Larry Avira said he hopes to recover from his addiction, find permanent housing and get a job at Amazon. Photo by John Chadwell.


How a hard-drinking Hollister man has come from living on the streets to sobriety and shelter

Larry Avira believes he is on the road to recovery from addiction and homelessness. He’s looking for permanent housing and a new job.

Last January, Larry Avira was using drugs and alcohol, and was homeless living near the railroad tracks on the north side of Hollister. On July 8 he was sober, and one of the first to inhabit one of the six transition units just opened. He hopes to apply for a job at the new Amazon facility being built just down the street. Photo by John Chadwell.


San Benito County aims to move its homeless population into permanent housing

From modular homes for homeless families, to an encampment for people transitioning from life in the riverbed, the county wants everyone sheltered.

Homes along Highway 156 in San Juan Bautista. Photo courtesy of Shelby Schipsi.


SJB changes fence height limits along Highway 156

The city agrees to ask Caltrans for a sound wall.

Zeke Lopez at Bulldog Boxing Gym. Photo by Robert Eliason.


Hollister’s Bulldog Boxing Gym loses its home

After receiving an eviction notice, owner Zeke Lopez aims to find a new building.

It took over three years and more than $400,000 to bring back the Hollister Bark Park. Photo by John Chadwell.


Hollister Bark Park reopens after three-year wait

Dogs can be brought to all the city parks but the Hollister Bark Park is the only one where they can be off-leash.

Groundbreaking for the Betabel project, now called the Betabel Road Charity took place June 1. Photo by John Chadwell.


Groundbreaking takes place for Betabel Road project

Environmentalist Herman Garcia and playwright Rider McDowell come together to build a roadside rest stop which will bring in tax revenue, fund pediatric brain cancer research and restore part of the San Benito River.

The mayor claims council members can speak to developers in their districts, but the ordinance says they can't. Photo by John Chadwell.


Critics say new Hollister ordinance is an attack on free speech

Mayor wins vote requiring developers, real estate agents and lobbyists to present their projects at public meetings rather than discuss them in private with council members. A BenitoLink investigation finds the ordinance is misleading as written and possibly unenforceable.

Board of Supervisors discussing items in the May 11 agenda in front of mostly empty room other than staff and a public member. Photo by Noe Magaña.


Supervisors approve up to $700k in contracts

Expenditures are related to consulting for behavioral health, landfill expansion and senior housing projects.

Site of Gavilan College's Fairview Corners campus in San Benito County on March 7, 2021. Photo by Noe Magaña.

Education / Schools

Gavilan College San Benito campus groundbreaking set for late 2022.

A soft opening is expected for the 2024 summer semester.

Photo courtesy of Pixabay.

Community Opinions

COMMUNITY OPINION: The landfill expansion is not a good idea

Resident Gary Cameron writes that trucks going to the landfill damage the roads and impact residents' quality of life.

The county plans to transform over 46 acres of weeds and dirt trails into a regional park. Photo by John Chadwell.


SBHS approves lease for potential regional park property

San Benito County Board of Supervisors approved the lease agreement the same day.

A truck heads into the John Smith Road Landfill. Photo by Noe Magaña.


Hollister’s John Smith Landfill to stop accepting out-of-county waste in September

Waste Solutions Group is seeking a permit from the state to increase capacity.

Homeless encampment below 4th Street bridge. Photo by John Chadwell.


County set to remove homeless encampments, trash from San Benito River

Sheriff’s deputies give 72-hour notice to people living in the riverbed.

San Juan Bautista houses near Highway 156. Photo by Noe Magaña.


SJB discusses noise abatement for residents near Highway

Consultant David Mack warns the city might get stuck with an ugly wall if it tries to get Caltrans involved.

A person walks past Casa Rosa in Downtown San Juan Bautista on April 2, 2021. Photo by Noe Magaña.

Housing / Land Use

SJB upholds parking requirement for Casa Rosa

Building owner sought an exemption because parklets on Third Street removed public spaces.