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Apr 18th
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Grad Students Rethink Teaching Science

Grad Students Rethink Teaching ScienceUCSC graduate training program is awarded $2.1 million by the NSF
The National Science Foundation has awarded a team at UC Santa Cruz a $2.1 million dollar grant to create a graduate training program aimed at teaching environmental science graduate students how to become effective communicators of science with non-scientists.

The program, known as SCWIBLES (Santa Cruz-Watsonville Inquiry-Based Learning in Environmental Sciences), will facilitate a partnership between UCSC grad students and Watsonville area high school teachers in developing and implementing a set of curriculum emphasizing engagement and application of science, rather than just the theory.
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Blogs - The Ticker

Students Make Waves Over Spring Break

Students Make Waves Over Spring Break

CALPIRG students travel the coast to ban Styrofoam
This spring break, 50 California Student Public Interest Research Group (CALPIRG) students took to the beach to draw attention to plastic pollution and to encourage banning polystyrene. The “Wave of Change” tour kicked off Sunday, March 21 with a beach cleanup at San Diego’s Ocean Beach Pier, and will end in Sacramento this Thursday, March 25.

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Daryl Hannah looks under the environmental hood

Daryl Hannah looks under the environmental hood

Hang tight, diehard Cruzans! There may be even a better use for mushrooms—fuel.

All this according to environmental priestess Daryl Hannah. True, using vegetables as a fuel source may sound so very Bonnie Raitt circa 2004, but the topic wasn’t the only thing the popular actress-activist had on her mind during a quick venture into Santa Cruz late Tuesday afternoon. She and other local eco-patriots—well, she actually dislikes the term “eco”—were on hand to discuss the greening of the auto industry on Community TV’s thought-provoking outing, “Eco Review.”  At the top of the list: Ethanol.

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Teen Drinking is on the Rise

Binge drinking among 7th and 9th graders at Santa Cruz County schools is increasing, according to data released by the 2009 Santa Cruz County California Healthy Kids Survey. “The increase in binge drinking amongst 7th and 9th graders is particularly troubling and suggests a likelihood of developing further troubles down the road,” said Bill Manov, director of alcohol and drug programs at the Santa Cruz Health Services Agency, in a March press release. Parents, students and educators will gather for a Town Hall event to address ways to help solve this problem on Wednesday, March 24 from 6 p.m. - 7 p.m. at Del Mar Elementary School.
Blogs - The Ticker

Old Building, New Tricks

The new owners of the old Sentinel building in Downtown Santa Cruz broke ground on their renovation of the property this morning, Friday, March 19, before a sizeable crowd of interested Cruzans. The iconic building (albeit retro in appearance—and not necessarily in a good way), located on the corner of Cedar and Church Streets, will now be home to Cruzio, Ecology Action and Appenrodt Commercial Properties. Representatives from these companies and from the City of Santa Cruz spoke at the groundbreaking ceremony, where a door was painted to symbolize the commencement of renovations, and interior tours were offered. The building will be “green” following renovations that include installing solar panels on the roof, installing ample bike parking for employees, and using reused, recycled and renewable building materials for all construction purposes. An Ecology Action representative said the effort will be “transforming the classic Santa Cruz landmark into a green and high-tech center for the future.”
Blogs - The Ticker

How to Blow Up an Asteroid Heading Toward Earth

How to Blow Up an Asteroid Heading Toward Earth

Imagine this: an asteroid is on a collision course with Earth. Not good. Now imagine that we’re able to blow it up, but it re-forms in, say, a few hours. Not good at all.

The latter is what Don Korycansky of the University of California, Santa Cruz, and Catherine Plesko of the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico discuss in their paper, “Re-aggregation times of potentially hazardous object fragments after a hazard mitigation impulse.”

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Getting a Grip on Gangs

Government officials are still working hard to cut community violence in the City of Watsonville, but they have recently been given a helping hand. The governor’s office is providing the city with $382,639 over two years to help them tackle the problem of gang violence head on. The city has partnered with the Pajaro Valley Unified School District, Pajaro Valley Prevention and Student Assistance, and Santa Cruz County Office of Education. Together, they hope to increase prevention among youths, as well as felony and weapon related arrests. They also aim reduce gang motivated arrests by 15 percent and middle school alcohol consumption by 35 percent.

Blogs - The Ticker

Is desalination in our future?

Is desalination in our future?

Special for the Good Times Newsweekly
Forum Thursday to explore the issue.
Live Oak Elementary School, Thursday, March 18 at 6:15

Despite the fact that we’re in a so-called “El Niño” year, drought, population growth and fear of saltwater intrusion continue to impact water supply in Santa Cruz County.

To address supply concerns, the Santa Cruz Water Department and Soquel Creek Water District are seriously considering a plan to build a desalination plant, to serve Santa Cruz and Live Oak residents in dry years, and Soquel District customers in all other years. Soquel District wants to reduce pumping from the aquifer, which they report is in danger of seawater contamination from over-pumping.

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Santa Cruz Gets Stoned

A March 12, 2010 press release from the Santa Cruz County Sheriff-Coroner reported that the Sheriff’s Office has investigated “over 70 cases involving vandals throwing rocks through windows of cars, residences and commercial buildings” and urges anyone with relevant information to call the Sheriff’s Office. Damages from the vandalism total over $100,000. The Sheriff’s Office is offering a $1,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and successful prosecution of the suspects.
Blogs - The Ticker

The Norse Factor

In case you haven’t already heard, longtime local pot-stirrer Robert Norse was granted a re-hearing of the City of Santa Cruz vs. Norse case when an 11-judge panel of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco announced Friday, March 12 that they will grant another look. Norse originally filed suit in 2002 for unnecessary arrest following his removal from a city council meeting for making a silent Nazi salute to then-Mayor Christopher Krohn. The case was dismissed by a federal judge, whose decision was backed up by a three-judge panel at the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals last November. A video of Norse’s 2002 council meeting arrest is available on YouTube.

 
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Growing Hope

Campos Seguros combats sexual assault in the Watsonville farmworker community Farm work was a way of life for Rocio Camargo, who grew up in Watsonville as the daughter of Mexican immigrants. Her parents met while working the fields 30 years ago, and her father went on to run Fuentes Berry Farms.

 

Cardinal Grand Cross in the Sky

Following Holy Week (passion, death and burial of the Pisces World Teacher) and Easter Sunday (Resurrection Festival), from April 19 to the 23, the long-awaited and discussed Cardinal Cross of Change appears in the sky, composed of Cardinal signs Aries, Libra, Cancer, and Capricorn, with planets (13-14 degrees) Uranus (in Aries), Jupiter (in Cancer), Mars (in Libra) and Pluto (in Capricorn), an actual geometrical square or cross configuration. Cardinal signs mark the seasons of change, initiating new realities.

 

Sugar: The New Tobacco?

Proposed bill would require warning labels on sugary drinks Will soda and other saccharine libations soon come with a health warning? They will if it’s up to our state senator, Bill Monning (D-Carmel). On Feb. 27, Monning proposed first-of-its-kind legislation that would require a consumer warning label be placed on sugar-sweetened beverages sold in California. SB 1000, also known as the Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Safety Warning Act, was proposed to provide vital information to consumers about the harmful effects of consuming sugary drinks, such as sodas, sports drinks, energy drinks, and sweetened teas.

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of April 17

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Foodie File: Red Apple Cafe

Breakfast takes center stage at Gracia Krakauer's Red Apple Cafe Before they moved to Aptos, Gracia and her husband Dan Krakauer would visit friends in Santa Cruz County and eat at the Red Apple Café all the time. Then they moved up here from Santa Monica five years ago, and bought the Aptos location (there’s a separate one in Watsonville) from the family who owned it for two decades.

 

How would you feel about a tech industry boom in Santa Cruz?

I feel like it would ruin the small old-town feeling of Santa Cruz. It wouldn’t be the same Surf City kind of vacation town that it is. Antoinette BennettSanta Cruz | Construction Management

 

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

 

Trout Gulch Vineyards

Cinsault 2012—la grande plage diurne The most popular wines on store shelves are those most generally known and available—Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, which are all superb for sure. But when you come across a more unusual varietal, like Trout Gulch Vineyards’ Cinsault ($18), it opens up a whole new world.