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Santa Cruz County Community Service & Support Digest

Downtown Streets Program Expands to Boulder Creek


The Downtown Streets Program is growing to 8 teams in the County with the start of a new 6 month pilot program in Boulder Creek on the Highway 9 commercial corridor.

Community Health Trust of Pajaro Valley Awarded Grant


Community Health Trust of Pajaro Valley was awarded a $2M by philanthropist MacKenzie Scott.

Fundraiser for Pajaro Valley Education Foundation Set for April 18


A dinner and silent auction fundraiser for the Pajaro Valley Education Foundation is set to take place on Aril 18 at Jalisco's, 618 Main Street in Watsonville.

Ryan Coonerty Announced as New Executive Director at Leadership Santa Cruz County


Former Santa Cruz city council member and county supervisor Ryan Coonerty has been named as the new Executive Directory, taking over from Interim Executive Director Dave Vincent.

County Supervisor Zach Friend Honored at Luncheon


The retiring District 2 County Supervisor received the Al Smith Friend of Agriculture Award from the Santa Cruz County Farm Bureau and Agri-Culture at the National Agriculture Day Spring Luncheon.

15 Stories of Incredible Santa Cruz County Women


A celebration of Women’s History Month highlighting 15 Santa Cruz County women.

Community Bridges Puts Senior Center Purchase Offer on Table


A local nonprofit said it has made an offer to purchase a senior center in Live Oak while a representative from the school district that owns the site says it isn’t quite ready to make definitive moves.

Watsonville Hospital, Second Harvest Partner to ‘Nourish’ Local Community


Harnessing their collective expertise, two nonprofits in South Santa Cruz County have joined forces to provide resources to families in need and fight against regional inequities.

Santa Cruz Sobering Center Reopens After Hiatus


After halting services for about four years, a sobering center that county leaders say is a critical boon to the community, local health care providers and law enforcement is back online in Santa Cruz.

City of Capitola Marks a Big Anniversary


Capitola Mayor Kristen Brown muses about the 75th anniversary of the city’s incorporation as a time to reflect on history while considering the opportunities that lie ahead.

Salud Para le Gente Receives $1.5 Million in Federal Funding


Salud Para La Gente in Watsonville was one of two health care programs in Rep. Zoe Lofgren’s district to receive funding through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Health Center Program.

Innovators With Life-Saving Technologies Take 2024 Westly Prize Awards


This year’s eight finalists, all in their 20s, emerged from a pool of nearly 100 California-based applicants.

Students Make Waves to Protect Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary


Students throughout the nation have been engaging in environmental stewardship projects, as part of NOAA’s Ocean Guardian School program.

Big Sur Food & Wine Announces Grant Recipients


The Big Sur Food & Wine Foundation has awarded 17 grants worth a record $225,000 to local organizations with funds raised in 2023. Activities included the Big Sur Fashion Show, the Ferrari Event at the Barnyard, and more.

The World’s Next Big Carbon Capture Challenge? Figuring Out How to Use It


Carbon capture is having a moment. Companies such as Chevron Corp. are building technology to capture carbon dioxide from smokestacks while others are working to yank the greenhouse gas out of the air.

Why California Community Colleges Struggle to Create Diverse Faculties and Staff


“Progress remains slow,” according to a recent report on faculty diversity at California’s community colleges. For Nikia Chaney, the sole full-time Black faculty member at Cabrillo College, the experience is personal.

How One California School System Raised Test Scores for Black Students


Emery Unified took a targeted approach, including paying teachers extra to stay after school and tutor students.

California Presses Universities to Return Thousands of Native American Remains and Artifacts to Local Tribes


State audits of the University of California and the California State University found both systems have failed to comply with decades-old state and federal laws mandating the return of Native ancestral remains and cultural artifacts. Only UCLA and Cal State Long Beach have returned a majority of their collections.

New Law Could Help Undocumented California College Students Get Financial Aid


The financial aid application for undocumented students is cumbersome and confusing, and many students aren’t completing the forms. A new law streamlines the process.

Domestic Violence Shelters Play a Key Role in Fighting Homelessness. Now They Face Deep Funding Cuts


Federal funding for domestic violence shelters and housing programs is declining. Advocates want the state to step in, but with a record projected deficit new spending is unlikely.

Interview: Bikes4All Founder Iman Moshari


With fellow classmates, Iman Moshari collects underused bikes, repairs them and give them to people who apply.

Twin Lakes Church Breaks Record


During its Holiday Food & Fund drive for Second Harvest Food Bank Santa Cruz County, the Twin Lakes congregation raised $512,725.07 — the largest sum ever donated by an organization during the drive.

Are the Kids All Right? New California K-12 Performance Data is Out


Despite a few improvements, results show students are still struggling on several fronts.

Newsom Blasts Counties for Dragging Feet Over New Mental Health Law


All but two California counties are delaying their implementation of a new law that makes it easier for a court to place someone in involuntary confinement if they can’t care for their own medical needs or personal safety.

Santa Cruz Couple Writes Book on Life Story, Miracles Experienced


For the past 48 years, Barry and Joyce Vissell have been devoted to helping other people through their nonprofit, The Shared Heart Foundation.

Cal State Faculty Begins Walkouts Over Salary Hikes


The California Faculty Association is seeking a 12 percent pay increase, while university officials counter with 5 percent in each of the next three years.

State Invested $53 Million in Teaching Low-Performing Kids to Read. Here's How it's Paying Off


In 2020, the state agreed to a settlement in a lawsuit that claimed too many students were not learning to read. As part of that agreement, the state spent over $50 million on 75 schools with the lowest reading scores.

Border Patrol Dumped 42,000 migrants on San Diego Streets. The County Needs Help to Help Them


San Diego-area nonprofits and faith organizations struggle to provide for tens of thousands of migrants border agents have released on San Diego streets.

With DACA Eligibility for Undocumented Students Dwindling, California Colleges Struggle to Find New Ways to Help


Most undocumented college students in California are not eligible for DACA anymore, creating new dilemmas for students and colleges around employment, financial aid and the threat of deportation.

Big Breakthrough for Food Access in Monterey County


The Double Up Food Bucks program—with its proven ability to connect food-insecure families and individuals to more fresh produce—officially debuted in Monterey County.

Tribute to Late Folk Singer Mary McCaslin, Pajaro Fundraiser Scheduled Dec. 3


The Rotary Club of Freedom has assembled a group of local musicians to pay tribute to the beloved once-local folk singer while also raising funds for Pajaro flood victims.

Two Watsonville Organizations Receive $970k in Federal Funding


Rep. Zoe Lofgren, Watsonville’s congresswoman, announced that the Community Action Board of Santa Cruz County would distribute the funds to the Luna y Sol Familia Center and Pajaro Valley Prevention and Student Assistance Center.

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