Traci Hukill

Staff Writer

Save Our Shores’ Anti-Plastic Ambitions

A piece of plastic is a marked man with these eco-warriors around. (Chip Scheuer)

It’s impossible to sit in a room with Save Our Shores’ tiny staff and stay morose about the future of the planet. They’ve become expert at pulling kung fu moves against ocean pollution, using the pressure points of local laws to change widespread and damaging human behaviors. Just five people strong, they’ve managed to get Styrofoam banned in all but one coastal city between Santa Cruz and Carmel, installed 24 cigarette butt dispensers around the bay and mobilized 10,000 volunteers a year for weekly beach cleanups from Big Sur to Half Moon Bay.

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Montessori Charter Advocates Drop Controversial Video

The cartoon video 'Montessori Madness' has become a flashpoint, angering defenders of public schooling.

Nobody’s born with political acumen. It develops, often painfully, from the experience-driven discovery that something you just did pissed off a lot of people. Which might resonate with the organizers of a group called the Maria Montessori Charter School Families. They’ve learned firsthand, at their own pace (in a very Montessori way, you might say), a hard lesson about selling their concept for a charter elementary school to public school officials. Namely: First beware of insulting them.

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In The Heart of Africa

From the film 'Kadoma.'

Hendrik Coetzee was not a man easily dominated. After he led the first expedition from the source of the Nile in Uganda to the Mediterranean—a 4,100-mile trip he undertook in 2004 to show the humanitarian situation in that part of the world—some people griped that he hadn’t started at the true source of the storied river. The next year he traveled the extra 465 miles from Kagera to Lake Victoria to silence his critics.

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Song of The Colorado River

Photo by Pete McBride

In a sense, photographer Pete McBride has been preparing to make Chasing Water all his life. Raised on a cattle ranch in central Colorado, he grew up working hay fields irrigated by the snowmelt that carved the Grand Canyon and slaked the thirst of the Southwest. “I often used to think about water,” he says in the film. “I wondered how much went into our fields and how much returned to the creek… I wondered how long it would take irrigation water to reach the sea.”

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Sex For (Non) Dummies

Coy title.

When I go to the mall or the Boardwalk, I like to get a chocolate-dipped banana. It’s a treat that tastes like dessert, but underneath that thin layer of candy coating it’s actually food, with real live food-type benefits like nutrients and enzymes. The sex book that landed on my desk last week, Great In Bed: Thrill the body… blow the mind (DK Publishing, $21.95), is like that chocolate-dipped banana.

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