Santa Cruz Good Times

Wednesday
Aug 20th
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Capitola Looks Forward

news_floodFrom begonias to possible FEMA relief, the city moves on from the floods

Capitola has a couple different things to look forward to these days, including both the 59th Annual Begonia Festival, as well as the possibility of receiving federal relief from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to help repair damages it suffered from flooding in March.

The damage done in Capitola was due to a series of storms that raged throughout California, altogether causing about $44.5 million in needed repairs—just above FEMA’s $44 million requirement for damage caused by any one event. However, FEMA soon determined that the storms were isolated incidents rather than one larger disaster, and announced in June that they would not be giving relief. This left Santa Cruz County with an estimated $17 million in damages.

“I am disappointed that FEMA has denied the request for financial assistance to fund the recovery and repairs necessary due to the damage from the severe storms this past March,” Assemblymember Bill Monning (D- 27th District) said in a press release following FEMA’s decision. “I will continue to assist our local communities as they rebuild and will work with the Governor's Office to explore all of the options available to the state.”

And after some work from Monning and others, a lucky break could be on the horizon. On Thursday, July 14, California Emergency Management Agency (CalEMA) Secretary Mike Dayton visited Capitola to survey the damages. After witnessing what the city experienced, Dayton agreed that the California government would protest FEMA’s decision, and ask them to reconsider.

“I want to thank Gov. Brown for appealing FEMA’s initial denial of California’s request for federal assistance to fund the recovery and repairs associated with damage sustained from the severe winter storms this past March,” said Monning in a July 14 press release.

What will happen next with the relief request is unclear—although officials think Capitola has a strong case, FEMA’s Dayton warned that track record with similar cases does not bode well for the city. However, the Capitola Begonia Festival is still a sure thing—and comes at just the right time, according to Monning.

“Any time a disaster happens, events like the Begonia Festival are very important to a community,” he tells GT.

The festival, a four-day event that will take place Sept. 2 through 5, began in 1951 as a time when people were allowed to pick Pacific begonias, which were hybridized in Capitola. The second event, in 1952, was the first year with floats, and the celebration grew from there.

Although she says the preparations “haven’t really been different as of yet” in spite of the flooding, Capitola Begonia Festival president Lin Banks did note a few ways in which the storm’s aftermath will affect the festival.

“A lot of the businesses that support the Begonia Festival have been affected by the flooding, so our support is down a bit, but people are doing the best that they can,” she says. “We’re going to have to navigate around some new water hazards, but I’ve talked with veteran float builders who say that’s not a problem.”

And speaking of floats, Banks says she hopes to have 10 this year—the same number present at last year’s festival.

After a difficult few months, Banks hopes the festival will improve morale in Capitola—and maybe the economy as well. The temporary population of Capitola grows to around 40,000 the weekend of the festival (up from around 10,000, according to the 2010 census), says Banks, and although there is no admission charge, all of those people have to eat and might want to shop, as well.

“The Begonia Festival has traditionally not invited outside vendors because we think that Capitola is awesome, and we have some wonderful shops and dining,” she says. “People will have a wonderful opportunity to get to know Capitola better.”

Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

Trending Now

Whether you live by the Vogue bible or choose to go into your day wearing what you slept in, odds are you wear clothes.

 

The Thought Form of Solution

It’s our last week of Leo before the sun enters Virgo (next Friday/Saturday). The planets this week make complex patterns and relationships (vibrational cadences and rhythms) with the outer planets, mainly Neptune—the planet that veils, obscures, protects and finally refines us. Neptune offers us entrance into a deeply spiritual sense of comfort and solace. Neptune is the personality ruler of Pisces (saviors of the world) and soul ruler of Cancer (world mother). “The fish goddesses who leapt from earth (Virgo) to water (Pisces) unitedly give birth to the Fish God (Christ, the Soul) who introduces the waters of life  (Neptune & Aquarius) into the ocean of substance (matter, mother bringing light to the world. Thus does Neptune work.” (Esoteric Astrology).

 

Final Cut

Cedar Street Video to close after 10 years at downtown location

 

Cultures Collide

No surprises, but lots to savor in foodie film ‘The Hundred-Foot Journey’
Sign up for Good Times weekly newsletter
Get the latest news, events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Foodie File: Kauboi

Japanese-Western themed unites sushi with whiskey and beefgrill

 

How should Santa Cruz develop downtown around the San Lorenzo River?

Santa Cruz | Artist/Show Promoter

 

Best of Santa Cruz County

The 2013 Santa Cruz County Readers' Poll and Critics’ Picks It’s our biggest issue of the year, and in it, your votes—more than 6,500 of them—determined the winners of The Best of Santa Cruz County Readers’ Poll. New to the long list of local restaurants, shops and other notables that captured your interest: Best Beer Selection, Best Locally Owned Business, Best Customer Service and Best Marijuana Dispensary. In the meantime, many readers were ever so chatty online about potential new categories. Some of the suggestions that stood out: Best Teen Program and Best Web Design/Designer. But what about: Dog Park, Church, Hotel, Local Farm, Therapist (I second that!) or Sports Bar—not to be confused with Bra. Our favorite suggestion: Best Act of Kindness—one reader noted Café Gratitude and the free meals it offered to the Santa Cruz Police Department in the aftermath of recent crimes. Perhaps some of these can be woven into next year’s ballot, so stay tuned. In the meantime, enjoy the following pages and take note of our Critics’ Picks, too, beginning on page 91. A big thanks for voting—and for reading—and an even bigger congratulations to all of the winners. Enjoy.  -Greg Archer, EditorBest of Santa Cruz County Readers’ Poll INDEX

 

Have Mercy!

Looking for a frisky summer wine at a reasonable price? Look no further than Mercy Vineyards’ 2013 Sauvignon Blanc ($20). Richly textured “with an exotic flavor profile,” the wine reveals aromas of honeydew melon and honeysuckle, with anise appearing as a star attraction. Smidgeons of pineapple and honeycomb add a touch of sexiness to this well-balanced, easy-drinking wine, which pairs well with a variety of cuisine —especially ceviche, calamari and other not-too-heavy foods.