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I knew I wanted to write about Jordan Graham long before I saw his film. The behind-the-scenes story of how the 28-year-old Graham, who was born and raised in Santa Cruz, made and sold his feature film Specter absolutely fascinated me. Relying on only a close circle of friends from his time at Santa Cruz High, and taking the idea of “found footage” film to a previously unheard of level, Graham has obsessed over every detail for three years now—and it paid off.

But it’s more than that; meeting him in person sealed the deal. Self-critical to a fault, Graham paradoxically is so confident in his ability, and so willing to devote his waking (and probably sleeping) life to his art, that he pulled this movie through long after most of us would have given up.

He’s anxious to get going on his next movie, too (which will also be filmed in the Santa Cruz area)—check out the story to see how you can support the Indiegogo campaign for his next effort, Valley of Exile.

Steve Palopoli | Editor-in-Chief



Better Get This Party Started
Great article by Sven Davis on preparing for the inevitable. Often the serendipitous nature of life provides us with hints and clues for necessary action. Sven’s article was just one of these serendipitous messages (and, of course, the fact that I am bumping up against a noteworthy birthday).

Thanks Sven, your balanced article peppered with laugh-out-loud humor gave me the courage and inspiration to begin the process of creating my own end-of-life wishes, and to move the task from my dusty long list of to-do’s to the current list of important now. On to declaring my personal preferences for who should get what—and of course the party planning! Oh, what a memorial it should be.
—Kathy McCabe | Santa Cruz

Almost Humanure
Re: “Down the Drain”: Let’s allow and require compost toilets! I built my own compost toilet and used it for five years harvesting our humanure back into the garden after letting it compost for one year! I had five rotating piles. The city said it was illegal. My pickiest son said he preferred pooping in the compost toilet as it was cleaner than soiling our drinking water. How smart!

Sonora County is preparing to allow compost toilets. We need to require them just as we began requiring low-flow toilets 10 or more years ago. Imagine the gallons saved with no more toilet flushing. 60,000 people times 2 gallons per day (minimum) equals 120,000 gallons per day not used.

And send the greywater into a tank that would be used for the flushing toilets and garden.

These are simple solutions being used already by many, and if we put our heads together and created a foolproof program we could turn things around quickly. Rebates for compost toilets and credits for reduced water usage. Figure out the win-win like we have for solar.
—Claudine Desiree | Santa Cruz

Re: Heart of Glass
Peter and I were roommates in a large Victorian house in San Jose when he was a “mere” psychology major at SJSU. As the saying goes: you’ve come a long way, baby!
—Kathleen Burnham

Re: Michael Bryant
KZSC will miss Michael for sure. He has been instrumental in making the station the success it is. But one benefit might be that I get to visit with him on my home turf! More WikiWiki Wednesdays!
—Don Mussell

Re: Foodie File: Your Place
Your Place has the best food around.  I just want to eat there all of the time! The atmosphere is homey in the morning and early day,  yet fun at the same time. Then at night, it is hustle and bustle dinner rush, [with] full bar. Yet still fun and homey! How do they do it?
—Sara M.

Letters Policy
Letters should not exceed 300 words and may be edited for length, clarity, grammar and spelling. They should include city of residence to be considered for publication. Please direct letters to the editor, query letters and employment queries to [email protected] All classified and display advertising queries should be directed to [email protected]  All website-related queries, including corrections, should be directed to [email protected]

photo contestfotocont

YOU OTTER KNOW It may take more than one look to realize this red-eared slider turtle is actually sitting on a sculpture, in the  photographer’s backyard pond in Watsonville. Photograph by Bob Gómez

Submit to [email protected] Include information (location, etc.) and your name. Photos may be cropped. Preferably, photos should be 4 inches by 4 inches and minimum 250 dpi.

good work

Fruitful Talk
If you want your fruit tree to take care of you and feed you yummy snacks, you need also to take care of it. A summer pruning workshop is the perfect place to learn about preserving the desired size, health and productivity of your fruit tree. This workshop is Saturday, July 26 at the UCSC farm. To buy tickets and learn more, visit http://summerprune.bpt.me.

good idea

Studies Pay Off
Michael Ursell, a UCSC alum, has been named a public fellow for the American Council of Learned Societies. Ursell, also a UCSC visiting assistant literature professor, will go to Los Angeles to become a case manager for Zócalo Public Square, a not-for-profit organization that blends live events and humanities journalism.


“If I fail, the film industry writes me off as another statistic. If I succeed, they pay me a million bucks to fly out to Hollywood and fart.”  — George A. Romero

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