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By Eric Johnson
Published Apr 29, 2024

On Photography and Politics

Happy Monday! A reminder that below this week's featured offerings you will find a local news digest designed to help you easily keep up with important stuff that's happening in your backyard. And: A seasonal recipe to bring some delicious to your week.  

Art and Community

This week, we focus on a Californian who found a creative way to contribute to his community. Robert Buelteman is a fine art photographer who devoted much of his career to protecting the wild lands around his home on the San Francisco Peninsula. By beautifully documenting redwood forests, oak studded hillsides and a watershed that were under massive pressure of development, he helped two environmental organizations preserve more than 140,000 acres of land from Santa Cruz to San Francisco.

This all occurred during the decades when the place once known as the "Valley of Heart's Delight" exploded to become became Silicon Valley. And, in his later career, Buelteman invented a new form of imaging technology that was celebrated in nationwide publications, including Wired magazine. His inspring, brief recounting is a very "California" story.

The Making of ‘The Unseen Peninsula’

This image, titled 'Montara Mountain,' was used on the cover of 'The Unseen Peninsula.'
A celebrated photographer reflects on the life that led to his first book, which captures a secret paradise in the heart of the San Francisco Peninsula.

Robert Buelteman Captures the Secret Beauty of Plants

Field Flowers (2010) by Robert Buelteman
Before he started making images without a camera, Robert Buelteman was a celebrated nature photographer who worked primarily in black-and-white film.

Recipe of the Week

Our friends at Sacramento Digs Gardening publish a recipe from their gardens every Sunday, which we feature here so you can start your week with some yum.

See more recipes in their Taste Spring! cookbook.

Rhub-berry cake does a flip for spring

Rhubarb stripes are accented with blueberries on top of this easy spring cake.
NEW Upside-down cake features stripes of rhubarb, dots of blueberries

Impact Report Image for decorative use

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Santa Cruz County's Homepage

Our overview page for Santa Cruz County is updated daily with the latest state and local news, weather alerts, local government announcements and local blog posts and news snippets from community groups and individuals.
Direct your browser to to catch up on the latest news in California and Santa Cruz County. Bookmark the link and visit often, there's a lot happening in your community!

Get to Know a Group

Actors’ Theatre logo Actors’ Theatre

Founded in 1985, Actors’ Theatre has a long history of being a vital part of the greater Santa Cruz area’s theater community.

→ Learn more

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From Our Media Allies

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Santa Cruz Local logo Two Live Oak Apartment Proposals Could Be Approved Without Public Input

Two new housing developments in Santa Cruz County are set to exceed local height limits and could be approved without public input, county officials said this week. 

Santa Cruz Local logo Pesticide Use Near Schools Detailed in Santa Cruz County

New data show which schools in south Santa Cruz County were exposed most often to pesticide use in recent years.

The Pajaronian logo A Call to Local Artists

The City of Watsonville has sent out a call to local artists to help create a mural for the new nature center coming to Ramsay Park.

The Pajaronian logo Marcela Tavantzis Appointed to PVHCD Seat

The Pajaro Valley Health Care District (PVHCD) on Wednesday appointed former Watsonville City Manager Marcela Tavantzis to fill the seat left vacant when John Friel resigned on March 19.

The Pajaronian logo Homeless Shelter Project in Watsonville to Break Ground in June

Construction will begin in June on a 34-unit community of small temporary dwellings based at Westview Presbyterian Church in Watsonville, after the Monterey County Board of Supervisors unanimously approved agreements to build and manage the facility.

Press Banner logo Summer Vibes Return to Skypark With Food Truck Fridays and Taco Tuesdays

You know that summer is almost here when the convoy of food trucks comes back to Skypark. Starting Friday, April 26, Food Trucks a Go Go presents Food Truck Fridays, the area’s largest food truck festival with new owners Josh …

Good Times logo Hiking in a Storm in the Byrne-Milliron Forest

“Take a Hike With Richard Stockton” appears weekly on the Good Times website.

Good Times logo How Tall Will We Go?

When the Town Clock was dedicated in 1976, it represented Santa Cruzans’ hopes for the future and recalled memories of turn-of-the-century Pacific Avenue when trolleys lumbered by and the clock sat atop the Odd Fellows Building.

Good Times logo Up From Underground: The IUMA Story

As the end of the first quarter of the 21st century nears, creating and consuming music is easier and cheaper than ever.

Good Times logo New Leadership Revs Up Food Truck Fridays in Scotts Valley

Honk if you’re hungry.

Press Banner logo Scotts Valley Native Dom Parrish Earns Trip to Summer Olympics

Dominique “Dom” Parrish’s legacy continues to grow after the former Scotts Valley High wrestling star qualified for the upcoming 2024 Summer Olympics in Paris.

KSQD logo May Is Affordable Housing Month!

Housing challenges across Santa Cruz county are increasing and Housing Santa Cruz County aims to meet this challenge by educating and empowering local residents through special events across the Month of May.

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Recent Local News

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• Santa Cruz Mountain Road Repairs Will Take Years

Repairs to roads damaged in recent storms, including the slow-moving slide on Mountain Charlie Road, depend on state and federal funding and could take years to complete.

(04/28/2024) → Santa Cruz Sentinel

• Rail Trail Vote to be Reconsidered

The Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors will reconsider their vote against approving segments 10 and 11 of the Coastal Rail Trail in their April 30 meeting.

(04/26/2024) → Santa Cruz Sentinel

• Big Basin State Park to Expand

The Sempervirens Fund has purchased two adjacent parcels to be transferred to park ownershipfor use as a new entrance and to replace other facilities destroyed in the CZU Fire.

(04/26/2024) → Lookout Local

• Santa Cruz ‘Circle Church’ Demolished

Demolition of the church at the center of the Santa Cruz circles was completed on April 23, making way for construction of a ring of house to be built on the 1.6-acre parcel.

(04/25/2024) → Santa Cruz Sentinel

• Schools Consider Workforce Housing

Santa Cruz City Schools is exploring the development and building below-market rate housing for teachers and other staff priced out of the county rental market.

(04/24/2024) → Lookout Local

• Santa Cruz Purchases Site for Downtown Library Project

The City of Santa Cruz acquired the Toadal Fitness parcel downtown for $2.5 million as part of the mixed-use library project.

(04/24/2024) → Lookout Local

• Tiny House Village Construction Set for Summer

A 34-unit tiny home village for people displaced when Pajaro was flooded will begin construction in Watsonville on a church-owned parcel in Watsonville.

(04/24/2024) → Santa Cruz Sentinel

• Historical Museum Celebrates City Anniversary

An exhibit at the Capitola Historical Museum celebrates the founding of Camp Capitola 150 years ago.

(04/23/2024) → Santa Cruz Sentinel
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Recent Statewide News

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• California's Population Increased Last Year for First Time Since 2020

During the much-ballyhooed “California exodus” amid the pandemic, remote workers moved to other states where they could live for a fraction of the cost compared to cities like Los Angeles or San Francisco.

(04/29/2024) → Los Angeles Times

• Chuckwalla National Monument Would Protect Swath of California Desert and Preserve a Sacred Land

Indigenous Californians want President Biden to establish a national monument in a stretch of desert that is both an ecological wonder and a window into their cultures.

(04/27/2024) → Los Angeles Times

• Who Killed CA Utility Bill Legislation?

A bill to rein in a proposed monthly fee on California electric bills would let California’s largest for-profit utility companies charge customers $24 per month — with fees as low as $6 for lower-income customers — as a kind of membership fee for the power grid.

(04/26/2024) → CalMatters

• Rural Counties Far From Universities Struggle to Recruit Teachers

Nine counties located more than an hour away from universities with teacher preparation programs face particular difficulties.

(04/25/2024) → EdSource

• California Wants Better Animal Shelter Conditions, Stray Population Curbed

Several bills making their way through the California Legislature seek to address overcrowded animal shelters and streamline how animals receive care.

(04/24/2024) → Los Angeles Times

• Bill Would Allow Arizona Abortion Providers to Practice in California Temporarily

Newsom-backed bill would allow Arizona abortion providers to practice in California as the Republican-led state restricts access.

(04/24/2024) → Los Angeles Times
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Government Announcements

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Image of United States seal. United States   (04/27/2024)

H-E-B Issues Voluntary Recall for 3-Ounce Cups of Creamy Creations Ice Cream in Select Flavors

Committed to the safety and quality of its products, H-E-B is voluntarily issuing a recall for 12-count packages of 3-ounce cups of Creamy Creations ice cream in select flavors for potential metal. The affected products were distributed to all H-E-B stores in Texas and Mexico and Central Market, Joe
Image of Santa Cruz County Office of Education seal. Santa Cruz County Office of Education   (04/26/2024)

Recognize an Educator

Do you know a teacher who deserves to be recognized? Express your appreciation by completing the short form below. When you're done, a certificate of appreciation will be created and emailed to them during Teacher Appreciation Week May 6-10, 2024. The deadline to submit is May 10, 2024. Use the form linked below to recognize [...] The post Recognize an …
Image of Santa Cruz County Office of Education seal. Santa Cruz County Office of Education   (04/26/2024)

Children’s Memorial Day

Dear community member, Today is Childrens Memorial Day, an observance that calls for the Childrens Memorial Flag to flown statewide in memory of lives lost due to violence against youth. I have the privilege of speaking at a flag raising event today at the Santa Cruz Courthouse, organized by the Childrens Network, Santa Cruz County Human [...] The post Children's …
Image of State of California seal. State of California   (04/26/2024)

Gail Pellerin CA Assembly 28:
Assemblymember Pellerin Comments on AB 2654 (Fong) from the Assembly Elections Committee

Assemblymember Pellerin Comments on AB 2654 (Fong) from the Assembly Elections Committee robbee Fri, 04/26/2024 - 12:15 Phone 916-319-2028 Friday, April 26, 2024 Assemblymember Gail Pellerin made the following comments during Assembly Elections Committee yesterday, April 25, 2024. Additionally, Assemblymember Pellerin provides the following statement: I have not spoken to the Governor or any members of his team about AB …
Image of United States seal. United States   (04/26/2024)

802 VT Frozen Recalls Frozen Meat Pizza Products Due to Misbranding and Undeclared Allergens

WASHINGTON, April 26, 2024 - 802 VT Frozen, a Newport, Vt. establishment, is recalling approximately 8,221 pounds of frozen meat pizza due to misbranding and undeclared allergens, the U.S. Department...
Image of State of California seal. State of California   (04/26/2024)

Gail Pellerin CA Assembly 28:
Support AB 2839 - Deepfake Disinformation

Support AB 2839 - Deepfake Disinformation robbee Fri, 04/26/2024 - 09:50 Friday, April 26, 2024
Image of State of California seal. State of California   (04/26/2024)

Dawn Addis CA Assembly 30:
Press Conference with Governor Newsom and the California Legislative Women's Caucus

Wednesday, April 24, 2024 Assemblymember Addis spoke at a press conference held with Governor Newsom and Members of the California Legislative Women's Caucus regarding the Arizona Abortion Bill.
Image of Santa Cruz County Office of Education seal. Santa Cruz County Office of Education   (04/26/2024)

FashionTeens 2024

Catch up on all the sustainable, student-created fashion on display at FashionTeens 2024, held April 19 at the Rio Theatre! A program of the Santa Cruz COE in partnership with Arts Council Santa Cruz County, FashionTeens is a countywide event where students in grades 6-12 showcase wearable clothing that is made from recycled, upcycled or [...] The post FashionTeens 2024 …
Image of Santa Cruz County Office of Education seal. Santa Cruz County Office of Education   (04/25/2024)

‘Fentanyl High’ Screening & Panel

To raise awareness about the fentanyl and the opioid epidemic, the Santa Cruz COE is partnering with high school filmmaker Kyle Santoro and Santa Cruz Community Health to host a free event featuring the screening of Kyle's film "Fentanyl High." The event takes place May 2 and the Rio Theatre in Santa Cruz, and includes [...] The post ‘Fentanyl High' …
Image of City of Scotts Valley seal. City of Scotts Valley   (04/25/2024)

Unsung Heroes

In his monthly message, Mayor Johnson writes about the many people who volunteer to serve their communities.