Electronic cigarettes heat up in Santa Cruz County
Wen Wei is not a smoker. However, he did grow up in a Santa Cruz household full of cigarette smokers and watched helplessly as family members developed a litany of heart disease and lung problems.
Is 2014 the year Santa Cruz lands on the tech map?
Just as the modern computer evolved from the massive, lone calculating machines of days past into a network of sleek, interconnected devices, so too has the tech sector of Santa Cruz County developed from a few large companies (think: Borland, Plantronics, and Santa Cruz Operation) into a sprawling web of freelancers, startups, and beyond.
Almost 2,000 hens from Northern California need to be placed in new homes or face execution
Approximately 1,800 chickens from a Northern California farm that have aged past their egg-bearing prime—about 1-and-a-half to 2 years old—need to be placed in homes before the second week of April or face certain death by poison gas.
When a farmer’s chickens stop producing an economically viable number of eggs, the birds are routinely put down. In California, the common means of death is by gas.
Kim Sturla, executive director for Animal Place, a rescue organization headquartered on 600 acres in Grass Valley, helped to create a unique program in which the staff proactively contacts chicken egg farmers across the state and requests that they give their “spent” hens over to them as an alternative to the death sentencing. Animal Place then works with the SPCA and various animal shelters, such as the one belonging to Santa Cruz County, to place the chickens in new homes. Animal Place dubs these collaborators their “flock partners,” Sturla says.
Meet the candidates for Fourth District County Supervisor
With four candidates vying for the position of Fourth District County Supervisor, the citizens of Watsonville and the Pajaro Valley have a difficult choice ahead of them as to who will lead their unique stretch of the county for the four coming years.
But according to candidate Jimmy Dutra, a 39-year-old small-business owner, the choice is much simpler.
Microchips become mandatory for Santa Cruz County pets
It’s 10 p.m., do you know where your dog is?
Beginning next month, that question will be easier to answer for owners with lost pets. As a result of a 4-to-1 Board of Supervisors vote on Tuesday, Feb. 24, Santa Cruz County pet owners will soon be required to insert microchips into their dogs and cats.
Local businesses participate in fundraiser for the Zeuf Hesson Memorial Fund
Santa Cruz lost a local legend last December when beloved surf icon and Pleasure Point resident Robin Janiszeufski "Zeuf" Hesson passed away after a nearly 20-year battle with cancer.
To honor that struggle and the legacy of strength and compassion that Hesson left behind, a group of friends and associates have organized a fundraiser sale on March 15. Around a dozen businesses, including Village Yoga and Modern Life Home and Garden, will participate by donating a portion of all sales that day to the Zeuf Hesson Memorial Fund at PowerOverCancer, a nonprofit where Hesson served on the Board of Directors for several years before her passing.
Inside the budding campaigns for the Third District seat
Bob Lamonica, a local tech marketer and, so far, politico Ryan Coonerty’s only active contender for Santa Cruz County’s Third District Supervisor seat, is running an almost gleeful campaign against what he calls “Santa Cruz’s progressive establishment.”
His campaign plan, while covering issues like public safety, the economy, and water security, is predominately about making a point. That point? That he views Coonerty’s well-backed campaign for the same seat that his father, Neal Coonerty, who is retiring, holds as an “unethical” and “insincere” lockdown on local government power.
The Great Morgani targeted by controversial 14-foot ordinance
Play an accordion, go to jail.
The recent controversy surrounding Frank Lima, aka The Great Morgani, appears to support Freud’s assertion that a grain of truth resides at the core of every joke. Fortunately, the irony is not lost on the iconic Santa Cruz street performer.
“I might have to develop a sacrificial lamb costume if this continues,” Lima, 71, says with a laugh. “But seriously, the key is to remain calm and respect all sides. There is no bad guy here.”
For the past 17 years, the stockbroker-turned-street busker has beguiled weekend visitors to Pacific Avenue with his virtuoso accordion playing and outrageously flamboyant costumes. When a Santa Cruz police officer approached Lima to issue him a citation last week, Lima simply refused to sign it.
First residents drop into Flea’s surf-centric sober living environment
The Danish writer Isak Dinesen once wrote, “The cure for anything is salt water—sweat, tears, or the sea.” This belief anchors Darryl “Flea” Virostko’s unique Santa Cruz sober living environment, FleaHab, which opened its doors to residents on Saturday, Feb. 1.
The low-key launch of FleaHab, which Virostko describes as “a trial run,” is the culmination of three years of planning and approximately $47,000 in fundraising. For now, the program entails three residents and a house manager living together in an undisclosed Santa Cruz location. “We’re not starting with a full house,” Virostko explains. “But we’re talking to potential applicants and may accept a few more in as little as a month.”
Old tensions bubble up among vets and service organizations in the reopened Veterans Memorial Building
From the bustling entrance hall of a newly renovated Santa Cruz County Veterans Memorial Building, where dozens of veterans spent the morning of Wednesday, Jan. 15 filling out paperwork for medical benefits and support services, the faint sound of piano music and singing came floating up from the basement—or as it is known among veterans, “the bunker.”