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Community briefs, Sept. 20, 2019

PVPSA Watsonville Youth Leadership Conference

Pajaro Valley Prevention and Student Assistance Inc. (PVPSA) will sponsor the Empower Watsonville Youth Leadership Conference on Oct. 19 at the Henry J. Mello Center.   

Empower Watsonville Youth Leadership Conference is an annual conference organized by high school students, for students in the Pajaro Valley Unified School District (PVUSD), however, parents are also welcomed to attend.

PVPSA and Empower Watsonville are inviting youth to attend a free motivational, fun and empowering conference, made specifically for them.

The event will kick off at 8 a.m. and run until 2 p.m.

Participants will be able to clear Saturday school(s) and earn community service hours. 

PVPSA will provide complimentary breakfast and lunch, as well as over $800 worth in raffle prizes.  

Empower Watsonville hopes to create a community-driven generation of students who will inspire their peers, create awareness about important issues and work to solve conflicts in their community.

The Conference will host several engaging workshops that will focus on local issues affecting youth like entering the job market, health, immigration, mental health and leadership skills.

For information, visit PVPSA.org.

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Lift Line awarded funds for additional electric vehicles

Lift Line was recently awarded $292,605 by the Low Carbon Transit Operations Program (LCTOP) to purchase an additional electric vehicle (EV). 

LCTOP funds public transportation agencies to implement projects that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Earlier this year, Lift Line, a program from Community Bridges, became the first paratransit entity in Santa Cruz County to implement EVs.

The addition of the new EV will make the fleet 15 percent electric.

“This award is key in helping us build a greener future by converting our Lift Line fleet to electric vehicles,” said Raymon Cancino, Community Bridges CEO. “Community Bridges is committed to being good stewards of the environment and supporting clean air technologies within our community we live in and serve. That is why we are willing to invest in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, ensuring that we are unleashing our full potential by investing our agencies funds toward a healthier future.” 

The new vehicle will be purchased upon approval from the CalTrans and will be on the road in early 2020, providing seniors and persons with disabilities with free and clean transportation to medical services.

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Dog training classes offered in Watsonville, Capitola

The non-profit Monterey Bay Dog Training Club have classes starting Tuesday in Watsonville and Thursday in Capitola.

Class sessions are eight weeks long and are held at two locations:

– Tuesday nights: Crosetti Building at the Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds, 2601 East Lake Avenue, Watsonville, CA 95076

– Thursday evenings: Mid-County Senior Center 829 Bay Avenue, Capitola, CA 95010

It is $100 for the eight-week session.

For times and class descriptions: montereybaydog.org.

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Homeless Services Center changes name

The Homeless Services Center is changing its name to Housing Matters. The change is being made to more accurately align the organization’s name with its work to create pathways out of homelessness and into permanent housing. 

“The new name Housing Matters is a bold statement in our ongoing work to put a spotlight on the solution to resolving homelessness that is most effective: housing,” said Phil Kramer, Housing Matters Executive Director. “We’ve never been more deeply committed to making homelessness in Santa Cruz County rare, brief and non-recurring.” 

The name change does not directly impact the organization’s operations. Housing Matters will continue the organization’s focus on programs and services that partner with individuals and families to create ways out of homelessness and into permanent housing. 

“The board has been moving toward a name change for several years,” said Claudia Brown, Housing Matters Board President. “We have taken deliberate steps in recent years to focus on the solution to homelessness: housing. Our new name reflects who we’ve been for years now, who are today, and where we’re going.”

In the last two years alone, Housing Matters has successfully moved more than 550 people move into permanent housing.

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Saturday Shakespeare Club begins meetings

The Saturday Shakespeare Club will begin this year’s final exploration of Shakespeare’s plays when it meets in Christ Lutheran Church in Aptos starting on Sept. 28 at 10 a.m.

Under consideration for five Saturday mornings will be “Troilus and Cressida,” focused on the effects of the Trojan War on those two main characters and lovers.

Speaking at the first meeting will be Michael Warren, emeritus professor at UCSC and dramaturg for Santa Cruz Shakespeare. Warren is a noted authority on Shakespeare and an enlightening lecturer.

Speaking at the second gathering, on Oct. 5, will be Abby Heald, a lecturer in the literature department at UCSC, who frequently draws from those attending insights they may not have known they had.

On Oct. 12, the group will watch a video lecture by Peter Saccio, professor of Shakespeare Studies at Dartmouth College. And on Oct. 19, Sean Keilen, UCSC professor of literature and director of the school’s Shakespeare Workshop, will address the group.

The final gathering, on Oct. 26, will be a potluck and screening of a DVD of “Troilus and Cressida.”

All sessions begin at 10 a.m. except for the potluck, which starts at 9:30 a.m. The gatherings are open to the public at $2 per session or $10 for the series. Christ Lutheran Church is located at 10707 Soquel Drive in Aptos.

Information: [email protected]

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Democratic fundraiser: Wit & Wine

The Peoples Democratic Club of Santa Cruz County invites all to a fundraiser, Wit & Wine, on Oct. 5, at the Live Oak Grange, 1900 17th Ave.

The event will feature famed San Francisco satirist and biopolitical comic Will Durst , and a wine auction, featuring Central Coast wines, that will be auctioned by John Laird, candidate for Senate District 17.

Doors open at 5:30 p.m. with the wine auction starting at 6 p.m. Durst takes the stage at 7 p.m.

Cost is $40 at the door. Beverages will be for sale and there will be complimentary hors d’oeuvres.

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