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Jul 31st
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Love Gutter

Love GutterLocal band challenges Unreasonably Disturbing Noises Ordinance
If you haven’t seen Love Gutter, you’ve probably heard them pounding away on their homemade barrel drum in front of New Leaf at the corner of Soquel and Pacific Avenues. For six years, street performers Brent Adams and Wireless have attempted to provide a heart-thumping soundtrack to downtown life amidst the slew of heavily enforced noise ordinances. Wednesday, the duo prepared to brave the waves of law enforcement officials and play their music anyway, as a means of objecting to what they perceive as the unfair use of the Unreasonably Disturbing Noises Ordinance. “Any kind of art that is frustrated by law or injustice, isn’t pure art,” says Wireless, who drums on kitchen pots using gardening gloves with safety pins at the fingertips. While the two are well versed in the ordinances and know they can only play for an hour in certain places and only at certain times, a single complaint about Love Gutter can cost them a $450 ticket.
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Blogs - The Ticker

Star Spangled Beach Cleanup

When the hot dogs have long since been grilled and the fireworks have died down, our local beaches are left with a big, ugly reminder of the Fourth of July: insurmountable amounts of trash. That’s why Save Our Shores and other sponsors like The Clean Ocean Project are hosting the Star Spangled Beach Cleanup on July 5—a mammoth cleanup effort where Cruzans can really show their stars and stripes by keeping the county’s sand and sea trash-free. Volunteers are needed from 7 to 10 a.m. at Twin Lakes, Seacliff/Rio Del Mar, Seabright, Davenport, and Panther beaches. Last year, 150 volunteers armed with 1,200 trash and recycle bags participated in cleaning the five beaches. With their help, and that of state park maintenance and Green Waste crews throughout the following week, a total of 12,500 pounds of trash was collected from the beaches (they amassed 14,000 pounds in 2007).

Blogs - The Ticker

Hands Across the Sand

Hands Across the Sand

Santa Cruz joins in symbolic gesture opposing offshore oil drilling
On Saturday, June 26, Santa Cruzans joined hands at Main and Cowell beaches as part of a national, peaceful protest against near- and offshore oil drilling. Sparked by the oil spill in the Gulf Coast, the event was organized and sponsored by nonprofit Hands Across the Sand (handsacrossthesand.com), and had local support from Save our Shores and the Surfrider Foundation. Local ocean conservationist Lea Haratani, who will be featured in the Thursday, July 1 issue of Good Times, wrote the following poem for the occasion:

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Blogs - The Ticker

California Schools Receive $415 Million for Improvement

On Thursday, June 24, Secretary of Education Arne Duncan announced that California will receive $415,844,376 to improve its Tier I and Tier II schools, which are defined as the “persistently lowest-achieving” schools in the state. The funds are the latest from the School Improvement Grants program, a part of the stimulus bill. Santa Cruz County has five schools that fall under Tier I and Tier II; Monterey County has 11, and San Benito County has one. School districts will be applying for their share. “We owe it to our children to give them every chance possible to get a good education,” says Rep. Sam Farr (D-Carmel). “And we owe it to our schools to provide the resources for that mission.”
Blogs - The Ticker

Santa Cruz Houses Homeless Veterans

Santa Cruz County was recently awarded with 25 rental vouchers for homeless veterans from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and will be able to house as many as 60 homeless veterans. The voucher program is part of the $75 million nationwide initiative to assist homeless veterans. Similar to the federal Section 8 housing choice program, eligible veterans rent a market-rate rental unit with 30 percent of their gross monthly income, and the Housing Authority pays the remainder. “Though they served and sacrificed so much for our country, too many of our veterans find themselves on the streets and in homeless shelters,” said Shaun Donovan, HUD Secretary.
Blogs - The Ticker

The Gaiety of Farming

The Gaiety of Farming

UCSC farm presents 2nd annual Queer Farmer Field Day on June 19
With the raucous annual Pride Parade just around the corner in San Francisco, UC Santa Cruz queer students are preparing for a very different celebration: the 2nd annual Queer Farmer Field Day. Because while risqué costume parades and inebriated dance parties are all good and well, the Queer Farmer Field Day celebrates community in quite a different way.

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Blogs - The Ticker

Santa Cruz Houses Homeless Veterans

Santa Cruz County was recently awarded with 25 rental vouchers for homeless veterans from the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD), and will be able to house as many as 60 homeless veterans. The voucher program is part of the $75 million nationwide initiative to assist homeless veterans. Similar to the federal Section 8 housing choice program, eligible veterans rent a market-rate rental unit with 30 percent of their gross monthly income, and the Housing Authority pays the remainder. “Though they served and sacrificed so much for our country, too many of our veterans find themselves on the streets and in homeless shelters,” said Shaun Donovan, HUD Secretary.
Blogs - The Ticker

Angry About the BP Oil Spill?

With 100 million-plus gallons of oil spewed into the Gulf so far, who wouldn’t be? Santa Cruz may be quite a ways from the Gulf Coast, but that doesn’t mean residents can’t do something about it. As we approach 60 days since the BP rig exploded, here are some tips for getting your voice heard: Join Hands Across the Sand in a global protest against Big Oil on Saturday, June 26. Locally, the event will be at Cowell and Main beaches beginning at 11 a.m. (Visit handsacrossthesand.org for more information.) Organize your own event or fundraiser, or write to our federal representative, 17th District Congressman Sam Farr, or to the president (there’s a template on the Sierra Club’s site, beyondoil.com).

Blogs - The Ticker

A Good Day for the Oceans

The House of Representatives passed a resolution on June 9 recognizing June 8 as World Ocean Day. The resolution, authored by 17th District Congressman Sam Farr, codifies official opinion of the house on the direct link of climate change to the oceans and the need for policies supporting ecosystem-based management. Following the passage, Farr released a statement heralding the event as a good step on the path towards national ocean policy, but highlighted the need for comprehensive federal legislation at a time when over fishing, ocean acidification and the gulf disaster threaten the health and stability of the oceans for generations. “I truly hope we won’t have to wait much longer for action,” says Farr. “I call on the president to step up to the plate and display leadership on this vital issue.”
Blogs - The Ticker

Pedaling with Purpose

Pedaling with Purpose

Local cyclists raise money to help fight diabetes

I don’t know about you, but I’m not a huge fan of diabetes.

In fact, I’d go so far as to say I am staunchly anti-diabetes. Not only has its prevalence doubled in the last 10 years, costing about $174 billion in direct and indirect costs, but diabetes also ranks as the seventh leading cause of death in the United States. Worldwide, diabetes affects some 246 million people, and that number is projected to climb to 380 million by 2025. Shortly put, diabetes is a pretty big problem. Luckily for all those opposed to Diabetes mellitus, a team of Santa Cruz and Scott Valley cyclists, Team OTC, has raised almost $12,000 in the last three weeks for the Tour de Cure benefit ride to fund the fight against diabetes.

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Cedar Street Video to close after 10 years at downtown location

 

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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

 

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