New stamps from the U.S. Post Office of famed singer Marvin Gaye and tap dancer Gregory Hines are being offered in recognition of Back History Month. —Tarmo Hannula/The Pajaronian

Tarmo Hannula: February is Black History Month. I’ve seen a few venues around town that honor this important page on the calendar. The main branch of the downtown Santa Cruz Public Library has a special display set up showcasing a bunch of related books, including “Black in America” by Eli Reed. Watsonville Public Library also has a display. I was glad to see a number of U.S. Post Office stamps made with images of important figures, like soul singer Marvin Gaye.

A gunman who went on an 18-hour rampage in Thailand killed 29 people, injured 58 others and was then gunned down and killed by police in a Foodland supermarket north of Bangkok. The 32-year-old man, Sgt. Jakkrapanth Thomma, opened fire Sunday in the city of Korat (population of 166,000) after he became enraged over a land dispute in which he felt he was owed money, Thai officials said. The shooting, the worst mass killing in Thai history, left the country stunned. A massive vigil followed where thousands of people sat on the ground holding lit candles.

Work continues on a major underground utilities project at the corner of Brennan Street at East Lake Ave. The work is part of the rebuilding of the former Union Bank to make way for a new Laundromat, Laundry Day.

A Coast Guard ship recently came home to its San Diego homeport lugging a record 14-ton load of seized cocaine from seafaring drug traffickers. The 28,000 pounds of illegal drugs was impounded during 19 interdictions by U.S. and Canadian forces near Central and South America, according to USCG public affairs. The street value of the drugs was estimated to be worth around $424 million.

“It takes a network to defeat a network,” Coast Guard Vice Adm. Charles Michel said at a news conference at Naval Base San Diego, where the cocaine was unloaded from the cutter Boutwell.

If you have an extra $15,000 lying around, you can get a luxury suite and VIP access to the ongoing annual AT&T Pebble Beach ProAm golf charity event.

The new Seacliff Skate Park officially opened Saturday at Seacliff Village Park, which is just off the State Park exit from Highway 1 in Aptos.

Quote of the day: What’s money? A man is a success if he gets up in the morning and goes to bed at night and in between does what he wants to do.” — Bob Dylan

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Tarmo Hannula has been the lead photographer with The Pajaronian newspaper in Watsonville since 1997. More recently Good Times & Press Banner. He also reports on a wide range of topics, including police, fire, environment, schools, the arts and events. A fifth generation Californian, Tarmo was born in the Mother Lode of the Sierra (Columbia) and has lived in Santa Cruz County since the late 1970s. He earned a BA from UC Santa Cruz and has traveled to 33 countries.


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