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Oct 01st
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The Ticker

Blogs - The Ticker

Kids Kick Off Coastal Cleanup Day

The socially-active students from Monarch Community School will be out on an all-day field trip on Friday, Sept. 24, when they travel to Seabright Beach to spend the day cleaning and restoring the local beach. The beach cleanup is the latest in a long list of environmental efforts made by the students from Monarch, an alternative elementary school. In 2008, students collected 2,300 pieces of plastic from Seabright Beach and conducted research about the impact of plastics on native wildlife.  They developed an exhibit and wrote to government and museum institutions to share their findings. This time, the eco-friendly K-6-ers will return to the shoreline as part of an effort to participate in a large international program sponsored by Ocean Conservancy called International Coastal Cleanup Day.  The official Santa Cruz cleanup day will be Saturday, Sept. 25, so the Monarch students cleans will jump-start the efforts. Every September, active members of the community from more than 100 different countries get together to clean their local beaches and collect data on the millions of pounds of trash they remove. For more information about Monarch School, visit monarch.santacruz.k12.ca.us, and for more information about the Santa Cruz Coastal Cleanup Day, visit site.

Blogs - The Ticker

Your Say on SmartMeters

PG&E’s SmartMeter devices have aroused many heated opinions among Santa Cruz residents—as Good Times learned first hand following our recent round table Q&A with a handful of key players in the debate. One of the most ubiquitous concerns was that PG&E was not communicating well with the general public. Well, concerned citizens take note: PG&E will be holding “open houses” aimed at educating about SmartMeters throughout the county over the next month. Take your questions and concerns to any or all of the following open house events: PG&E Payment Center in Capitola from 1 to 4 p.m. on Sept. 22; Ramsey Park Family Center in Watsonville from 4 to 7 p.m. on Sept. 30; and the Louden Nelson Community Center in Santa Cruz from 6 to 9 p.m. on Oct. 13. 

Blogs - The Ticker

Burning Man 2010

Burning Man 2010

This blog reviewed the 2010 Burning Man Festival.

September, 2010.  Black Rock Desert | Metropolis outside of the box - People go to Burning Man for a lot of reasons.  On the surface, a festive gathering of about 50,000 artistic souls in the remote desert seems like enough reason to go, but there is so much more.  This was my second trip to Black Rock City (BRC) for the annual burn.  The first trip was such a fiasco it’s amazing I had a desire to return.  In 2002, I traveled solo bringing only 20 pounds of hamburger and a hundred windchimes to meet up with friends there.  In the chaos of a spontaneous city, I was never able to find my group.  The food and chimes were traded for water and buns.  A memory, yes, but I was not prepared.

The 2010 burn was much different.  After connecting with the Santa Cruz Fire Dancing Conclave in early summer, I was invited to join the camp and perform fire safety duties during their performances.  Having a group to plan the journey and to camp with is the best way to make the burn work.

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Blogs - The Ticker

Goal Getters

After months of surveying and picking the brains of more than 3,000 local residents, the Santa Cruz County Community Assessment Project (CAP) has released the results for their five-year county goals. The set of goals for 2015 range from economic aims (such as “increase the percentage of economic activity with Santa Cruz County by 10 percent and “re-localize” 10 percent of our commuting workforce”) to hopes for the natural environment (including to “develop a local sustainable food system: all community members have access to affordable locally grown food produced in a sustainable manner that preserves farmland fertility”). The CAP has been helping set community goals since 1994, and now annually tracks and measures the progress of each goal. Visit santacruzcountycap.org for the complete list of 2015 goals. 

Blogs - The Ticker

Board of Supervisors Opposes Prop. 23

Ballot measures can be tricky to understand (it takes some skilled reading-between-the-lines), which is one reason it’s so handy to see who has endorsed or opposed a proposition. Last week, the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors thought it would make its position clear on Proposition 23: in a nutshell, that it’s a big step backward for the Golden State. Think of Prop. 23 as sort of the reversed AB 32; the latter was California’s clean air law that passed in 2006, setting greenhouse gas emission reduction goals for the state and implementing new accountability measures for polluters. Prop. 23 is backed by Texas oil companies and, in the words of a statement released by Supervisor Neal Coonerty, it “would roll back California’s clean energy and air pollution reduction standards.” 

Blogs - The Ticker

Paddle Star

Paddle Star

Ocean champion lands in Santa Cruz during her canoe trip from Seattle to San Diego
Margo Pellegrino is no ordinary ocean advocate. She recycles, she makes conscious consumer decisions, she teaches her kids about the environment. But, two months a year, she also hops in her outrigger canoe and sets off to sea—solo—to take long voyages along the American coastline.

The 43-year-old mother of two began her current journey, The Pacific Coast Paddle, in Seattle on July 3. She reached the California border in early August, and landed at the Santa Cruz Harbor this afternoon (Tuesday, Aug. 24). Aside from being an incredible feat of strength and will power, Pellegrino’s marathon paddles are meant to draw attention to threats facing the oceans. The main issues she hopes to raise awareness about are over-fishing, pollution, plastic debris, and acidification.

Tomorrow, Aug. 25, she’ll set off to paddle her way to Monterey. You can track her progress, and read about her experience (which has been as trying as it has been rewarding) on her blog, seattle2sandiego.com. The paddle is part of the Blue Frontier Campaign, and is sponsored by Ocean Champions.. Local support came from Santa Cruz Surfrider, The Clean Oceans Project, Save Our Shores, and more.

Blogs - The Ticker

(Almost) Under Construction

In the latest Highway 1 news, the Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commission (RTC) recently announced that they have taken over the role of Construction Manager for the Highway 1 Auxiliary Lanes Project, the project that will add an auxiliary lane (a ramp connecting the off ramp to the next on ramp) between Morrissey Boulevard and the Soquel interchange, “thereby extending the Highway 1/17 Interchange Merge Lanes project to the north side of Soquel Avenue,” said the RTC in an Aug. 19 release. They will work in conjunction with Caltrans, which owns the state highway system. Construction is set to begin next summer. 

Blogs - The Ticker

Local Boy Goes Global

Remember Kyle Thiermann, the young Santa Cruz surfer who made a splash with his Claim Your Change project? His video about banking locally went viral on the Internet, and inspired $110 million to be transferred into local banks. Well, he’s at it again—this time by traveling to Sri Lanka where he’ll visit garment factories, promote shopping locally, and, of course, ride some waves. Check out his new blog, kylethiermann.com, to keep tabs on his travels, to see the “Claim Your Change” video, or to view his new video, “BP, You, and Me,” about how “your money could be funding the BP oil spill through where you bank.”
Blogs - The Ticker

Taxi Driver Goes Green

Taxi Driver Goes Green

Meet Santa Cruz County’s first hybrid taxi driver
About eight weeks ago, Santa Cruz cabbie Michael Williams decided to follow the lead of major cities like New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles. He purchased a used Ford Escape Hybrid for use as the first hybrid taxi in Santa Cruz County. The investment, he says, is a step towards saving the environment, making taxi driving more efficient, and setting a positive example for major cab companies  like his employer, Yellow Cab. An independent cab company, Green Cab, already provides the town with eco-friendly biodiesel taxis, but Williams’ cab is unique in that it’s a hybrid.

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Blogs - The Ticker

Conserve & Report

SANTA CRUZ - In order to help large-scale water consumers, the City of Santa Cruz Water Conservation Office will now be providing monthly Water Use Reports to select customers—mostly businesses, schools, homeowners associations, city and county parks, golf courses and “other areas with large irrigated areas,” according to a July 29 press release. The new conservation program was launched in July and aims to help these big water users monitor their usage and costs, and, they hope, conserve more effectively.
 
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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

 

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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.”