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Dec 29th
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Occupied

Occupied

Three days of barricades, meetings, dance parties and sleeping inside a vacant bank—and charges of trespassing, vandalism and conspiracy against 11. A deeper look inside some of the lesser-known aftereffects of the local Occupy Movement.

Seventy-four days after the birth of the Occupy Movement in September 2011, a self-described “anonymous, autonomous group standing in solidarity with Occupy Santa Cruz,” entered a building in Downtown Santa Cruz that had been vacant for three years. A press release from occupiers explained that the building, formerly owned by Wells Fargo and now leased to the bank, would be “transformed into a community center.”

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The Battle at the Plate

The Battle at the Plate

With a new book, ‘No Happy Cows,’  and the forthcoming Virtual Food Revolution Summit, author John Robbins stirs up a food uprising unlike any other. Why the push for more natural foods and less processed, industrial foods has never been greater.

Julia Child and John Robbins walk into a veal barn. (This sounds like the start of a great joke, but it is actually the beginning of a true story.) It was the late ’90s, and the pair were speakers at a conference in Philadelphia, Penn. Child, the iconic American cook and gastronomic Francophile, was well into her eighties; Robbins, who is a Santa Cruz County resident, was a decade into his reign as the leading advocate of a plant-based diet.

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My, What a Big Whereas You Have!

My, What a Big  Whereas You Have!

Proclamation Day saves the world!

a  PROCLAMATION: Whereas April 1 is fast approaching and is a day of great importance. It marks the 92nd day of 2012. Ninety-two is the atomic number for uranium, a chemical element high on everyone’s list during these tense times; additionally, 92 is the international telephone code for Pakistan (a fact unrelated to the uranium tidbit); and 92 is also a very respectable age to reach.

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The Plant Whisperer

The Plant Whisperer

George Rembao finds his roots, becomes ‘plant’s best friend’ and medic to all things green

Halfway through a load of laundry and my second cup of coffee, I noticed a man in a corner of the Ultramat Laundromat facing a potted fern. He rubbed his fingers slowly over the leaves of a deep-green plant with palm-like leaves and when finished with one leaf, he moved onto the next. One by one, he moved from plant to plant, specifically touching each leaf with his hands. As he reached up to touch the taller plants’ leaves, a series of faded tattoos stretch out from beneath the sleeves of his T-shirt.

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Pioneer Women

Pioneer Women

Meet six local female change-makers whose stories inspire

Author’s Note: When I first decided to do a series of profiles on inspiring local women, and announced that fact to my sphere, I was flooded with heartfelt recommendations. Two things were crystal clear from that tidal wave of a response: people never forget the remarkable women who have touched their lives, and there is no shortage of such women in Santa Cruz. What follows here is a look at six women—all trailblazers and dreamers in their own right—whose paths I have crossed over the years, and whose stories I just couldn’t forget. Now, I share their stories with you.

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Ready to Thrive

Ready to Thrive

Local filmmakers Foster and Kimberly Gamble unlock a universal code that they believe will dramatically shift today’s social systems and alter the way human beings live

There are two ornate Chinese guardian lions that command attention outside of The Forbidden City in Beijing, China. Built in 1420, the regal guardians, often referred to as Fu Dogs in the West, are believed to have immense mythic and protective benefits, but their placement in traditional Chinese culture isn’t just limited to imperial cities. They can be found, often in pairs—male and female—at imperial tombs, temples, residences and, over time, in front of businesses. Under the paw of the male guardian lion is a ball. On the ball is a symbol that holds many circular overlaying loops that form the appearance of a flower. The guardian is believed to be protecting that ball, which represents the knowledge of truth.

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Coffee Talk

Coffee Talk

Verve Coffee Roasters goes against the grind, taking java culture to new realms.
PLUS: The South West Regional Barista Competition hits Santa Cruz.

Starbucks—drink your caffeinated heart out. Java drinkers aren’t buzzed anymore on their coffee-in-a-box options. People want an experience to go along with their jolt of energy for the day. That’s where local coffee shops come in—they take out the corporate feel of things and re-inject the coffeehouse notion with smiling baristas, espresso from far-flung places, modern architecture, top-notch service, time spent lingering over those foam designs, and perfectly-timed brew. Such a place can even convert tea drinkers to the other side. That’s what happened to me one fine day at Verve Coffee Roasters in Downtown Santa Cruz. Co-owner Colby Barr slipped out of our interview briefly when he heard that I didn’t believe black coffee could taste good.

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2012 Health Issue

2012 Health Issue

Editor’s Note: We live in an era where staying centered and healthy may seem like it’s becoming more and more challenging. With so many things capturing our attention these days—from the bastion of media information suddenly flooding our senses via Smartphones, Facebook and Twitter—we’re bound to eventually ask ourselves: What’s the best way to find balance and stay grounded? Hopefully we can offer some answers to that question in our health issue. This year, we decided to spotlight several local health advocates whose work is steering people toward living—or, in some cases, having—a more healthy life. And take note of our new health probe, dubbed On Our Radar, where we spotlight innovative happenings and humans. Enjoy. And here’s to your good health. —Greg Archer

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Finding Grace

Finding Grace

Santa Cruz singer/songwriter Tess Dunn captivates audiences with her music, but the 17-year-old inspires the masses in other ways. How her life-threatening adversity gives her the courage to take big risks and live life to the fullest.

At 17, Tess Dunn has knocked more off of her bucket list than most people will in their lifetime.

A three-year veteran of the Vans Warped Tour with two EPs under her belt—the most recent of which, Honesty Box, will be released on Friday, Feb. 24 at Kuumbwa Jazz—the Santa Cruz singer/songwriter is the definition of a rising star in the local music scene. Named one of the Top 11 Bay Area artists of 2011 by 99.7 FM and winner of the radio station’s Triple Ho Show 2.0 Local Video Battle, it’s easy to forget that she’s still in high school.

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Metamorphosis

Metamorphosis

Bill Veltrop—social visionary, leading architect of organizational design and the revered local who believes the next big thing isn’t a ‘thing’

Every morning Bill Veltrop rises at 4 a.m. and enters into a meditation and conversation with the Universe. By mid-morning, he’s either working on a project or holding a workshop.

It’s 10 a.m. now, but before Veltrop proceeds with our interview he clangs together two golden meditation chimes and the three people in the room with him breathe in unison. Slowly the resonance fades to silence. The group is invited to recap their thoughts, hopes and stresses in a ritual Veltrop calls “stringing the beads.”

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Dancing In the Rain

District Attorney Bob Lee’s death in October stunned the Santa Cruz community, but he had battled cancer fiercely—and privately—for more than a decade. Now one of his closest friends reveals the remarkable inside story

 

Our Gifts - Fiery Sacrificial Lights to One Another

Wednesday is Christmas Eve, Hanukkah ends and the Moon is in Aquarius, calling for the new world to take shape at midnight. Thursday morning, the sun, at the Tropic of Capricorn, begins moving northward. The desire currents are stilled. A great benediction of spiritual force (Capricorn’s Rays 1, 3, 7) streams into Earth. Temple bells ring out. The heavens bend low; the Earth is lifted up to the Light. Angels and Archangels chant, “On Earth, peace, goodwill to all.” As these forces stream into the Earth they assume long swirling lines of light, in the likeness of the Madonna and Child. The holy child is born. Let our hearts be “impressed” with and hold this picture, especially because Christmas may be difficult this year. Christmas Day is void of course moon (v/c moon), which means we may feel somewhat disconnected from one another. It’s difficult to connect in a v/c moon. Try anyway. Mercury joins Pluto in Capricorn. Uh oh … we don’t bring up the past containing any dark and difficult issues. We are to attempt new ways of communicating—expressing aspirations and love for one another, replacing wounding, sadness, lostness, and hurts of the past. Play soothing music, pray together, have the intention for peace, harmony and goodwill. Don’t be surprised if things feel out of control and/or arguments arise. We remember, before a new harmony emerges, chaos and crisis come first to clear the air. We are to be the harmonizers. Christmas evening is more harmonious, less difficult, more of what Christmas should be— radiations of love, sharing, kindness, compassion and care. Sunday, Feast Day of the Holy Family, is surprising. Wednesday is New Year’s Eve, the last day of 2014. Taurus moon, a stabilizing energy, ushers in the New Year. Happy New Year, everyone! Peace to everyone. Let us realize we are gifts radiating diamond light to one another. Living sacrificial flames!

 

The New Tech Nexus

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

 

Let My People Go

There’s a lot to like in Ridley Scott’s maligned ‘Exodus’
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Best Bites of 2014

A look back at the year in good taste

 

What downtown business is good for both one-stop shopping and last-minute gifts?

The Homeless Garden Project store. Because it is a community effort and has really useful and beautiful things, and allows you to connect with a lot of folks who are doing great work in Santa Cruz. Miriam Greenberg, Santa Cruz, UCSC Professor

 

Vino Tabi Winery

One of Santa Cruz’s most happening areas to go wine tasting is in the westside’s Swift Street Courtyard complex. Ever since a group of about a dozen wineries got together and formed Surf City Vintners (SCV), the place has been a hive of activity, and a wine-tasting mecca. Adding to the mix is the lively Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing beer company—making Swift Street Courtyard a perfect spot for a glass of wine or a pitcher of ale.

 

Betty’s Eat Inn

Yes, she’s a real person; no, this isn’t her