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Starting on January 1, 2016, most residents in the unincorporated areas of the county who are not currently signed up to refuse and recycling services will be required to do so, according to a new Universal Services ordinance finalized by the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors earlier this month. The new ordinance will potentially impact more than 3,000 properties countywide. The new ordinance aims to cut down on illegal dumping, which costs the county’s taxpayers about $160,000 each year. Maps of the affected parcels and neighborhoods, along with the ordinance and other information, are available here.

Pajaro Valley Unified School District (PVUSD) is offering bus driver training classes for talented and energetic individuals who want to work in the Transportation Department. Instructors will provide training to qualify for a commercial driver’s license and school bus driving certificate. To obtain the required Classified District application, call the Human Resources office at (831) 786-2145 or visit the online job posting for a list of requirements and application. Application deadline is Wednesday, November 18.

Santa Cruz County and partners have launched a new website to help people seeking to change their criminal record under Prop. 47. Proposition 47, passed by California voters last year, reduces the penalties for several low-level crimes and gives people convicted of certain low-level felonies the opportunity to get them reduced to misdemeanors, making it easier for folks to get a job, find housing, get an education. Go to for more information.

Artists of Santa Cruz are celebrated in a new book marking the 20th anniversary of the Gail Rich Awards. The Creatives Among Us by Shmuel Thaler & Wallace Baine take readers on a journey through the last twenty years with 190 local artists from all genres. The book contains over 150 of Shmuel’s photographs with forewords by Nikki Silva and Neal Hellman. Shmuel has been a staff photographer for the Santa Cruz Sentinel since 1987. Wallace Baine has been an arts writer, film critic, columnist and editor for the Santa Cruz Sentinel since 1991. Join them for a book launch and signing at Bookshop Santa Cruz on Nov. 23 at 7 p.m.

U.S. Representative Sam Farr (D-20th District) has announced that he will not be seeking reelection when his current term is up in 2016. The long-serving public servant has represented the Central Coast district in Congress for 22 years.

Image via Shutterstock.

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