The online world was hopping with many positive things about Santa Cruz in May, but they were overshadowed by the tragic loss of a beloved local surfer.
UC Santa Cruz made news for its progressive roots, but also had them questioned by a major publication. Santa Cruz was visited by filmmaker John Waters, hosted a famous disc golf tournament, a new Regional Surf Zone was named, and the Wo/Men’s Alliance for Medical Marijuana faces a new challenge.
In this month’s edition of Santa Cruz Connected, we debut two new sections: New In Town, featuring local businesses that have opened recently, and Friends To Follow, some of the best local social media accounts.
The Loss of a Local Legend: Shawn “Barney” Barron
Santa Cruz lost an innovator in the surf world in May with the passing of former pro surfer Shawn “Barney” Barron. He went to Santa Cruz High School and was part of the group featured in the Santa Cruz surf documentary, The Westsiders (click here to watch on Hulu).
In addition to being a well-liked member of the local surf community, Barron was also an artist, and a volunteer for Operation Surf, a group that helps wounded members of the military recover through surfing. Local surfers held a paddle-out memorial in his honor. You can learn more about his story in this article from Surfline and this one from the Santa Cruz Sentinel.
MLK Jr. Speech Writer Speaks On Civil Rights At UC Santa Cruz
Clarence Jones, a former speechwriter for Martin Luther King, Jr., came to UC Santa Cruz in early May to give a speech about the Civil Rights Movement.
Jones, who worked with King on his famous “I Have a Dream” speech, was also the first African-American to become a partner in a Wall Street investment banking firm. You can read more about Jones and his UCSC speech in this article from the Santa Cruz Sentinel.
— UC Santa Cruz (@ucsc) May 5, 2015
UCSC Professor, Bettina Aptheker, Featured In NBC Documentary Series
Bettina Aptheker, professor of Feminist Studies at UC Santa Cruz, was featured in a documentary about political and social movements in the Bay Area. The documentary, titled Rebels and Revolutions, is the second episode from the series Bay Area Revelations, which highlights the untold stories that helped shape the Bay Area.
Click here to read more about the documentary series and Aptheker’s role in the social and political landscape of the region.
From the Atlantic: Did UCSC Abandon Activism?
In an article about the Highway 1 tuition hike protests by UCSC students, and the ensuing reaction from the university, the Atlantic questioned whether the UC campus is straying from its radical roots.
The protests were a hot-button issue for locals, as delays mounted near the Fishhook for nearly five hours while students chained themselves together to block traffic. Students involved in the protest have been suspended until 2016 and must complete 100 hours (in some cases, more) of community service.
Previous Lives of the Downtown Clock Tower
Photo Credit: Mobile Ranger
Mobile Ranger continually cranks out great historical pieces about Santa Cruz and May was no exception. This article, about the downtown clock tower, unravels some of the history and mystery behind the structure, from the 1800s to today. You can find more information about Mobile Ranger under the Friends To Follow section below.
John Waters At the Del Mar Theater To Promote New Book
Noted independent film producer John Waters was in Santa Cruz at the Del Mar Theater during May to promote his new book, Carsick: John Waters Hitchhikes Across America. You can read an interview with Waters from the City On A Hill Press by clicking here.
Waddell Creek Named Regional Surf Zone
The Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors named Waddell Creek State Beach a Regional Surfing Zone in May.
While the title may be more symbolic than anything, it does reflect a commitment to the importance of local surf spots in Santa Cruz. The distinction puts Waddell Creek alongside other local favorites such as Steamer Lane and Pleasure Point. You can read more about the new Regional Surf Zone here.
World’s Best Disc Golfers Visit Santa Cruz For National Tour Event
Santa Cruz played host to the best disc golf players in the world in May as the DeLaveaga Disc Golf Course held its 33rd annual “Steady” Ed Memorial Masters Cup Tournament.
The tournament was won by the number one ranked player in the world Paul McBeth, who narrowly beat out Capitola native Nate Doss. Click here for more information about the weekend event, as well as the Daisy Chains Women’s Disc Golf Tournament at Pinto Lake in Watsonville, which also took place in May.
Pro disc golfer Devan Owens got an ace (think hole-in-one in golf) at DeLaveaga during the Masters Cup, a shot which was featured on ESPN’s SportsCenter. You can watch the video below.
— Steve Yang (@BullseyeDG) May 19, 2015
In Case You Forgot … Santa Cruz Is Still An Outdoor Paradise
Just as we did last month (and probably will in the months that follow), we were reminded again of how great it is in Santa Cruz. The city was included in an article about the most bike-friendly cities in the U.S., for which we ranked #5 (view the full list here).
Santa Cruz was also the subject of a piece from OverAndOutside.com, a travel and adventure website. The article touches on many of our local highlights, from the abundant natural beauty to some favorite local hot spots.
Santa Cruz County Rental Prices Up 22% Over Last Year
For just about everyone in Santa Cruz County, we get a financial reminder every month that paradise comes at a hefty price. According to this article from the Sentinel, rental prices throughout the entire county are up an average of 22% over last year.
WAMM Faces A New Challenge & It’s Not What You’d Expect
As it has so often in the past, the oldest medical marijuana collective in the U.S. is facing another challenge. This time, however, it doesn’t come from federal raids and seizures, but from divorce filings.
The Wo/Men’s Alliance for Medical Marijuana (WAMM), which opened in Santa Cruz in 1993, was started by Valerie Corral and her husband Mike. Valerie, who is often referred to as the “Mother Teresa” of marijuana, says she can’t afford to buy out her former partner to keep the collective going.
WAMM has started an indiegogo campaign in an attempt to keep the collective open, which you can donate to here. You can read more about the story in this article from The GoodTimes and this one from SF Evergreen.
Valerie Corral, director of WAMM, is 1st in line to speak against the county’s plan to ban commercial pot cultivation pic.twitter.com/c1uTaKrzjD
— WAMM (@wammSantaCruz) March 25, 2015
Three Local Businesses Attend Small Business Leadership Summit
Three Santa Cruz businesses visited Washington, D.C. in May as part of a summit put on by the Small Business Majority. As reported in an article in the Santa Cruz Sentinel, James Allen from Allterra Solar, Zach Davis of the Penny Ice Creamery, and Taylor Darling of Santa Cruz Green Builders were in attendance for the three-day event, which also included a visit to the White House.
The summit drew business leaders and owners from all over the U.S. to discuss topics like employer-sponsored health coverage and how wage increases affect small businesses.
New In Town
This is a new section of Santa Cruz Connected in which we highlight recently opened local businesses in town. Feel free to add any we may have missed in the comments section below.
Humble Sea Brewery – Santa Cruz is becoming quite the hot spot for breweries lately and that trend continued in May. Humble Sea Brewing Co. held its first public tasting at NextSpace downtown. You can read an interview with the founders here.
— Molly Lautamo (@mlautamo) May 23, 2015
Surf City Sandwich – A new sandwich shop popped up in May as Surf City Sandwich opened at the Soquel-end of 41st Ave. In addition to serving gourmet sandwiches and salads, they also have a tap room with a small craft beer selection.
Friends To Follow
If you’re a regular reader of Santa Cruz Connected, you’re probably familiar with Mobile Ranger. They not only publish excellent historical pieces about local places, but they also create apps that will tell you about them–just like having a park ranger in your pocket.
Mobile Ranger on social media:
Santa Cruz Techbeat is the go-to resource for all things Santa Cruz tech. From news, events and interviews to local job openings in tech, you can follow along the emerging local scene as it unfolds.
Santa Cruz Tech Beat on social media:
Ryan Craig Photography
Ryan is simply an amazing photographer, especially when it comes to anything related to a wave, someone riding one, or a beautiful ocean landscape. You can view some of his work here and follow him on social media with the links below.
Best of the Month From Santa Cruz Social Media
An artsy shot of Pacific Avenue at night.
— Valerie Lemke (@FreelanceRoad) May 17, 2015
Downtown Santa Cruz threw it WAY back on a Thursday with this classic picture of Pacific Ave. and Front St. from 1892.
— Reddit Pics (@redditpicsbot) May 11, 2015
Reddit reminds us that there are still deer up at UC Santa Cruz.
— Robert Luquin (@RobertLuquin) May 25, 2015
Memorial Day weekend came and went–and so did a lot of visitors.