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August 19, 2022

Community briefs, May 25

Health Trust presents diabetes health fair

WATSONVILLE — The Pajaro Valley Community Health Trust will be hosting the 15th annual Diabetes Health Fair today from 4-7 p.m. at the Watsonville Plaza.

Community members are invited to receive free glucose screenings and education/information on preventing and/or managing diabetes. More than 20 community agencies will also be there providing information on their services, as well as offering games, raffles and Zumba.

Once there, residents can also visit the Watsonville Farmer’s Market.


Aptos High team wins robotics competition

WATSONVILLE — A team from Aptos High School won first place in the Marine Advanced Technology Education (MATE) Regional underwater robotics competition held May 12 at Watsonville High School.

A total of 57 student teams from around Northern California came to Watsonville High to compete in the competition. Pajaro Valley Unified School District had 13 teams compete ranging in grade levels from 6th-12th grade.

The winning Aptos High School team will continue on to the International Competition on June 21 to be held in Washington State. Aptos HS has set up a GoFundMe page to raise money to help pay for travel costs at

Through this robotics program, students are being exposed to business practices as they are tasked with creating mock companies and work together to manufacture, market and sell their products, i.e. their ROVs. This simulated company approach promotes the development of entrepreneurship and leadership skills as students manage a project and budget, brainstorm solutions, prepare reports and poster displays, and deliver presentations.

“Students learn and apply science, technology, engineering and math skills as they develop underwater robots to complete missions based on real world issues and events,” said Rob Hoffman, PVUSD’s Science and Career Technical Education Coordinator. “These are critical skills necessary for their future careers.”


Community Bridges CEO named SF State Alumni of the Year

WATSONVILLE — Raymon Cancino, chief executive officer of Community Bridges, has been named Alumni of the Year of San Francisco State University’s (SFSU) School of Public Affairs and Civic Engagement (PACE).

Cancino received both his undergraduate and graduate degrees from SFSU, with bachelor of arts degrees in political science and criminal justice studies (2005) and a master’s in public administration (2008).

According to PACE program faculty, Cancino “embodies the passion, skill and leadership we hope defines the work and careers of all our students.”

“Ray was a top student in the criminal justice department, not just in terms of his grades, but in his overall dedication and contributions to the program,” said Jeff Snipes, associate professor of criminal justice studies. “He is a very caring individual, who was active in the student association, was a mentor to many fellow students — especially those facing challenges — and was a tremendous asset to building a cohesive and inclusive student culture. Faculty and students knew that he would translate his skills and traits to his work in the larger community upon graduation, and he certainly proved us right.”

Cancino has held senior management positions in senior support services, family services, a family emergency shelter and a youth center. Since joining Community Bridges in 2014 — overseeing 10 programs across 20 locations — Cancino has led numerous advocacy efforts. These included a 37 percent increase in adult day health care reimbursement rates across Santa Cruz, Monterey and Merced counties, and a four percent stake in a multi-million dollar per year sales measure providing senior transportation, resulting in an estimated $30 million to ensure seniors’ independence.

“I am so fortunate to have the opportunity to serve in a noble effort to improve the conditions of the world around me, and to have a platform to create social justice and equity in the community we call home,” Cancino said. “These principles of justice, service and moral fortitude all began through self-discovery through my experiences at SFSU, and through the discussions and teachings of the professors that contributed to my learnings. Thanks to them, I have the privilege and responsibility to seek a higher sense of duty and leadership for myself and others to make the changes required to make a more just world for all.”

Cancino will speak at today’s PACE graduate recognition ceremony, where he will also be presented with the Alumni of the Year award.


Input sought on affordable housing program

WATSONVILLE — City officials will hold a public meeting on May 31 to discuss affordable housing fees.

The city’s current Affordable Housing Ordinance requires that new developments provide affordable units and/or pay a fee. The city has commissioned an economic consultant to prepare studies reflecting the current cost of providing affordable housing and is seeking input regarding the results of these studies as well as other aspects of the city’s existing Affordable Housing Program.

The meeting will be held at the Civic Plaza Community Room, 275 Main St., fourth floor, from 5:30-7 p.m.

For information, call the City of Watsonville Housing Division at 768-3080.


Woman’s Club holding annual sale

CORRALITOS — The Corralitos Woman’s Club is having its annual Country Store, Bake Sale & Plant Sale on Sunday at 33 Browns Valley Road from 7 a.m.-12 p.m.

The sale runs concurrently with the Corralitos Padres Pancake Breakfast located next to the Woman’s Club. Assorted plants, garden decor, baked goods and repurposed items will be available.

Proceeds benefit CWC programs.


Animal Shelter celebrates Adopt-a-Cat Month

SANTA CRUZ — On June 2, Santa Cruz County Animal Shelter (SCCAS) will host The Cat’s Meow Open House event at SCCAS’ Santa Cruz shelter, 1001 Rodriguez St. in Santa Cruz (corner of Seventh Avenue and Rodriguez Street) from 10 a.m.-6 p.m.

In honor of Adopt-a-Cat Month, all adoption fees for kittens and cats will be half off during the month of June. The Santa Cruz County Animal Shelter will also be showcasing its new cat condos in the cat adoption room.

All adoptions include spay/neuter, microchip (including registration), age-appropriate vaccinations, routine treatment for fleas/worms, and a free pet wellness exam with local participating veterinarians.

The free event will also feature live jazz, raffle prizes, children’s activities and face painting, refreshments, a bake sale and the following scheduled events:

• Cat Behavior Q & A, Amy Hyler-Essig and Carolyn Nelson, 11 a.m.-noon

• Cat Health Q & A Workshop with Dana Gleason, DVM, 1-2 p.m.

• Wine & Cheese Reception, 3-5 p.m.

For information, visit


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