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Date: 1/31/2024
Subject: February Newsletter Village Santa Cruz County
From: Village Santa Cruz County

Village Santa Cruz County 
   Aging Better Togeth
   The Village News
      February 2024
National Villages Day

NATIONAL VILLAGE DAY is Thursday, February 15 2024!

On National Village Day, we celebrate the nearly 50 villages (and growing!) across the state that engage over 5,000 older Californians to stay connected to their community and to the expertise they need to continue living lives of purpose and promise while remaining -living where and how they choose.
7 year anniversary
Village Santa Cruz County 
 Turns Seven!
On February 1, 2017, Village Santa Cruz County first launched, after two years of monthly meetings by our planning committee. We have grown and we have learned much about what county residents want/need to age better. 
Village members - Be on the lookout for information about the following, in this Saturday's eblast:
  • Planning for our Birthday Celebration
  • Updating the Member Directory
  • Using Member Forum 101
Age Well SC County logo
Age Well Santa Cruz County

A County Human Services Department initiative, Age Well Santa Cruz County, will allow the county to develop our county's blueprint for a local Master Plan on Aging. This plan will help them ensure people of all ages and abilities in our county are engaged, valued, and afforded equitable opportunities to thrive as they age, how and where they choose. As part of Age Well Santa Cruz County and designing the Master Plan on Aging, please take the Community Needs Assessment Survey to help them collect community feedback focused on aging in the county.  

‘Envejezca Bien en el Condado de Santa Cruz’ (o “Age Well Santa Cruz County” en inglés) es una iniciativa del Departamento de Servicios Humanos del Condado de Santa Cruz, en asociación con el Consejo de Personas Mayores/Agencia del Área enfocada en el Envejecimiento y las ciudades locales. Como parte de la iniciativa, el condado desarrollará un Plan Maestro para apoyar el envejecimiento al implementar estrategias y apoyar colaboraciones que promuevan un envejecimiento saludable para todos.  Saber más 

Survey of LGBTQIA+ Older Adults in California:

From Challenges to Resilience

January 8 - March 21
The California Department of Aging (CDA) is pleased to announce the release of the California’s first statewide survey documenting the needs and priorities of mid-life and older LGBTQIA+ residents across the state launched on January 16, 2024.

This groundbreaking initiative, in collaboration with leading research institutions and LGBTQIA+ community-based organizations, aims to shed light on our community's unique challenges, aspirations, and contributions.

Your participation and help in distributing this information will influence resources, services, and policies to better support the well-being and rights of our aging LGBTQIA+ community.
 Learn More Download FAQ
Take the survey at 
We met our goal!!!!
Thank You for Your Generosity
First of all, thank you to everyone who contributed to the overall success of Santa Cruz Gives. All together, the 65 nonprofits that participated in the campaign raised over one million dollars! What an amazing community we live in. One of the wonderful things about this campaign is the wide range of nonprofit applicants that are chosen to participate - from some of our county's largest to some small start-ups. Thank you to the Volunteer Center, the Good Times, Community Foundation, and the other entities that assure SC Gives runs year after year.
This year, Village Santa Cruz County's second year participating in Santa Cruz Gives, we increased both the number of donors and the total amount raised. And we met our goal, bringing in a bit over $4,500. I want to thank all of you who helped to make this a success. Village Santa Cruz County is a member organization and our dues - we offer a sliding scale - cover the cost of day to day operations and member events.
The money raised through Santa Cruz Gives allows us to expand, through thoughtful programming and outreach, to reflect the diversity of older adults in our county. We believe that our model of peer support for aging better, with input and leadership from diverse groups, can accommodate the needs and desires of all of our county's older adults. Again, thank you.
Village Movie/TV Interest Group
Recommendations for Some of their Favorites
Looking for something good to watch? The TV/Interest Group meets once a month on zoom to share their favorites. And now they are sharing with you.

Film Recommends for streaming:

  • Anatomy of a Fall ($6 everywhere)
  • The Holdovers (Peacock for free; $20 elsewhere)
  • Maestro (Netflix) - with some reservations of a couple of members
  • Fremont (Amazon; $4 elsewhere)

TV show Recommendations:

  • The Bear (Hulu)
  • The Crown (Netflix)
  • Fisk (Netflix)
CERT logo
Coming Up....CERT Presentation
Presenter: The Community Emergency Response Team of Santa Cruz County
Purpose: To inform/ remind our older adults what they should do in preparation for an  area-wide emergency, where we can't count on help from local response teams such as fire, police, ambulance, due to the fact that they may be overwhelmed.
Date and Time: Wednesday, February 28, 12:00 noon - 1:30 PM
Open to: All Village members and a limited number of the public over the age of 55. Contact or sign up on our website. 

Village Members Give Back

I am in awe at the variety and number of volunteer projects so many of our members take on, in addition to helping one another.
Today I want to highlight one Village member, Jacquy Griffith, a dedicated environmentalist, who decided to start her own small project to combat climate change. Jacquy researched and tested tree and chemical-free toilet paper. She compared comfort, strength (it’s a bummer when the paper soaks through to your hand during use), source, and packaging.

But Jacquy didn’t just do the research, she has and is buying rolls of her favorites and giving them out for free, with this note attached:

If everyone in the USA switched to bamboo toilet paper and paper towels, we would save 526 million trees every year, forests, and their animals, and help earth’s climate too.’

The type she has liked best so far – and Jacquy emphasizes that there are multiple options that are good – is Reel Bamboo Toilet Paper. It is made of bamboo sustainably sourced within the USA. Jacquy found it on sale through Target and Amazon.

Next, she is on to researching paper towels. Thanks for your work, Jacquy.

[The research is clear that participating in service activities breaks down barriers, lifts up others and improves mental health.] The Power of Service Watch You Tube video  
SLV Coffee Chat moves indoors to the Mountain Roasting during rainy weather.
They are looking into a possible quieter venue at the Senior Center. Stay tuned.
[There is much that sets Dr. Vivek Murthy (who is currently serving as the 21st surgeon general of the United States) apart from his predecessors, but one detail stands out: he’s a high-ranking government official who insists on the importance of care, compassion and deep listening. Love, he says, is the foundation of good policies and needs to inform the nation’s public health agenda.] Read article, from The Guardian
Learn more about
Village Santa Cruz County
Join us at one of our area Coffee Chats.
  Jack Has a Plan

This is the story of a man with brain cancer who decides that when the time comes, he will use Medical Aid in Dying to end his life peacefully at the time of his choice. This beautiful, award-winning documentary follows Jack Tuller for a number of years to the end of his life, with some surprising twists in it.  

FREE screenings in Santa Cruz
(Go to the Community Events section to find out more)
 Keep Bacteria from Growing in Your Kitchen Sponge Have you ever noticed a funky smell coming from your kitchen sponge? That’s a sign that bacteria has taken hold. There’s a two-step method to keep this from happening. First, zap your sponge in the microwave for 1 minute every few days. But in addition to this, you must give the sponge a chance to dry out completely.  

I keep two sponges in use. Sponge#1 I will use for a few days. Then I microwave it and set it aside to dry out completely. While sponge#1 is drying out, I use sponge#2. After a few days, I microwave sponge#2, set it aside to dry, and go back to using sponge#1.

 by Dody Anderson

Change in Metro Bus Routes. In December, to celebrate the return of our METRO bus service, 29 residents rode the #55 bus from LSB to Capitola Village. Many dressed in Santa hats and lighted Christmas necklaces and hats. Upon arriving in Capitola, we dispersed to different locations to enjoy pizza, cocktails, and hot cocoa. Our return trip included pointing out Christmas lights and talking to newly-met neighbors. It was a jolly affair!

The reason I am sharing this with you, is the Metro bus service has changed. Not only is La Selva Beach getting bus service but other routes have changed.
A group of us worked really hard to return the bus to our area of La Selva Beach. For those of you who haven't ridden a bus, you might want to check this means of transportation out. It costs $1.00 to ride if you are over 65. Going downtown or anywhere may be much more pleasant (especially if you don't have to look and pay for parking!) You can pick up a Metro schedule at your local library or look at the Metro site.

To be without transportation is really isolating and limiting. So before you are unable to drive, check this out. We all need a variety of possibilities in our bag.

Coming UP in February
Members will receive Zoom information in weekly eBlasts.
If you are not yet a Village member but would like to join one of our events, to meet some Village members, please contact

Thursday, February 1, Solo Agers, 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM, 
@ Community Room at Branciforte Public Library, 230 Gault Str. , Santa Cruz. 

Thursday, February 1, Westside Circle Chat: Guests Welcome, 1:00 - 2:00 PM, 
@ Iveta Coffee, 2125 Delaware Ave. Relax with a cup of coffee or tea and catch up on what's happening with your Circle friends. Curious about Village? Non-members are welcome to join us. In the event of rain we will lunch together at Walnut Cafe in downtown Santa Cruz, on their outdoor covered patio.

Monday, February 5, Creative Expressions (aka Arts and Crafts), Cancelled this month due to rain in the forcast.

Monday, February 5, Guided Meditation, 4:00 - 4:15 PM, on Zoom. 

Wednesday, February 7,  Aptos Circle Chat: Guests Welcome, 1:00 – 2:30 PM, Aptos Methodist Church, 221 Thunderbird Drive, Aptos. Relax with a cup of coffee or tea and catch up on what's happening with your Circle friends. Curious about Village? Non-members are welcome to join us.

Thursday, February 8, Bocce, 10:30 - 11:30 AM, 
@ Felt Str. Park, 1904 Felt Street, Santa Cruz. Come play Bocce with us! All members welcome. Bocce Ball is simple to learn, it's a lot of fun, and good exercise (not to mention the great company). Come try it out. This drop-in activity happens every Thursday except the 1st Thursday of the month. Cancelled in the event of rain or wet court.

Thursday, February 8, Governing Board Meeting, 12:30 PM - 2:15 PM, on Zoom. All Village members are invited to attend our monthly planning meeting. Email if you plan to attend, so that we can send you the agenda.

Monday, February 12, Westside "Days of Our Lives" Discussion, 1:00 - 2:00 PM, On Zoom, Topic: Reading Our Obituaries.
Tuesday, February 13, Mid County Circle Chat, 1:30 - 2:30 PM, @ The Loft Coffee Shop, 2701 Cabrillo College Dr. Aptos

Wednesday, February 14,  SLV Circle Chat: Guests Welcome, 10:30 – 11:30 AM
@ Mountain Roasting, 6263 Graham Hill Rd., Felton. Relax with a cup of coffee or tea and catch up on what's happening with your Circle friends. Curious about Village? Non-members are welcome to join us. 

Thursday, February 15, Bocce, 10:30 AM - 11:30 AM, @ Felt Str. Park, 1904 Felt Street, Santa Cruz. Come play Bocce with us! All members welcome. Cancelled in the event of rain or wet court. 

Thursday, February 15, Movie/TV Discussion Group, 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM, on Zoom.

Friday, February 16, Village Book Discussion, 1:00 - 2:00 PM @ Member's home in Seabright. Book for discussion: Pulitzer Prize winner TRUST by Hernan Diaz.

Monday, February 19, Memoir Writing, 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM, @ Seabright Area. Because of the very personal nature of our writings, which we share, this group is currently closed to new members. Want to start a 2nd writing group? Contact

Wednesday, February 21, Village Walks, 10:30 - 11:30 PM, @ Quail Hollow Ranch. 800 Quail Hollow Rd, Felton. Cancelled in the event of rain. 

Wednesday, February 21, Aptos Circle Luncheon, 1:00 – 2:30 PM, location TBA in an upcoming member weekend Eblast.

Thursday, February 22, Bocce, 10:30 - 11:30 AM, 
@ Felt Str. Park, 1904 Felt Street, Santa Cruz. Come play Bocce with us! All members welcome. Cancelled in the event of rain or wet court.

Thursday, February 22, Movie at the Theater, 2:30 - 5:30 PM, Movie and details TBD when the movie list for this date comes out. 

Friday, February 23, Año Nuevo Field Trip, hosted by Solo Agers, open to all Village Members,  10:00 AM - 1:00 PM, @ Año Nuevo State Park. If you would like to reserve a spot, please contact Sandy Cohen at

Monday, February 26, Zoom Presentation on how to use Village Forums, 11:00 AM - 12:00 PM, on Zoom. Please email to register and receive PDF copies of the presentation in advance. 

Tuesday, February 27, Mid-County Luncheon, 12:30 - 1:30 PM @ Pleasure Point Eatery, 800 41st Ave., Capitola. 
Wednesday, February 28,  SLV Circle Chat: Guests Welcome, 10:30 – 11:30 AM@ Mountain Roasting, 6263 Graham Hill Rd., Felton. 

Wednesday, February 28, Presentation by CERT, Community Emergency Response Team, 12:00 - 1:30 PM, Santa Cruz.
The Community Emergency Response Team of Santa Cruz County (CERT) is hosting a meeting to inform/ remind our older adults what they should do in preparation for an  area-wide emergency, where we can't count on help from local response teams such as fire, police, ambulance, due to the fact that they may be overwhelmed. This presentation is Open to All Village members and a limited number of the public over the age of 55. Brown Bag lunch with coffee, tea, and light snacks available. Contact for more information or sign up on our website

Thursday, February 29, Bocce, 10:30 AM - 11:30 AM, @ Felt Str. Park, 1904 Felt Street, Santa Cruz. Cancelled in the event of rain or wet court. 

Happy Leap Year!

or sign up on the website events calendar

In Our Community

What Actually Happened in 1619: The Origins of Slavery in North America, February 1 @ 6:30 pm - 8:00 pm at the UCSC Music Recital Hall. FREE event. The New York Times’s The 1619 Project sparked controversy and conversation across the United States about the history and legacies of slavery. The project drew its name from a date, 1619, connected to the origins of American slavery, and its publication coincided with the four-hundredth anniversary of that event.

But what actually happened in 1619? This public event brings three historians of slavery together—one focused on the importance of slavery to colonial empires, one focused on captive experiences and health in the slave trade, and one focused on the introduction of African maritime culture (and surfing!) into the Americas—to wrestle with the question: What actually happened in 1619?

Join Professors Elise Mitchell (Princeton), Kevin Dawson (UC Merced), and Greg O’Malley (UC Santa Cruz) as we explore this issue in a free public forum. Find Out More 

The 11th Annual Food from the Heart Luncheon, A Valentine-themed luncheon celebrating Meals on Wheels, Friday, February 2, 11:00 am – 1:00 pm at Chaminade Resort and Spa. All proceeds benefit Meals on Wheels for Santa Cruz County, providing healthy meals and friendly human contact for our older adult neighbors. Find out more

Celebrate World Wetlands Day with Watsonville Wetlands Watch on Saturday, February 3rd, at Struve Slough with a wetlands restoration project, educational activities hosted by local environmental and climate organizations, live music, and lunch! Meet by the butterfly statue near the Struve Slough trailhead, located in the lower parking lot of the Watsonville Square (Nob Hill) shopping center (1912 Main Street). Registration begins at 9:30am; the free, family-friendly event runs from 10am-1pm. World Wetlands Day

Saturday, February 3, 7:00 - 9:00 PM. Book Launch at the Rio Theater. "How Not to Age: The Scientific Approach to Getting Healthier as you get older." by Dr. Michael Greger. Dr. Greger will share simple, accessible, and evidence based methods for staying both physically and mentally healthy. Cost is $25. To learn more, go to this link, or call Wendy Gabbe Day at 503-702-9061.

Monday, February 5, 5:30 - 8:00 PM, Panel Discussion for the upcoming Primary Election on March 5th at Hotel Paradox, 611 Ocean Str. 
This discussion will concern the 1st District County Supervisor & Measure M. Hear from the 1st District County supervisor candidates Manu Koenig and Lani Faulkner. They will be followed by representatives from both support and opposition groups for Measure M, Don Lane with the Affordable Housing Advocates Santa Cruz and Frank Barron with Housing for the People. Learn more here

Winter Craft Fair and Book Sale. Over 40 vendors will offer unique arts, crafts and food items just in time for Valentine’s Day or early Mother’s Day gifts at the La Selva Beach Winter Craft Fair and Book Sale, Saturday, February 10, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the La Selva Beach Clubhouse and Lawn, 314 Estrella Avenue, Watsonville. The Friends of the La Selva Library will host a large book sale and the Library Teens Program will hold a bake sale and prize drawing for vendor goods to raise funds. Enjoy lunch or early dinner from Tacos el Jesse food truck, on site offering Mexican food specialties. Contact for more information.
Documentary: Jack Has a Plan, is the story of Jack Tuller, whose career as a San Francisco musician was altered in 1994, when he was diagnosed with a terminal condition and given 6 months to live. Jack Has a Plan tells the story of the following 25 years, as Jack dodges one bullet after another. But Jack turns his predicament into an art-performance project. In the end, Jack engineers a graceful exit from life’s stage through Medical Aid in Dying (MAID). Two FREE showings, thanks to a generous donor. Saturday, February 17, 2-5 PM at the Unitarian Universalist Church, 6401 Freedom Blvd., Aptos and Sunday, February 18, 2-5:30 PM at The Resource Center for Non-Violence, 612 Ocean St., Santa Cruz.
The film will be followed by a panel discussion including: Bradley Berman, director of the film, Judy Neall Epstein from End of Life Choices California (EOLCCA), and Jim Van Buskirk from Final Exit Network (FEN) Download the Flyer

NAACP Santa Cruz Branch Annual Gospel Night, Saturday, February 17, 7:00 PM at Resource Center for Non-Violence, 612 ocean St., Santa Cruz. Cost $30. Learn More

Volunteers are needed for the Senior Network Services HICAP, Health Insurance Counseling and Advocacy Program. Senior Network Services is a local community nonprofit providing services to seniors. HICAP is a free public program focused on educating and counseling seniors on Medicare. Research on aging shows that exercising our brains keeps our brains better in shape. For information, call 831-462-5510, 831-637-0630 or email

The Falls Prevention Program at The Volunteer Center can help you to prevent falls. The Empowered Aging Division of the Volunteer Center has a Falls Prevention Program which offers classes and opportunities to become an instructor. You can learn more by checking out their page here or calling 831-427-5070.
Articles, Videos, and Listening
 Balance is not just about preventing falls. It is important as we age for a number of reasons. How well we are able to balance can affect our overall health and longevity. Learn more in this January 3, 2024 article from Next Avenue.  

Falls Free Online Check-up, from the National Council on Aging (NCOA). Falls are not a natural part of aging. Even if you’re healthy or have talked with your health care provider, it’s important to check your risk. There are many steps you can take to prevent a fall. Answer 13 simple questions to get your falls risk score and resources to prevent falls. Take the Test 

America is Aging Into A Housing Crisis for Older Adults. A new Harvard report highlights the housing challenges facing a fast-growing demographic amid the broader US affordability problem. By Sarah Holder, Bloomberg News, December 7, 2023.

‘The number of households headed by adults over 80 is expected to double by 2040. But starting to address the challenges could have benefits for households across the age spectrum.
“This is not a bad news story that we have a bigger older population,” says Jennifer Molinsky, project director of the Housing an Aging Society Program at the Joint Center for Housing Studies. “And that people want to stay in their communities and stay engaged in those communities is a really good and important thing. I just think we have to think about whether we have the housing and infrastructure — by which I mean transportation, services, sidewalks and all the rest — to help people do that.” Read Article

Nazi Town, USA, THE UNTOLD STORY OF NAZI SYMPATHIZERS ON AMERICAN SOIL, aired on PBS American Experience. In February 1939, more than 20,000 Americans filled Madison Square Garden for an event billed as a “Pro-American Rally.” Images of George Washington hung next to swastikas and speakers railed against the “Jewish controlled media” and called for a return to a racially “pure” America. The keynote speaker was Fritz Kuhn, head of the German American Bund. Nazi Town, USA tells the largely unknown story of the Bund, which had scores of chapters in suburbs and big cities across the country and represented what many believe was a real threat of fascist subversion in the United States. The Bund held joint rallies with the Ku Klux Klan and ran dozens of summer camps for children centered around Nazi ideology and imagery. Its melding of patriotic values with virulent anti-Semitism raised thorny issues that we continue to wrestle with today. Watch the Film 

Squeeze The Day Podcast: 85-Year-Old Tina Chilton is a model for Active Aging. She’s a woman who fights for others, her health, and independence. In this podcast, Tina shares her zest for life and how she stays young in heart, body, and soul. Listen here

Chasing Life, CNN podcast with Dr. Sanjay Gupta, The Recipe for a Nourished Brain. Many of us have been told that foods like blueberries, salmon, and leafy greens are “good for the brain.” But what does that really mean? Can eating certain foods make us smarter? More alert? Less stressed? Sanjay talks to nutritional psychiatrist and personal chef, Dr. Uma Naidoo about what foods improve brain function and influence the way we feel. She’ll also share her secret sauce: a few nutritious and delicious ways to eat carbs, fats and sugar. Listen or Read the Transcript
How to Save a Sad, Lonely, Angry and Mean Society, by David Brooks, NY Times, Jan. 25, 2024.  ‘I confess I still cling to the old faith that culture is vastly more important than politics or some pre-professional training in algorithms and software systems. I’m convinced that consuming culture furnishes your mind with emotional knowledge and wisdom; it helps you take a richer and more meaningful view of your own experiences; it helps you understand, at least a bit, the depths of what’s going on in the people right around you.’ Read the Article
How to Disagree Without Being Mean: (Utah) Governor Spencer Cox Has the Playbook, by Meghan Rabbitt, January 20, 2024, from Maria Shriver's Sunday Paper. 'With the Iowa Caucus behind us and an election year officially here, we sat down with Governor Cox to ask him about the initiative he launched as chair of the National Governors Association, Disagree Better and how all of us—from our politicians debating the issues on the local and national level, to each one of us hashing out those same issues on social media and at our dining room tables—can collectively stay open to others’ viewpoints.' Read Article
Village Santa Cruz County
1740 17th Ave., Santa Cruz, CA 95062
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