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Jan 27th
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The Ticker

OpenCounter Goes Live

OpenCounter Goes Live

FRESH DIRT > The city’s new online business hub is up and running

The new online portal OpenCounter, a system that streamlines the process of applying for business licenses, permitting and other legal startup requirements, went live on the City of Santa Cruz's website Wednesday morning, Jan. 9. The launch was celebrated by a small group of city officials, business owners and tech professionals at Cruzio Coworking in Downtown Santa Cruz. 

The system enables users to enter their business information and then see the details of what they must do to implement their plan, greatly cutting down the confusion that is often associated with the bureaucratic requirements for starting a business.

OpenCounter organizes an entrepreneur's business information, which was previously written and filed by hand, and delivers it to the right departments at the city in the correct sequence to maximize efficiency.

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The Ticker

Pet Of The Week

Pet Of The Week

GT's pet of the week, brought to you by the Center for Animal Protection and Education

Walter and Peter were tiny puppies when they were brought to the Santa Cruz County Animal Shelter after one of their siblings died of Parvovirus. Luckily, both of them tested negative for the disease. Because they were too young to go up for adoption, they were placed in a Center for Animal Protection and Education foster home.

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CultureBeat

Act Fast

Act Fast

Annual 8 Tens @ Eight Festival challenges playwrights to create drama with the clock ticking

The unique variety and swift pace of the 18th annual 8 Tens @ Eight Festival makes it a theater extravaganza unlike any other. Presented by Santa Cruz Actors’ Theatre, this year’s showcase runs Jan. 4-27 and offers audiences the unique opportunity to view the latest works by eight of the finest contemporary playwrights from around the country all in one evening, jam-packed with intrigue, humor, drama and wonder.

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CultureBeat

Tech The Halls

Tech The Halls

Locals create hip, new technology, just in time for the gift-giving season

In Santa Cruz, we’re all about shopping local and supporting fellow community members in all of their creative endeavors. This holiday season, we have the opportunity to continue that tradition, by giving gifts created by talented area residents who are making waves in the tech world.

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CultureBeat

Holiday Hit List

Holiday Hit List

Get in the spirit of the season with these holiday favorites, hand-selected by your friends at GT.

Mariah Carey “All I Want For Christmas Is You”
Ray Conniff and the Ray Conniff Singers “The Little Drummer Boy”
Michael Bublé “Silent Night”
Dean Martin “Baby It’s Cold Outside”
Adam Sandler “The Chanukah Song”  
Joe “This Christmas”
Band Aid “Do They Know It’s Christmas?”
John Lennon “Happy Xmas (War Is Over)”

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The Ticker

Good Fortune For A Large Charge

Good Fortune For A Large Charge

SANTA CRUZ > Who is to blame when, thousands of dollars later, your fortune has not come true?

If someone promised to improve “your karma” and “your personal relationships,” would you sign up for their services? What if you were told that you had to pay thousands of dollars before seeing any results?

The Santa Cruz District Attorney’s Office reported in November that a local young woman made that gamble and came out of the deal feeling scammed. After shelling out $19,000 in a matter of three months, she realized that perhaps the psychic she was seeing was not exactly authorized to do such things.

The woman reported the incident last month.

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Mind & Body

Kush: Body, Mind, Bliss

Kush:  Body, Mind, Bliss

Just because the economy has mood swings, doesn’t mean that you have to follow similar suit. That is where Staycations come in handy. But what about one for the body, heart and mind? About 40 minutes away from our Santa Cruz lair resides the wonderful creative hamlet of Carmel. As most of us already know, that area is the perfect locale for a long weekend getaway, so whether you opt to stay at a Downtown Carmel lodge or hotel—I’d recommend Vagabound Inn or Hofsas House—you might also want to toss something else into the mix: Pampering.

For that, the one portal that registers the biggest mark on our Spa Meter this month is Kush Day Spa. Perhaps one of the most charming and inviting spas in Carmel, it was birthed by massage therapist John Jertberg, and his wife, Monica. Together, they boast more than 15 years of experience and Kush, which has benefited from increased buzz since it came into existence three years ago, offers a variety of treatments to sooth the senses—from Sweedish and warm stone massages to waxing and anti-aging facials.

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CultureBeat

Turkey Tunes

Turkey Tunes

GT’s Ultimate Thanksgiving Playlist:
10 songs to put you in the giving mood
this holiday
“The Thanksgiving Song” – Adam Sandler
“Give Thanks and Praises” – Bob Marley
“Thank You For The Music” – ABBA
“Thankful” – Kelly Clarkson
“Give Thanks and Praise” – Shaggy
 “Thank You For Being A Friend” – Andrew Gold
“November Rain” – Guns N’ Roses
“I Have You To Thank” – Gavin DeGraw
“Thank you Baby” – Shania Twain
“It’s Thanksgiving” – Nicole Westbrook

Mind & Body

Giving Thanks Through Yoga

Giving Thanks Through Yoga

NAVIGATING YOGA > Thanksgiving: a time we celebrate with turkey and cranberry sauce, national viewing of the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade and football games, and by spending time with family. With a holiday that has so many traditions "stuffed" into just one Thursday, it can sometimes seem tedious to take time to be, well, thankful. This year, try keeping your gratitude in check through yoga.

Whether you are a newbie to the practice or a seasoned yogi, yoga can be a wonderful way to give thanks, simply through the asana practice alone. When I teach, I have my students set a dedication for their practice, usually dedicating their practice to someone or something in their life that is important to them. By setting that dedication, your practice is no longer just about the physical exercise, or doing it simply for the enjoyment. It transforms into something bigger than yourself.

As you flow through your next yoga class, keep in mind who or what you dedicated your practice to; doing so will also allow your mind the freedom to stay present, to keep from wandering, as well as to continue to send those positive vibes out there, thereby staying along the path of karma yoga.

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The Ticker

When Slugs Fly

When Slugs Fly

SLUG REPORT > Flight machines fueled solely by human power are hard to come by these days. But last Saturday, Nov. 10, San Francisco’s McCovey Cove welcomed a carefully selected 35 teams that tried their hand at human-powered flight. This year’s event was the 10th anniversary of Red Bull’s Flugtag, which in German, translates to “Flying Day.”

Since 2002, teams have jumped at the opportunity to launch their homemade human-powered flying machines off a 30-foot high flight deck in San Francisco. This year, however, was a noteworthy one for Santa Cruzans because a team of UC Santa Cruz classmates and friends competed. Their team, When Slugs Fly, represented our Surf City and the university by dressing up in banana suits and performing a skit prior to pushing their giant banana craft (with the pilot onboard) into hopeful flight.

“It’s such a challenging and fun concept—creating a theme, building a craft and executing it [skit and all],” says Greg Gerschenson, pilot of the When Slugs Fly team.

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Force of Nature

Santa Cruz’s Carlie Statsky brings her love of the natural world to the hyper-personal art of wedding photography

 

Mercury Retrograde in Aquarius

The magical time of Mercury’s retrograde cycle is here once again, until Feb. 11, and then some. The Mercury retro cycle actually lasts eight weeks when we consider its retrograde shadow, giving us six months a year for review. We know the rules of Mercury retro: Be careful with everything; cars, driving, money, resources, friends, friendships, groups, interactions, thinking, talking, communications. Avoid big purchases, important meetings and important repairs. Mercury retrograde times are for review, reassessment and rest. Our minds are overloaded from the last Mercury retro. Our minds need to assess what we’ve done since October—eliminating what is not needed, keeping what’s important, preparing for new information in the next three months (till mid-May). Mercury in Aquarius retrograde … we reinvent ourselves, seek the unusual, we don’t hide, we’re just careful. We live in two worlds; outer appearances and inner reckonings, with both sides of our brain activated. Yet, like the light of the Gemini twins, one light waxes (inner world), the other (outer realities) wanes. Like Virgo, we see what’s been overlooked—assessing, ordering and organizing information. It’s an entirely inner process. When speaking we may utter only half of the sentence. We’re in the underworld, closer to Spirit, eyes unseeing, senses alerted, re-doing things over and over till we sometimes collapse. Because we’re in other realms, we’re wobbly, make mistakes, and don’t really know what we want. It’s not a time for decisions. Not yet. It’s a time of review. And completing things. Mercury retro: integration, slowing down, resolution, rapprochement.

 

The New Tech Nexus

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

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of January 23

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >
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Bye Bye Benten!

Benten closing, plus Award-winning gin, a massive burrito and chocolate review

 

Trout Gulch Vineyards

Scanning the shelves of Deluxe Foods of Aptos, which carries an impressive selection of local and imported wines, I picked up a bottle of Trout Gulch Vineyards Chardonnay 2012, described as “a local favorite” by the busy market.

 

Cremer House

What’s old is cutting-edge again in Felton

 

How are you going to make a tangible difference in your community this year?

Spread more kindness and compassion.