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Apr 24th
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CultureBeat

Mining Hope

Mining Hope

Documentary filmmaker and Santa Cruz native Sasha Friedlander shares both the beauty and struggle of life in the Indonesian sulfur mines

Santa Cruz native Sasha Friedlander’s debut feature-length film, Where Heaven Meets Hell, tells the true story of four sulfur miners who, despite working in hellish conditions—500 miners collect and haul loads of up to 200 pounds of pure sulfur up and down a volcano several times each day—are still as hopeful and cheerful as any other native of Indonesia. In anticipation of Saturday’s screening at The Rio Theatre, we sat down with Friedlander to discuss the making of the documentary, which took home the Grand Jury Prize for best feature documentary film and Outstanding Cinematography Award at the 2012 Los Angeles Asian Pacific Film Festival, and what’s next for the up-and-coming filmmaker. 

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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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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

 

Mission Critical

How reading Lisa Jensen’s reviews taught me to love film
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Oral Fixations

Blown away by a Tuesday night dinner at Oswald

 

What would you like to see a TED talk about?

Hydrogen-gas cars that are coming this summer. Scott Oliver, Santa Cruz, Professor

 

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