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Dec 21st
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Santa Cruz News

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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Environment

Green Eggs, Hold the Ham

Green Eggs, Hold the Ham

UC Santa Cruz dining goes meatless on Mondays
San Francisco and New York City do it; every school in the Baltimore City School District does it; Sir Paul McCartney does it; and now, like four other UC schools, UC Santa Cruz does it, too.

We’re talking about Meatless Monday—a growing movement to cut meat consumption by 15 percent (one day a week), thereby helping to reduce serious environmental stresses, health problems, and resource shortages. Organizations like Meatless Monday and Meat Free Monday (the latter was founded by McCartney and his daughters) are spearheading the campaign, and reminding the world’s omnivores that, according to the United Nations, livestock are the single largest contributor to global warming—spewing even more greenhouse gases than all of the world’s transportation combined.

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Local News

Dive into the BLUE

Dive into the BLUE

Monterey plunges into hosting the BLUE Ocean Film Festival
Some things just click. Artichokes and butter, Highway 1 and convertibles, back porches and banjos—they go together so naturally it's as if they were made for one another. Destined for inclusion in the list of great matches is a new pair: Monterey and the BLUE Ocean Film Festival (BOFF). This summer, from Aug. 24 to 29, BOFF will be held for the first time in Monterey with the Monterey Bay Aquarium (MBA) as their presenting sponsor, promising a marriage of resources, passions, and goals.

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Environment

Smart Meters

Smart Meters

How can something so intelligent cause such uproar?
California is tangled up in a controversy involving Pacific Gas and Electric (PG&E)’s latest energy-monitoring gadget, the SmartMeter.
The SmartMeter is PG&E’s way of "connecting the energy business with the 21st century” by using wireless technology to read electric and gas usage. The SmartMeter is able to report usage data to PG&E every hour, eliminating the need for meter readers and enhancing their ability to access updated account information.

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Town Hall

Assemblymember Bill Monning

Assemblymember Bill MonningWhat are your thoughts on Proposition 21, which would assist in funding state parks if passed in the November General Election?

Proposition 21, the November 2, 2010 ballot measure, will establish a guaranteed funding source for the operation, maintenance, and capital improvements of the 278 state parks. This measure has my full support and I encourage everyone to support its passage. The proposition will give California vehicles free admission to any state park in exchange for an $18 vehicle license fee and is essential to preserving and protecting our park system.
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Local News

In a Galaxy Far, Far Away …

In a Galaxy Far, Far Away …

Local scientist Frank Drake helps answer extraterrestrial quandaries at first annual SETICon

Are we alone in the universe?
That question, which has long stirred the passions and interests of people around the world, will be the topic of discussion, debate and celebration at a three-day-long event taking place this weekend in Santa Clara. The first ever “SETICon” will bring together scientists, writers, artists, actors, and members of the public to explore the possibility that that there is life beyond what we know to exist on Earth.
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Local News

The Final Countdown

The Final Countdown

This month’s special election will bring an end to the tumultuous race for the 15th Senate District seat

If you have turned on the television, opened a newspaper, or switched on the radio in the last three months, chances are you’ve heard the names John Laird and Sam Blakeslee. Their bitter battle for California’s 15th State Senate District seat has been highly publicized and hard to miss. The special election that will end the race is Aug. 17.

It all started on April 27, 2010, when Republican Abel Maldonado vacated his 15th District seat to assume office as lieutenant governor of California. Republican Blakeslee,

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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