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Apr 20th
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CultureBeat

Blogs - CultureBeat

Dining Out on Turkey Day

Dining Out on Turkey Day

Tired of spending Thanksgiving hunched over a steaming hot stove? Skip the cooking this year and let someone else do all the hard work. Plenty of Santa Cruz restaurants will be open on the holiday, and more than a few are offering up specialty Thanksgiving menus. Forget about brining and basting; all you have to do is pick up the phone and make your reservation.

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Blogs - CultureBeat

Almost Famous

Almost Famous

Local students compete to raise money for their school’s music program

It’s not every day that a 13-year-old Santa Cruzan earns $35,000 for his school’s music department. But that’s exactly what Jose Picazo did two years ago, and what he hopes to accomplish again in this year’s SchoolJam USA battle of the bands contest.

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Blogs - CultureBeat

Going the Distance

Going the Distance

The Santa Cruz Pop Warner Stingrays are in the running to become the, Best of the West but not without support from their community.

The Stingrays have earned a spot in the Best of the West Championship Bowl Game in Temecula, Calif. But despite their impressive performance, the Stingrays must still raise $18,000 if they want to travel to the championship. The game takes place on Saturday, Dec. 3, and the team must raise the funds by Dec. 2. They are actively seeking donations from local residents and businesses to make the trip and compete against teams from four different states.

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Blogs - CultureBeat

Strong Like Susan

Strong Like Susan

Santa Cruz local selected as YouTube Next Trainer

Before this year, Susan Becraft was just your average corporate professional. But her rock-hard abs and perfectly defined biceps were proof that outside of work, she had a passion not shared by most of her colleagues. The 46-year-old Santa Cruz resident recently made the switch and became a personal trainer, a decision that has already earned her international recognition. Becraft began working toward her goal earlier this year, and in July she landed a job at as a personal trainer at Rocky’s Gym in Santa Cruz.

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Blogs - CultureBeat

Pirates of the Central Coast

Pirates of the Central Coast

A peek into life aboard the Pirates of the Caribbean ship

To hop aboard the Lady Washington is to take a step back in time. The 112-foot ship offers a glimpse into the life of sailors in the 1800s, with walk-on tours, sailing excursions and staff dressed in period clothing. The vessel, which is the official state ship of Washington, was docked in Moss Landing through today, Tuesday, Nov. 15.

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Blogs - CultureBeat

Chris Rene’s “Paradise”

Chris Rene’s “Paradise”

Santa Cruz’s own ‘X Factor’ contender returns to rap roots, makes it to top 10

A sterling rendition of Coolio’s 1995 hit “Gangsta’s Paradise” on Wednesday’s episode of “The X Factor,” scored Santa Cruz singer/songwriter Chris Rene a coveted spot in the top 10.

The Grammy-winning song—off the Dangerous Minds soundtrack—was a welcome return to the musical genre most familiar to Rene, whose silky smooth vocals and quick-spitting rhymes have won over the show’s judges (Paula Abdul, Simon Cowell, Nicole Scherzinger, and L.A. Reid) since day one.

During the performance, the 28-year-old displayed a new level of confidence as he moved effortlessly across the stage in a black fedora and leather jacket. Surrounded by billowing smoke, he and a troupe of background dancers got the crowd grooving to the beat while green and purple lights flashed onstage.

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Blogs - CultureBeat

Attics of Our Lives

Attics of Our LivesUCSC’s highly anticipated Grateful Dead Archives offers sneak peek

On a rainy Saturday night at the McHenry Library at UC Santa Cruz, several hundred Deadheads gathered to share their appreciation—and fundraising dollars—as The Grateful Dead Archives unveiled a special preview of the exhibit, entitled “The Attics of Our Lives.”

A wild buffet of gourmet cheese, oysters and mini-burgers was washed down with wine as the house band—a symbiotic hybrid of local Dead tribute bands Slugs and Roses and China Cats—ripped through an evening of instrumental classics. Larry Graff (lead guitar), Paul Garcia (drums), Scott Cooper (guitar), and Roger Sideman (bass) provided the soundtrack for the festivities, embedding songs like “Crazy Fingers” with noodling worthy of the missing maestro.

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Blogs - CultureBeat

Funkadelic Roots

Funkadelic Roots

Reggae kings, See-I, tear up Moe's Alley

The diverse musical ingredients that make up See-I, an eight-piece group spliced from the DNA of the world-renowned Thievery Corporation, were stirred up, cooked, scorched, and seared at Moe’s Alley Thursday, Nov. 3.

A flambeau fusion of roots reggae, dub, funk, soul, and even a little Bad Brains on the side (both bands hail from Washington, D.C.),  was served up by lead vocalists, Roots and  Zeebo Steele. As the two chatted, rhymed, and harmonized the night away, the energy remained stoked from the grooving audience.

Songs traveled the See-I trajectory, spanning seamlessly from a cover of “We Need the Funk," to an original dub-dancehall tune, to a rocking tribute to Gregory Isaacs. Four members of the group continue on the roster of Thievery Corporation, while the other four extend the band’s musical pallet into the realms of New Brazilian, old school funk, and just about anything else with profound bass and rhythm.

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Blogs - CultureBeat

Santa Cruz’s “Superstar”

Santa Cruz’s “Superstar”

Chris Rene cranks up the heat, advances to top 11 on ‘The X Factor’

Feel free to exhale, Santa Cruz—Chris Rene is still in it. The 28-year-old singer/songwriter proved once again this week that he has “The X Factor” in the bag.

Surrounded by a cloud of smoke and actual flames, Rene cranked up the heat during Wednesday’s episode on Fox with a crowd-pleasing rendition of the Carpenters’ 1971 hit “Superstar.”

Besides missing his trademark ballcap, Rene’s performance had the same heart and confidence that made him a standout during the auditions back in September. Rene even put his own spin on the classic by incorporating a short original rap into the lyrics—a creative move that had the judges and the audience (who gave him a standing ovation) craving more.

“I’m so proud of you, Chris,” said Paula Abdul, following the performance. “You are honest, you’re transparent with your thoughts, you can always work harder. This you found your groove in, this was your song and you owned it.”

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Blogs - CultureBeat

Ocean’s Treasures Wash Ashore

Ocean’s Treasures Wash Ashore

Third annual Sea Glass Festival hits The Boardwalk this weekend

Krista Hammond has always had a passion for sea glass.

“My mom would tell me to go look for sea emeralds,” she says. “As young as I can remember, I always kind of picked it up and put it in my pocket.”

Hammond has managed to turn her lifelong interest into a profitable business. She founded her company, Santa Cruz Sea Glass, with her husband Tony Berkowitz in 2006. The two connected over a shared passion for surfing and the tiny treasures they found hidden on beaches.

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Cardinal Grand Cross in the Sky

Following Holy Week (passion, death and burial of the Pisces World Teacher) and Easter Sunday (Resurrection Festival), from April 19 to the 23, the long-awaited and discussed Cardinal Cross of Change appears in the sky, composed of Cardinal signs Aries, Libra, Cancer, and Capricorn, with planets (13-14 degrees) Uranus (in Aries), Jupiter (in Cancer), Mars (in Libra) and Pluto (in Capricorn), an actual geometrical square or cross configuration. Cardinal signs mark the seasons of change, initiating new realities.

 

Sugar: The New Tobacco?

Proposed bill would require warning labels on sugary drinks Will soda and other saccharine libations soon come with a health warning? They will if it’s up to our state senator, Bill Monning (D-Carmel). On Feb. 27, Monning proposed first-of-its-kind legislation that would require a consumer warning label be placed on sugar-sweetened beverages sold in California. SB 1000, also known as the Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Safety Warning Act, was proposed to provide vital information to consumers about the harmful effects of consuming sugary drinks, such as sodas, sports drinks, energy drinks, and sweetened teas.

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of April 17

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >

 

Growing Hope

Campos Seguros combats sexual assault in the Watsonville farmworker community Farm work was a way of life for Rocio Camargo, who grew up in Watsonville as the daughter of Mexican immigrants. Her parents met while working the fields 30 years ago, and her father went on to run Fuentes Berry Farms.
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Foodie File: Red Apple Cafe

Breakfast takes center stage at Gracia Krakauer's Red Apple Cafe Before they moved to Aptos, Gracia and her husband Dan Krakauer would visit friends in Santa Cruz County and eat at the Red Apple Café all the time. Then they moved up here from Santa Monica five years ago, and bought the Aptos location (there’s a separate one in Watsonville) from the family who owned it for two decades.

 

How would you feel about a tech industry boom in Santa Cruz?

I feel like it would ruin the small old-town feeling of Santa Cruz. It wouldn’t be the same Surf City kind of vacation town that it is. Antoinette BennettSanta Cruz | Construction Management

 

Trout Gulch Vineyards

Cinsault 2012—la grande plage diurne The most popular wines on store shelves are those most generally known and available—Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, which are all superb for sure. But when you come across a more unusual varietal, like Trout Gulch Vineyards’ Cinsault ($18), it opens up a whole new world.

 

Waddell Creek, Al Fresco

Route One Summer Farm Dinner You’ve been buying their insanely fresh produce for years now at farmers’ markets. Right? So now why not become more familiar with the gorgeous Waddell Creek farmlands of Route One Farms?