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Apr 28th
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CultureBeat

No Fear

No Fear

Talk about a huge week for DC fans. The house that Superman built blew the minds of nerds everywhere a few days back with the announcement of some re-shuffling at the top of the creative chain. Editor Dan Didio has positioned legendary artist Jim Lee as co-publisher of the company while writing hot-shot Geoff Johns moves up to the brand new position of chief creative officer (I wonder if that comes with a uniform). His task is to create a consistency in the DC universe across all forms of entertainment. Television, movies, direct to DVD specials, you name it. Every decision goes through this guy first. In Johns' own words:

"My goal is nothing less than to have the DC Universe be the most popular mythology in and outside of comics in the world."

Yep, mind blown and if anyone can pull it off it's this guy.

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The Ticker

Blood Brother

Blood Brother

Local man has donated 43 gallons of blood

Eighty-six-year-old Felton resident Daniel Cunha has given a lot of himself to the American Red Cross over the years—in more ways than one. As a volunteer for over 50 years, he once helped transport bone marrow across the country. But in addition to the time he has given, he has given something even more personal: his blood. Forty-three gallons of his blood, to be exact.

A small ceremony was held on Friday, Feb. 19 at the Red Cross blood drive in Felton to commemorate Cunha’s enormous contribution. He was presented with a plaque before getting in the donor chair to give his unit of blood. Afterward, he and his wife, Sybil, enjoyed slices of cake brought for the occasion.

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Mind & Body

What will you do for love?

What will you do for love?

Dave Eggars writes in the introduction to David Foster Wallace’s huge ( emotionally and physically – 1079 pages ) novel, Infinite Jest, about  “a constant tragic undercurrent that concerns people who are completely lost – lost within their families, lost within their nations, lost within their time and who only want some sort of direction or purpose or sense of community and love.”  This seems universal.  After digging through Infinite Jest a number of times, never to finish, I can understand the commitment necessary to forge a connection to others or to the divine through creative expression.  Is this my answer?  Investigating and committing to photography and writing with a quest for love are encouraged by yoga.  These postures, after years of practice, seep deeper and deeper into my heart allowing the art to emerge.  Sometimes I’m sore, but mostly these days, I’m inspired.  The asanas have become established within me inducing a clearing for the expression that seems more important than ever. Love.

The Ticker

Power Up Approved

A plan to help Santa Cruzans soak up the sun is moving forward. The California Energy Commission (CEC) has approved funding for the CaliforniaFIRST pilot program, which will allow residents of several California counties to install solar panels and other energy efficient technologies using government loans. Home and business owners will pay back the loan through their property taxes—an added incentive to people who might consider moving or have lower credit scores. Ecology Action, which helped write the grant, estimates the CEC's funding will bring the interest rate for the loan down to 7 or 8 percent. They expect more details will be available in the coming weeks.
Staycation

A View to Remember

A View to Remember

Enjoy a magical staycation at luxurious and eco-friendly Post Ranch Inn in Big Sur

It’s the type of place where magic unfolds, where troubles take a backseat, where relaxation hits an all time high, and where perhaps the greatest view in California exists. Perched high on a cliff 1,200 feet above the Pacific Ocean, the Post Ranch Inn in Big Sur has earned the status as No. 1 lodging experience in the United States (at least from this reviewer). I have never seen anything like it, and perhaps I never will again—because the Post Ranch Inn is a thoroughly innovative, vastly original, solar-powered, organic cuisine offering, high-end luxury resort in a location that’s one-of-a-kind, with amenities and staff that are impeccable. You won’t find this experience anywhere else. It’s worth every dollar you spend on booking a room with a jaw-dropping view, eating a divine dinner, and partaking in a superb spa treatment.

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The Ticker

Top Notch

Top Notch

UCSC Ranks 18th in World in Survey for Geosciences
A November 2009 survey named the University of California, Santa Cruz, as one of the top 20 geosciences institutions in the world.
The British magazine Times Higher Education (THE) conducted the survey using data provided by Thomas Reuters from its Essential Science Indicators. The analysis looked at peer-reviewed journal articles from January 1999 through June 2009, assessing rankings based on the number of citations per paper to ensure that the rankings indicate impact, not just output.

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The Ticker

Hands Free Law Proves Successful

Once upon a time we all could be seen with one hand on the wheel and the other keeping our cell phone glued to our ear. But thankfully, for our sakes, the California legislature stepped in with two laws prohibiting the use of cell phones while driving: Hands Free Cell Phones, which went into effect on July 1, 2008, and the Texting While Driving Prohibition, which outlawed texting while driving as of Jan. 1, 2009.  The author of both pieces of legislation, State Senator Joe Simitian (D-Palo Alto), whose jurisdiction includes Santa Cruz, said in a Feb. 17 press release that the laws have been as successful as expected.  California Highway Patrol certified numbers from the first six months of the “hands free” law’s implementation shows a 20 percent drop in fatalities and collisions in California, when compared to the same six month period in the past three to five years. “That translates to at least 700 fewer fatalities and 75,000 to 100,000 fewer collisions each year,” Simitian said in the release, adding that CHP data shows a 40 to 50 percent drop in the number of “distracting driving accidents attributed to cell phones” following the law’s July, 2008 implementation.
The Ticker

Craigslist Bicycle Theft Sting a Success

A Santa Cruz police officer went undercover on Thursday, Feb. 11, to nab a suspected bike thief after the stolen bike was put up for sale on Craigslist.org. Police arrested 21-year-old Jordan Scott for possession of stolen property—a $4,000 mountain bike belonging to someone in San Luis Obispo. The bike’s owner had located the bike on the Santa Cruz area Craigslist and alerted police. An officer contacted Scott posing as an interested buyer; when they met up, he arranged to buy the bike, then notified uniformed officers, who moved in and “arrested Scott without incident,” according to a press release issued by the Santa Cruz Police Department.
The Ticker

Soda Overload

A tax of one cent per ounce of soda has been proposed to generate revenue and curb over consumption of the sugary staple beverage. Also, many schools across the country are currently restricting or banning the sale of sodas in vending machines on their campuses. According to the California Center for Public Health Advocacy, a 20-ounce serving of soda contains around 17 teaspoons of sugar, and a child’s risk of obesity increases by an average of 60 percent with every additional serving of soda. “Bubbling Over,” a recent study by Yale University’s Rudd Center, reported that 41 percent of Santa Cruz children and 56 percent of Santa Cruz teens drink one or more soda or other sweetened beverage a day.

 

CultureBeat

The Weekly Pull: Kick A$$!

The Weekly Pull: Kick A$$!

It's a bit of a slim week for me personally but still one I'm excited about. I know I mentioned the upcoming film adaptation of Mark Millar's incredibly fun "Kick Ass" series not too long ago, and now you can take a peek at the source material.

 

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We Can Rebuild You

A look back at how downtown Santa Cruz recovered from the 1989 earthquake

 

International Earth Day—Mother Earth Day

Every April 22, humanity celebrates International Mother Earth Day and Earth Day. As more than a billion people participate in Earth Day activities every year, Earth Day has become the world’s largest civic observance. The massive concern to build right relations between humanity and the living being we call Earth is evidence of humanity’s love of the Mother. In 2009, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed April 22 International Mother Earth Day, with a significant resolution affirming “the interdependence existing among human beings, other living species (the kingdoms—mineral, plant, animal and human) and the planet itself, the Earth which we all inhabit.” The Earth is our home. Celebrating Earth Day helps us define new emerging processes (economic, social, political) focused on the well-being of the kingdoms. Through these, humanity seeks to raise the quality of life, foster equality and begin to establish right relations with the Earth. We dedicate ourselves to bringing forth balance and a relationship of harmony with all of nature. Learn about planting a billion trees (the Canopy Project); participate in 1.5 billion acts of green. Disassociation (toward Earth) is no longer viable. We lose our connection to life itself. Participation is viable—an anchor, refuge and service for all of life on Earth. Visit earthday.org; harmonywithnatureun.org; and un.org/en/events/motherearthday for more information. From Farmers Almanac, “On Earth Day, enjoy the tonic of fresh air, contact with the soil, companionship with nature! Go barefooted. Walk through woods, find wildflowers and green moss. Remain outside, no matter the weather!” Nature, Earth’s most balanced kingdom, heals us. The New Group of World Servers is preparing for the May 3 Wesak Buddha Taurus solar festival. We prepare through asking for and offering forgiveness. Forgiveness purifies and like nature, heals.

 

The New Tech Nexus

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

 

Dark Magic

40 years on the movie beat in Santa Cruz
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Oral Fixations

Blown away by a Tuesday night dinner at Oswald

 

If you could live in Santa Cruz in any era besides now, which would you choose?

Probably the ’70s, because Santa Cruz is such a fly-your-freak-flag place. That was when free love and hippiness was in vogue. Shane Reber, Santa Cruz, Caretaker

 

Sarah’s Vineyard

Sarah’s Vineyard of Gilroy is known for crafting fine wines—and one of my all-time favorites is its Chardonnay. But this time, its Viognier has my vote.

 

Munch

East Coast meets West Coast in new meat lover’s paradise