Capitola Soquel Times: September 2023

Page 20

Don’t Miss It!

Competition is heating up for the Capitola Beach Festival Nautical Parade, which has eight float building teams talking to organizers and preparing for the Sept. 23 event.

This year’s theme is “Beauty and the Beach.”

The Nautical Parade is a highlight of the Capitola Beach Festival, a family-friendly fun event Sept. 23-24 in Capitola Village. ... continues on page 4

40th Annual Capitola Art & Wine Festival

On Sept. 9-10, stroll the festival in Capitola Village with friends and family, sipping exceptional wines from Santa Cruz Mountain wineries while admiring the artistic talents of 125 fine artists. Full

page 5

Santa Cruz County Fair

The 2023 Santa Cruz County Fair is Wednesday to Sunday, Sept. 13-17. That means carnival rides, sweet and savory treats, live music, livestock, magic shows and much more — all at the fairgrounds...

Full Story page 5

RESIDENTIAL CUSTOMER Family Owned For 32 Years • Capitola, Soquel, Live Oak, Pleasure Point Times P ublis h i ng G roup, I n c . Times Publishing Group, Inc. 9601 Soquel Drive Aptos, CA 95003 EDDM September 2023 • Vol 28 No. 9 GARVEY PAINTING, inc. THE REPAINT SPECIALISTS (831) 688-6913 | License #1057716
from Lahaina Full Story
September 2023 / Capitola Soquel Times

Cover Don’t Miss It!

Community News

5 40th Annual Capitola Art & Wine Festival • Santa Cruz County Fair: Sept. 13-17

6 Lessons from Lahaina, By Jondi Gumz • Sandy Lydon To Speak Oct. 14

8 Homeless Point in Time Count • Milestone: $100,000 in Cash Aid for Local Veterans

9 Capitola’s First Paddleboard Event

10 Supervisor Zach Friend: No Fourth Term, By Jondi Gumz

11 Capitola Wharf Enhancement: $125,000 Raised, $125,000 to Go, By Jondi Gumz

12 Temple Beth El: Rosh Hashanah & Yom Kippur

13 Welcoming New Neighbors

14 New CEO at Visit Santa Cruz County

18 New Judge Erika Ziegenhorn • New Santa Cruz County Health Services Agency Leader

19 Kristen Brown to Run For Supervisor, By Jondi Gumz

21 Rick Kepler in Maui: How to Help, By Jondi Gumz

22 Heartbreaking: Fentanyl Kills Her Only Child. By Jondi Gumz

23 Gene Castillo of Lahaina Asks for Help • Red Cross Aids Maui after Wildfires, By Jondi Gumz • Twin Lakes Church: Our Hearts With Maui

24 Construction on Memorial Park Moves Forward, By Kieran Kelly

25 Opioid Settlement Town Halls

Local History

16 Gilded Age: Hotel Capitola, Brief but Spectacular, By Deborah Osterberg

Monthly Horoscope • Page 26 – A Retrograde Atmosphere Begins, By Risa D’Angeles

Community Calendar • Arts & Entertainment – Pages 28, 29

Featured Columnists

7 Curse of Dead Man’s Shoes, By Joe Ortiz

17 State Funds for Stockton Bridge: CWEP Fundraising Begins, By Margaux Keiser, Mayor, City of Capitola

20 School Safety & Community Partners, By Scott J. Turnbull, Superintendent, Soquel Union Elementary School District

25 Strengthening the Foundation: Legacy, New Board Member, & Employee Promotions, By Rebecca Gold Rubin

30 Soquel Dr. Corridor & Highway Work Underway, By Zach Friend, Supervisor, Second District

SCCAS Featured Pet • Page 31 – Clyde is Ready for His Forever Home

E N J O Y T H E J O Y . 831-359-4670
Volume 28 No. 9 10 13 16 24
Table of Contents


Patrice Edwards editor

Jondi Gumz


“Capitola Beach Festival” from page 1

contributing writers

Jondi Gumz, Kieran Kelly, Deborah Osterberg, Risa D’Angeles, Joe Ortiz, Margaux Keiser, Scott J. Turnbull, Rebecca Gold Rubin, Zach Friend

Michael Oppenheimer

Michael Oppenheimer


graphic artists

Activities include: Saturday’s Little Wharf 3-Miler fun run (pre-register required), sand sculpture contest, cornhole on the beach, children’s art, scavenger hunt, music at the beach, Sunday’s paddleboard race, new this year, ukuleles at the beach, horseshoes on the sand, chalk art on the sea wall, and rowboat races.

The Nautical Parade begins Saturday at dusk, around 7 p.m. Enjoy a parade of lighted barges between the railroad trestle and the lagoon.

Due to safety concerns, there will be no access to the trestle during the parade.

Each float team is aiming to win cash for their favorite nonprofit charity: 1st ($1,000), 2nd ($750), and 3rd ($500).

production coordinator

Camisa Composti

media consultants

Teri Huckobey, Brooke Valentine

office coordinator

Cathe Race distribution

Bill Pooley, Taylor Brougham

For a detailed schedule, see or pick up a copy of the Official Capitola Summer Festivals 2023 Program & Adventure Guide. n


Times Publishing Group, Inc.

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The Times Publishing Group, Inc., publishers of the Aptos Times, a bi-monthly publication, the Capitola Soquel 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 Summer Festivals Official Program Guide, is owned by Patrice Edwards. Entire contents ©2023. All rights reserved. Reproduction in any form is prohibited without the publisher’s written permission

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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

Traditional Daoist Kungfu, Taiji, and Qigong.

Now enrolling students for weekly group and private classes in Santa Cruz

Classes held at the Tannery in downtown Santa Cruz & at Jade Street Park in Capitola

4 / September 2023 / Capitola
Soquel Times
Cover Photo: Artist Maia Negre is this year’s poster artist for the Capitola Beach Festival.
Contact for information on class times and registration
Michael Oppenheimer, Camisa Composti Michael Oppenheimer website photography The Capitola Beach Festival’s poster is a Maia Negre watercolor named “Double Wave.” At her festival booth, she will sell a limited run of the poster. 2021 Festival Horseshoe competition 2022 Capitola “Beached” Festival — MAH’s exhibit.

40th Annual Capitola Art & Wine Festival

On Sept. 9-10, stroll the festival in Capitola Village with friends and family, sipping exceptional wines from Santa Cruz Mountain wineries while admiring the artistic talents of 125 fine artists. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Sway to live music and be inspired by local dance groups while taking in the ocean breeze and breathtaking view of the Monterey Bay. Feed your cravings with tantalizing cuisine from local food purveyors, and cruise through the Artisans Marketplace for locally handcrafted goods.

Capitola Village is filled with restaurants for every taste and charming boutiques to satisfy a shopper’s dream.

Art, wine, music, and gourmet cuisine in the enchanting beach-side setting of Capitola Village … summer’s last hurrah, and truly a weekend in paradise! n

Santa Cruz County Fair: Sept. 13-17

They’re shouting it from the top of the Ferris wheel!

The 2023 Santa Cruz County Fair is Wednesday to Sunday, Sept. 13-17. That means carnival rides, sweet and savory treats, live music, livestock, magic shows and much more — all at the fairgrounds, 2601 East Lake Blvd., Watsonville.

The theme is “Home Grown & Locally Shown.”

The fair is open from noon to 11 p.m.

Free admission for kids on Wednesday. Apple pie contest is Wednesday, the band Tsunami is Thursday night, the Houserockers are on Friday night, diaper derby is Saturday, livestock awards are Sunday.

Fair tickets: Adults, $20, children 6-12, $10, and seniors 62+, $13 (and $12 on Senior Day Wednesday). Buy tickets at and view the entire schedule. n Capitola Soquel Times / September 2023 / 5 COMMUNITY NEWS
Photos Credit: Jondi Gumz, 2021 Photo Credit: Jondi Gumz Santa Cruz artist Donna Giubbini with her new painting depicting the county’s dairy history in the Ag History Building at the county fair.

Lessons from Lahaina

With wildfires that broke out Aug. 8 in Maui causing an estimated $5.5 billion in damages, claiming 115 lives and 2,025 schoolchildren vanished, what lessons can we learn in Santa Cruz County?

On Aug. 24, the Hawaii Department of Education released a report: Of the 3,001 children in the Lahaina schools, there are 2,025 unaccounted for. This is the next generation!

The report said 538 re-enrolled in other public schools, and 438 enrolled in distance learning.

Remember, schools were closed on Aug. 8 due to hurricane winds, so children stayed home perhaps alone, perhaps with parents who skipped work.

Dennis Norton, former Capitola city councilman, sees similarities.

The wildfire flattened Lahaina, a town of 13,000 on 2 square miles

next to the ocean and a tourist hot spot.

Capitola is a city of 12,000 on 2 square miles, a tourist hot spot next to the ocean.


How are people to be warned of a wildfire?

Sirens? Cell-phone texts?

In Maui, officials used social media, but those connections depend on Internet, and when power poles snap and power lines burn, you have no power.

Most phones rely on Internet, so that means no phones. No computers. No tablets. No cell phones.

Maui’s emergency services chief, who made the decision not to activate sirens used for tsunami alerts, defended his action then resigned.

How will our leaders provide critical information?

Norton wants to bring back the alarm system, which could signal one or two beeps for tsunami or wildfire.


On Maui, firefighters said the water pressure was feeble — not enough to fight the blaze — so they focused on evacuations.

“Lessons” page 9

Money Market Advantage

Sandy Lydon To Speak Oct. 14

Leadership Santa Cruz County announces a special event with local historian Sandy Lydon, at 7 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 14, at the Rio Theatre, 1205 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz.

The public is invited to hear Lydon aka “the history dude,” give a first-ever, one-time-only presentation, “You Can’t Hide! Learning to Hear the History and Landscape of Calamity Cruz County.”

Lydon is an award-winning author, teacher, and historian, who retired from Cabrillo College where he taught from 1968 to 2022. He will provide historical perspectives to help people navigate living in Santa Cruz County in 2023 and beyond.

He will attempt to resolve some Big Puzzlements: What is Calamity Cruz? Why do we call it South County when it’s not?

Lydon is a leading expert on Santa Cruz County history and has researched and written widely on the immigration history of the Monterey Bay region.

“Lydon” page 9

6 / September 2023 / Capitola Soquel Times
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Dennis Norton Sandy Lydon

Curse of Dead Man’s Shoes

Previous episode: Dad went nuts when the Giants beat the Dodgers in the playoff game, winning enough money for the doctor bill. •••

The door flung open and in rushed Uncle Johnny. Laura read the anguish on my face that our food might be at risk. So she whispered: “Uncle Johnny doesn’t like aqua cotto or verdura. And he’d rather eat pork rinds than cutlets. So, don’t worry—our food is safe.”

Mom got up to greeted him and they talked for a minute: Hello, Annie . . . I already ate . . . Just gotta talk ta my brotha

“Hey, Johnny,” Dad said.

Johnny came to the table and practically dragged Dad into the bedroom. Mom had seen it before, so she smirked and watched them go.

“Ya fatha’s got more deals going than Carter has liver pills,” she muttered. “When’s he gonna learn?”

There were some loud moans from the bedroom at first; but then long moments of silence. They both came out quietly. Johnny passed the table, nodded to Mom, and left. Dad sat down to eat his aqua cotto as if nothing had happened.

“Herman?” Mom said.

“Yeah, Nonny?”

“What’s going on?”


“HERMAN,” she said louder. “What happened?”

Dad just stared into bowl of cooked water in front of him.

“It’s da deal I was tellin’ ya about,” he said. “The money just got lost in transit.”

As Laura would tell me later, “transit” was another one of those words that was supposed to make Dad sound in control.

You could tell by the look on Mom’s face she didn’t have enough energy to keep nagging my father about his wheeling and dealing. She shook her head and sighed.

The meal got awfully quiet. We all put some chunks of stale bread into our bowls. Then Mom ladled the broth on top.

When the verdura and cutlets came, we finished them off. Then they sent me to bed where I could dream about the cowgirls.

The next day Laura told me Federico used to haunt the same bar in Coney Island where Dad and Johnny were spouting off about Dad’s handiwork with Eddie’s shoes.

The minute Freddie sat down for a highball with a big grin on his face and Sal said, “What’s the occasion?” cousin Rosemarie and Uncle Johnny walked in.

“These shoes,” Freddie said. “I got ‘em from Herman to settle his vig,”

Johnny started waving to Sal behind Freddie’s back, signaling Sal to shut up. But it was too late.

“Those were Eddie’s shoes,” Sal said. “He bought ‘em in Boca but they got a scar across the toe, so Herman . . .”

“Hey, Goomba,” Johnny shouted. So Sal fell silent.

Freddie’s voice began to rumble, starting low and ending up an animalistic groan. He stalked over to the pool table, picked up a pool cue and broke it over his knee.

Sal calmed Freddie down by forcing him to knock back a shot of Four Roses. Perched on a barstool, Freddie started to take the shoes off the minute he began to control his rage. But then he stopped. Federico had his pride, and he wasn’t about to traipse home to Queens on six changes of subway line in his stocking feet. Besides, Freddie knew that the damage had already been done.

Laura explained it to me years later: for a Sicilian to be walking around in a dead man’s shoes was a bad omen.

According to Rose, Freddie ran out of the bar with a scowl on his face, and the cordovan French-toes still on his feet.

When Johnny told Dad the story in

the bedroom the night we ate our aqua cotto, Dad must have realize he was floating in some pretty hot water himself.

Johnny and Rose, headed back to Queensborough Plaza on the same train as Freddie, but they knew they’d better keep a distance, so they rode the next car, still within view of Freddie’s anguish.

Johnny said he saw a couple of Sicilian hoods from Brooklyn approach Freddie and convince him that it wasn’t just an omen; it was a curse. Remember, this is all b.s., but sworn to be true in third-hand stories handed down from uncle to cousin to sister to me; and perhaps—you can bet your ass—part of the myth of why my father’s screwed-up life was so convoluted.

Well, Freddie took off the shoes right on the subway train as it rattled its way toward the Queensborough Plaza Station. Freddie sat staring out the window alone in his embarrassment—until he got up and stalked from car to car, forcing people to rummage through their packages for a bag he could use to carry the shoes.

Finally, blinded by his anger, he found himself standing in front of an old bum who was sleeping across two seats. The bum woke up to the sight of Freddie’s stockinged feet. Freddie felt something wet. When he looked down he understood

Joe Ortiz Memoir: Episodes & Recipes

Joe Ortiz’s memoir, Pastina — My Father’s Misfortune, My Mother’s Good Soup, became the framework for the musical Escaping Queens, which ran at Cabrillo Stage in 2012 and 2013. Since 2022, the Capitola Soquel Times is the exclusive publication of various episodes from the book — including a recipe that helps shape each installment. You may have read one of the pieces in the Times a few months ago entitled, “Pastina, Food for the Soul — The Night Freddie the Bookie Showed Up with the Gun.”

The idea of weaving anecdotes about food with an ongoing narrative came to Joe after reading Heartburn by Nora Ephron.

“Using recipe descriptions to help tell a story seemed the perfect way to weave the angst of a father’s chaotic life with the salvation of a mother’s cooking,” Ortiz explains. “For me, the soothing aromas and descriptions of my mom’s food became the salve to assuage my father’s abusive actions, and the ironic humor of it all helped to dull the pain.” n

why: he was standing in a puddle of beer the bum had spilled on the floor in front of him. Freddie lifted the bottle out of the bag it was in, only to see that it was Rheingold, my Father’s favorite brand, just one more nagging rub in my father’s undoing. Freddie began shaking, his animal growl beginning to drown out the rumble of the subway, his feet sopping wet. Suddenly, he realized he had no choice but to use the brown paper bag—soggy with the stench of beer—to put the shoes in so he could carry them home and to hide at least that reminder of his embarrassment. His sopping stocking feet, making footprints on the train wherever he walked, were there for all the world—at least the underground world that rides the BMT at 3 a.m. on a Sunday morning—to see. And someone was going to have to pay: that someone was Herman Emelio Ortiz. My Dad. “The pretty fart smella.” The genius. According to my Uncle Johnny, “The best goddamn shoe repairman in the greater New York area.” n

Aqua Cotto – Cooked Water

Serves Four

Just like the word “aloof” fits with Dad’s personality, the title of this recipe fits with Mom’s style of cooking.

Besides, the way it looks — and tastes — really jibes with the crazy way our lives went just before we escaped from Queens. There’s another dish called aqua pazzo, “Crazy Water,” that would have worked, too. But that’s another story.

¼ cup olive oil

2 medium onions, thinly sliced

4 cups sliced mushroom stems and zucchini trimmings

1 carrot, diced

2 cups beet greens

Salt and pepper to taste

4 cups water

4 medium tomatoes, scaled, skinned, and seeded

½ loaf stale Italian bread, torn into 1-inch chunks, for serving

Grated Parmesan for garnish

Heat the oil in a cast iron stock pot to very hot and add the onions, mushrooms, and carrots. Sauté the mixture over high heat, stirring constantly, until the vegetables are deep brown.

Add the greens and sauté just a few minutes. Add the tomatoes and water and simmer the soup 10 to 15 minutes over low heat.

Place the bread chunks into soup bowls and ladle the soup on top. Sprinkle some grated Parmesan cheese on top at the table. Be careful! It’s hot! Capitola Soquel Times / September 2023 / 7 FEATURED COLUMNIST
Uncle Johnny

Homeless Point in Time Count

On Aug. 3, Santa Cruz County reported its federally required point-in-time count tallied 1,804 homeless people in 2023, compared to 2,299 in 2022.

This is a 21.5% decline and the fewest since the count began in 2011.

Although Santa Cruz County is the least affordable rental market in the U.S., the numbers give some hope for the future.

“While the numbers show the lowest levels of homelessness since the PIT Count was first conducted and reflects our efforts to prioritize housing, we still have a long way to go,” said Robert Ratner, director of the Santa Cruz County Housing for Health Division. “Addressing homelessness in Santa Cruz County requires long-term, systemic change, but we are heading in the right direction.”

With the closure of the Covid-19 sheltering system in June 2022, Santa Cruz County and its partners, including the Housing Authority of Santa Cruz County, moved more than 600 individuals into permanent supportive housing.

The count was taken on Feb. 23 during wintry conditions.

Of the homeless total, 378 were counted in shelters, and 1,426 were unsheltered, on the streets or in tents or vehicles.

Nearly half were counted in vehicles:

• Vehicle: 46%

• Tent: 35%

• Outdoors/on streets: 18%

• Abandoned building: 1%

By jurisdiction, the count reported:

• City of Santa Cruz: 1,028

• Watsonville: 421

• Unincorporated: 249

• County Office of Education: 59

• Scotts Valley: 24

• Capitola: 23

The 51-page report said number of unhoused declined in Santa Cruz, Scotts Valley, Capitola, and unincorporated areas but the number in Watsonville increased from 366 to 421.

More Findings

Ofthe families experiencing homelessness, 65% had shelter, but nearly all unaccompanied minors and transitionage youth (adults less than 24 years old) were living on the streets.

44% identified as Hispanic or Latino

More than two-thirds of people experiencing homelessness were male.

Three in ten had some form of employment. Of the unemployed, more than half are looking for work.

Nearly a quarter have been in the foster care system.

The number of homeless families with children increased, as did the numbers of K-12 students experiencing homelessness.

75% were County residents when they became homeless.

Nearly half reported substance abuse issues, while more than one-third reported psychiatric/emotional conditions or posttraumatic stress disorder.

Point in Time Homeless Count


2023: Lost job: 35% • Substance use: 24%

• Eviction: 19% • Divorce/breakup: 13%

2022: Eviction: 37% • Lost job: 33%

• Alcohol/drug use: 9% • Divorce/ breakup: 9%


One-third have a physical disability.

The Housing for Health Partnership remains committed to moving as many formerly homeless individuals into housing as possible.

The County is working with community partners to secure Project Homekey and other grants to increase the capacity to provide housing for formerly homeless individuals and families.

Those grants include a recent $10.1 million Behavioral Health Bridge Housing award to build a 34-unit housing development to serve homeless adults with behavioral health challenges, as well as a partnership with the County of Monterey and the City of

2023: 72%

2022: 83%


2023: Subtance use disorder:46% • Psychiatric condition: 39%

2022: Drug/alcohol use:67% • Physical disability: 57% •••

Source: LearningCenter/DataandReports.aspx

Watsonville to move individuals out of the Pajaro River channel and into housing. The 34 units need not be in one location, but all the units must have wraparound services, such as being prioritized for behavioral health services.

County officials report 100 new supportive units through projects already underway will soon be accessible. For youth, the county is retrofitting a building on 5300 Soquel Avenue with 24 crisis stabilization beds so youth have local options for care. n


For the full report, visit https://housing

Milestone: $100,000 in Cash Aid for Local Veterans

Vets 4 Vets Santa Cruz announces a major milestone — the nonprofit has now provided over $100,000 in emergency cash assistance for local veterans.

The emergency cash assistance program began about 5 years ago and has continued to grow every year!

Thanks to the unwavering support and generosity of donors and community partners, Vets 4 Vets Santa Cruz has been able to make a significant impact in the lives of local veterans. Community contributions have enabled essential aid for food, clothing, transportation, and other urgent needs, ensuring these heroes receive the care and support they deserve.

One example is Chris W., Santa Cruz, an Army veteran 2003-2008: “I am a post 9/11 combat veteran with two deployments. While

attending school at UC Santa Cruz, I incurred some unexpected expenses which put my enrollment and housing in jeopardy. Vets 4 Vets assisted me to cover these expenses which was essential for my housing, income, and future enrollment. The assistance was beyond what I imagined, and I have since been able to volunteer my time with Vets 4 Vets. I am very grateful this organization exists.”

Vets 4 Vets Santa Cruz extends deepest gratitude to each and every one of you who has played a part. Your support makes all the difference in the lives of those who have sacrificed so much for our freedom. n

If you’d like to be a part of our mission and contribute to helping local Veterans, see: https://www.

8 / September 2023 / Capitola
Total Counted Homeless 2023: 1,804 2022: 2,399 Residence at Time of Homelessness 2023: 75% Santa Cruz County 2022: 89% Santa Cruz County Employed 2023: 28% 2022: 20% Looking for Work 2023: 56% 2022: 53% Living Conditions
: Tent: 35% • Vehicle: 46% • Streets: 18% 2022: Tent: 48% • Vehicle: 38% • Streets: 14%
Reported Health

Capitola’s First Paddleboard Event

On Sunday, Sept. 24, the Capitola Beach Festival will hold its first Paddleboard Event.

This is a spectator friendly, 2-mile open class prone and SUP paddleboard race from Hooper’s Beach (the west side of the Capitola Wharf) along the coast to New Brighton Beach and back. There will also be a short course race for kids (10 and under) from Hooper’s Beach around the Wharf and back. All participants will receive a 1st Annual Paddleboard Race T-Shirt.

“Lessons” from page 6

Land that was in plantations of pineapple and sugar cane has been turned into mansions, luxury resorts and golf courses, with fish ponds disappearing to create hotel parking lots.

How vulnerable are we?

So much of the water in Santa Cruz County is used to grow berries and lettuce.

We have just one reservoir, Loch Lomond in San Lorenzo Valley.

What is our game plan if we need more water for firefighting?


Hawaiian Electric, which provides power to Maui, did not shut off the power before high winds hit, as PG&E has done locally – and Hawaiian Electric is now facing lawsuits claiming it should have de-energized power lines due to the hurricane winds.

What about in Santa Cruz County?

If the electricity is shut off, are the water systems backed up by diesel generators?

Are the pipes at risk of rupturing from a wildfire’s intense heat?

In 2020, because of the CZU Lightning Fire, the San Lorenzo Valley Water District incurred $27.8 million in damages to water lines and tanks.

On Aug. 19, Michael Zwerling’s KSCO 1080 AM radio – that’s right, he opted not to sell or retire -- lost power and its backup generator failed. The radio station, which has been a lifeline in past emergencies, now has phones relying on internet, so it was knocked off the air for two days.

What if this happened during the next wildfire? Does the backup system need a backup?

Could ham radio operators help?

In June, this newspaper wrote about

Duke Brouwer, Paddleboard Race emcee, said “Capitola has a very rich history in paddleboard competition! From the iconic Jay Moriarity Memorial Paddleboard Race which brought world-class paddlers to Capitola Beach from as far away as Australia & South Africa, to the annual unofficial Pier 2 Pier Race that runs from the Santa Cruz Wharf to the Capitola Wharf on the Saturday before the Wharf to Wharf 10k to the championship pedigree that the Capitola Junior LIfeguards have developed

ham radio enthusiast John Gerhardt of Soquel, who is the district emergency coordinator of the Amateur Radio Emergency Service in Santa Cruz. Can his team fill the gaps?

Escape Routes

Lahaina has one main street, Front Street, that runs by the ocean. There is a bypass road, which was closed Aug. 8 due to wildfire flareup in the hills. It reopened a week later.

Hurricane winds toppled 30 trees in West Maui. Roads were barricaded because of downed power lines.

That pushed everyone trying to escape onto Front Street—too many cars on a twolane road with flames overtaking them, which is why you see photos of abandoned burnt out cars. With no way out, people jumped into the ocean. Some survived, others drowned waiting for help that never came.

San Lorenzo Valley has one main street, the winding Highway 9 through forests. If that’s closed, fleeing a wildfire will be difficult.

And what if Highway 1 were closed? What then?

Hawaiian Electric did a study after the 2019 Maui wildfires that concluded much more needed to be done to prevent power lines from emitting sparks. Since then, how much did Hawaiian Electric spend on wildfire projects on Maui: From 2017 to 2022, less than $245,000. Clearly not enough.

On Aug. 24, Maui County sued Hawaiian Electric, alleging negligence, saying the utility should have shut off power lines in response to the National Weather Service “red flag warning.”

The Legislature also played a role.

In 2015, lawmakers mandated that

in their JG sprint paddlers who’ve dominated USLA Regionals for decades! I am excited to see everyone back out on the water competing together and enjoying the beauty that you can only find in Capitola!”

Sign up on Eventbrite to join the competition. There is a fee.

Proceeds cover costs and a donation to the Capitola Junior Guards.

Pre-race meeting at 7:30 am with an 8 am race start. n

100% of Hawaiian electricity come from renewable sources by 2045, a first for the U.S.

In 2017, Hawaiian Electric said it would reach the goal five years in 2040. Did that focus – mandated by lawmakers – mean less attention to wildfire projects?

In California, even on my street in Scotts Valley, I see overgrown trees very close to power lines. Are other priorities diverting attention from Pacific Gas & Electric wildfire safety projects?

The Missing

In Maui, two weeks after the fire began in Lahaina, Hawaii’s one-time capital, officials do not know how many lives were lost. They say 115 died, but 800 to 1,100 are unaccounted for.

Local officials have not released a list of the missing due to privacy concerns and worries about traumatizing families. Maui Police Chief John Pelletier also serves as coroner. The island, which typically has 220-240 deaths a year to investigate, has no medical examiner. Now the FBI is working on a list, and set up a hotline — (808) 5664300 — for relatives of the missing to call.

A man who works for a Maui funeral

home posted what it’s like to pick up dead bodies. These people were incinerated. There are no clues as to who they are. This is why officials are asking families to provide DNA samples to help identify remains. However, few have done so.

The lack of information prompted Ellie Erickson, 27, of Kihei, to create a spreadsheet to track the missing. She has 8,000 followers on Instagram.

The Maui Police Department told the medical examiner in Honolulu, where burn patients were being treated, not to release the names of anyone who died due to fire injuries in Lahaina. This came after one burn patient died and his name appeared in media reports after next of kin were notified.

Let’s talk about privacy concerns and trauma worries -- before the next disaster.

I’d like to see a report from the Santa Cruz County Emergency Management Council –which does not include any ag or water representatives as of now—to give us assurances that these questions have been considered and provide answers. n •••

Do you have more questions? Email me at

“Lydon” from page 6

Since Leadership Santa Cruz County began in 1985, Lydon he has donated his time each year to share his passion for and knowledge of the rich history of Santa Cruz County with class participants.

“It is such an honor for us to be able to recognize and celebrate him for his

valuable contributions to the program and to our community,” said Laura Owen, Leadership Santa Cruz County board president. n


Tickets cost $35 and will include light appetizers. To purchase tickets, visit https:// Space is limited and tickets are expected to sell quickly. Capitola Soquel Times / September 2023 / 9 COMMUNITY NEWS

Supervisor Zach Friend: No Fourth Term

On Aug. 4, Santa Cruz County Supervisor Zach Friend, who represents the Second District and chairs the board, announced he will not seek a fourth term. His term ends in January 2025.

Friend, 44, of Aptos, was elected to the county board in 2012 and re-elected easily in 2016 and 2020. He represents the coastal communities of Aptos, La Selva Beach, Seacliff and Rio Del Mar, some of the most productive agricultural land in the country in Corralitos, Freedom and the Pajaro River basin, and parts of Capitola and Watsonville.

“Representing this county has been the nonpareil opportunity of a lifetime,” Friend said. “We are a region blessed with the most caring people, unrivaled natural gifts and unmatched innovation. The privilege of representing our area has been remarkable.”

Friend’s decision will leave a void in terms of knowledge and experience but will create an opportunity to bring diversity to county board.

Ever since his wife, Tina Friend, previously known as Tina Shull, left her job as Scotts Valley city manager in September 2021 to be city manager in Coronado –population 19,550-- in San Diego County, locals have wondered if Friend, too, would head to Southern California. The couple has a 7-year-old son.

Friend’s next gig is not known but Linked bio in positions him a “government affairs public policy senior communications advisor” with more than 500 connections.

In January, when epic rain and ocean swells sank the pier to the historic Cement Ship in Seacliff, caused an estimated $100 million in damage to Seacliff State Beach, broke the historic Capitola Wharf in two, stranding businesses, and flooded the restaurants on the Esplanade in Capitola, Friend swung into action.

He had connections with state and

federal officials — early in his career he served the White House Council of Economic Advisers, U.S. Senate, the U.S. House of Representatives and was press secretary for the Obama presidential campaign in 2008 and media surrogate for the Biden campaign in 2020– and soon Gov. Gavin Newsom was visiting Capitola’s Esplanade and Seacliff State Beach, creating photo opps for reporters and TV cameras.

Eight days later, President Joe Biden visited Capitola’s Esplanade and Seacliff State Beach, drawing even more media attention.

In March, when the Pajaro River levee, built by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in 1949, breached, flooding homes of 3,000 people –mostly farmworkers-- and some of the most productive farmland in the Pajaro Valley, once again federal help was needed.

As chairman of Food 7 Flood Control and Water Conservation District, he lobbied state legislators who approved $400 million in state funds for the Pajaro River levee project to meet the federal “local share” that Pajaro residents could not afford to provide themselves.

His advocacy helped secure millions of new federal funding for ongoing broadband expansion in rural Santa Cruz County, where some neighborhoods are Internet desert.

“We should always strive to amplify our voice at the state and federal level,” Friend said. “We have local challenges of national importance and local solutions with national impacts — the more we can create our future rather than react to it the better off our region will be.”

Locally, Friend led efforts to remodel Seascape Park and Hidden Beach Park, build and provide bike and skate opportunities at Seacliff Village Park and Pinto Lake Park and add new fully-accessible

park features to multiple parks throughout the Second District.

This year, the largest investment in over 20 years will be made in the baseball fields at the Polo Grounds in Aptos, providing better playing opportunities for youth and sports teams.

During the Covid-19 pandemic emergency, he hosted weekly virtual town halls with experts to provide information for constituents and answer their questions.

He spearheaded the effort to upgrade and rename Willowbrook Park in honor of Sgt. Damon Gutzwiller, who died on duty in 2020, with regular updates in Aptos Times on the fundraising efforts to pay for the project. Major work is now underway.

He also pushed to create Seacliff Village Park and was a major supporter to upgrade libraries in La Selva Beach, Capitola, and Aptos, where the newly built library is about to open.

Friend prioritized investments in parks and youth activities and to improve public spaces like the not yet open government center in West Marine’s former headquarters in Watsonville.

“Whether it was the creation of the new Mid-County Public Safety Service Center in Aptos, working to save Watsonville Hospital from closure or the construction of the new South County Government Center, my goal has been to ensure that areas of historic underinvestment in county services — like the Mid and South County — received equitable access and resources,” Friend said.

Friend is on state and national commissions. He chairs the California

State Association of Counties Health and Human Services Committee, with responsibility for advocating on behalf of California’s 58 counties on issues related to behavioral health services, public health and homelessness.

He’s on the National Association of Counties Executive Committee where he has advocated in Washington, DC, for transportation, rural broadband and flood-protection.

Regionally, he chairs the Monterey Bay Air Resources Board, the Pajaro Regional Flood Management Agency, and co-chairs the Oral Health Access Santa Cruz County board.

He is on the Criminal Justice Council, Library Financing Authority, Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commission, Santa Cruz County Sanitation District, Santa Cruz Mid-County Water Agency, Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO), and Santa CruzMonterey-Merced Managed Medical Care Commission.

Before his election as supervisor, Supervisor Friend spent eight years as a crime analyst and spokesman for the Santa Cruz Police Department.

His 2013 book “On Message: How a Compelling Narrative Will Make Your Organization Succeed” was an Amazon. com best-seller in the marketing category.

“We have a lot of great things left to accomplish in the next 17 months,” Friend said. “I am excited to stay actively engaged locally and keep contributing to our community in any way possible, well beyond my term.” n

10 / September 2023 / Capitola Soquel Times COMMUNITY NEWS
Zach Friend, who recently announced he would not run for county supervisor again, speaks during a tour of the winter storm damage with Gov. Gavin Newsom (second from left). Zach Friend (left) watches President Joe Biden speak during tours of the winter storm damage in Santa Cruz County.

Capitola Wharf Enhancement: $125,000 Raised, $125,000 to Go

On Aug. 24, a partnership to raise $250,000 in private donations to enhance the Capitola Wharf experience got unanimous 4-0 support from the City Council.

In favor: Council members

Joe Clarke, Yvette Brooks, Alex Pedersen and Mayor Margaux Keiser. Vice Mayor Kristen Petersen was absent.

In January, city residents were devastated to see their Wharf, which goes back to 1857, chopped in half by an epic rainstorm and ocean swells.

City officials had planned repairs to the aging wharf, work that has expanded to replace decking, railing and pylons due to the damages. The work is scheduled to begin in September, according to Public Works Director Jessica Kahn, with hopes to reopen in summer 2024.

Supporters of the Capitola Wharf Enhancement Project, who sought the partnership, have already raised more than $125,000, Gayle Ortiz, co-owner of Gayle’s Bakery and a member of CWEP, told the City Council.

Former City Councilman Dennis Norton, who was in the audience, offered to pay for a new fish cleaning station on the wharf — price tag $7,000.

The fish cleaning station is one of the amenities on the CWEP fundraising list, which totals $233,500.

The city-funded repairs include some replacement lighting standards and benches, and Ortiz asked the city to replace all the benches and lighting standards — rather than have a mix of old and new so the new improved wharf would be something everyone can take pride in.

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CWEP had projected benches at $46,500 and lighting standards, $25,500. “Capitola Wharf” page
Gayle Ortiz

Temple Beth El: Rosh Hashanah & Yom Kippur

Come celebrate Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur with Temple Beth El. All programs take place at Temple Beth El, 3055 Porter Gulch Road, Aptos unless otherwise indicated. All events are offered at no cost.

To sign up for High Holiday events, see:

Childcare is free of cost, and all children are welcome. Sign up for preschool childcare and our High Holiday Youth Program at: form/2023-high-holiday-Youth-Progamand-Preschool-Childcare-form.html


Rosh Hashanah

Friday, Sept. 15

7:30 pm —Erev Rosh Hashanah

Saturday, Sept. 16

10 am — Rosh Hashanah Morning Service

10:15 am — Rosh Hashanah Junior Congregation Family Service. Even though this is part of our Youth Program, everyone is welcome to attend. This service is a bit shorter, less formal, and more interactive than the main service

5 pm — Tashlich at the Ben Lomond Dam

7 pm — Rock Hashanah

Sunday, Sept. 17

10 am — Second Day Rosh Hashanah Service

12 pm — Second Day Rosh Hashanah Potluck

3:30 pm — Rosh Hashanah Young Family Service. For preschool-aged children and their families

5:30 pm — Tashlich at Rio Del Mar and Natural Bridges Beaches


Yom Kippur

Sunday, Sept. 24

7:30 pm — Kol Nidre

Monday, Sept. 25

10 am — Yom Kippur morning service, Yizkor Service to follow

10:15 am — Yom Kippur Junior Congregation Family Service. Even though this is part of our Youth Program, everyone is welcome to attend. This service is a bit shorter, less formal, and more interactive than the main service

2-4 pm — Yom Kippur Meditation with Bob Stahl

4:15 pm — Yom Kippur Young Family service. For children and their families

4:30-5:45 pm — Yom Kippur Afternoon Study – Turning Our Hearts Towards Repair

6:15 pm — Neilah Service n •••

Questions: Email or call 831- 479-3444

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Welcoming New Neighbors

On Aug. 12, an enthusiastic group met at Habitat for Humanity’s Rodeo Creek Court development as the women of St. Stephen’s Lutheran Church presented colorful handcrafted pillowcases to the homeowner families as housewarming gifts and a heartfelt welcome to the Live Oak neighborhood.

St. Stephen’s Pastor Jim Lapp said the

pillowcases had been blessed in worship the previous Sunday. He also extended a personal invitation to visit the church.

Amid lively conversation and refreshments, each grateful family chose their gifts and tucked them into a tote bag reading “Home is the Sweetest Place of all.”

Habitat Monterey Bay is grateful to all community and faith-based groups who support and donate their time, gifts, and talent to help people become homeowners. As a matter of policy, Habitat for Humanity International and its affiliated organizations do not offer assistance on the expressed or implied condition that people must either adhere to or convert to a particular faith or listen and respond to messaging designed to induce conversion to a particular faith.

Habitat members, volunteers, and supporters simply believe in decent housing for everyone.

Since Habitat broke ground at Rodeo Creek Court in August 2020, eight of the 11 planned homes have been built. Eight

families have moved in and become firsttime homeowners. n

For information on this project, see copy-of-donor-recognition Capitola Soquel Times / September 2023 / 13 Enjoy The Benefits Of Indoor-Outdoor Living
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Christina Gates, head of the sewing circle at St. Stephens Lutheran Church, and Rev. James P. Lapp talk about their commitment to Habitat for Humanity Monterey Bay.

New CEO at Visit Santa Cruz County

Visit Santa Cruz County, which promotes tourism, announces a new chief executive officer and executive vice president, Terence Concannon. He started on Aug. 21.

Concannon spent six years as president and CEO at Go Lake Havasu in Havasu City, Arizona. He was faculty associate in the Department of Tourism & Recreation at Arizona State University.

Before that, he was director of sales and marketing, hotel operations and

“Capitola Wharf” from page 11

Other components on CWEP’s list: Mosaic art, $30,000, tables with shades, $30,000, donor recognition art, $25,000, trash receptacles, $22,500, sightseeing binoculars free to the public at viewing stations, $20,000, entry gate, $8,000, water filling station with foot wash, $7,000, decorative art, embedding bronze fish on the wharf deck to create a scavenger hunt, $6,000, historic sign, $6,000.

Not on the list: A shower, $300,000, lifeguard Jet Ski storage, $100,000, Wharf Road entry pillar and paver improvements, $25,000, entrance pavers and medallions, $12,000, additional bike racks, $10,000, and kiosks for interpretive panels, $6,000.

Ortiz said if fundraising generates more than expected, which happened on the Capitola Library project she worked on — $550,000 when the goal was $350,000 — funding could into unfunded projects.

If funding falls short, CWEP and the city will talk about how to make cuts.

Presenting CWEP’s findings to the

commerce and communications at properties in Cambria and Pismo Beach.

“I am eager to return to California and make it my forever home,” he said.

One of his priorities is to expand the Santa Cruz County brand to stay competitive with larger California beach destinations.

He will outreach to local industry leaders and stakeholders, update the

VSCC marketing plan, oversee the annual fall campaign and support marketing and promotional reactivation efforts in emerging domestic and international markets

“Terence’s CEO experience, tourism and hospitality background and familiarity with our region are unique traits which combined will ensure both a seamless transition into his new position and the continued

success of Visit Santa Cruz County’s programs and initiatives,” said Julie Baylor-Glynn, chairman of the VSCC Board of Directors and regional director of operations for the Bayside Hotel Group.

Concannon has a bachelor’s degree from California Polytechnic University in Pomona and a master’s degree in photography and cinema from Ohio State University. He is a certified Autism travel professional. n

secured, we are thrilled to initiate the concluding phase of the campaign,” Ortiz said. “It is essential for us all to recognize that every contribution matters, whether it’s 25 cents or $25,000. Our community understands the value of this project—a generational opportunity to forge a legacy.”

The City Council also approved a special event permit for Oktoberfest Oct. 14 on the Esplanade, organized by the Capitola Wharf and Village Business Improvement Association as a fundraiser for the Capitola Wharf Enhancement Project.

The event, a beer garden and music, is expected to draw 2,000 to 3,000 people.

Council, Christine McBroom pointed out 1,039 people participated in a survey on what they would like to see at the wharf.

The wharf is iconic in Capitola, she said.

She got married there.

In June, the city of Capitola made an agreement with the nonprofit Wharf to Wharf Race on wharf fundraising, which

makes all donations to the Capitola Wharf Enhancement Project tax-deductible.

Donors contributing $1,000 or more will be recognized as part of an artistic element on the Wharf. Major sponsors could earn the honor of having their names on any of the four viewing stations or 10 lighting standards.

“With $125,000 of our $250,000 target

Council member Brooks suggested waiving fees, about $400, for the fundraiser as the money will go to a city project, but City Manager Jamie Goldstein said that could encourage other requests for fee waivers.

Oktoberfest organizers will pay the fees. n


For information or to contribute, see Graphics rendered by RRM Design Group

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Gilded Age: Hotel Capitola, Brief but Spectacular

In 1895, Frederick Augustus Hihn felt that his very popular resort could benefit from a larger and more elegant hotel, which could better cater to a wealthier clientele.

Initially, Hihn considered building along the hill above Cherry Avenue. Thankfully he opted to rebuild upon his original 1870s beach hotel site, which today is the location of Esplanade Park.

Local architect Edward Van Cleek was selected to design the 160-room hotel. Van Cleek chose the Colonial Revival style with Queen Anne influences including dormer windows and a hooded turret.

The July 15, 1898, Oakland Tribune claimed:

“… [w]ith its long, imposing façade and noble height, and adorned by tower and gables, the Hotel Capitola furnishes a handsome spectacle. Painted white and backed by a lofty cottaged cliff, with the surging sea near by the wearied traveler surveys it with appreciative gusto.”

In 1897, a four-story hotel annex was built at the base of the cliff. Between the two hotel structures was a beautifully landscaped, sunny courtyard, complete with manicured lawn. The hotel also had a tropical plant-filled roof garden which afforded a view of Monterey Bay and the surrounding hills.

The hotel, which accommodated 600 guests, provided many amenities. According to local writer Josephjne Clifford McCracken, the hotel’s spacious lobby included “… two deep fireplaces, polished rug, covered floor, lounge chairs, grand piano, reading tables and writing desks.”

The commodious lounging salon, with windows on two sides providing excellent ocean views, was furnished with settees and easy chairs to accommodate 50 guests. Such rooms were often decorated with hotel garden flowers, “woodwardia ferns and hanging baskets of springeri.”

A visitor favorite was the club, built below the cliff along the edge of the breakers. Accessed through the annex or via the colonnade, it was also known as the sea room due to its three glass walls affording excellent ocean views. In 1902, a bowling alley was added adjacent to the club.

A high-ceilinged ballroom included a stage for concerts and theatricals. The broad south side piazza, arrayed with heavy rocking chairs, was floored with cement to help protect it from the pounding surf. The rafters were studded with incandescent lights which, in the evening, glittered in reflection upon the waters of the bay.

In the dining room which jutted out toward the breakers, diners enjoyed a seven-course meal while serenaded by an orchestra.

The 1903 Santa Cruz Evening Sentinel proclaimed:

“It is a gay scene that is witnessed at the hotel nightly. In the spacious dining room that looks upon the sea, all the tables are filled. Elegantly gowned ladies are there. Flowers from the hotel garden are profusely used in the table decorations.”

Dinner was served at 5:30 p.m. and a buffet supper at midnight. While the hotel’s meals were favorably compared with those of the Del Monte Hotel in Monterey, they were “only two-thirds or one-half of the rates charged at that popular caravansary.”

The California Fish and Game Protective Association’s Western Field magazine touted that:

“The launch Capitola is at the disposal of the guests of the hotel. After a day’s battle royal with these game fish, what is more enjoyable than to have one of your catch served to your party at dinner, as only the chef of the Capitola knows how to prepare the toothsome denizens of the deep.”

The Hotel Capitola had several managers over the years, including Mrs. Patty Reed Lewis, childhood survivor of the infamous Donner-Reed emigrant party. Soon after the hotel annex was completed in 1897, Mrs. Lewis decided to leave to manage a smaller establishment across town.

“Hotel Capitola” page 23

16 / September 2023 / Capitola Soquel Times LOCAL HISTORY
Hotel Capitola (1898-1929) brought the Gilded Age to the seaside community. This image is circa 1910 from the Daubenbis family. Daubenbis family members with the imposing and luxurious Hotel Capitola in the rear.

State Funds for Stockton Bridge CWEP Fundraising Begins

There are a lot of moving parts within the City of Capitola as the summer season begins to wind down.

The Universally Accessible Playground at Jade Street Park Project is moving forward!

This project will replace the dated existing playground at Jade Street Park; the approved design will provide recreation features and elements that appeal to individuals of all abilities, including those with mobility, cognitive, developmental, and sight and hearing impairments. The final design concept includes a “Marine and Shoreline” theme suited to coastal Capitola, with 5 specific zones designed for all to enjoy: the Climb and Slide Zone, Swing and Sway Zone, Tot Zone, Sensory Zone, and Game Zone.

I am really looking forward to Capitola broadening the horizons on inclusivity. The estimated costs for this project have exceeded our current funding abilities so we are thrilled to announce that the City has entered into a partnership with the Friends of County Parks to begin a fundraising campaign. The Friends have pledged a $1 million goal for fundraising, anyone can participate! If you would like to donate or want more information, please check out countyparkfriends. org/jadestpark.

Sen. John Laird (D-Santa Cruz) has helped Capitola secure $1 million of the State’s budget that will help facilitate both the Wharf and Stockton Bridge projects.

Along with that, Assembly member Dawn Addis (D-Morro Bay) was also able to secure $1 million from the State budget to help the City with the much needed updates and renovations of the Community Center. I’m very excited that the Community Center and Jade Street Park will both be getting some much needed TLC.

Our Capitola Wharf Enhancement Project is well underway.

The Council has

approved the concept for an updated entrance, enhanced lighting, seating, restrooms, and an interpretive kiosk.

On Thursday, Aug. 24, the Council received a presentation from our Public Works Director and with the community volunteer group CWEP. We adopted a resolution outlining expectations and understanding between the City and the community-led fundraising campaign for the Capitola Wharf Enhancement Project and approve a donor recognition policy for wharf enhancements.

The CWEP group will be entering the second phase of fundraising and have very high hopes that more folks will come forward please visit their site: for donations and project updates.

Thank you so much to all of those who have donated and volunteered thus far, if we’ve learned any thing from this rollercoaster of a year, its that it truly does take a village! n


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New Judge Erika Ziegenhorn

On Aug. 18, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced judicial appointments, including Erika Ziegenhorn, appointed Santa Cruz County Superior Court judge.

A Democrat, she fills the vacancy created by the retirement of Judge Paul Burdick in May.

Ziegenhorn, 43, of Aptos, has been an assistant district attorney at the Santa Cruz County District Attorney’s Office since 2012. She was part of the team that won the county employee recognition Gold award in 2018. The team worked to improve the effectiveness of the multi-disciplinary interview center — the Safe Kids and Youth Center, which provides a safe environment for child and youth victims of sexual and physical abuse to

be interviewed and is the first center of its kind in the county.

Before coming to Santa Cruz, she was deputy district attorney at the Tulare County District Attorney’s Office from 2007 to 2012 and an attorney at the Tulare County Department of Child Support Services from 2006 to 2007.

She grew up in Illinois and earned a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Dayton School of Law, where she met Gregory Peinado, her partner of some 20 years.

She was admitted to the California Bar in 2005.

Peinado, a Santa Cruz County assistant district attorney for 12 years, was appointed commissioner in March 2023, where he handles child support, family preservation and traffic cases. n

New Santa Cruz County

Health Services Agency Leader

Dr. Miku Sodhi is the new assistant director of the Santa Cruz County Health Services Agency.

He comes from the Tulalip Health System in Washington State, where he was health administrator & CEO. Before that he was deputy CEO at Shasta Cascade Health, a federally qualified health center, and chief quality officer at Peach Tree Health in Marysville, and vice president physician leadership and medical policy at Satellite Healthcare in San Jose.

Dr. Sodhi was named to Cal State East Bay’s 40 Under 40 award for improving the health of underserved populations during COVID and the American College of Medical Practice Executives’ Harwick Innovation Award for innovating and improving health services.

During the pandemic, when many medical appointments were cancelled, he implemented telehealth visits to monitor patients and prevent financial losses.

He has integrated medical, dental, mental, and public health services, according to the county announcement.

Dr. Sodhi has two master’s degrees in health administration and public administration from Cal State East Bay; a doctorate

in health sciences from Eastern Virginia Medical School; and a medical degree from the University of Mauritius. He is a Fellow of the American College of Medical Practice Executives and of the New York Academy of Medicine.

“Dr. Sodhi will be instrumental in strengthening our clinical systems of care, particularly with the integration and alignment of preventative and behavioral health services,” said Health Services Agency Director Mónica Morales.

“I am delighted to join Santa Cruz County and look forward to partnering with everyone to advance health care delivery and equity,” said Sodhi. n

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Kristen Brown to Run For Supervisor

On Aug. 7, Capitola Vice Mayor

Kristen Brown declared her candidacy for the Second District seat on the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors, currently held by Zach Friend, who is not running for another term.

Brown, 36, is a two-term City Council member who has been involved in government since 2012, when she became an aide to U.S. Rep Sam Farr for four years.

A fourth-generation Santa Cruz County resident, she has a bachelor’s degree from CSU Monterey Bay and a master’s degree in public administration from CSU Northridge.

She joined the Silicon Valley Leadership Group in 2019, and is currently vice president of government relations.

She has deep roots in Capitola, where her grandfather Herb Ross spent 28 years with the Capitola Police Department and is remembered every year when the Herb Ross Community Achievement Award is presented.

“The top issues I see in the 2nd District, and throughout the County, are housing,

transportation, and climate change,” she said. “These are interrelated issues that we need to address comprehensively. Being the most expensive housing market in the Country is driving more people away from our area, causing more people to commute further to get to where they need to work and play, and leading to increased greenhouse gas emissions. These issues are impacting the quality of life in our otherwise ideal community.”

Housing is an issue that affects her personally.

“I am a renter in Capitola Village,” she said. “In the last 7 years that I have been on Capitola City Council, I have had to move twice. Both times, I felt the concern that comes with wondering if you will be able to find housing within your price range, especially since I had to find a place within the small footprint of Capitola city limits in order to stay on City Council.”

She added, “I have seen my parents, my sister and her family, and several friends,

relatives, and neighbors move hours away in order to find a more affordable housing market. I want to work towards advancing solutions that allow our locals to remain local.”

As for ideas, she said, “I am interested in focusing on increased affordable housing production, preservation of current affordable housing stock, safeguarding rental assistance, and other housing protections, investing in our transportation and transit systems, and mitigating the impacts of climate change that impact all areas of our region.” She began these efforts with her election to the Capitola City Council in 2016.

She is vice chair of the Santa Cruz Metro Transit District, which this summer began outreach to the public to “reimagine” service and double ridership in five years.

She is vice chair of the Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commission, which in April broke ground for

auxiliary lanes and a bus-on-shoulder program (with an overcrossing for Mar Vista) in an effort to reduce Highway 1 congestion for 100,000 vehicles.

During her time as chair of the Association of Monterey Bay Area Governments, she led the Regional Housing Needs Assessment process by which each local government is given quotas for housing production.

She also is an active member of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary Foundation Advisory Committee. She supports voluntary vessel speed reduction programs in the underwater national park to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

“Encouraging young people, especially young women, to get involved in local government is incredibly important to me,” she said. “In my first year on City Council, I successfully advocated for adding student seats to our city boards and commissions. I’d like to see more student involvement on county commissions also.”

“Kristen Brown” page 19 Capitola Soquel Times / September 2023 / 19 Half Moon Bay • Downtown Santa Cruz Westside Santa Cruz • Capitola • Aptos ARE YOU GETTING OUR EMAIL COUPONS? Never miss another deal. Get our weekly coupons by email. Sign-up and complete your profile to unlock $10 off $40 for your next trip. Just scan the QR code here COMMUNITY NEWS
Kristen Brown

School Safety & Community Partners

The 2023-24 school year is underway in Soquel Union Elementary School District. Thinking about all the academic and social growth our students will make this year is exciting. We want this growth to occur in a safe and welcoming school environment. As such, I wanted to share how we approach school safety with you.

School safety can be a broad category. For this article, I’ll address three components of school safety. First, I’ll address how we prepare for emergencies. Secondly, I’ll touch on how we create safe and welcoming campus environments. Finally, I’ll focus specifically on our work to reduce bullying in our schools. All of these efforts cannot be done by schools alone. We are fortunate to have supportive community partners who are also invested in the safety of our students and staff.

To help illustrate our emergency response preparation, I will reference an event that occurred on the first day of school this year. It was a bomb threat being

called into New Brighton Middle School. Their staff had to spring into action and execute an evacuation and reunification plan.

This put all the training and drills our schools engage in annually to the test. With teachers and staff barely getting to know their students, the evacuation was completed smoothly. School staff then moved

students to an agreed-to, off-campus reunification site. A command center was set up at a separate off-site location. Thankfully, the threat turned out to be unsubstantiated.

We are so grateful for the cooperation of our students and their parents. This was the last thing anyone was expecting on the first day of school. The parents were calm and cooperative as they were reunited with their children. There are many instances across the country where the reunification process is chaotic, and it wasn’t for us because our staff provided leadership, our students were cooperative, and our parents remained calm.

It does take a whole community to make things work.

Our partners in law enforcement and the fire department were a big part of that community effort. Their response was incredible. They provided expert guidance and support from the moment we called in the threat. While I would never wish for such an event, it was reassuring to go through the experience in the expert hands of the Capitola Police Department and Central Fire District. We cannot express our appreciation enough for those community partners. The staff at our reunification and command center were also incredibly supportive.

We have reflected on the event and learned from it to be even more prepared for the future.

Another great partner in school safety is the Santa Cruz County Office of Education. They developed a countywide threat assessment protocol on which we train our administrative staff each year. The protocol helps simplify the process of differentiating between transient and substantive threats. The County Office of Education has also been instrumental in bringing together school districts, law enforcement, and first responders to develop a more unified

approach to responding to emergencies with the Santa Cruz County Standard Command Response for Schools. The plan will help ensure that we all use common terminology in responding to emergencies. Our district’s administrators have already been trained, and the staff at each school will be brought on board over the next few months.

Of course, school safety is not just about emergency response. It’s also about creating safe and welcoming learning environments daily. There are many specific steps we take to help foster these environments. For example, finally having at least one school counselor at every school site has greatly benefited our students!

Our teachers’ and staff’s ability to implement Social Emotional Learning and restorative practices naturally throughout the school day is another essential aspect of our approach.

If you would like to learn more about our overall approach to school safety, I welcome you to peruse our district’s Comprehensive School Safety Plan on our district’s website.

You will see that part of the above safety plan is a document called an AntiBullying Plan. Each of our schools produces one of these plans on an annual basis to specifically call out strategies to limit bullying on our campuses. The Anti-Bullying Plans for our schools can also be found on our website. You will find systems like peer conflict managers, Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports, and a Campus Supervisor position, just to name a few.

Last year, we updated our anonymous bullying reporting system by implementing and offering an app from STOPit Solutions. STOPit is a user-friendly phone app that easily allows students and parents to report bullying anonymously and for school administrators to follow up more specifically. For example, a text-type dialogue between the reporting party and the school administrator can occur while maintaining anonymity.

We can all agree that School Safety is a broad and multifaceted topic. We have safety on the agenda of every meeting we hold with administrators in our district. While we are proud of what we have in place, we will always seek continuous improvement. We are very grateful to work in a community where the saying “it takes a village” is not just lip service. n

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Scott J. Turnbull is superintendent of Soquel Union Elementary School District.

Rick Kepler in Maui: How to Help

Rick Kepler, the former tennis director at Seascape Sports Club in Aptos and Aptos High tennis coach who relocated to Maui in 2011, is a Coldwell Banker real estate agent in Wailea, Maui, 28 miles southeast of Lahaina, where wildfires have claimed 106 lives and caused $5.5 billion in damages.

Asked about his situation in Maui, he told the Aptos Times via email, “All my friends are there and my Dad is there too.”

He is with Coldwell Banker Island Properties, where agents, staff, and community members have been affected by the fires on Maui.

Broker Steve Baker of Coldwell Banker Island Properties sent out an update with hashtag #MauiStrong on what the company is doing and how people can help.

Coldwell Banker Island Properties closed offices in Paia and Kapalua, kept open locations at Kukui and Wailea, collected donations to help, and called for a pause on open houses for 30 days.

During this time, the company calls for agents to connect with clients and the community and support Maui relief efforts.

In Wailea, the marketing team is designing materials to educate the public about relief efforts. Possibly this office could become a donation point.

Office operations on the Big Island, Kauai and Oahu will continue as usual, with transactions expected to remain on schedule.

“Mahalo for your support and patience of those on Maui,” Baker wrote.

However, for West Maui and Kul, real estate is in limbo.

Coldwell Banker Island Properties has been told that no homeowner insurance policies can be written.

“Helping Maui” page 23

Add Light In Your Home With A New Skylight Capitola Soquel Times / September 2023 / 21
Rick Kepler Photo Courtesy of FEMA On Aug. 16, President Biden authorized the federal cost share for debris removal for the Aug. 8 Maui wildfire to be increased from 75% to 100% for 30 days within the first 120 days of the state’s choosing.

Heartbreaking Fentanyl Kills Her Only Child

Fernando Sanchez was an only child — a witty, smart, a boy who loved rap music and who kept journals. He was 17, an 11th grader with his whole life ahead of him.

On March 26, 2020, when the lockdown prevented his family from their usual Wednesday night dinner with Aunt Marie, he decided to hang out with two friends.

They had bought pills they thought were Xanax — which teens consider a party drug — from a dealer on Snapchat.

But the pills were not Xanax.

They contained the opioid fentanyl, deadly in a tiny quantity equivalent to 10 to15 grains of table salt, and Tramadol, a painkiller that can cause difficulty breathing.

Fernando’s friends passed out, so Fernando walked to his best friend’s house, where his friend’s mom checked on him and called 911.

Paramedics administered Narcan, which is reported to reverse the effects of fentanyl but it didn’t revive him, recalled his mom Lisa Marquez of Gilroy.

When she went with her sister to the hospital, she thought “he’s in the ambulance — they’re able to save people” but she was told point-blank, “he didn’t make it.”

She didn’t know anything about fentanyl then.

Now Marquez, who is 43, is on a mission to educate parents and children about the dangers of buying drugs online.

“The majority of pills you order are doing to have fentanyl, it’s so cheap and easy to make,” she said. “Everything you have for yourself could be thrown away because of one pill.”

As for her son, she said, “He should

End Overdose Event Aug. 31

Lisa Marquez (pictured with her son) will speak Thursday, Aug. 31 at the #EndOverdose event hosted by Watsonville Community Hospital, 75 Nielson St., Watsonville. A resource fair include free Narcan will take place 3-4 p.m. Speakers from 4-5:30 p.m. in the community room will include family who have lost a loved one, survivors, first responders and health care workers. For information, contact Ashlee_

have been able to make dumb mistakes and learn, but he didn’t get a second chance.”

Marquez’ first reaction: “I have to warn these kids.”

She posted on Facebook, sharing what happened, not worrying what anyone would think about her or her son.

The post was shared 2.8 thousand times.

She has become an expert on fentanyl. “It’s odorless,” she said. “You can’t tell the difference.”

“Fernando” page 25

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Fernando Sanchez

Gene Castillo of Lahaina Asks for Help

Photographer Howard Boots McGhee posted on Facebook a photo showing the wildfire’s destruction in Lahaina: A line of burnt-up cars next to the waterfront.

McGhee is in Seacliff but Ted King, who lost his house in Wahikali and his business, Pacific Jet Sports, in Lahaina, has posted photos on Facebook of the destruction.

McGhee shared posts from the Maui tourism agency Maui Hawaii asking visitors who had planned trips to postpone but not cancel the trip. The reason is Maui business will need support and the majority of the island is still great to visit. Hotel rooms are being cleared to provide space for displaced Lahaina residents.

Owners of AirBnBs and VRBOs are asked to give people refunds, let them change the date of their visit and keep their homes open to the thousands in shelters.

Show that you have Aloha. As for hotels that aren’t giving refunds and not housing the displaced, Maui Hawaii suggests, “Give them hell! Most of these mega-resorts are owned by giant mainland corporations and they don’t feel the Aloha quite the same way we do.”

McGhee also reposted about GoFundMe drives to help individual residents.

“This is our friend Gene, that we personally know,” posted Kelly Saldavia Luizzi.

Here is his story:

“Aloha, my name is Gene Rey Castillo my family has lost our home and business in Lahaina, Maui we were not able to grab too much belongings as our neighborhood was severely burning. We are just asking if anyone would be willing to

“Helping Maui” from page 21

People with an active escrow on Maui are advised to tell their buyers to contact their lender for guidance. Some areas may require an additional inspection to confirm the property is habitable.

Baker pointed out, “Tragically, disasters often attract opportunists. We’ve received reports of scammers and realtors from the mainland reaching out to those affected by the fires. Please stay alert and guide clients to be cautious, reporting any suspicious activities.”


Red Cross Aids Maui after Wildfires

The American Red Cross is in Hawaii, working to help those affected by wildfires that damaged or destroyed 2,200 structures, 80% residential, and great loss of life in the western Maui town of Lahaina. The downtown commercial area in the town of 13,000 is gone.

“Red Cross” page 24

donate to help us with something little enough to continue to provide for my 8 year old daughter and my wife who is 4 months pregnant. I am self employed who ran a business under Lahaina Underground, my shop did not make it and my business was my only source of income. Please help my family. Anything helps. Thank you again and continue to pray for us and family’s in Lahaina.”

He is hoping to raise $20,000. So far, 244 people have contributed. n •••

To help, go to

How to Help

For details, see: blog.islandproperties. com/support-for-maui-how-you-can-assistour-local-communities-in-need

Coldwell Banker Island Properties suggests making donations to Maui Food Bank, Hawi’i Community Foundation, or Maui United Way.


• www.hawaiicommunityfoundation. org/maui-strong


All have a long-standing presence within the Maui community.

GoFundMe has created a list of

Twin Lakes Church: Our Hearts With Maui

Twin Lakes Church in Aptos is helping people in Maui. Here is the post: “As you probably have seen on the news, the island of Maui and the island of Hawaii have had a number of fires breakout.

“Twin Lakes” page 24

verified fundraisers for Lahaina and Upcountry victims and families on their Maui hub page: act/wildfire-relief/maui

Community organizers have created a document at Google Docs with links to hundreds of fundraisers directly contributing to individual family needs at tinyurl. com/Help-Maui-List.

For those who need housing, the Realtors® Association of Maui and Hawaii Island Realtors® are working to connect people with homes in Hawaii who have been displaced by the fires. n

See: n

“Hotel Capitola” from page 16

One of the most beloved of the hotel’s managers was its last, E.V. “Teddy” Woodhouse, a native of Queensland, Australia. Woodhouse, manager since 1913, received an inheritance in the mid-1920s which allowed him to buy the hotel in 1924 for the price of $25,000.

In 1925, the second volume of the History of Monterey and Santa Cruz Counties, California: Cradle of California’s History and Romance described Woodhouse as:

“He is the only man who has

made this hotel a paying proposition. He has spent fifty thousand dollars in improvement of the popular resort and hotel, installing a new elevator at a cost alone of seven thousand dollars, and instead of the four bathrooms previously there, he has had thirty-five put in. He has also installed hot salt baths, and has added ten rooms.”

Another major renovation was the enclosing of the 130-foot deck on the oceanside of the hotel to create a new sun parlor. Throughout the 1920s, the Hotel Capitola continued to provide its guests with myriad entertainments

including golf, horseback riding, dancing, fishing, hiking, lawn tennis, bowling, English billiards, and moving picture shows.

Unfortunately, the good times of the Hotel Capitola were not meant to last.

As Teddy Woodhouse sat on the front porch of his Fairview Avenue home on the evening of Dec. 16, 1929, he watched flames leap through the roof of his hotel. Within just a few minutes the fire, likely caused by faulty wiring, spread throughout the entire hotel and its annex.

The Hotel Capitola was gone, with a financial loss estimated between

$150,000 and $200,000. Woodhouse’s insurance on the hotel was less than $60,000.

The loss of the Hotel Capitola was not only the loss of one of the West Coast’s most famous seaside hotels, but also an irreplaceable piece of Capitola’s storied past. n


Deborah Osterberg is curator of the Capitola Historical Museum, 410 Capitola Ave., Capitola, which is open noon to 4 p.m. Friday through Sunday. Volunteer at https://www. be-ambassador-capitola Capitola Soquel Times / September 2023 / 23 COMMUNITY NEWS
Photo Courtesy of FEMA The first of 32 generators arrive at the FEMA staging area to support the ongoing response and recovery to the Maui wildfires. Lahaina homeowner and business owner Gene Rey Castillo with his wife who is pregnant and his daughter who is 8.

Construction on Memorial Park Moves Forward

Aptos residents might have noticed some big changes are underway at Willowbrook County Park. After a delayed start due to this past winter’s storms, construction workers installed a new flagpole, flowers, and plaques at the park’s southern entrance.

However, the major work will begin later this month as crews begin construction of a circular memorial bench area in a serene corner of the park surrounded

“Twin Lakes” from page 23

by trees. The project is a touching tribute to Santa Cruz County Sheriff Sgt. Damon Gutzwiller, who was killed in the line of duty on June 6, 2020, leaving behind his wife and two young children.

A Santa Cruz County native, Damon owned his first home in the Willowbrook neighborhood and could often be found at the park playing with his beloved dog, Shasta. His friends and family thought Willowbrook Park would be a fitting place to remember him.

The worst has been the fires in Lahaina, Maui that destroyed most of the town. We are working with Hope Chapel in Kihei, Maui.”

Pastor Rene Schlaepfer knows their senior pastor very well and he has preached there often. The church has already sent $15,000 initially to help with fire relief.

Here’s an excerpt from an email from Hope Chapel with some details:

“Our church body has mobilized to meet the tremendous need here on Maui- thank you for being with us as we are the hands and feet of Jesus right now.

“We are holding onto the words of the Apostle Paul, “We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.”

2 Corinthians 4:8-9

“The devastation in Lahaina is so tragic and hard to comprehend. The casualty numbers are increasing as search teams continue their work, and we grieve for those in our community who are learning that they have lost loved ones. We know many who have lost their homes and businesses. We are so grateful for all of our firefighters and emergency responders. The

“Red Cross” from page 23

On Wednesday, the death toll was 106, with 1,300 people unaccounted for.

Red Cross disaster workers have opened shelters across Maui to provide refuge for thousands of residents and tourists displaced by wildfires that began Aug. 8 and were made more destructive by winds from Hurricane Dora. A video by Shane Treu shows a wooden power pole snapping, falling an igniting dry grass.

As of Aug 11, about 240 Red Crossers from Hawaii and across the U.S. are either preparing to leave, en route, or on the ground supporting those affected; 15 responders are from the Northern California Coastal Region, and more local volunteers remain on standby.

“My heart and soul are with the people of Maui. The unimaginable devastation tallied in lives, and property is beyond horrific,” said Megan Erk, a long-time Red

“I’m pleased to see the progress on the memorial for our beloved coworker, Sgt. Damon Gutzwiller. It will be a beautiful place to honor his memory,” said Chief Deputy Jacob Ainsworth.

The memorial bench area will be constructed out of granite boulders and concrete benches and will feature the engraved footprints of Damon alongside those of his children and wife.

The Santa Cruz County Deputy

Sheriffs’ Association and County Park Friends raised most of the funds for the memorial from local residents and businesses.

“This is an inspiring example of the generosity of the Aptos community. So many people came forward ready to support this tribute to Damon,” said County Supervisor Zach Friend.

“Willowbrook Park” page 31

• Hope Chapel Kids Ministry is going into shelters to set up craft tables and activities for children, and backpacks of school supplies are being packed and given out

• Teams are forming to visit shelters to give Bibles, pray, and counsel people who have been displaced

• Countless members are housing those who’ve been displaced

• We’re partnering with our local missions to help them do the work to minister to those in need

“Maui Rescue Mission has a shower unit and resources to help the homeless community that has now increased by the thousands.

stories that are coming out are heartbreaking — we have a long road of physical, emotional, and spiritual care ahead of us. It will take years to rebuild physically, and much longer to care for the souls of all those affected.

“The outpouring of love and help these past few days has been incredible:

• We’ve sent many truckloads of donations over to Lahaina, as well as donations on boats, and we’re continuing to get more to Lahaina every day

• Our Kokua fund is set up for those in the community who need it most — immediate needs of supplies and money for groceries are being given out daily

Cross volunteer from Santa Cruz County and board member of the Central Coast Chapter, whose family lived in Lahaina part-time for many years.

“My family has deep connections with West Maui,” she said. “The waters off Maui were where our son Aleks learned to swim, and snorkel. The historic church in Lahaina where Aleks and thousands of other keiki (children) first danced the hula has been reduced to ashes. Everything is just gone.”

On this deployment, she has been tapped as assistant director of external relations.

“She added, “Please know that the entire team working on this response will lean in with everything we have to fulfill the mission of the American Red Cross. It is what we do, and who we are.”

Working with officials and disaster partners, Red Cross teams are providing evacuees with a safe place to stay, food to eat and emotional support. More help is

“Vertical Sports, our sports ministry, is sending teams to spend time with the kids and youth at the shelters and run sports activities on site.

“Village of Hope ministers to foster kids. We are working with them to fill backpacks with essential items, toys and a Bible, to give to all the children and youth that have lost everything.

“We’re a Maui Food Bank collection center, ready to distribute food, and also partner with Feed My Sheep to distribute food and fresh produce.”

Here’s a link to a 5-minute interview Pastor Rene did with Pastor Ben Pragnell:

If you want to give, see n

on the way as disaster teams deploy from the other Hawaiian Islands and across the country.

“We’re doing what we do best: helping people in their time of need,” said Hanna Malak, CEO of the Northern California Coastal Region of the Red Cross. The death toll is expected to climb.

The Los Angeles Times reported: “Records indicate that neither the state nor the county activated sirens ahead of the fire, though other systems were used, including messages broadcast to television stations, radios and cellphones. But with the power out and communications systems down, many residents reported receiving no alerts.”

Hawaii Emergency Management Agency spokesman Adam Weintraub told NPR that the siren system was not activated, but he did not explain why.

He emphasized that alerts were sent to cellphones and to TV and radio stations.

On Twitter, some said the government prevented people from provided supplies to those in need because they were not FEMA-approved. People stood in long lines to get orange placards allowing them to drive. An officer announced with a loudspeaker that the placards were discontinued, and he didn’t know why.

Some compared $700 per household FEMA offered to Maui residents, about $1.9 million, to the $100 billion in aid the U.S. has sent to Ukraine to defend against the Russian invasion.

President Biden, who declared a national disaster on Aug. 10, visited Aug. 21. n

How to Help

Make a donation : Financial donations are the quickest and best way to help those who need it most. Visit, call 1-800-RED-CROSS (800-733-2767), or text the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation.

24 / September 2023
/ Capitola Soquel Times
Pastor Rene Schlaepfer (right) interviews Maui Pastor Ben Pragnell.

Strengthening the Foundation Legacy, New Board Member, & Employee Promotions

As Soquel Creek Water District embarks on an exciting new chapter in its history, it recognizes the achievements of a departing board member, welcomes a new board member, and celebrates the advancement of dedicated team members.

During this period of transition and growth, the District reinforces its commitment to excellence, community service, and the sustainable management of our water resources.

A Legacy of Dedication and Service

The District said farewell to longtime director Dr. Bruce Daniels, whose

23-year tenure on the board was marked by unwavering dedication to the District and a commitment to the betterment of the community.

Under Daniels’ guidance, the District has made remarkable strides in developing and achieving numerous goals, including innovative conservation measures like the Water Demand Offset Program and the successful identification of alternative water sources.

His strategic vision and deep understanding of climate change and water management issues have helped establish the district as a model for sustainable water practices. Daniels’

Opioid Settlement Town Halls

Aug. 30, Sept. 6

The Health Services Agency’s Substance Use Disorder Services Program will host Opioid Settlement Fund Town Halls virtually in English Aug. 30 and in person in Spanish Sept. 6 for residents to learn how the $26 million in settlement funds will be spent to address the opioid crisis locally.

The town halls will start with presentations followed by a moderated question, answer and input period.

Dr. David Ghilarducci, deputy health officer, Jason Health, county counsel, and Casey Swank, director of Substance Use Disorder Services will speak on:

• The opioid crisis in the County

• Opioid settlement fund litigation

• Results of the Opioid Settlement Fund Community Survey

• The spending plan based on survey results

“I’m excited for the opportunity to speak at the town hall and collaborate with our community to help diminish the impact of the opioid crisis in our County,” said Swank. “Together, we can use these critical funds to save lives and bring people into treatment; and hopefully, help prevent opioid addiction among our youth.”

Everyone is encouraged to attend, including community members, partners and providers.

“Fernando” from page 22

And if Narcan saves you from fentanyl overdose, you can end up addicted — because fentanyl is 50 times more powerful than heroin — “that’s scary,” she said.

Test strips are not the answer, she added,

“We hope to see as many of you as possible at our town halls,” said Dr. Lisa Hernandez, Santa Cruz County health officer.

“We will be receiving about $26 million over the next 18 years, so we have an opportunity to make a significant improvement in the health and safety of our community over a long period of time.”

English-language Town Hall – Zoom

Wednesday, Aug. 30, from 5:30-7 p.m.

Registration was due Sunday, Aug. 27 at

Spanish-language Town Hall – In Person Wednesday, September 6, from 5:30-7 p.m.

275 Main St., fourth floor, Watsonville Register by Sunday, Sept. 3 at https://ón

This in-person town hall will be a family friendly event with activities for children and refreshments.

Participation in the Spanish-language survey has been extended until Thursday, Sept. 7 and will be available at the town hall to complete. n


For questions, email OSFquestions@

For recovery resources, call the 24-hour helpline at 2-1-1 or visit www.santacruzhealth. org/RecoveryWave.aspx

because if you cut the pill in half to test it in water, the fentanyl can be in the untested half.

“We just went to court,” she said.

The man who sold the deadly drug to her son got three years for that crime.

“He’ll do maybe a year,” she said. “It won’t bring my son back.” n

insights and experience were instrumental in guiding the District through numerous challenges and successes, leaving an indelible mark on its operations.

His legacy of leadership and his tireless efforts in advocating for responsible water management were valuable contributions to the community. Dr. Daniels officially left his position on June 19, 2023.

Newly Appointed Director

Jennifer Balboni is the newest member of the District Board of Directors. After an open application and interview process was conducted, she was sworn in and appointed on Aug. 15 to fill the vacant seat of longtime board member Dr. Bruce Daniels.

“New Blood” page 26



23. Befuddled 26. *One of 4 NFL teams sharing a home field 29. Fish story

Stockings 33. “Doggone it!”

35. Rand McNally book 37. Mozart’s “L’____ del Cairo”

59. Smidgeons 60. Paddleboarding acronym, pl.

61. Seaside bird

62. *Thirty-____ teams in NFL

63. *Ravens’ or Lions’ time, acr.

64. *Rushing unit


1. “____ Now or Never”

2. “Shoot!”

3. Arabian bigwig

4. Fund-raising letter

5. Torah teacher

6. Homer’s famous poem

7. Feel for

8. Larger-than-life

9. A Supreme singer

10. Emerald ____ borer

12. Poet’s death lament

13. Fungal skin infection

14. *Home of the Citrus Bowl in Florida

19. Not odds

22. Lily, in French

23. Unfortunately, exclamation

24. *a.k.a. Iron Mike

25. Charcuterie stores

26. Nibble away

Have faith Capitola Soquel Times / September 2023 / 25
1. Brainchild 5. Gravestone wish 8. Paleozoic one 11. Pressing tool 12. Senegal’s neighbor 13. Literary theme 15. Scissors sound 16. Final notice 17. *Notre Dame’s Fighting ____ 18. *Home of the first Super Bowl winners 20. National League Pennant series, acr. 21. Steer clear 22. “Glee” actress ____ Michele
38. Whiskey drinks? 39. Comedy act 40. Be more of a fox 42. Dead or Black, e.g. 43. Obliquely 45. Roof supporter 47. High or low card 48. Employer’s good news 50. Hyperbolic tangent 52. *College player not using eligibility 55. Beastly person 56. Double-reed instrument 57. *Nike Pegasus 39
41. Van
© Statepoint Media Answers on 31 »
28. Ranee’s wrap 31. Lummox 32. Calendar abbr. 34. Russian autocrat 36. *Home to College Football Hall of Fame 38. Secret supply
*Extra point
Gogh flowers
Partners of pains
Puzzle with pictures and letters
Take as one’s own
Think, archaic
Grand theft target 52. *The oldest college football Bowl 53. Actress Perlman 54. Millimeter of mercury 55. Took the bait 58. *Defensive one

A Retrograde Atmosphere Begins

The sun entered the mutable earth sign, Virgo, sixth sign of the zodiac August 23. On the same day, hours after, Mercury turned retrograde, also in Virgo (22 degrees). Virgo is the Mother, the Madonna, she is Ceres whose daughter is Persephone. Virgo is the sign of service, first to self and then to others and the care of small animals.

It is also the sign of health. Virgo, the mother aspect of the Divine Feminine (“The Eternal Feminine always draws us onwards” ~ Goethe) holds three principles within herself — the Father, the Holy Child and the Mother (“I am the Mother and the Child, I God, I Matter Am” are the esoteric words of Virgo). Virgo is a most mysterious sign, a different mystery than is Scorpio.

As Mercury turned retrograde, it joined five other retrograde lights (Venus, Saturn, Neptune, Pluto and Chiron) creating a pensive and introspective atmosphere in our world. This pensive inner reflectiveness will continue through and into the new year of 2024.

Further retrogrades – On August 29, Uranus joins the retrograde pack, followed by Jupiter retrograde on September 4 (Labor Day). Everything then, especially humanity, becomes quiet, serious, reflective and meditative. When we are in an atmosphere and architecture of multiple retrogrades, we all assume the behaviors and revelatory qualities of Virgo.


Since everything is topsy turvy in retrogrades, it’s best to create and thus plan on having fun during the next many weeks ahead. This will stimulate your creative expressions which won’t follow their usual road. There can be thoughts of an entirely new direction to take, a road less travelled. Therefore, ponder upon your unique creativity. During retrograde times there are revelations that spark our imagination. We discover new patterns and new alternatives. Change is your newest name.


Mercury retro is about detours, delays, roundabouts and the long way around any and all roadways, communications, situations and events. It’s time in the retrogrades to review your choices, previous courses of action, beliefs and decisions. New fundamental values will arise based on need and it’s best to get to the heart of understanding how and where you are living. Choose actions that assure future stability. Someone’s voice inspires you. Listen carefully.


It will be important for your self-identity (which is shifting and changing and unfolding new realities) and your creativity (being restructured) to understand that your life agenda, your path in this lifetime, is evolving. A new picture is forming. Your friends are shifting about too, beliefs, things we have relied upon are also changing. Realize you are to be the reliable one in your life. It has to be that way now. In the meantime, tend carefully to your money. Don’t over spend. Begin saving. Buy silver and gold.


Take time to settle financial worries and concerns by restrategizing where money is being spent. Concerns about the future are real. The future economy is an unknown. However, we need to prepare by putting resources by in case of unusual events. This includes foods, medicines, essentials we use daily, pet food (if we have pets), etc. With the present monetary situation and the inflation it’s best to have knowledge of how to prepare. Here is a good site for preparation —

Mercury retro means our minds are filled to capacity with information gathered since our last Mercury retro (April/May in Taurus). We are now to assess all that we’ve learned, keep some, eliminate some, order and organize the rest. We will return to previous situations, the past appearing for continuation or for closure. We’re inner-oriented. We won’t drive well (except for those born with in a Mercury retrograde (a small percentage of humanity).

When Mercury retrogrades everyone becomes a Virgo (seeking order, organization and inner analysis). We remember no large purchases, no big plans initiated, no signing of contracts, no promises, no engagements, no weddings.

If a contract must be signed, read the fine print carefully, three times or more, have others read it over, too. And expect a change to occur when Mercury turns direct in three weeks, Friday, September 15.

Mercury retrograde times are a natural state of affairs, allowing us to integrate and synthesize information and knowledge, preparing us for new information, tasks and plans in the times to come. We remember as Mercury retrogrades, it is a time of inner recollection, of rest and recovery. Like a retreat from the world. n


Good inner and thoughtful questions to ask in the next weeks of retrogrades and the North Node in Aries (selfidentity) are: “Who am I to myself? Who am I to others? What do I project of myself out into the world? “What are my talents, gifts and abilities? What of my inner self shall I cultivate”? Answering these questions leads to an internal self-review of who and what you’ve become. Now is the time for refinement, for calling in consistency and personal magnetism and a love that’s real and authentic.


All realities we focus upon become inner realities. All resources become inner resources. All communication we hear and what we say to others becomes internalized. Careful what you hear and what you say. Know that for three weeks veils will envelop your eyes, a mist will surround you. All activities will move behind the scenes. Only instinct and intuition, love and mercy and compassion are your guides. You might also add forgiveness.


So many things are occurring for Libras. Your self-identity is being restructured, your foundations are transforming, your beliefs are shifting, your creativity is in the process of refinement, your resources have expanded, your desire has arisen, your love of friends has been supported. It seems you are preparing for something far away, something long distance, something artistic. Now it’s good to be silent as part of the preparation. New vistas of introspection are approaching. New art too.


What’s occurring in your inner world? Something important is being communicated, new messages and new directions. You are on a precipice, at least for a while. Make no big decisions the next three weeks. However, do ponder on what it’s like to be in a time of transition. Try not to mis-step and stumble as you stand in the shadows that are all about. You are to be the light that others follow. So be clear, thoughtful, and summon mental clarity. Leadership is your next test.


You are in a period of retreat, quiet, solitude and pausing a bit, entering into an interlude of thoughtful rest and relaxation. In this time of retrogrades, ponder upon important things like travel which focuses your direction, vision and purpose. For the next many months a new self-identity forms within. You may be feeling the shifting to and fro of many different identities. Try all of them on. Influence your family, friends, acquaintances, all environments, friends with acts of Goodwill.


Set several goals to review and organize your monetary situation. Set another goal to only buy what is needed and not overspend. Are there resources somewhere you’ve forgotten or are there other ways of bringing in money being offered? A sure way of receiving more is to give more — tithing our money and energy to those in need. When we give from our heart, a magnetic field is created around us — and we’re given back ten-fold. Teach this to the children in your life. It’s spiritual science.


It is good to offer gratitude to all those you are encountering in your life, past, present and future. It is good at the end of each day to offer gratitude and thankfulness to everyone you encountered during the day. And to see that, at the end of the day, the day was good. In your life as an Aquarian, you offer services to some, ask forgiveness of others, shake hands with some, embrace others. Misperceptions can easily occur in the retrogrades. Reach out; make contact with everyone. Then love is released.


Everything in your daily life may suddenly be different. New responsibilities appear as you return to a previous situation. Mental clarity will be needed along with calm emotions and physical strength. Careful with any criticisms or judgments. You will be called to do more work in the world. Work that is unexpected and it will be a test as well as needed in the world. You’ll need a boat, good shoes, good friends, and that sweater your mother always told you to wear. And storming heaven for direction.

“New Blood” from page 25

She has been a resident of Aptos for three decades and brings a wealth of experience and passion to her board role. Balboni’s deep connection to the community is evident through her involvement in local initiatives and her dedication to environmental stewardship. She is a California Certified Naturalist and former local business owner and is prepared to contribute her skills and expertise to the District’s ongoing initiatives.

Balboni’s passion and interest in waterrelated issues led to her membership in the District’s inaugural class of the Water Wise Academy in 2018, a program that allows District customers to gain a deeper understanding of the District and its mission.

In 2019, her commitment to responsible water management prompted her to volunteer and serve as a public member on the District’s Water Resource Management & Infrastructure Committee. Her work on the committee underscores her commitment to responsible water management and sustainable practices. Her dynamic background, her dedication to environmental protection, and her active role in the community, make her a great addition to the District Board.

Celebrating Employee Promotions

In the first half of 2023, the District has celebrated the hard work and dedication of several team members who have advanced within the agency:

• Nick Emmert was promoted from Operations & Maintenance Supervisor to the District’s O&M Manager.

• Eric Humble was promoted from Sr. Water Distribution Operator to O&M Supervisor

• Andy Villegas was promoted from Water Distribution Operator II to Sr. Water Distribution Operator

• Jordan Talbot was promoted from Water Distribution Operator II to Water Systems Operator I

• Courtney McEvoy was promoted from Customer Service & Billing Technician II to Contracts & Customer Billing Specialist

• Sarah Stevens and Drew Carlson were promoted from Customer Service Field Tech I to Customer Service Field Tech II Hats-off to these deserved promotions, and to all the hardworking staff of the District.

A Bright Future Ahead

As the Soquel Creek Water District enters this new era, the community can expect a continued commitment to excellence and innovation. The combined efforts of visionary leaders and the enduring legacy of individuals like Dr. Bruce Daniels, alongside the growth of dedicated employees, will continue to support the District’s mission of providing a sustainable and reliable water supply for all. With a steadfast focus on the community’s need for safe water and a healthy environment, the District is prepared to navigate the future with determination and resilience. n

26 / September 2023 / Capitola Soquel Times
Astrology • September 2023 • By
••• Risa D’Angeles • •
Jennifer Balboni Capitola Soquel Times / September 2023 27



The City of Capitola is forming a new committee to advise the Capitola Chief of Police on public policy and current issues, and to allow those involved to voice their perspective on community policing.

This committee is designed to increase public awareness of law enforcement matters.

To apply to serve a two-year term beginning in October, see


Soroptimist International of Capitola-by-the-Sea has launched its search for applicants for its 2024 “Live Your Dream” awards.

Women who are enrolled in or have been accepted into a bachelor’s or a technical training program, are heads of their households and have demonstrated need are eligible to apply for $2,000 that may be used to pay for anything needed to help them complete their educational program — such as food, rent, car repairs, child care and health care. The club typically makes three awards to local women.

Deadline to apply is Nov. 15. Applications are at www., click on the “Live Your Dream” logo and review the eligibility and application instructions. Winners will be announced in January 2024 and an awards ceremony will be in March.

Soroptimist International of Capitola-by-the-Sea is a global volunteer organization that provides women and girls with access to education and training to achieve economic empowerment. See


Registration for the Cabrillo Youth Strings Music Program is underway. Classes will be held for 9 weeks on consecutive Fridays in the Music Building, VAPA 5000, beginning Sept. 8. An entry-level String

Orchestra Class, 4th-6th Grade Beginning Strings for violin/viola/cello will be offered on Fridays, 4-5:15 p.m. Auditions for Festival Strings (beginning note-readers) and Cabrillo Strings (intermediate-advanced) will be 3:45-4:15 p.m. Friday, Sept. 8, with a rehearsal following. Festival Strings will meet 4:15-5:45 p.m. and Cabrillo Strings will meet 4:15-5:55 p.m. Register at Cabrillo Extension, 479-6331, or before the first class.

String players ages 5 to18 are welcome to join the string orchestral and chamber music programs. For those interested in participating in or making contributions to this program, call (831) 479-6101 or visit https://www.


Cert Basic training is free. The 21-hour course is conducted by FEMA-certified instructors, with classroom and hands-on training weekday evenings and/or weekend days. Upcoming classes:

• Watsonville Fire Station #2, 2 full Sundays in Watsonville and one full day in Live Oak.

Begins Sunday, Oct. 8

• Highland Park Senior Center, Ben Lomond. 4 evenings and one full Sunday. 17 spaces open.

Begins Thursday, Oct. 19

Register at


Turn your Wednesday into a Fun Day! Come spend the afternoon and enjoy local businesses, free samples, wine tasting, raffles, prizes, free food samples and more.

Business Showcase 2023 is presented by the Aptos Chamber of Commerce outdoors at the beautiful Seascape Golf Club’s 10th tee event space, 610 Clubhouse Drive, Aptos. Admission is free. Mark your calendar for Wednesday, Sept, 27, from 4-7 p.m.

This could be the best person to person networking event of the year.

For information visit or call (831) 6881467.


The Santa Cruz County United Way Youth Action Network is recruiting youth members ages 11-21.


Saturday September 9

7 p.m., Rio Theatre, 1205 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz

The Ocean Film Festival World Tour stops at the Rio Theatre, celebrating 10 years of inspiring, educating and protecting oceans around the globe.

The two-and-a-half hour program showcasing films from independent filmmakers worldwide, has been hosted annually in 14 countries, touching countless lives in and out of the ocean.

The night features a lineup of adrenalineinducing yet heart-touching films, from an epic surf trip to the untouched waves of eastern Russia in winter, an Australian man attempting to make a wing foiling world record, a team of explorers and scientists in the Arctic to discover why the earth is losing sea ice. Maska are encourage inside the theater, and masks will be available at no charge to all who would like one. A portion of proceeds goes to Save Our Shores.

Tickets are $21 at

For information visit

The deadline to apply is Sept. 6. The steering committee orientation is Sept. 14. An orientation for parents via Zoom will be Oct. 12, and the team retreat will be Oct. 14.

To apply, see:


The Mid County Senior Center is looking for artists to be a part of the Craft Fair & Garden Harvest on Oct 7 at 829 Bay Ave., Capitola, behind Woodworm. Booths are $30. If you are interested in a booth, please email Cindy at MCSC4TREASURER@GMAIL.COM for an application.


Starting September 1, 2023, interest on federal student loans will once again begin accruing after the Covid-19 pause ends. Payments on those loans will resume in October.

The new Saving on a Valuable Education, or SAVE Plan, will cut down the amount borrowers have to make on monthly payments by half — to just 5% of their disposable income, down from 10%. This new SAVE plan will replace the existing Revised Pay As You Earn, or REPAYE, plan and “will go into effect this summer,” according to the U.S. Department of Education’s website.

Go to to update your contact information so you won’t miss billing statements.

To find out your loan servicer, visit your account dashboard at and scroll down to the “My Loan Servicers” section.

You might look into opening a high-yield savings account with no monthly fees or minimum deposits to make your payments.


Natural Bridges State Beach in Santa Cruz is seeking volunteers to share the beautiful monarch lifecycle and migration with the public in the visitor center and outside in the grove.

Help lead school programs and discover the many ways you can help at the park.

Come join the docent team by attending the 5-week monarch training session. Training is 2-6 p.m. every Sunday from Sept. 10 to Oct 8. Sign up online at naturalbridgesvolunteer.

Call 831-423-4609 ext. 3 or email naturalbridges@ports-ca. us for information.


Wednesday, Sept. 13, 11 a.m.-1 p.m. — Leadership Luncheon (Capitola Branch Library, 2005 Wharf Road) — Featuring members of MBEP’s Board of Directors. $39. RSVP at

Thursday, Nov. 2, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. — MBEP’s 9th Annual State of the Region (Embassy Suites, Seaside) — $149-169. Register now for early-bird rates at https://


The Santa Cruz Math Circle is a weekly math meeting for students in grades 5-8 who really love math.

The 2023-24 session starts Oct. 7; registration takes place in September.

Each week students will meet with mathematical professionals in an informal setting to work on interesting problems or topics in mathematics.

The instructors are mathematicians, scientists and

engineers who use math every day and many have their PhD in math. Math Circles are interactive and focus on problem solving. The topics covered are not normally included in the standard classroom curriculum. Meetings are Saturdays from 10 a.m. to noon Oct. 7-Nov. 18 at Cabrillo College Building 300; parking is in Garage A, top level, Aptos.

The fee is $150; scholarships available. See http://

Learn more at National Association of Math Circles website,


The Santa Cruz County Parks Dept. announces the return of Poetry in the Park, featuring Santa Cruz County Poet Laureate Farnaz Fatima, live music and a poetry-themed afternoon from 1:30 - 3:30 p.m. Free. All ages. Dates are: Oct. 8 at Mesa Village Park, 790 Green Valley Rd, Watsonville. Poets Bob Gomez (Watsonville Poet Laureate) and Magdalena Montagne

Nov. 5 at Brommer Street Park, Poets to be announced Mesa Village Park is located at 790 Green Valley Rd, Watsonville. Brommer Street County Park is located at 1451 30th Ave, Santa Cruz.

Presented by County Parks and Santa Cruz County Poet Laureate Farnaz Fatima.


1:30 p.m., SC County Fairgrounds, 2601 E. Lake Ave., Watsonville

Here are the remaining County Fair Board meeting dates in 2023. Each meeting takes place on a Tuesday: Oct. 24, and Dec. 5.

Meetings also take place on Zoom. For agendas, see


Ongoing thru September


Open 1-4 p.m., Wed. – Sat., Santa Cruz Art League, 536 Broadway

The highly anticipated Landscape exhibition is running until September at the Santa Cruz Art League. Immerse yourself in the breathtaking beauty of landscapes captured through the eyes of California’s talented artists.

Juried by Ed Penniman, this year’s exhibition promises to be a visual feast for art enthusiasts and nature lovers alike.

The Cliffs of Davenport • Barbara Lawrence



10:30 a.m.-Noon, Capitola Branch Library, 2005 Wharf Road

The Capitola Branch Library will host Bridge Club sessions on Mondays (except holidays). Everyone is welcomed from beginners to social players. Make new friends and sharpen your mind. Bridge Club is a partnership between Santa Cruz County Parks and Santa Cruz Public Libraries. Register at or in-person the day of the event.

28 / September 2023 / Capitola Soquel Times
a virtual or live event you want to promote? Send your information to by August 25

Third Thursdays


6-9 p.m., Seacliff Inn, 7500 Old Dominion Court, Aptos Come to the Seacliff Inn: Tapestry Collection by Hilton, for a Sip & Stroll event where local artists to show and sell their works.

Wines are 30% off, and the featured winery will offer tastings of three varietals for $10 per person. Tickets:

Fridays thru Sept. 29


5 to 8:30ish p.m., 1111 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz Celebrate the vibrancy of Midtown at the Summer Block Party, happening every Friday! Food – Artists –Live Music – Vendors

The free events will feature the talents of 30+ local bands, local eats, local artists and vendors. Midtown Fridays starts June 2 and runs through to Sept. 29. Live music brought to you by Off The Lip Radio Show. Bands: Sept. 1: The Joint Chiefs

Sept. 8: Locomotive Breath

Sept. 15: Funkranomicon

Sept. 22: AC Myles

Sept. 29: The Expendables



Wednesday September 6


6 p.m., Aptos Grange, 2555 Mar Vista Drive

The Santa Cruz Fly Fishing Club will host the Fly Fishing Film Tour Wednesday, Sept. 6, at the Aptos Grange.

The 2023 show will feature locations from Cuba to Patagonia, Mexico to Australia, Alaska, Wyoming, the Deep South, Massachusetts and beyond.

Experience the achievement of a permit slam, follow one man’s journey from Mexico to the waters of Wyoming, explore the best international waters and compete for the legendary belt buckle.

Come for the action and stay for the giveaways and camaraderie.

Doors open at 6 pm, no admission fee. The public is invited. For information, visit

Saturday September 9


4 p.m., VFW Post 7263, 2259 7th Ave, Santa Cruz Vets 4 Vets will host a Chili Feed noon to 4 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 9, at 2259 7th Ave, Santa Cruz.

There will be live music, fun and games. Minimum donations: $10.


10 a.m.-4 p.m., Showgrounds, 1251 Graham Hill Road, Santa Cruz

The Santa Cruz County Horsemen’s Association will host an Open House at the Showgrounds (just north of Sims Road).


Saturday Sept. 9

3-7 p.m., Cabrillo College’s Sesnon House, 6500 Soquel Dr, Aptos

Join CASA’s wonderful outdoor celebration of our community’s youth!

Festivities include performances by Senderos and Activities for All Youth Mariachi, music, dancing, raffle, and silent auction.

Delicious full-course meal served family style during our program honoring former foster and justiceinvolved youth, followed by our always-exciting live auction and dessert. Proceeds support of our programs serving the youth of our community.

You won’t want to miss this fabulous community event!  All are welcome! Hope to see you there!

• 3:00-4:45 p.m. – Reception with Youth Performances, Silent Auction, Raffle, and more

• 4:45-5:30 p.m. – Full-course dinner served family style outdoors during our Program

• 5:30-6:00 p.m. – The ever-exciting Live Auction

• 6:00-7:00 p.m. – Dessert and Dancing

Tickets are $150 or $1,300 for a table of 10.

Proceeds support programs serving the foster and justice-involved youth of our community.

Admission is free, there is plenty of free parking, and guests can enjoy horse-related demonstrations in the arenas as well as fun information in the clubhouse. A highlight will be the chance to meet and pet miniature horses and donkeys.

Those who wish to do so may bring a picnic lunch, or food will be available for purchase onsite. Guests are asked to remove all trash — “Leave no trace” — and keep a respectful distance from the animals until invited closer. Trash & recycling receptacles will be near the driveway and clubhouse.

Members of the Horsemen’s Association looks forward to welcoming folks and sharing their love of horses with the community.


7 p.m., Center Street/Actors’ Theater at 1001 Center St., Santa Cruz

In Your Life Storytelling presented by NextStage Productions will feature true stories by people in our community at Center Street/Actors’ Theater.

Think of “The Moth” or “Ted Talks,” this evening is directed by award-winning playwright Brad Roades.

Presenters include: Carole English, Susie Brown, Kathryn Adkins, Marigold Fine, Ginny Slifcak, Sally Bookman, Reggie McLain, Peggy Courreault, and Ronna Schulkin.

Our storytellers will be sharing moments when the world surprised them and how those surprises made them stronger, wiser, open to new experiences and found personal salvation.

Suggested donation is $20.


4 p.m., United Way of Santa Cruz County, 4450 Capitola Road, Suite 106 Soroptimist International of Capitola-by-the-Sea will meet at United Way of Santa Cruz County. The meeting is free and open to the public. The club members will begin the outreach for “Live Your Dream” 2024 candidates, hear the results of its Shakespeare fund-raiser, and swear in a new member. Soroptimist International of Capitola-by-the-Sea is a global volunteer organization that provides women and girls with access to the education and training to achieve economic empowerment.

For more information, visit, or email

Saturday September 23


3-7 p.m., 150 Jewell St., Santa Cruz Santa Cruz Elks Lodge will host its annual Oktoberfest fundraiser at 150 Jewell St. Guests will find a festive atmosphere featuring German food and live music by Alpinesound of Half Moon Bay. Beer provided by Discretion Brewing will be available for purchase and the Lodge Bar will be open. All ages are welcome.

Doors open at 3 p.m. Advanced tickets are $25 for adults, $15 for kids under 18 and can be purchased at All pricing includes sales tax. Free for kids under 10. Larger groups can call the lodge for table reservations at 831-423-8240.

Proceeds will support the California-Hawaii Elks Major Project, Inc. which provides free therapy for children with disabilities.

Friday September 29


7 p.m., Rio Theatre, 1205 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz Mountainfilm on Tour visits Santa Cruz at the Rio Theatre. Founded in 1979, Mountainfilm is one of America’s longest-running film festivals.

The annual festival is held every Memorial Day weekend in Telluride, Colorado, celebrating stories of indomitable spirit.

Mountainfilm on Tour in Santa Cruz will feature a collection of culturally rich, adventure-packed and engaging documentary short films. A Mountainfilm presenter will guide the audience through the program providing insight on the films, filmmakers and subjects. Doors open at 6 p.m.

Mountainfilm on Tour in Santa Cruz is hosted by the Rio Theatre and will support local nonprofit Santa Cruz Mountains Trail Stewardship.

Tickets are $21 plus fees at events-2/2022/12/13/mf

Saturday September 30


5 p.m., Common Roots Farm, 301 Golf Club Dr, Santa Cruz

The Capitola Coast Lions will host a Farm to Table Winemakers Dinner at Common Roots Farm, where four local wineries will pair their wines with farm fresh, culinary delights prepared by chef Beverlie Terra, formerly of Chaminade, who has her own catering company.

The wineries are Wargin Wines, Integrity Wines, Storrs Winery and El Vaquero Winery.

There will be live music while you dine at this organic farm amongst the farm fields, flowers, overlooked by chickens and sheep.

The Capitola Coast Lions Club joined with the nonprofit Common Roots Farm in 2020 to raise funds for the farm and awareness surrounding their mission to help welcome and accommodate those with disabilities, particularly those with developmental disabilities.

The farm, which is designed for universal access (wheelchair-accessible greenhouse, raised bed areas and surrounding farm accessible pathway, new barn), cultivates a culture of inclusion.

Buy tickets at $120 per person through Fred Flint at 925-705-3806 or or at https:// “Calendar” Capitola Soquel Times / September 2023 / 29
Beverlie Terra Alpinesound

Soquel Dr. Corridor & Highway Work Underway

Work is beginning on the largest investment in improvements on Soquel Drive in decades.

The Soquel Drive Buffered Bike Lane and Congestion Mitigation Project is beginning this month and will continue until next winter.

The project is part of a larger set of traffic and transportation improvements planned along Highway 1 and the Soquel Drive corridor between State Park Drive and La Fonda Avenue.

The funding comes from a $100+ million grant from the California Transportation Commission for muti-modal improvements to our local transportation network. The funding was due to a grant application from the local Regional Transportation Commission and is a result of funding from Senate Bill 1: the Solutions for Congested Corridors Program and Local Partnership Competitive Program.

Our competitiveness for these programs was due in large part to our passage of Measure D, which provides a local match for these major transportation projects.

What challenges will the funding address?

The funding works to address a number of issues that are particularly acute in the mid and south county areas.

First, Highway 1 congestion. As many of you know, congestion on the highway impacts everyone including those simply trying to get to work or back home, emergency vehicles, buses and delivery vehicles. The second issue is cut-through traffic. As a result of the highway congestion, many vehicles exit the highway and create safety issues (including for bike and pedestrians) on Soquel and other side streets. The third issue is bike and pedestrian safety. Our area is the fifth worst in the state for bike collisions — there is a need for improved bike and pedestrian safety facilities and the increased vehicle usage of Soquel and other side streets is a contributing factor to these increased collisions.

What will be funded?

Significant improvements on Soquel including 5 miles of buffered/protected bicycle lanes, 46 green bike boxes for left turn movements, new sidewalks (to connect to existing sidewalk facilities) ADA improvements, 96 crosswalk upgrades,

Soquel Avenue: One Lane

Starting Monday Aug. 28

Daytime traffic control will be in effect on Soquel Avenue between Chanticleer Avenue and 17th Avenue from 6 am to 5 pm. One lane of traffic will remain open in each direction. This will allow crews to drill and pour concrete for the 78-inch diameter foundation pile of the pedestrian overcrossing on each side of Soquel Avenue. Extended daytime traffic control on Soquel Avenue is necessary for crews to drill and pour concrete in a single shift.

Starting Friday Sept. 1

Lanes will temporarily shift to the west on Soquel Avenue and K-rail (concrete barriers) and temporary crash cushions will be placed next to northbound Soquel Avenue. The barriers are necessary for the safety of crews and motorists.


Travelers on Soquel Avenue can expect delays of five minutes as a result. No work will take place on Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 4.

crosswalk warning devices at 10-mid block locations, and adaptive traffic signal control with transit prioritization at 23 intersections (to improve bus transit time).

A lot of these were requested by the community to improve access to local schools and major job centers. For example, near Mar Vista Elementary and Cabrillo College, new buffered bike lanes and sidewalks are planned that will connect to existing sidewalks to improve pedestrian access to schools.

The project will also improve drainage and add retaining walls and/or hardscape where needed to improve safety in the area.

This work with harmonize with the work on Highway 1 — which will bring three new sets of auxiliary lanes between Soquel Drive and State Park Drive.

The first phase of that work (between Soquel and 41st) is currently underway. The highway work will allow for the first 5.75-miles of a 7.5-mile hybrid bus-onshoulder/auxiliary lane facility, where transit buses can travel in the auxiliary lane between intersections and on the shoulders at intersections to bypass traffic.

Two new Highway 1 bicycle/pedestrian overcrossings (Chanticleer Avenue and the long-awaited Mar Vista Drive project) are also part of the ongoing work (with Chanticleer’s bridge part of this first phase).

The timeline for the highway project, and more information, can be found on the RTC’s website at — click on Projects and then Streets and Highways and you will see the Highway 1 Corridor Investment program with information about the highway project.

Additional information on the Highway project can also be found at

What are the benefits of these projects?

As the CTC noted in their staff report, “the project will increase multimodal options, reduce vehicle miles traveled, reduce congestion, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.”

It will increase safety and reduce transportation times on this congested

corridor with an innovative package of projects to improve and integrate transit, active transportation, and highway/local roadway modes of travel.

Transit buses can bypass traffic at intersections by traveling on the new Highway 1 shoulder and can also travel more efficiently on Soquel with signal prioritization. Safe routes to school will increase with new buffered bike lanes and new sidewalks and crosswalk improvements on Soquel as well as two new bike and pedestrian overcrossings to ensure connection between neighborhoods and new safer bike and pedestrian routes.

The highway improvements will mean less cut through traffic on side streets and Soquel, improving neighborhood safety and congestion.

What are the next steps?

The Soquel Drive project will require some lane closures between 8:30 am-4:30 pm in the specific area the crews are working at that time.

While unfortunately, this will create some delays in the specific construction areas the improvements will be significant for our community once completed.

For more information on the Soquel Drive corridor project you can visit: www.


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 and you can always call me at 454-2200.

30 / September 2023 / Capitola Soquel Times FEATURED COLUMNIST Local News ... Local Sports ... Local Politics ... Local News ... Local Sports ... Local Politics ...

SCCAS Featured Pet

“Calendar” from page 29

Sunday October 1


4 p.m., Peace United Church of Christ, 900 High St. Santa Cruz

Distinguished Arts presents Cuban jazz pianist Jorge Luis Pacheco with his Cuban Jazz Trio in their West Coast debut at Peace United Church of Christ. Hailing from Havana, pianist Jorge Luis Pacheco is a fiery young pianist, singer and composer. His trio includes Gerson Lazo-Quiroga on bass and drummer Reiner Mendoza.

Pacheco’s music is a confluence of Cuban jazz, Cuban and Afro Cuban music, American jazz, and classical music with a measure of contemporary pop and soul.

He has performed all over the world including Dizzy’s Jazz at Lincoln Center, the Blue Note Jazz Festival in New York, the Sziget Festival in Budapest, Hungary, and

Clyde is Ready for His Forever Home

Clyde is an 8-month-old neutered male Labrador Retriever mix. He is a handsome boy who loves meeting other dogs and spending time with people. Clyde is a staff and volunteer favorite — he has gone to events in the community and has done very well.

This energetic pup has spent time in a foster family who reported that he did well with their cats and met other dogs in the neighborhood and was a polite gentleman. This pup does love his humans so much and does not want to be separated from them, but with some positive reinforcement training and routine he has the potential to thrive as a confident dog!

Clyde would probably do very well with another dog in the home providing they meet at the Shelter before adoption. This young and enthusiastic dog is looking for a patient and attentive adopter who is willing to put time and energy into this precious pup’s learning and growth. If you are looking for a fun-loving adventure pup, come to SCCAS and meet Clyde!

Clyde’s adoption fee is $75 until Aug. 31 as a part of our “Clear the Shelter” campaign — visit our website at for more information!


The Santa Cruz County Animal Shelter is full of adoptable animals. Fostering animals is an awesome way to improve a Shelter animal’s life and fill your home with love and fun! If you are interested in fostering any kind of animal please email jillian.ganley@ You can also Follow SCCAS on Instagram and/or Facebook to stay up-to-date on shelter news and where to find adoptable pets around town at breweries, stores and events.


Santa Cruz County Animal Shelter’s full-service, open-admission shelter: 1001 Rodriguez St., Santa Cruz, 95062

Hours: Daily 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. • Website:

SCCAS Main line: 831-454-7200. Animal Control: 831-454-7227. After-Hours Emergency: 831-471-1182 • After Hours:

“Willowbrook Park” from page 24

Crews will also start the demolition of the park’s old playground this month to make way for a new modern playground with rubberized surfacing. The new playground should be completed later this year.

“It is heartening to see the next phase

the Red Sea Jazz Festival in Israel. He performed at the Kennedy Center in Washington and the legendary Apollo Theater.

He has collaborated with Wynton Marsalis, Arturo O’Farrill, Lenny White, Dave Weckl and Richie Goods. He has a master in composition from the Instituto Superior de Arte de LA Habana.

Tickets are $40 at:

Sunday October 8


4:30 – 8:30 p.m., Seascape Golf Club, 610 Clubhouse Dr, Aptos

Friends of Hospice hosts An Evening with Friends 4:30 — 8:30 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 8 at Seascape Golf Club, Aptos. This is a fun social event with music, dinner, live and silent auctions, and a photo booth that supports Hospice of Santa Cruz County community programs including music therapy, pet companions, volunteer visitors, and grief support — including a weekend camp for grieving children.

Hospice also supports We Honor Veterans, care for children with life-limiting illness, and offers transitional and palliative care.

Tickets are $150 per person or $125 per person for a reserved table of 10 and include a delicious buffet dinner and complimentary wine and bubbles. Tickets are at:

For more info, email eveningwithfriends@hospicesantacruz. org or call 831-713-6083. n

of the Willowbrook Park renovation moving forward,” said Tricia WiltshirePotts, county parks commissioner for Aptos. “The memorial is a beautiful way to honor Sgt. Gutzwiller, and the new playground will provide hours of enjoyment for our community’s children.” n

••• Capitola Soquel Times / September 2023 / 31 crossword on 25 » Football © Statepoint Media
Photo Credit: Rebecca Hurley


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