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Aug 31st
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Desalination And You

Desalination And You

How prepared are locals to vote on the city’s most contentious issue?

This Nov. 6, Santa Cruzans will not only cast their votes for a new president or an incumbent one, but also for local city council candidates and ballot measures. Citizens may dedicate much of their political consternation to the presidential election, but there are important decisions to be made at home, too.

The implications run deep and the controversy runs high when it comes to one issue being raised in the local election, in particular: desalination. Because of a potentially dire water shortage in times of drought, the city is looking in the coming years to move forward with—or nix—the building of a $115 million desalination plant, says Bill Kocher, the city’s water director. The plant would be built in the City of Santa Cruz, and would hopefully be finished by 2016, says Mike Rotkin, former city councilmember and co-founder of the Sustainable Water Coalition, which advocates for conservation, water storage and water augmentation measures in Santa Cruz.

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Local News

Opening Up

Opening Up

TEDx Santa Cruz speakers discuss deeper connections with the world

During the TEDx Santa Cruz conference, which took place on Saturday, Sept. 15, poet and author Albert Flynn DeSilver shared his experience of living with alcoholism, an endless cycle of shame, and a cult whose leaders tied him to a tree in the woods. DeSilver says he experienced a revelation while tied to that tree.

“If I ever get untied from this tree, I am going to open myself to creativity, service, and love,” he remembers thinking.

The theme of this year's TEDx—the second to be held in Santa Cruz—was “open.”

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Town Hall

Town Hall With Supervisor Greg Caput

Town Hall With Supervisor Greg Caput

What is the latest in the county’s relationship to and improvement of services for local veterans?

Since I’ve become a member of the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors, I have taken an interest in a multitude of subjects. One that is particularly close to me is that of honoring and looking after our local veterans.

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Local News

City Government 2.0

City Government 2.0

City of Santa Cruz proposes an online business permitting portal in a nationwide contest

In the very near future, long days spent at City Hall trying to get the right information from the right department could be replaced by navigating a single website. The City of Santa Cruz is pitching its tech-smart reputation in a grant proposal that could land the city as much as $5 million for a web-based information service for new business start-ups.

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Business

Life After Abduction

Life After Abduction

Host of upcoming UFO convention describes his experience with extraterrestrials

Scotts Valley resident Robert Perala, 57, is in a rush today. At the top of his to-do list: preparing to emcee UFO CON, which will be held in Santa Clara on Sept. 15 and 16. Perala will introduce, connect and shepherd a guest list of hundreds of extraterrestrial enthusiasts—some of whom will come as lighthearted Trekkies; others, on serious business.

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Local News

Dishing Out Health

Dishing Out Health

Local school district gets creative in its ongoing fight for better nutrition

“Kids should be healthy and hunger-free,” states Jamie Smith, senior manager of Food Services for Santa Cruz City Schools (SCCS), matter-of-factly. “We practice what we preach.”

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Local News

Money In Politics

Money In Politics

Santa Cruz City Council candidates express different views on campaign fundraising

On the national level, campaign spending continues to escalate to mind-bending levels. And with the 2010 Supreme Court Citizens United ruling that removed all financial limits to corporate contributions, the financial arms race for candidates has become increasingly controversial.

According to the Washington Post, presidential candidate Mitt Romney was leading President Barack Obama in campaign fundraising in late August, $185.9 million to $123.7 million. The forthcoming election will be the most expensive on record, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

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Local News

Robbing Native Cradles

Robbing Native Cradles

Local nonprofit enlists help of UCSC interns to combat Native American exploitation

 “In the 1880s, under a U.S. government policy of forced assimilation, [Lakota] children as young as 5 years old were removed from their homes, shipped to boarding schools, and instructed in the ways of white culture,” reads a passage on lakotalaw.org, the website for the Lakota Child Rescue Project (LCRP).

A modern-day Robin Hood for many Lakota people—the indigenous people of the Great Plains—the organization is currently compiling a federal civil rights lawsuit in favor of the Great Sioux Nation.

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Town Hall

Town Hall with Assemblymember Bill Monning

Town Hall with Assemblymember Bill Monning

With the fall election drawing near, what is the outlook for Gov. Brown’s tax initiative on the November ballot? What are the possible outcomes if it does or does not pass?

The Governor’s proposed tax initiative, Proposition 30, would establish a temporary personal income tax increase on the state’s wealthiest taxpayers for seven years and an increase on all purchases made in California of one-quarter of one percent for four years in order to fund K-12 education, higher education, and public safety. 

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Local News

A Question of Choice

A Question of Choice

With the new school year comes a renewed debate over the future of charter school education

Crimson red banners and golden pennants from universities are the first things visitors notice upon entering Ceiba College Prep.

The second are the children themselves—recently returned from summer vacation, they animatedly slap fly swatters at a whiteboard in a geometry game, spout facts from an article about Asperger’s syndrome, and bow their heads in concentration to solve a math problem. In every classroom, a poster reads, “So much to learn. So little time.”

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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