Quick Take:

In her weekly roundup of news and notes from the Santa Cruz County business community, Jessica M. Pasko goes inside the...

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Ahoy, content connoisseurs. It is Wednesday, Oct. 25, and it’s going to feel like fall around Santa Cruz County, with a mix of sun and clouds, and even our warmest locations barely getting above 70 degrees.

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The Pajaro Valley is our first stop, with Alix Soliman reporting on joint efforts by local agencies, farmers and UC Santa Cruz to recharge a groundwater basin depleted by agriculture.

Back in Santa Cruz, Jessica M. Pasko goes inside Hotel Paradox to check out a multimillion-dollar renovation that leans into what a spokesperson calls the “urban forest storyline” — all coming as the local tourism industry claws back from pandemic slowdowns. And this being Wednesday, Jessica also has the latest news, notes, comings and goings and events to know from the world of Santa Cruz County business.

The day’s headlines also includes Lily Belli’s compendium of food and drink notes, but first, the latest from Lookout photojournalist Kevin Painchaud.

Photo of the day

Daisy Hernandez Lopez, 11, receives care from Dientes Community Dental at Shoreline Middle School.
Credit: Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz

Daisy Hernandez Lopez, 11, receives care from Dientes Community Dental at Shoreline Middle School on Tuesday. The outreach program brought a two-chair mobile dental clinic to the school to provide dental services. Dientes’ program operates at more than 35 community venues, including 20 schools in five Santa Cruz County districts, providing basic dental services from exams and cleanings to fluoride treatments.

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How some Pajaro Valley farms are being tapped to help solve California’s water crisis

The Bokariza-Drobac Infiltration Basin on Driscoll's property east of Watsonville.
The Bokariza-Drobac Infiltration Basin on Driscoll’s property east of Watsonville. Credit: Alix Soliman / Lookout Santa Cruz

Can agriculture, long considered a drain on the state’s water resources, help solve California’s water crisis? In the Pajaro Valley, some farmers are being paid to return stormwater to the ground. The effort is part of a joint project among local agencies, landowners and UC Santa Cruz to install groundwater recharge basins on some local farms. Participating farms receive cash rebates based on how much water they capture. But while early results are promising, many challenges remain. Alix Soliman reports.

MORE FROM LOCAL AGRICULTURE: $65M in storm-related losses just one of many challenges ag chief sees for Santa Cruz County farmers

Five UC Santa Cruz projects awarded grant funding to tackle climate change challenges

Hotel Paradox unveils multimillion-dollar renovation as local tourism industry bounces back from pandemic

inside the remodeled Hotel Paradox on Ocean Street in Santa Cruz

Santa Cruz’s Hotel Paradox recently completed a multimillion-dollar refresh and an ambitious overhaul of its in-house restaurant, Solaire. The Ocean Street property joins a growing list of Santa Cruz County hotels that have opened or undergone renovations in the past two years as the region experiences a rebound in tourism. Jessica M. Pasko checks it out.

RELATED: Ambitious chef Stefen Shatto breathes new life into Hotel Paradox’s Solaire, aims for Michelin

Riding the electric wave: Navigating the road to e-bike safety in Santa Cruz

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And that, friends, is what I know as we hit this last Wednesday of October. We do have more up our sleeve here at Lookout, and you can keep up with Santa Cruz County news and views by following us on social media — Lookout is on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Threads. We also offer breaking news alerts via text and email, plus a host of other newsletters (coming Thursday, for example, is Weekender, Wallace Baine’s recommendation-packed dispatch from the local arts and entertainment scene) — sign up for all that here.

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

Here’s to embracing some Wednesday wisdom.

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...