Santa Cruz Good Times

Monday
Sep 22nd
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

SC Innovation Pays Off Again

ryan_coonertyWhile the headlines often focus on the negative, what is less apparent is that this global recession has once again proven that Santa Cruz is both resilient and innovative.  All-too-real economic challenges remain, but thanks to the hard work and ingenuity of the people in this community, we will emerge from the recession with a vibrant and sustainable local economy.

Here is just some of good economic news of late: Cruzio and Ecology Action are redesigning the Sentinel Building into a hub for sustainability and data processing. Cruzio also helped the Central Coast Broadband Consortium, a collection of local governments, submit a $46 million Federal Stimulus grant to bring 310 miles of fiber to Santa Cruz, Monterey and San Benito Counties.  Simultaneously, the tech community is partnering with the City to lobby for Google Fiber (visit networksantacruz.org to help).

The City has also been working hard to get as much of the stimulus funding as possible.  To date, we have received funding to keep five police officers on duty, repave miles of roads, install new lighting, and repair municipal infrastructure.  In the process, we have created and saved dozens of local jobs.  In the near future, the City, in collaboration with Ecology Action, will be launching a residential solar initiative, which will allow homeowners to finance installations that will reduce electric bills and carbon emissions as well as create hundreds of good green construction jobs.

Local tech companies, like Comcourse,are growing rapidly, while new ones, like 9proof and Clipsync, are launching products and services that serve a global audience from our downtown. Compass Rose just brought on a new vice president, while Intuvo just landed a second round of investment.

This kind of inventiveness is nothing new. We can look back on a history that saw the invention of the camera phone, the wetsuit and the wireless headset in Santa Cruz. Locals have also participated in the founding of organic farming, cutting edge food and wine, with companies like Odwalla, Bonny Doon Vineyards, and Newman’s Own Organics.

Our other major economic pillar, tourism, long bolstered by our beaches and the Boardwalk, continues to drive economic activity despite the national trends. We are working to expand the number and type of tourists who visit Santa Cruz, with new projects like the Marine Sanctuary Exploration Center, La Bahia and the Marriot. The addition of new high quality hotel stock at the re-opened Dream Inn and the new Pacific Blue Inn allows tourists to explore all that Santa Cruz has to offer, from mountain biking trails and surfing to the internationally renowned Cabrillo Music Festival and Shakespeare Santa Cruz. Just ask Sunset Magazine, the L.A. Times and the Boston Globe who all recently profiled our town as one of the best escapes in the West.

We have exciting new businesses on the west and east sides of town that allow people to live, work, eat and shop with a short walk or bike ride.

UCSC continues to break new ground and open up new avenues of research from adaptive optics to genomics to storage and digital media.  The City, working with the School of Engineering and the Division of Social Sciences, has opened the Project for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (PIE), a business incubator that places select student interns to work on specific projects with startups and agencies like NASA and NOAA. Wrapping up its second year, the project has helped more than 80 students strengthen their resumes and more than 20 have found employment.

Like the UCSC Business Plan Competition, which recently was featured in a Forbes article on student entrepreneurship, the PIE project is dedicated to encouraging student creativity, forming stronger links between the business community and the University.

Santa Cruz is a world-famous town, frequently cited as a model of smart growth, livability and innovation.  Drawing on these strengths we are effectively applying our environmental and cultural values to create a brighter economic future.


Ryan Coonerty is Santa Cruz Vice Mayor.

Comments (1)Add Comment
...
written by Don Webber, April 14, 2010
Ryan,
Thanks for including smart growth, livability, and hope for effective application of environmental and cultural values in your upbeat assessment of our town's economic future. These intangibles are too often overlooked in our pursuit of business opportunities.

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

Catwalk on the Wild Side

Meet the artists and designers behind this year’s edition of FashionART, SantaCruz’s most outrageous fashion show

 

The New Tech Nexus

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

 

Watch List

From Google to the government to data brokers, why your privacy is now a thing of the past

 

The Peace Equation

Sunday is the United Nations’ International Day of Peace, a global peace-building day when nations, leaders, governments, communities and individuals are invited to end conflict, cease hostilities, creat 24 hours of non-violence and promote goodwill. Monday is Autumn equinox as the Sun enters Libra (right relations with all of life). The Soul Year now begins. We work in the dark part of the year (Persephone underground) preparing for the new light of winter solstice. Tuesday to Wednesday is the Virgo new moon festival. We know two things about peace. “The absence of war does not signify peace.” And “Peace is an ongoing process.” In its peace-building emphasis, the UNIDP, through education, attempts to create a “culture of peace, understanding and tolerance”. Esoterically we are reminded of the peace equation: “Intentions for goodwill (and acting upon this intention) create right relations with all earth’s kingdoms which create (the ongoing process of) peace on earth.” At noon on Sunday, in all time zones, millions of participating groups will observe a moment of silence for peace on earth. Bells will ring, candles will be lit, and doves released as the New Group of World Servers recite the Great Invocation (humanity’s mantram of direction). To connect with others around the world see www.cultureofpeace.org    Let us join together with the mother (Virgo). Goodwill to all, let peace prevail on earth. The dove is the symbol for the day.
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Sweet Treats

Local cannabis bakers win award for cookies

 

What fashion trends do you want to see, or not see?

Santa Cruz  |  High School Guidance Counselor

 

Best of Santa Cruz County

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

 

Santa Clara Wine Trail

My memories of growing up in England include my mother pouring port after Sunday dinner—and sometimes a glass of sherry before dinner. My family didn’t drink much wine back then, but we certainly made up for it with the port and sherry.