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May 23rd
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Local News

Good On Paper?

Good On Paper?

Proposition 32 promises campaign finance reform, but is there a catch?

If you liked the Citizens United Supreme Court decision—which recognized corporate “personhood” and equated money with free speech—California labor unions are saying you’re also bound to like Proposition 32. But unions aren’t the only forces coming out against Prop. 32, or the “Political Contributions by Payroll Deduction, Contributions to Candidates Initiative.” Two of the state’s leading, nonpartisan government reform groups, the League of Women Voters and Common Cause, say Prop. 32 is a “deceptive measure” that will greatly expand the political influence of one particular interest group: large businesses and corporations.

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Local News

Painting A Brighter Future

Painting A Brighter Future

Emanuel Project comes to Santa Cruz County Juvenile Hall

The silent, hollow halls and squeaky clean interior of the Santa Cruz County Juvenile Detention Center have recently begun to glow with new colors. Giant painted heads with windows for eyes are coming alive in the courtyard; bright stacks of books have begun to illuminate the walls of the cafeteria. The paintings are meant to shed light on the hope and possibilities of the future.

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Town Hall

Town Hall with Rep. Sam Farr

Town Hall with Rep. Sam Farr

Congress did not taken action on the Federal Farm Bill before its Sept. 30 expiration date. What does this mean for Americans, and what can we expect to happen on the Farm Bill front after the election in November?

One of the biggest failures of the do-nothing Republican-led Congress was allowing the Farm Bill to expire. The Farm Bill is a vital piece of legislation that helps regulate the prices of the food we grow. This is a bill that doesn’t just benefit the Midwest states but has value for the entire nation, including families here in California.

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Environment

Sonic Waves

Sonic Waves

PG&E's fault line research could blast marine mammals with sound

Marine mammals including whales, dolphins, seals and sea otters that live and migrate along the Central California coast could be in for some mind-rattling commotion come November if Pacific Gas & Electric Co. receives clearance next month for a controversial research project. California's largest electric company is seeking permits to conduct high-energy and possibly harmful seismic testing in the waters just offshore of the Diablo Canyon Power Plant in San Luis Obispo County.

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Local News

Local Tooth Fairy Turns Twenty

Local Tooth Fairy Turns Twenty

Dientes celebrates two decades of nonprofit dentistry

Since its inception, Dientes Community Dental Care has focused on reaching underserved populations. At first, when the nonprofit was founded by a small group of private dentists in 1992, that population was HIV-infected patients who, because they were shunned from dental insurance plans, had nowhere else to turn for dental care.

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Town Hall

Town Hall with Supervisor John Leopold

Town Hall with Supervisor John Leopold

There has been a lot of community discussion about the kind of development happening throughout the county. How can residents get involved in shaping upcoming land use decisions in the county?

The last comprehensive county planning process for the unincorporated Live Oak, Soquel, Santa Cruz Gardens and Aptos communities was completed in 1994 as part of the General Plan update. In the nearly 20 years since that plan was adopted, many aspects of our community, from transportation to development, have changed. During this time of limited public resources, a comprehensive General Plan update is not anticipated in the foreseeable future. However, we do have a unique opportunity to envision our community's sustainable future.

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Local News

A Place To Call Home

A Place To Call Home

A glimpse at what life is like after being housed by the 180/180 campaign

When Peter Cook wakes up in his new bed, with a roof over his head, he says it takes him a moment to realize where he is. And then, for another moment, he questions whether he's even supposed to be there.

Sitting at his kitchen table, Cook surveys his living quarters with wide-eyed amazement. The space is mostly unfurnished—in the living room there is a dresser, an unplugged television on the floor and a Yamaha keyboard, one of the few possession he brought with him.

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Business

Pulling Together

Pulling Together

After a recession-induced slump, the local tourism industry finds its footing

Along with the recession’s worst impacts—ballooning unemployment and rampant foreclosures, to name but two—the option of going on vacation disappeared from many people’s summer plans.

Santa Cruz began feeling the impact of this by 2009, when visitation dipped below Santa Cruz’s economic comfort zone and the persevering visitors spent less time and less money in the county. According to Smith Travel Research, annual hotel occupancy decreased from 55.6 percent in 2008 to 48.8 percent in 2009.

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Local News

Great To Be Back

Great To Be Back

After spending the last four and half years as the publisher for three community weeklies down in San Diego, it feels great to be back.

I always felt a special vibe and energy when working in the Santa Cruz area. And to now also call it my home takes it to another level. My attachment with Santa Cruz began many years ago. From elementary through high school, I spent many days with my great aunt and uncle in their beautiful Victorian on the corner of Windham and Caledonia streets, as my family would escape the burning inferno also known as the Central Valley in the summertime. Walking down to the corner grocery store as a small boy with 10 cents in my pocket to pick and choose from the assorted array of penny candies, going to the Boardwalk, and the smell of homemade biscuits, boysenberry pie and chicken and dumplings are all fond memories of those times spent in Santa Cruz.

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Local News

Needle In A Law Stack

Needle In A Law Stack

California passes law that adds a step to opting out of immunizations

As Gov. Jerry Brown’s Sept. 30 bill-signing deadline drew to a close, he finished signing or vetoing nearly 700 bills that had stacked up on his desk in hopes of becoming laws. One of the lucky winners was AB 2109, a bill that was introduced by Assemblymember Richard Pan (D-Sacramento) in February, and passed the California Senate 22 to 14 and assembly 59 to 21 in August.

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Gate Openers

Up-and-coming artists like Ryan Bingham are a great reason to show up early to the Santa Cruz American Music Festival

 

Gemini Sun, Pentecost, Shavuot—Enlightenment and Gladness

As the sun enters Gemini on Sunday, sign of speaking, communication, thinking, inter-relations, writing and understanding languages, the feast days of Pentecost & Shavuot (Catholic and Jewish festivals) occur. During Pentecost’s 50 days after Easter, tongues of fire appear above the heads of the disciples, providing them with the ability to understand all languages and all feelings hidden in the minds and hearts of humanity. It’s recorded that Pentecost began with a loud noise, which happened in an upper room (signifying the mind). The Christ (World Teacher) told his disciples (after his ascension) when encountering a man at a well carrying a water pot (signs for Age of Aquarius) to follow him to an upper room. There, the Holy Spirit (Ray 3 of Divine Intelligence) would overshadow them, expand their minds, give them courage and enable them to teach throughout the world, speaking all languages and thus able to minister to the true needs of a “seeking” humanity. Pentecost (50 days, pentagram, Ray 5, Venus, concrete and scientific knowledge, the Ray of Aquarius) sounds dramatic, impressive and scary: The loud noise, a thunderous rush of wind and then “tongues of fire” above the heads of each disciple (men and women). Fire has purpose. It purifies, disintegrates, purges, transforms and liberates (frees) us from the past. This was the Holy Spirit (Ray 3, love and wisdom) being received by the disciples, so they would teach in the world and inform humanity of the Messiah (Christ), who initiated the new age (Pisces) and gave humanity the new law (adding to the 10 Commandments of the Aries Age) to Love (Ray 2) one another. Note: Gemini is also Ray 2. Shavuot is the Jewish Festival of Gladness, the First Fruits Festival celebrating the giving of the 10 Commandments to Moses as the Aries Age was initiated. Thus, we have two developmental stages here, Jewish festival of the Old Testament. Pentecost of the New Testament. We have gladness, integrating both.

 

The New Tech Nexus

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

 

Off Her Meds

Kristin Wiig runs wild—and transcends her sketch comedy roots—as a truly strange character ‘Welcome to Me’
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Flats Bistro

Pizza with an artisan twist comes to Aptos Beach

 

What’s your take on Santa Cruz locals?

Santa Cruz locals are really friendly once you know them. I think a lot of them have a hard time leaving, and I would too. Ryan Carle, Santa Cruz, Biologist

 

Soquel Vineyards

If Soquel Vineyards partners Peter and Paul Bargetto and Jon Morgan were walking down the street wearing their winning wine competition medals, you’d hear them coming from a mile away. This year was particularly rewarding for the Bargettos and Morgan—they won two Double Gold Medals and five Gold Medals at January’s San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition.

 

Enlightened Flavors

Squash & Blossom’s artisanal alternative-flour delights, beet kvass from Cafe Ivéta, and the Santa Cruz Baroque Festival