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Aug 21st
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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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The Ticker

Say Aloha to Hō‘ailona

Say Aloha to Hō‘ailona

Rare Hawaiian monk seal now calls Long Marine Lab home
Meet UC Santa Cruz’s newest student--a two-year-old Hawaiian monk seal named Hō‘ailona. Like any freshman, he’s adjusting to his new environment, making friends, and even has his own Facebook page. However, his curriculum is a little different than that of the average student--Hō‘ailona is learning to participate in scientific research that can provide critical data for the conservation of endangered monk seals.

National Atmospheric and Oceanic Administration (NOAA) scientists rescued Hō‘ailona from a Kaua‘i beach in May 2008, after he’d been abandoned by his mother. They cared for him and then released him back to the wild on the island of Moloka‘i in December 2008. The transition back into the wild did not go smoothly; Hō‘ailona had become habituated to humans and preferred hanging out at the wharf and interacting with people to being with his fellow seals. As he grew bigger, his interactions with people became a threat to his own and the public’s safety.    

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The Ticker

Santa Cruz Gets PRIDE

Santa Cruz Gets PRIDE

Local police and schools team up for new gang prevention program
On Wednesday, March 24, the Santa Cruz Police Department, with the support of Santa Cruz City Schools, announced plans to launch a new gang prevention program.

Modeled after a Southern California program that targets at-risk youth and their families, the Personally Responsible Individual Development in Ethics (PRIDE) program seeks to educate Santa Cruz youth about the risks of gang activity. The 10-week program will inform the adolescents and their parents about the outcomes of good and bad decision-making in an interactive way. The first five weeks will focus on the consequences of bad decisions; participants will listen to talks from former gang members and drug users and will take field trips to a state prison and local morgue. The following five weeks will concentrate on good decision-making. During the final half of the program, the students will interact with positive role models such as professional athletes and elected officials. Meanwhile, parents will learn methods to effectively support and monitor their children.

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Obsessive Beauty

Jeans + Leggings = Jeggings

Jeans + Leggings = Jeggings

Will this new fashion trend fly or flop in Santa Cruz?
If your mind is all befuddlement when you hear the word “jeggings,” don’t worry, you are not alone. This latest apparel craze, a hybrid between jeans and leggings (hence the clever moniker), has been made popular by the toothpick legged Hollywood set. Plastered across the pages of celeb gossip mags you will see glamorous jegging-clad starlets dashing to lunch on lettuce at The Ivy, dropping a few thousand dollars on a Rodeo Drive spree or simply taking out their garbage in the Hollywood Hills.

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CultureBeat

Some Kind of Wondercon

Some Kind of Wondercon

Wow, has it been a year already? This weekend, San Francisco is the place to be when the Wondercon invades the Moscone Center once again. Three days packed to the brim with toys, celebrity guests, and your favorite artistic talent popping in to hype up what to look forward to in the world of comic books for the next year. Think of it as sort of a Burning Man for nerds, only without the drugs and more clothes (well, sort of ).

 

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The Ticker

Students Make Waves Over Spring Break

This spring break, 50 California Student Public Interest Research Group (CALPIRG) students took to the beach to draw attention to plastic pollution and to encourage banning polystyrene.  Beach cleanups were held at many of the tour’s seven stops (including in Santa Cruz on March 23), along with meetings with public officials and press conferences, where students and community leaders talked about the threat plastic pollution poses to our oceans and why they believe the answer lies in a statewide ban on single-use, polystyrene take-out containers.

The Ticker

Grad Students Rethink Teaching Science

Grad Students Rethink Teaching ScienceUCSC graduate training program is awarded $2.1 million by the NSF
The National Science Foundation has awarded a team at UC Santa Cruz a $2.1 million dollar grant to create a graduate training program aimed at teaching environmental science graduate students how to become effective communicators of science with non-scientists.

The program, known as SCWIBLES (Santa Cruz-Watsonville Inquiry-Based Learning in Environmental Sciences), will facilitate a partnership between UCSC grad students and Watsonville area high school teachers in developing and implementing a set of curriculum emphasizing engagement and application of science, rather than just the theory.
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Mind & Body

Taking control of the 90 percent

Taking control of the 90 percent “Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” —Albert Einstein
I think the human race likes to find formulas. A+B=C and we end up doing the same thing over and over—even when the formula does not work anymore. A dear friend of mine was talking about how his weight loss has stalled. He is a vegetarian, eats especially well and has been doing P90X, the exercise DVD phenomenon, daily. He shared that running is his form of cardio, so he tends to run faster to finish his workout quicker. This has been his exercise routine for years: start running again, lose weight, stop running, gain weight. Repeat.
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CultureBeat

A Bird’s Eye View

A Bird’s Eye View

Tips for local bands on how to book a show at The Crow’s Nest
Sun in your face, salt water in your hair, hundreds of summer lovin’ people ready to shake what their mamas gave them and become your next biggest fan. This isn’t a dream, just a typical Crow’s Nest beach party. Limited to a select few bands every Thursday night during the summer months, the beach party is a coveted gig that has helped transform many a casual listener into a follow-you-anywhere-fan. Like all good things, this gig comes to those who wait.

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The Ticker

Students Make Waves Over Spring Break

Students Make Waves Over Spring Break

CALPIRG students travel the coast to ban Styrofoam
This spring break, 50 California Student Public Interest Research Group (CALPIRG) students took to the beach to draw attention to plastic pollution and to encourage banning polystyrene. The “Wave of Change” tour kicked off Sunday, March 21 with a beach cleanup at San Diego’s Ocean Beach Pier, and will end in Sacramento this Thursday, March 25.

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Trending Now

Whether you live by the Vogue bible or choose to go into your day wearing what you slept in, odds are you wear clothes.

 

The Thought Form of Solution

It’s our last week of Leo before the sun enters Virgo (next Friday/Saturday). The planets this week make complex patterns and relationships (vibrational cadences and rhythms) with the outer planets, mainly Neptune—the planet that veils, obscures, protects and finally refines us. Neptune offers us entrance into a deeply spiritual sense of comfort and solace. Neptune is the personality ruler of Pisces (saviors of the world) and soul ruler of Cancer (world mother). “The fish goddesses who leapt from earth (Virgo) to water (Pisces) unitedly give birth to the Fish God (Christ, the Soul) who introduces the waters of life  (Neptune & Aquarius) into the ocean of substance (matter, mother bringing light to the world. Thus does Neptune work.” (Esoteric Astrology).

 

Final Cut

Cedar Street Video to close after 10 years at downtown location

 

Cultures Collide

No surprises, but lots to savor in foodie film ‘The Hundred-Foot Journey’
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Foodie File: Kauboi

Japanese-Western themed unites sushi with whiskey and beefgrill

 

How should Santa Cruz develop downtown around the San Lorenzo River?

Santa Cruz | Artist/Show Promoter

 

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

 

Have Mercy!

Looking for a frisky summer wine at a reasonable price? Look no further than Mercy Vineyards’ 2013 Sauvignon Blanc ($20). Richly textured “with an exotic flavor profile,” the wine reveals aromas of honeydew melon and honeysuckle, with anise appearing as a star attraction. Smidgeons of pineapple and honeycomb add a touch of sexiness to this well-balanced, easy-drinking wine, which pairs well with a variety of cuisine —especially ceviche, calamari and other not-too-heavy foods.