• 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 Update

    COVID Program Updates By Zach Friend, Santa Cruz County Supervisor, District 2 As we continue to face health and economic challenges related to COVID-19 many in our community are looking into programs and services to provide assistance. While our community overall is faring better than many portions of the state and country, we’ve seen a significant increase in cases in the last month and also continued high levels of unemployment (or for those that are employed – reductions in hours and pay). Here are updates on some programs and information that might be of interest during this time. Rental Assistance Program Created The Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to provide…

  • 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…

  • September 2020

    Farm Workers

    Who’s Picking Your Food by frances delgado-chavez Farmworkers face multiple issues: income inequality, hazardous work conditions, and racism. We must advocate for farmworkers to have a living wage, have protective equipment gear, and citizenship paths. All of these social justice issues have come to the forefront due to the global pandemic and wildfires. The first issue is income inequality. It is a known fact that farmworkers do not get paid what they deserve for their arduous labor. The average salary of a farmworker is $12.60 an hour, estimated $26,200 a year.(1) Farmworkers need three to four incomes to afford rent, meaning there are multi-family households. Rent and home prices keep…

  • September 2020

    Rail and Trail

    The Future of Santa Cruz Rail and Trail Would be Best BY Sally Arnold Clean, Quiet, Modern Rail Can Connect Community, FamiliesAmidst all the losses, inconveniences and parenting challenges inflicted by the pandemic, there have been some positive changes as well. Worldwide air pollution has reduced, more people are using bicycles, and as supplies in the stores are short, we’re learning how to be more efficient with what we have. We also have a window of opportunity now to create a Santa Cruz County that is safer and better connected for everyone who travels to school, work, and play here. We have the opportunity to create a new system of…

  • Kari Byron
    August 2020

    Kari Byron

    Mother Kari Byron Spent a Lot of Time Busting Myths Our Mythbuster Stumbled into the Greatest Job in the World By Kevin Painchaud If you ever turned on the TV between the years of 2003 and 2018, I’m sure you had the opportunity to watch the Discovery Network hit show, MythBusters. It was one of the most popular TV shows ever produced by the Discovery Channel. One of the fun and quirky co-hosts of this show, was Kari Byron. I had the chance to chat with Kari and learn a bit more about her and her new show titled Crash Test World.KP: Hi Kari. So where did you grow up…

  • teenhomeschool
    August 2020

    Writing

    Now is the Perfect Time to Get Kids Writing By John Koenig Wendy Thompson wants you to know one thing. The Young Writers Program will be back for the fall 2020 semester—although online, not live. Now retired after a long teaching career, she will be leading the YWP into uncharted territory as schools learn to reopen in the time of COVID. Last spring, it survived the retirement of its founding director, the school lockdowns, and funding cuts that left essential staff positions unfilled. As the new executive director, she is focused on returning with the projects that have been a part of Santa Cruz education and a part of her…

  • May 2020

    Adapting Business

    Staying in Business During Quarantine How to Think Outside of the Box in Challenging Times BY MARINA HALLIN AND STAFF Amidst these hard times for business owners and employees alike, there are many creative individuals coming up with different ways to keep money rolling in and change their business. Construction worker, Michael Cyr, 55, has seen business slow because of the stay-at-home order. He has come up with a meaningful project and way to keep income rolling in during this time. Cyr is making individual planter boxes for people’s outdoor gardens. Cyr recalls planting produce with his father, being fascinated with watching it grow, and going out into the garden…