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Feb 09th
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Local News

Federal Healthcare Reform Hits Home

Federal Healthcare Reform Hits Home

California health insurance exchange could benefit up to 25,000 locally

Of an estimated 40 million Americans without health insurance, about 55,000 live in Santa Cruz County, according to the 2010 Community Assessment Project for the county. In other words, one in every five county residents is currently uninsured, and that number has been increasing since 2008.

This will change dramatically when the Affordable Care Act [ACA], President Barack Obama’s flagship policy that aims to create near universal health coverage for Americans, goes into effect in 2014.

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Environment

Battleground State

Battleground State

California is ground zero for the GMO debate as the Prop. 37 campaign ramps up

Taking the temperature of an issue that has been bubbling since inception is difficult to do—but it’s safe to say this one is about to tip into a rapid boil.

As part of a statewide campaign to question genetically modified (GMO) food safety, the “Truth about GMOs” tour will present speakers Jeffrey Smith and Ocean Robbins at the Louden Nelson Community Center on Wednesday, Aug. 1. The speaking tour is timed to highlight the issue as voters prepare to decide on Prop. 37, a measure on the November ballot that, if passed, would put the words “Genetically Engineered” or “Partially Produced with Genetic Engineering” on the packaging of food that contains GMOs come July 2014. 

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Town Hall

Town Hall with Congressman Sam Farr

Town Hall with Congressman Sam Farr

What is the “Republicans’ War on Oceans,” as you call it, and what are you and other legislators doing to uphold President Barack Obama’s National Oceans Policy and protect our oceans, overall?

Each day, our oceans are under assault from numerous threats. Around the world, acidification, rising sea levels and pollution wreak havoc on fragile ocean environments. Here in the United States, marine debris arrives on our shores daily. Just last week, a man in Rio del Mar reported finding a buoy with Japanese lettering which may have arrived from last year’s tsunami. This comes on the heels of a 40-foot Japanese dock that washed up in Oregon. These battles are a national problem that require a national solution.

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Local News

Living The Dream

Living The Dream

Locals react to decision to provide work permits to undocumented youth

UC Santa Cruz psychology major Carmen Macias never knew she was undocumented while growing up. She came to the United States when she was 3 years old from Jalisco, Mexico, a place she doesn’t remember. Her family never spoke of her undocumented status.

When her parents and her teachers at Los Angeles public schools stressed that education was key to her future, Macias embraced the notion. Attending college became a goal and a dream.

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Local News

Defining Accessibility

Defining Accessibility

New website provides a forum for reviewing businesses based on accessibility

For people who live with a disability, going to stores, restaurants and other places of business without knowing whether or not they can access the building or its facilities can be a shot in the dark.

Whether a person's disability is physical or mental, not having sufficient information about a destination can be a source of intimidation and frustration.

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Local News

One-Way Relationship

One-Way Relationship

City funds bus tickets out of Santa Cruz for homeless people

Up to 375 homeless people could be riding buses home courtesy of the City of Santa Cruz by this time next year. This is the hoped-for result of $25,000 the city council devoted to the Homeward Bound Project when they approved the city’s new budget at their June 26 meeting. The council used the name of an existing program run by the Homeless Services Center (HSC), which has helped about 75 people per year leave the area since 2006, according to HSC Director Monica Martinez. The effort has been funded by private donations.

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Business

State Spending Raises Eyebrows

State Spending Raises Eyebrows

Concerns of government waste surface about the Capitola Career Center

The 12,587-square foot building that houses the Employment Development Department (EDD)’s “One-Stop Career Center” in Capitola seems even larger when you take stock of the amount of empty, seemingly unused space inside. While the $32,659 monthly rent on the building was previously shared with Santa Cruz County’s Workforce Investment Board (WIB), the EDD is now the sole rent-paying entity inside the space.

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Business

Tiny Houses, Big Plans

Tiny Houses, Big Plans

Two locals plan to shrink eco-footprints by building small homes

The kitten wending its way around Jason Dietz’s and Gabriel Williams’ legs seems almost comically suited to its environment. The location is one of Dietz and Williams’ “tiny houses,” which is currently planted on an 8-by-20 foot trailer in a Felton driveway. A larger cat, one can imagine, might cramp the 160-square foot home.

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Local News

Speaking To The Voiceless

Speaking To The Voiceless

Local governments ramp up outreach to mentally ill

Some people are too troubled to help themselves. This scenario played out tragically when a homeless man with a history of mental illness murdered local business owner Shannon Collins near Downtown Santa Cruz in early May. The incident pushed the perpetually simmering topic of homeless issues to the front of Santa Cruz politics, with groups including Take Back Santa Cruz demanding the city do something about what they see as an unaddressed safety issue.

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Local News

The Few Who Cost The Most

The Few Who Cost The Most

180/180 campaign aims to address the price of homelessness

Of an estimated 2,700 homeless people living on the streets of Santa Cruz County, just 10 to 15 percent of them—the “medically vulnerable”—account for 70 percent of the costs incurred by countywide services.

The newly implemented 180/180 campaign aims to save lives and money by permanently housing that population.

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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