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May 29th
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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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Environment

Battleground State

Battleground State

California is ground zero for the GMO debate as the Prop. 37 campaign ramps up

Taking the temperature of an issue that has been bubbling since inception is difficult to do—but it’s safe to say this one is about to tip into a rapid boil.

As part of a statewide campaign to question genetically modified (GMO) food safety, the “Truth about GMOs” tour will present speakers Jeffrey Smith and Ocean Robbins at the Louden Nelson Community Center on Wednesday, Aug. 1. The speaking tour is timed to highlight the issue as voters prepare to decide on Prop. 37, a measure on the November ballot that, if passed, would put the words “Genetically Engineered” or “Partially Produced with Genetic Engineering” on the packaging of food that contains GMOs come July 2014. 

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Town Hall

Town Hall with Congressman Sam Farr

Town Hall with Congressman Sam Farr

What is the “Republicans’ War on Oceans,” as you call it, and what are you and other legislators doing to uphold President Barack Obama’s National Oceans Policy and protect our oceans, overall?

Each day, our oceans are under assault from numerous threats. Around the world, acidification, rising sea levels and pollution wreak havoc on fragile ocean environments. Here in the United States, marine debris arrives on our shores daily. Just last week, a man in Rio del Mar reported finding a buoy with Japanese lettering which may have arrived from last year’s tsunami. This comes on the heels of a 40-foot Japanese dock that washed up in Oregon. These battles are a national problem that require a national solution.

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Local News

Living The Dream

Living The Dream

Locals react to decision to provide work permits to undocumented youth

UC Santa Cruz psychology major Carmen Macias never knew she was undocumented while growing up. She came to the United States when she was 3 years old from Jalisco, Mexico, a place she doesn’t remember. Her family never spoke of her undocumented status.

When her parents and her teachers at Los Angeles public schools stressed that education was key to her future, Macias embraced the notion. Attending college became a goal and a dream.

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Local News

Defining Accessibility

Defining Accessibility

New website provides a forum for reviewing businesses based on accessibility

For people who live with a disability, going to stores, restaurants and other places of business without knowing whether or not they can access the building or its facilities can be a shot in the dark.

Whether a person's disability is physical or mental, not having sufficient information about a destination can be a source of intimidation and frustration.

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Local News

One-Way Relationship

One-Way Relationship

City funds bus tickets out of Santa Cruz for homeless people

Up to 375 homeless people could be riding buses home courtesy of the City of Santa Cruz by this time next year. This is the hoped-for result of $25,000 the city council devoted to the Homeward Bound Project when they approved the city’s new budget at their June 26 meeting. The council used the name of an existing program run by the Homeless Services Center (HSC), which has helped about 75 people per year leave the area since 2006, according to HSC Director Monica Martinez. The effort has been funded by private donations.

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Ocean Odyssey

Sailing the high seas from Santa Cruz to French Polynesia, Sally-Christine Rodgers documents the trials, tribulations and joys of exploring the world by boat

 

Gemini Festival of Goodwill, World Invocation Day

This entire week is a preparation by the New Group of World Servers (NGWS) for the June full moon (Tuesday) and to welcome the Forces of Reconstruction, great outer planetary forces streaming into the Earth at the Gemini Solar Festival. The Gemini Festival at the June full moon is called the Festival of Goodwill and World Invocation Day (recitation of the Great Invocation, the mantram of direction for humanity, hourly around the world). During the (12 degrees) Gemini festival, the Wesak blessing of the will-to-good is released and radiated (Gemini distributes) to humanity. When the will-to-good is received, humanity is then able to radiate goodwill to each other and to the kingdoms. The Gemini Festival is the third of the Three Spring Festivals (triangle of Force), setting the spiritual template and resources for Earth for the rest of the year (‘til next spring). This festival recognizes the true spirit of humanity—aspiring toward and seeking the will of God, dedicated to right human relation. At the full moon, the Divine nature of humanity is recognized. Christ stands with humanity, leader of his people, “the Eldest in a great family of brothers” (Romans VIII, 29.) Each year at the Gemini festival, Christ preaches the last sermon of Buddha, His brother, a sermon calling forth human and spiritual unity, represented by an outflow of love (work of the Christ) and wisdom (work of the Buddha). The forces of reconstruction stream in during the Festival, ushering in an era of pronounced creative activity, rebuilding the tangible world on new creative lines. This necessitates the total destruction of the old forms no longer useful for the new world era. Everyone is invited. Join us everyone for this Festival of Goodwill by reciting the Great Invocation.

 

The New Tech Nexus

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

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of May 29

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >
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The Main Avant

Jozseph Schultz caters New Music Works’ 35th annual Avant Garden Party, plus brews for a cause

 

What will Santa Cruz be like in the future?

 society that is more awakened and realizes its own value and the beauty of the stunning Earth. Marguerite Clifford, Felton, Nutrition Health Care

 

Chesebro Wines

Piedras Blancas-Roussanne 2011

 

Real Thai Kitchen

Ratana Bowden on why Thai cuisine isn’t as spicy as everyone thinks