Santa Cruz Wire Header

La Vida Local

Look Out Below!

PDFPrintE-mail

La Vida Local

 
Recent storms brought down this hillside on the Escalona greenbelt. Tara Leonard© santacruzwire.com 
 

Local High School Bands Take the Stage at 25th Annual Santa Cruz Jazz Festival

PDFPrintE-mail

La Vida Local

Written by Maria Gaura

SANTA CRUZ (March 2011) - At 9 a.m. on a Wednesday morning, Steve Wilson’s classroom sounds like a San Francisco nightclub, and looks like a set from “Glee.”  A shaggy-haired lad pounds out the melody of Dexter Gordon’s “Cheesecake” on piano, accompanied by a broad-shouldered sax player, jeans-clad guitarist, and a girl with long blond hair deftly driving the drum kit.
A half-dozen lanky teens are draped over molded plastic chairs, cradling electric guitars, violins, cello or clarinet, seemingly preoccupied by other thoughts. Then, with no noticeable cue, a guitarist shifts position and joins in, and a violinist props one foot on the opposite knee, and smoothly slips into the musical current.
They play like pros, but these musicians are juniors and seniors in Harbor High School’s Jazz Band, and the piece they’re practicing is one of two jazz standards they hope will earn them honors - and a command performance - at the 25th annual Santa Cruz Jazz Festival, taking place this weekend at Cabrillo College.

Read more: Local High School Bands Take the Stage a...

 

Radio Station KSCO Celebrates 20 Years of Local Voices

PDFPrintE-mail

La Vida Local - La Vida Local

Written by Maria Gaura

SANTA CRUZ (February 2011) – Even though it’s perched on the banks of Corcoran Lagoon, the expansive front window of radio station KSCO faces inland, taking in a view of Portola Drive and the comings and goings in the station’s parking lot.
The staff at this independent station likes to keep an eye on the community, a focus increasingly rare in the world of radio, where the majority of small stations have eliminated staff and live programming in favor of pre-programmed fare.
“So many radio stations now are just a computer in a hallway – with somebody in Dallas programming it,” said Program Director Rosemary Chalmers. “KSCO has lots of voices, local voices. Because we are locally owned, we are free to do as we like.”

Read more: Radio Station KSCO Celebrates 20 Years o...

 

Rat Refugee

PDFPrintE-mail

La Vida Local


A baby rat rescued from a hoarder's house. Maria Gaura ©santacruzwire.com
 

“Hoarders” Fans Race to Adopt Hundreds of Rescued Rats

PDFPrintE-mail

La Vida Local

SAN JOSE (January 2011) – Hundreds of pet rats found swarming through a bereaved man’s Los Angeles-area home are being snapped up by animal lovers across the U.S., after their story was broadcast Jan. 10 on the television reality show “Hoarders.”
“We’ve had a flood of calls and emails,” said Cynthia Cross, co-director of North Star Rescue, who helped arrange a rat-lift that brought 1,085 of the neglected creatures from the infested house in Llano to Andy’s Pet Shop in San Jose. “We were really hoping for a good response.”

Read more: “Hoarders” Fans Race to Adopt Hundre...

 

Council Candidate Disavows Discrimination Lawsuit

PDFPrintE-mail

La Vida Local

Written by Maria Gaura

SANTA CRUZ (October 2010) - Ron Pomerantz is a retired firefighter whose political niche in the race for Santa Cruz City Council is that of a liberal environmentalist who opposes development, supports social services and backs employee unions.  
But 15 years ago, Pomerantz made headlines of a different kind as one of 22 white firefighters, and one latino, who filed a sensational reverse-discrimination lawsuit against the city of San Jose. In the lawsuit, the 23 plaintiffs alleged that then-San Jose Fire Chief Raymond Brooks had leaked the contents of a promotions exam to five black firefighters, thus discriminating against white firefighters who made up a sizeable majority of the test-takers, and of the department as a whole.

Read more: Council Candidate Disavows Discriminatio...

 

Closed State Parks Cost Local Jobs

PDFPrintE-mail

La Vida Local

By John Laird, Candidate for the 15th State Senate District
SANTA CRUZ (August 2010) - We must take a stand to fix our state parks, so that we do not continue to lose jobs on the Central Coast - right at the moment when our visitor-serving economy needs them the most. A recent study found that state park visitors on average spend $57.63 in neighboring communities each time they visit a state park or beach.
Politicians talk a lot about “jobs, jobs, jobs,” but seldom offer proposals to do anything to actually save, let alone create, them. Fixing how we fund state parks will protect and add jobs along our coastline.

Read more: Closed State Parks Cost Local Jobs

 

It's Time To Stand Up For Public Education

PDFPrintE-mail

La Vida Local

By John Laird, Candidate for the 15th State Senate District
Special to SantaCruzWire.com
SANTA CRUZ (August 2010) - In May of this year, the Board of Trustees of San Luis Coast Unified School District, the largest district in San Luis Obispo County, voted unanimously to inform the California School Boards Association that no local legislator was worthy of the annual distinction of “Legislator of the Year.”
The trustees passed a resolution stating that “our local legislators have failed the children of the state of California,” and that “no local legislator has adequately represented the interests of public education.”

Read more: It's Time To Stand Up For Public Educati...

 

Winging It

PDFPrintE-mail

La Vida Local


Ann Goldsmith readies for flight. ©Janet Orsi
 

Bi-Coastal Elder Takes To The Skies

PDFPrintE-mail

La Vida Local

By Gabriel Constans, Special to SantaCruzWire.com
SANTA CRUZ (July 2010) - “Flying is one of the most exciting and wonderful experiences I have encountered ‘yet’,” Ann grins. Bi-coastal elder Ann Goldsmith has one hell of a resume and she didn’t really start kicking up her heels until she pushed past 50.  Now in her seventies, Ann, a teacher, minister and counselor, divides her time between her Aptos home and a rural cabin in Maine.
After decades of being a passenger, Ann is once again spreading her wings and flying into the wild blue yonder as an airplane pilot.  The first planes she recalls were a far cry from the small aircraft and controls with which she is now becoming acquainted. “Fighters and bombers going off to war,” were Ann’s first glimpses of air travel.  
Goldsmith grew up on the east coast during the 2nd World War.  “Friends lost their brothers,” Ann recalls.  “Everything was rationed.  Newsreels showed deadly scenes, while films made it all romantic.  From the age of 7 through 13, my childhood was overshadowed by war.” 

Read more: Bi-Coastal Elder Takes To The Skies

 

Unsafe for Swimming - Rotting Kelp Trumps Swimmers at Cowell Beach

PDFPrintE-mail

La Vida Local

Written by Maria Gaura

SANTA CRUZ (May 2010) – With its mild currents and wind-damping cliffs, Cowell Beach is widely considered to be the safest beach in Santa Cruz for children and novice swimmers. But this popular family beach, located at the foot of the Municipal Wharf, has been increasingly plagued by bacterial pollution in the water.
The water at Cowell was posted as unsafe for human contact 67 days in 2008, and a whopping 172 days last year. The persistently high levels of bacteria tend to coincide with warm summer weather, and seasonal crowds of beachgoers.
While some noxious bacteria are deposited in the waves by sea lions and other wildlife, county health officials increasingly suspect that piles of rotting kelp on the beach are contributing to the deteriorating water quality at Cowell. Problem is, coastal regulations make it almost impossible to drag the stuff away.
Because decomposing seaweed provides food for flies, sand fleas and other critters at the low end of the food chain, the California Coastal Commission in 2005 forbade Santa Cruz from using machinery to remove the slimy heaps from city beaches between Memorial Day and Labor Day.

Read more: Unsafe for Swimming - Rotting Kelp Trump...

 

A Community Response to Street Gangs in Santa Cruz

PDFPrintE-mail

La Vida Local

by Neal Aronson, Special to SantaCruzWire.com
SANTA CRUZ (May 2010) - For far too long, we as a a society have tolerated gangs, perhaps because we didn't consider it to be our problem. It was always "those people" killing each other "over there". We felt sorry for Salinas and Watsonville and were glad we didn't have their problems. There have been incidents in Beach Flats and Lower Ocean St., but they felt like isolated events, and it wasn't our children being attacked. Even though they took place in Santa Cruz, they weren't happening in our neighborhoods.
Times have changed. In the last year two young men were murdered in our neighborhoods and a young man, the son of my friend and neighbor, was wounded while walking his dog on the west side. People are taking notice and are filled with outrage and fear. How could this happen here? While we were naively thinking this was someone else's problem, the gangs have been growing more brazen and are now claiming our streets as their territory.

Read more: A Community Response to Street Gangs in ...

 

Castoffs into Couture - Mission Hill Students Fashion Wearable Art

PDFPrintE-mail

La Vida Local

Written by Maria Gaura

SANTA CRUZ (May 2010) - Hand-sewn platform shoes, a man’s “blazer” alight with appliquéd flames, a taco-shaped hat and a handbag crafted from vinyl record albums.
These arresting fashion statements were among 128 student-made garments and accessories created this year at Project Runway for Teens, a school-wide wearable art show organized by Mission Hill Middle School art teacher Kathleen Crocetti.
Almost as unusual as the finished clothing was the source of the artists’ materials. As part of an ongoing partnership between the school and Goodwill Industries, more than 100 Mission Hill students were invited into Goodwill’s Union Street store for a special shopping day and allowed to take home any garment they wanted – for free.

Read more: Castoffs into Couture - Mission Hill Stu...

 

Maggie Vessey - See How She Runs

PDFPrintE-mail

La Vida Local

By Peggy Townsend
SANTA CRUZ (MARCH 2010) — Maggie Vessey’s first indication she might become a world-class runner came when she was 6 years old. Her much-older cousin had challenged Vessey to a footrace and the two took off running across a practice field at Mar Vista Elementary School.  Vessey won easily.
“I felt as tall as she was. It was just effortless,” said the now 5-foot-8 Vessey.  “Running was the most pure feeling of being alive. I felt it even as a kid.”
But some of that joy began to leak out of running as word got around about Vessey’s innate ability, and other kids began challenging her to races. “It was a tangled web,” Vessey said as she sipped a bottled water after a recent training run, “because I liked to beat people too.”
Now 28 and about to embark on a series of track races that will take her around the world, Vessey still copes with the yin and yang of her sport: the nerves and insecurities that competition brings against the absolute freedom and joy of running. She has spent the past years working hard to find a balance, she said: not only in track, but also in her life.

Read more: Maggie Vessey - See How She Runs

 

Canine Chaos: Why Dogs Don't Belong in Downtown Santa Cruz

PDFPrintE-mail

La Vida Local

Written by Tara Leonard

SANTA CRUZ (March, 2010) - I’m a dog person. My house is littered with slobbery tennis balls, my car stocked with extra leashes and dog treats. Sometimes the very best part of my day is spent tossing a stick for my ridiculously enthusiastic pets who are ceaselessly entertained by the joy of retrieval. It’s impossible not to share their delight in the everyday routine of walks, play and meals (Food? For me? I LOVE you!). In short, I think everyone should have a dog.
Just not downtown.

Read more: Canine Chaos: Why Dogs Don't Belong in D...

 

Page 2 of 4

«StartPrev1234NextEnd»