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Apr 21st
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Santa Cruz Area News

News - Local News

On The Horizon

On The Horizon

GT looks ahead at likely key local issues for 2013

The last half of 2012 seemed to revolve around the election. Before that, the year kicked off with the SmartMeter saga still in full swing, and Occupy Santa Cruz stealing headlines. What will be this year’s equivalent? For one thing, we will have transportation projects under way (Rail Trail, Highway 1), and continued struggles with unemployment, hunger and other symptoms of a struggling economy. But here are three issues that we suspect will unfold in particularly interesting ways in 2013.

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News - Local News

Looking For Answers

Looking For Answers

Watsonville Youth City Council plans to survey police

The Watsonville Police Department will face questioning by the Watsonville Youth City Council (WYCC) this month.

The survey of officers is the first move by the youth council to follow up on a survey they conducted during October and November of 723 high school students about how safe kids feel in different parts of the City of Watsonville, and how they interact with the police. 

Fifty percent of survey respondents said that they would not report a crime in progress, and 29 percent said they would not approach police for any reason.

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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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Smells Like Team Spirit

The organizers of TEDx Santa Cruz don’t just talk about this year’s theme, ‘radical collaboration’—they live it

 

Pluto Retrograde, Aries New Moon, Lyrid Meteor Showers

As the Lyrid meteors, radiating from the star Vega in the Harp constellation, begin showering heaven and earth with light, Pluto, planet of transformation (or die) turns stationary retrograde (Thursday, April 16), 15 degrees Capricorn. Retrogrades have purpose, allowing humanity time to review, reassess, research and reinvent while returning to previous situations. Retrogrades are times of inner activity, seeds sown in bio-dynamically prepared soil. Pluto retrograde is the most serious and resolute of retrogrades—a pure tincture, or, as in homeopathy, a “constitutional” touching the essences of all that matters. Pluto offers deep insight into confusion or puzzlement and areas where transformation is still incomplete. It’s valuable to have one’s astrology chart to follow what area of life the major planets— especially Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto—are influencing. These outer planets have long-term and lasting effects on our psyche, inner/outer life events, how people see us and how we see and process our world. Pluto, retrograde for five months (until Sept. 24) offers deep earthquakes of change, awakens humanity to the task of building (Capricorn) the new culture and civilization, flailing our inner world about, deepening us until we transform and do things differently. Pluto is an unrelenting teacher. New moon (29 Aries) is Saturday, April 18. With the personality-building keynote, “Let form again be sought.” Mars anchors the new creative fires of Aries into our world. The New Group of World Servers participates together in the new moon festival, while also preparing for the Taurus Wesak, Buddha Full Moon Festival (May 3). Join us everyone.

 

The New Tech Nexus

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

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of April 17

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >
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