Traditionally, the summer months have been a time for us at the PRT to catch up on the laundry and weeding and maybe take a vacation, but not this year. The pandemic has pushed us to increase our coverage and expand our mission to our readers and to sort out new ways to bring you the information that we all need to find our way forward. Adding to that is the fact that this is an election year, and we are committed to helping voters make informed decisions at the ballot box. 

In the last issue of the PRT we shared responses from both the candidates for the Patagonia Town Council and candidates running in the primary for the AZ House of Representatives. In this issue we introduce two of the four candidates for Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors for District Three, Bruce Bracker and Donna Federici. In the October issue, we plan to feature Justin Lima and Valerie Kerby-Lockey, if she gains enough write-in votes to make it on the ballot. We also feature in this issue the five candidates running for the Sonoita School District Board, the only contested school board election in the county. We will cover the Patagonia School Districts Boards in the next issue.

The PRT was very active on the web over the past two months. We hosted a two-hour forum for candidates for County Sheriff in June that was live streamed on Facebook. We were thrilled with the response to this event, which had more than 5700 views and hundreds of comments. 

My favorite comment about the forum was a resident who wrote “Isn’t it amazing that a small, local not-for-profit publication like the PRT could produce a political forum with greater effectiveness and success than national media and other outlets and organizations for something like a presidential debate?”

Assistant Editor Aisha Sander posted zoom video interviews on YouTube that she conducted with the two candidates running for County Recorder in the Democratic Primary and will post her interview with the independent candidate running for that office next month. 

The PRT will be hosting a live-streamed forum on Facebook for SCC Board of Supervisor, District 3, candidates on September 26. It will follow the same format as the previous forum, and we are looking for our readers’ input for questions to ask the candidates. Please send your questions to

The PRT sent out three e-newsletters in June and three in July and has been posting updates and summaries of COVID statistics in Santa Cruz County, announcements from the Governor and the County Board of Health, an article that marked the 100th day of COVID, and school and business updates. 

Our web reporting and our web presence has increased dramatically since the beginning of the pandemic. For the months of January and February 2020, our website had 9485 views. In June and July we have had 44,425 views, an increase of close to 470%. 

On a lighter note, in August we will be filming gardens, chicken coops, baby goats and more for our video series, “How’s It Growing?” a virtual garden tour that is the brainchild of Board member Francesca Claverie. We hope to do segments on flower gardens, edible gardens, small stock raising, kids and animals and roses. If you would like to participate, please email us at

We are also starting to work out the details for the second annual student essay and photo contest that was such a success last year. 

What’s next for the PRT? One thing this pandemic has done, I believe, is demonstrate the importance of local news. We all need timely, local news to keep us informed in a time when rumor and fake news threatens to undo us. Thank you for following us, for your comments and for your support.