4:48 pm
Thu July 31, 2014

How Could Passenger Rail in Santa Cruz County Serve You

The Santa Cruz Branch Line is 32 miles of freight rail between Davenport and Watsonville.
Credit Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commission

Talk of bringing passenger rail to Santa Cruz County goes back decades.  But it seems the idea is finally at the point where the talk may turn into reality. 

About two years ago, the Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commission (RTC) purchased the Santa Cruz Rail Line. It’s a 32 mile freight line that runs from Davenport to Watsonville. 

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6:00 am
Thu July 24, 2014

Scholarship Program Finds Success With Unlikely Candidates

WELI Scholar Edna Valdez stands in the courtyard at Hartnell College's Alisal campus.
Credit Krista Almanzan

Edna Valdez looks every bit the part of a typical college student with her skinny leg jeans and smart phone in hand.  But this 31-year-old is anything but typical.  Her bright cheerful smile goes a long way at hiding all the obstacles she faced to get here.

“There’s been a lot of hardship in my life,” said Valdez.  So much hardship that tears well up in her eyes when she thinks back over the past ten years. 

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6:00 am
Thu July 17, 2014

Why California’s Coastal Trail Is Taking So Long

A bridge and trail currently under construction at Soberanes Point in Garrapata State Park. Right now this area is closed to the public, but the trail is a likely choice to become part of the California Coastal Trail, which is a hiking trail under development from the Oregon border to Mexico.
Credit Vinnee Tong

California is famous for its beaches and outdoor living -- including breathtakingly beautiful hikes near the ocean. Yet, when it comes to hiking trails, more have likely heard of the Appalachian Trail than the California Coastal Trail. The proposed trail is decades in the making, but still unfinished.    

The California Coastal Trail is a walking trail that’s supposed to go from the Oregon border to Mexico, and be within the sight, sound, or smell of the sea.  

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6:10 am
Thu July 10, 2014

Ag Tech Accelerator Launches in Salinas

Credit Doug McKnight

A new program aims to bring technical innovation to the agricultural fields of the Salinas Valley.  It’s called Thrive Accelerator, and it’s looking for ten ag tech start-up companies that will receive mentorship, have the chance to test their technology in local fields and compete for venture capital funding. 

It’s part of a broader vision to make the Salinas Valley the future ag tech hub of the world.

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3:22 pm
Thu June 26, 2014

National Park Status Boosts Tourism and Hopes

A sign at the entrance to Soledad notes the city's branding effort as the "Gateway to the Pinnacles".
Credit Madison Williams

About a year ago, Pinnacles National Monument became Pinnacles National Park. The new designation was expected to boost tourism at the park and economic development in nearby cities like Soledad.  So has it?

“Pinnacles is full of possibilities for the visitor: hiking, bird-watching, getting close to the geology by climbing,” said Karen Beppler-Dorn, Superintendent at Pinnacles National Park.

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