Aptos Times: January 15, 2021

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January 15, 2021 • Vol 30 No. 2


$2.6 Million Gift for Tutoring at Cabrillo

On Jan. 12, Cabrillo College announced a record $2.6 million gift from an anonymous donor for peer-to-peer tutoring and permanent funding each year to employ 20 students as part-time tutors. These student tutors will help between 300 and 500 Cabrillo students each semester. Full Story page 11

Second Round of PPP Loans Full Story page 7

Picturesque Piano in the Sand By Jondi Gumz Aptosia is agog over a piano that mysteriously appeared on the beach. “I wish it could be preserved in some way,” wrote Valerie Freer. Pamela Gonzalez penned a poem, “The Magical

Piano,” and shared it with Aptosia’s 17,000 members on Facebook. Ruth Mendoza left a bouquet of red and orange roses that matched the sunset over the ocean, and Marina Aceves Gagne took a photo that was much admired. ... continues on page 4

Loved Ones Lost

Aurora Justina Rufolo, née Falzone, lived a full and adventurous life, traveling the world with her husband, teaching English as a foreign language. Full Story page 10

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No. 2

Volume 30




Table of Contents


Cover Picturesque Piano in the Sand, By Jondi Gumz 6 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 18 19 20 21 22 25 5 7

Community News UCSC Announces Long Range Plan: School Plans For 28,000 Students by 2040, By Jondi Gumz COVID Death Toll Reaches 111: Hospitalizations Down Since New Year’s High, By Jondi Gumz • Health Officer Suspends Elective Surgeries To Save ICU Beds Public Schools to Resume In-Person Cohorts Jan. 19 Loved Ones Lost • Bay Fed’s Richard Roark Honored • Clarita Cortes joins CASA • Bruce McPherson to Chair Board of Supervisors $2.6 Million Gift for Tutoring at Cabrillo • Online Courses Work for Some, Not All; 18% Enrollment Drop Due to COVID, Fire Girl Scouts Debut Cookie Delivery Via GrubHub Sea Breeze Tavern On The Market: Rio Del Mar’s Oldest Commercial Building Up For Sale; Asking $799,900 • El Pajaro Women’s Business Center Opens in Watsonville How Does Your Food Bank Work? The Great Believers: Our Community Reads 2021: Rebecca Makkai’s Novel About the Start of the AIDS Epidemic Can You Help These Scotts Valley Heroes?, By Joanne Purdy Guzman Huerta, Valdez to speak Jan. 26 • Homeless Count Planned for Jan. 19, By Jondi Gumz Palace Art’s Santa Cruz Store Closes: Inventory Moving to Kings Plaza Store in Capitola PV Water Board Approves $1.2 Million Conservation Program Budget John Laird Sworn in as State Senator; Session Starts Jan. 11 • Stay Connected Through the Volunteer Center of Santa Cruz County Highway 1 Along Big Sur To Stay Open • Saturday Shakespeare Turns to ‘Richard III’ on Zoom National News President Trump Impeached; Panetta Votes Yes Second Round of PPP Loans

California News 16 Progress in EDD Pandemic Unemployment Aid Fraud 23 California’s First Master Plan for Aging

Monthly Horoscope • Page 26 – Uranus Direct: The Week For History Books, By Risa D’Angeles Community Calendar • Arts & Entertainment – Pages 28, 29

Featured Columnists 24 Who Do You Compete With?, By Ron Kustek 24 Problem Solved: How Do I Cancel my Verizon Phone Plan?, By Christopher Elliott 27 Classes On Campus Prove Safe At Mount Madonna School, By Ann Goewert, Ph.D., Head of School 30 Your Vaccine Questions Answered, By Zach Friend, Second District Supervisor 31 Now’s the Time for Bare Root Stock, By Tony Tomeo

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COVER STORY Patrice Edwards Jondi Gumz

publisher editor

contributing writers Jondi Gumz, Joanne Purdy Guzman, Risa D’Angeles, Ron Kustek, Christopher Elliott, Ann Goewert, Zach Friend, Tony Tomeo layout Michael Oppenheimer, Jim Johnson graphic artists Michael Oppenheimer, Jim Johnson photography Michael Oppenheimer, Jim Johnson, Brad King website Michael Oppenheimer, Camisa Composti production coordinator Camisa Composti media consultants Don Beaumont, Teri Huckobey, Brooke Valentine office coordinator Cathe Race distribution Bill Pooley, James Hudson

“Beached Piano” from page 1 Some thought the piano washed up from a cruise ship, but Anna Durante said it came off the cliff. “It’s fun to watch it change over time,” Durante wrote. “It already has changed quite a bit from when I first saw it a month ago. It’s an evolving art piece.” Isilda Heston shared how she was walking from Seascape to LaSelva by the old train path when she saw a piano on the hill by the strawberry field, a place that seemed to be visited by teenagers. A few weeks later, she walked by with her son and the piano was still there. Her son was curious and tried the keys, which worked, but a few weeks later, the piano was gone from the hilltop. On Nextdoor, the piano on the beach has been a subject of fascination as well. Lee Brown reported the piano was built by the W.W. Kimball Piano Company. “According to the serial number reference on their web site, it was built between 1940 and 1946. It must have been the center of celebratory music after World War II ended!” he wrote. Dax Arsanis suggested everyone make up a story about it and the one with the most votes could be made into a movie.

Times Publishing Group, Inc. 9601 Soquel Drive, Aptos, CA 95003 The Times Publishing Group, Inc., publishers of the Aptos Times, a bi-monthly publication, the Capitola Times and Scotts Valley Times, each printed monthly, Coastal Weddings Magazine, Coastal Home and Garden Magazine, Aptos’ Fourth of July Parade Official Program Guide and Capitola’s Begonia Festival Official Program Guide, is owned by Patrice Edwards. Entire contents ©2021. All rights reserved. Reproduction in any form is prohibited without the publisher’s written permission PHONE: (831) 688-7549 FAX: (831) 688-7551 GENERAL E-MAIL: info@cyber-times.com Patrice Edwards: patrice@cyber-times.com Publisher’s Assistant: assistant@cyber-times.com Editor: info@cyber-times.com Calendar Listings: www.tpgonlinedaily.com Graphics Department: graphics@cyber-times.com Billing Inquiries: cathe@cyber-times.com Classified Sales: sales@cyber-times.com Production: production@cyber-times.com CHECK OUT OUR WEB SITE AT: www.tpgonlinedaily.com mission statement We at the Times Publishing Group, Inc. are dedicated to providing a voice for the individuals and organizations in our community while highlighting the outstanding accomplishments of our local businesses. We seek to promote healthy family values through our coverage of youth activities, school news, senior events, community groups and entertainment 4 / January 15th 2021 / Aptos Times www.tpgonlinedaily.com

“So many potential stories,” wrote Darrell Etter. As to how the piano got there, Janine Hickey may have the answer. She was walking the railroad tracks

a few months ago, when she saw six or seven teens carrying the piano at the end of Sumner heading south. She shared on NextDoor that the teens placed the piano on the cliff above the beach. The piano stayed there for a while, enough for Kimberlee Franca’s kids to listen to their friends play while watching the sunset. But then it was pushed off the cliff. Trink Praxel responded, “So sad that they would do that, but on the other hand, it certainly is picturesque and has given a lot of pleasure in its afterlife.” To see the piano for yourself, one writer suggests starting at Beer Can Beach and walking 30 minutes to your left toward Camino Al Mar. n ••• Photos Credit: Kevin Painchaud


President Trump Impeached; Panetta Votes Yes O n Jan. 13, a week before inauguration, U.S. Rep. Jimmy Panetta (D-Carmel Valley) joined 221 Democrats and 10 Republicans in Congress, voting 232-197 to impeach President Donald Trump for a second time in his four-year term. Four Republicans did not vote, and two seats are vacant. The single article Jimmy Panetta of impeachment alleged that Trump incited an insurrection that resulted in the breach of the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, forcing representatives to evacuate the chamber. A Trump supporter was fatally shot, and a Capitol police officer died after being hit on the head with a fire extinguisher. One Trump supporter died of a heart attack, one died of a stroke and one collapsed in the Capitol rotunda. Next, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-San Francisco) will determine when to send the article of impeachment to the Senate, which will decide whether to hold a trial or dismiss the charge. A conviction requires 67 of the 100 senators to vote yes. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) said the matter will be taken up at the first regular meeting, which would be Jan. 19. Joe Biden, a Democrat, is to take the oath of office on Jan. 20 along with vice president-elect Kamala Harris. This is the first time an American president has been impeached twice, and it happened fast. The impeachment took place during a single seven-hour session, with most representatives given 30 seconds to share their views. Nixon’s impeachment took 183 days and Clinton’s took 72 days. On Jan. 12, Panetta voted for a resolution with the goal to compel Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment against President Trump and remove him from office. Last week, Panetta called on President Trump to resign. When Trump did not do that, Panetta and 31 of his colleagues in the 435-seat House asked Pence to act. “Based on his actions before last

week’s riot and his inaction during the riot, President Trump poses a danger to our country in his final days in office and must be removed so that we, as a nation, can move forward,” Panetta said. However, Vice President Pence declined to invoke the 25th Amendment, saying it should be used only when the president is incapacitated or has a disability preventing him from carrying out his duties, In a letter to Speaker Pelosi, Pence wrote: “[W]ith just eight days left in the President’s term, you and the Democratic Caucus are demanding that the Cabinet and I invoke the 25th Amendment…I do not believe that such a course of action is in the best interest of our Nation or consistent with our Constitution.” He wrote, “Last week, I did not yield to pressure to exert power beyond my constitutional authority to determine the outcome of the election, and I will not now yield to efforts in the House of Representatives to play political games at a time so serious in the life of our Nation.” “I urge you and every member of Congress to avoid actions that would further divide and inflame passions of the moment,” Pence added. “Work with us to lower the temperature and unite our country as we prepare to inaugurate President-elect Joe Biden as the next President of the United States. I pledge to you that I will continue to do my part to work in good faith with the incoming administration to ensure an orderly transition of power. So help me God.” Panetta cosponsored HR 21 after the deadly Jan. 6 pro-Trump mob break-in at the United States Capitol that Democrats say was incited by the president. The break-in interrupted Congressional action to certify the election results with Biden as the winner, an action that finally took place at 3:45 a.m. Jan. 7. Afterward, Trump promised an orderly transition, but the president had already been locked out of his Twitter account, his chief way of communicating during his term, for tweets that Twitter said violated its policy on civic integrity. n ••• To view Panetta’s Jan. 12 remarks on the floor, visit https://youtu.be/P7-_3o4Uuvg To view Panetta’s Jan. 13 vote to impeach, visit https://youtu.be/pmPzurfUHDQ

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UCSC Announces Long Range Plan

School Plans For 28,000 Students by 2040


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By Jondi Gumz

n Jan. 7, UC Santa Cruz unveiled its draft 2021 UC Santa Cruz Long Range Development Plan and environmental impact report. The university, which had 19,161 students with 2,800 full-time equivalent faculty and staff enrolled in the fall, is planning to expand facilities to allow for enrollment to grow to 28,000 with 5,000 full-time faculty and staff by 2040. According to campus officials, the draft plan respects the original vision for the campus and calls for a “compact footprint” for learning, research and housing. Specifically it: • Proposes sites for up to four new residential colleges. • Expands housing for 100 percent of new full-time student enrollment above 19,500. • Includes housing for up to 25 percent of new employees, based on demand. • Improves circulation on campus with a focus on alternative transportation. • Increases the natural reserve. If the plan is fully implemented, building space on the campus would increase from 5.8 million gross square feet to 14.1 million gross square feet, mostly in the lower and central campus. Meyer Drive is proposed to be extended to create an inner campus road loop for more efficient transit. The draft environmental analysis acknowledges that implementing this long-range plan may induce housing demand in the region, which has for years

experienced a housing shortage, a situation worsened by the loss of 900 homes in the CZU lightning fire in August. “The potential impact would be significant and unavoidable,” according to the report, because “no feasible mitigation is available.” Additionally, “potential impacts related to water supply would be significant and unavoidable,” the report noted, because “on-site water recycling and water demand reduction measures would be subject to technological demands and funding and therefore cannot be assumed to sufficiently reduce the significant impact on water supply. Campus leaders and planners have been working for nearly four years on this draft plan, which sketches in broad strokes what the main campus might look like two decades from now. “Long Range Plan” page 7

Second Round of PPP Loans O n Friday, the U.S. Small Business Administration announced that the Paycheck Protection Program will re-open this week. Smaller businesses that did not receive a PPP loan the first time around can begin to apply on Jan. 11. Those who did receive one of the original loans can apply for a second PPP loan beginning Jan. 13, provided they meet eligibility requirements. These second PPP loans are forgivable and are available on a first-come, firstserve basis, with the deadline to apply being March 31. All loans require working with an eligible lender. For most borrowers, the maximum of a second draw PPP Loan is 2.5 times the average monthly 2019 or 2020 payroll costs up to $2 million. For borrowers in accommodation and food services, the maximum is 3.5 times average monthly 2019 or 2020 payroll costs up to $2 million.

Key Points • Borrowers can set their loan’s covered period anywhere from 8 and 24 weeks

to meet their business needs; • Loans will cover operations expenditures, property damage costs, supplier costs, and worker protection expenditures; • Eligibility is expanded to include 501(c)(6)s, housing cooperatives, direct marketing organizations; • Greater flexibility for seasonal employees; • Certain existing borrowers can request to modify their first draw PPP loan amount; and • Certain existing borrowers can apply for a second draw PPP loan. A borrower is generally eligible for a second draw PPP loan if the borrower has no more than 300 employees, used the full amount of the first draw PPP loan only for authorized uses; and can demonstrate a 25% reduction in gross receipts between comparable quarters in 2019 and 2020. New PPP forms and guidance are posted at www.sba.gov/ppp . ••• First Draw Forms Updated Jan. 8 1) Form 2483 – First Draw Borrower


Application https://www.sba.gov/ document/sba-form-2483-ppp-firstdraw-borrower-application-form 2) Form 2484 – First Draw Lender Guaranty Application https:// w w w. s b a . g o v / d o c u m e n t / sba-form-2484-lender-applicationform-paycheck-protection-programloan-guaranty Second Draw Forms Released Jan. 8 1) Form 2483-SD – Second Draw Borrower Application https:// w w w. s b a . g o v / d o c u m e n t / sba-form-2483-sd-ppp-second-drawborrower-application-form 2) Form 2484-SD – Second Draw Lender Guaranty Application https://www.sba.gov/document/ sba-form-2484-sd-ppp-second-drawlender-application-form ••• Guidance BA Procedural Notice 5000-20074 Modifications to SBA Forms 3506, 3507, and 750 CA (for purposes of PPP only): https://www.sba.gov/document/ procedural-notice-5000-20074-modifica-


tions-sba-forms-3506-3507-750-ca-purposes-ppp-only Top-line Overview of PPP First Draw Loans: https://www.sba.gov/document/ support-top-line-overview-first-draw-ppp Top-line Overview of PPP Second Draw Loans: https://www.sba.gov/ sites/default/files/2021-01/Top-line%20 Overview%20of%20Second%20Draw%20 PPP%20%281.8.2021%29-508.pdf n ••• For questions, contact Kyle Roseman, Lending Specialist, NorCal SBDC Finance Center, at kyle@norcalsbdc.org or (831) 346-6747.

“Long Range Plan” from page 6 UCSC Chancellor Cynthia Larive, in her message on the plan, said, “This type of long-range foretelling is not easy, and I offer my thanks to all who have taken part in the current plan’s development. The year 2020 was a valuable reminder that the road ahead can be hard to predict and is rarely without unexpected turns. But planning efforts of this magnitude are extremely valuable. They force us to ask hard questions about where we are as a university and where we want to be. They demand that we think deeply about the current state of higher education and the direction it is heading. They require us to reaffirm our values and principles, and to explore our role as a good neighbor as well as our obligation to the residents of our state. The challenging part, of course, is to translate the answers to these big questions into a land-use plan…. The plan does not mandate or approve growth. It simply lays out where the infrastructure to support growth might occur if it is eventually needed and funded.” She predicted the UCSC of 2040 will be more accessible, functional and flexible with new paths and street designs making the campus less car-dependent with facilities “integrated into the landscape itself, just as campus founders first imagined nearly 60 years ago.”

Plenty of Free Customer Parking The draft LRDP and the accompanying draft Environmental Impact Report are available online for review at https:// lrdp.ucsc.edu/2021/info.html. State law requires a 45-day review period, and UCSC is providing 60 days to ensure the public has time to thoroughly review the plan, Larive said. To make understanding the plan easier, there is a community handbook with a summary of the much longer draft Environmental Impact Report and a Frequently Asked Questions webpage to help people understand the plan. Two online public meetings will take place Feb. 3 and 4, both 5 to 7 p.m. to get an overview. To participate, see lrdp.ucsc.edu. Public input on the plan and draft Environmental Impact Report will be accepted at the public meetings, via email at eircomment@ucsc.edu (put “LRDP EIR comments” in subject line) or by mail to Erika Carpenter, Senior Environmental Planner, Physical Planning, Development, and Operations University of California, Santa Cruz 1156 High Street Santa Cruz, CA 95064. The deadline to comment is 5 p.m. March 8. n

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COVID Death Toll Reaches 111

Hospitalizations Down Since New Year’s High


By Jondi Gumz

he COVID-19 coronavirus has claimed the lives of 111 Santa Cruz County residents, with the death toll highest at nursing homes, but hospitalizations are down from the New Year’s peak and fewer people are in intensive care beds compared to the post-Thanksgiving peak, giving hope that the worst may be over. On Jan.8, Dr. Gail Newel, the Santa Cruz County health officer, ordered a suspension of elective surgeries to ease the burden on hospitals. The situation has improved much in the Sacramento region where ICU capacity has hovered around 15 percent for the past 21 days so the area was cleared to exit the stay-athome order on Jan. 12, allowing restaurants to reopen outdoor dining. Santa Cruz County is in the Bay Area

region, where ICU is at 4.7 percent and must rise to 15 percent to end the stay-at-home order. The focus now is on rollout of the new vaccines, which has been especially slow in California. That state has received more than 2.4 million vaccines, but according to the Bloomberg vaccine tracker, had administered less than 25 percent of doses received, about 2 doses per 100 people, behind the national average of 3 doses per 100 people. Priority Age 65 he federal government released the second doses that were being held back and the California Department of Public Health announced Wednesday that people age 65 and older are now prioritized to get the vaccine as demand among health care workers is subsiding. In Santa Cruz County, where nursing home patients account for two-thirds of the COVID deaths, 680 doses of vaccine have been distributed through a federal program to nursing homes and assisted living facilities, according to Corinne Hyland, county public health spokeswoman. Of the county’s seven nursing homes, Driftwood Healthcare Center has not had a


COVID fatality, Hyland said. ICU beds in the county were full on New Year’s but there are no plans to opening a local alternate care site. Hyland said hospitals have plans to add more ICU beds if needed. Santa Cruz County spokesman Jason Hoppin said a mass vaccination site is in the works but details such as location were not ready for release Wednesday. He said plans call for two sites, one in North County and one in South County, using the state priority system, which means no drive-up visitors. On Jan. 6, Dr. Newel, the county health officer, updated her travel advisory, reminding Californians to avoid non-essential travel and noting people arriving in California should self-quarantine for 10 days. This is a shorter quarantine than before, based on federal guidance. Kaiser San Jose Outbreak aiser Permanente, one of the major medical providers in the county, was fined $85,000 for not reporting when one of its San Jose employees was hospitalized for a week early in the pandemic. Kaiser is appealing. On Christmas Day, a staffer at Kaiser’s San Jose hospital came in to cheer fellow employees in the emergency department,


wearing an air-powered inflatable Christmas tree costume, according to NBC Bay Area TV, which obtained a photo. The staffer turned out to be COVID-positive and spread the virus to 60 employees, one of whom died. Kaiser was fined $43,000 for violating the county health order, based on $1,000 for each of the initial 43 cases. n ••• Kaiser released the following statement The health and safety of our patients, employees, and physicians is our highest priority. We have determined 60 staff members out of those present in the Kaiser Permanente San Jose Emergency Department on Dec. 25 have tested positive for COVID-19. Working with our infectious disease specialists, we are continuing to investigate the outbreak to determine the potential causes and using contact tracing to personally notify and test anyone exposed, based on CDC and public health guidelines. Given the prevalence of COVID-19 in our communities, it is often difficult to pinpoint the specific exposure leading to COVID-19 infection. “COVID Update” page 9

Health Officer Suspends Elective Surgeries To Save ICU Beds


ith Santa Cruz County reporting 86 people hospitalized on Jan. 4 for COVID-19, the most since the pandemic began, and the number of intensive care unit beds at zero for two weeks, county Health Officer Dr. Gail Newel ordered elective surgeries and procedures suspended in order to preserve ICU beds for COVID patients. Examples of procedures to be postponed or relocated to a stand-alone surgery center: Carpal tunnel release, colonoscopy, penile implants, and removing a urinary stone. n •••

ORDER OF THE HEALTH OFFICER OF THE COUNTY OF SANTA CRUZ SUSPENDING ELECTIVE SURGERIES AND ELECTIVE PROCEDURES DUE TO THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC lease read this Order carefully. Violation of or failure to comply with this Order is a misdemeanor punishable by fine, imprisonment, or both. (California Health and Safety Code § 120295, et seq.; Cal. Penal Code §§ 69, 148(a)(1) UNDER THE AUTHORITY OF CALIFORNIA


HEALTH AND SAFETY CODE SECTIONS 101040, 101085, AND 120175, THE HEALTH OFFICER OF THE COUNTY OF SANTA CRUZ (“HEALTH OFFICER”) ORDERS: 1) This Order temporarily requires the suspension of certain elective surgeries and elective procedures performed at hospitals and ambulatory surgery centers (collectively, “Facilities”) that operate within the geographic boundaries of the County of Santa Cruz (“County”). This Order shall become effective at 5 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 7, 2021, and shall continue in effect until it is extended, rescinded, superseded or amended in writing by the Health Officer. 2) This Order is issued in response to critical shortages of staffing, overall bed capacity and Intensive Care Unit capacity due to surging demand on the healthcare systems in the County of Santa Cruz as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. These shortages have led to near crisis-care status in the County’s hospitals. 3) Effective immediately, all hospitals and ambulatory surgery centers in the County shall categorize all elective surgical procedures by Tier using the Elective Surgery Acuity Scale from St. Louis University and suggested by the American College of Surgeons (see www.facs.org/covid-19/clinical-

8 / January 15th 2021 / Aptos Times www.tpgonlinedaily.com

guidance/triage). Beginning at 5 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 7, 2021, all Tier 1 and Tier 2 surgical procedures in the County must be delayed until this Order is rescinded. 4) To the extent that this Order contains restrictions that are less strict than those issued by the California Department of Public Health, the California Department of Social Services or other state or federal authority, the more restrictive provisions shall apply. 5) This Order is issued in accordance with, and incorporates by reference, the March 4, 2020 Proclamation of a State of Emergency issued by Gov. Gavin Newsom, the March 4, 2020 Declaration of a Local Health Emergency Regarding Novel Coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) issued by the Santa Cruz County Health Officer, the March 10, 2020 Resolution of the Board of Supervisors of the County of Santa Cruz County ratifying the Declaration of a Local Emergency, the March 10, 2020 Resolution of the Board of Supervisors of the County of Santa Cruz Proclaiming a Local Emergency, the Dec. 3, 2020 Regional Stay at Home Order issued by the Acting State Health Officer, and the Dec. 6, 2020 Supplement to the Regional Stay at Home Order issued by the Acting State Health Officer. 6) Pursuant to Government Code sections 26602 and

41601 and Health and Safety Code section 101029, the Health Officer requests that the Sheriff and all chiefs of police in the County ensure compliance with and enforce this Order. The violation of any provision of this Order constitutes an imminent threat and menace to public health, constitutes a public nuisance, and is punishable by fine, imprisonment, or both. 7) If any subsection, sentence, clause, phrase or word of this Order or any application of it to any person, Facility, structure or circumstance is held to be invalid or unconstitutional by a decision of a court of competent jurisdiction, then such decision will not affect the validity of the remaining provisions or applications of this Order. 8) Copies of this Order shall promptly be: (1) made available at the County offices at 701 Ocean St, Santa Cruz, CA 95060; (2) posted on the County Public Health Department website (www.santacruzhealthservices.org); and (3) provided to any member of the public requesting a copy of this Order. IT IS SO ORDERED: Gail Newel, MD Health Officer of the County of Santa Cruz Dated January 5, 2020


Public Schools to Resume In-Person Cohorts Jan. 19 O Dear Families of Santa Cruz County, n Dec. 30, Gov. Newsom released the Safe Schools for All Plan “to support all communities to be on track for safe in-person instruction by early spring 2021.” Although many details regarding the Governor’s plan remain to be announced, we know that if approved by the legislature, this plan would offer financial incentives for some elementary schools to open in hybrid schedules, first for Transitional Kindergarten through grade 2, followed by grades 3 through 6. The plan requirements include intensive COVID-19 testing of staff and students, robust contact tracing, priority access to vaccinations for teachers and school staff, information and transparency to school communities, and the funding and resources to support the safety measures that districts must put in place. The Governor’s Plan can only be implemented if Santa Cruz County has a case rate of 28 per 100,000. We currently have an adjusted case rate of 41 per 100,000. This plan would also require an agreement with teacher and classified unions. The Governor has established an accelerated timeline for interested elementary schools to have all these components in place by Feb. 1. Some of the requirements that are set forth in the Safe Schools for All Plan, such as weekly COVID-19 testing for all elementary students and staff would be difficult to achieve, as it would require a tenfold increase in our current surveillance testing capacity. Additionally, schools that are offering instruction to small groups or which are fully reopened (private schools)

“COVID Update” from page 8 In addition to HEPA filtering of the ventilation systems, which is known to be effective against the coronavirus, other precautions we have taken include deep cleaning and intensive disinfecting of the entire Emergency Department, including surfaces, equipment, and high touch areas in common spaces and patient care areas, and we have tested to determine these areas are sanitized. In addition, we implement regular rigorous cleaning, masks, symptom screening and temperature checks at the ED entrance; triage and appropriate isolation of anyone suspected with COVID-19; and ensure social distancing with precautions such as Plexiglass cubes for patients in the waiting area. Our thoughts are with all of our valued staff members who have been affected by this situation, and we are continuing to provide the care and support they need. Our physicians have contacted all 70 patients who were treated and discharged from the Emergency Department on Dec.

over the past few months have had very few examples of in-school transmission. For these reasons, Santa Cruz County Superintendents and Santa Cruz County Public Health have concluded that weekly testing of students is not feasible nor is it necessary. We will continue to monitor updates regarding this proposed plan and communicate with our community as soon as more information becomes available. As COVID-19 cases surge across the state and in Santa Cruz County, we must continue to prioritize the safety and wellbeing of our students, families, and staff during this arduous time. We have expanded Santa Cruz COE Surveillance Testing System to now offer testing at two locations and have a maximum capacity of 1500 COVID-19 tests per week. We are working diligently to build a vaccination plan for our school community.

25, and are answering any questions patients may have. COVID-19 tests are being made available to these patients, and physicians are assisting members with securing the test. All Kaiser Permanente members can also self-schedule a test online at kp.org. Due to patient privacy laws, we do not have further patient information to provide. Because COVID-19 continues to be widespread, and is often without symptoms, we are all still vulnerable and it remains critical for everyone to continue using the methods to help protect ourselves and others – especially masks, hand washing, avoiding gatherings, and social distancing. •••

On or around Jan. 19, schools will resume in-person services to small cohorts of students in strict adherence to our health and safety guidance. Like our students and parents, our education leaders, teachers, and school personnel have been working incredibly hard over the past nine months to provide high-quality distance learning education to students while also grappling with tremendous change and personal challenges. Although the weeks ahead will continue to be difficult, ongoing developments in the vaccine indicate better days are coming. Santa Cruz County schools are committed to continue supporting the students and families of Santa Cruz County with comprehensive resources and services. n ••• Yours, in equity, health, and education, Laurie Bruton, Superintendent, San Lorenzo Valley Unified School District Lorie Chamberland, Superintendent, Live Oak School District Eric Gross, Superintendent, Pacific Elementary School District Mike Heffner, Superintendent, Bonny Doon Union Elementary School District Tanya Krause, Superintendent, Scotts Valley Unified School District Michelle McKinny, Superintendent, Happy Valley Elementary School District Diane Morgenstern, Superintendent, Mountain Elementary School District Kris Munro, Superintendent, Santa Cruz City Schools Michelle Rodriguez, Superintendent, Pajaro Valley Unified School District Faris Sabbah, County Superintendent of Schools Scott Turnbull, Superintendent, Soquel Union Elementary School District

Santa Cruz Post Acute: 20 • Watsonville Post Acute: 16 • Pacific Coast Manor: 14 • Hearts & Hands Post Acute: 7 • Montecito Manor: 3 • Valley Convalescent: 3 • Aegis: 3 • Maple House I: 3 • Dominican Oaks: 2 • Maple House II: 1 • Paradise Villa: 1 Total: 73 •••

COVID cases by town

Aptos: 543 • Ben Lomond: 74 • Boulder Creek: 99 • Capitola: 285 • Felton:

101 • Freedom: 699 • Santa Cruz: 2,555 • Scotts Valley: 263 • Soquel: 250 • Watsonville: 6,072 • Unincorporated: 147 • Under investigation: 187 Total: 11,275 Source: Santa Cruz County Public Health ••• To read the governor’s school plan, see www.cdph.ca.gov/Programs/CID/DCDC/ Pages/COVID-19/Safe-Schools-for-All-PlanRationale.aspx

County COVID Deaths

As of Jan. 12 Age — 90 and up: 41 • 80 to 89: 33 • 70 to 79: 19 • 60 to 69: 11 • 50 to 59: 3 • 40 to 49: 1 • 30 to 39: 3 Race/Ethnicity — White: 64 • Latinx: 35 • Asian: 5 • Black: 1 • Other: 1 • Unknown: 5 Underlying Conditions — Yes: 82 • No: 29 Gender — Male: 47 • Female: 64 Skilled Nursing/Residential Care —

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Loved Ones Lost T he new coronavirus, COVID-19, has wiped out a generation of elders, loved ones who survived the Great Depression, World War II and the Great Recession, matriarchs and patriarchs of families across America. We at Times Publishing Group, Inc. want to remember these loved ones lost. •••

Aurora Rufolo, 93

Education Led to Adventure urora Justina Rufolo, née Falzone, lived a full and adventurous life, traveling the world with her husband, teaching English as a foreign language. A resident of the Trade Winds Mobilehome Park in Capitola, she was in declining health when she succumbed to COVID-19 on Dec. 16 at age 93. Born to Italian immigrants in New York City on Jan. 25, 1927, she was the seventh of eight children, arriving just before the nation fell into the Great Depression. “From an early age, she had to figure out how to take care of herself,” said her daughter Melisa Walker of Soquel, describing her as fiercely independent. “She succeeded through education… People of that generation, that’s all they knew was work. They were willing to make that sacrifice and they got ahead.” Growing up, Aurora was considered intellectually precocious. She was awarded a prestigious scholarship to attend an all-


around the world. They never tired of exploring new places. In 2004 they moved closer to two of their daughters living in the Santa Cruz area. Daniel died in 2010 at age 85. Daughter Allegra recalls how her mother come into her classroom at MacQuiddy School in Watsonville and teach her students crafts — knitting, crocheting, six- and eightpoint snowflakes and six-point Ojos de Dios, the eye of God to watch over you. Aurora adored Eleanor Roosevelt, having lived through the FDR era, and was excited to see Hilary Clinton run for president. She was pleased to witness Kamala Harris become the first woman elected vice president. Aurora was a feminist and a humanist. “Living abroad, your boundaries are much different,” her daughter Melisa said. “You have a respect for all humanity.” She felt fortunate that her mother, recovering after hospitalization for an ailment, was able to stay at home for her last breath. Hospice doesn’t send helpers to COVID patients, so Aurora was quarantined with one of her daughters for the last nine days of her illness. Aurora is survived by her daughters Dana Rufolo-Horhager (Axel) of Europe, Melisa Walker (Dean) of Soquel, and Allegra Bortin (Bill) of La Selva Beach, and very much loved seven grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren. n

COMMUNITY BRIEFS Bay Fed’s Richard Roark Honored ichard Roark, VP/chief technology officer at Bay Federal Credit Union, has been recognized by Info-Tech Research Group, a leading IT research and advisory firm, as a 2020 InfoTech CIO Awards winner. Since 2016, the Info-Tech CIO Awards have recognized outstanding CIOs for Richard Roark delivering exceptional value to their organizations and achieving high scores in stakeholder satisfaction in Info-Tech’s CIO Business Vision program. According to the Info-Tech Research Group, award recipients are determined by IT satisfaction and value scores that are evaluated by the recipients’ business stakeholders with this year’s honorees delivering value during unprecedented times.


in 1958 and then to girls high school in Izmir, Turkey, in 1965, Manhattan, a school with their youngest her family could daughter Allegra not have otherwise completing the family afforded. between those stays. She then attended They lived and taught Wagner College on in Rome, Singapore, Staten Island, earning Tokyo, Nairobi, Rio a master’s degree in De Janeiro, Buenos nursing and meeting Aires, and Trieste. her future husband, Aurora became Daniel Antonio very competent at Rufolo. creating a home in They started foreign countries. their family on She never closed Staten Island before herself off to any moving west in 1956 new knowledge or with two young experience. daughters for Daniel She loved the to teach physics and opportunity to travel, chemistry in the San experience other Diego Public Schools. cultures, and make Aurora fell in love Aurora Rufolo friends with people with La Jolla, which became their forever home, and her career from other places. She passed her love of travel and of Italy to her family. Her pivoted to education. Keeping California as their base, oldest daughter Dana Rufolo-Horhager she and Daniel, accompanied by their is editor of a theatre magazine in Europe daughters, travelled the world as teachers and her two younger daughters followed her into teaching, Melisa Walker, at for international schools. Teaching English as a foreign lan- Mountain School in Soquel, and Allegra guage, Aurora developed a curriculum that Bortin at Watsonville Charter School for helped students reach the top of their grad- the Arts. After retiring, Aurora and Daniel kept uating class. Daniel was awarded Fulbright Scholarships to Montserrat and Barbados traveling. At the age of 70, they took a trip

“We are so proud for Richard to receive this honor,” said Carrie Birkhofer, president and CEO of Bay Federal Credit Union, which is headquartered in Capitola, has $1.4 billion in assets and serves 78,000 members and 1,200 local businesses in Santa Cruz, San Benito, and Monterey counties. Roark gave credit to his tech team focusing on providing excellent service. ••• Clarita Cortes joins CASA larita Cortes joined CASA of Santa Cruz County on Jan. 5 as the outreach and recruitment manager. She comes with more than ten years of outreach and community advocacy experience. She earned a Clarita Cortes bachelor’s degree in engineering at CSU Fresno before working


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for nonprofits. She spent five years as outreach coordinator for Grid Alternatives, helping families lower their electric bills with solar technology. She said: “It is a privilege to be able to represent and speak on behalf of CASA for the children of Santa Cruz County. I am happy to be able to collaborate on ensuring that our children and youth, in the foster care system, have a voice.” ••• Bruce McPherson to Chair Board of Supervisors eeting for the first time in 2021, the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors on Jan. 5 selected Supervisor Bruce McPherson as chairperson. McPherson, representing the Fifth District, will serve a one-year term. Newly seated Supervisor Manu Koenig, representing the First District, was chosen to serve as vice chairman. McPherson will preside over a board that will meet virtually due to the ongoing


coronavirus pandemic. Residents may participate nin Board meetings, including offering public comments, via phone or Zoom. For instructions, go to http:// s a n t a c r u z c o u n t y. u s / D e p a r t m e n t s / ClerkoftheBoard.aspx. To participate via Zoom, go to https://us02web.zoom. us/j/83711129242. Residents who want to monitor Board meetings may view meetings online at www. santacruzcounty.us, www.facebook.com/ countyofsantacruz or www.communitytv. org/watch. n

Bruce McPherson speaks at the board meeting he was named Chair.


$2.6 Million Gift for Tutoring at Cabrillo Online Courses Work for Some, Not All; O 18% Enrollment Drop Due to COVID, Fire C n Jan. 12, Cabrillo College announced a record $2.6 million gift from an anonymous donor for peer-to-peer tutoring and permanent funding each year to employ 20 students as part-time tutors. These student tutors will help between 300 and 500 Cabrillo students each semester. With future state funding levels uncertain due to the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting recession, this Jessica Garcia gift arrives at an opportune time. “The impact of this donation is profound,” said Matt Wetstein, president and superintendent of Cabrillo College. “It will provide a stable source of funding for our student tutoring and mentoring programs, helping to employ students and to strengthen our completion rates.” He added, “We know from research and data that these programs work wonders for students. The funding will also foster the development of countless future educators who can give back to our community. In that sense, the legacy of a gift like this goes on for many generations to come.”

The HUB is the center for tutoring and learning resources at Cabrillo College, providing students free assistance one-on-one or in small groups. Cabrillo students who take advantage of tutoring in gateway math and English courses have earned higher grades — C or better — than those who didn’t get tutoring. Jessica Garcia, a popular tutor at the HUB, is excited that others will benefit from the experience as she has. “I absolutely love peer tutoring and believe it can be just as beneficial to the tutor as it is for the tutee,” she said. “I have learned a lot about my own learning style and new ways to study for my own classes. As a tutor, I love making friends with my students and helping them get the most out of their learning experience here at Cabrillo.” Since 1962, the Cabrillo College Foundation has raised more than $75 million in private gifts to support students and enhance educational programs. The foundation distributed $2.5 million for Cabrillo scholarships and programs in the 2019-2020 academic year. n To support the foundation, call 831-479-6338 or visit https://foundation.cabrillo.edu/

abrillo College is trying to rebuild enrollment, which is down 18 percent compared to spring semester 2020 because of COVID-19 hitting South County hard and the CZU lightning fire destroying 900 homes in Boulder Creek, Bonny Doon, and Swanton. The faculty switched to mostly online classes in wake of health officer orders in March to shelter in place and maintain social distancing to slow the spread of COVID-19. A mid-fall student survey found 31percent had dropped one or more classes. Of those 27 percent said it was because they don’t like online classes, 19% said it was related to COVID, and 14% said it was related to the fire. Ennrollment in 2020 was 9,618,

slipping below 10,000 for the first time in many decades, and down from 11,764 in 2019. Before the pandemic, when the local economy was humming and unemployment in Santa Cruz County has dropped to record lows, Cabrillo enrollment had declined for five years — not unusual when jobs are plentiful. During the Great Recession, triggered by the collapse of the housing market in 2008, enrollment soared to 15,508, as people who had lost jobs looked to add new skills and get back to work. “Enrollment” page 16

Healthy hearts love longer. At Dignity Health – Dominican Hospital, we understand that your heart doesn’t just beat for you. It’s our mission to help you and your family access comprehensive and safe care here in Santa Cruz—and receive it from doctors who excel at cardiology and humankindness. Because your heart should be full of love, not worry. Don’t delay the important care you need. Learn more and find a cardiologist near you at DignityHealth.org/DominicanHearts.

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Girl Scouts Debut Cookie Delivery Via GrubHub G G irl Scouts of California’s Central Coast are kicking off the 2021 Girl Scout Cookie season during a challenging time. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, girls are adapting their sales methods— including taking contact-free pickup and delivery orders through a new national collaboration with Grubhub. Online cookie ordering will be available nationwide on Feb. 1 for shoppers who don’t know a Girl Scout to buy cookies from a local troop. Proceeds from every purchase stay local with the troop and its council to fund Girl Scouts’ leadership programs. The Girl Scout Cookie Program has

long taught girls how to run a business via in-person booths, door-to-door activity, and the Digital Cookie platform online, which Girl Scouts USA launched in 2014. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit in the middle of the 2020 season and girls were faced with the same challenges as other small businesses, girls in the Central Coast quickly pivoted their sales methods. This year, Girl Scouts is providing new materials as part of their cookie badge program to support girls as they run their cookie business online and via social media. Grubhub his season, Girl Scouts of California’s Central Coast is participating in a national collaboration with food ordering and delivery platform Grubhub so girls have an additional way to facilitate contactfree cookie orders. In the Central Coast, consumers can order Girl Scout Cookies for pickup or delivery on Grubhub.com or the Grubhub app. Local Girl Scouts will track and fulfill orders, manage inventory, and more, all


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using Grubhub’s back-end technology. This method will be available in the Central Coast during the same business hours as the council’s retail locations. For all locations and business hours, visit www. girlscoutsccc.org . Grubhub has waived all fees for Girls Scouts USA to make this delivery option feasible for sales without reducing proceeds for troops and councils. February 1 eginning Feb. 1, customers can enter their zip code into the Girl Scout Cookie Finder at www.girlscoutsccc.org/cookies to find a local troop to purchase from through the Digital Cookie platform for direct shipment or donation to local organizations. This supports local girls while keeping their safety and skill-building top of mind. This year, Girl Scouts of California’s Central Coast will offer the new Toast-Yay! cookie, a French toast–inspired cookie dipped in icing, along with favorites, like Thin Mints, Shortbread and Caramel deLites. A gift-box option is available.


How to Buy irl Scout Cookie season runs from Jan. 13 through March 14. If you know a registered Girl Scout, reach out to her to find out how she’s selling cookies in ways that meet local and state safety protocols. If you don’t know a Girl Scout, visit www.girlscoutcookies.org, text COOKIES to 59618 (message and data rates may apply. Text STOPGS for STOP, HELPGS for help), or use the official Girl Scout Cookie Finder app for free on iOS or Android devices to find cookies in your area. Visit www.grubhub.com/food/ girl_scouts to order via contact-free delivery from Grubhub in the Central Coast. Grubhub delivery is available during the business hours of our council’s retail locations. Please visit www.girlscoutsccc.org for addresses and hours of operation. Beginning Feb. 1, enter your zip code into the Girl Scout Cookie Finder at www. girlscoutsccc.org/cookies to purchase from a local Girl Scout troop online for shipment to your door or to donate cookies to first responders and local causes. n


Sea Breeze Tavern On The Market

Rio Del Mar’s Oldest Commercial Building Up For Sale; Asking $799,900


he iconic Sea Breeze Tavern at 101 Esplanade in Rio Del Mar is back on the market after a fire. Its claims to fame are the architectural style, oceanfront view and being the oldest commercial building in Rio Del Mar, built in 1926. Now the roof is covered by a blue tarp and it’s fenced off so no one can get inside, adding little charm to the neighborhood. Aptos /La Selva Fire Marshal Mike DeMars concluded his investigation, saying the fire is considered suspicious but there “is no direct evidence leading to an exact cause.” Wedgewood, which bought the property from Rich McInnis before the June 14 fire, is a company focused on acquiring and rehabilitating distressed real estate. Some call it the home-flipping giant. Before the fire, the Seabreeze consisted of 3,800 square feet with two apartments upstairs and the first floor as

“Dependable Service, Affordable Quality”



Residential Repaints & If we paint your interior and/or Custom Homes exterior by February 28, 2021 Homeowners Associations we will buy the paint. Property Managers

the tavern, but there is not much space for cars to park. McInnis lost his liquor license in 2016 and fell behind on property taxes. The county took over the two lots next door after McInnis owed $100,000. Torre Gurmin, Wedgewood project manager, said the company was interested in the upstairs apartments. “We had planned on fixing it up and selling before the fire,” he said, adding that McInnis had not moved out. Paul Zech of Coldwell Banker is Wedgewood’s real estate agent. n

El Pajaro Women’s Business Center Opens in Watsonville


n Jan. 5, U.S. Rep. Jimmy Panetta (D-Carmel Valley) announced the launch of the El Pájaro Women’s Business Center in Watsonville. El Pájaro joins a national network of 136 centers that offer one-on-one counseling, training, networking, workshops, technical assistance, and mentoring to women entrepreneurs on business development. Last year, Panetta sent a letter to the Small Business Administration urging the establishment of a WBC on the Central Coast to provide greater resources to local female business owners. “The El Pájaro Regional Women’s Business Center will provide greater

opportunities to female entrepreneurs in our communities,” said Panetta. “El Pájaro WBC will ensure women-owned small businesses have the tools they need to thrive during this bruising pandemic and long after. I was proud to advocate for a WBC on the Central Coast and I look forward to the future success of all who will benefit from the guidance of the El Pájaro WBC team.” “WBC” page 17

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How Does Your Food Bank Work? Y ou’ve likely heard of Second Harvest Food Bank of Santa Cruz County. But what’s a food bank and how does ours work? Simply, food banks are not-for-profit, food acquistion, warehousing and distribution services for people with food insecurity. There’s one in every county. Ours, the first in California, began in 1972 and is the second in the nation. The name “Second Harvest” is used by many food banks. Our food bank is one of the founding members of the Feeding American Network. How is the Food Bank Sustained? s a non-profit, 501(c)(3) corporation, Second Harvest, through an active development program, receives private


donations, corporate gifts, foundation, local and national business, and government grants. Extensive relationships with farmers, retailers, and food bank networks sources over 8 million pounds of food in typical years. Much of it donated by farms, grocery stores, food manufacturers and distributors. “We’re blessed being in an agricultural area and receiving produce donations from growers and food producers like Lakeside Organic Gardens, Driscoll’s, Field Fresh Farms and so many others,” explains Brendan Miele, COO at Second Harvest. Second Harvest buys food in the wholesale market as well. Because of these relationships, it can provide four meals of healthy food for a dollar. Donating cash to the food bank, rather

Cars line up to receive food at the Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds in Watsonville.

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than retail food purchases, is a more effective way of addressing hunger. Examples: A jar of peanut butter costs about $3 at retail. The food bank pays just over a dollar. Apples that cost $1 a pound at the store are typically 12 cents a pound for the food bank.

What’s Special About Our Food Bank? anta Cruz is a small but highly diverse county in businesses and population. The two key industries are hospitality and agriculture. Many Silicon Valley tech workers live here. That industry has footholds and growing businesses as well. And we have a world-class university. We grow, pack and ship an enormous variety and amount of food. Multiple crops per year are possible. Organic agriculture is well-established. These factors all have effects on food demand and the ability to supply those in need. Perhaps most valuable is the unsung army of volunteers staffing all the locations where food is distributed.


How Does Food Get to People? hink of the hunger-fighting system, the bank and its partner agencies, as a hub of a wheel. The food bank at the hub serves myriad organizations including churches, schools, pantries and other nonprofits. You’ve likely seen our trucks delivering food to local pickup locations as well as bringing food from beyond the county. Partner agencies also collect food from the food bank. The system works on a justin-time schedule making food available.


Volunteers prepare food packages in early March before regulations. From left: Alvaro Ceja, Maritza Ruiz, Maribel Garcia and Heather Turley. Who Receives the Food? ne-in-four children and one-in-five adults in our county face hunger. Hunger is an unfortunately invisible problem. But the food bank and its partners typically reach 55,000 people monthly. That includes children, seniors, veterans, homeless, working poor and those needing some help during tough times. Since the onslaught of the Covid-19 pandemic, that number has nearly doubled.


How is Second Harvest Navigating the Pandemic/Wildfire Crisis? he food bank has been stretched due to cascading challenges. Volunteer staff, normally doing packing and handling, can’t volunteer due to limited space.


“Food Bank” page 17

The Great Believers


Our Community Reads 2021: Rebecca Makkai’s Novel About the Start of the AIDS Epidemic


or 2021, the Friends of the Aptos Library will host virtual events centered on “The Great Believers,” by Rebecca Makkai, a novel set in Chicago at

the beginning of the AIDS epidemic of the 1980s and in Paris in 2015. Due to the pandemic, this year’s Our Community Reads will take place remotely. All events are free and open to the public, but registration is required to access each event. To register: Go to the Santa Cruz Public Library website at www.santacruzpl.org and scroll down to “Upcoming Virtual Events.” Scroll down the list of events until you find the one you want, and click “Register Now!” The novel, chosen through a virtual community vote, tells of the residents of Boystown, Chicago’s gay community, a bequest of art from the 1920s, and a mother’s quest to be reunited with her long-estranged daughter. Programs will include discussions of the AIDS crisis by some who lived through it, comparisons with the COVID-19 pandemic, the annual high school art competition, and the ever-popular Trivia Night—in a new format. •••

Here is the list of events: Jan. 28: Adult Book Discussion Group. Margie Bowles leads a thought-provoking group discussion. Sponsored by Friend of La Selva Beach Library. • 10:30 a.m. Feb. 1: HIV/AIDS in the 80’s: “Firsthand Accounts of the Santa Cruz Scene” with State Sen. John Laird leading a panel discussion with men who were living in Santa Cruz as the epidemic was exploding. No effective treatments were yet available, and misinformation was rampant. Audience Q&A will follow. Sponsored by the Friends of the Capitola Library. • 7 p.m. Feb. 3: Capitola Branch Library Book Discussion, led by Lorena Lopez. • 10 a.m.

Feb. 7: “HIV/AIDS, Activism, and the Politics of Pandemic,” with David Reichard, CSU Monterey Bay Professor of History & Legal Studies and Interim Associate Dean in the College of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences at CSUMB, describing the history of grassroots HIV/AIDS activism—especially in the 1980s and 1990s—and how it illustrates the ways marginalized groups advocating for changes in healthcare access, policy, and resources can shape the course of a pandemic. Audience Q&A will follow. • 5 p.m. Feb. 11: Aptos Library Book Discussion led by Judy McNeely. • 1 p.m. “Our Community Reads” page 21

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Progress in EDD Pandemic Unemployment Aid Fraud N ew safeguards have been put in place to protect Californians from fraud within state and federal unemployment insurance programs as ongoing investigations move forward, according to the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services, which is working with state’s districts attorneys and the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Changes include fraud detection criteria as advised by Thomson Reuters, and a new data-sharing system with the state prison system to halt payments to incarcerated individuals. • Thomson Reuters’ Pondera tech division, acquired for $125 million in March, works with many states and is the vendor recommended by the California District Attorneys. • Thomson Reuters’ fraud screen identified 3.5 million claims as potentially fraudulent. About 1.9 million of these had been disqualified by EDD and on Dec. 26 EDD stopped payment on the remaining 1.4 million. Established Nov. 24, the state level coordination group on unemployment insurance fraud — which also includes participation from the Federal Bureau of investigation, the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (CDCR) among others — has worked closely with the California Employment Development Department to employ new tools to strengthen fraud detection. “California is committed to making steady progress to swiftly identify and stop fraud that has occurred during the pandemic within the unemployment benefits system. We thank our local, state and federal partners for their collaborative efforts to date,” said Mark Ghilarducci, director of the Governor’s Office of Emergency Services.

“Enrollment ” from page 11 Anyone searching for courses for the spring semester starting Jan. 25 will find the Cabrillo website looks different. The new website at www.cabrillo.edu was launched on Dec. 22 and is expected to be easier for students to navigate. The spring course catalog is listed under academics. Also, there are links to on-campus classes such as screen-printing and metal casting, late-starting classes in February, March and April, free non-credit classes such as beginning computer technology and

“A fraud scheme of this magnitude, involving potentially billions of taxpayer dollars and thousands of fraudsters requires a united law enforcement approach. We have built a team of federal, state and local partners, and we are pleased and proud to work with them to investigate and prosecute the fraud arising out of the pandemic,” said U.S. Attorney McGregor W. Scott. “We have already indicted multiple defendants, and a large number of cases are in the pipeline.” Anne Marie Schubert, Sacramento County district attorney and statewide task force leader, said, “We continue to be concerned about the staggering fraud that has been committed by incarcerated individuals. However, with the collaboration of Cal OES, EDD, CDCR and law enforcement, we’ve made significant progress in addressing this fraud. “ Vern Pierson, president of the California District Attorneys Association and El Dorado County District Attorney, applauded efforts of the statewide task force. “Significant progress has been made by this group, however; we recognize much more work is needed, at all levels of

government,” he said. “We appreciate the engagement and the unification of effort led by Mark Ghilarducci and Tom Osborne at the Office of Emergency Services in this effort as well as that of CDCR and EDD.” Pierson said CDAA is committed to the developing long-term solutions to fraud by eliminating barriers to effective collaboration and information- sharing. The efforts of the task force include: • Establishing a joint executive-level multi-agency coordination group to facilitate a unity of effort, coordinate actions and streamline statewide investigative efforts. • Expanding contract between EDD and Thomson Reuters to apply additional industry-standard fraud detection-criteria and act on claims deemed highly suspect or fraudulent. • Allocating $5 million in state funding to support and enhance the investigative efforts of regional District Attorney Task Forces. • Establishing a new data sharing agreement which allows the CDCR to more broadly share information with EDD investigators to accelerate cross-matching of inmate data to

more rapidly identify fraudulent claims being made by or on behalf incarcerated individuals. It will also help to identify and eradicate any potential fraud within both the state prison system as well as local jail facilities. • Working with ID.me to strengthen the EDD identity verification process. Since ID.me was launched in October, it has stopped an estimated 30% of claims. • Sharing multi-agency resources to streamline investigative efforts and de-conflict case data across the state to prevent duplication, increase coordination and insure continued collaboration. • Using the state cyber security threat intelligence, big data analysis and threat assessment capabilities to support investigative efforts. • Supporting federal, state and local law enforcement in conducting search warrants, indictments and facilitating arrests of fraud perpetrators. • Increasing collaboration by incorporating regional investigative task force efforts into state-level coordination. The State level coordination taskforce was created at the Direction of Governor Gavin Newsom. n ••• Organizations participating in this effort include: Governor’s Office of Emergency Services, the California District Attorneys Association, U.S. Department of Labor-Office of the Inspector General, Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Secret Service, US Attorney’s Office, U.S. Marshals Service, Federal Bureau of Prisons, California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation and the California Employee Development Department.

prepping for job applications, and zero-cost textbook classes such as art of the Americas and forensic anthropology. Meanwhile, the board of trustees’ Name Exploration Subcommittee has set up a page up on the college website with FAQs and a timeline of their activities: https:// www.cabrillo.edu/governing-board/ name-exploration-subcommittee/ After several months of negotiations with Santa Cruz Breakers Soccer Club on a long-term facilities use agreement, that agreement has been reached and approved by the board.

In exchange for access to the college soccer fields, the Breakers propose to donate $3 million toward the renovation of the facilities to create an all-weather soccer field. The planned agreement, triggered by a donation of that magnitude, would allow the Breakers to have priority scheduling access to the college’s soccer facilities when not in use by the college. Under the agreement, other groups would still retain public access through the Civic Center Act for other potential uses. The Breakers and the college will

split revenue from Breakers tournaments (80-20 percent split, with 20 percent going to the college). This allows the college to accrue some revenue to help defray the costs of operations and future maintenance. The planned agreement runs for 15 years, with an option for five more years. Under the terms of the agreement, Cabrillo’s Vice President/Assistant Superintendent of Administrative Services will manage and control the renovation project on behalf of the college, under normal bidding and construction processes. n

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“Food Bank” from page 14 The California National Guard, with government assistance, has thankfully stepped in. Temporary workers, replacing volunteers have been hired. Truck drivers are in short supply since package delivery services are demanding their skills. And partner agencies have been unable to visit the food bank due to Covid restrictions. The whole food-supply chain was disrupted but is stabilizing. Shortages of some items still occur. Availability of packaging supplies for transporting food was a problem. Second Harvest now has several refrigerated trailers handling vastly increased supply volumes. A second warehouse was added. The enormous spike in food demand is being met. You’re probably aware of news about the weekly, mass food distributions at the county fairgrounds in Watsonville and Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk parking lots.

Willy Elliott-McCrea (right) receives a check for Second Harvest Food Bank from Twin Lakes Church pastor Rene Schlaepfer. Most heartening are the people of our county demonstrating generosity, which makes ends meet. Donations large, medium and small are arriving to help meet this challenge. The county is coming together and winning this fight. We have hundreds of “Hunger Heroes” to be thankful for. That’s how your food bank works! n ••• Photos by Jennifer Welling courtesy of Second Harvest Food Bank

Food is prepared for distribution in the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk’s Riverside parking lot.

“WBC” from page 13 “Over the past several months, we have seen Women’s Business Centers provide aid to our nation’s innovative and determined entrepreneurs, allowing countless small business owners to pivot with confidence to stay afloat during the pandemic,” said SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza. “Expanding the WBC program is part of this Administration’s longstanding commitment to the success of female entrepreneurs and women-owned small businesses. Adding these new Women’s Business Centers to the already existing network of centers across America will boost timely resources to our nation’s female economic drivers, providing them with local training and counseling.” “Opening the doors to the new Women’s Business Centers is crucial to the vitality of women-owned small business owners. This network expansion will provide female entrepreneurs with the resources they need to start, grow, and expand their businesses,” said Associate

“Expanding the WBC program is part of this Administration’s longstanding commitment to the success of female entrepreneurs and women-owned small businesses.” — SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza

Administrator for the Office of Entrepreneurial Development Allen Gutierrez. “We look forward to the continued success of the WBC program as it contributes to the overall health of our economy and creates jobs in their local communities.” Panetta has been an advocate for small businesses and Women’s Business Centers, securing $23 million in Congress’ FY2021 omnibus package. In the 116th Congress, Panetta introduced the Community Economic Development Center Support Act to provide funding to nonprofits such as El Pájaro offering technical assistance to minority and immigrant-owned small businesses and entrepreneurs. n

www.tpgonlinedaily.com Aptos Times / January 15th 2021 / 17


Aptos Real Estate Update

Ruth Bates 831.359.2212

ruthbates1@gmail.com CalBRE#01799929

Happy New Year!

RECAP 2020 — 301 homes sold in Aptos in 2020. 33 homes sold for over $2 Million thus the Average Sales Price (ASP) rose to $1,384,662 and Median Sales Price (MSP) was $1,150,000. Six homes sold for over $4M, (the highest sale was 763 Las Olas – $9,255,000), 10 sold $3-4M, 17 sold $2-3M, 36 sold $1.5-2M, 124 Sold $1-1.5M, 61 sold $800K-$1M and 47 sold for < $800K (the lowest sale was 815 Encino – 1 bed/1 bath/726 Sq. Ft. – $470,000). This compares to 2019 where 237 homes sold at ASP $1,168,533 and MSP $998,000. Median Sales Price was up 15% which is significant. 54 Townhomes sold in 2020 at ASP $795,302 and MSP $767,500. 63 Condos sold in 2020 at ASP $697,926 and MSP $650,000. ACTIVES — Currently there are only 14 homes on the market in Aptos and 6 of those listed at $2 Million or more. It is very much a Seller’s market. I have a New Listing at 260 Pebble Beach – 4 beds, 2.5 baths, 3015 Sq. Ft on corner lot, asking $1,499,000. It is early in the season and I do expect more inventory soon. PROP 19 did pass and so you can now transfer your home property tax basis anywhere in California if you are over 55 and you sell your primary residence. You can downsize, or even upsize and still get tax benefits with this new law.

INTEREST RATES — Are at absolutely unbelievable lows! I have a client who just got 2.85% and online lenders are quoting as low as 2.17% for 30-year fixed mortgages. If you have not refinanced yet, do it now! I’m so glad that 2020 is over, who knows what 2021 will bring. But as always, Aptos is a very special place to live and I’m grateful to be a part of the Aptos community. ———

For all things Real Estate, call, email, text and Get Results With Ruth!

SANTA CRUZ COUNTY Paid Advertising


Can You Help These Scotts Valley Heroes? R

By Joanne Purdy Guzman

emember the last time we had a big fireworks show? How you looked up at the sky with friends and family and ooh’d and ah’d at the magic before your eyes? Did you wonder who helped make that happen? Ed and Mari Rossi did. Or do you ever wonder how your child’s teacher or school had the materials required for your child to get the education they need? https://www.gofundme. com/f/our-local-heroes-need-our-help have donated tens of thousands over the years. Do you know how it is that you’re able to go to the library and use all the references there at no cost? Ed and Mari Rossi made that happen. Have you ever been down on your luck and received weekly groceries from Nob Hill and wondered who was behind the food on your table? Ed and Mari Rossi were your grocery fairies. If you live in Scotts Valley, you have heard the names Ed and Mari Rossi. They have not only contributed to so many causes here in Scotts Valley, but in all of Santa Cruz County and beyond. Right now, the two people who are always helping other people need some help from all of us. Ed has Hodgkin’s lymphoma and a large mass in his abdomen. He is having surgery tomorrow to install the central line ports for the aggressive chemo. Mari does full time caregiving for her mom who has Alzheimer’s, 4 days and nights a week. With life circumstances, coupled with illness and caregiving needs they are in danger of losing the place they have made their home. When I became aware of their circumstances, I offered to start a Gofundme. Mari immediately said no. I was not surprised at all, she is a giver, and people who are givers usually aren’t able to easily accept help. I asked her to take a few days to think about it, to talk to God and then make a decision. After talking it over with Ed, they agreed to allow me to start this Gofundme for them so they could hopefully stay through this coming year in their home. With all their current and upcoming challenges, it would be a great relief to not have to move. With so many people who need help right now, please read along to understand why you should choose Ed and Mari. The gifts mentioned above are just a few that Ed and Mari Rossi have given to our community and others. In addition they have been major donors to the following:

18 / January 15th 2021 / Aptos Times www.tpgonlinedaily.com

The Boys and Girls Club The Senior Center Twin Lakes Church and School Fallen Officer’s Foundation Special Olympics and Police in Pursuit Young Life Rebele Family Shelter The Scotts Valley Dare program The Moose Lodge Meals on Wheels Scotts Valley Kiwanis Scotts Valley Recreation The Scotts Valley Education Foundation Music in Skypark Numerous local family-owned businesses For years, wherever there has been a need, Ed and Mari have been there giving. I remember the first time I was aware of the magnitude of Ed and Mari’s generosity. I was invited to come help get gifts ready for the families at the Rebele Family Shelter. Not just gifts for a few families. Gifts for ALL 40 of the families in the entire shelter. I arrived at the Scotts Valley Community Center to a flurry of action. People everywhere wrapping gifts, filling out Christmas cards, bagging gifts and loading them on a big truck. In the middle of it all were Ed and Mari full of holiday spirit of giving and thanking everybody. I walked up to Mari and asked where I could help, she told me to wait and disappeared for a moment, she came back carrying a gift bag for me to say thank you. I was surprised that she’d even thought of the helpers in her generosity. She brought me over to a gift card table where I met other people who had helped with this project before. Mari was busy going around to every station to make sure each family had all of the things the children and parents asked for. Not just a few of the items on their Christmas list, but EVERY SINGLE item they asked for. And she wanted them to have more, there were gift cards for each family for groceries, clothes and restaurants. It was a huge operation and many people from the community were there helping. When we were

all finished I left with a big smile, just completely blown away by the generosity and love in that room and knowing these families were going to have a wonderful Christmas despite being homeless. Since that first time helping, I have come to know Mari and Ed and call them friends. Throughout these years I have witnessed them give to so many people and causes that I am in awe of their generosity and kindness. Several times while dining at Bruno’s they have looked around the room and discreetly pulled me aside to anonymously buy dinner for several tables of families with young kids or single parents, citing, “I remember how hard it was to afford to go out to dinner when the kids were young.” The joy on the families’ faces is enough of a reward for them. They don’t need accolades. If you know them, you know how generous they are. And if you don’t know them and live in this community we call home, then you have most likely benefited in some way from one of the causes they had their hands in giving to. Now they need our help. They don’t know how to ask for help, but they need it right now and we need to step up to help two of the people who have been helping all of us and our community for so long. I ask that you please look into your heart and give whatever you can afford to contribute. If you aren’t able to help monetarily and have another idea of how you can contribute to raising the funds needed, please contact me or my husband Ro, we are planning on a future fundraiser at Bruno’s to assist. Thank you! n ••• The goal is $45,000. To donate, visit www. gofundme.com/f/our-local-heroes-need-our-help

Ed and Mari Rossi


Huerta, Valdez to speak Jan. 26 O n Tuesday, Jan. 26 at 7 p.m. longtime activists and friends Dolores Huerta (co-founder, United Farm Workers) and Luis Valdez (founder, El Teatro Campesino) will kick off the Peninsula Open Space Trust’s 2021 Wallace Stegner Lectures. This online conversation, entitled “Land and People,” is free. Advance registration is available at https://openspacetrust.org/ wsls-dolores-huerta/. Dolores Huerta is best known as cofounder, with César Chávez, of United Farm Workers. Since then, she has worked for decades to protect the civil rights of immigrant communities in California and beyond — while challenging gender discrimination all along the way. Playwright and director Luis Valdez has long been a voice for the Chicano community through his writings and theater productions, which are inspired by his involvement with Chávez, the United Farm Workers and the Chicano Movement. In this online conversation, Huerta and Valdez will reflect on their long histories in the Santa Clara Valley, their work toward social and environmental justice and their


Kirby School is an independent college preparatory day school in Santa Cruz for grades 6-12.

Dolores Huerta • Luis Valdez

perspectives on the relationships between history, land and people in California. José González, founder of Latino Outdoors, will facilitate the discussion. Partners for this event include Latino Outdoors, the Dolores Huerta Foundation and Puente. POST’s Wallace Stegner Lectures 2021 will feature activist Erin Brockovich (Feb 23), climate scientist Dr. Michael E. Mann (Mar 9) and humanitarian chef José Andrés (Apr 6). The series is available for $30 at www.openspacetrust.org/lectures. Advance registration is required. n

Join us at an upcoming virtual Admissions event to learn more about our exceptional college prep program and online-only option for high school. Events are hosted on Zoom. To sign up, visit kirby.org/register


425 Encinal Street | Santa Cruz, CA 95060

Homeless Count Planned for Jan. 19


By Jondi Gumz

ome counties have opted to cancel the annual Homeless Point-in-Time count because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but not Santa Cruz County, which plans to conduct that count on the morning of Jan. 19. Applied Survey Research of Watsonville is spearheading the project, with a focus on safety for all participants. This means shifting to virtual meetings and trainings and drive-through style deployment sites at outdoor locations with enough space for volunteers to maintain physical distance. Volunteers will work in teams, and walk or drive all assigned routes from 5:30 to 8 a.m. Some may be walking two or three miles. The 2019 count produced a census of 2,167 individuals who were homeless, down from 2,249 in 2017 but up from 1,964 in 2015.

In 2019, there were 467 sheltered individuals and 1,700 unsheltered. Of the total, 569 were “transition age youth” aging out of foster care, 419 were in families, 403 were chronically homeless, 151 were veterans, and 51 were unaccompanied children. The count also found: 23% had been in foster care 56% had been in Santa Cruz County for five years or more 67% were white 67% were male 59% were 25 or older 31% were employed 52% were unable to work 26% became homeless after losing a job 63% reported receiving government benefits (food stamps, Social Security, SSI, CalWorks) “Homeless” page 20

www.tpgonlinedaily.com Aptos Times / January 15th 2021 / 19


Palace Art’s Santa Cruz Store Closes

Inventory Moving to Kings Plaza Store in Capitola


mainstay in downtown Santa Cruz since 1949, family-run Palace Art & Office Supply has closed its downtown store — another COVID-19 casualty — and consolidated into its longtime Capitola location in Kings Plaza. The change, which took place Jan.

Palace Stationery, from years gone by, in downtown Santa Cruz.

1, does not impact their sister company, Palace Business Solutions, which focuses on business-to-business products and services. “The Capitola store is much more flexible and offers expansive free parking,” said Mark Rispaud, director of operations. “With a larger store space, we are able to carry a broader selection of products.” The Capitola store at 1501-K 41st Ave. has long held a wider range of educational products for kids and teachers than its downtown counterpart, along with toys and gifts. The location also includes a large classroom space where demonstrations and workshops will be held again when it’s safe to do so. “This was not an easy decision for us to make,” said Roy Trowbridge, president. “But it is the best option for us to be able to continue to serve our loyal customers and staff.” The downtown Santa Cruz retail landscape has changed considerably since


the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in March. As an exclusively brick-and-mortar business, Palace has long relied on a steady stream of foot traffic from the movie theater next door, downtown restaurants, and students — all of which has diminished. Among the downtown closures were Starbucks, Walgreens, and locally owned Betty Burgers, Nourish, Pono Hawaiian Grill, Buttercup Cakes & Farmhouse Frosting, Rosie McCann’s Irish Pub and Restaurant and the True Olive Connection, which pivoted to online sales. Palace Art & Office Supply operated out of four different Downtown addresses over the 71 years since it was purchased by Col. Frank Trowbridge as Palace Stationers in 1949. In that time, the family-owned and operated business has endured its fair share of community hardships, including the 1955 flood, 1989 Loma Prieta Earthquake and the economic downturn of 2008. Through it all, they have persisted thanks to the support of a loyal customer base that spans generations and a determined mindset. As Trowbridge says, “Just keep going.” n

We supply an average of nearly 3 million gallons of high quality drinking water for you every day.

“Homeless” from page 19 hall

28% had been in jail/prison or juvenile

32% reported psychiatric/emotional conditions 30% reported alcohol and/or drug use ••• The 2019 count did not identify numbers for Aptos or Soquel or San Lorenzo Valley, but here are the numbers by jurisdiction:

Your Community Partner for Reliable Water 20 / January 15th 2021 / Aptos Times www.tpgonlinedaily.com

Palace Art & Office Supply closes its downtown Santa Cruz store on Jan. 1. Palace Art & Office Supply: 501-K 41st Ave., Capitola. Hours Monday — Saturday, 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., closed Sunday. Learn more at: stores.gopalace.com Palace Business Solutions is the Central Coast’s largest independent dealer of office products, school supplies, cleaning supplies, and office and school furniture. Learn more at: www.gopalace.com

City of Santa Cruz:.............. 1,197 Watsonville:............................. 370 Capitola:...................................... 6 Scotts Valley:............................... 4 Unincorporated:..................... 515 County Office of Education:... 75 ••• To view the 2019 count, visit https:// housingmatterssc.org/wp-content/ uploads/2019/08/2019-PIT-Count-FullReport.pdf n


PV Water Board Approves $1.2 Million Conservation Program Budget WATSONVILLE — The Pajaro Valley Water Management Agency Board of Directors took another step in the direction of groundwater sustainability by approving a $1.2 million water conservation program. PV Water is partnering with the Resource Conservation District of Santa Cruz County (RCD) and the University of California Cooperative Extension (UCCE) to provide technical expertise and training to help Pajaro Valley farmers use water more efficiently. The Board action followed a staff report that concluded over the most recent five-years for which data is available (20152019), agricultural water use in the valley, outside the delivered water service area, was down by nearly 2,750 acre-feet (AF), or about 8%, when compared to the baseline period of 20062010. Conservation makes up over 40% of the solution for the Pajaro Valley to achieve groundwater sustainability. PV Water Board of Directors described

“Our Community Reads” from page 15 Feb. 13: Cut-Paper Art Workshop with Felton glass artist April Zilber leading a hands-on art project. Have colored paper (look in your recycling bin), pencil, scissors, and glue stick or tape. This is your chance to be creative, a small gesture of art in respect to The Great Believers. Sponsored by the Felton Library Friends. • 4 p.m. Feb. 19: Trivia Night with prizes and Supervisor Zach Friend returning as emcee. Come on your own, with friends, or with your book group (virtually of course) to show off your knowledge of The Great Believers. You supply your own cocktails and snacks. • 6 p.m. Feb. 21: “Memories: My Brother, a Quilt, and the AIDS Project.” Join this moving conversation with Dinah Davis, a local resident who lost her brother to HIV/ AIDS. She tells how the illness affected her family at a time when many members of the LGBTQ community remained closeted. The event, led by life coach Kris Franceschi, includes a short documentary on the San Francisco gay scene of the 1980s, narrated by Cleve Jones, who conceived

their support with thoughtful remarks that followed the conservation presentation. “The best way to make a change is to educate people; the RCD and UC have been working on that for many years,” said director and farmer Javier Zamora. “By giving [farmers] some cash [through the rebate program] they will have an incentive to help us reach our goal.” Said director Mary Bannister: “The trend lines show amazing progress. If you look at the 10-year trend lines, then the 7-year trends, and finally the 5-year it’s clear the Valley is demonstrably making progress toward our goal, and it is a good thing because [conservation] is the most affordable project within the Basin Management Plan. Conservation is much cheaper than pipelines and other hard construction projects. Water conservation benefits the entire Pajaro Valley.” PV Water has been working with the RCD and UCCE to engage Valley growers

since program inception. RCD and UCCE technical experts evaluate existing on-farm practices and then provide recommendations to improve practices that are based on trials and research. As part of this new program, PV Water is increasing incentives for farmers to modify their irrigation practices to become more resource-efficient at a faster rate. Demonstrations are a part of the program to showcase new technology and practices that can save large amounts of water while not reducing crop yield. The new program will increase the number of farmers participating in the agricultural water conservation program and ultimately increase the volume of water conserved within the Pajaro Valley. To learn more about the Conservation Program contact PV Water at 831-722-9292 or visit our website https://www.pvwater. org/conservation. n ••• The Pajaro Valley Water Management

Agency (PV Water) is a state-chartered watermanagement district formed to efficiently and economically manage existing and supplemental water supplies in order to prevent further increase in, and to accomplish continuing reduction of, long-term overdraft. The agency also works to provide and ensure sufficient water supplies for present and future anticipated needs within its boundaries, generally the greater coastal Pajaro Valley. PV Water’s Board of Directors is focused on achieving groundwater sustainability for the critically overdrafted Pajaro Valley Groundwater Basin. For more information, visit www.pvwater.org or www.facebook.com/PajaroValleyWater.

the AIDS Memorial Quilt to which Dinah contributed. You can view the documentary at www.youtube.com/ watch?v=hX0Ju8IhoXQ • 5 p.m. Feb. 24: Santa Cruz Public Library Book Discussion Group. April Zilber of the Felton Library Friends leads a thought-provoking group discussion. • 6 p.m. March 4: “Pandemics, Politics and Public Health.” An interactive talk with Dr. Ronald P. Hattis, MD, MPH, associate clinical professor of preventive medicine, Loma Linda University School of Medicine, and past president and current secretary of the Beyond AIDS Foundation, discusses his history, beginning in the early ‘80s, in the fight against HIV/AIDS, which he calls a “slow-moving pandemic,” and connects this to the current faster-moving COVID-19 pandemic. • 7 p.m. ••• Deluxe Foods of Aptos is participating in a partnership to raise money for the Friends of the Aptos Library. At checkout, let the cashier know you want to donate to the Friends and Deluxe will donate 5% of your purchase to support Friends programs. Info: https://www.friendsofaptoslibrary. org/our-community-reads-2021.html

www.tpgonlinedaily.com Aptos Times / January 15th 2021 / 21


John Laird Sworn in as State Senator; Session Starts January 11 S anta Cruz County has a new state senator, John Laird, who was sworn in Dec. 7 to represent the 900,000plus constituents of District 17, which stretches from southern Santa Clara County through coastal and southern Monterey County and south through San Luis Obispo County, including the majestic Carrizo Plain National Monument. The 2021 legislative session, initially scheduled for Jan. 4, will not begin until Jan. 11 due to exploding COVID-19 infection rates throughout California. A resident of Santa Cruz and a graduate of UC Santa Cruz, Laird is a 70-year-old political veteran, having served as Santa Cruz City Council member and mayor, Cabrillo College trustee, State Assembly member, and California secretary for natural resources. He is among 19 newly elected or re-elected senators, nearly half of the 40-member legislative body. As one of 30 Democrats, he is in the majority. The ceremony was markedly different from traditional swearing-in ceremonies due to COVID-19 distancing requirements. No friends, family, or staff members were allowed into the Capitol, which remains closed to all but essential staff. Prior to the swearing-in ceremony, every senator was tested for COVID-19, and only 20 senators were among the 40 seats in the chamber -- with the remaining senators distanced around the back of the chamber.

Laird read the opening prayer on behalf of Sister Michelle Gorman, the Senate chaplain, who could not attend due to restrictions on gathering. “I am eager to start tackling the many significant issues that face the diverse constituency of the 17th Senate District,” said Laird. “With the impacts of climate change ravaging our coastline, our forests, and the health and safety of everyone in our district and beyond, not a moment can be lost in pushing further action on climate resiliency. Along with that is the urgent need to address the devastating health and economic impact of COVID-19. I will prioritize ensuring broad access to a vaccine when it is available and working on near-term economic relief for the most vulnerable Californians.” He added, “The diversity of our district reflects the diversity of the many issues beyond climate change that must be meaningfully addressed. Racial justice, access to quality healthcare and education, affordable housing, and economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic will be priorities for me and my team. As a former local elected official, legislator, and agency secretary I see many opportunities through existing programs, regulations, budgets, and legislation to improve the lives of the people I’ve been elected to represent.” Senators re-elected Senate President Pro Tem Toni Atkins (D-San Diego) to another term. •••

Key staff positions for Laird Capitol Office Chief of Staff Richard Stapler (formerly VP of Public Affairs California Dental Association, deputy secretary California Natural Resources Agency) Legislative Director Michelle V. Reyes (formerly advocate for Political Solutions, policy analyst, California State Assembly) Scheduler Jenn Short (formerly scheduler in California State Senate and Assembly) District Office District Director Angela Chesnut (formerly chief aide for Santa Cruz County supervisor) Laird’s Committee Assignments Chair, Senate Budget Subcommittee #1 (Education) Vice Chair, Joint Legislative Audit Committee Member, Appropriations Committee Member, Budget & Fiscal Review Committee Member, Joint Legislative Committee on Budget Member, Judiciary Committee Member, Labor, Public Employment & Retirement Member, Natural Resources & Water Committee Member, Rules Committee Member, Joint Legislative Committee on Rules The seating chart puts him next to Senate President Atkins.

John Laird ••• “I want to thank Senate President Pro Tem Toni Atkins for allowing me the opportunity to serve on several crucial policy-making and fiscal committees,” said Laird. “These assignments well position me to advance strong, workable measures on climate change, sustainable public education, affordable housing, access to health care and support for science-based public health, addressing issues of social justice, and providing both short and long-term relief from COVID-19 pandemic impacts.” n ••• For information, visit https://sd17.senate. ca.gov/.

Stay Connected Through the Volunteer Center of Santa Cruz County


s we are asked to maintain social distancing to prevent spread of COVID-19, this has created challenges for older adults to access the programs and connections they want and need. Stay Connected, a new program from the Volunteer Center of Santa Cruz County, is here to help.

The Stay Connected Program enables local seniors to connect over the phone, getting a social call from a friendly peer and sharing community resources. Local residents are invited to participate. Be a part of a program that engages older adults in our community and makes a lasting connection in their lives and yours. Get Matched You get to choose when and how often you want to connect. As you build a relationship with your volunteer caller, they can help you navigate the resources that might be most helpful to you including grocery support, learning new technology from home, or making connections while stuck at home.

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Our knowledgeable volunteers are here to provide patience and a friendly voice to help you manage the challenges so many face this year. Call @ 831-427-5070 ext 115. Volunteer If you have an interest in assisting your neighbors, seniors and families in our community, you can help. Volunteers are needed to connect with community members over the phone to coach them through the resources available. We will match you with a senior in need of support and consistent follow-up. Training and tools are provided. Bilingual (English / Spanish) volunteers are especially needed. n

Training will be online 11 a.m. to noon Jan. 18 and 25. Sign up at https://scvolunteercenter.org/programs/stay-connected/


California’s First Master Plan for Aging O n Jan. 6, the Newsom Administration released California’s first-ever Master Plan for Aging, a framework designed to prepare the state for the growth of the 60-and-over population to 10.8 million people by 2030. The Master Plan’s development began with an Executive Order from the Governor in June 2019, directing the Secretary of the California Health and Human Services Agency to develop a strategy for promoting the health and well-being of older Californians. After more than a year of deliberations with stakeholders and the public and in collaboration with the Governor’s Task Force on Alzheimer’s Prevention, Preparedness, and a Path Forward chaired by Maria Shriver, the final Master Plan for Aging includes a 10-year blueprint for promoting healthy aging—including five bold goals. They are: 1) Housing for All Ages and Stages. We will live where we choose as we age in communities that are age-, disability-, and dementia-friendly and climateand disaster-ready. Target: Millions of New Housing Options to Age Well. 2) Health Reimagined. We will have access to the services we need to live at home in our communities and to optimize our health and quality of life. Target: Close the Equity Gap in and Increase Life Expectancy. 3) Inclusion and Equity, Not Isolation. We will have lifelong opportunities for work, volunteering, engagement, and leadership and will be protected from isolation, discrimination, abuse, neglect, and exploitation. Target: Keep Increasing Life Satisfaction as We Age. 4) Caregiving That Works. We will be prepared for and supported through the rewards and challenges of caring for aging loved ones. Target: One Million High-Quality Caregiving Jobs. 5) Affording Aging. We will have economic security for as long as we live. Target: Close the Equity Gap in and Increase Elder Economic Sufficiency. In Santa Cruz County 18 percent of the population is 65 or older, compared to 15 percent in the state as a whole. “California has the nation’s largest aging population, the largest population of those living with Alzheimer’s and other dementias, and the largest population of those caregiving for these growing and

disproportionately diverse communities,” said Maria Shriver. “The Governor knows that we must address the critical needs of these populations, or they will only get worse, especially for women who do the lion’s share of caregiving in our state… it will take comprehensive, nonpartisan leadership to get the results we need.” The Governor has directed a Cabinet Work Group to jumpstart implementation in 2021, with an emphasis on health, housing, and bolstering the workforce older adults rely on. The Administration will issue an annual report on the Master Plan’s progress. “The Master Plan for Aging has been intentionally designed as a living document—a comprehensive blueprint we can update and revise over the longterm,” said Mark Ghaly, secretary of the California Health and Human Services Agency, who will lead the Cabinet Work Group. “Just as California pivoted during COVID-19 to ensure the safety and wellbeing of older adults in new and different ways, the Master Plan will also be nimble and responsive to shifting social and economic realities.” “As California gets older and the cost of living keeps going up, growing numbers of seniors will need safe, affordable housing options—for all ages and stages of life. The Master Plan for Aging outlines a clear strategy for achieving this goal focused on accelerating production of a new generation

of accessible senior housing, from agefriendly multi-family developments to a wave of accessory dwelling units,” said Lourdes Castro Ramírez, secretary of the California Business, Consumer Services and Housing Agency. “For decades, our state’s senior housing policy has relied heavily on property tax breaks for homeowners—or, too often, left seniors to their own devices. We will change that.” “Bold actions are needed now to ensure we care for our care workers. The Master Plan for Aging puts workers front and center—recognizing the essential role the caregiving workforce plays in ensuring an age-friendly California,” said Julie Su, Secretary of the California Labor and Workforce Development Agency. “Care jobs are in-demand.” The Master Plan emphasizes the importance of coordinating with the Legislature and local communities to shape strategies, oversee implementation, and ensure they produce more equitable, inclusive, age-friendly communities. The final plan includes a Local Playbook to assist state and local government, communities, and private and philanthropic organizations. “We all dream of a California where people of any age and ability can thrive because of the systems and services we have in place. The Legislature plays a vital role ensuring older Californians are able to contribute to the health and strength of our communities—while also giving every community the right tools to promote healthy aging, support older adults and people with disabilities, and get all residents the services and supports

they need,” said Assemblymember Adrin Nazarian, chairman of the Assembly Committee on Aging and Long-Term Care. “I look forward to working with the Administration to put this Master Plan into action, through legislation, oversight, and working alongside advocates to ensure our budget reflects these ideals.” “The work that went into developing this plan was a beginning. It will take the ongoing collaboration of stakeholders across many sectors—including those who provide healthcare, housing, nutrition and caregiving—to see that the needs of our aging population are met and that all Californians can age with dignity.” said Senator Melissa Hurtado, chairwoman of the Senate Human Services Committee. “The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the urgency of this issue.” “The Master Plan is a visionary, inclusive, equitable framework for transforming aging in this state and forging partnerships for change in every community,” said Kim McCoy Wade, director of the California Department of Aging. “The plan sets ambitious goals on issues from housing to in-home caregiving, while also providing a local playbook that has tools and resources communities can use to create their own tailor-made strategies on aging, disability, and dementia. Building an age-friendly state will take all of us, and the Master Plan gives us what we need to get to work.” n ••• The full Master Plan for Aging is available at: https://mpa.aging.ca.gov.

www.tpgonlinedaily.com Aptos Times / January 15th 2021 / 23


Who Do You Compete With? By Ron Kustek


he short answer is: Every physical and online store. For instance, if you decided to open a coffee shop, or a restaurant, or a clothing store specializing in Santa Cruz branded t-shirts and beachwear, you likely drove and looked around the area to determine where to open your business. You likely investigated to find that your competition was nowhere to be found within walking distance from the “ideal” location you chose. Perhaps you did that — but you likely now realize that competition is everywhere — both physically (brick & mortar) as well as online. We compete for the attention of every existing and potential customer, every minute of every day. From word-of-mouth actual experiences to social media posts, every hour has 60 minute’s worth of opportunities to motivate a customer to visit a physical or online location to satisfy their ever-changing needs. Visible/More Obvious Competition re the only competitors those that you can see? This one isn’t as easy to determine as you may think. Let’s do a short Q & A: If you’re a restaurant, are you competing with a) the same food-type restaurant (i.e., you have a Mexican restaurant and you’re competing with the Mexican restaurant within 3 miles of you); are you b) competing with any restaurant that serves similar food to


yours (i.e., you’re an Italian restaurant, so you’re competing with Italian and other pasta-serving restaurants; or are you c) competing with every food-type restaurant (i.e. whether your food specialty is Greek, Mexican, Italian, Chinese, Mediterranean, Peruvian, Thai, Fusion, Farm-To-Table, Eastern-European, etc.). Well, if you decided that “C” is your answer, you are correct — and you understand just part of your competitive challenge. Why do people eat at or take-out from your restaurant — because they love your “X” type of food? Perhaps. Or, they may choose your type of food for that occasion, or their need is to eat out and not to cook for themselves. Their “need” is often not for X-type of food — but is often to just be fed by someone else doing the cooking. Ask yourself, do you eat the same meal every night or every day — for every meal (breakfast, lunch or dinner)? Likely, the answer is no — and similar to customers who eat different foods at different times depending on their mood, they may have a preference for your location compared to other restaurants, or, they may be trying to gain agreement with the people they’re with to choose a lunch place, etc. The point is, you’re competing for “share of stomach” — not Vegan vs. Vegan or American vs American food offerings. The same holds true if you’re a clothing store or a coffee shop. How are

you defining your competition, and what makes you Better? Special? Different? (More on this to come.) Not-so-Visible, Not-so-Obvious ou may own a great local coffee shop — but is your only competition the corporate brand or franchise location within a mile of you? Likely not. Whether it’s for a beverage, either hot or cold, you’re competing with every business that provides these choices, as well as what’s in a person’s refrigerator stocked from what they bought from the local grocery or convenience store. People consume drinks outside the house, often with beverages they purchased elsewhere — was one of those items yours? If you sell clothing, people can only buy (and wear) so many clothes. They buy them from many different locations and most lately are buying more online. You’re competing not only with the places you can see driving around town, but also with every entity that sells any clothing,


including those advertising on the social media giants like Instagram, where people share trendy clothing items with friends, and then with the tap of a finger, buy it within 5 seconds from their smartphones. So do you see yourself competing 24/7/365 with every company, every business, every person — who is selling something to your potential customer? If you understand the fact that we are surrounded by competition, and that our customer is surrounded by competitive choices, then you’ve likely spent many hours choosing how and where you’re going to compete for the customers that you value most. This is the challenge of devoting your time and resources to gaining the greatest “share of customer” that you can get to and satisfy. n ••• Ron Kustek is a former senior marketing executive of The Coca-Cola Co. and entrepreneur who is currently a business instructor at Cabrillo College. Contact him at RoKustek@ Cabrillo.edu

Problem Solved: How Do I Cancel my Verizon Phone Plan?


By Christopher Elliott

o matter how hard he tries, Vladimir Wozniuk can’t cancel his Verizon phone plan. His only option is talking to Verizon’s “retention” department, which won’t take his call without a PIN number. What should he do? ••• Question: I am at my wit’s end. More than 20 years ago I got a Verizon plan with two Samsung flip phones for my spouse and me. We used the phones mostly for

long-distance calls during commutes and family emergencies. After retirement, I put off the disposal of these obsolete phones. More recently my wife and I have begun to use another phone. The old phones became an issue, so I tried calling Verizon to cancel service. I called one number after another, finally getting to what seemed to be the right one. But it was an automated voice requesting a PIN — something I do not remember ever initiating or even having, never mind recalling at this point. I tried calling several other numbers

24 / January 15th 2021 / Aptos Times www.tpgonlinedaily.com

hoping to find human help, but only got the automated voice and seemingly endless Muzak. All these efforts took well over an hour. I needed to speak with a human being. I drove to the local Verizon office, where I waited behind two other parties. I quietly explained my problem to a polite young man. He told me that they could not cancel service there, but that if I went to the “corporate” store, a far longer drive, I could take care of it. I drove through heavy interstate traffic, arriving safely to be greeted by a polite young woman at the door who asked about the reason for my visit. I

answered “to cancel service,” showing her my old phones. She called a manager, who abruptly told me they could not cancel service anymore. Only the “retention department” could take care of that over the phone, and cited a customer service number for me to call. It was the same number that had demanded a PIN number. “Problem Solved” page 29



Highway 1 Along Big Sur To Stay Open

n a break from protocols, which were in effect over the last two winters, Caltrans announced Dec. 1 that it will not close Highway 1 along the Big Sur coast in advance of forecasted heavy rains. The decision was based on assessments at these still active slides, Caltrans said. Caltrans had previously closed portions of Highway 1 in Monterey County out of concerns about landslides at Mud Creek, one mile south of Gorda, and at Paul’s Slide, just north of Limekiln State Park. “Our absolute priority for Highway 1 and the Big Sur Coast is safety, for the local community, the travelling public, and our road maintenance crews,” said Caltrans District 5 Director Tim Gubbins. “Our continuous measurement and monitoring of these slides give us confidence that we will be able to react to any activity there without having to close the highway in advance.” Annual work to prepare Highway 1 for winter has taken on a new dimension because of this summer’s Dolan Fire.

Caltrans crews, alongside contractors engaged for this effort, are inspecting and fortifying drains and culverts along the roadway. Many are in areas susceptible to impacts from potential debris flows originating from the Dolan Fire burn scar. To keep drainage systems from being blocked by rocks and debris, crews have constructed protective measures and inlet redundancies at dozens of locations, including armoring the entrance to culverts with debris flow racks. These are critical

to keeping culverts open and preventing water from spilling on to the road.

Crews also installed flexible barriers consisting of interwoven steel ring nets and cable infrastructure at two critical drainage locations to minimize the risk of debris flows reaching the highway. Caltrans crews have scrambled their way up innumerable hillsides to perform “rock scaling,” identifying and removing loose debris that might fall on the road below. Rock scaling takes place every fall year, but this year, special care, was required at hillsides burned by the Dolan Fire. “Highway 1” page 26

Famous Duos

Saturday Shakespeare Turns to ‘Richard III’ on Zoom


he Saturday Shakespeare Club public. Each Saturday Zoom session will will begin its series of lectures and begin at 10 a.m. To connect, email saturreadings of plays via Zoom at 10 dayshakespeare@gmail.com In lieu of the usual $2 per session a.m. Saturday, Jan. 16, with local scholar and dramaturg Michael Warren examining suggested contribution, the group urges participants to send a donation to Santa “Richard III.” The next Saturday, Jan. 23, Michael Cruz Shakespeare at 500 Chestnut St., Suite Ryan, artistic director of Santa Cruz Shake- 250, Santa Cruz, CA 95060, or to www. speare and coordinator of this summer’s santacruzshakespeare.org/donate n e-production of “Richard III,” will offer his perspective of the play. On Jan. 30, Patty Gallagher, UC Santa Cruz theatre arts professor and actor who played Richard III in the e-production, will provide her take on the famous villain. And on Feb. 6, Amani Liggett, a doctoral student in the literature department at UCSC and dramaturg for the e-production of the play, will discuss it. The last gathering, on Feb. 13, will be a showing of the BBC’s The Hollow Crown production of “Richard III,” featuring Benedict Cumberbatch in the title role. Richard III All sessions are open to the (1995 Film staring Ian McKellen, Annette Bening, and Robert Downey Jr.)


1. *Timothy Q. Mouse’s friend, in Disney classic 6. River in Germany 9. Bridle parts 13. Whatsoever 14. Like tuna tartare 15. Forearm bones 16. Plural of #3 Down 17. Hardware store 18. “Gladiator” setting 19. *Ferb Fletcher’s stepbrother 21. *Mr. White’s unfortunate student 23. Welcome spot for weary traveler 24. It shall, for short 25. Cul de ____

28. Young herring 30. Dieter’s cuisine, for short 35. Gator’s cousin 37. French “place” 39. Chunk of iceberg 40. St. Louis monument 41. Like new TV set 43. Front of ship 44. Singular of loci 46. Additional 47. Reality TV’s Spelling 48. *Assistant to regional manager Michael Scott 50. Missing a limb 52. More, in Madrid 53. L ike acne-prone skin 55. Pimple fluid 57. *Shirley’s roommate and fellow bottlecapper 61. *Rory Gilmore’s mom

65. Make an effort 66. Legal org. 68. Long stories 69. Scottish valleys 70. Doctor Dolittle, e.g. 71. *One of The Carpenters duo 72. Bone-dry 73. Opposite of WSW 74. Red or orange announcement


1. Slightly wet 2. *Malone and Stockton of the ____ Jazz 3. Skirt length 4. Shrovetide dish 5. *Mary-Kate and Ashley 6. Geologists’ studies 7. *____ and cheese 8. Moved under the rug

9. “All ____, no bite” 10. Footnote word 11. *Amy Poehler’s comedic partner 12. Welsh alternative to Siobhßn 15. Was almost out of gas, e.g. 20. Source of indigo dye, pl. 22. “____ Be Home For Christmas” 24. In the best possible way 25. Coffee burn, e.g. 26. *Bow and ____ 27. Spherical bacteria 29. *Corona’s main squeeze? 31. What willow did 32. Read-only chip 33. Greek bazaar 34. *Clark’s fellow traveler

36. College party chant 38. Celestial bear 42. Dancer’s beat 45. Daisy dukes, e.g. 49. “Wizard of Oz” man 51. Archimedes’ exclamation 54. Furlough 56. Flower part 57. Frog delicacy 58. Wheel shaft 59. Swerve 60. European sea eagle 61. *David and Paul on the “____ Show” 62. Italian currency, pl. 63. Maple genus 64. Negative contraction 67. *Jerry’s fellow treatmaker © Statepoint Media

Answers on 31 »

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Uranus Direct: The Week For History Books


Esoteric Astrology • Mid-January 2021 • By Risa D’Angeles

n January 14, Thursday, the day after the first new moon of the new year, Uranus, planet of unexpected change, and retrograde since August, 14, 2020, turns stationary direct. Uranus is the planet of all things sudden, new, quixotic, surprising, with the energy of lightning. Uranus is the ruler (distributor) of Aquarius, sign of the new era. When planets turn direct everything accelerates. There’s a quickening and time speeds up. With Uranus direct, the twinkling of the future era we barely perceived before, comes rushing forward, hastening to the next new things, plans, agendas. Nothing can be counted on now except change. This is the reality we are in now. The old passing away, the new picking up speed. Uranus stations direct at seven degrees Taurus, sign of stabilizing and anchoring the fire of heavens into the earth. And Uranus is truly a fire; it’s a lightning bolt! Wherever seven degrees Taurus is in everyone’s chart, that area of life will be roused, stirred, interrupted, disrupted, unsettled, shifted, changed, enlightened ARIES

You will feel more impulsive than usual, more fiery; intelligence seeking freedom of expression and freedom from the past which can feel imprisoning. A rhythm of daily mantrams, chants and oms, their sounds will break up any limitations hindering you from moving swiftly forward. New patterns come forth. New self-identity and a new look, too!


You will express yourself in unusual and creative ways. A new level of creativity is awakening. Nothing will be like it was before. Everything will feel out of the ordinary. Relationships with children and lovers, with your creativity will be surprising. Inhibitions fall away. And a greater understanding of others comes forth. You will feel playful, spontaneous. Be more eccentric. It’s more interesting.


A new set of values comes forth, awakening you to areas of life never realized or seen before. Old attitudes from the past simply fall away. Taurus is a most material sign, a good thing as now the new “spiritual materialism” is manifesting. Where all that we say, do and have is offered for humanity’s well-being. This is the beginning of the new Sharing Society. New income based upon spiritual endeavors appears. Continue to be future oriented, inventive and progressive.


You will shake yourself free from daily routines and expected behaviors. Your life takes on a new and fresh perspective. Changes in daily life will create disruptions and you adapt to them easily. You may feel restless, out of rhythm. That’s because Uranus is bringing in new patterns and new archetypes. Allow yourself to perform unconventional tasks. Be inventive. Listen to chants, create a weekly sat sang, do daily yoga. Your Soul is talking with you.


New ideas, concepts, thoughts, realities, new studies will appear. Often Geminis are easily wearied with everyday talking and thinking. With Uranus entering Taurus, new worlds of ideas open up. You will need courage to recognize, integrate and implement them in daily life. At first you feel disoriented. But not for long. Gemini adapts to this and that easily. A new self-expression comes forth. Are you studying astrology? It’s the new language and psychology. Uranus rules it! CANCER

Everything you held onto as stability shifts into a state of change. Daily life may feel disrupted, things, events, people, even your thinking may feel irregular and uneven. Plans will revise and change. You will need to call upon great patience to sustain yourself. Know that new approaches now must be incorporated so that you once again feel in control. The Tibetan teacher tells us to “adapt and adjust to all that occurs.” Adaptation frees us from burdens and a sense of restriction.

and illuminated. Surprisingly and quickly! This is how Uranus works. With Uranus moving forward in Taurus, sign of the illumined mind, Uranus awakens us to the realities all around us. Uranus is now anchoring the Shamballa Force (Ray 1, Will, Purpose of God) into our world, in an attempt to “seal the door where evil dwells”. That door did not quite close at the end of WW2. Those forces of darkness have now permeated the United States. Humanity is called to assist in this great “sealing” task. Uranus is the planet of constant change, revolution and revelations. It’s actions are written in history books. Moving forward in Taurus (values, resources and the Art of Living), Uranus brings forth rapidly and swiftly, the new Aquarian Age. Soon, the entire tenor of our world, its rhythms, vibrations, tones, rays, thoughts, ideas, and the past all change. We enter into the new Art of Living, under the direction of the New Aquarian Laws and Principles. Steady everyone.


Be as reliable a partner as you can be. When Uranus enters Taurus, you find yourself wanting more and more to settle down, be a constant presence while also offering new and unusual experiences in relationships. You begin to look at relationships differently. Do not allow feelings of limitation or rebelliousness to interfere with loving others. Both love and freedom can exist side by side. Be gentle, be kind & forgive always. These create the freedoms you seek in daily life. Rest more, too.




Career changes come as a surprise. Unusual offers, too. Everything that defines a Capricorn in the world seems to shape shift. Capricorn loves tradition. But Uranus sets tradition aside for a while so future patterns, thoughts and ideas can come forth. Earth’s inner fires will awaken; there’s a “burning” of the past. This has evolutionary purpose. Capricorns will come forth in the world with greater brilliance and higher purpose. They are the unicorns on the mountaintop in the bright morning Sun. AQUARIUS

Friends and social acquaintances grow in surprising ways. You meet new people; unusual circumstances occur in groups. You might join a spiritual group of like-minded people. You always need freedom, nothing limiting you. Aquarians are unique, inventive and surprising. One day, in the blink of an eye, everything changes. What we thought we wanted, isn’t there anymore. Something new takes its place. We are happier. PISCES

All of the past — habits, behaviors, things that hurt and traumatized us, all that we did to others unconsciously –these come to light and we approach them tentatively, at first. Then we stand at their very center and we change the outcomes. We visualize the right ways, the ways that promote Goodwill and forgiveness. Then all the elements that hurt us and others simply disappear into a cloud of safety and goodness. This occurs slowly yet surely, with precision and purity. The new world appears.

Risa D’Angeles • www.nightlightnews.org • risagoodwill@gmail.com 26 / January 15th 2021 / Aptos Times www.tpgonlinedaily.com

Caltrans reports significant progress on a $24 million pavement rehabilitation project on Highway 1, from Carpenter St. in Carmel, to the Torre Canyon Bridge. Though some follow up work may continue through next summer, major paving and permanent lane striping have been completed along this nearly 35-mile stretch. “Highway 1 along the Big Sur coast is a treasure,” Gubbins said. “It poses challenges like erosion and landslides even in years when we don’t have a fire.”

Uranus in Taurus brings the practical knowledge of our origins to the surface so that we can understand the truth and purpose of our adventures here on Earth. Some of us will study ancient theologies. Some will question all assumptions. Some will know that the unfoldment of the Soul is what gives direction. Some of us will seek monasteries, caves, mountains, places unknown and ancient. New music will come forth. Everything will be bright, brilliant, abrupt, progressive and unexpected!


Tend to finances and resources very carefully. Don’t skip over details. Especially finances and resources shared with another. Organize all taxes, loans, bills, etc., paying all in a timely manner. When these are completed you are free to pursue others interests. Deep unconscious waters (desires, feelings, the past, etc.) surface, press upward, gather force and crash out into your daily life. You handle this with self-control, calm and poise. Be honest. Joy follows.

“Highway 1” from page 25

“Highway 1 along the Big Sur coast is a treasure. It poses challenges like erosion and landslides even in years when we don’t have a fire.” — Tim Gubbins, Caltrans District 5 Director


Classes On Campus Prove Safe At Mount Madonna School


By Ann Goewert, Ph.D., Head of School

here is something magical about learning outdoors, and Mount Madonna School’s 375 acres of land includes groves of coastal redwoods and live oaks, mountain meadows, chaparral, and ponds. The ecological tapestry of biomes, rich with diverse life forms, provides an unmatched outdoor laboratory for our educators to engage students in a broad variety of learning experiences and opportunities, from the art of crafting stories to scientific inquiry and experimentation. Immersing students in nature and outdoor learning develops the whole student. Outdoor learning fuels the mind and ignites all of the senses. Through exploration and discovery, students naturally problem solve and build confidence. The sights, sounds, and evidence of life stimulates curiosity and creativity in students, and these firsthand experiences strengthen students’ connections and their sense of responsibility to be good stewards of Earth. Meaningful educational experiences encourage students to solve complex problems, think critically about nuanced problems, and communicate ideas effectively. Many of us read Shakespeare’s Hamlet sitting in rows in a classroom. Now, imagine reading Hamlet in a shady redwood grove surrounded by the sights and sounds of the outdoors. This type of learning experience captures the imagination of students, encourages discussions geared to critical analysis of the text, and facilitates the creative expression of ideas. “Humans have a need for connection,” comments Upper School Director Shannon Kelly. “The pandemic has disrupted our lives and prevented us from connecting in most of the ways we are used to. I am

grateful that we are able to provide a safe space for our students, faculty, and staff to come together to learn, bond, and care for one another.” Mount Madonna’s investment in quality education helps to strengthen the mind, body, and hearts of our students. While many schools are grappling with space limitations, our school community is blessed by small class sizes and generous outdoor acreage. We have dedicated indoor and outdoor classrooms for each grade, as well as a new outdoor amphitheater. Educators and students have choice and flexibility in where they learn. MMS has dedicated indoor and outdoor classrooms for each grade level and spacious open-air corridors. Like indoor classrooms, our outdoor classrooms are furnished and equipped with tables spaced at least six feet apart, whiteboards, Wi-Fi technology, and data projectors. We are living in a historic moment in time, and the end of its first semester of successful in-person, on-campus learning for students preschool through grade 12 draws to a finish on December 18, Mount Madonna remains committed to making inperson, five-days per week school as safe as possible for students, faculty and staff. Likewise, we are determined to ensure that students thrive in our program, work daily on practicing mindfulness, and develop grit and resiliency. Mount Madonna School is following a HyFlex learning model, and is also serving a number of students who are choosing to learn remotely. Mount Madonna School (MMS) prioritizes the safety of our school and extended community. We have built-in layers of strategies to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. To educate and protect the health and wellbeing of our community, signs, such as

symptoms and signs of COVID-19, how to properly wear and use cloth face covering, healthy hygiene habits, are posted at each entrance of the school. Students, faculty and staff undergo pre-screening using the Imhealthytoday (IHT) screening app and on-site temperature screening for COVID-19 at designated screening points. We have partnered with IHT, a “data-driven, data-Managed” program to assist in maintaining a safe and healthy environment for our community. While at school, all students, faculty and staff wear cloth face coverings and maintain at least six feet of distance. As part of our education, faculty teach and reinforce proper handwashing techniques following CDC guidance, including washing their hands for at least 20 seconds with soap, rubbing thoroughly after application, and using paper towels to dry hands thoroughly. What Does On-Campus Learning Look Like? MS has offered outdoor learning for decades. At present, we have expanded the opportunities for outdoor learning by creating a variety of spaces equipped with the comforts found in indoor classroom settings. Small, Stable Cohorts of Students low student-to-teacher ratio is part of the philosophy at Mount Madonna School. Therefore small cohorts of children are an extension of our practice. In our elementary and middle school, students are grouped in stable educational cohorts by grade level. In our high school program, students are assigned to distance grouping. In distance groups, students remain with their grade level with the exception of mixed-grade math courses. In addition, our juniors and seniors are in mixed-grade cohorts for their second semester collegepreparatory electives. MMS is fortunate to employ skillful and passionate educators who care deeply about the students and are dedicated to inspiring creative, intellectual and ethical growth. The weight of COVID-19 has amplified the importance of our faculty creating a stimulating and secure environment in which curiosity is nurtured. Authentic learning experiences are a valued component of our academic program, and even in this challenging time, we are able to offer meaningful learning experiences for our students.


For example, in November, our Spanish 2 students engaged in a facilitated discussion with Perla Trevizo, a reporter for the ProPublica-Texas Tribune Investigative Initiative, in Spanish over Zoom. This discussion allowed them to view immigration issues from a different lens and empathize with the lives and challenges of immigrant and refugee children. How Students Benefit with In-Person, On-Campus Learning hile the “how” in the classroom might appear different this year, the “why” and the intention are still present. Developing meaningful relationships and building positive character traits is mission-critical at MMS. Although the cohorts are designed to limit the interaction of students with other grade-levels, we employed technology in the classroom to continue building community. This year we continue our buddy program, albeit virtual. The buddy program facilitates meaningful relationships between students in different grade levels and fosters leadership opportunities. Mount Madonna has a rich history of supporting the social and emotional health of our students. As we know, this is now more important than ever. The fact that our teachers, staff, and administration know our students so well, means that we can lean into these relationships to help our students navigate these difficult times and ensure that they feel truly seen and cared for.


“On Campus” page 29

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COMMUNITY CALENDAR ANNOUNCEMENTS BOARDWALK JANUARY MOVIES Fridays and Saturdays at 6 p.m. Jan. 22: Dirty Dancing Jan. 23: Moana Jan. 30: Star Wars: The Force Awakens Cost: $35 per vehicle. Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk gates open 1.5 hours before show. Limited to 130 cars; some tickets in advance online, the rest at the gate. Parking is first come, first served. Do not enter if you are ill. Tune car radio to 93.3 FM More details at https://beachboardwalk.com/

Have a virtual or live event you want to promote? Send your information to info@cyber-times.com by Jan. 22 cultural treasures. The project found its roots in a 1982 UCSC conference Carrillo organized with Juventino Esparza, Tom á s Ybarra-Frausto and Philip Brookman, which brought together innovative Chicano artists, intellectuals and visionaries, titled “ Califas: Chicano art and culture in California.” WATSONVILLE BRILLANTE ARTISTS DEADLINE Local artists are invited to participate in the design process for Watsonville Brillante, mosaics celebrating cultural heritage on the Civic parking garage. The deadline to submit your art is Wednesday, Feb. 10. Download the application at https://communityarts empowerment.org/local-artists-invitation/. Email watsonvillebrillante@gmail.com or message Instagram @ watsonvillebrillante

Santa Cruz Jan 20: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 220 Elk St., Santa Cruz Jan. 26: 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 220 Elk St., Santa Cruz. Scotts Valley Jan. 23: 9 a.m. – 2 p.m., St Philip’s Episcopal Church, 5271 Scotts Valley Drive, Scotts Valley. Watsonville Jan. 22: 10 a.m. – 3 p.m., Pajaro Valley Health Trust Hall, 85 Nielson St., Watsonville.

ITALIAN CLASSES BEGIN IN JANUARY Beginning Jan. 25, the Dante Alighieri Society of Santa EDUARDO CARRILLO: COMUNIDAD DE CALIFAS Cruz will offer Italian classes online: Beginning, intermediate, intermediate 2, advanced and conversation. Virtual Art Exhibit, February 3 thru April 3 Beginners and Intermediates will engage twice a week, Reception: Feb. 3, 4 p.m. on Zoom with artist and culture critic RED CROSS BLOOD DRIVES Amalia Mesa-Bains and Philip Brookman, consulting curator All blood types are needed. Those who come to donate blood Mondays and Thursdays; one-hour sessions are offered with the National Gallery of Art. or platelets this January will be automatically entered to win mornings and evenings. All other classes meet once per week for 90 minutes. This virtual exhibition will showcase the breadth of two tickets to next year’s Super Bowl LVI in Los Angeles. Spots are limited. Classes cost $185-$235 for a 10-week Eduardo Carrillo’s work spanning from his early career There are two ways COVID-19 survivors can help – session. Members get a $35 discount. Consider becoming a after his studies at UCLA to his later life living in Santa through a convalescent plasma donation or by simply Cruz, where he was professor of art at UC Santa Cruz. giving whole blood. Plasma from whole blood donations member. To register for classes, visit www.dantesantacruz.com. Register at https://ucsc.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJMrcuyr that test positive for COVID-19 antibodies may be used For questions, email dantesantacruz1265@gmail.com. rz0oH9CDLjkt6nHih0CFUYCUVHtM to help COVID-19 patients. APTOS CHAMBER VIRTUAL MEETINGS ••• To sign up, visit https://www.redcrossblood.org/give.html/ Various Times, Aptos Chamber of Commerce Online The Califas Legacy Project is a multi-year, multi-medium, find-drive or follow the instructions at RedCrossBlood.org/ Saturday, January 16, 4–5 p.m. collaborative endeavor launched by Museo Eduardo Carrillo in RapidPass The Aptos Chamber of Commerce will present Santa Cruz to document the legacy of our region’s Chicano/a •••

28 / January 15th 2021 / Aptos Times www.tpgonlinedaily.com

“Flagpoles for Giants and Chasing the Final Ball,” a virtual Zoom pictorial of the Aptos radio station KMFO and the disappearance of the antenna flagpoles. ••• Minimum donation for each event is $10 for chamber members, $15 general admission. RSVP and payment in advance required at 831-688-1467. SECOND HARVEST FOOD DISTRIBUTION Fridays, 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Second Harvest Food Bank drivethrough food distribution schedule into March: Watsonville: Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds Jan. 8 • Jan. 22 • Feb. 5 • Feb. 19 • March 5 • March 19 ••• Santa Cruz: Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk Jan. 15 • Jan. 29 • Feb. 12 • Feb. 26 Food hotline: 831-662-0991. NEW GROUPS STARTING FOR SURVIVORS OF CHILD SEXUAL ABUSE Survivors Healing Center, a welcoming place for survivors of child sexual abuse and their supporters, is forming new eight-week support groups for survivors of childhood sexual abuse. There will be online groups in English and Spanish for men, women, mothers of survivors, partners of survivors, young adults and teens. You are not alone. You are not to blame. Services are offered on a sliding fee scale. For more information: call (831) 423-7601, visit survivors healingcenter.org or email shc.program@fsa-cc.org.

COMMUNITY CALENDAR ANNOUNCEMENTS SHOW US YOUR FOOD Watsonville Coast Produce, Inc. is launching a restaurant social media promotion called “Show Us Your Food” to support the industry. You post pictures of your takeout meals from your favorite local restaurant in the Central Coast and Bay Area and post on Instagram @watsonvillecoastproduce with hashtag #showusyourfood for a chance to win a $50 gift certificate to that restaurant. Jacquie Roque of Skin Care By Jacquie is the first winner of a $50 gift certificate to Five Mile Buzz House The promotion runs eight weeks, with the first giveaway Wednesday, Jan. 6. Good luck!

To apply to hack or to be a judge/mentor, visit https://www.cruzhacks.com/

Sunday January 17

AMIT PELED ONLINE CONCERT 5:30 p.m., Distinguished Artists Online Distinguished Artists Concert Series & Staff of Life present “AMIT & GREET,” featuring acclaimed cellist Amit Peled at a special online gathering for concertgoers . Register in advance at https://jhupeabody. zoom.us/meeting/register/ tJ0tde-hqD4uHNRwnJ50X 8b1EDU9bUpCDfbB In this one-hour session, DATED EVENTS cellist Amit Peled presents Friday January 15 a selection of salon pieces Amit Peled thru Sunday January 17 taking us around the world through music and storytelling. The evening concludes with CRUZHACKS 2021 an uplifting toast and a short Q & A, so grab your beverage Online Event, www.cruzhacks.com The first virtual hackathon organized in Santa Cruz gives stu- of choice and join this special musical gathering that will dents and entrepreneurs a chance to find innovative technical connect us all in the new year. Donations are welcome. For more information visit www.distinguishedartists.org solutions to pressing problems. The event started in 2014, and the 2021 CruzHacks board is Doug Erickson, Amanda Thursday January 21 Rotella, Nathan Westrup, Sue Carter, and Neha Pamidi. LIBRARY TECH TALK So far, applicants come from 115 universities in 11 a.m. to noon, Santa Cruz Public Library Zoom Class 13 countries; 1,000 are expected to participate using Organize your schedule and life with calendar apps on your cloud systems such as AWS and Google Cloud and mobile device. Learn about options for settings, notifications, the newest alternative, “Edge Computing,” with better bandwidth to improve the processing of high amounts and syncing with Google Calendar, Calendar, and more. Registrants will receive an email with the Zoom of data for high-volume applications such as streaming meeting link immediately upon registering for the event. high-definition video.

Register at https://santacruzpl.libcal.com/ students who are pursuing education and career training event/7389007#_ga=2.152651385.1161971890.1610059049- opportunities after high school. Up to three applicants 2054350727.1607730390 will receive $1,500 to pay for expenses directly related to their continuing education. Friday January 29 Those who wish to be considered for an award must BBBS MENTOR RECRUITMENT meet all eligibility requirements listed in the application Noon to 12:30 p.m., Virtual Recruitment Meeting and submit a completed 2021 Education Scholarship Big Brothers Big Sisters of Santa Cruz County, which Application and all required documents described on has served 7,500 youth at risk, is celebrating National the application by no later than 11:59 p.m. on Saturday, Mentoring Month by recruiting men and women to Jan. 30. become a big brother or big sister. Visit www.bayfed.com/scholarship for more information and to What if this year, after months of isolation due to apply. Winners will be announced at the annual meeting March 30. COVID-19, you could do something important and impactful? Mentoring means offering connection and Sunday January 31 support and can be done virtually. “Bettering yourself in the new year is a great goal,” DANTE ALIGHIERI ART HISTORY LECTURE said Big Brothers Big Sisters of Santa Cruz County 7 p.m., Dante Alighieri Society Zoom Event. Waiting room will Executive Director Aimee Mangan, “but we know people open at 6:45 p.m. are also thinking about how to better their community and how to make sure that when they reflect on the year, Dr. Allan Langdale will present “A Bible in Stone: Lorenzo Maitani’s Reliefs on the Cathedral of Orvieto.” they know they made a difference.” An Italian architect and sculptor, Maitani’s project in A virtual recruitment meeting will take place on Zoom. Email 1310 added reliefs to the cathedral’s facade. The lecture Juan Castillo at juan@santacruzmentor.org to sign up. is about how surprisingly advanced Maitani’s work was Go to www.santacruzmentor.org and click on the “Volunteer” for the era, and the Bible themes they represent. tab for more information. To RSVP and receive the Zoom link visit www.dantesantacruz.com. For more information, email: dantesantacruz1265@gmail.com n Monday January 25 CABRILLO COLLEGE CLASSES BEGIN Spring term begins the last week of January. Apply at cabrillo.edu.

Saturday January 30 BAY FEDERAL CREDIT UNION SCHOLARSHIP CONTEST DEADLINE Bay Federal Credit Union’s Education Scholarship is for

“Problem Solved” from page 24 Can you help me cancel my Verizon service, please? — Vladimir Wozniuk, Branford, Conn. ••• ou’ve been a loyal Verizon customer for two decades and now you want to cancel your service. The company should accept your cancellation without delay and thank you for your business. Instead, it’s putting one roadblock after another in your path. It’s almost as if it doesn’t want you to leave. And you know what? It doesn’t. The “retention” department is there for one reason, and one reason only: to keep you from taking your business elsewhere. According to Verizon, there’s only one way out. You have to call (844) 837-2262 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. EST weekdays. But you claim it wouldn’t talk to you without a valid PIN number, which is problematic. What if you can’t receive text messages or lost your PIN? Guess what, there’s no need to talk to the retention department because you’re never leaving. It’s like buying a timeshare — no way out! Or maybe there is. Here’s my comprehensive guide to fixing any consumer problem — https://chriselliotts.com/ problem-solved-how-to-fix-any-customerservice-problem/ I also list the names,

“On Campus” from page 27

Addressing Concerns About In-Person, On-Campus Learning ount Madonna is a strong, tightknit community. We deeply care about the health and well-being of our community, and at times, each individual wrestles with concerns about COVID-19. At the heart of the community is our students. We have built-in layers of strategies to mitigate the spread of COVID-19. The school adheres to state guidelines and engages with experts to help formulate our decisions regarding the health and safety measures on campus. “Honoring the student experience and cultivating a sense of belonging and visibility is at the core of supporting students to thrive at Mount Madonna School (MMS), and during these unusual times, the school’s philosophy and practices take on ever-new importance. These principles guide our approach to facilitate meaningful learning experiences geared toward encouraging intellectual inquiry, creative selfexpression, and character development. Our school community acts as an extension of the family creating a supportive environment in which students can discover their passions, talents, and gifts.” n



numbers and email addresses of the Verizon customer service executives — https://www.elliott.org/company-contacts/verizon-customer-service-contacts/ — on my consumer advocacy site, Elliott. org. A brief, polite email to one of them might have helped. Unfortunately, your case wasn’t so easily solved. Even though I contacted Verizon on your behalf, and even though it agreed to close your account, it didn’t. Instead, it sent you another bill. This time, it added charges for making

“changes” to your account. You say you were afraid that Verizon could keep charging you. Finally, I contacted Verizon and finally, it closed your account — this time, for good. But just in case it sends you another bill, you know where to find me. n ••• Christopher Elliott is the chief advocacy officer for Elliott Advocacy. Email him at chris@elliott.org or get help with any consumer problem by contacting him at http://www. elliott.org/help • © 2021 Christopher Elliott.

www.tpgonlinedaily.com Aptos Times / January 15th 2021 / 29


Your Vaccine Questions Answered


year into the pandemic, the impacts of COVID-19 continue to grow in our local community. As of the time of writing this article, our County has experienced more than 11,000 local cases, more than 110 deaths and has little to no ICU bed availability. Vaccines are one of the strongest elements of hope, and distribution has started in Santa Cruz County. While information is constantly being updated I wanted to provide some answers to frequently asked questions regarding the vaccine and timeline. Please visit the County’s vaccine website to look at the latest information in case things have changed: www.santacruzhealth. org/coronavirus — click on the “Vaccine” tab. How effective are the vaccines? The vaccines developed by Moderna and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccines were approximately 95 percent effective in preventing symptomatic COVID-19, according to phase 3 trial results. How are Vaccines Distributed? n partnership with the California Department of Public Health and the federal Centers for Disease Control there are currently three avenues to distribute the vaccine. 1) Federal Pharmacy Partnership: Facilities work directly with local pharmacies (CVS and Walgreens) to receive and administer the vaccine. Facilities such as long term care, skilled nursing and assisted living facilities fall within this category. 2) Multi-County Entities: These are large healthcare systems, such as Dignity Health, Kaiser Permanente, Sutter) that coordinate with the California Department of Public Health directly to receive and administer their allocation of the vaccine. 3) CalVax State Distribution: CalVax allows individual medical providers to enroll in the California COVID-19 Vaccination Program and order and administer vaccines. 4) Local Health Jurisdictions: County Public Health coordinates directly with the California Department of Public Health to receive and distribute and/or administer for all other facilities that aren’t within the federal pharmacy partnership or multi-county entities categories. When will I receive a vaccine? accines are being distributed through a tier system that provides for priority through risk and other factors determined by the California Department of Public Health



30 / January 15th 2021 / Aptos Times www.tpgonlinedaily.com

By Zach Friend, Second District Supervisor

and Centers for Disease Control. At this point, there is no way to know exactly when vaccines will become widely available enough for the entire community to be vaccinated or even when, with the limited weekly distributions that are coming into our County, some of the highest priority tiers will be fully vaccinated. With that said, here is an overview of the tiers and the assumed timelines based on information from the state and federal government. We are currently in Phase 1A which includes (in order): Tier 1: Acute and healthcare staff, assisted living facility staff/ residents, EMTs, paramedics, dialysis center staff. Tier 2: Home health and in-home supportive services, public health, primary care staff, federally qualified health clinics & urgent care clinics, and Tier 3: Dental/oral health workers, lab workers, pharmacy staff, specialty clinics. Phase 1B Tier 1 includes workers in education, childcare, food & agriculture, fire, law enforcement, emergency services and those age 75+. Tier 2: Workers in facilities & services, critical manufacturing, transportation & logistics. Also, people age 65-74 & high risk, incarcerated people & homeless individuals. Phase 1C include the remainder of those 65-74 years old, individuals 50 – 64 years old, those 16-64 and high risk and workers in chemical, communications, IT, defense, finance, government operations, community-based organizations, water & wastewater. These three Phases are anticipated to be completed before the spring. In the spring, once there are more widespread numbers of vaccines available, Phase 2 will begin all other persons older than 16 that have not already been recommended in Phases 1a, 1b or 1c and the general population will be eligible. How many doses are needed for each person? The current COVID-19 vaccines available use two shots, and you must use same vaccine brand for both. The shots are given several weeks apart. According to the CDC, the first shot primes the immune system, helping it recognize the virus, and the second shot strengthens the immune response. How are they stored? oth of the current available vaccines require very cold storage. The Pfizer vaccine requires storage at -70 to -80 degrees Celsius (which requires a special freezer and/or dry ice for storage). The Moderna is stored at approximately -20 degrees Celsius, which can be done more readily. How can I get more information? isit the local vaccine website at www.santacruzhealth. org/coronavirus (click on the Vaccine tab) or you can



Photo Credit: Shmuel Thaler

Toni Luckett, RN, receives the first vaccine at Dominican Hospital.

call County Health at 454-4242. Additionally, you can visit the State site at www.cdph.ca.gov. n ••• As always, I appreciate any feedback you may have on this (or any other County issue). I’m maintaining regular updates on social media at www.facebook.com/supervisorfriend and during the shelter-in-place order I’m hosting regular tele-townhalls with County and community leaders monthly on the first Tuesday from 6-7 pm. The call in information for the town halls is 454-2222 with the Meeting ID: 145384# - you are welcome to speak about any issue during the town halls or you can always call me at 454-2200. ••• Editor’s note: On Jan. 7, the state issued vaccine recommendations to local public health departments and providers to accelerate the pace of COVID-19 vaccine administration. Under these recommendations, after appropriate efforts to reach highest priority groups, health departments and providers may offer doses to lower priority groups when high-priority demand subsides, or when doses are about to expire. The state says local health departments and providers should immediately administer COVID-19 vaccines to individuals in all tiers of Phase 1a. This includes frontline health care workers, community health care workers, public health field staff, primary care clinics, specialty clinics, laboratory workers, dental clinics and pharmacy staff. Local health departments and providers may allocate doses on the assumption that immunization will be accepted by some but not all who are offered the vaccine, and then offer vaccinations in the next priority tiers. For example, if a county has maximized use of the vaccine to administer individuals in Phase 1a, they should move to Tier 1 of Phase 1b while continuing to offer vaccines to those in higher priority groups.

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SCCAS Featured Pet


Now’s the Time for Bare Root Stock By Tony Tomeo


Not A Mouse

crossword on 25 »

ickey (A275942) came to the Shelter as an owner-surrender at the end of October. He had lived with another cat for 10 years but was suddenly not getting along with the other kitty. To keep both kitties safe and as stress free as possible, his former family decided it was best to find Mickey a new home. When Mickey first came to the Shelter, he was very nervous. He tended to hang out in a comfy hide spot where he could observe the world from a safe space. He slowly warmed up to staff and volunteers over time. After getting a dental (a fairly typical need for a senior cat) and moving into his very own room at the Shelter, Mickey came out of his shell. Although he still enjoys hanging out in his cozy beds, he is much more apt to greet visitors in his room. As soon as someone enters the room, Mickey now comes over purring away and rubbing against people’s legs. Mickey LOVES kneading his adorable little paws on plush bedding. If there was a cat version of Great British Bake off, Mickey would certainly win! Mickey is looking to live out his golden years in an adoptive home. He would do best in a zen home as the only pet. He is currently our longest stay animal in the Shelter. If you are looking for a low key soulful guy to lounge around the house with, come meet Mickey. Adoptions are first come, first served! Please view available animals on our website and then visit the Shelter to turn in your application. All adoptions require proof of home ownership or landlord approval. Please have this information prepared. If an animal is in Foster Care, please bring in your adoption application and schedule an appointment to meet the animal. Call 831-454-7200 x0 during business hours or visit www.scanimalshelter.org for more information! n ••• Santa Cruz County Animal Shelter’s full-service, open-admission shelter: Santa Cruz Location (Public Entrance): 1001 Rodriguez St., Santa Cruz, 95062 Hours: Daily 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. Watsonville Location: CURRENTLY CLOSED 580 Airport Blvd, Watsonville, CA 95076
 SCCAS Main line: 831-454-7200. Animal Control: 831-454-7227. After-Hours Emergency: 831-471-1182 • After Hours: jillian.ganley@santacruzcounty.us

inter has potential to be a slow season for gardening. Simple gardens may not require much dormant pruning. Established gardens may not require much planting. Where winters are cold and p e r h a p s snowy, no one wants to go outside anyway. Those who go out may not be able to accomplish much. Nonetheless, winter is the season for planting bare root stock, which is now available. Bare root stock starts to move into nurseries before the last Christmas trees move out. Growers start to dig and package it as it goes dormant for winter. They separate it completely from the soil it grew in, leaving the roots bare. Some bare root stock is available with bags of damp sawdust protecting its roots. Most goes into bins of damp sand to protect the roots while at retail nurseries. Unlike canned (potted) nursery stock, bare root stock must get into the garden as soon as possible. It will not survive long if it gets warm enough to start growing prior to planting. Nor will it survive if roots desiccate. Unbagged bare root stock can soak in water for a limited time. For planting, roots should flare outwardly. Soil amendment should be limited. Graft unions must be above grade. Bare root stock is lightweight, compact, and easy to handle in bulk. Therefore, it is less expensive than canned stock. It is also easier to get home and plant. Because so many individual plants fit into limited space, many more cultivars are available from nurseries. Even more are available by mail order. Bare root stock disperses roots

Famous Duos © Statepoint Media

Snowball bush is available bare root.

and gets growing more efficiently than canned stock. Deciduous fruit trees might be the most popular bare root stock. This includes apple, pear, persimmon, fig, mulberry, walnut, pomegranate and the stone fruits. (Apricot, cherry, peach, plum, prune and nectarine are stone fruits.) Grape, currant, gooseberry, blueberry, blackberry and raspberry bare root stock are also available. So are perennial rhubarb, asparagus, artichoke and strawberry. Ornamental bare root stock includes rose, snowball bush, forsythia, wisteria, flowering crabapple, poplar and many more. Apricot pricot has major history in California. For a very long time, it was the main agricultural commodity is several regions, particularly the Santa Clara Valley. It remains a significant commodity within portions of the San Joaquin Valley. Urban sprawl replaced orchards in other regions. However, apricot trees now inhabit some urban gardens. The climate here is as ideal for them as it ever was. G a r d e n variety apricot trees are not quite like orchard trees. Dwarfing rootstock keeps them somewhat more compact. They Apricot trees get might otherwise planted in winter. grow taller that twenty feet. Production is best during the first three decades or so, before they begin to slowly deteriorate. Orchard trees are already due for replacement by then. Many more cultivars are practical for home gardens than for orchards. Apricot trees, which are mostly of the species Prunus armeniaca, are certainly not ‘low maintenance’. They require specialized pruning annually, while dormant for winter. Otherwise, they produce more fruit than they can support. New trees are unlikely to produce any fruit during their first season. The deciduous foliage falls neatly in autumn. White or slightly blushed spring bloom is striking. n ••• Horticulturist Tony Tomeo can be contacted at tonytomeo.com.


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AMBER MELENUDO REALTOR® 831.661.5591 ambermelenudo.com amber@davidlyng.com DRE 01921098