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Feb 14th
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Walking the Walk

Walking the Walk

Two locals plan an ‘epic trek’ around the county to raise awareness about child hunger

A retired professional wrestler and a doctor of literature may seem like an improbable pair, but life has brought these two together over one common goal: ending child hunger in Santa Cruz County.

The local organization Not on Our Watch: An Epic Trek to End Hunger in Santa Cruz County was created by Chris Danzer, a retired professional wrestler, cancer survivor, local logger and father of two, and 36-year-old, Santa Cruz-raised Jake Thomas, a freelance writer and photographer who holds a doctorate in literature from UC Santa Cruz. The duo has pledged to hike 91 miles in a circuitous route around Santa Cruz County in approximately 36 hours, starting at 3 a.m. on March 1, to raise awareness about child hunger.

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Environment

Islands In The Sun

Islands In The Sun

Former Santa Cruz reporter brings national attention to a local nonprofit’s mission to save endangered species 

On thousands of islands all over the planet, rare and exotic species are being killed off at overwhelming rates by non-native predators such as rats, feral cats, pigs and goats that were introduced into those ecosystems by humans over the centuries.

With the mission to prevent these at-risk species from becoming extinct, the Santa Cruz-based nonprofit Island Conservation (IC) works to remove predators that are harming native fauna, often by tracking and killing them using poison, traps, and high-powered rifles.

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Local News

Circling The Square

Circling The Square

Plans for revamping Abbott Square get underway

A lot can change in 15 seconds.

The 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake proved that in Downtown Santa Cruz, when it brought down 31 buildings, forever reshaping Pacific Avenue and the way Santa Cruzans think about it.

After the earthquake, residents came together to rebuild and re-imagine Pacific Avenue. Earlier this month, more than 20 years since Loma Prieta struck, locals were at it again, though on a much smaller level.

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Town Hall

Town Hall With Rep. Sam Farr

Town Hall With Rep. Sam Farr

Why did the Violence Against Women Act expire, and what is the status of its reauthorization?

One of the first pieces of legislation I supported as a freshman member of Congress in 1994 was the original Violence Against Women Act. I am appalled that during the last session of Congress the Republican House majority allowed the act to expire for the first time in 19 years despite protest from myself and other Democrats.

While rape crisis centers, women’s shelters and other programs created by the 1994 act and subsequent reauthorization acts have continued to receive funding, the future of these crucial establishments is in limbo until we pass a new version of the bill.

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Local News

Why Don’t Women Propose?

Why Don’t Women Propose?

Despite changing gender roles, one tradition remains

It’s hard to keep a secret that involves a dancing flash mob—especially when the group is rehearsing a marriage proposal. But Patrick Quiring was determined to give his girlfriend a world-class experience, and this required telling a few white lies.

“I spent four months rehearsing with 40 other people,” says Quiring, a human resources coordinator from Fresno, Calif. “Every Thursday I had to make up an excuse to explain where I was going,”

When the big night arrived, he escorted his girlfriend to a Star Wars pub-crawl. While en route with a group of Jedi and Sith-clad friends, Quiring cued the music and took formation with the dancers. At the end of the song he got down on bended knee. “I’m not a traditional guy, so it wasn’t a traditional marriage proposal,” he says.  

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Environment

Mini Microbes Make A Big Splash

Mini Microbes Make A Big Splash

Local scientist earns prestigious ocean research award to continue microbe research

In a lab bursting with state-of-the art equipment and analytical instruments, Alexandra Worden pores over the latest genetic data from microbes freshly scooped out of sunny ocean waters. Around her, a team of UC Santa Cruz graduate students, visiting scientists, and interns are hard at work delving into the mysteries of these tiny organisms.

Worden is an internationally recognized scientist whose bustling research lab at Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute (MBARI) is a mecca for studying ocean microbes—invisibly small creatures essential to ocean ecosystems and the planet's health.

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Local News

Cold Feet Brings The Blues

Cold Feet Brings The Blues

While having cold feet prior to a wedding is thought to be normal, new findings show that doubts often foreshadow divorce.

“Premarital doubts are meaningful, and something to pay attention to,” says Justin Lavner of UC Los Angeles.

Lavner and his colleagues surveyed more than 450 newlyweds and then followed up every six months for four years. The team found that uncertainty—especially among women—predicts divorce rates.  

Women who had doubts before their wedding were more than twice as likely to divorce. More men said they felt misgivings, but they were less likely to get divorced years after a bout of cold feet.

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Local News

Home Away From Work

Home Away From Work

The many challenges and benefits of police residency requirements

Police officers who live outside of the community they patrol can become like mercenaries who clock in and out before going home, says Santa Cruz Police Deputy Chief Steve Clark.

This image aligns with concerns the 11-member Watsonville Youth City Council (WYCC) brought to the table during a December interview with Good Times.

Only about 10 percent of Watsonville’s 100-person police force lives in the city, with many living as far as Salinas, according to Watsonville Police Chief Manuel Solano. Youth City Council Mayor Dulce Sixtos says this makes her peers less comfortable when faced with the task of speaking with a uniformed officer.

“Police that don’t live in Watsonville don’t know the issues that we deal with here,” Sixtos said. “Instead of understanding, they judge, and that is what makes the youth not feel comfortable approaching them.”

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Local News

A Post-Election Life

A Post-Election Life

Eric Hammer keeps tabs on his district well after the dust has settled on his unsuccessful bid for Fifth District Supervisor

It was a race that cost more than $300,000 in combined campaign spending.

The Supervisor race for the Fifth District was one of the most contentious of the local 2012 election, closing at a margin of 145 votes with former California Secretary of State Bruce McPherson landing on top. For the candidate not currently settling into a seat on the Board of Supervisors, local business owner Eric Hammer, it was a race hard fought and hard lost.

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Local News

Repurposing V-Day

Repurposing V-Day

This Feb. 14, a global uprising and local event take aim at violence against women

One in five women will be a victim of rape or attempted rape in her lifetime, according to the United Nations, and one in three women will be physically or sexually abused by an intimate partner.

This means that there are around one billion women affected by gender-based violence in the world, and that there should be one billion people taking a stand against it, says Santa Cruz resident Kate Roberts. This was the inspiration behind One Billion Rising, a gathering that will take place in 182 countries across the globe on Feb. 14. Founder Eve Ensler, who is best known for penning the 1994 flagship feminist work “The Vagina Monologues,” planned One Billion Rising to celebrate the 15th anniversary of V-Day, an anti-violence against women event held on Valentine’s Day each year.

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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