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Oct 22nd
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Community Studies 2.0

Community Studies 2.0

After a controversial suspension, a new incarnation of the unique UC Santa Cruz major is reinstated

The UC Santa Cruz community studies lounge is a great place to have a conversation.

 Housed on the second floor of a faculty building in Oakes College, just down the hall from a whiteboard that reads “COMMUNITY STUDIES LIVES,” the room has a big round table, couches and chairs, and shelves stacked with past senior “capstone projects.”

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Business

The Price of Safety

The Price of Safety

The city's proposed budget addresses public safety needs

The City of Santa Cruz’s pocketbook has come a long way since 2009, when an $8 million shortfall loomed.

According to City Manager Martin Bernal, the proposed general fund budget for 2013-2014 is healthier than it has been since the beginning of The Great Recession in 2008. Armed with this returning stability, the proposal puts one of the community's top concerns—public safety—front and center.

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Town Hall

Town Hall with Assemblymember Mark Stone

Town Hall with Assemblymember Mark Stone

You voted in favor of the 2013-14 state budget. What do you consider to be some of the positive and negative results of the budget that the state legislature passed last week?

This balanced, on-time, fiscally responsible budget fulfills many priorities of Californians. The legislature worked with Gov. Jerry Brown to ensure that the budget invests in Californians by better funding public schools, making college more affordable, and effectively implementing the federal healthcare law. It reflects a remarkable level of fiscal discipline in that it eliminates the structural deficit and provides for a rainy day fund that voters will have an opportunity to approve. 

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Environment

Field to Vase

Field to Vase

Open house provides opportunity for residents to meet their local flower growers

Valentine’s Day is a high point of the year for those in the cut flower business. So when, one year in the late ’90s, the bouquet-riddled holiday failed to deliver for Kitayama Brothers Farms, the family behind the decades-old rose-growing business knew something was wrong. 

“It was the writing on the wall,” recalls Stuart Kitayama, operations manager for the Watsonville-based company. “Those of us who had been hoping things would just get better finally said ‘it’s time to change.’”

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Local News

The Bold Woman and the Sea

The Bold Woman and the Sea

A paraplegic veteran launches solo row across the Pacific

Military veteran and paraplegic Angela Madsen finds life at sea liberating.

What others call her disabilities melt away when she is rowing to far-off destinations, and all that remain are her capabilities—what she can or cannot do is determined by the tasks at hand and what the ocean will allow.

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Town Hall

Town Hall with Supervisor Bruce McPherson

Town Hall with Supervisor Bruce McPherson

You have been facilitating renewed looks at Town Plans in your district. What is the hope in taking a fresh look at these older plans, and what has come of the discussions so far?

The Town Plan meetings I have called throughout the San Lorenzo Valley have been a very successful start in getting a renewed focus on what the most important current issues are in the eyes of Valley residents.

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Business

To Arm or Disarm?

To Arm or Disarm?

While gun sales soar nationally, a group of musicians fundraise for a local gun buy-back

In the wake of high-profile incidents of gun violence—from the Sandy Hook school shooting last December to the fatal shooting of two Santa Cruz police officers three months ago—the debate over gun ownership in America centers on one question as it rages on: Do guns make us safer or do they make our lives more dangerous?

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Business

We the People

We the People

Local affiliate joins the national Move to Amend campaign aimed at reversing corporate personhood

Amending the U.S. Constitution is no small task, but that’s what the Move to Amend campaign has set out to do.

The campaign is pushing for a constitutional amendment that defines exactly what a person is (a definition in which corporations do not qualify), arguing that nothing less is necessary to restore real democracy in America. 

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Environment

Making the Grade

Making the Grade

The quest to identify sources of high levels of bacteria at Cowell Beach continues

With straight As on Heal the Bay’s annual “beach report card” for 10 out of 13 Santa Cruz County beaches—Main Beach, Seabright, and even Cowell Beach at the Stairs, to name a few—it would seem that Santa Cruz boasts a high coastal GPA. But in recent years, one Santa Cruz beach just can’t seem to pass: Cowell Beach west of the Santa Cruz Municipal Wharf.

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Environment

Powered by You

Powered by You

Community Choice Aggregation gives local energy a chance

Come June, the public will be let in on a secret. It's the secret to buying and selling renewable energy at a competitive price.

Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) is a local government-run electricity program that operates as a nonprofit entity, according to the Santa Cruz County Commission on the Environment. CCA agencies can aggregate local, renewable resources generated in a consortium of counties and cities and sell it back to these districts, which form a joint powers authority.

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Field Work

Santa Cruz Mountain winemakers explain how the harvest works, and what kind of wine to expect from this year's crop

 

Libra's Two Choices

Libra (our last week) is the sign of creating right relations and values. In Libra we are asked to choose how to be, our identity in the world. We can maintain a hermetic sealed-off attitude (my life, my work, my money, etc.) or we can gain knowledge of world events and learn more about those in need. Libra is a group sign—self with others. Here are some events occurring in our world this week concerning food, poverty, spirituality, values and global realities. The UN (a spiritual experiment) each month places a “light” upon world problems. This week a light shines on Rural Women, Farms, Food & Poverty. Before we choose to respond we must have knowledge. “So we can each do our part.” Oct. 15 - International Day of Rural Women (unrecognized with few resources); Oct. 16 - World Food Day & Family Farming: Feeding the World, Caring for the Earth; Oct. 17 - Eradication of Poverty Day (international). During the month of Libra (with Saturn exalted), we pause, contemplate and assess what it is we know, don’t know, and need to know. Libra receives and distributes Ray 3 of divine intelligence, right relations, right choice and right economy (Venus). Use your intelligence “tips the Libran scales” in terms of being able to see and then choose between the two paths Libra offers (return to the past or step forward into Scorpio’s Discipleship). Libra (the oscillating light) prepares us for the great tests and conflicts in Scorpio. In Libra we are subtly tested as we learn the nature of polarized energies (s/he loves me, s/he loves me not). In Libra we learn more about ourselves through others. Libra’s Ray 3 asks us to become more adaptable and skillful. And then we are to teach each other what we know. In Libra, we all become teachers. In all these ways love is cultivated.

 

The New Tech Nexus

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

 

Docs Without Borders

United Nations Association Film Festival showcases documentaries from around the globe
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Nut Kreations

Co-owner Craig Olsen goes nuts over nuts

 

What artist or artists participating in the encore weekend of Open Studios should not be missed?

Santa Cruz | Teacher

 

Martin Ranch Winery

Friends who are wine club members of Martin Ranch invited us to the winery’s fun and festive annual barbecue, where the wine is flowing and the food just keeps on coming. Music and dancing are part and parcel of the action, and a good time is guaranteed.

 

Beer Bus

Santa Cruz’s new Brew Cruz, award winning ales, mole by el Jardín, and Wildcat Ridge Chardonnay