Opinion pieces submitted by our readers and our community of citizen-journalists. Views and opinions expressed on BenitoLink.com are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of BenitoLink, its sponsors, partners, staff, donors, affiliates or other contributors to this site.

     My name is Michael and I have been in Hollister since 1983. The newspaper in Hollister is still heavily read in this age of social media. This is why I'm contacting you. I feel strongly about keeping Hollister money in Hollister. If the City of Hollister were to welcome in investors for, say... a Dave and Busters Restaurant and family fun center? A minor league baseball team? and a more reasonable option, a bowling alley? That would be a good start. If I had the money I would do it. A very large amount of Hollister people spend their money outside of Hollister, especially on the weekends. Keep the people here, keeps the tax dollars here in San Benito County. This town is growing, and I know why business owners don't invest in towns until there is enough "foot traffic" or populous. Maybe we are a couple years off...

     Hollister has an identity crisis. It's not quite a city and not quite a town anymore. Growing up here, Hollister had an identity, people were happy, respectful, way more social, and known for a hard work ethic; even as 13-year-old kids we were legally working out in the apricot grooves in the summers.

   Did the Hollister City Council get the memo that marijuana is now legal in California? The least you can do is support the voters. I have an idea for Hollister. Instead of Earthquake Capital of the World, which I'm sure you would agree doesn't make Hollister much money. I was thinking Medicinal Cannabis Capitol of California. Sounds extreme, but could you imagine the amount of tourists, celebrities, entertainers and pro-athletes that would come through here. With a new super highway coming! Hollister could have mass transit with the tax money from this Cannabis revolution. Better hospitals, better roads, and better schools might be in the equation with double digit numbers of cannabis dispensaries.


I'd never heard of SNIP Bus but it seems like a good outfit, and the Police animal control proposal seems like a great idea. But until there is a full time effort to control the veritable explosion of feral cats my wife and our friends and neighbors and I have experienced these things are at best stop-gap measures.

In the meantime though, we have an excellent organization here in Hollister on Buena Vista Road just off the bypass that is briefly mentioned in the article, Pet Friends:


These folks are kind, efficient, overworked and under-funded. What a surprise, right?  Check them out and see if you can help with your time, money or donations of "stuff" they use like Dawn soap, old towels, Costco cat and dog food paper towels and other paper goods, and a whole list of other things. Feral cats don't need to be in your house to be helped. They need spay or neuter, basic vaccinations and flea treatment and can then be released with one ear trimmed so we all know they've had some attention. If you like the result, well, they can be tamed though it is not easy. My wife, Claire Butler, has gotten so good at catching them I tell her she must be part cat. It's fun and makes you feel like you're doing something to help one of Ma Nature's most beautiful and interesting creatures. We have several that hang around and get fed outdoors on a regular schedule so that we are not feeding skunks and kit foxes too. Yes, we're nuts about cats.


Is anyone in San Benito County concerned about the impacts of 345 acres of commercial rezoning plans for 4 areas along highway 101? I feel that many San Benito County residents slept through the whole General Plan amendment process and did not get involved. I'm 99% sure that the county did not do the legal notifications in the presribed manner not just to San Benito County residents but to neighboring and directly impacted counties as well. But it is not too late to influence the development. If you are interested in finding out more about what you can do to pushback against San Benito County and their foot in the door approach to major urbanization along the gorgeous scenic corridor along 101 plans, please email me at manderson831@msn.com. Thank you

This is the 33rd Annual “Breakfast with Santa,”and San Benito is very honored to be hosting another one. This is an event that is very exciting where Santa and Mrs. Claus are presented and available to take pictures with kids. There are also many crafts and activities including making blankets and toys for the animal shelter, writing veteran cards, snowmen and snowflake ornaments, and other decorations can be made out of sticky paper and many more super fun activities! Also the first 250 kids under 12 get free breakfast which includes pancakes, sausages, orange juice, and hot chocolate. So come on down to Breakfast with Santa at the Vet’s Hall December 1st at 8:00 AM.

My name is Adrian Yanez, all I ever wanted out of life was to find my purpose, to find a reason worth living for, and through everything that I have been through and all that I have seen during my years of training in Mixed Martial Arts and serving in the military the only thing that makes me happy and gives me a sense of peace and is part of how i recovered from PTSD, anxiety disorder and major depression and two attempts of suicide is help others. And not just anyone but those who suffer when no one is looking and facing battles that no one sees. Those who hide the pain and put on a smile just so they won't be made fund of or thought of as weird or like an outcast. Now there are so many people that can relate to this but one group in particular is the youth! Our youth! I want to help todays youth so they don't have to go through what I went through. I have been volunteering with youth for almost 9 years now and never asked for help i always worked part time jobs to help fund free Mixed Martial Arts and fitness programs that are Christ centered and after years of struggling and being too young to know how to work ways to build and expand on my programs I started to struggle with life and faith in God I did not have many options and joined the military and it was both a blessing and a curse as I developed Mental Health issues that caused me to almost die but I also was able to overcome those issues without medication, drugs or alcohol through God and fitness, i decided to leave and find my purpose at this time and bought a ticket to Thailand without knowing anyone or anything about Thailand i just showed up and found the nearest non profit in the slums of Bangkok and started volunteering and realized how bad things really were here and literally came out of retirement and competed in some local Muay Thai fights to raise money to help sponsor some children out of the slums. After this i decided to try something like that back here in America and moved back to Hollister and found that this town is a lot harder to build on any program especially helping people if you didn't grow uo here. i run a free fitness program for youth and youth adults to keep them off the streets and to help the youth and children dealing with mental health issues but the hard part is being able fund my program and after several attempts on applying for grants and starting a go fund me i decided to get my pro lic in california to fight again to raise money that way bu that is hard as fights are about once or twice a year and now i work a full time job working with youth dealing severe mental health issues and still trying to fun the youth program full time and train for my fight i have teamed up with Bull Dog boxing but still no funding is hard.  So i guess this is the short version of my story and im not sure what im expecting from this but eventually hope to open up a full youth center and be start my own non profit and keep traveling and helping those less fortunate all across the world.  

On Saturday, October 6, 2018, local Amateur Radio operators in Hollister participated in a Simulated Emergency Training (SET).  Sixteen participants checked into a radio frequency and stated their readiness to help if needed.

When we have an emergency, Amateur Radio Operators, sometimes called Hams, use their radio skills to help individuals and agencies (e.g. American Red Cross) with communications

If you would like more information on becoming an Amateur Radio Operator or would like to participate in these events, check out the San Benito County Amateur Radio Association (SBC ARA) website at sbcara.org or their Facebook page at facebook.com/sbcara.  

The family of Guadalupe "Lupe" Cordova would like to thank friends, family and community members for the many acts of kindness and sympathy following her passing.

We are grateful for the food, flowers, cards, calls, visits and prayers during this most difficult time. Words hardly express our sincere appreciation to all who demonstrated support and love. 

We want to express special appreciation to Pastor Kevin Townsend of Sunnyslope Christian Center for the beautiful eulogy and to the church members who provided music, food, refreshments, and other support that made the Celebration of Lupe's Life so very special.

Lupe Cordova will be remembered as a joyful and loving woman who was devoted to her family and friends. Lupe loved the Lord with all of her heart, and although she will be greatly missed, we are sustained with the knowledge that she is at peace with God in heaven.

Blessings to you all,

The Cordova Family

Dear Dawn and Elizabeth,

It was a pleasure meeting both of you and visiting while we competed for the open Council seat. You made it fun. I felt like both of you were there for the right reasons....a love of your city.  Thank you for helping me be less nervous. I have no doubt, with a little experience, you could be leaders of our community. Just the fact that you stepped out of your comfort zone to apply for the seat is outstanding. I was proud to be a part of your experience and I strongly recommend your continued interests in serving the public. As I stated I would jump at the chance to work with both of you. I think whatever you do you would bring a lot of heart. My door is open to you both if you have any questions regarding my open seat on the Planning Commission. I hope I see you serving soon. 

Warm regards,

Carol A. Lenoir


Dennis Lalor, 20-year CEO of South County Housing, died peacefully at home on August 31 at age 71. Under hospice care and with family and friends with him, he died after a long illness caused by an incurable brain tumor first discovered in November 2017.

Mr. Lalor’s loss is huge for many who knew of his effective advocacy and leadership in the field of affordable housing, a subject still very much in the news as California’s housing costs skyrocket more than ever. It is one of the major issues facing voters in some of the four counties where his many projects were built, Santa Clara, San Benito, Monterey, and Santa Cruz.

Dennis is remembered with great respect and appreciation both by people who worked for him, as well as those in city and county governments who approved his projects. He was also well respected and known by many local, state and federal officials, including Congressman Sam Farr. Farr found Mr. Lalor’s ideas and commitment persuasive, supporting many South County Housing projects over the years.

It was no small task to build quality low income housing, sometimes with other amenities like child care centers as well. Under Mr. Lalor’s leadership, South County Housing created several thousand affordable housing units, including apartments and subdivisions of single family homes, some with market priced houses included. Dennis was a visionary and a trailblazer, with these large mix-income projects being the first of their kind in the country. This was especially challenging in the high cost counties where Dennis lived and worked. He received awards and recognition throughout the United States and served as a board member and leader of groups like the National Rural Housing Coalition and Neighborhood Capital Corporation.

A gathering celebrating Dennis Lalor’s life will be held at the Aromas Grange on Saturday, October 6th at 1:30 p.m.



I recently shopped at Worth Saving Thrift Store, 101 5th Street and found it to be a very good store and a great place to go to revive your spirit, as well as to buy things at a great price, and the profit all goes to Charity. We all need to support places like this for the good of the community, also a great place to donate stuff you don't need no more. It's at the site of the previous Pat's Place.


I have noticed the streets between 4th St. and the light at Country Rose restaurant are filthy from all the eating and spilling onto the pavement. If the city is giving them the privilege of sitting and dining in the street, the city should authorize having the streets washed down after the event is over. Thanks for listening.

The family of Nazario Martinez Sr. would like to extend a special “Thank You” to our family members, church family, friends and neighbors for all the acts of kindness and sympathy. Thank you for the food, flowers, cards, calls, visits and kind words spoken to our family during this most difficult time. Words cannot express our deep appreciation and gratitude to everyone who demonstrated so much love to us.

We want to express a special appreciation to Pastor Kevin Townsend of Sunnyslope Christian Center for the beautiful eulogy and Pastor Jose Martinez (Naz’s son) for sharing your beautiful memories of your father and to our Sunnyslope Christian Center family who made Naz’s Celebration of Life complete and beautiful.

Naz Sr. will always be remembered for his service and dedication to his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, love of golf, the Cowboys but most importantly the love he has for his wife Florence, his two boys Naz and Jose and his seven grandsons and four great-grandchildren. We will miss you but we can rejoice because we know we will see you again in heaven.

May God bless you all,

The Martinez Family

On July 21, from 10:00-12:00 a.m., there will be a workshop on writing and publishing for those wanting to write books from the point of view of the Mission cat, Sula,  or anyone interested in writing and publishing a spiritual memoir, personal memoir, or pet memoir. To register for the seminar, contact Betty Lou Leaver, Leaver@aol.com, 831-578-0290.

Though relatively new to us in the "west", Tai Chi has been around for a very long time.  More and more people all over the world continue to practice it, and you may know someone who does.  So what's it all about?  Why are people paying attention?

We might first wonder about the name itself.  If it appears to be from another part of the world, that's because Tai Chi ("tie chee") was created in China hundreds of years ago for self defense.  Not only was it very effective for fighting, but it also brought balance to the mind and body for those who practiced it.  Better health?  Better life?  Interesting...Why did this happen?

It turns out that when the smooth circular movements of Tai Chi combine with the calm breathing, focused mind and relaxed body, powerful benefits are experienced by the practitioner.  Too good to be true?  Studies support these results, and science can now explain why.

Tai Chi programs are being endorsed by Harvard Medical School, Cleveland Clinic, Mayo Clinic, Centers for Disease Control, Arthritis Foundation, Veterans Administration, and more.  Doctors are recommending it to their patients.  Why?  Tai Chi and Qigong can be considered a form of disease prevention, as they promote healing and strengthen the immune system, maximizing the body's natural ability to heal itself.

Sounds good, but wait a minute; what's Qigong?  You guessed it - another Chinese word.  Qigong ("chee gung") is an exercise system that can be considered the grandmother of Tai Chi.  The principles of Qigong were developed thousands of years ago to improve all aspects of health.  Eventually, these principles were used as the foundation of a martial art.  That's right, Tai Chi is a form of Qigong.

So what's the difference?  Tai Chi uses arm movements that have martial application, and it gets more serious about low body technique and control, which develops balance and stability.  Tai Chi classes often include Qigong for added benefit.  Both practices enhance the flow of chi, or life energy, in the body.

The practice of these energy arts can open a whole world of possibility for health, vitality, and peace of mind.  They can help us step into a new version of ourselves, greater than we may have dreamed possible.  If you are interested in creating balance in your body and in your life by learning these methods, contact me about classes:  Elaine Frey - 805-709-0512, ekfrey52@yahoo.com