• July 2021

    Sales Slowing

    Are Real Estate Sales Slowing Down? By Sebastian Frey If you’re in the market to buy or sell a home, you may be paying particularly close attention to the headline news about real estate. If so, you may have seen some news stories about a cooling real estate market. Many of these stories were based off a report from Redfin, showing somewhat declining sales activity, coast to coast. But all real estate is local, so national trends aren’t necessarily reflected in our local real estate market.  But even locally, today we are seeing a modest decline in homes going under contract, and homes sold in June, compared to March, April,…

  • July 2021

    Water Parks

    Getting Back in the Water South Bay Shores Highlights New Water Parks By Erik Chalhoub Growing up, I used to be very timid when it came to trying a different theme park attraction. I was even nervous about riding the Giant Dipper at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, even though I had ridden it many times before.But once I went on my first upside-down roller coaster at age 18 (I was a late theme park bloomer), I haven’t looked back since. I’ll try any ride at least once. I’ve even been on a slingshot-type attraction as well as a “skycoaster” before, no problem.Yet, when I look at the seven-story Shark…

  • July 2021

    Sweetest Job

    A Day-in-the-Life of a Driscoll’s Strawberry by Jeanette Prather The Sensory Panel team at Driscoll’s is composed of seven individuals who went through an extremely specific three-month training for flavor analyzing before moving on to testing and evaluating the berries, is one of the many steps that Driscoll’s takes to ensure that its berries meet the standard of “Only the Finest Berries Who knew that one strawberry could yield hundreds of taste testers, a plethora of scientific analysis, as well as a cascade of careers? For Driscoll’s, the Central Coast’s centuries old and family-owned berry farm, this is not just a far-out question but rather just a day-in-the-life of your…

  • July 2021

    Jenny Putt

    Physical Therapist Jenny Putt Finds Covid Silver Linings by suki wessling Welcome back to our monthly feature of moms who have faced the task of pandemic parenting while also continuing their work in our community. Research has shown that women have suffered greater economic and personal fallout from the pandemic, losing jobs or having to work while also caring for children. “It’s easy to miss so much of your child’s growth and development when you are a working parent, especially self-employed,” says physical therapist Jenny Putt, mom to three-year-old Peyton. “I had no idea what I was missing by working all the time.”That’s Jenny putting a positive spin on the…

  • July 2021

    Musical Baby

    Your Baby’s Brain is Hooked Up for Music By Sue Doherty Babies listen to our unique way of speaking to them, known as motherese or parentese. The distinguishing characteristic is the singsong emotive quality we place on our words. How do a baby’s senses begin to integrate, cooperate, and collaborate in the brain? Amazingly, newborns as young as 2 days old can decipher pitch. Rocking to the beat is innate. István Winkler and Henkjan Honing discovered that babies can detect the rhythmic beat in drumming-infused rock music. They believe that evolution may have favored brains wired to rock for learning purposes, and, he suggests: “music went along for the ride.”…

  • July 2021

    Doula

    Aiming High – Or a New Normal? by Laura Maxson, LM The birth community is breathing a sigh of relief as pandemic restrictions begin to lift. Getting back to normal sounds pretty good after the past year and a half, but why stop at normal? Families will be better served with higher goals – so let’s aim beyond normal. Consider vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC) in Santa Cruz County.(Note: families travel to our county because we have better VBAC options than others.)  Studies show pregnancies following a cesarean should result in a vaginal birth about 70% of the time, with only 30% of attempted VBACs resulting in a repeat cesarean.…

  • July 2021

    Capitola Library

    The New Capitola Library Bringing the Outside In By Suki Wessling The years of fundraising, wrangling over details, and suffering through closure and construction have paid off: the Capitola Library is open and it’s beautiful The years of fundraising, wrangling over details, and suffering through closure and construction have paid off: the Capitola Library is open and it’s beautiful! Melanee Barash, Branch Manager, showed me around before opening day and I was astounded by the thought put into the project, which was designed by architects Noll & Tam. There were several important elements that they wanted to integrate: The old library was comprised of several portables joined together, and thus…

  • July 2021

    Mental Health

    A Focus on Mental Health for South County By Suki Wessling Luckily right now there’s a good amount of funding and will to make mental health a priority. For us, it’s one of those things that we knew could be beneficial, so this is an opportunity for us to do something we’ve always wanted to do, which is to make it more of a primary concern. The pandemic hasn’t spared the southern half of Santa Cruz County, and no one has a wider view of this than professionals who work with families here.“In PVUSD almost twenty percent of students have lost a family member or someone close to them,” says…

  • July 2021

    Home Alone

    Tips for Leaving Kids Home Alone By Nicole M. Young, MSW As a working parent, summer vacation was always a mixed blessing when my kids were younger. It was a relief to have a break from the daily school routine, but figuring out a patchwork quilt of childcare and supervised activities was stressful (and expensive). The older they got, the harder it became to find affordable options that would work for both of them – and not require me to spend half of my working day getting them to and from their different activities. So it was a relief when they were old enough to be left alone, unsupervised –…

  • July 2021

    Reading This Summer

    Reading This Summer More Important than Ever If your child can read, he or she can learn anything. It’s really quite important. So get on the reading bandwagon this summer and let those skills flourish.. Summer is here and it’s time for fun in the sun. Yes. But, many of your children have been through the pandemic mill when it comes to their classroom experiences and they will need extra support to maintain their reading skills.Some children in primary grades have not had “normal” educational direct instruction for two years. While we all applaud the efforts of classroom teachers during this challenging time, even they know the instruction has not…