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LGBT group ramping up for summer march

Posted: Monday, Feb 8th, 2016
WATSONVILLE -- From its beginning in 2008, managing South County's only gay pride event has been a difficult endeavor.
From raising the needed funds to navigating local and state bureaucracies to recruiting the army of volunteers, organizers from SOMOS LGBT have had their hands full.
Indeed, the annual march and rally was put on hold in 2012 after funds
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PG&E to inspect trees on some properties

Posted: Monday, Feb 8th, 2016
WATSONVILLE -- Some South County residents this week will receive letters from Pacific Gas & Electric about gas lines that run near their homes, and about removing trees that could be obstructing them.
A PG&E representative will come to the homes of any affected residents and check the placement of trees. If any need to be removed, the company
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Volunteers restore Struve Slough

Posted: Monday, Feb 8th, 2016
WATSONVILLE -- With more than 950 native plants waiting to be placed along Struve Slough, it would take quite a large force to complete the undertaking.
Fortunately, more than 100 volunteers were well-equipped for the task Saturday.
Volunteers of all ages convened on Upper Struve Slough for the annual World Wetlands Day celebration organized by Watsonville Wetlands Watch
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By the grain

Modified: Monday, Feb 8th, 2016

Local wine stopper maker makes no two alike


ROYAL OAKS -- They sit in a dazzling collection of colors and wood grain patterns, smoothed and polished for style and longevity. To the average eye, they might be pretty wine-stoppers, but to one man, they are his hobby.
Making about $5 a piece on them, Thomas Wylie uses
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Fox Theatre to host Film Festival

Posted: Friday, Feb 5th, 2016
WATSONVILLE -- Nearly seven years after the Fox Theatre closed its doors in downtown Watsonville, a group of community organizers is planning its revival.
The little theater will play host to the fifth-annual Watsonville Film Festival this year, director and co-founder Consuelo Alba said Friday.
"This is a big change," she said. "We definitely have a longer-term vision
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An avid discussion: Class helps prepare students for college

Posted: Friday, Feb 5th, 2016
WATSONVILLE -- When Watsonville High School junior Isaac Ruiz graduates, he will be the first in his family to attend a four-year university.
To prepare himself, he said he is immersing himself in his studies and keeping counsel with his teachers.
"I ask them what I should do, and I take their advice," he said.
Ruiz,
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Food bank shatters holiday record

Posted: Friday, Feb 5th, 2016
WATSONVILLE -- Second Harvest Food Bank broke its own record during the holiday season, raising enough money and food for nearly 100,000 more meals than last year.
In an early morning breakfast meeting Friday, the South County agency announced that it raised 4,166,490 meals to feed hungry families during the Holiday Food Drive, which ended Jan. 15.
The
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Aptos arson suspect appears in court

Posted: Thursday, Feb 4th, 2016
APTOS -- Brian Tell, the man suspected of setting numerous cars and a carport on fire Jan. 20 in Aptos, made his first appearance in court Thursday for arraignment.
In the courtroom of Judge John Salazar, Tell was assigned public defender Mark Briscoe with Steve Drotter representing the District Attorney's Office.
Tell pleaded not guilty.
Though
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Terry Medina joins Community Foundation

Modified: Wednesday, Feb 3rd, 2016
WATSONVILLE -- Since its creation more than three decades ago, Community Foundation Santa Cruz County has worked to help many hundreds of donors both small and large direct their charitable efforts to the causes closest to their hearts.
The foundation also works with organizations and charities to which donations go, assuring the needs of both donors and recipients are met.
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World Wetlands Day is Saturday

Posted: Wednesday, Feb 3rd, 2016
WATSONVILLE -- In honor of World Wetlands Day, Watsonville Wetlands Watch and the City of Watsonville will host the ninth annual restoration project on Saturday.
This year's project will include planting native plants along Struve Slough, family-friendly games and activities, bilingual nature and bird walks, free food and music.
"We are planning an exciting community
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Arson suspect nabbed at his Aptos home

Posted: Wednesday, Feb 3rd, 2016
APTOS -- A man has been arrested on suspicion of setting six cars and a carport on fire Jan. 20 in Aptos.
Brian Tell, 44, of Aptos was arrested Monday after detectives with the Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Office got a tip that stemmed from high quality surveillance video images of Tell lurking around some buildings near Park Avenue
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Cervantez Alejo earns nod from Democratic Party

Posted: Wednesday, Feb 3rd, 2016
SAN JOSE -- Watsonville Mayor Pro-tem Karina Cervantez-Alejo gained a key victory Saturday at a Democratic caucus vote in San Jose.
Cervantez Alejo, who is running for the 30th District California Assembly seat, garnered 96 percent of 45 possible votes at the California Democratic Party Region 7 pre-endorsement meeting. That far surpassed the 70 percent she needed to pick up
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Roudon-Smith part of winemakers’ collective

Modified: Tuesday, Feb 2nd, 2016
WATSONVILLE -- Al Drewke has already navigated two successful careers, first in the U.S. Army and then in the tech world, working as an engineer in management for a company that built electronic bric-a-brac too complex to describe in this story.
But there is nothing complicated about his decision to embark on his third career as a winemaker,
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Suspicious device shuts down DMV, closes street

Modified: Tuesday, Feb 2nd, 2016
WATSONVILLE -- The DMV in Watsonville has been temporarily closed after a worker discovered a bottle of liquid stationed at the back of the building early Tuesday.
The California Highway Patrol said they got a call around 7:30 a.m. about the sealed bottle that is filled with clear liquid and has a metal rod inside it.
Watsonville Fire
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Castro Adobe to host six open houses

Posted: Monday, Feb 1st, 2016
WATSONVILLE -- Decades ago, when paved roads were a distant dream in California, ranchers worked vast tracts of land and travelers faced grueling treks across undeveloped wilderness.
The Castro Adobe in Larkin Valley, with its then revolutionary indoor kitchen and renowned upstairs dance hall, sat amidst a 13,000-acre rancho. Built in 1849, it was home to Juan José Castro and
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Foundation hands out $15K in teacher grants

Posted: Monday, Feb 1st, 2016
WATSONVILLE -- Schools Plus, the public schools foundation of Santa Cruz County, announced the recipients of the 2015-16 classroom teacher grants.
According to Schools Plus board president, Nicole Bricmont, "Our mission is to promote, support and enhance the quality of education for all students in our community public schools by encouraging the innovation and resourcefulness of teachers
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Three arrested after fight

Posted: Monday, Feb 1st, 2016
WATSONVILLE -- Three suspected gang members were arrested Saturday after a late-night fight at a motel, Watsonville Police Sgt. Mike Ridgway said.
Angel Tellez Bedolla, 19, Jonathan Ivan Gonzalez, 18, and Michael Diaz-Garza, 20, were booked into Santa Cruz County Jail on numerous weapons and gang charges. Bedolla was being held in lieu of $25,000 bail. Diaz-Garza and Gonzalez were
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Bringing color to Pajaro

Posted: Friday, Jan 29th, 2016
PAJARO -- As dozens of children clambered over the surreal structures of Pajaro Park Thursday, one small boy toddled over to a space near a wall, where artist Jose Ortiz was touching up several of his murals Thursday.
"Quieres pintar?" he asked the boy in Spanish, offering him a paintbrush. The boy accepted the brush, and clearly having no
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Hoping to smooth criminal record, 150 attend clinic

Posted: Friday, Jan 29th, 2016
APTOS -- Organizers of the Prop 47 Record Change Resource Fair were hoping for a good turnout Thursday at Temple Beth El in Aptos. Their hopes were not in vain.
More than 150 people showed up to the event, seeking ways to clear felonies from their criminal histories.
"We're overwhelmed," said United Way of Santa Cruz County Director
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Four arrested following gunshots

Posted: Friday, Jan 29th, 2016
WATSONVILLE -- Two men and two male juveniles were arrested Thursday after police heard gunshots where they had congregated.
Watsonville Police Sgt. Juan Trujillo said WPD officers responded to the area of River Park, 100 East Front St., for a report of gang activity. A witness told police that a group of gang members was gathering at the levee
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Students learn city government

Posted: Friday, Jan 29th, 2016
WATSONVILLE -- About 70 Watsonville High School freshman learned about all aspects of city government Friday during "Civics Day."
The students toured the fire and police departments, city administrative offices, council chambers and more. They heard from Mayor Felipe Hernandez, who told the students what the mayor's job entails, as well as from historian Sandy Lydon, speaking on racism.
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How about a career at the 9-1-1 center?

Posted: Friday, Jan 29th, 2016
SANTA CRUZ -- If you or someone you know is currently searching for a job where you can serve your community, you're in luck because the Santa Cruz Regional 9-1-1 center, the place that handles 911 calls, is looking to hire seven new dispatcher's assistants, also known as call takers.
"We are hoping to bring these new people into
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Aptos Cinemas closes

Posted: Friday, Jan 29th, 2016
APTOS -- After 45 years in operation, Aptos Cinemas went dark for the final time Tuesday.
A letter posted to the front door of the closed theater informed patrons that owner Landmark Theatres was "unable to come to terms" for a lease with Terramar Retail Centers, which owns the Rancho del Mar Shopping Center.
Landmark Publicity Director Laine Kaplowitz said there
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Great things in store

Posted: Wednesday, Jan 27th, 2016

S. Martinelli & Company opens retail location


WATSONVILLE -- Without fanfare, S. Martinelli & Company opened its first retail store more than two months ago, offering its iconic sparkling cider, juice and merchandise such as T-shirts and bottle openers.
The Martinelli Company Store will host a grand opening later this year. In the meantime, visitors can come
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Suspect ransacks fire department

Posted: Wednesday, Jan 27th, 2016
WATSONVILLE -- A man is in custody after he reportedly burglarized Watsonville Fire Station 1 moments after firefighters had departed to deal with an emergency.
Watsonville Police Sgt. David Rodriguez said firefighters were dispatched from their Second Street station to a medical emergency just before midnight Monday.
When firefighters returned to the station,
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Environmental advocate honored

Posted: Wednesday, Jan 27th, 2016

City proclaims Feb. 2 as 'Jim Van Houten Day'


WATSONVILLE -- In honor of his work in preserving the environment, the City of Watsonville proclaimed Feb. 2, 2016 as Jim Van Houten Day, coinciding with World Wetlands Day.
Watsonville Mayor Felipe Hernandez presented Van Houten with a proclamation Tuesday during the City Council meeting.
Van Houten
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Longtime city planner retiring

Posted: Wednesday, Jan 27th, 2016
WATSONVILLE -- Keith Boyle, who has led the Watsonville Planning Department for more than 15 years, will be retiring in mid-March.
Boyle announced his decision two weeks ago.
"I'm almost 58, and I've done this for 31 years," he said. "Now I have the opportunity to move on and be happy. This has been a wonderful career. It's
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Volunteers fill up sandbags for seniors

Modified: Wednesday, Jan 27th, 2016
WATSONVILLE -- With El Nino not yet over and potential flooding looming, a team of volunteers filled up sandbags for the senior residents of Pajaro Village Wednesday morning.
The effort was spearheaded by Pajaro Valley Printing owner Dan Carrillo, who donated the sand and bags, and City Councilman Jimmy Dutra.
The sandbags, about 300 in all, were
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