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Hollister
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November 29, 2021

Avera’s departure overdue

A little over two years ago, this newspaper called for the resignation or termination of Hollister City Manager Bill Avera. The Free Lance editorial said Avera’s mishandling of sewage spills and lack of accountability showed that the former development services director lacked the capacity to...

Slower high-speed rail?

It sounds crazy, but a presidential rant on Twitter may have forced Gov. Gavin Newsom to “clarify”—actually, backtrack—his position on California’s high-speed rail. “The project, as currently planned, would cost too much and take too long,” the governor said of the state’s high-speed rail plan...

A matter of trust

A little over a year ago, we wrote an editorial in this space entitled, “Why should we care?” “Why should we care about any further investigation of the money that disappeared from the Tony and Barbara Matulich Charitable Trust?” was the question we posed. After all,...

A new generation of leaders

Change is in the air in San Benito County. Citizens turned out in record numbers Nov. 6 to elect new faces on a wide range of boards, and appointees replaced some incumbents. In Hollister, three new supervisors were elected, joining one who was appointed in...

Democracy takes a bow

There were cheers last week about the record or near-record turnout levels in the midterm elections in California, and across the U.S. While the numbers were relatively high—approaching 60 percent in some California counties— they were properly qualified by adjectives such as “midterm,” “off-year”...

Heroes in our midst

This is a story of ordinary events that unexpectedly escalated into extraordinary circumstances, of dangerous situations that were resolved peacefully—events that in other communities have resulted in tragic, even deadly consequences. But not in Hollister. In the late morning on the day after the Fourth...

Even ‘safe and sane’ fireworks need some common sense

Don’t be misled by so-called “safe and sane” fireworks on this holiday, or any other. These sparklers can still blind and burn skin. They can ignite housefires and wildfires. They can kill or maim pets. The “safe and sane” designation assumes another very important ingredient:...

Voters still turn away

Nearly 29,000 San Benito County adults were registered to vote in the June 5 primary. In neighboring Santa Clara County, the number of registered voters was a record, approaching 850,000. The “turnout”—the percentage of registered voters that actually cast ballots—was considered above average for...

Rivas for Assembly

Five candidates are running for California Assembly District 30, and two have emerged as serious contenders to represent the region’s half million residents. The district includes south Santa Clara County and San Benito County and is currently represented by Anna Caballero, who is running...

Police should stop carotid restraints

Two months after the death of Steven Juarez while in the custody of Gilroy police, the investigation of the exact cause of his death continues. While the police and the district attorney’s office are investigating whether police were responsible, they have said little about...