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Oct 02nd
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Briefs: Booster Club, Own It, Getting Milked

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Getting Milked

Janet Hoover loved her job as a lactation consultant, helping breastfeeding mothers connect to their newborn children.

And she was devastated when Dominican Hospital nipped her contract, firing her after 15 years.

“It’s been very hard. I was totally and completely blindsided by this whole thing,” says Hoover, who gave breastfeeding tips to new moms.
Over the years, Santa Cruzans had latched on to the info Hoover was feeding them, and many supporters are saying it sucks that she was let go. 1500 supporters have signed a petition asking Dominican to reverse the decision. Her biggest fans have been holding rallies Wednesdays at Dominican at 10:30 a.m.—the same time Hoover used to hold weekly breastfeeding support groups.

Hoover says she was blamed for a financial mistake made by an administrator that cost the company big bucks. Dominican won’t comment on personnel matters, but the hospital has posted the job vacancy on its website.

Booster Club

For years we’ve heard abstract talk about economic development—that we need to build better partnerships, while supporting agriculture and tourism and the like. Well, talk is cheaper than an arcade token at the Boardwalk, but county officials are gearing up to follow through on such discussions.
The county’s new Economic Vitality Strategy, which was presented to the board of supes last month, comes out to 110 pages, accompanied by two reports that combine for 202 more. Okay, so it’s still talk, but considerably less abstract this time—and quite ambitious, too. A 45-day comment period for the draft strategy wraps up in early July.

“The report covers so much,” says Joe Foster, executive director of the Santa Cruz County Business Council. “It’s a little different than what we’ve seen in the community. Is it all achievable? That remains to be seen, but it’s a good start.”

Among its many suggestions, the strategy (which can be read at www.sccoplanning.com) calls for a requirement that all county businesses file for a business license to allow the county to better track economic statistics.

OWN It

Ty Pearce didn’t have the easiest childhood growing up transgender in an often chaotic household.

“My home life wasn’t always that great,” says Pearce, who will be featured on television’s Our America Thursday, June 5 at 10 p.m. “My parents were—“

“Alcoholics,” interrupts his dad, Kirk Meyer, who’s standing beside him.

“Party animals,” Pearce finishes.

Pearce, now 36, was born Tanya, and started taking hormones and underwent surgery in 2010 to become a male. He was featured on Oprah Winfrey’s OWN network later that year (it would be his first of three segments on Lisa Ling’s weekly show). But Pearce didn’t realize how tough of a transition he was in for. Hormonal supplements sent him spiraling through a change similar to puberty, and he started partying until he hit rock bottom—a journey this next installment of Our America will cover. He moved to Santa Cruz in 2012 to be closer to his dad, who had become sober. Now Pearce is a chef at Front Street Kitchen and a body builder with a bunch of new friends.

“Santa Cruz wrapped its arms around me,” he says.

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