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Apr 24th
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GT Columns

Editors Note

From the Editor

From the Editor

Plus Letters to the Editor


They keep telling me—and not the voices in my head, thank you—that “thoughts are things.” What do you think about that? Careful ...  If it’s true and thoughts are, indeed, “things,” meaning, depending on the intensity—OK, we’re in Santa Cruz, so I’ll just say it: vibration—of your thoughts, you—yes, that would be you and, well, me, if we’re talking about the collective “you,” which we are, so ...—have a definite say in the creation of your reality. Just by how you think. All of this just makes me think: What are you thinking? (Other people have asked me this—Hi Mom—countless times and not in esoteric conversation.) A local “thought” guide once proposed to me, and others, that it was healthy to observe your thoughts—just notice them and not attach to them. It’s an interesting exercise. I did that for quite a while but always kept getting sidetracked by my—wait for it—emotions, to which the local guide chuckled and said: “Just notice your emotions—don’t become too attached to them.” I felt exhausted at this point and thought of one thing: Chocolate. I felt better after that.

Why am I telling you this? Thoughts, emotions, evolution and unity are part of the work of Sahara Devi. The spiritual leader hits Santa Cruz next week and will host a gathering on Thursday, Oct. 13. Check out saharadevi.com to learn more about how this individual promotes elevated consciousness on the planet.

For more information on the event, call (323) 829-1054.

In the meantime, three writers are feeling good and thinking great thoughts this week—the winners of GT’s “Take One” screenwriting contest. Discover who came out on top, and how their films will be produced by Impact Productions and will later be screened at the 2012 Santa Cruz Film Festival. Sometimes, drama really pays off. (Oh, and be sure to check out the winners of our Pet Photo Contest. )

More next time ...

 

Greg Archer | Editor-in-Chief


Letters to the Editor


Yeah, About The Economy ...

Regarding last week’s story in News, today’s economic recovery in Santa Cruz is not, I repeat, is not on an upward slope. According to Executive Vice President and chief development officer of Bay Federal Credit Union, Tonee Picard’s statements, “Economic conditions are also on the upward slope—we’re seeing a stabilization of the economy,  just based on a few key indicators. She says: “People are starting to  borrow again, there has been an uptick in our loans, auto loans and  refinancing homes due to all time low interest rates, [and] we’ve been meeting our lending goals. We are noting that credit scores are improving and the saving rates are still very high.”

People are saving money in prevention of further economic needs (i.e.  food, shelter and clothing), people are refinancing their homes to  save more money for these basic needs. People are borrowing again  because they have to. And the banks are willing to let them. Credit  scores are improving because people are paying down their debt. Inflation is looming over America like a freight train. with interest rates at all time lows, they can only rise. Homes at lower prices, must go up. The rental market is saturated due to forclosures, causing more inflation, even more lay-offs in the government and bringing home troops and releasing criminals from prison, will only  increase unemployment.

I do appreciate Tonee’s outlook, but it was, after all, the banking industry that caused this mess, so with a grain of salt ( it’s all I have left) and reading between the lines of her comments, I gracefully decline to interpret.

Homelessly submitted,

A former contractor,

Mark Becknerz


Street Beat

Regarding the article by Daniel Woo, I am a professional drummer who has played and studied music for the past 38 years. As a child, I watched Tom Scribner play his musical saw on Pacific Avenue. Recently I myself have performed on the mall, with the hope of inspiring children to take up a musical instrument. I have found the many restrictions on performing downtown to be even more difficult to manage than carting a (muffled!) drum set to and from my vehicle.

The Great Morgani is a professional street performer. I take my cues from him. I do not appreciate street performers with limited training and talent. I believe that Santa Cruz should encourage, even subsidize, professional street performers, or "buskers." Without them, Pacific Avenue is colorless, at best.

Jay Wilson

Santa Cruz


Best Online Comments


On  GTv’s  Charlie Sheen Roast’ coverage ...

Bravo. The balances of men, and ladies’ opinions finally sway his way. Vengeance sweet and all Divine. Bless.

—CS


Whether you like Charlie or not, he's entertaining—just like watching a Train Wreck.

—Lupin


On the dining story “Au Midi” ...

This place ROCKS! By far my favorite restaurant in Santa Cruz. If you haven't already gone, you must, and if you have I hope you're not as addicted as I am.

—Foodie


On  ‘Risa’s Stars’ ...

This my second Age of Aquarius. I am happy to be living clean and sober this time around. In my 60 years of this life I have never experienced an Astrologer and Teacher as powerful and knowledgeable as Risa. I thank you Risa. I have traveled many different roads. Simplicity, Kindness, and Love are incredibly difficult paths for me. I appreciate Risa's strong and powerful readings of my Leo Journey. Thank you for your dedication and love for us all.

—William M. Sweet


Clarification                Regarding last week’s music blurb, Austin Wilhoit is the bassist for The Devil Himself.


Local Talk

If you made a Santa Cruz-based film, what would it be about?

If you made a Santa Cruz-based film, what would it be about?
Life-aboard in the harbor. The tsunami and the recovery have been a big issue for a lot of people down there. I think it would be a fun one.
Johnny Agnone
Santa Cruz Harbor | Barista
Read more...
Astrology

Sealed in the Book of Life

Sealed in the Book of LifeWe’re coming closer to Halloween. Who or what energies will each of us personify? Saturday is Yom Kippur (In the “Days of Awe” the Day of Atonement, Forgiveness, the holiest day of the Jewish year). On Yom Kippur, we seek and offer forgiveness. At the end of Yom Kippur our “fate is sealed” in the Book of Life. Let us offer forgiveness.
Sunday Venus enters Scorpio. We give ourselves away for one breathless moment. We surrender to mystery, bliss and eternity. Then the Nine Tests of Scorpio intervene. Monday, Columbus (or Indigenous) Day, is full of parades (5th Avenue; the Bronx; Chicago, New Jersey, etc.). The new world was seen by Columbus for the first time in 1492. It was magnificent.
Read more...
Editors Note

From the Editor

From the EditorPlus Letters to the Editor

Well ... what is there to say in nine words? (That was nine words by the way.) The winners of our Nine-Word Novel Contest have plenty to say, in fact. Back in August, as part of our ongoing “Contest Mania,” we put out a call to readers to submit their nine-word creations and the response was massive. This week, the winners of the contest bask in the spotlight. How many winners are there? Nine—naturally. Take a peek and let us know your thoughts. (You can use more than nine words.)
Onward ... This week also marks the unveiling of our annual Fall Home & Garden Issue. We illuminate the things that will enhance both your home and garden this fall. Take note of what some locals are doing to spruce up their lawns—and, really, reinvent them altogether. There are also some real estate tips for home owners and home buyers. Speaking of ... be sure to turn to our Real Estate section.
Home. What does it mean to you? When I was growing up on Altgeld Street in Chicago, I remember home equating to comfort. My Polish mother told me stories that mirrored that. Apparently, I was so comfortable with my surroundings that, at the age of 5 or 6, I would sit on the front steps of our porch and inform everybody that passed by what was happening in our house. “Hello ... my mother is making Polish dumplings inside;”  “Hi, my name is Greg and there’s freshly washed underwear hanging on the clothes line in our backyard;” “Did you know that my mother is giving up smoking but my father can’t stop?” I suppose, even back then, I liked reporting the “news.” Either that, or I was really into babbling on. (There’s a good indication I’m doing that now.)
But back to the idea of “home.” Ponder it this week. Where are you most “at home.”
Until next time ...


Greg Archer | Editor-in-Chief

Letters to the Editor

More On That Land Issue ...
While I’m glad to hear KB Homes has declined to build directly on an apparent burial ground, what strikes me the most about this issue is the reminder that our entire society is built on stolen land that was once sacred to those who lived here before us, just as all land was sacred in every corner of the world to people who lived on it as hunter-gatherers or primitive agriculturalists. In effect we are just setting aside a tiny patch of grass amidst a huge area long-ago stolen, razed, and built over.
My hope is that the discovery of Native people’s remains will inspire us to think about not only the dysfunctional relationship our society has with the Earth that supports us, but also the persistence of racism from our history into the present day. Once enslaved and conquered, black and brown people today are still the poorest, most-polluted, and most highly imprisoned populations in our society. I hope the movement to stop a house from going up over the bones of indigenous people will spill over into solidarity with the living indigenous populations in our county struggling against anti-immigrant programs like “Secure Communities,” and to protect themselves from dangerous pesticides like methyl iodide.
Steve Schnaar
Santa Cruz

Transformational?
Having lived as a trans person for 14 years now, I can't help but feel collectively "used" when members of the cis-community promote themselves as the "voice of the transgender community.” (See GT 9/22, “Transfiguraitons.”)
Artists such as Jana Marcus must be aware that those of us who struggle daily with job, housing, and accommodations discrimination, not to mention violent attacks, will find her work patronizing, arrogant, and commercially opportunistic.
When I spoke with Marcus at a recent event at Camouflage and she explained she was the "voice" for people who have no voice, I made a point to assure her that we have a voice, many voices: Jan Morris, Leslie Feinberg, Kate Bornstein, Jennifer Finney Boylan, and Julia Serano to name just a few.
Imagine how members of any marginalized community must feel when others who are not so oppressed presume to speak for them—and capitalize on their identities. I'll tell you how it feels: it's insulting and it hurts.
Incidentally, you used the term transgenders (sic) in your editorial. The Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (GLAAD) media guide points out that this term is considered problematic. Transgender is not a noun but an adjective.  The correct term is transgender people. Yours in the struggle for equality ...
Alyson Bloom
Santa Cruz

Best Online Comments

On ‘Bonfire Stories’ ...
What a brave and compassionate person Heidi Boynton is, and what an inspiration. Thank you for sharing her remarkable story.
—Jean Walter

On ‘Looking At What’s Sacred’ ...
You can contact Indian Canyon and Ms. Sayers at indiancanyon.org [for more information.), but to naysayers, the real story here is the myth building, from dehumanizing Indians to Weapons of Mass Destruction lies, mainstream society has in its DNA. This concerns all of us one way or another: we all live here on this planet right now. California Indians know this particularly well. After all, slavery, genocide and ethnic cleansing happened "right here in River City." No: son.
—Russ

I hope more of us will listen to what she and our mother are telling us. I believe we are all endowed with one half million or more years of hard-won intelligence, buried in our cells. Most of us have just forgotten to listen.
—Dan Bjerk
Local Talk

They say the recession is over. Is it?

They say the recession is over. Is it?
I've definitely seen a pick up in spending in the store and I think people are less careful with their disposable income, and there seems to be a general feeling of optimism. We're up in our sales.
Suna Lock
Santa Cruz | Business Owner
Read more...
Astrology

L’shanah Tovah (A Sweet Year to All)

L’shanah Tovah (A Sweet Year to All)We have several religions festivals this week, reflecting Autumn and the balancing sign of Libra. Festivals anchor and stabilize us during our long sojourn on Earth. Thursday is Michaelmas, feast day of Michael the Archangel. Earth’s protector, he stands with a sword throughout all of Autumn. In these transition times, we, too, must stand with a sword. Thursday (sundown) is Rosh Hashanah (Jewish new year). Apples and challah are dipped in honey to ensure a sweet new year. We hear the greeting “L’shanah tovah,” May you (be inscribed) have a good (sweet) year.” By participating in all religious festivals, we learn humanity’s religious history and are prepared for the Aquarian new world religion (based on astrology).
Read more...
Editors Note

From the Editor

From the EditorPlus Letters to the Editor

Santa Cruz County enjoys the fall season. Often, it feels as if there are too many events you just can’t pass up. Last weekend, it was the 8th Annual Gourmet Grazing on the Green, as well as the Santa Cruz County Fair. This weekend, it’s the Ethnic Dance Festival and FashionArt Santa Cruz. In other words, load up on carbs and have plenty of water on hand—it’s best to have sustenance before embarking out this weekend. Learn more about the Ethnic Dance Festival, as well as other dance-related matters, including the new things unraveling at Motion Pacific/Motion at the Mill. And, like many others eager to witness living, breathing, catwalk-walking art, take note of FashionArt Santa Cruz on Saturday, Sept. 24.
From dance and fashion, we move to photography, and the mindbending journey local photographer Jana Marcus found herself on more than seven years ago, when she decided to embark on a creative mission to shed more light on transgenders and their journeys. The result was the award-winning photography show, “Transfigurations.” Now, the show has been made into book form, and Marcus is set to speak at several local booksignings in the coming weeks, including a Capitola Book Café talk on Thursday, Sept. 29. Dive into this week’s cover story to learn more about Marcus’ journey and the evolution of her work.
In the meantime, in News this week, News Editor Elizabeth Limbach caught up with PETA president Ingrid Newkirk for an insightful conversation. It’s illuminating, to say the least. Also in News, learn how one local woman is surprising all by living (well) with a debilitating blood disorder that has some baffled.
Speaking of health ... October—arriving sooner than you can blink—is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Find out more about that and other issues at womencaresantacruz.org.
Thanks for reading. Have a
healthy week ...

Greg Archer | Editor-in-Chief
Letters to the Editor

Sovereignty After All?
After reading the Raw Food Sovereignty article (GT 9/8) I was in agreement with Mr. Coonerty. If you have a family and the land, why should the government have the right to tell you if you can have animals or grow a garden? As a child my family needed the garden to feed us in the winter when my parents were unable to get to work due to weather. And large families need all the help they can get. More now than in the ’60s and ’70s.
Seems to me that the government has to have their fingers into everything, even our private lives. Where is our freedom of choice in what we do if we are told we can't have herd shares for those who want them?
If the government is so good at planning, why are we at such a high employment rate and the cost of everything is so high that some of us have to do without, or choose between food, shelter, or clothing? These are my private feelings. I use a system at the libaray because I live on less than $800 per month. Can you?
S. Empson
Santa Cruz

Missiles and More ...
Thank you for allowing Debra Ellis to correct what she claims was a misquote (GT 5/15). The bottom line though is that more than 10,000 rockets and missiles have been fired at Israeli civilians from Gaza. Some are homemade from material that could be used for construction and some are imported from Iran and elsewhere. Ms. Ellis must know that if there was no naval blockade, even more weapons would reach the hands of Hamas terrorists. Subsequent to her misadventure, the United Nations Palmer Report concluded that the blockade is legal under international law because of the attacks from Gaza. She might not be aware of a claim that weapons are being sent by sea but that just might confirm the effectiveness of the blockade. After all. she must be aware of Iranian promises to arm Hamas with missiles, or perhaps the human rights agencies neglected to tell her.
Gil Stein
Aptos

Best Online Comments

On ‘Undoing Racism ...
America offers opportunity to make dreams come true. Why some people get lost in the process many times is their own fault.  I know a Mexican woman who is 35 years old and going on child number seven as we speak. Why someone has to procreate so much is beyond my comprehension—not in these times, not with this economy, it doesn't make sense. If you ask her opinion about life, she ether gives you some divine excuse for what she is doing or she blames others for not “helping her enough.” It doesn't matter how much taxes we pay, there isn't going to be enough at this rate. The list goes on. They just think of the moment but never see the big picture to see the future of these kids they are bringing [into the world]. Are they going to become good or bad people? Are they going to become bitter and resentful or will they be able to grow and learn and be successful? People don't want to change their ways, they just want others to change for them.
—Vivariva


Everyone talks about this race problem and says that this “race” problem will be over when the Third World pours into every white country and only into white countries. Everyone says the final solution to this race problem is for every white country and only white countries to “assimilate,” that is, inter-marry, with all those non-whites. According to the UN, this is genocide. They claim they are anti-racist, but what they are is anti-white. Anti-racist is a code word for anti-white.
—Tom Leggett

On  the Ohlones and ‘Looking at What’s Sacred’ ...
This is all so Santa Cruzish typically hypocritical. Find one body and it's sacred? Oh please. Talk to any contractor who has built for years in the county, they can tell you stories. Seven bodies were taken out of Capitola Vacatican court. The knoll is about as sacred as Cache Creek.
—Realist
Local Talk

If you found out that you had one year to live, what would you do?

If you found out that you had one year to live, what would you do?
I would go to Paris, buy my mom a
house, go skydiving. What else is on my bucket list? Have a baby, adopt three, and meet Obama.
Rosalie Castro
Santa Cruz | Front Desk Manager
Read more...
Astrology

Autumn Equinox & the Dark Half of the Year

Autumn Equinox & the Dark Half of the YearFriday early morning, accompanied by morning stars Mars & Jupiter, the Sun enters Libra. Autumn, the Soul half of the year, begins.
We are in the “dark half of the year.” From now on  the amount of available light each day lessens, the days become shorter and darker. The part of us that longs for rituals (Ray 7) to protect and anchor us on Earth (Spirits in matter), looks toward the Festivals of Lights soon to begin. Autumn Equinox, a moment (day and night) in time when there is balance of light and dark, expansion and contraction, between summer and winter, is bittersweet. It holds a different sort of promise. That hidden within darkness is Light—the significance of the Soul Year … that light (Soul) is hidden within the darkness of matter (the personality as its vehicle).
Read more...
Editors Note

From the Editor

From the Editor

Plus Letters to the Editor

When you think of fall and the change of seasons, no doubt images of lively festivals come to mind. The brightest of the bunch has to be the Santa Cruz County Fair, which runs through Sept. 18. The theme this year: Dancing With the Steers. (Good one.) There’s so much unfolding at this bold event this year, it’s challenging to list it all effectively—everything from talent competitions to good ol’ traditional county fair fun. Check out santacruzcountyfair.com for more information.

In other “events”-related news, it’s hard to pass up FashionArt Santa Cruz. What a curious creative beast this is. Now in its sixth year, the engaging “art as fashion” event continues to bloom. This week’s cover story (page 14) highlights some of the people behind the scenes. But mark your calendar: The night to remember is Sept. 24 at the Civic. See fashionartsantacruz.com for more details and pick up GT next week for even more details.

There are insightful bons mots in this week’s guest column, penned by Tom Honig (page 6). Is the past ... in the past? Or do we continue to drag into the present? Those are a few of the thoughts Honig reflects on, and heads into political waters a bit, noting that, “Republicans are fixated on Ronald Reagan and the ‘80s—which itself was a period of nostalgia. Democrats are harkening back to FDR and JFK and LBJ.” Read on and send us your thoughts at [email protected]

In the meantime, it’s the middle of September—yes, already!—so brace yourself: the season of “reflection” is afoot. Relax. This doesn’t have to be turbo-therapy—although sometimes it’s good to buckle up and get over things quickly. But it never hurts to take time to reflect upon the state of one’s life and the world, for that matter. So, as you look back over what has already unraveled in 2011, what stands out thus far? This week, take some time to ponder it all.

Until next time ...

 

Greg Archer | Editor-in-Chief


Letters to the Editor

Some Clarity About ‘Hope’
As a passenger on the Audacity of Hope I was appreciative of Good Times publishing an article about the International Flotilla II— Stay Human. It is critical to raise awareness about the crisis in Gaza, so thank you for having done so. There was one critical error in the article, however. I will share with you the correction as I noted it on my website: The article did an excellent job of capturing part of my experience aboard the Audacity of Hope, with the exception of one significant error. A misquote was printed, leaving the opposite impression from what was reported. I was incorrectly quoted as saying, “When asked about Israel’s claim that the sea blockade is necessary to keep weapons out of the hands of Hamas, Ellis says she is not aware of evidence that weapons are reaching Hamas, but is aware of evidence cited by numerous human rights agencies that the blockade is punishing a civilian population.”
What I did state is, “I am not aware of evidence supporting a claim of weapons being sent to Gaza by sea, but I am aware of evidence, cited by numerous human rights agencies, that the blockade is punishing a civilian population.” In appreciation,
Debra Ellis
Santa Cruz


Getting Clear About La Bahia
The statements in Local Talk (8/25) reveal a lack of understanding of the role of the Coastal Commission regarding the proposed La Bahia hotel. In this case, the Commission's Central Coast Staff concluded that (1) the existing foundation does not meet current building codes, is vulnerable to damage from a significant earthquake, and denies access to the disabled; (2) demolition of the old building is consistent with the land-use-plan amendment; (3) public views from the wharf, West Cliff Drive and other points will be maintained; and (4) the new hotel will enhance public access to the coast for both locals and visitors.
These are the facts and they do matter. Read the Staff Report on the Coastal Commission's web site. Two votes stood in the way of this project, which was overwhelmingly supported in our community after years of a thorough, open public process, including hundreds of hours of public hearings. Mark Stone and one other commissioner could have chosen to embrace rather than to ignore the report of its own staff. Apparently they do not trust our community to decide what's best for the majority of its citizens.
Robert deFreitas
Santa Cruz

Best Online Comments

On the Miki Dora cover story...
The early memories you describe are both vivid and real. I do remember him coming to Santa Cruz and the stir he caused ... I also followed Dora and the dream I saw him in France in the later years and yes he was trouble ... An icon yes and memories to last a life time good or bad.
—Steve Plant

On Nina Simon and MAH ...
As another non-artist art activist I read the interview with the whole of the allied arts in mind. How to make art relevant to a whole community. If art segregates there is a problem, not the least of which is its sustainability. Is anyone familiar with a think tank on the issue of democratizing art? I should like to compare notes and develop something fresh. The line between formal and informal art is not a healthy one.
—Stephen Scanlon

On Food Justice and FoodWhat?! ...
I am just appalled by how much information the produce farms are putting on their product! I only eat organic foods from Trader Joe’s, Staff of Life and Whole Foods when we need to go shopping. My dad is always picky about the chicken he buys from these places, now I know why. Help keep our farms chemical free!
—sonofthesungodApollo

This is such a great resource for people interested in organic farming, or even for someone who is just moving from home and wanting to start growing there own food. I think it is such a blessing that students have acess to something as productive and green-promoting as this program.
—Shoshana Carver


 
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Best of Santa Cruz County 2014

The 2014 Santa Cruz County Readers' Poll Come on in, and have a look around. There’s a lot to see—hundreds of winners selected by thousands of GT readers across Santa Cruz County. So if some of this looks familiar, it’s probably because you helped make it happen. But there are always new things to discover, too—you could go to a different winner or runner-up every day in the Food and Drink category alone, and you’d be booked just about until next year’s Best of Santa Cruz County issue comes out.

 

Something Essential Disappears

Lunar and solar eclipses follow one another. Lunar eclipses occur at full moons, and solar eclipses at new moons. Two weeks ago at the full moon we had the blood red moon—a total lunar eclipse (the next one is Oct. 8). On Monday night, April 28 (new moon), as the Sun, Moon and Earth align, a solar eclipse (Sun obscured) occurs. Eclipses signify something irrevocably is changed in our world. The Sun is our essential life force. Monday’s new moon, 9 degrees Taurus, is also an annular solar eclipse when the Moon moves centrally in front of the Sun, yet does not cover the Sun completely. The Sun's outer edges, still visible, form a “ring of fire” around the Moon.

 

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 24

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Palate-Stretching 101

A wine education with Soif’s experts As a veteran of many weekend wine “seminars” at Soif, I have to confess that I’ve never known less (going in) and learned more (coming out) than I did last week at the Spanish Wine Tasting with ace rep Brian Greenwood. These are classy, casual events and it’s hard to imagine having this much flavor fun anywhere for $20.

 

Martin Ranch Winery

Sauvignon Blanc 2011 One of my favorite wines is Sauvignon Blanc, and this one made by Martin Ranch is particularly lovely. Bright, crisp and refreshing, it’s perfect to pair with fish and shellfish—and good for picnics as it has an easy screw-cap bottle. There’s nothing worse than setting down your blanket, pulling out your sandwiches—and then realizing you don’t have a corkscrew.

 

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