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Local News

Salinas Council Approves Budget 06/07/12 AF

The Salinas City Council voted 5 to zero Tuesday to approve an 82-point-4 million dollar budget for the 2012 – 2013 year.    The city expects that spending will be around 80-point-1 million dollars in the new fiscal year, with a small reserve of 2-point-7 million.   Salinas city officials were able to configure the budget so that no cuts will be made to staff or services.   However, several positions still remain frozen, and the Salinas Police Department is about 50 officers short of what a city the size of Salinas is recommended to have.    Furthermore, the city projects significant deficits in the future, with 4-point-8 million over the budget next year, and nearly double that in the 2014 and 15 year.

Man Crushed by Tree 06/07/12 AF

A Gilroy man was killed Monday, after an Oak Tree he was cutting down fell on top of him.    61-year-old Francisco Javier Meza-Diaz was chopping down the 18-inch-diameter tree on a job in a private Los Gatos residence.    The tree was already leaning as it grew on a steep hillside, and when Meza-Diaz began trying to take it down, it fell on him, crushing him to death.    A 23-year-old co-worker of Meza-Diaz was injured and taken to Valley Medical Center.

Old Big Trees Road Closure 06/07/12 AF

The Department of Public Works for Santa Cruz County has announced that Old Big Trees Road in Felton, right off of Highway 9, will be subject to traffic delays and periodic closures beginning Monday the 11th of June through July 6th.    Emergency culvert repair will be done on the road between the hours of 8:30 am and 4:30 pm.   A notice and detour signs will be posted in the area of the work to redirect traffic.    The Department of Public Works asks that drivers avoid this area of possible, by taking alternative routes.

Fallen Soldier Honored 06/07/12 AF

A fallen soldier and Salinas native will be honored in his hometown and the state capitol this week.    21-year-old Army Specialist Vilmar Galarza Hernandez was killed in Afghanistan on May 26th of this year, when defense officials say his unit was attacked by enemy forces with an explosive device.    Hernandez’ death was announced by the U.S. Department of Defense on Memorial Day.    Governor Jerry Brown ordered all flags in the state capitol to be flown at half-mast on Wednesday.    Salinas Police officers and Patriot Guard Riders will lead a funeral procession for the lost soldier through Salinas on Friday at 10 am, from Saint Mary’s Church to the Garden of Memories cemetery.     Hernandez had married his girlfriend just 13 days before he was deployed.

Scotts Valley Multipurpose Room 06/07/12 06:45 AF

The Scotts Valley City Council gave a green light to the architectural firm it has hired to create a design for the multipurpose room that might be built next to the library on King’s Village Road.     However, the project may not go forward unless it can garner enough community support and private funding.    The 9,000 square foot space could potentially be used for sporting events and community theatre, as well as a number of other local events.     The city council plans to hold public meetings to suggest other possible uses for the building.