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Sep 30th
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Santa Cruz Area News

News - Local News

Protecting Our Elders

Protecting Our Elders

Annual CAP report shows rise in elder abuse in Santa Cruz County

According to the most recent Community Assessment Project (CAP) report, senior citizens are the largest growing population in Santa Cruz County. Households with elders 65 and older rose from 19.7 percent in 2006 to 26.3 percent in 2012, and the total population of people 60 years and older increased 3.5 percent since 2006. 

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News - Local News

Three Strikes, He’s Out

Three Strikes, He’s Out

Santa Cruz County’s only Proposition 36-eligible inmate is released

When Kevin O’Connell was sentenced to life in prison back in 1995, he had been convicted of possession of a stolen necklace. His previous felony convictions had occurred more than 15 years prior.

However, under the state’s three strikes sentencing law, a Santa Cruz County Superior Court judge saw fit to sentence O’Connell to life in prison. O’Connell is the only so-called three-striker from Santa Cruz County to become eligible for re-sentencing under Proposition 36, a ballot initiative passed by voters last year to reform the state’s three-strikes laws.

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News - Local News

Frankenstein to Facebook

Frankenstein to Facebook

An emeritus professor of literature explores the implications of our relationship with technology

Helene Moglen has noticed a considerable shift among her students in recent years. The UC Santa Cruz emeritus dean of humanities and professor of literature came to the school in 1978, retired in 2008, and continued to teach one class—The Gothic Imagination in Fiction and Film—until this year. Although she had taught this particular course to thousands of pupils over the years, the last few batches seemed different. 

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News - Local News

A Second Chance for Pets

A Second Chance for Pets

The BirchBark Foundation provides a lifeline for pets whose owners are unable to pay vet bills

Yrelda Rodriguez’s 2-year-old Shih Tzu, Lacie, has come to feel more like a family member than a pet, especially after a doctor told Rodriguez she was incapable of having children.

But when Lacie was run over by a reckless driver, Rodgriguez—an agricultural worker who lives near Soledad—was faced with a terrible choice: come up with money she didn’t have for surgery, or put Lacie to sleep. “I was horrified,” Rodriguez says.

Her situation is not unique.

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News - Local News

Closing the Political Gender Gap

Closing the Political Gender Gap

The growing effort to encourage local women to ‘break the glass ballot’

The United States ranks just 87th in the world for representation of elected women at the national level, and statistics show the number of women in national elected positions is declining. Statewide, an additional 28 women would need to be elected to the California legislature to reach gender parity, and locally, there are a number of women serving on city councils, but no women on the county Board of Supervisors.

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News - Local News

Then and Now

Then and Now

Participants in the MAH’s third annual Race Through Time explore local history

Two women and three children stood in the middle of El Palomar’s crowded dining room, taking a headcount of the Aztecs who barter leisurely inside a large painting on the restaurant’s wall.

Normally, such behavior might seem strange—especially considering all five were made up to look like butterflies. Last Friday, Sept. 20, however, one diner had seen enough other groups doing the same to guess exactly what was going on. She turned to the group and asked, “Are you on a scavenger hunt?”

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News - Local News

Decades of Help

Decades of Help

The Santa Cruz Community Counseling Center marks its 40th anniversary

Joseph Luna, 58, credits Si Se Puede, a program of the Santa Cruz Community Counseling Center, with saving his life.

This month marks the 40th anniversary of the center, which offers an umbrella of services that range from housing assistance to behavioral health counseling, parental education and nutrition classes, among others. 

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News - Local News

Being SCPD

Being SCPD

What does it takes to be a police officer in Santa Cruz?

With the many complexities, varying political perspectives, and diverse population that characterize Santa Cruz, the local police department says it must look for officers who possess a higher degree of patience, versatility, and personal judgment than in other communities.

Santa Cruz's colorful ecosystem of political and ideological viewpoints propels the city's identity as a place to “keep weird” (which has been challenged in recent years by a community call to “keep Santa Cruz safe”), but that tradition of cultural uniqueness means that the Santa Cruz Police Department must approach its duties and relations in a way that fits the city's mold.

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News - Local News

The Pump Track Solution

The Pump Track Solution

Santa Cruz mountain bikers fulfill their needs

Despite estimated thousands of mountain bikers living in Santa Cruz County, there are only around a dozen legal multi-use trails (MUT) for the sport.

One such legal MUT is the recently built Emma McCrary Trail, which was funded and carried out by the Mountain Bikers of Santa Cruz (MBOSC), a local nonprofit that advocates for MUTs. But with demand for bicycling outlets high, and the unraveling of bureaucratic red tape known to take years, the community has gotten together to fill that need in the form of new pump tracks.

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News - Local News

The Road to Realignment

The Road to Realignment

County probation officers take on more supervision of parolees

As state officials continue to grapple with overcrowded prisons, much of the burden continues to be pushed onto local governments with varying success.

In October 2011, Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law Assembly Bill 109, also known as realignment, which laid out steps for reducing the state’s severely overcrowded prisons to comply with federal mandates. At the time the law went into effect, there were more than 143,000 inmates in state prisons—nearly twice the facilities’ capacity.

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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

 

Do you think you are addicted to technology?

Santa Cruz  |  Unemployed

 

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.”