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Apr 24th
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Local News

Prophets of Non-Profit Energy

Prophets of Non-Profit Energy

An exploration of publicly owned utilities

The long drawn-out saga of Pacific Gas & Electric's controversial SmartMeter program has some in Santa Cruz looking for alternatives to the for-profit utility. One idea being floated is starting government-run municipal power companies, although there is little chance this change is on the immediate horizon.

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Environment

Sister, Sister

Sister, Sister

Santa Cruz reaches out with aid for its sister city in Japan

When Alan Hiromura’s sister died from a particularly aggressive case of leukemia in December 2008, he searched for a way to commemorate her life. His opportunity eventually arose with another sister in need.

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Town Hall

Town Hall with Supervisor Mark Stone

Town Hall with Supervisor Mark Stone

The Board of Supervisors will consider extending its moratorium on PG&E’s SmartMeters at its Jan. 10 meeting. What would extending the moratorium accomplish? Does the Board have any plans to approach the installation of SmartMeters differently than it has been?

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Environment

Glass Half Full

Glass Half Full

Historical tome lends new perspective on present-day local water issues

The track record of grand solutions to dwindling water supplies in Santa Cruz is marked by a few brilliant successes. But also visible upon close examination is wreckage of plans that capsized after hitting political rapids or became beached when funding dried up, according to local historian Randall Brown. In his 2011 book, “The San Lorenzo Valley Water District: A History,” Brown looks 150 years down the stream of the area's history, exploring what worked and what caused more harm than good.

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Town Hall

Town Hall with Assemblymember Bill Monning

Town Hall with Assemblymember Bill Monning

Looking back at 2011, it can feel like quite a turbulent year for the State of California: deep cuts to education and social services, a divisive political climate, an economic slump.  What toll did the year’s events take, and where will our Golden State go from here?

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Local News

Heavy Lifting

Heavy Lifting

Local athletic couple want to keep Santa Cruz strong

Santa Cruz Strength is located in an unassuming industrial building off of Harvey West Boulevard. It’s not like a 24 Hour Fitness or a Gold’s Gym; there aren’t miles of exercise machines and there are no televisions lining the wall. It’s a stripped down sort of place where you’re as liable to see someone lifting weights as you are to see them lift concrete spheres or a length of rope that looks like it should be attached to a ship’s anchor.

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Environment

Black Out

Black Out

EDITOR’S NOTE: PG&E restored power to the homes in this story via a short-term solution after this article went to press. 

SmartMeter drama leads PG&E to shut off residents’ power

Pacific Gas & Electric (PG&E) is known to make exceptions around the holidays for customers who are delinquent on payments. If it’s close to Christmas, the utility provider channels the “goodwill toward men” sentiment and leaves the power on for those tardy patrons. But this seasonally inspired leniency didn’t apply to at least four Santa Cruz County households who had their power disconnected by PG&E in the week before Christmas.

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Environment

Gulch Goes Forward

Gulch Goes Forward

Coastal Commission approves Arana Gulch plan, opponents fight on

The 10 to one vote of “approval with conditions” by the California Coastal Commission at their Dec. 8 meeting given to the City of Santa Cruz for the newest version of their Arana Gulch Master Plan was seen as a victory for supporters. It was the commission's third review of the plan in two years. With slight changes each time, the basic idea is still to pave selected trails and build two bridges over portions of the 68-acre greenbelt between the Eastside of Santa Cruz and Live Oak north of the Upper Harbor.

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Local News

Scott Kennedy Remembered

Scott Kennedy Remembered

Joan Baez and others reflect on beloved local figure

Across the street from the High Street Community Church where Scott Kennedy’s memorial service took place on Dec.11, mourners wept, laughed, sang and clapped while watching a video projection of the ceremony in the Messiah Lutheran Church. The Community Church was full to capacity with mourners from Santa Cruz and the Bay Area, as well as those who flew in from Europe, the Middle East, and elsewhere. Some also viewed the ceremony via video projection in an additional room next to the Community Church.

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Local News

Attracting the Opposite Sex

Attracting the Opposite Sex

UCSC’s computer science program begins outreach to draw more female students

Women have been attending colleges since the late 1800s, according to the National Women’s History Museum, but their numbers were not equal to those of men until the 1980s. Currently at UC Santa Cruz, women make up 53 percent of the undergraduate population and 42 percent of the faculty. However, this is not always reflected within the individual majors— especially the computer science major, which has, historically, been disproportionately male.

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We Can Rebuild You

A look back at how downtown Santa Cruz recovered from the 1989 earthquake

 

International Earth Day—Mother Earth Day

Every April 22, humanity celebrates International Mother Earth Day and Earth Day. As more than a billion people participate in Earth Day activities every year, Earth Day has become the world’s largest civic observance. The massive concern to build right relations between humanity and the living being we call Earth is evidence of humanity’s love of the Mother. In 2009, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed April 22 International Mother Earth Day, with a significant resolution affirming “the interdependence existing among human beings, other living species (the kingdoms—mineral, plant, animal and human) and the planet itself, the Earth which we all inhabit.” The Earth is our home. Celebrating Earth Day helps us define new emerging processes (economic, social, political) focused on the well-being of the kingdoms. Through these, humanity seeks to raise the quality of life, foster equality and begin to establish right relations with the Earth. We dedicate ourselves to bringing forth balance and a relationship of harmony with all of nature. Learn about planting a billion trees (the Canopy Project); participate in 1.5 billion acts of green. Disassociation (toward Earth) is no longer viable. We lose our connection to life itself. Participation is viable—an anchor, refuge and service for all of life on Earth. Visit earthday.org; harmonywithnatureun.org; and un.org/en/events/motherearthday for more information. From Farmers Almanac, “On Earth Day, enjoy the tonic of fresh air, contact with the soil, companionship with nature! Go barefooted. Walk through woods, find wildflowers and green moss. Remain outside, no matter the weather!” Nature, Earth’s most balanced kingdom, heals us. The New Group of World Servers is preparing for the May 3 Wesak Buddha Taurus solar festival. We prepare through asking for and offering forgiveness. Forgiveness purifies and like nature, heals.

 

The New Tech Nexus

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

 

Mission Critical

How reading Lisa Jensen’s reviews taught me to love film
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Oral Fixations

Blown away by a Tuesday night dinner at Oswald

 

What would you like to see a TED talk about?

Hydrogen-gas cars that are coming this summer. Scott Oliver, Santa Cruz, Professor

 

Sarah’s Vineyard

Sarah’s Vineyard of Gilroy is known for crafting fine wines—and one of my all-time favorites is its Chardonnay. But this time, its Viognier has my vote.

 

Munch

East Coast meets West Coast in new meat lover’s paradise