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Apr 26th
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Town Hall

News - Town Hall

Town Hall with Assemblymember Mark Stone

Town Hall with Assemblymember Mark Stone

When it comes to curbing ocean plastic pollution, what do you think is the best route forward?

Plastic pollution in the ocean and along the coastline is a major problem for Californians—it costs taxpayers and local governments money to clean it up, and it can discourage tourism. The U.S. EPA found that California’s coastal cities and counties spend about $420 million annually to clean up marine debris. But plastic product litter doesn’t just damage California’s economy, it hurts marine life. In 2012, 663 species of marine animals either got entangled in plastic products or ingested them—a two-thirds increase in species from 1998.

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News - Town Hall

Town Hall with Sen. Bill Monning

Town Hall with Sen. Bill Monning

How do poor health and nutrition (and its outcomes, such as obesity and diabetes) impact our local economies and workforces?

Obesity, preventable diabetes, and other chronic conditions are all costly diseases that can stem from poor health and nutrition. Obesity has been linked to an increased incidence of Type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and some forms of cancer. These conditions account for as much as $209.7 billion a year in U.S. medical expenditures, or 20.6 percent of all money spent on healthcare in the United States.

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News - Town Hall

Town Hall with Supervisor Zach Friend

Town Hall with Supervisor Zach Friend

What concerns and goals will you be bringing to the table during the Board’s discussions of potentially regulating medical marijuana grow operations?

In May of this year, the California Supreme Court reached a decision in the City Of Riverside v. Inland Empire Patients Health and Wellness Center, Inc. case that solidifies the regulatory land use authority of local jurisdictions in regard to marijuana dispensaries.

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News - Town Hall

Town Hall with Rep. Sam Farr

Town Hall with Rep. Sam Farr

What impacts would the Republican Farm Bill, recently passed in the House without any support from Democrats, have? 

A few weeks ago, the Republican leadership in the House passed a Farm Bill that did not include funding for the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), commonly known as food stamps, that helps feed millions of Americans—primarily children, seniors and individuals with disabilities. Not a single Democrat voted for the bill. This split bill was only offered after Tea Party Republicans killed an earlier Farm Bill that contained drastic cuts to SNAP funding. 

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News - Town Hall

Town Hall with Assemblymember Mark Stone

Town Hall with Assemblymember Mark Stone

What was your reaction to the Supreme Court’s Proposition 8 decision late last month?

I’m deeply gratified that as a result of the Supreme Court’s decision, LGBT and straight Californians alike can equally enjoy the benefits of marriage. I am overjoyed that the Supreme Court struck down California’s Prop. 8 and the federal Defense of Marriage Act. At the same time, the court’s ruling left several questions in its wake that will continue to call marriage equality into question throughout the country. Will same-sex California couples’ marriages be acknowledged in states without marriage equality? Will federal law truly provide equal protections to same-sex spouses? While I continue to celebrate this important legal victory, I look forward to a day when all Americans can enjoy true marriage equality.

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We Can Rebuild You

A look back at how downtown Santa Cruz recovered from the 1989 earthquake

 

International Earth Day—Mother Earth Day

Every April 22, humanity celebrates International Mother Earth Day and Earth Day. As more than a billion people participate in Earth Day activities every year, Earth Day has become the world’s largest civic observance. The massive concern to build right relations between humanity and the living being we call Earth is evidence of humanity’s love of the Mother. In 2009, the United Nations General Assembly proclaimed April 22 International Mother Earth Day, with a significant resolution affirming “the interdependence existing among human beings, other living species (the kingdoms—mineral, plant, animal and human) and the planet itself, the Earth which we all inhabit.” The Earth is our home. Celebrating Earth Day helps us define new emerging processes (economic, social, political) focused on the well-being of the kingdoms. Through these, humanity seeks to raise the quality of life, foster equality and begin to establish right relations with the Earth. We dedicate ourselves to bringing forth balance and a relationship of harmony with all of nature. Learn about planting a billion trees (the Canopy Project); participate in 1.5 billion acts of green. Disassociation (toward Earth) is no longer viable. We lose our connection to life itself. Participation is viable—an anchor, refuge and service for all of life on Earth. Visit earthday.org; harmonywithnatureun.org; and un.org/en/events/motherearthday for more information. From Farmers Almanac, “On Earth Day, enjoy the tonic of fresh air, contact with the soil, companionship with nature! Go barefooted. Walk through woods, find wildflowers and green moss. Remain outside, no matter the weather!” Nature, Earth’s most balanced kingdom, heals us. The New Group of World Servers is preparing for the May 3 Wesak Buddha Taurus solar festival. We prepare through asking for and offering forgiveness. Forgiveness purifies and like nature, heals.

 

The New Tech Nexus

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

 

Mission Critical

How reading Lisa Jensen’s reviews taught me to love film
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Oral Fixations

Blown away by a Tuesday night dinner at Oswald

 

What would you like to see a TED talk about?

Hydrogen-gas cars that are coming this summer. Scott Oliver, Santa Cruz, Professor

 

Sarah’s Vineyard

Sarah’s Vineyard of Gilroy is known for crafting fine wines—and one of my all-time favorites is its Chardonnay. But this time, its Viognier has my vote.

 

Munch

East Coast meets West Coast in new meat lover’s paradise