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Mar 27th
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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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Dead Men Rocking

Dead Men RockingMeet Santa Cruz’s musical masters of fun horror, Stellar Corpses.

Weekend after weekend, the salty air of Beach Street fills with the screams of Boardwalk patrons on mechanical thrill rides. Folks from all walks of life turn up in droves, sometimes waiting in line for more than an hour for that exhilarating jolt of fear—the same rush that draws people to horror movies, skydiving, morbid rock concerts and Ouija boards. For some, it’s a type of reanimation ritual: a way of shocking back to life feelings that have been deadened by years of clock-punching, TV-watching and zombie-marching in a culture empty of spirit, where the motels, drive-ins, strip clubs and burger shacks loom like tombstones above the buried bones of massacred masses, and the pulse of the planet fights to be heard, “Tell-Tale Heart”-style, through smothering layers of concrete, asphalt and smog.  
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Wedding Edition

Wedding Edition

The Shoot
The Girls
The Boys
The Bride
Simmons’ Wedding Tips

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Knowing the Nexties

Knowing the Nexties

Jacob Martinez, Monica Martinez, Jeremy Neuner and Mark Davidson top the list of creative innovators in Santa Cruz Next’s annual awards gala

Editor’s Note: With a motto like “inform, inspire and involve,” it’s hard not to appreciate the efforts Santa Cruz Next has been making locally to not only unite innovative minds, but also to foster a networking environment that allows those minds to possibly work together to create powerful changes in our local government and culture. It’s fitting then that Santa Cruz Next begins the new year with an awards gala that illuminates the work of four locals doing just that. As the third annual Nexties unfolds on Jan. 28, all eyes will be on the fab four who grabbed this year’s honors: Jacob Martinez, Monica Martinez, Mark Davidson and Jeremy Neuner. Oh, what a collection of passionate souls this foursome is. Jacob is creating a sea change among the Latino and tech communities; Monica is forging ahead to combat homelessness; Neuner is the enterprising man who helped launch NextSpace, and Davidson’s love of mountain biking has somehow transformed an entire sports community. As you peruse the following pages and learn more about these dynamic individuals, you’ll note that their commitment to strengthening our community is as impressive as it is inventive. Onward …

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Chris Rene

Chris Rene

The now-famous local opens up about ‘The X Factor,’ growing up in Santa Cruz, life after addiction, and what’s next on the creative road ahead

Less than a year ago, then 28-year-old Santa Cruz native Chris Rene was collecting trash for a living and battling a drug and alcohol addiction. Today, exactly three weeks after taking third on the first season of FOX’s The X Factor, Rene is at the top of the iTunes charts, nearing a record deal, designing a fashion line, and just over 11 months sober. Motivated by fellow Santa Cruz musician James Durbin’s rise to the top on American Idol, the rapper/songwriter worked up the courage to audition for The X Factor back in September. It was there that Rene touched the heart of America with his original rap song “Young Homie,” and his inspiring story.

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Music HEALS!

Music HEALS!

Meet the locals who play a fundamental role in the fascinating world of music therapy

At Dominican Hospital, music is respiratory therapist Earl White’s secret weapon. With the stressful job of treating anyone—from infants to geriatrics—having difficulty breathing with medication, a ventilator, and/or a breathing tube, White is constantly surrounded by patients and families in distress.

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Santa’s Performance Review

Santa’s Performance Review

Editor’s Note: The following article was birthed thanks, in part, to the fearless efforts of “private, secret and classified media” from anonymous"whistleblowers”—otherwise known as gtleaks. In fact, our exclusive website, which was secretly launched early last year, has nabbed too many secret documents to list—and most of them hitting front pages of major news organizations. Early releases included major documentation of Wal-Mart hitting Santa Cruz, a Banana Republic outlet store arriving somewhere along Pacific Avenue and just-released data of a three-way thoroughfare along a major Downtown Santa Cruz strip. There’s more. (There’s always more …)

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Best of Santa Cruz 2015

In 40 years of publishing, Good Times has seen a lot of “bests.”

 

Spring Triangle: Three Spring Festivals—Aries, Taurus, Gemini

The Spring signs Aries, Taurus and Gemini constitute a triangle of force that sets the template for the nine signs that follow and the template for the entire year (Spring 2015 - Spring 2016) ahead. Aries initiates new ideas, Taurus stabilizes the new thinking of Aries and Gemini takes the initiating stabilized ideas of Aries/Taurus and disperses them to all of humanity. It is in this way that humanity learns new things, with the help of Mercury, the messenger. As Spring unfolds, three elements emerge: the Fire of Aries (initiating new ideas), the Earth of Taurus (anchoring the ideas of God through Mercury) and the Air of communicating Gemini. These three signs/elements are the Three Spring Festivals. They are the “triangle of force” forming the template (patterns) of energy for the upcoming new year. After these three we then have the soothing, calming, warming, nurturing and tending waters of the mother (Cancer). Cancer initiates our next season under the hot suns of summer. Planets, stars and signs create the Temple of Light directing humanity towards all things new. March 29 is Palm Sunday, when the Christ, World Teacher, was led into Jerusalem (City of Peace) on a donkey (humility). Palms waving above His head, signified recognition of the Christ’s divinity. Palm Sunday is the Sunday before the Easter (Resurrection Festival). Palm Sunday begins Holy Week, the week of capture, imprisonment, passion, sacrifice, crucifixion, death and resurrection of the christ. All events in the Christ’s life represent events (initiations) that humanity experiences through many lifetimes. We turn our attention to these holy events this week. Their concepts portray and reveal to us greater spiritual understanding. Then, Aries, the “light of life itself” shines through us.

 

The New Tech Nexus

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

 

The Magic Touch

Stage magician vs. charlatans in engaging ‘An Honest Liar’
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Spring Spirits

Sean Venus’ gin straight up, remembering Rosa’s and a tasting of Hungarian wines

 

What’s your favorite most recent outdoor discovery in Santa Cruz?

A hike that’s across from Waddell Beach. I didn’t realize you could go across the highway and do a super simple loop, and it’s beautiful. You can see the coastline. Liz Porter, Santa Cruz, Community Outreach

 

Martin Ranch Winery

Muscat 2012

 

Front Street Kitchen

Pop-up spot attracts paleo crowd with locally sourced low-carb meals