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Dec 21st
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Five Things Farr

Five Things Farr

Q&A with Congressman Sam Farr

ONE—He’s not sweating the election.
GT: You’re running against Republican Jeff Taylor in the Nov. 2 election. How’s your campaign going, and what has your main message been?

I’m the first to know and admit—because I’ve seen it all—that we’re in tough times; that there is a lot of hurt. There are a lot of stores closed. And behind each store is a person who worked there, their family, and a janitor, and a property manager. It’s a crisis.

I’m running on if you want someone to jumpstart our economy, it’s got to be about jobs, jobs, jobs. First is jobs. Second is jobs. Third—it’s all about jobs. And who has the experience in the federal system to make sure we get those jobs? Seniority counts back there. It’s a huge learning process.

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Local News

Seeking Balance

Seeking Balance

Measure H promises to maintain public safety funding with an increased utility tax. Is there a catch?
The City of Santa Cruz has been in reduction mode for 10 years. They employ 110 fewer full-time staff than they did in 2000, and most of the current employees have taken voluntary 10 percent pay cuts, not to mention furloughs. The city has cut spending across the board, and altogether axed funding for services like the Teen Center, Beach Flats Community Center and Harvey West Park.

And yet they continue to face a massive budget deficit.

Before retiring earlier this year, former City Manager Richard Wilson issued a budget memorandum to the city council predicting a $2 million deficit for the 2011 Fiscal Year. But that figure has continued to grow and is now closer to $5 million, says new City Manager Martin Bernal.

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Environment

Unplugged

Unplugged

Gary Patton’s ‘Land Use Report’ gets pulled off the air
Effective Dec. 1, environmental advocate Gary Patton will say farewell to his weekday “Land Use Report” program on the radio station KUSP.

The report, which has held the 6:49 a.m. and 8:49 a.m. weekday slots for the last nine and a half years, is an 80-second opportunity during NPR’s “Morning Edition” for Patton to expound on local land use issues like water, farmland protection, transportation, and housing, as well as a time for him to inform listeners on how they can help.

But while the station asked Patton to host the report a near decade ago, in mid-September, KUSP Talk and Information Producer JD Hillard put an end to the segment.

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Town Hall

Supervisor John Leopold

Supervisor John Leopold

The county recently created new rules on medical marijuana dispensaries. Why, and what will they accomplish?

In 1996, the voters of Santa Cruz County passed Proposition 215, the California Compassionate Use Act, by a 74 percent margin. This overwhelming support demonstrated the resolve of our community to ensure access to alternative medicines that provide relief to those suffering from illness.

Since that time there has been an evolving set of regulations to fulfill the voters' wishes. Thirteen other states have passed compassionate use regulations. The election of President Barack Obama led to a new direction in federal drug policies; a memo from Attorney General Eric Holder specifically articulated that U.S. Justice Department law enforcement agencies would not pursue cases involving dispensaries operating within local laws.

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Local News

Somebody Shout Amen!

Somebody Shout Amen!

Can Revival 1010 bring old fashioned praise to the streets of Santa Cruz?
For many people, certain images and connotations may spring to mind upon hearing the words "tent revival." Maybe a scene from an older time, in a backwoods—distinctly Southern—locale, an evangelical priest gripping the forehead of a newly converted boy as he twists in the throws of glossolalia … Well, it turns out that's not all that accurate.

Tent revivals have been around since the turn of the 19th century (and did actually begin in the South, at the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, though the official site and state are points of contention) as a way to gather Christians for church rallies, healing ceremonies, and to attempt to enlighten those who were, as of yet, untouched by God. But as entertaining as an archaic, cartoonish vision of a tent revival may be, an upcoming Santa Cruz event wants to prove that it’s downright wrong. On Oct. 8, 9 and 10, Downtown Santa Cruz will host Revival 1010, its first Old Fashioned Tent Revival.

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Local News

Pedal Pushing

Pedal Pushing

Green Ways to Schools gets kids to rethink transportation
In today’s auto-centric world, it is easy to forget that mobility does not have to be synonymous with automobiles. The efforts of one local organization hope to curb this dependency on cars for Santa Cruz youth.

The program is called Green Ways to School, and aims to transform the way young Santa Cruzans perceive transportation. The two organizations that sponsor Green Ways to School, People Power and the Santa Cruz Hub for Sustainable Transportation, are both committed to promoting alternative and eco-friendly modes of transportation. Green Ways to School differs from the missions of its parent organizations because it hones in on educating middle and high school-aged students about these alternatives. In addition to bicycling, Green Ways also promotes carpooling—the focus of Rideshare Week, which celebrates its 27th anniversary this week.

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Town Hall

Town Hall with Assemblymember Bill Monning

Town Hall with Assemblymember Bill Monning

Are you endorsing candidates and measures in the November election?  If so, which ones?

On the Nov. 2 ballot I am urging everyone to vote yes on Proposition 21, the state parks initiative that would establish an $18 annual vehicle license surcharge to fund state parks and wildlife programs, and to vote yes on Proposition 25, the initiative to change the legislative vote requirement to pass a budget from two-thirds to a simple majority.

I am urging everyone to vote no on Proposition 23, the initiative to suspend the implementation of air pollution standards established in Assembly Bill 32 that requires major producers of air pollutants to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 levels by 2020, and to vote no on Proposition 26, the initiative requiring certain state and local fees to be approved by a two-thirds vote.  

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Local News

Hide and Go Seek

Hide and Go Seek

A guided tour into the hidden world of Santa Cruz geocachers
As worldwide phenomenons go, geocaching has remained remarkably ambiguous. Of the people who have heard of it, or think they may have heard of it, fewer still could actually tell you what the sport entails. What makes this really surprising is that geocaches aren't necessarily hidden away in the lonely reaches of Nisene Marks, Wilder Ranch, or other remote areas (though some certainly are); they're everywhere. Many are right in the city—underfoot, overhead, or in plain view.

"You can drive anywhere and be like, ‘oh yeah, there's one there, and there…’" says Pam Baldwin (a.k.a. Evil Cow Pie) who has hidden more than 380 caches and found almost 3,100.

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Environment

Climate Change…and Wine?

Climate Change…and Wine?

The Science Sundays lecture series explains how climate change affects California’s wineries
On a warm and sunny Sunday in this temperamental summer, it’s easy to let your mind wander away from the various environmental problems plaguing the world today. That stuff is depressing—for example, a gulf that seems to be more oil than water, covering its wildlife in a slick, crude sheen while stalling local fisheries and economies to near insolvency. Not to mention the silent moans of countless trees lost to deforestation. And, of course, there are the lovable polar bears and penguins, already on the endangered species list, that see their habitat melt away due to the increase of greenhouse gases and annual temperatures.  

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Local News

Forty Days of Dissent

Forty Days of Dissent

Anti-Abortion protestors picket Planned Parenthood for more than a month
With summer ending and tourists making the return voyage home, Santa Cruzans might notice a new fixture on one downtown street—a mass of anti-abortion protestors.

These protestors are part of an international effort called 40 Days for Life, whose mission is to “draw attention to the evils of abortion” with 40 days of prayer, fasting, vigil, and community outreach, according to the organization’s website. The website also boasts that this season of anti-abortion picketing will be the largest pro-life movement in history.

This year, protestors involved with 40 Days banded together for the first time on Sep. 22 to stand in solidarity against abortion. The organization has been holding vigils since 2007, but this autumn marks the organization’s largest campaign yet with 238 participating locations, one of which, for the first time, is Santa Cruz.

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Is This a Dream?

A beginner’s guide to understanding and exploring the uncanny world of lucid dreams

 

Giving and Giving, Then Giving Some More

2014 is almost over. Wednesday, Dec. 17, the Jewish Festival of Light, Hanukkah, begins. We are in our last week of Sag and last two weeks of December. Sunday, Dec. 21 is winter Solstice, as the sun enters Capricorn (3:30 p.m. for the west coast). Soon after, the Capricorn new moon occurs (5:36 p.m. for the west coast)—the last new moon of 2014. Sunday morning Uranus in Aries (revolution, revelation) is stationary direct (retro since July 22). Uranus/Aries create things new and needed to anchor the new culture and civilization (Aquarius). We will see revolutionary change in 2015. Capricorn new moon, building-the-personality seed thought, is, “Let ambition rule and let the door to initiation and freedom stand wide (open).” Capricorn is a gate—where matter returns to spirit. But the gate is unseen until the Ajna Center (third eye), Diamond Light of Direction, opens. Winter solstice is the longest day of darkness of the year. The sun’s rays resting at the Tropic of Capricorn (southern hemisphere) symbolize the Christ (soul’s) light piercing the heart of the Earth, remaining there for three days, till Holy Night (midnight Thursday morning). Then the sun’s light begins to rise. It is the birth of the new light (holy child) for the world. A deep calm and stillness pervades the world.The entire planet is revivified, re-spiritualized. All hearts beating reflect this Light. And so throughout the Earth there’s a radiant “impress” (impressions, pictures) given to humanity of the World Mother and her Child. The star Sirius (love/direction) and the constellation Virgo the mother shines above. For gift giving, give to those in need. Give and give and then give some more. This creates the new template of giving and sharing for the new world.

 

The New Tech Nexus

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

 

Stocking Stuffers

The men behind the women of the Kinsey Sicks Dragapella Beautyshop Quartet explain their own special brand of ‘dragtivism,’ and their holiday show at the Rio
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Tramonti Pizza

Why there’s no such thing as too much Italian food in Seabright

 

Guitar or surfboard?

Guitar. The closest thing I ever came to surfing was sliding down a rock hill. Charlie Tweddle, Santa Cruz, Hats and Music

 

Fortino Winery’s Intriguing Charbono

At the opening celebration of the new Santa Clara Wine Trail in August, one of the wineries we visited was Fortino. This is where I first tasted their intriguing estate-grown Charbono—a varietal that is one of the rarest in California, with only 80 acres grown statewide.

 

Beyond the Jar

How Tabitha Stroup has built her rapidly expanding jam empire