Archive for the ‘Santa Cruz’ Category

Radio Girls, by UCSC alumna Sarah-Jane Stratford

Coming June 14

Coming June 14

Summer is almost upon us, and we should all be starting our beach reading lists.  There is a book called Radio Girls that PopSugar recommends for Best 2016 Summer reading, and you should have it on your own list too. The book was written by UC Santa Cruz alumna Sarah-Jane Stratford, and it is one fantastic read.

Radio Girls is the best kind of historical fiction in that it tells a real story with real people, but from a fictional character’s point of view. I am not sure what I initially expected of this book, but it is definitely much more than I had imagined!

It covers part of the story of the beginning years of the BBC. As I read, I started googling the guest speakers they mentioned and found these very real people to be fascinating, but then I googled Hilda Matheson, a prominent character who works at the BBC in the book, and discovered she was a real person too. After discovering that most of the characters were real-life people, I realized this was actually a fairly true story told from a (fictional) assistant’s point of view. This upped my fascination level even higher than it was when I began the book.

I had never read a book that revolved around radio’s beginnings, and it really brought to light not only how much the world changed with that one invention, but how similar the change was then to these new internet days now. There was so much talk of the world becoming a smaller place, and how everyone with access to a radio could now get so much knowledge they had no access to before, and how it would help people who felt alone in the world. These are all things they say about the internet now. As far as we’ve come in the last 100 years, the radio also gave us a huge jump in technology and knowledge and connection with the world.

Sarah-Jane Stratford

Sarah-Jane Stratford

With this knowledge however comes the question of who will control the dissemination of that knowledge. BBC’s beginnings came at the same time as Women’s Suffrage in the UK, and those grumbling times are remarkably similar to today’s political atmosphere. Women’s Rights also meant loss of the men’s complete control of the world, and they certainly were not happy about it. World War I had just ended, governments were reorganizing, and businesses across borders were forming new alliances. The stock market crash in the US had just as great an effect across the Atlantic. There were at least two opposing views on each of these topics, and control of the BBC meant control of the information the world received.

In the middle of all this is young Maisie, our fictional heroine who lands a low-level job at the BBC hoping to find a husband, but instead finds a career and a new life plan. A life plan she could barely comprehend as it wasn’t even a possibility just a few years before. Along with Maisie comes a fictional storyline starring the BBC, Nestle and Siemens, and the Nazis. As Sarah-Jane Stratford mentions in the very informative Author’s Note, the actual storyline is fictional, but many of the events surrounding it are not, and many similar events were taking place.

Stratford earned a degree in History at UCSC and went on to obtain a Masters in Medieval History at the University of York in England. She wrote this book because of her fascination with Hilda Matheson from the BBC, and this fascination is transferred to the reader. She was an amazing, high-level career woman in times when there was no such thing, and she was a lesbian to boot. She is a fantastic role model to young women even in our own times.

And so is our young Maisie, who follows her dreams of being a reporter with various levels of success. But in Maisie’s case as it is always, it doesn’t matter how many times you fall down, it matters how many times you get back up. She takes her role as reporter very seriously, and even takes on some spy traits as she works to save free speech in the UK and retain women’s new rights as well.

This is an outstanding book that gets better and better as it goes along. I love that I learned so much, I love that I’ve developed a great interest in the amazing Hilda Matheson, and I really enjoyed the fictional plot. The fictional plot doesn’t get going until the second half, but spending the first half on Maisie’s moving up the ranks and learning about all the real-life changes that happened in those few short years was worth it all.

Sarah-Jane Stratford is also the author of two previous books, and has also written articles and essays for a range of publications, including The Guardian, The Boston Globe, The Los Angeles Review of Books, Marie-Claire, Bitch, Slate, Salon, Guernica, and BOMB.

Radio Girls will be released June 14. Many thanks to Penguin Books for an advance copy, this book is FIVE STARS without a doubt.

Jazz on the Wharf

Santa Cruz WharfSunday, April 24, 2016 enjoy jazz on the century old half-mile Santa Cruz Wharf. This free family-friendly event starts at 11:00 a.m. on the Wharf Stage.

The wharf has shopping, dining and recreation.

For adults, a variety of wines will be available for sale, proceeds benefit the Friends of Parks and Recreation.

Parking is available on the Santa Cruz Wharf — parking rates

Jazz on the Wharf
21 Municipal Wharf, Santa Cruz, 95060
(831) 420-5273

04/24/2016 11:00 AM – 5:00 PM
Admission: Free

Santa Cruz Surf Film Festival

 scsff header2
Get ready for the first annual Santa Cruz Surf Film Festival (, taking place at the Del Mar and Rio theatres in Santa Cruz Sept. 24-26, 2014. This will be Santa Cruz’s first-ever multi-evening celebration of the best in surf cinema.
There is a lineup of 19 films from all over the world, ranging from 3 to 90 minutes long, with a total of 6 different screenings.
The focus of the festival is on high-quality documentary storytelling, as well as beautiful cinematography. The result is a carefully curated roster of films that will appeal to surfers and non-surfers alike.
Feature films will include:
  • The world premiere of Oney Anwar: Chasing the Dream, the story of an aspiring pro surfer from a remote Indonesian village, with the film producer in attendance at the screening for Q&A;
  • OUT in the Line-up, a documentary that follows the founder of as he travels around the world surfing and exploring the covering up of homosexuality in surf culture, and includes interviews with well-known pro surfers who have come out of the closet. This film sold out at the San Francisco International LGBT Frameline Film Festival, the Newport Beach Film Festival, and the San Diego Surf Film Festival;
  • Tierra de Patagones, a picaresque tale of two Argentinian brothers who drive and camp their way through Patagonia to experience the wild culture and find waves;
  • Beyond the Surface, a tale of a group of professional women longboarders who visit India and meet the first female Indian surfer. Director and professional surfer Crystal Thornburg-Homcy will be in attendance for a Q&A.
Tickets are on sale now at and there’s an early bird (they’re calling it Dawn Patrol) ticket discount available until Sept. 10th.

Santa Cruz Longboard Surf Contest

Longboarders from across California take over Steamer Lane each Memorial Day weekend, as nearly 200 contestants compete for top honors in divisions from youngsters to surfing legends 70 years of age and over.

The competition May 24-25 begins at 7 a.m. Saturday with heats running through 5 p.m.

Spectators are invited to watch the surfing and enjoy commentary, music, refreshments, T-shirts and raffle drawings.  The awards ceremony follows the last heat Sunday. You need not be present to win at the raffle, but you must be able to pick up your prizes in Santa Cruz. Raffle drawings go on throughout the weekend.

The Santa Cruz Longboard Surf Contest is the longest-running longboard surf contest on the West Coast.

Santa Cruz Longboard Surf Contest
West Cliff Drive & Pelton Avenue
Santa Cruz, CA 95060

Saturday, May 24, 2014 | 6:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Sunday, May 25, 2014 | 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Free to watch from the shore

Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History

Free admission to the Santa Cruz Museum on the the first Friday of every month!

Museum exhibits focus on the natural history of the Santa Cruz region and the Monterey Bay.

Wildlife & Habitats — On display… Owls, Hawks, a Golden Eagle, Reptiles, Amphibians, Foxes, Coyotes, Bobcat, Mountain Lion, Jack Rabbits, Brush Rabbits, Great Blue Heron, Great Egret,
California Quail, Hummingbirds Song Birds, Nests, Calls, Squirrels, Raccoons, Skunks
Monarchs and Banana Slugs

The Garden Learning Center provides examples of sustainable garden techniques and was designed to promote water and soil conservation, increase ecological diversity, and keep harmful chemicals out of our watershed. Interpretive panels throughout the garden illustrate concepts in sustainable gardening, and introduce visitors to common native plants suitable for planting in our region.

Geology of Santa Cruz — The Museum features fossilized bones of whales, dolphins and an entire sea cow skeleton – related to several species of manatee and dugong gliding through different waters today.

Learn about Monterey Bay Marine Life in the touch pool, featuring live local intertidal plants and animals. Adjacent to the touch pool you’ll find examples of shells found on regional beaches. Examples of typical marine and shore birds are also displayed.

Parking is available on Pilkington Avenue or in surrounding streets. From April-September you must get a free parking permit from inside the Museum to park on the museum-side of Pilkington Ave. Public transit, Santa Cruz Metro.

Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History
1305 East Cliff Drive
Santa Cruz, CA 95062

Friday, February 7, 2014
10:00 am – 5:00 pm

Free admission also on:  03/07, 04/04, 05/02, 06/06

Missing [NOW FOUND] since May 21 on way to Santa Cruz



David McAllister


Happily, as is the case with most missing 21 year old men, David is now home with his mother safe and sound, having merely suffered from a huge lapse in judgement (a common affliction with 21 year old boys).  His mother Debbie thanks everyone in the community from the bottom of her heart for reaching out to her with thoughts, prayers, and offers of help.  We at Metblogs are quite relieved to know this is no longer a missing persons case, and would like to remind all young men and women out there that being an adult sometimes means you still need to check in with your parents.


David Logan McAllister was last seen on Monday, May 21st at 5pm in Santa Clara, heading over to Santa Cruz to an unspecified beach. He called another friend at 9:42pm to say he was driving over to Santa Cruz.  He drives a black 2007 Ford Fusion, license plate [redacted].  Verizon is reporting no outbound calls or texts from his phone since May 21, however someone accessed the web on his iPhone May 24  at 1:37am

I have known David’s mother for most of my life, and have known David to be an outstanding young man who loves his family, and enjoys telling stories of the time he spends with his grandmother. I find it highly unlikely that he has left on his own without contacting anyone.

If you are in the Santa Cruz area or anywhere in between SC and San Jose, please be on the look out for his abandoned black Ford Fusion or David himself.  Missing Person reports have been filed with the SJPD and SCPD, but missing 21 year old males do not have highest priority.  We need the public to help find him.  Detective Alfonso Rodriguez [redacted] has now been assigned to the case. Please call if you have any information.


David is 6 feet tall, and 185 pounds, Dark Brown Hair, Blue eyes. He drives a black 2007 Ford Fusion, license plate [redacted]. I have never seen him without a smile and a helping hand for anyone who needs it.



David McAllister and his mother, Debbie

Today is DURBIN DAY in Santa Cruz

American Idol: One of the four singers was cut from the show. To say that I was surprised at the outcome is an understatement. The first clue that something was wrong was when Lauren Alaina was the first contestant to be deemed safe. Excuse me! Nice singer, nice girl, but not, in my opinion, good enough to be an American Idol. And then when the snarky Haley Reinhardt was chosen I began to wonder if Idol might be playing with us. Cut Scotty McCreery or James Durbin? Seriously? I was waiting for Ryan Seacrest to put on his sad face and then announce that all four were safe! Sadly, the joke was on us. James Durbin would be going home! Home to Santa Cruz where Durbin Day would have to be canceled. After the show Twitter and other sites were set ablaze when fans expressed their disbelief and outrage. American Idol must have felt that heat, and Durbin Day is Back On!

Santa Cruz Beach Bandstand

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Durban Day Schedule of Events

The Good Heart returns to nearby theaters

Brian Cox stars in The Good Heart

Brian Cox stars as a misanthropic bartender in The Good Heart. Photo courtesy of Magnolia Pictures.

The Good Heart, which debuted in the US on opening night at Cinequest 20, is returning to the bay area in what looks to be a general theatrical release to the art film market. The film is currently playing at the Opera Plaza Cinema in San Francisco (through Thursday only), and opens in Santa Cruz at the Nickelodeon on May 21.

Reviews for the film are mixed, and in fact there are some weaknesses: shock scenes may be played to strong, and Paul Dano as Lucas doesn’t seem to know just how out-of-touch to play his character; but Brian Cox as difficult, disrespectful, disgruntled, and disreputable bar-owner Jacques makes the film worthwhile. If your choice is exploding robots or this imperfect, but enjoyable, independent film, take the drive to see this one.

Tsunami May Reach the Santa Cruz Harbor

The weather service is warning that a Tsunami, caused by the 8.8 earthquake in Chile, may reach the California coast

Special Weather Statement

The Santa Cruz Harbor Patrol has put up notices advising boat owners of the high tide.

People are asked to stay away from beaches and shorelines.

Surfing is not advised.

The advisory includes the Bay Area counties:

San Francisco, Santa Cruz, San Mateo, Marin, Monterey, Contra Costa, Napa, Sonoma, Santa Clara, and Alameda.

Pacific Tsunami Warning Center

Santa Cruz National Weather Service

Tornado Warning for Santa Clara County

The National Weather Service issued a Tornado Warning for Santa Clara County. This included the city of Morgan Hill and Santa Cruz County.

* at 202 PM PST… National Weather Service Doppler radar indicated
a severe thunderstorm capable of producing a tornado moving
northeast at 35 mph. – * until 230 PM PST – This storm may produce quarter size hail.

The first that I heard about a possible tornado was on twitter. abc7newsBayArea. I was not notified by ALERTSCC. So obviously Santa Clara County does not consider a looming tornado enough of a life altering threat to send out the town crier.

I would like to ask San José Mayor Chuck Reed if we will only be alerted after the roof blows off?

Precautionary/preparedness actions:

The safest place to be during a tornado is in a basement. (not many in San José) Get under a
workbench or other piece of sturdy furniture. If no basement is
available… seek shelter on the lowest floor of the building in an
interior hallway or room such as a closet. Use blankets or pillows to
cover your body and always stay away from windows.

If in Mobile homes or vehicles… evacuate them and get inside a
substantial shelter. If no shelter is available… lie flat in the
nearest ditch or other low spot and cover your head with your hands.

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