• Ricky Chavez video games
    December 2019

    How I Learned to Make Money Playing Video Games

    How I Learned to Make Money Playing Video Games By Ricky Chavez Many people grew up idolizing movie stars, rock stars and super heroes, but kids today are idolizing an entirely different group of people: gamers.  Because of the outstanding success of a video game streaming website called Twitch, watching people play video games has never been easier and it’s inspired many people, including myself, to play video games for the people to watch, and even make money doing it. The superstars of Twitch like Ninja average around 30,000 viewers per stream, making a full time job out of streaming usually streaming longer than eight hours a day. Ninja has…

  • Santa Cruz gift guide
    December 2019

    Shop Local, Give Local

    Shop Local, Give Local By Natalya Dreszer The Holiday Season is just around the corner, and just because we’re going through a cultural shift trying to question our relationship with excess material possessions doesn’t mean that we can’t indulge in the joy of gift giving! Here are 9 holiday gift ideas that support local artists, local businesses, and sustainability: Pacific Edge  Looking for the perfect gift to tire out a ball of energy for a day? Pacific Edge is a rock climbing gym that is fun and safe for any rock climbing levels, from first timers to world-class professionals (Chris Sharma started at Pacific Edge)! A day pass, 10-time pass,…

  • testing for kids santa cruz
    December 2019

    How Fast is Too Fast? Behind the Teacher’s Desk December 2019

    How Fast is Too Fast? Behind the Teacher’s Desk: December 2019 By Lisa Catterall When children create for the world they make it good. When children create for their teacher they make it good enough. — Rushton Hurley Lately, I’ve been noticing a lot of tears and upset in my students when      it comes to the idea of grades and competition. Teaching at a college preparatory school, I’ve always had a great deal of competition and a fair share of perfectionists in my class. Perhaps I’m just noticing it more. This year I have a lot of what teachers refer to as “early finishers.” Many teaching resources for…

  • teaching gratitude to kids
    December 2019

    Gratitude and the Joy of Giving: Ask Nicole December 2019

    Gratitude and the Joy of Giving Ask Nicole: December 2019 By Nicole M. Young, MSW My Nana (my dad’s mom), taught me about the joy of giving versus receiving. When I was a teen, Nana informed everyone she would continue to give all of us gifts for holidays and birthdays, but that she no longer wanted materials gifts from us. Instead, she asked her adult children and their families to volunteer or make donations as their gift to her. My family bought toys for other children during the holidays, and we loved selecting toys and imagining kids opening their presents. I continued that tradition even after I left home, and…

  • faerie cricket haley brown
    December 2019

    Yes, Virginia, There are Faeries and They are Magic

    Yes, Virginia, There are Faeries and They are Magic By Natalya Dreszer Faerie Cricket brings face painting, giant bubbles, and general whimsy to events of all kinds. She is a “Ground Faerie,” brought to life by Santa Cruzan Haley Brown, 29, a visual and performing artist who addresses disability with her work with children.  “I imagine a ground faerie is any faerie that can’t fly for whatever reason,” Haley says. “It’s an allegory for disability or difference or limitation of any kind.”  Haley has finished the text of her first children’s book, The Ground Faerie. It’s written as a letter from an older ground fairie to a child ground fairie.…

  • brad kava growing up in santa cruz
    December 2019

    Editor’s Note: December 2019

    Editor’s Note: December 2019 ‘Tis the season to say ‘tis the season at the start of every news story, greeting card and podcast.  Cliché much?  We know, we know,  we’re kidding, but you can’t blame anyone for being giddy this season, especially if they have a roof over their heads and a family to share with. We feel so blessed to be able to have some time off work and school to be with the ones we love, even if sometimes preparing for the holidays is harder than our jobs.  It also gives us pause to remember how lucky we are while others are so much less fortunate. That’s one…

  • fall coloring page for kids
    December 2019

    December 2019 Coloring Page

    December 2019 Coloring Page Color this page and send it in and we will pick a winner for two tickets to the Santa Cruz City Ballet Nutcracker at Cabrillo College Dec. 14 and 15. Send your copies by email to [email protected] or in hard copy to Box 3505 Santa Cruz, 95063. Make sure to send your address so we can mail the tickets.

  • dog gift guide santa cruz
    December 2019

    Holiday Gift Guide for Dogs

    Holiday Gift Guide for Dogs By Natalya Dreszer The holiday season is right around the corner and everyone deserves an extra treat – that’s right, it’s time to think gifts for your furry pet! We sat down with a dog expert at Hazeldog to get the best ideas. Hazeldog is a source of information and tools for dog guardians to help them have fulfilling, fun lives with their dogs run by a CTC certified Dog Trainer. Here is a list of some of their favorite holiday gift ideas for you and your dog. The Kong-Wobbler is a go-to intro food puzzle, it’s a durable and dishwasher-safe treat-dispensing toy. Hazeldog suggests…

  • chimney fire safety
    December 2019

    Chimney Fire Safety Tips

    Chimney Fire Safety Tips Fireplaces are dangerous if not kept up By the Fire Safe Council Fall is here and many rural residents are turning to their fireplaces and woodstoves to heat their houses. Dirty chimneys can cause chimney fires, which damage structures, destroy homes and injure or kill people. ​Structure fires related to dirty chimneys may also spread and cause damage to adjacent structures or even ignite a wildland fire. Fireplaces and wood stoves are designed to safely contain wood fires, while providing heat for a home. The chimneys that serve them have the job of expelling the by-products of combustion – the substances produced when wood burns. These include smoke,…

  • holiday learning gifts
    December 2019

    Linking Play to Future Careers: Career Pathways December 2019

    Linking Play to Future Careers Career Pathways: December 2019 By Mary Gaukel Forster The holiday season provides opportunities to give career exploration gifts and to reflect with our children about what toys and games teach us about ourselves. Traditionally, we may think of trucks, dolls, kitchen sets, erector sets or video games.  Here are some conversation starters for all ages, that link play to future careers, and suggestions for toys and games that entertain and teach. Younger Children Parents can help younger children connect their toys and play with skills, interests, and possible careers through questions and conversation. With practice and observation, a parent can encourage career awareness from a…

  • Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk holiday
    December 2019

    Finding the Right Gift for the Thrill-Seeker: Always Amused December 2019

    Finding the Right Gift for the Thrill-Seeker Always Amused: December 2019 By Erik Chalhoub Have a theme park fanatic in your family, but don’t know what to give them for the holidays? You’ve come to the right article. It’s a well-known fact of life that theme parks are an expensive hobby: tickets, season passes, parking, hotels, airfare, etc. are not kind on the wallet. But savvy shoppers looking to give the gift of thrills this holiday season know the who, what, when and where for the best deals. Here are some suggestions that will hopefully make your shopping easier. To Pass or Not to Pass? In a previous column for…

  • santa cruz theater
    December 2019

    Forget Broadway, Catch Some School Plays

    Forget Broadway, Catch Some School Plays By Brad Kava We used to think that you had to handicap school plays, measure them on a different standard, then, say, something you would see in a professional theater. These are just students, after all. Well, two plays we caught last month in Aptos changed our minds about that. When we saw “Carrie” at Cabrillo College, all through the play we assumed it was done by the professionals at Cabrillo Stage. Camrynn Ford as Dora Bailey in “Singin’ in the Rain.” Not so. Most of the actors were students, and we only found that out at the end. It was as tight and…

  • Taj Rodriguez
    December 2019

    He Flies Through the Air with the Greatest of Ease: Extremely Sports December 2019

    He Flies Through the Air with the Greatest of Ease Extremely Sports: December 2019 By Kevin Painchaud Taj Rodriguez, 13, started bouncing on a trampoline when he was 2. Now, he’s a competitive trampolinist who trains at Vargas Academy and placed seventh in the country at the nationals for Trampoline and Tumbling held in Des Moines, Iowa.  The Aptos Junior High eighth grader does Jiu Jitzu and has been a Capitola Junior Guard. He enjoys mountain biking, snowboarding, skating and surfing. KP:  When did you first discover the trampoline?  Taj: When I was 2-years-old I saw my dad on a trampoline and I tried to copy some of the things…

  • labor preparation santa cruz
    December 2019

    Use your B.R.A.I.N.: Birth Matters December 2019

    Use your B.R.A.I.N. Birth Matters: December 2019 by Laura Maxson, LM While classes, books, and a written birth plan make a great foundation, it is not always possible to control what is happening in labor.  Having a plan in mind for decision-making can be a big help in exploring options and feeling empowered by decisions instead of feeling thrown off course.   Used for decades by parents, doulas and care providers, the acronym B.R.A.I.N. is an excellent tool to discuss and explore situations and options that can come up in pregnancy and labor.  The components of B.R.A.I.N. are simple – consider the Benefits, Risks, Alternatives, Intuition and doing Nothing when making…

  • Santa Cruz MAH trains
    December 2019

    Kids Navigate the Rails During Winter Break

    Kids Navigate the Rails During Winter Break By Suki Wessling One of the highlights of Santa Cruz holiday season is the ginormous train set at the Museum of Art & History, where kids can run the trains themselves. The set has been put up for 15 years by a group of devoted train lovers, the Golden State Toy Train Operators.  “I’ve always enjoyed trains,” says Eric Child, 75, one of the group’s founders. “When I was about 6 or 7, I got my first toy train set. As a very small child in San Anselmo I can remember taking the train to catch a ferry over to San Francisco. I…

  • beyond burger santa cruz
    December 2019

    Impossible Burger vs. Beyond Burger

    Impossible Burger vs. Beyond Burger Healthy Eating: December 2019 By Kris Holden The two biggest brands of fake meat, Impossible Burger and Beyond Burger, are all the hype. They are in the news and headlines and displayed on the menus at hundreds of restaurants and fast food chains. The Impossible Burger and Beyond Burger are both highly processed and engineered to replicate meat. They have similar protein amounts to ground beef, but have just as much saturated fat (from the coconut oil) and high sodium. They do offer two to three grams of fiber, where as beef has none. The Impossible Burger has 21 ingredients with the main contents being…

  • environment comic books
    December 2019

    New Movie Villains Want to Destroy People to Save the Environment

    New Movie Villains Want to Destroy People to Save the Environment Comic book movies take a new turn By Jordy Hyman Avengers, Kingsman, Venom, Aquaman: comic book movies almost always have a big bad guy who wants to destroy civilization, but there’s a new trend developing in Hollywood. The villains of these movies want to kill us to save the Earth. We live in an era of entertainment where straightforward heroes are considered poor form and antagonists are written with the utmost empathy. It’s raining coins, cell phones, cameras and stopping some coasters. Photo by EriK Chalhoub So it makes sense that villains need a compelling reason to commit genocide,…

  • board games for families
    December 2019

    Organization=Family Peace During Board Games: Get Organized December 2019

    Organization=Family Peace During Board Games Get Organized: December 2019 By Jhoneé Fillmore Keep Attention My family LOVES to play board games. Our family consists of a seven-year-old boy and a four-year-old boy. I noticed that the amount of time it took to merely setup a board game was using up their attention span and focus needed to play the game.  I decided to create a system that allowed a quick setup. At the conclusion of every game, my family and I take an extra minute to cleanup and the whole family is involved. We have small Ziplocs bags to separate all items in the game such as: character pieces, money, cards,…

  • Jacob's Heart Santa Cruz
    December 2019

    Jacob’s Heart Beats for Santa Cruz

    Jacob’s Heart Beats for Santa Cruz “You Can Handle Anything if you Don’t Have to Handle it Alone” by Kevin Painchaud Every parent’s worst nightmare is finding out that your child has a life-threatening illness. Your entire world is turned upside down. Where do you turn? What do you do? Your child becomes the only thing that matters.  Things like food and bills become secondary. And for those thousands of residents in our community that do not have the financial means to take time off work to focus on their child, life seems insurmountable. Teacher T. Jesse Rile. Photo by Jules Holdsworth. This is the reality for many folks in…