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What started as a 24-hour nurses strike yesterday at Watsonville Community Hospital, has now escalated into more. Nurses walked out yesterday in response to the hospital’s alleged avoidance of complying to their request of hiring more people, in hopes of improving care. Nurses had planned on returning to work today, but the hospital, which announced tentative deals with two other bargaining units yesterday, says the nurses strike won’t be over until Friday morning. The hospital, meanwhile has brought in additional workers for 3 days to cover the nurse’s absence.


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S.C. HALLOWEEN FINES TRIPLE 10-26-10 19:40 a.v.

Fines are expected to triple on the streets of downtown Santa Cruz on Halloween night. Police in Santa Cruz say triple-fine tickets will be issued to those committing the following inappropriate behavior: urinating in public, littering, mutilating shrubbery or trees, graffiti, and possessing an open alcohol container. Area-residents should also expect Pacific Avenue to be closed to cars from 10 a.m. October 31st to 10 a.m. November 1st. Front Street from Soquel Avenue to Broadway also will be closed during that time and open only to pedestrians. Triple fines are expected to be issued anywhere inside the “safety enhancement zone” which is bounded by Center, Sycamore and River Streets.


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A contract was awarded to a Central Coast developer this week to begin work on the first roundabout in the Santa Cruz Beach area. The first phase of the project, is slated to start this week at the Pacific Avenue and Center street intersection (Depot Park) and continue through early next spring. The overall plan involves the construction of 2 roundabouts, one at Pacific Avenue and Center Street and another at Pacific Avenue and Beach Street. The roundabout at the Pacific Avenue and Beach Street intersection, is set to begin after the 2011 summer season.


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MAN ORDERED OFF S.V. PROPERTY 10-26-10 18:50 a.v.

Officers in Scotts Valley detained a man who they say was ordered off a property at gunpoint after he entered a home Friday evening. The stranger entered the Green Valley Road home through the back door at around 7 p.m. when the home’s resident asked the man to leave. The suspect, who refused to leave, was then ordered out of the home by the home’s resident, who was armed with a firearm. Santa Cruz Sheriff’s deputies say they arrived as the suspect was trying to flee on his bicycle.


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During their meeting today, Santa Cruz City Council members considered a proposal to install phone-activated parking meters in the downtown area prior to the start of the holiday season. Consumers would receive a text message on their cell phone 15-minutes before their metered parking space is set to expire. The user can ten call a toll-free number to pay by credit card, or use an application on their smart-phone. The cost is 35-cents per transaction or 25-cents if users pay a $1.75 monthly access fee. If approved, the new program could begin as early as 6 weeks.


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