Santa Cruz Good Times

Wednesday
Apr 23rd
Text size
  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size

Town Hall

Mark_StoneThe Fifth District Supervisor reflects on the economy, recent fires and the spirit of volunteerism in the San Lorenzo Valley
This year we find ourselves in the middle of a major state and local budget crisis. Huge state budget slashes and raids by the state on county budgets have had depressing impacts on many local programs, including elder care services and many child welfare programs. Yet, with all of the bad news I am consistently impressed by the independence and resilience of the mountain communities of the San Lorenzo Valley. It may be a function of our greater geographic distance from the central county urban centers, but San Lorenzo Valley communities have cultivated a spirit of self-reliance and mutual assistance. In times of emergency and disaster we can easily be cut off from the rest of the county, and independent self-help is our only real option.

Funding resources may be drying up, but our long-established community volunteer organizations in the Valley, such as Valley Churches United Missions (VCUM) and Mountain Community Resources, have helped fill in some of the service deficits created by our economic problems.

Both VCUM and Mountain Community Resources are unique San Lorenzo Valley organizations born in response to the winter floods and mud slides that devastated the Valley in 1982.  They have continued to provide local residents with counseling, relief, and family services while still engaging in disaster preparation and remaining alert for any emergency.

A dramatic recent example of our community response network was when the Brookdale Lodge fire displaced about 27 families employed and living at the lodge.  Mountain Community Resources in Felton stepped in to assist the Red Cross in finding emergency food and shelter. VCUM in Ben Lomond was immediately accessible for emergency lodging, and also provided food and clothing vouchers to the displaced families.

The San Lorenzo Valley has four great volunteer fire departments located in Boulder Creek, Ben Lomond, Lompico/Zayante, and Felton. All four function as community centers and meeting places and rely on citizen involvement to provide excellent fire protection. The Valley had two recent serious fire emergencies this season in Bonny Doon and in Kings Creek, where our local response was immediate and decisive. The Lockheed fire in Bonny Doon was enormous, burning many acres of largely remote and inaccessible areas, but with little structure loss. The King’s Creek fire response was rapid and quickly contained, thanks to our local fire districts.

I am particularly proud of the community work of service organizations such as the Valley Women’s Club and the Friends of the Library in Boulder Creek and Felton that are working to keep our libraries open in spite of fiscal shortfalls. The Valley Women’s Club holds an important role in the community: raising environmental awareness and action. They have been responsible for an ongoing recycling program with sites in Felton, Boulder Creek, and at the Ben Lomond Transfer Station, as well as the annual road and river cleanup program.

Times are hard right now, but we cannot expect our community services to only rely on volunteer support for an indefinite period of time. As the Fifth District Supervisor, I will do whatever I can to work with our local state senators and assemblymembers to restore essential funding to our programs. Meanwhile, because of the fundamental community involvement, I am confident we in the San Lorenzo Valley will persevere and will be stronger communities due to our work and efforts.

I encourage local residents to become involved in the work of our local community organizations. Here is contact information for some of our active community groups:

•  Valley Churches United Missions, 336-8258, www.vcum.

•  Mountain Community Resources, 335-6600,

www.mountaincommunityresources.org.

•  Valley Women’s Club, 335-3130, www.vwcweb.org.

•  Boulder Creek Fire Protection District, 338-7222, www.bcfd.com.

•  Ben Lomond Fire District, 336-5495, www.benlomondfd.com.

•  Zayante Fire Protection District, 335-5100, www.zayantefire.org.

•  Felton Fire District, 335-4421, www.feltonfire.com.

•  Felton Library Friends, 335-1135, www.feltonlibraryfriends.org.

•  Boulder Creek Library Friends, 420-5319.

Comments (0)Add Comment

Write comment
smaller | bigger

busy
 

Share this on your social networks

Bookmark and Share

Share this

Bookmark and Share

 

Cardinal Grand Cross in the Sky

Following Holy Week (passion, death and burial of the Pisces World Teacher) and Easter Sunday (Resurrection Festival), from April 19 to the 23, the long-awaited and discussed Cardinal Cross of Change appears in the sky, composed of Cardinal signs Aries, Libra, Cancer, and Capricorn, with planets (13-14 degrees) Uranus (in Aries), Jupiter (in Cancer), Mars (in Libra) and Pluto (in Capricorn), an actual geometrical square or cross configuration. Cardinal signs mark the seasons of change, initiating new realities.

 

Sugar: The New Tobacco?

Proposed bill would require warning labels on sugary drinks Will soda and other saccharine libations soon come with a health warning? They will if it’s up to our state senator, Bill Monning (D-Carmel). On Feb. 27, Monning proposed first-of-its-kind legislation that would require a consumer warning label be placed on sugar-sweetened beverages sold in California. SB 1000, also known as the Sugar-Sweetened Beverages Safety Warning Act, was proposed to provide vital information to consumers about the harmful effects of consuming sugary drinks, such as sodas, sports drinks, energy drinks, and sweetened teas.

 

Film, Times & Events: Week of April 17

Santa Cruz area movie theaters >

 

Aries Solar Festival

Sunday is Palm Sunday. Symbolizing victory and triumph, paradise, sacrifice and martyrdom, the Pisces World Teacher entered Jerusalem (City of Peace) on a donkey (signifying humility).
Sign up for Tomorrow's Good Times Today
Upcoming arts & events

RSS Feed Burner

 Subscribe in a reader

Latest Comments

 

Foodie File: Red Apple Cafe

Breakfast takes center stage at Gracia Krakauer's Red Apple Cafe Before they moved to Aptos, Gracia and her husband Dan Krakauer would visit friends in Santa Cruz County and eat at the Red Apple Café all the time. Then they moved up here from Santa Monica five years ago, and bought the Aptos location (there’s a separate one in Watsonville) from the family who owned it for two decades.

 

How would you feel about a tech industry boom in Santa Cruz?

I feel like it would ruin the small old-town feeling of Santa Cruz. It wouldn’t be the same Surf City kind of vacation town that it is. Antoinette BennettSanta Cruz | Construction Management

 

Trout Gulch Vineyards

Cinsault 2012—la grande plage diurne The most popular wines on store shelves are those most generally known and available—Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, which are all superb for sure. But when you come across a more unusual varietal, like Trout Gulch Vineyards’ Cinsault ($18), it opens up a whole new world.

 

Waddell Creek, Al Fresco

Route One Summer Farm Dinner You’ve been buying their insanely fresh produce for years now at farmers’ markets. Right? So now why not become more familiar with the gorgeous Waddell Creek farmlands of Route One Farms?