What does Rent Control mean for Carbonera Neighbors?

While the Carbonera Neighborhood has very few rental properties, the upcoming ballot initiative should still be a concern.


Any of your neighbors could find themselves in a situation where they need to rent their home.  For example, they may take a temporary job assignment in another city, or due to illness or disability, they must move to a nursing facility for some indeterminate period of time.  In this case, they may need the rental income from their home to pay the mortgage and property taxes.


However, the proposed ballot initiative --  Santa Cruz Rent Control and Tenant Protection Act   -- could result in multiple occupants in their rented home, regardless of the rental agreement.  Specifically, the limit for an average three bedroom home is about 16 people.  For some of the homes in the Carbonera Neighborhood, this could be as high as 20 to 25 people!  Even if only half the residents in the rented home had automobiles, can you imagine having 10 cars parked on the street for the house next door to you?  


There are many other troubling concerns about this measure; in almost every city where it has been tried, there's been a reduction in rental housing.  True, some renters will benefit short term, but over the long term, most renters will find less housing.


If you would like to attend a meeting to learn more, please contact chiefcarb@gmail.com and we will organize a neighborhood meeting in August.



Rent Control in Santa Cruz - the NYC experience

The New York Times published an in-depth analysis of the experiences of rent control over the past few decades (see link below). The building owners displayed amazing creativity in working around the laws, via the state legislators and real estate lobby, by slowly and methodically defanging all the government enforcement and protection mechanisms.  


Behind New York’s Housing Crisis:
Weakened Laws and Fragmented Regulation



Perhaps it would be best to get more housing projects approved in Santa Cruz County, and fast track development, rather than replicate the New York situation with rent control.

Assassins at Mountain Community Theatre

Mountain Community Theatre in Ben Lomond is featuring the Stephen Sondheim's musical "Assasins" now through June 2nd.   The play examines Presidential assassins throughout American history.  Each assassin commits the act with a gun, thus the play is a commentary on our gun culture.  In spite of the subject, the play is fun with sketches and songs and absurdity.   This writer's foursome left the play filled with puns and witticisms.  

Support our community!  Attend live theatre.

Use Catios to Keep Cats Safe: Saturday, Oct. 7, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m


When: Saturday, Oct. 7, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Where: 10 sites throughout the county; see scanimalshelter.org/catio-tour-guide

Cost: $10 donation requested


When: Thursday, Oct. 5, 5:30-7 p.m.

Where: Santa Cruz County Animal Shelter, 1001 Rodriguez St., Santa Cruz

Cost: Free, but space is limited. RSVP to jen.walker@santacruzcounty.us

RSVP/Information: jen.walker@santacruzcounty.us or 454-7235

Read the full article in the Santa Cruz Sentinel:


NO Block Party on September 24th for Carbonera Neighbors!

This year marks the 9th Annual City Wide Block Party.  This will be the first year that the Carbonera Neighborhood has not hosted one!  


We do not have a group of neighbors on a street willing to step forward and volunteer.


Of the eight past parties, Jocelyn Court has hosted six and Carbonera Court has hosted two. They have done their fair share.


For the hosting street, there's a small inconvenience in hosting.  For three hours, you cannot drive a car in or out.  You are also asked to volunteer folding tables and chairs, so they do not have to be transported from far away locations (by people with bad backs or otherwise limited mobility).


Of course, this does not stop each individual street from hosting its own party with the residents of its own street.  But we do lose the benefit of community outreach by key individuals.


Without a whole neighborhood block party our elected officials will not stop by, the fire truck and police folks will not stop by, and Chancellor Blumenthal and/or his staff will not stop by to say hello and chat for a bit. 


In the past, we have been able to resolve common concerns from social interaction at the block parties.  Through the efforts of Patti Souvey and many others, we got the speed bump on Carbonera Drive,  and the flashing stop sign on El Rancho and Carbonera Drive.  UCSC staff helped shut down  "party houses" populated by UCSC students.  


In addition, there were informal discussions with city council members on the importance of finding a home for Santa Cruz Shakespeare (before the organization began looking for a home). This resulted in mobilizing the  city council  to fast track the approval prospect for the new outdoor theatre at the DeLaVeaga Golf Course.


So yes, we think block parties are important.  You never know who you might meet or how they might change your life.  


Please give us your feedback:  through comments below or via email to chiefcarb@gmail.com



New Police Chief: Andy Mills

Our new Police Chief, Andy Mills, was Chief of Police in Eureka, California.  This article describes the initiatives and successes Chief Mills had in Eureka:



Note:  if you prefer to see the full URL, rather than click the hyperlink above, please copy and paste this in another browser window:



Verizon Cell Tower is Failing

If you use Verizon as the carrier for your mobile phone, you may be noticing a degradation in service.  The Verizon cell tower that services the Carbonera neighborhood is inadequate.  It has been inadequate for years.  Another tower is required or better signal amplification for the existing tower.


However, as of July 2017, there's a new problem.  One (or more) of the radios have gone out in the cell tower, so that most subscribers are getting only one band (or one dot) of signal.  This means very poor reception and dropped calls.


Please contact Verizon and complain.  They tend to be slow to respond unless there's a large group demanding action.

District Wide Elections Taking Hold

Could Santa Cruz have district wide elections?


According to an article in the LA Times,  Attorney Kevin Shenkman’s ..."legal cudgel is the California Voter Rights Act, which for 15 years has made it easier for minority groups to prove that they are disenfranchised by at-large elections, where all voters of a city vote for all members of a city council."


California’s biggest cities — including Los Angeles, San Diego and San Francisco — held elections by district before the advent of the Voting Rights Act. But among California’s 482 cities, only 59 hold district elections, according to a report released in December by the government watchdog group California Common Cause.


The city of Palmdale lost a lawsuit and had to pay the legal fees of all the attorneys, for a total of about $7 million.  Most cities are deciding to settle and switch to district wide elections.


What would this mean for Santa Cruz?  Since the UC Santa Cruz staff and general population dominate the city, the City Council tends to reflect their views.  This could be an opportunity to have the City Council more properly reflect the constituents of the neighborhoods.

Downed Tree on Carbonera Drive due to Leech Field

An acacia tree fell down on Carbonera Drive in April 2017,   taking out a driveway pillar and Japanese maple for one homeowner.  


The City of Santa Cruz removed it the same day.

But it turns out this was not the result of all the rains.  Rather,  the condos at Isbel Court have a leech field / septic system at the top of the steep hill, which pours down the hill and supersaturates it.  This destabilizes the tree roots.

The Home Owner's association is looking into the problem.

Three nights of paving on Highway One

A three-night paving project will result in lane and ramp closures along Highway 1 between Morrissey Ave. and Rio del Mar starting next Tuesday night, Sept. 6. Overnight hours are from 8 pm to 4 am the next morning. 

Details are as follows: 

Tuesday, Sept. 6—Hwy. 1 northbound Morrissey Blvd. (1): 
- Off-ramp closed for paving
- Detour to Emeline St. back to Morrissey Blvd. 

Wednesday, Sept. 7—Hwy. 1 northbound between Park Ave. and 41st Ave. (2): 
- # 2 (right) lane closed. Also, the Bay/Porter Ave. on-ramp northbound closed
- Detour to Soquel Ave. back to 41st Ave. 

Thursday, Sept. 8—Hwy. 1 southbound between State Park Dr. and Rio Del Mar (3): 
- #2 (right) lane closed. Also, the State Park on-ramp southbound closed. 
- Detour to Soquel Ave. back to Hwy. 1 southbound. 

Electronic message boards will be posted to alert motorists of this roadwork. The CHP will assist with traffic control. Motorists can expect delays not to exceed 15 minutes. This roadwork is being done by Caltrans Santa Cruz South Maintenance crew. 

Streetlights may be harmful

The shift to LEDs for residential street lighting is creating a host of medical and environmental problems, a new report says.

The American Medical Association (AMA) has issued a warning about the human health and environmental impacts of LEDs that emit excessive blue light. A new AMA-approved report backs six-year-old findings of the International Dark-Sky Association (IDA) about the negative consequences of the global movement to LEDs as the preferred outdoor lighting technology.

Read More here:  http://scitation.aip.org/content/aip/magazine/physicstoday/news/10.1063/PT.5.1079

Block Party Success!

We had a beautiful Sunday the afternoon of  September 25th to meet with neighbors and friends.  A special appearance from Alison Galloway, Vice Chancellor at UC Santa Cruz.   


The event seeks to unite neighbors one block at a time, by creating an opportunity for all neighbors to participate in a block party, barbecue, ice cream social, potluck, sharing games and music.


Thanks to all the volunteers who set up tables, chairs, and umbrellas!  Thanks to the Jocelyn residents for sharing their street!  We need more streets to volunteer next year!


One of the goals of Santa Cruz Neighbors Block Party is to reduce the potential for conflicts by promoting familiarity and open communication among neighbors. Also brings neighbors together for Neighborhood Watch safety reasons or to resolve something they want to change. These activities will give neighbors an opportunity to introduce themselves, exchange phone numbers and emails for neighborhood watch lists or plan future neighborhood events and communication.


A neighborhood that communicates is a safer and healthier neighborhood.

Is the Fort McMurray Fire an Early Warning for Our Neighborhood?

Concerned neighbors met five years ago, worried about potential fires from illegal camping in the 18 acres of riparian corridor between our neighborhood and the county buildings.  Overlapping fire districts for this area coupled with the very steep terrain, meant that fighting a fire would prove challenging.   Meetings with the police, fire departments, our County Supervisor and members of the City Council resulted in a program sponsored by Save our Shores to clean up the illegal campsites and remove the debris.

Now we are faced with the effects of climate change impinging on our own neighborhood. Warming temperatures and extraordinary drought increase the likelihood of fires in wooded areas.  We need new thinking by our local government about how to manage green belts in the face of extremely dry conditions.  It is time for a meeting with the City of Santa Cruz Forester, Leslie Keedy.  

Leslie Keedy, Urban Forester.  323 Chuch Street.  Santa Cruz  Tel.  831.420.5246


Do you like Italian sodas?

If you like Italian sodas and would like to make them at home, all you need is seltzer water and flavored syrup.  Where do you get that?  From the Seltzer Sisters! 

The Seltzer Sisters are located in Redwood City and deliver to the Santa Cruz area once a month on Thursdays.    To maintain this schedule, they need more customers in Santa Cruz.  So please contact them:  seltzersisters.com

Illegal Camping Down 9%

According to the Santa Cruz Police Department statistics, illegal camping is down by 9%.  In 2014, there were 2,096 citations compared to 1,911 in 2015.  

Carbonera residents have major concerns about fire safety and the danger of campfires created by illegal campers.  

Illegal camping poses a major risk to Carbonera residents as the 40+ private acres in the riparian corridor next to Carbonera Creek is both heavily wooded, with rugged terrain, making fire protection from three overlapping fire districts very challenging. 

Santa Cruz Shakespeare Moves to DeLaveaga

Santa Cruz Shakespeare will open its 2016 season in Delaveaga Park.  This is the "upper park"  on Upper Park Road, near the old stroke center.  The new location called "The Grove" will replace "The Glen" on the UC Santa Cruz campus.  

The new season opens July 12th with "A Midsummer Night's Dream", "Hamlet", and "Orlando".  A female actress will be cast as Hamlet, thus giving new meaning to the Princess of Denmark!