Community briefs, March 15, 2019

Red Cross: Severe shortage of type O blood

WATSONVILLE — The American Red Cross has a severe shortage of type O blood and urges type O donors — as well as eligible blood and platelet donors of all blood types — to donate.

Type O blood is the most in-demand blood type, helping patients facing life-threatening conditions and emergencies every day, according to the Red Cross. Type O negative blood can be transfused to patients with any blood type and is what emergency room personnel reach for when there’s no time to determine a patient’s blood type.

Type O positive blood is also needed because it is the most transfused blood type and can be given to Rh-positive patients of any blood type.

Right now, the Red Cross has less than a three-day supply of most blood types, and blood products are being distributed to hospitals faster than donations are coming in.

Individuals of all blood types — especially type O — are asked to make an appointment to donate blood or platelets by visiting or calling 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767).

The next blood donation drive in Watsonville will be held March 22 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Pajaro Valley Community Health Trust, 85 Nielson St.


Ag History Project presents speaker series

WATSONVILLE — The Agricultural History Project will present its Spring Ag Talk Series starting on March 21 at 6:30 p.m. at the Codiga Center and Museum, located at the fairgrounds at 2601 East Lake Ave. in Watsonville.

The series features talks by members of the Pajaro Valley agricultural community with stories of the history, challenges, successes and efforts to preserve the values, culture and agricultural lifestyle of the valley.

The speaker on March 21 will be Joe Morris on “Sustainability in Grass-Fed Beef Production on the Kelly Thompson Ranch.” Morris and his family raise grass-fed beef on the Kelly Thompson Ranch.

Light refreshments will be served. A donation of $10 is suggested. For information, call 724-5898.


Red Cross to install free smoke alarms

WATSONVILLE — On average, home fires kill seven people and injure another 36 every day in the United States, according to the American Red Cross.

That’s why the American Red Cross launched its nationwide Home Fire Campaign in 2014 with the goal of reducing the number of home fire deaths and injuries.

A component of the campaign is a series of “Sound the Alarm – Save a Life” events in which Red Cross volunteers, working with local fire departments and other partners, visit high-risk neighborhoods to offer to install free smoke alarms, replace batteries in existing alarms, and help families create escape plans.

On March 30, a Sound the Alarm event will take place in Watsonville. That day, the American Red Cross of the Central Coast will be installing free smoke alarms and providing in-home fire preparedness education and earthquake preparedness education during the home visits in that community.

Trained Red Cross volunteers will visit homes that day between 9:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. During the home visits in Watsonville, Red Cross volunteers will be working with personnel from the Watsonville Fire Department and students from Seaside High School.

For information about the location of the home visits on March 30, contact the local Red Cross chapter’s Disaster Program Specialist, Helen Cosentino, by sending her an email at [email protected]

In addition to the Sound the Alarm event, the American Red Cross of the Central Coast is also offering the installation of free smoke alarms and educational visits on an appointment basis throughout Monterey, San Benito, and Santa Cruz counties. To schedule an appointment, call 600-4914 or email [email protected]


Volunteers needed for annual mural day

WATSONVILLE — The Watsonville Community Mural Paint Day will return on March 25 from 9 a.m. to sunset at Pajaro Valley Prevention and Student Assistance, 335 East Lake Ave. in Watsonville.

All ages are invited to paint at the event, which is presented by Monterey Bay Murals and UC Santa Cruz Alternative Spring Break.

For information, call 600-5445.


Library seeking poetry for contest

WATSONVILLE — For National Poetry Month, the Watsonville Public Library is seeking poets to enter its poetry contest.

The contest is for adults 21 and over, and young adults ages 14-20. The winning poets will receive a prize and an opportunity to read their poetry at a public reception in early May.

One entry per person will be accepted. Entries must fit on an 8.5-by-11-inch page and mailed to the Watsonville Public Library, Poetry Contest, 275 Main St., Suite 100, Watsonville, CA 95076. Poetry can also be emailed to [email protected]

Include separately your name, division, email address or street address and phone number.

The deadline for submissions is March 25 at 8 p.m.

For information, call Dolores Wiemers at 768-3419.


Community Bridges announces addition to leadership team

WATSONVILLE — Community Bridges announced that Amy Hanley has joined the management team as its new marketing communications manager.

Community Bridges is a family of programs that provides health and human services to children, families and seniors in Santa Cruz County.

Hanley is a longtime resident of Santa Cruz County. Before joining Community Bridges, she worked for the Central California Alliance for Health leading provider communication strategies; developed community outreach programs for Physicians Medical Group; and was marketing manager for a syndicated market research firm.  

She has a masters of public health degree with a concentration in community health from Concordia University.

“I am thrilled to be a part of a respected and transformative organization like Community Bridges that offer clients not only services, but community participation and a sense of belonging,” Hanley said. “Our services touch more than 30,000 local residents each year — that’s one in 10 residents of Santa Cruz County.”


Music graduate to perform recital

APTOS — Cabrillo College Music Department graduate Christian Pursell will perform a bass-baritone recital on Sunday at 3 p.m. at the Samper Recital Hall, 6500 Soquel Drive in Aptos.

The recital is a benefit for the choral/vocal music program.

For tickets, visit


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