April was a month that was jam-packed with big news, events and local love in Santa Cruz.
We gained a national landmark, witnessed an emotional moment at a minor league baseball game and had a former mayor make history at the Boston Marathon.
We also won a basketball championship, saw an NFL quarterback throwing passes at the Boardwalk, learned a little more about sand art and got plenty of reminders of why we’re so lucky to live here.
In this edition of Santa Cruz Connected, we look back at a very busy and vibrant April that was buzzing with activity.
SLV Powder Works Bridge Named National Historic Landmark
The Powder Works Bridge in the San Lorenzo Valley community of Paradise Park was named a National Historic Landmark in April. It was originally built by the Pacific Bridge Company, who also built the Felton Covered Bridge–a structure that is on the National Register of Historic Places.
Both the Felton Covered Bridge and the Powder Works Bridge are truss bridges, meaning they were designed to distribute structural weight among connected beams that form triangular supports. You can read more about the new historic landmark in this article.
Bryan Stow Throws First Pitch At San Jose Giants Game
Bryan Stow, the Santa Cruz EMT and Giants fan that was attacked at Dodger Stadium in March of 2011, threw out the first pitch at a San Jose Giants minor league baseball game. It marked the first time in his recovery that he had walked in public and was an emotional moment for Stow, his family, and all those that have followed his story. You can watch his ceremonial first pitch in the video below. Donations to his recovery fund can be made here.
Part 2 of Civinomics Homelessness Study
Civinomics published the findings of the second portion of its four-part study on homelessness in Santa Cruz. The comprehensive study was carried out by faculty members of the UC Santa Cruz social sciences departments and the Center For Statistical Research.
The main goals of the study are to evaluate local perceptions about homelessness and to gain a more accurate perspective on the reality of the Santa Cruz homeless population. You can read part one of the study here.
The Growth of the LGBT Community in Santa Cruz
In a great piece from the Good Times 40th Anniversary edition–which was amazing if you like local history–Cat Johnson wrote about the history and growth of the Santa Cruz LGBT community. From having one of the first openly gay mayors in the U.S. to the strong progressive tilt that came with the growth of UC Santa Cruz, the article explores the confluence of factors that led to a shift in identity for both the LGBT community, as well as the city itself. You can read the full article here.
Santa Cruz Warriors Celebrate D-League Title With Downtown Parade
After making the D-League finals for the third year in a row, the Santa Cruz Warriors brought the title home in 2015. To say that Santa Cruz has embraced the NBA Development League team would be an understatement. As the team made their title run, they often played in front of a full house at Kaiser Permanente Arena and the city hosted a victory parade on Pacific Ave. to honor their accomplishment. Click here for a recap of the Santa Cruz Warriors championship season from Seadubs Central.
— Santa Cruz Warriors (@DLeagueWarriors) April 30, 2015
Katherine Beiers, Former Mayor, Oldest To Finish Boston Marathon
82-year-old Katherine Beiers, the mayor of Santa Cruz from 1994-95 and 1998-99, become the oldest participant to finish the Boston Marathon last month. Running in her 11th Boston Marathon, Beiers finished the race in just under six hours.
Among the 19 participants from Santa Cruz County that registered for the race, Gary Sapia of Soquel finished with the best time at 3 hours, 20 minutes and 17 seconds. Click here to read the full article from the Santa Cruz Sentinel.
Our Cool, Awesome, Stunning, Outdoorsy, Small Biz Loving Town
Spring is a wonderful time of year and, if you live in Santa Cruz, you’re familiar with all the local signs: outdoor activities pick up, weekends become packed with festivals, beaches get more popular, and our out-of-town friends start making plans to visit. You may also notice we get a nice bump in media coverage that celebrates the beauty and culture of Santa Cruz, including these five articles from last month:
Community Supported Fishery Joins Santa Cruz Food Lounge
Ocean 2 Table, a community supported fishery, became one of the latest tenants at the Santa Cruz Food Lounge in April. Ocean 2 Table operates like a community supported agriculture program and offers customers access to freshly caught and locally sourced fish. When a shipment is expected, an email is sent to members, who then place their order. Customers may either pick up their shipment or have it delivered for a $3 charge.
New Italian Bakery Coming To San Lorenzo Valley
San Lorenzo Valley prepared to welcome a new Italian bakery as the finishing touches were put on the Ben Lomond Baking Company. The bakery will feature classic Italian favorites like pasticcini, salatini and panzerotti, as well as pastries from Casa Nostra, which is owned by the same group. The baker for the new business is none other than Santa Cruz Derby Girl, Tessie Murphy, also known as “Peach Clobber.” You can read the full article from Edible Monterey Bay here.
Wheelchair Accessible Hiking Trails From Hilltromper
Hilltromper published an article about the best local hiking trails in the area that are wheelchair accessible. The informative post includes paved and unpaved trails that are in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Nearly 20 wheelchair-friendly trails are included, as well as maps and resources. You can read the article here.
Santa Cruz Mountain Bike Festival Returns To Downtown
Following the loss of the beloved Post Office Jumps in Aptos, the Santa Cruz Mountain Bike Festival returned to downtown Santa Cruz in April. The event, which was sponsored by Mountain Bikers of Santa Cruz, was a smashing success by all accounts and included a wide array of family friendly activities. The short video below captures a nice slice of the action from the two-day event.
Digital NEST Executive Director Visits White House … Twice
Digital NEST (Nurturing Entrepreneurial Skills with Technology) is a non-profit organization based out of Watsonville that provides youth access to technology and digital tools.
The executive director for Digital Nest, Jacob Martinez, visited the White House twice in April; first for National Robotics Week and then again to speak at the first-ever White House Tech Meetup. Santa Cruz Tech Beat followed the story, which you can read about here and here.
Santa Cruz Sand Art Making Waves
It’s not uncommon to come across some amazing sand art around Santa Cruz and we made news because of it last month. This article, from the San Jose Mercury news, focused on Brandon Anderton of Campbell who has been rejuvenated through making sand art as a method for dealing with personal pain and physical injuries.
An older article from the Sentinel also touches on local sand art and includes Anderton, Santa Cruz sand artist Jim Denevan, and Andres Amador of Grass Valley. (See below for a great sand art creation from Bill Lewis of Santa Cruz Sand.)
Best of the Month From Santa Cruz Social Media
Oakland Raiders QB David Carr throws the football around at the Boardwalk.
The surprising delights of Santa Cruz.
Santa Cruz Sand sculpted this magnificent sea dragon (not currently available from the community supported fishery mentioned above).
Nothing like having a state park right in your own backyard! Local photographer Sean McLean agrees.
Ye olde Pacific Avenue.
Native Santa Cruz with a great shot of some interesting marine life.
Gorgeous time-lapse photo of Capitola Village by Instagram user @malynsc.
Top photo (used with modification) by Kent Buckingham