Community briefs, Feb. 1: Calamari Dinner benefits scholarship fund

Calamari Dinner benefits scholarship fund

WATSONVILLE — The Sons and Daughters of Italy Watsonville Lodge #2016 will hold its seventh annual Calamari Dinner on Feb. 17 at the Watsonville Woman’s Club, 12 Brennan St.

The event kicks off with a social hour at 6 p.m., followed by the dinner at 7 p.m.

The menu includes appetizers, deep-fried calamari fillets, pasta with pesto salad and dessert.

Proceeds support the Andrew Malatesta Agriculture Scholarship.

Admission for adults is $40, and children ages 6-12 are $15.

Tickets are sold in advance only. To purchase tickets, call Janey Leonardich at 722-7958 or Gina Gallucci at 722-8901.


Latino Role Models Conference set

APTOS — The 2018 Latino Role Models Conference is scheduled for Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the Cabrillo College Crocker Theater, 6500 Soquel Drive, Building #4000, Aptos.

Students in grades 6 through college and their families are encouraged to attend this free annual conference featuring Latino college students and professionals and workshops.

The conference is conducted in Spanish with English translation.

For information, call 854-7740 or visit


Retired Teachers Association holding luncheon

APTOS — The California Retired Teachers Association will have its bi-monthly luncheon on Feb. 14 at 11:30 a.m. at the Seacliff Inn in Aptos.

Roger Knacke, an astronomer, will talk about his experiences viewing the total eclipse in Oregon.

The menu is prawn-stuffed salmon or vegetarian mushroom risotto.

Send your name, contact info, meal choice and a check for $20 CalRTA Div 7 to Glenda Hastings, 6013 Thurber Lane Santa Cruz, CA. 95065, or if later than Feb. 3 call Glenda at 476-5886.


Workshop addresses tax reform for small businesses

CAPITOLA — Santa Cruz County SCORE will hold a workshop titled “Tax Reform: Bonanza or Back-breaker?” on Tuesday at the Capitola City Hall Community Room, 420 Capitola Ave., at 6:30 p.m.

In this class, attendees will will learn how the tax reform will impact small businesses, including both personal and business returns, beginning in 2018. Topics covered will include the lowered tax rates, the loss of many popular deductions, real estate and business changes, and tax planning.

The class will be led by Cynthia Leachmoore, the co-owner of Soquel Tax Service. In addition to her practice, she writes articles and lectures on a variety of tax topics to both the public, and tax professional communities. She currently serves as president of the California Society of Enrolled Agents.

Pre-register to guarantee a spot as seating is limited. The cost to attend is $20. To register, visit or call 621-3735.


Housing Authority launches program to attract landlords

SANTA CRUZ COUNTY — The Housing Authority of the County of Santa Cruz announced a new program to encourage landlords to rent to Section 8 tenants by offering investment protection.

Using the Landlord Incentive Program, landlords will be eligible for reimbursement up to $2,500 should they incur certain expenses within the first year of tenancy, including damages, unpaid rent, vacancy loss, or legal fees associated with termination for lease violations or lease compliance. The claim could cover amounts that exceed the tenant’s security deposit.

The program is now available countywide, and funding has been provided by the County of Santa Cruz, as well as the cities of Capitola, Santa Cruz, Scotts Valley and Watsonville. Claims are subject to availability of funds.

“With the establishment of this Landlord Incentive Program, there has really never been a better time for landlords to accept families with Section 8 vouchers,” said Jenny Panetta, executive director of the Housing Authority of the County of Santa Cruz. “We’ve always assured landlords that tenants with rental vouchers are good tenants, and are no different from tenants in the private market. In some ways, they’re even better. Section 8 tenants now come with a certain degree of protection for landlords.”

The Section 8 program assists thousands of families throughout the county, many of whom would have been priced out of the rental market without rental assistance.

The Landlord Incentive Program is one of many changes the Housing Authority has made to encourage landlord participation. Last year, the Housing Authority hired a leasing specialist, who acts as a single point of contact for landlords, helping landlords with everything related to renting to Section 8 tenants. 

The leasing specialist, Blanca Mendoza, can be reached at 454-5917.    

For information, visit


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