By Noel Smith
The Rancho Del Mar Shopping Center finally was being upgraded but at the cost of several businesses having to close to make way for the rebuilding and renovating the areas where they are now located by the center’s owner, TRC. These businesses included Erik’s DeliCafe, Baskin-Robbins, Showtime Pizza, Le Chef Kitchenware ‘n More and Sofia’s Taqueria.
Aptos Village began to rapidly take shape in 2017, beginning with the Apple Barn being preserved and moved into place.
There will be 69 residential units available beginning in 2018 varying from one-bedroom condos to 3-bedroom townhomes to larger 3-bedroom “cluster homes.” Phase One, due to the continuing dry weather, is coming together at a rapid rate.
The Aptos La Selva Fire District Board let Fire Chief Jon Jones go due primarily to a 100 % vote of “No-Confidence” by the Fire Fighters union. Jones’ request for a continuation of his contract for another 2 years was not accepted by the board and Ron Prince is now serving as the interim chief.
SCCAL Football is no more with the schools now in two different leagues with Aptos competing in the Monterey Bay League Gabilan Division. The Aptos Mariners lost only one game in the division to the league champion Salinas Cowboys.
Rain Storms battered Aptos in January and February washing out the culvert under Valencia Road between Trout Gulch and Valencia School Roads in January causing the closing of Valencia Road on January 23. On February 10, Valencia school was closed and the student body moved into three separate locations; Mar Vista Elementary School for the kindergarten classes, Cabrillo College for 1-3rd grades, and Aptos High School for 4th-6th grades plus the special classes for the remaining four months of the school year.
The venerable Aptos / Seacliff Beach landmark, the cement ship Palo Alto, began to break apart due to the pounding of the seemingly endless series of 2017’s storms and the 80 years of constant waves breaking against it. The ocean will eventually have its way turning the cement ship into just grains of sand on the beaches of Monterey Bay
When Jack O’Neill passed away Santa Cruz lost a legend. Besides his success as a businessman, in 1996 he began a non-profit organization called O’Neill Sea Odyssey, which provides students with hands-on lessons in marine biology and has hosted about 100,000 children since it started.
The county’s musical stage presentations included My Fair Lady by Aptos High School, Peter Pan by the Christina Youth Theater and Cabrillo Stage with stellar productions of The Addams Family and Beauty and the Beast.
County road repair costs from the storms of 2017 went over $100 million.
The Santa Cruz Symphony and Santa Cruz Shakespeare in The Grove at DeLaveaga Park both added tremendously to the level of the arts in our community… then there was Viva La Lehrer to somewhat bring it back to earth.
The Aptos High School Robotics Team (Watsonville Firefighters Seal Team 1272) on Sunday June 25, in Long Beach, CA won the MATE (Marine Advanced Technology Education) International ROV (remotely operated vehicle) competition. They took first place overall, beating more than 60 teams from all over the world including Russia, Southeast Asia, Hong Kong, Canada, the United Kingdom, and the Middle East.
Recycled Water has become a topic of controversy for the Soquel Creek Water District as the best place to put the facility is next to the District offices on Soquel Drive but the neighbors won’t be convinced that it’s safe or quiet enough for that location.
Aptos has a big heart as witnessed by Caroline’s Thrift Shop and Twin Lakes Church’s World’s Biggest Garage Sale.
Finally, Aptos celebrated its Fourth of July tradition with the 56th “World’s Shortest Parade,” with Leonardo Santana, owner of Manuel’s Mexican Restaurant, serving as Grand Marshall.
Happy New Year! From all of us at Time Publishing Group, Inc.