Community briefs, Aug. 15: ‘Meal on Main Street’ returns

‘Meal on Main Street’ returns

WATSONVILLE — Watsonville Salvation Army and Green Valley Christian Center will present “Meal on Main Street” on Saturday at 11 a.m. at the Watsonville City Plaza.

The free concert will include meals for those in attendance. In addition, the first 300 children ages 16 and under will receive a free backpack.

For information, call Green Valley Christian Center at 728-1424.


Class focuses on keyhole gardens

WATSONVILLE — UC Master Gardeners of Monterey and Santa Cruz Counties will present a free class on Aug. 26 on “How to Make a Keyhole Garden.”

Keyhole gardens are circular raised beds in which crops are planted around an active composting basket in the center. A small aisle is built into the structure to access the compost basket, creating a “keyhole” shape. Kitchen scraps and grey water are added to the compost basket for continuous replenishment of the soil.

The class is taught by composting instructor, UC Master Gardener Otis Johnson, and will be held from 10 a.m. to noon at the MG Demonstration Garden next to the rear parking lot at 1430 Freedom Blvd. in Watsonville. To register, visit

The UC Master Gardeners also invites the public to its “Hands on With Master Gardeners” days at the Watsonville Demonstration Garden every Wednesday morning and every third Saturday of the month through the fall from 9 a.m. to noon.


Youth music program begins semester

APTOS — Registration for the Cabrillo Youth Strings Music Program is underway. 

An entry level string orchestra class, fourth-sixth grade beginning strings for violin, viola and cello will be offered on Fridays from 4-5:15 p.m. in room VAPA5137, located on the Cabrillo College Aptos campus, 6500 Soquel Drive. Students must provide their own instruments. 

Auditions for Festival Strings (beginning note-readers), VAPA5156, and Cabrillo Strings (intermediate-advanced), VAPA5141, will be held on Friday, Sept. 1, from 3:45-4:15 p.m., with rehearsals on Fridays, 4:15-5:55 p.m., beginning on Sept. 1 at the Music Building, VAPA 5000.

String players ages 5 to 18 are welcome to join the private lesson and string orchestral programs. For those interested in participating in or making contributions to this program, call 479-6101 or visit


Boardwalk commemorates National Roller Coaster Day

SANTA CRUZ — In celebration of National Roller Coaster Day on Wednesday, the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk is giving the first 100 riders on the Giant Dipper a Boardwalk Souvenir Cup filled with a 32-ounce soft drink and unlimited 99-cent refills.  

The roller coaster opens at 11 a.m., and normal ticket and height restrictions apply. Limit one cup per rider.


Cruzio celebrating launch of fiber optic network

SANTA CRUZ — Cruzio Internet is joining with a host of community sponsors to throw a launch party on Wednesday from 5:30-8:30 p.m. celebrating the construction of its downtown fiber optic network, and the launch of the Santa Cruz Fiber brand and services.

The availability of Gigabit internet to both commercial and residential buildings within such a wide area makes Santa Cruz one of the most competitive places to do business in all of California, according to Cruzio.

“In the near future the concept of internet speed will be foreign to most people,” said James Hackett, Director of Business Development for Santa Cruz Fiber. “No one thinks of other utilities like power or water in terms of how many kilowatts or gallons they are getting, it’s either just on or it’s not — that is what fiber internet is in terms of how disruptive it will be.”

Guest speakers include Congressman Jimmy Panetta, Santa Cruz City Manager Martin Bernal, Santa Cruz Vice Mayor David Terrazas, MBEP Co-Chair Bud Colligan, UC Santa Cruz Interim Vice Chancellor of Information Technology Brad Smith, the Santa Cruz Area Chamber of Commerce CEO Casey Beyer, and Cruzio Internet CEO Peggy Dolgenos.

The event will be held at Cruzio, 877 Cedar St. in Santa Cruz. For information, visit


No-cost chipping service available

SANTA CRUZ COUNTY — The Resource Conservation District of Santa Cruz County (RCD) is seeking applications for its no-cost chipping program to reduce wildfire fuels around homes, roads and neighborhoods in high-risk areas.

Through a grant with the Monterey Bay Unified Air Pollution Control District, the RCD is providing chipping services to county residents that have excess fuel loads around their properties due to debris from last winter’s storms.

Chipping downed wood and clearing of flammable vegetation around homes is a critical step in reducing fuel loads to create defensible space around structures. This year’s winter rains and recent warm weather have given rise to vegetation which serves as fast and flashy fuel for wildfire.

“The RCD Chipper Program is a critical component of vegetative fuel load reduction projects,” said Andy Hubbs, Vegetation Management Program Coordinator with Cal Fire. “With the high number of homes located in fire prone areas, this program is a huge benefit for assisting homeowners to implement and maintain defensible space. Cal Fire encourages residents to coordinate efforts in your neighborhoods and take advantage of this valuable program.”

 The program is available on a first-come, first-serve basis and priority will be given to neighborhoods that are able to collect fuel debris from multiple homes and roadways. 

Applications are available on the RCD website at

For information, contact Angie Gruys at the RCD at [email protected] or 464-2950, extension 22.

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