Showing posts with label government. Show all posts
Showing posts with label government. Show all posts

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Slow Down!

It's starting to look quite festive in Downtown Hollister, despite the cars and trucks zooming down San Benito Street. Slow down, people.

Yesterday evening, for nearly an hour, the Husband and I watched the traffic on our main street. We were alarmed at how fast the vehicles traveled in both directions.  A downtown business owner told us it's like that even during the day. We've also heard that some people have had scary experiences crossing San Benito Street.

The City of Hollister has a plan to help slow down the traffic and make downtown be a pedestrian-friendly place. That would be also great for the shops and restaurants down there. Not to say for bringing future businesses to downtown. This traffic plan is ready to go, from what I understand. Hopefully the execution of it won't drag on too long. Otherwise, San Benito Street continues to be a drag strip.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Granite Sculpture by Richard Deutsch

The abstract sculptures in front of the San Benito County Administration Building on the corner of Fourth and West Streets were created by award-winning Davenport sculptor Richard Deutsch.

Deutsch designed the pieces as a two-part sculpture out of five tons of granite from Graniterock's quarry in Aromas, according to Santa Cruz Sentinel (December 3, 1993 issue). Graniterock donated the material for the public art piece.

Friday, April 3, 2015

C is for. . .

County seat.

Hollister is the county seat of San Benito County, which is part of the California Central Coast. Wait, now. Don't jump to the conclusion that my city is the one being blasted on the expensive tee-shirts people buy in that big box store I shall not name. The tee-shirt is all about a fictional beach town in Southern California. This Hollister, the real city, is about a 40 minute, more or less, drive away from the coast.

When California was established as a state in 1850, Monterey County ruled the area. Due to political this's and that's, a big interior chunk of Monterey became San Benito County in 1874. Hollister was made the county seat, rather than San Juan Bautista, which was a bustling mission town and had been for many years back then. Hollister was only incorporated in 1869. No doubt it helped that the Southern Pacific Railroad built a station there.

The former courthouse that now houses many county offices.

The new county courthouse

The county library

Click here to check out other A to Z participants.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

The Old County Jail

Yup, that's the old San Benito County Jail on Fourth Street. Built in 1949, the prison cells were on the second floor, which accommodated 50 prisoners. It was used until 1992 when a much larger correctional facility opened on Flynn Road. The old jail is still used for some kind of purpose by the San Benito County Sheriff's Office.

In 1875, a jail was erected nearby this one on Fourth Street. Here's a description of the jail and it's location, which I copied (including spelling and punctuation) from this web page at Newspaper
The New County Jail -- The San Benito county jail is to cost $10,000 and will be completed in April proximo. Messrs. BOOTH & CORY, the contractors and builders, are making fast progress with the work. The building will be 1 story high and its dimensions 38x60 feet. The walls, which are up, extend about 20 feet from the floor to the roof…The design is by Theodore LENZEN, the skillful architect of San Jose. Like all structures reared for the accommodation of law breakers, this is not very attractive. Located at the rear of the court house, in Col. HOLLISTER’s late handsome garden, opposite the Montgomery Hotel, where fruit, evergreen and pepper trees abound, it is well shaded from view and will probably rarely be observed by the many guests of that increasingly popular house.
— San Benito Advance, March 6, 1875

The Montgomery Hotel was the former residence of William Welles Hollister, for which the town of Hollister was named. The hotel once stood where the new courthouse is today on Fourth Street.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Downtown Hollister Historic District: The Old and Current City Hall Buildings

On the south side of Fifth Street, between San Benito and Monterey Streets, are the old and current City Hall buildings, which are both contributing historic structures in the Downtown Hollister Historic District.

339 Fifth Street — The Old City Hall

The Hollister City Hall was originally located at 339 Fifth Street. The first building was destroyed in the 1906 Earthquake. Two years later, the new beautiful two-story City Hall, designed by William H. Weeks, was completed. The west side of the building housed the Hollister Fire Department.

The building has many interesting decorative features. Click here to see a close-up of one of the figurines—brackets—at the top of the building. Once upon a time, the Old City Hall had a cupola. Click here to see vintage postcards of how the building looked over 100 years ago.

Today, the City of Hollister uses the first floor of this building for its utility payment center and offices for its building and planning divisions.

375 Fifth Street — The Current City Hall

Some of you may recognize the Classical Revival style of the current City Hall as being a design of many Carnegie Libraries. You're right. The current City Hall was once the city library. In 1910, the City of Hollister received a grant from the Andrew Carnegie Library Foundation to build the one-story reinforced concrete building. Completed in 1912, the building was designed by William Binder and constructed by E. J. Sparling. In the 1980s, the City built an addition at the rear for the City Council chambers.

There are so many wonderful elements to this building, such as the Ionic columns that flank the entry way and the fine details of the cornice across the top of the building. What impresses me the most is that the concrete was scored to look like granite blocks.

The Hollister Carnegie Library is entered in the National Register of Historic Places as part of the Downtown Hollister Historic District as well as individually. Want to see what the library looked like back in the day? Then, click here.

Today is Our World Tuesday, and that's where I am linking up. Click here to check out what's going on in other parts of the world.

Monday, October 13, 2014

County Courthouse Dedication

Last Friday afternoon (October 10), the California Superior Court of San Benito County held a public dedication  of its new building on Fourth Street. The beautiful state-of-the art two-story courthouse was built on the original site of the home of William Welles Hollister, for which the city of Hollister was named.

Cutting the building dedication ribbon, on the right, were 
Hon. Harry Tobias (Judge of the Superior Court of San Benito) and
Hon. Steven Sanders (Presiding Judge of the Superior Court of San Benito).
Holding the ribbon, to the right of Judge Tobias, was U.S. Rep. Sam Farr.

Officials speaking at the ceremony reflected the collaborative effort at all three levels of government to ensure the much needed new courthouse was built. U.S. Representative Sam Farr, State Senator Anthony Canella, State Representative Luis Alejo, San Benito County Board of Supervisors Chair Jerry Muenzer, and Hollister Mayor Ignacio Velazquez all gave brief speeches. California Supreme Court Chief of Justice Toni Cantil-Sakauye was represented by Judge Brian McCabe, Presiding Judge of the Superior Court of Merced County.

For past posts about the our new courthouse, check out these links:

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Register to Vote!

Are you qualified to vote, but haven't registered yet?

To qualify in California, you must be a U.S. citizen, at least 18 years old on Election Day, and a resident of California.  You may not be qualified if you have a felony criminal conviction or currently in a correctional facility, or if a court says you are mentally incompetent.

You'll need to re-register to vote if you moved or changed your name since the last election. Should you want to change your political party, you'll need to re-register, too.

You can register to vote up to 15 days before an election. Our next election is Tuesday, November 4. That means the last day for registration is October 20, 2014.

Three Ways to Register to Vote

You can register in person. In San Benito County, go to the Registrar of Voters office located at 440 Fifth Street, Room 206. That's the second floor of the old courthouse.

Your can register by mail. Pick up a voter registration application at the public library, U.S. post office, Department of Motor Vehicle office, or  San Benito County Registrar of Voters office.

You can register online at the California Online Voter Registration website.

There are no excuses. Go out and vote!

Thursday, June 12, 2014

The Hidden Beauty on Fifth Street

In 1912, the County of San Benito expanded the courthouse at that time by building the gorgeous Hall of Records. It's address was 420 Fifth Street.

The building is still there and used, but hidden by the old courthouse, which was built in 1962.

While I was in the Elections office recently, I noticed it through the office's break room. Wow, oh wow! What a shame more people can't see how gorgeous The Hall of Records is.

Thursday, June 5, 2014


That's all it says on the sign plate of this building in downtown Hollister. 1962. It's not the address, so I take it to mean that was the year the building was completed. Do you recognize it?

Even under a layer of soot, I think the simplicity of the sign plate looks rather elegant. Still trying to figure what this building is? Click here.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

It's Election Day!

Remember to vote, if you haven't yet. The poll places stay open until 8 PM tonight.

If you're unsure of where your polling station is or need to review the sample ballot, head over to this page of the San Benito County Registrar of Voters web site.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

This Way to the Library

The San Benito County Free Library, under the fantastic direction of Nora Conte, County Librarian, has many physical and online resources to offer our community. Here's the website link for you to find out what's available.

The website may not mention that a magazine swap rack is located in the lobby. You can leave your old magazines there as well as pick up ones that may interest you. Just this week, the Husband and I brought a box full of The New Yorker magazines to the rack. A win-win.

By the way, who else remembers that phrase from their high school Spanish book: ¿Donde esta la biblioteca?

Monday, April 14, 2014

A Week of Fun at the San Benito County Free Library

This  week, April 14 to 18, our local library—the San Benito County Free Library—is celebrating two events. One is our library's 97th Anniversary. Whooo-hooo! The other is the 2014 National Library Week. Many fun, free activities are scheduled over the next few days.
Today, April 14: Customer and Volunteer Appreciation Day!
11 AM to 3 PM: Anniversary Cake will be served to library patrons.
2 to 2:45 PM: Youth Financial Literacy Workshop. Door prizes and swag bags will be given out to teen participants. 
Tuesday, April 15
2 pm and 5 pm: Movie and Popcorn. The movie Frozen will be shown. Seating is limited.

Wednesday, April 16
2 to 5:30 pm: Techie Toybox. Patrons are invited to play with ipads, iphones, and Kindle Fire work.

Thursday, April 17
3:30 to 5:30 PM: Kid's Fun Day! Children's games and crafts will be featured, along with a chance to win a free book. 
Friday, April 18
5 to 7 pm: Author Talks will feature local authors, Renette Torres (Widow's Peak) and John E. Chadwell (Werewolves of New Idria). Light refreshments will be served.
Again, all activities are free. The library is located at 470 Fifth Street, near the corner of West Street. For more details, visit the San Benito County Free Library website or the Friends of the Library Facebook Page, or call 831-636-4107.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

It's Ours Now!

Yesterday, San Benito Street in downtown Hollister was closed for the first time without jumping through hoops with Caltrans. All because the street now belongs to the City of Hollister. Whoo-hooo!

A very big Thank You to Steve Rosati and Gordon Machado for their dedication and persistence to jump through many, many hoops over the last 30 years to get our main street to be truly ours.

And, yes, after the speeches and ribbon cutting, there was dancing in the street. It also rained while we were dancing.  Double whooo-hooo!

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Name the Highway

Have you seen the new road signs on Highway 25 yet?

The Husband and I saw one yesterday afternoon, as we waited for the light on Hillcrest Road. Were we surprised. We knew there was talk last year about naming Highway 25 to the Pinnacles National Park Highway, but many residents in the southern part of San Benito County were against it.

So, I looked it up. (Ah, sweet Internet, what did I ever do without you?) Turns out our State Senator Anthony Cannella sponsored a bill last year to designate specific sections of Highway 25 as the Pinnacles National Park Highway. According to the bill, which was adopted, the renamed highway runs from "San Benito/Monterey countyline to Sunnyslope Road in the City of Hollister and that portion of Route 25 from San Felipe Road in the City of Hollister to the San Benito/Santa Clara countyline. . . ."

I read that as meaning all of Highway 25. Doesn't the highway cross into Monterey County in the southern part of San Benito County? Something else to look up. I did notice the sign still says "Highway 25" at the intersection of Sunnyslope Road/Tres Pinos Road/25 (or as us old fogeys still call it --Airline Highway).

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Past and Present: San Benito County Superior Court

The new Superior Court of the County of San Benito is situated on the residential site of William Welles Hollister, for whom the city of Hollister was named. I think Mr. Hollister's house eventually became a  hotel, then somewhere along the way, this property became the home of first the Hollister Grammar School and then Fremont School.

Lest we forget, the old courthouse is visible across the street.
That's the building in the middle.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Opening Soon: The New Courthouse

If all goes well, the new courthouse of the Superior Court of California in San Benito County will be open for business next Monday, March 17, 2014. Construction on the $33 million building was completed a few months ago, but it could not open because the local officials had no funds to pay for the required security staff.

The new courthouse on the corner of Fourth and Monterey Streets  is a gorgeous building. The project was managed by the Kitchell Contractors. The building design was created by SmithGroup, the oldest continuously practicing architecture and engineering firm in the United States.

I don't know about you, dear Readers, but the Husband and I look forward to seeing what our new courthouse looks like on the inside.

Thursday, November 7, 2013

The New Courthouse

Did you know that the new courthouse under construction is the fifth one for San Benito County? Yeah, that's news to me, too. I thought the current courthouse was the second one, and the gorgeous structure modeled after a Roman palace was the first.

The new courthouse is nearly finished. I like the landscaping and the red seats in front of the building. How about you? If you're interested in learning more about the construction, check out this page at the California Courts web site.

It already seems like it was long, long ago that Fremont School stood on the site of the new Superior Court of California in San Benito County, don't you think? For that matter, once upon a time, the home of Col. William Welles Hollister, for whom our town was named, stood on that same spot.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

T is For Takino, Japan

This beautiful lantern, which stands in front of the City Hall, is a gift to Hollister from Takino, Japan. The two were sister cities for over 10 years.

According to Wikipedia, Takino merged with two other towns in 2006 to form a new city called Kato.

I'm been going through the alphabet this month as part of the A to Z Blogging Challenge. Click here to check out some other A to Z Challenge participants.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

B is for Building

The Hollister City Hall in the late afternoon lighting

The City Hall building was originally the home of the San Benito County Free Library. Yes, it was a Carnegie library. In the 1990s, it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

I'm going through the alphabet this month as part of the A to Z Blogging Challenge. That means I'll be posting every day in April but Sunday.  Click here to check out some other A to Z Challenge participants.

Sunday, February 17, 2013



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