Santa Cruz County Neighborhoods Digest

Felton Pump Track Proposal Open to Community Input


“This pump track would be the only resource of its kind in the San Lorenzo Valley,” said Rebecca Hurley, deputy director of the Santa Cruz County Parks Department.

Housing Matters Completes Santa Cruz’s 7-Unit ‘Casa Azul’ Apartments


The housing development, named “Casa Azul” after its blue paint scheme, includes two upstairs one-bedroom apartments to go with five studio units.

Santa Cruz, UCSC Unleash New Electric Bike Sharing Program


Community members, local officials and city of Santa Cruz staff gathered at Santa Cruz City Hall to roll out an electric bike share program that will extend to other parts of the county.

Branciforte Library Reopens to Neighborhood Fanfare


Seabright residents gathered en masse to check out the grand reopening of the Branciforte Branch Library, which had been closed for about three years. The library's childrens room in the new building was named in honor of Allison Endert, an active member of the Seabright community, who was struck by a car and killed in 2020.

What to Know About Storm Protection and Insurance Coverage


Who pays for storm damage from fallen trees? As Northern California dries out, a new set of questions are facing residents.

Temporary Fencing Approved for Debated Rio Del Mar Patio Walkway


Santa Cruz Superior Court Judge Timothy Volkmann finalized his ruling in favor of securing Rio Del Mar private owners’ rights to a beachside walkway, despite protest from Santa Cruz County.

Citywide Block Parties Set for Sept. 18-19


Santa Cruz Neighbors announced that 2022 citywide block parties will be held Sept. 18 or Sept. 19. The annual event encourages gathering and visiting with neighbors. Applications are due by Sept. 7.

Capitola Beach Festival Needs Float Builders


Capitola Beach Festival returns to Capitola Village on Sept. 24 and 25. This year the Festival has added a scavenger hunt and other games. Float builders are needed for the Saturday evening Lighted Nautical Parade on Soquel Creek.

Guide to the Emerging Santa Cruz Library Branches


Four Santa Cruz County library branches have refreshed and reopened, and four more will throw open their doors by the end of the year. Lookout Santa Cruz checks in on the $67 million investment county voters made in 2016.

Aptos Branch Library Demolition Ready to Get Under Way


The Aptos Branch Library has been standing for more than 40 years. That’s about to change as the demolition phase of its reconsruction is set to begin. Completion of the new library is expected in the summer of 2023.

Valley Churches United Starts ‘Bucks for Hunger’


Valley Churches United is kicking off its 32nd annual spring Bucks for Hunger fundraising drive with a mailing that residents of the San Lorenzo Valley, Scotts Valley and Bonny Doon have received recently.

Valley Churches United’s Holiday Gift Show Will be an Outdoor Affair


As the holiday season approaches, Valley Churches United in Ben Lomond is preparing for its annual holiday boutique. This year, however, it’s an outdoor event: the Sidewalk Holiday Gift Shop.

Felton Library Friends Celebrate Reopening of Local Branch


In February 2020, more than 2,000 people celebrated the grand opening of the new Felton Library—but the closing cam just a few weeks later, due to COVID. The new building sat empty for over a year.

Scotts Valley Community Theater Guild Prepares for Performing Arts Center Opening


It’s taken about $80,000 of concrete work and hours of volunteer sweat equity, but finally the Scotts Valley Community Theater Guild is nearing completion of a performing arts center at the site of the old roller rink.

Interim Zayante Fire Chief Shares Ideas for Improvement


Interim Zayante Fire Chief Dan Walters says in an interview that he’s hoping to remain at the helm of the department. With an average of 40 calls for service per month, Walters is ready to talk about improvements.

Scotts Valley Welcomes Found Art Collective


The Found Art Collective celebrated its grand opening on Sept. 16, and the Scotts Valley community turned out to welcome this new addition to the city’s cultural scene.

History Lives on at Henflings Tavern


When it looked like historic Henflings Tavern in Ben Lomond would shutter back in 2018, resident bartender Erin Miller and husband Josh saw an opportunity. And they’ve managed to keep the the iconic live music venue up and running.

Heirloom Tomatoes Flourish at Love Apple Farms


Most tomato lovers find Love Apple Farms by word-of-mouth. Owner Cynthia Sandberg and son Zachary Geske founded Love Apple Farms in 2000. Their retail greenhouse is located at Ivy’s Porch in Scotts Valley.

Bonny Doon Festival Returns Oct. 2


The upcoming Bonny Doon Art, Wine + Brew Festival is a quaint community event that helps support Bonny Doon’s elementary school art and science programs.

Fire Recovery Lags for Some SLV Residents


Santa Cruz County promised a “streamlined process” when San Lorenzo Valley residents began returning to their fire-devastated communities. But as Jayme Ackemann writes, on the CZU fire’s anniversary, some survivors are still waiting.

Locals Rebuilding From CZU Fires Find Help at Community Tool Library


Blueberry pie, enchiladas, and a violin-guitar duo entertained the crowd in Boulder Creek at the ribbon-cutting ceremony for a community space where fire victims can borrow tools such as rototillers, rakes, chainsaws and log splitters.

Bust of Washington Removed From Watsonville Plaza


In February, the City Council voted 5-2 to move a bust of U.S. President George Washington statue from Watsonville Plaza to the Main Branch of the Watsonville Public Library—a decision that was implemented this week.

Committee Makes Case for a San Lorenzo Valley Community Council


The San Lorenzo Valley encompasses several communities with their own fire departments and sheriff outposts. But Jayme Ackemann, a member of the San Lorenzo Valley Water District Board of Directors, thinks there should be a local council to create the governmental representation she says the people of SLV both want and deserve.

Habitat for Humanity’s Watsonville ReStore Set to Open in August


A new Habitat for Humanity ReStore is set to open in Watsonville. The national group is aiming at a mid-August opening for the second-hand retail store, located at 555 Main St. “It feels great to be able to open up in such a high-profile location,” said director Nick Kite. “Our former place was off the beaten path in a warehouse setting.”

Felton Feed Still Picking Up the Pieces


On May 23, a driver careened into the storefront of Felton Feed & Pet Supply. But though the damage hasn't yet been repaired, manager Chantal Vaughan is welcoming customers at the back door.

Felton Community Hall Reopens, Looks for New Members


After 100 years as a neighborhood hub, members of the Felton Community Hall board of directors are looking for the community to help keep the hall open.

Santa Cruz Mountains Residents to Lose ISP


Nearly 300 customers in the Santa Cruz Mountains are facing the loss of their internet service. The residents’ internet service provider, Cruzio, says it is loath to charge for service because AT&T ’s DSL lines are in such poor shape.

Fire Victim Describes the Rocky Road to Recovery


“Today is nine months to the day that my home burned to the ground,” writes Antonia Bradford for the San Lorenzo Valley Post. “I will never forget the moment that I found out she was gone. I have never experienced grief like that.”

‘The Jewel of the San Lorenzo Valley’


Though it’s gone through multiple owners, renovations, fires, and the pandemic, the Brookdale Lodge resort complex endures.

Watsonville Schedules Three Summer Celebrations


Watsonville Parks and Community Service Department Director Nick Calubaquib says the city is planning a “static” parade and a return of its Music in the Plaza summer concert series on Fourth of July weekend.

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