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Summer Activities

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 Santa Cruz

Soccer Inc.

In our 27th year!

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Weekly Camps

through August

in DeLaveaga Park

Flexible Schedule

Budget Plans

Skills and Fun!

Call Mike or Bill



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Gardening with Gus

by Janine Canada

A delightful guide

to gardening with young children





Visiting Monterey?

Visit our

sister site first!


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Books for

Independence Day

or Anytime!


A is for America

by Devin Scillian
America the Beautiful
by Katharine Lee Bates
Apple Pie

Fourth of July
by Janet S. Wong
Fireworks, Picnics, and Flags: The Story of the Fourth

of July Symbols
by James Cross Giblin
Fourth of July Mice
by Bethany Roberts
God Bless America

by Irving Berlin
Happy 4th of July Jenny Sweeney by Leslie Kimmelman
Hats Off for the Fourth of July

by Harriet Ziefert
John Hancock : Independent Boy (Young Patriots series)

by Kathryn Sisson
My Country, 'Tis of Thee

by Samuel  Smith
Stars and Stripes : The Story of the American Flag

by Sarah L. Thomson
The Fourth of July Story

by Alice Dalgliesh
The Star Spangled Banner 

by Francis Scott Key
This Land Is Your Land

by Woody Guthrie
Will You Sign Here, John Hancock?

by Jean Fritz



Suki's Blog:


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My children's paternal grandmother, otherwise known as Gram, got her first computer, I believe, at the age of 73. It was a Mac, and she used it to send e-mail to us as well as keep her books and write checks in Quicken.


During a visit to New Jersey, where she had lived for many years, I sat with her and taught her the skills that many of us younger folks don't remember learning at all: how to point and click, how to click and drag, how to hold down the command key while typing another key, and on and on......  >>>>>>>



(Holidays) 4thofJuly.jpg     Happy Birthday America!



       July 4th is time with family and friends, swimming, surfing, beaching, croquet, volleyball, firecrackers, snakes, sparklers, parades, picnics with bbq, hamburgs, hot dogs, triptip, potato salad, some kind of delicious red, white and blue dessert AND most of all a time to reflect on our history and what independence means to each of us.

    Our country is unique in the history of mankind in its concept and codification of guaranteeing individual liberty. As parents we are on the front line of passing on our heritage to our children. There are some great books, available at libraries, to read to our children (see sidebar).  American Heritage will send you a free copy of our Constitution. One great way to gain an appreciation of the grit of our founders and what they went through to forge a new kind of government for us is to read David McCullough's book, John Adams. It's a lengthy but powerful read and soon has you reading eagerly. Equally gripping, and somewhat easier to grasp for kids and tweens is the movie based on the book and available on dvd. It magnificently captures the essence of the book.


     We hope that you have a great American Birthday celebration with family and friends over this long weekend.  Be safe.



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7/4 "The World's Shortest Parade," covers all of two blocks and includes nearly every Aptos resident, both human and animal. Visitors are welcome to participate - just arrive in costume and be prepared for fun! After the parade, games, arts and crafts, and live music are offered in the park.


7/4 10am, Annual Boulder Creek 4th of July Parade, Set up at Flat and Hwy 9 @ 8 am, Parade @ 10 am on Hwy 9 between Scarborough Lumber and the Railroad Ave. Old-fashioned Town Picnic Party in Junction Park follows the Boulder Creek's 4th of July Parade. The winners of Best in Parade will be announced at the beginning of the town party. Hot dogs, burgers and veggie burgers, along with soft drinks and chips are available. Enjoy old-fashion water balloon-toss games and sidewalk chalk drawings. Folk music will be provided. After, enjoy Junction Park's old-time swimming hole!


7/4 3pm-end of fireworks, Fireworks Spectacular, Skypark, Scotts Valley Traditional barbecue favorites: grilled tri-tip, summer corn, and juicy watermelon, Mike Hadley and the Groove's live music, bounce houses. Fireworks 9:15pm Tickets are available prior to the event for $5 and on the day of the event for $7. Parking free, as are children four years old and younger.


7/4 Roaring Camp Railroads steam trains offer passengers the opportunity to visit Bear Mountain or the Beach Boardwalk. 1880's-style party, complete with games, music and a (plastic) frog race.

7/4 2009 Spirit of Watsonville gala.
The city's third largest event of the year, this down-home jubilee is a family-friendly way to acknowledge America's birthday. Pancake breakfast at 8am, musical entertainment, informational booths, food fair, arts and crafts, and for the little ones, a kids area and jump house. 2pm Parade, Watsonville Band, cheerleaders, karate and soccer clubs, equestrian groups, Veterans organizations, and representatives from the Watsonville school district. The revelry continues until 5:00 p.m.

7/4 Red, White and Blue, Wilder Ranch State Park 11-4pm. old-fashioned 1904 Independence Day celebration. Setting the mood for the event, historic Wilder Ranch, with its Victorian homes, gardens and an historic adobe, was once both a working ranch, and later a successful and innovative dairy. Vintage picnic games, sack races, a cake walk, draft horse-drawn wagon rides, live old time music and hand-cranked ice cream. Living history demonstrations of quilting, blacksmithing and baking using a Victorian wooden stove. Food vendors offer sausages, root beer, and lemonade. 12pm Parade, followed by docents in period costumes reenacting the speeches of a century ago, given during the 1904 celebration with our Santa Cruz forefathers. An historically-correct, 45-star flag will be raised as you look on with pride. Patriotic music by the Santa Cruz City Band. Admission is free, and parking is available on a per-car basis for a small fee.

7/4 114th Annual Alba Schoolhouse 4th of July Benefit Barbecue at the Little Red Schoolhouse on Alba Road in Ben Lomond. Auction of goods & services! Books and other items will also be for sale.
11:30 San Lorenzo Valley Orchestra with maestro Jon Christian
12:00 Flag raising, Community Sing, Brass Band
BBQ lunch follows until 2pm, with hamburgers, veggieburgers, hot dogs, salad, homemade beans, ice cream and other desserts.
1:00 Alba School History Tour
1:30 Auction with our own Tag Taggert


7/4, 12-4pm, Free Community Swim, Simpkins Swim Senter, Live Oak


7/4 7am, Santa Cruz Sunrise Rotary Firecracker 10K and Kids' 1k, Since 1985 The Firecracker 10K has been a Santa Cruz Independence Day tradition offering a thrilling start to a day of family holiday fun. This challenging course begins at Harvey West Park, winds its way up the trail into the majestic hills of Pogonip park and descends back down through Santa Cruz's beautiful upper west side neighborhoods. New this year, a flat 5K criterium style run that makes three passes through the finish line area - great for runners and walkers of all ages and even better for spectators!
As always, the kids can participate in an easy going 1K fun run starting 30 minutes prior to the main event.
7:00a - Registration opens
8:00a - Kid's 1K run/walk
8:15a - 5K run
8:30a - Santa Cruz Firecracker 10K run

7/4, Free Fishing Day! The California Department of Fish and Game reminds everyone that Saturday, July 4th, is a Free Fishing Day. Fish and Game will waive the license requirement for one day only, so take the opportunity to get out there and fish.


Help Keep Our Beaches Clean!

     Every year thousands flock to Santa Cruz County beaches to celebrate the Fourth of July and every year the impact to our beaches is HUGE! Thousands of pounds of fireworks and picnic litter are left on the beach, eventually making their way into the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary.
     Help Ecology Action and the Clean Beaches Coalition share the "Pollution Prevention is Patriotic" message with tourists at various beaches in Santa Cruz on July 4th. Help hand out free trash and recycling bags and remind folks to "Pack Their Trash".

4th of July Pollution Prevention Day 12-6pm - Help hand out free trash and recycling bags.
Main and Cowells Beach 12-6pm
Rio Del Mar 12-4pm
Seabright 12-4pm
Seacliff 12-4
5th of July Star Spangled Beach Cleanup - Help pick up trash 7-10am.
Panther or Yellowbank
Twin Lakes / Harbor
Rio Del Mar
Learn more and Register for a beach at!


Red White and Blueberry Shortcakes

Cutting cold butter into the flour makes little crumbs of fat that produce light, flaky shortcakes. A light stirring and kneading of the dough makes the flakiest shortcakes.
Prep Time: 15 minutes | Cook Time: 13 minutes | Makes: 8 servings

• 2 cups C all-purpose flour
• 1/3cup C_granulated sugar
• 1 T grated lemon zest
• 2 T baking powder
• ½ t baking soda
• 6 T cold butter, cut into pieces
• ½ C_ buttermilk
• 2 t raw or coarse sugar crystals
• 1pkg. 6 oz strawberries, hulled
• 1/3C powdered sugar
• 2 T lemon juice
• 1pkg, 6 oz blackberries
• 1pkg, 6 oz blueberries
• 1 pkg, 6 oz raspberries
• 1/2pint whipping cream, sweetened (2 T powdered sugar) and whipped
1. Preheat oven to 400°F.
2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or coat with cooking spray.
3. To make shortcakes: Combine flour, granulated sugar, zest, baking powder and baking soda in a large bowl.
4. Cut in butter with a pastry blender or two knives until mixture resembles coarse meal.
5. Stir in buttermilk just until dry ingredients are moistened.
6. Place dough on a lightly floured surface. Knead gently 3-4 times.
7. Pat or roll to 1/2-inch thickness, dusting lightly with flour to prevent sticking.
8. Cut 8 stars or circles using a 3-4-inch diameter cookie cutter.
9. Place on prepared pan. Moisten tops with water and sprinkle with sugar crystals.
10. Bake 12-14 minutes or until golden brown. Place cakes on a wire rack to cool.
11. To make strawberry sauce: Blend half the strawberries, powdered sugar and lemon juice in a blender until smooth.
12. Slice and reserve remaining strawberries to serve with shortcakes.
13. To serve, using a serrated knife, cut shortcakes in half horizontally.
14. Place bottom halves on dessert plates.
15. Top each with a dollop of whipped cream. Surround with blackberries, raspberries and blueberries.
16. Drizzle with 1-2 tablespoons strawberry sauce and add shortcake top. Pass remaining strawberry sauce.



Become a Star Chaser!



(Icons/Graphics) StarGreen.jpg     If you've ever had a close family member who's enamored of stars, galaxies and  outer space mysteries and matter, you'll smile when you read this Santa Cruz Astronomy Club star chaser's notes.

     "I woke at 4:30am, jumped into car and raced outback of Fort Ord to watch the Moon/Venus occultation. Got setup about the time Venus was covered up by the moon. At 5:30am the fog rolled in. No more moon! I put everything in the car and headed east on Reservation road fast. Just past Route 68 pulled over in small neighborhood at 5:50am. Got setup with webcam and caught rough view of Venus coming out from behind moon. Afterword I panned over to Jupiter and took an over exposed shot. Got 4 moons of Jupiter."

     From personal experience, I can tell you that you meet the nicest and most interesting people when you go star (eclipse) chasing.  Don't be shy. They love to help newbies and share their telescopes with you.


     Two upcoming dates give you the opportunity to connect with local members of the Santa Cruz Astronomy Club.  If you're planning to join them they ask you to be a "good guest" as the Bonny Doon Airport where they meet is a private field. "The Astronomy Club members use this with the express permission of the airfield owners and residents for club dark sky observing sessions, usually two Saturdays a month nearest the new moon. This site is at 2020 feet elevation, and has good south, west and northwest horizons. north to east are mostly obscured by a tall stand of trees, which help shield us from the San Jose light dome. GPS Coordinates: N 37° 04.317' W 122° 07.721' (WGS 84)."

Mark your calendars for these upcoming meets:  7/18 and 7/25.

Stats for 6/27 Star Gazing Meeting:
• Sunset at 8:32 PM PDT • 36% Moon transit at 6:37 PM • 36% Moon sets at 12:31 AM • Jupiter Rises at 11:18 PM • Saturn Sets at 12:17 AM

Visit their website for links to current astronomical information and up-to date amazing images like the one below taken June 18, 2009.

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NGC 6240: Merging Galaxies


Straight from the Library

Hot News @ Your Library, How to Help!


(Icons/Graphics) ReadingTeens.jpg     There are (at least) five things you can do for the Library during this Budget Crisis. And don't forget... all of your gifts to FSCPL(Friends of Santa Cruz Public Libraries) are tax deductible!  Money, time and donations of books given locally to Friends of the Library will benefit libraries only.  That's an example of thinking and acting locally!

1. Become a "card-carrying" Library Advocate! Join the Friends of the Library! Membership applications are online or at the branches. 

2. Help Purchase Books & Media by donating to the Book Fund Drive.  Donate online or at one of the "BFD" boxes at the branches.

3. Donate gently used books to be resold by the Friends in branch lobby sales and at the Friends' store. Due to limited staff, please bring your books & media to the Central branch for processing.  Sorry ... we do not accept encyclopedias (except some vintage sets), textbooks, homemade media (VHS, DVD, CDs or audio tapes), books that have been written in or have smoke or water damage, and magazines.

4. Donate special books to the Friends for selling online and at book auctions.  Our booksellers are retired librarians and bookstore owners. They know what is valuable and how to maximize our online sales. Call us for more details: 420-5790.

5. Become a volunteer! Fill out an application online or stop by any of the branches.  For more information, call 420-5798.  Visit Friends of the Library for more information.




Upcoming Events for the Next Two Weeks!

Check website Calendar for details and more events.


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7/1-8/2m 7:30 and Sunday Matinees 2:30pm, The Jungle Book: Welcome To The Jungle An Original Rock Musical, Little People's Repertory Theater, Ben Lomond


July, State Parks offer activities for all ages!


7/3, 6& 8:30pm, THE SMITHEREENS, known for big hits: "A Girl Like You," "Blood and Roses," and "Behind the Wall of Sleep" The Smithereens are known for writing and playing catchy 1960s-influenced power pop. Pat DiNizio (vocals, guitar) was inspired to form his own band after listening to Buddy Holly, so in 1980 he put out an ad in a New York paper for musicians that were influenced by Holly-- which formed the original group that still performs today. Boardwalk


Daily except the 4th, I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change, musical comedy that tackles the truths and myths behind the contemporary conundrum known as "the relationship." Four actors play over forty characters in a hilarious series of vignettes that take us through the complexities and absurdity of dating, love and finally marriage-from in-laws and newborns, to trips in the family car and pick-up techniques of the geriatric kind. Hailed by critics as "seinfeld set to music," you'll be laughing and singing with this hip, funny and witty escapade. Intended for mature audiences only. Cabrillo Theater


7/6 and every Monday, Show up with a notebook and a pen! Local parenting author, and former GUISC columnist, Laura Davis, offers a free writing class the first Monday of the month at Gateways Bookstore. You don't have to be a "writer" to come. Explore your own creativity, record some family stories, get a chance to express yourself!

7/10, 6 & 8:30pm, LOVERBOY "Working for the Weekend" From 1980 through 1987 Loverboy garnered four multi-platinum albums and numerous international Gold albums. Their red leather pants, bandannas, and big rock sound defined the band's trademark image and high-energy live show. Their hit singles came one after another including "Working for the Weekend", "Lovin' Every Minute of It", and "Turn me Loose"--many of which went on to become the anthems and party songs of an entire generation of rock concert going fans.Boardwalk


July 12 & 19, Art At The Beach is a wonderful opportunity to enjoy a Sunday afternoon in Capitola Village. Quality artists from around the area display their work at Esplanade Park overlooking Capitola Beach and the Monterey Bay, offering residents and visitors the opportunity to experience art and purchase work directly from the artists. You just may find that perfect piece of artwork you have been looking for.


7/12-8/20, Cirque Magnifique! Mon-Thurs 12 & 3pm, Sundays 12 & 6pm, Join us for this FREE high-intensity acrobatic spectacular! World-class French-Canadian performers will grace the Boardwalk's beach bandstand with spinning German Wheels, cycle stunts, high-energy trampoline, gravity-defying balance, amazing acrobatic feats, colorful clowns, and more.


7/17, 6 & 8:30pm, STARSHIP starring Mickey Thomas "We Built This City", In 1979 Mickey Thomas joined the Jefferson Starship as lead vocalist. With his powerful vocals and a new sound, the group was renamed Starship and continued to record amazing hits including "We Built this City," "Nothing's Gonna Stop us Now," and "Sara." Since their last appearance at the Boardwalk, Mickey Thomas has revamped his band and show with an expanded set list that includes the multiplatinum hits of Jefferson Airplane, Jefferson Starship and Starship! This along with the expanded band and addition of the beautiful, powerful female vocalist, Stephanie Calvert; they now deliver a show that includes all the hit songs and classics!Boardwalk

Sun, 7/19 9:30am-5:30pm, Art on the Wharf, Dozens of artists display original paintings, photography and other works in an outdoor showcase of fine art and live jazz featuring 7 Come 11 and Wally's Swing World. The kids will enjoy balloons, easel art and face painting.


July 24-26 & 31, August 1-2 Join Thomas The Tank Engine on a train ride through the Big Trees. Meet Sir Topham Hatt and enjoy a day of Thomas activities. Reservations required. As you know this event will be a complete sell out so don't wait too long to purchase your tickets.

Your Child's

Horse Dreams!

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Your Child's Purpose!

Week Long Day Camps

Ranch Responsibilities

Ages 6-16

Willow Pond Ranch

Home to Mild Mannered Rescued Horses
Host to Children
Who Love Horses

10 minutes from
Soquel Village


 Ask your children what independence means to them and please send us their answers!

Fresh Prep Kitchens


The Culinary Center


Ages 8-12
9am-12:30pm, M-F
July 6-10 &
August 17-21

Ages 13-18
9am-12:30pm, M-F
August 3-7




Sun, July 12, 12-4pm
B-B-Q 101
Grilling and Smoking

Blackboard Catering


Fresh Prep Kitchens


The Culinary Center




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 Sign Up for
Summer Reading!

Sing a song....draw a picture....leap and dance....and read a book!


Summer reading has returned to the Santa Cruz Public Libraries.
From Monday June 8 through Thursday July 30, you can earn summer reading dollars for every hour that you read or listen to books. This is a program for toddlers, preschoolers, and school-aged kids.



All kids can participate by reading on their own or listening to someone else.



Print out a temporary page until

you go to your
library branch

to pick up
a YELLOW reading log.

Earn a Summer Reading Dollar by reading for 1 can earn up to 20. Fill in the circles to keep track of the time you spend reading.



Library staff will give one "SUMMER READING DOLLAR" for each circle that is completely filled.

by Thursday, July 30 at any branch library.



August 1 & 2, 1-4pm
Come to the Central Branch Meeting Room
to find great books
for the rest of the
summer and fall.



for admission
on Saturday, August 1.



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Suki's Blog

Trudie's Blog

Aimee's Blog



Going to Monterey?

Salinas? Carmel?

Visit our

sister site

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     Thanks you for inviting us into your inbox.  Our next newsletter comes out July 15.  Check the Events Calendar for new listings!  When you tell a friend you help us bring you more information.  It's all about choices to help you make good parenting decisions!

click to view: movie review: Waiting for Superman book review: The Great Truck Rescue
travel review: Disneyland Resort in Anaheim, CA parent blog: Antiques Roadshow: The Hottest Ticket in Town
recipe club: Thumbprint Cookies feature article: Parent & Kids

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