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San Benito County Library Looking for Grants to Expand

County Librarian Nora Conte and Supervising Librarian Erin Baxter, who are members of the Coalition for a New Community Library and Resource Center, replied to some questions from BenitoLink about adding on a second story to the San Benito County Free Library.

(June 30, 2022) → Read the full Benito Link report
San Benito County Sheriff-Elect Addresses Gang Crime, Fentanyl

Eric Taylor, appointed by the Board of Supervisors in 2021, was successful in securing his job as sheriff-coroner in the June 7 election. BenitoLink asked him about his hopes for the department and ideas on how to best serve the county.

(June 30, 2022) → Read the full Benito Link report
California Bill to Split Coroner-Sheriff Offices Moves Ahead in Legislature

California is one of three states that allows counties to combine the offices of the coroner and sheriff, and in most of the state’s counties, the elected sheriff also acts as the county’s coroner, investigating the cause and manner of deaths. But that could soon change.

(June 30, 2022) → Read the full The Californian report
County Accepts New Park From Anderson Homes

After months of delays while waiting for an electrical switch box, Anderson Homes has transferred a new $3 million park to San Benito County. Santana Ranch Park includes playgrounds for two age groups, picnic tables, a grassy area, a baseball field, basketball half court, and restrooms.

(June 29, 2022) → Read the full Benito Link report
California Lawmakers Give Nod to $307.9B Budget

California lawmakers have approved a spending plan that includes sending cash to most taxpayers to help offset record-high gas prices. The budget continues a turnaround for the nation’s most populous state, which just two years ago raised taxes and slashed spending.

(June 29, 2022) → Read the full The Californian report
San Benito High School Board to Make Name Change June 28

San Benito High School District trustees are scheduled to finalize the renaming of San Benito High School to Hollister High School. The finalization wraps up multiple examinations of the name change, starting with a board vote on Nov. 9, 2021, to move forward with the name change process.

(June 28, 2022) → Read the full Benito Link report
Hollister Council Meeting Gets Heated

The June 21 Hollister City Council meeting turned fractious when a resolution to amend an ordinance on campaign was brought back after failing to pass June 6. The meeting devolved into an attack on both the ordinance and Mayor Ignacio Velazquez.

(June 28, 2022) → Read the full Benito Link report
Huge Reservoir Could be Expanded to Store More Water

San Luis Reservoir, 7 miles long and a key part of California’s water supply irrigates farmland across the Central Valley and provides drinking water for Silicon Valley and other cities. A $1.1 billion plan by the federal government will strengthen the huge earthen dam, but more than earthquake safety work is involved.

(June 27, 2022) → Read the full Monterey Herald report
Strada Verde Reaches Safety Agreement With TriCal

TriCal, a distributor and applicator of agricultural soil conditioning and fumigation products, has signed a safety agreement with the management of the Strada Verde project on June 23 that covers a wide range of measures from repairing train tracks to moving part of its operation out of the county.

(June 24, 2022) → Read the full Benito Link report
Chamber of Commerce Announces Honorees for 2022 Annual Awards Dinner

The San Benito County Chamber of Commerce & Foundation announced the Man, Woman and Businesses of the Year to be honored Nov. 12 at Léal Vineyard’s Olea. This year is the chamber’s 101st Annual Awards Dinner.

(June 24, 2022) → Read the full Benito Link report
San Benito Health Foundation Plans for Clinic, Housing in SJB

As San Juan Bautista creates boundaries for its future growth, the San Benito Health Foundation is planning to build a clinic and 60 high-density housing units on seven acres of land in the town. No application has yet been submitted.

(June 22, 2022) → Read the full Benito Link report
Eligible County Residents Can Join Affordable Connectivity Program

The Community Services and Workforce Development announced residents can apply for the Affordable Connectivity Program, which provides discounts to families and households struggling to afford internet service. The program is funded by the FCC.

(June 22, 2022) → Read the full Benito Link report
Initial Sphere of Influence Maps in San Juan Bautista Discussed at Contentious Meeting

A contentious joint session of the San Juan Bautista City Council and the Planning Commission on June 13 was intended to have the public respond to proposed city growth boundaries. Instead, the proceedings ground to a halt when two council members left and the meeting ended for lack of a quorum.

(June 21, 2022) → Read the full Benito Link report
California State Guard Seeks Volunteers for Firefighting Unit

The California State Guard needs volunteers to join its Team Blaze, a group focused on wildland firefighting. “This team specializes as a Type II fire line hand crew, ready to respond to any area of California when needed,” according to a release.

(June 10, 2022) → Read the full Benito Link report
Volunteers Gather Seeds From Native Plants for Post-Burn Restoration

Nearly 40 volunteers congregated at the Nyland property outside of San Juan Bautista on June 5 to combat the spread of invasive non-native plants. Their mission was simple: collect native seeds.

(June 9, 2022) → Read the full Benito Link report
Backers of TriCal Buffer Zone Submit Signed Petitions

Supporters of a 3.5-mile buffer zone initiative around agriculture chemical distributor TriCal, Inc. submitted 5,096 signatures on a petition to establish a division between the proposed development of Strada Verde Innovation Park and TriCal.

(June 8, 2022) → Read the full Benito Link report
State Lawmakers Weigh Buying Out Farmers to Save Water

A proposal in the state Senate would spend up to $1.5 billion to buy “senior water rights” that allow farmers to take as much water as needed from the state’s rivers and streams.

(June 6, 2022) → Read the full Santa Cruz County Sentinel report
BirchBark Foundation Helps Humans Help Their Pets

Dr. Merrianne Burtch established BirchBark Foundation to assist people facing financial obstacles in caring for pets. “The vision driving our organization,” she said, “is that financial hardship should never cause the loss of any family pet.”

(June 5, 2022) → Read the full Monterey Herald report
San Benito Health Care District Unanimously Appoints Zone 4 Representative

Don Winn has been appointed to the San Benito Health Care District Board of Directors, representing Zone 4. The vacancy resulted when Mary Casillas resigned to accept the role of chief operations officer for Hazel Hawkins Memorial Hospital.

(June 4, 2022) → Read the full Benito Link report
The 2022 Central Coast California Condor Update

As of May 28, 2022 the number of California condors (Gymnogyps californianus) in the Central Coast flock is 86, three young have hatched and two nests have failed. Twenty-five birds are managed by Pinnacles National Park and 61 are managed by Ventana Wildlife Society.

(June 4, 2022) → Read the full Benito Link report
LAFCO Undecided About Jurisdiction Over Water Service to Fairview Corner

San Benito County LAFCO is continuing to discuss an exemption to its authority over Sunnyslope County Water District, which would allow the district to provide services to two housing developments and the Gavilan Joint Community College District at the intersection of Fairview Road and Airline Highway.

(June 3, 2022) → Read the full Benito Link report
Despite Voter Opposition, Strada Verde Is Back

The 2,770-acre Strada Verde Innovation Park was presented to voters as Measure N and defeated in 2020. Trying another approach, the project’s backers are now taking it through the normal planning process.

(May 31, 2022) → Read the full Benito Link report
California Child Abuse Database Lacks Half of County Reports

State auditors say more than half of substantiated California child abuse reports in recent years were not in the state’s database, which could result in child abusers being allowed to care for children. The database is used by state and county social services and welfare departments, adoption agencies and other organizations.

(May 31, 2022) → Read the full The Californian report
Nodes, and the Role They Play in the County’s General Plan

Intended to increase county revenue, nodes are designed to service existing and future demand for commercial, residential, industrial projects in unincorporated areas. Land use activists oppose 13 of 16 nodes.

(May 30, 2022) → Read the full Benito Link report
Ballot Initiative Would Create Buffer Zone Around a Chemical Warehouse

A petition for a ballot initiative that proposes a 3.5-mile “buffer zone” around Trical, Inc., an agricultural chemical distributor in north San Benito County, is in the works.

(May 27, 2022) → Read the full Benito Link report
Report: Some California Hydroelectric Plants Might Shut Down as Water Levels Drop

California faces the prospect of a drought-fueled summer of power shortages, hydroelectric plant shutdowns and rising electricity costs, a new report from the U.S. Energy Information Administration warns.

(May 27, 2022) → Read the full Monterey Herald report
Robert Rivas Said to Have Support to Become Assembly Speaker

Assemblymember Robert Rivas says he has secured enough votes to become the next Assembly speaker. Though Rivas had not formally been voted in as of May 27, he said in a statement that he and current speaker Anthony Rendon had begun transition discussions.

(May 27, 2022) → Read the full Santa Cruz County Sentinel report
California Wants to Force Insurers to Reward Homeowners for Fireproofing Homes

Some Californians have spent thousands of dollars trying to fireproof their homes to reduce their risk of burning. But taking those steps doesn’t prevent their premiums from ballooning, or keep them from being dropped by their insurance company.

(May 26, 2022) → Read the full Santa Cruz County Sentinel report
Majority of SBC Supervisors Oppose Proposed Ballot Initiative

Only one San Benito County supervisor remains neutral on keeping decisions on commercial growth in the hands of county officials rather than the voters. BenitoLink reached out to all five for their opinions on the prospective November ballot initiative to slow both housing and commercial growth.

(May 26, 2022) → Read the full Benito Link report
Bureau of Land Management Issues Seasonal Fire Restrictions

The Bureau of Land Management is issuing seasonal fire restrictions for lands managed by the Central Coast Field Office, which covers San Benito, Santa Cruz, Monterey and western Fresno counties. These restrictions are in addition to the year-round statewide fire prevention order.

(May 25, 2022) → Read the full Benito Link report
Angry Newsom Criticizes Texas Governor, US Judges on Guns

California Gov. Gavin Newsom on Wednesday harshly criticized Texas Gov. Greg Abbott in the wake of an elementary school shooting that left 19 students and two teachers dead and assailed two federal judges as “extremists” for their rulings undermining California’s gun control efforts.

(May 25, 2022) → Read the full Associated Press Sacramento report
Primary Election Candidates Raise $100K

Candidates for San Benito County offices have reported more than $100,000 in donations for their campaigns from Jan. 1 to April 23.

(May 23, 2022) → Read the full Benito Link report

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