Donna Jones, Santa Cruz Sentinel

Donna Jones

Santa Cruz Sentinel

Watsonville, CA, United States

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Past articles by Donna:

Mount Madonna students stand up for snowy plovers

PAJARO DUNES >> Armed with buckets, sifters and trash grabbers, the fifth-graders from Mount Madonna school fanned out across the beach near the mouth of the Pajaro River on Wednesday morning.The aim wasn’t just to collect garbage → Read More

Retiring Watsonville Chief Manny Solano hailed as compassionate cop

WATSONVILLE >> Danny Contreras didn’t expect to like Watsonville Police Chief Manny Solano, let alone develop a relationship with him. But the convicted murderer came away from Solano’s prison ministry talk impressed, and later, wh → Read More

Book celebrates ‘The Creatives Among Us’

SANTA CRUZ >> Flip through the pages of “The Creatives Among Us: 20 Years of the Gail Rich Awards & the Artists of Santa Cruz County” and be wowed by the depth and breadth of talent on offer.Then take some time to study → Read More

Adoption ceremony cements bond between mother and son

WATSONVILLE >> Teo peeked over his mother’s shoulder, eyes and mouth wide as he stared at the family and friends applauding from the benches in a Watsonville courtroom Friday morning.The 11-month-old was too young to understand the → Read More

All aboard: Open house showcases garden railroad

SANTA CRUZ >> Whistle blowing, the locomotive pulling four yellow passenger cars rounded a curve and rolled into Ericsville, one of two towns on the Fern Creek and Western Garden Railroad.Trevor Park, 15, was at the controls as the train → Read More

Pajaro Valley schools lose two key leaders

WATSONVILLE >> Pajaro Valley Unified School District is losing two key administrators.Chief Business Officer Brett McFadden, who’s resignation is effective May 1, two days before his fifth anniversary with the district, is leaving → Read More

Faith groups reach out to GLBT community

Watsonville >> A 10-year-old coalition of religious congregations is reaching out with its message of welcoming the gay, lesbian, transgender and queer communities into their churches and temples.Out in Our Faith, which includes 24 faith → Read More

Elkhorn Slough plots future

CASTROVILLE >> Officials are broadening their horizons as they update the Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve management plan.Proposals for the five-year plan include changes t → Read More

Farming community honors former Santa Cruz official

WATSONVILLE >> Ceil Cirillo may be best known for her work in urban settings, but Wednesday the former head of the Santa Cruz Redevelopment Agency was honored by the farming community.Cirillo was presented with the 2015 Al Smith Friend of → Read More

Education nonprofit honors Watsonville parents

WATSONVILLE >> Edgar and Cesar Garcia Lopez came to the United States as children, attended Watsonville schools and won places at two of the country’s most prestigious universities.Credit their parents, Juan Garcia and Patricia Lop → Read More

Pi Day equals math fun at Rolling Hills Middle School

WATSONVILLE >> At stake was a homework pass, and the game was close.Sixth-graders Bryan Martinez, 12, Emilio Vasquez, 11, and Fabian Quiroz, 12, all needed only one card to beat Rolling Hills Middle School math and science teacher Galita → Read More

Watsonville school project prompts concern

WATSONVILLE >> Neighbors aren’t putting out the welcome wagon for an alternative school under construction on Green Valley Road.The Santa Cruz County Office of Education project, in the works for at least five years, is designed fo → Read More

Watsonville High renews commitment to agriculture education

WATSONVILLE >> Watsonville High School is re-emphasizing its agriculture program, part of Principal Elaine Legorreta’s push to show students the career opportunities available in the central industry of their hometown.Legorreta and → Read More

Watsonville adult school celebrates return to downtown

WATSONVILLE >> After a two-year hiatus, adult students have returned to the Institute of Language and Culture in downtown Watsonville.Wednesday, staff, student and dignitaries gathered to celebrate the reopening of the school, which speci → Read More

Watsonville Council tackles food truck rules

WATSONVILLE >> Few of the food trucks operating in Watsonville possess proper permits.That’s according to city leaders, who → Read More

Watsonville leaders divided over food truck rules

WATSONVILLE >> Catering trucks were on Watsonville City Council’s plate Tuesday, but what was being served up wasn’t clear.The item was billed as a review of the city’s 2008 traveling merchant ordinance, which governs → Read More

Promise of protection surfaces on 20th anniversary of Pajaro flood

PAJARO >> The debate over flood control raged for years before the Pajaro River gushed through a break in the levee at Murphy Crossing in the early morning hours of March 11, 1995.The waters swamped the town of Pajaro and some 3,000 acres → Read More

Pajaro Valley schools makes top 5 on state financial watch list

WATSONVILLE >> Pajaro Valley Unified is listed among the five most financially troubled school districts in the state, according to a California Department of Education report.The listing, released by state Superintendent of Public Instru → Read More

Watsonville students learn to care for natural resources

CORRALITOS >> The fifth-graders meandered down a boardwalk running alongside Corralitos Creek, and crowded onto a wooden deck overlooking a dam and fish ladder.Watsonville taps the site just off Eureka Canyon Road for about 10 percent of → Read More

California business coalition pushes for secure water supply

WATSONVILLE >> A diverse coalition of global businesses operating in California launched a campaign Thursday to seek and support solutions to the state’s water supply crunch.Thursday’s launch of the Connect the Drops campaig → Read More