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Cabrillo launches graduation season

Posted: Friday, May 22nd, 2015
APTOS -- Gray, blistery weather did not dampen the festive spirit at Cabrillo College's Carl Connelly Stadium Friday, as 1,168 people received degrees and certificates at the annual commencement ceremony.
The graduates ranged in age from 17 to 74, with an average of 29. Some 62 percent were female.
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Council may declare water emergency

Posted: Friday, May 22nd, 2015
WATSONVILLE -- After Gov. Jerry Brown announced mandatory water reductions on April 1, the Watsonville City Council will consider declaring a water supply emergency Tuesday.
According to a report by Steve Palmisano, director of Public Works and Utilities, and Nancy Lockwood, environmental projects manager, Watsonville received a water conservation target of 20 percent from the State Water Resources Control
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A way to remember

Posted: Friday, May 22nd, 2015
SANTA CRUZ COUNTY -- The somber words "In loving memory Christopher Ryan Helmer 1992-2008" are read while children run and play only feet away, screaming in youthful delight. Here couples steal hidden kisses while music is playing from the many businesses that line the walkway in the Esplanade, the faint sounds of waves rolling in on Capitola Beach accentuating the
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PV Health Trust announces Phil Rather Award winners

Posted: Friday, May 22nd, 2015
WATSONVILLE -- The Board of Directors of the Pajaro Valley Community Health Trust honored two winners of the 2015 Phil Rather Award for Leadership in Healthcare during a reception on Wednesday.
The honorees were Dr. Stan Hajduk, Emergency Medicine Physician at Watsonville Community Hospital (retired) and a founding and current member of the Health Trust Board of Directors.
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A summer of activities

Posted: Wednesday, May 20th, 2015
WATSONVILLE -- As summer approaches and young people gird themselves for days of nothing to do, Santa Cruz County's Regional Occupational Program organizers are hoping that they will come back to school.
The classes on tap, however, are far from the rigorous academic bonds from which the students will soon be released.
Instead, the free, weeklong construction technology and
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Watsonville could lose $4.4 million repayment

Posted: Wednesday, May 20th, 2015
WATSONVILLE -- If a budget proposal released Thursday by Gov. Jerry Brown is approved by the state legislature and signed by the Governor when it returns to his desk in June, it would mean Watsonville is once again on the hook for a $4.4 million loan.
That would be another chapter in a story that began in 2006 when the
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Jail to Jobs fair first of its kind

Posted: Wednesday, May 20th, 2015
WATSONVILLE -- When inmates are released from custody, they often find themselves at odds with a society that is wary of their past.
Consequently, finding employment and housing become becomes a difficult proposition, and as a result many find life after their release difficult.
Enter the Santa Cruz County Jail to Jobs program, which brings employers to
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An army of volunteers honored

Posted: Wednesday, May 20th, 2015
SANTA CRUZ -- Every day, beginning long before the sun comes up, a legion of volunteers arrives at the Grey Bears' Santa Cruz location prepared to work.
And that is just what they do.
Every year, 500 volunteers donate approximately 80,000 hours, which includes preparing meals, working in the recycling center, the electronics store and sorting and bagging
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Suspect in Google exec’s death pleads guilty

Posted: Wednesday, May 20th, 2015
SANTA CRUZ -- Alix Tichelman, the alleged prostitute who was facing seven charges, including involuntary manslaughter, for the death of Google Glass executive Forrest Hayes, surprised the court Tuesday by pleading guilty to all seven charges.
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Watsonville hosts first-ever Open Streets event

Posted: Monday, May 18th, 2015
WATSONVILLE -- Sporadic canopies and broken laughter filled the streets of Watsonville Sunday as people came together for the city's first Open Streets event. Focusing on physical activity and alternative modes of transportation, Open Streets put on several activities and there was steady pedestrian traffic as a reward for their efforts.
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Addressing the issue of homelessness

Posted: Monday, May 18th, 2015
SANTA CRUZ -- City and county leaders teamed up with law officials, the District Attorney's Office, health services, and the courts Monday to review a year's worth of the Downtown Accountability Program that deals with homelessness and its tax on the system.
Santa Cruz County District Attorney Jeff Rosell also announced that DAP will be renamed the Bob Lee
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American Hat Makers to hold open house at new location

Posted: Monday, May 18th, 2015
WATSONVILLE -- More than four decades after Gary Watrous began selling handmade leather goods out of his Chevrolet station wagon, his business has evolved into a hat company of international renown.
Head'n Home Hats, now known as American Hat Makers, operated for years from Watrous' seven-acre property on Buena Vista Drive, where workers created six brands and hundreds of
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Celebrating the roots of Oaxaca, Mexico

Posted: Monday, May 18th, 2015
SANTA CRUZ -- The people and culture of Oaxaca, Mexico, took the center stage Sunday at the tenth annual Guelaguetza Festival on the athletic field of Harbor High School. More than 5,000 people poured onto the field for the daylong celebration that included authentic music and garb, Oaxacan food and colorful lineup of traditional dance.
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Women get down to earth

Modified: Friday, May 15th, 2015
CORRALITOS -- For eight years, Watsonville's most elegant women have donned their fanciest outfits and hats to attend the annual Down to Earth Women Luncheon, a kaleidoscope of colors and a convocation of lace, satin and multifarious materials.
Created for women who work in or support Pajaro Valley and Santa Cruz County agriculture, the event was designed to raise
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Aptos Village construction slated for fall

Posted: Friday, May 15th, 2015
APTOS -- The Aptos Village project, a years-in-the-making plan that will add new commercial space and nearly 70 homes, is slated to begin construction in the fall.
Representatives from Barry Swenson Builder, who is developing the project, gave an update on the plan during the Aptos Chamber of Commerce's monthly breakfast meeting Thursday.
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Ceramic ‘farmers market’ on display

Posted: Friday, May 15th, 2015
APTOS -- At the recent California Conference for the Advancement of Ceramic Art, held annually in Davis, Cabrillo College students set up a farmers market, complete with bell peppers, mushrooms, strawberries and other fruits and vegetables.
But when patrons walked up to the market and picked up produce they wanted to buy, they found them to be solid and
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Deeply involved in community, Aptos High senior thanks friends

Posted: Friday, May 15th, 2015
WATSONVILLE -- Brandon Gruber was a sophomore when he came to Aptos High School, and soon thereafter he met his first bully.
It would also turn out to be one of his last, thanks to his friend Saul Miramontes who stood up to the tormentor.
The bully was possibly drawn to the fact that Gruber has Down syndrome.
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Local band taking off

Posted: Friday, May 15th, 2015
WATSONVILLE -- A local five-piece rock and pop band has been making waves around the Pajaro Valley with their original tunes and earnest stage presence. The Valerias, made up of students from Pajaro Valley and Watsonville high schools and a Cabrillo College student, are a no-nonsense, straight ahead band that delivers bold and original tunes.
The Valerias began three
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PV Trustees hire new assistant superintendent; will oversee high and middle schools

Modified: Thursday, May 14th, 2015
WATSONVILLE -- The Pajaro Valley Unified School District Board of Trustees on Wednesday approved hiring the person who will replace outgoing Assistant Superintendent of Secondary Instruction Murry Schekman.
Mark Brewer has been an educator for more than two decades, and is noted for helping to open American Canyon High School in Napa, where he is now principal.
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Grant helps Cabrillo establish tech lab

Modified: Wednesday, May 13th, 2015
APTOS -- At Cabrillo College, the Center for Engineering, Science and Math buzzes with a low hum as students pour over materials, ask questions and scour for information. With just one week before finals, cramming is in but soon the students will have more to celebrate than just leaving another semester in the dust.
This fall a new virtual
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Castañeda chosen as parade Grand Marshal

Posted: Wednesday, May 13th, 2015
WATSONVILLE -- Gina Castañeda will lead the 2015 Spirit of Watsonville Fourth of July Parade as its Grand Marshal, the selection committee announced Tuesday.
Castañeda, who is a Santa Cruz County Juvenile Probation Officer, founded the Aztecas Soccer Program for Latino juvenile probationers who affiliate with both Norteño and Sureño gangs.
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WHS students head to the fair

Posted: Wednesday, May 13th, 2015
WATSONVILLE -- In a small, penned-in section of Watsonville High School's agriculture class on Tuesday afternoon, four Yorkshire cross pigs were variously lounging in patches of sun and relaxing in the shade.
Two lambs, meanwhile, were craning their necks over the bars of their pen, hoping for a snack from passersby.
The animals, which includes two steer, have been
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Pajaro rail station in design phase

Posted: Wednesday, May 13th, 2015
PAJARO -- A rail station that would connect Pajaro and Watsonville with the Silicon Valley is currently in the design phase, and if the project receives a grant, construction could begin in 2017.
Christina Watson, principal transportation planner with the Transportation Agency for Monterey County, said the agency is currently waiting to hear back on its application for
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Council adopts bylaws for Measure G committee

Posted: Wednesday, May 13th, 2015
WATSONVILLE -- The Watsonville City Council approved a set of bylaws for the Revenue Measure Oversight Committee Tuesday, with the hope that it will run more efficiency.
City Attorney Alan Smith, who drafted the bylaws, said the committee has operated without a structure since Measure G, the half-percent sales tax measure that is meant for the police and fire
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City sees development boom

Posted: Monday, May 11th, 2015
WATSONVILLE -- After more than eight decades, a squat row of buildings on the corner of Riverside Drive and Main Street is being demolished to make way for a fast-food restaurant.
A McDonald's -- Watsonville's third -- will replace Oda's barbershop, Caesar's Card Room and TV Repair Shop.
The project is garnering jeers from opponents concerned about added traffic and
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Open Streets marks first time in Watsonville

Posted: Monday, May 11th, 2015
WATSONVILLE -- Children can run and play on the streets, live music will sound, dancers will dance, artists will draw and for just a few hours asphalt will be repurposed as a park for the community. Open Streets Santa Cruz County is coming to Watsonville.
This Sunday, on Brennan/Union Street between Callaghan Park and the City Plaza, a
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Annual Day on the Farm attracts hundreds

Posted: Monday, May 11th, 2015
WATSONVILLE -- From ice cream making, to hay rides and tractor driving, the Agricultural History Project's annual Day on the Farm Saturday gave families a glimpse of the daily life their predecessors experienced.
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PV Loaves and Fishes’ recent upgrades tackle hunger issues

Posted: Monday, May 11th, 2015
WATSONVILLE -- On a Tuesday afternoon, a line of people gathered on Second Street, chatting with each other as they waited to be served lunch.
These people are of all ages, gender and walks of life. Among those in line were homeless, youth, seniors, and the mentally or physically disabled.
It's these people that Pajaro Valley Loaves and
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Strawberry Commission awards scholarships

Posted: Monday, May 11th, 2015
WATSONVILLE -- On Thursday, the California Strawberry Commission Scholarship Awards dinner was held at the Kennedy Youth Center. Students from Watsonville and Salinas were awarded their scholarships.
A total of 340 attended this dinner, including Watsonville Mayor Nancy Bilicich and city councilmembers.
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Literary publication celebrates 30 years

Posted: Monday, May 11th, 2015
APTOS -- It began as a black and white, cut-and-pasted broadside publication that featured literature created by students and teachers, put together by a small club of writers.
Now, 30 years later, the Porter Gulch Review is put together entirely by Cabrillo College students, is professionally bound, and boasts nearly 200 pages of literature, photographs and other artwork with
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