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Apr 27th
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Local News

’Tis the Season

’Tis the Season

Local orgs and causes to give to this holiday season
Santa Cruz Public Libraries
Needy Animals
Second Harvest Food Bank
The Walnut Avenue Women's Center
Brown Berets Toy Drive

If you’re stumped on what to get that special (or not-so-special) someone, or are just feeling particularly generous this holiday season, perhaps the answer is in lending your support to one of the many local organizations and causes that are in need of a little holiday cheer. Here are a few such ideas; now, let the real giving get going!

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Local News

Fighting Sex Slavery, One Computer at a Time

Fighting Sex Slavery, One Computer at a Time

UCSC cop plans to help a human trafficking safe house in Cambodia
The truth about the Cambodian genocide at the hands of the Khmer Rouge following the Vietnam War, as well as the current political situation in Cambodia, is hard to come by. But when local resident Jon D. Haro visited an orphanage in Northern Cambodia last year that provides a safe house and vocational training for young girls rescued from human trafficking in the Cambodian sex industry, he was hit by one, overwhelming truth: “[That] I’ve got to do something to help this place.”

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Local News

The Journey East

The Journey East

Santa Cruz local walks cross-country to raise awareness for Hepatitis C
In the age of freeways and airplanes, transportation is fast and efficient, if not a little dehumanizing. We live in a time in which most people hop in their cars to run even the smallest errand. But this winter, one Santa Cruz resident is ditching his car and hitting the road for a transcontinental trip—on foot.

Meet Joseph Melsha. On Friday, Nov. 26, the Santa Cruz native embarked on a journey that will take him through the United States, with nothing more than a bag stocked with basic amenities (a tent, flashlight, and a small camp stove) on his back and a sturdy pair of walking shoes on his feet. He has plotted a course that will take him to his final destination in Boston, Mass.

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Town Hall

Assemblymember Bill Monning

Assemblymember Bill Monning

With the Republican take-over of the House of Representatives, do you think there will be a repeal or modifications in federal health care reform?

Unfortunately, it appears that implementation of federal healthcare reform, also known as the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, will continue to be a target of the incoming congressional leadership. While it is unlikely that the entire act will be repealed, components of federal healthcare reform are already under attack.  

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Business

Martinelli’s Goes Against the Flow

Martinelli’s Goes Against the Flow

Famed Watsonville cider company rejects water fluoridation, builds own well
When Watsonville accepted $1.6 million from the California Dental Association Foundation to fluoridate the city’s water on Sept. 28, the hope was that the new system would reduce tooth decay, particularly among the poor. But what happens when one of the biggest employers, water consumers and most well-known businesses in town is vehemently against fluoridation?

Such is the dilemma currently facing John Martinelli, president of world famous juice maker S. Martinelli & Co.

A strong opponent of fluoridation, Martinelli has played a key role in the decade-long struggle to convince the Watsonville City Council that fluoride has not been proven safe or effective. But with a state law that says cities with 10,000 or more people must fluoridate if costs are covered by an outside agency, a refusal to comply would mean a fine of $200 per day against the city.

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Business

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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We Can Rebuild You

A look back at how downtown Santa Cruz recovered from the 1989 earthquake

 

International Earth Day—Mother Earth Day

Every April 22, humanity celebrates International Mother Earth Day and Earth Day. As more than a billion people participate in Earth Day activities every year, Earth Day has become the world’s largest civic observance. The massive concern to build right relations between humanity and the living being we call Earth is evidence of humanity’s love of the Mother. In 2009, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed April 22 International Mother Earth Day, with a significant resolution affirming “the interdependence existing among human beings, other living species (the kingdoms—mineral, plant, animal and human) and the planet itself, the Earth which we all inhabit.” The Earth is our home. Celebrating Earth Day helps us define new emerging processes (economic, social, political) focused on the well-being of the kingdoms. Through these, humanity seeks to raise the quality of life, foster equality and begin to establish right relations with the Earth. We dedicate ourselves to bringing forth balance and a relationship of harmony with all of nature. Learn about planting a billion trees (the Canopy Project); participate in 1.5 billion acts of green. Disassociation (toward Earth) is no longer viable. We lose our connection to life itself. Participation is viable—an anchor, refuge and service for all of life on Earth. Visit earthday.org; harmonywithnatureun.org; and un.org/en/events/motherearthday for more information. From Farmers Almanac, “On Earth Day, enjoy the tonic of fresh air, contact with the soil, companionship with nature! Go barefooted. Walk through woods, find wildflowers and green moss. Remain outside, no matter the weather!” Nature, Earth’s most balanced kingdom, heals us. The New Group of World Servers is preparing for the May 3 Wesak Buddha Taurus solar festival. We prepare through asking for and offering forgiveness. Forgiveness purifies and like nature, heals.

 

The New Tech Nexus

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

 

Dark Magic

40 years on the movie beat in Santa Cruz
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Latest Comments

 

Oral Fixations

Blown away by a Tuesday night dinner at Oswald

 

If you could live in Santa Cruz in any era besides now, which would you choose?

Probably the ’70s, because Santa Cruz is such a fly-your-freak-flag place. That was when free love and hippiness was in vogue. Shane Reber, Santa Cruz, Caretaker

 

Sarah’s Vineyard

Sarah’s Vineyard of Gilroy is known for crafting fine wines—and one of my all-time favorites is its Chardonnay. But this time, its Viognier has my vote.

 

Munch

East Coast meets West Coast in new meat lover’s paradise