Aromas artist Kelly Anderson is pictured with her collages and handmade cards. Photo: Contributed

Art, landscaping to beautify Highway 25

As part of Clean California, a state beautification project to upgrade a 1.6-mile section of State Route 25 with new planting and transportation art is underway, Caltrans officials announced last week.

The $1 million project was approved as part of Gov. Gavin Newsom’s Clean California program, a historic, $1.2 billion, multi-year clean-up effort led by Caltrans to remove trash and create thousands of jobs, as well as to reclaim, transform and beautify public spaces and engage and educate communities, says a press release from Caltrans.

“We’re thrilled to begin another one of 12 beautification projects along our Central Coast state highways,” said Caltrans District 5 Director Scott Eades. “This is a great example of how Clean California is positively impacting our neighborhoods and encouraging local pride in our public spaces.”

Landscaping will include shade trees and colorful drought-tolerant shrubs, vines on sound walls and wood/gravel mulch to suppress weeds, says the press release. An original sculpture inspired by Hollister’s agricultural heritage and Native American baskets will be installed to create a distinctive landmark while several Pinnacles-themed murals will be painted on utility boxes.

Native planting will highlight the southbound highway sign at Sunset Drive to serve as a gateway to Pinnacles National Park, one of the newest parks in the U.S.

This project is located between Sunset Drive and Santa Ana Road, a busy thoroughfare along the Hollister Pinnacles National Park Highway. It is scheduled for completion in early 2024, Caltrans said. Work will occur on weekdays, with few traffic impacts expected.

Another nearby state beautification project at the Washington Street undercrossing on Highway 156 in San Juan Bautista also remains under construction, Caltrans added.

Visit to learn more about Clean California, including how to get involved.

‘Star Wars’ celebrity to visit Hollister

Diana Lee Inosanto, world famous martial artist, goddaughter of Bruce Lee and star of Disney’s “Star Wars: Ahsoka,” will appear for a special meet and greet 3:30-5:30pm Oct. 29 at Enterprise Academy of Martial Arts in Hollister. 

Inosanto has appeared as the character, Morgan Elsbeth, in both the Star Wars shows “The Mandalorian” and as a major character of the recent first season of “Ahsoka.”

Inosanto’s appearance in Hollister is a special fundraiser for local child Rubi Melendez and her family, says a press release from Enterprise Academy. Rubi is currently battling cancer and the family has been in and out of Stanford Hospital continuously over the past several months. She is currently at the hospital now.

In addition to Inosanto’s appearance, more than 30 members of the 501st and Rebel Legions will be attending for meet and greets and photo ops.

The suggested donation amount for this event is $25. Enterprise Academy of Martial Arts is located at 817 Industrial Dr, #F in Hollister.

Overnight construction at roundabout site

Starting Oct. 21 and continuing through Oct. 31, Caltrans crews will begin paving at the roundabout project at Highways 25 and 156. Crews will be working from 7pm-5am each day, says a press release from Caltrans. 

There is no roadwork scheduled on Saturday nights during the paving period. 

Additional construction activities at the project site will include the removal of temporary poles and signals, and the installation of new overhead signs, according to Caltrans. This work will take place Oct. 23-28, from 7pm-5am.  

Over the next several weeks, construction crews will also  be working on the installation of lane divider curbs, permanent signs, erosion control and striping. 

The single-lane roundabout traffic configuration at Highways 25 and 156 will remain inplace through the end of construction in early 2024. At that time, the new multi-lane “turbo roundabout” will be open to the public, Catrans said. 

During the upcoming overnight work, flagging crews will assist motorists with one-way traffic control. Travelers can expect delays of up to 15 minutes, according to Caltrans. Speed limits throughout the construction zone remain at 35 mph for the safety of construction crews and the traveling public.

The turbo roundabout project is expected to be completed by spring 2024. The project will cost about $10.9 million to complete, and the contractor is Graniterock, of San Jose, Caltrans said. 

Veterans Day parade Nov. 11 in downtown Hollister

The 20th annual San Benito County Veterans Day parade will take place at 1:30pm Nov. 11 in downtown Hollister. Spectators and participants will enjoy patriotic floats, classic cars, school groups, emergency agencies, marching bands and more.

The parade is sponsored by VFW Post 9242 and American Legion Post 69. The parade is the finale of Veterans Day activities scheduled to thank and honor the nation’s veterans at the Veterans Memorial Building. Additional activities scheduled for Nov. 11 include a 10am Veterans Benefit Fair; 10:30am Banner Presentations; 11am Veterans Appreciation Ceremony; and 12pm barbecue lunch. 

The Hollister Veterans Memorial building is located at 649 San Benito Street. 

For more information, or if you are interested in participating in the Veterans Day parade, call 831.638.6434, or email [email protected]

Safely get rid of unwanted paint

Drop off your leftover and unwanted paint at a Nov. 4 PaintCare event at Hollister Veterans Memorial Park, 1023 Memorial Drive.

From 9am-1pm, residents can conveniently drop off their paint for free, safe disposal or recycling. Households can drop off any amount of unused paint, stain or varnish, while there may be a limit on the amount for businesses. 

The event, hosted by PaintCare, will accept latex or oil-based paint and primers; stains; deck and concrete sealers; and clear finishes, says a press release. The paint must be in its original, sealed containers with the original manufacturer label. 

PaintCare will not accept leaking, unlabeled or empty containers; aerosol spray paints; drums or containers larger than five gallons; hazardous waste or other chemicals, such as paint thinner, solvents, motor oil, spackle, glue, adhesive, roofing tar, pesticides, or cleaning chemicals.

Paint in good condition will also be made immediately available to the public for free at this event.

Space is limited, and registration on Eventbrite is required. To register, visit

Aromas Holiday Festival is Nov. 18-19

Aromas Hills Artisans are inviting the public to the 2023 Aromas Holiday Festival, taking place 10am-4pm Nov. 18-19 at the Aromas Grange.

This year’s show will include handmade artwork and creations, and artists will be present to show and explain their latest works, says a press release from the Aromas Hills Artisans. “Christmas spirit and homemade everything will be topped off with good food and music,” says the release. 

The event will include 30 arts and crafts booths, music by Jesse Martinez and free workshops taught by AHA members. AHA artists will showcase their creative artwork, paintings, carvings, jewelry, pottery, greeting cards, glassware, succulents, photographs, Ukrainian painted eggs and more. 

Admission is free. Food and drinks will be available for sale. Raffle tickets will be available for purchase up until a drawing scheduled for 2pm Nov. 19. Proceeds from the raffle will support the Aromas Hills Artisans Guild, a nonprofit philanthropic organization that promotes arts education through community events and workshops. 

The AHA organization provides scholarships to members, enabling them to attend classes to further develop their artistic abilities. 

The Aromas Grange is located at 400 Rose Ave. 

Hollister Hills hosts Oct. 28 cleanup, trick or treat

Visit Hollister Hills SVRA on Oct. 28 for the park’s “Clean Wheeling” and “Creatures of the Night” events.

The day starts with Hollister Hills’ annual Clean Wheeling trash pickup gathering in the Upper Ranch area, from 9am-1pm. Registration begins at 8am. The Hollister Hills Off-Road Association will provide lunch for volunteers at 12pm. Bring gloves, water, sun block and a hat. 

Then, from 5-7pm Oct. 28, explore the weird and wonderful nocturnal life of Hollister Hills SVRA as you “trick or treat” along the Bird Creek Train in the park’s Nature Area. Families should arrive at 5pm to allow enough time to decorate a pumpkin and trick or treat. 

Bring water, flashlight, comfortable walking shoes, warm clothes and family friendly costumes. 

For more information about both Oct. 28 events, email [email protected] or call 831.638.3207. 

Previous articleGuest view: Community has a voice in planning for second high school
Next articleCA health officials urge vaccination for flu, Covid
A staff member wrote, edited or posted this article, which may include information provided by one or more third parties.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here