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Making a splash

Modified: Friday, Jun 24th, 2016

YMCA participates in worldwide swim lesson

WATSONVILLE -- More than 100 children got a swim lesson Friday in the Watsonville YMCA swimming pool, but they were far from the only ones.
The brief lesson was part of the World's Largest Swimming Lesson, which kicked off in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, and then swept through 24 countries in

Not only in dreams

Posted: Friday, Jun 24th, 2016
WATSONVILLE -- As a water system operator at Pajaro Valley Water Management Agency, Shinehah Bigham said she is constantly using the "rational" side of her brain when working with numbers.
But when she dives into creating her artwork, which consists of a wide range of media including painting and photography, Bigham is able to enter into a state

Farm Bureau holds annual dinner

Modified: Friday, Jun 24th, 2016
WATSONVILLE -- With a sweeping view of verdant Pajaro Valley farmlands in the distance, and the sun slipping behind the horizon through cloudless skies, dozens of people gathered at Live Earth Farms Thursday for the 99th annual dinner meeting of the Santa Cruz County Farm Bureau.
The meeting has long been a way to bring the agriculture community

Flames consume garage

Posted: Friday, Jun 24th, 2016
WATSONVILLE -- An intense and fast-moving fire tore through a garage on the 100 block of Memorial Avenue early Friday.
About 8:15 a.m. emergency dispatchers received multiple calls about flames consuming the single story wood garage behind a home at 27 Memorial Ave. When firefighters arrived the fire had advanced throughout the garage, which had been

Seabreeze Tavern loses liquor license

Modified: Friday, Jun 24th, 2016

Owner has one year to transfer

RIO DEL MAR -- A Rio Del Mar business owner who ran a failed campaign for Santa Cruz County supervisor in June has lost his liquor license after being slammed with an 11-count complaint.
Rich McInnis, who owns the Seabreeze Tavern, now has a year to sell his license, said California

Two families displaced in late-night blaze

Posted: Wednesday, Jun 22nd, 2016
Man flown out with serious injuries
WATSONVILLE -- A single family home, a motor home and two vehicles were destroyed by fire late Tuesday night on the 300 block of Manfre Road. A neighboring home was also heavily damaged. Neighbors said the fire, which appears to have killed a dog, broke out just after 10 p.m.

A risk in change

Posted: Wednesday, Jun 22nd, 2016
Local consultant calls for empathy and diversity in workplace dynamics
With a Mexican father and a Jewish-American mother with Ukrainian roots, Armando Alcaraz found himself outside most social groups as he worked his way through school and early jobs. 
Living in Mexico City for his formative years, Alcaraz remembers being lighter in skin than his fellow students. He also remembers

Tentative agreement ends three-year conflict

Posted: Wednesday, Jun 22nd, 2016

Nurses cancel Watsonville strike, to vote on Friday

WATSONVILLE -- After more than three years without a contract, California Nurses Association announced Wednesday a tentative three-year agreement with Community Health Systems.
The Tennessee-company runs Watsonville Community Hospital, along with 158 other hospitals in 22 states.
A two-day strike in Watsonville beginning Wednesday by more than 300

Police: Alleged child molester attempted to steal evidence

Posted: Tuesday, Jun 21st, 2016
SANTA CRUZ -- An El Dorado man suspected of molesting a preschool-age girl also allegedly broke into a vehicle to retrieve video evidence of himself committing the crime, Santa Cruz Police spokeswoman Joyce Blaschke said.
Timothy Ritchison, 47, was charged with lewd and lascivious acts with a minor and booked into El Dorado County Jail. He was extradited to

Ancient art revival

Posted: Monday, Jun 20th, 2016

Encaustic art taught, practiced in Santa Cruz County

With origins rooted in ancient Egypt and Greece, the practice of burning and turning wax into art has been long standing. 
Also known as encaustic art, Santa Cruz County is home to a school and cluster of artists that specialize in the

Greenhouses welcome the public

Posted: Monday, Jun 20th, 2016
AROMAS -- Four greenhouses in Watsonville and surrounding areas opened their doors Saturday to give the public a glimpse into their operations.
California Pajarosa, Kitayama Brothers, Four Winds Growers and Succulent Gardens welcomed guests to the one-day Monterey Bay Greenhouse Growers Open House Tour, each donating a portion of the day's sales to local organizations.
Aaron Dillon

PV trustees to consider budget

Posted: Monday, Jun 20th, 2016
WATSONVILLE -- The Pajaro Valley Unified School District Board of Trustees will consider approval of this year's budget Wednesday, which shows continued improvement after years of recession-era cuts.
State law requires school districts to submit a balanced budget by June 30.
Also at the meeting, the trustees will consider approving a 7 percent salary increase for classified management

Being a better father

Posted: Monday, Jun 20th, 2016
PAPÁS celebrates local families
WATSONVILLE -- In honor of Father's Day, PAPÁS of Watsonville threw their 10th annual celebration for local fathers and their families at Callaghan Park Saturday.
Games, arts and crafts, information tables, live music and plenty of food marked the four-hour event.
"We decided to hold our celebration out in the

Showing up to listen

Posted: Friday, Jun 17th, 2016

Judge swears in new group as child advocates for CASA

WATSONVILLE -- Standing before a judge in a closed courtroom, the most recent group of volunteers were sworn in as child advocates Tuesday.
Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) match volunteers with children who have been removed from their homes because of abuse or neglect. These volunteers dedicate two

Local 'Heroes' honored Breakfast recognizes 11

Posted: Friday, Jun 17th, 2016
APTOS -- Eleven people were brought to the stage Friday to be honored and thanked for their outstanding deeds at the American Red Cross 2016 Heroes Breakfast.
With hundreds packed into the auditorium at Twin Lakes Church the individuals were each introduced with a brief video before they were called to the stage to be presented with an

A wave goodbye

Posted: Friday, Jun 17th, 2016
Friends, family attend memorial paddle-out for former officer
PLEASURE POINT -- Former Watsonville Police officer Skip Prigge was remembered Friday as a friend, a son, a mentor and a man whose soul was inextricably interconnected with the ocean he loved.
To emphasize that point, more than a dozen people donned wetsuits, picked up surf boards and floated into the

Watsonville hoping residents keep off the grass

Posted: Friday, Jun 17th, 2016
Rebate programs aimed at lawn replacement
WATSONVILLE -- More than five years of drought has baked California, and residents are watching as lakes and reservoirs dry up, trees die off and groundwater supplies run dangerously low.
And so, in an effort to stop residents and business owners from dumping thousands of gallons of fresh water to irrigate their lawns,

Watsonville welcomes new faces

Posted: Friday, Jun 17th, 2016
Huffaker, Meek join government
WATSONVILLE -- Two new faces have joined city government, shortly after a couple of longstanding employees left on different paths.
Matt Huffaker has been tapped as the new assistant city manager, replacing Marcela Tavantzis, who left the position to become the Santa Cruz County Assistant Public Works Director in late April. In addition, Justin

'A growing success'

Posted: Wednesday, Jun 15th, 2016

Seventh-annual Monterey Bay Greenhouse Growers Open House Tour on for Saturday

WATSONVILLE -- Pajaro Valley boasts many thousands of acres of berries, greens, apples and artichokes, a bounty that puts the region on the map as an agricultural epicenter.
But as consumers snap up produce and other farm-fresh goods from markets, what they don't see are the

Visitors flocking to state parks

Posted: Wednesday, Jun 15th, 2016
WATSONVILLE -- Dozens of people in Sunset State Park were undeterred by heavy winds that blew over their tents Tuesday, as they made the best of their camping experience in the full campground.
They joined thousands throughout the state who have been filling sites and flocking to the state's 280 parks.
The California State Park reservation system

Cell tower denied

Posted: Wednesday, Jun 15th, 2016

Majority of council sides with neighbor group

WATSONVILLE -- The Watsonville City Council granted a neighborhood group's request to deny a cell tower proposed for Ohlone Parkway.
The council on Wednesday voted 5-2 to approve an appeal submitted by the group "Ohlone Neighbors Say: No to Cell Tower."
The Watsonville Planning Commission originally denied

Marijuana tax approved by council

Posted: Wednesday, Jun 15th, 2016

Goes before voters in November

WATSONVILLE -- Voters in November will decide if medical marijuana facilities within the city should be taxed after the Watsonville City Council agreed to put the issue on the ballot Tuesday.
The council voted 5-2, with Mayor Felipe Hernandez and Councilman Lowell Hurst dissenting.
According to Assistant Community Development Director

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