• April 2021

    Playing Music

    Nurturing the Teenage Musician by Susan Willats For music students, who often spend a lot of time practicing and playing alone (especially those who don’t have a school music program available), playing with other musicians can be a true game-changer. We all know it’s not easy being a teenager. (It’s also not easy parenting a teenager, but that’s a topic for a different article.) Teenagers who play musical instruments face additional challenges: finding time (or motivation) to practice on a regular basis, worries about disappointing their instructors, and possible stigma or labeling from other kids at school. Research continues to show great advantages to those who play music, but it…

  • April 2021

    Book Review 2020 Hindsight

    Book Review Local Photographers Create Living History By Brad Kava When two of the top local news photographers looked back on last year, with its traumas, disasters and a community that fought to come together, they realized they were seeing a huge piece of history, something people would be interested in seeing for years to come. So, Kevin Painchaud, of Lookout Santa Cruz and Growing Up in Santa Cruz, and Shmuel Thaler, of the Santa Cruz Sentinel, decided to pack 2020 into a special edition glossy book. The resulting work—“2020 Hindsight: Looking Back on a Tumultuous Year in Santa Cruz County”—is the kind of keepsake most everyone in this county…

  • April 2021

    Summer Camps

    Yes Virginia, There will be Camps! by Jeanette Prather As things open back up and promise for better days, summer camp facilities and institutions are scrambling to reopen safely after one year of silence or minimalism for most of them. As things open back up and promise for better days, summer camp facilities and institutions are scrambling to reopen safely after one year of silence or minimalism for most of them. “UCSC canceled everything last spring, and we tried to wait as long as we could, but since we’re dictated by the university, we had to follow suit,” commented Rusty Kingon, boating supervisor at UCSC Community Boating Center. “We’ve opened…

  • March 2021

    Jelly Beanz

    The Community Says Goodbye to Another Local Gem But There’s Still Hope by Sarah Hirshland Items that don’t sell before Jelli Beanz closes will be donated back to the clothing bank. Citing a sharp decrease in buying since Covid, the owners of the popular used clothes and toy store, Jelli Beanz, are in the process of closing the 14-year-old business. Since 2007, Jelli Beanz has been a local treasure for parents and families to buy, sell and exchange new and gently used goodies. The store has been a go-to for new and seasoned moms and dads. “I’ve been coming here since my kids were little, it’s such a fabulous place”,…

  • March 2021

    Salesian School

    Salesian School Photo Essay by Kevin Painchaud On Feb.4 Salesian School joined the nationwide celebration of Catholic Schools Week.  Salesian School’s focus was on celebrating the community.  With help from many parents that are in the medical field, they were able to organize numerous first-responders including the police and fire to come on-site and to drive around the campus twice, like a parade.  The kids from all grades, while social distanced, had the wonderful opportunity to show their support and say thanks.  Many of the kids were dressed as their favorite profession, which included doctors, nurses, fire fighters, cooks and more. Read More Local News Articles

  • March 2021

    Painting the Town Purple

    Painting the Town Purple BY BRAD KAVA If the profusion of purple porch lights around the county has made you smile, you have an inspiration from Terry Ballantyne Brezsny to thank.The current realtor—and Jill of all trades around town—made a big house sale and wanted to do something to better things around her. How about painting the town purple? “During the election I was so frustrated with all the negativity,” says the vivacious 69-year-old. “Everybody was sliced and diced into one label or another and the identity politics was overwhelming. “ She wanted to erase the red and blue factions, combine them and make the county purple, the color that…

  • March 2021

    Teens Stepping Up For Community

    Teens Stepping Up for Community By Jeanette Prather There are no shortages of communities needing help in a variety of ways, and it seems no shortage of organizations ready to meet those needs.. Santa Cruz teens and tweens haven’t just been sheltering in place during the pandemic—they have been getting out to help the community. “I like volunteering because it feels good to know that I’m helping out, and that I can make people happy, especially during this pandemic,” said 12-year-old Zoe Robinson. “Making cards for seniors was a fun and easy volunteer project to do from home.”Robinson, referencing the Volunteer Center of Santa Cruz County’s YouthSERVE division’s recent Cards…

  • March 2021

    Santa Cruz Skate Shops

    by Hugh McCormick COVERY STORY | SKATE PARKS | RETURN OF SKATEBOARDING Bill’s Wheels1240 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz210AM-6PM Monday-Sunday831-690-9045BillsWheeels.comIt’s been a good 44 years for Bill’s Wheels. When industry OG Bill Ackerman opened the first incarnation of his legendary skating emporium on East Lake Avenue in Watsonville in 1977 he was just starting to get into skateboarding seriously. He had always intended on following in his dad’s footsteps and becoming a cop, but the stars aligned and Ackerman dove fully into the skating industry. The demos in the parking lot of Bill’s Wheels (Watsonville) – which he called “Skate Jams” attracted 400-500 kids each month. Ramps were set up and…

  • March 2021

    Santa Cruz County Skateparks

    by Hugh McCormick COVER STORY | RETURN OF SKATEBOARDING | SKATE SHOPS Jim Keefe Skate Park (Formerly Highland Skate Park)8500 Highway 9 Ben Lomond9AM-SunsetA lil’ bit in the boonies, tucked in a shady area off of Highway 9 past Scotts Valley, Jim Keefe Skate Park (formerly Highland Skate Park) is a well-balanced skate land for intermediate and advanced riders. At the end of the day, it’s really about the park’s bowl. That’s why many skaters choose to spurn always-crowded spots like Skypark and take the meandering drive to the 8,500 square foot concrete structure. Jim Keefe is rarely crowded so you’re sure to have first crack at the bowl and…

  • March 2021

    Skate Star Marco Chavez

    Some Words with Skate Star and GUISC Cover Shot Marco Chavez By Kevin Painchaud | PHOTOS BY KEVIN PAINCHAUD RETURN OF SKATEBOARDING | SKATE PARKS | SKATE SHOPS KP: Hey Marco, mind if I ask you some questions?MC: Sure, go aheadKP: What’s your name and age?MC: My name is Marco Chavez, I’m 16 years old and I go to Santa Cruz High.KP: When did you start skating?MC: I started skating when I was 9.  I would skate at Scotts Valley Skate Park.KP: Are your parents supportive of you skating?MC: My parents are very supportive. Both my parents skate with me. My dad takes me skating every day after school and…