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September 25, 2023

About Town, Week of March 11

Wednesday, March 13:

Tarmo Hannula: On Rio Del Mar Boulevard this morning I spotted a sign that read “Rough Road” and in seconds I plowed over a section of big bumps on the road, like some kind of tree roots coming up through the pavement. I don’t know road construction from tennis, but it makes me ask why some crew does not come out and repair this mess.

I was out at the fairgrounds this morning to cover the annual National Agriculture Day in Watsonville. The poster, by sixth grade Santa Cruz Montessori School student Luna Caddes, earned first place.


This poster, by sixth grade Santa Cruz Montessori School student Luna Caddes, earned first place in the annual National Agriculture Day celebrated at the fairgrounds in Watsonville. (Photo by Tarmo Hannula/Pajaronian)

Work continues by Granite Construction on a major curb, sidewalk and gutter upgrade along a section of the heavily travelled Airport Boulevard. Road cones and warning signs are out there so be careful.

Granite Construction workers continue work on a major curb, sidewalk and gutter project on Airport Boulevard Wednesday. (Photo by Tarmo Hannula/Pajaronian)

Now I hear that the Beer Mule has opened at 45 Aviation Way.


Tuesday, March 12

Johanna Miller: This weekend I was in Las Vegas, enjoying the sights and sounds as well as taking a road trip out to the Nevada desert and Valley of Fire State Park. It was a great time; I will be writing a travel story about it very soon.

It is always strange to come home after a vacation — whether it’s just a weekend or two long weeks. Everything feels the same but different.

That feeling, I’ve come to realize, comes from having experienced something new. Traveling does that to you. After being in a new place and meeting people from different places, your perception of yourself and where you’re from changes.

When I travel, I’m always sure to tell people I’m from Watsonville — not Santa Cruz, not “the Central Coast.” I want them to know about our little town. Most people, especially when you go out of state, don’t know about it. But occasionally I’m surprised.

I met someone at the Ellis Island Casino & Brewery in Las Vegas who just happened to be from the Bay Area. He actually knew about Watsonville, and I was familiar with the area of Oakland he had lived in. We spoke at length, him mainly talking about how he recently moved to Vegas and was adjusting slowly to a completely new environment.

This morning I was busy on my first day back to work since Thursday afternoon. I started my morning at Ramsay Park, where the California Conservation Corps were busy planting trees alongside Main Street in front of the soccer field. The tree planting is in celebration of Arbor Week, as part of the Watsonville Urban Forest Revitalization.

You can read more about the project here: pajaronian.com/article/watsonville-plants-trees-to-celebrate-arbor-week


ABOVE: Members of the California Conservation Corps were hard at work planting trees along Main Street at Ramsay Park on Tuesday morning. (Johanna Miller/Pajaronian)

I also stopped by the Henry J. Mello Center for the Santa Cruz Symphony’s Outreach Concert. The concert brought students from the Pajaro Valley Unified School District to enjoy and learn about classical music. Some even joined in, playing pieces on their recorders along with the symphony.

Omari Tau from Sacramento was on hand to lead the event, engaging the children and teaching them about how music works and is played. Members of the Cabrillo Symphonic Chorus, led by Cheryl Anderson, also joined in.

This week I will be typing up a longer story about the Outreach Concert. Look for it online and in print on Friday.

On my way home from the San Jose Airport late last night, a Sheriff’s patrol car sped onto the highway in front of us from the Soquel Avenue exit. We slowed down, and it was a good move because soon another patrol vehicle was coming up behind us. And then another. And another.

About six patrol cars zoomed past us, heading north on Highway 1. In my entire life I’ve never seen law enforcement officers going so fast. They must’ve been responding to something very serious, or at least something that had the possibility of being so.

It was surprising how other drivers reacted on the highway. Sometimes I’m floored with how idiotic and distracted some drivers can be when emergency vehicles are coming up behind them. I’ve seen people not move over or slow down. I’ve even seen people cut off ambulances as they tried to get around the slow-moving (and law-abiding) drivers in the right lane.

But last night drivers who were on Highway 1 at around 11:15 p.m. were smart. In fact, everyone was going slow for miles — until around the San Andreas Road exit. I think we were all anticipating coming up on some sort of wreck at some point, or more patrol cars suddenly appearing from behind.

None did, though. In fact, the highway remained clear all the rest of the way to Watsonville. I’m assuming that since they were mainly from the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s, the incident occurred in a rural location.

So far I have not been able to find out what happened. If anyone has any information please let us know.

Monday, March 11:

Tarmo Hannula: My wife Sarah and I had a gathering around our fireplace Sunday. Our friends Dobie and Ann Jenkins, who moved from Watsonville to Santa Cruz to the Walnut Commons in downtown Santa Cruz, joined us along with our friends Andy and April, who live around the corner, Jan from across the street and our long-time friend Ron from Morgan Hill.

I stopped by Pleasure Point this morning in Capitola. It’s a popular surfing spot and a place to park the car and get in a good walk along East Cliff Drive.

I noticed a man with an amazing tattoo. Kengo Tamura said he got the tattoo, which wrapped all the way across his back, in Japan. He was getting ready to head out into the surf. I also spoke with a man, who is approaching 65, as he got ready to go surfing. He told me surfing has saved his life, that it gave him vitality, strength and energy.


Kengo Tamura shows his tattoo before he heads out for a day of surfing at Pleasure Point. (Photo by Tarmo Hannula/Pajaronian)

Though I find them very expensive, now and again I stop by Gayle’s Bakery and Rosticerria in Capitola. Today they had Saint Patrick’s Day green cookies, among other things.

I drove along San Andreas Road this morning and noticed vast lands of dormant strawberry fields of early starter plants. The land seemed really soggy.

I noticed an unusual sign this morning in Aptos, “Stay Off Fence.” OK, whatever?


A sign in Aptos, “Stay Off Fence,” is posted on a fence. (Photo by Tarmo Hannula/Pajaronian)

If you didn’t remember, like me, we were supposed to set our clocks an hour ahead Sunday morning. I really don’t care for this behavior. I see there is language in the news about changing it altogether.


For last week’s About Town installment, visit pajaronian.com/article/about-town-week-of-march-4

Staff Report
A staff member wrote, edited or posted this article, which may include information provided by one or more third parties.


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