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5 Things to Know About Watsonville: It's August!

PV Water Management Agency gets grant money, Luis Alejo is throwing a party and more.

The Pajaro Valley Water Management Agency is getting paid back for monitoring a project that diverts water into Harkins Slough and percolates down to underlying aquifiers.

The agency got $110,000 from the state Department of Water Resources earlier this month as a reimbursement for three monitoring wells designed to help in improving the effectiveness of the Harkins Slough Project. The total grant award was for $227,154.

The project was constructed in 2000 and diverts excess flows into a recharge basin near San Andreas Road west of Watsonville. Since 2000, over 7,000 acre feet of water have been diverted and percolated into underlying aquifers. This water is blended with recycled water from the City of Watsonville Treatment Facility and blend wells and distributed to coastal farms for irrigation. Since 2000, over 10,000 acre feet of supplemental water have been delivered to the seawater intruded area along the coastal Pajaro Valley.

The three monitoring wells were constructed built last year and. The goal was to better understand how more percolated groundwater could be recovered and delivered to prime agricultural land along the coast, thereby further reducing coastal pumping and helping to prevent the continued inland migration of seawater, according to PVWMA.

State Assemblyman Luis Alejo will host the grand opening of his Watsonville satellite office on Friday afternoon. The event is 4-6 p.m. at 275 Main St., Suite 104.

Alejo represents the 28th District, which consists of San Benito County, the Salinas Valley, North Monterey County, South Santa Clara County and the city of Watsonville.

Food, refreshments and live music will be provided.

Second Harvest Food Bank and Plantronics teamed up this summer to go after online support to fight hunger and malnutrition. For each new fan of Second Harvest’s Facebook page, Plantronics donated $1, which is equivalent to 4 nutritious meals.

The original goal of this campaign was 5,000 fans, but it was an overwhelming success and attracted over 6,200 new followers, for a total of over 8,100. These individuals will now be able to view Second Harvest’s event notifications, blogs, and latest news on their own Facebook pages, and local families in need will have access to 20,000 more meals.

The county's rail line project is losing steam.

The county's Regional Transportation Commission reported that it's still waiting for approval from the federal Surface Transportation Board for . Congressman Sam Farr, RTC staff and consultants have been trying to wrap up the purchase of the rail line—which stretchs from Davenport to Watsonville—but there's still weeks of work left.

As as a result, the community celebration planned for Sept. 10 will be postponed until after the rail line purchase is fully complete.

A Watsonville trucker was named the best professional truck driver in the state and is competing in the national championships this week.

Alfonso Saavedra won the three-axle competition and received the highest overall score in the nine competing categories at the 2011 California Truck Driving Championships.

Nearly 400 drivers from all 50 states will compete in Orlando for four days, challenging their driving skills, and knowledge of safety, equipment and the industry. From 18-wheeler five axle sleepers to tank trucks to twin trailers—they will drive a course that recreates situations truck drivers face daily. These maneuvers may include: an alley dock, a rear line stop, a side park, a scale stop, a right turn, a front line stop, and straight line driving through a diminishing clearance, according to PR Newswire.

Saavedra drives for Con-way Freight.

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