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Oct 02nd
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Impressions from Zuccotti Park

Impressions from Zuccotti Park

FRESH DIRT > Good Times visits Occupy Wall Street in New York

The mood at Zuccotti Park on Thursday, Nov. 3 was contemplative and somewhat somber. I checked out the Occupy Wall Street protest while on a recent trip to New York, and was struck by how surreal the whole thing was. Organized chaos might be the best way to describe it. Powerful organized chaos.

The park is packed—not a square foot of empty space, it seemed—and looks like an impenetrable sea of tents and tarps. Each tent, pushed up against more tents on all sides, has a piece of paper tacked on that lists whether the tent is being occupied, and by how many people. The tent city is punctuated by service stations—a makeshift cafeteria, medic tent, press booth, library, and so on. Small groups of people are scattered throughout, playing guitars, giving interviews, passing out flyers, requesting donations, and engaging in discussions about everything from the dangers of fracking to the Bradley Manning case. A large group of high school students on a field trip snake their way through the maze, their teacher leading the way. A few dozen people sit in meditative silence around The Tree of Life, a small London Plane tree that has become a spiritual center for the protestors. An altar of candles, prayer flags, offerings, and pictures envelops the tree.

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Blogs - The Ticker

Protesting Pooches

Protesting Pooches

FRESH DIRT > Dogs join the ranks at Occupy Santa Cruz

Dogs have become a common sight at Occupy demonstrations all over the country, and Santa Cruz is no exception. As the number of supporters in front of the Santa Cruz Courthouse has grown, so too has the canine population at the tent encampment in San Lorenzo Park.

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Blogs - The Ticker

Computer Equipment & IT Support Giveaway for Nonprofits

Watsonville - RV’s Computers Inc in Watsonville is ringing in its 13th anniversary year with a giveaway to benefit the community. The contest is open to nonprofits in Santa Cruz, Monterey, or San Benito County, and will award one lucky organization with $1,300 in computer equipment and IT support. To enter, nonprofits must provide 13 reasons why they are in need of IT support and computer equipment, and a photo of their staff. Submissions will be accepted Nov. 15-Dec. 15, with the winner announced on Dec. 19. All questions and submissions should be sent to [email protected] Good luck!

Blogs - The Ticker

Theatre for a Cause

Theatre for a Cause

FRESH DIRT > Occupy Santa Cruz protestors get creative

The scene outside of the Chase Bank on 41st Avenue in Capitola is a familiar one these days. As customers rushed in and out of the branch on Friday, Nov. 4, Occupy Santa Cruz protestors tried to communicate their message of frustration and a call for change. But the protestors have shown a departure from their usual tactics with a public display of performance art.

The protestors sound like the ones posted up at cities around the country: they cry out against so-called “big banks” and perceived corporate greed. But in Santa Cruz, Occupy protestors are getting creative with their message.

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Going the Extra Mile

Going the Extra MileFRESH DIRT > Santa Cruz Mayor Ryan Coonerty has declared Tuesday, Nov. 1 Extra Mile Day, along with more than 200 mayors in cities all across the country. This is the second consecutive year that U.S. cities have participated in Extra Mile Day, which was established by the Extra Mile America Foundation.
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Blogs - The Ticker

Sea Change with Plastic?

Sea Change with Plastic?

FRESH DIRT > GT checks in with local nonprofit The Clean Oceans Project

The oceans are polluted with plastic, and at least one local group is trying to do something about it. The Clean Oceans Project (TCOP) aims to make our plastic-filled waterways a thing of the past by creating a market for the waste. Using technology that seems right out of a science-fiction movie, TCOP hopes to equip ships with the power to convert plastic into petroleum right at sea.

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Blogs - The Ticker

Saying No to GMO

Saying No to GMO

FRESH DIRT > Jeffrey Smith pushes for GMO labeling

Genetically Modified foods have been circulated within the United States since the early 1990s. The six largest Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) crops are soy, corn, canola, cotton, sugar beets, and alfalfa. Each of these crops has been genetically modified, with bacterial genes, to allow the plants to survive doses of weed killer. The second most common trait is a built-in pesticide, gained from the soil bacteria Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt), which secretes the insect killing Bt-toxin in every cell.
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Blogs - The Ticker

A Call for Green Jobs

A Call for Green Jobs

FRESH DIRT > On Wednesday, Oct. 19, local community leaders and elected officials promoted green job creation at the Live Oak Family Resource Center, which recently became the 10,000th LEED-certified commercial building in the nation. Labor and environmental activists, as well as members of the community, also gathered at the resource center to celebrate the work that has been done and to drum up support for future endeavors.

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Blogs - The Ticker

West Nile Discoveries

West Nile Discoveries

SLUG REPORT > UC Santa Cruz professor publishes West Nile findings

West Nile Virus came to the United States in 1999, originally appearing in New York and quickly spreading throughout North, South, and Central America. The reason for the  quick spread of the disease has been attributed to the fact that the virus harbors itself in mosquitoes and birds, two species that humans have a surprising amount of contact with. In many cases, the increase of deaths in the local bird population is a large indicator of West Nile within a community.

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Blogs - The Ticker

Documenting a Movement

Documenting a MovementLocal filmmaker makes video about Occupy Santa Cruz

"I really tried to capture something more than just 'Join the rally, everyone come march!'" local filmmaker Jesse Clark, 24, says about his Occupy Santa Cruz video. "[I wanted to ask] 'Well, what are we marching for?'" Clark shot the video at the group's Wednesday, Oct. 12 "Corporate Ball"-themed march on Downtown Santa Cruz. The local protests, which are an offshoot of the Occupy Wall Street movement, resonated with Clark, who showed his support by making the video. "This is my way of applying my skill set to the issue," he says. For others looking to make a statement, Clark points to the upcoming "Transfer Day" on Saturday, Nov. 5.

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On the Waterfront

As the wharf celebrates its centennial, a personal reflection on its essential place in Santa Cruz’s history

 

Rosh Hashanah

Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, occurs this year during Libra, the sign of creating right relations with all aspects life and with earth’s kingdoms. We contemplate (the Libra meditation) forgiveness, which means, “to give for another.” Forgiveness is not pardon. It’s a sacrifice (fire in the heart, giving from the heart). Forgiveness is giving up for the good of the other. This is the law of evolution (the path of return).

 

The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of September 26

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >
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Melinda’s

New Capitola bakery takes gluten-free goods to the next level

 

Do you think you are addicted to technology?

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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

 

Apricot Wine for Dessert

Thomas Kruse Winery, a participant in the new Santa Clara Wine Trail, has been around for a long time—since 1971, to be exact. When our little group arrived to try some wine at the Kruses’ low-key tasting room, Thomas Kruse and his wife Karen were there to greet us. Theirs is a small operation, and they’re proud to offer quality wine at affordable prices. “Because we are small and low-tech, it’s easy to relate to the whole winemaking process,” says Karen—and the Kruses take pride in making wine “just like it has been made for centuries.”