From Cruzio’s CEO: First the Good News

Casual cat in car

Click on the photo to see more Cruzio pandemic pet pictures

There is good news among the ruins of 2020. For Cruzio, it’s that we’ve brought nearly 100 low-income families online, helping kids with online learning and seniors stay connected.

And we expect to connect hundreds more in the near future. Our upcoming project is the Buena Vista Migrant Center — till now they’ve had no broadband. About 140 children live in the housing there. Read the inspiring story of local resident Juan Morales-Rocha’s vision to connect the camp.

What we’re doing

Luckily, Cruzio is in a position to get Buena Vista and other communities access to the internet they need, quickly. And you can help, too! (There’s a donation button at the bottom of this newsletter.)

The Community Foundation has been a game changer. Where other efforts have fallen flat, philanthropy is enabling real progress in internet equity. The Foundation has set up a fund for donations to Equal Access Santa Cruz and we’re happy to announce that Driscoll’s, the Watsonville Rotary Club, and many anonymous donors have made contributions, ranging from single dollars to hundreds of thousands. We’re really making a difference to kids’ lives — and children are our county’s future.

Why it’s needed

In a place as prosperous as Santa Cruz County, why is there a need for subsidized internet? Because not everyone has affordable wifi in their home, and it makes a huge difference to their lives.

People who don’t have much money often rely on their phones for internet. That means capped bandwidth and, often, poor reception — not suitable for sustained connections. Or they try to find a coffee shop or fast food place where they can catch some wifi, which is even harder in the pandemic.

There’s even a story of a nine-year-old boy who went and sat at his pandemic-emptied school every day, because the internet was still working there and he needed to do his homework.

It’s kids like that who make us determined to help.

Real Progress

First by connecting school parking lots, but more importantly by connecting homes, schools, and community centers, Cruzio and our partners are getting true high-speed internet to those who need it, free in the short term and for just over $15 per month for, at least, the next 3 years.

That will help a lot of children with online learning. It will help families find the information and assistance they need in the pandemic and beyond. It will help seniors stay connected to their families and social services.

It will help us all in the long run, because Santa Cruz County needs our children to grow up informed and prepared for our future.

And people in our county have really stepped up. First the schools reached out to Cruzio. the County Office of Education and the Pajaro Valley School District saw the problem and acted quickly. They determine what families are eligible for subsidized internet and provide us with prioritized lists, so we can tackle the hardest hit households first.

Then, when Cruzio was exhausting our own resources, the Community Foundation set up their fund to help us pay to wire buildings, buy equipment, and pay for data transport to the rest of the internet. We can’t do it alone, and the Community foundation gave us a way to keep going.

Add a small amount to your monthly bill to help a family who needs internet

Equally heart-warming: many Cruzio customers have added nominal amounts to their monthly bill, which helps us maintain subsidized service to families on local schools’ priority lists.  (If you’d like to do micro-donations through your Cruzio bill, go here.)

We’re grateful and proud that our community is joining us in the project. It’s been a hard year, but it’s a good time to live in Santa Cruz.

Do you know someone who might qualify for subsidized internet?

Cruzio doesn’t try to vet applicants for eligibility for these programs: there are organizations in the county which do that. We just build the network where we’re told.

If you know a student who may be eligible for subsidized internet, tell them to contact their local school district head office.

If you know a senior who may be eligible, they can go to http://www.seniorcomputer.com

Now onto the horror show that’s been 2020.

Who’s Working from Home? The Pet Edition, Vol. II

 

Many of us spent a lot more time with our pets than ever before. We shared our funny photos with our colleagues on a company Slack.

New dog in the house! Not coming out.

 

Bath day sucks

Lana sparkles in her cone. What a trooper!

 

Georgie was looking casual in the laundry basket, so a friend went into Photoshop and…

Georgie’s attitude is much more appropriate in a sports car

There’s a small intruder in my house and he keeps insisting he’s Toby Jones.”
Who’s Toby Jones?

 

This highly respected British actor. Or a puppy. Hard to tell them apart.

 

This happens to everybody who has a cat, doesn’t it? You want to get up, but…

 

There is a dog here somewhere

 

These are not taken on the same day. Murray and the blankets are a constant.

And finally, another celebrity look-alike pet, this one is…

Mother TheresaMother Theresa!

Santa Cruz County Students Speak Out About Internet

Cruzio has been working with the Pajaro Valley Unified School District for months to get reliable, fast internet to all the students who need it. We’ve been installing high speed broadband at their homes since springtime and have connected about 50 families so far.

And we love these students. They’ve been in online classes for weeks now and they’ve been telling us how much it means to have a good connection.

Here’s who they are and what they have to say! We’re hoping they stay in touch so we can see where they are years from now. We suspect we’re looking a the future leaders of our county — maybe a mayor or a county supervisor in the bunch.

First, a couple of middle schoolers made videos and they’re fantastic. Karyna even translated her statement into Spanish after she speaking with impressive poise in English. As Cruzio’s Sales and Marketing Manager, Jesus Lopez, put it: “I’m not crying, you’re crying.”

Eddie video

 


We’re also enjoying some photos and quotes from other bright kids:

This is a fantastic family from Freedom: Mom and Dad Johnna and Daniel, and son Isaiah.

Lopez family

“It was difficult at first for me to do my school work because I had no Internet connection.  Now that we have it with Cruzio, I am able to communicate with my teacher all the time and do my school work.  I no longer have glitches when I am participating in class.”

— Isaiah, Freedom Elementary Student

“When Distance Learning began, we had no Internet and we needed it.  Being connected was extremely necessary and Cruzio provided the opportunity so my son could participate in classes. “

— Father: Daniel 


Another awesome family. We’ve been so impressed with the efforts of both parents and kids to keep up with schoolwork in the pandemic. How about this fantastic trio:

Lesly, Elizabeth, and Melissa

“It has been great having constant access to the Internet! I can hear my teachers clearly and there is no lagging in my connection.”

— EA Hall Student, Lesly

“Para mi este servicio fue muy bueno porque no tenia Internet en casa y me dieron la oportunidad de tenerlo en casa gratis durante tres meses. Cruzio instalo la antena y proporciono el cable totalmente gratis y ahora pago $14.99 al mes.”

— Elizabeth , Lesly’s mom

Translation- “For me, this service was great because I did not have internet access at home and they gave me the opportunity to have it free for three months. Cruzio installed the antenna and cable totally free and now I pay only $14.99 per month.”


Looks like Mahia enjoys our foggy coastal weather…  Another great kid with lots of promise.

Mahia

“Having Internet helped go to school and participate in the classes I’m in. I am able to do my homework and I don’t need to go out to look for free Internet. I was a bit scared when I had to park to get Internet to do my class work.”

— Mahia, Aptos Jr High student

“Para mi, un bill era un gasto más pero los hotspots no siempre funcionan.  Busque opciones de Internet de bajo costo pero no encontraba.  Mi hija y yo usabamos el Internet público en la biblioteca de la ciudad o en algún otro lugar donde hubiera Internet gratis y nos quedabamos en el carro para que hiciera sus trabajos escolares.  El gerente de Cruzio, quien hablaba español –  algo muy importante para mí, nos ayudó muchísimo y pudimos conectarnos al Internet en casa a un costo más aceptable para mí después de recibirlo gratis por tres meses.”

— Mother: Rosario

Translation- For me, another bill was one more expense, and our mobile hotspots didn’t always work well. I looked around for low-cost Internet options but could not find any. My daughter and I used the public internet in the city library or any other place where there was free internet and we stayed in the car until she was able to complete her school work. Cruzio’s manager, who spoke Spanish – which is something very important to me, helped us a lot and we were able to connect to the internet at home at a reasonable cost after receiving it free for three months

By the way, the Cruzio manager Mahia’s mother refers to is Jesus Lopez, who worked tirelessly to make sure all the families were well-informed and comfortable with getting internet installed in their homes.

It’s been hard getting Jesus to stop calling every single family, but now our field ops and front desk staffers Carlos Serna and Antonio Guizar Orosco have been helping, too. Thanks, Carlos and Tony!

A Letter from Cruzio’s CEO

dog in fire meme

How are things in Santa Cruz? Thanks for asking.

The ongoing COVID health crisis was augmented two weeks ago by extremely hot weather that kicked off sudden county-wide power blackouts.

While we were coping with the unusual heat, and worrying about whether more blackouts would come, Santa Cruz County had a pre-dawn lightning storm of terrific force on August 16th. Hundreds of lightning strikes dotted our county, from over the bay to our inland forested mountains. It was beautiful and scary.

We were, it turned out, right to be scared because the lightning set off a number of fires deep in wooded areas. The fires quickly spread in the hot, dry weather and 77,000 people were evacuated as tens of thousands of square acres burned out of control over the next couple of days.

The lightning storms hadn’t just hit Santa Cruz County. The rest of California suffered, too. Fires were started up and down the state — over 600 wildfires in all. It was impossible to address so many fires at once. The state’s resources were stretched thin. As the fires spread, residents were forced to leave their homes.

Evacuees included several Cruzio staffers, and hundreds of our customers. And it appears that some members of the Cruzio community lost their homes.

Those of us who remained in the unevacuated parts of Santa Cruz breathed air full of ash particles, and our homes smelled like smoke. Friends and family from the mountains are still sleeping on our couches, and we have our go-bags ready in case the wind takes a bad turn and we all have to — as the official notices put it — “get out.”

Through all this, we’ve still had to maintain social-distancing, mask-wearing, and generally care due to the pandemic.

So that’s how this month is going.

At Cruzio, we’re constantly reminded, during difficult times, how vital internet service is. Times of crisis raise the need. We had to anticipate damage from the fire and figure out how to prevent damage to our infrastructure. We knew people needed to pore over fire maps and get notices via email.

This means that all Cruzio staff were on alert this week, some losing days of sleep as we monitored and reacted to searing heat, power outages, and fire. Our staff lives here — as do our customers — and we’re fiercely dedicated to successful and safe outcomes for our community. We may suffer glitches and partial outages when the situation becomes overwhelming, but we are not complacent. We fight tooth and nail to keep our services running.

We don’t have to look far for inspiration. The firefighters battling this new and impossible complex of blazes are our heroes and we’re doing whatever we can to help them, as well as people who’ve gone to local shelters, and all those working in the systems which have to kick into place at times like these. Cruzio’s backbone connections are supporting the Santa Cruz Civic and Watsonville Fairgrounds evacuation sites. We’ve provided cameras for fire watch sites. We’ve reached out to government offices all over the county: what can Cruzio do to help?

Meanwhile we’re supporting our staff as best we can. We won’t put them in perilous situations. We try to help those who’ve been evacuated from their homes. Cruzio is focused on keeping internet running, which is a big job, while understanding that we, too, are humans who need a place to sleep.

As the days tick by, Cruzio is ready to help. A team like ours is part of a strong, resilient community, and we are working with organizations around the county to maintain communication services and help people find answers and find each other.  We put our staff’s names at the bottom of every newsletter — we’re proud of their work, especially now, especially this month.

Stay safe, Santa Cruz. Stay strong, it’s up to us to get our neighbors through this tough time.

Under Smoky Skies

Cruzio’s team roams Santa Cruz County, putting up and maintaining communications infrastructure. We’re often in high places: on rooftops or mountain peaks, and we had great views of the thing that’s been hovering above us for the last several days: the smoke-filled sky.

Cruzio has a lot of talented photographers on staff, and they posted photos of what they were seeing.

What Started the Fires

A lightning storm before dawn on Sunday, August 16th. Santa Cruz almost never gets lightning, but that night was wild. The storm was accompanied by little or no rain.

From a weather app, Sunday, August 16th, 4:26 am.

From a weather app, Sunday, August 16th, 4:26 am.

From Above

From high up where some of Cruzio’s facilities are located, we can see big changes occurring when the wind shifts and fire kicks up. First a trail of smoke rises, then the hills are laid over with creeping grey, and then, sometimes, the wind changes and skies are blue again.

Monday mountaintop:

View from Loma Prieta, Monday August 17th, 2020.

View from Loma Prieta, Monday August 17th, 2020. Photo by John Beardwood.

 

Wednesday mountaintop:

View from Loma Prieta Mountain, Wednesday August 19, 2020.

View from Loma Prieta, Monday August 17th, 2020. Photo by John Beardwood.

View from Loma Prieta Mountain, Weds August 19th

View from Loma Prieta Mountain, Weds August 19th. Photo by Cameron Kennedy.

 

View from Loma Prieta Mountain, Weds August 19th

View from Loma Prieta Mountain, Weds August 19th. Photo by Cameron Kennedy.

Friday mountaintop:

Looking towards Gilroy Friday, August 19th, 2020

Looking towards Gilroy Friday, August 19th, 2020. Alison Lowenthal.

Looking towards Gilroy Friday, August 19th, 2020

Looking towards Gilroy Friday, August 19th, 2020. Photo by Alison Lowenthal.

Note: the skies were blue on Friday, but that’s because the wind was favorable to that particular mountaintop that morning. Conditions are still shifting, and blue skies often give way to overhead smoke.

 

Around Santa Cruz County

When Cruzio staff are driving around town, it’s been almost eerie. As Field Operations staffer Sonya says “I said it before and I’ll say it again, It looks like an apocalypse movie.”

In the last week, the sky has gone from grey-yellow to various shades of orange, with occasional spots of blue peering through. The sun? A glowering red circle.

When the sky was orange

 

West Side Santa Cruz Weds, August 19th, 2020. Photo by Sonya Campbell.

West Side Santa Cruz Weds, August 19th, 2020. Photo by Sonya Campbell.

 

On a roof. West Side Santa Cruz Weds, August 19th, 2020. Photo by Sonya Campbell.

On a roof. West Side Santa Cruz Weds, August 19th, 2020. Photo by Sonya Campbell.

Laurel Street, Santa Cruz, Wednesday, August 19th, 2020. Photo by Hans Morales.

Laurel Street, Santa Cruz, Wednesday, August 19th, 2020. Photo by Hans Morales.

East Side Santa Cruz, Wednesday, August 19th, 2020. Photo by Mark Hanford.

East Side Santa Cruz, Wednesday, August 19th, 2020. Photo by Mark Hanford.

 

Monterey Bay from West Cliff Drive, Weds, August 19th, 2020. Photo by Peggy Dolgenos.

Monterey Bay from West Cliff Drive, Weds, August 19th, 2020. Photo by Peggy Dolgenos.

 

"Mood," Wednesday, August 19th, 2020. Photo by Jason Smidt.

“Mood,” Wednesday, August 19th, 2020. Photo by Jason Smidt.

 

877 Cedar Street, Thursday, August 20th, 2020. Photo by Evan Powers.

877 Cedar Street, Thursday, August 20th, 2020. Photo by Evan Powers.

 

When the sky was grey

 

Rooftop, Santa Cruz, Thursday August 20th, 2020. Photo by Cameron Kennedy.

Rooftop, Santa Cruz, Thursday August 20th, 2020. Photo by Cameron Kennedy.

First photo, Capitola, Friday August 21st, 2020. Photo by Evan Powers.

First photo, Capitola, Friday August 21st, 2020. Photo by Evan Powers.

Five minutes later, much worse. Capitola, Friday August 21st, 2020. Photo by Evan Powers.

Five minutes later, much worse. Capitola, Friday August 21st, 2020. Photo by Evan Powers.

Air quality on Friday, August 21st, 2020. Photo by Jason Smidt.

Air quality on Friday, August 21st, 2020. Photo by Jason Smidt.

 

Our Trucks in Many Places

Our staff has traveled all around the county and up into the Bay Area when necessary to maintain and repair equipment. Cruzio staff have uploaded some photos of our heroic trucks looking out over a smoke- and fire-colored landscape.

Cruzio's truck on Loma Prieta, Weds, August 19th, 2020. Photo by Cameron Kennedy.

Cruzio’s truck on Loma Prieta, Weds, August 19th, 2020. Photo by Cameron Kennedy.

Cruzio truck on Bay Street, Thursday, August 20th, 2020. Photo by Sonya Campbell.

Cruzio truck on Bay Street, Thursday, August 20th, 2020. Photo by Sonya Campbell.

 

Why Communications Can Sometimes be Difficult

And here’s a picture from a security camera on a communications tower in Bonny Doon, as the tower was engulfed by fire and destroyed.

Cruzio Internet, Equal Access Santa Cruz and the Santa Cruz County Office of Education

Cruzio Internet headquarters

we’re working, but not many of us are in our building

Equal Access Santa Cruz has a simple goal: to bridge the digital divide and bring true high-speed broadband to every family in the Santa Cruz community, regardless of income level. The project is spearheaded by Cruzio Internet, one of the country’s oldest independent ISPs and a trusted partner in the Santa Cruz community for over 30 years.

When the current health crisis hit our county, our education system was an immediate area of major concern. it was obvious that the need for high-quality broadband had never been higher, and that low-income families would be the hardest hit.

Working with the County Office of Education (COE) and the Pajaro Valley School District (PVUSD) Cruzio quickly developed a plan to expand coverage and provide free and subsidized high-speed internet to dozens of low-income families and students.

The program provides families with free internet service including state-of-the-art home wifi for three months and then a heavily-discounted rate thereafter.

“Our priority is to support all students and families with the resources and tools needed for distance learning—especially our most under-served students”, said Jason Borgen, Chief Technology Officer for COE. “Focusing on equity, and doing everything we can to remove the digital divide from Santa Cruz County, the COE, and Cruzio, working together, can truly make a difference here,” he continued.

Demand for the service was overwhelming and clearly there was an opportunity to expand the program and serve many more families. Working closely with COE and PVUSD, Cruzio developed a plan to utilize district-owned properties to distribute wireless internet to many, many more families, students, and teachers. Faced with an urgent situation, Cruzio has relied on our own resources and our excellent connections within our industry. A quick call to one of Cruzio’s trusted technology partners, Aviat Networks, led to a donation of several high-end backhaul radios for use in the project. “We’re grateful for the opportunity to help Cruzio and Santa Cruz broaden the ability to communicate, learn, and continue to advance in life, even in these difficult times”, said Pete Smith, Chief Executive Officer of Aviat Networks.

While we didn’t at first consider outside donations as a possibility, once it was suggested we realized that not just Cruzio management and staff, but also other members of the Santa Cruz County community and the greater technology community recognize the importance of educational opportunity — and equity — for low-income families in our county. This knowledge has inspired us to expand the Equal Access Santa Cruz program and seek out new projects and opportunities that serve these goals.

The Digital Divide is newly revealed and it is creating unequal educational opportunity. As children are barred from libraries, community centers, and even friends’ houses, they need internet in their own homes. EASC has already provided that service to over 50 families and we are poised to serve hundreds more. And we need to act fast to connect as many people as possible as the fall semester begins.

“Our mission has always been the same,” said Chris Frost, Director of Infrastructure & Technology at Cruzio, “to offer affordable, high-quality Internet access to every home, business, and family in Santa Cruz County. Thanks to the support and vision of the community, we’re a step closer to that goal today.”

COVID19 CRUZIOWORKS FAQ

Cruzio building

877 Cedar Street

FAQ Updated on 10/1/20

Is Cruzioworks open?

Yes, we’re open, and we’re staying safe! To be honest, we never really closed, however, we have strongly encouraged all non-essential workers to stay away from the space until the shelter in place order was lifted. We have been diligently working over the last few months to welcome back everybody else, and can’t wait to see all of your wonderful faces!

So what’s different?

We have been following state and local guidelines to ensure everyone’s safety, including limiting entrance points to direct the flow of traffic, no longer permitting food and drink consumption in the common space, and a new check-in system at the front desk that has been designed around sanitization. We also have a strict mask policy we are enforcing seriously. It may take a little time to get used to the changes, but they’re important to create a safe, and great environment at Cruzioworks.

What other steps are you taking?

You’ll see a lot of subtle changes to the coworking space we think you’ll appreciate:

  • Plexiglass shields for the entire front desk
  • Outdoor desk space for 9-5, 24/7, and Office Members to work in
    the fresh air, and also for a great space to eat and drink.
  • Arrows and floor markings indicating which way traffic should
    flow down a hallway or how far apart you should stand while waiting.
  • Automatic hand sanitizer stations for all meeting rooms and other
    shared areas.
  • Helpful signage encouraging safe behavior
  • A check-in station at the front desk where you can sanitize and
    check for symptoms.
  • Restrooms are now single-occupancy and there are lids on the
    toilets which should be put down after use.

We have reimagined our Atrium space to ensure every desk is spaced 8 to 9 feet apart. Please don’t move these desks! They are spaced to ensure the health and safety of our rad community.

We have reassessed how many people can safely sit in a meeting room together according to county guidelines. Please pay heed to the signage on the doors!

We’re also at a point where we’re ready to take a limited number of new memberships. If you’re looking for a space to work, contact us, we have some great solutions available for you.

Tell me more about this check-in station and floor arrows.

All Cruzioworks members will be required to use the Google Symptom checker at https://landing.google.com/screener/covid19 and sign a clipboard once per day when they first arrive verifying they are symptom-free and haven’t been out of the country in the last two weeks.

To reduce the spread of COVID-19, we are making all doors to the atrium space and workstations ‘exit only’ except for the front door of the lobby. This will help us to ensure everybody checks in and to make sure we can reduce the probability of somebody with symptoms entering the space. We want to stress that while this may be inconvenient, it is truly for the health and safety of everybody at Cruzioworks, the Santa Cruz Community, and beyond.

Can you get into specifics about meeting room capacity? How will this impact my twenty-person model train enthusiast meetings? You know I’m loco for locomotives!

*Sighs* I’m keenly aware of this, choo choo dude. For now, we won’t be having large gatherings, meetings, or events. We ask that you follow occupancy signage for our meeting rooms. The Ross Classroom can safely accommodate 6 people, Edison Meeting Room can hold 1, and Tesla Meeting Room maxes out at 2.

I should probably wear a mask, yeah? I heard you mention that earlier…

Of course, you should! Actually, it’s not in any way a choice. County guidelines require masks indoors, and the recent statewide order requires masks everywhere else. The only time you may remove your mask is if you are in a private office, suite, or meeting room by yourself with the door closed. Per county guidelines, once a guest enters the office you must don your mask. Whether you are working in the corner of the Atrium, or walking back to your meeting room, or even hanging out in your cool private Workstation, a mask is required at all times. Those who do not adhere to these rules will be asked to leave and repeat offenders will risk having their memberships revoked. Sorry, but this is serious folks. If you need a mask, please let us know. We have lovely masks available at the front desk.

I heard you mention food and drinks aren’t allowed in the space either. Can you let me know why??

Until further notice, please avoid eating and drinking in the atrium, including workstations. We have provided outdoor spaces to eat and drink. This is in accordance with our state and local mask policies so as to keep the space as safe as possible. Plus, it’s summer! Go out and get some sun and enjoy the incredible Santa Cruz weather!

Can I still have guests here?

We understand that to run your business, you sometimes need to have guests and clients in the space. All visitors need to check-in at the front desk, follow our entry procedures, and abide by all rules. As usual, you as members are responsible for the behavior of your guests. We’d also strongly encourage you to, whenever possible, meet outside or, better yet, online.

What else can I expect when I enter the building?

We mentioned the check-in station earlier. If you arrive before 9am in the morning, or after 6pm at night because you have a 24/7 membership, please use our check-in and sanitation station on the honor system so we don’t have to bug you later. If you are symptomatic you will be asked to leave and may return 14 days from the onset of symptoms or your encounter with a COVID-positive individual, or following a negative test. We will have digital thermometers on hand if you feel feverish and would like to verify this.

To protect the health of our employees, we request that you maintain at least six feet of distance from Cruzio staff and coworking members whenever possible. And wear your mask!

What should I do if I have a confirmed or suspected case of COVID-19?

If you have symptoms or test positive with COVID-19 we ask that you notify us immediately so we can conduct contact-tracing and take further steps. We’d also require that you not return to the workspace for at least 14 days and be symptom and med-free for at least 72 hours, or until you’ve tested negative for COVID-19… What are those symptoms again?

People with these symptoms or combinations of symptoms may have COVID-19:

    • Cough
    • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing

Or at least two of these symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Chills
  • Repeated shaking with chills
  • Muscle pain
  • Headache
  • Sore throat
  • New loss of taste or smell

Back to more practical matters: where’s the printer?

You probably noticed that we moved the printer/copier/fax/scanner. You’ll find it in the very back of the Atrium near the Cruzio Data Center door and Cruzioworks lockers.

How does mail work?

We have fully resumed normal mail delivery. We are no longer on the “opt-in” system we used temporarily during our brief hiatus. If you receive mail at this address you can access your mailbox 24/7. It’s located near the front desk in the main lobby. Please follow arrows on the floor as that hallway is narrow.

How’s Fred doing and when will the Sentinel Cafe reopen?

Fred’s just fine and he’s looking to reopen the cafe, with new health precautions, by the end of July. Stay tuned for more information!

What about ventilation? I heard indoor air wasn’t so great…

Glad you asked. We are making sure to open as many windows as we have, turning on fans each day to ensure maximum air circulation, adjusting our thermostats and HVAC units to circulate a larger percentage of outside air, and will be propping doors open when possible. We are also keeping an eye on the science and resources available and will continue to provide whatever safety measures we can. I can’t stress this enough: safety first!

Cruzio Joins #StopHateforProfit

#StopHateforProfit

We all need to do our part in making the world a better place. And Cruzio’s part centers around the internet. That’s why we’re joining many other companies to halt all paid advertising on Facebook for the month of July, in a campaign tagged #StopHateforProfit.

Facebook has been allowing people to publish hate speech, inaccuracies, and doctored videos. They’re not unique in that, but the impact is greatest on Facebook and there’s been little effective response from the company. As an early internet provider, Cruzio feels responsible when things go wrong online. We can’t control the internet, but we can try to make it a healthier, more equitable place.

Cruzio urges all our users to be thoughtful when they publish online. We don’t think everyone who works for Facebook or posts on Facebook is culpable, and the platform has many benefits. By joining a boycott, we hope to move their corporate policies in the right direction.

Our Downtown Neighbor Helps Ducks Reach River Safely

Save the ducks! from r/santacruz

When Cruzio and Ecology Action renovated our downtown Santa Cruz building, we put in a lot of plants and trees. Maybe that’s why a family of ducks has used our sidewalk area as their nesting ground for the last several years.

Cruzio’s keenly observant director of Technology and Infrastructure, Chris Frost, has taken note of the ducks for some time, as have a few other employees. We’re always a bit concerned that the duck family has placed itself in the possible path of so many cars.

But so far, things seem to have gone okay. And they keep returning to their, and our, office building home.

This year, one of our excellent neighbors (and a Cruzioworks alum) was videoed helping the mama duck and her many ducklings make their journey down Pacific Avenue to the San Lorenzo River. This involved some busy street crossings, but our friend John, who is a good guy (a “bro” as he’s called in the video) safely shepherded the little family and by all accounts they made it once again. Phew!

Mama and Papa Mallard were also spotted early in the pandemic shutdown, flying through the empty parking garage on Cedar and Church, enjoying the solitude without people and cars. Was that a pre-duckling romantic interlude?

Just in Case: Cruzio Has Extra Backup Power

When the lights are out, Cruzio is on.

Sorry to bring this up amid the pandemic, but PG&E has been indicating that there may be power outages this summer, possibly similar to 2019.

To prepare for such outages, Cruzio invested in an enormous new generator in our downtown headquarters. It’s a backup to our existing backup generator, which is also enormous and powerful. And might be necessary — we want to be sure our network will continue to supply you with internet, even when a power outage lasts for days, as happened last year.

So this spring, while Cruzio was locking doors and sending employees to work from home, our system administrators welcomed the new generator. It’s hooked up, tested, and ready to go ahead of summer’s heat.

Now we wish power outages, which seemed so dire, were all we had to worry about.

Last year our heroic team (particularly Ali and Cam) kept nearly every customer running uninterrupted during the power shutdowns. We will do our best to keep it all going if there are shutdowns — major or minor — this year.

Be ready at home, too: we’ll keep our internet powered, but your home devices like computers and wifi won’t stay up unless you have an Uninterrupted Power Supply (UPS) to plug your equipment into. Last year UPSs and generators were pretty scarce, and very high-priced, during the days-long outages. It’s probably a good idea to make sure you have the backup power you need before anything happens.