An inside look at the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary’s plans for a new Exploration Center and what it can mean for Santa Cruz
What does it mean to have a sanctuary lapping up on the shores of Santa Cruz? It’s a variety of things. No oil drilling, for one. Some regulations about things that can be legally taken out of the water, and more regulations about things that can’t be legally tossed into it.
But what the sanctuary designation is really about is spreading the word. It’s a fragile ocean out there, and it needs protection. Even in an environmental stronghold like Santa Cruz, that word sometimes doesn’t get out. Let’s face it. For most residents and visitors here, the sanctuary may not mean much—except for the satisfaction that you don’t have to stare out at oil platforms.
“Most people never have the opportunity to experience the ocean beyond the shoreline,” says Paul Michel, superintendent of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary. “There’s a lot to discover and learn about Monterey Bay, and it’s important to bring these unique features to the public in an engaging way.”
Reducing meat consumption may just help solve the world’s environmental problems
“Eighty percent of Americans, in polls, say they are environmentalists … And yet, most of us have remained unaware of the one thing that we could be doing on an individual basis that would be most helpful in slowing the deterioration and shifting us toward a more ecologically sustainable way of life.” – Excerpt from “The Food Revolution” by John Robbins
To mark the 20th anniversary of Earth Day in 1990, bestselling author John Robbins made his rounds on the talk show circuit, appearing on major shows of the day like Donahue and Geraldo. Robbins made waves by urging Americans to change dietary direction in his 1987 book “Diet For a New America,” which remains a big seller today. He would go on to become one of the world’s leading experts on the relationship between diet and the environment.
Bob Gillis carved out quite the niche for himself with his enterprising geodesic dome tents. Now, the tents are helping victims devastated by the Haiti earthquake.
Haiti. Burning Man. The North Face backpacking company. Each shares an unlikely connection: one Santa Cruz tent company and the inventor behind it. It’s hard to believe that cutting edge, durable tents now being distributed to many homeless Haitians were born out of a forest in Aptos.
When Bob Gillis sold his first patent for a small tent design to The North Face in 1975 for $500, he didn’t know it would forever revolutionize backpacking tents from being A-frames to the geodesic dome shapes seen around every campfire today. Nor could he have guessed that more than three decades later, after blooming because of a little festival known as Burning Man, his Santa Cruz company, Shelter Systems, would end up providing tent refuge for thousands of Haitians.
How three young Hawaiian princes first introduced surfing to Santa Cruz—and to the mainland of the Americas
By all accounts, the middle week of July in 1885 was a glorious one in Santa Cruz. Tourists from throughout the Central Valley were flocking to the bustling seaside community to escape the sweltering summer heat of the interior. The city’s hotels and boarding houses were bulging with visitors, and so, too, were the bourgeoning businesses along Santa Cruz’s fabled waterfront—the Dolphin, Neptune and Liddell bathhouses, and the beachside Free Museum.
The South Pacific Coast Railroad had been completed in 1880—linking Santa Cruz not only to the far reaches of the state, but to the entire country—and, suddenly, summertime tourism was emerging as an important piston in the city’s economic engine.
If you think back to your childhood, you may remember the wisdom found in the story of the Three Little Pigs. The story tells of three little pig brothers who decide to build houses. The first little pig builds his home out of straw, the second pig out of sticks and the third (and most intelligent) pig out of bricks. When the Big Bad Wolf comes a knocking, he huffs and he puffs and he blows down the first two flimsy houses. Straw and stick piglets are forced to run for cover in their more insightful brother’s brick abode lest they be devoured by the bacon-craving wolf. But technology has changed since this popular children’s tale of yore, and huffing puffing wolves hardly roam the streets of Santa Cruz County. In fact, now it is perfectly safe, acceptable and ecologically sound to build a home out of straw as local couple Kristin Jensen Sullivan and Mark Sullivan have successfully done.
One thing is clear: pirate radio is illegal. We take a look back at 15 years of nonviolent civil disobedience.
My first encounter with pirate radio was when I was 16. I was visiting a kibbutz in Israel, and while we picked potatoes or assembled irrigation piping, we’d listen to rock ’n’ roll coming from what turned out to be a pirate radio station. Between songs a deep voice would announce: “From somewhere in the Mediterranean this is The Voice of Peace.” Like Radio Caroline off the British coast in the ‘60s and ’70s, these were renegades that broadcast without government approval, outside of capitalist culture.
Pirate radio stations—on land or at sea— have long been a part of social justice movements worldwide by promoting positive change and artistic creativity through an independent media. In 1995 a group of activists in Santa Cruz continued the legacy by establishing Free Radio Santa Cruz at 89.3 on the FM dial. Like The Voice of Peace, FRSC also broadcasts from unknown locations, though reporters and government agents have periodically found their way to the DIY station. (Join FRSC in celebrating 15 years of unlicensed, commercial-free radio at 7 p.m. Saturday March 27 at Kuumbwa Jazz Center. A donation at the door is requested for an evening that will include speakers and live music.)
Editor’s Note: Highs, lows, blows and woes. Behold: The 66 Words Short Story Contest. This year, we were inundated with entries. Take note of the ones that made the top of our list. Watch for more to be added over time.
No Trace, No Disgrace
During a small dinner party, I excused myself and went to the ladies room. It was welcoming with fresh daffodils and a vanilla candle burning. When done, I flushed and all was well except one little stinker that lingered. Flushed again. Nothing. Again. Nothing. Heard knock on door … panic. No wastebasket, darn. What to do? Took that floater and stuck it in my pocket. Went home early.
Local Charles Muir is a revered Tantric teacher. But can our intrepid reporter survive his illuminating weekend of prowess and spirituality?
Years ago, I began dating a young woman I was crazy about. I desperately wanted to prove my worth to her as a lover, but it wasn’t helping my cause that I was hopelessly wet behind the ears where lovemaking was concerned. So I figured I’d give myself a leg up by reading a book about Tantric sex, an ancient form of erotic yoga based in Eastern spirituality. During my third encounter of the close kind with my new companion, I decided to try out one of the practices I’d been reading about: a set of straightforward, easy-to-follow instructions for locating and stimulating the female pleasure nexus known as the G-spot. I was wholly unprepared for the results. This idiot-simple technique, which I’d spent all of 10 minutes studying up on, sent my partner slow-motion bliss-leaping through golden meadows of eternity. Afterward, as angels, stars and butterflies haloed her head, she told me with unmistakable sincerity that she’d just had the single greatest sensual crescendo of her life. “You should write a book!” she swooned, apparently under the very mistaken impression that I was some kind of high-level sexual sorcerer. I tried my best not to shatter that illusion, but inwardly, I was dumbfounded. It was like rubbing a magic lamp and finding out that it isn’t just a story—a genie really does appear.