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Aug 20th
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Hotel Paradox

Hotel Paradox

Style with a dash of whimsy at the new Hotel Paradox  

Is Hotel Paradox actually paradoxical, as its name would suggest? It does contain some notable contradictions: for one, it butts up to bustling Downtown Santa Cruz and is situated on busy Ocean Street, but feels peaceful and private from within the fenced-in, tree-lined grounds. It is also a nice hotel in the heart of Santa Cruz, and some may say that that, itself, is a contradiction, although one that’s (hopefully) becoming passé.

But the moniker mostly speaks to the fact that the new 170-room hotel is intriguing. It's slick, hip and classy, with a good dose of quirk. The latter is embodied by the hotel's pervasive forest theme, which is executed with décor aimed at bringing the woods inside. Trees, with their beautiful bark and greenery, spruce up the sleek, modern, mostly white space and drive home a uniquely Santa Cruz vibe. “We have this white, contemporary box, boutique hotel with an organic feel,” explains General Manager Tony Eichers.

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The Ticker

The Morning After

The Morning After

Tales from the Democrats' debate viewing party

If you like being in a large room full of Democrats who support President Barack Obama, the newly remodeled Hotel Paradox on Ocean Street was the place to be on Wednesday night. About 400 people gathered for a “debate watch party” sponsored by the Santa Cruz County Democratic Central Committee (DCC) and the local Obama for America campaign organization. Although the crowd was mostly attentive throughout the debate (which was projected on a huge screen with a good sound system), there was a live, on-going audio barometer of approval and disapproval with periodic yells and applause mixed with boos and hisses. At the end of the debate, reactions were mixed.

Comments from the crowd following the debate seemed to be generally reflective of disappointment with Obama’s performance. This reporter overheard comments like “Obama played it a bit too cool, he missed some real opportunities to hit back,” and “Sadly, Romney came across more human than usual … Obama wasn’t at the top of his game.”

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CultureBeat

Jazz Royalty

Jazz Royalty

55th annual Monterey Jazz Festival wows, leaves enthusiasts craving more

Festivals come and go, but for 55 years the Monterey Jazz Festival has maintained a level of excellence that sets the bar for all others. What makes MJF so unique is that from top-down—from organizers to the people guarding the gate—everyone is incredibly positive, sunny and happy to be there. Maestro Timothy Orr runs the event with the slightly manic energy one can expect from someone with so much on his plate—and yet, he always takes the time to make patrons feel like they’re getting special treatment. This overall upbeat tone creates an incomparable ambience of camaraderie and fellowship.

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The Ticker

UC Look Onward

UC Look Onward

SLUG REPORT > UC-championed Onward California tour highlights the university’s contributions to society

On Tuesday, Oct. 2, Onward California will be stopping over at UC Santa Cruz’s Quarry Plaza as it snakes its way around the Golden State. A traveling stage to showcase the UC’s contribution to society on a state, national, international, and personal level, the campaign is working to re-vamp public visibility and attract stronger financial partnership.  

Documentary-flavored clips on the campaign’s website include three of UCSC professor of astronomy and astrophysics Steve Vogt (pictured) working in the UC Lick Observatory, demonstrating how the telescope uses light particle detection to locate distant, potentially inhabitable planets.

“This is the only job I’ve ever had,” Vogt says in one of the videos. “But why would you want to work anywhere else?”

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The Ticker

The Candidates On Desal

The Candidates On Desal

SANTA CRUZ > The eight candidates for Santa Cruz City Council sat on a panel on Thursday evening, Oct. 4, at the Louden Nelson Community Center while moderator Rick Longinotti grilled them about their stances on the proposed desalination plant.

Longinotti, a spokesman for “Yes on Measure P” and advocate for alternatives to desalination in Santa Cruz, questioned each of the candidates regarding their positions on desalination. At one point, tensions ran high and one candidate—Richelle Naroyan—abruptly departed the forum saying she was uncomfortable with the format of the meeting. Mayor Don Lane, who is among the candidates, also spoke out, saying the format frustrated him due to the amount of time the moderator took to speak against desalination, while candidates were given no more than two minutes to respond.

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The Ticker

Becoming An Awareness Advocate

Becoming An Awareness Advocate

Local teen rallies for increased epilepsy awareness

Epilepsy affects 65 million people worldwide and is the fourth most common neurological disorder in the United States, according to the Epilepsy Foundation’s (EF) website. Despite the prevalence of the condition both in the United States and in the world, the website argues that “epilepsy is among the least understood of major chronic medical conditions.”

Monterey Coast Preparatory School student Samantha Hampton agrees, and hopes to change this. The local teen has epilepsy, and is taking strides to improve awareness about the condition.

In an effort to spread the word, she decided to become an advocate for the Northern California branch of EF. “I wish to help anyone with epilepsy and want to raise as much awareness as possible,” she says. “Knowing that I could help make a difference in someone’s life, [which] includes raising awareness, [gives] us hope that people might finally understand and accept it.”

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CultureBeat

Getting Pumped

Getting Pumped

The Radical Reels Tour heads for the Rio

With summer coming to a close, and school nearly back in session, the UC Santa Cruz Recreation department is getting its game face on with its annual screening of National Geographic’s Radical Reels Tour. The featured short films allow us to bear witness to some of the world’s most serious adrenaline seekers as they bike tough trails, paddle wild waters, and ski treacherously steep slopes. The film screening will take place on Saturday, Sept. 22 at 7 p.m. at the Rio Theatre, and will highlight some of the most outrageous mountain sport films from the 36th Annual Banff Mountain Film Festival, which, of course, aim to thrill and inspire with mind-blowing big-screen adventures.   

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The Ticker

An Organic Leader

An Organic Leader

Q&A with Zea Sonnabend, recipient of a national award for organic leadership

Call Zea Sonnabend on the telephone and chances are that the answering machine will tell you that she is “either out standing in my field, or out standing in someone else’s field”—a good bet, considering the CCOF organic farm inspector and policy specialist recently started farming again, herself.

But for today, at least, Sonnabend will instead be standing on a stage in Maryland, receiving the Organic Trade Association’s prestigious Organic Leadership Award. Given annually since 1997, the award is given to influential and innovative figures in the organic movement. Sonnabend certainly falls into that category: from her career at CCOF, to her involvement with the Organic Foods Production Association of North America, the National Organic Program, the Organic Materials Review Institute, and the Ecological Farming Association, she has led the organics movement forward in more ways than one.

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CultureBeat

The Price Of Art

The Price Of Art

A generous donation takes the Tannery’s performing arts center one step closer to becoming a reality

“Our goal is for the Tannery to be, essentially, a cultural magnet as well as an arts center for the whole Central Coast,” says Tannery Art Center Executive Director Rachel Goodman.    

The local arts hub is celebrating a recent donation of $100,000 from Santa Cruz-based Plantronics that will go directly toward building a brand new performing arts theater and plaza.

The grant allows the Tannery, which is currently two-thirds of the way complete, to maintain its momentum and move closer to fulfilling its overall plan for a vibrant community cultural center where visitors will be able to enjoy plays and music, work in art studios, and get in touch with their own artistic side through art and dance classes.

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The Ticker

Hooray For Sea Otters

Hooray For Sea Otters

SLUG REPORT > UCSC researchers analyze 40 years of data to go beyond cuteness

In tackling their primary prey, sea otters also tackle global warming. A new study, credited firstly to UC Santa Cruz professors and researchers Christopher Wilmers and James Estes, finds that sea otters have a significant impact on global carbon sequestration. Because the otter’s favored snack is the sea urchin—a scavenger known to devastate kelp forests when populations go unchecked—more sea otters translates to more kelp. And because the giant algae is a bit of a photosynthesis machine, that translates to a lot of sequestered carbon.

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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’

 

Say Uncle

Five types of kids, and how to be their best friend
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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.