A stand-up paddle boarder heads out of the Santa Cruz Harbor from Kayak Connection. —Tarmo Hannula/The Pajaronian

I rode my bike through the Santa Cruz Harbor today and saw a man and a woman heading out into the waters on stand-up paddleboards after renting them at the long-standing Kayak Connection, which is located in the harbor. Stand-up paddleboards are really popular in that they offer folks a chance to get out on the water in a relaxed and easy manner, without the expense and maintenance of a boat or the physical challenge of surfing. I even see some people out there on their boards in street clothes. The board is big and broad and evidently offers a comfortable and stable platform for folks to pick around the placid waters of the harbor.

I was riding my bike on the Watsonville Slough Trail by Kearney Street Monday when I got a flat tire. With temperatures in the upper 80s and a bulky camera bag in my basket, it proved to be a hefty task getting my bike to the repair place. Fortunately, Watsonville Cyclery was open on East Fifth Street, a half a block from the Pajaronian office. The friendly clerk there gladly took in my bike and told me to come back in an hour. It worked out perfectly. With a hint of amusement, the repair guy told me my flat was a first in his book: it was caused by a woman’s earring.

SInce the new Grace Harbor women’s shelter on Brennan Street is a block away from our office I stop by regularly to check in on the progress of the huge remodel. Crews have largely re-designed the front of the older building, taken out all the glass and are starting in on new paint, among other things.

The new sign for the Staff of Life natural food store in the East Lake Village Shopping Center has recently been hung. The officials there say they are aiming for opening in early 2021. The store is in the stages of a major rebuild of the former SuperMax, in the same center shared with other businesses like Coffeeville, Ace Hardware, Carmona’s BBQ, Sushi Qu, Fruition Brewery, Hong Kong Garden II and Chile’s Pizza.

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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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