Making Ence: CrossFit Star Brook Ence’s Constant Evolution

Originally published in Santa Cruz Waves.

Juggling a cup of coffee in one hand and Rigs, her labradoodle, with the other, Brooke Ence faces her camera. It’s outfitted with a furry microphone windscreen and mounted on a flexible tripod with legs that resemble strings of pearls. Ence appears to be the epitome of style, confidence and ease as she shoots a quick video update for social media. The 28-year-old CrossFit legend has an online fan base approximately four times the size of Santa Cruz County’s population: 981,000 Instagram followers and 133,000 YouTube subscribers.

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Skin Deep: The Budding World of Cannabis Topicals

Photo: Esteban Lopez

Originally published in Santa Cruz Waves.

The cannabis plant has a plethora of applications that don’t involve getting high. The two best-known compounds in cannabis, tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD), have anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and pain-relieving effects. When applied topically, THC and CBD bind to receptors in the skin without entering the bloodstream or the brain, which means that they don’t produce the typical psychotropic effects.

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Cruise Ship Confidential

Photo: Nic Coury

Should cruise ships be allowed in marine sanctuaries?

Originally published in The San Francisco Chronicle.

In October 2002, the cruise ship Crystal Harmony anchored outside Monterey Harbor, ferrying more than 900 passengers ashore for the day before continuing on its way to Acapulco, Mexico. Later that night, 14 miles off the pristine coastline of Big Sur, the 790-foot-long ship dumped 36,400 gallons of sewage, gray water and oily waste into the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary.

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