About Town, Week of April 29


May 3, 2019:

Tarmo Hannula: 

The second annual Mustangs on the Wharf car show will take place Sunday on the Santa Cruz Municipal Wharf from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. More than 100 of the Bay Area’s Ford Mustangs will be on display for free. The event benefits the O’Neill Sea Odyssey.

The Mustang was introduced in 1962 and has gone through a number of transformations, starting out as the “pony car,” to muscle car, mid-size, coupe, hatchback, fastback to convertible.

The monthly First Friday Art Tour runs today around downtown Santa Cruz, River Street, The Tannery and Soquel. About 40 galleries, studios, cafes, restaurants and businesses throw open their doors and showcase artwork in a casual, get-acquainted atmosphere between 5 and 9 p.m. For a full list of participating venues: firstfridaysantacruz.com.

The 41st annual Mother’s Day Weekend Plant Sale takes place May 10-12 at the Horticulture and Agricultural Tech Center at Cabrillo College in Aptos. The pre-sale is May 10, 3-7 p.m. and the regular sales are May 11, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. and May 12, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Speaking of Mother’s Day, Annieglass of Watsonville will feature their annual sale Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. at their retail store, 310 Harvest Dr. Huge discounts on prototypes, overstock and discontinued items will be on the menu on top of their regular wine and beer tasting.

Today I noticed a group of more than two-dozen workers from West Marine in Watsonville with shovels, hoes and rakes tearing out invasive, non-native weeds along Struve Slough. Daniel Casella, restoration specialist with Watsonville Wetlands Watch, said the group has been coming out on a quarterly basis to the slough over the past two years to conduct restoration work.

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A crew from West Marine takes time out of the regular work day to help clear non-native plans along Struve Slough alongside workers from Watsonville Wetlands Watch. — Tarmo Hannula/Register-Pajaronian 

I stopped by the Five Mile House in Corralitos on Freedom Boulevard at Corralitos Road Friday morning. There I ran into Carin Fortin who is heading up a new business that will go in the building. While she has not come up with a name yet, she the place will feature fresh herbs grown at her nearby Blossoms Farm. Fortin also will feature locally grown produce from various farms and she will make room for a café as well. She is aiming for a July opening.

Tensions were high at Camp Ross, a homeless camp on Highway 1 at River Street beside the Gateway Plaza, in Santa Cruz, Friday morning. City officials set a deadline to clear out of the site by 10 a.m. Friday. As 10 a.m. rolled past, only a handful of people at the camp were packing up their things. Numerous police officers and rangers were present. Around 8:30 a.m. an explosion erupted at the entrance to one tent, drawing a response from firefighters and the police. While no injuries were reported, an investigation was initiated.

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A man carries his belongings on his back as he departs Camp Ross Friday. — Tarmo Hannula/Register-Pajaronian

May 2, 2019:

Tarmo Hannula: 

I wandered into Martinelli’s Company Store on Harvest Drive today to check out their latest T-shirts and other goods. Right away I was greeted before the door swung shut by store manager Lyza Gianelli and another worker. Gianelli said they were gearing up for the influx of summer traffic. On top of a tasting bar for the wealth of Martinelli beverages, the store is a trove of goods that revolve around the legendary Martinelli label and its history (150 years of it), books and a selection of their beverages to take home. Look for the big red and white signs: Company Store.

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ABOVE; These T-shirt designs feature early-day label design from Martinelli's Gold Medal Cider.They are part of the display of goods at Martinelli's Company Store on Harvest Drive. (Tarmo Hannula/Register-Pajaronian)

I noticed on the news this morning that the City of Greenfield is installing 64 cameras around the city as en effort to help police put a lid on crime. The yearlong project has a price tag of $1 million.

I saw a documentary film Tuesday night in Santa Cruz about the local organization, Janus — the county’s largest drug and alcohol rehabilitation center with five locations around Santa Cruz County, including Watsonville. Following the film a panel from Janus took the stage and laid out their stories about their work and the huge role they play in dealing with addicts.

They spoke of the benefits of their recently formed union. Low wages was at the heart of the talk, some saying they make $12 an hour. One employee said that since she had a master’s degree she started out at $13 an hour. The crew from Janus had some blunt and direct words about their work dealing with some of the county's most extreme drug and alcohol addicts and the tremendous burden that hospitals, law and treatment centers deal with daily. 

The Monterey County Vintners & Growers Association is hosting the 27th Annual Monterey Winemakers Celebration on Saturday from noon to 4 p.m. in Carmel-by-the-Sea. Enjoy the wines and culinary from one of the world’s premier wine regions in downtown Carmel. It is the only wine event that features wines produced from all the wine growing regions in Monterey including Arroyo Seco, Carmel Valley, Chalone, Hames Valley, Monterey, San Antonio Valley, and Santa Lucia Highlands. Visit montereywines.org for information.

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ABOVE: Work continues on upgrading a water main on South Green Valley Road between Carey Avenue and the Home Depot Store. Traffic has been narrowed to one lane in each direction in the area. (Tarmo Hannula/Register-Pajaronian)

“Capitola Obscura: Little-known Facts About Capitola History,” is the current 2019 exhibit at the Capitola Historical Museum. Did you know that Capitola was once owned by one person?  Did you know that a locomotive that pulled trains through Capitola is now displayed in the Smithsonian? These are just a few of the twenty obscure and unusual facts featured in this year's exhibition. Each fact is explained through the use of historical artifacts and photographs from the museum's vast collection. The Museum is open Thursday through Sunday, noon to 4 p.m.  Admission is free, but donations are welcome. They are located at 410 Capitola Ave. For information, call 464-0322.

Also on the topic of Capitola, “A Companion To Capitola” is a newly released book designed to answer many commonly asked questions about Capitola history in the form of a quick reference guide. It includes people, events, places, natural features, public art, and other topics. Printed copies bound as a book with a color cover are available at the museum for a small donation. You can also download it as a pdf by contacting the museum.

May 1, 2019:

Tarmo Hannula: The commercial salmon season opened early Wednesday in the Monterey Bay and as far north as Pigeon Point. Reports stated that 26 boats headed out to sea in search of King Salmon. The sport salmon season opened April 15 and initial reports from them are that they were easily filling their limits.

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A man opened fire with a pistol at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte Tuesday evening on the last day of classes and a few days from graduation ceremonies. Two people were killed and four were injured. The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department said Trystan Terrell, 22, a former student, was taken into custody. As he was led into the police he was shown on TV responding to reporters questions by saying, “I shot the guy,” with smirk. Officials are crediting the rapid response by police for apprehending the suspect and stemming more bloodshed.

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A homeless camp caught fire early Monday behind the old Union Bank at the corner of East Lake Avenue and Brennan Street in Watsonville. No injuries were reported and Watsonville Fire got a quick tackle on the blaze that send up a large column of black smoke. The building is currently undergoing a big makeover to create a new Laundromat.

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ABOVE: A homeless camp caught fire early Monday behind the old Union Bank at the corner of East Lake Avenue and Brennan Street. (Tarmo Hannula/Register-Pajaronian)

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The shoulder of the southbound Pennsylvania Drive, between Winding Way and Clifford Avenue, has slowly been sagging into Struve Slough over recent months. Road crews have stationed caution markers in the area.

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(Photo by Tarmo Hannula/Register-Pajaronian)

I saw on the news this morning that Democrats and President Trump have agreed to spend $2 trillion on infrastructure but did not say how they would find the money.

I’ve noticed an interesting ad, several times now on TV Channel 8, encouraging people to visit “historic downtown Watsonville.” Several enticing scenes in the polished ad are chained together, including shots of El Alteño and Jalisco restaurants and Watsonville Plaza, as an over-voice entices the public to visit Watsonville and take in the bounty and beauty it has to offer. I think it’s well put together, concise and flattering for the city. I spoke will Shaz Roth, CEO of the Pajaro Valley Chamber of Commerce and Agriculture who told me the ad was the brainchild of the City of Watsonville and local business folks. I hope it leads people to Watsonville and exposes them to the richness of its past and present.

The monthly chamber mixer, put on the Pajaro Valley Chamber of Commerce and Agriculture, takes place Thursday at the Second Harvest Food Bank, 800 Ohlone Parkway, from 5-7 p.m. Don’t forget a handful of business cards. These events serve as an informal arena for local folks to mingle, share ideas and make connections in the business world. Refreshments and snacks will be served.

The 35th annual Mother’s Day Run/Walk for Shelter comes May 12 to Watsonville. The event, held at Ramsay Park, features a 1K Kids' Fun Run at 7:45 a.m., a 5K walk at 8 a.m., a 5K run at 8 a.m. and a 10K run at 8:45 a.m. The event brings together 700 runners, 100 businesses, and the City of Watsonville in support of Pajaro Valley Shelter Services. For information, visit pvshelter.org or call 728-5649.

Quote of the day: “The mind is everything. What you think you become.” — Buddha.

April 30, 2019:

Tarmo Hannula: The 16th annual Day on the Farm is on May 11 at the Santa Cruz County Fairgrounds, under the umbrella of the Agricultural History Project. The free, family-oriented event from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. gives visitors a taste of early day life on the farm, including butter and ice cream making, a petting zoo, rope making, hay wagon rides, crafts, games, and more. One star attraction is a modified tractor that allows a child (accompanied by an adult and an AHP docent) to actually steer a tractor around a course. The fairgrounds’ model railroad exhibit and the Monterey Bay Rose Society’s rose garden will also be open to visitors. Plenty of free parking is available. $2 donations are accepted.

The 30th annual Cinco de Mayo celebration takes place on Main Street and at the Plaza in downtown Watsonville Sunday. Hosted as usual by Fiestas Patrias de Watsonville, the free event includes live music, food stands, information booths, Folklorico dance performances, mariachi music, community services tables and more. A section of Main Street is typically closed off to motor traffic to make room for the festive gathering. It runs from 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. On the music chart will be Martin Castillo, mar-K, Los Tremendos Sepulureros, Rocio and others, said organizer Oscar Rios.

The celebration commemorates the Battle of Puebla, in which a 4,500-member Mexican army of men, women and children defeated better-equipped French troops on May 5, 1862. Though heavily outnumbered, the Mexicans defeated an army that had gone undefeated for almost 50 years, according to program notes by Fiestas Patrias de Watsonville.

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ABOVE: Live music was just part of the fun during a previous Cinco de Mayo celebration in downtown Watsonville. The event takes place again Sunday at Main and East beach streets. (Tarmo Hannula/Register-Pajaronian file)

My wife Sarah and I went down to Capitola Village the other evening to enjoy a hot chocolate at the long-standing Mr. Toots Coffeehouse. Parking is almost always an issue when we head into the village. But being a cold and wind-swept evening, the crowds were not there. We parked at one of the numbered spots and visited the nearby kiosk to pay for parking. I have bad luck with these machines. From not accepting cash to not reading my card to simply not working at all; it’s happened to me countless times. But Sarah was determined. She swiped a credit card. There were at least seven buttons to push. Lights flashed. None of the buttons worked. Nothing made sense. There were umpteen blurbs of instructions. It couldn’t read out the card. We got the card out again and swiped it again. Nothing. More lights. It felt like we were standing in front of a slot machine in Vegas. We pushed every button eight times. Nothing. Card Invalid. What ever happened to the meters where you put in a bunch of coins and it gave you a half-hour, an hour? Then the modern machine asked us if we wanted to download an app, which would mean a password, passcode and a user name — which I would forget by the time I walked around the corner. Then all of a sudden it worked, for no explainable reason. It took eight minutes, just to park. We weren’t applying for a visa here, we just wanted to park.

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ABOVE: Machines like this are situated around Capitola Village where visitors can pay to park. (Tarmo Hannula/Register-Pajaronian)

QUOTE OF THE DAY: "It is often in the darkest skies that we see the brightest stars." - Richard Paul Evans

April 29, 2019:

Tarmo Hannula: On Saturday night my wife Sarah and I went to the Red Room in downtown Santa Cruz for dinner. Their cozy lounge setting and low lighting we find relaxing and different. We shared sliders (three small hamburgers and fries) and Sarah enjoyed a bourbon regime cocktail and I had an iced ginger ale. Perfect, and not very expensive for a dinner on the town.

They have a fireplace that faces out into two separate rooms with sofas and comfortable chairs surrounding it, as well as a generous stone ledge at the fire’s edge so you can sit right up close to the fire if you need to warm up. We noticed two couples had taken these spots — what we consider the best seats in the house. It was unusual to notice how one of the women sat warming her back at the fire’s edge while fully hypnotized by her cell phone. She seemed totally oblivious to her company, lost in some tech daydream of anywhere but with her friends and family in the present.

This went on for 45 minutes, her face paralyzed by the glow of her phone. Not once did I notice her turn and take in the radiant beauty of the flames, the warmth and the intrigue of the setting she had planted herself in: She was miles away. I’m not talking about a high school student, she looked to be close to 50. It makes me wonder if people will eventually be texting one another across the table from each other and conversation will become a thing of the past.

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ABOVE: A third branch of the popular Mexican food restaurant, Tacos Moreno, will soon open along the Esplanade in Capitola Village. (Tarmo Hannula/Register-Pajaronian)

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A 60 year-old woman, Lori Kaye, was killed and several people were injured just north of San Diego by a gunman who authorities believe was on a hateful mission with a gun at the Chabad of Poway, a Jewish synagogue. One of the strong building blocks of this country is freedom of religion. It’s pure and simple: People can worship, or not worship, pray, and congregate, as they see fit. Period. That shooting on Saturday comes less than a week after a motorist plowed his car into a group of people in San Jose, authorities said, because he thought they were Muslims. Terrible.

The annual Human Race comes to Santa Cruz May 11. The community-oriented event is designed to raise funds for a wealth of community help groups like CASA, Literacy Program, NAMI Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Balance4kids and Youth N.O.W. For info visit humanracesc.org.

Fire swept through several rooms at the Surf City Inn and Suites early Saturday in the Beach Flats area of Santa Cruz. The fire broke out on the second floor around 4:20 a.m. on the 600 block of Riverside Avenue. No injuries were reported. About 45 guests at the Inn were rerouted, many in their bedclothes, to other rooms at the sprawling business before sunrise. Black smoke residue was on the walls outside several rooms on the second floor. Some rooms at the Inn have remained open.

After I covered that fire, around 6 a.m. I drove a short distance to 7th Avenue in Live Oak because I heard on my police radio that a market was being flooded by a broken water main. Indeed, water was gushing up through the roadway and sending a river down 7th to the beach. A huge pool was forming outside of Deke’s Market & Deli on the 300 block.

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The annual Great San Juan Bautista Rib Cook-off runs Friday through Sunday in downtown San Juan Bautista. Ribs, entertainment and arts and crafts will fill the event, which takes place Friday, 11 a.m-7 p.m., Saturday, 10 a.m.-7 p.m., and Sunday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

To view last week's About Town go to https://register-pajaronian.com/article/about-town-week-of-april-22.

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