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Meetings to discuss proposed fire district assessment

Property owners in the Pajaro Valley Fire Protection District are being asked to vote on a new assessment to maintain the Fire District’s current services and operations.

According to the district, this measure will help to ensure adequate staffing 24 hours per day, seven days a week, as the district does not currently receive adequate funding to respond to all emergencies with safe staffing levels.

The funds from this proposed assessment will maintain existing firefighting equipment and apparatus and ensure that they are reliable when responding to residential and commercial structure fires, wildland fires, vehicle collisions and rescue operations, district officials stated in a press release.

Funds from this proposed assessment will benefit only the areas served by the Pajaro Valley Fire Protection District.

PVFPD has not seen an increase or cost-of-living adjustment in 27 years, according to the district.

Ballots must be received by the March 19 deadline.

Community meetings to discuss the assessment will be held on Jan. 25 at 6pm at the Pajaro Valley Fire Protection District, 562 Casserly Road in Watsonville, and Feb. 3 at 10am at the Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds, 2601 East Lake Ave.

Bench warrant relief event set in Watsonville

Santa Cruz County Criminal Justice Partners, including the Office of the Public Defender, District Attorney’s Office, Probation Department and Superior Court, are working to help people get their active bench warrant relieved.

The local agencies are coming together to provide an opportunity to possibly have warrants recalled and get connected to community resources. The free bench warrant relief day will be held on Jan. 27 from 10am to 2pm at the Luna y Sol Family Center, 15 Madison St. in Watsonville.

For information, or to see if you are eligible in advance, call or email the Santa Cruz County Office of the Public Defender at 345.7813 or [email protected].

Deadline nears for low-income healthcare program

The deadline for Kaiser Permanente’s Community Health Care Program is approaching.

The program provides health care coverage for qualified low-income adults and children in California who don’t have access to other public or private insurance. 

If eligible, people will receive comprehensive health coverage from Kaiser Permanente including preventive services, without paying a monthly premium. Those who qualify also won’t need to pay copays or out-of-pocket costs for most care at Kaiser Permanente facilities.

“Even with the expansion of Medi-Cal to all low-income residents regardless of immigration status this year, there are still people who don’t have access to health care coverage,” said Yvette Radford, vice president of external and community affairs at Kaiser Permanente Northern California. “The Community Health Care Program is part of Kaiser Permanente’s commitment to make health care more affordable for everyone.”

The program is designed for applicants who meet the following criteria:

• Total household income of 138% to 300% of the federal poverty level (Example: $20,122 to $43,740 for an individual and $41,401 to $90,000 for family of four in 2023)

• Not eligible for any other health coverage, including Medi-Cal, Medicare, a job-based health plan or Covered California

• Must live in a Kaiser Permanente California service area 

Individuals do not have to be U.S. citizens to qualify. Applications must be submitted by Jan. 31.To apply, visit

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


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