• December 2020

    How The Pandemic Shrunk Our Homes

    How The Pandemic Shrunk Our Homes Families Get Creative To Find Space During The Pandemic By Martin Spierings Lives changed dramatically for Santa Cruz County families when the shelter-in-place order, one of the very first of the nation’s pandemic response, was put into place on March 17. Businesses were shuttered, schools were closed and families were largely confined to their homes. While everyone’s situation was unique, invariably families were spending much more time between their four walls than they had ever anticipated. Homes that were completely empty during the day, because both parents worked and any kids were at school, were now occupied 24/7. How did Santa Cruz families react…

  • December 2020

    You Think Covid-19 Rules are Tough?

    You Think Covid-19 Rules are Tough? Try Being Pregnant and Needing to Pee By Sarah Hirshland  I found out I was pregnant two months into the Covid-19 crisis, and man, oh, man did the universe pick an interesting time to bring a baby into the world. As excited as I am to be carrying my baby girl, I’ve come across unexpected problems.One thing I was not prepared for with Covid in mind…is simply having to pee. I am in my second trimester and currently this takes place every 10 to 20 minutes or so. As a traveling sales person who still does in-person calls, I have urinated in some not…

  • December 2020

    Shop Local for the Holidays

    Shop Local for the Holidays Amazon Doesn’t Need You; Santa Cruz Does By Suki Wessling “Bookshop’s customers have always been there for us,” says Casey Coonerty Protti of Bookshop Santa Cruz. “It was true after the 1989 earthquake when our customers saved us from the rubble, to when big chain bookstores came to town, to the challenges of this year.” And oh, what challenges our local businesses have seen. In the distant past (in other words, January, 2020), the big concern was the cost of living for employees. It’s hard to pay a living wage in one of the most expensive real estate markets in the country.Then came the pandemic,…

  • December 2020

    Local Nonprofits Wrap Up a Great Year of Giving

    Local Nonprofits Wrap Up a Great Year of Giving Now it’s Our Turn By Jeanne Howard Every now and then, the benefits of local nonprofit efforts is thrown into high relief by events. 2020 will be one to remember. The demand for services increased exponentially while revenues decreased and forced staff cuts, and willing volunteers had to be turned away due to insufficient PPE and distancing requirements that many facilities could not accommodate. Local nonprofits are always laboring away like year-round elves meeting crucial needs, enriching the culture, and cleaning up messes made by many of us, but this year the community leaned extra heavily on them. These hardworking groups…

  • November 2020

    Wanderlust Family

    Wanderlust Family Carolyn Kelley and her family split their time between Santa Cruz and Nayarit, Mexico. They live aboard their 50ft sailboat in the Santa Cruz Harbor and are members of the local yacht club. Carolyn is a wedding and portrait photographer and runs a studio in Live Oak. You can see her work at SoilandSeaPhotography.com by carolyn kelley To this day, I’m amazed that we didn’t give up. In January of 2018, we sold our house and moved with our three daughters onto a big ol’ 70s cruising boat with the goal of renovating her and sailing to Mexico. Naturally, almost everything on our bargain boat was broken before…

  • October 2020

    Babies Truly Are Blessings

    Babies Truly Are Blessings by christy shults Kristin and Scarlett Ember Mayya and Farris If having a baby during a pandemic wasn’t stressful enough, add being evacuated during an unprecedented fire. Moms have an inherently unique strength, and giving birth during crazy times is no match. In the middle of August, both Kristin and Mayya were preparing to have their babies, and then the lighting storms hit, lighting the mountains on fire, then the entire San Lorenzo Valley was evacuated. Kristin Mattoch was due with her second child on September 11, her birthday. After being evacuated from her home in Boulder Creek they moved around from hotel to Airbnb to…

  • October 2020

    Local Nonprofit Launches a Crowdfunding Raise

    Local Nonprofit Launches a Crowdfunding Raise Everyone Can Invest to Solve the Affordable Housing Crisis By Jeanne Howard If the subject is affordable housing in Santa Cruz County, the news is not usually good and not usually new. Now, there is a new strategy in town for creating more affordable housing, according to New Way Homes, a local nonprofit. New Way Homes (NWH) was founded in 2015, and has been jumping through hoops for the past four years to bring its first two projects through the design and planning approval phase. One has begun construction, and one will begin this fall. There are several innovative tactics to the “new way.”…

  • 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…