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February 8, 2023

Local lawyer Regenhardt retires

WATSONVILLE—Gretchen Regenhardt, regional director of advocacy for the Watsonville branch of California Rural Legal Assistance, was showered with high esteem last week at her retirement party.

About 50 people, including recently seated Watsonville Mayor Rebecca Garcia, gathered at Jalisco’s restaurant for an informal dinner, to offer a warm bon voyage in her new direction after serving more than 35 years at CRLA, which has an office on Carr Street.

CRLA is a nonprofit legal service program created to help California’s low-income communities and has offices from the Mexican border to Northern California. Founded in 1966 they have provided more than 43,000 low-income rural Californians with free legal assistance. 

“Being a great lawyer and my good friend, I think there’s no other person that will make retirement more colorful and artistic than you,” said Elena Yosway.

Attorney Jonathan Gettleman also referred to Regenhardt as a “dear friend.”

“Gretchen opened up the Watsonville office so people like me could have an office,” he said. “She is a loving person and a true believer in what she is doing. She has taught me a lot and has served her community well.”

After about a dozen speeches Regenhardt was presented with a framed black and white photograph of a field worker by David Bacon. Regenhardt offered a heartfelt thanks to her crowd of supporters that included her daughter with a baby in tow.

Tarmo Hannula
Tarmo Hannula has been the lead photographer with The Pajaronian newspaper in Watsonville since 1997. He also reports on a wide range of topics, including police, fire, environment, schools, the arts and events. A fifth generation Californian, Tarmo was born in the Mother Lode of the Sierra (Columbia) and has lived in Santa Cruz County since the late 1970s. He earned a BA from UC Santa Cruz and has traveled to 33 countries.

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