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Apr 17th
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The Ticker

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Becoming An Awareness Advocate

Becoming An Awareness Advocate

Local teen rallies for increased epilepsy awareness

Epilepsy affects 65 million people worldwide and is the fourth most common neurological disorder in the United States, according to the Epilepsy Foundation’s (EF) website. Despite the prevalence of the condition both in the United States and in the world, the website argues that “epilepsy is among the least understood of major chronic medical conditions.”

Monterey Coast Preparatory School student Samantha Hampton agrees, and hopes to change this. The local teen has epilepsy, and is taking strides to improve awareness about the condition.

In an effort to spread the word, she decided to become an advocate for the Northern California branch of EF. “I wish to help anyone with epilepsy and want to raise as much awareness as possible,” she says. “Knowing that I could help make a difference in someone’s life, [which] includes raising awareness, [gives] us hope that people might finally understand and accept it.”

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Blogs - The Ticker

An Organic Leader

An Organic Leader

Q&A with Zea Sonnabend, recipient of a national award for organic leadership

Call Zea Sonnabend on the telephone and chances are that the answering machine will tell you that she is “either out standing in my field, or out standing in someone else’s field”—a good bet, considering the CCOF organic farm inspector and policy specialist recently started farming again, herself.

But for today, at least, Sonnabend will instead be standing on a stage in Maryland, receiving the Organic Trade Association’s prestigious Organic Leadership Award. Given annually since 1997, the award is given to influential and innovative figures in the organic movement. Sonnabend certainly falls into that category: from her career at CCOF, to her involvement with the Organic Foods Production Association of North America, the National Organic Program, the Organic Materials Review Institute, and the Ecological Farming Association, she has led the organics movement forward in more ways than one.

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Blogs - The Ticker

Hooray For Sea Otters

Hooray For Sea Otters

SLUG REPORT > UCSC researchers analyze 40 years of data to go beyond cuteness

In tackling their primary prey, sea otters also tackle global warming. A new study, credited firstly to UC Santa Cruz professors and researchers Christopher Wilmers and James Estes, finds that sea otters have a significant impact on global carbon sequestration. Because the otter’s favored snack is the sea urchin—a scavenger known to devastate kelp forests when populations go unchecked—more sea otters translates to more kelp. And because the giant algae is a bit of a photosynthesis machine, that translates to a lot of sequestered carbon.

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Blogs - The Ticker

Going The Distance

Going The Distance

Can an electric car make the journey from Santa Cruz to Los Angeles and back in one day? Aptos resident Jack Brown thinks so

Electric cars are known for being eco friendly—not necessarily for covering long distances or being the most time efficient mode of travel. But Jack Brown, an information technology manager and consultant who recently moved to the Aptos area, believes that it’s all about “making the journey.”  

On Friday, Sept. 14, Brown will depart from the Community Foundation of Santa Cruz County in Aptos at 12:01 a.m. and attempt to take his electric BMW on a more than 700-mile round trip journey from Aptos to Los Angeles and back before midnight that same day. “This will be the first time I have driven so far from my predictable commute,” Brown says.

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Blogs - The Ticker

Reaction To The Crackdown

Reaction To The Crackdown

Homeless and allies take to the streets for a candlelight vigil

A candlelight vigil protesting the recent crackdown and clearing out of homeless camps by the Santa Cruz Police Department made its way through Downtown Santa Cruz on Friday night, Sept. 7, with the aim of raising awareness about those with no other option but to sleep outside. About 60 homeless people, homeless activists and sympathizers gathered in front of City Hall, formed an orderly procession through downtown, paid a visit to the levy of the San Lorenzo River that has recently been cleared of all homeless camps, and returned to City Hall, hearing speeches and testimonials along the way.

The SCPD, aided by the city’s Public Works and Parks departments, is now in the eighth week of its intensive effort to clear out homeless camps and arrest anyone involved in criminal activity. By law enforcement standards, the task force has been successful: 75 homeless camps have been cleared, 126 arrested, and 378 citations issued as of Sept. 1, according to Deputy Police Chief Steve Clark. “It’s time to return these open spaces to their intended uses to the citizens of Santa Cruz,” Clark says. “It’s our job to make it as inconvenient as possible to engage in criminal activity, and this project has been successful doing that.”

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Blogs - The Ticker

Crossing the Continent to Cross Disciplines

Crossing the Continent to Cross Disciplines

SLUG REPORT > UC Santa Cruz's plans for an art and science museum move forward with new director

A space conceived to connect the arts with the sciences will also be connecting the West Coast with the East Coast.

“I’ve been aware of this project for a long time,” says John Weber, currently the Dayton Director of the Frances Young Tang Teaching Museum and Art Gallery at Skidmore College in New York. Weber was recently hired by UC Santa Cruz to direct the University Museum of Arts and Sciences, a planned museum meant to link the disciplines.

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Blogs - The Ticker

The Gift Of Growth

The Gift Of Growth

SLUG REPORT > UCSC receives funding for organic farming and ocean health programs 

Deep in the east field of the UC Santa Cruz campus, tucked beneath a sequoia grove, are nine tent cabins. Within these cabins reside 36 apprentices, who daily get their hands dirty in research and development of organic, sustainable food systems through the six-month Center for Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems’ (CASFS) “Grow a Farmer” apprenticeship program.

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Blogs - The Ticker

Fixing The Future

Fixing The Future

Upcoming screening features a documentary that says the future is ours to fix

After several years of trudging through economic hardship, it can be overwhelming to think about the future. But what if all people need is a boost of inspiration to think outside the box in order to create jobs and build economic prosperity? That’s the message in the PBS documentary Fixing the Future, which Transition Santa Cruz and the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) will be hosting a free screening of on Tuesday, Aug. 28.

The film itself features host David Brancaccio visiting people and organizations across America who are determined to reinvent the American economy. The film highlights effective, creative community practices such as local business alliances, community banking, time banking/hour exchange, worker cooperatives and local currencies.

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Blogs - The Ticker

The Best Brassiere

The Best Brassiere

Capitola Soroptimists fundraise with their seventh annual 'Bras for a Cause' event

Bras are best known for being a literal support system. But one local group has found another way in which bras can help support women, and it involves everything from glass beads to feathers and sequins.

On Sunday, Aug. 19, the Capitola chapter of Soroptimist International hosted the seventh annual “Bras For a Cause” gala and auction at the Seascape Golf Club in Aptos. The event attracted nearly 100 participants who bid on 49 donated, bedazzled bras—16 more than were donated last year, according to co-chair Mary Kashmar.

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Blogs - The Ticker

New Slugs

New Slugs

SLUG REPORT > UC Santa Cruz gears up to welcome diverse freshman class following record-breaking application figures

For every few dozen incoming students who attended UC Santa Cruz’s freshman orientation last week, there was a “yellow-shirt” clamoring to organize them.

“Yellow-shirts,” more commonly known as orientation leaders, are nothing new at UCSC’s summer orientation week, but after a record-breaking 40,622 applications this past fall (an applicant increase of more than 17 percent since last year, second only to UC Los Angeles), these student workers were working with an evolving demographic.

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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.