Multicultural Celebration lineup set

WATSONVILLE — The Watsonville Multicultural Celebration will be held Sunday from 2-5 p.m., with the Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony commencing at 5 p.m.

Santa Claus will arrive at 4 p.m. Live entertainment will be performed on two stages:

Cabrillo Steps

• 2 p.m.: Taiko Drummers

• 2:30 p.m.: Estrella de Esperanza Folkloric

• 3 p.m.: Activities for All

• 3:30 p.m.: YWCA Youth Choir

• 4 p.m.: Pacific Arts Dance Group

Main Street Stage

• 2:30 p.m.: Aztec White Hawk Dance Group

• 3 p.m.: Watsonville Senior Center: Dance-a-Long

• 3:30 p.m.: Worldanz

• 4 p.m.: West African Dance Group

• 4:45 p.m.: Hanukkah Menorah Lighting and Ladino music with Rabbi Eli Cohen of Chadeish Yameinu and the PV Jewish Community


CASA welcomes new board member

WATSONVILLE — CASA of Santa Cruz County welcomed Nancy Gordon to its Board of Directors.

Gordon recently retired from more than 30 years of service as County Director of General and Emergency Services. As a career member of the executive management team of the county, her professional work included everything from energy policy to long-term facility development and capital construction.

Gordon brings to CASA her reorganization and merger experience with several nonprofit organizations in the county. 

“I have viewed the damage and repercussions of what happens when children’s needs are not being met,” she said. “Any part I can play in bringing help and hope to CASA children would be an honor.”


County Clerk offers Watsonville office hours

WATSONVILLE — The County Clerk will hold its monthly office hours in Watsonville on Wednesday for people who are applying for passports, marriage licenses, or fictitious business names; getting married; being sworn in as a Deputy Commissioner of Marriage; obtaining health officer verification; or registering as a notary.

The hours will be from 7:50 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the City Clerk’s Office, 275 Main St., fourth floor (sixth floor of the parking garage). Those interested in obtaining services must call 454-2060 to make an appointment.

For information or to make an appointment, call 454-2060 or visit the County Clerk’s website at


Pearl Harbor Survivors Group meets

WATSONVILLE — The Pearl Harbor Survivors Group will meet Thursday at 9:30 a.m. at the California Grill, 40 Penny Lane in Watsonville.

All veterans are welcome to attend.

For information, call Frank at 722-1234.


Applications being accepted for Focus Agriculture program

WATSONVILLE — Applications are currently being accepted for Class XXIX of Focus Agriculture.

The program is designed for selected community leaders to learn about agriculture in Santa Cruz County and the Pajaro Valley. The program consists of once-a-month, daylong seminars, held over a period of nine months. Speakers, ranging from elected officials to representatives from environmental groups, address the class. 

Twenty-one people will be selected for Class XXIX.

“Many people who are involved in the community are interested in agriculture,” Agri-Culture President Steve Bontadelli said. “Focus Agriculture was created to allow community leaders an opportunity to learn, through discussions and hands-on experiences, about local agriculture. We are proud that the program received both state and national awards.”

Alumni of the program include: John Laird, California Secretary of Resources Agency; Zach Friend, 2nd District Supervisor; Greg Caput, 4th District Supervisor; Congressman Jimmy Panetta; Willy Elliott-McCrea, CEO, Second Harvest Food Bank; and others.

Seminars will be held one full day per month commencing March 9 and ending Oct. 19.

Applications, due by Jan. 12, are available online at, at the Agri-Culture office, 141 Monte Vista Ave., Watsonville or by calling 722-6622.


Cabrillo student bus pass program continues

APTOS — Cabrillo College students recently voted to continue their student bus pass program for the 2018-19 school year and beyond.

Students pay $40 per semester ($20 for summer) for unlimited use of the METRO system seven days a week in Santa Cruz County, including transfers to select Monterey-Salinas Transit routes.

With more than 1,800 students casting votes, the measure passed with a 78.4 percent approval. The Cabrillo student bus pass program has been in effect for two school years, providing bus services to both the Aptos and Watsonville campuses, which would have otherwise been eliminated during the September 2016 METRO service reduction.

During its initial 2016-17 school year, Cabrillo students used the METRO system more than 270,000 times, with ridership for the first two months of the 2017-18 school year up by almost 15 percent over last year.


Dignity Health loans $1 million to Housing Trust

SANTA CRUZ COUNTY — Dignity Health has provided a $1 million loan to Housing Trust Silicon Valley for affordable housing projects in Santa Cruz County and surrounding areas.

The loan supports the Monterey Bay Housing Trust, an effort of the Monterey Bay Economic Partnership (MBEP) and Housing Trust Silicon Valley.

In Santa Cruz County, the health care system includes Dominican Hospital, Dignity Health Medical Group-Dominican, and Dignity Health Medical Network, and serves patients throughout the Monterey Bay area. 

“We are delighted that Dignity Health is able to support the Monterey Bay Housing Trust,” said Nanette Mickiewicz, MD, Dominican Hospital president and MBEP board member. “Affordable housing is a critical need in the Monterey Bay region. Dignity Health is always looking for good partners with whom to engage on this important issue.”

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