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Watsonville
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August 19, 2022

On the move | About Town

Smoke. Ugh! These awful fires have been going on since Aug. 16. Now they have a grip on California, Oregon and Washington — the entire west coast. From what I understand, most of the smoke drifting over the Central Coast is from the Creek Fire east of Fresno in the Sequoias. I’m really concerned about the long term impact of this, not only on people and pets, but wildlife, the waterways, agriculture and the plant kingdom. Former Pajaronian news editor Jon Chown posted a photo of a beach near Marina and it was streaked with heavy black and brown rings of ash and soot that washed into the beach; that has to have negative overtones.

The CZU August Lighting Complex Fire in the Santa Cruz Mountains has burned 86,509 acres and is 89% contained, Cal Fire said. Compare that to the Creek Fire: 212, 744 acres and 10% contained.

I rode my bike around parts of Watsonville today and could smell traces of smoke. Sunlight and patches of blue sky eventually worked their way into the picture; a huge relief.

I noticed the Metro 91X Express bus between Santa Cruz and Watsonville is back up and running. If you don’t take the bus this means nothing, of course. But for some riders (including me), it’s a much welcomed service that was cut from the Metro schedule at the onset of the coronavirus outbreak. I took it today, along with my bike, from Watsonville to 41st Avenue and we were there in a breeze. It is a very efficient service.

There are now 760,381 cases of Covid-19 in Calif. The SF Bay Area has 94,614 cases while Santa Cruz County has 2,021 cases with 7 deaths. I’ve noticed some restaurants and cafes are now allowing about 25% indoor seating capacity in addition to the outdoor dining.

Tarmo Hannula
Tarmo Hannula has been the lead photographer with The Pajaronian newspaper in Watsonville since 1997. 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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