Chapulines, or fried grasshoppers, could be the new potato chip if they weren’t so hard to find. A Oaxacan delicacy, in Mexico they are sold everywhere from the markets to the finest restaurants. The tasty little critters sporadically find their way north of the border into our local shops, but their presence is hardly advertised—if you want chapulines, you will have to ask for chapulines. Luckily, in the fertile belly of grasshopper season (May-September), it only takes a few inquiries at Mexican markets throughout Santa Cruz and Watsonville to track them down on local soil.
Articles by Maria Grusauskas
If a group of farmers test the runoff in their fields for nitrates but the results are confidential, has the public good been served? This was one of the questions underlying debate at the July 8 meeting of the Central Coast Regional Water Quality Control Board in Watsonville.
Juggling hand-drawn maps and posters, Dipti Bhatnagar and Leslie López leave Watsonville’s Public Library to pack their props and generous snacks into the trunk of Bhatnagar’s sedan. It hardly matters that only a few community members found their way to their Wednesday evening educational workshop on regional water issues—it isn’t their first meeting, and it won’t be their last.
From her boat in Moss Landing, Sarah Graham has seen several gray whales in Monterey Bay this month. But sightings of this majestic animal so late in the migration season are not normal—nor is anything else about this year. “There are not as many large groups of whales coming through the Monterey Bay, and we are seeing a lot of smaller, skinnier animals,” says Graham, who serves as West Coast Director at the California Gray Whale Coalition.
As another summer dawns in Santa Cruz and the boardwalk begins to swell with tourists, the hotel industry is hoping this year will be better than last. It may soon get a leg up from local politicians. On Tuesday, June 15, the Board of Supervisors will make its final vote on the proposed Tourism Marketing District—a separate lodging fee that would be used exclusively by and for the tourism industry to promote tourism in Santa Cruz County. The proposed fee would add an additional $1-1.50 to hotel stays and provide an estimated $1.1 million to the Convention and Visitor’s Council. The idea has already received the thumbs-up from city councils in Santa Cruz, Scotts Valley, Capitola and Watsonville. The supes’ approval would make it official countywide.
Helping to organize an all-day music and arts festival for a hoped-for turnout of at least 3,000 is no easy task. But Nancy Macy has pulled if off before. Sandy-haired and spritely in a “San Lorenzo Valley Redemption Recycling” T-shirt, she speaks enthusiastically about the Redwood Mountain Faire materializing on the near horizon—this Saturday, to be exact.
Although we don’t have to worry about a massive oil leak erupting in our immediate backyards, local waters do not go unharmed by the consequences of petroleum production. Save Our Shores—formed in 1978 to voice community opposition to offshore drilling—continues to fight against one of the unfortunate impacts of global oil dependence: plastic pollution. With slide show.
A few of the goodies to look forward to at the newly expanded downtown market.
Every time Anne Smith washes her kids’ grass-stained sports uniforms, her agapanthus gets watered too. It’s a time-saving, water-conserving trick that may one day become commonplace as more and more people discover the benefits of recycling the household “graywater.
As a small procession made up mostly of university students made its way down Pacific Avenue yesterday, some onlookers were unimpressed.
“Seems pretty meager for a protest,” one man said, watching as a banner passed that read “We are the Budget Cuts.” What he, and perhaps many Santa Cruz residents, didn’t know is that the meager procession had broken off from a group of at least 400 students, faculty and workers who had been picketing since daybreak at the main entrance to UCSC. In a rare coalescence of solidarity between the town and the gowns, the university protest was, in the form of this small group, merging with a community demonstration to save public education.