Cruzio Newsletter, Number 213, November 14, 2022

1. Tri-Bay Election Results

Santa Cruz themed "I voted" sticker

Monterey County
San Mateo County
Santa Cruz County

2. Half Moon Bay’s Pumpkin Obsession

Pumpkins lined up in a pumpkin patch ready for people to pick

Highway One between Half Moon Bay and Santa Cruz is a world-class scenic drive. And in the fall, on either side of the road, it’s pumpkin time. The whole pumpkin vibe hits a crescendo at the end of October, when Half Moon Bay holds its world-famous pumpkin weigh-off followed by the Art & Pumpkin Festival.

It is a blockbuster of a festival, which had its 50th anniversary this year.

Cruzio is continuing Coastside’s fine tradition of providing wifi internet to the festival, so vendors can use their credit card readers and attendees can keep up with all the non-pumpkin stuff in their lives, like cat videos, while sampling pumpkin-themed delicacies. It’s super challenging to set up internet for that many people — about 100,000 people was this year’s estimate. But we like a challenge, and we got the job done! Looking forward to next year’s extravaganza…

3. How Can Pumpkins Get That Big?

Winner of the Pumpkin Contest stands triumphantly by his massive prize pumpkin

This year, the winning pumpkin in Half Moon Bay’s annual Safeway World Champion Pumpkin Weigh-off broke the all time US record at 2560 pounds.

What is going on with pumpkins? Here are some other U.S. record vegetable sizes:

largest zucchini ever: 115 lbs
largest butternut squash ever: 104.5 lbs
largest tomato ever: 10 lbs 12.7 oz
largest broccoli ever: 35 lbs

Excuse me? The largest pumpkin weighs about 233 times as much as the largest tomato? The biggest of big pumpkins weigh well over a ton! About as heavy as a Mini Cooper. No other vegetable comes close.

(What about fruit, you say?)


4. Don’t Fall for Phishing — Some Tips

Did you notice phishing email that tried to use Cruzio’s logo recently? They must have grabbed it off our website. But they squished it, so the fake was easy to spot!

Fake logo. This kitty is squished:

A fake Cruzio Logo (this logo looks like a Cruzio logo but it's squished in an inaccurate dimension)

Real logo, see the difference?:

Cruzio Internet logo


5. Note from Cruzio’s CEO

Cat at computer

This is a moment for broadband.

Cruzio, with the help of government grants and non-profit support, has been connecting rural low-income communities to high-speed internet. We’re using equipment and methods that didn’t exist 10, 5, or even 2 years ago to accomplish these jobs.

We are ready to do much more.

We’re using the same high-speed, high-quality technology that we’ve pioneered in more commercially viable parts of our network. We build efficiently, economically, and sustainably.

More funding for digital equity will soon be available from the federal and state governments. Time for us to work with neighborhoods that have bad internet access and put together shovel-ready projects.


6. We’ll Match Holiday Food Donations

Canned and pantry foods

Double your holiday donation to Second Harvest Food Bank!

As Cruzio’s long-time subscribers know, we contribute throughout the year to the Second Harvest Food Bank to feed local people in need. In fact, if you are late with a Cruzio payment, we will take cans of food in lieu of a late fee any time of year!

Second Harvest Is a great organization that does a lot of good in the community — Charity Navigator describes it as “a sustainable, high performing food distribution network.”

Here’s how:

If you send us a check with your donation made out to Second Harvest Food Bank, Cruzio will match your donation up to $1,500 total. Send the check to Cruzio, attn Finance Department, 877 Cedar Street Suite 150, Santa Cruz, CA 95060.

Even easier: if you prefer to donate online, just send us a screen shot of your donation and we’ll match it with ours.

We’ll count any donations made before 1/1/2023!

Use Your Internet Connection to Help a Neighbor Afford Internet

And one last pitch for local folks in need: if you’re a Cruzio subscriber, it’s super easy to help very-low-income families afford good internet. Cruzio’s Equal Access uses small donations — even a few dollars a month — to keep costs for qualifying local households under $15/month.

That’s helping kids do their homework and seniors access health information and all kinds of meaningful things. Here’s the link to set up a contribution.

Thanks for helping out!

7. Fun Facts About Pumpkins

We are very pumpkin-y this fall! It’s the first year Cruzio did wifi and streaming connections for the Half Moon Bay Art and Pumpkin Festival so we learned more about pumpkins than ever before. (From our origins in Santa Cruz, we have traditionally been more strawberry-focused).

Did you know that…

• pumpkins are 90% water
• they also have more fiber than kale, more potassium than a banana and are full of magnesium and iron
• even the stem of a pumpkin is edible, meaning every part of a pumpkin can be consumed- skin, leaves, flowers, pulp, seeds…


8. Our Districts Got Redrawn

Map of redrawn government districts in the Bay Area and Central Coast

Cruzio has subscribers all around the Tri-Bay Area: Half Moon, San Francisco and Monterey Bays. And as we researched which elected representatives could help us identify and solve deficiencies in internet access, we found lots of districts changing — many significantly.

This does affect who to talk to about using broadband funding in your neighborhood. Note that we’re not trying to advocate for anything or anyone except better internet.

The 2020 Census Brought 2022 Changes
This year, as a result of our 2020 census results, our district borders have been redrawn for congressional, state senate, and state assembly representation. In some cases the changes are quite significant.


9. California Local Profiles Ecology Action

The good folks at California Local recently reported on our building-neighbors in our downtown Santa Cruz headquarters, Ecology Action.

Founded 52 years ago at the dawn of the environment movement, EA is leading the response to the climate crisis, here and in California. EA initiatives address various means of reducing the carbon footprint of communities by promoting electric vehicle purchases, switching over to bicycle and ebike transportation, making buildings more energy efficient and other programs.

Read the article to learn more.

And check out the California Local portal for Santa Cruz with local news, traffic, weather and links to local community groups and government entities. Be sure to subscribe to their weekly local newsletter to keep up with the local Santa Cruz community — it’s well written and has insight into local issues.

10. High Speed Internet for San Jerardo

At the San Jerardo celebration: Peggy and James from Cruzio, Commissioner Houck from the CPUC, Congressman Jimmy Panetta, Tahra Goraya from MBEP, Monterey County Supervisor Chris Lopez, Superintendent Jim Koenig, Assemblyman Robert Rivas, CTO Adam Gavalla, Freny Cooper from MBEP

At the San Jerardo celebration: Peggy and James from Cruzio, Commissioner Houck from the CPUC, Congressman Jimmy Panetta, Tahra Goraya from MBEP, Monterey County Supervisor Chris Lopez, Superintendent Jim Koenig, Assemblyman Robert Rivas, CTO Adam Gavalla, Freny Cooper from MBEP

There’s nothing more gratifying than being able to help out our neighbors.

Cruzio’s an internet provider, and we’ve got a lot of internet at our headquarters and along the many hubs and spokes of our growing network. We’ve got gigabits to give. But it’s not easy to build paths to remote places, and we know that’s where the need is greatest.

But sometimes we find a team and everyone pitches in. We finish up a good project, and at the end we have a big party with a mariachi band, a great buffet, and lots of enthusiastic speeches.

That’s how it went with San Jerardo.

San Jerardo Housing Cooperative is an inspiring place; created from an abandoned internment camp. It was home to striking farmworkers in the 1970s — United Farmworkers, members of Cesar Chavez’s union — who renovated the old buildings and turned San Jerardo into a pleasant, affordable place to live.

Fifty years later, San Jerardo is thriving. Many of the original families still live there.

We got to know San Jerardo as we installed their high-speed network. We worked fast — less than 6 months to complete the project, well ahead of expectations. And we delivered about 5 times the speed required by the grant (we agreed to 100 Mbps, and got about 500 Mbps).

San Jerardo residents were very pleased and all of us were very proud.

To get the job done, we used grants and other assistance from the California Public Utilities Commission (especially — and she’s somehow not in the photo above — Louise Fischer!) and help from the Central Coast Broadband Coalition and Monterey Bay Economic Partnership. We make good use of grants and donations, help is always appreciated.

11. Help Us Expand, Get Free Internet

an outhouse with a beautiful mountain view

Want free Internet? Have a tall building or sweeping view?

Cruzio is always looking for well-situated buildings to join our broadband network. If we use your location we’ll give you free high-speed service.

Not only will you save on great internet, you’ll also help other people in the community who need better connections. If you wish your neighborhood had better internet, and your house doesn’t fit the “sweeping view” description, bug your neighbor up on the ridge!

Interested? Contact us.

12. Handy Cruzio Information

If you’re moving, Cruzio can save you from an interruption in Internet service and prevent costly fees. Call us at 459-6301 or contact us online (several weeks ahead, if possible!).

Feed the Hungry
If you’re late on a payment to Cruzio, bring 3 cans of food into our office and we will waive late fees up to $5. Donations go to Second Harvest Food Bank.

Chris, Peggy, Mark, James, Frost, Sandi, Colin, Adia, Jesus, Alison, Justin, Andrew, David, Alex, Ani, Max, Iasha, Alana, Jay, Jason, another David, Sonya, Carlos, Evan, Ean, Robert, Pily, Dizaree, Ben, Rob, Steve, another Mark, Justise, Lucas, Ian, another Robert, Thomas, Tyler, Mario, Cody, and Victor;

Jake, Annika & Carly (the grown “kids”)