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  Santa Cruz Parent Santa Cruz, CA

September 15, 2016
About Choices

2016 Fair

Educational Choices in Santa Cruz County

About School Choice

Monterey Bay Birding Festival
Click to view our Business Directory
  About Choices

(A A Sep 16) FairGirlBunny.jpgThis is the week of THE FAIR! Go! It's fun, informative and entertaining. Where else can you ride the ferris wheel or a pony, view bonsai, art, prize roses, lego creations, quilts, chickens, sheep, goats, pigs, cows, choose delicious fair food and be entertained by a variety of performers.

We in Santa Cruz County are blessed with many quality educational environments and make educational decisions for our children locally.  Not so for too many communities in our nation as measured by quality and choice, so what can we do to make a difference for the greater good of our nation.  I offer a variety of opinions and facts for your consideration in "About School Choice."

Teacher and mentor, master teacher Irvin Lindsey of OSE FUN, known to many students and parents for almost 20 years for his inspiring science classes is offering Physics & Chemistry Fun with Irvin at two locations beginning in October.  Irvin's classes tend to fill quickly. Email him at for an informative poster/application.

(A A Sep 16) BirdPurpleFinch.jpgAre you preparing for the Watsonville Bird Festival?  It has become a famous event among bird enthusiasts and here it is right in our own backyard next weekend although of course the birds are always around for our enjoyment.  We present some links to make your birding fun and easier.

(A A Sep 16) seaotterbaby.jpgSea Otter Awareness Week is being celebrated at Seymour Marine Center all week long, Sept. 18-24.  Stop in to learn more about our adorable, playful animal friends with our interactive learning stations, arts and crafts!

(A Buttons) Button_Weekend.jpgPlease recommend our newsletter to new friends so they won't miss a few tidbits of wisdom from our author contributors, and as always our many fun events! We cannot fit them all into this newsletter.  There are more on the online calendar.

Enjoy your weekend with the family! Parmalee


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  2016 Fair

2016 Fair Schedule at a Glance

2601 East Lake Avenue  Watsonville, CA 95076 -  directions

Fair Hours:

Wednesday - Friday Noon to 11:00 PM
Saturday 10:00 AM to 11:00 PM
Sunday 10:00 AM to 10:00 PM

Getting Around

  • Download & print a fairgrounds map here
  • 2016 Metro Fair schedule will be posted soon!

Daily Admission

Adults 13 to 61 $12.00
Children 6 to 12 $6.00
Under 6 Free
Seniors 62 and better $11.00
Parking $5.00 per vehicle

Daily Event Schedules 

Thursday - September 15
Friday - September 16
Saturday - September 17
Sunday - September 18

2016 Entertainment

Thursday 9/15 Mickey Guyton
Friday 9/16 Great White
Saturday 9/17 James Durbin
Sunday 9/18 Industria Del Amor


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  Educational Choices in Santa Cruz County

(A A Sep 16) school-choice.jpgParents in Santa Cruz County have a multitude of quality programs when it comes to selecting the best educational environment for each of their children and are pro-active participants in their children's education.  Choices are traditional neighborhood schools, charter schools, special needs programs within public schools, private schools with dedicated missions, public school home schooling options, charter school home-schooling and private school home-schooling, and parochial schools. While there have been some kerfuffles over the years, I have observed a "settling in" to accepting change, a visible, more quiet respect for each other. 

Now that our children are back in school, we parents have a heightened interest in making sure the environment is the right choice for the coming year.  We watch for signals by the expressions on their faces. At the dinner table we talk about "what happened in school today that was interesting" and listen when they share what they're really thinking as we tuck them in. 

(A A Sep 16) StudentScience.jpgWe want this to be a good year for them. If our child is in a classroom situation and we see stress or worrisome signs, we reach out to their teacher first.  If in a home-schooling situation, we connect with a support system --either charter or public school professionals or experienced parent home-schoolers. We know it is always possible to make a change whenever it is needed, at least in Santa Cruz County.

One article prompted my musings on the vibrant educational climate available to us in Santa Cruz County.  Not everyone in our country is so fortunate.  Think about that when voting. Who will represent your family values and principles?


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  About School Choice

(A A Sep 16) SuccessAcademy.jpgReversing Black Unemployment and Poverty Depends on Education

by Thomas Sowell September 13, 2016 

The most popular political panaceas for helping black communities do not have a successful track record. Ordinarily, it is not a good idea to base how you vote on just one issue. But if black lives really matter, as they should matter - like all other lives - then it is hard to see any racial issue that matters as much as education. Read more>>>>>

(A A Sep 16) millennials-school-choice-poll.jpgPoll: Latino and Millennial Voters on School Choice

by Israel Ortega January 29, 2016

Three-quarters of likely Latino and Millennial voters support school choice and are more likely to back a political candidate that advocates expanding educational freedom for parents and children, a new poll has found. Read more>>>>>

Will Restricting School Choice Help Louisiana?

by Margaret Mire April 4, 2016

A number of bills seek to limit vouchers and charter schools

Although new to office, Governor John Bel Edwards clearly has different ideas about how to improve Louisiana education than former Governor Bobby Jindal. While Governor Jindal was committed to expanding school choice, Governor Edwards has made it clear that he would support measures that would restrict it. Read more>>>>>

(A A Sep 16) SchoolChoice.jpgSchool Choice Year in Review

 by Lennie Jarratt December 30, 2015

A year in review Q&A by Reporter Paul Brennan (formerly of with Jason Bedrick, policy analyst at the Center for Educational Freedom Cato Institute.

What were the three best or most promising developments in educational choice this year? What were the three worst things or most potentially troubling things that happened in educational choice this year? What major developments in educational choice, both positive and negative, should people be watching for in 2016? What role, if any, do you think the issue of educational choice will play in the 2016 election at the national level? Are there any states where you think school choice will an important issue in the elections? How would you characterize the overall state of educational choice in the country at the end of 2015? Read for the answers>>>>>

Here are some articles on providing better educational opportunities for students who are caught in environments offering poor quality education. Whether you agree or disagree with these approaches, I think you will find it heartening that people are taking matters into their own hands on local and state levels. Read several of these articles on educational savings accounts and vouchers.

(A A Sep 16) SchoolChoiceMyths.jpg15 School Choice Myths Expelled by 46 Facts

Policy Brief by COMMONWEALTH FOUNDATION  February 16, 2011

Thousands of children from needy and working-class families are currently trapped in failing schools simply because of where they live. Despite spending nearly $20,000 per student in some of Pennsylvania's chronically underperforming schools, academic achievement remains inadequate. In an attempt to thwart efforts to give children better educational opportunities, the public school establishment is trying to divert the attention of policymakers through a series of oft-repeated myths and half-truths. What follows are the top 15 school choice myths, expelled by 46 facts. Check out the "15 myths">>>>>


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  Monterey Bay Birding Festival

Monterey Bay Birding Festival  Watsonville, California Sep 23 - 25

(A A Sep 16) BirdMallardInFlight.jpgThe Monterey Bay Birding Festival is home to one of the most spectacular birding and wildlife venues in North America. September marks the peak of fall migration, with wintering shorebirds arriving en masse. Warblers and other passerines as well as wintering ducks and other waterfowl are also in abundance. (A A Sep 16) BirdWildTurkey.jpgYou won't want to miss this opportunity to see more than 250 species in one of the world's greatest environments. Join us for Fantastic Field Trips on land and sea, Sensational Speakers, Wonderful Workshops, and much more! Contact 888-909-7829 or

Merlin Bird ID App

Free, instant bird ID help for 400 North American birds.

Macaulay Library

Explore the world's largest archive of wildlife sounds and videos.

All About Bird Anatomy

Explore how birds are built, and learn bird anatomy with Bird Academy's virtual bird.

Complete Bird Checklist of
the Watsonville Wetlands

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Attention Educators: Check Out These Resources

Child planting a garden

Garden Grants Are Back! 

Bird Sleuth will award 10 grants to teachers who want to create or improve bird-friendly, kid-friendly gardens at their schools. Grants range from $500 to $2,000, thanks to our sponsor Alaska Fertilizer.

Learn about eligibility requirements and how to apply.

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Renaissance Faire Weekends
click to view website
  Renaissance Faire Weekends
Northern California Renaissance Faire
Date: Every Su and Sa (Sep 30-Oct 15) from 10:00am to 6:00pm
Details: Pageantry, Revelry, Crafts and Romance
City: Hollister view all details >>
Life on the Ranch: Family Living History Day
click to view website
  Life on the Ranch: Family Living History Day
State Park Wilder Ranch
Date: 11/11/2017 from 11:00am to 3:00pm
Ages: All
Details: Experience the Victorian era!
City: Santa Cruz Phone: (831) 426-0505 view all details >>
California Coastal Cleanup Days!
click to view website
  California Coastal Cleanup Days!
California Coastal Commission
Date: 09/17/2016 from 9:00am to 12:00pm
Details: Help clean up the coast
view all details >>
Pine Needle Basket Making Workshop
click to view website
  Pine Needle Basket Making Workshop
State Park Henry Cowell
Date: Every 2 weeks on Sa (Mar 3-Feb 17)
Details: Learn how to make a basket with local pine needles!
Special Instructions: See different times
City: Felton Phone: 831-335-7077 view all details >>
About Choice
click to view website
  About Choice
view all details >>
Thriller Dance Classes!
click to view website
  Thriller Dance Classes!
City of Santa Cruz
Date: Every day (Sep 17-Oct 22) at 10:00am
Details: Classes on Saturdays so you can Dance the Thriller on October 29th!
City: Santa Cruz view all details >>
About Choice
click to view website
  About Choice
view all details >>
Santa Cruz Sol Festival
click to view website
  Santa Cruz Sol Festival
Santa Cruz Sol Festival
Date: Every day (Sep 17-Sep 18) from 11:00am to 7:00pm
Details: A family-friendly event with live music, activities for the kids, locally made products and food, beer and wine.
City: Felton Phone: 415.256.TIXX view all details >>
About Choice
click to view website
  About Choice
view all details >>
Sea Otter Awareness Week
click to view website
  Sea Otter Awareness Week
Seymour Marine Discovery Center (at Long Marine Lab)
Date: Every day (Sep 23-Sep 30) from 10:00am to 5:00pm
Ages: all ages
Details: Learn more about he vital role that sea otters play in the nearshore ecosystem
Special Instructions: The Seymour Center is closed on September 19.
City: Santa Cruz Phone: (831) 459-3800 view all details >>
About Choice
click to view website
  About Choice
view all details >>
Seafood Foraging Class
click to view website
  Seafood Foraging Class
Adventure Sports Unlimited Adventure Travel
Date: Every day (Feb 9-Feb 11)
Ages: Adults, Kids 6-17 with adult
Details: Great class for the whole family to hunter/gather for a meal and learn about our ocean.
Special Instructions: Check for age suggestions
City: Santa Cruz Phone: (831) 458-3648 view all details >>
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