• 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…

  • 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…

  • california college saving plan
    January 2020

    California Gets an A for College Saving Plan

    California Gets an A for College Saving Plan By Steve Dinnen A new review by Morningstar has ranked California’s college-savings plan as one of the best in the nation. Morningstar, which tracks the performance of mutual funds, said that California’s ScholarShare College Savings Plan was upgraded to its highest ranked Gold category after the state program’s board voted to enhance management of its age-based portfolios. More than 320,000 people are taking advantage of California’s college savings plan. Starting in February, 2020, those investments will be put on a progressive glide path – an industry best practice, said Morningstar – as “it smooths the transitions from stocks to bonds and reduces…

  • ok symbol
    January 2020

    The OK Symbol or a Symbol of White Power?

    The OK Symbol or a Symbol of White Power? By Jillian Miller Humans have different ways of communicating with each other; We can communicate through words, actions, and gestures. But sometimes there can be major miscommunications on what someone’s intent is and what they are trying to convey to those around them or the media. The “White Power Symbol” or also commonly known as the “OK Symbol,” a gesture where the thumb and forefinger are joined together to form a circle, and the remaining three fingers are splayed out behind, is an example of that. This specific gesture has gathered a lot of controversy over the past few years. Educators…

  • santa cruz new year's resolutions
    January 2020

    Five New Year’s Resolutions You Might Keep

    Five New Year’s Resolutions You Might Keep By Jan Pierce When January 1st rolls around, most of us look for fresh starts. This year we’ll lose weight, quit smoking or drinking too much, get along with family members and….the list goes on. Check in with folks about January 20th and most have either given up on their resolutions already, or have forgotten what they were.  Change doesn’t come easily. But what if we made some resolutions for 2018 that were things we really want to do, not just things we think we should do? The first resolution isn’t don’t make resolutions. These are simpler, positive steps. What if we made…

  • chimney fire safety
    December 2019

    Chimney Fire Safety Tips

    Chimney Fire Safety Tips Fireplaces are dangerous if not kept up By the Fire Safe Council Fall is here and many rural residents are turning to their fireplaces and woodstoves to heat their houses. Dirty chimneys can cause chimney fires, which damage structures, destroy homes and injure or kill people. ​Structure fires related to dirty chimneys may also spread and cause damage to adjacent structures or even ignite a wildland fire. Fireplaces and wood stoves are designed to safely contain wood fires, while providing heat for a home. The chimneys that serve them have the job of expelling the by-products of combustion – the substances produced when wood burns. These include smoke,…

  • environment comic books
    December 2019

    New Movie Villains Want to Destroy People to Save the Environment

    New Movie Villains Want to Destroy People to Save the Environment Comic book movies take a new turn By Jordy Hyman Avengers, Kingsman, Venom, Aquaman: comic book movies almost always have a big bad guy who wants to destroy civilization, but there’s a new trend developing in Hollywood. The villains of these movies want to kill us to save the Earth. We live in an era of entertainment where straightforward heroes are considered poor form and antagonists are written with the utmost empathy. It’s raining coins, cell phones, cameras and stopping some coasters. Photo by EriK Chalhoub So it makes sense that villains need a compelling reason to commit genocide,…

  • grandparents santa cruz
    September 2019

    Celebrating Grandparents

    Celebrating Grandparents By Linda Kay September 8th is Grandparents Day. While cynics may believe this day of celebration was created by Hallmark, the truth is that it was proposed by Congress to be celebrated the first Sunday after Labor Day. President Jimmy Carter signed the proclamation back in 1978. Grandparenting with a Passion Wes and Judy Wick of Scotts Valley, founders of YES! Young Enough to Serve, whose goal is to “Make life’s second half count” say, “Don’t settle for blasé ‘bland-parenting’ or over-the-top ‘spoiling the grandkids’. Step into that grand role with deeper value and purpose, quite possibly the most significant opportunity of life’s second half.” “The relationship with…

  • paying for college santa cruz
    July 2019

    Apply for College…Without Paying $450,000!

    Apply for College…Without Paying $450,000! Local college and admissions specialists discuss the scandal, our local concerns, and what students facing college applications should do By Suki Wessling The recent college admissions scandal comes just as I am writing my last in a series of three articles for GUiSC about preparing for and applying to college. The first article (November) explored “finding your passion” and considering different life paths. The second article (March) explored the idea of “college fit” and how students are often surprised that a less exclusive college might be a better fit for them.  This final article was supposed to be about the application process, but we can’t…

  • santa cruz fourth of july 2019
    July 2019

    Embers, Sparks, and Fireworks…What You Can Do to Improve Your Home’s Safety

    Embers, Sparks, and Fireworks…What You Can Do to Improve Your Home’s Safety Contributed by Fire Safe Santa Cruz County A fire in the wild land creates it’s own local weather conditions.  Depending on the fire’s size and intensity, these increased wind velocities and unusual directions can send burning fragments of burning material swirling far and wide, resulting in embers raining down nearly a mile away from the actual fire itself.  These embers can and often do cause additional spot fires, depending on the nature and condition of the vegetation in the area, which has often become further dried and flammable by the winds associated with the fire. In the recent…

  • not wanting kids
    June 2019

    No Kids Wanted

    No Kids Wanted I’ve never wanted to be a father, but sometimes I wonder, ‘What if?’ By John M. Glionna I might seem an outsider among all you Santa Cruz parents, an unlikely voice for these pages, because I hail from a foreign tribe: those who have chosen not to have children. While I’m not a father, I am an uncle to nine nieces and nephews, aged 4 to 40. I cherish each of them on their own terms and, along with their parents, am celebrating the adults they have, or soon will, become. But I still grapple with my decision not to have my own children. For many years, it was an easy call, this…

  • fire season santa cruz
    May 2019

    What You Can do Now to Prepare for Fire Season

    What You Can do Now to Prepare for Fire Season By Becky Steinbruner, Fire Safety Council of Santa Cruz The recent deadly Tubbs and Camp fires that devastated suburbs and wild land alike have given us all cause to ponder: What would I do if it happened here? Could such fires happen here? The answer is: Yes. You can begin preparing your family and home now and be miles ahead when fire season arrives. The important thing is to just do something and get started, building muscle-memory for the actions you may have to actually perform when needed … much like a firefighter who trains repeatedly. Keeping Safe in Summer.…

  • book reviews by kids
    April 2019

    Book Reviews By Kids For Kids

    Book Reviews By Kids For Kids By Vincent, 6th grade at Santa Cruz Children’s School Flotsam Flotsam is about a boy at the seaside in the modern times. He discovers a sea camera. Then he sees pictures of ocean wonders and of all the people before him that have discovered the camera. He takes a picture of himself, but a wave hits him and the sea camera is lost, then an- other child discovers the sea camera. My favorite part of the story is when the boy sees all the pictures of the underwater camera. David Wiesner is the author and the illustrator of the book. You can find this…

  • dr. nannette benedict
    March 2019

    Helping Around the World

    Helping Around the World Scotts Valley dentist Nannette Benedict does more than treat local kids. She travels the world to places where kids have never seen a dentist to help them out. How did you get involved in relief work and how many trips have you done and where? BRUSH AWAY Dr. Nannette Benedict passed out toothbrushes and taught Ugandan kids how to brush their teeth properly. I became interested in public health and community dentistry before I started dental school. I received a community health grant while in dental school and organized a preventive dentistry clinic in an orphanage in Tijuana, Mexico. That inspired me! I volunteered with Los…

  • tips for pediatric dentists
    February 2019

    How Does a Pediatric Dentist Keep His Fingers and His Sanity?

    How Does a Pediatric Dentist Keep His Fingers and His Sanity? Keeping Dentistry Weird By Patrice Keet How do you keep your cool and your huge, winning smile when you have little kids screaming; plus parents that are anxious, and all the usual demands that go with running a business? I wanted to find out what makes pediatric dentist Seth Reder tick and why he and his wife, Andrea, teamed up to start their own local business, Capitola Kids Dentistry off 40th Avenue. Andrea and Seth moved to Santa Cruz seven years ago. They have two daughters: Norah, 2, and Maeve, 1. “I come from a long line of dentists…

  • home schooling options in santa cruz county
    January 2019

    Options in Homeschooling

    Options in Homeschooling: Umbrella Programs Share Some of the Burden By Suki Wessling January is Growing Up’s Independent Schools issue, and you can’t get much more independent than homeschooling. In California, any family can homeschool simply by declaring their home a private school on a state form. That’s a pretty low barrier to entry, but after the simple form come the complex challenges. I refer to homeschooling as “the ultramarathon of parenting.” You’re not only raising children (a hard enough job) but also educating them and taking full responsibility for their social and emotional growth. Although many families succeed at homeschooling independently and love doing so, another way that Santa…

  • choosing private school or public school
    January 2019

    Private School: Posh or Perception?

    Private School: Posh or Perception? This mother has sent children to public and private schools. Here’s what she learned. By Paige Berardo With heightened awareness of the impact of stereotypes and biases in our world, I considered the labeling in this publication of private schools as ‘a posher place to educate children’ as an opportunity to provide another perspective about fee-based schools. SCHOOL CHOICE: there are so many choices of great schools in Santa Cruz County, public and private, it takes major study to pick what’s best for your children. I get it—‘posh’ is an easy name to call a private (or independent) school. With an annual tuition—what families often…