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Apr 24th
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Local News

Uneasy Negotiations

Uneasy Negotiations

Cabrillo support staff reports feeling the brunt of budget cuts

Luz Martinez says she sees lives instead of paperwork when she processes academic transcripts for transferring Cabrillo College students. With four sons in college, she knows how crucial timely delivery of these documents to universities from community colleges can be.

“If the paperwork doesn't get out to places like UC Berkeley and San Jose State in time, they could have their enrollment terminated,” says Martinez, who works in the school’s admissions department. “I don't want to jeopardize their future, but our office has already been reduced from 12 to 10 workers and it's getting harder and harder.”

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Local News

Making History Hip Again

Making History Hip Again

Santa Cruz duo starts historical walking tour company

In his fedora and three-piece vest, Ben Lilly resembles a rehearsing actor. He moves his hands animatedly, raising his voice to fight the sound of motorcycles, crashing surf and foot traffic around the Santa Cruz Wharf. His audience, a small group of locals and tourists, listens as he extols stories of a long-ago era.

The recent scene resembles a street performance, but is actually the first installment of Santa Cruz City Tours’ History Tour, a 1.5-mile jaunt from Pacific Avenue’s Memorial Square to the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk.

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Business

Time On Their Side

Time On Their Side

TimeBank Santa Cruz celebrates its continuing evolution with an upcoming mixer

After a viral kickoff accumulating hordes of members in February, TimeBank Santa Cruz has scaled back to keep what—and who—works best.

The basic currency of TimeBank is, fittingly, time. One hour of pruning, for example, earns you one credit for an hour of clarinet lessons, computer repair, dog walking, or any number of other offerings from fellow members. The group has invited the public to come learn about its ways at a Saturday, Aug. 18 potluck at Frederick Street Park in Santa Cruz.

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Local News

The Homes Of The Homeless

The Homes Of The Homeless

Santa Cruz police near the end of a campaign to clear out illegal campsites

On a narrow strip of land between Highway 1 and Plymouth Street, Santa Cruz police officers Barnaby Clark, Mike Huynh and Sgt. Dan Flippo fan out as they approach a dingy blue tent with a maroon blanket draped over it.

Huynh draws his gun and holds it ready by his hip as Flippo calls out, “Police! Anybody home?”

No answer.

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Environment

Pedaling A New Path

Pedaling A New Path

A change in leadership pumps new energy into People Power

Ten years later, Micah Posner has called it quits.

After more than a decade at the helm, and 20 years of being involved, the former People Power director has stepped down from the role to run for a seat on the Santa Cruz City Council.

Taking his place is 26-year-old Amelia Conlen, who has now been working as the fourth director of People Power for a little more than two weeks. Although Posner plans to remain on the steering committee of the organization, which pegs itself as “Santa Cruz County's advocate for human-powered transportation,” he says he is counting on Conlen to revitalize the group.

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Local News

Balancing Budgets and Beds

Balancing Budgets and Beds

Compromise in the land of tourism

Separating Santa Cruz the city from Santa Cruz the tourist magnate is like separating sand from salt—change one, and you affect the other.

In a continuing effort to balance the city’s rebounding budget, the city council announced an either/or tax measure on July 24 that raises the transient occupancy tax (TOT) increase, either to 11 percent or 12 percent from its current 10 percent.

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Environment

A Forest Of Regeneration

A Forest Of Regeneration

A hike through Nisene Marks with the history dude

Sandy Lydon, known around Santa Cruz County as “the History Dude,” sits on the back of his white pickup truck in The Forest of Nisene Marks visitor parking lot, a map of the state park spread out beside him. He is explaining some of the earlier history of the land—a thing he knows quite a bit about, having studied, written and taught about the subject over the past 40 years.

“I’ve been kind of the history guy here, officially and not,” he says. Among other things, Lydon is also Emeritus Historian of Cabrillo College, a former KCBA television weather anchor, and a crusader against “hooey history”—a battle first taken up by a mid-20th century Santa Cruz Sentinel history columnist.  I rendezvous with Lydon for a preview of the history walk he will lead at the park’s Saturday, Aug. 4 50th anniversary celebration.

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Local News

Occupy Santa Cruz, The Movie

Occupy Santa Cruz, The Movie

Video documentary honors local Occupiers

A local videotographer and Occupy activist, Brent Adams, recently posted a total of 90 minutes of professionally edited documentary video on Occupy Santa Cruz (OSC) to YouTube, making public an “historical artifact” that includes a cast of several hundred local people involved in the protest. While Adams says the documentary, broken into six parts from “Day One” of the protest to the group’s eviction from San Lorenzo Park, focuses on the discrepancies, omissions and biases of mainstream media coverage of Occupy Santa Cruz, he says this is not what motivated his work work.

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Town Hall

A Q&A with Assemblymember Bill Monning

A Q&A with Assemblymember Bill Monning

Good Times recently sat down with Assemblymember Bill Monning to explore what’s going on in Sacramento. Monning visited GT headquarters on Friday, July 20, just a few hours after news of the State Parks scandal broke. The State Parks Director had resigned and her second in command was fired after a $54 million unreported surplus was discovered in two separate State Parks accounts. Here’s an excerpt from our conversation.

How can a government agency get away with hiding $54 million—especially while also overseeing closures of state parks?

It’s surprising and shocking and distressing. There’s been a lot of extraordinary effort [to save state parks] and clearly not knowing about those resources has made that work even tougher. This is not a laughing matter, but I’d say we are usually accused of spending money we don’t have, so it’s rather surprising to find there is money that hadn’t been accounted for. Not excusing malfeasance, the positive is that it will create some more flexibility to address some of the tough issues that State Parks is facing right now.

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Local News

Federal Healthcare Reform Hits Home

Federal Healthcare Reform Hits Home

California health insurance exchange could benefit up to 25,000 locally

Of an estimated 40 million Americans without health insurance, about 55,000 live in Santa Cruz County, according to the 2010 Community Assessment Project for the county. In other words, one in every five county residents is currently uninsured, and that number has been increasing since 2008.

This will change dramatically when the Affordable Care Act [ACA], President Barack Obama’s flagship policy that aims to create near universal health coverage for Americans, goes into effect in 2014.

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We Can Rebuild You

A look back at how downtown Santa Cruz recovered from the 1989 earthquake

 

International Earth Day—Mother Earth Day

Every April 22, humanity celebrates International Mother Earth Day and Earth Day. As more than a billion people participate in Earth Day activities every year, Earth Day has become the world’s largest civic observance. The massive concern to build right relations between humanity and the living being we call Earth is evidence of humanity’s love of the Mother. In 2009, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed April 22 International Mother Earth Day, with a significant resolution affirming “the interdependence existing among human beings, other living species (the kingdoms—mineral, plant, animal and human) and the planet itself, the Earth which we all inhabit.” The Earth is our home. Celebrating Earth Day helps us define new emerging processes (economic, social, political) focused on the well-being of the kingdoms. Through these, humanity seeks to raise the quality of life, foster equality and begin to establish right relations with the Earth. We dedicate ourselves to bringing forth balance and a relationship of harmony with all of nature. Learn about planting a billion trees (the Canopy Project); participate in 1.5 billion acts of green. Disassociation (toward Earth) is no longer viable. We lose our connection to life itself. Participation is viable—an anchor, refuge and service for all of life on Earth. Visit earthday.org; harmonywithnatureun.org; and un.org/en/events/motherearthday for more information. From Farmers Almanac, “On Earth Day, enjoy the tonic of fresh air, contact with the soil, companionship with nature! Go barefooted. Walk through woods, find wildflowers and green moss. Remain outside, no matter the weather!” Nature, Earth’s most balanced kingdom, heals us. The New Group of World Servers is preparing for the May 3 Wesak Buddha Taurus solar festival. We prepare through asking for and offering forgiveness. Forgiveness purifies and like nature, heals.

 

The New Tech Nexus

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

 

Mission Critical

How reading Lisa Jensen’s reviews taught me to love film
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Oral Fixations

Blown away by a Tuesday night dinner at Oswald

 

What would you like to see a TED talk about?

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

 

Sarah’s Vineyard

Sarah’s Vineyard of Gilroy is known for crafting fine wines—and one of my all-time favorites is its Chardonnay. But this time, its Viognier has my vote.

 

Munch

East Coast meets West Coast in new meat lover’s paradise