Articles, News


SANTA CRUZ city residents have joined those in Capitola, Scotts Valley and the unincorporated areas of the county in being eligible to apply for HERO financing. The HERO Property Assessed Clean Energy (PACE) Program enables property owners to finance water and energy-efficiency projects and pay for them over time through their property tax bill. Details can be found at HERO Program.

SEACLIFF GETS NEW PARK After more than a decade in planning and thanks to the efforts of neighborhood groups, the beach side community is celebrating its first neighborhood park and the first playground in Aptos in more than a generation at a park dedication ceremony on Thursday, Dec. 10 at 1 p.m. The 1.25-acre Seacliff Village Park features a lighthouse-themed playground, pathways, ADA-accessible picnic tables, drought-tolerant landscaping and public art by local artist Kathleen Crocetti. An amphitheater will be added to the park at a later date.

PLASTIC VALLEY Save Our Shores (SOS) is investigating how microplastics, small plastic fragments resulting from plastic products, such as bags and bottles that have deteriorated over time, have ended up in the Pajaro River. The microplastics were first discovered by the marine conservation group during an exploratory paddle down the river to survey the extent of illegal dumping reported in the area. As part of their investigation, SOS teamed up with Mount Madonna School in Watsonville and bird biologist Carleton Eyster from Point Blue Conservation on Dec. 9, to discuss ways to remove the debris from the Pajaro River mouth before it enters the Monterey Bay.

DOWNLOAD Citizen Connect, an app that enables Santa Cruz county residents to stay in contact with local government, has been updated with El Niño information and restaurant inspection reports. Available on iTunes and Google Play, the app allows residents to report illegal dumping, graffiti and potholes, locate nearby parks, look up parcel information, view or pay property taxes and register to vote.

JUST ANNOUNCED The annual ten-minute play festival, 8 Tens @ Eight returns for a 21st season at the Center Street Stage Theater in downtown Santa Cruz. Starting on January 8, 2016 and continuing for five weeks, the festival will showcase 16 award-winning plays this year, up from eight normally, offering theatergoers a greater assortment of plays to experience. The plays were selected earlier this year during a nationwide play-writing competition that drew more than 200 entries from across the country and internationally. This year’s crop of 10-minute plays features a variety of drama and comedy – “plays with heart, conscience and humor,” says artistic director, Wilma Marcus Chandler.

Pictured: 8 Tens @ Eight 2015 production of “Change of Heart” by Vincent Durham. Credit: Jana Marcus.