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Apr 28th
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SC Blogs

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

The Ticker

Don't Ask, Don't Tell

Don't Ask, Don't Tell

Defense Officials, Local Congressman Speak Out Against "Don't Ask, Don't Tell"

The top two defense officials in the nation announced their desire to repeal the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy in a Feb. 2 hearing. Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, and Defense Secretary Robert Gates told the Senate Armed Services Committee Tuesday that they support repealing the 1993 law that prohibits openly gay men and women from serving in the military, but they need more time to review the impact and how to carry out the change in policy. Gates testified that he has appointed a "high-level working group" to do the review, which will take about a year. In the meantime, the military is moving toward enforcing the existing policy "in a fairer manner," according to Gates.

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The Ticker

Local Attorney Seeks Superior Court Seat

Santa Cruz Superior Court Judge Michael Barton has announced he will be hanging up his robe and retiring. Watsonville attorney Rebecca Connolly hopes to step into his shoes, having recently filed for the upcoming election for his seat. Connolly has experience in federal law and as an assistant Santa Cruz District Attorney. “It’s a tremendous honor to run for Superior Court Judge in Santa Cruz County,”  Connolly stated in a Feb. 1 press release. The filing period for candidates to declare intention to run ends Feb. 10. The election will be held June 8, 2010.
Staycation

Orient Express

Orient Express

Hotel Kabuki brings Japanese splendor to the Bay

I recently pulled off a visit to Japan—minus the 13-hour flight, minus the jetlag and minus the wallet-busting cost. Well, sort of. Feeling the urge to have an exotic vacation but lacking the means and time to really reach Tokyo, I sought out a hotel in the Bay Area that might be able to satiate my travel bug.

A getaway to the Orient at the 218-room Hotel Kabuki, part of the Joie de Vivre chain of boutique hotels, turned out to be a worthy alternative to jet-setting during these economic times, and it’s a quick jaunt from Santa Cruz.

Great deals can be found online at joieoflife.com; standard rooms range from $99 during weekdays to $119 during weekends, and a Deluxe View King Room at $99 is a steal if you catch the right price at the right time. If you reserve your stay online, you even get a complimentary pass to the nearby (and well-known) Kabuki Springs and Spa communal baths (a $20 value). A special offer until June 15, you can now get a third night free when you book a minimum three-night stay (enter “JOIE” promo code).

Read more...
The Ticker

Pink Man Withdrawals From Council Race

Robert Steffen, featured in the Jan. 21 issue of Good Times for his recent interest in city politics and a seat on the city council, has announced his plans to withdraw from the Santa Cruz City Council race in November. For other candidates such as Councilmember Lynn Robinson, who plans to run again, and David Terazzas, who is strongly considering it, the race is just getting started. In an email to GT, Steffen cited health concerns for his decision to drop out. “I am sorry to disappoint those among your readers who are my supporters, but, as I am certain they will understand, one's health must come first,” he writes. “Perhaps another time.”

The Ticker

City Manager to Retire

After serving as City Manager for the City of Santa Cruz for nearly 30 years, Richard Wilson has announced he will retire at the end of July. “I love the City of Santa Cruz and my work here,” he stated in a city press release on Jan. 27. “If I waited until I was tired of that work to retire, it would never happen.” Wilson has seen Santa Cruz through many financial tight spots, including the nearly $9 million budget shortfall the city faced in early 2009.  In June 2009, he spoke with Good Times about the financial crisis, the city’s future and his experience as city manager over the years. Read it here
The Ticker

Vets Hall Closed Indefinitely

The beloved Santa Cruz County Veterans Memorial Building closed indefinitely starting on Jan. 21 after an “architect and engineer surveyed the Veterans Memorial Building...and identified potential issues and damage to structural elements,” according to executive director Tim Brattan. An integral hub for the Santa Cruz community, the Vets Hall is a center for veterans, but also for yoga and dance classes, community events, concerts and much more. The fate of the Hall remains uncertain. Look for more coverage on its closure in next week’s Good Times.

The Ticker

Recent Rains Help City Water Supply

On Jan. 26, the City of Santa Cruz Water Department issued a report concerning the current water supply conditions, stating that rainfall in Santa Cruz measures 14.98 inches, just slightly below the long-term average of 15.28 inches. The Loch Lomond watershed has received over 31 inches of rain so far this year and is now “full and spilling,” according to the report. However, the document also cautions that although average rainfall is better now than at this time last year, it is too early to say that the city’s water supply outlook is good. It states that, “more wet weather is needed in February and March for local watersheds that provide the city’s water supply to be fully replenished for the year ahead.”

Mind & Body

Will the Rain Ever Stop?

Will the Rain Ever Stop?

Acclimating to an indoor life is a winter happening, even in this un-extreme climate.  This transformation is a balance:  the dark to the light, the yin to the yang, the rest to the action.  And it is this stopping that is crucial to a yogic life.  It begins as a forced exile – outdoor activity curtailed -  reading more, meditating more, sleeping more, thinking more, obsessing more.  I have heard many teachers tout the importance of savasana (resting pose) as the most influential posture.  This resting will balance the movement, they say, and assist in the slow opening of the heart.

I have only to look over at the amaryllis that Aunt Madeline sent me for Christmas, as she does every year.  Yesterday the flower bloomed, after a strict dormancy, in the dead of January – a preview of my heart.

 
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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