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September 19, 2023

Covid-19 economic restrictions expected to remain in place

Watsonville coronavirus
SANTA CRUZ COUNTY—The economic restrictions imposed on various Santa Cruz County businesses are not expected to be loosened this week, according to Santa Cruz County Health Services Agency spokeswoman Corinne Hyland. That’s despite the fact that the county will have spent its 14th day off...

County’s budget cuts to Sheriff’s Office eased

County of Santa Cruz budget
SANTA CRUZ— The Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday approved an $874 million budget for the coming year that includes cuts and position reductions to every department in the county. According to County Budget Manager Christina Mowrey, the reductions include furloughs of 5-10%,...

New housing program helps farmworkers during Covid-19 pandemic

housing for the harvest
WATSONVILLE—Gov. Gavin Newsom on July 24 revealed a new temporary housing program that aims to help agricultural workers across the state better protect themselves and their families during the Covid-19 pandemic. Housing for the Harvest will offer temporary hotel housing to workers who need to...

Local high school sports pushed to December

High school sports
CENTRAL COAST—The Central Coast Section, the local governing body for schools stretching from San Francisco along the coast to King City, this week unveiled its plans for the fall sports season and beyond.  The governing board on Tuesday announced in a press release that mid-December...

Second Harvest food distributions to run through August

Second Harvest Food Bank
SANTA CRUZ—Second Harvest Food Bank hosted a drive-thru community food distribution Friday at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. Supported by numerous volunteers and members of the California National Guard, the distribution unfolded under overcast skies as part of ongoing county-wide distributions that alternate between the...

Transportation advocates touting rail-trail project

Rail Trail Santa Cruz County
SANTA CRUZ COUNTY—A group of local transportation organizers is hoping that, within the span of a decade, a passenger rail will run from Watsonville to Santa Cruz, making stops at hubs where busses will whisk passengers to further destinations.  For commuters who wish to eschew...

PVUSD to begin 2020/21 school year online

WATSONVILLE—Pajaro Valley Unified School District will begin the year with distance learning for all students when classes begin on Aug. 17, a measure meant to keep students and staff safe from Covid-19 as the virus continues to spread throughout the state. PVUSD Superintendent Michelle Rodriguez...

Newsom closes indoor services in restaurants, other businesses

watsonville covid-19
SACRAMENTO—Gov. Gavin Newsom on Monday ordered a statewide closure to indoor services in restaurants, theaters, wineries, museums, zoos, card rooms and family entertainment centers. Bars must cease all operations.  In addition, 30 counties on California’s county watchlist must also shutter their churches, gyms, malls, hair...

PVUSD delays decision on school opening plan

PVUSD Covid-19 plan
WATSONVILLE—The Pajaro Valley Unified School District Board of Trustees on Wednesday unanimously voted to delay a decision on how to resume classes in August, to give district officials time to investigate all of their options. Still undetermined is which risk level the district will use...

Bus operators push back on METRO’s rider increases

Santa Cruz METRO covid-19
SANTA CRUZ COUNTY—Santa Cruz METRO has increased its passenger capacity by 50% in an effort to accommodate more riders, but that decision has raised concerns within the union representing the bus operators still working during the Covid-19 pandemic. METRO CEO Alex Clifford announced on June...