FRESH DIRT > Local group demonstrates against SmartMeters in Santa Cruz County
On Friday, July 10 roughly 16 protesters gathered for an early morning rally against SmartMeters being installed in Santa Cruz County in front of a private corporate yard on 38th Avenue and Portola Drive. The yard harbored numerous Wellington trucks used to install the meters. StopSmartMeters! has been active for more than a year now and, in light of the recent installations that violate the county ordinance against SmartMeters, have stepped up their efforts.
SLUG REPORT > Websites like Facebook and Twitter have become a part of daily life for many people—social media is used to connect with others, document lives, and arrange social calendars. But UC Santa Cruz film and digital media associate professor Warren Sack is joining forces with two professors from UC Berkeley to see if social media can be used for more than just tagging and poking.
FRESH DIRT > Fourth of July, Santa Cruz style
Monday’s Fourth of July celebrations could be heard throughout the streets of Santa Cruz as firecrackers banged and boomed all day. Barbecue, music, and traffic also defined the day as locals and tourists attempted to make their way around town to parties, beaches, or the boardwalk. The Santa Cruz Police Department (SCPD), too, remained busy as they responded to calls and maintained order throughout the city.
FRESH DIRT > Hundreds participate in post-Independence Day beach clean up
Fourth of July: a day for barbeques, swimming, fireworks—and pollution.Save Our Shores, a Santa Cruz nonprofit dedicated to caring for the ocean, reported that a total of 1,657 pounds of pollution was left on 11 different beaches in Santa Cruz and Monterey counties yesterday. Seabright Beach in Santa Cruz was in the worst condition of them all.
Acting off of tips from neighboring residents, the Santa Cruz Police Department Street Crimes Unit obtained a marijuana cultivation search warrant and searched Good Guys Diesel and Bio-Mechanics on Thursday, June 30. Inside they found a “full-scale, illegal marijuana cultivation operation,” and confiscated 100 marijuana plants and 20 pounds of harvested ganja. They believe the space had the potential for a much larger operation and that they caught the growers in mid-harvest. In a June 30 press release, the SCPD reported that officers were still looking for the business owner and plan to investigate the business’ financial records.
FRESH DIRT > A new way to travel between downtown and the beachThe City of Santa Cruz has recently adopted a new member into its public transportation family: a 1930’s-style replica trolley. It is hard for people to miss if they are anywhere between the classic Del Mar Theater and the Wharf, because it is the only vehicle of its kind in town. Sporting a green exterior with real wood trim, this classic ride is starting to transport locals and tourists around in style to the key destinations in town.
If you’re heading to the beach this Fourth of July, take note of the following restrictions being put in place by the Santa Cruz Police Department: vehicular access to the Seabright area will be cut off for non-residents and patrons of Chardonnay Sailing Charters and Aldo’s Restaurant between 7 p.m. and midnight (bicycle and pedestrian access will remain unrestricted). The Murray Street Bridge will be closed between Seabright and 7th avenues; all roads south of East Cliff Drive between Buena Vista Avenue and the Yacht Harbor will be closed; as will Eastbound East Cliff Drive at Ocean Street. You can also expect detours on Southbound Ocean Street, Eastbound San Lorenzo Boulevard, Southbound Buena Vista Avenue, Southbound Seabright Avenue and Westbound Hiawatha.
Randall Grahm has been busy building wine culture in Santa Cruz ever since he founded Bonny Doon Vineyard in 1983, in which time he has pioneered Rhone blends, popularized funky, irreverent label designs, and “made the world safe for screw tops” on nice wines. It was for these reasons and oh-so-many more that, just last week, the California Travel Association named Bonny Doon the 2011 Winery of the Year. I recently sat down with Grahm over a glass of freshly bottled Le Cigare Volant (their flagship wine, for those of you who have yet to enter The Dooniverse) to discuss everything from biochar (he swears “it’ll save the world”) to the new wine scene on Santa Cruz’s Westside. Pour yourself a glass, read on, and enjoy.
The damages suffered by Santa Cruz County as a result of the heavy storming and flooding this past March have yet to be funded and alleviated. A lack of reserve funds and a whopping $1.5 million in damages for Capitola alone and upwards of $17 million countywide have left our region, and other affected areas in California, seeking federal aid.