Patagonia Parking Plan



(With apologies to Joni Mitchell for disrupting her 60’s song title.)

The Patagonia Town Council has approved a plan to pave McKeown Ave. from Third Ave. to Taylor Ave.and formalize parking on the north side of the street. Due to the COVID-19 epidemic this plan did not go to the Planning and Development Committee for approval nor was there public comment.

The proposal is to have nose-in parking perpendicular to the street.

This to me is very unsafe as vehicles leaving their designated parking spot will not have a clear view of any approaching traffic on McKeown Avenue.

Yes, we need parking for nearby businesses and the Family Health Center but we also need it to be safe for other road users and especially for vulnerable pedestrians, bicyclists and children.

The Planning and Development Committee meeting in December will have this as an agenda item. They need to survey the community because this project will be here in Patagonia for the next 25 years or so and we should solicit other possibilities to make it the best we can right from the start.

Another option would be to have angled parking which would retain about the same number of parking spaces which would be much safer as drivers would get a good view of approaching traffic and I will ask for this to be considered.

I have already contacted the Town Manager and South32, which is sponsoring the Project, and suggested making this a parallel parking area but with zero success.

Safety is my prime concern. 

Philip Brister 


A Plea to Quail Hunters

The Mearns quail is an extremely vulnerable bird. With the lack of rainfall, this past two summers these beautiful birds need help from the human hunters. 

Many winged hunters have absolutely no ethics, just like the guides who allow their clients to slaughter 56 quail in one day, one canyon (their lease had very few quail). Like the hunter who chases three – four birds after 2:00p.m., so they can’t covey up for the warmth they need! ( Last season my dog brought me a Mearns that had frozen to death) 

I know a guy from Virginia that brings six pointers with him and I have been told he averages 175 Mearns per year. Why?

‘Arizona Game Birds’ states, in two different places, that lack of grass due to inadequate rainfall is the cause of most mortality. I suspect the lack of rain also limits the feed the hens need to produce large clutches, as witnessed last year by the two and three bird coveys seen. I believe this year will be, VERY SLIM PICKINS FOR MEARNS! 

If we hunters can’t practice better ethics, perhaps the state can cut the limit again! 

I, for one, am tired of being called a slob hunter for the actions of others!

Rod Whitehead 


Thanking All Who Helped

On Sept. 16, I crash landed in the backyard, wrenching my knee while trying to stop a dog attack. I knew it was a bad fall. I couldn’t get up. My friend, who’d just arrived from Colorado, got me to the patio couch, where I sank in agonizing pain. My neighbor brought ice packs. 

We called Linda at the Lending Shed and she called Don who brought me a walker. Later a wheelchair was delivered when X-rays revealed a fractured femur with a four-month non-weight-bearing recovery period. My life had changed in an instant, and I needed help with everything, including the healing process.

As word spread, help poured in. David and Barbara became my caregivers. By day 11, David K. and Jacqui T. were providing comfrey poultices to start knitting the broken bone, along with holistic supplements. Kate brought fresh comfrey from her garden. Others brought homemade meals. A new KneeRover scooter was donated by Iris at PSMA, a partner of John Arnold’s PPEP. On day 55 the orthopedic doctor gave my progress an A+ and I have this caring, giving community to thank for that. A multitude of blessings to all of you. I hope to be back on both feet by Christmas.

Heather Dodge


Thanking the Voters

I want to take this opportunity to thank the voters of Santa Cruz County for their participation in the November 3, 2020 election. We saw a record turnout, far more than we saw in the 2016 election with over 19,000 ballots cast in our community. 

I would also like to thank the Elections Department, the dozens of volunteer poll workers, the Recorder’s Office and the elections observers from both parties, all of whom with their tireless effort contributed in their own way to a fair and transparent election in Santa Cruz County.

I want to thank the voters who supported my campaign and I want you to know that I remain as committed to working on the issues that impact all of us in Santa Cruz County. From supporting our families, to promoting economic development and job creation, to fostering the economic security of all our residents, to protecting the environment, there is much work to be done and it will take all of us to get it done. Know that if anyone needs to get a hold of me, I can be reached at Don’t hesitate to contact me as there is no question too big or too small – and if I don’t know the answer, I hope we can work together to find it. I always want to know what you’re thinking.

Bruce Bracker

SCC District 3 Supervisor

Reflection on Local Stroll to the Polls

On the morning of Oct. 24, I had a coffee-fueled idea to bring Stroll to the Polls to Patagonia. Stroll to the Polls (now nationally “viral” on social media) began in Atlanta, GA, led by Maisha Land, daughter of Selma, Alabama, Bloody Sunday co-organizer Rev. Bill Land. Ms. Land had the inspiration to motivate her sphere of influence, the Black Greek sororities, known collectively as the Divine Nine, to get out the vote in Atlanta. 

Land, like Kamala Harris, is an Alpha Kappa Alpha. In 1908, Howard University co-ed Ethel Hedgeman, crystallized her vision of creating a support network for the mutual upliftment of women with like minds to join their talents and strengths for the benefit of others, as Alpha Kappa Alpha, the first Black Greek-letter sorority. The Alpha Kappa Alpha program still reflects the community consciousness embodied in the credo, “To be supreme in service to all mankind.” 

I knew it would be easy to rally the women of Patagonia to symbolically Stroll to the Polls on the 100-year anniversary of the passage of the 19th amendment, securing the right for women to vote. Though the 19th Amendment was passed months before the polls opened in 1920, numerous hurdles made it difficult, if not impossible, in some states for women to vote in that election. Black women were especially targeted for deterrence. I knew the women of our community would recognize that there is much to celebrate and still much to overcome; much to Stroll to the Polls for, indeed. 

Later that day, I located Ms. Land through social media. We had a long call wherein I made the case for Patagonia to be entrusted with the principles of this movement. Our conversations subsequent to that initial phone calls have been inspiring, dimensional, and, honestly, life changing. 

In our most recent call, she shared a desire to visit Patagonia and meet the women who supported this movement. Bridges of collaboration among women are being built between here and Atlanta, GA, reminding me of the iconic Edmund Pettus Bridge, symbolic of the movement it represented; a bridge to peace and justice and the better world we all know is possible. 

In closing, I want to acknowledge my local co-conspirators, who generously helped bring this to fruition, almost impossibly, between Oct. 24 and the event, only six days later, on Oct. 30; Robin Kulibert, who channelled her inner cheerleader and camp counselor alter ego; Cassina Farley, for artistic talent; Chesed Chap, Maggie Urgo, Tomas Jonsson, Robert Gay, Chuck Klingenstein and Michele Gisser, our crack press team that brilliantly documented the experience and contributed to the sizzle reel video that also went viral nationally; Georgette Larrouy and Mark Nicholson who contributed the music so we could stroll to it. 

And to the Good Women of Patagonia (and beyond), THANK YOU for showing up with your cowgirl hats and turquoise boots, your flapper-inspired couture, your daughters, your sons and granddaughters (yes, we had three generations in one family present), your dogs and your creative hand-made signs, and, as always, your beautiful, tenacious spirits. By all accounts, it was a success, one that this community (and beyond) can be very proud of.

India Aubrey