Community briefs, Feb. 8: Congressional staff members hold office hours

Congressional staff members hold office hours

WATSONVILLE — Staff members from Congressman Jimmy Panetta’s (D-Calif.) office will be available to meet with constituents at the Watsonville Public Library, 275 Main St., Suite 100, on Feb. 14 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Congressional staff members will be available to assist with issues concerning Social Security, Medicare, federal employee retirement, immigration services, veterans’ services, passports, searching for military records, and any other federal matters.

To schedule a meeting, call Panetta’s Salinas office at 424-2229.


UC Master Gardeners offer grapevine growing and pruning talk

WATSONVILLE — UC Master Gardener and Viticulturist Art Nathan will present a free talk about grapevine growing and pruning on Feb. 17 from 10 a.m. to noon at the UC Master Gardener Demonstration Garden, 1430 Freedom Blvd., Suite E, in Watsonville.

He will discuss various training systems for grapes, various species of grapes and how they are used in modern viticulture. He will also demonstrate various pruning methods while discussing the pros and cons of each.

Attendees are asked to bring sharp pruning shears for a hands-on demonstration of various pruning methods. 

UC Master Gardener Ernest Franco will also present a 20-minute overview on sharpening and maintaining pruning tools.

For information and to pre-register (requested but not required), visit


Retired attorney to speak on immigration

APTOS — Retired attorney John Allured will speak about immigration from a legal point of view on Sunday at 1 p.m. at Christ Lutheran Church 10707 Soquel Drive in Aptos.

Allured has almost 30 years of experience in federal and state court litigation. While in private practice in San Francisco, he represented individuals and business organizations in litigation in the areas of securities regulation, corporate and partnership governance, and more.

Sunday’s talk will touch on topics such as the asylum process, immigration court and more.

For information, call 688-5727.


Elias Lammam Trio to perform at Cabrillo

APTOS — Arabic accordionist Elias Lammam will perform with his ensemble and belly dancer Andalee Owens at the 10th annual Cabrillo College Evening of World Theater on Saturday.

Lammam, originally from Lebanon, is an internationally renowned microtonal accordionist and singer in the traditional Arabic music styles. The ensemble includes Sarah Michael on qanun, master percussionist Antoine Lammam, Reda Darwish on percussion, Dawn Sandoval vocals, and other special guests.

Owens is an award-winning belly dancer from Clovis.

Lammam specializes in popular music of the mid- to late-20th century used in film and cabarets, performing many songs popularized by leading Arab vocalists including Fairuz, Oum Kholtoum and Abdel Halim Hafez. He teaches all aspects of Arabic music weekly in Santa Cruz and San Jose and performs throughout the U.S. and abroad.

Now a resident of Santa Cruz County for six years, Lammam said Saturday’s concert marks the first time a local college or other major local institution in the area has invited his ensemble to perform.

“This means a lot to me as it shows an acceptance and recognition of Arabic music and my daily work to preserve and share the legacy and heritage of Arabic music,” he said.

Admission is $15 general and $13 for Cabrillo students and seniors. For tickets, visit

On Feb. 17 from 1-4 p.m., Lammam will teach an intro workshop on Arabic music at Cabrillo College. The cost of the workshop is $75.

To register for the workshop and for information, email Sarah Albertson at [email protected]


Invisible/Alienated Grandparent Support Group meets

APTOS — The Invisible/Alienated Grandparent Support Group meets the second Monday of the month at Christ Lutheran Church, 10707 Soquel Drive in Aptos, from 2:30-4 p.m.

Led by Pat Hanson, author of “Invisible Grandparenting: Leave a Legacy of Love Whether You Can Be There or Not,” this will be an environment for sharing stories if you so choose, and learning healthy ways to deal with separation from anyone.

The group is co-sponsored by Alienated Grandparents Anonymous, a national organization with chapters in 50 states and 17 countries that provides information and support to grandparents who feel alienated or estranged from access to their grandchildren.

For information, contact Hanson at [email protected] or 601-9195.


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