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Feb 07th
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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.

CultureBeat

Jonah Hexed

Jonah Hexed

O.k. Admission time: I find nothing appealing about Megan Fox. Maybe if she ever manages to act past her "just look at how hot I think I am" performance style and pulls off a memorable character at some point, I might change my mind but I honestly don't see it happening. I somehow sat through the entire first Transformers flick and have a vague memory of seeing some flashing colors and loud noises that came out of a box marked Transformers 2 one time - but there is nothing that I can imagine that could get me to watch the new Jonah Hex movie that released this past week. Awesome comic book character or not, I'm sorry Ms. Fox: You're a cinematic deal breaker.

So far it's looking like I'm not alone as the movie which hit theaters this past weekend stirred up about as high a gross from the U.S. box office as a foreign documentary and that's really too bad. The story potential about a scarred up antihero seeking revenge in the old west is one of those great iconic ideas that has the potential to be a lot of fun. Sure, it's something that's been done a million times but that's only a testament to what a strong formula it is. In any case, it's too bad about that bit of casting. I might actually have shelled out 10 bucks to catch it at some point.

Here's this week's release list for what you can find in the comic shops this week. It's kind of light for me personally not counting that awesome 3rd volume hardcover of Saga Of The Swamp Thing.

The Ticker

Santa Cruz Houses Homeless Veterans

Santa Cruz County was recently awarded with 25 rental vouchers for homeless veterans from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and will be able to house as many as 60 homeless veterans. The voucher program is part of the $75 million nationwide initiative to assist homeless veterans. Similar to the federal Section 8 housing choice program, eligible veterans rent a market-rate rental unit with 30 percent of their gross monthly income, and the Housing Authority pays the remainder. “Though they served and sacrificed so much for our country, too many of our veterans find themselves on the streets and in homeless shelters,” said Shaun Donovan, HUD Secretary.
 
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On the Run

Is there hope for California’s salmon?

 

Chinese New Year of the Red Fire Monkey

Monday, Feb. 8, is Aquarius new moon (19 degrees) and Chinese New Year of the Red Fire Monkey (an imaginative, intelligent and vigilant creature). Monkey is bright, quick, lively, quite naughty, clever, inquiring, sensible, and reliable. Monkey loves to help others. Often they are teachers, writers and linguists. They are very talented, like renaissance people. Leonardo Da Vinci was born in the year of Monkey. Monkey contains metal (relation to gold) and water (wisdom, danger). 2016 will be a year of finances. For a return on one’s money, invest in monkey’s ideas. Metal is related to wind (change). Therefore events in 2016 will change very quickly. We must ponder with care before making financial, business and relationship changes. Fortune’s path may not be smooth in 2016. Finances and business as usual will be challenged. Although we develop practical goals, the outcomes are different than hoped for. We must be cautious with investments and business partnership. It is most important to cultivate a balanced and harmonious daily life, seeking ways to release tension, pressure and stress to improve health and calmness. Monkey is lively, flexible, quick-witted, and versatile. Their gentle, honest, enchanting yet resourceful nature results often in everlasting love. Monkeys are freedom loving. Without freedom, Monkey becomes dull, sad and very unhappy. During the Spring and Autumn Period (770 - 476 BC), the Chinese official title of Marquis (noble person) was pronounced ‘Hou,’ the same as the pronunciation of ‘monkey’ in Chinese. Monkey was thereby bestowed with auspicious (favorable, fortunate) meaning. Monkey years are: 1920, 1932, 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004, 2016.  

 

The New Tech Nexus

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

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of February 5

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >
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Wine and Chocolate

West Cliff Wines gets its game on, plus a brand new chocolate cafe on Center Street

 

How would you stop people from littering?

Teach them from the time that they’re small that it’s not an appropriate behavior. Juliet Jones, Santa Cruz, Claims Adjuster

 

Dancing Creek Winery

New Zinfandel Port is a ruby beauty

 

Venus Spirits

Changing law could mean new opportunity for local spirits