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February 8, 2023

Local Scene: Hazel Hawkins public forum Jan. 23

The San Benito County Arts Council is inviting the public to the opening of a new art exhibition

Hazel Hawkins public forum

A public forum on Hazel Hawkins Memorial Hospital has been rescheduled for 5:30-7pm Jan. 23, at Veterans Memorial Building, 649 San Benito Street in Hollister. Hospital officials will make a presentation and answer questions from the audience. 

Attendees are asked to submit questions in advance by emailing [email protected]. Translation services will be provided. 

The forum will be moderated by Gary Byrne, President and CEO of the Community Foundation for San Benito County. 

Wahl named to Dean’s List

Georgia Wahl, of Hollister, was named to the Marquette University Dean’s List for the fall 2022 semester, according to a press release from the university. Wahl is pursuing a Bachelor of Science in Nursing.

To make the Dean’s List, students must have earned at least 12 credits for the fall 2022 semester and have no disqualifying grades. The GPA threshold varies by college—for the College of Education and the Klingler College of Arts and Sciences, undergraduate students must have at least a 3.7 to be named to the Dean’s List. 

The undergraduate GPA requirement is 3.5 for the following colleges: the Diederich College of Communication, the College of Business Administration, the College of Health Sciences, the Opus College of Engineering and the College of Nursing, says the release. All other programs have a 3.75 GPA minimum.

Latin dance parties coming to Alehouse

Grillin & Chillin Alehouse, 401 McCray St., #B24 in Hollister will be the site for a new series of Latin Night Dance Parties presented by the San Benito County Arts Council. 

The public is invited to learn Salsa, Bachata, Merengue and Cumbia in a social atmosphere. All levels of dance experience welcome, no partner or prior experience needed. There is no cover


Upcoming Latin Night Dance Parties:

• Jan. 20: Salsa Lesson and Latin Social Dance with DJ Mike

• March 24: Bachata Lesson and Latin Social Dance with DJ Len

• May 12: Salsa Lesson and Latin Social Dance with DJ Mike

The schedule for each party is as follows:

• 7:30-8:30pm: Dance Lesson with Helen Vazquez of Hermosura Dance Productions

• 8:30-11pm: Social Dance (salsa, bachata, merengue, cumbia)

A $10 donation is suggested to participate in the dance lesson.

For information, contact [email protected] or 831.636.2787.

Arts Council opens newest show, ‘Elemental’

The San Benito County Arts Council is inviting the public to the opening of a new art exhibition, “Elemental,” featuring works created by local artists who also teach in the San Benito County Arts Council’s Arts in Education Programs.

Art in the show includes original paintings, mixed media, sculptural pieces, digital illustrations and more and examines the connections between the teaching artists’ personal work and the creative ideas they share with local students. Participating artists include Venecia Prudencio, Clay Peer, Sandra Arretche, Allison Barnes, Sylas Jumper, Danae Parra, Nicole Maican, Stephanie Skow, Louise Roy, Rebecca Pearson and Heidi Jumper.

The art show opening is scheduled to take place on Jan. 21 from 2-5pm at The Art Depot, 35 Fifth St., Ste. D in the historic train depot in downtown Hollister. The event will kick off at 2pm with an artist talk, “Inspiration to Creation,” focused on how the work the artists do with students impacts their personal practices and artistic processes and will be followed by a tour of the show.

This is a free event and there is no charge to see the show. All ages are welcome.

The art can also be seen during open Art Depot gallery hours on Saturdays, Jan. 28-Feb. 18 from noon to 4pm. Contact [email protected] to make other arrangements for viewing.

For information, visit or call 831.636.2787.

Local students read 8.1M words

The San Benito County Office of Education announced the results of its “There’s Snow Better Time to Read” reading challenge this week, praising students who collectively read 8,120,876 words from Oct. 1-Nov. 30, says a press release from the office. The students doubled the challenge by County Superintendent Krystal Lomanto to read 4 million words or more. 

Eighty-eight students met the fall contest’s 25,000-word challenge and two students read more than 100,000 words Darius Du, a second grader at Rancho Santana was the top reader, reading 170,010 words. Ethan Hatch, from Tres Pinos Elementary, read 109,468 words. 

Overall, students in Ms. Ponzini’s class at Tres Pinos Elementary read 557,955 words while Spring Grove Elementary School students read “an incredible 1,849,386 words,” says the press release. Prizes will be awarded later this month. 

“Congratulations to everyone who participated and best of luck to students in the upcoming Winter Reading Challenge which runs through Jan. 31, 2023,” says the press release from the county office of education. 

A complete list of award winners is posted on the SBCOE website at

Ranch Day Feb. 5

The San Benito Agricultural Land Trust will host its monthly Ranch Day 9am-12pm Feb. 5 at  the Trust for Public Land’s Nyland Property in San Juan Bautista. Participants will be planting native elderberries and do some bird watching at the site, which includes a pond and grasslands. 

For more information and to register, visit

SBALT’s Ranch Days take place the first Sunday of every month, allowing community members a chance to get out and experience the lands they help to protect. Each Ranch Day consists of a work project, followed by a hike. 

Leonard Han to perform at SJB gallery

Driven by world culture, myth, history and existential concerns, Leonard Han’s paintings shift in representation between depictive imagery and abstraction with mythic images from everyday experience, says an announcement of Han’s upcoming appearance at Luna Gallery in San Juan Bautista. “Chinese art emphasizes mood and the mood of various art forms, painting, as in Taiji (Tai Chi), can emphasize stereoscopy, holism, and synergy, requiring nuanced subtlety and layering,” says the gallery’s announcement.

Alongside his painting, Han has been devoted to producing, teaching and performing two cultural art disciplines—Taiji and Chinese Lion Dance. He formed the Monterey Bay Lion Dance Team and, for the last 25 years, the team has performed for people throughout Monterey County, reaching across and beyond ethnic and cultural lines. This has contributed to bringing cultural competency and vibrancy to educational programs and community events.

Han’s works will appear at Luna Gallery from Feb. 3-March 12. On Feb. 11, Han will perform Taiji and Lion Dance at 5pm, during an artist’s reception that lasts from 4-7pm. 

Luna Gallery is located at 107B The Alameda, in San Juan Bautista. 

Staff Report
A staff member edited this provided article.

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