Premier Rock Band & Local Artists Rally for Sobranes Fire Relief at Kuumbwa Jazz this Saturday

The following is a guest post by Stevee Stubblefield. Stevee is the founder of Do it Ourselves Presents, a homegrown Santa Cruz production company that, faced with having to cancel an upcoming show in Big Sur, rallied to relocate the event to Kuumbwa Jazz Center as a benefit the Soberanes Fire Relief Fund. Join us this Saturday for great music, art, and help support a great cause while you’re at it. Details below…

sobranes fire benefit concertIt’s impossible to tell what life will bring – none of us saw this massive fire coming. I was at Pleasure Point looking south as the first ominous plume of smoke rose to the south, sure that something was seriously wrong.

I definitely wasn’t thinking the fire would still be burning weeks later, running through the iconic canyons, pushing brave residents and firefighters to the limit. I definitely wasn’t thinking about concerts, or last-minute venue changes, or business at all. None of that stuff mattered. It paled in comparison to the gravity of the fire and the lives of those effected.

So it was a no brainer when we at Do it Ourselves Presents… decided to cancel our upcoming show at Henry Miller Library in Big Sur. There was simply no way. But how could we do something better than just cancel and give up? Could we turn it into a benefit for the fire? Or rally support somehow? [Read more…]

3rd Annual Mole & Mariachi Festival: Sep. 19th, 2015

Mole & Mariachi Festival 2015

The following is a guest post by Jennifer Squires.  Jennifer is a writer who works with Friends of Santa Cruz State Parks. She lives in Aptos.

It will get spicy at Santa Cruz Mission State Historic Park on Saturday.

Mole & Mariachi Festival 2015The third annual Mole & Mariachi Festival, a benefit for the park and Friends of Santa Cruz State Park, will fill the historic site with chefs competing in a mole cook-off, live mariachi bands, traditional dancers and more.

Six competitors will prepare mole, a traditional Mexican sauce sometimes made using chocolate. Festival attendees can get a tasting kit for $10 and sample the sauce. [Read more…]

Santa Cruz Housing Update (& How Events Halfway Around the World Affect Our Local Market)

santa cruz real estate market report: july 2015

The following market report is provided by Liz Kroft  & Lance Hulsey of Mainstream Real Estate Group.

This last month saw Germany looking for Greece to pay their own way. Greece went begging for more time and money to the European Union and the International Monetary Fund. Germany capitulated and Greece received a restructured loan deal and the housing market in Santa Cruz benefits.

Say what?

How does the Greek debt crisis have anything to do with the Santa Cruz housing market?

And by the way, since when did this become a blog about international monetary policy?

How does any of this really have any relevance to rents, home prices, and the real estate market in Santa Cruz?

Well it all has to do with the strength of the dollar around the world and interest rates closer to home. Long story short, because the European Union lent the money to Greece we averted an international monetary crisis and the dollar came out stronger while interest rates remained stable. Thus, everything basically stays the same and the banking system and the Federal Reserve take a sigh of relief.

Now we can focus on the big question on everyone’s mind once again:

Are we in a bubble?

In our March 9th article we commented on how the 2015 market was coming out of hibernation and perhaps into a bubble. Other economists and industry experts seem to believe that we are in a bubble:

Yet others say that we are in fact NOT in a bubble:

In considering your opinion, take these two piece of information as you will:

  1. The Santa Cruz County median home prices are the highest they have been since 2007
  2. The National Foreclosure Inventory Is the Lowest it has been since December 2007

For the housing market’s continued recovery, there is no doubt that affordability is going to be a major deciding factor.

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