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Apr 18th
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Town Hall With Supervisor Zach Friend

zach friendGov. 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.


While running for Supervisor last year, you cited maintaining vital programs in the face of funding troubles as a priority. Where does the county stand on this, and what are your plans to address it?

Much of the county budget, including health and human services and the recent prison realignment (AB 109), are mandates from the state. It is important to me that of the funds we do control, they are allocated in a way that reflects the values of our community. Budgets are often value statements. They reflect a community’s priorities and philosophies. Not all cuts are equal and it’s my intention to take a balanced approach to budgeting. I believe that too often budgets are politicized and taken as either/or. Meaning you can either fund this or fund that—a process that doesn’t see the interrelationship between programs or services. I’d rather look at the connections between programs and see how cuts in one sector impact another and how to minimize impacts by looking at these interrelationships.

 

Please explain your stance on the Board’s 45-day moratorium on gun shops, and the resulting input you’ve gotten from constituents.

Recently the Board of Supervisors considered a temporary (45 day) moratorium on new gun shops within the unincorporated areas. The issue was raised when Supervisor John Leopold learned of a shop opening in his district. Supervisor Leopold learned that there are no county zoning regulations that apply to gun shops and wanted the county to have the opportunity to review and possibly propose regulations pertaining to gun shops. Other cities in the county have such regulations and the proposal was supported by the local Sheriff’s Office.

I received nearly 100 comments on the issue and we had more than 100 people attend our meeting. The issue is clearly an emotional one and it can be difficult to have a balanced and reasonable discussion on emotional issues. Many people simply don’t support the sale of firearms in our county and others didn’t want any regulations. In essence, the discussion focused more on gun rights than on what was actually before the Board—which was whether we should consider this as any other land-use application and allow the Sheriff’s Office and others to have input in the process. I voted for the moratorium but made it clear that I did not support this as an indefinite measure and that I expect something concrete will come back in 45 days. I also spoke to the fact that we have a number of firearms sellers in our county that have been responsibly selling firearms and accessories for quite some time. In addition, these resellers are all subject to very stringent state and federal guidelines. My hope is that the county review will add some sensible additional regulatory mechanisms that includes local law enforcement input but doesn’t attempt to place a de facto ban on these shops from opening. I think that we can be balanced in our approach to this issue.

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Growing Hope

Campos Seguros combats sexual assault in the Watsonville farmworker community Farm work was a way of life for Rocio Camargo, who grew up in Watsonville as the daughter of Mexican immigrants. Her parents met while working the fields 30 years ago, and her father went on to run Fuentes Berry Farms.

 

Cardinal Grand Cross in the Sky

Following Holy Week (passion, death and burial of the Pisces World Teacher) and Easter Sunday (Resurrection Festival), from April 19 to the 23, the long-awaited and discussed Cardinal Cross of Change appears in the sky, composed of Cardinal signs Aries, Libra, Cancer, and Capricorn, with planets (13-14 degrees) Uranus (in Aries), Jupiter (in Cancer), Mars (in Libra) and Pluto (in Capricorn), an actual geometrical square or cross configuration. Cardinal signs mark the seasons of change, initiating new realities.

 

Sugar: The New Tobacco?

Proposed bill would require warning labels on sugary drinks Will soda and other saccharine libations soon come with a health warning? They will if it’s up to our state senator, Bill Monning (D-Carmel). On Feb. 27, Monning proposed first-of-its-kind legislation that would require a consumer warning label be placed on sugar-sweetened beverages sold in California. SB 1000, also known as the Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Safety Warning Act, was proposed to provide vital information to consumers about the harmful effects of consuming sugary drinks, such as sodas, sports drinks, energy drinks, and sweetened teas.

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of April 17

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Foodie File: Red Apple Cafe

Breakfast takes center stage at Gracia Krakauer's Red Apple Cafe Before they moved to Aptos, Gracia and her husband Dan Krakauer would visit friends in Santa Cruz County and eat at the Red Apple Café all the time. Then they moved up here from Santa Monica five years ago, and bought the Aptos location (there’s a separate one in Watsonville) from the family who owned it for two decades.

 

How would you feel about a tech industry boom in Santa Cruz?

I feel like it would ruin the small old-town feeling of Santa Cruz. It wouldn’t be the same Surf City kind of vacation town that it is. Antoinette BennettSanta Cruz | Construction Management

 

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

 

Trout Gulch Vineyards

Cinsault 2012—la grande plage diurne The most popular wines on store shelves are those most generally known and available—Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, which are all superb for sure. But when you come across a more unusual varietal, like Trout Gulch Vineyards’ Cinsault ($18), it opens up a whole new world.