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Feb 13th
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Santa Cruz News

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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Business

Marching for Justice

Marching for Justice

California lawyers walk from San Diego to Sacramento to raise awareness of the wrongfully convicted

In 1993, William Richards returned home from work after midnight to his remote community in San Bernardino to find his wife lying half-naked on the ground brutally murdered.

Frantic, he called 911. Homicide detectives arrived hours later, but waited until the morning to investigate and failed to secure the crime scene. Since the detectives did not find evidence of any other suspects at the time, Richards was charged with his wife’s death. After three trials, Richards was found guilty and sentenced to life in prison despite his plea of innocence.

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Heart Me Up

In defense of Valentine’s Day

 

“be(ing) of love (a little) more careful”—e.e. cummings

Wednesday (Feb. 10) is Ash Wednesday, when Lent begins. Friday (Feb. 12) is Lincoln’s 207th birthday. Sunday is Valentine’s Day. On Ash Wednesday, with foreheads marked with a cross of ashes, we hear the words, “From dust thou art and unto dust thou shalt return.” Reminding us that our bodies, made of matter, will remain here on Earth when we are called back. It is our Soul that will take us home again. Lent offers us 40 days and nights of purification in preparation for the Resurrection (Easter) festival (an initiation) and for the Three Spring Festivals (at the time of the full moon)—Aries, Taurus, Gemini. The New Group of World Servers have been preparing since Winter Solstice. The number 40 is significant. The Christ (Pisces World Teacher) was in the desert for 40 days and 40 nights prior to His three-year ministry. The purpose of this desert exile was to prepare his Archangel (light) body to withstand the pressures of the Earth plane (form and matter). We, too, in our intentional purifications and prayers during the 40 days of Lent, prepare ourselves (physical body, emotions, lower mind) to receive and be able to withstand the irradiation of will, love/wisdom and light streaming into the Earth at spring equinox, Easter, and the Three Spiritual Festivals. What is Lent? The Anglo-Saxon word, lencten, comes from an ancient spring festival, agricultural rites marking the transition between winter and summer. The seasons reflect changes in nature (physical world) and humanity responds with social festivals of gratitude and of renewal. There is a purification process, prayerfulness in nature and in humanity in preparation for a great flow of spiritual energies during springtime. Valentine’s Day: Aquarius Sun, Taurus moon. Let us offer gifts of comfort, ease, harmony, beauty and satisfaction. Things chocolate and golden. Venus and Taurus things.

 

The New Tech Nexus

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

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of February 12

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >
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Pub Watch

Mega gastro pub-in-progress at the Old Sash Mill, plus the best pasta dish downtown

 

How do you know love is real?

When you feel the groove in your heart and you’re inspired to dance. Becca Bing, Boulder Creek, Teacher

 

Temple of Umami

Watsonville’s Miyuki is homestyle cooking, Japanese-style

 

How would you stop people from littering?

Teach them from the time that they’re small that it’s not an appropriate behavior. Juliet Jones, Santa Cruz, Claims Adjuster