• plastic use santa cruz
    February 2019

    Taking the Plastic Free Challenge: Green Living February 2019

    Taking the Plastic Free Challenge: Green Living February 2019 By Suki Wessling When my kids were young home- schoolers, we spent a lot of time with a group of families that did activities together. One of the families that immediately caught my attention was the Panttaja family of Santa Cruz—mom Melody, dad Jonathan, and kids Gloria and Corey. Not only were Melody and the kids doing car-free homeschooling (quite a challenge in our spread-out county), but the family had taken a challenge to live life as free of disposable plastic as possible. In this age of Amazon.com and triple-wrapped everything, that’s quite a challenge. What follows is a conversation I…

  • precycling in santa cruz
    February 2019

    What is Precycling: Green Tips February 2019

    What is Precycling? Green Tips February 2019 By Meredith Keet, founder of The Zero Shop I’m calling it now…Precycling is going to be the new buzzword of 2019, to sit alongside single-use as the word of the year from 2018. So what is it? Well, in- stead of purchasing an item and then figuring out whether it belongs in the re- cycling or the ol’ landfill bin, precycling is the act of considering where that item will end up before you’ve purchased it. While grocery shopping, you may be faced with two different types of pack- aging for the same item. As someone who precycles, you may pick up each…

  • career advice in santa cruz
    February 2019

    Career Pathways: February 2019

    Career Pathways: February 2019 By Mary Gaukel Forster How often were you asked, or did you ask a young person, “what do you want to be when you grow up?” From the time he was 2 1⁄2 my own grandson, answered, “a firefighter”. How did he come to that decision at that young age? Curious, I began to think that choosing a career is like choosing a travel destination and finding the path there. How did I decide that I wanted to climb Half Dome? Was it pictures, a friend’s story, a documentary, seeing the massive granite hump on a family visit to Yosemite? Photo by Brad Kava HAMMERIN’ Ponderosa…

  • finding a preschool in santa cruz
    February 2019

    Preschool Search Checklist and Vocabulary

    Preschool Search Checklist and Vocabulary By Jan Pierce Pre-School Visit Checklist (answer yes or no) Quality pre-schools will have printed material for you to study in making your school choice. Do the stated learning goals match mine? Do the goals address all areas of my child’s development including social play, control of emotions, language skills, learning letters and numbers, engaging in science, art and physical development? Am I comfortable with the school’s discipline policies? Is the school licensed by the state? Is it accredited by a national association like the NAEYC? Does the lead teacher have a Bachelor’s degree or certification in Early Childhood Education? Are support workers trained? Is…

  • santa cruz preschools
    February 2019

    Some Tips for Finding the Right Preschool for Your Family

    Some Tips for Finding the Right Preschool for Your Family By Jan Pierce When it’s time to search for the perfect preschool for your little one, you want to be sure you’re making the right decision. If you’re lucky enough to have friends who’ve done their research and are happy with their choice, you’re fortunate. You’ll have first-hand recommendations. Be aware of the difference between daycare and a functioning preschool. Daycare facilities provide custodial care, but don’t usually offer an educational curriculum. Daycares often take children of all ages and offer extended hours. A preschool usually has limited hours and may or may not offer before and after school care.…

  • family court santa cruz
    February 2019

    Stay Civil: How to Get a Judge to Issue an Order You Like

    Stay Civil: How to Get a Judge to Issue an Order You Like By Bob Derber The feedback from last month’s column was incredible. There are divorced parents who do collaborate! It’s so important for the kids. We welcome Judge PaulMarigonda, one of our two Family Court judges, to the column. He will contribute information from theother side of the bench. Last month we stressed that it is best to reach a parenting agreement with your ex rather than ask the court for a decision. That is critical. But, if you must ask a judge for help, be careful! Our judges have hundreds of cases every month. Santa Cruz has…

  • bike riding in santa cruz
    February 2019

    Valentine’s Day Special: How I Fell in Love with Biking

    Valentine’s Day Special: How I Fell in Love with Biking By Karen Kefauver I enjoy seeing kids’ fascination with bikes. Sometimes when I’m downtown locking my sparkly purple bike to the rack, I’ll spot a toddler tugging on a parent’s hand, veering towards me on the sidewalk, trying to get a closer look at my mysterious, two-wheeled contraption. While they’re transfixed, I’ll spin the wheel and ring the bell for their added delight. Makes me smile every time. I was once that little kid. Although I can’t remember precisely when I fell in love with cycling, it’s been decades. RIDIN’ ROMANCe riding with a pack of friends in the santa…

  • Branciforte Middle School and Harbor High music band
    February 2019

    A Band Revival

    A Band Revival Led By One Energetic Teacher, The Branciforte Middle and Harbor High Bands Come Back from the Brink By Suki Wessling Nick Bianchini, band teacher at Branciforte Middle and Harbor High School in Santa Cruz, stands to the side as his band students perform. The Multi-Purpose Room at Harbor is filled to capacity. At the front of the room, horns, woodwinds, percussion, and strings cram into a space built for much smaller gatherings. An enthusiastic audience perches on chairs and benches and applauds each of the combos from Harbor and Branciforte. Someone who stumbled in from the outside might think that the bands were part of a long-running…

  • standardized tests santa cruz
    February 2019

    Your Letters and Thoughts: February 2019

    Your Letters and Thoughts: February 2019 Please send your opinions to [email protected] Square Pegs, Round Holes As a parent of three teenage children, one graduating high school this year and two others closely following, our family has been navigating the world of standardized testing – SATs, PSATs, ACTs, subject tests and more. I am glad to see some thoughtful research and attention being given to what the results of these test mean. After my elder son’s last planned SAT he expressed relief that the “testing” was over now. That started an interesting family discussion about how in many careers and jobs the testing will not be over. Standardized testing has…

  • tips for pediatric dentists
    February 2019

    How Does a Pediatric Dentist Keep His Fingers and His Sanity?

    How Does a Pediatric Dentist Keep His Fingers and His Sanity? Keeping Dentistry Weird By Patrice Keet How do you keep your cool and your huge, winning smile when you have little kids screaming; plus parents that are anxious, and all the usual demands that go with running a business? I wanted to find out what makes pediatric dentist Seth Reder tick and why he and his wife, Andrea, teamed up to start their own local business, Capitola Kids Dentistry off 40th Avenue. Andrea and Seth moved to Santa Cruz seven years ago. They have two daughters: Norah, 2, and Maeve, 1. “I come from a long line of dentists…

  • KSQD radio show santa cruz
    February 2019

    New Squid on the Block

    New Squid on the Block The New Radio Station KSQD Will Have Programming for Kids and Parents By Omar Guzman After years of work, a group of community volunteers is about to fulfill their dream of starting a new, local community radio station. KSQD at 90.7-FM, nicknamed K-Squid, with some staff who were previously at the much heralded and long defunct KUSP. The long-awaited ribbon cutting will be Feb. 15 at 2 p.m. at 399 Encinal. NEW WAVES after years of work, more than 100 volunteers have put together a community radio station that will open Feb. 15 at 90.7 Fm. There will be cake and local dignitaries including state…

  • bathtime tips for kids who hate shampoo
    February 2019

    When Soap Gets In Their Eyes

    When Soap Gets In Their Eyes By Brad Kava Despite the claims of baby shampoos not to irritate children’s eyes, bath time was a horror for our 2-year-old until we discovered the baby bath visor. Whatever we did, he wanted nothing to do with having his head shampooed. Soap always got in his eyes and he hated it. Photo by Brad Kava Now, with the visor, he loves baths and doesn’t mind the once-annoying shampoo. As much as we wish we could get everything we need locally, we got this on Amazon, made by Danyoun and sold for a whopping $2.22. There are others listed there that are more ex-…

  • labor breathing techniques
    February 2019

    Take a Breath: Birth Matters February 2019

    Take a Breath: Birth Matters February 2019 By Laura Maxson, LM There is nothing more basic than breathing. We’ve been breathing all our lives mostly without giving it a second thought. That can change as pregnancy progresses.  Even in the early weeks, the body demands more oxygen and begins to make room with some changes in the lungs. The diaphragm moves up a bit right away and some women can experience shortness of breath at this early stage. As the weeks progresses, the rib cage widens and almost like wings, the rib cage spreads itself up and out from the sternum. This gives the lungs more room as the baby grows…

  • kathleen crochetti public art santa cruz
    February 2019

    Student Artwork Goes Public

    Student Artwork Goes Public Kathleen Crocetti and her Students Collaborate on Public Art Projects By Elaine Ingalls The Water Street and Soquel Av- enue Bridges are more than a route of travel, thanks to Kathleen Crocetti and her students. They are art. Crocetti has been the lead artist for 20 public art projects in Santa Cruz, including mosaics on the Water Street Bridge and the Soquel Avenue Bridge. Her students have worked on 16 of these projects. The Water Street Bridge features endangered species of the San Lorenzo River. She made mosaics with her students in class and took walking field trips to install them. Crocetti teaches sixth, seventh and…

  • amusement park safety tips santa cruz
    February 2019

    Dangers Imagined and Real: Always Amused February 2019

    Dangers Imagined and Real: Always Amused February 2019 By Erik Chalhoub You’ve loaded the family in the car, driven a few hours, and you’ve gotten through the main gate. All that built-up excitement and anticipation upon entering a theme park can be overwhelming, especially for younger children: which ride do you hit first? What time do the shows start? Where should we get lunch? But, you should be focusing on one thing above all else: safety first. Sorry to be a buzzkill. From all my years visiting theme parks, I’ve seen some crazy things, all of which were the fault of the guest, not the park. I’ve seen kids dive…

  • smartphones santa cruz
    February 2019

    Reporting Issues to the County From your Smartphone

    Reporting Issues to the County From your Smartphone: County Scoop February 2019 By Zach Friend, County Supervisor With the recent rains, roadway issues (including potholes) are starting to pop back up. Additionally, non-emergency tree trimming needs, sign damage and more become more common.Did you know that many of these issues, and more, can be reported directly from your smartphone through the County’s free Citizen Connect mobile app? Available for download on iTunes and Google Play (or right from the county’s website – santacruzcounty.us), the app connects residents to their government through smart phones and other mobile devices, allowing you to report issues and receive updates on the status of these…

  • healthy habits ask nicole february 2019
    February 2019

    Teaching Kids Healthy Habits: Ask Nicole February 2019

    Teaching Kids Healthy Habits: Ask Nicole February 2019 By Nicole M. Young MSW My family loves food. Our activities revolve around where and what we plan to eat for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and all the snacks in between. We try to eat healthy foods more often than not, but we have our guilty pleasures – the foods we love and shouldn’t eat too much of but end up overdoing it anyway. Mine is cheese.  Most of the time it’s not an issue, but when my kids were on a recent break from school, we all spent more time eating, looking at screens, and lounging around. It was fun while it…

  • letter from the editors GUISC Feb 2019
    February 2019

    Letter from the Editors: February 2019

    Letter from the Editors: February 2019 Dear Readers, It’s almost a reflex: we see a couple with a toddler and the question pops out. Where are you going to send them to preschool? We feel like ants, rubbing antennae to exchange information. Are they nice? What do they teach? Are they strict? Are they fun? Do the kids love it? Do they enjoy it? Is there food? Is there diversity? Is it multilingual? We’ve heard tales of one preschool where the owner never looked up from a cell phone during the entire drop off. That one is out of business, to no one’s surprise. Then, there’s one where the teacher…