62 F
English English Español Español
November 19, 2019
  • Home
  • News

About Town, Week of Aug. 19

Aug. 22, 2019:

Tarmo Hannula: I see this morning that Fat Boy Burger on Freedom Boulevard is still not open, despite a lot of recent work to get it ready.

I go to the Watsonville Certified Farmer’s Market each Friday. It’s a great way to cap my workweek, with all the activity going on: live music, flower vendors, folks I know, kids playing in the plaza, and the aroma of grilled corn, sizzling tacos and kettle corn in the air.

A motorist plowed into a utility pole on Soquel Avenue at Mentel Avenue at 11:30 p.m. Wednesday in Santa Cruz. The pole was shoved about 3 feet front its base. A PG&E worker said the pole carried a great deal of lines and hardware, meaning the replacement would spill far into Thursday. Santa Cruz Police funneled all traffic, one lane in each direction, onto the northbound lanes. The female driver suffered major injuries. The cause has not been released.

AT 8-22 car vs pole Soq Ave

A motorist plowed into a utility pole on Soquel Avenue at Mentel Avenue at 11:30 p.m. Wednesday. (Tarmo Hannula/The Pajaronian)


Two men are in custody and a cache of expensive stolen bikes are back in the owner’s hands following a dramatic smash-and-grab burglary early Thursday in Capitola. The incident began around 6 a.m. when the suspects broke a large windowpane at the front of Family Cycling Center on 41st Avenue in Capitola. An alert witness saw the commotion and called 911. When Sheriff’s deputies arrived moments later they spotted a U-HAUL van racing onto south Highway 1.

The men abandoned the van in Aptos and took off on foot.

Deputies and the CHP set up a perimeter near the Polo Grounds and caught the suspects within 90 minutes. About $30,000 worth of bikes were recovered and returned to the store.

AT 8-22 bike burg

A bike mechanic sets up a display outside the Family Cycling Center in Capitola Thursday where two suspects made off with several expensive bikes early. (Tarmo Hannula/The Pajaronian)

If you have a few minutes to poke around into Watsonville’s past through the Pajaronian online archives, head on over to Watsonville Library’s website.

• Go to

• When the page opens, click on the Watsonville Historical Newspaper Archive link

• Now the fun begins! You’ll see a box called Document Type, with a bunch of dates in groups going back to 1868 (for the Pajaronian) and 1864 for the Pajaro Times and Santa Cruz Times. You can click on any of these and that year appears. Click on the year and the string of the calendar months come up. Once you click on any day the paper appears you can scroll with the right arrow right through the paper, just like you would turn pages of a real paper.

Aug. 21, 2019:

Johanna Miller: It’s been a while since I’ve had time to write an entry for About Town. A lot has been going on here at The Pajaronian; we are finally settling in to our new space and getting used to all the changes.

School has started up again for South County schools. I live just a block from E.A. Hall Middle and Mintie White Elementary. We in the neighborhood definitely notice when things start up and get busy again. At The Pajaronian’s new offices in downtown Watsonville, I’ve spotted kids from Watsonville High School flooding into local restaurants during lunchtime. Best of luck in the new school year to students, parents, teachers and administrators.

I covered Pajaro Valley Pride on Sunday, which was held at the YWCA this year. Though I could only stay for the first half hour (my other job with Cabrillo Stage calling me away), it was a blast. In addition, county-wide organization Diversity Center of Santa Cruz was on hand. Their biggest fundraiser of the year—an annual gala —will be held in October, and they are currently looking for volunteers for the event. For information and to sign up visit


Families march together in the 2019 Pajaro Valley Pride March on Blackburn Street towards Riverside Drive Sunday. (Johanna Miller/The Pajaronian)

The Amazon rain forest is currently on fire. Surprisingly, I haven’t seen much coverage of this catastrophic event—which is attacking an incredibly important ecosystem that benefits the entire world.

The New York Times reported today that Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research has detected over 74,000 fires this year—an 84 percent increase from 2018.

About 4.5 million acres of the forest have burned so far. The Amazon is home to millions of species of plants and animals, as well as a million indigenous people.

There are numerous ecological and political issues surrounding these fires. Many blame Brazil’s government for clearing large areas of the forest for logging and farming ventures.

On the other side of the world this weekend, Iceland held a funeral for its first major glacier lost to climate change. A ceremony was held for Okjökull—a glacier that once covered almost 10 sq. miles of the country. About 100 people attended.

A bronze plaque was mounted onto a large boulder, reading: “Ok is the first Icelandic glacier to lose its status as a glacier. In the next 200 years all our glaciers are expected to follow the same path. This monument is to acknowledge that we know what is happening and what needs to be done. Only you know if we did it.”

Johanna’s quote of the day: “What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.” -Jane Goodall

Tarmo Hannula: Marini’s Candies in downtown Santa Cruz will close Sunday after more than 20 years of selling their own version of salt water taffies and caramel apples, on top of ice cream and other goodies, gifts and more. Their store is at 1308 Pacific Ave. Marini’s on the Santa Cruz Municipal Wharf, at the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk and Marini’s Westside, 332 Ingalls St., will remain open. My wife and I frequent the downtown store often for an after dinner treat. We’ve always enjoyed the friendly service and easy-going atmosphere. They offered indoor or outdoor seating so it was a nice spot to grab a dish of ice cream or caramel apple, settle in on their patio and watch the crowds filter past.

A man and a woman survived a plane crash in the waters off of Half Moon Bay Tuesday. Someone managed to catch the plane as it plunged into the sea on video, showing it skipping like a rock over the surface before being swallowed by the chilly Pacific. After the pair scrambled out of the plane and bobbed about in the water, the man managed to whip out a camera and video themselves in the water, according to KTVU news. At one point the video shows the woman standing on the wing of the plane as it sinks. The next footage shows them floating about asking if anyone will rescue them. Then they show themselves on video waving at a circling Coast Guard helicopter. The Coast Guard managed to pull them to safety, KTVU said. The plane was a Beechcraft Bonanza.

Aug. 20, 2019

Tarmo Hannula: I stopped by the new Clean Juice business in the Rancho Del Mar Center Monday and was lucky to meet the owner, Karen Brenner, as she was unpacking produce in the kitchen. Situated along the same bank of stores like Safeway, Rite Aid and Ace Hardware, the store is one of three in California and one of the 77 across the nation. Brenner said she is already doing business during a “soft open” to help her and her staff of about 20 shake out the wrinkles of getting the new place in order. Clean Juice will start up their regular hours Monday and stage a grand opening on Sept. 7

Their expansive menu includes fresh juices, cold pressed juices, smoothies, açaí bowls, greenoa bowls (greens and grains), juices cleanses, and small bites. Açaí is a Brazilian dish made of frozen and mashed açaí palm fruit. It is usually served as a smoothie in a bowl and is commonly topped with granola and banana, and then mixed with other fruits and guaraná syrup.

I was driving along Tuttle Avenue Monday and noticed a giant colorful circle painted on the driveway to a small home. Huge letters in the circle read: Our Hearts are Powerful, Truth. There was a giant sculpture of a rooster standing there as well.

AT 8-20 art house

The Pajaronian crew is slowly getting used to our new location downtown at 21 Brennan St. I’ve tried to explain the location to people around town and no one has the foggiest idea where it is. I say it’s across the street from the Watsonville Woman’s Club. “Where’s that?” almost everyone asks. So I tell them it’s near East Lake and Brennan. “Oh, so you’re next to the plaza.” So I have to correct them and say, “No, the other side of East Lake, where they say, “So, you’re by the YWCA. No, that’s Sudden Street. “Oh, I know. You’re in the same business strip where the Burrito in the Wall is.” No, that’s back on the other side of East Lake. One problem is this: we’re in one of the most nondescript buildings on the west coast. You can drive by it a million times and not notice it. There’s a bunch of businesses here with us: Hair We Are, Sullivan Vocational Services, Burgstrom/Kramer Inc., Clinica Santa Maria, Sofia Espinoza DDS, among others.

Aug. 19, 2019

Tarmo Hannula: I had my windshield wipers on for most of my drive around Santa Cruz Sunday afternoon. The streets, in part of the city, were wet from drizzle that could have passed as light rain. On West Cliff Drive I saw a lot of folks wearing sweatshirts and light jackets. I got to talking with a young man who was crawling out of the surf in his wetsuit. I asked him about the waves and he said “they were getting worse.” He told me his name was Kyle and that he was from New Jersey, out for the summer and staying at a relative’s home a short bike ride from West Cliff. Kyle said the ocean was a very different experience on the west coast and the water was warmer here. He told me he would be flying back to the east coast on Wednesday, that he had landed a few jobs here over the summer and was able to help his relatives with some household projects — and get in a lot of surfing. 

“That sounds like a rewarding summer to me,” I told him. 

“It’s been pretty amazing,” Kyle said. “I love this place, but I’ve got to go back to school.” 

The 4th annual Pajaro Valley Pride unfolded Sunday in Watsonville. Dozens of people met at the YWCA and then marched around the city before reconvening back at the grounds on East Beach St.

On Saturday 63 people were killed in Kabul, Afghanistan, when a suicide bomber, who claimed to be on an ISIS mission, detonated a bomb at a wedding. Around 200 people were also injured.

Cal Fire said that they have the 1300-acre Gaines Fire in Mariposa County about 75 percent contained. It’s burning off of Highway 49 between Merced and Sonora. The blaze erupted Friday.

I erroneously wrote last week that the annual Monterey Bay Dahlia Show was this past weekend. Wrong! It’s this coming weekend. That’s one of the hard things about this job, getting things wrong. It happens. I do admit I get solace when I pour through he New York Times, one of the world’s finest papers. Each week they have a corrections box, and it’s substantial. Names misspelled, wrong titles or places, incomplete recipes or misquotes — they’re all in there, at one time or another. I’m not alone. Do go to the show if dahlias interest you in the least. Here’s the correction:

The show runs Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Museum of Art and History, 705 Front St. in Santa Cruz. Events include:

  • Saturday: Arrangement Demos, 2 p.m. Basics of Growing Beautiful Dahlias, 3 p.m.
  • Sunday: Dahlia Judging Basics, 1 p.m.; Arrangement Demo, 2 p.m.; Basics of Growing Beautiful Dahlias, 3 p.m.

AT 8-19, dahlia

The annual Monterey Bay Dahlia Show runs Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Museum of Art and History, 705 Front St. in Santa Cruz. — Tarmo Hannula/The Pajaronian

For last week’s About Town go to


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here