Chicago to tape the episode "Fourteen is the New Eighteen," which is scheduled to air on ABC at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, May 29.

Hemmen moved to Santa Cruz in 1995 to begin a post-doctoral internship working with teens and their families at the Mental Health and Substance Abuse division of the Santa Cruz County Health Services Agency.

Shortly after, Hemmen began working at Youth Services, at the Santa Cruz Community Counseling Center, and developed an interest in working with teenagers.

"Teenagers are very demanding as clients," says Hemmen. "They want a psychologist’s approach to be authentic, and I love the challenges of working on that level."

Hemmen, who specializes in working with teenage girls, has been operating her private therapy practice in Santa Cruz since 1997. She found motivation to write her first book, "Parenting a Teen Girl: A Crash Course on Conflict, Communication, and Connection with Your Teenage Daughter," when her daughters, now 15 and 19 years old, became teenagers.

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The Ticker

Ice Plant Peace Invasion

Ice Plant Peace Invasion

Community art piece at Seabright Beach destroyed by State Parks for environmental reasons

Residents of the Seabright neighborhood were dismayed last week to find that a public art piece—one many of them had helped to maintain for several years on Seabright State Beach—had been intentionally destroyed with a tractor by Santa Cruz State Parks authorities.

The art design, a peace sign with an approximate 60-foot diameter that was shaped using ice plant, was first made spontaneously in 2009 on the anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks by local Tracey Heggum and several of her friends. The creation, located at the bottom of the Third Avenue stairs, was a way for them to show their respect for those who lost their lives that day in 2001, she says. 

Bruce Walker, a resident of the neighborhood and longtime caretaker of the peace sign—he often fixed the symbol when it was changed—says that the art has become an important symbol for the community.

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The Ticker

Nearly 150 Years of Memorial Day Remembrance in Santa Cruz

Nearly 150 Years of Memorial Day Remembrance in Santa Cruz

Museum of Art & HIstory presents the 146th annual Memorial Day Remembrance

Each step of the American flag’s official “13-fold” ceremony, which is practiced annually during Santa Cruz’s long standing Memorial Day Remembrance celebration in Evergreen Cemetery, holds its own historical and symbolic significance.

The first, second, and third folds symbolize life, belief in eternal life, and remembrance for departed veterans who served to defend the United States, according to The American Legion. When the flag is completely folded, it resembles a cocked hat, meant to remind people of the soldiers who served under Gen. George Washington, before he became the first president of the United States.

“The ceremony is not just a folding, there’s a lot of meaning and depth that goes behind it,” says Chuck Woodson, a Vietnam Special Forces veteran and former president of the United Veteran’s Council of Santa Cruz County.

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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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We Can Rebuild You

A look back at how downtown Santa Cruz recovered from the 1989 earthquake

 

International Earth Day—Mother Earth Day

Every April 22, humanity celebrates International Mother Earth Day and Earth Day. As more than a billion people participate in Earth Day activities every year, Earth Day has become the world’s largest civic observance. The massive concern to build right relations between humanity and the living being we call Earth is evidence of humanity’s love of the Mother. In 2009, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed April 22 International Mother Earth Day, with a significant resolution affirming “the interdependence existing among human beings, other living species (the kingdoms—mineral, plant, animal and human) and the planet itself, the Earth which we all inhabit.” The Earth is our home. Celebrating Earth Day helps us define new emerging processes (economic, social, political) focused on the well-being of the kingdoms. Through these, humanity seeks to raise the quality of life, foster equality and begin to establish right relations with the Earth. We dedicate ourselves to bringing forth balance and a relationship of harmony with all of nature. Learn about planting a billion trees (the Canopy Project); participate in 1.5 billion acts of green. Disassociation (toward Earth) is no longer viable. We lose our connection to life itself. Participation is viable—an anchor, refuge and service for all of life on Earth. Visit earthday.org; harmonywithnatureun.org; and un.org/en/events/motherearthday for more information. From Farmers Almanac, “On Earth Day, enjoy the tonic of fresh air, contact with the soil, companionship with nature! Go barefooted. Walk through woods, find wildflowers and green moss. Remain outside, no matter the weather!” Nature, Earth’s most balanced kingdom, heals us. The New Group of World Servers is preparing for the May 3 Wesak Buddha Taurus solar festival. We prepare through asking for and offering forgiveness. Forgiveness purifies and like nature, heals.

 

The New Tech Nexus

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

 

Mission Critical

How reading Lisa Jensen’s reviews taught me to love film
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Oral Fixations

Blown away by a Tuesday night dinner at Oswald

 

What would you like to see a TED talk about?

Hydrogen-gas cars that are coming this summer. Scott Oliver, Santa Cruz, Professor

 

Sarah’s Vineyard

Sarah’s Vineyard of Gilroy is known for crafting fine wines—and one of my all-time favorites is its Chardonnay. But this time, its Viognier has my vote.

 

Munch

East Coast meets West Coast in new meat lover’s paradise