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Jul 26th
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CultureBeat

Mining Hope

Mining Hope

Documentary filmmaker and Santa Cruz native Sasha Friedlander shares both the beauty and struggle of life in the Indonesian sulfur mines

Santa Cruz native Sasha Friedlander’s debut feature-length film, Where Heaven Meets Hell, tells the true story of four sulfur miners who, despite working in hellish conditions—500 miners collect and haul loads of up to 200 pounds of pure sulfur up and down a volcano several times each day—are still as hopeful and cheerful as any other native of Indonesia. In anticipation of Saturday’s screening at The Rio Theatre, we sat down with Friedlander to discuss the making of the documentary, which took home the Grand Jury Prize for best feature documentary film and Outstanding Cinematography Award at the 2012 Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival, and what’s next for the up-and-coming filmmaker. 

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The Ticker

OpenCounter Goes Live

OpenCounter Goes Live

FRESH DIRT > The city’s new online business hub is up and running

The new online portal OpenCounter, a system that streamlines the process of applying for business licenses, permitting and other legal startup requirements, went live on the City of Santa Cruz's website Wednesday morning, Jan. 9. The launch was celebrated by a small group of city officials, business owners and tech professionals at Cruzio Coworking in Downtown Santa Cruz. 

The system enables users to enter their business information and then see the details of what they must do to implement their plan, greatly cutting down the confusion that is often associated with the bureaucratic requirements for starting a business.

OpenCounter organizes an entrepreneur's business information, which was previously written and filed by hand, and delivers it to the right departments at the city in the correct sequence to maximize efficiency.

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The Ticker

Pet Of The Week

Pet Of The Week

GT's pet of the week, brought to you by the Center for Animal Protection and Education

Walter and Peter were tiny puppies when they were brought to the Santa Cruz County Animal Shelter after one of their siblings died of Parvovirus. Luckily, both of them tested negative for the disease. Because they were too young to go up for adoption, they were placed in a Center for Animal Protection and Education foster home.

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CultureBeat

Act Fast

Act Fast

Annual 8 Tens @ Eight Festival challenges playwrights to create drama with the clock ticking

The unique variety and swift pace of the 18th annual 8 Tens @ Eight Festival makes it a theater extravaganza unlike any other. Presented by Santa Cruz Actors’ Theatre, this year’s showcase runs Jan. 4-27 and offers audiences the unique opportunity to view the latest works by eight of the finest contemporary playwrights from around the country all in one evening, jam-packed with intrigue, humor, drama and wonder.

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CultureBeat

Tech The Halls

Tech The Halls

Locals create hip, new technology, just in time for the gift-giving season

In Santa Cruz, we’re all about shopping local and supporting fellow community members in all of their creative endeavors. This holiday season, we have the opportunity to continue that tradition, by giving gifts created by talented area residents who are making waves in the tech world.

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CultureBeat

Holiday Hit List

Holiday Hit List

Get in the spirit of the season with these holiday favorites, hand-selected by your friends at GT.

Mariah Carey “All I Want For Christmas Is You”
Ray Conniff and the Ray Conniff Singers “The Little Drummer Boy”
Michael Bublé “Silent Night”
Dean Martin “Baby It’s Cold Outside”
Adam Sandler “The Chanukah Song”  
Joe “This Christmas”
Band Aid “Do They Know It’s Christmas?”
John Lennon “Happy Xmas (War Is Over)”

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The Ticker

Good Fortune For A Large Charge

Good Fortune For A Large Charge

SANTA CRUZ > Who is to blame when, thousands of dollars later, your fortune has not come true?

If someone promised to improve “your karma” and “your personal relationships,” would you sign up for their services? What if you were told that you had to pay thousands of dollars before seeing any results?

The Santa Cruz District Attorney’s Office reported in November that a local young woman made that gamble and came out of the deal feeling scammed. After shelling out $19,000 in a matter of three months, she realized that perhaps the psychic she was seeing was not exactly authorized to do such things.

The woman reported the incident last month.

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Mind & Body

Kush: Body, Mind, Bliss

Kush:  Body, Mind, Bliss

Just because the economy has mood swings, doesn’t mean that you have to follow similar suit. That is where Staycations come in handy. But what about one for the body, heart and mind? About 40 minutes away from our Santa Cruz lair resides the wonderful creative hamlet of Carmel. As most of us already know, that area is the perfect locale for a long weekend getaway, so whether you opt to stay at a Downtown Carmel lodge or hotel—I’d recommend Vagabound Inn or Hofsas House—you might also want to toss something else into the mix: Pampering.

For that, the one portal that registers the biggest mark on our Spa Meter this month is Kush Day Spa. Perhaps one of the most charming and inviting spas in Carmel, it was birthed by massage therapist John Jertberg, and his wife, Monica. Together, they boast more than 15 years of experience and Kush, which has benefited from increased buzz since it came into existence three years ago, offers a variety of treatments to sooth the senses—from Sweedish and warm stone massages to waxing and anti-aging facials.

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CultureBeat

Turkey Tunes

Turkey Tunes

GT’s Ultimate Thanksgiving Playlist:
10 songs to put you in the giving mood
this holiday
“The Thanksgiving Song” – Adam Sandler
“Give Thanks and Praises” – Bob Marley
“Thank You For The Music” – ABBA
“Thankful” – Kelly Clarkson
“Give Thanks and Praise” – Shaggy
 “Thank You For Being A Friend” – Andrew Gold
“November Rain” – Guns N’ Roses
“I Have You To Thank” – Gavin DeGraw
“Thank you Baby” – Shania Twain
“It’s Thanksgiving” – Nicole Westbrook

Mind & Body

Giving Thanks Through Yoga

Giving Thanks Through Yoga

NAVIGATING YOGA > Thanksgiving: a time we celebrate with turkey and cranberry sauce, national viewing of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and football games, and by spending time with family. With a holiday that has so many traditions "stuffed" into just one Thursday, it can sometimes seem tedious to take time to be, well, thankful. This year, try keeping your gratitude in check through yoga.

Whether you are a newbie to the practice or a seasoned yogi, yoga can be a wonderful way to give thanks, simply through the asana practice alone. When I teach, I have my students set a dedication for their practice, usually dedicating their practice to someone or something in their life that is important to them. By setting that dedication, your practice is no longer just about the physical exercise, or doing it simply for the enjoyment. It transforms into something bigger than yourself.

As you flow through your next yoga class, keep in mind who or what you dedicated your practice to; doing so will also allow your mind the freedom to stay present, to keep from wandering, as well as to continue to send those positive vibes out there, thereby staying along the path of karma yoga.

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Mars Enters Scorpio: The Nine Tests

Over the years I’ve mentioned the nine tests of Mars and Scorpio. The tests are given to everyone—unawakened, beginning to awaken, and the awakened. The purpose is to test our strength, courage, ability to adapt, discriminate and have discernment. To see if we are deceived by illusion or are “warriors triumphant, emerging from the battle.”

 

Final Cut

Cedar Street Video to close after 10 years at downtown location

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of July 25

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >

 

The Maestra Returns

Cabrillo Festival’s Marin Alsop is back to ‘rock the boat of tradition’
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Time is Ripe

Local fruit harvests hit markets, Storrs Winery celebrates ‘Best White’, and a salt fix from heaven

 

I remember Santa Cruz when…

Santa Cruz | Librarian

 

Best of Santa Cruz County

The 2013 Santa Cruz County Readers' Poll and Critics’ Picks It’s our biggest issue of the year, and in it, your votes—more than 6,500 of them—determined the winners of The Best of Santa Cruz County Readers’ Poll. New to the long list of local restaurants, shops and other notables that captured your interest: Best Beer Selection, Best Locally Owned Business, Best Customer Service and Best Marijuana Dispensary. In the meantime, many readers were ever so chatty online about potential new categories. Some of the suggestions that stood out: Best Teen Program and Best Web Design/Designer. But what about: Dog Park, Church, Hotel, Local Farm, Therapist (I second that!) or Sports Bar—not to be confused with Bra. Our favorite suggestion: Best Act of Kindness—one reader noted Café Gratitude and the free meals it offered to the Santa Cruz Police Department in the aftermath of recent crimes. Perhaps some of these can be woven into next year’s ballot, so stay tuned. In the meantime, enjoy the following pages and take note of our Critics’ Picks, too, beginning on page 91. A big thanks for voting—and for reading—and an even bigger congratulations to all of the winners. Enjoy.  -Greg Archer, EditorBest of Santa Cruz County Readers’ Poll INDEX

 

Hunter Hill Cabernet Sauvignon

Smooth with soft tannins, this velvety crimson Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 is delicious and very drinkable.