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Dec 29th
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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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The Ticker

Mobile Home Park Residents Revisit Old Wound

Mobile Home Park Residents Revisit Old Wound

Quiet desperation roared at full volume at recent mobile home park rent control symposium

In the almost cartoonish paradise of De Anza Mobile Home Park, with its colorful array of manufactured homes mortared together with flower gardens and draping foliage, birds chirping in the globular trees, and panoramic ocean views one would expect nothing but senior citizens smiling as they take a stroll of the grounds. To the contrary, however, there is a deep despondence that lives within the community.

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The Ticker

International Women’s Day Events

International Women’s Day Events

Tomorrow, Friday, March 8, is International Women’s Day—an annual day for recognizing and showing respect for women’s achievements in society and the many struggles they face. Here is a round up of local events to take note of this International Women’s Day.

Thanks to one local woman, Regal Cinemas Santa Cruz 9 Theater will be screening the documentary Girl Rising tonight, March 7. Michelle DeFields-Gambrel brought the film, which portrays nine girls from around the world who achieve their dreams in the hardest of situations, to town with help from two local organizations, Rising International and Firelight Foundation. The film focuses on just how powerful education can be, especially in terms of ending poverty and changing the world through girls’ progression.

The first showing of the film has sold out, with 250 seats filled. The film will be shown again on Monday, March 11, although, as of this writing, all of the 230 reservations for the public have been filled.

The Rally and March to Resist Rape Culture will be held at noon on Friday, March 8 at Quarry Plaza on the UC Santa Cruz campus, and at 1:30 p.m. at the Clocktower in Downtown Santa Cruz. This event, organized by F-WORD (Feminists Working on Real Democracy), intends to involve the community in the ending of the acceptance of rape culture.

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Dancing In the Rain

District Attorney Bob Lee’s death in October stunned the Santa Cruz community, but he had battled cancer fiercely—and privately—for more than a decade. Now one of his closest friends reveals the remarkable inside story

 

Our Gifts - Fiery Sacrificial Lights to One Another

Wednesday is Christmas Eve, Hanukkah ends and the Moon is in Aquarius, calling for the new world to take shape at midnight. Thursday morning, the sun, at the Tropic of Capricorn, begins moving northward. The desire currents are stilled. A great benediction of spiritual force (Capricorn’s Rays 1, 3, 7) streams into Earth. Temple bells ring out. The heavens bend low; the Earth is lifted up to the Light. Angels and Archangels chant, “On Earth, peace, goodwill to all.” As these forces stream into the Earth they assume long swirling lines of light, in the likeness of the Madonna and Child. The holy child is born. Let our hearts be “impressed” with and hold this picture, especially because Christmas may be difficult this year. Christmas Day is void of course moon (v/c moon), which means we may feel somewhat disconnected from one another. It’s difficult to connect in a v/c moon. Try anyway. Mercury joins Pluto in Capricorn. Uh oh … we don’t bring up the past containing any dark and difficult issues. We are to attempt new ways of communicating—expressing aspirations and love for one another, replacing wounding, sadness, lostness, and hurts of the past. Play soothing music, pray together, have the intention for peace, harmony and goodwill. Don’t be surprised if things feel out of control and/or arguments arise. We remember, before a new harmony emerges, chaos and crisis come first to clear the air. We are to be the harmonizers. Christmas evening is more harmonious, less difficult, more of what Christmas should be— radiations of love, sharing, kindness, compassion and care. Sunday, Feast Day of the Holy Family, is surprising. Wednesday is New Year’s Eve, the last day of 2014. Taurus moon, a stabilizing energy, ushers in the New Year. Happy New Year, everyone! Peace to everyone. Let us realize we are gifts radiating diamond light to one another. Living sacrificial flames!

 

The New Tech Nexus

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

 

Let My People Go

There’s a lot to like in Ridley Scott’s maligned ‘Exodus’
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Best Bites of 2014

A look back at the year in good taste

 

What downtown business is good for both one-stop shopping and last-minute gifts?

The Homeless Garden Project store. Because it is a community effort and has really useful and beautiful things, and allows you to connect with a lot of folks who are doing great work in Santa Cruz. Miriam Greenberg, Santa Cruz, UCSC Professor

 

Vino Tabi Winery

One of Santa Cruz’s most happening areas to go wine tasting is in the westside’s Swift Street Courtyard complex. Ever since a group of about a dozen wineries got together and formed Surf City Vintners (SCV), the place has been a hive of activity, and a wine-tasting mecca. Adding to the mix is the lively Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing beer company—making Swift Street Courtyard a perfect spot for a glass of wine or a pitcher of ale.

 

Betty’s Eat Inn

Yes, she’s a real person; no, this isn’t her