By Jamie Goldstein, Capitola City Manager
This column is intended to provide the community with an ongoing series of updates about City of Capitola projects and activities of interest. If you have any suggestions for future topics, or feedback, please let me know at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 475-7300.
During construction, Santa Cruz Public Libraries will be offering expanded hours and services at the Live Oak and Aptos Branches. There will be a book drop-off box installed near the Community Center at Jade Street Park. In addition, the Library plans to hold its Friday preschool story-times program at the Porter Memorial Library in Soquel. The Library has also partnered with the Museum of Discovery in the Capitola Mall to offer an afternoon “Make & Explore” class for kids and tweens.
Wharf and Jetty
Plans to rebuild the wharf and jetty with voter-approved Measure F funds are well underway. These projects include reconstruction of the existing jetty immediately east of Capitola Beach. The jetty is an important piece of infrastructure, and plays a critical role in forming Capitola’s beach. The wharf project includes a complete renovation of the facilities, including new buildings, and making the wharf more resilient to increased storm events and higher waves.
A community workshop on these projects will be held at 6:00 p.m. on April 9, in the Community Room at City Hall.
Avoiding Car Break-Ins
Each year, nationwide an estimated $1.26 billion in personal items are stolen from vehicles in about 1.85 million thefts. To protect yourself against car theft, consider these best practices to help prevent car break-ins.
- Park in well-lit areas to keep your car visible.
- Don’t make it easy. Keep windows and sunroofs closed and locked. One quarter of all thefts are from unlocked cars.
- Activate your car alarm to discourage thieves.
- Hide your valuables by placing all items inside of the locked truck or cargo area.
- Take your keys with you, do not hide keys in your car.
- Many thieves “stake-out” parking lots to watch for people placing valuable items into the trunk before shopping. Hide the items before your arrival.
- Hide electronic accessories such as iPhone chargers. These may indicate valuable items inside the trunk.
- Trust your instincts. Report suspicions to parking lot attendants or police.
- Many vehicles are broken into with the intent of stealing the car. Use visible anti-theft devices such as steering wheel locks, pedal locks, etc.
The aftermath of a car break-in can be expensive repair costs and replacement of valuables. Help protect yourself by following the above tips.
Capitola Mall Redevelopment
Merlone Geier Partners, who bought the largest portion of the Capitola Mall in 2016, has begun outreach to learn what the community would like to see as the company begins plans for the mall’s future. Representatives held a community meeting in January and recently mailed 35,000 postcards to local residents inviting them to participate in a survey. A link to the survey is available at the City’s website, www.CityofCapitola.org.
Capitola continues working to improve safety on neighborhood streets. The City recently completed the reduction of on-street parking on a portion of Hill Street to create a bike lane and reduce bottlenecks. Many students use that route riding and walking to and from school.
The City Council is also looking for ways to reduce cut-through traffic in the Jewel Box neighborhood adjacent to the Jade Street Community Center. Residents have reported increases in vehicles during commute hours as drivers attempt to avoid backups on the freeway and local arterial roads.
Citywide Garage Sale
Mark your calendars for the annual city-wide garage sale on Saturday, April 21. The City of Capitola will sponsor its annual garage sale to give residents the chance to support reusing and recycling items they no longer need.
Sign up beginning March 30 on the City of Capitola website. A map of participating locations and a description of available items will be available to download before the event.
Youth Positions Open on Advisory Bodies
The City of Capitola has expanded opportunities for area students to participate on City advisory bodies, including the Art and Cultural Commission, Library Advisory Committee and Historical Museum Board. Applicants must live within the Soquel Union Elementary School District or attend Soquel, Harbor, or Aptos High School.
Selected youth participants will serve through August 2018 and may reapply for the next term. Individual announcements are available on the City’s website and at the Capitola Branch Library. There are also opportunities on certain boards for adult members as well.