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Big fish in a small town

Posted: Friday, May 1st, 2015
AROMAS -- The Town Square Park in Aromas now boasts a temporary art installation in the shape of a giant colorful fish. The art is a result of a community project.
Its conception came about last year when Leslie Austin, president of the Aromas Eagles (current caretakers of Town Square Park) came to the Aromas Hills Artisans and
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Elkhorn Slough gets financial boost

Posted: Friday, May 1st, 2015
ELKHORN -- A comprehensive study of a local wetlands system got a giant boost this week after the Elkhorn Slough Foundation received a sizable state grant.
The $2.9 million grant from the California Department of Fish and Wildlife will help researchers from the Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve study how restoring salt marsh ecosystems -- which capture carbon dioxide --
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PV Trustees look to temper budget

Posted: Friday, May 1st, 2015
WATSONVILLE -- The Pajaro Valley Unified School District Board of Trustees on Wednesday agreed to consider a new series of cost-saving recommendations designed to dig the district out of its budget hole. The trustees will also consider forming a committee to help the district implement the plan.
The recommendations were part of a report to the trustees Wednesday by
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A place for job seekers

Posted: Friday, May 1st, 2015
WATSONVILLE -- In an event designed to give residents an idea of available jobs in the community, a community organization on Thursday held a Trades and Career fair that saw dozens of employers come to provide information.
Presented by the Community Action Board of Santa Cruz County ALCANCE program, the job fair included informational tables by Watsonville police and fire
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Hotel project returns to planning commission agenda

Posted: Friday, May 1st, 2015
WATSONVILLE -- The Watsonville Planning Commission will again look to approve a new hotel on Western Drive Tuesday, after its decision was delayed a month ago to allow for more public outreach.
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Air show details announced

Posted: Thursday, Apr 30th, 2015
WATSONVILLE -- After Watsonville Fly-In and Airshow officials announced in February changes to this year's event, Airport Manager Rayvon Williams unveiled further details Tuesday.
Called "Wings Over Watsonville," the free event will be held at the Watsonville Municipal Airport on Sept. 5. It will kick off on Sept. 4 with aircraft arrivals and a youth movie night at
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Woman found in Pinto Lake identified

Modified: Thursday, Apr 30th, 2015
WATSONVILLE -- The woman whose body was found in Pinto Lake Sunday has been identified as 34-year-old Elizabeth Todis, the Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Office announced Thursday.
The cause of death is unknown, and officials are waiting for autopsy results.
In a Facebook post dated Oct. 8, 2014, Todis appeared to be celebrating her sobriety:
"sober!
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Shrine at Pinto Lake removed

Posted: Wednesday, Apr 29th, 2015
WATSONVILLE -- Fearing the health of the trees in a small section of Pinto Lake County Park, the Santa Cruz County Department of Public Works earlier this month removed most of a popular shrine, including several rows of benches.
More than two decades ago, Watsonville resident Anita Contreras, walking in a far-flung corner of the park, said she saw
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Council split on supporting assembly bill

Posted: Wednesday, Apr 29th, 2015
WATSONVILLE -- A split Watsonville City Council could not find consensus Tuesday to support Assembly Bill 2, a piece of legislation that attempts to redevelop "blighted" areas of the state.
Authored by Assemblyman Luis Alejo, D-Salinas, AB 2 allows specific areas of California to create an entity called a Community Revitalization Investment Authority, or CRIA. The entity could be
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Gang asset forfeiture bill clears key committee

Posted: Wednesday, Apr 29th, 2015
SACRAMENTO -- A bill that would allow prosecuting agencies to freeze the financial assets of transnational criminal organizations operating in California cleared a major milestone Tuesday.
Assembly Bill 443, authored by Assemblyman Luis Alejo, D-Salinas, passed out of the Assembly Public Safety Committee with unanimous bipartisan support, Alejo announced. 
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Pajaro Community Garden grows

Posted: Wednesday, Apr 29th, 2015
PAJARO -- One year ago, Ramiro Medrano rooted an idea: Grow a community garden in Pajaro.
It's been five years since Pajaro Middle School included a pre-school, where there once stood a classroom and playground. Up until a month ago, this corner lot seemed abandoned. Left behind, a fenced-in and sand-filled quarter acre.
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Lee Road opens after large natural gas leak

Modified: Wednesday, Apr 29th, 2015
-- Updated at 12 p.m.
WATSONVILLE -- Lee Road is now open after being closed for two hours by a large natural gas leak.
The leak started approximately 9:45 a.m. after a work crew doing demolition work at the old Indalux aluminum plant on Lee Road hit a natural gas line.
According to Watsonville Fire Capt. Matt Ryan, the
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A hidden world

Posted: Monday, Apr 27th, 2015
WATSONVILLE -- Tucked away in a tiny nook at the library, the Friends of the Watsonville Public Library's Bookstore is no larger than a walk-in closet. But the amount of knowledge and entertainment value it offers on its shelves is more vast than the building that houses it.
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Body found in Pinto Lake

Posted: Monday, Apr 27th, 2015
WATSONVILLE -- A fisherman found a body of a woman floating in Pinto Lake Sunday before noon.
Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Lt. Kelly Kent said the man, in a small skiff, happened upon the body in shallow water just off shore near the end of Hawthorne Avenue just off a stand of reeds.
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Hundreds flock to first-ever Food Truck Block Party

Posted: Monday, Apr 27th, 2015
WATSONVILLE -- Hoping to capitalize on the growing trend of mobile food vendors, and create a family-friendly event that brings community members "out of their homes and into the community," Watsonville Mayor Pro-Tem Felipe Hernandez on Sunday co-hosted the first Watsonville Food Truck Block Party.
An estimated 300 people came to the event, some lining up at 4:30 p.m., a
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Celebration targets the environment, children

Posted: Monday, Apr 27th, 2015
WATSONVILLE -- The community came out in big numbers Sunday to celebrate the 13th annual Earth Day/Day of the Child at Ramsay Park. The free, one-day event drew more than 5,000 people, said Tami Stolzenthaler, environmental education coordinator for the City of Watsonville.
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Gambling on ‘Guys and Dolls’

Posted: Friday, Apr 24th, 2015
WATSONVILLE -- The Watsonville High School drama department brings "Guys and Dolls" to the Henry J. Mello Center this weekend.
The play about the New York City criminal underworld during the 1920s and 1930s has been a theater mainstay since its premier on Broadway on Nov. 24, 1950.
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A grassroots approach

Posted: Friday, Apr 24th, 2015
WATSONVILLE -- A former flower farm on the outskirts of Watsonville has been fallow for eight years, but that doesn't mean things aren't growing there.
A group of second- through fifth-graders from H.A. Hyde Elementary School was there Tuesday, some planting seeds in small containers of soil, while others were learning about natural habitats. Still others were taking solo hikes
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Residents celebrate renovated apartments

Posted: Friday, Apr 24th, 2015
WATSONVILLE -- The culmination of a five-year process was celebrated Friday as MidPen Housing showed off the newly renovated Sunny Meadows, a rental apartment community.
Located on Ross Avenue in Watsonville, Sunny Meadows is a 200-unit housing community that was originally constructed in 1971.
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CASA pays off mortgage

Posted: Friday, Apr 24th, 2015
WATSONVILLE -- Seven years after moving into a house on Freedom Boulevard, and five years after an extensive renovation, Court Appointed Special Advocates of Santa Cruz County has paid off the mortgage.
The organization, also known as CASA, held a celebration at the 813 Freedom Blvd. location Thursday to honor the more than 70 donors that have provided
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9-1-1 dispatchers recognized at awards ceremony

Posted: Friday, Apr 24th, 2015
SANTA CRUZ -- You witness a horrible car crash. You grab your phone and call 9-1-1. Dispatchers send personnel and equipment. The problem is resolved and maybe a few lives were even saved and you have no idea who the dispatcher was that calmly walked you through that trying, life and death situation. By the time you relive that
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A shared history

Modified: Wednesday, Apr 22nd, 2015
WATSONVILLE -- In a sepia-toned photograph tucked into a file in the Pajaro Valley Historical Association's voluminous archives, three young men sit on a fence in front of the Corralitos Cash Store, their beaming, confident smiles a testament to the promise of lives not yet lived.
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Adult school thanks supporters

Posted: Wednesday, Apr 22nd, 2015
WATSONVILLE -- Watsonville/Aptos Adult Education thanked its supporters Wednesday during the last meeting of the Community Advisory Board of the school year.
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Drawing with scissors

Posted: Wednesday, Apr 22nd, 2015
SANTA CRUZ -- Imagine drawing without a pencil or pen. That is just the case in a new exhibit at the Santa Cruz County Building called "Drawing with Scissors."
Under the guidance of SPECTRA artist Janis Durkee, first-graders at Mintie White Elementary School in Watsonville created portraits from sheets of colored paper.
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Five inducted into WHS Hall of Fame

Posted: Wednesday, Apr 22nd, 2015
Editor's note: The Watsonville High School Foundation contributed to this story.
WATSONVILLE -- For the first time this year a set of twins has been inducted into the Watsonville High School Hall of Fame.
Dr. Eric Del Piero, a local ophthalmologist, and his brother Marc Del Piero, an environmental and water law attorney, graduated in 1971 and went on
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Operation Surf treats veterans in Surf City

Posted: Wednesday, Apr 22nd, 2015
SANTA CRUZ -- Injured veterans of the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, from across the U.S. and the United Kingdom that are dealing with challenges from amputations and brain trauma to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder are being treated to a week of fun and team building thanks to the Operation Surf program.
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Saturday yard sale to benefit woman’s trip

Posted: Wednesday, Apr 22nd, 2015
WATSONVILLE -- Brenda Barriga is a woman who, like many young people, is mapping out her life.
Barriga, 20, has hopes of working in the medical field, and is currently studying textiles and fiber arts at Cabrillo College.
She is also a youth leader with the Watsonville Salvation Army, and runs a group for middle and high school girls,
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The future of farming

Modified: Monday, Apr 20th, 2015
WATSONVILLE -- In a classroom on the outskirts of the Watsonville High School campus Thursday, a 3-D printer was making a plastic case for an electronic unit that will one day serve as a robot's "brains."
Nearby, a student was learning how to make computer parts with a laser cutter, while students in another classroom were creating the circuitry
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Young pilot earns his wings

Posted: Monday, Apr 20th, 2015
WATSONVILLE -- Corralitos resident Jacob Boracca is not yet a legal adult, but he has accomplished something many adults take years to do.
Boracca, 17, earned his pilot's certificate on March 18 in less than eight months.
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Meeting to discuss proposed hotel

Posted: Monday, Apr 20th, 2015
WATSONVILLE -- A meeting Wednesday aims to educate the public on a proposed hotel after residents alleged they were not notified of the project.
The meeting, to be held from 6-8 p.m. at the Moreland Notre Dame School cafeteria, 133 Brennan St. in Watsonville, will discuss the 75-room, four-story La Quinta Hotel planned for 1 Western Drive, near the
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One dead in Aromas crash

Posted: Monday, Apr 20th, 2015
AROMAS -- A Salinas man died and three people were injured in a two-vehicle crash Saturday on San Juan Road.
California Highway Patrol Jaime Rios said two men and a woman were traveling eastbound on San Juan Road west of Summerland Road in a 1997 Subaru Outback. At 1:20 p.m. an Aromas woman was attempting to turn from eastbound
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Volunteers collect 3,300 pounds of trash

Posted: Monday, Apr 20th, 2015
SANTA CRUZ COUNTY -- Save Our Shores hosted 10 cleanups around the Monterey Bay Saturday and, with the help of 408 volunteers, removed more than 3,300 pounds of garbage in recognition of Earth Day.
The clean up sites include 4 Mile Beach, Cowell Beach, the San Lorenzo River, Twin Lakes State Beach, Soquel Creek, Beer Can Beach, Elkhorn Slough
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