Santa Cruz Connected: A Monthly Look At Online Local Life

Santa Cruz Connected, June, 2015

June in Santa Cruz was all about community. We saw a tremendous show of public support for some worthy causes–one of which was echoed by a historical Supreme Court decision.

The progress of local public space projects continued to unfold, as did the development of local Gigabit fiber in Santa Cruz. A piece of surfing history was returned, a local wildlife photographer made news and one popular local restaurant quietly closed after 30 years.

We were reminded that Santa Cruz is a great destination for dog owners and outdoor lovers, but that it still remains difficult and expensive to have your own space indoors.

All that, plus new businesses, friends to follow and the best of local social media for the month of June 2015.

A Proud Month For Equality

santa cruz pride parade

June was a big month for equality as Santa Cruz held its annual Pride celebration downtown–the largest in the event’s 40 year history with around 7,000 attendees. The June 7 festivities kicked off an even bigger celebration as a landmark Supreme Court ruling legalized same-sex marriage as a constitutional right later in the month.

Fundraiser For Aptos Hit-and-run Victim Nicole Brown

A benefit was held in June for Nicole Brown, the Aptos woman who was the victim of a hit-and-run early in the month. The event was organized by friends and family to help pay for Nicole’s medical bills during her recovery. Nicole was hit by a teenage driver in Aptos while walking with a friend.

A PayPal account has been set up in Nicole’s name for donations under the email address Donations should be made under the “friends and family” option of PayPal. Checks can also be sent to Carrie Clark, a friend of Nicole, who is leading fundraising efforts on her behalf.

Carrie Clark
PO Box #784
Capitola, CA 95010

If you have questions about donating, Carrie can be contacted at (831) 431-0214.

Royal Hawaiian Surfboards Return To Santa Cruz

Some important pieces of surfing history returned to Santa Cruz in June. Two of the surfboards made by the Hawaiian princes that visited Santa Cruz in the late 1800s were discovered recently in a museum in Honolulu.

The iconic surfboards were brought back to Santa Cruz–they were originally used to introduce surfing to the mainland–where they will be displayed at the Santa Cruz Museum of Art and History. They will be on display on the 3rd floor of the MAH through October 25th.

County Homeless Population Down 44%

According to a recent survey (mentioned in this article from the Sentinel), the homeless population in the county has dropped 44% over the last two years. The factors that have likely contributed to the drop in homelessness include general economic recovery, as well as a renewed focus on access to services across Santa Cruz County. The County Board of Supervisors has approved the addition of a homeless coordinator position for the next year.

Meanwhile, the Santa Cruz Homeless Service Center on Coral Street closed its short-term shelter, food program, showers, and mail room on 7/1 due to budget cuts. Last minute funding assistance from Santa Cruz County will reinstate some of these services, but additional funding is still needed.

Abbott Square Renovation Taking Shape

Abbot Square, Santa Cruz

Abbott Square, the open space next to the Museum of Art and History, is in the process of becoming a dynamic new public-use space. In an article in the GoodTimes, Cat Johnson laid out the progress of the renovation and what it may look like once it’s completed. The project aims to use the space for community events, food, live music, and a variety of other activities to bring the community together.

Ebb & Flow River Arts Project & River Walk

The San Lorenzo River area got some much needed community support of its own in June with the Ebb and Flow River Arts Celebration. The event, put on by the Arts Council of Santa Cruz County, featured a kinetic sculpture parade along the river and is part of the Ebb and Flow River Arts Program. The goal of the program is to enhance community perception of the area around the San Lorenzo River. You can read more about the project in this article from Mobile Ranger.

Cruzio Wins Small Biz Award, Strikes Deal For Gigabit In Santa Cruz

June was a big month for Cruzio as the local internet service provider was named the small business of the year for the 29th Assembly District and announced plans to unroll Gigabit fiber in the City of Santa Cruz. In simple terms, Gigabit fiber will drastically increase internet speeds for local businesses and residents and create an infrastructure for the city to use for years to come.

The project, which involves a partnership between Cruzio and the City of Santa Cruz was unanimously approved by city council. You can take the Cruzio survey about providing Gigabit fiber here and help them to direct their efforts in building out the network.

Local Wildlife Photographer in Smithsonian

Local photographer Frans Lanting was featured in an article on in which he discussed the difference between taking pictures and making photographs. Lanting has had his work published in major publications such as Life Magazine, Audubon, and National Geographic, where he worked as a photographer-in-residence.

Santa Cruz: Still A Pooch Paradise

Dogtrekker, a website for dog-friendly travelers in California, published an article about the many beaches, restaurants and lodging available for dog owners in Santa Cruz.

Santa Cruz Life also has some more in-depth information on where you can dine with your dog and other dog-friendly places and establishments around Santa Cruz County.

Santa Cruz Renters Continue To Feel Price Crunch

Finding a reasonably priced rental in Santa Cruz is not easy and, according to this article from the GoodTimes, prices have gone up right along with the increased competition. The article goes on to say that the City of Santa Cruz has the highest rents in the U.S. when taken as a proportion of income earned. For information about the local real estate market in Santa Cruz, you can view monthly reports from Santa Cruz Life here.

Around the Web: Road Tripping & Hiking In Santa Cruz

The monthly reminders are in: Santa Cruz is a great place to take a road trip or go for a hike and two articles in June highlighted those aspects. This one, from, talks about the Boardwalk and some of the history of the area, as well as several other local attractions.

Another article talked about the great hiking destinations in the Santa Cruz Mountains, including Castle Rock and Big Basin.

Hikes We Like:

New In Town

Idea Fab Labs – The new makers space is finally here! Idea Fab Labs opened in the former Wrigley Building and will offer members access to a host of tools, including a laser cutter and 3-D printer. You can read more about Idea Fab Labs in this article.

Margaritaville – While not new in town, Margaritaville reopened in June after closing for renovations earlier in the year. The new look will feature a 25-seat bar with ocean views and a new head chef, Mo L’Esperance.

Friends To Follow

Tim Cattera Photography – Tim takes amazing photos, whether it’s a military jet soaring through the sky, or a Santa Cruz Warriors player doing the same. He seems to be included in almost every edition of Santa Cruz Connected (see below) and definitely deserves a follow on Twitter and Facebook.

Hilltromper Santa Cruz – If you need information about anything related to the outdoors in Santa Cruz, Hilltromper is the place to look. Their Parks & Rec section is one of the best guides to local hiking trails you’ll find. You can follow Hilltromper Santa Cruz on Facebook here and on Twitter here.

Santa Cruz Derby Girls – The Derby Girls are more than just a local all-female sports team. They are also a very active nonprofit volunteer group that does many positive things in the community. (Incidentally, I wrote a piece about the Derby Girls in 2013 which is still one of my favorites.) Follow the Santa Cruz Derby girls on Facebook and Twitter to stay up to date on all the latest action.

Best of the Month From Santa Cruz Social Media

Tim Cattera with a crisp shot of the moon

Classic shot of the Sea Beach Hotel

Fire dancers at Lighthouse Point

Awesomely close picture of some seagulls by the wharf

Some nice lines in this photo by V Vaughn Visnius Photography

The procession to Woodies on the Wharf

Summer solstice provided for a long, lovely day in Santa Cruz

The owners of Little Shanghai retired and closed the Chinese restaurant after 30 years in Santa Cruz. The closing came without much fanfare and many locals were (and continue to be) surprised to find out the news.

Thank you, Sue and Jack, for the decades of deliciousness–enjoy your retirement!

About Joshua Vincent

Joshua Vincent is a freelance writer who has lived in Santa Cruz for 12 years. Follow his tweets at @VincentChirps.

  • Jessica says:


    What a great article and thank you for mentioning and linking back to us 🙂

    // Jessica

    • Joshua Vincent says:

      Thanks Jessica, glad you enjoyed the article. Looks like you’ve got a really cool, adventurous travel blog over there. Glad to see that Santa Cruz was a part of it! 🙂 Cheers.

      – Joshua

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