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Jul 04th
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The Ticker

Healthcare for Dummies

Shopping for healthcare can be a daunting process, one filled with complicated jargon, intricate ins and outs, and the looming feeling that one could be signing their life away. In the advent of health insurance reform, healthcare.gov, a comprehensive, user-friendly website was launched on July 1 to help consumers navigate the healthcare system. With more than two billion scenarios, more than 1,000 insurance carriers, and 5,500 insurance products listed in their database, consumers are presented with an easily digestible list of more healthcare options than they could have previously imagined. “This site will expand transparency, it will increase choice and it will foster competition among insurers,” says Rep. Sam Farr (D-Carmel). “It’s a powerful tool and we have the health insurance reform law to thank for it.” ÿ

CultureBeat

Joshua Tree

Joshua TreeWe have been on the road for almost 6 weeks now and last night as we were driving through Joshua Tree, having just left the Joshua Tree State Park the transmission on our bus blows a gasket on Route 62 at about 5:30pm. We were about 30 yards from the Safari Motel where we limped into the parking lot, leaking the last amount of transmission fluid that we had onboard. After checking into, another, once again, cheap motel we stood by our broken vehicle and there alongside highway 62 was a sign that read “Transmission work, call Hector”. Although, it took us a few hours, we called Hector. Hector happened to live and work just an 1/8th of a mile up the road from the Safari Motel.
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The Ticker

Healthcare for Dummies

Shopping for healthcare can be a daunting process, one filled with complicated jargon, intricate ins and outs, and the looming feeling that one could be signing their life away. In the advent of health insurance reform, Healthcare.gov, a comprehensive, user-friendly website was launched today to help consumers navigate the healthcare system. With more than two billion scenarios, over 1,000 insurance carriers, and 5,500 insurance products listed in their database, consumers are presented with an easily digestible list of more healthcare options than they could have previously imagined. “This site will expand transparency, it will increase choice and it will foster competition among insurers,” said Congressman Sam Farr (D-Carmel). “It’s a powerful tool and we have the health insurance reform law to thank for it.”

The Ticker

Love Gutter

Love GutterLocal band challenges Unreasonably Disturbing Noises Ordinance
If you haven’t seen Love Gutter, you’ve probably heard them pounding away on their homemade barrel drum in front of New Leaf at the corner of Soquel and Pacific Avenues. For six years, street performers Brent Adams and Wireless have attempted to provide a heart-thumping soundtrack to downtown life amidst the slew of heavily enforced noise ordinances. Wednesday, the duo prepared to brave the waves of law enforcement officials and play their music anyway, as a means of objecting to what they perceive as the unfair use of the Unreasonably Disturbing Noises Ordinance. “Any kind of art that is frustrated by law or injustice, isn’t pure art,” says Wireless, who drums on kitchen pots using gardening gloves with safety pins at the fingertips. While the two are well versed in the ordinances and know they can only play for an hour in certain places and only at certain times, a single complaint about Love Gutter can cost them a $450 ticket.
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The Ticker

Star Spangled Beach Cleanup

When the hot dogs have long since been grilled and the fireworks have died down, our local beaches are left with a big, ugly reminder of the Fourth of July: insurmountable amounts of trash. That’s why Save Our Shores and other sponsors like The Clean Ocean Project are hosting the Star Spangled Beach Cleanup on July 5—a mammoth cleanup effort where Cruzans can really show their stars and stripes by keeping the county’s sand and sea trash-free. Volunteers are needed from 7 to 10 a.m. at Twin Lakes, Seacliff/Rio Del Mar, Seabright, Davenport, and Panther beaches. Last year, 150 volunteers armed with 1,200 trash and recycle bags participated in cleaning the five beaches. With their help, and that of state park maintenance and Green Waste crews throughout the following week, a total of 12,500 pounds of trash was collected from the beaches (they amassed 14,000 pounds in 2007).

Obsessive Beauty

A Chocolate Lover’s Dream

A Chocolate Lover’s Dream

If you happen to find yourself on Broome Street the next time you visit NYC (as Christa and I did on our Big Apple adventure last month), a stop at Marie Belle New York is an absolute must. This delectable confectionary and tea boutique houses what may be the most toothsome and tantalizing candies east of the Mississippi. Upon entering the aromatic space, your senses will go into immediate overdrive. Combine the scent of chocolate, a delicate robin’s egg blue and chocolate brown color palette and an ambiance replete with stained glass, chandeliers and dark wood and you’ll have the sudden feeling that you have stepped straight into the pages of an Edith Wharton novel.

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The Ticker

Hands Across the Sand

Hands Across the Sand

Santa Cruz joins in symbolic gesture opposing offshore oil drilling
On Saturday, June 26, Santa Cruzans joined hands at Main and Cowell beaches as part of a national, peaceful protest against near- and offshore oil drilling. Sparked by the oil spill in the Gulf Coast, the event was organized and sponsored by nonprofit Hands Across the Sand (handsacrossthesand.com), and had local support from Save our Shores and the Surfrider Foundation. Local ocean conservationist Lea Haratani, who will be featured in the Thursday, July 1 issue of Good Times, wrote the following poem for the occasion:

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The Ticker

California Schools Receive $415 Million for Improvement

On Thursday, June 24, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced that California will receive $415,844,376 to improve its Tier I and Tier II schools, which are defined as the “persistently lowest-achieving” schools in the state. The funds are the latest from the School Improvement Grants program, a part of the stimulus bill. Santa Cruz County has five schools that fall under Tier I and Tier II; Monterey County has 11, and San Benito County has one. School districts will be applying for their share. “We owe it to our children to give them every chance possible to get a good education,” says Rep. Sam Farr (D-Carmel). “And we owe it to our schools to provide the resources for that mission.”
Obsessive Beauty

Tis' the Season

Tis' the Season

And you thought Santa Cruz wasn't on the cusp of fashion? Think again. Tis' the fashion show season for our humble town by the sea. On Saturday, June 26, you've got two fashionable decisions to make. And later, on July 9, it's time to invoke  your inner fashion goddess once again. Let's start with your itinerary: On Saturday, June 26, sometime during the day, you're going to swing by Cameron Marks (402 Ingalls St.) on the Westside and check out the expansive trunk show featuring a handful of designers, chat about skin care and drench yourself in new jewelry. And while you're there, pick up some food at the Kelly's Dinner Market beginning at 6 p.m. Once you're happy and stuffed, hoof it over to Katwalk Salon (902 Soquel Ave.) for an 8 p.m. runway show hosted by the ladies of Idle Hands, a co-op boutique in downtown Santa Cruz, where they're holding a charity fashion show for one of Santa Cruz's Derby Girls, "Babs Bomber," who's out of commission dealing with an injury. Then, a few weeks later, you're going to swing by Stripe at 107 Walnut Ave. around 6 p.m. for their fashion show, "The Thistle in the Kiss," at 8 p.m., where clothing by Lex Designs, jewelry by Stripe, and accessories by Nuala will walk down the runway. Summer just got a whole lot better in Santa Cruz.

Obsessive Beauty

To Do

To Do

Cameron Marks Trunk Show and Kelly’s Dinner Market
In our ever-increasing desire to expose fashionable finds to Santa Cruzans (and those far away as well), we recently stumbled across an event that’s not to be missed—the Cameron Marks Trunk Show and the Kelly’s Dinner Market, both going on in the same location on Saturday, June 26.

Cameron Marks is an upscale boutique on the Westside of Santa Cruz, and Kelly’s French Bakery is a beloved eatery next door. In the expansive adjacent courtyard, local restaurants and dining kings and queens will be selling their scrumptious dinner items from 6 to 9 p.m. A local jazz band will entertain guests.

In addition to eating some fine foods, fashionistas will be treated to V.I.P. pricing on items at Cameron Marks, which is holding an extensive trunk show from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. where items like Blank Verse Jewelry will be on sale, as well as Tina Frey Designs, and a bunch of clothing items from designers like Lina Rennell, Sofie Olgaard, Mika Organics, Samantha Sung, and Mr. Larkin. Also on hand is a rep from a cosmetics line, COR, who will discuss and unveil this line of skincare.

Fine dining and shopping—how could you miss it?


The Kelly’s Dinner Market and Cameron Marks Trunk Show are on Saturday, June 26. Food is for sale from 6-9 p.m. and shopping is available from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., 402 Ingalls Street, Santa Cruz.

 
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The Boards Are Back in Town

More than a century after a famed trio of Hawaiian princes first surfed in Santa Cruz, their redwood olo surfboards are returning to the Museum of Art & History

 

We Hold These Truths to Be Self-Evident

Saturday, July 4, is the 239th birthday of the United States, commemorating the signing of the Declaration of Independence (the U.S. astrology chart has Aquarius moon—freedom for its people, by its people). Cancer, a liberating and initiating sign, is the “gate” where Spirit enters matter. Cancer receives and distributes Ray 3 (Divine Intelligence) and Ray 7 (new rules, new rhythms, new free nation under God). Cancer represents an intelligent freethinking humanity that can and must create right economics for the world. This means a policy of sharing, an opportunity for the U.S. when Venus (money, resources, possessions, etc.) retrogrades July and August in Leo (the heart of the matter). The United States has a unique spiritual task for the world: to lead humanity within and toward the light, accomplished by its people who must first awaken to this task, learn discrimination and be directed by the soul to assume the Herculean task of spiritual world leadership. Let us review the first words of our Constitution: “We the People of the United States, in order to form a more perfect Union, establish justice, ensure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this constitution for the United States of America.” Let us form that union together. The following is a review of the spiritual tasks for each sign. Read all the signs. They all apply to everyone.  

 

The New Tech Nexus

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

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of July 3

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >
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Lunch is Packed

Picnic basket lunches from Your Place, plus smoked chili peppers, and new owners at Camellia Tea House

 

What would you like the Supreme Court to rule on next?

Raising the minimum wage so that those that are in poverty now can have a higher standard of life. Greanna Smith, Soquel, Nanny

 

Bruzzone Family Vineyards

Bruzzone Family Vineyards is a small operation run by Berna and John Bruzzone. Starting out a few years ago making only Chardonnay, they eventually planted Pinot Noir on their extensive property and now make this varietal as well.

 

Ty’s Eatery

Pop-up hooks up with Santa Cruz Food Lounge for healthy comfort food