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Aug 29th
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Local News

Getting to the Roots

Getting to the Roots

Child abuse seminar aims to help local professionals intervene

In 1975, 24-year-old Daniel Sonkin was an intern in a San Francisco Planned Parenthood, where he gave pregnancy test results to patients. Among the many clients he delivered pregnancy news to, one woman in particular caught his attention. The woman, who he remembers as being in her 20s, had terrible bruises covering her arms. He couldn’t help but inquire.

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Town Hall

Town Hall with Congressman Sam Farr

Town Hall with Congressman Sam Farr

Much has been made of President Barack Obama bypassing congress to get things done in recent weeks. How do you feel about that? Was it his only choice in light of congress’ frequent stalemate?

There is one clear consensus that has emerged from the Tea Party-led gridlock in congress: their priority is to defeat President Obama. To drive the point home, it was stated as such by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell just a short time after Republicans took control of the House.

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Local News

Prophets of Non-Profit Energy

Prophets of Non-Profit Energy

An exploration of publicly owned utilities

The long drawn-out saga of Pacific Gas & Electric's controversial SmartMeter program has some in Santa Cruz looking for alternatives to the for-profit utility. One idea being floated is starting government-run municipal power companies, although there is little chance this change is on the immediate horizon.

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Environment

Sister, Sister

Sister, Sister

Santa Cruz reaches out with aid for its sister city in Japan

When Alan Hiromura’s sister died from a particularly aggressive case of leukemia in December 2008, he searched for a way to commemorate her life. His opportunity eventually arose with another sister in need.

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Town Hall

Town Hall with Supervisor Mark Stone

Town Hall with Supervisor Mark Stone

The Board of Supervisors will consider extending its moratorium on PG&E’s SmartMeters at its Jan. 10 meeting. What would extending the moratorium accomplish? Does the Board have any plans to approach the installation of SmartMeters differently than it has been?

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Environment

Glass Half Full

Glass Half Full

Historical tome lends new perspective on present-day local water issues

The track record of grand solutions to dwindling water supplies in Santa Cruz is marked by a few brilliant successes. But also visible upon close examination is wreckage of plans that capsized after hitting political rapids or became beached when funding dried up, according to local historian Randall Brown. In his 2011 book, “The San Lorenzo Valley Water District: A History,” Brown looks 150 years down the stream of the area's history, exploring what worked and what caused more harm than good.

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Town Hall

Town Hall with Assemblymember Bill Monning

Town Hall with Assemblymember Bill Monning

Looking back at 2011, it can feel like quite a turbulent year for the State of California: deep cuts to education and social services, a divisive political climate, an economic slump.  What toll did the year’s events take, and where will our Golden State go from here?

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Local News

Heavy Lifting

Heavy Lifting

Local athletic couple want to keep Santa Cruz strong

Santa Cruz Strength is located in an unassuming industrial building off of Harvey West Boulevard. It’s not like a 24 Hour Fitness or a Gold’s Gym; there aren’t miles of exercise machines and there are no televisions lining the wall. It’s a stripped down sort of place where you’re as liable to see someone lifting weights as you are to see them lift concrete spheres or a length of rope that looks like it should be attached to a ship’s anchor.

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Environment

Black Out

Black Out

EDITOR’S NOTE: PG&E restored power to the homes in this story via a short-term solution after this article went to press. 

SmartMeter drama leads PG&E to shut off residents’ power

Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) is known to make exceptions around the holidays for customers who are delinquent on payments. If it’s close to Christmas, the utility provider channels the “goodwill toward men” sentiment and leaves the power on for those tardy patrons. But this seasonally inspired leniency didn’t apply to at least four Santa Cruz County households who had their power disconnected by PG&E in the week before Christmas.

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Environment

Gulch Goes Forward

Gulch Goes Forward

Coastal Commission approves Arana Gulch plan, opponents fight on

The 10 to one vote of “approval with conditions” by the California Coastal Commission at their Dec. 8 meeting given to the City of Santa Cruz for the newest version of their Arana Gulch Master Plan was seen as a victory for supporters. It was the commission's third review of the plan in two years. With slight changes each time, the basic idea is still to pave selected trails and build two bridges over portions of the 68-acre greenbelt between the Eastside of Santa Cruz and Live Oak north of the Upper Harbor.

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Mercury Enters Libra

It’s the week of Burning Man, the temporary, intentional, alternative, art-filled community on the playas of Nevada. Mercury, messenger of the Sun, enters Libra this week. Libra is the equalizer, a sign of balance and right human relations. Sometimes with Libra, we can be indecisive and confused while learning how to make balanced and right choices. Sometimes to keep the peace we communicate only what others want to hear. Eventually, we learn how to speak from the heart.

 

Final Cut

Cedar Street Video to close after 10 years at downtown location

 

Banter and Spark

Engaging actors, wry script distinguish lightweight rom-com ‘What If’

 

Back to Silicon Beach

With a new wave of startups, the future of Santa Cruz tech looks more promising than ever
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Himalayan Kitchen

Chef Purna Regmi on the secrets of Nepalese cooking

 

What’s the nicest thing you’ve done for someone this week?

Germany  |  Beekeeper

 

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

 

A Cab To Be Coveted

I first tasted Villa del Monte’s 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon at a Fourth of July party, where the hosts had bought a case of it because they love it and didn’t want to run out. It’s one of those wines that will grab you—in the best way—with its full body and rich fruit characteristics.