Briefs: Spanish Lodge celebrates at Basque Restaurant

San Juan Bautista is shown in this overhead shot.

The Sociedad de San Benito (The counties Spanish Lodge since 1928) had its Annual Membership Meeting/Luncheon at the Basque Restaurant, Matxain Etxea, in San Juan Bautista on Sunday. The lodge celebrated 85 years in the community and its ability to donate to local nonprofits, provide scholarships, promote its heritage and care for their members and families. Certificates or appreciation were given to the Matxain family and staff for their outstanding authentic service annually and also to Al Guerra and Guerra Family Cellars for their donations and support.
Spanish Lodge event
The Sociedad de San Benito (The counties Spanish Lodge since 1928) had its Annual Membership Meeting/Luncheon at the Basque Restaurant, Matxain Etxea, in San Juan Bautista on Sunday. The lodge celebrated 85 years in the community and its ability to donate to local nonprofits, provide scholarships, promote its heritage and care for their members and families. Certificates or appreciation were given to the Matxain family and staff for their outstanding authentic service annually and also to Al Guerra and Guerra Family Cellars for their donations and support.
Calfire tips to avoid fires in cold
The recent cold-snap is a clear sign that winter has arrived in California with many areas receiving rain and snow over the weekend. During the cold winter months, CAL FIRE and fire departments across the nation see an increase in home fires due to dangerous heating equipment or unsafe practices. Improper use or poorly maintained heating equipment is one of the leading causes of home fires and home fire deaths across the country. With a few simple safety tips and precautions, you can prevent most home heating fires from happening. CAL FIRE offers the following fire safety tips:
– Keep anything that can burn at least 3 feet away from heating equipment such as a furnace, fireplace, wood stove or portable space heater.
– Have a 3-foot “kid-free zone” around open fires and space heaters.
– Always turn portable heaters off when leaving a room or going to bed.
– Make sure the fireplace has a sturdy screen to prevent sparks from escaping.
– Allow fireplace ashes to completely cool before disposing them. Place in a tightly covered metal container at least 10 feet away from your home and any other nearby buildings. NEVER empty fireplace or wood stove ashes directly into a trash can.
– Never use your oven to heat your home.
– If using fossil fuel heating, install and maintain carbon monoxide (CO) alarms to avoid the risk of CO poisoning. Make sure your home has working smoke alarms as well. For more information on safe home heating visit the CAL FIRE website at www.fire.ca.gov>.
Avoid the 20 campaign
Enhanced DUI enforcement is in store for Monterey County and San Benito County as Avoid the 20 begins its eighth annual holiday crackdown on Friday. The enforcement begins a new year of special funding by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.  The effort ends on New Year’s Day, covering 20 days. Avoid the 20 is a task force named so that if you don’t drink and drive, you will avoid begin arrested by officers from any of the 20 participating agencies. The DUI task force will field 20 saturation patrols scattered throughout the counties, and a Thursday, Dec. 19 sobriety checkpoint, along with several days of maximum freeway enforcement by the three area commands of the CHP.
Santa visits the library
Join us for a fun family holiday program on Dec. 19 from 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the San Benito County Free Library. Our annual holiday program features crafts with Miss Kayoko, picture book stories with Miss Carole, and a special visit from Santa. All children who attend will receive a free book. Stop by the Friends of the Library’s Holiday Used Book Sale. Choose a book for yourself or find a gift for a friend or family member.  Proceeds will help support library programming and benefit the library’s book collection. This free event is being sponsored by the Friends of the San Benito County Library. The library is located at 470 Fifth St.in downtown Hollister. Details: [email protected], 831-636-4107
Visit Santa in San Juan
Santa will be at the Bear Flag Gallery, 207 Third St., in San Juan Bautista at 11:30 a.m. Dec. 21. It is a free visit with Santa. Bring your own camera and take your own photos. No reservations. Details: Loretta Langer [email protected] 831-245-5899
Workers comp speaker
Calivista Insurance Agency is partnering with the San Benito County Chamber & Visitors Bureau and the Hollister Downtown Association to bring a guest speaker from the Workers Compensation Insurance Rating Bureau of California to discuss workers compensation issues Jan. 7 at 11:30 a.m. Topics addressed by the speaker will include the experience rating system, how employers are classified, and preparing employers for their final audit. This is a chance for owners, managers, human resources personnel, payroll managers, and others in your company who deal with workers’ compensation issues to ask questions and gain valuable knowledge. The price is $15 per attendee, including a buffet lunch. Seating is limited to 50 attendees. Please RSVP to Juli Vieira by Jan. 3. Calvista Insurance Agency will make a $10 donation to the Community Foundation for each attendee.

Community Christmas Concert
The 4th annual Community Christmas Concert is set for 7 p.m. Dec. 14 at the San Benito High School Auditorium, 1220 Monterey St. It is a free event. Organizers encourage people to ring in the Christmas Spirit through song and dance featuring local artists: The Oriana Choir, Mr. O’s Jazz Band, The Presbyterian Bell Choir, the Children’s Ballet Folklorico Mariposa dancers and many more. Enjoy refreshments and a Raffle.

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