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NUZ: Look MAH, No Plans!

Plus new data on out-of-control costs of living

Ever since Museum of Art and History Executive Director Nina Simon announced her departure from the organization this past fall, museum leaders have made it sound like they were mere weeks from announcing their next executive. But after waiting eight months, the MAH has only just now named an interim director in Antonia Franco, an experienced nonprofit executive who’s been involved with the museum over the years. From Franco’s résumé, she looks enormously qualified. But it isn’t clear whether she could be the long-term pick—or what the hold-up is at an institution known for its vibrancy under Simon’s direction.

Honestly, if the MAH doesn’t pick an official director soon, the museum’s gonna find itself the butt of many a joke around town … à la, “Your MAH’s so slow, it took her two hours to watch 60 Minutes.”

FLOWING DOWNHILL

Bill Smallman has resigned from the San Lorenzo Valley Water Board after a year in which he leaked sensitive information and made homophobic remarks. He’s the second boardmember to resign over the last four months, and his departure leaves the district just one former boardmember of the now-defunct Lompico Water Board, which merged with San Lorenzo Valley three years ago.

With its various scandals in recent years, the rural water district may look more polluted than a mountain reservoir under a mudslide. But things could always be worse, and progress is easy to miss. After all, back when the Lompico Water District was a thing, Smallman was one of the board’s saner members. 

WARRIOR POSERS

As families of immigrants sit separated in detention camps at the border, Santa Cruz County yoga studios are coming together to organize a Yoga Day of Action on Saturday, July 27. All yoga studios will be putting out collection boxes, with the proceeds going to the National Bail Fund Network, Room for Refugees and the Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES). Participating studios include Luma, Nourish, Divinitree, Yoga Within, Santa Cruz Yoga, Estrella Collective, Pleasure Point Yoga and Breath + Oneness.

EXHAUST OF LIVING

When you look at local housing costs and wages, it should come as no surprise that Santa Cruz County has the second-highest poverty rate in California for the second year in a row. It also has the state’s second-highest child poverty rate. Shocking or not, it’s very sad. 

It also makes you think back on the comments we’ve heard from middle-aged homeowners in public meetings, and in letters to the editor over the years that say, “People shouldn’t live here if they don’t want it bad enough”—all while many families live on the verge of homelessness. To be frank, anti-housing Democrats sound a lot like anti-immigrant Republicans, telling everyone, “If you don’t like it, you can leave!” 

We typically think of these local “progressive” whiners as not-in-my-backyard—or NIMBY—activists, but one might just as easily call them simply BANANAs, which stands for “build absolutely nothing anywhere near anything.”

But in light of Santa Cruz’s homegrown poverty problem, perhaps the term we’re really looking for is “jerks.”

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