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Mar 05th
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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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How the confusion over GMOs is undermining the organic movement

 

Week of Festivals: Full Moon, Lantern Festival, Purim, Holi

It is a week of many different festivals along with a full moon, all occurring simultaneously. Thursday Chinese New Year celebrations end with the Lantern Festival (at full moon). Thursday is also the Pisces Solar festival (full moon), Purim (Jewish Festival) and Holi (Hindu New Year Festival). Sunday, March 8, Daylight Saving Time begins at 2 a.m. The festival of Purim celebrates the freedom of the Hebrew people from the cruel Haman (a magistrate) seeking to destroy them. Esther, the Queen of Persia, who was secretly Jewish, saved her people from death. The sweet cookie hamentaschen celebrates this festival. Friday, March 6, is Holi, the Hindu Spring Festival celebrated after the March full moon. Bonfires are lit the night before, warding off evil. Holi, the Festival of Colors, is the most colorful festival in the world. It is also the Festival of Love—of Radha for Krishna (the blue-colored God). It is a spring festival with singing, dancing, carnivals, food and bhang, a drink made of cannabis leaves. Holi signifies good over evil, ridding oneself of past errors, ending conflicts through rapprochement (returning to each other). It is a day of forgiveness, including debts. Holi also marks the beginning of New Year. At the Pisces Solar festival we recite the seed thought, “We leave the Father’s home and, turning back, we save.” Great Teachers remain on Earth until all of humanity is enlightened. The New Group of World Servers is called to this task and sacrifice. Sacrifice (from the heart) is the first Law of the Soul, the heart of which is Love. This sacrifice saves the world.

 

The New Tech Nexus

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

 

Don’t Tell a Soul

The Secret Film Festival celebrates its 10th anniversary
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So Long, Louie’s

Louie’s Cajun Kitchen & Bourbon Bar closes, plus Back Porch pop-up, and 2015 Outstanding in the Field tour