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Sep 30th
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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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Local News

Cutting Class

Cutting Class

Cancellation of Cabrillo’s Chinese language program causes a stir
Budget cuts: two of the most dreaded words in current economic times and, unfortunately, also two of the most common. With the state’s deficit at a staggering $19.1 billion, funding for social programs has been hacked away, leaving schools and communities to deal with the brunt of the blow.

For most of the Golden State’s public schools, this means having to cut many needed and desired courses. Cabrillo Community College is no exception.

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Town Hall

Supervisor Ellen Pirie

Supervisor Ellen Pirie

What are some of the biggest issues surrounding vacation rental homes in the county, and how are they being addressed?

Coastal neighborhoods have seen an increase in both the number of vacation rental homes and the year-round marketing of those homes. This evolution has caused growing problems for residential neighborhoods, where the complaints include loud, late-night parties, excessive traffic, loss of neighborhood parking, and garbage. The vacation rentals are in essence a commercial business in a residential neighborhood.Unlike hotels or motels, there are currently no restrictions or limits on vacation rentals, nor are any operational permits required. Capitola is currently the only jurisdiction in the county to govern vacation rentals. The city requires a permit and a business license and limits where rentals can go. Monterey and Carmel have much stricter rules, essentially banning short-term rentals in all residential districts.

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Local News

Creepy Crawlies

Creepy Crawlies

Low-income residents battle bed bug infestation at local motel
For most of us, the saying “good night, sleep tight, don’t let the bed bugs bite” is simply that—an age-old phrase meant to cue the REM cycle. But for others, including a group of nine Santa Cruz motel residents, it’s a nightly reality.

These nine renters reside on the right-hand side of Aqua Breeze Inn, formerly known as Sea Breeze Inn. Located directly across from the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, the motel is a popular tourist destination with a prime location and reasonable prices. But the inn also has an unresolved bed bug infestation problem.

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Environment

Biodiesel Revisited

Biodiesel Revisited

The Green Station keeps hopes for biodiesel alive in Santa Cruz
Whatever happened to biodiesel? Once—not so long ago—it was hailed as an immediate and sustainable way to alleviate dependence on oil and reduce CO2 emissions. But lately biodiesel seems to be living in the shadow of other green technologies, like spotlight-stealing electric cars. However, the absence of fanfare hasn’t deterred Santa Cruz’s Kings of Biodiesel, Green Station owners Bill Le Bon and Ray Newkirk, from continuing the fight. While forced to lease U-Hauls out of the Green Station lot to make ends meet (and sell some of those sly electric cars, which they also agree are great eco-choices), they remain committed to keeping the biodiesel pumps alive and accessible for Santa Cruz.

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Reflecting Glass

Composer Philip Glass’ first trip to Big Sur was by motorcycle; little did he know that he’d establish a music festival there six decades later.

 

Rosh Hashanah

Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, occurs this year during Libra, the sign of creating right relations with all aspects life and with earth’s kingdoms. We contemplate (the Libra meditation) forgiveness, which means, “to give for another.” Forgiveness is not pardon. It’s a sacrifice (fire in the heart, giving from the heart). Forgiveness is giving up for the good of the other. This is the law of evolution (the path of return).

 

The New Tech Nexus

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

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of September 26

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >
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Wurst Case Scenario

Venus Spirits releases agave spirit, Renee Shepherd on planting garlic, Sausagefest 2014, and wine harvest in full swing

 

Do you think you are addicted to technology?

Santa Cruz  |  Unemployed

 

Best of Santa Cruz County

The 2013 Santa Cruz County Readers' Poll and Critics’ Picks It’s our biggest issue of the year, and in it, your votes—more than 6,500 of them—determined the winners of The Best of Santa Cruz County Readers’ Poll. New to the long list of local restaurants, shops and other notables that captured your interest: Best Beer Selection, Best Locally Owned Business, Best Customer Service and Best Marijuana Dispensary. In the meantime, many readers were ever so chatty online about potential new categories. Some of the suggestions that stood out: Best Teen Program and Best Web Design/Designer. But what about: Dog Park, Church, Hotel, Local Farm, Therapist (I second that!) or Sports Bar—not to be confused with Bra. Our favorite suggestion: Best Act of Kindness—one reader noted Café Gratitude and the free meals it offered to the Santa Cruz Police Department in the aftermath of recent crimes. Perhaps some of these can be woven into next year’s ballot, so stay tuned. In the meantime, enjoy the following pages and take note of our Critics’ Picks, too, beginning on page 91. A big thanks for voting—and for reading—and an even bigger congratulations to all of the winners. Enjoy.  -Greg Archer, EditorBest of Santa Cruz County Readers’ Poll INDEX

 

Apricot Wine for Dessert

Thomas Kruse Winery, a participant in the new Santa Clara Wine Trail, has been around for a long time—since 1971, to be exact. When our little group arrived to try some wine at the Kruses’ low-key tasting room, Thomas Kruse and his wife Karen were there to greet us. Theirs is a small operation, and they’re proud to offer quality wine at affordable prices. “Because we are small and low-tech, it’s easy to relate to the whole winemaking process,” says Karen—and the Kruses take pride in making wine “just like it has been made for centuries.”