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Oct 31st
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Hope Amidst Ruin

Hope Amidst Ruin

Local humanitarian and photojournalist Alekz Londos captures a powerful look at relief and despair in the aftermath of Super Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines

At first glance, Alekz Londos may appear to be like other Santa Cruzans. He’s healthy, boasts a tremendous amount of creativity and has a strong desire to contribute something valuable to society. But the 33-year-old is definitely in a category all his own. Equal parts bold humanitarian and intrepid daredevil, Londos’ relief efforts in the Philippines in the wake of Super Typhoon Haiyan (also known as Typhoon Yolanda) in November of 2013 makes him one of the more visible agents of change, both locally and internationally.

Typhoon Haiyan devastated Southeast Asia and the Philippines in particular. More than 6,200 people were reportedly killed and more than 1,780 people went missing. Cost of the devastation: $1.5 billion. It is the deadliest Philippines typhoon on record.

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11 Things You Should Know About Steve Martin

11 Things You Should Know About Steve Martin

The popular icon hits Santa Cruz and dives into some unforgettable bluegrass with the Steep Canyon Rangers*

Steve Martin’s celebrity really took flight back in the 1970s. Then a sharp, unforgettable stand-up comic, the man’s absurdist humor and talented musicianship became something to savor. Nearly four decades later, after establishing himself as a major box office draw, Martin’s orbit remains intact—but for reasons that might have eluded other performers of his generation. For starters, he managed to learn that cookie-cutter Hollywood films may not be the best way to (always) go and, instead, turned to matters of the heart. In his case, that was a deep love of music and performance. Blend all that into his already prolific writing and acting career—among other creative proclivities—and you get the sense that these days, Martin isn’t so much about staying “relevant” as he is giving birth to, and nurturing, good, memorable work. On the eve of a much-anticipated Santa Cruz outing with bluegrass besties the Steep Canyon Rangers, we dissect the icon as he shares a variety of bons mots. Behold: 11 Things You Should Know About Steve Martin …

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Water, Water, Water

Water, Water, Water

Savor every drop. Despite forecasts for rain, California remains in a state of drought emergency. Officials weigh on the steps being made to generate solutions

California is running out of water.

It’s rare to go anywhere within recent weeks without hearing Chicken Little-like proclamations about the state’s dwindling water supplies. While much of the East Coast and the Midwest has been pounded with snowfall this winter, California has struggled with what experts say is the least amount of rainfall in more than 150 years. The state is now in its third year of severe drought, the worst on record.

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One Year Later

One Year Later

On Feb. 26, 2013, Sgt. Loran ‘Butch’ Baker and Detective Elizabeth Butler lost their lives in the line of duty. One year later, in the midst of heightened awareness around local crime and safety, the Santa Cruz community continues the collective healing process

Wednesday Feb. 26 marks the one-year anniversary of the fatal shootings of Sgt. Loran "Butch" Baker and Detective Elizabeth Butler. Members of the wider Santa Cruz County community will likely be reflecting on the lives of the Santa Cruz police officers, the loss of which, coupled with an immense sadness for their deaths and heightened concern for public safety, have kindled a profound sense of emotional solidarity locally. 

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Bigger, Bolder, Louder

Bigger, Bolder, Louder

Muralist Taylor Reinhold’s dynamic push for public art gains speed

For muralist Taylor Reinhold, art is more than a talent or a trade. It’s a lifestyle.

Nearly everything in his small home in the Soquel hills is the product of someone’s artistic ability, from paintings that cover every inch of wall to the ceramic cups he drinks from and the screen-printed T-shirts hanging in his bedroom closet. Mixed in with pieces that belong to Reinhold’s own portfolio of vivid, street-art-inspired paintings are contributions from his robust network of artists. The crew of local creatives, which officially launched in 2009 but whose members go back much further, is known as the Made Fresh Collective (MFC).

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Tales of the Vine

Tales of the Vine

How gonzo journalist Rak Razam met his maker in the Peruvian Amazon—and lived to tell about it   

In the summer of 2006, an Australian journalist named Rak Razam ventured to South America to put together a story on Amazonian shamanism for Australian Penthouse. In the thick of the Peruvian jungle, he repeatedly drank ayahuasca, a powerful psychedelic tea made from a vine called Banisteriopsis caapi and plant leaves containing the hallucinogenic compound DMT. Legally recognized by the Peruvian government as a sacred medicine and a national treasure, ayahuasca is said to detoxify the body and mind and imbue its drinkers with a sense of connection to the Divine.

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Surveillance City?

Surveillance City?

Santa Cruz officials, locals and others weigh in on implementing Automatic License Plate Readers   

It had been a bright day in September and the clocks were striking 8 p.m. “You’ve had a long day,” said the man in the police uniform. It was Sept. 10, 2013, and the Santa Cruz City Council was about to hear Deputy Chief of Police Steve Clark request that a $37,000 Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) from the Bureau of Justice be approved to purchase Automatic License Plate Readers (ALPRs) for the Santa Cruz Police Department (SCPD).

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Best Shot

Best Shot

Two local wedding photographers prove that love and creativity are a powerful mix

It may not be News at 11, but it’s worth noting—especially during wedding planning season —that love sparks creativity. (And, quite often the other way around, too.)

That has certainly been the case for one young, local couple, Jeff and Doriana Hammond, who, after just a few months of meeting in Santa Cruz County back in 2009, fell in love—and then tossed aside their conventional “day jobs” for a creative stint in El Salvador, which lasted nearly a year.

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Big Data

Big Data

The ability to sort and query through expanding oceans of digital information takes an increasingly central role in the world. How far can this new technology take us? And at what point does Big Data become too big? 

One of the most elemental ways of thinking about “Big Data”—quite possibly the most prominent buzz word permeating the tech world's modern lexicon—and the role massive amounts of data play in the technical and scientific communities' advancements, is, fundamentally, the ability to detect and examine highly diffused patterns.

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Growing Pains

Growing Pains

Public officials, members of the marijuana industry, and the community weigh in on the various factors that the county must consider as new cannabis laws are drafted. With a dispensaries ordinance now in effect, how will regulation for cultivators play out? 

On a cold, clear afternoon in mid October, I sat in the passenger seat of a white pickup truck next to a man named Bryce, a staunch advocate and experienced cultivator of medical marijuana for the Santa Cruz-based California Growers Collective (CGC). As we drove up Highway 9 and into the mountains of the San Lorenzo Valley toward our destination, one of CGC's two cannabis grow sites in the county, Bryce handed over a cloth blindfold and asked that I slip it over my eyes, which he and the collective's attorney, Ben Rice, had suggested earlier as a means for plausible deniability on the farm's whereabouts.

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Jawing

Monterey Bay scientists are working to crack the mysteries of—and dispel the myths about—great whites. But in the highly contentious world of shark experts, there’s a fin line between love and hate

 

Altars of Remembrance, Forgiveness & Rapprochement

We’re in Scorpio now—things mysterious, ageless, hidden, sometimes scary. Friday is Halloween; Saturday, All Saints Day; Sunday, All Soul’s Day. Sunday morning at 2 a.m. (after midnight), Daylight Savings Time ends. Clocks are turned back. Tuesday is the General Election. Our vote is our voice. Each vote matters. Applying freedom of choice—Libra’s teachings. It’s time to build Halloween, All Saints and All Souls altars—with marigolds, pumpkins, sugar skeletons, copal (incense), pomegranates, persimmons, candy corn and cookies, orange and black. It’s so Saturn (now in Scorpio). Saturn is the dweller on the threshold (like St. Peter at the gates of heaven). Saturn can look like a Halloween creature—a gargoyle—a fantastic dragon-like creature protecting sacred sites. The dweller (Saturn) stands at the door or threshold of sacred mysteries, wisdom temples, inner sanctums of churches, offering protection, scaring evil away. The last day of October and first two days of November, when veils between worlds thin and spirits roam about, are times of remembrance, forgiveness, reconciliation and rapprochement. These actions liberate us. At death, when reviewing our lives and the consequences of our actions if we have forgiven, then we are free, less encumbered with grief and sadness. We place forgiveness on our altars. Happy Halloween, everyone! It’s good to dress up as what we’re afraid of. Or whom we would mentor. Then we become one with them. Note to readers: by Thanksgiving I will need a place to live (with purpose). Please contact me if you know of a place where I can rest for awhile. Teach and build community. [email protected] I will be leaving my mother’s home for the last time.

 

The New Tech Nexus

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

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of October 31

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >
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Back Nine Grill & Bar

The secrets of remodeling and juicy steak

 

What is Santa Cruz’s biggest eyesore?

David Finn, Santa Cruz, Graduate Student

 

Alberti Vineyards

Looking for some blood-red wine for your Halloween party? Then I have a recommendation for a new brew.

 

Turning Point

New revolving restaurant on the wharf, plus Cafe Ivéta and the last great Jack cheese