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Jan 29th
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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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Mind & Body

The Doctor is In (bed): Dr. Rachel Prepares for surgery

The Doctor is In (bed):  Dr. Rachel Prepares for surgery

This blog is a bit different from all the others as I am writing as a patient-to-be.  My wise  ENT doctor, Alexis Lane, has agreed that my enlarged and cryptic (in the “multiple caves” sense, not in the “short” sense) tonsils are to be relegated to the bin of lost body parts.   Now, you might think I would feel relieved to be rid of these recurrent sore-throat, chronic tonsillitis nightmares that I have experienced since the age of 6, and I am.  But as a holistic doctor by nature—I don’t LIKE intervention--especially when it comes to my own body.  Yet I have always let reason rule and, tomorrow morning, I am going under the knife.  Tonsillectomy is fairly routine in children, but in adults it is more tricky and MUCH more painful.

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Mind & Body

A Favorite Asana

A Favorite AsanaLaptops, music, art, conversation.  Where do the yogis meet?  Why, at Asana, of course, the semi-newcomer, which opened last July on Lincoln Street.  It’s easy to be a yogi and eat this delicious organic food and sip any of the 60 varieties of tea, while hanging with friends.  Asana tends to go light and pumped with flavor with its delicious array of paninis, focaccia pizzas, and my favorite, the “bowls to fill the whole.”  These bowls are filled with veggies, tempeh, sometimes chicken, and, and spices to warm your open yogi heart. Another favorite is the Grain bowl, with quinoa or brown rice filled with soup and topped with rainbow chard – my dream meal. Or just come by after class, sit on the couch, and sip tea.  Erin and Marshall, my recent servers could not have been more friendly or helpful.  Enjoy!
The Ticker

Proposed Bill Could Protect Californians from Pesticides

On Feb. 8, Assemblymember Bill Monning proposed a bill to protect the California public from potentially hazardous pesticides. Monning proposed the bill partly as response to chemical sprayed in the Santa Cruz area two years ago to eradicate the Light Brown Apple Moth. “The lack of information about the inert ingredients used in the aerial spray program caused a great deal of fear and mistrust among the public,” says Monning in a press release. “I believe that people have a right to know what they are eating, drinking, and breathing and should be allowed to make informed decisions based upon full disclosure.” California Senator Mark Leno proposed the same legislation to the state senate.

 

CultureBeat

Show-Stopper

Show-Stopper

Rawlings imports an element of surprise at Dawes’ recent concert in Santa Cruz

Remember when an encore was something a band had to earn? Most likely, you probably can’t. That’s because a standing ovation or a crowd calling for more, waiting in front of a stage while the rock star at hand walks off to the wings—oh so momentarily, has become a mundane ritual rather than a sign of rare, high regard. I often feel a sense of disappointment at the contrived nature of how show endings go off these days, wondering why bands end a set at all when they (and the rest of us) know that, whether or not anyone asks for it, they’ll pick up the mic and power through their amps for an additional few songs in straightforward form. Why bother walking offstage in the first place?

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The Ticker

Ballot Initiative Hopes to Save State Parks

Out of all of the fury and concern over the Golden State’s budget failures this past year, perhaps one of the issues Californians took most to heart was the threat of budget cuts to its precious state parks. As a result, the November 2010 ballot will include The State Parks and Wildlife Conservation Trust Fund Act of 2010, a statewide measure that would provide free day use access for Californians, require wildlife conservation and “create a stable, reliable and adequate source of funding for the state park system,” according to Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks. The local group has collected more than 2,000 signatures in Santa Cruz County so far.

Mind & Body

“That breathing thing, in and out…”*

“That breathing thing, in and out…”*

I traveled the windy road up to SF, thrilled with the cityscape, after these lonely hills, to the Yoga Journal’s 7th Annual SF Conference, and to an enveloped world of yoga.  The faces I deem “famous” for my world were talking nonchalantly with each other and with students.  Very exciting.

My schedule the first day was aggressive:  David Swenson’s Primary Series, Shadow Yoga, with Scott Blossom, and James Higgins.  These classes were top notch and helped me to explore new streams of my yoga practice.  It was Sunday morning’s class with Rod Stryker that really did it for me.  It was a pranayama class and I learned the depth of breath and its meaning.  The benefits? Improved health, concentration and mental focus – increased vitality, manifestation of desires and intentions  - self-realization.  Watching my partner as she practiced pranayama, her lungs expanded and something wonderful seemed to happen.  Incorporating this practice into my regular practice this week has been the goal and the benefits are already apparent, with my week in full bloom. *overheard at the conference

 
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Throwing It All Away

Everybody’s for recycling, right? So why are we all doing it wrong? Our reporter gets down and dirty to uncover 10 secrets that will finally make the recycling process make sense

 

Aquarius Calling, Humanity Rising

Aquarius (11th sign after Aries) is the sign of service—serving one another, building community. Aquarius is fixed air, stabilizing new ideas in the world. When new ideas reach the masses the ideas become ideals within the hearts and minds of humanity. Air signs (Gemini, Libra and Aquarius) are mental. They think, ponder, study, research, gather and distribute information. For air signs, education and learning, communicating, writing, being social, tending to money, participating in groups and creating sustainable communities are most important. One of the present messages Aquarius is putting forth to the New Group of World Servers is the creation of the New Education (thus thinking) for humanity—one based not on commodities (banking/corporate values) but on virtues. Humanity and Aquarius Aquarius is the sign of humanity itself. We are now at the beginnings of the Age of Aquarius, the Age of Humanity (rising). The “rising” is the Aquarian vision of equality, unity, the distribution and sharing of all resources and of individual (Leo) creative gifts for the purpose of humanity’s (Aquarius) uplifting. This is the message in the Solar Festival of Aquarius (at the full moon) on Tuesday, Feb. 3. We join in these visions by reciting the World Prayer of Direction, the Great Invocation.Tuesday’s solar festival follows Monday’s Groundhog Day, or Imbolc (ancient Celtic fire festival) the halfway mark between winter solstice and spring Equinox). The New Group of World Servers (NGWS) during these two days are preparing for the upcoming Three Spring Solar Festivals: 1. Aries Resurrection/Easter Festival (April); 2. Taurus Buddha/Wesak Festival (May); and 3. Gemini’s Festival of Humanity (June). Aquarius and the new and full moons together are the primary astrological influences behind all of humanity’s endeavors. The NGWS are to teach these things, calling and uplifting humanity. Join us everyone. (301)

 

The New Tech Nexus

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

 

Job Insecurity

Woman fights for her job in thoughtful, life-sized ‘Two Days One Night’
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