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Jan 26th
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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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Environment

Exporting Environmental Innovation

Exporting Environmental Innovation

Host of upcoming Green Summit encourages local eco-businesses to get onboard with foreign eco cities
The second annual Green Trade Network Summit will be held at the Cocoanut Grove in Santa Cruz on Sept. 25. This year, the summit is to focus on sustainable city and community planning, specifically focusing on how to best export United States-based green technology to countries such as the United Arab Emirates and China, which are currently moving forward on what summit organizer Tony Livoti calls “eco cities.”

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Local News

Back to School Blues

Back to School Blues

How fresh budget cuts will impact the UCSC experience for students and workers
When students left UC Santa Cruz last spring, most were still reeling from the 9.3 percent tuition increase passed by the UC Board of Regents in May. Now, as they return for a new school year, UC President Mark Yudof is pushing for an additional 30 percent hike. If the Regents approve this increase, tuition for Californian undergraduates will reach $10,302 by fall 2010 and will have more than tripled since the year 2000.

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Force of Nature

Santa Cruz’s Carlie Statsky brings her love of the natural world to the hyper-personal art of wedding photography

 

Mercury Retrograde in Aquarius

The magical time of Mercury’s retrograde cycle is here once again, until Feb. 11, and then some. The Mercury retro cycle actually lasts eight weeks when we consider its retrograde shadow, giving us six months a year for review. We know the rules of Mercury retro: Be careful with everything; cars, driving, money, resources, friends, friendships, groups, interactions, thinking, talking, communications. Avoid big purchases, important meetings and important repairs. Mercury retrograde times are for review, reassessment and rest. Our minds are overloaded from the last Mercury retro. Our minds need to assess what we’ve done since October—eliminating what is not needed, keeping what’s important, preparing for new information in the next three months (till mid-May). Mercury in Aquarius retrograde … we reinvent ourselves, seek the unusual, we don’t hide, we’re just careful. We live in two worlds; outer appearances and inner reckonings, with both sides of our brain activated. Yet, like the light of the Gemini twins, one light waxes (inner world), the other (outer realities) wanes. Like Virgo, we see what’s been overlooked—assessing, ordering and organizing information. It’s an entirely inner process. When speaking we may utter only half of the sentence. We’re in the underworld, closer to Spirit, eyes unseeing, senses alerted, re-doing things over and over till we sometimes collapse. Because we’re in other realms, we’re wobbly, make mistakes, and don’t really know what we want. It’s not a time for decisions. Not yet. It’s a time of review. And completing things. Mercury retro: integration, slowing down, resolution, rapprochement.

 

The New Tech Nexus

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

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of January 23

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >
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Bye Bye Benten!

Benten closing, plus Award-winning gin, a massive burrito and chocolate review

 

Trout Gulch Vineyards

Scanning the shelves of Deluxe Foods of Aptos, which carries an impressive selection of local and imported wines, I picked up a bottle of Trout Gulch Vineyards Chardonnay 2012, described as “a local favorite” by the busy market.

 

Cremer House

What’s old is cutting-edge again in Felton

 

How are you going to make a tangible difference in your community this year?

Spread more kindness and compassion.