• December 2020

    2020 Holiday Guide

    To say these holidays are like no other is an understatement, but if there’s one positive thing to come out of this pandemic, it’s the realization that we need to support our neighbors and help each other. As Bookshop Santa Cruz owner Casey Coonerty Protti says, “Amazon doesn’t need your money, our local merchants do.” This is a good time to stop browsing online, support local businesses, find special gifts and explore your community all at once. This gift guide highlights local businesses countywide to help you bring a little piece of Santa Cruz County to your holiday celebrations Aptos Red Apple Cafe – AptosDeer Park Marketplace783 Rio Del Mar…

  • December 2020

    The Nutcracker Must Go On

    The Nutcracker Must Go On Out of the Theater and Into the Parking Lot by sarah hirshland For 13 years running, the students and staff of the International Academy of Dance (IAD) have gifted us with their interpretation of the famous ballet, The Nutcracker, performed every year at the Cabrillo College TheaterThat show has been cancelled because of the pandemic. Now, the troupe has re-imagined what can be done so the show goes on.The students, who range from ages four to adult will be putting on a curbside show. They will perform in a large parking lot at 320 Encinal St. where the audience can watch safely.Shows will be Saturday…

  • December 2020

    Hollyann Dickinson

    Hollyann Dickinson Local Artist My name is Hollyann Dickinson and I am 10 years old. In August, my life turned upside down because I lost my home in Boulder Creek to the Santa Cruz Complex fire. It was the worst day of my life because I lost everything I cared for and many of my friends also lost their homes. I am thankful that we safely evacuated with our dog Rufftin and our bearded dragon Willy. After we evacuated, we moved five times. Everywhere we went, there were really nice people that helped us. We finally settled in Mount Hermon and I met a new friend named Sarah. Everyday I…

  • Vertical portrait of a mixed cheerful family posing at camera
    December 2020

    You Can’t Afford Not to Own a Home in Santa Cruz

    You Can’t Afford Not to Own a Home in Santa Cruz By Sebastian “Seb” Frey In the column I wrote last month for Growing up in Santa Cruz, I shared a lot of information that would-be Santa Cruz homebuyers need to know right now. Yes, the market is hot, and prices are up…but what else is new? I’ve been a Realtor in Santa Cruz since 2003, and while I can say that this market is more difficult for buyers than any market I have known – it’s not that much harder. People – people who are not so different than you – are buying homes every day in Santa Cruz,…

  • December 2020

    Winter Wellness

    Winter Wellness A Different Hustle and Bustle and Self Care goes Double Time! by gretchen heimsoth Here we are! December 2020! We made it! Let’s bring this crazy and intense year to a close! Well done! I know it’s not been easy, and we will have lingering challenges into 2021 and beyond. Administrations change, but we are steeped in the ravages that have been thrust on our environment. Our area felt its layer of trauma this year with the CZU fire. And for many, the trauma is not over. Families are still displaced. Many are not sure if they can or want to rebuild, fears of what will happen in…

  • December 2020

    Boardwalk Rides Reopen, Then Quickly Close

    Boardwalk Rides Reopen, Then Quickly Close Shopping, Dining Areas Still Open at Seaside Park By Erik Chalhoub For just one weekend in Santa Cruz, life was almost back to normal.During Nov. 7-8, the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk became the first amusement park in California to reopen its rides following an eight-month closure due to the Covid-19 pandemic. There were limited options, to be sure, but one couldn’t help but feel hope for the future when stepping into the Giant Dipper’s coaster train for the first time in what seemed like forever. Just a few days later, however, the rides went dark again, indefinitely. How did we get here?California health officials…

  • A pregnant lesbian woman
    December 2020

    Movie Night

    Movie Night By Laura Maxson, LM People are sticking pretty close to home with the recent COVID-19 flareups in our community. Families know the drill by now. Everyone already has a plan in place to safely shop, order food to go, and function in our partially functioning society.One thing that is often missing in this partial lockdown is casual conversation among friends and the opportunity to make new acquaintances. For those currently pregnant, there is no more lingering in the midwife’s waiting room to finish a conversation with someone who has the same due date, comparing childbirth education classes, or setting up playdates for kids. Considering all the lost opportunities…

  • December 2020

    Head Start Perseveres

    Head Start Perseveres Caring for the Children of Those Who Care for the Rest of Us By Suki Wessling “Three-quarters of the folks I work with never used email until May!” exclaims Maria Castro, director of Migrant/Seasonal Head Start, which serves the largely Latino migrant worker community in South County. Head Start, the half-century-old early childhood education program, has strong bipartisan support—a rarity in these times. Castro’s corner of Head Start, which is specifically designed for the migrant worker population, went through a painful transition last spring.“We couldn’t have our traditional monthly meetings and trainings,” Castro explains. Her care providers had to learn Zoom, and Castro had to try to…

  • December 2020

    How The Pandemic Shrunk Our Homes

    How The Pandemic Shrunk Our Homes Families Get Creative To Find Space During The Pandemic By Martin Spierings Lives changed dramatically for Santa Cruz County families when the shelter-in-place order, one of the very first of the nation’s pandemic response, was put into place on March 17. Businesses were shuttered, schools were closed and families were largely confined to their homes. While everyone’s situation was unique, invariably families were spending much more time between their four walls than they had ever anticipated. Homes that were completely empty during the day, because both parents worked and any kids were at school, were now occupied 24/7. How did Santa Cruz families react…

  • December 2020

    You Think Covid-19 Rules are Tough?

    You Think Covid-19 Rules are Tough? Try Being Pregnant and Needing to Pee By Sarah Hirshland  I found out I was pregnant two months into the Covid-19 crisis, and man, oh, man did the universe pick an interesting time to bring a baby into the world. As excited as I am to be carrying my baby girl, I’ve come across unexpected problems.One thing I was not prepared for with Covid in mind…is simply having to pee. I am in my second trimester and currently this takes place every 10 to 20 minutes or so. As a traveling sales person who still does in-person calls, I have urinated in some not…