• September 2020

    Build Your Classroom

    Build Your Home Classroom BY Jhoneé Fillmore As we enter another school year, we may need to be prepared for full or partial distance learning. Do you need some ideas on how to physically set up your “home classroom” in order to make it a feel-good and efficient learning environment, even if this is a temporary setup? You know your child and home best so mix and match ideas that will best suit you and don’t forget that if something isn’t working… mix it up again. Set Up BaseWith some experience from the end of the school year, I suggest setting up a base location for your students. This is…

  • September 2020

    Family Computing Bits

    Family Computing Bits By Luigi Oppido Hello, Everyone! My name is Luigi Oppido, owner/operator of Pleasure Point Computers and the new host of the super-special tech column here in Growing Up in Santa Cruz! Every month we’re going to open up this section to questions that you have about your technology, your computer, your phone, and anything that has an on switch! We will discuss it! You can reach me by email at [email protected] for any of your tech questions! What kind of things are coming up in the new year that will help you with school? What are some of the pitfalls that you can fall into when being…

  • September 2020


    Coping and Recovering After Traumatic Events BY Nicole M. Young, MSW When I started writing this month’s article, the biggest concern for many parents was starting the new school year with distance learning because of rising COVID-19 cases. Families and educators alike were worried about teaching and learning and working from home – or, for many families, wondering how to keep their kids safe during the virtual school day while they had to work outside of the home. It was a daunting challenge only a couple weeks ago, but now it’s been compounded by the devastating effects of the wildfires. My heart goes out to all those who lost their…

  • September 2020

    Baby Photo Contest

    Your baby could be on the cover of our October issue! Sponsored by Beth Lillienthal Postpartum Doula SantaCruzBabyDoula.com see contest rules below You know you have the cutest baby in the world and now you can let the world see. Enter by Sept. 14. We’ll have voting at here Sept. 15-18. One vote per person. Must be under 1 year old and born in Santa Cruz County. ENTER CONTEST

  • September 2020

    September Coloring Page

    September Coloring Page Skavenge Art BY Selena Zontos You can order Skavenge Art’s 43 page book of images to be colored and writings to be pondered. A collection of Selena’s works from the last years put together in the most intentionalal way. This is a book to now be completed by you! Hardwood cover bound together by hand. Heavy weight drawing paper.Order on her etsy shop etsy.com/shop/HealinginNature

  • September 2020

    Selena Zontos

    Selena Zontos Local Artist Santa Cruz Mountains. My work is has been an ever-evolving journey of learning and creating. I continue to be inspired by the mystic nature of the local landscapes and wildlife. The paintings tend to be about our connection to each other and the natural world. I received a Bachelor of Fine Art from San Jose State. My experience there was fundamental in me trusting myself as an artist. From there it took some time before I really found my path in what I call “Living a Life Uncommon.” Making a path where there isn’t one, and trusting the unfolding of it. I now have a gallery…

  • September 2020

    COVID Update

    COVID Program Updates By Zach Friend, Santa Cruz County Supervisor, District 2 As we continue to face health and economic challenges related to COVID-19 many in our community are looking into programs and services to provide assistance. While our community overall is faring better than many portions of the state and country, we’ve seen a significant increase in cases in the last month and also continued high levels of unemployment (or for those that are employed – reductions in hours and pay). Here are updates on some programs and information that might be of interest during this time. Rental Assistance Program Created The Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to provide…

  • September 2020

    Creative Distance Learning

    Creative Distance Learning By Jeanette Prather As the coronavirus pandemic continues to ravage through communities and shuttering human gathering locations like schools, many families are finding themselves at a loss for how to juggle it all. Some parents have gotten creative with intended pod learning, pulling former teachers out of retirement, or even schooling in nature. “After struggling with all of the back-and-forth of what ‘school’ would look like this coming school year, I had decided that no matter what I wanted my son Mason to have, first, a break from me being as his teacher, and second, some kind of social interaction,” said local working mother of two, Devon…

  • September 2020

    Left Behind

    Think this Generation will be Left Behind? Think Again. By Suki Wessling I keep hearing the same thing over and over: Our kids are going to have “gaps.” They’re going to be “left behind.” Permanently scarred. Unable to have a “normal” college education. And it makes me wonder: are we really so entitled that we think a little pandemic can keep our kids down? Here’s a thought exercise:Remember the holocaust generation.Think about what it was like for Jewish kids in Europe. A few common experiences included being hounded by the police, hiding for months or years in basements and attics, being forced into concentration camps, fleeing in the trunks of…

  • September 2020

    COVID Campers

    “COVID Campers” and Bikes in High Demand By Jeanette Prather Maybe you’ve seen it for yourself on the road or read it in a newspaper, but if not, you’re about to be clued in. Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a noticeable surge in RVs (the blanket term meaning ‘recreational vehicle’ and classifying all motorhomes, towable campers, fifth wheel campers, and truck campers) as well as bicycle sales around Santa Cruz and across the nation. “Without a doubt we’ve been feeling the recent surge in RV sales,” said Santa Cruz’s North Bay Ford RV manager Joe Punzi on his way to an RV showing. “It’s always been a challenge…

  • September 2020

    Farm Workers

    Who’s Picking Your Food by frances delgado-chavez Farmworkers face multiple issues: income inequality, hazardous work conditions, and racism. We must advocate for farmworkers to have a living wage, have protective equipment gear, and citizenship paths. All of these social justice issues have come to the forefront due to the global pandemic and wildfires. The first issue is income inequality. It is a known fact that farmworkers do not get paid what they deserve for their arduous labor. The average salary of a farmworker is $12.60 an hour, estimated $26,200 a year.(1) Farmworkers need three to four incomes to afford rent, meaning there are multi-family households. Rent and home prices keep…

  • September 2020,  Uncategorized

    Trail Now

    Forget the Rail, Trail is the Way to Go Now By Brian Peoples It has been a decade since the Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commission bought the Santa Cruz Branch Line. But reserving the rail corridor for a train is preventing the construction of a world-class Santa Cruz Coastal Trail. 10 reasons why the Santa Cruz Coastal Trail should be built NOW: Never-Ending Costly Studies. three train studies conducted over the last five years and costing $2.5 million have proven that a train would not reduce traffic, would cost over $1 billion and would increase adjacent surface-street traffic and congestion. Legal Restrictions. Federal guidelines require that any trail built…

  • September 2020

    Rail and Trail

    The Future of Santa Cruz Rail and Trail Would be Best BY Sally Arnold Clean, Quiet, Modern Rail Can Connect Community, FamiliesAmidst all the losses, inconveniences and parenting challenges inflicted by the pandemic, there have been some positive changes as well. Worldwide air pollution has reduced, more people are using bicycles, and as supplies in the stores are short, we’re learning how to be more efficient with what we have. We also have a window of opportunity now to create a Santa Cruz County that is safer and better connected for everyone who travels to school, work, and play here. We have the opportunity to create a new system of…

  • September 2020

    Locals Fight to Save their Community

    Locals Fight to Save Their Mountain Community by Kevin painchaud and christy shults Since the lightning siege that began on Saturday, August 15, 2020, there have been nearly 14,000 lightning strikes. There have been more than 800 new wildfires during this time period, which have now burned over 1.4 million acres.– CalFire Update August 29, 2020 California’s wildfire season has started early this year, and CalFire is working on all cylinders. The CZU August Lightning Fire was still at 0% containment. Things were looking very dire on August 21, 2020 when photographer Kevin Painchaud interviewed the residents of Bonny Doon holding a protest to get more help for the Santa…

  • September 2020

    Crisis Self Care

    Crisis Self Care Stress Management for Times of Crisis BY gretchen heimsoth Pre-COVID, I had a borderline-religious health regimen. Along with varied exercise 4 to 6 times a week, I followed a plant-heavy, paleo-inspired diet, and did intermittent fasting. COVID hit and it smashed my routine. No spin class, no infrared sauna—my bodywork therapies went out the window.  On top of that, the kids were home nonstop, with the stress of distance learning. I started eating late, my sleep patterns got smashed, I gained a little weight, and I started feeling slow and achy. I had to face the music and create more structure in my life. I felt the…

  • Burn 2 not burn
    September 2020

    Burn to Not Burn

    Burn to Not Burn by jonathan collyer As I write from a rudimentary “office,” having been evacuated from our home near the CZU Lightning Complex Fire, San Mateo and Santa Cruz counties have lost 80,000 acres of forest and some 500 hundred or so structures. Across the state, what is being called “the August Lightning Siege of 2020” has brought the years destruction to 1.4 million acres and the fire season is far from finished.(1) 2020 may break all previous records for acres burned, but those records were set in 2017, 2008 and 2018 respectively. All but three of the “top 20 largest California wildfires have occurred since 2000, with…

  • September 2020

    Wilfire Resources

    Wildfire Resources BY Christy Shults View of the fire from Graham Hill Road in Felton Photo by Kara Capaldo The old-timers and local firefighters always said the San Lorenzo Valley was a tinder box, a fire here would be catastrophic. It has been long since a fire has run through our Valley, but fateful events mark 2020. Our newsfeeds were filled with spectacular imagery of the lightning storm, bolts touching the earth. While we were all in awe, our mountains began to burn, the skies filled with ominous smoke and flickering flames. Our hearts dropped as the evacuations came in. Some families were getting knocks on their doors in the…

  • September 2020

    The First Few Days

    The First Few Days Volunteering with Evacuated Animals by louanne myers Louanne Myers, retired teacher from San Lorenzo Valley USD, wrote down her thoughts about volunteering at the Fairgrounds with two young family members in the days following evacuations from the CZU Lightning Complex fire in the Santa Cruz Mountains. They helped out in the open barns housing goats, pigs, alpacas, llamas, sheep, and a few farm dogs that were staying with their charges. They also gave support in the small animal barns that housed cats, birds, rabbits, chickens, ducks and more. It was difficult to express the deep emotions, strength and compassion of the people, adaptation of the animals…

  • September 2020

    Black Babies’ Live Matter

    Black Babies’ Lives Matter by Laura Maxson, LM The American Journal of Public Health published “Black Lives Matter: Claiming a Space for Evidence-Based Outrage in Obstetrics and Gynecology” in October 2016. This article points out that continuing to document poor outcomes for Black patients and accepting it as a given is not progress. The authors conclude, “Race is a social construct and the overwhelming statistics we present are attributable to a broken racist system, not a broken group of women.” This is a message that Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) need to hear loud and clear; because the message they’ve been told is that they are indeed broken;…

  • September 2020

    Home Learning

    Make Your Home an Ideal Learning Environment by jan pierce You are your child’s first teacher and your home is your child’s first school. You spend a good bit of time every day setting the tone for behaviors, encouraging first steps, and pouncing on those teachable moments to mold your children into the happy and successful people you want them to be. But, are you missing some opportunities to support your child’s learning? Kids will thrive in a home that makes learning a priority and creates the proper balance between direct teaching and “give it a go on your own” kinds of involvement. Every child needs a different blend of…