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Apr 19th
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The Story of KP2

The Story of KP2

SLUG REPORT > Hawaiian monk seal inspires UCSC researchers and conservationists an ocean away

“If we can teach people about wildlife, they will be touched … humans want to save things that they love.” ― Steve Irwin

This is the story of an unusual monk seal pup, whose claim to fame, though not without tragedy, has triggered a renewed effort in species protection. In 2008, Hō‘ailona was speeding toward the trend of low seal pup survival rate, after being abandoned by his mother on a beach in Kuaui at two days old.

Biologists from the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), who have jurisdiction over the monk seal species, found this Kauai Pup 2 (KP2) and oversaw his rehabilitation at a facility in Oahu. By completion, however, the seal pup had become whole-heartedly domestic—a regular at Molokai beaches who preferred spending time with humans over other monk seals.

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Blogs - The Ticker

Setting the Pace

Setting the Pace

Now a ‘pacesetter’ community, Santa Cruz County pushes forward with grade-level reading efforts

It always helps to have a light at the end of the tunnel.

For Santa Cruz County educators interested in addressing grade-level reading, that light is the All-America City award, an incentive from the National Campaign for Grade-Level Reading to increase the reading ability of third grade and below students. The campaign, a branch of the National Civic League, emphasizes cross-coordination between all sectors of the community to strengthen the resources available to low-income students.

A network of thousands of funders, nonprofits, state leaders and other communities across the nation comprise the campaign, which focuses on grade-level reading by the third grade. Reading proficiency at that cutoff has been identified as a strong predictor of later academic success, as it allows students “to shift from learning to read to reading to learn,” according to the campaign’s website,

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Blogs - The Ticker

Before the Flood

Before the Flood

Independent study calls for action against the projected effects of sea level rise

As ocean temperatures rise and ice caps melt, sea levels rise. But what happens then? The National Research Council (NRC) recently released a 250-page report on the precise projections of how California, Oregon and Washington will be affected.

According to Gary Griggs, director of the Institute of Marine Sciences at UC Santa Cruz (UCSC) and the voice of the committee that published the report, previous sea level data was based on worldwide averages. Tide gages showed that global sea level is rising at double the rate that it did in the last century.

The NRC report, which was made possible through the participation of a number of state and federal agencies and a committee of scientists, focuses specifically on the West Coast, which is unique due to its geological composition and active coastline. California from San Diego to Cape Mendicino is sinking, while California north of Cape Mendicino, Oregon, and Washington, are rising.

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Blogs - The Ticker

Condors vs. Hunters

Condors vs. Hunters

SLUG REPORT > Lead poisoning in California condors still to be resolved

In the March 2011 Good Times article “Will Hunters Have to Bite the Bullet?” we reported that nearly all of the free-flying condors in California have had lead poisoning at least once, and that researchers have confirmed that lead ammunition from hunting is the most plausible source of exposure to the birds. Now, more than a year later, UC Santa Cruz researchers have concluded that lead from this type of ammunition is indeed the culprit.

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Blogs - The Ticker

Baking for Barack

Baking for Barack

SANTA CRUZ > Local chapter of President Barack Obama’s reelection campaign kicks off with a bake sale

In the days of unlimited, anonymous corporate cash funding the political campaigns of both major parties, what could be more folksy, community-based and transparent than a bake sale? Such is the reasoning of Harvey Dosik, a key organizer of the local chapter of Obama For America 2012, the president’s official re-election campaign organization.  

While nodding to the conventional wisdom that California is considered a solidly blue state in the upcoming presidential election, and will probably not see the flood of television advertising that will saturate “battle ground” states, Dosik says there is still much for local volunteers to do to help President Barack Obama get reelected, starting with baking or buying some cookies at the “Bake For Barack” tables that will be set up across the county on Saturday, June 30.

“Tabling is a way to create relationships, to talk one-on-one with people, and we’ve been tabling all over the county for many weeks,” Dosik says. Dosik is expecting nothing less than widespread “spontaneous participation” across the county with the Bake for Barack event. “I’m expecting at least a dozen or so tables in strategic locations around town on June 30,” Dosik says, ”with several others hopefully just jumping in and spreading the word of the campaign.”

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Blogs - The Ticker

Rescuing Pregnant Mares

Rescuing Pregnant Mares

WATSONVILLE > Local nonprofit saves pregnant mares from pharmaceutical ranches

As president and founder of the nonprofit Pregnant Mare Rescue (PMR), Lynn Hummer devotes the extra time she has between her family, her day job, and her love for horses to doing some important work for the large, majestic animals. “I’ve been a horse lover all my life and I’ve ridden all my life and I just wanted to give back,” Hummer says.

PMR, which is based at Hummer’s ranch in Watsonville, works to rescue mares and foals who were victims of pharmaceutical testing, with the fate of being sent to slaughter.

Premarin, a drug used to treat menopause in women, is the primary culprit, says Hummer. Premarin ranches in the United States take mares, impregnate them continuously, use their urine in the drug’s manufacturing process, and then send their offspring to slaughter.

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Blogs - The Ticker

Giant Voices

Giant Voices

SLUG REPORT > Two baseball bloggers stand out from crowd

+PLUS: Their predictions for the 2012 Giants season

Being a sports blogger might not be the most original thing to do, especially considering the dull roar of fanboy adulation that surrounds the San Francisco Giants. But Thomas Todd and Daniel Zarchy stand out from their black-and-orange compatriots with a well-produced podcast (“Two Guys, a Glove and a Coke Bottle”), a thriving website (GiantsPod.net) and a team dynamic matched only by their subject matter.

Both UC Santa Cruz alums, Todd and Zarchy, who graduated in 2009 and 2010, respectively, met when they both worked at student publications (Fishrap for Todd and City on a Hill Press for Zarchy). From there, everything just seemed to fall into place for the pair.

“The podcast came about when we spent the whole football season talking about baseball,” says Zarchy. “At some point, we decided that there might be other fans out there who want to talk Giants, so we decided to record it and see what happened.”

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Blogs - The Ticker

Biking for a Cause

Biking for a Cause

Riders rally America for MS

“I’m somewhere in Missouri,” Don Fraser tells me. As we speak, the program director for the organization “Bike the US for MS” is on his way to rendezvous with a group of fellow bicyclists.

After college, Fraser wasn’t quite sure what his next step should be. One thing he did know was that he wanted to bike across the country. Living with a mother who was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis (MS), Fraser started planning how he could make a difference via bicycling for her and others who suffered from the same health issue.

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Blogs - The Ticker

All Grown Up

All Grown Up

SANTA CRUZ COUNTY > Big Brothers Big Sisters celebrates 30 years

In 1982, just 40 “littles” were matched with “bigs” in Santa Cruz County. Now, currently celebrating its 30th anniversary, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Santa Cruz County (BBBS) has placed more than 4,500 youths (called “littles”) in positive mentoring relationships with adult volunteers (called “bigs”).

The organization turned 30 on Thursday, June 14 and celebrated with an event that showcased the relationships created over the years. Julie Munnerlyn, coordinator of the 30th anniversary event, says the goal of BBBS is to create lasting, caring relationships that have a positive influence on both the big and the little involved.

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Blogs - The Ticker

Woodies Once Again

Woodies Once Again

The 1950s Santa Cruz surf lifestyle is back—at least for a day this coming weekend.

On Saturday, June 23, 200-plus antique wood-bodied cars from across the country will come together for their 18th annual reunion on the Santa Cruz Wharf. The group will include an enormous variety of pre-1952 woodies.

In addition to showing off an impressive array of vintage cars to sizable crowds, the annual event brings back a feeling of nostalgia for many of its owners, as well as Santa Cruz locals. Don Iglesias, founder and “Club Kahuna” of the Santa Cruz Chapter of the National Woodie Club, says the event takes him back to his childhood—revisiting the vehicles recalls the feeling of being “a little boy peeking over the seat” in his parents’ old woodie, he says.

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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

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >

 

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.
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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

 

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.

 

Waddell Creek, Al Fresco

Route One Summer Farm Dinner You’ve been buying their insanely fresh produce for years now at farmers’ markets. Right? So now why not become more familiar with the gorgeous Waddell Creek farmlands of Route One Farms?