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December 5, 2023

Briefs: East Beach Street work; handball tournament

​​Handball Tournament is this weekend

The Watsonville Handball Tournament will be held Saturday and Sunday at Emmett Court, 37 Sudden St., behind the PV Arts gallery.

Singles take place on Saturday, with doubles on Sunday. Matches start at 10am.

The grand prize is $900.

The player entry fee is $35. To sign up, contact Jesus at 348.7828.

Santa Cruz Cider Co celebrates 10-year anniversary

Santa Cruz Cider Co is celebrating 10 years in business. 

A celebration is scheduled for Aug. 12 at its tasting room, 65 Hangar Way in Watsonville. The event will be from noon to 8pm with music by The Apple City Slough Band from 3-7pm. 

A 10-year anniversary cider, Decennium, made from all local apples, pears and quince, will be released. Cider and beer will be available on draft, by the can and bottle to go, plus cider slushies as well. 

Food will be served by Miches and Ceviches, with beer from The Slough Brewing Collective. 

Santa Cruz Cider Co uses all local apples and pears to make more than 20 ciders, which are sold at its tasting room and more than 85 accounts throughout the Central Coast. 

“Being able to use and highlight our local harvest and share with the community brings us so much joy,” said Nicole Todd, who owns Santa Cruz Cider Co with her sister Natalie Henze. “We truly love being part of this community.”

Musical performance honors Nisei

Paying tribute to and saying “thank you” to the “Greatest Generation” is the idea behind “Sentimental Journey: A Nisei Life in Song,” a musical journey to be performed by the Grateful Crane Ensemble on Aug. 19 at 1:30pm at the Watsonville Buddhist Temple, 423 Bridge St.

The event traces the history of the Nisei (second generation Japanese Americans), through songs from before, during and after World War II. The program will include popular Japanese and American songs that were significant to the Nisei in the 1930s, ‘40s and ‘50s.

Soji Kashiwagi, executive director of the Los Angeles-based Grateful Crane Ensemble, said that this show fulfills Grateful Crane’s mission of honoring the Nisei for all they have done to pave the way for the younger generations to follow. 

“We do this through the sharing of memories of the Nisei’s lives before, during and after WWII, and with the singing of over 20 of their favorite Japanese and American songs,” Kashiwagi said.

Performers for this show include Jason Fong, Haruye Ioka, Keiko Kawashima, Merv Maruyama and Helen Ota, with musical director Lisa Joe on piano and Danny Yamamoto on drums.

The event is sponsored by The Henri and Tomoye Takahashi Charitable Foundation.

Tickets can be purchased by contacting the temple at 724.7860 or at tinyurl.com/3d54m5pt.

‘Awesome Santa Cruz’ group funds community projects

A group of 13 Santa Cruz County residents, led by Jenni Ward and Debra Miller-Dobler, recently launched a local chapter of the Awesome Foundation, an international organization that helps implement small community projects across the globe. 

Each month, the local chapter “Awesome Santa Cruz” offers a no-strings-attached $1,000 micro-grant to fund a creative, community-minded project within the Santa Cruz County area. The group focuses on projects that bring people together, promoting compassion and opportunities for community-building. 

Ward, a local artist, learned about the Awesome Foundation years ago and loved the concept. She decided it was time for Santa Cruz County to have a chapter of its own, noting that “It’s a small way to create positivity in our community and bring creative ideas to life that may just need a little financial boost to happen.”

Miller-Dobler added, “We’re hoping to provide more opportunities for the many creative minds in this community. Bringing people together is key.” 

Awesome Santa Cruz has already awarded four grants this year, starting last April. The first winner was “Concurrent,” a film project by Emily Meehan about the intersection of female sexuality, spirituality, surfing and creativity. Meehan is using the grant to support her collaborators and to complete the stop-motion animation portions of the film, which is scheduled to show later this year. 

Andrew Purchin received May’s grant to help complete his project entitled “What’s Home? Painters Listen Across Differences,” a series of paintings and short films focusing on homelessness and connections between Santa Cruz and Watsonville. 

June’s grant went to Stephanie Suarez for her “BIPOC Arts Healing Circles” in Watsonville, a series of group activities including sending mail to LGBTQI+ prisoners and bi-monthly arts and crafts days specifically for LGBTQI+ individuals. Suarez is using the funding to purchase additional art materials specific to disabled participants. 

Sara Homan was July’s winner for her “Sewing School” classes at the Star Community School in Santa Cruz, many of whose students enter needing credit recovery and social-emotional support. The grant will allow her to purchase more tools and materials for her students to expand on their projects and skills. Individuals and small groups may submit proposals to Santa Cruz Awesome by visiting awesomefoundation.org/en/chapters/santacruz.

Staff Report
Staff Report
A staff member wrote, edited or posted this article, which may include information provided by one or more third parties.


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