B40 Drive project heading out to bid soon

Dear Street Smarts, Q: I live on Branciforte Drive and I am wondering if there is a start date yet to fix the washout on our road and the one on Glen Canyon. Last I heard, the contractor promised to have it completed by now. Gina Weeks, Facebook A: Check out http://www.dpw.co.santa-cruz.ca.us/ and click on "Advertised Projects" to view Santa Cruz County Public Works' current projects out to bid. Glen Canyon is listed, with Branciforte being added soon, according to an official there. Public works is waiting for one last permit from the state for the project, which was approved by the county board of supervisors June 24. Further questions can be referred to 831-454-2160. Q: This advice may be too late for you and your trip with your family, but I am frantically packing for our own road trip and thought of your request for help keeping young folks entertained. Maybe something here can help:
  • Books on CD/tape/Playaway from the library can be magic. Us humans tend to zone out easy with TV and the same can happen with a story.
  • Withholding treats seems mean but less food means less activity. I love to snack while driving but notice a big difference in annoying attitude from kids and adults when there is no food in the car.
  • Bribery. I don't like this option much but it has helped sometimes. "If you don't make noise for 1 hour, you will get x-y-z."
  • iPad/tablet with lots of video. Two iPads, one for each is really what you need. Yes, you can get them their own iCloud account but use your one iTunes account for all movies and apps so you can all share your iTunes account. Apps like Minecraft can have versions that allow offline playing. There is even an Monopoly game they can play on two iPads in the car.
  • iPod for you only. When I was commuting with my daughter in pre-school she was a screamer all the way over Highway 17. I finally learned to just plug up one ear with an iPod and an audible "book on tape" and let her scream. She screamed, I zoned out.
  • Podcasts. If you have an iPod and don't want to buy books or movies, there are tons of free Podcasts. Even if the podcast is just for you, hearing something like "CarTalk" or something else somewhat funny might be enough to get the kids to listen for a while.
  • Legos. Yes, it is a mess. Yes, you will loose pieces but it's worth it.
  • Rent an RV. Don't know if you need one to sleep in but they are great to drive in with kids. At least they can eat and [use the restroom] on their own time.
  • Do you TiVo? We love our Tivo but more so now that they have an app to download content to a smartphone or tablet.
  • Drugs -- NO! I have tried Benadryl also but it didn't work and I felt horrible. It won't be forever that they act like this but turning to drugs can be a danger in the long run.
  • Let them scream. Is it possible to just ignore them? As long as they are not tossing each other out of the car or hitting you then it really doesn't matter.
Hope some of this helps. If you found anything else that works, I hope you post it later in your column. Us parents can learn from each other. Diana Adamic, via email A: Thank you so much for your tips. I already use rewards and consequences but I am going to have to try the audio books as well as movies and games on our tablet.
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