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A roll in the park: City celebrates opening of new skate park

Modified: Monday, May 23rd, 2016
WATSONVILLE -- More than a year ago, Mayor Felipe Hernandez witnessed a group of teens packing up their skateboards into a car, preparing to leave Ramsay Park's skate park.
He learned that the group was heading to Scotts Valley to its skate park, a park that proves to be more challenging for skateboarders young and old alike. Ramsay

Cervantez Alejo aiming for Assembly seat

Posted: Monday, May 23rd, 2016
WATSONVILLE -- Before she was elected to Watsonville City Council in 2012, Karina Cervantez Alejo involved herself in several aspects of the Watsonville community.
Now, after serving out her first term, she is running for the seat on the 30th Assembly District, which is currently occupied by her husband, Luis Alejo.
Cervantez Alejo served on the city's

Ceremonies scheduled for Monday

Posted: Monday, May 23rd, 2016
SANTA CRUZ COUNTY -- With Memorial Day Weekend beginning this week, ocean advocacy group Save Our Shores is asking revelers to take steps toward preventing pollution from entering the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary.
Save Our Shores recommends five steps beachgoers can follow:
1. Avoid bringing single-use polystyrene (styrofoam) and single-use plastic items such as plastic bags, utensils,

Cabrillo commencement kicks off graduation season

Modified: Monday, May 23rd, 2016
APTOS -- Decked out in caps and gowns, many of which were bejeweled and otherwise customized with the names of their majors, more than 1,300 Cabrillo College students graduated Friday afternoon at Carl Connelly Stadium.
According to Cabrillo spokeswoman Kristin Fabos, roughly 42 percent of local high school graduates come to Cabrillo in the year after high school.

Mexican medical student visits Watsonville

Modified: Friday, May 20th, 2016
WATSONVILLE -- A woman who was born in Watsonville Community Hospital, grew up in a small town east of Guadalajara and spent her summers here visiting her grandparents has returned, 23 years later, to the hospital where her life started.
She does this as a new phase in her life begins.
Kinnereth Vazquez, 23, is a fifth-year

Music to their ears

Posted: Friday, May 20th, 2016

Watsonville Community Band hosting summer music program

WATSONVILLE -- As a brisk breeze blew over music stands and scattered music papers across the blacktop Thursday, the Hall District Elementary School Band gathered in the playground for a rehearsal.
It was a hodgepodge of notes from clarinets, flutes, trumpets, trombones, and recorders as the fourth- and fifth-graders warmed up.

Health Trust presents 2 Phil Rather awards

Posted: Friday, May 20th, 2016
WATSONVILLE -- The Board of Directors of the Pajaro Valley Community Health Trust honored two winners of the 2016 Phil Rather Award for Leadership in Healthcare during a reception held at the Health Trust in their honor on Wednesday.
The honorees were the Watsonville Family YMCA for its initiative and leadership in offering diabetes prevention

Celebrations for funds

Modified: Wednesday, May 18th, 2016
Nonprofit serving seniors to hold fundraiser

WATSONVILLE -- Cindy's Celebrations was created in 1990 as a partial solution for isolation in seniors and to give caregivers some respite.
For 26 years and three to four times a week, volunteers go out, pick up seniors, take them to lunch, have fellowship

Stored rail cars are empty, officials say

Posted: Wednesday, May 18th, 2016
Due to ailing oil industry
WATSONVILLE -- Stationed in several places along Santa Cruz County's railroad system are dozens of empty rail oil tankers, which are being stored here temporarily by an ailing petroleum industry.
According to Santa Cruz Regional Transportation Commission Senior Planner Karena Pushnik, the storage agreement is part of the 10-year agreement between the RTC

Dutra Farms sued for sexual harassment, inaction

Posted: Wednesday, May 18th, 2016

Problem for female farm workers widespread

Editor's note: The information in this story comes from an official court document filed by California Rural Legal Assistance on behalf of a woman who claims she is the victim of sexual harassment. Attorneys on both sides of the case declined to comment. Because of the nature of the allegations,

Man shot multiple times

Modified: Tuesday, May 17th, 2016
WATSONVILLE -- A man was shot twice in downtown Watsonville Tuesday.
Watsonville Police Deputy Chief David McCartney said the victim suffered non-life-threatening injuries after being shot with a small caliber handgun.
Police secured a crime scene in the Discount Mall parking lot on Rodriguez Street between West Beach and Second streets.
Moments after the shooting the victim arrived at

PVUSD, teachers reach tentative agreement

Posted: Monday, May 16th, 2016
Final approval in June
WATSONVILLE -- After six months of negotiations, the Pajaro Valley Federation of Teachers has reached a tentative agreement with Pajaro Valley Unified School District.
Under the agreement, teachers will receive a 4 percent raise, which is retroactive to July 2015.
In addition, teachers who are required to spend their preparation period substituting for absent

State cutting funding for transportation projects

Posted: Monday, May 16th, 2016
Three Watsonville projects affected
WATSONVILLE -- Three transportation projects in Watsonville are at risk of losing funds as the state grapples with declining revenue due to falling oil prices.
A pedestrian bridge planned adjacent to the Harkins Slough Road overpass, which is heavily used by Pajaro Valley High School students, is slated to lose $6.8 million in funding

Oaxacan culture celebrated

Posted: Monday, May 16th, 2016
SANTA CRUZ -- The 11th annual Vive Oaxaca Guelaguetza cultural festival unfolded Sunday at the Harbor High athletic field. The event is designed to showcase live traditional dances, dress, music and food from Oaxaca, Mexico.
Staged by the nonprofit group, Senderos, the event drew more than 4,400 people.

Hats on

Modified: Friday, May 13th, 2016
Annual fundraising luncheon held

WATSONVILLE -- Each year organizers have watched the numbers grow for Agri-Culture's annual Down to Earth Women Luncheon, and this year was no different.
The event works as a fundraiser and as a platform to promote education in agriculture and women's role in the field. Held at Driscoll's Rancho Thursday, it is one

New School student gives new life to choking toddler

Modified: Friday, May 13th, 2016
WATSONVILLE -- The young family of a 2-year-old girl was lucky to have Watsonville's New School junior sitting at the table next to them Tuesday in a crowded restaurant.
That's because, when their little girl started choking on food, went limp and turned purple, Oswald Veronica stepped in and knew just what had to be

Congressional candidates square off

Posted: Friday, May 13th, 2016
PV Chamber hosts forum
WATSONVILLE -- The five candidates vying for the 20th District Congressional seat met on stage at the Watsonville Elks Lodge Thursday in a forum sponsored by the Pajaro Valley Chamber of Commerce & Agriculture.
Jack Digby, Barbara Honegger, Casey Lucius, Jimmy Panetta and Joe Williams are hoping to fill the vacancy left when Sam Farr

Monterey County pilots pesticide notification program

Modified: Wednesday, May 11th, 2016
SALINAS -- Surrounded by a group of activists that has long fought the application of pesticides around schools, the Monterey County Agricultural Commissioner on Tuesday announced a new set of rules that will alert schools, parents and students when pesticide fumigation will occur.
The rules will affect Pajaro Middle, Ohlone Elementary and Hall District Elementary schools in the Pajaro

Supervisor seeks another term

Posted: Wednesday, May 11th, 2016
Zach Friend eyes transportation, housing
WATSONVILLE -- During his three-and-a-half years as Second District County Supervisor, Zach Friend said he feels like he accomplished a "reasonable amount."
Two years ago during budget discussions, Friend put forward an item that recreated the county parks department. The department had been eliminated during the recession, with half of its staff laid

Council extends Lincoln Street closure

Posted: Wednesday, May 11th, 2016
WATSONVILLE -- The Watsonville City Council agreed to allow Watsonville High School to close a section of Lincoln Street for nearly two more hours during school days.
The council voted unanimously Tuesday to close Lincoln Street between East Beach and Maple streets from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The road, which runs through the center of the campus,

Commercial cannabis ordinance moves forward

Posted: Wednesday, May 11th, 2016
SANTA CRUZ COUNTY -- The Board of Supervisors voted 5-0 Tuesday to begin the process of licensing medical cannabis suppliers within county jurisdiction.
The vote, which approved what Supervisor Zach Friend called the "largest change in land use policy in decades," directs the County Counsel to draft an ordinance that establishes a licensing regime and interim registration system for

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