About Town, Week of June 17

June 21, 2019:

Johanna Miller: Today is the summer solstice, the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere. In some areas of the world closest to the north pole, sunlight will last the majority of the day, resulting in what is known as the “Midnight Sun.” In England visitors and modern-day druids from all over the world arrived at the ancient stone circle known as Stonehenge this morning to watch the sunrise in a spiritual tradition dating back thousands of years.

This Sunday the Santa Cruz Cider Company will host its Open Orchard Tour at Luz Del Valle orchard, 1875 Hames Rd. in Aptos. The free event will include a self-guided tour of the property, cider tasting and a bottle shop, lawn games and more. It benefits Agri-Culture, an organization supporting local agriculture programs and scholarships. I recently wrote a story about the company, which will be opening a new production facility and tasting room in Watsonville later this summer: register-pajaronian.com/article/all-about-apples.

AT cider event

Santa Cruz Cider Co. owner and Cidermaker Nicole Todd shows off an old-fashioned apple press at Luz Del Valle Orchard recently. (Johanna Miller/Register-Pajaronian)

On Monday at 6 p.m. a special film screening will be held at the City of Watsonville Community Room. “Straws,” narrated by Academy Award-winning actor Tim Robbins, looks at our culture’s obsession with single-use conveniences while marine researchers, activists and business owners discuss sustainable alternatives to plastic. Footage was shot locally at places such as the Monterey Bay Aquarium and The Haute Enchilada Cafe. Jackie Nunez, founder of The Last Plastic Straw and Watsonville Nature Center’s Michelle Templeton will be on hand. For information and sponsorship information contact Felipe Hernandez at 707-4392.

A news headline caught my eye this afternoon: “Google Chrome has become surveillance software.” The article by Washington Post columnist Geoffrey A Fowler revealed that in a single week, the popular web browser brings in more than 11,000 “cookies,” which track your web searches and build profiles of your interests, personality and income. This is a huge amount compared to a browser like Firefox—which offers ways to block the tracking. You can read the full article at mercurynews.com.

The Medicine Buddha Festival & Cultural Fair returns to Soquel tomorrow. Hosted by the Land of Medicine Buddha, the free event includes music and dance performances, a traditional Thangka procession, unique gifts, food and more. Organizers ask guests to park at Main Street Elementary School in Soquel and take the event shuttle. For information visit https://landofmedicinebuddha.org/.


(Johanna Miller/Register-Pajaronian file)

Johanna's quote of the Day: “The greatest danger to our future is apathy.” — Jane Goodall

June 20, 2019:

Tarmo Hannula: 

A Sacramento police officer was shot and killed in a lengthy shootout with a gunman late Wednesday night. Tara O’Sullivan, 26, was rushed to a hospital with gunshot wounds but later died. Police initially responded to a home to help a woman extract her belongings when a man showed up. Police reported multiple shots fired from within the house. Gunfire was then heard for hours as police took up position around the home. The suspect was eventually taken into custody. O’Sullivan graduated from the police academy in December and was a few weeks away from going out on her own.

A Castroville man has pleaded no contest to two felony charges of making false bomb threats over the past several years to at least two buildings in Monterey County. Twenty-nine-year-old Ruben Torres now awaits sentencing by Superior Court Judge Mark Hood on July 23 for allegedly making fake tips regarding bombs being placed at North Monterey County High School and the Salinas County Courthouse.

As many as 300,000 people in the U.S. get Lyme disease each year. Officials warn that warmer days mean a greater number of ticks, which cause the disease, especially in tall grass.

A man was shot in an alleged home-invasion type robbery in the Seacliff area of Aptos early Thursday. The Sheriff’s Office said the man was shot multiple times by a female resident after he entered her home on the 500 block of Cedar Street. The man was taken to the hospital and, officials said, he is expected to live.


(Photo by Tarmo Hannula/Register-Pajaronian)

Tensions are ramping up in an ongoing drama between the U.S. and Iran after Iran reportedly shot down a U.S. unmanned, unarmed drone airplane with a surface to air missile over the Straight of Hormuz. Iran claims the drone was flying in Iranian airspace, while the U.S. claims it was in international airspace. The incident marks the second such attack on U.S. drones, the first coming weeks ago after Japanese and Norwegian oil tankers were bombed in the Gulf of Oman, a corridor that is used to carry a third of the world’s oil. The aircraft that was shot down costs about $120 million.

The annual Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music takes place July 28-Aug. 11 at the Civic Auditorium in Santa Cruz. For tickets call 420-5260 or visit cabrillomusic.org.
Also, the annual Carmel Bach Festival runs July 13-27. Highlights this season include Bach’s "Christmas Oratorio" and Haydn’s “Creation." For tickets call 624-1521 or visit BachFestival.org. 

The AAA has said gas prices will bump up 5.6 cents in July.

The Capitola Twilight Concerts are under way. Held in the Esplanade Park Bandstand, the free events run every Wednesday from June through August. Visitors can take up seating on the lawn, benches and seawall. For information visit capitolavillage.org.

The U.S. team marched ahead of Sweden 2-0 today in the FIFA Women’s World Cup France 2019 to clinch Women’s World Cup Group F.

North Monterey County Fire stands the chance of losing five firefighters by the end of June due to decreased property taxes. Officials are trying to put an emergency property tax in motion.

The summer solstice arrives at 8:45 a.m. Friday. The summer solstice, also known as midsummer, takes place when one of the Earth's poles has its maximum tilt toward the sun. This happens two times a year, once in each hemisphere (northern and southern), according to Wikipedia.

The California Highway Patrol is investigating five Bay Area freeway shootings in a four-day block. Two people have reportedly died in the unrelated events. The shootings took place on Highway 680, near the King Street Exit in San Jose, Highway 85 and Highway 17 in Los Gatos. On Saturday, a man died after being shot on Interstate 80 near the 505 split in Vacaville, and two people were shot on Sunday night, in the Caldecott Tunnel in Oakland. Since 2015 the CHP has investigated 190 Bay Area freeway shootings.

Hundreds of homeless people were provided a wealth of free services Wednesday during Project Homeless Connect Santa Cruz County.

Held at the Portuguese Hall in Harvey West Park, the event is designed to corral services offered by scores of agencies — from haircuts and dental work, to vision care, veterinary care and bike repair — all in one location in a one-day shot.


(Photo by Tarmo Hannula/Register-Pajaronian)

In its 10th year, Wednesday marked the largest gathering of agencies offering goods and services — 69.

June 18, 2019:

Tarmo Hannula: 

The body of a 15-year-old San Lorenzo Valley High School boy was found Monday, one day after his parents reported him missing. Jack DeBord’s family said he was last seen at their Scotts Valley home Sunday morning. Jack was supposed to take the bus to the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk where he had a summer job. He reportedly did not get on the No. 35 Metro bus. Neighborhood surveillance video showed the Jack walking down a steep hill Sunday morning in Scotts Valley. It was the last time the boy was spotted alive. The Sheriff’s Office said that it did not appear that foul play was involved and that the death was still under investigation.

A group of previous reporters for the Register-Pajaronian dropped by the paper this morning to check out their former workplace. We welcomed them into our conference room for an upbeat walk down memory lane as they shared their recollections of stories of the day, typing stories on upright typewriters and covering umpteen issues every day when the RP was printed in town and delivered to the front lawns around town six days a week. It meant a lot to us to be around this lively group and hear of the RP of days past. In keeping with their journey down memory lane, they left the RP and headed to Taylor’s Hot Dogs and then planned to visit the Martinelli Company Store. They were Ken McLaughlin, Ann Cony, Heidi Van Zant, and Dan Young.


(Photo by Tarmo Hannula/Register-Pajaronian)

A pair of earthquakes in southwestern China killed at least 12 people and injured 134 others. As many as 73 homes were reported to have collapsed. The first quake struck Monday night at a magnitude of 5.9 magnitude, and was followed by a second quake of 5.2. The U.S. Geological Survey said both quakes were at a depth of about six mile off the coast of the city of Yibin.

Meanwhile, a magnitude 6.8 earthquake struck off northwestern Japan on Tuesday night, 30 miles southwest of Sakata. The quake triggered a two-hour tsunami warning for three prefectures in Japan. The Japan Meteorological Agency said Sakata is about 200 miles north of Tokyo.

President Trump is maintaining his tendency of embarrassing misspellings. This time he referred to the "Prince of Whales." It should be Wales — as in the country, not the animal. Recently he trashed the mayor of London’s name with this blunder on Twitter: “Kahn reminds me very much of our dumb and incompetent Mayor of NYC, de Blasio, who has also done a terrible job — only half his height,” Trump said. It’s spelled Khan. And right before that he spelled for vice president Joe Biden as Bidan. Trump even once misspelled his wife’s name.

Quote of the day: “Success is walking from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.” — Winston Churchill.

June 17, 2019:

Tarmo Hannula: A male pedestrian was struck by a car and killed on Salinas Road late Saturday night. The CHP said 26-year-old Ricardo Manzo was driving a Honda sedan when he hit the victim at 10:20 a.m. north of Elkhorn Road. Manzo was arrested a short time later at his Moss Landing home.

UC Santa Cruz sent its graduates packing over the weekend. The 2019 undergraduate tuition and fees of UC Santa Cruz are $13,960 for California residents and $42,952 for out of state students. More than 120,000 now call themselves Banana Slug Alumni!

A new California law has banned the use of lead in firearm ammunition for environmental issues regarding lead, and its accompanying toxins.

A trailer became unhitched from its truck on San Juan Road near Murphy Road around 6:20 a.m. Monday causing major traffic blockage.

AT 6-17 tractor

ABOVE: A tractor operator grooms the soil of a Brussels sprouts field along San Andreas Road. (Tarmo Hannula/Register-Pajaronian)

Gary Woodland claimed his first championship tournament Sunday at the U.S. Open in Pebble Beach. He was 13 under par.

In the Women’s World Cup France soccer matches the U.S. topped Chile, 3-0 over the weekend. Today China and Spain tied and Germany won over South Africa, 4-0. France beat Nigeria 1-0 and Norway closed the door on Korea Republic 2-1.

A man reportedly shot and killed his wife and then himself Sunday evening in an upscale home on the 500 block of Cuesta Drive in Rio Del Mar. On Monday a team from the Sheriff’s Office were on hand with their ongoing investigation. Robert Mann, 56 reportedly killed his wife, Janell, 45.

AT 6-17 murd-suicide

ABOVE: A forensics crewfrom the Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Office gather evidence from a home on the 500 block of Cuesta Drive in Rio Del Mar Monday where a man reportedly shot and killed his wife and then himself Sunday evening. (Tarmo Hannula/Register-Pajaronian)

Quote of the Day: “There are far, far better things ahead than any we leave behind.” –C.S. Lewis

For last week's About Town go to https://register-pajaronian.com/article/about-town-week-of-june-10.


Video News
More In Local News