Community briefs, July 12, 2019

Caltrans District 5 awards scholarships

Caltrans recently awarded two $1,000 scholarships to local high school graduates as part of its 2019 Scholarship Program. Karis Lawson (Cal Poly-SLO) and Gabriel Jameson (Cabrillo College) were the recipients of the scholarships. 

The scholarship program supports college-bound high school seniors who are planning to pursue a career in transportation and live within the five counties in District 5 (Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, Monterey, Santa Cruz and San Benito counties).

District 5 Caltrans employees have been raising money for the program for 15 years with funds generated through proceeds from coffee and snack sales in the district cafeteria. The scholarship program is also supported by the California Transportation Foundation, which donates 25 percent of the funding. Since 2017, District 5 has awarded $4,750 in student scholarships.


Aptos Chamber awards nominees

The Aptos Chamber of Commerce is seeking nominations for 2019’s Man, Woman, Business and Organization of the Year. The Chamber would also like to hear about individuals who will be considered for the “Outstanding Achievement Award.” 

Winners will be honored at the Annual Awards Dinner & Auction on October 25 at the Seascape Beach Resort overlooking the Monterey Bay.

Download the nomination form online at

Send nominations to [email protected] or drop off applications at the Aptos Chamber office, 7605- A Old Dominion Court, Aptos. The deadline to submit nominations is July 19.


Soroptimist Membership Mixer

Soroptimist International of Watsonville invites community members to attend a Membership Mixer on Aug. 1, from 5-7 p.m., at Cilantro’s, 1934 Main Street, Watsonville.

Meet the multi-faceted members of Soroptimist and learn about the club’s mission and service-based community projects. Soroptimist is a global volunteer organization working to improve the lives of women and girls through programs leading to social and economic empowerment.

For information, contact Wendy at 332-1930.


Senate passes bipartisan resolution supporting American flower industry

The Senate passed Senator Dianne Feinstein’s (D-Calif.) resolution designating July as “American Grown Flower Month” and encouraging consumers to buy “Certified American Grown” flowers.

Along with Senator Feinstein, the resolution was introduced by Senators Kamala D. Harris (D-Calif.) and Dan Sullivan (R-Alaska). Congressman Salud Carbajal (D-Calif.) introduced a similar resolution in the House of Representatives.

American consumers spend $27 billion per year on floral products each year. While the majority of Americans would prefer to buy locally grown flowers, only 20 percent of the flowers sold in the United States are grown domestically.

“California is the cut flower capital of the United States, producing nearly 75 percent of American-grown flowers” Sen. Feinstein said. “However, only one in five flowers sold in the United States was grown domestically. Our resolution encourages consumers to look for the ‘Certified American Grown’ label to support local farmers this month and throughout the year.”


Pancake breakfast benefits SC Follies

SANTA CRUZ — A benefit pancake breakfast will be held from 8:30 a.m. to noon Sunday at 222 Market St., Santa Cruz.

Cost of the breakfast is $8 for adults, $4 for children under age 10. While at the event, also take a look in “Grannie’s Attic” for household items and small gifts.

Proceeds will benefit Santa Cruz Follies, a local performing arts group for “over 50” Santa Cruz County citizens. For information call Senior Citizens Opportunities (Market Street Theater) at 423-6640.


Over-the-counter building permits now available online

SANTA CRUZ COUNTY — The County of Santa Cruz recently announced the expansion of online permit processing to include over-the-counter building permits, allowing residents to submit plans and receive these permits without leaving home.

Eligible projects include routine work such as roofing replacements, window change-outs, siding, sheetrock, small remodels (with no alteration of walls), decks less than 30 inches above grade, minor electrical and plumbing work, mechanical (furnaces, air conditioning units, wall heaters, wood stoves, ducting, etc.), simple solar systems, electric vehicle charging systems, most demolitions and more.

Note that some projects located in coastal areas and some historic buildings may not be eligible for online permitting.

Residents interested in beginning the online permitting process should visit to create an account and get started.


Senior Farmers’ Market Nutrition Program voucher

The Seniors Council will be visiting the Watsonville Farmers’ Market today to distribute vouchers for food purchase.

The $20 vouchers can be used at certified farmers’ markets to purchase fresh fruits, fresh vegetables, fresh herbs or honey. The vouchers are free to seniors who are 60 years or older and are considered low income (at or below $1,926 per month for a one person household, or $2,607 per month for a two person household).

For information: 688-0400 ext. 118 or email [email protected]


When school is out, summer meals are in

SANTA CRUZ COUNTY — With summer ongoing, it’s time to think about keeping children healthy while school is out. The Summer Meals Program makes sure all children can eat healthy food during the summer months.

During summer vacation, many food-insecure children lose access to free or reduced priced meals, but this valuable program provides no cost and convenient access to meals for kids in need. Free lunches will be provided to all children, without eligibility documentation, who are 18 years of age and younger. Some programs may require registration for participants. 

To make the program welcoming and accessible, meals are served at locations where kids congregate during the summer, such as playgrounds, summer schools and community centers. Summer meals are offered at a total of 25 sites throughout the county.

For more information, text FOOD or COMIDA to 877-877 or call 211 for a location near you.


Watsonville-Mora High Class of 1969 reunion

Watsonville and Mora high schools class of 1969 are celebrating their 50th Class Reunion on Aug. 23 at Severino’s Restaurant in Aptos.

The price is $85 per person.

Festivities start at 5 p.m.

For information email Letecia Ragsac at [email protected]


‘World’s Shortest Parade’ winners

The Aptos Chamber of Commerce announced the winners of the 2019 Aptos “World’s Shortest Parade” participant contest.

The winners include:

Grand Prize

Best of Parade: Agape Dance Academy

Crowd Pleaser: Aptos All Stars- 11 Years Old

Adult Group

First Prize: Ukelele Club

Judges’ Choice: E. Clampus Vitus


First Prize: Grand Sam

 Judges’ Choice: Watsonville Community Band 


First Prize: West Coast Great Pyrenees

Judges’ Choice: Monterey Bay Dog Training Club


First Prize: Linda Lawrence

Judges’ Choice: Justine Leonard


 First Prize: Aptos Ace Hardware

Judges’ Choice: SSSP Truck

Children’s Group

First Prize: Cub Scout 676

 Judges’ Choice: Jacob’s Heart Children’s Cancer Support Services


 First Prize: Russell Ellingworth

 Judges’ Choice: Paul Lewis


Most Spirited: Aptos High School


 First Prize: Vinosaurus Rex

Judges’ Choice: Pleasant Valley Horse Club


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