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Oct 31st
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Buy Local, Surf Global

Buy Local, Surf Global

Surf activist’s new video makes a splash—just in time for holiday shopping
Unlike many 20-year-old guys who view shopping as an experience to be avoided at all costs, local surfer and activist Kyle Thiermann sees Black Friday and the weeks that follow as an opportunity to help the local economy and make his voice heard on issues like third world working conditions and environmental sustainability.

Since 2007, when he released his first short film, Claim Your Change, Thiermann has continued to focus on finding simple economic solutions to challenging environmental problems. Among other achievements, he received the 2010 Peter Benchley Blue Vision Youth Award and was the keynote speaker at One World Children’s Fund.

A look at Thiermann's new four-minute video, Buy Local, Surf Global, takes viewers from a Santa Cruz surf shop to a Sri Lankan clothing factory where Thiermann traveled in August 2010 to investigate the working and living conditions of the employees.

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Local News

Rotkin Talks Midterms

Rotkin Talks Midterms

Outgoing councilmember Michael Rotkin gives the Democratic Women’s Club an election recap
One word sums up the current economic situation, and that is “depression,” comparable to the 1930s, and one of the key mistakes the Democrats made in the recent mid-term elections was trying to water it down as some kind of extended recession on the mend, according to Michael Rotkin.

A longstanding progressive activist, Rotkin has served five stints as the mayor of Santa Cruz over a 26-year career on the Santa Cruz City Council, in addition to working as lecturer and director of field studies in the Communities Studies Department at UC Santa Cruz. At a meeting of the Democratic Women’s Club on Wednesday, Nov. 17, Rotkin gave the audience a fast drive-by of his take on the elections, in which he discussed the federal and state wins and losses, the state propositions, and then honed in on the elected offices he is most familiar with: the Santa Cruz City Council. 

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Business

A Clean Slate

A Clean Slate

Local Sister and Dominican Hospital help ex-gang members remove their tattoos
The Dominican Hospital Tattoo Removal Program is housed in the Rehab Services Building on Frederick Street in Santa Cruz. At the end of a long, chaotic corridor full of wheelchairs, the office door is wide open. Sister Maureen Keeler waits inside.

“The purpose of our program is to help stem the violence in Santa Cruz and surrounding counties by the removal of gang-related tattoos,” she says. “Also, to help the patient be able to continue on with their lives, gain employment and do whatever they may be dreaming about for their future.”

Here, in exchange for 20 hours of community service, people receive a clean slate on which to build a future most thought they'd never have. For many, tattoo removal is a chance to create a new identity, to start over, find a job and distance themselves from a violent or troubled past. But it's a procedure that most would never be able to afford on their own.

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Local News

Sunshine Villa Sued for Resident’s Death

Sunshine Villa Sued for Resident’s Death

Seven months after 74-year-old dementia patient Carol Fundingsland was found dead on Highway 1 after disappearing from Sunshine Villa assisted living facility, her sons Erik and Ronald Kuentzel have filed a lawsuit.

The brothers are seeking compensatory and punitive damages on behalf of their mother, who was admitted to the facility at 80 Front St. in Santa Cruz at 1 p.m. Friday, April 9, 2010 and wandered out the front door at 5:30 p.m. that evening.

Staff noticed Fundingsland was gone around 9 p.m. that night, at which point they searched the facility and called Erik Kuentzel to inform him. He did not receive the voicemails until 11:05 p.m., at which point Sunshine Villa reported her disappearance to police. Erik spent the next three days searching for his mother on foot, while Sunshine Villa canvassed neighborhoods. Police responded to several possible sightings that weekend.

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Town Hall

Congressman Sam Farr

Congressman Sam Farr

With the elections finally over, what’s the aftermath for congress? What changes, improvements or dangers will we see to government and policy?
The end of the 2010 election cycle has delivered a shift of power in the House of Representatives that will unfortunately bring in a new wave of challenges and partisan agendas. In fact, the majority leadership has indicated that Republicans will seek to overturn some of the historic legislation passed by the 111th Congress, which today is expanding access to healthcare and helping families survive our country’s economic uncertainty.

But as is inherently the case, new challenges bring the possibility of new opportunities. I am committed to moving forward, and continuing to work aggressively for the Central Coast. However, we will all need to do so under an air of caution, because of the uncertainty of Republicans’ intentions to deal and work for progress.

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Environment

Something Old Something New

Something Old Something New

Local Business and Non Profit Partner to Revitalize Sentinel Building
The long-anticipated retrofit of the Santa Cruz Sentinel building is about to nearly open for business. The designers, builders, owners and future tenants of the revamped building welcomed Good Times to a preview of its new “green” home on Friday, Nov. 12. Our tour inspired feelings of pride to see what can be accomplished when business works to preserve tradition while developing a modern workspace.

The original Sentinel building was operated by our local newspaper from 1966 to 2007 when it moved to Scotts Valley. In 2008 local internet provider Cruzio and the progressive non-profit Ecology Action partnered with Appenrodt Commercial Properties to purchase and redesign the space at the corner of Cedar and Church Street in Downtown Santa Cruz. Out first impression? Nothing short of wow.

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Local News

Growing Pains

Growing Pains

Neighbors, builders wait another month before word on Ocean Street Extension project
It’s a late October evening and the Santa Cruz Memorial Cemetery looks coolly picturesque. The last hint of sunlight dips behind the bordering mountains, patchy storm clouds gather, and dusk settles over the gravestones. Elsewhere in Santa Cruz, people are huddled around their televisions, cheering as the Giants win game two of the World Series. But here a group of neighborhood residents have gathered, standing on the unpaved shoulder of Ocean Street Extension, to talk over some collective concerns.

Recently, the group made a splash by opposing a proposal before the City of Santa Cruz for a 40-unit development to be built at 1930 Ocean Street Ext., directly across from the cemetery and adjacent to the Santa Cruz Memorial Crematory.

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Local News

Governor Terminates Childcare

Governor Terminates Childcare

Childcare subsidies for working low-income families get cut in series of line-item vetoes by Schwarzenegger
At a rally on the steps of the State Capitol Thursday, Nov. 4, Anna Martinez, a single mother of four from Clovis, Calif., asked the question that had inspired the event: “If I lose Stage 3 subsidies, I’ll have to quit my job and re-apply for cash aid,” she said. “I can’t afford day care on my own and I like my job. I work hard. What good does it do anybody for me to quit my job?”

Despite the intense political wrangling that finally produced this year’s state budget agreement 100 days late, there was bi-partisan agreement that subsidizing childcare for parents who had graduated off welfare and were now working was money well spent and should not be cut.

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Town Hall

Supervisor Mark Stone

Supervisor Mark Stone

Some of your constituents are currently fighting a proposal before the City of Santa Cruz to build a 40-unit development just across the county line from their homes on Ocean Street Extension. Among their concerns are traffic and density impacts. How have county/city relations and disconnects played into this situation?

Land use decisions are the heart of any local jurisdiction’s authority and responsibility. Retaining local control over those decisions in an environment of increasing state regulation is key to any locally elected official. Whenever a jurisdiction, using its land use authority, considers a new project, it has the responsibility to consider the location and other details of its setting. But what happens when that project is located adjacent to constituents in a neighboring jurisdiction? In this case, the project is proposed within the city limits, but clearly affects residents county living in the neighborhood.

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Environment

Timber!

Timber!

New ruling tightens logging regulations by requiring companies to obtain point source permits
The snake nest of logging roads that curl through the Santa Cruz Mountains could soon be lined with paper from logging permits and the lawsuits that challenge erosion.

Here in the southernmost tip of America’s iconic redwood landscape, old growth cathedrals used to physically block erosive winds, pack soil into hillsides with root clusters, and maintain organic binders in the soil by dropping seeds onto the forest floor.

After the trees were cut, the winter rainstorms carried sediment to the streams. Fish eggs have been smothered by sediment, insects and other foods have been buried, and silt raises temperatures in the cool ponds used by spawning fish.

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Jawing

Monterey Bay scientists are working to crack the mysteries of—and dispel the myths about—great whites. But in the highly contentious world of shark experts, there’s a fin line between love and hate

 

Altars of Remembrance, Forgiveness & Rapprochement

We’re in Scorpio now—things mysterious, ageless, hidden, sometimes scary. Friday is Halloween; Saturday, All Saints Day; Sunday, All Soul’s Day. Sunday morning at 2 a.m. (after midnight), Daylight Savings Time ends. Clocks are turned back. Tuesday is the General Election. Our vote is our voice. Each vote matters. Applying freedom of choice—Libra’s teachings. It’s time to build Halloween, All Saints and All Souls altars—with marigolds, pumpkins, sugar skeletons, copal (incense), pomegranates, persimmons, candy corn and cookies, orange and black. It’s so Saturn (now in Scorpio). Saturn is the dweller on the threshold (like St. Peter at the gates of heaven). Saturn can look like a Halloween creature—a gargoyle—a fantastic dragon-like creature protecting sacred sites. The dweller (Saturn) stands at the door or threshold of sacred mysteries, wisdom temples, inner sanctums of churches, offering protection, scaring evil away. The last day of October and first two days of November, when veils between worlds thin and spirits roam about, are times of remembrance, forgiveness, reconciliation and rapprochement. These actions liberate us. At death, when reviewing our lives and the consequences of our actions if we have forgiven, then we are free, less encumbered with grief and sadness. We place forgiveness on our altars. Happy Halloween, everyone! It’s good to dress up as what we’re afraid of. Or whom we would mentor. Then we become one with them. Note to readers: by Thanksgiving I will need a place to live (with purpose). Please contact me if you know of a place where I can rest for awhile. Teach and build community. [email protected] I will be leaving my mother’s home for the last time.

 

The New Tech Nexus

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

 

Not Cool

Even Bill Murray’s hipster cred can’t elevate ‘St. Vincent’
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Back Nine Grill & Bar

The secrets of remodeling and juicy steak

 

What is Santa Cruz’s biggest eyesore?

David Finn, Santa Cruz, Graduate Student

 

Alberti Vineyards

Looking for some blood-red wine for your Halloween party? Then I have a recommendation for a new brew.

 

Turning Point

New revolving restaurant on the wharf, plus Cafe Ivéta and the last great Jack cheese