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Oct 01st
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Santa Cruz Area News

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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News - Local News

Back On Track?

Back On Track?

A look at the rail corridor’s history reveals a struggle for local control

The origins of the 32 miles of railroad that spans the distance between Watsonville and Davenport, once linking the county’s port-side communities with the outside world, resembles a David and Goliath story—the little guy taking on the giant, says local historian Sandy Lydon. But in this version, the little guy loses.

The tale revolves around local business people who, in competition with the state’s largest and most historically ruthless corporation, started their own local railroad, but eventually lost it all to the giant.

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News - Local News

A Service To Santa Cruz

A Service To Santa Cruz

UCSC lecturer teaches students to give back to the community

Franklin WIlliams’ office at UC Santa Cruz’s Kresge College is a smattering of knick-knacks, wall-to-wall photo collages, awards, and items destined for donation that he has received from friends, loved ones, students, and others. Judging by these mementos, the work the local grassroots homeless advocate has been doing at the school and in the community has left quite an impression.

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News - Local News

Fixing California

Fixing California

Author Mark Paul on what’s wrong with our state’s initiative process

Californians pass initiatives that prevent lawmakers from doing their jobs. Their inability to do much in turn frustrates residents, who then pass more laws that, in turn, frustrate and impede lawmakers. This, says author Mark Paul, is what’s wrong with California. He calls it “the cycle of contempt.” Paul served as deputy treasurer of California and is a former editorial writer and editor for the Sacramento Bee. He co-authored the book “California Crack Up: How reform broke the Golden State and how we can fix it,” and will give a talk in Santa Cruz on Thursday, Nov. 15 titled “Breaking the Cycle of Contempt: How to Fix the Initiative.” GT caught up with Paul the day after the election.

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News - Local News

Dealing With Disorders

Dealing With Disorders

The Lotus Collaborative tackles eating disorders in Santa Cruz

Anorexia has the highest premature mortality rate of any psychiatric disorder, with most deaths attributable to physiological complications. Yet, says Dr. Elizabeth Esalen, there is still a dangerously misguided public perception of eating disorders.

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News - Local News

Good On Paper?

Good On Paper?

Proposition 32 promises campaign finance reform, but is there a catch?

If you liked the Citizens United Supreme Court decision—which recognized corporate “personhood” and equated money with free speech—California labor unions are saying you’re also bound to like Proposition 32. But unions aren’t the only forces coming out against Prop. 32, or the “Political Contributions by Payroll Deduction, Contributions to Candidates Initiative.” Two of the state’s leading, nonpartisan government reform groups, the League of Women Voters and Common Cause, say Prop. 32 is a “deceptive measure” that will greatly expand the political influence of one particular interest group: large businesses and corporations.

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News - Local News

Painting A Brighter Future

Painting A Brighter Future

Emanuel Project comes to Santa Cruz County Juvenile Hall

The silent, hollow halls and squeaky clean interior of the Santa Cruz County Juvenile Detention Center have recently begun to glow with new colors. Giant painted heads with windows for eyes are coming alive in the courtyard; bright stacks of books have begun to illuminate the walls of the cafeteria. The paintings are meant to shed light on the hope and possibilities of the future.

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News - Local News

Local Tooth Fairy Turns Twenty

Local Tooth Fairy Turns Twenty

Dientes celebrates two decades of nonprofit dentistry

Since its inception, Dientes Community Dental Care has focused on reaching underserved populations. At first, when the nonprofit was founded by a small group of private dentists in 1992, that population was HIV-infected patients who, because they were shunned from dental insurance plans, had nowhere else to turn for dental care.

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Reflecting Glass

Composer Philip Glass’ first trip to Big Sur was by motorcycle; little did he know that he’d establish a music festival there six decades later.

 

Rosh Hashanah

Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, occurs this year during Libra, the sign of creating right relations with all aspects life and with earth’s kingdoms. We contemplate (the Libra meditation) forgiveness, which means, “to give for another.” Forgiveness is not pardon. It’s a sacrifice (fire in the heart, giving from the heart). Forgiveness is giving up for the good of the other. This is the law of evolution (the path of return).

 

The New Tech Nexus

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

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of September 26

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >
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Wurst Case Scenario

Venus Spirits releases agave spirit, Renee Shepherd on planting garlic, Sausagefest 2014, and wine harvest in full swing

 

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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

 

Apricot Wine for Dessert

Thomas Kruse Winery, a participant in the new Santa Clara Wine Trail, has been around for a long time—since 1971, to be exact. When our little group arrived to try some wine at the Kruses’ low-key tasting room, Thomas Kruse and his wife Karen were there to greet us. Theirs is a small operation, and they’re proud to offer quality wine at affordable prices. “Because we are small and low-tech, it’s easy to relate to the whole winemaking process,” says Karen—and the Kruses take pride in making wine “just like it has been made for centuries.”