In an effort to fund a tourism marketing plan, the Santa Cruz Board of Supervisors unanimously passed a proposal today which would charge hotel guests a surcharge starting next month. The new surcharge, expected to start July 1st, was proposed last year by the Santa Cruz County Conference and Visitors Council to increase the marketing of local tourist destinations while also boosting area businesses. The surcharge, officially called a ‘tourism marketing district’, is expected to generate 1.1 million annually and will charge hotel guests with 6 to 29 rooms, $1 per room per night, while hotels with 30 or more rooms will charge $1.50 per room per night. Hotels with less than 6 rooms are exempt.
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In an effort to reduce the risk of wildfires, central coast residents are reminded to clear brush away from their homes. Cal-Fire officials say the rainy winter has created more brush which could fuel flames, and as a result, they are inspecting homes and unincorporated areas ensuring that homeowners maintain a defensible space of 100 feet by keeping high grasses and weeds removed around homes and structures. Fire crews say structures can be protected when they are separated from dense fuel and there is enough space for fire personnel to operate safely.
Army officials at the former Fort Ord announced today that they plan to burn 2 areas of land next month. The prescribed burns are expected to total about 280 acres and slated to start next month in preparation for clearing unexploded munitions. The Army is expected to announce the burns before they begin. Residents who would like advanced notification, can download a form from their website at www.fortordcleanup.com or call them by July 1st at 1-800-852-9699.
After 2 Watsonville men did not enter pleas for a 2009 murder during their 1st court appearance today (tues), police arrested a 3rd murder suspect in that case as well. 23-year old Angel Moreno Torres, who is serving time at Wasco State Prison, is expected to be charged in Santa Cruz County later this month on murder charges. 30-year old Joel Sanchez and 18-year old Jose Meza, who were arrested Friday, faced murder, conspiracy and gang participation, charges today relating to the September 2009 murder of 21-year old Richard Campos. Torres is set to be charged this week and arraigned on June 30th with along with Sanchez and. Meza
A Santa Cruz charter school was listed this week among the top 20 schools in the country by Newsweek magazine. Pacific Collegiate School was named by the magazine as the 19th best high school in the United States and 3rd best in California. The magazine bases it’s rankings on the number of students tested after taking college-level courses, however, the listing does not take into account the actual test scores. The majority of schools listed are Charter Schools, with the exception of those that serve lower-income students.
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