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Dec 22nd
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The Ticker

Leaving a Greener World Behind

Leaving a Greener World BehindAs the City of Santa Cruz rides the green movement wave, reaching for the horizon of an environmentally conscious and sustainable future, ComForcare Senior Services has emerged as a leader serving those in the twilight of their lives. Tony Walker, president and ceo of ComForcare’s Santa Cruz location, has pioneered the inclusion of the elderly and disabled demographics into this fairly new and developing green industry.  Employing environmentally safe strategies and promoting the education of the green movement to his clientele, Walker and ComForcare were recently accredited by the Monterey Bay Area Green Business Program as a certified green business.
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Obsessive Beauty

Balms Away

Balms AwayI am a self-professed lip balm fanatic. If I rub my lips together and don’t feel that comforting glossy sheen, I must reapply immediately. And let me tell you, Blistex just doesn’t cut it—I am obsessed with Kiehl’s Lip Balm #1. Call me OCD or just plain crazy, but when I dig in my purse and cannot find the beautiful white tub of Kiehl’s I begin to panic. My lips start to feel as parched as though I have been walking for days in the Sahara, and once at the airport during that heinous time when liquids and gels were entirely banned they confiscated my Kiehl’s and I cried. Eight hours on a plane with no lip balm is my version of hell.
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CultureBeat

How Extreme Can it Get?

How Extreme Can it Get?

With Shaun White recently winning his second Olympic Gold medal in Snowboarding, Mavericks spinning up 60 foot waves and the Mega Ramp X-Game contests that go down, how much more can action sport athletes push the limits? Let’s take the Shaun White … his sponsors built him a private half pipe (dubbed project x) in the middle of nowhere for him to practice his double McTwist into foam pits. Whether its X-Games or the Olympics Shaun White appears unstoppable … or is he? Mavericks this winter provided some of the biggest waves ever for a paddle in contest.

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Staycation

The West Cliff Inn’s Got the Look

The West Cliff Inn’s Got the Look

One bed and breakfast gives a Santa Cruz local a new perspective on home
No one has to explain to me the magnetic beauty of Santa Cruz’s West Cliff Drive—I consider myself a lucky local for living around the corner from one of the world’s most romantic, scenic walks. In fact, I sometimes feel so lucky that there are times when I catch myself sympathetically nodding my head (at least in my mind) at the many visitors I dodge past during some daily errand. ‘Poor touristy tourist, lugging your bags into a hotel for a momentary intake of the utopian beauty that I consider home,’ I think to myself, letting run wild an inner condescending voice. Really, what can a hotel in town show me that I don’t already know? Apparently, as West Cliff Inn proved, a lot.

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The Ticker

The Protest that Wasn’t

The Protest that Wasn’t

Students and workers attempt to join forces against unfair management practices
Since the words “UC Santa Cruz Protest” generally bring to mind images of enraged students chanting, marching, blocking traffic and wreaking as much havoc as possible, the student/worker “protest” for accountability that took place April 7 would more aptly be termed a “discussion.” The 15 students and workers who attended decided there were too few bodies to hold a true protest, so they used the time together to discuss some of the problems facing UCSC: budget cuts, lay-offs, the suspension of the community studies major, and the lack of a cohesive group for students and workers.

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Obsessive Beauty

Blank Verse

Blank Verse

Santa Cruz designers create vintage-inspired, modern baubles that woo the fashion world
Recently, I picked up a Women’s Health magazine and randomly flipped to a page. There was a feature article on Eco-Chic goods—clothing, jewelry, etc., that have an environmentally friendly focus. Amongst the goods was a stunning cream-colored cuff bracelet, that looked like something Madonna would wear, when she’s having an ’80s inspired, romantic sort of day. I looked closer. It looked familiar. And there was the blurb about it: a cuff by Blank Verse Jewelry, sold at select Anthropologie stores.

 

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The Ticker

UCSC Community Studies Major ‘Suspended’

UCSC Community Studies Major ‘Suspended’

What was just a menacing rumor for more than a year now has become reality at UC Santa Cruz: The Community Studies major has been axed. The university’s Academic Senate Committee on Educational Policy announced their decision to “suspend the major” on Wednesday, April 7, thereby “restricting new admission to the major for at least two years,” according to an open letter released by the office of the Campus Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor. Community studies is a popular and one-of-a-kind program that allows students to zero in on a field of community organizing or action, and requires all students to complete a six month field study. The decision to cut the program (although prospective students and students currently in the major will be able to continue) came as a result of a multi-million dollar target budget reduction UCSC was tasked with slashing by the UC. Outraged students and faculty, led by the Coalition to Save Community Studies, have already organized around the news. They will be gathering at UCSC’s Quarry Plaza at noon before marching across the campus in protest.

CultureBeat

Con Come and Gone

Con Come and Gone

So it's a week later and if the finale to Blackest Night last Wednesday wasn't amazing enough, the nerd hangover from Wondercon is still pounding pretty hard. Overall, I have to say that this year may have been the best ever with so many incredible names showing up to meet and chat up the fans (That's me with DC Chief Creative Officer and overall bad-ass Geoff Johns!).

It wasn't so much about the panels this time without a Watchmen or Star Trek sized flick to look forward to in the coming months. Nope, this year was all about running around artist's alley and snagging as many signatures as I could (which turned out to be a lot more than I'd hoped for!).

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The Ticker

Celebrate National Park Week with Free Entrance to All U.S. National Parks

In honor of National Park Week, entrance fees to the nation’s 392 national parks will be waived for the week of April 17–25, 2010. Special events such as hikes, restoration days, and beach cleanups are also being held at many of the parks. Discounts on tours, lodging, and souvenirs may also be available. National parks in our area include Alcatraz Island (nps.gov/findapark/index.htm), Golden Gate (nps.gov/findapark/index.htm), Muir Woods, Pinnacles, and Point Reyes. For more information, a detailed national park list, or the calendar of National Park Week events, visit nps.gov/npweek/.

The Ticker

New Coalition Opposes Rec Center Location

A coalition of concerned citizens has cropped up in the last few weeks in response to plans for a new Boulder Creek Community Center, for which the group’s chairman, Ken Pastrof, says “A thorough site analysis and sound land use planning were not used” when the Parks and Recreation board signed a letter of intent to buy the according property. Although they support the advancement of the community’s recreation facilities, they are pushing for a closer look at a myriad of factors, such as fiscal responsibility, traffic, noise, parking and community involvement in the planning process. The coalition will hold a general meeting to address these issues and more on Saturday, April 10 at 10 a.m. at the Boulder Creek Recreation Center, located at 13333 Middleton Ave., Boulder Creek. Visit thepetitionsite.com/1/stop-the-plan-now for more information.  赼

 
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Is This a Dream?

A beginner’s guide to understanding and exploring the uncanny world of lucid dreams

 

Giving and Giving, Then Giving Some More

2014 is almost over. Wednesday, Dec. 17, the Jewish Festival of Light, Hanukkah, begins. We are in our last week of Sag and last two weeks of December. Sunday, Dec. 21 is winter Solstice, as the sun enters Capricorn (3:30 p.m. for the west coast). Soon after, the Capricorn new moon occurs (5:36 p.m. for the west coast)—the last new moon of 2014. Sunday morning Uranus in Aries (revolution, revelation) is stationary direct (retro since July 22). Uranus/Aries create things new and needed to anchor the new culture and civilization (Aquarius). We will see revolutionary change in 2015. Capricorn new moon, building-the-personality seed thought, is, “Let ambition rule and let the door to initiation and freedom stand wide (open).” Capricorn is a gate—where matter returns to spirit. But the gate is unseen until the Ajna Center (third eye), Diamond Light of Direction, opens. Winter solstice is the longest day of darkness of the year. The sun’s rays resting at the Tropic of Capricorn (southern hemisphere) symbolize the Christ (soul’s) light piercing the heart of the Earth, remaining there for three days, till Holy Night (midnight Thursday morning). Then the sun’s light begins to rise. It is the birth of the new light (holy child) for the world. A deep calm and stillness pervades the world.The entire planet is revivified, re-spiritualized. All hearts beating reflect this Light. And so throughout the Earth there’s a radiant “impress” (impressions, pictures) given to humanity of the World Mother and her Child. The star Sirius (love/direction) and the constellation Virgo the mother shines above. For gift giving, give to those in need. Give and give and then give some more. This creates the new template of giving and sharing for the new world.

 

The New Tech Nexus

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

 

Stocking Stuffers

The men behind the women of the Kinsey Sicks Dragapella Beautyshop Quartet explain their own special brand of ‘dragtivism,’ and their holiday show at the Rio
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Tramonti Pizza

Why there’s no such thing as too much Italian food in Seabright

 

Guitar or surfboard?

Guitar. The closest thing I ever came to surfing was sliding down a rock hill. Charlie Tweddle, Santa Cruz, Hats and Music

 

Fortino Winery’s Intriguing Charbono

At the opening celebration of the new Santa Clara Wine Trail in August, one of the wineries we visited was Fortino. This is where I first tasted their intriguing estate-grown Charbono—a varietal that is one of the rarest in California, with only 80 acres grown statewide.

 

Beyond the Jar

How Tabitha Stroup has built her rapidly expanding jam empire