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Aug 31st
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Local News

Painting A Brighter Future

Painting A Brighter Future

Emanuel Project comes to Santa Cruz County Juvenile Hall

The silent, hollow halls and squeaky clean interior of the Santa Cruz County Juvenile Detention Center have recently begun to glow with new colors. Giant painted heads with windows for eyes are coming alive in the courtyard; bright stacks of books have begun to illuminate the walls of the cafeteria. The paintings are meant to shed light on the hope and possibilities of the future.

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Town Hall

Town Hall with Rep. Sam Farr

Town Hall with Rep. Sam Farr

Congress did not taken action on the Federal Farm Bill before its Sept. 30 expiration date. What does this mean for Americans, and what can we expect to happen on the Farm Bill front after the election in November?

One of the biggest failures of the do-nothing Republican-led Congress was allowing the Farm Bill to expire. The Farm Bill is a vital piece of legislation that helps regulate the prices of the food we grow. This is a bill that doesn’t just benefit the Midwest states but has value for the entire nation, including families here in California.

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Environment

Sonic Waves

Sonic Waves

PG&E's fault line research could blast marine mammals with sound

Marine mammals including whales, dolphins, seals and sea otters that live and migrate along the Central California coast could be in for some mind-rattling commotion come November if Pacific Gas & Electric Co. receives clearance next month for a controversial research project. California's largest electric company is seeking permits to conduct high-energy and possibly harmful seismic testing in the waters just offshore of the Diablo Canyon Power Plant in San Luis Obispo County.

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Local News

Local Tooth Fairy Turns Twenty

Local Tooth Fairy Turns Twenty

Dientes celebrates two decades of nonprofit dentistry

Since its inception, Dientes Community Dental Care has focused on reaching underserved populations. At first, when the nonprofit was founded by a small group of private dentists in 1992, that population was HIV-infected patients who, because they were shunned from dental insurance plans, had nowhere else to turn for dental care.

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Town Hall

Town Hall with Supervisor John Leopold

Town Hall with Supervisor John Leopold

There has been a lot of community discussion about the kind of development happening throughout the county. How can residents get involved in shaping upcoming land use decisions in the county?

The last comprehensive county planning process for the unincorporated Live Oak, Soquel, Santa Cruz Gardens and Aptos communities was completed in 1994 as part of the General Plan update. In the nearly 20 years since that plan was adopted, many aspects of our community, from transportation to development, have changed. During this time of limited public resources, a comprehensive General Plan update is not anticipated in the foreseeable future. However, we do have a unique opportunity to envision our community's sustainable future.

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Local News

A Place To Call Home

A Place To Call Home

A glimpse at what life is like after being housed by the 180/180 campaign

When Peter Cook wakes up in his new bed, with a roof over his head, he says it takes him a moment to realize where he is. And then, for another moment, he questions whether he's even supposed to be there.

Sitting at his kitchen table, Cook surveys his living quarters with wide-eyed amazement. The space is mostly unfurnished—in the living room there is a dresser, an unplugged television on the floor and a Yamaha keyboard, one of the few possession he brought with him.

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Business

Pulling Together

Pulling Together

After a recession-induced slump, the local tourism industry finds its footing

Along with the recession’s worst impacts—ballooning unemployment and rampant foreclosures, to name but two—the option of going on vacation disappeared from many people’s summer plans.

Santa Cruz began feeling the impact of this by 2009, when visitation dipped below Santa Cruz’s economic comfort zone and the persevering visitors spent less time and less money in the county. According to Smith Travel Research, annual hotel occupancy decreased from 55.6 percent in 2008 to 48.8 percent in 2009.

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Local News

Great To Be Back

Great To Be Back

After spending the last four and half years as the publisher for three community weeklies down in San Diego, it feels great to be back.

I always felt a special vibe and energy when working in the Santa Cruz area. And to now also call it my home takes it to another level. My attachment with Santa Cruz began many years ago. From elementary through high school, I spent many days with my great aunt and uncle in their beautiful Victorian on the corner of Windham and Caledonia streets, as my family would escape the burning inferno also known as the Central Valley in the summertime. Walking down to the corner grocery store as a small boy with 10 cents in my pocket to pick and choose from the assorted array of penny candies, going to the Boardwalk, and the smell of homemade biscuits, boysenberry pie and chicken and dumplings are all fond memories of those times spent in Santa Cruz.

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Local News

Needle In A Law Stack

Needle In A Law Stack

California passes law that adds a step to opting out of immunizations

As Gov. Jerry Brown’s Sept. 30 bill-signing deadline drew to a close, he finished signing or vetoing nearly 700 bills that had stacked up on his desk in hopes of becoming laws. One of the lucky winners was AB 2109, a bill that was introduced by Assemblymember Richard Pan (D-Sacramento) in February, and passed the California Senate 22 to 14 and assembly 59 to 21 in August.

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Local News

What’s At Stake?

What’s At Stake?

Proposition 30 proposes raising taxes to save public schools from more budget cuts

Over-packed kindergarten classrooms are just one example of the ways California public schools are tightening their resources to make up for budget cuts, but Santa Cruz County Superintendent of Schools Michael Watkins says that strategy can only go so far.

“Most of our revenue comes from increasing class size, but you can't just continue to add kids to a class to get more revenue,” he says. “It compromises the quality of our education.”

In the last four years, between $12 and $15 billion have been cut from the state's education budget. Those cuts came as major hits for public schools, but the problems trace back much further. 

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The Meaning of ‘LIFE’

With a new documentary film about his work, and huge exhibits on both coasts, acclaimed Santa Cruz nature photographer Frans Lanting is having a landmark year. But his crusade for conservation doesn’t leave much time for looking back

 

Seasons of Opportunity

Everything in our world has a specific time (a season) in which to accomplish a specific work—a “season” that begins (opportunity) and ends (time’s up). I can feel the season is changing. The leaves turning colors, the air cooler, sunbeams casting shadows in different places. It feels like a seasonal change has begun in the northern hemisphere. Christmas is in four months, and 2015 is swiftly speeding by. Soon it will be autumn and time for the many Festivals of Light. Each season offers new opportunities. Then the season ends and new seasons take its place. Humanity, too, is given “seasons” of opportunity. We are in one of those opportunities now, to bring something new (Uranus) into our world, especially in the United States. Times of opportunity can be seen in the astrology chart. In the U.S. chart, Uranus (change) joins Chiron (wound/healing). This symbolizes a need to heal the wounds of humanity. Uranus offers new archetypes, new ways of doing things. The Uranus/Chiron (Aries/Pisces) message is, “The people of the U.S. are suffering. New actions are needed to bring healing and well-being to humanity. So the U.S. can fulfill its spiritual task of standing within the light and leading humanity within and toward the light.” Thursday, Aquarius Moon, Mercury enters Libra. The message, “To bring forth the new order in the world, begin with acts of Goodwill.” Goodwill produces right relations with everyone and everything. The result is a world of progressive well-being and peacefulness (which is neither passive nor the opposite of war). Saturday is the full moon, the solar light of Virgo streaming into the Earth. Our waiting now begins, for the birth of new light at winter solstice. The mother (hiding the light of the soul, the holy child), identifying the feminine principle, says, “I am the mother and the child. I, God (Father), I Matter (Mother), We are One.”

 

The New Tech Nexus

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

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of August 28

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >
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Land of Plenty

Farm to Fork benefit dinner for UCSC’s Agroecology Center, plus a zippy salsa from Teresa’s Salsa that loves every food it meets

 

If you knew you had one week to live, what would you do?

Make peace with myself, which would allow me to be at peace with others. Diane Fisher, Santa Cruz, Network Engineer

 

Comanche Cellars

Michael Simons, owner and winemaker of Comanche Cellars, once had a trusted steed called Comanche, which was part of his paper route and his rodeo circuit, from the tender age of 10. In memory of this beautiful horse, he named his winery Comanche, and Comanche’s shoes grace the label of each handcrafted bottle.

 

Cantine Winepub

Aptos wine and tapas spot keeps it casual