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Imagine That...November 2023

In Loving Memory of Damien Tucker-Beck

Help support Imagine!

In Memory of Damien!

Scott is ready to get grumpy on Halloween

Eliot rocking out

Eliot rocks the Film Festival while Zach grooves

Film Festical

2023 Film Festival

Film Festival

2023 Film Festival

Pragnya at the Film Festival being conservative and proper


Ryan, Bere and Jessica at the Pumpkin Patch

Scott L at the Gizdich Ranch Pumpkin Patch

Scott and Elena at the Pumpkin Patch

Chris P sampling the fake and only popcorn

Nate and Teddy at the pumpkin patch

Nate, Teddy and the crew at the Pumpkin Patch

Cindy Halloweening

Cindy Ready to Treak or Treat

Heather and Jen easing into the film festival

Jen and Heather easing into the film festival. Note the daylight.

Meet Jhonny!

Heeeere's Jhonny!

Alan working out

Alan On The Treadmill

Getting ready to open the bar

Alina, Tom, Sasha and Joel ready to serve

Volunteers at the Film Festival

Imagine's Food and Drinks Department

Jessica at her Award Dinner

Jessica Ortiz and husband, Mike, at the Service Above Self Awards Ceremony where she was honored as Supported Living Staff of the year.

The Nolazcos (and another Jessica) supporting Jessica O

And the Nolazcos came to honor Jessica (Raquel, Rebecca, Mama Maria and friend Jessica)((Photobombed by Orion))

The Pascovers on their way to Service Above Self

And the Pascovers came with Damien's coat

Orion in Damien's coat

And Will DeDiego, Imagine Board Member and Jessica's Client's Dad when she arrived came but the photo I took of them wouldn't upload so I'm just saying it.


Dear Imagine friends and family,

There's a lot of eventy stuff to talk about this month. We have a book signing by our Tim, Halloween in progress, an award given to an Imagine facilitator and appreciation of the film festival that just happened.

The film festival was wonderful once more. The turnout was good and the feeling was great. We didn't mean to hold it on Wednesday and apologize to all who wanted to attend but couldn't on a school/work night. We hope to get it back earlier in the month and on a Friday again next year. Thank you to all who did come, who made movies, who cooked food, who made music, who made new friends and reunited with old ones, who stayed late or left early. That event feels like the day in the year when our mission soars. And whoever that was doing karaoke with Slow Coast, Imagine's official favorite musical act, you brought extra glamor. Boss man E, you were great. Aveanna Healthcare and Santa Cruz County Bank we thank you again for your sponsorship. You should be proud of helping to bring this event to our community. And we're proud of the job Patty and the team of volunteers did once again.

Congratulations, Jessica.

I have long been doubtful of a regional center's ability to distinguish excellence in caregivers but a stopped clock is right twice a day and SARC has been giving its Service Above Self Awards for more than 20 years. Congratulations to the SARC board for its lucky discernment and to Jessica for meriting the award. We are really proud of our staff and Jessica has built several teams from scratch that have developed laudable expertise and commitment to their clients.

Tim's book signing. We could not be prouder that our friend, Tim, has written and published a book of his own mythology. It has sold out several times at Book Shop Santa Cruz but don't you worry because Tim is coming to Imagine and bringing copies for sale. The Book Signing is November 14 at the community room at Imagine, from 4-6 PM. We'll provide pizza and soft drinks. The flyer is below.

And Halloween is all around us as I am writing. You kind find pictures of some of us in costume at left.

Finally, there have been some significant transitions on the Imagine Leadership Team. Brenda Lopez, who has been a successful and wonderful Facilitator made the choice that for now, she prefers to be a Lead Staff. Abra and the Kennedy House benefit and we're glad she loves Imagine enough to stick with us because we're sure that fond of and grateful to her. We are in the process of hiring a new Facilitator. In the meanwhile, her cases have been temporarily added to existing caseloads. Team AJ, I got you.

After two years of filling the front of the office with warmth and the back with latex gloves, Norma received an offer to go and work with Head Start as a coordinator. We thank her for the goodness she brought us and congratulate Head Start on their kind and generous new hire.

Which brings us to the new: New employees and mostly only them will appreciate Eileen who has been recruiting for us as a temp while Fabi takes time with her beautiful new baby. Eileen's intelligence and creativity have added a lot to Imagine and the hiring process. She will be joining the family as an Imagine employee working during Norma's morning hours. The newest member of the leadership team is Jhonny (photo at left,) who will be doing Norma's old position in the afternoons. He share's Norma's positivity but where she is quiet, he is an outspoken gesturer. It meant a lot to Norma to leave Imagine in such good hands and we're grateful to her, Eileen and Jhonny. We are well cared for.

Susan Douglass a soon-to-be-former Imagine mom is stepping down as leader and convener of the Community Connections group of Imagine Parents and Conservators. Susan has been a great board member and did so much to make sure that stakeholder community gets heard, seen and spoken to. I enjoy working with Susan so much and want her to know how much I appreciate her work and look forward to unprecedentedly relaxed conversations going forward.

Further down, this month's newsletter includes the following:.

The Redwood Chronicles has a joke from Jake, aka the Riddler.

Patty Lopez, gets to talk events instead of processes. Her soul is nourished.

I left Jen's explainer in because we are still getting questions.

The Service Sector has discussion of some new things we're trying to streamline our communication, payroll & billing and transparency.

The Person-Centered Evolution column gets a second one month hiatus because I'm tired.

In Community Connections, Susan is stepping down. If you are a parent or conservator of one of our clients and want to step into the breach, please let me know.

Our usual stuff in the columns around advocacy, self-determination, the Imagine Endowment and Transparency.

The Person-Centered Evolution this month is just pictures.

This month we have spotlights on Angie Castro and David P.

This month, the Imagine Activities Calendar is not attached, due to confusion during Norma's transition, my incompetence and the fact that I procrastinated finishing this newsletter until after hours on Halloween. I have seen it and it exists but I don't know where. My apologies for this and if you want a copy, you can get it through your facilitator or by writing to Jhonny.

As ever, I am at your service. If you have any questions, feedback or concerns, please don't hesitate to get in touch. You can write me here. I look forward to hearing from you.

Gratefully yours,


The Imagine Endowment

We have an endowment to support Imagine's future. Imagine will receive regular payments of the returns from these funds. Initially, we expect the impact to be small but as the endowment grows, it holds the promise of helping Imagine help others through hard times to come.

If you are considering a gift to the endowment, either right now or as part of a giving plan or bequest, we have information available here. And thank you.

To make direct contributions please make checks payable to; The Community Foundation of Santa Cruz County.  Designate the "Imagine Supported Living Services Fund". Mail to;   Community Foundation of Santa Cruz County, 7807 Soquel Dr., Aptos, Ca.  95003. 

-Submitted by Doug

The Redwood Chronicles

Riddle. What do you call a blood-sucker with antlers? (Answer below)

-Submitted by Jake Wilkins

[Ed. Moral: Puns are a way to draw blood without needles.]

Explaining Paychecks

[Editors note: The way our new payroll service produces pay stubs makes it hard for vigilant staff to make sure they have been paid correctly, especially around time-and-a-half overtime or worked holidays. To make this easier, Jen has worked with the payroll service to make more detailed pay stubs in lieu of the the clearer ones she hopes to help them eventually create. She explains the stubs below so that, with a little mathing,  at least employees can audit their pay in the meanwhile.]

Upcoming change to Pay Stubs

On the 9/10 check, the format will be changing. Instead of seeing total  hours worked , the check will detail out each day worked in the pay period as well as the clock in and out times. 

Code: Hourly = day shift / awake overnight shifts  (included in overtime).

Code : Regular = sleeping night shift   (not included in overtime). 

Example : 

OT Premium Line 

Each shift that is flagged as Overtime is calculated at the main rate straight across to the amount

Example $19x6=$114  

The overtime balance is then calculated based on a weighted average and added into the OT Premium line at the bottom.  A weighted average is all the rates added up and divided by how many rates in that week.  

The check stub will give what the weighted average is for each week in the notes to the right of your stub. 

Below is the example:

The weighted average is approximately $17.45 .  The rates in the example added up and divided by 12. ( The amount of lines of rates for that week)

Then  take $ 17.45 x 1.5 =  $26.18 for the overtime  for the week represented in the example.  

Because the base rate is already calculated. Subtract the overtime from the weighted average to obtain the hourly rate to be added to the overtime premium, line. 

$26.18 – 17.46 = $ 8.73

Calculate each line of overtime : 

6hrs  x $8.73 = $52.38

16 hrs x $8.73 =$ 139.68

2 hrs x $8.73 = $17.46

12hrs  x $ 8.73 = $ 104.76  

2 hrs  x $8.73 = $ 17.46

These total the overtime premium line for the  balance owed in overtime. 

$ 331.74   ( .03 off in this example bc of decimals that are in their calculation.)

[Second Editor's note: Jen intended the image of the paystub below to accompany the math in her example.]

-Submitted by Jen

Human Resources Corner

Hello all, 

First off, thank you all for attending the 11th annual Imagine Disability Film Festival. We look forward to this event every year not only because of the amazing inclusive films we get to experience, but also because of the company we get to enjoy. I hope that you continue to join us in this event for many years to come. There are small uncertainties when it comes to the future of this event. One that we are saddened to report is that the Jewel Theater Company is having their final season. While we may be able to secure the Culligan Theater location again next year, it is not a certainty. 

On a more positive note regarding this event, we have discussed expanding committee and time frame around the organization of the event in order to make this much more an arts program for the disability community, rather than just a yearly event. More to come about that when we have established what that looks like. 

Next up will be our end of year party. We hope to see you there and that our plans don't get thwarted by the new COVID variant. Please continue to practice precaution around COVID-19 and be sure to alert us if you or someone in your household has tested positive. 

In Good Health, 

Patty Lopez

Assistant Director of Human Resources

Imagine Supported Living Services

Office: 831-464-8355 ext. 112

Cell: (831) 325-7760

Fax: (831) 612-6384

A Plea: This is Doug hijacking the end of Patty's column to say this: The holidays are coming. Between extra pay and fun events, we try to make it worthwhile for people who give care but also recognize that a lot of employees will want that time off. If you expect to need time off during the holidays, please start now by letting us know and seeking coverage.

The Service Sector

Greetings, Imagine Readers!


We’ve been quite busy at Imagine this past month. We had some wonderful events in October, including the Pumpkin Patch Trip, multiple Birthdays, and, of course, the Film Festival! On top of these wonderful events, we’ve started out the 2021 and 2022 financial audits. 


Last month, we piloted 7 teams with computers to clock in and out of shifts and take Shift Notes as well as Task Sign-off in CareSmartz. I would love to hear feedback from direct care staff on how this is going. If you are working on one of the piloted teams, please send feedback to me, Heather.


As the Holidays arrive, we would like to set up a Thanksgiving Gathering for folks who don’t necessarily have somewhere to go. If you would like to host, contribute, or volunteer at a Thanksgiving Gathering, please email me, Heather, for details and how you can help.


Thank you all, and see you in December! 


-Heather Miller 


Self-Determination is now available for any regional center client who chooses it but it sure ain't running smooth. Tentatively, I think it is getting a little better but boy howdy, is there room for improvement to continue.

If I can be of any help, please feel free to contact me. I'm pleased that there are a few current and recent Imagine employees who are developing Independent Facilitation practices and I'll be glad to connect them with those looking.

This month, the Independent Facilitator Roundtable will be today, Wednesday, November 1 at 11AM. The Zoom link is right here.

The Independent Facilitator Network, a confederation of professionals working self-determination (which started at Imagine!) has a Slack Channel you can join by clicking here. Individuals receiving services and family members are welcome and it's a great place to have your SDP questions answered by sad, wise experts.

-Submitted by Doug

Community Connections


On a more personal note…

I find myself at an inflection point in life after having spent most of the past 4 weeks horizontal with my broken right arm elevated on pillows beside me. And yes, I am right-handed! This turn of events has me considering how I’ve been living my life and, having just turned 65, how I might want to adjust some behaviors as I age. I have the good fortune to be retired and I want to start enjoying it more by being gentler with myself and reining in my pace and drive. I want to read more, spend more time with friends, maybe even take an art class. You get the idea. So, in that spirit, I am stepping back from this little bit of involvement with Imagine. I have enjoyed the opportunity to connect more with fellow parents of kids with special needs while making a small contribution to the Imagine organization. Thank you for being part of what makes the Imagine family so special!

Susan Douglass,

(831) 818-2501

[Ed. Note: We really thank Susan for her leadership helping our stakeholder community become more vibrant. We've had great parent-initiated conversations, training and pie. If you think you would like to help us continue to convene our family and conservator community, please let me know.]

Transparency At Imagine

Our next board meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, December 18 at 11AM. At the October meeting, the board voted to provide a pay adjustment via bonus just ahead of Thanksgiving and to continue our usual holiday bonus ahead of Christmas. The December meeting has a pretty sparse agenda so far but should include a preliminary look at our 2024-2025 budget. If you need a break from your Christmas malaise for some drama and fun, please join us. it's kind of like a Hallmark movie in a spreadsheet.

Our last two delinquent audits are in process, after which we might just be able to produce a multi-year annual report for the first time since COVID.

We are still recruiting board members. We are working to diversify the board and to add a GAAP-trained treasurer. An attorney wouldn't be bad either. Neither would you. If you know someone with a passion for our mission who might like to volunteer, please write to me.

-Submitted by Doug

Advocacy Corner

This is the quiet season in government advocacy but local matters too. A group is developing an inclusive playground for Jade Street park in Capitola. Our own Julia H is a leader in the group with her parents. To learn more and consider supporting, click right here.

As always, thanks to Marty Omoto of CDCAN for amplifying the transparency and circularity of information between the community and policy-makers. If you would like to receive CDCAN's extensive reporting, write to Marty. CDCAN's work is entirely funded by the donations of those of us who benefit. Write to me or to Marty if you'd like to kick in.

-Submitted by Doug

Person-Centered Evolution

Wishing neither to delete this column nor to write it this month, I want to reshare this photos of a person-centered kindness provided by Commonroots Farm and Susan Douglass to caregivers working at Coastal Havens. These are called "Bouquets of Thanks" arranged by Susan.

-Photo Submitted by Tanya

Spotlight on Angie

Angie is, for now, one of the newer Facilitators at Imagine. She started this spring. The truth is that during the pandemic, a lot of facilitators fell behind on important work and left lots of catching up for their successors to do. All of the 2023 vintage Facilitators started their job behind and without a Director of Services to mentor them.

Angie has struggled with the rest of her peers but stands out for her sense of humor and ability to grapple with cheer (and some pretty effective cussing.) She brought in Beto, our new client and staffed him up quickly. She adds a lot to the leadership and as she catches up (which for Facilitators and Executive Directors is always a high-viscosity swim) will bring a lot to her teams.


I had the opportunity just the other day to notice "she even drives funny."

-Submitted by Doug

Spotlight on David

David and Russell

David P demonstrates how charismatic a guy can be with subtle language and a lot of gesturing. David is smart, energetic and fascinating. He walks four miles a day and makes friends of man and dog along the way.

David's also an introvert. For most of the time he has been at Imagine has had the smallest team of any 24/7 client, often only two caregivers providing all his care.

In the last year we have started expanding his team in order to broaden his support and give his caregivers more time for themselves. He now has a two-person daytime team of Omar and Abigail helping him to exercise and explore the community. His overnight team of Russell (pictured with David at the Film Festival) and James are the most experienced, longest-tenured team at the agency. Together, the enriched team is helping David experiment with the PECS system to support his sense of order, autonomy and expression; are developing new patterns of healthy activity and listening actively to better understand David's language.

David's intelligence is obvious to all of us who know him. As he learns new tools of expression, we are all looking forward to learning the things he has been trying to teach us for almost two decades.

-Submitted by Doug

Birthdays & Anniversaries

Staff and Client Birthdays:

Abigail C.

Kaylie C.

Valeria C.

Agustin D.

Cynthia H.

Jade K.

Berenice L.

Daisy L.

Vanessa M.

Melissa O.

Daisy O.

Elizabeth P.

Silvia P.

Jaliyah R.

Mike S.

Wendy T.

Stephanie U.

Thalia V.

Jose V.

Staff Anniversaries:

Tanya W. - 9 Years!!!

Joanna Z. - 8 Years!!!

Jai S. - 5 Years!!

Janet E. - 3 Years!!

Maria L. 1 Year!

Thank you for your commitment!

The November Calendar is prepared but not included. To receive a copy, please write to Jhonny who can send you one. It will be available on our website and through our social media, hopefully by the end of today.

Imagine Supported Living Services
9065 Soquel Drive
Aptos, Ca 95003
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