News Briefs

Environmental Studies professor to discuss tree planting

An upcoming program called, “Can We Save the World by Planting Trees?”, will take place Saturday, Feb. 3, from 3-4:30pm at the Felton Library.

Large and rapidly growing sums of money are being spent on planting trees with the aim of combatting myriad environmental problems.

Large-scale reforestation has the potential to conserve biodiversity, sequester carbon and provide for human livelihoods, but will accomplish little if trees do not survive and grow. At worst, these initiatives can have unintended, negative consequences, such as destroying ancient grasslands, reducing water supply and increasing social conflicts.

Karen Holl, a Felton resident and professor of Environmental Studies at UC Santa Cruz, will discuss what residents can and cannot achieve from tree planting and how they can improve project outcomes.

Holl will discuss research from her lab evaluating how well the many nonprofit organizations and private companies who support tree growing projects are following best practices for successful, long-term reforestation.

The program, which is free and open to the public, will be inside the Community Room at the Felton Branch Library, 6121 Gushee St., in Felton.

Sen. Laird to speak to North County Dems

Sen. John Laird will be the guest speaker for the Democratic Club of North Santa Cruz County on Tuesday, Feb. 6.

Laird will discuss the governor’s budget proposal for the next fiscal year and Proposition One, which will be on the March 5 primary ballot. The proposition would provide bond funds for mental health treatment facilities for people with mental health and substance abuse challenges and housing for individuals who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. 

Also, candidates running for the Democratic Central Committee in the Fifth District will be introduced to club members. 

Club meetings are held upstairs at Bruno’s Bar and Grill, located at 230 Mt. Hermon Road in the Kings Village Shopping Center in Scotts Valley. Meetings start at 6:30pm, and members of the public are welcome to attend.

Residents encouraged to sign up for broadband discounts

Santa Cruz County residents may be eligible for monthly broadband discounts and rebates on computers or tablets and are being encouraged to sign up by Feb. 7.

Under the federal Affordable Connectivity Program, qualified households are eligible for $30 monthly internet discounts and one-time $100 rebates on computers or tablets. Indigenous community members may be eligible for enhanced benefits.

So far, 11,000 Santa Cruz County residents have signed up for the program. However, that figure represents just 28% of local eligible households.

The program is scheduled to sunset on Feb. 7. However, a nationwide effort is underway to extend the program, which has helped expand broadband access to nearly 23 million households, making it one of the most successful federal efforts ever to close the digital divide.

Visit to apply and for additional details.

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A staff member wrote, edited or posted this article, which may include information provided by one or more third parties.


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