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September 18, 2021

This Week in Pajaro Valley’s Past, July 23

25 years ago on July 20, 1996

Corralitos has its eyes on a prize, and many residents are working hard to win it. The prize is a library, and ultimately a cultural center. Betty Allen and Joyce Medeiros are part of the group spearheading the effort which opened with a book fair to raise money and garner books for the new library. The group has raised $15,000 so far to buy the $150,000 property they want for the library—the former Grace Baptist Church on Hames Road. It’s centrally located near the Corralitos Market, so children and elderly people can “walk right over,” Medeiros said. A second building on the property, a newer structure with a kitchen, could eventually house the cultural center for civic, club, and community events. “We have letters of support from the Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, 4-H, and Woman’s Club,” Betty Allen said. Corralitos residents are preparing for the future when the community center on Browns Valley Road may not be available as readily as it is now.

50 years ago on July 21, 1971

Pajaro Valley District Trustees heard a three-hour presentation of a plan for a new “bilingual, bicultural community school,” and agreed to explore its merits. The main features of the school would include elementary education from kindergarten through fourth-grade, pre-school and child care programs, adult classes, tutorial programs using parents and high school students, drop-out prevention, health services for all children, and a graphics center with display space and facilities to produce a bilingual newspaper. The goal would be to create students proficient in both Spanish and English, and familiar with two cultures.  Trustee Dr. Janet Bell said, “After hearing tonight’s presentation, being against a bilingual, bicultural community school would be a little like being against motherhood.” Bruce Richardson was the only trustee to give his personal endorsement to the school. The others took no final position but stated they wanted to examine the idea further.  

75 years ago on July 20, 1946

Watsonville’s American Legion Post #121 has passed the 1,000 membership mark with the announcement by Commander Mark Kerns that the membership now numbers 1,031. That makes Watsonville the second post in its district to pass the 1,000-mark. The San Jose post was first. Although the current membership drive has closed, this does not mean more memberships for 1946 can be accepted. The July 20 closing date was only set so the California Department of the American Legion could establish the number of delegates each district gets for the state convention. Kerns added, “Our present members do not know all the veterans who are newcomers to Watsonville, so we invited them to come to our meetings and join. There’s no way for us to learn the names of newly arrived veterans coming to make their homes in Watsonville, except for the veterans themselves to make themselves known.”

100 years ago on July 22, 2021

Prohibition enforcement officials visited Watsonville today and spread consternation among the bootlegging establishments. Even in places where everything conformed to the law, they took samples of elixirs, bitters, etc., and in all probability the vendors of these liquors, though innocent of any desire to infringe on the provisions of law, will have to answer charges. It is just such highhanded proceedings as these that make the law unpopular, bring it into discredit and weakens its influence. All needed by the Volstead Act was to tell the vendor the need to destroy his product and it would be done. Instead, they suffer the humiliation of arrest and the need to pay a sizable bail to remain free. At the time of our going to press, the arrests included: Upper Main bartender Paul Jacobsen, $500 bail; The Royal Grill, $500 bail for each partner; proprietors of Hildreth’s Bar (2nd offense), $1,000 bail each. One proprietor is still being sought.


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