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Nov 24th
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Environment

Oil Used Up

Oil Used Up

Workshop teaches skills for a low-energy future

“Generally we don’t go up to people and say, ‘Do you know that the world as you know it is coming to an end?’” Michael Levy is a reasonable man. He’s not going to try to convince you that the Apocalypse is nigh or of some other doomsday scenario. He just believes that our current standard of living in the United States and other industrialized nations is unsustainable.

That’s why a year and a half ago he founded Transition Santa Cruz (TSC), part of the growing worldwide transition movement. Originating in England in 2005, and now with hundreds of chapters worldwide, transition initiatives are grassroots local movements. They seek to educate their communities about the possibility that energy resources like oil will soon grow so scarce and expensive that they will be unavailable to the vast majority of people, a development that will radically alter our current lifestyle, which for the past century or more has relied heavily on the availability of low-cost oil, coal, and natural gas.

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Town Hall

Town Hall

Town Hall

With the year-end deadline for health care legislation looming, what is the likelihood of the public option making it into the final bill? What will happen if it isn’t?  First, let me explain what the public option would do. I’ve found that too often over the past few months, debate has raged without a clear understanding of the subject.

The public option would be just that, one insurance option of many. More importantly, it would only be available as part of the health insurance exchange, the marketplace of insurance options for those without employment-based insurance.

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Local News

UCSC Budget Brainstorm

UCSC Budget Brainstorm

UCSC humanities division forum keeps the budget wheels turning
Distress over UC Santa Cruz budget cuts has already spurred an opening-day walkout, the occupation of a campus building and a flurry of coalition-building among students, workers, and faculty. While every division on campus is coping with permanent budget reductions, the transparency of the decision-making has varied.

On Sept. 29, UCSC Humanities Dean Georges Van Den Abbeele hosted a “Humanities Division Town Hall Meeting” to disclose the division’s latest budget woes and elicit creative solutions from the campus community. The evening of the event, more than 60 faculty members and graduate students (plus a handful of undergraduates) are gathered at the Humanities Lecture Hall.

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Local News

An Experiment in Hope

An Experiment in Hope

Local church launches a 50-day testament to the power of positive thought
Almost 14 years ago, just two years after becoming a pastor at Twin Lakes Church (TLC) in Aptos, René Schlaepfer became overwhelmed by anxiety. He couldn’t sleep, was constantly worrying, and, having never heard of anxiety attacks, was freaked by the abrupt racing of his heart.

A series of panic attacks eventually landed him in the hospital, where, unbeknownst to him, the doctor had recently started attending TLC and recognized Schlaepfer as the pastor.

“He came in and said ‘there is nothing wrong with you physically, but you’re having anxiety attacks,’” remembers Schlaepfer. “I immediately started feeling guilty. Here I am a pastor talking about peace and joy and love, and I’m having an anxiety attack.”

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Environment

A Day of Action

A Day of Action

Local activists take part in Climate Action Day

Creating international policies to curb climate change is no walk in the park. But that is just what world leaders aim to do this December, when the United Nations Climate Change Conference converges on Copenhagen, Denmark. The goal of the conference is to draft an international resolution that will replace the Kyoto Protocol, which is set to expire in 2012.

Half a world away, here in Santa Cruz, it may be hard to imagine what impact an individual could have on the conference. But according to Micah Posner of People Power, making a difference is simple. All Santa Cruzans have to do is head downtown to the clock tower at 2 p.m. this Saturday to hear speeches from City Supervisor Mark Stone, City Climate Czar Ross Clark and bear witness to the trial of a private automobile.

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Town Hall

Town Hall

Town Hall

The Fifth District Supervisor reflects on the economy, recent fires and the spirit of volunteerism in the San Lorenzo Valley
This year we find ourselves in the middle of a major state and local budget crisis. Huge state budget slashes and raids by the state on county budgets have had depressing impacts on many local programs, including elder care services and many child welfare programs. Yet, with all of the bad news I am consistently impressed by the independence and resilience of the mountain communities of the San Lorenzo Valley. It may be a function of our greater geographic distance from the central county urban centers, but San Lorenzo Valley communities have cultivated a spirit of self-reliance and mutual assistance. In times of emergency and disaster we can easily be cut off from the rest of the county, and independent self-help is our only real option.

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Local News

No Butts Allowed

No Butts Allowed

Santa Cruz weighs in on the smoking ban
There is no denying that smoking is a bad habit—bad for you, and bad for those around you. But ever since the Santa Cruz City Council unanimously passed a new smoking ban on Tuesday, Sept. 8, locals have been debating whether cigarette ick-factor is enough to warrant outlawing them altogether.

Officially titled the Smoking Pollution Control Ordinance, the ban will take effect on Oct. 20 and forbid smoking on Pacific Avenue, Beach Street, West Cliff Drive and all other city-owned properties, such as the Municipal Wharf, parks and City Hall. The ordinance will also disallow smoking within 25 feet of any public window or door and in the outdoor dining areas of bars and restaurants. Hotels will also be affected, as the mandatory percentage of non-smoking rooms has been upped from 75 to 90 percent.

 

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Local News

Persevering Despite Setbacks

Persevering Despite SetbacksWebExclusive: Domestic Violence Prevention Month gains new importance thanks to budget cuts
On Wednesday, Sept. 30, representatives, leaders, and supporters of the Commission for the Prevention of Violence against Women (CPVAW), the Walnut Avenue Women's Center (WAWC), the Women's Crisis Support - Defensa de Mujeres (WCS-DdM), and the County District Attorney's Office gathered in front of the county court house on Water Street to kick-off Domestic Violence Awareness Month.    
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Town Hall

Town Hall

Town Hall

Now that the 2009 Legislative Session has wrapped up, what are your reflections on your first session in the Assembly?  What is working for California, and what isn’t?

In my first comments in December, I stated there had been very little down time since the election and, as of today, that still applies.  The speed at which the Legislature moves is rapid, and when you add the two massive budget shortfalls, prison overcrowding, the state’s water shortage and boosting the amount of renewable energy the state produces, the pace is indeed fast and furious. However, despite the monumental learning curve, the large work load and the long hours, I enjoyed the opportunity to meet and work with other Legislators and staffers who are truly dedicated to making state government work for all Californians.

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Local News

UCSC Demonstrations Escalate

UCSC Demonstrations Escalate

Walkout draws hundreds, protestors occupy campus building
Hundreds of UC Santa Cruz students, faculty, workers, and alumni gathered at the base of campus on Thursday, Sept. 24 to protest devastating budget cuts that have taken place over the summer. The daylong event, coinciding with the first day of classes at UCSC, also included a strike by the union of University Professional and Technical Employees (UPTE) and a sympathy strike by the clerical worker’s union, the Coalition of University Employees.

 

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Pop Life

The pop-up dining trend is freeing culinary imaginations and creating a guerilla version of event dining around Santa Cruz

 

Over Hills and Plains, Riding a White Horse, Bow and Arrows in Hand

Saturday, early morning, the sun enters and radiates the light of Sagittarius. Three hours later, the Sagittarius new moon (0.07 degrees) occurs. “Let food be sought,” is the personality-building keynote. “Food” means experiences; all kinds, levels and types. It also means real food. Sag’s secret is their love of food. Many, if not musicians, are chefs. Some are both. The energies shift from Scorpio’s deep and transformative waters to the “hills and plains of Sagittarius.” Sag is the rider on a white horse, eyes focused on the mountain peaks of Capricorn (Initiation) ahead. Like Scorpio, Sagittarius is also the “disciple.” Adventure, luck, optimism, joy and the beginnings of gratitude are the hallmarks of Sagittarius. Sag is also one of the signs of silence. The battle lines were drawn in Libra and we were asked to choose where we stood. The Nine Tests were given in Scorpio and we emerged “warriors triumphant.” Now in Sag, we are to be the One-Pointed Disciple, riding over the plains on a white horse, bow and arrows in hand, eyes focused on the Path of Return ahead. Sagittarians are one-pointed (symbol of the arrow). Sag asks, “What is my life’s purpose?” This is their quest, from valleys, plains, meadows and hills, eyes aimed always at the mountaintop. Sag emerges from Scorpio’s deep waters, conflict and tests into the open air. Sag’s quest is humanity’s quest. Sag’s quest, however, is always accompanied by music and good food.

 

The New Tech Nexus

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

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of November 21

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >
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Pie Fidelity

A little Thanksgiving help, plus sip and shop locally at the Art, Wine and Gift Bazaar

 

What should be on everyone’s bucket list?

Hang gliding, because you're free as a bird. Jenni, Santa Cruz, Student/Administrative Assistant

 

Soquel Vineyards

Thanksgiving is just around the corner, so it’s time to be thinking about the wine you’re going to serve with that special dinner, be it turkey, ham, a roast, or something vegetarian or vegan.

 

The Kitchen

Chef Santos Majano talks beer-friendly food at Discretion Brewery