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Jan 25th
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Downtown Smoking Ban

buttSanta Cruz smokers will soon find it harder to legally light up in popular areas of town. The Santa Cruz City Council voted Tuesday to prohibit smoking on Pacific Avenue, Beach Street, and West Cliff Drive. The new ban also makes it illegal to smoke within 25 feet of public entrances and within all outdoor dining areas. City property, including the Municipal Wharf and all city parks, will be smoke-free as well. Police will give warnings for the first month of the ban, which takes effect on Oct. 20, and will issue citations after that. 

The smoking ban, which council members unanimously supported, was prompted in part by a 2008 report by the American Lung Association of California that gave Santa Cruz a “D” for underwhelming efforts to curb public second-hand smoke. The council also voted to increase the percentage of nonsmoking hotel rooms in Santa Cruz from 75 to 90 percent, and they will consider a new tax on the city’s cigarettes sales at a future meeting.

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Force of Nature

Santa Cruz’s Carlie Statsky brings her love of the natural world to the hyper-personal art of wedding photography

 

Mercury Retrograde in Aquarius

The magical time of Mercury’s retrograde cycle is here once again, until Feb. 11, and then some. The Mercury retro cycle actually lasts eight weeks when we consider its retrograde shadow, giving us six months a year for review. We know the rules of Mercury retro: Be careful with everything; cars, driving, money, resources, friends, friendships, groups, interactions, thinking, talking, communications. Avoid big purchases, important meetings and important repairs. Mercury retrograde times are for review, reassessment and rest. Our minds are overloaded from the last Mercury retro. Our minds need to assess what we’ve done since October—eliminating what is not needed, keeping what’s important, preparing for new information in the next three months (till mid-May). Mercury in Aquarius retrograde … we reinvent ourselves, seek the unusual, we don’t hide, we’re just careful. We live in two worlds; outer appearances and inner reckonings, with both sides of our brain activated. Yet, like the light of the Gemini twins, one light waxes (inner world), the other (outer realities) wanes. Like Virgo, we see what’s been overlooked—assessing, ordering and organizing information. It’s an entirely inner process. When speaking we may utter only half of the sentence. We’re in the underworld, closer to Spirit, eyes unseeing, senses alerted, re-doing things over and over till we sometimes collapse. Because we’re in other realms, we’re wobbly, make mistakes, and don’t really know what we want. It’s not a time for decisions. Not yet. It’s a time of review. And completing things. Mercury retro: integration, slowing down, resolution, rapprochement.

 

The New Tech Nexus

Community leaders in science and technology unite to form web-based networking program

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of January 23

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >
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How are you going to make a tangible difference in your community this year?

Spread more kindness and compassion.