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5 Things You Need to Know About Watsonville: Cinco de Mayo

New city councilman chosen, women's agriculture luncheon on tap, shots fired (again) and more.

Happy Cinco de Mayo!

The newsy bullet points will give you a quick run-down of things going on in Watsonville, so you have plenty of time left to celebrate the holiday. And, if you're not sure exactly what Cinco de Mayo honors (hint, it's not tequila), check out this story. It separates fact from fiction.

Former mayor Lowell Hurst is the Watsonville's newest city councilman. The retired high school agriculture teacher replaces Bill Neighbors as the District 3 representative on the council.

Hurst was selected for the position at Tuesday night's meeting. The council approved his nomination 6-0, making it one of the first things they've all agreed on in quite some time.

Jenkins, who is active on city commissions and volunteers at the local wetlands, interviews for the position via Skype, an online phone service, while vacationing in Europe.

Council members said they chose Hurst because of his rich experience. He previously served on the city council from 1989-98, was mayor in 1993 and '94, and also has been on several on public boards.

“I’ve done this job before and I can do it again," Hurst said.

He added that he can pull people together and try to build consensus. Those skills may be welcome on the council; as his reason for resigning in April, just four months into his four-year term.

“Thank you very much for your vote of confidence … I’ll do the best job I possibly can," said Hurst, who will be up for election in November 2012.

A team of five runners representing CASA, the county's Court Appointed Special Advocates, placed eighth in the Open Women’s Division in this year’s Big Sur International Marathon Relay, held Sunday along Highway 1 from Big Sur to Carmel Valley.

Considered one of the most beautiful and challenging marathon courses in the country, the BSIM draws participants from around the world with a variety of competitive and non-competitive events.

Santa Cruz City Councilwoman Hilary Bryant ran as Honorary Chair of Team , a team of runners and walkers who  have participated in marathon events for the past 10 years to raise money for CASA. The nonprofit, which last fall, trains volunteers to provide support and advocacy for children in the local foster care system.

Joining Bryant on the “CASA Me If You Can” Relay Team were Liz Nelsen, Erin Murphy, Joan McCallum and Anne Rolston. In addition to their top-10 division finish, the women placed 33 overall among all competitive relay categories. Bryant, a dedicated surfer and triathlete, regularly runs in the BSIM relay but this is her first time as a member of Team CASA.

The California Strawberry Commission lauched a new cookbook this week. Strawberry Recipes for Everyday includes a variety of reciepes, including Strawberry Shortcake Sliders to Strawberry and Goat Cheese Pizza.

Royalties from book sales go to the California Strawberry Scholarship Program, which has already awarded students of California strawberry harvest workers more than $1 million for college education.

The cookbook features:

  • More than 45 recipes, categorized by dish type.
  • Complete recipes and dish photos.
  • Fun facts about strawberries.
  • Tips on how to select and store strawberries.
  • A list of health benefits.

The book is available in print ($16.99) and digital versions ($7.99) for the Nook, Kindle and other eReaders.

A fifth shooting was reported around Watsonville this week. But unlike —which included the shooting of an 18-year-old and bullets being sprayed into three homes—the shots fired on Lone Pine Avenue were tied to a gang dispute.

The Santa Cruz Sentinel reported a 51-year-old man fired a gun twice during a fight over the ownership of a cell phone. Sheriff's deputies responded and the alleged gunman, Donald Raymond Irvin, was arrested. No one was hurt.

The Down to Earth Women Luncheon, an event supported by women involved in or supporting agriculture in Santa Cruz County and the Pajaro Valley, will be May 12.

The event will be 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at Driscoll’s Rancho Corralitos, 242 Corralitos Rd.

The featured speaker will be Megan Martinelli, of S. Martinelli & Company. Martinelli, also a community volunteer, will give a speech titles "Apple of My Eye." Also speaking at the event will be a graduate of the Focus Agriculture Program, who will talk about her experience in the program, and a recipient of the Jimmie Cox Memorial Scholarship.

Women are invited to attend this afternoon the luncheon, which is a fundraiser for Agri-Culture’s Focus Agriculture program, the Jimmie Cox Memorial Scholarship fund and the Santa Cruz County Farm Bureau’s school programs.

To make a reservation or if you are unable to attend and would like to make a donation; please contact the Agri-Culture office at 722-6622, agri-culture@sbcglobal.net.

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