From the editor's desk, April 3: On to the next 150 years


By ERIK CHALHOUB, Managing Editor

March, an exhausting month characterized by 150th anniversary celebrations, is now behind us.

At the Register-Pajaronian, we began the month by putting the finishing touches on a magazine commemorating 150 years of both the newspaper and the City of Watsonville. The months-long project of digging through old newspaper archives and other sources culminated with the release of the magazine last week.

The R-P also held an event on March 10 at the Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds, complete with a display of past newspaper editions, awards and other items from the last 15 decades.

Watsonville got into the celebratory mood last week, with a city council meeting on March 27 welcoming mayors from the past 25 years.

The month was capped off with a party in the Watsonville Plaza on Friday, with hundreds of people celebrating.

But if there is one thing I will remember about March 2018, it will be for finally learning how to spell “sesquicentennial.”

The 150th anniversary celebrations are not over. Among other events lined up for the year, Watsonville native and Santana band lead singer Andy Vargas will host a concert in the city in October, and a time capsule will be buried in November.

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I would say there is a light at the end of the tunnel for Pajaro Valley High School’s athletic facilities project, but the football field won’t actually have spotlights once it’s built.

Regardless, it’s an exciting time for the project that generations of students have clamored for since the school opened in 2004.

Today, the Watsonville Planning Commission will consider recommending the project proceed before it heads to the city council for final approval. The project, on an eight-acre portion of the campus, includes an eight-lane track and football field, bleachers for up to 2,200 people and a concession and restroom building.

After years of lawsuits by the Watsonville Pilots Association, who contended the project placed students in the flight path of the city’s airport, the pilots withdrew their objections in September after the Pajaro Valley Unified School District agreed to modify plans for the field.

With that hurdle cleared, I expect the project will have no difficulties obtaining the city’s approval.

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Erik Chalhoub can be reached at 761-7353 or [email protected]

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