Supervisor Bruce McPherson — Latest 5th District News

SLV High School Welcomes Deputy Kris Koenig

Image: Mountain Bulletin

Image: Mountain Bulletin

New this year, Sheriff’s Deputy Kris Koenig has been assigned to San Lorenzo Valley High School as the school resource officer, a position that the Board of Supervisors approved in this year’s budget with the goal of promoting positive interactions between law enforcement and young people.  Deputy Koenig is a 1999 San Lorenzo Valley High School graduate who will be “returning” to school. Read more

SLV School Bus Service Fully Restored

San Lorenzo Valley transportation safety

Image: SLV SV Press Banner

I am very pleased to announce that bus service for schools arrivals and departures in San Lorenzo Valley has been fully restored. The five “school trip” routes, which allow students to use public transportation to the three-school campuses in Felton, were proposed to be eliminated along Highway 9.  All the routes have been fully restored, thanks to dedicated work of Christopher Schiermeyer, the school district Assistant Superintendent of Business Services, and Metro’s Barrow Emerson.

Walkway and Drainage Improvements near Boulder Creek Elementary School


In Boulder Creek, construction is underway for a curb, gutter, sidewalk, retaining wall, and drainage improvements near Boulder Creek Elementary School. A 300-foot retaining wall four feet high is being built directly along the school frontage on Laurel Street between Lomond Street and Harmon Street.  In addition, a short walkway on the east side of Laurel Street at the intersection of Lomond Street is being built in order to provide a connection to an existing railroad tie and gravel staircase that was constructed by volunteers.  A walkway is also being constructed on Harmon Street from Laurel Street to Oak Street.  The improvements are funded with a grant from the Federal Safe Routes to School program.

A construction bid came in earlier this summer higher than expected, which meant the work was likely to be delayed another school year.  Public Works staff scrambled to fill the gap in funding so that the project could still get underway this summer, although that meant construction was not finished by the start of the school year, as planned. However, I am very pleased that this long awaited project is underway and very appreciative of the effort by Public Works.

Monterey Bay Air Resources District and Valley Women’s Club 2nd Annual Art Contest on Air Quality


An excited crowd of parents and children turned out at the San Lorenzo Valley School Board meeting on Wednesday, October 19th to hear the announcement of the winners of the Second Annual Art Contest sponsored by the Monterey Bay Air Resources District and Valley Women’s Club. The artwork of all the winners was on display along with their winning ribbons. The creativity and talent of the children was amazing!

The Art Contest provided San Lorenzo Valley children the chance to be “creative” while helping bring awareness to the San Lorenzo Valley air quality issues created largely by wood burning smoke from heating during the winter.

San Lorenzo Valley Unified School District Superintendent Dr. Laurie Bruton stated: “We are always happy to show off the talents of our students, particularly when it serves our community of San Lorenzo Valley”.  “All of our schools stress community services,” said Dr. Bruton. “Joining students’ artistic ability and their desire to improve conditions in the community is a perfect match for the art contest.”

The art contest is an idea that was born from citizen input which was solicited and organized by Supervisor Bruce McPherson to help solve the critical air quality issues our community faces.  “The air quality issue in San Lorenzo Valley can be addressed – and solved – by our local community. That solution will require an educational process and having our creative students show us how to do that through their artwork will be an important part of our success,” McPherson said.

The Valley Women’s Club Environmental Committee is also supporting the art contest. “We are excited to support this effort to help reduce dangerous air pollution levels in the SLV through this contest that also encourages creative expression of ideas” stated Chairperson Nancy Macy

School District Superintendent Dr. Laurie Bruton, Supervisor Bruce McPherson, and David Frisbey, Planning and Air Monitoring Manager for the Monterey Bay Air Resources District presented the awards to the students in front of the School Board.

The Grand Prize winner was Sarah Jane Murphy, 9th Grade at SLV High School.

The other prize winners were:

Grades 9-12: First: Lori Claes (9th Grade); Second: Mira Wichelmann (9th Grade)

Grades 7-8:; First: Griffin Hardisty (8th Grade)

Grades 4-6: First: Ashli Trageseb (6th Grade); Second: Simone Tanner (4th Grade); Third Ella Grace Still (5th Grade); Honorable Mention): Ari Robin (4th Grade)

Grades K-3: First: Avery Armstrong (3rd Grade); Second: Lila Robins, (K); Third: Shelly Thomas (1st Grade)

The winning artwork will be displayed in the near future at the County Building, 701 Ocean Street, Santa Cruz.

The message of this wonderful artwork is a reminder to all residents that wood burning stoves contribute to serious health and air pollution issues in the San Lorenzo Valley.  This is especially severe on our upcoming winter days when the San Lorenzo Valley experiences low clouds and low winds creating an “inversion” that traps smoke in our air.  During these days residents are strongly encouraged to “spare the air” and avoid wood stoves and utilize other sources of clean heat.

Felton Covered Bridge Roof Restoration


The Felton Covered Bridge has been beautifully restored with a new roof.

The next step is the celebration, which will take place on December 17 on the bridge at Felton Covered Bridge Park. Many thanks to those who contributed to the completion of the roof — the late Bill Burton of Ben Lomond, John MacDonald, Judy Anderson, Bill Holl, and Lud McCrary.

Thank you to Valoree Mills for the photo.


Kids Draw for Healthy Air

Art Contest

San Lorenzo Valley children are getting the chance to be creative while helping bring awareness to the San Lorenzo Valley air quality issues created largely by wood burning smoke heating during the winter.

The Valley Women’s Club, together with the Monterey Bay Air Resources District, is sponsoring their Second Annual “art contest” for all children in San Lorenzo Valley.

The San Lorenzo Valley School District is facilitating the contest (which may be used as part of a new “Green” curriculum) and has recently distributed flyers with the details of the contest to students at the elementary, middle and high school.

The smoke levels in SLV are a serious health issue that we all need to work together to address. SLV residents who have other means of heat are strongly encouraged to use those sources before using a wood stove. When “Spare the Air” alerts occur this winter, citizens can be notified by email.  Please sign-up to receive messages here: When these days occur, air quality is expected to be especially unhealthful and wood burning stoves should only be used sparingly.  Residents are encouraged to use natural gas, propane, electric, or pellet stove heating options on “Spare the Air” days.

Winners of the art contest will be announced at the SLV School District Board Meeting on Wednesday, October 19, at 6:00 p.m. I encourage you to come see the submissions.

Wood Smoke Program Helps Clear Our Air

Wood Smoke ProgramI would like to thank Governor Jerry Brown and leaders in the California State Legislature for reaching agreement on protections from the impacts of climate change. The $900 million cap-and-trade revenue spending plan, which includes $5 million to expand California’s black carbon wood smoke programs, is an investment in our future.

The wood smoke program in particular will help residents of Santa Cruz County with improved air quality during winter months and represents a substantial additional investment in a program with proven effectiveness.

The black carbon wood smoke program helps improve air quality in the San Lorenzo Valley by subsidizing the replacement of residential wood stoves with cleaner-burning alternatives. For additional information about the San Lorenzo Valley Wood Stove Change-Out Program, see:


Bruce McPherson was elected to the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors in 2012 to represent the San Lorenzo Valley, including the communities of Felton, Ben Lomond, Brookdale and Boulder Creek, as well as parts of the cities of Santa Cruz and Scotts Valley.