City offices to close for holidays
Most Watsonville city offices will be closed Monday through Jan. 6, marking the fourth year of an agreement with staff to reduce annual pay by 10 percent in exchange for additional time off during the holiday season and a shorter work week.
Essential services, such as police, fire protection, building inspections, water turn-on and garbage collection, will remain available. The airport also will be open.
But other services such as on-site payment, recycle and yard waste drop-off, building permits and plan checks, facility rentals and front counter assistance at the police and fire departments will not be available. The city's two libraries also will be closed.
For water-related emergencies during the closing, call 831-471-1151.
For information, go to www.cityofwatsonville.org.
Families shop with a cop
The Watsonville Police Activities League hosted its first Shop-with-a-Cop event Tuesday.
The evening brought police officers and four families together for a meal provided by the Turkey Boat and shopping at Target.
Watsonville PAL, which has served 400 youth in the past year, teamed up with Pajaro Valley Prevention and Student Assistance to create the holiday experience. Also helping make the event
Farm shows a sharing spirit
Dick Peixoto's Lakeside Organic Gardens has helped load Santa's sleigh this year with a donation of $10,000 to Toys for Tots.
The campaign puts donated presents under thousands of Santa Cruz County trees each year and relies on cash contributions to fill in gaps, such as batteries, bike helmets and gifts for older children.
The Lakeside donation came just in the nick of time so the campaign could wrap up another successful year.
"Our successes this year are not a result of what one organization can do, but rather what happens when thousands of businesses, volunteers and donors come together under a common goal," coordinator Delilah Valadez said.
Sea otters dropped from bill
Provisions aimed at reversing a decision by federal wildlife authorities to end a quarter-century ban on sea otters in Southern California waters have been dropped from the National Defense Authorization Act, the Otter Project announced Thursday.
The language to exempt the Navy from requirements under federal species protection laws and to require federal officials to ensure current levels of shellfish harvests was introduced into the House version of the bill by outgoing Rep. Elton Gallegly, R-Ventura.
The Senate version did not contain the language, and during the process to reconcile the two bills during the past few days, the House language was scuttled. The ban was officially lifted by authorities on Wednesday.
Memoir writing workshop slated
The Boulder Creek Chapter of the Friends of the Santa Cruz Libraries is sponsoring a memoir writing workshop at the Boulder Creek Branch, 13390 W. Park Ave., Boulder Creek.
The six-session workshop will take place from 11:15 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. Jan. 10, Jan. 24, Feb. 14, Feb. 28, March 14 and 28.
To register, call 427-7703.
The focus will be on weaving personal histories with the craft of writing. It will be led by Gail Burk of the Santa Cruz Genealogical Society. It is requested that participants anticipate being able to attend all six sessions.
Training set for wetlands docents
Watsonville Wetlands Watch will train docents to assist with field trips and lead walks during a seven-week program starting Jan. 23.
The program includes Wednesday evening presentations and Saturday morning field trips.
The organization needs docents who speak Spanish and English, but bilingual skills are not a requirement.
For information, go to www.watsonvillewetlandswatch.org.
Red Cross to host blood drive
The local Red Cross chapter will host a blood drive 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Jan. 7 at the Scotts Valley Community Center, 360 Kings Village Road.
Donors are asked to RSVP. Go to www.redcrossblood.org and enter the sponsor code "scottsvalley" or call 800-733-2767. ID is required to donate.