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Dec 21st
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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

CultureBeat

Rock ‘n’ Bowl

Rock ‘n’ BowlHow to book a show at Coaster’s Lounge
Ask anyone with a little punk rock running through their veins if they’ve seen a show at a bowling alley, then stand back as they reel off a virtual who’s who of punk rock history. An informal survey of my friends revealed classic shows including 7 Seconds, the Angry Samoans and Mike Watt’s Banyan all enjoyed with a backdrop of gutter balls and the smell of freshly waxed lanes.
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Mind & Body

Morning in the Soul’s Night

Morning in the Soul’s Night

That line from David Foster Wallace hits me, especially as I rise at my preferred time of 5:00AM for meditation with the intent of feeling my spirit and essence before all others rise.  There generally seems to be a truth to my thoughts at this time.  The habit began when my children were small and I just needed some silence for thinking and planning before jumping into my day.

What is the soul?  As I child, I had an image of the soul as a wrapped heart with wings, flying in the sky.  Trying to capture this flying heart has been my task, in this lifetime. What is meditation?  After a bit of research and lots of experience, I have come up with my own definition. Meditation is sitting still and trying calm the race of the brain. I search for that wise truthful part of me … the one who knows the real answers to the questions.  With the calmness comes the truth of that flying heart that I capture for a few moments. I emerge with a base of strength and might, and leap into the day.

Mind & Body

Sneezing your Way into Spring

Sneezing your Way into Spring

Winter rain and snow is welcome during a drought, and this year, it also has contributed to an explosion of wildflowers and tree blooms—wonderful to look at, but a little hard on the pollen-sensitive.  If you are welcoming the spring colors through itchy eyes and a runny nose, this article is for you.

The number of people with allergies is on the rise in Western Countries, perhaps, believe it or not, because we are “too clean”.  In fact, studies have shown that children exposed to dogs, cats and other animals when they are young are less likely to become allergic to them than children who are not exposed.  Coming into contact with normal bacteria, animals, and dirt—the traditional exposures that all humans in agrarian societies have had, actually helps our immune systems to develop in a balanced way.  Living in an “anti-bacterial” society may cause the immune system to be “over-zealous” against non-threatening exposures, such as animals, pollen, dust mites, or mold.  What’s the take-home message here?  Avoid anti-bacterial soaps and hand gels—regular soap works just well to clean one’s hands.  And don’t worry too much about your children rolling around with the dog and eating dirt.

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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