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Dec 21st
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Marching for Justice

Marching for Justice

California lawyers walk from San Diego to Sacramento to raise awareness of the wrongfully convicted

In 1993, William Richards returned home from work after midnight to his remote community in San Bernardino to find his wife lying half-naked on the ground brutally murdered.

Frantic, he called 911. Homicide detectives arrived hours later, but waited until the morning to investigate and failed to secure the crime scene. Since the detectives did not find evidence of any other suspects at the time, Richards was charged with his wife’s death. After three trials, Richards was found guilty and sentenced to life in prison despite his plea of innocence.

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News - Business

The Maya-Ixil Move Forward

The Maya-Ixil Move Forward

Local nonprofit works to educate and create opportunity for indigenous communities in Guatemala

In an isolated region of the Guatemala mountains called Ixil, the indigenous Maya population was devastated by a civil war between the government and leftist guerrilla factions that spanned 1960 to 1996.

During that 36-year war, the Guatemalan military eradicated entire Mayan communities. In what amounted to genocide, soldiers burned Mayan farmlands and homes, raped and tortured the people, and scattered families. By the end of the war, 200,000 Mayans had been killed, 7,000 of whom were Maya-Ixil.

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News - Business

Legal Battles Drag On

Legal Battles Drag On

More than a year after the 75 River St. occupation, four defendants remain embroiled in ongoing case 

More than a year and a half since a group occupied the former Wells Fargo building on River Street in an act of protest, felony charges linger on for four of the original defendants and a trial may be imminent.

Gabriella Ripley-Phipps, Brent Adams, Cameron Laurendeau and Franklin Alcantara were scheduled to begin trial May 13 in connection with the late 2011 protest. That trial now has been pushed back to September due to scheduling conflicts. The four face a felony charge of vandalism and a misdemeanor for trespassing.

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News - Business

Cliff Diving

Cliff Diving

How will the sequester affect Santa Cruz?

Uncertainty is the name of the game for anyone writing a local program's 2013-14 budget now that sequestration has taken effect. Cuts amounting to $1.2 trillion over 10 years went into effect on March 1. 

The cuts amount to 5 percent of federal contributions to all domestic programs and 7.8 percent of Department of Defense funds. The fact that the cuts are scheduled to hit the 2012-13 year make matters even worse, says Adam Russell, press secretary for Congressional Representative Sam Farr.

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News - Business

New Nonprofit Targets PTSD

New Nonprofit Targets PTSD

Bridging Warriors seeks to improve PTSD treatment options locally

Soquel resident Karen Egan witnessed firsthand how post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) changes lives.

Her 26-year-old son Ben Rudolph developed PTSD after surviving a major car accident eight years ago that left him with severe injuries. In the months following the accident, he and Egan visited more than 20 doctors across the country. It wasn't until almost a year after the accident that Rudolph developed PTSD, which the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) says is characterized by flashbacks, tension, and emotional numbness.

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News - Business

Nourishing The Next Generation

Nourishing The Next Generation

Nonprofit combats obesity and diabetes by cooking with local kids

Ever since Yeyen Gunawan, local nutritionist and former owner of Cafe La Vie in Downtown Santa Cruz, took her 3-year-old daughter to a nutrition class she was helping with at Live Oak Elementary School several months ago, the little girl has been demanding more vegetables.

The 2-year-old local nonprofit Nourishing Generations Educational Project hosted the class, which included a lesson about “rainbow foods” that explained to the kids in attendance why it is important to eat fruits and vegetables from every color of the rainbow.

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News - Business

Life After High School

Life After High School

Nonprofit seeks to connect students with career inspiration

Local Cassidy Clawson had been working at his father’s Santa Cruz-based medical device manufacturing company, BC Tech, since he was young. When the company collapsed in 2010, the recent UC Santa Cruz graduate jumped into a van and drove cross country to do some soul searching. Somewhere between New Orleans and Texas, while pondering YouTube videos and fellow recent grads who were out of work, an epiphany hit.

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News - Business

Lose The Battle, Win The War?

Lose The Battle, Win The War?

For its supporters, Proposition 37’s failure does not signal the end for the GMO labeling movement

Despite concerns about implications of the Supreme Court’s 2010 Citizens United decision, the recent election proved, in many cases, that pouring mysterious millions into a campaign doesn’t necessarily guarantee the desired effect.

President Barack Obama saw significant success in battleground states, despite the fact that candidate Mitt Romney and his allies outspent him in almost all of them. In California, Gov. Jerry Brown’s Proposition 30 won, and Proposition 32 lost, much to the chagrin of billionaires like Charles Munger Jr. and the Koch brothers, who spent millions to produce the opposite outcome.

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News - Business

Finding Our Brand

Finding Our Brand

Can the Monterey Bay Area agree on how to market the region globally?

What do places like the “Wine Country” of Napa-Sonoma County, the French Riviera, or, closer to home, Silicon Valley, have in common? Roger Wasson, a PR expert and president of Wasson Idea Farming, argues they have identifiable brands that evoke a certain image around the world. The “brand” gives these places an identity that potential visitors and customers already know something about.

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News - Business

Pulling Together

Pulling Together

After a recession-induced slump, the local tourism industry finds its footing

Along with the recession’s worst impacts—ballooning unemployment and rampant foreclosures, to name but two—the option of going on vacation disappeared from many people’s summer plans.

Santa Cruz began feeling the impact of this by 2009, when visitation dipped below Santa Cruz’s economic comfort zone and the persevering visitors spent less time and less money in the county. According to Smith Travel Research, annual hotel occupancy decreased from 55.6 percent in 2008 to 48.8 percent in 2009.

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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

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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