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Sep 21st
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Santa Cruz Area News

News - Local News

Connecting Vets With Cannabis

Connecting Vets With Cannabis

One local woman’s mission to use marijuana and hemp to help returning veterans

There were approximately 21.5 million U.S. military veterans in 2011, including more than 13,000 living in Santa Cruz County, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.

This October, 9.7 percent of post-Sept. 11 veterans remained unemployed, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, and the rate of suicide among U.S. veterans has never been higher (the army reported 211 potential suicides by Sept. 27 this year).

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News - Local News

Reaching 100,000

Reaching 100,000

Record number of calls for service help police work, but crime is still up

Earlier this month, there was a wager going around the Santa Cruz Police Department on when they would hit 100,000 calls for service—an all-time record number of calls in a year. Whoever guessed the day the record would be broken stood to win a cup of coffee, compliments of Deputy Chief Steve Clark.

On Thursday, Dec. 13, the department hit that 100,000 calls mark, which means Clark owes Chief of Police Kevin Vogel one cup of joe.

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News - Local News

Keeping It Simple

Keeping It Simple

Local association of faith groups helps the homeless with straightforward services

For more than four years, the Arredondo family struggled in and out of homelessness in Watsonville, sleeping in their Chevy Suburban when they could not make rent. 

But things began to turn around for them two months ago, when the husband, wife and three children found shelter through the Interfaith Satellite Shelter Program (ISSP), a local church-based emergency shelter program first initiated in the 1980s. The program was dormant for most of the last decade, but was revived last February by The Association of Faith Communities (AFC) in Santa Cruz, a collaboration of church pastors, church members and activists dedicated to serving the homeless.

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News - Local News

Fixing The Formula

Fixing The Formula

Loved ones question the hospital feeding formula given to local coma patient

Patty Concannon faces an internal struggle every day over how to feed her 21-year-old son.

Ryan Concannon had recently graduated from UC Santa Cruz with a degree in biology when a Sept. 21 bicycle accident put him in a coma. Before the accident, he worked at Companion Bakeshop, an organic, artisan bakery on the Westside, and was an outspoken advocate of whole, organic, humanely raised and locally grown foods.

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News - Local News

Building New Lives

Building New Lives

Local shelter and treatment center looks to the community for donations this holiday season

Forty years ago, a local church ministry group began reaching out to homeless people struggling with addiction and taking them into their homes. But they soon realized that the need was larger (and that taking people into your home wasn’t the best idea), and the effort soon grew into a state-licensed, non-religious family shelter and addiction treatment facility known as New Life Community Services. The center has been operating on the Westside for 38 years, says volunteer Mike O’Brien.

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News - Local News

A Tale Of Two Counties: Part Two

A Tale Of Two Counties: Part Two

Reponses to the Latino-White statistical divide detailed in the 2012 CAP Report

In the Nov. 29 issue, GT reported on several glaring differences between Latinos and Whites in “quality of life” indicators as revealed in the 2012 Santa Cruz County Community Assessment Project (CAP) Report. This annual survey of everything from local economic data to social and health indicators showed that the county has seen modest economic recovery over the last year, but that Latinos are behind when it comes to several indicators of serious social distress. For instance, Latinos experience twice the unemployment rate of White residents, higher high school drop out and juvenile arrest rates, a higher incidence of “lacking basic needs,” and widespread lack of health insurance.

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News - Local News

Hashing Out Solutions

Hashing Out Solutions

Homelessness summit promotes brainstorming and action

Los Angeles attorney Jerry Neuman, the keynote speaker at the “Creating Smart Solutions to Homelessness” summit held on Saturday, Dec. 1 at Cabrillo College, presented a flow chart to illustrate the current system for helping homeless people as a maze—a confusing jumble of arrows leading every which way to access services.

The summit, organized by a variety of local groups, hosted about 230 people and aimed to start a dialogue within the community about smarter ways to solve the problem, review methods employed by other communities and develop a more logical, results-driven system.

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News - Local News

A Sharp Problem

A Sharp Problem

Pointing out the presence of contaminated needles

At the Nov. 27 Santa Cruz City Council meeting, residents fed up with local drug use, homelessness and crime flooded into the meeting just in time for the public comment period, hauling trash they had collected during their group walk to City Hall. One participant told the council that they had found dozens of syringes on their way to the meeting.

The momentum led to the creation of a Facebook group called The Clean Team!!, which was created on Monday, Dec. 3 as "a place for community members to document locations of garbage and hazardous waste so that others may find the locations and help with cleanup efforts," according to the page. As of press time Tuesday morning, the group had 124 members and several posts about needles found in various locations around town. One member posted that he found 15 dirty needles on a walk from the San Lorenzo River Mouth to Cowell's Beach. Talk of finding needles in parks, beaches and even private yards has also been prominent on the Take Back Santa Cruz Facebook page. Concerned citizens planned to visit the Tuesday, Dec. 4 Board of Supervisors meeting to request something be done about the problem.

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News - Local News

A Tale Of Two Counties: Part One

A Tale Of Two Counties: Part One

Countywide community assessment report documents continued hardship for many Latinos

When comparing the trend lines of scores of interesting social and economic indictors in the recently released Santa Cruz County Community Assessment Project (CAP) 2012 Report, the data suggests many of the worst impacts of the Great Recession are beginning to wane and the county is on the mend. That is, unless you are Latino.

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News - Local News

Let’s Talk About Sex

Let’s Talk About Sex

Dr. Amy Cooper invites women to discuss sex openly at an upcoming workshop

Starting in high school, Amy Cooper, who now holds a doctorate in clinical sexology, says she has fostered open conversations about sex.

She took to impersonating Dr. Ruth Westheimer, the famous media personality sex therapist, so that her girlfriends could “call in” to share issues they faced regarding sexual arousal, orgasm, eroticism—all the giggly topics they were normally too timid to discuss.

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Catwalk on the Wild Side

Meet the artists and designers behind this year’s edition of FashionART, SantaCruz’s most outrageous fashion show

 

The New Tech Nexus

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

 

Watch List

From Google to the government to data brokers, why your privacy is now a thing of the past

 

The Peace Equation

Sunday is the United Nations’ International Day of Peace, a global peace-building day when nations, leaders, governments, communities and individuals are invited to end conflict, cease hostilities, creat 24 hours of non-violence and promote goodwill. Monday is Autumn equinox as the Sun enters Libra (right relations with all of life). The Soul Year now begins. We work in the dark part of the year (Persephone underground) preparing for the new light of winter solstice. Tuesday to Wednesday is the Virgo new moon festival. We know two things about peace. “The absence of war does not signify peace.” And “Peace is an ongoing process.” In its peace-building emphasis, the UNIDP, through education, attempts to create a “culture of peace, understanding and tolerance”. Esoterically we are reminded of the peace equation: “Intentions for goodwill (and acting upon this intention) create right relations with all earth’s kingdoms which create (the ongoing process of) peace on earth.” At noon on Sunday, in all time zones, millions of participating groups will observe a moment of silence for peace on earth. Bells will ring, candles will be lit, and doves released as the New Group of World Servers recite the Great Invocation (humanity’s mantram of direction). To connect with others around the world see www.cultureofpeace.org    Let us join together with the mother (Virgo). Goodwill to all, let peace prevail on earth. The dove is the symbol for the day.
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Sweet Treats

Local cannabis bakers win award for cookies

 

What fashion trends do you want to see, or not see?

Santa Cruz  |  High School Guidance Counselor

 

Best of Santa Cruz County

The 2013 Santa Cruz County Readers' Poll and Critics’ Picks It’s our biggest issue of the year, and in it, your votes—more than 6,500 of them—determined the winners of The Best of Santa Cruz County Readers’ Poll. New to the long list of local restaurants, shops and other notables that captured your interest: Best Beer Selection, Best Locally Owned Business, Best Customer Service and Best Marijuana Dispensary. In the meantime, many readers were ever so chatty online about potential new categories. Some of the suggestions that stood out: Best Teen Program and Best Web Design/Designer. But what about: Dog Park, Church, Hotel, Local Farm, Therapist (I second that!) or Sports Bar—not to be confused with Bra. Our favorite suggestion: Best Act of Kindness—one reader noted Café Gratitude and the free meals it offered to the Santa Cruz Police Department in the aftermath of recent crimes. Perhaps some of these can be woven into next year’s ballot, so stay tuned. In the meantime, enjoy the following pages and take note of our Critics’ Picks, too, beginning on page 91. A big thanks for voting—and for reading—and an even bigger congratulations to all of the winners. Enjoy.  -Greg Archer, EditorBest of Santa Cruz County Readers’ Poll INDEX

 

Santa Clara Wine Trail

My memories of growing up in England include my mother pouring port after Sunday dinner—and sometimes a glass of sherry before dinner. My family didn’t drink much wine back then, but we certainly made up for it with the port and sherry.