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Feb 01st
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Local News

Still Surviving

Still Surviving

Community programs recoup after budget cuts

Various community programs in Santa Cruz have been on the chopping block since January of this year when the city, in attempt to close a $9 million budget deficit, charged Parks and Recreation, museums and community centers with finding their own funding. Nearly one year later, all of these programs have been able to keep their heads above water through the hard work and efforts of community members.

The Santa Cruz Teen Center is perhaps facing the most unsure future due to budget cuts. The city stopped paying rent for the Teen Center last fall, but property owner George Ow Jr. agreed to temporarily waive the rent until the city could make a decision on the future of the center.

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Local News

Fresh Approach to Foster Care

Fresh Approach to Foster Care

How a Santa Cruz County non-profit continues to change lives

There are more than 62,000 children in foster care in California, according to the California Department of Social Services. That number may seem overwhelming, but New Families, a local non-profit private foster care agency, is up for the challenge.

New Families is a Felton-based organization that has been taking a different approach to the foster care system for over 11 years. They micromanage cases for 40 children in 30 homes throughout Santa Cruz, Monterey, Santa Clara, San Benito and Sacramento counties.

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Local News

All Together Now

All Together Now

City council and local residents look for new ways to combat violent crime

On Tuesday, Nov. 10, the Santa Cruz City Council voted on five new initiatives designed to combat violent crime and solicited public comment on other ways to address the problem. The measures, all of which passed unanimously, will revise the zoning definitions and permit process for alcohol retailers, accelerate plans to install improved lighting downtown, allocate new funds for the Juvenile Diversion and Early Intervention programs, review and revise ordinances aimed at combating nuisance properties, and launch a pilot Neighborhood Empowerment Initiative, which will send bilingual two-officer police teams to do door-to-door outreach in three neighborhoods that have been hard-hit by recent violence.

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Local News

A Strong Community, If Not a Town

A Strong Community, If Not a Town

New Five Year Plan for Live Oak and Soquel seems likely to bring the area up to speed—without all the extra baggage

Who needs a mayor when you have the Santa Cruz County Redevelopment Agency (RDA) and Supervisor John Leopold looking out for you? Better yet, who needs elected officials when local residents show up and behave amicably towards one another while discussing controversial issues, such as the dispersal of millions of tax dollars in their community? Admittedly, being unincorporated is not the same as being ungoverned, but it stands that the response of local residents of the Live Oak and Soquel community at the Public Hearing for RDA’s new Five Year Plan showed that they are ready and willing to take matters into their own hands.

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Town Hall

Assemblymember Bill Monning

Assemblymember Bill Monning

In light of the recession this holiday season, what kinds of programs in your district are doing important things to fight hunger and poverty?

In the Monterey Bay area, 20 percent of the people live below the federal poverty level and the number of people who have suffered from food insecurity (having missed meals) has tripled in the past eight years.  Second Harvest Food Bank is one of the most effective service organizations in the area and they have large bins in front of local stores and offices in order to collect canned food donations.  Last month, Second Harvest Food Bank served free food to approximately 44,000 individuals and they receive a majority of their food donations during the holiday season.

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Local News

BYOB: Bring Your Own Bags

BYOB: Bring Your Own Bags

Proposed ban may take plastic bags out of Santa Cruz stores

Getting in the car to buy dinner at the supermarket has taken us a long way from tracking a herd of animals to survive the winter. Conveniences have become an important part of our day-to-day lives, but while making life easier, these conveniences have also separated us from the environment in which we live. Not to mention they can take a drastic toll on the environment.

The most recent issue on the minds of environmentalists and local politicians in Santa Cruz County is the convenience of getting plastic and paper bags at the grocery store. On Oct. 30, County Supervisor Mark Stone announced his intention of instating a countywide ordinance that bans single-use plastic bags and drastically reduces the number of paper bags that are used. Stone plans to instate the ban, if approved, on April 22, 2010, also known as Earth Day. The proposed ban will not only ban plastic bags from all supermarkets and pharmacies, but incentives will be provided to customers if they forgo store provided paper bags altogether and bring their own reusable bags.

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Business

Health Care on a Napkin

Health Care on a Napkin

One UCSC alumni swears that pictures can solve any problem—including health care reform

Dan Roam’s career path wasn’t anything he could have planned for or expected. Somehow, he started college with the intention of becoming a doctor and ended up drawing on the backs of napkins for a living—and making quite a name for himself doing it.

“I blame it all on Santa Cruz,” he says.

The consultant, author and professional doodler is giving a presentation at the Santa Cruz Dream Inn on Nov. 12, at which he will attempt to break down the seemingly complex issue of American health care reform using simple drawings. The project, “American Health Care: A Four Napkin Series,” is his latest in a long line of attempts to solve big problems on—you guessed it—the backs of napkins.

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Town Hall

Congressman Sam Farr

Congressman Sam Farr

How will the Truth in Trials Act, which you introduced on Oct. 27, reinforce that medical marijuana laws be enforced at the state rather than federal level?

We have a major disconnect in this country between state and federal marijuana laws, and it’s resulting in innocent people being sent to prison.

An individual arrested for marijuana use and tried in federal court is currently barred from telling the jury that the marijuana grown, distributed or used was for legal, state-sanctioned purposes. It’s unconscionable that we limit a very legitimate defense inside federal courthouses.

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Local News

Occupied Territory

Occupied Territory

Reactions to fee hikes and recent occupations divide UCSC community

On Nov. 17 at UC Los Angeles, the University of California Board of Regents will vote on a proposed measure that would raise student fees by 32 percent next year. If approved, student tuitions will have risen by a total of 109 percent since the start of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s tenure. Speaking to an audience of more than 100 students at a forum on the budget crisis on Oct. 29 at UC Santa Cruz, Stanton Glantz, professor of medicine at UC San Francisco and an outspoken critic of the UC system’s administrative and financial practices, accused the governor of trying to create “a radical right-wing free market model” of education, and told students, “Basically, Schwarzenegger is the king of sticking it to you guys.”

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Environment

Defining the Elusive “Green” Fish

Defining the Elusive “Green” Fish

Recently passed Sustainable Seafood Bill seeks to inform consumers and reward environmentally friendly fishers

While the declining state of fisheries in California threatens to put us all in Homer Simpson's shoes during a Treehouse of Horror moment ("Oh, I wish I wish I hadn't killed that fish!"), Assemblyman Bill Monning's recently passed Sustainable Seafood Bill is a good start in the other direction.

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Throwing It All Away

Everybody’s for recycling, right? So why are we all doing it wrong? Our reporter gets down and dirty to uncover 10 secrets that will finally make the recycling process make sense

 

Aquarius Calling, Humanity Rising

Aquarius (11th sign after Aries) is the sign of service—serving one another, building community. Aquarius is fixed air, stabilizing new ideas in the world. When new ideas reach the masses the ideas become ideals within the hearts and minds of humanity. Air signs (Gemini, Libra and Aquarius) are mental. They think, ponder, study, research, gather and distribute information. For air signs, education and learning, communicating, writing, being social, tending to money, participating in groups and creating sustainable communities are most important. One of the present messages Aquarius is putting forth to the New Group of World Servers is the creation of the New Education (thus thinking) for humanity—one based not on commodities (banking/corporate values) but on virtues. Humanity and Aquarius Aquarius is the sign of humanity itself. We are now at the beginnings of the Age of Aquarius, the Age of Humanity (rising). The “rising” is the Aquarian vision of equality, unity, the distribution and sharing of all resources and of individual (Leo) creative gifts for the purpose of humanity’s (Aquarius) uplifting. This is the message in the Solar Festival of Aquarius (at the full moon) on Tuesday, Feb. 3. We join in these visions by reciting the World Prayer of Direction, the Great Invocation.Tuesday’s solar festival follows Monday’s Groundhog Day, or Imbolc (ancient Celtic fire festival) the halfway mark between winter solstice and spring Equinox). The New Group of World Servers (NGWS) during these two days are preparing for the upcoming Three Spring Solar Festivals: 1. Aries Resurrection/Easter Festival (April); 2. Taurus Buddha/Wesak Festival (May); and 3. Gemini’s Festival of Humanity (June). Aquarius and the new and full moons together are the primary astrological influences behind all of humanity’s endeavors. The NGWS are to teach these things, calling and uplifting humanity. Join us everyone. (301)

 

The New Tech Nexus

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

 

Job Insecurity

Woman fights for her job in thoughtful, life-sized ‘Two Days One Night’
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