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January 27, 2020
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Community briefs, Jan. 25, 2019

Master Gardeners to hold class on grapevine pruning

WATSONVILLE — The UC Master Gardeners of Monterey and Santa Cruz Counties will present “Grapevine Pruning Methods and Tool Sharpening” on Saturday from 10 a.m. to noon at the UCCE Cooperative Extension, 1430 Freedom Blvd., Suite E in Watsonville.

UC Master Gardener Art Nathan will discuss various training systems for several species of grapes and how they are used in modern viticulture. He will demonstrate alternate pruning methods while discussing the pros and cons of each. Attendees are asked to bring their pruning shears.

Nathan is a graduate of UC Davis where he received his viticulture (plant science) B.S. degree. He worked in the wine industry for 40 years.

The free class will also include a 20-minute overview on sharpening and maintaining your pruning tools to ensure their longevity, demonstrated by UC Master Gardener Ernest Franco.

For information and to pre-register, visit


Animal shelter offering free spay/neuter services for cats

WATSONVILLE — The Santa Cruz County Animal Shelter (SCCAS) is offering free spay/neuter services for cats, as well as microchipping and vaccinations for $10.

Known as the “Dude, Where’s My Cat?” program, it is limited to the first 300 cats.

Registration and scheduling can be completed at both SCCAS shelter locations: 1001 Rodriguez St. in Santa Cruz and 580 Airport Blvd. in Watsonville. Cat owners should not bring their animals to register and must bring proof of Santa Cruz County residency.

The goal of the program is to reduce the homeless cat population and reunite lost pets with owners. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, cats are 21 times more likely to be returned home from a shelter if they have a registered microchip.

The microchip includes information of the pet and the owner, and can be scanned to identify the animal and reunite it with the owner.

All spay/neuter surgeries are performed at the Santa Cruz shelter location by a licensed veterinarian with a professional focus on spay/neuter procedures.

Feral cats residing in the City of Watsonville will receive an ear tip. Feral cats residing in all other areas as part of a colony (group of two or more feral cats) will receive an ear tip and must be registered with SCCAS.

For information, visit


Monterey Bay ecosystem the subject of talk

APTOS — The Aptos History Museum, in conjunction with the Friends of Aptos Library’s Our Community Reads program, will present “The Death and Life of Monterey Bay” on Saturday from 2:30-4 p.m. at the Rio Sands Hotel community room, 116 Aptos Beach Drive.

Presented by Dan Haifley of O’Neill Sea Odyssey and Save Our Shores, the talk will describe the story of the natural history of the Monterey Bay from the Spanish period to the Aquarium, and the people who helped destroy and then rebuild the ecosystem.

Admission is $20 general, or $10 for museum members and library card holders. Proceeds benefit the Aptos History Museum.

For reservations, call 688-1467.


Workshops scheduled on rate increase protest

APTOS — Water for Santa Cruz County will host free educational workshops at the Aptos Library on Tuesday and Feb. 12 at 7 p.m. regarding how to correctly file a rate increase protest, and to learn more about an alternate water supply for the district.

Soquel Creek Water District is proposing increases annually in both water rates and service fees for the next five years.

Ratepayers must file a written protest with address, parcel number and signature before the district’s Feb. 19 public hearing, taking place at 6 p.m. at the Capitola City Council Chambers.  

For information about the workshops, visit


Community Foundation to hold workshop on donor-advised funds

APTOS — Community Foundation Santa Cruz County will present a workshop, “Does a Donor-Advised Fund Make Sense for Me?”, on Wednesday from 9:30-11 a.m. at 7807 Soquel Drive in Aptos.

Why use a donor-advised fund at Community Foundation Santa Cruz County when you can just write a check to your favorite charity? The answer depends on your needs and financial circumstances.

A donor-advised fund can:

• Protect your privacy

• Time your charitable deduction for when you need it most

• Shield you from solicitations by nonprofits

• Simplify your record keeping and tax reporting

• Provide knowledge about local nonprofits working on causes you care about

The workshop will be led by the Community Foundation’s Philanthropic Services Director Sam Leask and Donor Services Officer Robin Larsen.

There is no charge for this presentation, but registration is required, as space is limited. For information, contact Larsen at 662-2061 or [email protected]


Cabrillo Youth Strings begins fall semester

APTOS — Registration for the Cabrillo Youth Strings Music Program is underway.

An entry level string orchestra class, fourth-sixth grad beginning strings for violin, viola and cello, will be offered on Fridays from 4-5:15 p.m. Students must provide their own instruments.

Auditions for Festival Strings (beginning note-readers) and Cabrillo Strings (intermediate-advanced) will be held on Feb. 1 from 3:45-4:15 p.m., with rehearsals on Fridays, 4:15-5:45 p.m. for Festival Strings and 4:15-5:55 p.m. for Cabrillo Strings. The first rehearsal will be Feb. 1 at the Music Building, VAPA 5000, on the Cabrillo College Aptos campus, 6500 Soquel Drive.

String players ages 5 to 18 are welcome to join the private lesson and string orchestral programs.

For those interested in participating in or making contributions to the program, call 479-6101 or visit (search for “Cabrillo Youth Strings”).


Bay Federal providing assistance to federal employees

CAPITOLA — As the federal government shutdown has reached record length entering its fourth week, Bay Federal Credit Union is announcing programs to aid members affected.

Members impacted by the federal government shutdown can apply for a special emergency loan with no minimum credit score or income documentation needed. The credit union is also offering assistance to members who receive direct deposit from a department or agency affected by the shutdown.

Other programs or options for affected members include the ability to skip a monthly auto loan payment with no processing fee required, programs to assist members concerned about making their monthly mortgage payment, and free financial education and counseling services.

“This historic shutdown is affecting people all over the country,” said Carrie Birkhofer, president and CEO of Bay Federal. “In the credit union’s tradition of ‘people helping people,’ we want to be sure we are there to assist affected members during this difficult time.”

Members who are affected by the shutdown can visit any Bay Federal branch or call 479-6000 or 1-888-4BAYFED to discuss options that can help provide financial assistance.


Nominations sought for Trailblazers Awards

SANTA CRUZ COUNTY — The Santa Cruz County Women’s Commission is now accepting nominations for the 2019 Trailblazers Awards.

The Trailblazers Awards recognize people in Santa Cruz County who, through their professional or personal efforts, are making differences in the lives of women or girls.

Honorees are people who have made significant contributions to improving the lives of women or girls. Past Trailblazers have been recognized for their impact in a range of social, political and economic issues affecting women, including in the areas of criminal and economic justice, education, prevention of violence against women and girls, women’s healthcare, political participation, and/or various organizations that support the interests of women or girls.

Trailblazer Award recipients will be honored during the March 26 Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors meeting, followed by a recognition gathering tentatively scheduled for March 30.

To nominate someone for this award, you can:

• Fill out the form online at

• Visit to download the form, and email it to [email protected]

• Fax it to 454-2411

• Mail it to Women’s Commission, 701 Ocean St., Room 510, Santa Cruz, CA 95060

More than one person can be nominated.

The deadline to submit nominations is Feb. 15.


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