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Dec 18th
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GTW Cover Stories

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The Durbinator

The Durbinator

With ‘American Idol’ behind him and a hot new debut album, James Durbin talks candidly about the power of belief, life before and after ‘Idol’—and the woman who saved him from ruin.

When James Durbin mania reached its height earlier this year, the town of Santa Cruz started to resemble a restaurant in Being John Malkovich where the only word anyone says is “Malkovich.” It seemed you couldn’t walk a full block without hearing a conversation about James Durbin, seeing a James Durbin banner or window display or stumbling upon a James Durbin-based gathering at a local establishment (James Durbin cupcakes, anyone?). The grand finale, of course, was James Durbin Day, a homecoming concert at the Boardwalk that drew 30,000 fans, generated about $1 million in visitor spending and inspired the folks at Zoccoli’s Deli to name a sandwich after Durbin. (That would be The Durbinator.)

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418 Turns 18

418 Turns 18One of the county’s most innovative theater and dance portals reaches a new milestone

To the untrained eye, the building located directly across the street from the Downtown Santa Cruz Metro station is just that—another building. Thanks to a beautiful but rather intrusive tree blocking the yellow sign that hangs above the entrance, one could easily mistake the Front Street building for India Joze’s new cafe. That’s partially true, but what lies behind it is the lifeblood of the Santa Cruz performance community: The 418 Project.

Just beyond the enticing aroma of chef Jozseph Schultz’ Middle Eastern and South Asian delicacies is a haven for the ethnic, contemporary, ecstatic, and modern dancers of the area to leap, twirl, pirouette, stomp and tumble to their hearts’ content.

Celebrating its 18th year, The 418 Project has come a long way since its humble beginnings. Originally called Santa Cruz Dance Gallery, the venue was founded by local dancer Rita Rivera to fill a void in the community.

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Insiders' Guide

Insiders' GuideLet’s be frank. Life is awkward for a one-percenter like me. All around are pious examples of the 99 percent—smug, superior, vocal, and proudly touting their lifestyle while presenting an implied challenge to justify mine. Some might call it protesting my very right to exist and flourish. Shockingly, in this alleged haven of the “do your own thing” credo, there is an underlying tension tearing apart the very essence of our citizenry. As a member of a mostly silent minority in Santa Cruz, allow me to climb, with some concerted effort, onto my soap box and declare to the world, or at least to anyone in earshot, what we one-percenters are often too intimidated to state in public:

I do not live an outdoor lifestyle!

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Food & Wine

Food & WineFeaturing:
Gelato Massimo
Charlie Hong Kong
Companion Bakeshop
Birichino Wine
The Wine Label Prince
Windy Oaks Winery
5 Dishes or Meals That Will Blow You Away
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Now What?

Now What?Cabrillo President Brian King and UC Santa Cruz Chancellor George Blumenthal weigh in on the state of public higher education in California

It’s been a rough couple of years for California schools. Often it seems as though it’s just bad news piling on top of bad news: $1.4 billion slashed from the University of California, California State University and community college systems, tuition hikes, layoffs, eliminated majors … And considering the state’s sorry financial situation, it’s likely to just get more grim. But what does it all actually mean? What will become of education in the Golden State? And what is it like to be at the helm of a university or college and presiding over these damaging cuts? We sought these answers and more from the leaders of two treasured local institutes of higher education—UC Santa Cruz Chancellor George Blumenthal and Cabrillo College President Brian King.

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Men in Fights

Men in FightsOne ragtag group of WWE-aspiring athletes proves Santa Cruz and wrestling are a perfect match

“I’m gonna break you in half, toothpick!” shouts Golden Boy, an oiled-up 6-foot-2 Bradley Cooper look-alike in gold spandex. A curly-haired Bullet braces himself for his opponent’s signature move: the “Bay to Breaker.”

“You’ll be able to point it out when he’s tapping out and starts crying,” says Golden Boy of his infamous leg lock. “It’s nice to have a reminder that you’re better than everyone else.”

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Screenwriting Contest Winners

 Screenwriting Contest Winners

Recently, GT launched its first screenwriting contest, Take One. We asked locals to write scripts no more than two pages and submit them for a chance to have their short film produced and directed by a local production company, and later have it debut at the 2012 Santa Cruz Film Festival. We received a fine selection of entries, even more than we hoped for, and an arduous judging process ensued.  Writers touched on topics including love, loss, murder, proselytizing, racism in America, gay bullying, and much more. Seven professionals went through several rounds of voting on the screenplays—judges from GT, Impact Media Group and the Santa Cruz Film Festival. Amongst the judging team were an actress, a film critic, a producer, a director/cinematographer, a film festival programmer and several professional writers. Winners were judged on writing ability, creativity/originality, story, and production value—did people follow the rules to make scripts that could be made on a low-budget and easily produced in Santa Cruz?

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Fall Home and Garden Bonanza

Fall Home and Garden Bonanza

Inside
The Bees Needs + Beekeeping Tips
Yards of Tomorrow
DIG It. Five foolproof fall gardening tips
Real Estate 101
Get Your Home Eco On
Order From Chaos. Organized4Success
The New Interior

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Transgender Odyssey

Transgender OdysseyIn her new book,'Transfigurations,' photographer Jana Marcus boldly captures the transgender journey and invites us to question what we think we might know about 'man,' 'woman' ... and the often uncharted waters in between

Man. Woman. Masculine. Feminine.

Eight years ago, if you asked local photographer Jana Marcus to reflect upon those words and deliver an explanation of how we identify ourselves and relate to each another, she would have been game to play along, but may have not have been prepared to truly elaborate on the subject matter and retrieve an esoteric summation.

But she is now.

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Fashmatics.

Fashmatics. Art + Fashion. You do the math. Why FashionArt Santa Cruz has become a wearable art extravaganza unlike any other.

Somebody smart and savvy once quipped, “Drive into the sea of thought, and find there pearls beyond the price.” That’s something Rose Sellery would appreciate at the moment. The local artist and artist coordinator for the upcoming, bold and lush FashionArt Santa Cruz, has been delving deep into the nether regions of her mind to come up with enterprising ideas that will make the area’s quintessential fashion showcase even more spectacular than last year.

Fittingly, she’s doing her part by designing her own piece—with pearls of course. A lot of pearls. We’re talking thousands and thousands of pearls, all of which will collect themselves on a wearable art piece that, like the others in the show, is bound to capture interest.

Why? Two words: Wearable art.

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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

Why there’s no such thing as too much Italian food in Seabright

 

Guitar or surfboard?

Guitar. The closest thing I ever came to surfing was sliding down a rock hill. Charlie Tweddle, Santa Cruz, Hats and Music

 

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