Episode 49: Cabrillo College in 2020

I had the opportunity late in 2019 to sit down with Cabrillo College President Matthew Wetstein and Cabrillo Board Trustee Adam Spickler to discuss the present and future of Cabrillo College. Cabrillo College is a cherished and well-regarded junior college with campuses in Aptos and Watsonville, with a student body of approximately 12,000.

As luck would have it, there was some electromagnetic interference going on when we did the recording – so there are places where you’ll hear static, clicks, and pops in the interview. I did what I could to clean up the audio, and overall it’s not too hard on the ears, but please excuse the audio artifacts sprinkled throughout.

Matt, Adam, and I had a wide ranging discussion about Cabrillo, beginning with introductions from Matt and Adam discussing their backgrounds and how they came to work with Cabrillo. We proceeded to chat about number of topics that will be of interest to listeners, such as the present state of the college, new initiatives at Cabrillo, and the challenges the school is facing today.

A substantial part of the conversation centered around a new 2020 bond measure (Measure R) that would raise $274 million for facilities improvements and expansion. This bond measure would enable the school to create the kind of 21st Century learning facilities needed to ensure that students get the education they need to succeed in the modern workforce.

Overview of the 2020 Bond Measure:

Proposed Projects:

Learn more at Cabrillo’s Yes on R Page.

Whatever you think about the proposed bond measure, you’ll be sure to learn a whole lot about Cabrillo College and what makes it such an exceptional asset to the community in Santa Cruz and beyond. If you are interested in learning more about the pros-and-cons of Measure R, check out this page.

Voters will be asked to weigh in on this measure on the March 3, 2020 Primary ballot.

Episode 29: Rick Jackson is Fixated on Credit Repair

Rick Jackson is fixated on credit repair.  He’s been an entrepreneur almost his entire life, starting out at 19 years old by opening a small gift shop in Merced, California – which grew into a huge gift shop with over 5,000sf of retail space.  He  began by renting the property, but an un-repaired roof leak led him to a conversation with the landlord who ended up selling the entire 10,000sf building to him.  That purchase began his career as a real estate investor, even as he expanded his gift business to include wholesale as well as retail, and eventually manufacturing as well.

Everything was going well, until in 2006 the flood gates from China opened, wiping out his manufacturing business.  Cash flow crunches ensued, and he was forced to consider filing for bankruptcy.  Fortunately, he was introduced to a man who was able to repair his credit.  Within 3 or 4 months, his whole credit situation began to markedly improve, and within six months he was back in good standing with the credit agencies.  It was such a miraculous experience for him that he decided right then and there to get into the credit repair business, way back in 2007.

In our discussion, we talk all about credit repair – how it works, how much it costs, how long it takes, how much a credit score can get boosted, etc.  But one of my biggest take-aways from the conversation was that credit repair isn’t just for people who need to “repair” their credit.  Rather, “credit repair” should be considered good financial hygiene.  By working with a credit repair specialist like Rick Jackson, you can boost your credit score thereby lowering the interest you’ll pay on loans you may need, potentially saving you tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars over your lifetime.

Rick is making a special offer to listeners of the Bay to Bay Podcast:  he will give a full money back guarantee if your credit score does not improve within 60 days of starting the process!  You can contact Rick via his web site: Credit Repair Bay Area

Episode 23: Jacob Martinez dishes on building the Digital NEST

There’s no question we’re living in a brave new world – our society (and every society!) is changing rapidly.  In today’s world, we need a whole new set of skills to excel, even just to get by!  The use of technology has crept into virtually every aspect of our lives.  Those who master these new and emerging technologies have a considerable advantage versus those who don’t.

At the same time, there’s a huge digital divide in our country.  While many people have access to the latest hardware, software, education, and high speed Internet access, many do not.  One chilly October evening in Watsonville, Jacob Martinez saw a teenager huddled outside a building in Watsonville, using a laptop and the building’s free WiFi which trickled out past the doors to complete a school homework assignment.  Jacob asked the girl why she she was doing, and she explained that she had no Internet access at home, and needed to hop on the free WiFi network from the building to complete her assignment.

With that, the idea for the Digital NEST (Nurturing Entrepreneurial Skills with Technology) was born.  Jacob Martinez had long recognized the disparity in access to I.T. resources  in his community as a huge issue, but meeting that teenager huddled in the building doorway on that nippy autumn evening galvanized him into action.  Soon, he soon went to work building his vision for a hip, cool, and colorful spot that encourages and guides its young members to become technology leaders in their community.

Today, only a few short years into the mission, the Digital NEST serves over 1,400 youth in its two locations in Watsonville and Salinas, California.  It’s an inspiring and amazing story about building a successful, innovative non-profit which is already successfully transforming lives in the communities it serves.

Digital NEST – web site

Digital NEST – on Twitter

Digital NEST – on Facebook

Jacob Martinez – LinkedIn

Jacob Martinez – on Twitter

Episode 8: Digging California Archaeology with Dustin McKenzie

In this episode of the Bay to Bay Podcast we talk to Dustin McKenzie of the Cabrillo College anthropology department.  Dustin is a local archaeology expert on the history of the San Francisco and Monterey Bay areas.  We enjoyed an hour long, wide-ranging chat in which Dustin shared a wealth of information about the people who have historically populated the region.  In particular, we discussed:

  • How long have humans lived in the region, and where they came from
  • How many people lived here millennia ago, who did they trade with, where they lived
  • What kind of technology did they have, and what language(s) they spoke
  • Ancient forms of California government
  • What life was like for women in ancient California
  • The arrival of Spanish explorers in California
  • Archaeological study European history in California
  • The Spanish Missions vis a vis the experiences of the native people
  • Where people can go today to see ancient artifacts from California’s history
  • Archaeology meet-ups in the area where people can go geek out on the subject and meet fellow enthusiasts
  • Where and how to get a job in archaeology

One thing that really comes through in this episode is the guest’s love for this field of study! It’s infectious, and you’re sure to gain a better appreciation for this field of study, how much work is yet to be done, and the surprising number of opportunities for people interested in pursuing this as a career.  Towards the end of our discussion, we talked at some length about the Cabrillo College archaeology summer field program, where participants spend four weeks over the summer doing archaeology work around the region.


Cabrillo College archaeology field school blog:

Society for California Archaeology:

Santa Cruz Archeological Society: