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Dec 18th
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Santa Cruz Area News

News - Local News

Money In Politics

Money In Politics

Santa Cruz City Council candidates express different views on campaign fundraising

On the national level, campaign spending continues to escalate to mind-bending levels. And with the 2010 Supreme Court Citizens United ruling that removed all financial limits to corporate contributions, the financial arms race for candidates has become increasingly controversial.

According to the Washington Post, presidential candidate Mitt Romney was leading President Barack Obama in campaign fundraising in late August, $185.9 million to $123.7 million. The forthcoming election will be the most expensive on record, according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

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News - Local News

Robbing Native Cradles

Robbing Native Cradles

Local nonprofit enlists help of UCSC interns to combat Native American exploitation

 “In the 1880s, under a U.S. government policy of forced assimilation, [Lakota] children as young as 5 years old were removed from their homes, shipped to boarding schools, and instructed in the ways of white culture,” reads a passage on lakotalaw.org, the website for the Lakota Child Rescue Project (LCRP).

A modern-day Robin Hood for many Lakota people—the indigenous people of the Great Plains—the organization is currently compiling a federal civil rights lawsuit in favor of the Great Sioux Nation.

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News - Local News

A Question of Choice

A Question of Choice

With the new school year comes a renewed debate over the future of charter school education

Crimson red banners and golden pennants from universities are the first things visitors notice upon entering Ceiba College Prep.

The second are the children themselves—recently returned from summer vacation, they animatedly slap fly swatters at a whiteboard in a geometry game, spout facts from an article about Asperger’s syndrome, and bow their heads in concentration to solve a math problem. In every classroom, a poster reads, “So much to learn. So little time.”

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News - Local News

Art and Democracy

Art and Democracy

A local artist’s quest to introduce art into U.S. politics

Andrew Purchin is packing up his easel and canvases after three days of painting at the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Fla. The Santa Cruz artist, who is also a psychotherapist, will head to the Democratic National Convention next, which takes place in Charlotte, N.C., Sept. 4-6.

Art as a political statement is nothing new. But unlike the highly charged work of artist Mark Bryan, for example, whose exhibit “The Rupture” is at Leeds Gallery in Santa Cruz through Sept. 5, or the ice sculptures installed at the conventions to symbolize the melting middle class, Purchin’s paintings are the result of a more subtle, objective approach.

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News - Local News

Riding A New Wave

Riding A New Wave

Thomas Hickenbottom‘s transformative battle with cancer 

Just before 8 p.m. on July 21, 2012, voices lower at the Gray Estate, where a large cancer benefit is being held in Thomas Hickenbottom’s honor. Santa Cruz City Councilwoman Lynn Robinson begins to read the Mayor’s proclamation:

“... and whereas Thomas Hickenbottom was an original member of both the O’Neill and Arrow surf teams, representing Santa Cruz in surfing contests up and down the California coast for over 30 years ...”

“... and whereas Thomas Hickenbottom served in the United States Army as a medic with two tours of duty in Vietnam from 1967 [to]1969 and tended the wounded during the Tet Offensive of 1968 ...”

More “and whereas” statements follow, highlighting Hickenbottom’s role in local surfing institutions (including the Santa Cruz Longboard Union and Westside Longboard Coalition, Santa Cruz Surfing Club Preservation Society, and Santa Cruz Surfing Museum), as well as his involvement with the community through Santa Cruz Little League, the Santa Cruz Old Timers, and local museums. Robinson then references Hickenbottom’s two books, “Surfing in Santa Cruz” and “Local Tribes,” before delivering the final words of the speech: “[I] hereby proclaim Saturday, July 21, 2012 as Thomas Hickenbottom Day.”

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News - Local News

Getting To The Roots

Getting To The Roots

Local groups make stopping youth gang enlistment a top priority

Once law enforcement knows the name of a young gang member, many social safeguards have already failed and it is too late to help much, says Santa Cruz Police Department spokesperson Zach Friend. The Wednesday, Aug. 8 fatal shooting of 13-year-old Joey Mendoza in Santa Cruz has focused local conversations about gangs on how to keep children from joining in the first place.

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News - Local News

Uneasy Negotiations

Uneasy Negotiations

Cabrillo support staff reports feeling the brunt of budget cuts

Luz Martinez says she sees lives instead of paperwork when she processes academic transcripts for transferring Cabrillo College students. With four sons in college, she knows how crucial timely delivery of these documents to universities from community colleges can be.

“If the paperwork doesn't get out to places like UC Berkeley and San Jose State in time, they could have their enrollment terminated,” says Martinez, who works in the school’s admissions department. “I don't want to jeopardize their future, but our office has already been reduced from 12 to 10 workers and it's getting harder and harder.”

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News - Local News

Making History Hip Again

Making History Hip Again

Santa Cruz duo starts historical walking tour company

In his fedora and three-piece vest, Ben Lilly resembles a rehearsing actor. He moves his hands animatedly, raising his voice to fight the sound of motorcycles, crashing surf and foot traffic around the Santa Cruz Wharf. His audience, a small group of locals and tourists, listens as he extols stories of a long-ago era.

The recent scene resembles a street performance, but is actually the first installment of Santa Cruz City Tours’ History Tour, a 1.5-mile jaunt from Pacific Avenue’s Memorial Square to the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk.

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News - Local News

The Homes Of The Homeless

The Homes Of The Homeless

Santa Cruz police near the end of a campaign to clear out illegal campsites

On a narrow strip of land between Highway 1 and Plymouth Street, Santa Cruz police officers Barnaby Clark, Mike Huynh and Sgt. Dan Flippo fan out as they approach a dingy blue tent with a maroon blanket draped over it.

Huynh draws his gun and holds it ready by his hip as Flippo calls out, “Police! Anybody home?”

No answer.

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News - Local News

Balancing Budgets and Beds

Balancing Budgets and Beds

Compromise in the land of tourism

Separating Santa Cruz the city from Santa Cruz the tourist magnate is like separating sand from salt—change one, and you affect the other.

In a continuing effort to balance the city’s rebounding budget, the city council announced an either/or tax measure on July 24 that raises the transient occupancy tax (TOT) increase, either to 11 percent or 12 percent from its current 10 percent.

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Is This a Dream?

A beginner’s guide to understanding and exploring the uncanny world of lucid dreams

 

Giving and Giving, Then Giving Some More

2014 is almost over. Wednesday, Dec. 17, the Jewish Festival of Light, Hanukkah, begins. We are in our last week of Sag and last two weeks of December. Sunday, Dec. 21 is winter Solstice, as the sun enters Capricorn (3:30 p.m. for the west coast). Soon after, the Capricorn new moon occurs (5:36 p.m. for the west coast)—the last new moon of 2014. Sunday morning Uranus in Aries (revolution, revelation) is stationary direct (retro since July 22). Uranus/Aries create things new and needed to anchor the new culture and civilization (Aquarius). We will see revolutionary change in 2015. Capricorn new moon, building-the-personality seed thought, is, “Let ambition rule and let the door to initiation and freedom stand wide (open).” Capricorn is a gate—where matter returns to spirit. But the gate is unseen until the Ajna Center (third eye), Diamond Light of Direction, opens. Winter solstice is the longest day of darkness of the year. The sun’s rays resting at the Tropic of Capricorn (southern hemisphere) symbolize the Christ (soul’s) light piercing the heart of the Earth, remaining there for three days, till Holy Night (midnight Thursday morning). Then the sun’s light begins to rise. It is the birth of the new light (holy child) for the world. A deep calm and stillness pervades the world.The entire planet is revivified, re-spiritualized. All hearts beating reflect this Light. And so throughout the Earth there’s a radiant “impress” (impressions, pictures) given to humanity of the World Mother and her Child. The star Sirius (love/direction) and the constellation Virgo the mother shines above. For gift giving, give to those in need. Give and give and then give some more. This creates the new template of giving and sharing for the new world.

 

The New Tech Nexus

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

 

Stocking Stuffers

The men behind the women of the Kinsey Sicks Dragapella Beautyshop Quartet explain their own special brand of ‘dragtivism,’ and their holiday show at the Rio
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Tramonti Pizza

Why there’s no such thing as too much Italian food in Seabright

 

Guitar or surfboard?

Guitar. The closest thing I ever came to surfing was sliding down a rock hill. Charlie Tweddle, Santa Cruz, Hats and Music

 

Fortino Winery’s Intriguing Charbono

At the opening celebration of the new Santa Clara Wine Trail in August, one of the wineries we visited was Fortino. This is where I first tasted their intriguing estate-grown Charbono—a varietal that is one of the rarest in California, with only 80 acres grown statewide.

 

Beyond the Jar

How Tabitha Stroup has built her rapidly expanding jam empire