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Skipping the Web Fantastic

An outing through some of Santa Cruz County's online archives, studios and valleys of dreams

By Mimi Hill

WELCOME TO VIRTUAL PARADISE, your Metro Santa Cruz link to priceless Santa Cruz Web pages. This week we spin through online classes in design, a little history, the countryside and the art studio of a digital master. Sites for consideration can be submitted via email and must either be produced by someone living in Santa Cruz or be in some way about our county.

Walk These Broad, Majestic Days

On June 3, 1995, National Trails Day, Santa Cruz Mayor Mike Rotkin inaugurated the Santa Cruz Circle Trail in a ceremony at Lighthouse Field. The trail is a pedestrian and bicyclist route over public rights-of-way totaling approximately 27 miles and linking the prime natural attractions of the Santa Cruz area. It also includes some of the city's most popular jogging, in-line skating, cycling and strolling trails. The Santa Cruz Circle Trail Guide is online, including a virtual tour of the Circle Trail.

Unknown and Silent Shore

An interesting online version of the history of Santa Cruz County spans the years between 1500 and the 1989 earthquake. One fact that gave me cause for reflection stated that the area suffered through a smallpox epidemic in 1868, and the bridge between Aptos and Santa Cruz was torn out to keep the mid-county residents out of the City of Santa Cruz. That same year, Watsonville village was incorporated and The Pajaronian was launched.

What Thou Art

Soquel-based artist Andrew Shachat has two art-filled Web sites to show off the many directions his art has taken over the past few years. Shachat, an illustrator and painter of national renown, became involved with digital art in early 1996. The combination of Shachat's Painterly Comic style and Fractals software was a perfect alchemical mix, and Shachat has been going wild ever since. The site features paintings, illustrations, a hospital of genetic engineering run by a chimpanzee and the infamous Buddy Jr., Shachat's pet chameleon.

Generous and Free

There are free Web design classes offered at Cabrillo College. This is an offshoot of the Wessling Creative Group, a print and online design company based in San Francisco. Instructor Susana Wessling and crew decided to focus their efforts in Santa Cruz because they were living here and realized that there seemed to be a need for it hereabouts. Their site has two main focuses--to provide info on design in general and specifically about business and online commerce on the Web. Online commerce is still on the edge of how businesses are using their Web sites, but it is certain to become more popular in the near future. The course is sponsored by Cabrillo and the Small Business Development group, and the classes are free through Cabrillo's Business On-line Program.

Mimi Hill is the UCSC Systems and Resource Analyst for the Arts and a computer consultant. For her rates or further information, she can be reached via email or letter at: 111 Union St., SC 95060. Check out the Web page for her upcoming book with Robert Anton Wilson.

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From the March 20-26, 1997 issue of Metro Santa Cruz

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