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Aug 27th
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The Goat Alternative

The Goat Alternative

Graniterock uses goat grazing as a way to rehabilitate the environment and manage weeds

Graniterock, a Watsonville-based company that produces and distributes construction aggregates and supplies, has turned to a unique approach for habitat enhancement and weed management: goats.

Since September 2012, Graniterock has used goats for grazing at the Santa Cruz Sand Plant, located up Highway 1 across from the entrance of Wilder Ranch State Park. These goats have been grazing on tule grass for pond management, enabling a better breeding and living habitat for the endangered California Red-Legged Frog.

Alex Simmons, environmental specialist at Graniterock, developed the idea for using grazing goats as an alternative to weed management machinery. Simmons was looking at the equipment usage and wanted to find a low-cost alternative that was also nature-friendly.

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Blogs - The Ticker

Seven Things to Know About London Nelson

Seven Things to Know About London Nelson

No, that’s not a typo in the headline. The local historical figure and namesake for Louden Nelson Community Center was actually named London—not Louden—Nelson. Which brings us to the first of seven fascinating facts about the man, who was born 213 years ago this Sunday, May 5.

1. His name was London, but, starting in the 1930s, it appeared as Louden. In an April 2007 missive, local historian Phil Reader wrote, "One of the more perplexing and frustrating aspects of the London Nelson story is the constant misspelling of his given, or Christian name. Perplexing in that it is difficult to determine the origin of this mistake and frustrating because of the countless number of well-meaning people who continue to perpetuate and compound the original error." In his investigation into the matter, Reader found that all primary sources up until the 1930s correctly listed Nelson’s first name as London. But after that, it mysteriously shifted to Louden. The source may be the engraver of (or the person who gave the engraver the text for) a marble headstone, which read "Louden," that replaced the original wooden monument to Nelson. Reader concludes his memo with the following plea: "It is my hope that someday, someone will bring this mistake to the attention of those who can take the necessary steps to change all of the monuments and plaques so at last the true name of LONDON NELSON can take its rightful place of honor in our community."

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Blogs - The Ticker

Slugs Make Green Honor Roll

Slugs Make Green Honor Roll

The Princeton Review dubs UC Santa Cruz one of the greenest colleges in the country

Every year, The Princeton Review releases books like "The Best 377 Colleges" and "The Complete Book of Colleges" to provide a ranking system for colleges in the United States. In this year’s edition, UC Santa Cruz earned a position among 21 of the Review’s greenest colleges in the nation.

The finalists for the Green Honor Roll were chosen based on a 50-question survey given to four-year colleges in 2012. The survey asked about campus infrastructure, course offerings, career preparation, and activities, all in relation to the obligation of sustainability.

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Blogs - The Ticker

Keeping Santa Cruz Human

Keeping Santa Cruz Human

Community Safety and Compassion Forum covers topic of needles and drug use

Concerned members of the community nearly filled Santa Cruz High School’s theater on Wednesday, April 10 for the first in a series of “Santa Cruz Forums on Safety and Compassion” co-sponsored by local nonprofits, churches, and social service providers.

“One of the things that I love the most about living in a democratic society is our opportunity for discourse,” said Rev. Deborah L. Johnson, who moderated the event. “I truly believe that the more minds that come together, and the more opinions that we hear, the more likely we are to come up with very fine solutions.”

The event, titled “Drugs, Public Health, and Needle Exchange,” featured a varied panel that included two recovering drug addicts. The speakers provided their knowledge and insight into the realities of syringe exchange programs and drug addiction, in light of the burgeoning public outcry against used syringe needles showing up in parks and on beaches.

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Blogs - The Ticker

Alternative Church Faces Uncertain Future

Alternative Church Faces Uncertain Future

The Universal Church of Baba’s Kitchen faces a financial setback

When Alx Utterman and Jonathan Rosen returned to Boulder Creek in 2005 after living in India for five years, they felt an overwhelming desire to heal the needy through spiritual healing, and to share their knowledge with others through social work. As a result, Utterman and Rosen, who both moved to India to learn ancient miracle-healing techniques, created an alternative healing center in Bonny Doon called Universal Church of Baba’s Kitchen (UCBK). According to Utterman, they received formal recognition as a church from the IRS in 2007.

The name is a nod to Indian guru Sai Baba of Shridi. Utterman and friends were trying to decide on a name for their center, and informally suggested Baba’s Kitchen. At that moment, the guru’s photo, which was sitting on a nearby altar, fell off. They brushed it off, put the picture back on the altar, and further discussed the possibility of Baba’s Kitchen. Upon saying the guru’s name once more, the picture fell off the altar again. Utterman found this repeated incident to be more than coincidence, and settled on honoring Baba in the center’s name.

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Blogs - The Ticker

Students Develop Green Skills, New Pogonip Trail

Students Develop Green Skills, New Pogonip Trail

High school volunteers participate in a yearlong program dedicated to environmental job training

Many—particularly teenagers—find it difficult to wake up early on the weekends, but for 150 local high school students, recent Saturdays have been spent dedicating a total of 700 hours of manual labor to learn environmental stewardship.

These youth are volunteers through the Earth Stewards Program, which began in October 2012 and is a partnership between the City of Santa Cruz and the Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History.

The volunteers, who include students from Kirby and Ponderosa high schools, improve parks through trail development while receiving green job training. For the first project in the Earth Stewards Program, they are assisting with construction of the multi-use Emma McCrary Trail in Pogonip.

The idea for the 1.5-mile trail was born about four years ago, and construction began last spring, once the community support, donations and permits had been acquired, according to Heather Reiter, the chief ranger for the Santa Cruz Parks and Recreation Department.

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Blogs - The Ticker

O’Neill Legacy Memorialized

O’Neill Legacy Memorialized

Mural and plaque honor the original Santa Cruz O’Neill surf shop

When Jack O’Neill opened his first surf shop in Santa Cruz, in 1959, he had no idea just how famous his brand would eventually become.

The shop, which originally opened in San Francisco in 1952, relocated to near Cowell Beach where it had a profound impact on the surfing culture in Santa Cruz County.

O’Neill invented neoprene wetsuits, which allowed surfers to brave the icy cold waters of Santa Cruz. Wetsuits revolutionized the sport of surfing, as well as the Santa Cruz economy.

“A global industry grew from that small family-run storefront,” says Crystal Birns, the city arts program manager for economic development in Santa Cruz. “The business grew steadily, earning global recognition as a pioneer and leader in the world of surfing.”

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Blogs - The Ticker

Mobile Home Park Residents Revisit Old Wound

Mobile Home Park Residents Revisit Old Wound

Quiet desperation roared at full volume at recent mobile home park rent control symposium

In the almost cartoonish paradise of De Anza Mobile Home Park, with its colorful array of manufactured homes mortared together with flower gardens and draping foliage, birds chirping in the globular trees, and panoramic ocean views one would expect nothing but senior citizens smiling as they take a stroll of the grounds. To the contrary, however, there is a deep despondence that lives within the community.

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Blogs - The Ticker

International Women’s Day Events

International Women’s Day Events

Tomorrow, Friday, March 8, is International Women’s Day—an annual day for recognizing and showing respect for women’s achievements in society and the many struggles they face. Here is a round up of local events to take note of this International Women’s Day.

Thanks to one local woman, Regal Cinemas Santa Cruz 9 Theater will be screening the documentary Girl Rising tonight, March 7. Michelle DeFields-Gambrel brought the film, which portrays nine girls from around the world who achieve their dreams in the hardest of situations, to town with help from two local organizations, Rising International and Firelight Foundation. The film focuses on just how powerful education can be, especially in terms of ending poverty and changing the world through girls’ progression.

The first showing of the film has sold out, with 250 seats filled. The film will be shown again on Monday, March 11, although, as of this writing, all of the 230 reservations for the public have been filled.

The Rally and March to Resist Rape Culture will be held at noon on Friday, March 8 at Quarry Plaza on the UC Santa Cruz campus, and at 1:30 p.m. at the Clocktower in Downtown Santa Cruz. This event, organized by F-WORD (Feminists Working on Real Democracy), intends to involve the community in the ending of the acceptance of rape culture.

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Blogs - The Ticker

Walnut Commons Breaks Ground

Walnut Commons Breaks Ground

Cohousing project begins construction in Downtown Santa Cruz

After the recent murders of two Santa Cruz police officers, the builders and future members of Walnut Commons thought about moving their groundbreaking ceremony to a later date, but instead decided to acknowledge the tragedy and stick with their plans.

“It’s so important that we do proceed, because one of the things that is going to get us through this very difficult time is community, and this project is all about community,” Santa Cruz City Councilman Don Lane said at the groundbreaking.

With the recent approval of a loan from Santa Cruz County Bank, construction for the Walnut Commons Cohousing project, a unique residential complex located at the corner of Walnut Avenue and Center Street in Downtown Santa Cruz, begins this week. Project engineers hope to have the building completed by early 2014.

Walnut Commons will contain three stories with 19 independent units, as well as a 3,000 square-foot common area with a kitchen, dining room, entertainment center, and recreational space for all residents to use. Most of the units have been filled, but six remain.

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Entering Virgo

Sun entering Virgo brings a sign and element change, from Leo’s fire to Virgo’s practical earth. Food, health, grains, service and small animals are in the news and on our minds. It’s one month till autumn. Pumpkins and persimmons are ripening. Venus is in Leo. We radiate warmth; we’re generous, playful and affectionate. Everyone shows off in an ardent, passionate, warm-hearted, romantic and over-dramatic way, reflecting Leo’s fiery nature. Think of life as Shakespeare wrote: life is a play, we are its actors on the same stage together.

 

Final Cut

Cedar Street Video to close after 10 years at downtown location

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of August 22

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >

 

Back to Silicon Beach

With a new wave of startups, the future of Santa Cruz tech looks more promising than ever
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How should Santa Cruz develop downtown around the San Lorenzo River?

Santa Cruz | Artist/Show Promoter

 

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

 

Clowning Around With Armitage Chardonnay

Four of us headed to Brandon Armitage’s new tasting room in Aptos Village recently to try his well-made wines.

 

Locavores Only

Farm dinners at Route 1 Farms and the Homeless Garden Project expand the revolution