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Jan 26th
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Santa Cruz News

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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News - Business

Life After Abduction

Life After Abduction

Host of upcoming UFO convention describes his experience with extraterrestrials

Scotts Valley resident Robert Perala, 57, is in a rush today. At the top of his to-do list: preparing to emcee UFO CON, which will be held in Santa Clara on Sept. 15 and 16. Perala will introduce, connect and shepherd a guest list of hundreds of extraterrestrial enthusiasts—some of whom will come as lighthearted Trekkies; others, on serious business.

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News - Business

Time On Their Side

Time On Their Side

TimeBank Santa Cruz celebrates its continuing evolution with an upcoming mixer

After a viral kickoff accumulating hordes of members in February, TimeBank Santa Cruz has scaled back to keep what—and who—works best.

The basic currency of TimeBank is, fittingly, time. One hour of pruning, for example, earns you one credit for an hour of clarinet lessons, computer repair, dog walking, or any number of other offerings from fellow members. The group has invited the public to come learn about its ways at a Saturday, Aug. 18 potluck at Frederick Street Park in Santa Cruz.

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News - Business

State Spending Raises Eyebrows

State Spending Raises Eyebrows

Concerns of government waste surface about the Capitola Career Center

The 12,587-square foot building that houses the Employment Development Department (EDD)’s “One-Stop Career Center” in Capitola seems even larger when you take stock of the amount of empty, seemingly unused space inside. While the $32,659 monthly rent on the building was previously shared with Santa Cruz County’s Workforce Investment Board (WIB), the EDD is now the sole rent-paying entity inside the space.

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News - Business

Tiny Houses, Big Plans

Tiny Houses, Big Plans

Two locals plan to shrink eco-footprints by building small homes

The kitten wending its way around Jason Dietz’s and Gabriel Williams’ legs seems almost comically suited to its environment. The location is one of Dietz and Williams’ “tiny houses,” which is currently planted on an 8-by-20 foot trailer in a Felton driveway. A larger cat, one can imagine, might cramp the 160-square foot home.

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News - Business

Youth at the Helm

Youth at the Helm

Meet 23-year-old Kirk Lacob, general manager for the Santa Cruz Warriors

Kirk Lacob, the 23-year-old general manager of the Warriors' Development League team that will soon make Santa Cruz its new home, will commute to work from his home in the Marina District of San Francisco. He proposed the idea for a team helicopter to make the 75-mile commute south, but the Warriors' finance department wasn't having it, Lacob says.

It was worth a try.

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News - Business

Students of the Recession

Students of the Recession

The class of 2012 gets creative in tough job market

For the millions of twentysomethings graduating from universities across the country this spring, the word “recession” is one they have grown into adulthood with—a profane utterance that elicits thoughts of unemployment lines and moving back in with their parents.

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News - Business

The Long Foreclosure Fight

The Long Foreclosure Fight

County supervisors urge banks to suspend foreclosures

The state legislature is broken. Not only is it broken, but it has also prevented local governments from doing what can’t seem to get done in Sacramento—such as providing homeowners with legal protection from banks conducting fraudulent foreclosures. That was the consensus of the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors at their May 15 meeting, when they adopted a resolution “urging” (but not requiring) local banks to suspend foreclosures until beefed-up, borrower protection laws are passed by the state legislature. The laws are known collectively as the “California Homeowner’s Bill of Rights.”

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News - Business

Murky Negotiations

Murky Negotiations

 Harbor management and dredge operator dispute to be heard by state

Resident Jim Riley joined the dredge operating crew at the Santa Cruz Harbor when he was 17 years old in 1985. That career abruptly halted on July 1, 2011 after negotiations between his union—Operating Engineers Local 3 (OE3)—and the Santa Cruz Port District (SCPD) fell apart on June 29. The dispute was over the SCPD's demand that the dredge operators increase contributions to their benefits by about $2,000 per worker.

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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

 

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