Santa Cruz Good Times

Oct 09th
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Trails and Rails

scenic trailSANTA CRUZ > Santa Cruz’s hikers, bikers and runners will be happy to hear that a new network of trails stretching is in the works. The project, called the Monterey Bay Sanctuary Scenic Trail Network, will feature multi-use paths for both bicyclists and pedestrians that run alongside the Santa Cruz Branch Rail Line.

Although planning is still in the early stages, members of the community have been invited to participate in a series of workshops and voice their opinions on proposed network connections. This week marked the first round of workshops, with meetings taking in place in Davenport, Santa Cruz and Watsonville. Feedback from the workshops will be used to create a master plan that outlines designs, opportunities and restrictions in the proposed trail network.

“We’re in a brand new situation here,” Cory Colletti, Santa Cruz’s senior transportation planner, said at Wednesday’s workshop at the Simpkins Swim Center. “We need your input and your vision in shaping the development of this master plan.”

The trail network is unique for this area due to its proximity to the rail line. Recently, similar rails-with-trails projects have been successfully implemented in cities like Madison, WI and Portland, OR. The Branch Rail Line stretches 32 miles along the coast from Davenport to Watsonville, making it an ideal scenic location for the main “spine” trail. Smaller trails, called “spurs” will connect with the spine, providing access to schools, parks, neighborhoods and commercial centers.

The Regional Transportation Commission (RTC) has partnered with RRM Design Group, a trail planning and consulting firm, to help identify possible connections and alignments. Congressman Sam Farr (D-17th District) has also worked closely with the project, helping to secure $4.5 million in federal funding to finance the initiative.

The RTC will continue to draft the master plan and will conduct an environmental impact survey over the coming year. Two more rounds of community workshops will be held next year to gain feedback about proposed routes and the finalized draft.

To find out more about the Scenic Trail Network, visit

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Mercury completes its retrograde Friday, poised stationary direct Friday evening at zero degrees Libra. Mercury begins its journey through Libra once again, completing its retrograde shadow Oct. 12. Things should be a bit less complicated by then. Daily life works better, plans move forward, large purchases can be made, and communication eases. Everything on hold during the retrograde is slowly released. Since we eliminated all thoughts and ideas no longer needed (the purpose of Mercury’s retrograde) during the retrograde, we can now gather new information—until the next retrograde occurs on Jan. 5, 2016 (1.3 degrees Aquarius), retrograding back to 15 degrees Capricorn on Jan. 25. It’s good to know beforehand when Mercury will retrograde next—Jan. 5, the day before Epiphany. On Monday is Columbus Day, when the sailor from Genoa arrived in the new lands (Americas), Oct. 12, 1492. This discovery by Columbus was the first encounter of Europeans with Native Americans. Other names for this day are “Discovery Day, Day of the Americas, Cultural Diversity Day, Indigenous People’s Day, and Dia de la Raza.” Italian communities especially celebrate this day. Oct. 12 is also Thanksgiving Day in Canada. Monday is also the (19 degrees) Libra new moon festival. Libra’s keynote while building the personality is, “Let choice be made.” Libra is the sign of making life choices. Often under great tension of opposing forces seeking harmony and balance. There is a battle between our lower (personality) and higher selves (soul). We are tested and called to cultivate right judgment and love. When we align with the will-to-good, right choice, then right judgment and love/wisdom come forth. Our tasks in Libra. 


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