• November 2022

    Should we R-E-S-P-E-C-T respect?

    I can hardly express the joy I felt when my 6-year-old-son, Parker, won an award for being respectful at an assembly after his first month of first grade. What parent doesn’t burst with pride for any of their children’s accomplishments? But that night, I tuned in Bill Maher’s show and heard him lament that we give our children too many participation awards and make them feel entitled for the rest of their lives, regardless of their actual accomplishments. Now Maher knows as much about raising kids as I do about splitting atoms, but he was echoing the conservative platform that schools and teams now reward students just for showing up.…

  • August 2022

    Missing Van

    Editor’s Note By Brad Kava The school year is starting out sadly at Watsonville’s Pajaro Valley High School. The school’s only van—a beloved seven-passenger Ford, nicknamed “Grizzly Van” — was stolen from the campus in July.he white van was a fixture for the 1,650-student school, transporting classes, special ed students and athletes to events. It was last used on a Saturday to take members of the football team to Monterey for training. The next day it was gone. “At first I felt disbelief,” says Athletic Director Joe Manfre. “Nobody is going to steal a van from a high school. We’re across the freeway from most people and you have to…

  • March 2022

    March 2022 Editor’s Note

    Fentanyl Epidemic Hits Home By Brad KAva We had a tragedy in the Growing Up in Santa Cruz family—the son of one of our longtime sales executives, Sophie Véniel, died of a fentanyl overdose. The incredibly dangerous and increasingly popular drug was secretly put on what looked like prescription medicine. It’s devastated us all. But in the tradition of journalism, it got us asking questions. Why is this happening? How often is it happening? What can we do about it? Writer Suki Wessling got answers and suggestions for help and you can read them in this issue. As a stepparent to two teens, it got me thinking. What should I…

  • December 2021

    Editor Note Dec 2021

    Editor’s Note by brad kava We’re about to flip the page on 2021 and while it’s been a tough year for many, there are some good things to celebrate. We love those little libraries sprouting up all over town outside people’s homes. It’s such a great way to give back. We also love the food libraries we’ve seen at places such as Leo’s Haven. Left to their own devices people will do good works and that’s reason to celebrate. Over in Scotts Valley we caught a plant library! “Need a plant? Take a Plant. Have a Plant? Leaf a Plant,” it says. “Sharing is caring,” my kindergartner says.The holidays are…

  • September 2021

    Editors Note Sept 21

    Editors’ Note September 2021 When we heard carmaker Hyundai had a commercial for a new model SUV/truck called the Santa Cruz, we were leery. How would they depict our town and would it be so commercialized we’d want to gag. Then we saw Jimbo Phillips in the ad and we knew they knew the essence of the town. They picked the right guy, an artist who mixes the Keep Santa Weird vibe with a wholesome family life. And then we knew that we had to get him to talk about his life and the three generations of Phillips’s whose vision is on skate boards, posters, shirts and sweatshirts all over…

  • Brad and Jen
    May 2021

    May 2021 Editor’s Note

    Editor’s Note By Brad Kava Now we know how a bear feels coming out of hibernation. We’ve been in some sort of lockdown for over a year now and all of a sudden, it’s spring, literally and figuratively. We’re leaving our caves and shaking our heads trying to figure out what the new normal is, what we’ve learned from the pandemic and what we can do to make things better in the seasons ahead. Jeanette Prather’s piece in this issue, The New Normal, takes a look at what the post-pandemic Santa Cruz will look like and has stories from moms about what they liked and learned from sheltering in place…

  • April 2021

    April 2021 Editor’s Note

    Editors’ Note By brad kava I don’t know what we would have done through this pandemic without having some of the greatest county parks in the world in our backyard. While our three kids have been sheltered in place, the one break they get is going outside and getting some exercise. Of course the beaches and mountains are great for the teens, but for the 5-year-old, nothing has been better than the range of our local county parks. And as parents, and even for the teens, the parks have been a real meeting place, masks and all. Some say the last place to see society as equals, after high schools,…

  • Brad Kava
    March 2021

    March Editor’s Note

    March Editor’s Note By Brad Kava Teens may be having the toughest time of all during the lockdown. They are in the years where they are starting to break away from their families and enjoy some independence and responsibility. Not to mention, this is the time when hanging out with friends is hugely important to them, and the best thing about being in school is being around peers who influence, teach and share. Instead, they are locked into a Zoom world, right at the age when we are begging them to get off their computers, turn off social media and get out and do things. Well, our writers have found…