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Apr 24th
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Santa Cruz News

Environment

Weathering the Storm

Weathering the Storm

City of Santa Cruz unveils the latest draft of its Climate Action Plan
“Come gather around people, wherever you roam, and admit that the waters around you have grown.” While Bob Dylan may have written those lyrics as a political metaphor, today they ring true for an entirely different reason—the times are changing, for the planet that is.

Whether it’s global warming or just a rapid intensity in conditions, most people today believe we are living in the times of climate change. Scientists from around the globe believe human activity is to blame for the increase in carbon dioxide, methane and other greenhouse gases (GHGs) that quickly gather in our atmosphere. This accumulation of GHGs greatly increases the planet’s natural greenhouse effect, resulting in potentially catastrophic weather conditions. In 2007 the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change found that “Warming of the climate system is unequivocal as is now evident from observations of increases in global average air and ocean temperatures, widespread melting of snow and ice, and rising global average sea level.”

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Local News

The Race Is On

The Race Is On

City council candidates run from one forum to the ‘Next’
Eight candidates, three council seats, and a zillion forums are the makings for a busy election season. In the last few weeks, the Santa Cruz City Council hopefuls have been making the rounds at a variety of community forums aimed at getting to know them better. The roster of candidates includes incumbent Lynn Robinson, who is running for reelection, Transportation and Public Works Commissioner David Terrazas, who ran for the council in 2008, retired firefighter Ron Pomerantz, Planning Commissioner David Foster, grant writer Steve Pleich, insurance salesman Kevin Moon (the outspoken Republican of the group), real estate agent Hilary Bryant and nonprofit worker Gus Ceballos.

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Local News

Cruz Dollars

Cruz Dollars

Plan to create a Santa Cruz currency takes hold
Thanks to the efforts of one local organization, Santa Cruzans may soon find themselves in possession of a unique local dollar.

The organization in question, New Earth Exchange, hopes to create a network of currency that would promote sustainable local businesses. In addition to New Earth Exchange, Transition Santa Cruz and Transition San Lorenzo Valley are official sponsors of the program. The yet-to-be-named program would band together a group of local businesses that would exchange credits in an attempt to create a network not dependent upon the flailing contemporary U.S. economy and the domination of large corporate retailers.

These local businesses would be bound by a system of mutual exchanges and benefits for the customers, according to Langdon Roberts, New Earth Exchange organizer and the director of the Center for Transformative Neurological Physiology. “The economy is very complex and the design is really not that efficient,” says Roberts. “But it’s the best people have been able to come up with, at least until now.”

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Local News

Sharp Thinking

Sharp Thinking

In lieu of state funding, one volunteer program aims to keep the streets safe from dirty needles
Last September, the Downtown Santa Cruz community was dealt a firm blow when the Santa Cruz AIDS Project’s Drop-In Center fell prey to state budget cuts and was forced to close its doors.

For 10 years the center provided a safe-haven for many in the community—whether they had fallen on hard times, needed shelter from the elements, or were dealing with serious drug addictions. The center also dispersed information on drug rehabilitation and medical treatments, as well as administered a syringe exchange program (SEP). Now, with such a noticeable void left in the community, volunteer groups have been scrambling to provide the lost services. One such group is Street Outreach Supporters (S.O.S.).

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Local News

Return of the Surf City AIDS Ride

Return of the Surf City AIDS Ride

The ride is back, revamped and family-friendly
Rain or shine, the Surf City AIDS Ride wants you to get your bicycle out. The annual tour-de-Cruz bicycle extravaganza returns on Oct. 3 as a full-fledged family affair, revamped to accommodate riders of varying skill levels.

The Surf City AIDS Ride began 10 years ago as the Century Ride, and is currently in its fifth year under the direction of the Santa Cruz AIDS Project (SCAP). Traditionally, it has commenced at Cabrillo College, but this year the riders will gather at the centrally located San Lorenzo Park on Dakota Avenue in Downtown Santa Cruz. Organizers say the change in the starting location will make the ride more accessible to Santa Cruz residents. Furthermore, they have plans for the park to provide a spacious and scenic venue for an all-day event. While the bicyclists endure the trek of 12, 30, 60, or 100 miles along the coast and through Santa Cruz and its neighboring counties, their cheerleaders will get to enjoy the luxury of homegrown entertainment: the park will be filled with comestibles provided by vendors, family-friendly games, and live local music. Ride organizers are encouraging all members of the community to partake in the festivities. 

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Town Hall

Assemblymember Bill Monning

Assemblymember Bill Monning

Proposition 23 would suspend Assembly Bill (AB) 32, which helped establish California’s clean energy goals.  Who is behind Proposition 23, and what are your thoughts on it?

Two Texas oil companies are spending millions to push Proposition 23, a deceptive ballot measure that would eliminate California clean energy and air pollution control standards.

Four years ago, with support from business, labor, environmental and health organizations, California enacted AB 32, to hold polluters accountable for their actions and require them to reduce air pollution emissions that threaten human health and contribute to global climate change. This law, building on decades of state clean energy policies, has positioned California at the forefront of the clean technology industry, sparking innovation and clean energy businesses that are creating hundreds of new jobs. 

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Environment

Greywater to Green Thumbs

Greywater to Green Thumbs

Santa Cruz embraces the potential of reusing water
Where does the water go after you wash your hands, take a shower or do a load of laundry? Until recently, it all went to sewer lines that funneled to water treatment plants. But California has amended its greywater regulation with the adoption of Title 24, Part five, Chapter 16A for California Plumbing code in January, making it easier to reuse water for gardens and landscaping.

Greywater consists of all wastewater other than food and toilet waste (which is called “black water”) and, with a few adjustments, it can be used to water and irrigate residential properties, thereby reducing water usage and easing the strain on water treatment plants.

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Local News

Shuttle Smith Adventures

Shuttle Smith Adventures

New bus service caters to bicyclists at Nisene Marks
With the Nov. 2 vote on Proposition 21, The State Parks and Wildlife Conservation Trust Fund Act right around the corner, tree huggers throughout California are doing their part to protect the future of Mother Nature.

After working in construction for 29 years, 53-year-old Santa Cruz local Dave Smith recently decided to renew his connection with Nisene Marks State Park. The adventure enthusiast created a part-time job for himself that would allow him to ride his mountain bike five times a week.

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Town Hall

Congressman Sam Farr

Congressman Sam Farr

Last Year it was protests over health care and overflowing town halls. What's the feeling on the street NOW? What issues are pressing on the Central Coast?
This has been an exciting year, there's no question about that. Health care topped the agenda, but it wasn't the only thing that caught the public's attention.

The year got started with a continuation of new projects funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, designed to inject much-needed capital into our struggling economy.

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Local News

On the Air Again

On the Air Again

Free Radio Santa Cruz returns after brief displacement
It’s not easy being free. There’s bound to be someone who will want you to pay for it. Or tell you how to express your freedom.

One local experiment in freedom has resounded on Santa Cruz airwaves 24 hours a day, seven days a week for the past 15 years. But on Tuesday, Aug. 3, the experiment—known as Free Radio Santa Cruz (FRSC) 101.1 FM—went off the air and left a gap in independent local broadcasting. However, the silence didn’t last long: the underground station recently found a new transmitter location and is, as of this week, back on the air.  

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Best of Santa Cruz County 2014

The 2014 Santa Cruz County Readers' Poll Come on in, and have a look around. There’s a lot to see—hundreds of winners selected by thousands of GT readers across Santa Cruz County. So if some of this looks familiar, it’s probably because you helped make it happen. But there are always new things to discover, too—you could go to a different winner or runner-up every day in the Food and Drink category alone, and you’d be booked just about until next year’s Best of Santa Cruz County issue comes out.

 

Something Essential Disappears

Lunar and solar eclipses follow one another. Lunar eclipses occur at full moons, and solar eclipses at new moons. Two weeks ago at the full moon we had the blood red moon—a total lunar eclipse (the next one is Oct. 8). On Monday night, April 28 (new moon), as the Sun, Moon and Earth align, a solar eclipse (Sun obscured) occurs. Eclipses signify something irrevocably is changed in our world. The Sun is our essential life force. Monday’s new moon, 9 degrees Taurus, is also an annular solar eclipse when the Moon moves centrally in front of the Sun, yet does not cover the Sun completely. The Sun's outer edges, still visible, form a “ring of fire” around the Moon.

 

Sugar: The New Tobacco?

Proposed bill would require warning labels on sugary drinks Will soda and other saccharine libations soon come with a health warning? They will if it’s up to our state senator, Bill Monning (D-Carmel). On Feb. 27, Monning proposed first-of-its-kind legislation that would require a consumer warning label be placed on sugar-sweetened beverages sold in California. SB 1000, also known as the Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Safety Warning Act, was proposed to provide vital information to consumers about the harmful effects of consuming sugary drinks, such as sodas, sports drinks, energy drinks, and sweetened teas.

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of April 24

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Palate-Stretching 101

A wine education with Soif’s experts As a veteran of many weekend wine “seminars” at Soif, I have to confess that I’ve never known less (going in) and learned more (coming out) than I did last week at the Spanish Wine Tasting with ace rep Brian Greenwood. These are classy, casual events and it’s hard to imagine having this much flavor fun anywhere for $20.

 

Martin Ranch Winery

Sauvignon Blanc 2011 One of my favorite wines is Sauvignon Blanc, and this one made by Martin Ranch is particularly lovely. Bright, crisp and refreshing, it’s perfect to pair with fish and shellfish—and good for picnics as it has an easy screw-cap bottle. There’s nothing worse than setting down your blanket, pulling out your sandwiches—and then realizing you don’t have a corkscrew.

 

Foodie File: Red Apple Cafe

Breakfast takes center stage at Gracia Krakauer's Red Apple Cafe Before they moved to Aptos, Gracia and her husband Dan Krakauer would visit friends in Santa Cruz County and eat at the Red Apple Café all the time. Then they moved up here from Santa Monica five years ago, and bought the Aptos location (there’s a separate one in Watsonville) from the family who owned it for two decades.

 

How would you feel about a tech industry boom in Santa Cruz?

I feel like it would ruin the small old-town feeling of Santa Cruz. It wouldn’t be the same Surf City kind of vacation town that it is. Antoinette BennettSanta Cruz | Construction Management