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Feb 12th
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Environment

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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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