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Feb 07th
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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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Local News

Tallying Up

Tallying Up

The latest homeless census strives to better understand the homeless population, particularly homeless youth

Peering out the backseat window of a moving car, Patrick Sin spots the first homeless person of the morning just before sunrise on Tuesday, Jan. 22. The man walking on the side of the road, near 41st Avenue, is wearing layers of dark tattered jackets and carrying a backpack. Sin recognizes him.

Sin himself has been homeless for about six years, and he's putting his knowledge from time spent living on the streets to use as a guide for the biannual Santa Cruz County Homeless Census, which is conducted by Applied Survey Research (ASR), a Watsonville-based nonprofit social research organization.

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Local News

A Fair’s Financial Crisis

A Fair’s Financial Crisis

Due to a funding shortage, the Japanese Cultural Fair may not take place for the first time in nearly 30 years

Steven Barisof fell in love with Japanese culture after visiting the country several times with his family starting in 1974. The trips inspired the Santa Cruz resident to attend the local Japanese Cultural Fair for more than 20 years—eventually becoming a volunteer  in 2008 and becoming a board member for the nonprofit behind the event shortly after.

The annual festival became a family tradition, and Barisof’s son, who began learning Japanese in the eighth grade, went on to volunteer at the fair in 2008, when he wrote attendee's names in Japanese characters.

However, the Barisofs, along with the thousands of others who attend the fair each year, may not get a chance to partake in the 27th Annual Japanese Cultural Fair this year. The event, which is set to take place at Mission Plaza Park near Downtown Santa Cruz this June, is facing a funding gap that could lead to its cancellation.

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Town Hall

Town Hall With Assemblymember Mark Stone

Town Hall With Assemblymember Mark Stone

As you settle into your first term as a California assemblymember, what bills or plans do you have in the pipeline? And what plans do you have as the newly appointed Chair of the Human Services Committee?

Our state is slowly recovering from the recession, and for the first time in many years, the California legislature will not have to make drastic cuts to programs that help foster youth, the elderly, and the disabled. While this is good news, these Californians continue to suffer as billions of dollars in budget cuts have decimated essential services they need. As the newly elected assemblymember for the Monterey Bay region, including Santa Cruz, I will focus on building relationships, reaching across the aisle, and crafting effective policy to help improve the lives of the most vulnerable in our communities.

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Environment

Gold Rush, Take Two

Gold Rush, Take Two

Is California’s Central Coast prepared for a potential fracking boom?

It has only been in recent years that drilling techniques have been developed to tap the enormous gas reserves trapped in Marcellus Shale beneath the Appalachian Mountains. Now, the rolling hills are scattered with thousands of new wells that utilize high volume horizontal hydraulic fracturing—a method that injects water and chemicals into the surrounding rock to create fissures through which oil and gas can flow.  

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Local News

Writing For A Difference

Writing For A Difference

Longtime UCSC writing teacher Don Rothman to be remembered in campus memorial service

When Oakes College, one of the residential colleges at UC Santa Cruz, received a donated piece of art depicting European aristocracy coming to the New World, controversy ensued among students who believed in liberation movements.

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On the Run

Is there hope for California’s salmon?

 

Chinese New Year of the Red Fire Monkey

Monday, Feb. 8, is Aquarius new moon (19 degrees) and Chinese New Year of the Red Fire Monkey (an imaginative, intelligent and vigilant creature). Monkey is bright, quick, lively, quite naughty, clever, inquiring, sensible, and reliable. Monkey loves to help others. Often they are teachers, writers and linguists. They are very talented, like renaissance people. Leonardo Da Vinci was born in the year of Monkey. Monkey contains metal (relation to gold) and water (wisdom, danger). 2016 will be a year of finances. For a return on one’s money, invest in monkey’s ideas. Metal is related to wind (change). Therefore events in 2016 will change very quickly. We must ponder with care before making financial, business and relationship changes. Fortune’s path may not be smooth in 2016. Finances and business as usual will be challenged. Although we develop practical goals, the outcomes are different than hoped for. We must be cautious with investments and business partnership. It is most important to cultivate a balanced and harmonious daily life, seeking ways to release tension, pressure and stress to improve health and calmness. Monkey is lively, flexible, quick-witted, and versatile. Their gentle, honest, enchanting yet resourceful nature results often in everlasting love. Monkeys are freedom loving. Without freedom, Monkey becomes dull, sad and very unhappy. During the Spring and Autumn Period (770 - 476 BC), the Chinese official title of Marquis (noble person) was pronounced ‘Hou,’ the same as the pronunciation of ‘monkey’ in Chinese. Monkey was thereby bestowed with auspicious (favorable, fortunate) meaning. Monkey years are: 1920, 1932, 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004, 2016.  

 

The New Tech Nexus

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

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of February 5

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >
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Wine and Chocolate

West Cliff Wines gets its game on, plus a brand new chocolate cafe on Center Street

 

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

 

Dancing Creek Winery

New Zinfandel Port is a ruby beauty

 

Venus Spirits

Changing law could mean new opportunity for local spirits