Ask Nicole: Positive Parenting Awareness Month – A time to renew, refresh and recharge

This January, Santa Cruz County is celebrating Positive Parenting Awareness Month for the seventh year in a row, and several other counties in California are joining in — Inyo, Napa, Mendocino, Sonoma and possibly more!

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Reflections on my sixth year as your County Supervisor

As I begin each new year as your County Supervisor, I like to report back in this column on some of the things we’ve accomplished because of your partnership and communication of priorities.

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The role of the Federal Reserve

The Federal Reserve was formed in 1913 when President Woodrow Wilson signed the Federal Reserve Act. The law created an independent agency, the Board of Governors, and 12 regional Federal Reserve Banks throughout the country.

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Around Aptos — January 2019

Sign your business up today to be a part of our 34th annual Business Showcase, to be held at Seascape Beach Resort on Feb. 20. This Showcase is a great way for businesses and community groups to network with each other and with our residents. This is the original business showcase in Santa Cruz County. Call the Aptos Chamber today at 688-1467 to find out more information, mark your calendars for Feb. 20, and be a part of this great community event.

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Reflections on my fifth year as your County Supervisor

As I begin each new year as your County Supervisor, I like to report back in this column on some of the things we’ve accomplished because of your partnership and communication of priorities. Here is a very small overview of what we accomplished in 2017: Community Meetings: In 2017, we’ve held 71 open office hours in Aptos, Corralitos, La Selva Beach and Watsonville and held or attended nearly 50 community and neighborhood meetings in Seacliff, La Selva Beach, Aptos, Watsonville, Capitola and Corralitos. In addition, I’ve written over 50 columns in local papers and neighborhood newsletters and sent a number of e-newsletters to communicate with our district about county happenings.

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Aptos real estate update — 2017

In 2016, total volume for Santa Cruz County (SCC) was $15.6B on 1,754 home sales, 200 townhome sales and 285 condo sales. The Median Home sales price was $785K. In 2017 (through Dec. 15), total SCC volume is $16.5B on 1,756 homes sales, 193 townhome sales and 277 condo sales. The Median Home sales price is now at $840K, a 7 percent increase year over year. So, number of sales is flat but sales revenues are up $1 billion in our county.

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Fine-tuning moves for 2018

Last month we wrote about a couple of year-end money moves to make. Now that we’ve rung in the New Year, below are a couple of areas to look to fine-tune your financial life for 2018.

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Black Panthers in Aptos

The late 1960s and 1970s were a tumultuous time in America. The Vietnam War, serial killers, Civil Rights marches and the Black Power Movement were plastered across the nightly television news. Aptos was to get our own, very up-close-and-personal incident with the Black Power movement.

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APTOS History Corner

Before Rancho Del Mar and Safeway came to Aptos, that property was used for growing sugar beets and cauliflower. State Park Drive was lined on both sides with huge cypress trees. Highway 1 was a four-lane highway with no overpass or on-and-off ramps. Aptos was a small town but was getting ready for a growth spurt and the Cabrillo College Aptos campus was just being planned.

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Teaching children financial lessons during the holidays

The holiday season is upon us! 2017 has flown by and we are only weeks away from Thanksgiving. Friday, Nov. 24 means a mad dash to be the first in line at your favorite store for Black Friday shopping, or maybe you shop from the convenience of your living room on Cyber Monday. Either way, the holiday season can turn into a stressful time of juggling family obligations, parties, and last minute to do’s before you ring in the New Year. However, the holiday season can also be an opportune time to teach your kids lessons about giving and basic financial literacy. Below are a couple of ideas to consider.

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Ask Nicole: Preparing for the holidays in a blended family

Holidays can be a mixed bag full of love, laughter, joy, stress, anxiety, and full-blown tantrums. And I’m just talking about the adults. Expectations about gifts, traditions and spending time together can make the holidays challenging and overwhelming for many families, even when relationships are harmonious. When relationships between immediate, extended, separated, or blended family members are strained, it requires extra effort to communicate effectively so that children remember the holidays as a special time with family and loved ones. This monthly column provides tips for anyone who is helping raise children, based on the world-renowned Triple P – Positive Parenting Program, available to families in Santa Cruz County. If you have a question or idea for a future column, please email me at [email protected]

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County changing Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) rules

There is no question it is very difficult to afford housing in our county. One has to earn more than $70,000 to afford the rent of a two-bedroom apartment locally and our median home prices are hovering around $850,000.

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Don’t need your annual ‘RMD’ for living expenses?

Age 70.5 is a milestone birthday in the United States. It’s also a birthday most people dread because Uncle Sam comes knocking, looking for you to pay taxes on retirement money that you’ve been diligently saving and deferring. If you are like most who reach this magical age, you probably factor in your anticipated required minimum distribution (“RMD”) that you must take from your various retirement accounts each year into your overall living expense needs. However, if you are one who truly doesn’t need the money to pay for everyday expenses, here are a couple of options for you to consider.

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90 years of serving the community

The Aptos Chamber was more like a small-town improvement association. The initial name was the Aptos Community Club. The first item of business was to get a fire engine for the town and to obtain all night telephone service. The next item of work was to celebrate the opening of the new bridge into town which replaced an old wooden bridge with a suicide curve in the middle. The chamber planned the ceremony and a big parade.

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Claus Spreckels in Aptos

The industrialization of Aptos as a lumber town and competition from new hotels in Santa Cruz, Capitola and Monterey, caused Spreckels to close his Aptos Hotel. In 1896, Spreckels tore down the Aptos Hotel and used the materials to build the factory and town of Spreckels near Salinas. He moved several whole buildings from Aptos to Spreckels.

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A most amazing man, and rich, too: Claus Spreckels | by John Hibble

The first owners of Aptos were the King and Queen of Spain. The Catholic Church and the Army administered their holdings.

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Caution, slow down for home loans

I’m not sure who to blame for just how fast consumer services are rendered. I think with the advent and revelation of the seven-minute abs work out video companies have pushed for faster is better. I think faster is sometimes better … I mean, I go fast in my car and that’s kind of cool and getting information off my blazing fast internet is useful, but closing a mortgage loan in 10 days sounds … not right! If you’re a seasoned home buyer or a seasoned refinancer then this article might not be for you.

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Reviewing your investments

As we are writing this month’s article, the Dow Jones Industrial Average just crossed over 22,000 for the first time in history (Aug. 2, 2017). Year to date the Dow Jones Industrial Average is up approximately 11.4 percent while the S & P 500 is up approximately 10.61 percent (as of Aug. 1, Source: Morningstar).

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Around Aptos

A wonderful new event has surfaced in our Aptos community thanks to Friends of the Library and Denise Ward, a local resident who also loves to read and to bring community together.

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State transportation funding update

Over the last year, in response to significant declines in transportation funding, the state legislature proposed a number of bills to stabilize funding. Ultimately, in April, the state passed Senate Bill 1, the Road Repair and Accountability Act. The bill focused on providing a steady stream of transportation funding to address the backlog of state and local transportation projects. The legislation combined new diesel and gasoline taxes with vehicle fees and Caltrans efficiencies to fund local and state roadway repairs (including storm damage local matches), public transportation, congested corridors, bike and pedestrian improvements and more. The bill also allows for cities and counties with their own local tax measure (such as our recently passed Measure D) to apply for additional funds.

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Aptos Chamber News

Karen Hibble is co-executive director of the Aptos Chamber of Commerce.

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Finding out your home's value | SERGIO ANGELES Prime Home Loans

Want to know what your house is worth? Log on

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Making housing more affordable in our county | By ZACH FRIEND SANTA CRUZ COUNTY SUPERVISOR

At the local level the county has taken significant steps toward modernizing and improving affordable housing regulations to help encourage the creation of affordable housing.

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Financial planning for single parents | By GARY E. CROXALL, CFP® and SOREN E. CROXALL, CFP®

Raising children can be one of the most rewarding experiences in life. It is also very costly.

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Aptos Real Estate Update — August 2017

A year ago my update showed the median sales price in Aptos at $935,000.

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County facts and budget highlights

The Board of Supervisors recently completed our budget hearings and as part of the hearings we received reports from departments about their goals for the coming year based on Board priorities.

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Qualifying for a housing loan

The second you realize this article is housing-related, like most people your first comment has to be "housing prices are crazy" followed by "I hear people in San Jose are paying over a million for a small two-bedroom home" followed again by "Housing pric

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Something in the water

Gena Rea Timmons is shown on the right. Aptos History Museum archives

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Did you receive a tax refund?

The average refund received was just shy of $3,000 for the 2015 tax year. While it may be tempting to go out and splurge with that money, think about some alternative ways to put your refund dollars to work.

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Preview of the 2017-2018 County Budget

In a recent budget message to the Board, the County Administrative Officer noted that as the county emerged from the Great Recession, the Board has worked to limit the growth of the overall budget while focusing on restoring reserves and investing in key

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The Rio Del Mar Beach Club

Both Seacliff and the Rio Del Mar developments were severely impacted by the depression which started in 1929, the same year the Rio Del Mar Hotel opened.

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Aptos Real Estate Recap

Aptos is a very special place to live and work and I look forward to the second half of 2017!

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County Climate Action Strategy | ZACH FRIEND

While the county works to reduce emissions and keep climate change from getting worse, the Climate Action Strategy presents a set of strategies to address the county’s vulnerabilities to climate change that will occur. The strategies include a broad range

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Non-spouse beneficiaries of IRAs

Gary E. Croxall, CFP® Soren E. Croxall, CFP® Croxall Capital Planning Securities and Advisory Services offered through National Planning Corporation (NPC), member FINRA/SIPC, a Registered Investment Advisor. Consulting and Investment Management offe

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