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Apr 15th
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The Ticker

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More Pioneer Women

More Pioneer Women

We continue in the theme of this week's cover story, 'Pioneer Women,' with two more profiles of local female change-makers 

Rising International
Carmel Jud knows a thing or two about following dreams. In 2003, when the global plight of women became too important of a cause to her, the local abandoned a promising advertising career in order to establish the Santa Cruz-based nonprofit Rising International. The organization seeks to empower women around the world by selling their handmade crafts at home shopping parties reminiscent of those held by companies like Avon. Since its launch, Rising International has helped homeless women, women with AIDS, and human trafficking survivors in more than 45 countries.

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The Great Debate

The Great Debate

SANTA CRUZ > Local debate explores whether public employees should be paid less

Santa Cruz has entered the debate on California’s budget deficits, and the Santa Barbara-based California Center for Public Policy (CCPP) is proposing a solution that some people may not agree with: reducing public employee compensation.

The CCPP, a libertarian think tank, organized a “Great Debate” on the subject as part of a statewide campaign to draw attention to the issue. The debate was held at the Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History on Tuesday, March 13 and was the first of seven debates in cities across California.

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Protecting the Home Front

Protecting the Home Front

SANTA CRUZ > Real estate agent lobbies for struggling local families

Barbara Palmer, president of the Santa Cruz County Association of Realtors, met with 28 out of the 55 U.S. Representatives from California, as well as Treasury and Federal Housing Finance Agency executives on five separate trips to Washington D.C. last year. Lobbying on behalf of cash-strapped homeowners and the statewide realtors association, Palmer emphasized the devastating impacts of foreclosures on families and neighborhoods.  

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Battle of the Bags

Battle of the BagsSLUG REPORT > Students push for local cities to ban plastic bags

UC Santa Cruz students are joining the fight to ban plastic bags in Santa Cruz. The campus chapter of the California Public Interest Research Group, or CALPIRG, staged a demonstration in Quarry Plaza on the UCSC campus on Wednesday, March 7. The students gave a brief presentation and handed out literature to people passing through the bustling plaza. The demonstration included a six-foot-tall board covered with bags to illustrate the 380 plastic grocery bags used in California every second.

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Caffe Lucio Fundraises for Local Child

A month ago, 7-year-old Ishmael Gomez went to sleep with his eyesight and woke up without it. The sudden loss of his sight remains a mystery for Ishmael, who is currently at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital at the Stanford Medical Center, and his family.  “He was an absolutely normal kid—normal as normal comes—until one Tuesday morning he woke up and could not see anything,” Caffe Lucio owner Lucio Fanni writes to GT in an email. Ishmael’s father, Joel Gomez, has worked at Caffe Lucio for five years. The restaurant will host a fundraiser on Thursday, March 8, when 25 percent of all sales will go to the Gomez family. “This has been a great hardship on [the] Gomez family and a real medical mystery,” says Lucio. “I am inviting everyone to come in ... for a good cause.” Caffe Lucio, 381 Soquel Ave., 427-0164, caffelucio.com.

Blogs - The Ticker

Water Talks

Water Talks

SANTA CRUZ > City council approves UCSC water expansion policy

On Tuesday, Feb. 28, the Santa Cruz City Council unanimously passed a water expansion measure for UC Santa Cruz that would enable the university to not have to pay for water conservation measures that would offset water growth demand until they reach a baseline of 206 million gallons a year. This baseline number is based off of the water demand from 1997.

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Spreading the Medicine

While billions of dollars worth of medicine and supplies go unused each year, more Americans are going without prescription drugs because of costs. Sen. Joe Simitian, whose district includes Santa Cruz, recently unveiled a new piece of legislation that would make it easier for surplus prescription drugs and supplies to be redistributed in California. “Instead of throwing out perfectly good medicine, or worse, dumping it into our water supply, this bill will allow us to get it into the hands of people who need it the most,” Simitian said in a Feb. 24 press release. The bill, Senate Bill 1329, expands upon Senate Bill 798, which was also authored by Simitian and which passed in 2005, allowing counties to spearhead redistribution efforts. “At a time when the state and counties are strapped, and many Californians are struggling, this gets drugs that would otherwise be wasted to the people who really need them,” Simitian said. “It’s a clear win-win.” 

Blogs - The Ticker

One Day and Every Day

One Day and Every Day

SANTA CRUZ > Silent auction fundraiser kicks off Project Homeless Connect

“I am not a miracle—I am a product of people’s generosity,” Stephen Nelson told a crowd of about 60 people at the Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History on Thursday, Feb 23.

Nelson, who once homeless and struggled with addiction, came to Santa Cruz almost eight years ago, and today he works with the Homeless Service Center to provide services to people who now face the difficulties he once struggled with.  Nelson spoke to the crowd as part of a charity fundraiser benefitting Project Homeless Connect, a one-day event that aims to provide necessary services to Santa Cruz’s homeless population.

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On the Road

On the Road

APTOS > Afghan orphans stop in Aptos on a nation-wide road trip

Six Afghan orphans, aged 11 to 17, spent a night in Aptos on Thursday, Feb. 23. Their visit was one of many stops on a road trip across the United States sponsored by their orphanage in Kabul. They left for San Francisco today, Friday, Feb. 24, to see the Golden Gate Bridge.

The six kids and their two adult teachers, Nasrin Sultani, an Afghan national, and American Ian Pounds, have been on the road in a 32-foot RV since Jan. 7, starting out in Boston and taking the southern route through New Orleans, Texas and Arizona.  

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Amgen, Again

Amgen, Again

The Amgen Tour of California will once again feature a finishing line in Santa Cruz County this year. Stage two of the 2012 bicycle race, to be held on May 14, will start in San Francisco’s Marina District and wrap up at Cabrillo College in Aptos. In between, cyclists will pedal south for 117 miles, first on Highway 1 and then through Bonny Doon. Marketing Director Albert Saporta says the racers could be whizzing into Aptos between 3:15 and 4:30 p.m., weather permitting. “With only 8,000 feet of elevation gain over 117 miles, this stage will be fast,” Saporta says. “That means a sprint finish will probably be the order of the day, with speeds hitting 30 to 40 [miles per hour] running down Soquel Drive from Soquel to Cabrillo College.” Keeps tabs on the event at amgentourofcalifornia.com or on Facebook.

 
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Aries Solar Festival

Sunday is Palm Sunday. Symbolizing victory and triumph, paradise, sacrifice and martyrdom, the Pisces World Teacher entered Jerusalem (City of Peace) on a donkey (signifying humility).

 

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.

 

Animal Magnetism

Bear, mouse dare to be friends in charming ‘Ernest and Celestine’ It’s not exactly Romeo and Juliet. It’s not even a romance, although it is a love story about two individuals separated by prejudice who find the courage to form an unshakable bond despite the rules and traditions that keep them apart.

 

Printer's Devil

Iconic editor Buz Bezore, who died last month at the age of 68, left a huge mark on Santa Cruz journalism   Eventually, it’s all a blur. You live long enough, and maybe a little too hard at times, so that when you hit the rewind button of faded memory, it moves so fast that you can hardly sort and gather the details. One scene skips to the next, and to the next, without proper editing or sequencing. Chronologies get distorted. Which came first: stealing the chickens or coloring the eggs?
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Foodie File: Yan Flower

Yan Belleville has owned Yan Flower, an affordable Chinese restaurant in Downtown Santa Cruz, with her husband Raymond for eight years, and it’s a family affair. Her brother, sister, sister-in-law, and cousins work there too. Locals know the joint for its massive lunch specials starting at $4.

 

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

 

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

 

Comanche Cellars

Pinot Noir 2010 I first tasted Comanche Cellars Pinot when a friend brought a bottle to share over lunch at Center Street Grill in Santa Cruz. Upon trying it, I knew I had to find out more about it.