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  Santa Cruz Parent Santa Cruz, CA

February 16, 2017
Outside Every Day
We Are Wired To Be Outside

Book: Chasing slow: Courage to Journey Off the Beaten Path

True Animal Stories for Our Children Who Love Animals
Christine: Viewing the Earth with Epic

"Screenagers: Growing up in the Digital Age"
Dental Hygiene Tips
Places to Go!
Click to view our Business Directory
  Outside Every Day

(0 Feb 2017) WalkingRain2.jpgFortunate are the children who are outside every day, swimming, biking, adventuring in nearby woods, puddle stomping, ice skating or sliding down snowy hills.

It's easy to sally forth to beaches, woods, the neighborhood when nice weather beckons. Inclement weather ups the ante. Nevertheless walking every day, donning wet weather gear, venturing forth, breathing in the fresh air and checking out nearby parks, ponds, trees, cats, dogs behind fences and birds is invigorating. It's rewarding to come back inside with renewed energy and refreshed spirits. And now science backs up what we all know.

It's Children's Dental Health month. We bring you Hygiene Tips from Dr. Brent Porter!

(2 Buttons) Button_Weekend.jpgPlease share our newsletter with new friends so they won't miss a few tidbits of wisdom from our author contributors, and as always our many fun events!

Have an indoor/outdoor weekend,  Parmalee

  We Are Wired To Be Outside

Science is demonstrating what we intuitively know: Nature makes us happy.

By Simon Worrall

(0 Feb 2017) Book_NatureFix.jpgWhen we first see Elizabeth Bennett, in the 2005 film of Pride and Prejudice, she is walking through a field, surrounded by birdsong and trees. Nature, for Jane Austen's heroines, is always a source of solace and inspiration. And as Florence Williams shows in her new book, The Nature Fix: Why Nature Makes Us Happier, Healthier, and More Creative, modern technology is now revealing what goes on in our brains when we step outdoors-and why nature is so good for us. [Read Williams's National Geographic story "This Is Your Brain on Nature."]

When National Geographic caught up with Williams by phone in Washington, D.C., she explained why even a house plant can make us feel good, why the practice of "forest bathing" is now supported by the Japanese government, and how trees can lower the murder rate in our cities.

You open your book with a simple question: "What makes people happy? Does place matter, or not so much?" Tell us about the Mappiness project -and what you call "our epidemic dislocation from the outdoors."

The Mappiness project was developed in the U.K. by a happiness researcher called George MacKerron. It's a brilliant idea, which tries to capture in real time what people are doing and how it makes them feel. I downloaded this app onto my phone and used it for about a year. The way it works is, it pings you at random times a couple of times a day and gives you a list of options. Are you driving, doing childcare, cooking, hanging out with friends? Are you outside or inside and how are you feeling? Like, "I feel happy, not so happy."

At the end of the year I got my data, which showed how I was spending my time and which activities made me feel a certain way. I try to spend a lot of time outside, make an effort to exercise. But I was shocked at how few times the app caught me doing those things; and how often it caught me doing things that didn't give me a lot of satisfaction. Things like commuting or doing chores.

One of the things I found out was that most people... Read more>>>>


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  Book: Chasing slow: Courage to Journey Off the Beaten Path

(0 Feb 2017) Book_ChasingSlow.jpg"You're here, but you want to be there.

So you spend your life narrowing this divide, and you call this your race, your journey, your path. You live your days tightening your boot straps, wiping the sweat from your brow, chasing undiscovered happiness just around the bend. Higher! Faster! Better! Stronger!

And on and on you run.

Viral sensation and star Erin Loechner knows about the chase. Before turning 30, she'd built a fan base of one million women worldwide and earned the title "The Nicest Girl Online" as she was praised for her authentic voice and effortless style. The New York Times applauded her, her friends and church admired her, and her husband and baby adored her.

She had arrived at the ultimate destination.

So why did she feel so lost?

"In Chasing Slow, Erin turns away from fast and fame and frenzy. Follow along as she blazes the trail toward a new-fashioned lifestyle--one that will refresh your perspective, renew your priorities, and shift your focus to the journey that matters most. Through a series of steep climbs--her husband's brain tumor, bankruptcy, family loss, and public criticism--Erin learns just how much strength it takes to surrender it all, and to veer right into grace.

Life's answers are not always hidden where they seem. It's time to venture off the beaten path to see that we've already been given everything we need. We've already arrived.

You see?

You'll see."


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  True Animal Stories for Our Children Who Love Animals

(0 Feb 2017) WildHorses.jpgThe Future of America's Wild Horses: The Options

By Ben Masters

Tens of thousands of wild horses roam the American West, and the ecological consequences of their increasing numbers could be dire. Here are some solutions for keeping herds and rangelands healthy.

Seventy-five thousand wild horses and burros in the American West are caught in a political, emotional, and environmental controversy with two questions at its source: how should our public lands be managed, and how is "good" land management defined? Read more>>>>


(0 Feb 2017) SealPhyllisandPup.jpgFamous Tagged Elephant Seal Returns After Record-shattering Swim

 by Peggy Townsend

It was a tense two weeks for researchers at the Dan Costa Lab at UC Santa Cruz.

On New Year's Eve, a satellite tag on a 1,200-pound female elephant seal named Phyllis fell silent.

Phyllis-named after the late Phyllis Sooy, a go-getter philanthropist from South Carolina-had set a record for swimming past the International Date Line and almost to Japan on her eight-month foraging journey. Then, 683 miles from home on her return trip to Año Nuevo, Phyllis stopped transmitting her location.

About 15 percent of tagged elephant seals die or are eaten by predators on their annual feeding adventure, according to UC Santa Cruz Ph.D. student Rachel Holser.

Researchers' hearts sank.

(0 Feb 2017) Skunk2.jpgCaution: February is Skunk Mating Month

If you wear perfume, you have a lot in common with skunks! The very chemical that makes skunk musk and spray so intense- a thiol, which is 1 sulfur atom hooked to 1 hydrogen atom - is used in perfume (in MUCH smaller concentrations of course!) as odor enhancer. Even if you're not into chemistry, you might be pleased to know that it's chemistry that allows us to wash our dog after he's been skunked and get rid of most of the smell.

As you probably know washing that dog, skunk spray does not wash off. In fact, water intensifies the odor! But what we can do is change its chemical makeup so it can't smell bad. We can do this with deskunking shampoos or homemade peroxide mixes that add oxygen molecules to the sulfur, rendering it neutral.

How do we avoid conflicts with skunks in the first place? Read more>>>>

  Christine: Viewing the Earth with Epic

(0 Feb 2017) Earth.jpgThere is a new place to see pictures of Earth. NASA has a website called Earth Polychromatic Imaging Camera (EPIC). The camera sits on a satellite called DSCOVR. EPIC takes a photo hourly from April to October and every two hours the other months. 

This website is fun. You can rotate the Earth to see various views. You can change from regular views to enhanced color. There is a magnifying glass that allows you to zoom in on any part of the picture. There is a gallery of interesting photos and animations. Photos are easily downloaded.

 This is a website that is fun for rummaging. Take a look around. Kids would love this site. Mine did.

Christine Cockey is a local mom and scientist who researches what's happening in the world of science and makes science easier to understand.  Keep up with her latest articles at


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  "Screenagers: Growing up in the Digital Age"

(0 Feb 2017) Screenagers3.jpgThe Boys and Girls Clubs of Santa Cruz County is hosting a free movie screening of the documentary "Screenagers: Growing up in the Digital Age" on Thursday, February 23 at 7p.m. at Santa Cruz High School. Adults and teens and pre-teens will gain insights into the impacts and challenges of "Screen Time" and leave with ideas to empower kids to best navigate the digital world.

"The event is free but space is limited and tickets are required. Learn more at or call 831-423-3138."

  Dental Hygiene Tips

by Brent Porter, DDS

(0 Feb 2017) DrPorter.jpgHow to Floss Your Teeth
Flossing is an important part of an oral hygiene routine, but research suggests that fewer than half of Americans do so daily. Flossing is simple and only takes an extra couple of minutes per day. Developing a healthy habit of flossing can prevent tooth decay and gum disease, and it may allow you to keep more of your natural teeth as you age. So what is the most effective means of flossing?

  1. Pull the floss taught and slide it between two teeth.
  2. Pull against the side of one tooth, creating a "C-shape" and sliding upwards to remove plaque build-up.
  3. Pull against the opposite tooth edge using the same technique.
  4. Repeat this process for each tooth until all inner surfaces have been flossed.
  5. Don't forget to floss the backs of your molars!

(0 Feb 2017) DentalHealthmonthNational.jpgNeed some extra tips?
The American Dental Association recommends using a strand of floss approximately 18 inches in length. It is important to only use clean floss as you move between the teeth. One of the easiest ways of doing this is by looping each end of the floss around your fingers and beginning to floss with the area closest to one end. If you have never flossed, be sure to ask your dentist for a quick in-person tutorial at your next check-up.

Should I be flossing?
Yes. The ADA recommends that everyone in Santa Cruz floss in order to prevent tooth decay and gum disease. Even if you have restorations such as crowns or veneers, good oral hygiene is essential for prolonging their use and maintaining your oral health.

What types of results should I get from flossing?
You may not experience immediate results from flossing, but over time, your habit will pay off. Flossing can prevent tooth decay, gum disease and tooth loss - all of which can be highly inconvenient and expensive to treat in Santa Cruz. A piece of floss that costs just pennies could save you thousands of dollars later on.

Is there anything else I should be doing in addition to flossing?
Yes. In addition to flossing, you should be adopting proper brushing techniques and visiting your Santa Cruz dentist at least twice per year for examinations and professional dental cleanings.

Electric Brush vs. Manual Brushes
Preventative dentistry is about more than just visiting your Santa Cruz dentist twice yearly for an exam and thorough cleaning. In fact, the majority of your preventative care is done at-home as a part of your normal hygienic routine. Many Santa Cruz residents use manual toothbrushes to remove debris and plaque from their teeth. However, electric brushes have become widely popular in recent years, leaving some to wonder whether one type is better than the other.

Did you know...
the American Dental Association does not lean toward one type of brush over the other? It does, however, acknowledge that people with upper body mobility restrictions may better benefit from an electric toothbrush instead of a manual brush. Regardless of which type you decide is right for you, the ADA recommends that all brushes be soft-bristled so as to avoid abrasions that can lead to decay and receding gum lines.

Which toothbrush should I be using?
You can effectively brush your teeth with either a manual toothbrush or an electric one. However, the rapid movements of motorized versions may be more effective at removing plaque from the teeth and gum line. If you have questions about which toothbrush is best for you, speak with your Santa Cruz dentist about it at your next visit. He or she may recommend an electric brush with an oscillating head or a brush that includes a timer to let you know how long to brush.

What types of results should I be getting from by toothbrush?
Regardless of whether you choose an electric brush or a manual brush, it should be easy for you to maneuver in your mouth and behind your back teeth. If the head is too big, it may not be effectively removing plaque from your teeth.

My electric toothbrush was expensive. Do I need to change it as often as a manual brush?
Yes. Your toothbrush should be replaced at least once every three to four months or whenever you notice fraying. However, most electric toothbrushes come with interchangeable heads. In other words, you won't need to replace the entire device - only the brush itself.

Dr. Brent Porter is a pediatric dentist in Santa Cruz. get more information at or call 831-459-9802.

  Places to Go!

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Santa Cruz Forest School, Meet-N-Greet 2/23


Mount Madonna PreK-12, Open House 2/25

President's Birthdays
February 20


George Washington
b. February 22, 1731
1st president

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Washington's birthday helps us reflect on not just the first president but also the founding of our nation, the values, and what Washington calls in his Farewell Address, the "beloved Constitution and union, as received from the Founders."


Abraham Lincoln
b. February 12, 1809
16th president

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Abraham Lincoln was the 16th president of the United States of America, the leader who successfully prosecuted the Civil War to preserve the nation. He played in key role in passage of the Thirteenth Amendment, which ended slavery in America.

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Sally Forth Every Day!
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  Sally Forth Every Day!
view all details >>
Screening and Discussion: A New Color
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  Screening and Discussion: A New Color
Boys & Girls Clubs of Sata Cruz County, Santa Cruz County Office of Education
Date: 02/16/2017 from 12:00pm to 2:30pm
Ages: ALL
Details: Screening and Discussion: A New Color
Special Instructions: RSVP to Alexandra by Monday 2/13
City: Santa Cruz Phone: (831) 423-3138 view all details >>
Paint by Catapault
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  Paint by Catapault
Date: 07/21/2017 from 5:00pm to 8:00pm
Details: Ever painted with a catapult before? Throw brilliant colors onto a canvas at this epic event where engineering and the arts are
City: Santa Cruz Phone: 831 763 4047 view all details >>
Alla Rustica, Baroque Music
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  Alla Rustica, Baroque Music
Santa Cruz Baroque Festival
Date: Every day (Feb 25-Feb 26)
Ages: All
Details: A great way to introduce the children to joyful baroque music ...
Special Instructions: Saturday February 25 at 7:30pm and Sunday February 26 at 3:00pm
City: Santa Cruz Phone: (831) 459-2159 view all details >>
Kids Yoga (ages 3-5 yrs.)
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  Kids Yoga (ages 3-5 yrs.)
Santa Cruz Children's Museum of Discovery
Date: Every Tues (Feb 21-Mar 28) at 9:30am
Ages: 2-12
Details: A creative mix of yoga, music, art, literature, non-competitive games, and appreciation of nature.
City: Capitola Phone: (888) 424-8035 view all details >>
Native Food Traditions (workshop)
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  Native Food Traditions (workshop)
Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History
Date: 02/19/2017 from 10:00am to 12:00pm
Details: Practice traditional Ohlone culture and food preparations from building fire to processing acorns
City: Santa Cruz Phone: (831) 420-6115 view all details >>
White Shark Research
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  White Shark Research
Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History
Date: 08/17/2017 from 7:00pm to 8:30pm
Details: The biggest challenges for organic farmers and research being done to find environmentally protective solutions that strengthen
Special Instructions: Pre-registration highly recommended.
City: Santa Cruz Phone: (831) 420-6115 view all details >>
Sally Forth Every Day!
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  Sally Forth Every Day!
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Twilight Tour
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  Twilight Tour
San Francisco Zoo
Date: 02/25/2017 from 11:00am to 3:00pm
Details: Experience the sights and sounds of the Zoo after-dark!
City: San Francisco view all details >>
Triple P Seminar: Raising Confident, Competent Children
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  Triple P Seminar: Raising Confident, Competent Children
Triple P, Positive Parenting Program
Date: 02/16/2017 from 6:00pm to 7:30pm
Ages: All
Details: Raising Confident, Competent Children
Special Instructions: All Triple P seminars and workshops are free and open to the public. Register in advance to receive free childcare. To register, call (831) 465-2217 or go online to‐trainings.
City: Santa Cruz Phone: (831) 465-2217 view all details >>
Bird Walk
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  Bird Walk
State Park Henry Cowell
Date: 03/26/2017 at 8:00am
Details: A Walk in Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park with a Park Naturalist
City: Felton view all details >>
Free Spay, Neuter, Microchip: Santa Cruz Residents
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  Free Spay, Neuter, Microchip: Santa Cruz Residents
Santa Cruz County
Date: 02/25/2017 from 10:00am to 2:00pm
Details: Santa Cruz County Animal Shelter (SCCAS) will offer 50 free spay or neuter surgeries and microchips for Santa Cruz County reside
City: Watsonville view all details >>
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