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Local Scene: Housing element, Senior health

Calendar and Briefs

Andrews named to Dean’s List

Casey Andrews, of San Juan Bautista, has been named to Southern New Hampshire University‘s Summer 2022 Dean’s List. 

Full-time undergraduate students who have earned a minimum grade-point average of 3.5 to 3.699 for the reporting term are named to the Dean’s List, according to a press release from SNHU. Full-time status is achieved by earning 12 credits over each 16-week term or paired 8-week terms grouped in fall, winter/spring, and summer.

Town hall for senior health

Hollister-based Shelton Insurance will review how the healthcare insurance market works at two town hall meetings in October—one in English and one in Spanish—at Veterans Memorial Building, 649 San Benito Street in downtown Hollister. The event is free. Insurance experts will discuss the most common concerns and questions related to health insurance for seniors; what to consider when selecting a plan; and how to choose the best plan for one’s individual needs.

The English town hall will take place at 6:30pm Oct. 17. The Spanish town hall is scheduled for 6:30pm Oct. 24. 

Housing Element Workshop Sept. 29

Join the Monterey Bay Economic Partnership, the Council of San Benito County Governments, the City of Hollister, San Benito County, the City of San Juan Bautista and the Community Foundation for San Benito County on Sept. 29 for an educational San Benito County Housing Element Workshop to “demystify” the Housing Element process as jurisdictions in San Benito County begin their own respective efforts to prepare the planning document, says a press release.

Updated every eight years, the Housing Element is a critical component in community development planning, the press release notes. The Housing Element process allows cities and counties to create an approach to housing that is specific to the needs of their communities. As the needs of populations fluctuate, Housing Elements create a roadmap to ensure that a supply of quality, affordable housing is available throughout the region. 

“I strongly encourage residents to take part in this process,” said Alyssa Kroeger, MBEP Director of Strategic Initiatives – Housing & Broadband. “The Housing Element is a once-in-a-decade opportunity to engage on housing accessibility, preservation and development to meet local  jurisdictions’ community development goals. Our counties and cities need  help to better understand ways that local plans can incorporate Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing (AFFH) requirements, identify suitable housing sites, and result in sustainable communities for residents of all income levels.”  

The Housing Element Workshop for residents and other stakeholders in San Benito County jurisdictions will take place 6-7pm Sept. 29 at the Community Foundation Epicenter, 440 San Benito Street in Hollister. 

Monterey farmers support Hernandez for Congress

San Benito Count Supervisor Peter Hernandez announced this week that the Monterey County Farm Bureau has endorsed his run for U.S. Congress District 18. 

In a statement, the farm bureau said, “In his interview with Directors of our Farm Bureau, Peter stated that he believes in policies that support law enforcement and community safety, tackling inflationary pressures due to overspending by government, and supports improving our immigration policies for fairness and the farm employment sector.”

Hernandez said regarding the district’s food supply, “Farmers and their families who grow the food we depend on are being threatened with closure due to overarching government reach on traditional fertilization practices in the name of the environment. The policies being pushed upon them are threatening their ability to maintain production and make ends meet threatening closure. I will fight to maintain farmers’ autonomy and support farmer’s choice policies.”

Hernandez is running on the Republican ticket against Democrat Zoe Lofgren, who is currently serving in her 13th term in Congress. 

Hernandez was born and raised in San Benito County, where he currently serves as Chair of the Board of Supervisors. He grew up in the agricultural community, as his parents worked the local fields, says a press release from Hernandez’ campaign. 

“As a small business owner today, Peter understands firsthand the dedication and creativity required for a small business to thrive. And as a Hispanic man, Peter is dedicated to engaging Hispanic families in the civic and electoral process, and looks forward to serving as their voice and representative in US Congress,” the press release continues. 

The Monterey County Farm Bureau, founded in 1917, represents farmers and ranchers in the interest of promoting and protecting agriculture throughout Monterey County, says the press release. 

Election Day is Nov. 8. 

Gavilan College to dedicate new bridge

Gavilan College will celebrate the completion of its new steel and cement bridge with a ribbon cutting event on Sept. 21 at 11am at the Gilroy campus, 5055 Santa Teresa Blvd.

The event will also commemorate the naming of the newly constructed bridge as the “Susan Dodd Crossing,” in honor of former Gavilan Director of Athletics for 34 years, longtime community member, and largest single donor for the construction of the bridge.

The original wooden bridge (circa 1967), connecting both sides of Gavilan’s Gilroy campus, was tested in June 2019 and suffered from dry rot in the support trusses. In July 2019 plans began to replace it. After three years of planning, contractor selection and implementation, the new bridge was finished on Aug. 15.    

“This new bridge is symbolic of the next and exciting phase our college district has entered, with the arrival of our new Superintendent/President, Dr. Pedro Avila, and the implementation of the rest of the Measure X construction projects that will improve the lives of our South County communities,” Gavilan Governing Board of Trustees President Edwin Diaz said.

“It is an honor for me to lead this college district through its reinvention and expansion,” Gavilan Superintendent/President Pedro Avila said. “The communities we serve need a bridge to increase their earning potential, a solid foundation of support and resources to succeed. I am grateful for the years of dedication and donation to our college from Susan Dodd.”