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(Site Photos) MichaelonCycle.jpgStory Man Michael Olson

Learned Creative,Loving Parenting from His Dad


     Michael Olson, local author, radio show host and story teller doesn't just tell stories, he crafts them, so that when you listen to one of his personal life stories, you know you will enjoy it as it builds to a surprise ending.


     Taking us back to when he was five years old, Michael tells about the time his Dad took him shopping because his mom was in the hospital with his new baby brother. Shopping with Dad was a first experience for them both because his mom always did the shopping. Michael figured his dad for a soft touch. As they traversed the aisles he lobbied non-stop for the purchase of a six pack of Dr. Pepper to which was attached an enticing plastic toy rocket. Finally at the end of the shopping expedition, his father "relented" and said "Yes" to the Dr. Pepper purchase --without another word.


     They got home and began unloading groceries. Michael grabbed the plastic toy rocket and made for the door. "Just a minute young man, just where do you think you're going?!" Michael was invited to sit at the kitchen table and drink one Dr. Pepper, and another and...   until he got sick. That day he lost interest in Dr. Pepper and the plastic toy rocket and gained new respect for his Dad. To this day, Michael does not drink any sodas, nor does he like cheap plastic toys.

     Musing on this tale the other day, Michael figures his Dad formulated the "lessons" during the store lobbying episode. He credits his Dad with natural parenting wisdom. How fortunate are children who grow up in a family where "smart parenting" is handed down from previous generations.


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     We may not all have this heritage but fortunately there is help and support from classes like Positive Discipline offered by Live Oak Resource Center, professionals like Lorraine Pursell's Parenting Evolution and peers who are striving to do well in their parenting and sharing stories in chat rooms and playgroups.


     You can listen to Michael Olson's nationally syndicated show, Food Chain Radio at 9am Saturday mornings, on local station KSCO 1080AM.   Michael asks free-wheeling questions of guest experts on all topics to do with food.  His first book, MetroFarm: The Guide to Growing for Big Profit on a Small Parcel of Land, is credited with early efforts to bring farmers and urban dwellers together at Farmers Markets.  Around town you can see Michael on his electric cycle which has a range of 100 miles between charges.  Michael thinks it's much better than a plastic toy rocket and well worth the wait!


Bike to School Day on Thursday


     Thursday is Bike to School Day. Riding a bike to school, first with mom or dad and then alone is a BIG STEP both for parents letting go and children practicing responsibility. Of course parents teach bike safety and practice it with their children, but it is very helpful to have their teaching reinforced by experts like Bike Smart!, an Action Ecology organization which introduces safe bike riding habits to children.


     Bike Smart offers Bicycle Skills Obstacle Courses, "Rodeos". Rodeos are specially designed obstacle courses through which youth ride on bicycles to learn and practice traffic and handling skills. Participants are encouraged and supported while having fun and being challenged as they practice their skills. Upon completion of the rodeo, participants receive a certificate of completion and a “goodie” bag with related literature and prizes. Bike Smart’s lessons are free thanks to some generous sponsors and often individual donations. You may want to work with your PTC to bring this program to your school.

Bike Smart offers a beginner and an advanced course. Graduates can join “real world” community rides.


(Special Event Page Graphics) BikeHelmutFitting.jpg     The Beginner Bicyclist Course for 4-7 year olds focuses on basic bicycle handling and traffic skills for the youngest and least experienced riders. Before entering the course, kids’ helmets are checked for proper fit and participants may have the opportunity to have their bicycles checked over by a bicycle mechanic.

Targeted Skills:

Meaning of signs and signals

Watching for cars backing out of driveways when riding on sidewalk

Safely crossing intersections – looking four directions for motorists

Looking left-right-left for automobiles before entering street from driveway

Making eye contact with drivers

Walking bike across railroad tracks and looking left-right-left for trains

Starting, stopping and steering

(Special Event Page Graphics) BikeTrafficSignal.jpg     The Street-Wise Course for older youth focuses on more advanced bicycle traffic and handling skills. Before entering the course, participants conduct a helmet fit and ABC Quick check, with the help of rodeo staff.

Targeted Skills: Helmet fit check

Obeying traffic laws, i.e. stopping at red lights and stop signs

Hand signals

Shoulder check

Balancing at slow speeds

Emergency stop

“A,B,C Quick” bicycle safety check

Basic bicycle maintenance


(Special Event Page Graphics) BikeRide.jpg     Community Rides are conducted on roads and provide participants an opportunity to practice bicycle street skills in real traffic settings. The rides, a follow up activity to the rodeos, are lead by trained ride leaders and follow a route specially designed to give youth real-world practice sharing the road with automobiles. Bike Smart's bicycle education work is carried out by Saskia Lucas with the help of student interns and dedicated volunteers.  You can reach Saskia at BikeSmart.



Thanks to Bike Smart for the information and photos from their website.



(Icons/Graphics) LadyDetectives.jpg            Events for Your Enjoyment! 



Open Studios begins October 4!

(Special Event Page Graphics) OpenStudiosBarbara.jpg    The Open Studios self-guided Art Tour takes place from the redwoods to the sea. Thousands of art enthusiasts visit with artists in their studios to see the creative process at work.

     Art Tour information is available through the 15-month Artist Guide/Calendar, a Preview Exhibit at the Santa Cruz Art League, and on our website. The museum-quality, 15-month Artist Guide/Calendar, available for $20 at more than 50 locations in Santa Cruz County, includes a map of Open Studios Locations and contact information for each artist. Calendar sales benefit local arts and arts learning programs.

Painting by Barbara Lawrence

Hours 11am-6pm

Oct 4 & 5, South of 7th Ave; Oct 11 & 12, North of 7th Ave; Oct 18 & 19, All;  Open Studios


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Thurs, Oct 3 Bike to School!  Ride your bike to one of our sites and receive a FREE and healthy breakfast!




Fri, Oct 3, 11-9  Free Day MAHWhere the Redwoods Meet the Sea: A History of Santa Cruz County and its People, A thematic and topical interpretation of county history, from its earliest days to its more recent past. Dedicated to the uniqueness and diversity of Santa Cruz County and its residents, this long-term exhibit decribes native peoples, the Mission period, early immigrants, early industries, and more. Children all ages love this exhibit.


Fri-Sun, Oct 3-5  HONK!, Scotts Valley

Calendar Details

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Sat, Oct 4, 10-6  Loch Lomond Highland Games and Celtic Gathering, Ben Lomond


Sat Oct 4, 11-5  Farm Harvest Festival, UCSC


Sat, Oct 4, 10-5  Annie Glass Benefit for 2nd Harvest, Watsonville


Sat, Oct 4, 6:30-8:30  Bats! Henry Cowell State Park

Calendar Details

Sat & Sun, Oct 4 & 5, Hot Rods at the Beach The Boardwalk shows off classic cars during the 11th Annual Hot Rods at the Beach event to benefit the Santa Cruz City Police Officers' Association.


Sat & Sun, Oct 4 & 5, 10-6  Renaissance Faire, Gilroy


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Sun, Oct 5, 10-3  Scarecrow Alley, Holy Cross School Fields,


Silent Auction of unique scarecrows hand-made by all the children of Holy Cross School!  Games, Prizes, Raffle.


Great Food including traditional American and Mexican food.


Sun, Oct 5, 2 & 3:30  Meet Maasai Tribal Chief and Warrior Salaton Ole' Ntutu, Children's Discovery Museum, San Jose

Calendar Details

Sun, Oct 5,  Beginning Bird Walk, Quail Hollow


Sun, Oct 5, 10:30 am  Free Concert by Let's Play in Spanish, The Circle Church


Sun, Oct 5, 11-3  Happy Valley Community BBQ, Happy Valley School


Sun, Oct 5, 1-4  Kids and Trees, Kennolyn Camp


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Sun, Oct 5, 1-3  Seaside Crafts, Seymour,  Celebrate the Earth every day! Our fun crafts will help you keep this in mind. Come create your own Earth wheel that has reminders for ways to make a difference for our planet when at home. Visitors can also make a beautiful "Earth Day is Every Day" hand print–a fantastic opportunity to be creative, have fun, and take something inspirational home.

Calendar Details

Tues, Oct 7, 10-5, Free First Tuesday Seymour Center, Visit our aquarium, exhibit hall, and touch tanks. Take a tour or explore on your own. Join us as we explore Monterey Bay with our Hands-on family programs!


(Special Event Page Graphics) HalloweenJackOLanternCat.jpgOctober!!  When you go to our calendar click on the pull-down menu and select Halloween.  this jack o'lantern will designate Halloween Events, pumpkin patches and  harvest-related events!  Check back frequently as we shall be adding events as they come in.  Calendar Details

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"Fabulous photographerscapturing every moment,
Brook and Alisha Todd."   
-Oprah Winfrey

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Coming Soon!
The School Corner

Open Houses
and Special Events!

Ask your school
to list with us!

GBK Hosts
Johns Hopkins Center
for Talented Youth's
Talent Search
Oct 7, 7pm
425 Encinal St., SC

He leaned against the door jamb and said, "My, for a little thing, you sure have a temper." New Blog

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Glazed Chicken
boneless, skinless
chicken breasts
marinated in a
smoky and tangy
cherry-chipotle sauce,
flavorful and satisfying,
all the flavor
and very little fat,
with creamy polenta.
Join us!
Fall Open House!

Oct 18
Enjoy samples
from our
October menu
and learn more

about our services.

Thursday Night


Tyrolean Inn

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9600 Hwy 9

Ben Lomond



If everyone

in Santa Cruz


from a locally owned store

what it would do

for our local economy.


It would re-circulate

more money in the


than buying at a



Think Local

Buy Local

Don't leave costumes

to the last minute! 

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Go to

Baby Bloomers

Water St, Santa Cruz


Jelli Beanz

2555 Soquel Av, Santa Cruz


Little Peoples

2601 Main St, Soquel

& Safeway Center, Scotts Valley

476.7244, 438.7245

Lorelei, Stephanie,

Sherri and Shelly

each have great

"costume re-cycling"


and encourage you

to bring in

last year's costumes

and find


for this


Call for "take-in" hours!

Baby Shoppe

1101 Pacific Ave

Santa Cruz

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Halloween Costumes

Perk for your


Find it on

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"Fabulous photographers
capturing every moment,
Brook and Alisha Todd."   
-Oprah Winfrey

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Now in Santa Cruz
with a

  Tumbling Tutor
Ages walking-5
After 45 minutes of
movement adventure
with Somersault Suzy
your child will be
mellow and energized!
Portola & 41st
Call Barry


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Do you like to blog? is looking for a mom blogger and a dad blogger to share personal views on parenting.  Do you enjoy writing about the big deals, the trivia, the trials, tribulations, funny moments and joys of parenting?  Do find humor in your day-to-day family life?  Can you laugh at yourself?  Are your children althernately adorable, clever, funny, exhausting, irritating and oh so sweet?  You do not have to be a professional writer, just earnest, local and uniquely "Santa Cruz County".  You may have little ones, tweens or teens, we're interested in all stages.  We want to hear your voice!!  Send us a sample story, one or five paragraphs, whatever it requires to tell a parenting story. 




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Santa Cruz, CA