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Dec 25th
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Briefs: New Baggage, Detox Rocks

news briefNew Baggage

Most of us know by now not to put our recyclables in plastic trash bags, even when this means our recycling bins are perpetually sticky with juice and soda that dripped out of our old cans and bottles. This used to be the best-case scenario, aside from people throwing recycling into garbage bags, despite our best efforts to cut down on plastic bags in the landfill.

But local entrepreneur and environmental activist Mitch Barlas, who gave Santa Cruz its own handy reusable shopping bag, has found a new solution and is set to release his Bagito Bin Liners, which will also work for waste baskets. The liners, which will soon be available at New Leaf Community Markets, can be washed and used thousands of times. Net proceeds will fund an environmental literacy education program at county schools.

Detox Rocks

As groups like the county’s new Downtown Accountability Program and Encompass Community Services work together to tackle drug abuse in the community, the county’s League of Women Voters is inviting community members to join the discussion and maybe even be part of the solution, too.

Bill Manov, director of Santa Cruz County’s Drug and Alcohol Program, and Brenda Armstrong, the program’s manager, will fill the public in on the county’s strategic planning efforts for prevention, intervention, and substance-abuse treatment. The free Tuesday, Sept. 9 meeting will be at 11:30 a.m. at the County Health Services Agency’s 206/207 conference room. A seat can be reserved by calling 426-8683, or emailing at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . Organizers say to bring a bag lunch. Bagito, anyone?

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Dancing In the Rain

District Attorney Bob Lee’s death in October stunned the Santa Cruz community, but he had battled cancer fiercely—and privately—for more than a decade. Now one of his closest friends reveals the remarkable inside story

 

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

 

Pinned Down

Actors shine in true-crime wrestling drama ‘Foxcatcher’
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Best Bites of 2014

A look back at the year in good taste

 

What downtown business is good for both one-stop shopping and last-minute gifts?

The Homeless Garden Project store. Because it is a community effort and has really useful and beautiful things, and allows you to connect with a lot of folks who are doing great work in Santa Cruz. Miriam Greenberg, Santa Cruz, UCSC Professor

 

Vino Tabi Winery

One of Santa Cruz’s most happening areas to go wine tasting is in the westside’s Swift Street Courtyard complex. Ever since a group of about a dozen wineries got together and formed Surf City Vintners (SCV), the place has been a hive of activity, and a wine-tasting mecca. Adding to the mix is the lively Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing beer company—making Swift Street Courtyard a perfect spot for a glass of wine or a pitcher of ale.

 

Betty’s Eat Inn

Yes, she’s a real person; no, this isn’t her