• September 2022

    After School Conversations

    Editor’s Note By brad kava It doesn’t seem right to start school before Labor Day, or as many in Santa Cruz know it, weeks before Burning Man. (As a college teacher, I can always tell the ones who miss the first week of school claiming to have been at a funeral or stuck overseas on some secret mission by their desert tans. Busted.) That said, one of the biggest challenges parents face as their youngsters return home from an arduous day of learning is getting them to talk about it. It can be as tough a job as a police person interviewing a suspected murderer trying to get the facts,…

  • July 2022

    Community Kindness

    Editor’s Note By Brad kAva You want to make America great again? How about focusing on kindness? I know, it sounds hippy dippy cliché, but when people put aside business as usual and do great things for each other the world really becomes a better place. It happened to me last week.My engine lights were flashing and the warning signals looked like a missile was pointed at the Starship Enterprise. “Oil pressure low,” it blared. Luckily, I was near the Valvoline in Watsonville, by Target. I coasted in, thinking I just needed an oil change, but no, the oil had all leaked out and even a mechanical dolt like me…

  • Uncategorized

    Yes on D

    Yes on Measure D Keep travel safe for kids and get them off the couch! By brad kava On June 7 Santa Cruz voters will have a chance to build something world class that will bring in tourists, cut down pollution and help locals get fit and travel safely. It will be a 32-mile-long bike, walking and wheelchair path that will wind along stunning beaches, majestic forests and picturesque landscapes between Watsonville and Davenport. It will attract tourists, as do similar well-traveled paths in Santa Monica, San Diego, Sacramento and hundreds of counties across the country that have converted useless rails to useful, joyful trails. It will be the most…

  • May 2022

    Editors Note May 2022

    Editor’s Note By Brad Kava Like so many other readers, we found a camp for our 5-year-old son, Parker, from an article in Growing Up in Santa Cruz. It was a story about an intriguing camp, Thomas Farm Films, which hires movie directors to teach kids how to make films and then makes them on an Aptos organic farm. I was afraid it might be too much for such a young kid. We’d already had a bad experience with a highly recommended preschool, but he hated it. It’s so hard to know what a kid will like. But Parker loved the film camp so much that even though we’d signed…

  • February 2022

    Art in Schools

    Studying the Masters so Young? By Brad Kava When I asked my 5-year-old son what he did in his afterschool program the other day, he said he learned about Monet. “Money?” I ask. “No, Monet, he’s a painter,” he replies. I sent him to the Apple Afterschool program, thinking it was just a place for him to play after school, where they even walked him from his half-day kindergarten class to the nearby center and did the usual crafts, games, and child projects. The next day, a different conversation.“Do you think Frida Kahlo was friends with Monet?” he asks me.I was pretty much stumped on that one but knew they…

  • January 2022

    Editors Note Jan 22

    Editor’s Note By Brad Kava Talk about traumatic. My dog, a 7-month-old standard poodle, ran away for nine hours and I must have walked and driven 20 miles looking for her. It was my fault, as my 5-year-old boy reminded me. I had her on a field and I looked down to answer a text. Next thing, she had run off somewhere around Aptos. I couldn’t believe she could disappear so quickly. After three hours of searching, I got on the internet and put out a call for help on NextDoor. For a while, nothing came back and at noon, while Parker and I were searching, we heard the howls…

  • November 2021

    We won

    Bring Home Awards By Brad Kava Growing Up in Santa Cruz won four big awards in a national contest sponsored by the Parenting Media Association, a trade group that reaches six million family and parent magazine readers each month in the U.S., Canada and Australia. The competition was judged by the journalism department of the University of Missouri. We took top honors for humor, with our wonderful monthly cartoon by Patty Benson. Here’s what the judges said:“This illustrated column uses multiple visual devices as a framework for funny observations that most moms will recognize from their own lives. The approach is hilariously on point as well as entertaining and original.”…

  • November 2021

    Nov 21 Editor Note

    November Editor’s Note By brad kava I’m really afraid the Flat Earthers are winning. You look around social media and at certain websites and you see people who have no clue about science. Some of them throw out 200 years of vaccine study as fake news. Others don’t believe we went to the moon, because of fake YouTube videos. Still more deny climate change, ignoring the fact that we only have 62 miles of atmosphere and claiming that humans can’t affect that limited space. And yes, some are unabashedly saying they think the Earth is flat. Not to mention those– a much larger number than a rational person could possibly…

  • October 2021

    October 2021 Editors Note

    Editor’s Note By Brad kava A kid in our 5-year-old’s kindergarten class at Rio Del Mar Elementary School tested positive for COVID-19 and the school went right into action.All the students in the class had to get tested right away on school grounds and then again several days later. None of them tested positive. That was so reassuring and told me clearly that masks work. When the pandemic started plenty of science deniers claimed kids were losing their freedom by being forced to wear masks and they argued that youngsters didn’t have the discipline to keep their masks on and distance themselves when necessary. I worried about that also. But…

  • August 2021

    To mask or not mask

    Editors’ Note By Brad kava One of the most important stories you’ll read in our Back to School issue is an interview with Faris Sabbah, the man in charge of keeping some 42,000 K-12 students safe. The biggest news from him is that students will have to be masked until at least November when the state will decide if that’s still a requirement. This should be a no-brainer. Medical experts see a second, more contagious wave of Covid sweeping the country and if students are going to be learning in person wearing a mask is a sensible precaution to keeping them and their families safe.But some are challenging Sabbah and…