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Sep 30th
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Environment

Motorcycles for a Greener Tomorrow

Motorcycles for a Greener Tomorrow

Local company looks to reinvent electric vehicle technology, boost green industry
For many, the word “motorcycle” conjures up the sounds and smells of roaring engines and the kind of mechanical monsters known for startling unsuspecting pedestrians with a mere flick of the wrist. But Zero Motorcycles, a local developer and manufacturer of 100 percent electric motorcycles, is hoping to change that perception—one green bike at a time. 

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Local News

Trip of a Lifetime

Trip of a Lifetime

UCSC volunteer group prepares for its second trip to Honduras
Two years ago, Ida Shahidi was an average college sophomore enjoying her spring break in Costa Rica. Call it serendipity or call it accident, but one lost plane ticket and a missed flight later, she was on an unplanned flight home, seated next to a young man from UC Santa Barbara, having the conversation that would change her life—and the lives of dozens of other UC Santa Cruz students, as well.

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Town Hall

Assemblymember Bill Monning

Assemblymember Bill Monning

Public opinion has been heated about the governor’s decision to hold a special election to fill the 15th District senate seat, left vacant by now Lieutenant Governor Abel Maldonado. What are the problems with holding a rushed election?

The decision to hold a special election on June 22, and possibly a runoff on August 17, to fill the vacant 15th Senate District seat creates two significant problems. 

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Local News

The Aftermath: Anarchy, Misconceptions, and Community

The Aftermath: Anarchy, Misconceptions, and Community

Q&A with local anarchist Alex Barangan
It’s been one month since the streets of Downtown Santa Cruz turned rowdy and rambunctious in what was supposed to be a DIY May Day Dance Party. Good Times has since heard from city council members, the Santa Cruz Police Department, and two small business owners (whose businesses were vandalized). Now we sit down with Alex Barangan, a local engineer and member of the anarchist and DIY communities, to hear a different perspective. He did not participate in the May Day event, and speaks to us instead about the impact of the incident on the anarchist community, his own experience, and more.

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Local News

Who Will It Be?

Who Will It Be?

A guide to the local candidates in the June 8 primary election
Traditionally, Good Times does not endorse candidates—but we can help you make informed decisions. We asked the candidates vying for a handful of key offices—County Board of Supervisors, the 17th Congressional District, and County Superior Court Judge—the same set of questions to help you get an idea of their platform and their plans for action. So take a gander at our candidate profiles before you head out to the voting booths for the June 8 primary—you may be surprised at what some of them have to say.

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Local News

The Gore-y Truth

The Gore-y Truth

Climate change crusader Al Gore engages local youth
Former Vice President and Nobel Peace Prize winner Al Gore opened his May 17 talk at California State University Monterey Bay with a classic quote from anthropologist Margaret Mead: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever does.”

Every seat was taken for the fourth lecture in the annual series hosted by the Panetta Institute, a CSUMB-based nonpartisan educational foundation focused on public policy. The roughly 800 students in attendance came from campuses throughout the Central Coast, and the processes used to select them for participation were as diverse as the region itself. Later in the evening, Gore would speak at an $85-per-ticket event at the Golden State Theatre in Monterey (broadcast live on local television). But here, the crowd would be tougher to play to—after all, it rests on the slim shoulders of the students in this room and their generation to make amends for the climate crisis.

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Local News

Tumbling Tots

Tumbling Tots

Three Santa Cruz preschool co-ops fight to remain open
On Tuesday, May 18, uncertainty filled the classroom as the parents of Soquel Parent Education Nursery School (Soquel PENS) congregated for their last monthly parent meeting of the school year—and what might be their last meeting ever.

Soquel PENS is a preschool co-op with two sister schools, Westside PENS (WPENS) and Santa Cruz PENS (SCPENS). The schools have been a part of the Santa Cruz community for decades, ranging from 35 years to 61 years in operation. “There are grandmothers that went there before their daughters. And now their daughters’ daughters are going there,” says Matthew Kirk-Williams, father of 4-year-old Logan, who attends Soquel PENS.

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Town Hall

Rep. Sam Farr

Rep. Sam Farr

How has public opinion and state and national plans for offshore oil drilling been affected by the BP oil spill?
A poll came out on May 6 that I thought had some very interesting numbers. Among the results, 20 percent of respondents said they’d drive less, attributing their decision directly to the oil spill in the Gulf [of Mexico].

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Environment

Gunk Goes Green

Gunk Goes Green

Biotech researchers transform biodiesel waste into additional fuel
Ray Newkirk doesn’t hesitate to wash his hands with dirty soap. Before founding the Green Station on Ocean Street in Santa Cruz, where locals pump Bay-Area-made biodiesel into their cars, Newkirk was a backyard producer, making fuel out of fryer waste from the Saturn Café.

Like other biodiesel producers, Newkirk also inevitably made a lot of dark, thick waste glycerin.

For every 100 gallons of biodiesel made, 10 gallons of the crude goop remain. Last year 600 million gallons of biodiesel were produced, and while a freeze on tax credits has slowed production this year, America will still have millions of gallons of crude glycerol at its fingertips.

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Local News

Looking Back, Moving Forward

Looking Back, Moving Forward

Velvet Underground finds strength in community (Third in a series.)
In the May 6 issue, we heard from City Councilmembers Ryan Coonerty and Lynn Robinson about the city’s reaction to the May 1 riots, and last week we spoke with Linnaea Holgers James, owner of Artisan’s Gallery, one of the 18 businesses that were vandalized. This week, we continue the conversation with Diane Towns, owner of Velvet Underground.

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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.”