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Metro Reflections

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Arts and Review

by David Hoban

PARIS (July 21, 2011) - I noticed, commuting on the train in early morning Paris, women who were half-dressed, getting dressed and made up. It was as if the jam-packed car was a private boudoir. Ordinarily I would think that making up the face is done in private until the face in the mirror matches the mask one wants to present to the public. Not true. I watched a woman put on lipstick, lip-liner, powder, eye shadow, and eye-liner then, replacing sandals with high heels, she tied a scarf around her neck and pulled her tight, tapered pants over her heels. She was not alone. It seemed possible to me that these women had, in fact, placed themselves in an autistic shell awaiting their emergence into the world of offices or professionalism, in such a way that the masses did not exist at all.

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Santa Cruz Veterans Celebrate the 4th

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La Vida Local

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SANTA CRUZ (July 4, 2011) - Disabled veterans march down Pacific Avenue. ©santacruzwire.com


 

Third Fatal Accident Has Local Cyclists On Edge

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La Vida Local

by Maria Gaura

SANTA CRUZ (June 28, 2011) – A Soquel man riding his bike near Soquel High School was struck and killed Monday night by a motorist who fled the scene – the second hit-and-run collision to claim the life of a county cyclist this month, and the third fatal bike accident so far this year.

Monday’s death was a grim benchmark. The number of deadly bike accidents this year now equals the number in all of 2009, and it’s only June. And 2009 was the worst year for local bicycle deaths in at least a decade.

Noel Hamilton, 31, was declared dead at the scene of Monday's crash. Officials have not yet released the name of the hit-and-run driver, who returned to the scene 40 minutes to an hour after the collision.

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Summer Storm

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Photo Gallery

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SANTA CRUZ (June 28, 2011) - Campers in the Junior Guards summer program huddle beneath a lifeguard tower during a rare, drenching summer rain. ©santacruzwire.com

 

Santa Cruz Trolley Links Downtown, Main Beach

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SANTA CRUZ (June 2011) - Business sponsors and city officials take a shakedown cruise on the Downtown Association's new tourist trolley on June 16th. The trolley celebrates its official launch Thursday, June 30th, with a ribbon-cutting at 5 p.m. Click headline or read more for additional photos. Maria Gaura ©santacruzwire.com

 

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25-Cent Trolley Gets Visitors Out Of Their Cars

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La Vida Local

by Maria Gaura

SANTA CRUZ (June 28, 2011) -  Thursday June 30th will mark the official debut of a motorized trolley service intended to lure visitors from their cars, and provide a convenient link between the city's business district and its main tourist destination.
The Santa Cruz Beach Trolley has been shuttling between downtown and the Municipal Wharf for nearly two weeks since a June 16 "soft launch" intended to work out the kinks in the system. Thursday's ribbon-cutting celebration will serve as the public kick-off, complete with free rides.
Tourism officials estimate that three million people visit the Main Beach/Boardwalk area every year. But few out-of-town visitors are aware of Santa Cruz's downtown business district, and fewer still know how to get there.
The Beach Trolley runs from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily through Labor Day (September 5th), and on weekends through October 15. The downtown stop is in front of the Del Mar Theater at 1124 Pacific Ave., and the beach area stop is at the foot of the Municipal Wharf, in front of the Ideal Fish Co. The trolley leaves downtown on the hour and half-hour, and departs the beach at fifteen minutes and 45 minutes past the hour. The fare is 25 cents each way, exact change only. The trolley runs on natural gas, and is accessible for handicapped riders.
 

Gopher Control

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Photo Gallery

SANTA CRUZ (June 2011) - A Great Blue Heron snags a gopher from the lawn at San Lorenzo Park.  Click headline or read more for more photos. Maria Gaura ©santacruzwire.com

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Stanford Study Aims to Clear the Water at Santa Cruz's Cowell Beach

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La Vida Local

Written by Maria Gaura

SANTA CRUZ (June 2011) – Cowell Beach is one of the most popular family beaches in Santa Cruz County, but persistently high levels of bacteria in the water have been putting a damper on summer fun in recent years.

The waterline at Cowell has been posted with warning signs most days for the past two summers, and the signs are likely to be a fixture this summer as well. Adding insult to injury, Cowell was recently named the biggest “Beach Bummer” in California by the environmental group Heal the Bay.

Cleaning up the contamination at Cowell has been stymied by coastal regulations, as well as disagreement over the source of the noxious bacteria. But a scientific study by researchers from Stanford University and the Southern California Coastal Water Research Project (SCCWRP) aims to help clear up the confusion and, eventually, the water at Cowell Beach.  

 

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Sergeant Derby on Duty

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La Vida Local

 
Ever wonder where Derby Park got its name? You can thank this gentleman, Sergeant Charles Derby, a Santa Cruz police officer known for his work with children in the 1950s and 60s. See the story, below. Contributed photo. 
 

Santa Cruz's Derby Park Named After Local Who 'Invested His Life in Others'

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La Vida Local

Written by Tara Leonard

SANTA CRUZ (May 2011) - Stop by Derby Park in Santa Cruz on a sunny afternoon and you’ll find visitors of all ages whacking tennis balls, giggling on the playground, or busting ollies in one of the country’s oldest skateboard parks. But ask one of the helmeted daredevils where the park got its name and chances are you’ll get a blank stare. Jeanne Baker is out to change that. Baker is the daughter of the late Sergeant Charles Derby (1920-1972), a local policeman known for his work with the young people of Santa Cruz. Baker is working with local officials to have a plaque honoring her father installed at the park which bears his name.
“It’s important for future generations to realize that his love for kids is what spawned the whole idea of a place where they could be safe and have fun,” Baker said. “I can’t tell you how many people in this town have told me, ‘Your father kept me from being a juvenile delinquent!’”

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American Idol Relents, Allows James Durbin to Perform, Celebrate in Santa Cruz

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La Vida Local

Written by Maria Gaura

SANTA CRUZ (May 2011) – The show will go on! Even though Santa Cruz rocker James Durbin failed to make the top three on last night’s American Idol, the show’s producers have agreed to let him take a break from his Idol obligations and appear in a grand homecoming celebration in Santa Cruz tomorrow.
While details of the day are still being worked out, Durbin will visit Louden Nelson Community Center, participate in a public procession to the Main Beach, and perform a concert on the Beach Boardwalk’s outdoor stage.
 “Originally, American Idol indicated that James’ return to Santa Cruz for Durbin Day depended on him making it to the final 3 because of obligations to the show,” said Kris Reyes, community relations director for the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. “After the results last night, we made a strong appeal to the show that he be allowed to attend his Santa Cruz homecoming as planned. Idol ultimately agreed.”

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Santa Cruz Wire wins Journalism Fellowship – Celebrates Three Years Online

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La Vida Local

SANTA CRUZ (May 2011) – Here at Santa Cruz Wire we’re celebrating our third birthday with a big announcement – editors and co-founders Maria Gaura and Tara Leonard have been granted a California Endowment health journalism fellowship from the Annenberg School of Journalism, at the University of Southern California.
This generous fellowship in Online Community Building and Health will allow us to pursue an in-depth reporting project on local health issues. In addition, our colleagues and senior fellows will be helping us expand our readership through social media.
We just returned from our first get-together - a four-day retreat at the Los Angeles Biltmore. Our first step, long overdue, has been to launch a Facebook page for Santa Cruz Wire. Please check it out – we hope you “like” our new format! Additional innovations are in the works. Please let us know what you think.

 

 

Volunteer Horse Patrol the Eyes and Ears of Cash-Strapped State Parks

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La Vida Local

Written by Tara Leonard

SANTA CRUZ (May, 2011) - On a wind-swept coastal terrace high above Monterey Bay, Erica Berg and her 27-year-old Arabian, Jade, are gearing up for a ride in Wilder Ranch State Park. But today, along with her sturdy riding helmet and well-worn boots, Berg wears a standard-issue state park ranger’s uniform of green work pants and a beige shirt bearing a ranger’s patch. Berg recently joined more than three-dozen Horse Patrol volunteers who ride in local state parks, doing their part to support the increasingly cash-strapped park system.
“I love the park and know there are all these budget cuts,” said Berg. “This is an easy way to make a contribution and support the rangers.”

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Experts Share Tomato Secrets For Cool Coastal Gardens

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Farm & Garden - Farm & Garden

Written by Maria Gaura

SANTA CRUZ (April 2011) – Spring is finally here, and the shelves at local garden centers are overflowing with tomatoes – everything from grape-size cherries to hulking red slicers.
It’s tempting to load up on seedlings with the brawniest, most masculine names - maybe a Beefmaster, a couple of Brandywines, and a Mortgage Lifter. But before you do something you’ll regret in a few weeks, back away from the tomatoes! That’s right. Go home, think it over, and come back to the garden center when you’ve got a plan.
The fact is that we’re a beach town, and tomatoes – especially the big, beefy ones - prefer the triple-digit weather in Fresno. But advice from Santa Cruz garden experts Renee Shepherd, Christof Bernau and Cynthia Sandberg can help you grow amazing tomatoes anywhere in our tricky coastal zone.

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New Digs For Santa Cruz Tomato Queen

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Farm & Garden

Written by Maria Gaura

SANTA CRUZ (March 2011) – For more than a decade, Cynthia Sandberg’s Love Apple Farm has been a Mecca for serious tomato lovers. Her annual spring seedling sale, featuring more than 100 varieties of tomato, draws throngs of home gardeners in search of tasty and unusual heirlooms such as Portuguese Monster, Nebraska Wedding, Jaune Flamme and Hippy Zebra.
The biodynamic farm is also a haven for the kind of gardeners who drop fish heads in the planting hole and water their plants with tea made from worm poop, then post photographs of their ten-foot-tall tomato vines online. Sandberg offers a wealth of back-to-basics garden wisdom to her customers, as well as classes in gardening, composting, cooking and canning.
But beginning this month, Sandberg will be brewing her worm poop tea at a new location.

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