About Town, Week of May 6

May 9, 2019:

Tarmo Hannula: The California Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve has just been awarded $1 million to restore approximately 30 acres of tidal wetlands in Elkhorn Slough near Moss Landing, and to establish perennial grassland on five acres adjacent to the restored tidal wetlands. The project is Phase II of a larger plan to restore at least 100 acres of tidal marshes in Elkhorn Slough and the adjoining 35 acres of existing buffer areas to perennial grassland.

The money stems from more than $20 Million in grants from the Interior Secretary supporting coastal wetlands conservation, recreation and communities.

Construction is going skyward on a new hotel at the corner of Lee Road and Beach Street, the former site of the Idalex aluminum plant. Plans call for a Hampton Inn Suites hotel, an Arco AM/PM gas station, a Starbuck’s coffee shop and two other unnamed stores.


Two early morning crashes kept emergency crews busy in the Pajaro Valley. One involved two pickup trucks that collided on Werner Road at Salinas Road in Las Lomas about 6:15 a.m. Moments later 911 dispatchers got a call about a silver sedan that ended up on its roof on Hecker Pass Road (Hwy. 152) near Red Hawk Place, west of the summit. The car ended up blocking the eastbound lane. Initial reports were that the driver remained in the car as crews responded.

I read that a 91-year old woman chose to celebrate her birthday with a tandem skydive in Hawaii. While strapped to an expert skydiver, the pair hopped out of an airplane at 10,000 feet. They made a safe landing moments later. I read that she’s been celebrating her birthday that way for several years.

Early reports claim that the commercial salmon season, which recently opened, is going well. Fisherman at the Santa Cruz Harbor are saying that even though some of the fish are a bit smaller this year, numbers are huge.


ABOVE: Brian Smith shows two freshly caught king salmon at H&H Fresh Fish, 493 Lake Ave., in the Santa Cruz Harbor. (Tarmo Hannula/Register-Pajaronian)

I swung by the Watsonville Municipal Airport Thursday morning and saw about 20 vehicles, from big rig dump trucks to asphalt grinders to sweepers and land movers scattered around the grounds. The work, which got under way early Thursday is to resurface two runways.

May 8, 2019:

Tarmo Hannula: Uber and Lyft, ride service companies similar to taxis, will go on strike today for 12 hours starting at noon. Their mission: higher wages. Drivers claim their wages have been cut. Uber is estimated to have 110 million worldwide users. The transportation service businesses operate from a smart phone app that connects drivers to passengers.

The New York Times, on its front page today, revealed that Donald Trump lost around $1.17 billion over a decade, starting in 1986.

Work moves ahead on the 87 homes of Pacific Sunshine on Santa Victoria Lane at Lighthouse Drive in Watsonville. Perched on the edge of Struve Slough and behind Ramsay Park.

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The Pacific Sunshine housing project on Santa Victoria Lane at Lighthouse Drive includes 87 homes. — Tarmo Hannula/Register-Pajaronian

On Tuesday an 18-wheel big-rig rolled onto its side on southbound Highway 1 south of Highway 17 in Santa Cruz. The mishap, along with a second crash on Highway 1 near Rio Del Mar, triggered a city-wide traffic nightmare that bogged down traffic as far north as Pasatiempo on Highway 17 and as far south as San Andreas Road on Highway 1. With surrounding surface roads clogged up, Highway 1 was a parking lot from Highway 17 to the Rio Del Mar exit. Two air ambulances were called to Dominican Hospital. The driver of the big rig was seriously hurt after he tore out about 150 feet of guardrail. California Highway Patrol officer Julieta Trenado said drugs and alcohol did not appear to be involved in the 1:45 p.m. incident. Trenado said it would take until 9 p.m. to clear the mess.

Be aware there is a new stop sign at the intersection of Clifford Avenue at Crescent Drive.

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A new stop sign has been put in by city officials at the intersection of Clifford Avenue and Crescent Drive. — Tarmo Hannula/Register-Pajaronian 

Quote of the day: “Age is an issue of mind over matter. If you don’t mind, it doesn’t matter” — Mark Twain

May 7, 2019:

Tarmo Hannula: If you’re a garage sale fan be sure and mark your calendar for this one: Dubbed, “The World’s Biggest Garage Sale,” this event, put on by the folks at Twin Lakes Church in Aptos, is a top-ticket event. And this May 11 sale is only the front half of it, labeled as “Part 1; Clothes and Kids’ Items.” It runs from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. with all proceeds going to the Second Harvest Food Bank. They are located at 2701 Cabrillo College Drive. For information, call 465-3300. Twin Lakes Church has been around since 1890.

Though the San Francisco Giants collapsed in a 12-4 loss against the Cincinnati Reds Monday, they still made a big mark in history. Third baseman Pablo Sandoval hit a three-run homer, stole a base and threw a scoreless outing to become the second player since 1900 to do so in the same game, joining fellow Giant Christy Mathewson, who did the same thing in 1905.

Monterey County has been labeled as the Strawberry Capital of America, which rakes in about $600 million a year from its 11,700 acres of farmland, according to the Agriculture Department’s Census of Agriculture. Monterey County also holds the title for greatest haul of vegetables, including artichokes, brussels sprouts, broccoli, cabbage, kale, cauliflower, spinach, celery, lettuce, mustard greens and snow peas.

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Field workers harvest strawberries on a farm along Trafton Road Tuesday. Monterey County has recently been labeled as the Strawberry Capital of America according to the Agriculture Department’s Census of Agriculture. — Tarmo Hannula/Register-Pajaronian

A man rammed his Ford F-150 pickup into a utility pole on the 300 block of Buena Vista Drive Tuesday around 10:30 a.m. The Watsonville man suffered moderate to major injuries and the truck was totaled. He was taken to Watsonville Community Hospital. California Highway Patrol officer Fred Smith said he was looking into whether alcohol played a role in the crash. The incident is still under investigation.

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A man rammed his Ford F-150 pickup into a utility pole on the 300 block of Buena Vista Drive Tuesday around 10:30 a.m. — Tarmo Hannula/Register-Pajaronian

May 6, 2019:

Johanna Miller:  I took last Friday off of work for a special trip to San Francisco. My family and I had tickets to see “Monet: The Late Years,” an exhibit that is currently at the de Young Museum in Golden Gate Park. The exhibit showcased Claude Monet’s later work, featuring various series of paintings. It was amazing to see everything up-close.

After the art gallery we went on a stroll around the Japanese Tea Garden and sat down for a pot of Genmaicha tea and cookies. Our car was parked a short walk away at Stow Lake—one of my favorite places in the park. The weather was pleasant; people and animals alike were enjoying the afternoon on and off the water.

For an in-depth story, with photos, look for my upcoming article in the R-P.


ABOVE: A colorful mural inspired by Claude Monet is seen in front of the de Young Museum in San Francisco. —Johanna Miller/Register-Pajaronian 

This Thursday the Watsonville Community Youth Band will perform its spring concert at the Watsonville Public Library, 275 Main St. at 6 p.m. The concert is sandwiched between the Watsonville Community Band’s show yesterday at the Henry J. Mello Center and their upcoming show in Santa Cruz on May 11.

On Saturday I worked at Cabrillo College’s Crocker Theater for the annual En Route Urban Dance Showcase. This incredible show has been put on every year since 2015 by the Haluan hip hop dance troupe from UCSC. It brings dancers in from all over the state for an evening of urban dance routines. There was so much energy in the audience and on stage—it was hard not to move in my seat.

Sunday was another day of work, this time for the R-P: I got up early and headed to the Portuguese Community Hall on Atkinson Lane to cover the annual Our Lady of Fatima parade. Representatives from 22 cities in Central California were in attendance. I spoke to Watsonville’s Portuguese Queen, Natalia Valoroso, and others about their experience (and their amazing outfits).

The annual Watsonville Cinco de Mayo celebration was held in the plaza Sunday, with food, vendors, live music and more. My mom and I very much enjoyed the atmosphere—there were a lot more people than I had expected. Before leaving we purchased a delicious strawberry lemonade that was definitely more than enough for two people.

Sadly, just around the corner from the Cinco de Mayo Celebration, a pedestrian was struck and killed by a vehicle on Rodriguez Street. Sgt. Donny Thul of the Watsonville Police Department said that it was too early to tell what caused the crash, but that the driver was cooperating with law enforcement and that drugs and alcohol were not involved. The victim, a 75-year-old man, was rushed to the hospital but eventually succumbed to his injuries.

Tarmo Hannula: In 1959 the Central Coast community gathered to celebrate the harvest of the iconic vegetable and the region that became known as the “Artichoke Center of the World.”

The 60th annual Castroville Artichoke Food & Wine Festival will be held June 1 and 2 at the Monterey County Fair & Event Center in Monterey. Chef demos, food, a farmers market, a beer, wine and spirits garden, agro art competition, field tours, the Kids Zone and five musical groups will fill the weekend. On the main stage this year with live music will be the Chicano All Stars, Raise Your Glass, Aquarius, the Maroon Vibes and others.

Tropical cyclone Fani killed 16 people and forced the evacuation of more than 1 million people in Bangladesh.

The San Francisco Giants are on the move following an astonishing comeback win by beating the Cincinnati Reds. The Giants’ Kevin Pillar made an incredible wall-climbing catch to snag what most believed to be a home run from Cincinnati Reds’ Nick Senzel. It was in the bottom of the 3rd inning when the high fly ball seemed destined to edge over the 404-foot mark in center field, only to be pulled back into play with an unbelievable catch by Pillar who squirreled his way up the cushioned wall to glove an out. The Giants hauled the game into the 11th inning and strode off the field with a 12-11 win Friday. On top of that their eight-run come-from-behind victory marked the largest in franchise history.

Meanwhile, The Oakland As broke a six-game losing streak by topping the Pittsburg Pirates 14-1 on Friday.

The rocket Spacex was launched into space from Cape Canaveral, Florida on a mission to resupply the International Space Station after a series of delays. The Falcon 9 rocket, carrying the unmanned Dragon 1 spacecraft with 5,500 pounds of cargo, blasted into the sky Saturday morning just before 3 a.m. ET. The rocket booster landed safely on a ship about 10 miles out from shore in the Atlantic and will be reused. The Falcon will reach the ISS Monday.

Mustangs on the Wharf unfolded Sunday on the Santa Cruz Municipal Wharf. More than 100 Ford Mustang cars, from convertibles to the original 1962 two-doors, were fanned out for the public’s display, with their owners standing by to field queries. It was hosted by the Santa Cruz Mustang Club.

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ABOVE: Crowds show up for the second annual Mustangs on the Wharf in Santa Cruz Sunday. (Tarmo Hannula/Register-Pajaronian)

The Amgen Tour of California, a world-class bicycle race that draws international talent, will roll through Morgan Hill May 14. The Tour of California is an annual professional cycling stage race on the Union Cycliste Internationale World Tour and USA Cycling Professional Tour. It is the only event on the top-level World Tour in the United States that started in 2006. 

The Stage 1 Men’s Overall will start May 12 in Sacramento and roar through Morgan Hill May 14. The Stage 1 Women’s Overall starts May 16 in Ventura. Both races wind up May 18 in Pasadena.

Quote of the day: “Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.”

To view last week's About Town go to https://register-pajaronian.com/article/about-town-week-of-april-29.


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