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Dec 18th
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Town Hall

News - Town Hall

Town Hall with Rep. Sam Farr

Town Hall with Rep. Sam Farr

Where does congress stand with passing new gun-related legislation, and what elements are you fighting most strongly to make sure are included?

In last weekend’s Weekly Address to the nation, President [Barack] Obama renewed the call for legislation to prevent gun violence and championed the work already done by Congress on the issue. In the three months since the tragic shooting in Newtown, Conn. that sparked this latest round of debate, we have made some progress to end the violence but still much is left undone.

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News - Town Hall

Town Hall with Assemblymember Mark Stone

Town Hall with Assemblymember Mark Stone

Santa Cruz has seen a lot of violent crime so far this year. What is being done at the state level to help the area’s problem with violent crime?

Two of our Santa Cruz police officers were killed in the line of duty last month while trying to keep our community safe. We paid our respects to them and their families last week at their memorial service, and vowed to keep such terrible acts from happening again. Sadly, their sacrifice was not a lone, tragic incident—rather, they were part of an alarming increase in violent crime facing the region. 

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News - Town Hall

Town Hall With Rep. Sam Farr

Town Hall With Rep. Sam Farr

Why did the Violence Against Women Act expire, and what is the status of its reauthorization?

One of the first pieces of legislation I supported as a freshman member of Congress in 1994 was the original Violence Against Women Act. I am appalled that during the last session of Congress the Republican House majority allowed the act to expire for the first time in 19 years despite protest from myself and other Democrats.

While rape crisis centers, women’s shelters and other programs created by the 1994 act and subsequent reauthorization acts have continued to receive funding, the future of these crucial establishments is in limbo until we pass a new version of the bill.

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News - Town Hall

Town Hall With Assemblymember Mark Stone

Town Hall With Assemblymember Mark Stone

As you settle into your first term as a California assemblymember, what bills or plans do you have in the pipeline? And what plans do you have as the newly appointed Chair of the Human Services Committee?

Our state is slowly recovering from the recession, and for the first time in many years, the California legislature will not have to make drastic cuts to programs that help foster youth, the elderly, and the disabled. While this is good news, these Californians continue to suffer as billions of dollars in budget cuts have decimated essential services they need. As the newly elected assemblymember for the Monterey Bay region, including Santa Cruz, I will focus on building relationships, reaching across the aisle, and crafting effective policy to help improve the lives of the most vulnerable in our communities.

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News - Town Hall

Town Hall With Supervisor Zach Friend

Town Hall With Supervisor Zach Friend

Gov. Jerry Brown recently announced that the state’s budget outlook is finally looking brighter. How could this impact Santa Cruz County?
Many don’t know that more than 50 percent of the county’s operating funds come from the state and federal government. As such, we are highly dependent upon the state’s economic condition to fund our local health and human services, law enforcement, roads and more. Gov. Brown’s state budget proposal is good news in that it stops some of the local hemorrhaging, however it doesn’t appear strong enough that we still won’t face some tough decisions in our local budget. While it is still a few months until the county budget will be prepared, I would expect there will still be cuts in some sectors this year. Hopefully we can minimize the impacts of those cuts on the community.

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Is This a Dream?

A beginner’s guide to understanding and exploring the uncanny world of lucid dreams

 

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

 

Stocking Stuffers

The men behind the women of the Kinsey Sicks Dragapella Beautyshop Quartet explain their own special brand of ‘dragtivism,’ and their holiday show at the Rio
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Tramonti Pizza

Why there’s no such thing as too much Italian food in Seabright

 

Guitar or surfboard?

Guitar. The closest thing I ever came to surfing was sliding down a rock hill. Charlie Tweddle, Santa Cruz, Hats and Music

 

Fortino Winery’s Intriguing Charbono

At the opening celebration of the new Santa Clara Wine Trail in August, one of the wineries we visited was Fortino. This is where I first tasted their intriguing estate-grown Charbono—a varietal that is one of the rarest in California, with only 80 acres grown statewide.

 

Beyond the Jar

How Tabitha Stroup has built her rapidly expanding jam empire