“By illuminating the party’s incredible tragedy through the sorrowful eyes of a young girl, Herman shines a bright, ominous light that will never go out. An evenhanded, informative account of an American catastrophe.” -Kirkus Reviews. Read full review.
“This book could be of great significance if placed in classrooms throughout California as part of the social studies curriculum. I highly recommend this book to all ages alike…” (five stars). -San Francisco Book Review.Read full review.
“… should be required reading for California students. It’s going on my child’s summer reading list.” -Heidi Komlofske-Rojek, President & CEO, City Book Review.
Spotlight: When Mr. Mercer vanquished the pros
by By Nathan Beck
01.12.12 - 11:11 am
One of the most storied basketball games in Santa Cruz County
history was played by the faculty of San Lorenzo Valley High
In March of 1973, the Oakland Raiders NFL football team
grouped a few of their football players with basketball
backgrounds together and headed to Felton to teach the SLV
High School faculty a thing or two about genetic dispositions in
a “Raiders versus the Faculty” fund raiser.
Led by Raider greats Art Shell, Kenny Stabler and Fred
Biletnikoff, the school’s faculty was obviously over matched by
the future Hall of Fame football players.
Biletnikoff had been a first-team all-state basketball player in
Pennsylvania his senior year in high school, and Stabler averaged 29 points a game
throughout his high school career. The likes of 5-foot, 10-inch San Lorenzo Valley High
basketball coach Dave Mercer, posted little threat to the foreboding Raiders as they
headed into the game.
The game was to go down as one for the history books.
Mercer single-handedly shredded the Raiders. He scored 60 points and sank two
game-winning free throws in the last 10 seconds to beat the fearsome Raiders 93-91
before a standing-room-only crowd at the SLV High School gym in Felton.
Mercer was nearly flawless in the game, going 22-23 at the free throw line and sinking
19-23 of his shots from the field.
“That was one of those days for me where everything just went right,” Mercer said.
“Biletnikoff was in fits by the end of the game and I was loving every minute of it.”
The rivalry deepened the following night as the Raiders then played an All-County All-Star
team put together for a game at the Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium where Mercer was trash
talked by the Hall-of-Fame wide receiver all game. At one point Mercer stole a pass from
Biletnikoff and took it down for a lay-up and poked “Nice pass Freddy” as he jogged back
down the court.
The following year the Raiders got redemption. Though Mercer put up 33 points in a
rematch in SLV, but the faculty lost and the Raiders had their revenge.
Mercer said a Bay Area reporter once asked a Raiders player late in the season his
approach to the last four big games. “We’ve got five,” the player corrected. “We’ve got
another one in Felton.”
Mercer moved with his family to Watsonville from Michigan when he was 12 years old, and
he starred in football, basketball and baseball at Watsonville High. He attended San Jose
State on a football scholarship as a wide receiver and kick returner where he set a
nefarious record for the most fair catches in a game in a 24- 0 victory over Cal in 1966,
he caught eight.
While he was earning his teaching credential, he coached the junior varsity football team
at newly formed Aptos High School, where he coached the team to a 1-8-1 season.
“The Varsity team went 0-10, the freshman team went 0-10 so I coached the very first
victory that Aptos High had ever achieved,” Mercer said. “I love pointing that out to
After earning his credential he began a long and successful career coaching at San
Lorenzo Valley High School where he coached varsity basketball for nine years and the
junior varsity football team from 1970-1996.
He was the varsity basketball coach when the Raiders came to town in 1973.
He moved up to the varsity level when his son Mark was a senior in 1996 and served as
offensive coordinator under Head Coach Doug Morris. That year was the beginning of a 7
year streak where the Cougars won the Santa Cruz Coast Athletic League title seven
years in a row.
Mercer recently moved back to the junior varsity level to coach with his son Mark, and last
season surpassed his 200th career victory as a coach.
His three sons are all involved in education. His oldest, Brian is a school principal in Los
Angeles County, Mark is a physical education teacher at SLV Middle School and Jeff
teaches elementary school in Cupertino.
Mercer and his wife Chris live in the house they bought in 1973 in Ben Lomond and are
actively spending their retirement on home improvements.
Dave suffered his second mild heart attack a few weeks ago and is recovering from a
valve transplant and a single bypass surgery
© pressbanner.com 2012
Amy Newell is appointed Director of the Pajaro Valley Water Management Agency.
Yeah and congrats to Amy Newell!!!
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 26, 2013
PVWMA BOARD WELCOMES NEW DIRECTOR
Watsonville, CA - The Pajaro Valley Water Management Agency (PVWMA) went looking for a director to represent District C, the city of Watsonville, and quite happily found Amy Newell. Newell’s appointment was unanimously approved at the February 20, 2013 meeting to fill the remaining term of director Dennis Osmer.
Newell graduated from Watsonville High School and holds degrees from Stanford University and the London School of Economics. As the daughter of two active trade union parents, it was no surprise that she followed them into the labor movement. She spent twenty-two years working for the United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America (UE) in various capacities in many different parts of the United States. Newell eventually was elected to the position of General Secretary-Treasurer and served nine terms of office before retiring from UE in 1994.
Aging parents brought Newell back to the Pajaro Valley in 1995. Since then she has served as the business agent of the Monterey Bay Central Labor Council, as a national organizer for U. S. Labor Against the War in Iraq, and as an organizer for the University Professional and Technical Employees at the University of California, Santa Cruz.
Retiring for good in 2010 Newell turned her seemingly unlimited energy to volunteering locally. She has served on the board of Action Pajaro Valley, as a volunteer with Children’s Hospice, as a state park docent, and most recently as a member of the PVWMA Ad Hoc Basin Management Plan (BMP) Committee. It was her work with the BMP Committee that heightened her awareness of water challenges in the Pajaro Valley Basin and led to a desire to join the PVWMA Board when Osmer’s resignation created a vacancy. Newell will take her seat during the March 20, 2013 board of directors meeting.
The PVWMA is a public agency whose mission is to protect and preserve the water resources within the agency’s jurisdiction, generally the greater coastal Pajaro Valley.
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Jim Lopes' daughter, Jane, just won a Young Sommeliers Competition in Carmel, CA. She won an outstanding trip and is the toast of NYC. Congratulations !
Jane Lopes- First female sommelier to win this presitgious award! Congratulations Jane and to your proud Dad Jim.