Quick Take:

“It’s been a tough year,” David Sanford says of 2023 for Santa Cruz County farmers and farmworkers. Sanford, who took...

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Hola, amigos. It’s Wednesday, Oct. 18, and it’s going to be a toasty one around Santa Cruz County. A heat advisory goes into effect at 11 a.m. for the Santa Cruz Mountains, with temperatures expected to soar toward triple digits, and the coast could see 80.

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Heat wave notwithstanding, it’s that time of year when county officials start to keep an eye on weather forecasts for potentially damaging rain events, particularly with El Niño in effect. Long-overdue repairs are on the horizon for the Pajaro River levee, Christopher Neely reports, but with those not scheduled to begin until 2024, “we are still living with a heightened level of risk,” one flood expert told county supervisors.

From Santa Cruz, Lily Belli reports on an anonymous complaint that has put an end to live music at hip hangout Woodhouse Blending & Brewing. Woodhouse didn’t have the proper permit for those performances and is working with the city to get them back on track.

Jessica M. Pasko returns with her coverage of local business, in two parts this week: Read on to hear from county agriculture chief David Sanford on the many challenges facing the industry, plus a roundup of other biz news, notes and happenings.

And it’s a wine Wednesday here at Lookout, with Laurie Love reporting on the busy local harvest, relaying her top picks from the recent Grazing on the Green event and a whole lot more in her latest column.

Lily Belli’s latest local food and drink tidbits are also among the Wednesday headlines, coming on the other side of our …

Photo of the day

A Watsonville police officer puts out a brush fire
Credit: Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz

While on a ridealong with Watsonville Police Department Officer Trevor Ihlen on Tuesday, Lookout photojournalist Kevin Painchaud spotted large flames coming from under a tree by Struve Slough off Main Street. Ihlen called the fire department before grabbing a fire extinguisher from his car to put out the flames. Firefighters soon arrived and extinguished the remaining hot spots. The cause of the fire was under investigation.

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County’s infrastructure leaves residents at ‘heightened flood risk’ as another abnormal winter looms

The breach of the Pajaro River levee that flooded the town of Pajaro and damaged surrounding agricultural fields in March.
The breach of the Pajaro River levee that flooded the town of Pajaro and damaged surrounding agricultural fields in March. Credit: Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz

With the El Niño weather pattern now in effect, Santa Cruz County officials are keeping a wary eye on forecasts that could mean more pressure on the Pajaro River levee and other infrastructure that took a beating last winter. The breach that flooded Pajaro in March should be fixed soon, but other repairs won’t even start until next year. Details here from Christopher Neely.

MORE: As El Niño officially begins, what might the effects look like in Santa Cruz County?

Closing the curtain on The Dwellings construction: New townhomes for sale in Soquel PC

2023 NEXTies

Woodhouse Blending & Brewing has hosted multiple live music acts a week since it opened in 2020, earning it the Hip Hang Out of the Year NEXTies award in March. Now, after an anonymous complaint, the City of Santa Cruz has ordered all entertainment to stop until the business applies for an entertainment permit. Lily Belli reports.

FROM 2022: Anonymous complaints have curtailed New Bohemia’s outdoor business, cost it $25,000 and forced layoffs

Riding the electric wave: Navigating the road to e-bike safety in Santa Cruz
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Definitely a full pour for a Wednesday. But if that didn’t slake your thirst for Santa Cruz County news and views, no worries — Lookout has more coming, and you can make sure you don’t miss a thing by following us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Threads. Other great ways to stay current with everything? Click on over here and get signed up for some (or all) of Lookout’s other newsletters (coming Thursday, for instance, is Wallace Baine’s recommendation-packed Weekender), plus breaking news alerts via email and text.

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

Keep cool, stay hydrated, and I’ll see you Thursday.

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...