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Feb 09th
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GTW Cover Stories

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Courage Under Bombs

Courage Under Bombs

One family's mind-bending journey to survive war is captured in candid email exchanges between a Santa Cruzan and a Syrian woman. A GT exclusive.

The last time Santa Cruz’s June Magnaldi visited Syria in 2011, she sat comfortably with her friends sipping tea on the balcony of their second-floor apartment, overlooking a small city street of Homs, the third-largest city in the country. Nearby, a tall green cypress tree reached toward the sky above the neighborhood of Christians and Muslims. June exchanged stories with Suha, a university graduate of literary studies who had become a teacher and whose family ties to Syria go back 1,000 years. The two friends recalled the time they had met 10 years before at Mar Musa Monastery, deep in the silent Syrian desert. June had ventured there to visit, “this beautiful monastery above the desert, open to all faiths and nationalities.” Suha told GT that Mar Musa is “heaven on Earth” and she had gone there “to be away from the city’s moral and actual pollution. I spent three days there and most of the time was with June.”

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Let Them Eat Fashion

Let Them Eat Fashion

Fashion and art merge together in one of the most festive artistic events of the season.

Behold: FashionArt Santa Cruz 2013.

The definition of strut: “To display in order to impress others.”

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Blasphemy

Blasphemy

…And Other esoteric Musings Await in our Big, Luscious Fall Lit Preview, Featuring Award Winner Sherman Alexie

+ The Six Books (and authors) That Top Our Must-Read List This Season

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Gangaji

Gangaji

In GT’s Living Legends series, one of the most revered spiritual teachers on the planet opens up about self-inquiry and much more. PLUS: The impetus behind her return to Santa Cruz after 20 years.

Stop for a moment; notice what you’re thinking. Where do thoughts come from? What is present when there are no thoughts? This direct questioning is called self-inquiry. It’s an ancient and profound action that, according to many spiritual leaders, brings us in direct contact with what is rather than clinging to concepts that represent what is.

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Finding Freedom in Prison

Finding Freedom in Prison

From despair to hope. An inside look at the local men whose sea-changing efforts offer prisoners a voice and an opportunity to make significant personal transformations.

The facts are staggering. Between 1982 and 2000, California’s prison population grew by 500 percent, according to the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR). The CDCR spends almost $11 billion annually, funding 70,000 employees to oversee and supervise inmates at 33 state prisons at an average cost of $49,000 per prisoner. No other country incarcerates a higher percentage of its population than the United States. Equally disconcerting is that within the gray walls of these monolithic structures, the voices, stories and rights of prisoners are rarely heard or acknowledged.

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Santa Cruz Is in the Heart

Santa Cruz Is in the Heart

An inside look at the creative adventures of prolific local writer-filmmaker Geoffrey Dunn. Why his three new books and big MAH exhibit are poised to showcase Santa Cruz history in the most captivating light.

Nearly a quarter-century ago, Santa Cruz writer and filmmaker Geoffrey Dunn released a collection of his writings in a volume entitled “Santa Cruz Is in the Heart,” the first edition of which sold out in a few weeks and which has gone into a phenomenal six printings over the years. Dunn’s writings, with their unique mixture of personal reminiscences and observations, along with their revelatory accounts of regional history, capture the zeitgeist of our community as few others ever have.

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The Napolitano Complex

The Napolitano Complex

What does the arrival of the former U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security at the helm of the UC mean for higher education in California?

In September, Janet Napolitano will leave her post as the United States' Secretary of Homeland Security in Washington D.C. and head west to Oakland, Calif., where she will assume duties as the 20th president of the University of California system.

As she prepares to take the reins of one of the nation's most prestigious institutions of higher learning, her background as the chief administrator of the world's most powerful surveillance and security organization promises to be her greatest strength—and quite possibly her greatest weakness.

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Wild About Willie

Wild About Willie

Man, myth, country music legend Willie Nelson descends upon Santa Cruz. The story you’ve been waiting for.

WARNING: This article contains mood swings, deep, sometimes haunting personal confessions and occasional marijuana usage. On the flipside: No animals were harmed during the creation of this story.

Willie Nelson is a bona fide music legend, yes. And that’s a very good thing. Willie Nelson also happens to be coming to Santa Cruz, which is, perhaps, even a better thing. Let’s face it: if there’s anybody Cruzans love to embrace with arms wide open, it’s a creative beast with liberal leanings who advocates the legalization of marijuana. The last time Nelson performed here, back in 2012, he attracted a huge crowd.

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Soul Man

Soul Man

In a warm, laughter-filled GT exclusive, the beloved spiritual teacher Ram Dass shines a light on attachment, psychedelic drugs, out-of-body experiences, the ’60s revolution and more.

Ram Dass has spoken four words to me so far, and the cosmic humor has already begun to flow. Some initial audio trouble has just been resolved, and the famed spiritual teacher’s voice has materialized from my laptop, kicking off our Skype session with an unforgettable opening line:

“Can you hear now?”

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A Recipe for a Brighter Future

A Recipe for a Brighter Future

Good food is an investment in our future. Learn about three local programs that address access, education and opportunity surrounding food.

Longtime doctors, like Donaldo Hernandez, MD, have watched from the front row as our nation has ballooned at the waistline over the years. 

“You can see the shift—it’s not subtle,” says Hernandez, a hospital physician for the Palo Alto Medical Foundation and past president of the Santa Cruz County Medical Society. “I see the effect of it every day in the hospital, when people get admitted with respiratory abnormalities, sleep apnea, diabetes, coronary disease, pulmonary disease, and other things related to obesity.”

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On the Run

Is there hope for California’s salmon?

 

Chinese New Year of the Red Fire Monkey

Monday, Feb. 8, is Aquarius new moon (19 degrees) and Chinese New Year of the Red Fire Monkey (an imaginative, intelligent and vigilant creature). Monkey is bright, quick, lively, quite naughty, clever, inquiring, sensible, and reliable. Monkey loves to help others. Often they are teachers, writers and linguists. They are very talented, like renaissance people. Leonardo Da Vinci was born in the year of Monkey. Monkey contains metal (relation to gold) and water (wisdom, danger). 2016 will be a year of finances. For a return on one’s money, invest in monkey’s ideas. Metal is related to wind (change). Therefore events in 2016 will change very quickly. We must ponder with care before making financial, business and relationship changes. Fortune’s path may not be smooth in 2016. Finances and business as usual will be challenged. Although we develop practical goals, the outcomes are different than hoped for. We must be cautious with investments and business partnership. It is most important to cultivate a balanced and harmonious daily life, seeking ways to release tension, pressure and stress to improve health and calmness. Monkey is lively, flexible, quick-witted, and versatile. Their gentle, honest, enchanting yet resourceful nature results often in everlasting love. Monkeys are freedom loving. Without freedom, Monkey becomes dull, sad and very unhappy. During the Spring and Autumn Period (770 - 476 BC), the Chinese official title of Marquis (noble person) was pronounced ‘Hou,’ the same as the pronunciation of ‘monkey’ in Chinese. Monkey was thereby bestowed with auspicious (favorable, fortunate) meaning. Monkey years are: 1920, 1932, 1944, 1956, 1968, 1980, 1992, 2004, 2016.  

 

The New Tech Nexus

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

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of February 5

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >
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Wine and Chocolate

West Cliff Wines gets its game on, plus a brand new chocolate cafe on Center Street

 

How would you stop people from littering?

Teach them from the time that they’re small that it’s not an appropriate behavior. Juliet Jones, Santa Cruz, Claims Adjuster

 

Dancing Creek Winery

New Zinfandel Port is a ruby beauty

 

Venus Spirits

Changing law could mean new opportunity for local spirits