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May 04th
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The Ticker

How to Fix a Broken State

How to Fix a Broken State

Assemblyman Monning discusses state affairs at Town Hall meeting
With local unemployment hovering around 15 percent and social and educational services being cut left and right, Assemblyman Bill Monning stood in front of a crowded Town Hall meeting Thursday, April 30 and delivered the news that the hard times are not over. “The wave that has hit California that we call the Recession is rooted in the worst economic collapse since the Great Depression,” he said, “and we are still trying to find our way out of that.”

Monning went on to attribute many of the problems that California faces to the difficulties in raising revenue and passing the budget, both of which require a two-third vote in the assembly and senate (California is the only state with a two-third requirement for both passing budgets and raising revenue). This means that when the state found itself with an unforeseen deficit of 35 percent last year, (that’s $60 billion less than expected in 18 months) spending couldn’t be adjusted or revenue raised—and before you knew it California was handing out IOU’s to its employees.

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The Ticker

New Bike and Pedestrian Path Opened in Santa Cruz

On Friday, May 7, the City of Santa Cruz will be opening a new bike and pedestrian path connecting the San Lorenzo River trail system to the Tannery Arts Center and Harvey West area. The 700-foot section, which goes under the overpass of Highway 1, is an extension of the existing pedestrian/bike path that runs along the levees of the San Lorenzo River from the Monterey Bay. Those feeling daring enough to brave the bike lane of Highway 9 will now be able to ride continuously from Henry Cowell State Park to the mouth of the San Lorenzo River near the Boardwalk. For the rest of us, the new path creates a safe way to cross Highway 1 and expands access areas for bikes and pedestrians within Santa Cruz.

 

Obsessive Beauty

Melissa Plastic Dreams

Melissa Plastic Dreams

With all the waste going on in the world, to imagine that you could wear sustainable shoes and still look like a fashionista is quite a feat. Meet Melissa Plastic Dreams—a line of shoes you’re about to fall in love with. (Yours truly owns too many pairs to speak of.) Recently, I purchased a pair of champagne-colored Vivienne Westwood designed flats, with a tortoise print bow on the toes—they’re a combined style of modern and retro, and definitely über chic. I fell in love with this line of shoes several years ago, and since then I’ve amassed many pairs, from my newly purchased flats, to booties, to kitten heels, and several pairs in between.

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The Ticker

A Light in the DARC

A Light in the DARCUCSC’s Digital Arts Research Center is off to a great start
I could almost feel the excitement in the air at the opening of UC Santa Cruz’s new Digital Arts Research Center. A huge crowd filled the parking lot, gazing up at the new $35 million building, enjoying live music from the UCSC Balinese Gamelan, and touring an outdoor exhibit—a 1950s-era camper van that had been turned into a representation of a small town in Nevada once home to nuclear testing. Read More In front of the building, nearly all of the chairs were filled (and many people stood in the back) as Chancellor George Blumenthal and Dean of the Arts Division David Yager gave their welcome remarks and thank yous. Once the chancellor and dean cut the ribbon and opened the doors, the crowd poured into the three-story building that is now home to UCSC’s Digital Arts and New Media (DANM) M.F.A. program, digital photography and printing studio, music research labs, drawing and photography classes, and faculty studios.
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CultureBeat

Play My Favorite Song

Play My Favorite Song

Tips on how to book a show at the Seabright Brewery and the Wharf House
For all the musicians with pencils in hand agonizingly scratching out the perfect words to express their own “Private Idaho,” there are just as many already warming up their amps to continue mastering the guitar solo for “You Shook Me All Night Long.”

If done well, there is something undeniably great about hearing a band, any band, perform your favorite song. A familiar song can instantly bond a dive bar or a stadium crowd, as everyone belts out lyrics they’ve been memorizing for years. I still get goose bumps remembering the amount of endorphins released at my first Prince concert, singing “Purple Rain” in tandem with 6,000 other fans at the sold out Radio City Music Hall show.

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Obsessive Beauty

Dress to the Nines

Dress to the NinesSince the beginning of her career in the 1960s, Betsey Johnson has established her signature style as one of the most outlandish, flirtatious and funky to be found in the fashion industry. Think big bows, resplendent colors, over-the-top lace and flouncy layers and you pretty much have a Betsey Johnson styled design—perfect for Santa Cruz fashionistas.

My first “fancy dress” was a Betsey Johnson frock. A black spaghetti strap number with an asymmetrical hem and low cut neckline gleaned from Pacific Trading Company in downtown Santa Cruz. The beading on it was flapper-esque, and I fancied myself as an F. Scott Fitzgerald heroine when I wore it, bright red lipstick and all. Since that dress, I have obsessively followed the designer, fawning over each new season’s pickings.

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Mind & Body

Palace Notes/Landlords

Palace Notes/Landlords

The woodpeckers are the true owners of this property and structure, and they make this fact clear on a daily basis.  I try to respect them as my landlords, for they are clearly the lords of my land.  This colony flies between three trees, one a totem that I created, as the tree was dead and needed to come down.  My reasoning for this was strictly practical as these fiends peck on my wooden palace.  They seem to mistake my home for a tree, boring holes to stuff with acorns from the many oaks that populate this property.  After re-installing two sides of the house, stapling ribbons to the exterior, and listening to the jolt of the maddening pecks on the house, I am giving in and giving this land and house back to them.  They win, as I begin to think about packing and as I cleave to nature, practicing non-harming in the Buddhist tradition.

CultureBeat

It's a Free World

It's a Free World

Here's a question: What could possibly make a great comic book even better? Well, when it's being given away for free of course! That's exactly what fans have to look forward to this Saturday, May 1st when comic book stores across the country participate in Free Comic Book Day: The annual event that sets out to reward longtime readers as well as attract curious newcomers to what's currently going down with their favorite characters.

 

 

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The Ticker

Is Two Always Better Than One?

To the outrage of many Democrats, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger does not plan to consolidate the special election to fill GOP Sen. Abel Maldonado’s Senate seat with the November general election. Maldonado plans to resign his seat today, April 27, after being sworn in as lieutenant governor.
Because the Legislature waited until last week to confirm Maldonado, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger had the option of combining the special election with the November 2, 2010 general election. Many Democrats prefer that option, believing that a higher turnout would increase their chances of winning the seat and that it would be unwise for the state to spend $2.5 - 3 million on a special election.
The governor stated that with the looming budget battle, it’s his responsibility to fill the seat and have a full complement of legislators as soon as possible.
The Ticker

Soquel High Goes Green

Finding a job in today’s world can seem futile, but there is one burgeoning industry that has real promise: let’s just call it “going green.” Just ask the folks behind Soquel High School’s Mechanical, Engineering and Construction (MEC) Academy, which was recently awarded a grant by the California Department of Education to continue offering its students specialized learning experiences that prep them for entering green tech, construction, engineering and more. Props to them for preparing the leaders of the future for the industry of the future.

 
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Mountain Mystic

When Cora Evans died in Boulder Creek in 1957, her thousands of pages of religious writings hadn’t yet been published. More than a half a century later, Evans’ fiery visions and spiritual devotion have inspired a crusade within Catholicism to make her the Santa Cruz Mountains’ first saint

 

Wesak (Water) Taurus Solar Festival, Buddha Blesses the Earth

A most important celebration occurs Sunday, May 3—the Wesak Taurus Buddha Solar Festival/full moon. At the moment of the full moon the Buddha’s presence enters the Earth plane for eight minutes. He brings the Will-to-Good from the Father, which, when reaching humanity becomes goodwill (Mother Principle). Held yearly in a valley hidden deep within the Himalayas, the Wesak festival is prepared for for months in advance (beginning at Winter Solstice). On festival day, amidst pilgrims, disciples and Holy Ones gathered in the valley, the Buddha is invoked through movement, symbols and mantrams. At the moment of the full moon, hearing the words, “We are ready, Buddha, come,” the Lord of Illumination (brother of the Christ) appears in the clouds above the altar to emanate forth the will and purpose of God to earth. The blessing of the father is then held in safekeeping for distribution at the June full moon Goodwill Festival. The day of Wesak (May 3, 8:42 p.m. West Coast) all disciples (east and west) place crystal vessels filled with pure water outside (in gardens, on rooftops, porches and steps) under the heavens. As the Buddha blesses the world, all waters, including waters within our bodies, are blessed. The Buddha is accompanied by the Forces of Enlightenment to illuminate humanity’s minds. Humanity then begins to express new constructive, productive and beneficial ways of the Art of Livingness. Wesak covers five days—two days (before) of dedicated preparation, the actual festival “Day of Safeguarding,” and two days (after) distributing goodwill (the NGWS to humanity). Join us in the Valley by reciting the Great Invocation, mantra of direction for humanity.

 

The New Tech Nexus

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

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of May 1

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >
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Hole in the Wall

Popular Aptos spot opens for dinner

 

How do you connect with the natural world?

My connection to the natural world is through my art. I totally feel it there very physically in nature and even right here on the street. Jonathan Rosen, Felton, Pastor

 

Hess Collection Winery

My friend Emma from London came to visit for a few days in early March, so I took her wine tasting in the Santa Cruz Mountains—a rare treat for her, as there aren’t too many vineyards in the middle of London. Her visit reminded me how fortunate we are to live in this paradise of ultra-fresh produce, with grapes growing in wild profusion.

 

Springtime Walkabout

May Day Flower Festival, free tours of the UCSC Farm, and a nondairy chocolate indulgence