News in briefs: Community blood drive

Community blood drive

SAN JUAN – Old Mission San Juan Bautista parish will sponsor an annual community blood drive Feb. 26, from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., at Casa Maria, 600 First St., in San Juan. The bloodmobile will be located in the parking lot and blood will be drawn by the staff of the Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula’s Blood Center.

Potential blood donors must be 17 years of age, in good health and weight at least 110 pounds. Bring a photographic ID, eat and drink fluids before coming to donate.

Details: 625-4814, Community Hospital Blood Center.

Open Studios meeting set for Jan. 31; applications accepted

HOLLISTER – New and past participants are encouraged to visit to learn more about the events. The San Benito County Arts Council will host an informational meeting on its annual Open Studios Art Tour and Emerging Artist Exhibition on Jan. 31, at 6 p.m. at the Blak Sage Gallery, 727 San Benito St. in downtown Hollister. The meeting is open to all past and prospective artists and will cover important dates, deadlines and new information regarding this year’s tour and exhibition. Please come with your ideas, questions and suggestions.

The San Benito County Arts Council is accepting applications for artists in all media for the annual Open Studios Tour and Emerging Artists Exhibit. Emerging and Open Studio Artists will have their artwork displayed at the Blak Sage Gallery March 20 through April 26, with the Open Studios Tour scheduled for April 28 and 29.

Applications must be submitted by Feb. 10 and are available online at, or can be requested by mail or email by contacting the Arts Council at [email protected] or 636-2787.

Details: 636-2787 or email [email protected]

Interns needed at Pinnacles National Monument

PINNACLES – Pinnacles National Monument is seeking part-time to full-time interns (8-40 hrs/week) for the Habitat Restoration Program and the Interpretation Program. Visitor Services and Interpretation interns will assist with visitor center operations, provide information and interpretive walks to park visitors, conduct roving interpretive, plus prepare and present formal interpretive programs. Bi-lingual in Spanish/English desired. Internships available on both sides of the park: west entrance outside of Soledad and the east entrance outside of Paicines.

Habitat Restoration Intern will assist the Vegetation Crew in habitat restoration projects including invasive plant removal, native seed collection and propagation, collecting and maintaining monitoring data, and mapping using GPS and GIS.

Minimum commitment of one 8-hour day per week for three to six months. No housing is provided. Weekly stipend and mileage reimbursement may be available for some positions. Positions begin Feb. 22.

To apply submit a statement of interest (specifying which program you are applying for and desired commitment), resume, and contact information for three references to [email protected] Deadline: Jan. 31 (Applications received after Jan. 31 will be considered for future positions.)

Details:Veronica Johnson at 389-4486 x242.

Camera club seeks new members

HOLLISTER – The Hollister Camera Club is seeking new members. The club meets the fourth Tuesday of each month, at 100 Dry Creek Road, in Hollister. The next meeting will be Jan. 24, at 7:30 p.m. Photographers of all skill level who work with prints, slides or digital images are welcome.

Details: Jack Marcheski, 637-3453 or 524-5912.

Theater workshop scheduled

HOLLISTER – The San Benito Stage Company will host a theater workshop for youth, ages 8 through 8th grade, “Acting Dos and Don’ts plus vocal cues and music notes,” Feb. 11, from 9:30 a.m. to noon., at the Granada Theater, 336 Fifth St. The workshop is being in preparation for auditions Feb. 16-18 for “Narnia.” Students will work on basic skills for auditioning, acting and vocal technique. Teachers include Candace Blanton, who will be director “Narnia” and Rebecca Miser, who will be the musical director. Admission is $5 with pre-registration by Feb. 4 and will be able to the cast fee if student is cast in “Narnia.” On-site registration will be $10 if space is available.

Students should bring a water bottle, closed-toe shoes and wear clothes thar are easy to move in.

Details: 726-6773 or

Rotary plans for summer antiques fair

SAN JUAN – The Rotary Club of San Juan Bautista is planning its 49th Annual Antique and Collectibles Fair for Aug. 12, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., in San Juan. An appraiser will be available from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Applications are being accepted for vendor booths. The event this year will include an increase in vendors and food booths.

All proceeds go to the club’s community grants program, emergency fund for local families, leadership opportunities for high school students and the donation of dictionaries to all third-grade children in the Aromas-San Juan Unified School District.

Details: 207-2331 or email [email protected]

Free tax prep available on Wednesdays

HOLLISTER – Volunteer Income Tax Assistance will show residents how to keep 100 percent of their tax refund. Get a refund fast and avoid hidden fees. IRS-certified preparers make sure residents receive the largest refund possible Refunds are available in 7-10 days with direct deposit. Sites open Feb. 1-April 11. Household income must be less than $50,000. What to bring: photo ID, SSN or ITIN, W-2s, 1099s, 1098s and any other tax form you receive; a voided check for direct deposit; and last year’s tax return.

The preparation is available from 6 to 9 p.m., at the Community Services and Workforce Development office, 1111 San Felipe Road, Ste. 108. Details: 637-9293 or visit

Sacred Heart Open House

HOLLISTER – Sacred Heart School will host an open house Jan. 29, from 2 to 4 p.m. for families interested in learning more about the school. The event will be held at the school’s O’Reilly Hall, 670 College St. It will include a full preview of school’s curriculum, sports activities, music and choir will be available for pre-school and K thru 8. The school is accepting applications for fall 2012 enrollment.

Pastures and Paddocks Workshop

MORGAN HILL – Livestock and Land will present a “Pastures and Paddocks workshop” Jan. 28, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., at Machado School, in Morgan Hill. The workshop will teach how to manage a facility for healthy livestock and a healthy environment.

Presentations and interactive hands-on topics include: managing property during the rainy season, composting, rain catchment, drainage control, hydroponic feeding systems, & grazing management and more. Registration is $15, and includes lunch and all workshop materials. Email Camille Abreu-Woida at [email protected] to register.

Mortgage workshop set for Jan. 31

HOLLISTER – Dreams and Visions Community Development will be offering a free Fresh Start Seminar for residents who are behind on mortgage payments or dealing with debt, Jan. 31, from 6 to 8 p.m., at Intero Real Estate, 800 San Benito St.

The workshop will give homeowners tools and options such as: the Making Home Affordable Program, credit repair and rebuilding credit after bankruptcies and/or foreclosure.

Please RSVP by calling 635-6813. Dreams & Visions Community Development is the only full-service certified housing counselor agency in San Benito County committed to home preservation and home buyers education.

Depression Recovery program orientation

HOLLISTER – An orientation for Dr. Neil Nedley’s Depression Recovery Program will be held Jan. 23, at 7 p.m., at the Hollister Seventh-day Adventist Church, 2121 Sunnyslope Road. The orientation is free, but there is a fee for the eight-week program which runs Feb. 6 through March 26 at 7 p.m. The program offers information on how to: identify depression and its sauces, improve emotional intelligence, enhance energy levels and mood, overcome depression through positive lifestyle choices, eat for optimal brain function, manage stress without distress, live above loss, defeat depression through right thinking and achieve peak mental performance.

Details: Marty Hix at 408-396-6823.

New hours for historical museum

HOLLISTER – The Historical Society has changed the hours for the Wapple House Museum, located at 498 Fifth St., in Hollister. The museum is open Saturday and Sunday, from 1 to 4 p.m., and the public is invited to visit for free.

During the month of February, there will be a special display of historic red objects put together for Valentine’s Day. The museum is open the second Monday of each month, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. for those people interested in doing research related to San Benito County.

Homeowners and homebuyers workshop

HOLLISTER – Homeowners and perspective homebuyers in San Benito County are invited to attend a free community workshop Feb. 8, at 6:30 p.m., at the Veterans Memorial Building, 649 San Benito St., Room 218, to learn about a variety of programs that can save them money. The event is sponsored by Energy Upgrade California, a new statewide program that aims to reduce energy use, save homeowners money and create local jobs.

Guest speakers will include housing staff representatives from the city of Hollister Redevelopment Agency and the county of San Benito. Topics covered will include an explanation of the complete home-buying process, how to access Energy Upgrade California rebates of up to $4,000 for home energy upgrades and how to attain financing and down payment assistance for a new home purchase. The workshop will be conducted in English and Spanish.

Residents can RSVP online to

Workshop for local growers

HOLLISTER – The San Benito County Water District will be hosting a workshop on the chemigation/fertigation will be held Feb. 9, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., at the Water District office. The lecture and demonstration will use the mobile education center to teach about the four main items the grower has to accomplish when chemigating or fertigating to protect the environment and properly inject chemicals through the irrigation system; how chemigation rules came into being; information brochures and diagrams of proper equipment flow and pressure so that the irrigation system maximizes the Distribution Uniformity to enhance the chemigation event; see what happens when improper maintenance and equipment subjects water sources (groundwater, streams, canals, rivers, etc) to potential contamination or spills.

Details: Shawn Novack at 637-4378 or e-mail [email protected]

Registration open for ‘Path of Padres’ hikes

LOS BANOS – The “Path of the Padres” hike series will run Saturdays and Sundays at the Los Banos Creak Reservoir, March 3 thorough April 29. Reservations can be made beginning Feb. 1. The hikes begin at the Los Banos Creek Reservoir boat launch ramp at 8 a.m. and return at 3:30 p.m. A pontoon boat carries passengers for about 30-40 minutes to the west end of the reservoir.

The hike is a five mile round-trip trek that shows where Spanish padres from Mission San Juan Bautista camped on their way to the Central Valley. The hike is moderately strenuous and participants should be in good physical condition. Hikers must be 6 years of age, and bring a minimum of two quarts of water, lunch and snacks. The fee is $12 for adults and $7 for children 6 to 12. There is also a $10 per vehicle parking fee.

Details: 209-826-1197 or visit

LULAC raises money with enchiladas

HOLLISTER – San Benito LULAC youth will be selling enchiladas to raise money for members to travel to the National LULAC Youth Leadership Convention in June, at Disney World, in Orlando, Florida. Enchilada sales will be held Feb. 18 and March 17. Orders must be placed in advance. The cheese-corn tortilla enchiladas are $14 per dozen.

Details: Vince Luna at 673-1977, Sami Salazar Weaver at 408-706-8485, Julio Salazar at 245-9608 or Francisco Lezama at 537-8332.

Move and learn with YMCA

HOLLISTER – YMCA of San Benito County will hold its Move and Learn Program from 10:30 to 11:15 a.m. on Wednesdays through Feb. 15; Feb. 29 through April 4; and April 25 through May 30. Preschoolers with an adult guardian are invited to learn the joy of an active lifestyle and develop a healthy curiosity of the world. Cost is $50 per session and a program membership is required. Financial assistance is available.

Space is limited, so early registration is encouraged. Details: Nicole Hartshorn at 637-8600 or [email protected]

Garlic Festival queen nominations

GILROY – The Gilroy Garlic Festival Association is seeking contestants for the 34th Annual Miss Gilroy Garlic Festival Queen Pageant. Contestant applications are available at the Garlic Festival office, 7473 Monterey St., Gilroy or downloaded at

Miss Gilroy Garlic Festival Queen Pageant is a scholarship pageant. Contestants are judged on personal interview, speech, talent and evening gown. In addition to the selection of Miss Gilroy Garlic Festival Queen, scholarships will be awarded to many pageant contestants.

Applicants must be a resident of Gilroy, San Martin, Morgan Hill, Hollister, San Juan Bautista or Aromas; a single female who has never been married and has no children; a high school graduate by June 2012; and between the ages of 18 to 24 by July 2012. Deadline to submit a completed application is no later than 4:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 3, 2012.

The Miss Gilroy Garlic Festival Pageant is scheduled for 4 p.m. Saturday, March 31, 2012, at the Gavilan College Theater. Details: Garlic Festival office at (408) 842-1625.

New AARP driving classes scheduled

HOLLISTER – The AARP Driver Safety Program will be offering sessions in 2012 for drivers 50 and older, for $15.95 for AARP members or $19.95 for non-members. The eight-course is available in a variety of locations as well as a four-hour refresher for those who have completed the course in the past. Some insurance companies offer a discount for drivers who have completed the course.

A four-hour refresher course is scheduled at 470 Monterey St., in Hollister, from 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., on Jan. 21. An eight-hour class is scheduled at 470 Monterey St.., in Hollister, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Feb. 11. Pre-registration is required. A full list of classes in the region is available online at Details: To register, call Brian Lindberg at 408-307-6448.

Oakwood School open house

MORGAN HILL – Oakwood School will host an open house Jan. 21, from 10 a.m. to noon, at 105 John Wilson Way, in Morgan Hill. Bring the whole family; no reservation required. The school offers a robust academic curriculum and small class sizes, with specialty teachers in every subject beginning in kindergarten. Meet faculty and parents, take a student-guided tour of the campus, and learn about financial aid options.

Details: 408-782-7177, ext. 204.

Bridge lessons

HOLLISTER – New bridge classes have begun, including modern bridge conventions for duplicate and social bridge players of all levels. Learn about strong opening bids and responses Jan. 31 and Feb. 7, slam bidding on Feb. 21 and 28 and March 6. All classes are from 10:30-11:30 a.m. at Dunne Park. The cost of classes is $8 each.

Details: Linda King at 801-9257 or email [email protected]

Native Daughters accept artwork for contest

SAN JUAN – The Native Daughters of the Golden West Parlor No. 179 will host a student art talent contest in the spring. All students attending high schools in San Benito County are invited to enter their work in two categories; two-dimensional works and photography. The purpose of the contest is to encourage the creativity of youth and interest in the history, landmarks and natural wonders of the State of California. The contest is open to all students in grades 9 through 12 in any school in California. Enrollment in an art class is not required.

The theme this year is “Teamwork.” The artwork must be accompanied by an entry form that includes a brief description of the subject and the reason it is a significant historical landmark or historical event or period in California history. Limit is one entry per student. All original artworks and photographs are due by March 15 to the San Juan Bautista Parlor, No. 179, 203 Fourth St., San Juan Bautista, with prior arrangement. Please call at least 24 hours in advance to arrange for your drop off and pick-up to Darlene Boyd at 623-2750 or [email protected]

The pick-up date is April 11 after the award presentations at the monthly meeting, except for first place winners, whose art pieces will be delivered to the state level NDGW contest. All participants are invited to attend. First place winners will be contacted to pick up their works after June 30. Arrangements may be made by appointment for drop-off and pick up by contacting Darlene Boyd.

Details: or e-mail Darlene Boyd at [email protected]

Caregiver University set for April

HOLLISTER – The Del Mar Caregiver Resource Center, the Area Agency on Aging, Jovenes de Antano and the Seniors Council will host a Caregiver University April 21, at the Hollister Community Center, 300 West St., in Hollister. The Caregiver University is a series of conferences that support and educate caregivers who are caring for loved ones with chronic health conditions. This year’s free events will include new topics designed especially to meet the needs of caregivers.

Additional Caregiver Universities will be held March 24, at Inner Light Ministries, 5630 Soquel Drive, in Soquel, and May 19, at the Oldemeyer Center, 986 Hilby Ave., in Seaside.

Details: Sandra at 459-6639.

Art League calendars on sale

HOLLISTER – The 2012 Hollister Art League Calendars of local flowers are now on sale.

This calendar entitled “Beauty Around” features reproductions of original art in

oils, watercolors, acrylics, lino-cuts and photography by local artists.

These colorful calendars may be purchased at Blak Sage Gallery and Country Rose Gallery & Frame. All proceeds go toward San Benito High School art scholarships.

This project was made possible by a grant from the Community Foundation.

Details: 637-6062 or 638-0277.

Union offers scholarships

HOLLISTER – The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 234 is offering $500 scholarships to three high school graduates, one each from San Benito, Monterey and Santa Cruz counties. The scholarship is for students who will graduate in the current school year.

To apply, a student must have at least one present or past member of any union in his or her immediate family and type a 500-word essay on one of three topics related to labor and union movements. The application deadline is March 9.

Details: or Andy at (831) 594-7471.

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