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Jul 25th
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Touching Toes

Some Santa Cruz youth will stick their toes in the cold ocean water on Tuesday, Feb. 1 in celebration of Worldwide Waste Reduction Day. The participants are pre-kindergarten, fifth and ninth graders from Mount Madonna School, and the gesture will be simultaneously replicated on the shores of Oahu and Molokai by Hawaiian elementary school students. Their intention is to raise awareness about the “the plight of endangered marine mammals—specifically the sea otters of California and the monk seals of Hawaii—which are seriously affected by all the human-generated trash that eventually ends up in the ocean,” according to a Jan. 24 press release. The symbolic toe touch will take place at Cowell’s Beach at 11:30 a.m., following a beach clean-up that begins at 9:30 a.m. In addition to the Cowell’s activities, Mount Madonna students are asking people to take pictures of themselves picking up trash outdoors on Feb. 1 and sending it to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it so that they can create a montage for the web.

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Mars Enters Scorpio: The Nine Tests

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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

 

Hunter Hill Cabernet Sauvignon

Smooth with soft tannins, this velvety crimson Cabernet Sauvignon 2011 is delicious and very drinkable.