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Apr 20th
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Environment

Growing The Genome Project

Growing The Genome Project

UCSC releases a more readable version of the human genome

“It’s funny, biology is such a mass discipline,” says Jim Kent. “What we focus on is often as much of a reflection on ourselves as it is on anything.” As director of the UC Santa Cruz Genome Browser Project and head of the ENCODE Data Coordination Center, Kent sets quite an example for channeling cultural fascination with science into real-world application.

“Back in the 1960s, when the focus was on energy and physics, people figured out the energy centers of the cell,” says Kent. But in 2012—a time of immense, international collaboration between biologists and computer engineers—the “culture of the age” culminated in September with a much more accessible and informative translation of the entire human genome than was previously available.

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Local News

Time To Say So Long

Time To Say So Long

Thanks for the Good Times

I started my first newspaper job when I was 10 years old, when I sold the Herald Express on the corner of Lankershim Boulevard and Riverside Drive in North Hollywood, Calif. The year was 1956. I stood on the corner trying to hawk the paper to passing cars stopping at the traffic light. It was boring, so I decided to put the papers on my bike and go around to all the businesses in the neighborhood, and wound up creating a route for myself, consisting of local merchants in the area. I found that to be much more productive. I received tips and sold many more papers than when I stood at the corner. My pay for selling each 10-cent paper was 3 cents. I was paid daily, and I would take my earnings down to the nearby bowling alley where I would spend it all on the baseball pinball machine. Little did I know that the newspaper business would be my career for 30-plus years.

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Town Hall

Town Hall With Rep. Sam Farr

Town Hall With Rep. Sam Farr

In regard to the recent attack in Libya, in which the U.S. Ambassador to Libya was killed, what do you believe the implications are in terms of the United States’ involvement in the region, as well as on a political level at home?
I was sad to learn of the attacks on two U.S. diplomatic office sites in Benghazi, Libya that resulted in the death of U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens. He was a fellow returned Peace Corps Volunteer with a distinguished career of public service. His death is a tragedy, compounded by the horrific news that three other U.S. personnel were killed during the Sept. 11 assaults by armed terrorists. 

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Environment

Desalination And You

Desalination And You

How prepared are locals to vote on the city’s most contentious issue?

This Nov. 6, Santa Cruzans will not only cast their votes for a new president or an incumbent one, but also for local city council candidates and ballot measures. Citizens may dedicate much of their political consternation to the presidential election, but there are important decisions to be made at home, too.

The implications run deep and the controversy runs high when it comes to one issue being raised in the local election, in particular: desalination. Because of a potentially dire water shortage in times of drought, the city is looking in the coming years to move forward with—or nix—the building of a $115 million desalination plant, says Bill Kocher, the city’s water director. The plant would be built in the City of Santa Cruz, and would hopefully be finished by 2016, says Mike Rotkin, former city councilmember and co-founder of the Sustainable Water Coalition, which advocates for conservation, water storage and water augmentation measures in Santa Cruz.

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Local News

Opening Up

Opening Up

TEDx Santa Cruz speakers discuss deeper connections with the world

During the TEDx Santa Cruz conference, which took place on Saturday, Sept. 15, poet and author Albert Flynn DeSilver shared his experience of living with alcoholism, an endless cycle of shame, and a cult whose leaders tied him to a tree in the woods. DeSilver says he experienced a revelation while tied to that tree.

“If I ever get untied from this tree, I am going to open myself to creativity, service, and love,” he remembers thinking.

The theme of this year's TEDx—the second to be held in Santa Cruz—was “open.”

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Town Hall

Town Hall With Supervisor Greg Caput

Town Hall With Supervisor Greg Caput

What is the latest in the county’s relationship to and improvement of services for local veterans?

Since I’ve become a member of the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors, I have taken an interest in a multitude of subjects. One that is particularly close to me is that of honoring and looking after our local veterans.

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Local News

City Government 2.0

City Government 2.0

City of Santa Cruz proposes an online business permitting portal in a nationwide contest

In the very near future, long days spent at City Hall trying to get the right information from the right department could be replaced by navigating a single website. The City of Santa Cruz is pitching its tech-smart reputation in a grant proposal that could land the city as much as $5 million for a web-based information service for new business start-ups.

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Business

Life After Abduction

Life After Abduction

Host of upcoming UFO convention describes his experience with extraterrestrials

Scotts Valley resident Robert Perala, 57, is in a rush today. At the top of his to-do list: preparing to emcee UFO CON, which will be held in Santa Clara on Sept. 15 and 16. Perala will introduce, connect and shepherd a guest list of hundreds of extraterrestrial enthusiasts—some of whom will come as lighthearted Trekkies; others, on serious business.

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Local News

Dishing Out Health

Dishing Out Health

Local school district gets creative in its ongoing fight for better nutrition

“Kids should be healthy and hunger-free,” states Jamie Smith, senior manager of Food Services for Santa Cruz City Schools (SCCS), matter-of-factly. “We practice what we preach.”

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Local News

Money In Politics

Money In Politics

Santa Cruz City Council candidates express different views on campaign fundraising

On the national level, campaign spending continues to escalate to mind-bending levels. And with the 2010 Supreme Court Citizens United ruling that removed all financial limits to corporate contributions, the financial arms race for candidates has become increasingly controversial.

According to the Washington Post, presidential candidate Mitt Romney was leading President Barack Obama in campaign fundraising in late August, $185.9 million to $123.7 million. The forthcoming election will be the most expensive on record, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

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Smells Like Team Spirit

The organizers of TEDx Santa Cruz don’t just talk about this year’s theme, ‘radical collaboration’—they live it

 

Pluto Retrograde, Aries New Moon, Lyrid Meteor Showers

As the Lyrid meteors, radiating from the star Vega in the Harp constellation, begin showering heaven and earth with light, Pluto, planet of transformation (or die) turns stationary retrograde (Thursday, April 16), 15 degrees Capricorn. Retrogrades have purpose, allowing humanity time to review, reassess, research and reinvent while returning to previous situations. Retrogrades are times of inner activity, seeds sown in bio-dynamically prepared soil. Pluto retrograde is the most serious and resolute of retrogrades—a pure tincture, or, as in homeopathy, a “constitutional” touching the essences of all that matters. Pluto offers deep insight into confusion or puzzlement and areas where transformation is still incomplete. It’s valuable to have one’s astrology chart to follow what area of life the major planets— especially Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto—are influencing. These outer planets have long-term and lasting effects on our psyche, inner/outer life events, how people see us and how we see and process our world. Pluto, retrograde for five months (until Sept. 24) offers deep earthquakes of change, awakens humanity to the task of building (Capricorn) the new culture and civilization, flailing our inner world about, deepening us until we transform and do things differently. Pluto is an unrelenting teacher. New moon (29 Aries) is Saturday, April 18. With the personality-building keynote, “Let form again be sought.” Mars anchors the new creative fires of Aries into our world. The New Group of World Servers participates together in the new moon festival, while also preparing for the Taurus Wesak, Buddha Full Moon Festival (May 3). Join us everyone.

 

The New Tech Nexus

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

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of April 17

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >
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Latest Comments

 

Mighty Leaf

Radicchio from Dirty Girl Produce, wine etiquette fail, and a treat from Gayle’s

 

What would you like to see a TED talk about?

Hydrogen-gas cars that are coming this summer. Scott Oliver, Santa Cruz, Professor

 

37th Parallel Wines

I visited the Capitola Mall recently to check out the newly launched Third Fridays Walking Art Tour, and was surprised to find an impressive assortment of artwork from local artists.

 

New Bohemian Brewery

New Santa Cruz brewery focuses on European style lagers