• recycling plastic bags santa cruz
    February 2020

    Avoiding Plastic Bags: Green Tip February 2020

    Avoiding Plastic Bags Green Tip February 2020 By Meredith Keet Americans throw away 100 billion plastic bags annually.  That’s 307 bags per person per year!  Recycling for these bags was estimated to be around a measly 1%.  With plastic bag bans becoming more prevalent, you may be finding it easier to avoid them, but for most of us there may be places where we are finding them hard to avoid.  Here are a few suggestions that may help you skip the bag then next time around:  Trash Bags: Composting is key! Once you eliminate all that yucky food waste from your trash you’re left with very little (if anything) that…

  • Vincent Bottini
    February 2020

    Jazz Isn’t Dead; It’s Alive and Well in SLV

    Jazz Isn’t Dead; It’s Alive and Well in SLV By Christina Wise Boulder Creek’s Vincent Bottini, comes from a family where musical talent runs deep. Vincent’s mom, Celina, is the lead singer for a Santa Cruz punk rock band called SA90; dad Steve spent years playing Latin percussion, but has picked up the guitar; Vincent’s grandfather plays trumpet, and helped found the Saratoga Big Band, and now 14-year-old Vincent is following in his family’s footsteps. The San Lorenzo Valley High School freshman is finding his stride with jazz piano, and learning a lot along the way. “I enjoy listening to other musicians who inspire me,” says Bottini. Influencers include Thelonious…

  • organizing passwords
    February 2020

    Passwords, Logins, Accounts…. Oh My! Get Organized February 2020

    Passwords, Logins, Accounts…. Oh My! Get Organized: February 2020 By Jhonee Fillmore It can be really overwhelming to keep track of all of your accounts. So many accounts must be created for various areas of your life or on behalf of your family members.  Just when you get use to using the same few passwords for everything and feeling pretty sane, a couple of new accounts require you to have passwords with “their” requirements. Therefore, more passwords are born in your life. And let’s not forget to mention the logins for your accounts. Some logins are your email address, but wait… which email address? Or was this the account that…

  • eating to beat the winter blues
    February 2020

    Eating to Beat the Winter Blues: Healthy Eating February 2020

    Eating to Beat the Winter Blues Healthy Eating: February 2020 By Gretchen Heimsoth Right around this time in the new year- after all the hustle and bustle and stress from the holidays is finished, (and hopefully the decorations are put away!) we can come to a pause after all the festivities where we can feel a lull in energy and focus, as well as low mood and motivation. Shorter days/less sun, chilly and rainy days all add up and can express in a syndrome known as Seasonal Affective Disorder or SAD. SAD can affect all age ranges. Children pent up inside when they would otherwise be running around expending energy…

  • baby dentist santa cruz
    February 2020

    Taking Care of Tiny Teeth: Baby’s First Visit to the Dentist

    Taking Care of Tiny Teeth Baby’s First Visit to the Dentist By Primavera Hernandez, Senior Health Educator, Santa Cruz County Health Services Agency It seems to happen overnight. One day your baby is giving you the most delicious gummy smile and the next day, as your baby grins lovingly at you, you notice the white speck of their first tooth! This is a milestone worthy of their baby book and a visit to the dentist!  If your baby does not have teeth by their 1st Birthday it is still a good time to take them to the dentist for their first check-up. Why so early? The American Academy of Pediatrics…

  • waldorf school tree planting
    February 2020

    One Tree at a Time: Green Family Living February 2020

    One Tree at a Time Kids Who Plant Together Save the Planet Together Green Family Living: February 2020 By John Louis Koenig It was more than just a day in the park on a Wednesday for hard working kids from Santa Cruz Waldorf School, as 5th graders helped to plant 25 trees, oaks and maples, as part of Waldorf’s goal of planting 100 trees this school year.  “The kids had a blast,” said Leslie Keedy, said City of Santa Cruz Urban Forester and supervisor of the day’s tree planting at University Terrace Park near UCSC.  Keedy has been demonstrating to young and old how to plant trees as volunteers help…

  • art for kids santa cruz
    February 2020

    Get Artsy With It

    Get Artsy With It Twelve Benefits of Exposing Your Children to Fine Arts By Jan Pierce As our school classrooms become more and more focused on reading and writing excellence, our children may be missing out on some of the most important skills they can learn—appreciation of and active participation in the arts! Fine arts can include much more than drawing and painting. They include music and drama. They encompass many kinds of artistic expression such as working with clay, creating mosaics, three dimensional paper creations, puppetry and making mobiles. They include photography, cooking, flower arrangement—any activity in which self-expression bursts forth. Children naturally love to engage in art projects.…

  • santa cruz judges
    February 2020

    These Judges Judge Your Kids

    These Judges Judge Your Kids By Bob Derber In a January GUiSC article, “Judges Matter”, author Annrae Angel was spot on: our Family Court judges impact Santa Cruz every day and in significant ways.  Their decisions touch our basic fabric – family structure and the protection of our children when parents are in conflict. We are fortunate to have two ‘bench officers’ who are not just legal scholars.  They bring significant life-experiences to the court.  They are judges Paul Marigonda and Kim Baskett. Most divorcing parents don’t hire attorneys, and they often appear before these judges to ‘make a call’ when they cannot agree upon a matter.  The two parents…

  • Nor Cal Flag Football Robert Foster
    February 2020

    Touchdown for our Community: Extremely Sports February 2020

    Touchdown for our Community: Extremely Sports February 2020 Sports Helped Save Robert Foster; Now he’s Helping Kids do the Same Extremely Sports February 2020 By Kevin Painchaud Gratitude, inspiration, purpose and family.  These are the characteristics that flag football has brought to the life of the Aptos resident Robert Foster.   Being born and raised in the San Jose area, life was not easy for Robert.  His parents were high school sweethearts and were only 17 years old when Robert’s mom got pregnant with Robert. Being so young, Robert’s mom and dad tried and failed to make it work.  Robert’s dad moved to Texas and his mom ended up moving…

  • multitasking foster parenting santa cruz
    February 2020

    Doing It All (Even When You Can’t): Foster Parenting

    Doing It All (Even When You Can’t) Foster Parenting By Amanda Firth This is part of a short series about Foster Parenting and Adoption in Santa Cruz County. Proper names in the story have been changed for the privacy and protection of the children involved. The doctor was looking mostly at his computer screen, throwing me information while typing. “You’ve missed her last two appointments at the High Risk clinic. That is where you need to go if you want her to get more services.” I wasn’t there to get services. My diaper bag is from Kmart because I’m frugal and my clothes were a little dirty from a busy…

  • santa cruz affordable housing
    February 2020

    Making it Easier to Build Accessory Dwelling Units: County Scoop February 2020

    Making it Easier to Build Accessory Dwelling Units County Scoop: February 2020 By Zach Friend, County Supervisor, District 2 Throughout California there are discussions about how to address the significant affordable housing crisis. Recent studies on home affordability have shown that in coastal communities like ours less than a quarter of people earn enough income to be able to purchase a home and many can’t afford rising rents. Grandparents watch as their kids and grandkids move away as they are unable to deal with the cost of living.  There is no question that housing costs in Santa Cruz County are one of the biggest challenges facing our residents – especially…

  • Mothers’ Milk Bank of San Jose
    February 2020

    Share the Love: Birth Matters February 2020

    Share the Love Birth Matters: February 2020 By Laura Maxson, LM Share the Love seems an appropriate theme for a Valentine’s Day milk drive! Life-saving human milk is truly a gift of love from one family to another.  The County’s Breastfeeding Coalition is sponsoring this event for The Mothers’ Milk Bank of San Jose so the community can learn more about donor milk and its recipients.  The Mother’s Milk Bank supplies donor milk to hospitals and Neonatal Intensive Care Units (NICU), and to some babies on an outpatient basis.   Our local breastfeeding rates are some of the highest in California, meaning we should have an abundance of potential milk donors. …

  • santa cruz classrooms
    February 2020

    Who Runs the Class, Teachers or Students? Behind the Teacher’s Desk February 2020

    Who Runs the Class, Teachers or Students? Behind the Teacher’s Desk: February 2020 By Lisa Catterall Ego is a room where you just try to get everything on your own terms. – Pema Chodron  In the days leading up to vacations, I often have students come in and immediately ask if they can please have a break rather than learning anything. “Can we just watch a movie today instead of class?” “Can we lie on the floor and sleep for this period instead of doing the quiz?” “Can we go for a hike instead?” This one might be unique to holding school on 300+ forested acres, but I’m not sure.…

  • social media theme parks
    February 2020

    Getting Social with Theme Parks: Always Amused February 2020

    Getting Social with Theme Parks Always Amused February 2020 By Erik Chalhoub Love it or hate it, social media is a world-changing phenomenon that has changed society for better or worse. It’s definitely made it better for us theme park fanatics. It was hard to imagine just 10 years ago how active parks would be on social media today. At the turn of the last decade, many parks seemingly created accounts on various social media platforms just to claim ownership of a handle (i.e. @cagreatamerica), and rarely did they post anything beyond a ticket sale or advertise an upcoming event. Now, however, social media has become an essential part of…

  • losing a child santa cruz
    February 2020

    A Mother’s Grief

    A Mother’s Grief Losing a Child By Erin Beck Maver Yesterday at the gym, I saw one of the nurses who helped deliver Phoenix. She gave me the most heartfelt hug, and in an instant it all came flooding back.  I’ve been struggling recently; the holidays were shockingly difficult. On the one hand, I was trying feverishly to absorb each precious moment and feel the joy. On the other hand, every moment felt like a loss– a magical experience that wasn’t as I’d expected or hoped. I missed Phoenix acutely. It was just so much. Since the New Year I’ve been on a “self improvement” kick–healthy food, zero alcohol, reading…

  • santa cruz teachers
    February 2020

    Local Teachers are Hungry, Homeless and Leaving

    Local Teachers are Hungry, Homeless and Leaving What can we do to keep our teachers local? By Suki Wessling LL teaches Transitional Kindergarten full-time for a Santa Cruz public school. For six weeks, she had to live in her car. Cate and Jon felt like they were just throwing their rent money into a hole in the ground, but they don’t have family who could help with a down payment in our expensive real estate market. The president of Cabrillo College, Matthew Wetstein, is still renting, unsure whether he’ll be able to buy a home. Welcome to the teacher’s life….in Santa Cruz County, at least. It used to be that…

  • Brad Kava
    February 2020

    Editor’s Note February 2020

    Editor’s Note February 2020 Can you imagine working all day teaching school kids and then spending your nights in a car because you can’t afford a home in Santa Cruz? Or having to work at night driving an Uber after a day in school? Those are the kinds of stories writer Suki Wessling uncovered in her article about teachers struggling to survive in Santa Cruz. It’s shocking and just so wrong. Why aren’t teachers paid enough to make rent or own a home, while athletes are paid like kings? It makes not sense. Who is more important to your family’s future, the one giving your children skills to survive and…