June 22, 2004
Peggy Townsend: Name Dropping
Sen. McPherson takes a flying leap — for a good causeCalifornia Gov. ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER may be known as the state’s first action-hero politician.
But our own state Sen. BRUCE McPHERSON looks like he might be giving Arnold a run in that category.
Bruce, who has surfed, scuba-dived deep in the ocean, skied expert slopes at Squaw Valley and taken off and landed on the aircraft carrier U.S.S. Constellation, recently made his first skydive from 12,500 feet.
The idea behind the jump was a payoff challenge to students at Los Padres Elementary School, who tripled their scores on the Academic Performance Index test this year.
The challenge started when school Principal MONIKA MACIAS promised to jump into a vat of Jell-O if students beat their previous year’s score on the academic performance test. She also promised to jump out of an airplane — along with the area’s state senator — if kids were able to double their scores.
Adding classes to the after-school program and changing reading comprehension curriculum, the school helped kids do just that.
So last month, Monika, along with Bruce — who has long championed education during his terms in the state Legislature — jumped out of an airplane.
Bruce, who free-fell for 3,000-4,000 feet, said it was an "awesome" experience. In fact, photos of the jump show Bruce smiling all the way down to the ground.
He didn’t tell his wife, MARY MCPHERSON, about the jump until after the event.
A Rio adventureIn the late ’70s, friends PATRICK DUGGAN and RICK BAIOCCHI decided to open a restaurant on Rio del Mar Beach.
They had gotten to know each other at San Jose State and had run a steakhouse in South Lake Tahoe called the Bella Union, but they wanted something here. Something that would specialize in fresh seafood along with the steaks.
Twenty-five years later, the pair are celebrating the silver anniversary of Cafe Rio, a Santa Cruz County institution. Today and tomorrow, they’ll be offering a 25 percent discount on selected entrees to celebrate.
Their secret to longevity?
It’s consistency in food, a good staff and loyal support from the community, Patrick said.
Fish and meats, prepared by executive chef RICHARD ALMAZ, are cooked simply with chutneys, salsas and sauces made with fruit, herbs and spices to highlight flavors. Some of the staff — overseen by managers JEAN HARRISON, ANNIE SAKAMOTO and LAURIE WHITE — have been with the restaurant for more than a decade, Patrick said.
If you want to help the restaurant celebrate, make a reservation for the anniversary dinners by calling 688-8917.
Building a better Valley - ARTThe Hammer family has always been known for its strong support of the San Lorenzo Valley.
Recently, the family made its support known in a big way.
It announced a $25,000 gift to create a new endowment fund at the Community Foundation of Santa Cruz County. The endowment, called the Hammer Family Fund, will be available for nonprofit organizations serving the San Lorenzo Valley.
"My family has been in the San Lorenzo Valley for 100 years," said MARY HAMMER. "We’ve been active in the community, in a hands-on way, but didn’t have the resources to make large financial contributions."
However, when her aunt died and left the family an inheritance, they decided to do something that would last, according to Mary.
The fund will be part of a larger endowment called the Fund for the Future of San Lorenzo Valley, an action that drew praise from former state Assemblyman FRED KEELEY and also from the Valley Women’s Club, which has been working to increase support for the fund.
Club vice president BETH BENJAMIN and board member DONNA ZIEL recently held a public information session to spread the word. Attending were MARK STONE, ANN WISE, JAY BAKER, SANDRA LOVE, WAYNE and MARG WILLIAMS, VICKI and BILL DYES, JOHN and JEANNIE KEGEBEIN, JAY BAKER, BARBARA KENNEDY and LYNDA PHILLIPS.
Both Beth and Donna said the endowment was a chance for the Valley to build for the future.
If you’d like more information about the fund, call 477-0800 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Coffee break - ARTImagine being stationed in a war-torn country where temperatures climb into the triple digits, sand fleas give you diseases and you can’t get a decent cup of coffee.
Well, DAN MCCOURT, owner/CEO of Surf City Coffee Company, couldn’t do anything about the first two items, but he certainly could do something about the third.
Dan recently sent 100 pounds of his Signature Blends Coffee to Tikrit, Iraq, as a gesture of support for U.S. troops. A bevy of Surf City coffee mugs and baseball caps accompanied the shipment.
Dan, an armed-forces veteran himself, said he wanted to give a bit of our paradise to the troops.
"Anything that offers a bit of respite to our soldiers during this harrowing time is the least we can do," Dan said.
Sgt. CHRIS SACHS of the 557th Medical Company said troops were delighted by the offering.
"We were not expecting such generosity," wrote Sgt. Sachs, who noted that not only did troops immediately brew up the coffee, but wore the hats so much with their uniforms that their ranking officers had to tell them to stop.
Now, wrote the sergeant, "You guys need to come to Kuwait and teach those folks how to surf."
Brownie points - ARTThe girls in Brownie Troop 1074 may be young, but they are already making a difference in people’s lives.
Recently, members of the troop, who hail from Valencia, Rio del Mar and Bradley schools, donated $750 to New Horizons School, which helps homeless children.
The troop garnered $1,050 from their annual cookie sales and decided that after an end-of-year party at Pacific Edge climbing gym, they would donate the rest of the money to the school.
The thoughtful girls are KARA JONSSON, KENDRA GARRISON, MADDIE CASTEEL, MADISON BARRETO, ALEXANDRIA BEAUDOIN, KENDALL BIVENS, ANGELA BLACK, SIERRA FERREIRA, JAMIE FERRELL, TAYLOR GUY, MADDISON MONTANA, MEGAN PRYCE, MARIAH ROJAS, MIAMI VARGAS and AVERI BARRETT.
Ojai lightsUC Santa Cruz had a strong presence at the recent Ojai Music Festival.
Not only is UCSC alum KENT NAGANO music director of the Ojai Festival, but he also premiered EDWARD HOUGHTON’s new transcription of Johannes Ockeghem’s Missa Ecce ancilla domini at the event.
Edward is dean of UCSC’s Arts Division and professor of music. The San Francisco-based choral group Chanticleer performed the piece.
Edward’s transcription was used after Kent — who was then music director of the German Symphony Orchestra — juxtaposed Edward’s transcription of Ockeghem’s Renaissance mass Missa Au Travail suis with Mahler’s Ninth Symphony in a daring programming choice four years ago.
The concert was a success.
Edward has been translating works by 15th-century composers into modern musical notations for the past 25 years. The system of musical notation, like other living languages, has changed over the course of five centuries, according to Edward. His work interprets and supplies missing information like text and tempo indications to the work.
Edward also is preparing 40 works known as the Chigi Codex for publication by the University of Chicago Press.
Kent is currently musical director of the Los Angeles Opera, Berkeley Symphony and the Deutsches Symphonie.
Cellar-brationThe view was wonderful and the wines were even better when JUNE SMITH hosted a reserve wine tasting from the cellars of her and her late husband Jim for CHRISTINA VALENTINO and MICHAEL HOULEMARD.
Christina and Michael were successful bidders for the event, which was auctioned off at the Aptos Chamber of Commerce’s annual dinner. June and her husband owned Roudon-Smith Winery before their retirement.
The pair gathered friends PAT PFREMMER, DICK TIFFIN, RACHEL WEDEEN and JESS and LAURA BROWN for the event, which was used to commemorate Pat’s birthday.
Executive chef VICTOR PUGH prepared sumptuous hors d’oeuvres to accompany a noble Petite Sirah, a stately Zinfandel and an elegant Pinot Noir — all from the ’80s, according to June.
A chocolate birthday cake from Gayle’s was the perfect finishing touch when paired with a well-aged 1979 Cabernet.
In one of those poignant moments, Pat also learned the Pinot came from grapes grown on the RALPH COX vineyard in Bonny Doon. Ralph was Pat’s good friend until his death.
Loads of love
In the African country of Malawi, 15 percent of the adult population is infected with the HIV virus.
It is a country filled with orphaned children, widows and families headed by children. One-third of the population is on the verge of starvation.
Which is why, say members of Trinity Lutheran Church, it decided to send 65 pounds of home health-care supplies to the country for distribution to those living with HIV.
Sheets, towels, washcloths, gauze pads, cotton balls, scissors, gloves and calamine lotion were among the items included in the care packages which the congregation dubbed "Love in a Box."
Heading the project were pastor KARLA NORTON, coordinator BARBIE SCHALLER and mission committee chair LEE DUFFUS.
Trinity plans to assemble a second kit later this summer, as part of a nationwide Presbyterian mission.
Good sportsIt was competitive and cooperative afternoon when members of the Santa Cruz Police Department and the Neary Lagoon Housing Cooperative met for a soccer game last month.
The game was played at the Santa Cruz High football field and was enjoyed by players and spectators alike, according to police officer JIM HOWES. It was followed by a barbecue with food donated by a variety of local businesses and cooked by FAUSTINO LOPEZ, DOMINGO OGARRIO, JOSE SANTANA, EDUARDO CRUZ and MAGDALENO PEREZ.
On the Santa Cruz PD team were SAUL RODRIGUEZ, CARTER JONES, KARINA CECENA, ELIZABETH BUTLER, DOMINIQUE DELUCA, PATRICIA MORRIS, BRENT NORTHRUP and JUAN GALLEGOS.
On the Neary team were EDGAR GONZALEZ, OSCAR GONZALEZ, ADOLFO GONZALEZ, JOSE CABRERA, ARMANDO ANAYA, JOSE L. HERNANDEZ JR., JOEY ZAMBRANO, ANTHONY PONCE, YESENIA CHAVEZ, EDWIN CHAVEZ, CYNTHIA MATA, LUCERO BECERRIL, JULIE GARCIA, JOSE CHAVEZ, JOSE ESQUEDA, RUDY CHAVEZ, ELMER FLORES and CLAUDIO SANDOVAL.
Coaches were DORA SAENZ and FAUSTINO LOPEZ.
Taking a breakDAVID BEAUDRY broke free from his gang ties in Los Angeles and began working with kids.
He put his energy into the Street Church, Calvary Chapel and Barrios Unidos. In 2001, he founded For the People, a grassroots organization that works with youth in the Boulder Creek area who are caught up in white-power gangs.
That’s all about to stop.
For two to three months, that is.
David was recently awarded the Social Justice Sabbatical award by the Vanguard Public Foundation. David will be given $12,000, with the requirement being that he refrain from all work — volunteer or not — for two to three months to pursue other courses in his life.
David plans to study Celtic traditions and spirituality during his time off. The knowledge will help him in working with white power gangs, he said.
Nu officersOmega Nu president JANICE ALLEGRI has passed the gavel to NANCY JACKSON at the club’s annual installation dinner at Peachwood’s Restaurant.
Janice is now vice president of the club, along with officers SUSAN BOSSO, recording secretary; SARA DEROUCHEY, corresponding secretary; GILLIAN WESTBROOK, treasurer; DONNA BADAWI, scholarship chair; LISA SIBLEY, charity chair; ELLEN UYEDA, publicity chair; and LAURA RODRIGUES, guard.
The group’s annual fall rummage sale is set for Oct. 4-5 at the Civic Auditorium.
Comcast scholarsMARGO SEAMSTER of Georgiana Bruce Kirby Prep School and WHITNEY DAMIANI of Aptos High have been awarded $1,000 scholarships from Comcast. The awards are part of the Leaders and Achievers national scholarship program. More than 1,000 students will be recognized across the country with these scholarships.
Valued volunteerBRENDAN DALY has been given a Presidential Freedom Scholarship for giving more than 300 hours of volunteer time to the City of Santa Cruz’s Junior Lifeguard program.
Brendan is a junior at Pacific Collegiate School and was a captain in the Junior Lifeguard program, teaching water safety skills to scores of children. He was voted Most Valuable Captain by the program and is currently working as a beach lifeguard in Santa Cruz. He is a member of the Santa Cruz Longboard Union and captain of his school’s sailing team.
Science whizzesSeventh-graders ERIC YOUNG and FREDERICK MEYER are best friends.
They are also winners at the California State Science Fair in Los Angeles.
Eric and Frederick, who attend Santa Cruz Montessori Wavecrest School, won category awards. Eric won first place in the Applied Mechanics/Structures and Mechanisms with a project called "Flying Trains: Magnetically Levitated Transportation" and Frederick received an honorable mention in Electricity and Electronics with a project titled "An Analysis of Active vs. Passive Electronic Filters."
A in environment - ARTStudents at Gateway School put their environmental studies into action with projects that ranged from picking up trash to teaching the value of re-using.
Each class in the school made promises in April to complete some environmental action and announced their results in June.
LIZ CASS, DIANA ROTHMAN and PAT MINSLOFF’s kindergartners picked up trash in their play yard. JENNIFER MACINNES’ first grade, TESS WEISBARTH’s third grade and LYDIA PARKER’s sixth grade picked up trash in neighborhood parks. Fifth- through eighth-grade students and MERLE FROSHMAN’s Library Club raised funds through bake sales to help protect marine mammals and conserve rainforest and oceans. They raised $1,500.
CINDY HAUG’s fourth-graders went all out, collecting cans and bottles, selling jewelry and setting up a lemonade stand to raise money for the Nature Conservancy. The lemonade sale also forced participants to learn about the value of re-using items. Lemonade was 75 cents without a cup and 25 cents if you brought a reusable cup. Seventy percent of kids brought their own cups.
The class raised $557, which they presented to DAN DORFMANN for the Nature Conservancy.
Golf goes a long wayMembers of the Valley Gardens Ladies Golf Club took a swing at breast cancer recently. The club was one of a number of sites nationwide to take part in a "Rally for a Cure" golf tournament.
Sixty golfers turned out for the event, with PAT DAVIS winning a 9 wood for her Closest to the Pin shot and JEAN HANSEN winning the Longest Drive award. Other players landing on the green were JOYCE GOLDSWORTHY, MAEVE DEVLIN and PAT DAVIS.
Some $1,250 was raised for the cause, with SANDY WOODRUFF, owner of Valley Gardens, donating $100. JOANN BRAU and KATHY GRATTON co-chaired the event with assistance from LUNA ELLIOTT, MAEVE DEVLIN, SUNNY ROBINSON, ROSE BRUMBAUGH, BOBBIE POKRIOTS, EILEEN PETERS and LINDA NICHOLSON.
Mother-daughter momentJune was a month for caps and gowns for CLAIRE SHORENSTEIN and her mom, Dr. ROSALIND SHORENSTEIN.
Rosalind donned a green velvet and red cowel to represent her M.D. degree from Stanford University School of Medicine for her induction as a Fellow of the American College of Physicians at the group’s annual session in New Orleans.
Daughter Claire wore a pink velvet and blue cowel in honor of her master’s in music degree in oboe performance from the Yale School of Music.
Claire is enjoying a few weeks at home before moving to New York City. Rosalind and her husband, MICHAEL SHORENSTEIN, meanwhile, are back at work at their internal medicine practice.
Academic awardELLEN BEEBE of Santa Cruz has been accepted into the National Society of Collegiate Scholars. She attends Willamette University.
Got a story to tell, an event to report, an award to announce? Write to Peggy Townsend at P.O. Box 638, Santa Cruz, CA 95061; fax to 429-9620, e-mail to mailto:email@example.com?subject=Peggy Townsend: Name Dropping or call 429-2488.
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