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September 18, 2021

From the editor's desk, Sept. 19: PV High overcomes major hurdle

By ERIK CHALHOUB, Managing Editor

After more than a decade of lawsuits, angry meetings and countless students graduating without having experienced a complete high school, it finally happened.

The Pajaro Valley Unified School District and the Watsonville Pilots Association unanimously approved an agreement last week that could allow construction to begin on Pajaro Valley High School’s football field and auditorium.

When word of the agreement got out, I immediately double-checked the calendar and saw that the date definitely wasn’t April 1.

It was just a few weeks ago when the pilots association notified the City of Watsonville and PVUSD that it intended to file a lawsuit in response to the Watsonville City Council’s Feb. 28 approval of a permit for the school’s auditorium.

Had this lawsuit gone through, it likely would have delayed construction for another five years, if not indefinitely.

Last week’s announcement was even more surprising considering how far apart all the sides were during the February council meeting, when the city essentially told the school district that it would have to pony up the legal fees, something PVUSD would never agree to.

Although the pilots dropping their opposition is arguably the largest hurdle that has been overcome, construction is still not a done deal. The plans must now be filed with the California Coastal Commission.

The plans are also far from perfect for the school, seeing as the field will not have lights, prohibiting PV High from holding night games.

But after seeing the concessions that were agreed upon, it makes me wonder why this agreement couldn’t have happened years ago.

•••

Another Santa Cruz County Fair is in the books.

It was another year of delectable fried foods, friendly animals, sketchy carnival rides and swaths of collectibles.

But it was also another year of new things. Sure, the majority of the event consists of classic fair staples, but what I appreciate is the fact that the fair organizers are always looking for something new to include every year. This time, among other things, it included the Drone Zone, a train ride around the fairgrounds and Firestryker the dragon, all of which were a hit with the crowds.

I’ll be looking forward to seeing what’s new next year.

•••

Erik Chalhoub can be reached at 761-7353 or [email protected]

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