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Hollister
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June 24, 2022

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...

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”...

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...

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...

A Native American Thanksgiving Address

In 1620, a ship carrying European settlers landed off the coast of Massachusetts and started a settlement at an abandoned Native American village of the Wampanoag tribe. Some native people helped them through their first difficult year,  teaching them how to grow and gather...

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...

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...

Mental illness doesn’t explain gun violence

The notion that mental illness drives the current spate of mass shootings is a dangerous oversimplification. Some shooters, such as the Aurora. Col., movie theater gunman James Holmes, yes, have had diagnosed mental illness, while others have not. To unfairly stereotype people with conditions...

Time to say ‘Thank you’ for donations to fund

After three months of trauma, grief, vigils, fundraisers, healing, memorials and, for many, continuing pain, let’s take some time for some gratitude. As the #Gilroy Strong banner disappeared from downtown Gilroy and the memorial flowers at Christmas Hill Park faded and withered, hundreds of businesses...

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:...

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