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On the new menu at Solaire at Hotel Paradox, one dairy-, sugar- and gluten-free dessert exemplifies new executive chef...

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Keyboard warriors, gather round. It’s Friday, Oct. 20, and Santa Cruz County is much cooler after the marine layer came blasting through Thursday afternoon. It’ll be a mix of clouds and sun, with temperatures from the 60s to low 80s, and a touch cooler still over the weekend with some chances of rain.

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New Leaf Community Markets is set to leave its downtown Santa Cruz location, Jessica M. Pasko reports, aiming to vacate the spot at the corner of Pacific and Soquel avenues it’s occupied since 1996 for the Gateway Plaza on River Street in 2025. It’s about more space, a New Leaf rep says.

Thursday was a busy day for local first responders as big waves battered the coastline. It was a thrill for surfers, Max Chun and Kevin Painchaud found, but teams from local fire agencies, California State Parks and the Santa Cruz Harbor were out in force to help folks who found themselves in trouble.

And if you’ve earned yourself a sweet treat to cap off the workweek, don’t miss a dish Lily Belli went back for at new-look Solaire at Santa Cruz’s Hotel Paradox. Not only is the “The Birds and the Bees Nest” a sight to behold, it’s vegan, too.

As one might hope, the Friday headlines also include Wallace Baine’s roadmap to the coming weekend, packed with recommendations for good stuff to do all over Santa Cruz County. Let’s hit it.

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New Leaf plans to leave Pacific Avenue store in downtown Santa Cruz for Gateway Plaza in 2025

New Leaf has occupied its downtown Santa Cruz location at Pacific and Soquel avenues since 1996.
New Leaf has occupied its downtown Santa Cruz location at Pacific and Soquel avenues since 1996. Credit: Via New Leaf Community Markets

New Leaf Community Markets brand manager Lindsay Gizdich said the store is moving from Pacific Avenue in order to have more space. While New Leaf’s downtown location is 9,000 square feet, the new spot on River Street is 29,000 square feet, allowing the grocery store to expand its offerings. Jessica M. Pasko has details.

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Top 10 ways to volunteer and help seniors in Santa Cruz County this October

From Steamer Lane to Pleasure Point, high surf advisory thrills surfers, prompts rescue calls

Surfers riding the waves at Steamer Lane.

Massive waves rolled through the Santa Cruz County coastline Thursday, as forecast by the National Weather Service earlier in the week. Though surfers rushed to take advantage of the big swell, safety personnel had a lot of work to do as they assisted about 20 people out of the dangerous waters. Friday is expected to see calmer seas, but the agencies working to ensure recreators’ safety will be monitoring the conditions closely. Read more from Max Chun, with photos from Kevin Painchaud.

RIDERS ON THE STORM: Santa Cruz surfers’ yin-yang relationship with historic megaswell events

Celebrating 40 years of Santa Cruz County generosity: Wine & Roses returns on November 4
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A newsy mix from Lookout as we finish the workweek strong. Coming later is a second helping of Lily Belli, in the form of her Friday staple, Eaters Digest. Don’t get that particular offering? Easily rectified — head over here to sign up for Eaters and all of Lookout’s other newsletters — coming this weekend, for instance, is our specially curated Sunday Reads, and Monday brings In the Public Interest, Christopher Neely’s dispatch from the public square of Santa Cruz County politics and policy. (And be sure to get in on our breaking news email alerts here and/or our breaking news texts here.) You can also connect with Lookout 24/7 on social media — we’re on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Threads to stay current.

Our content isn’t possible without community support, so if you’re not already, please consider becoming a Lookout member.

May your Friday be smooth like butter, and cheers to a safe, relaxing weekend.

Will McCahill
Lookout Santa Cruz

Upcoming events in Santa Cruz County

Apple-Palooza @Farm Discovery at Live Earth
Cloe Hubbard @Steel Bonnet Brewing Company
James Durbin: Unplugged @Veterans Village
Noah Gundersen @Felton Music Hall
Lowdown Brass Band @Moe’s Alley

SUNDAY 11/12
Sip & Stroll @Capitola Village
Fall Wine Walk @Downtown Santa Cruz
Grateful Sundays with Matt Hartle & Friends @Felton Music Hall
The Lacs @The Catalyst
Gene Luen Yang | “The Books Of Clash Volume 2″ @Bookshop Santa Cruz

Click for the full event calendar

A veteran jack-of-all-trades journalist who is Lookout’s copy editor, writes and compiles Morning Lookout newsletter and produces Lookout’s other editorial newsletters and helps run Lookout’s social...