Quick Take:

Santa Cruz County vineyards are getting into the heart of harvesting season — beginning with pinot noir. Despite a...

Ahoy, friends. It is Tuesday, Oct. 10, and after some patchy morning fog, a mostly sunny day lies ahead for Santa Cruz County, with highs in the 60s and 70s.

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It’s an outdoorsy morning here at Lookout, and Max Chun is up first with word on prescribed burns slated to happen the rest of this week at Wilder Ranch and Año Nuevo state parks, weather conditions permitting. Read on for more on the timing and what parks officials hope to accomplish.

We’ve also got word that Soquel Demonstration State Forest is set to reopen Tuesday — months after it was closed amid damage suffered in the winter’s brutal waves of storms.

Lookout’s wine expert, Laurie Love, has kept us up to speed on our local grape harvest, and now we get an up-close look from photojournalist Kevin Painchaud. He was up before dawn earlier this month to capture the scene at one Aptos vineyard.

In Lookout’s Community Voices opinion section, economic development director Bonnie Lipscomb offers reassurances that the City of Santa Cruz wants to see the outdoor dining areas and parklets that sprang up amid the pandemic remain a vital part of the city’s food and drink scene.

There’s also this news from Lookout HQ, via CEO Ken Doctor: Lookout Santa Cruz is glad to announce the expansion of our Commerce & Community business team. Ilana Packer joins Lookout as our Marketing Partners/Advertising Manager, bringing with her more than three decades of advertising sales experience with businesses and nonprofits. She comes to Lookout after 18 years with Weeklys, publisher of Good Times and its affiliates. Read the full Lookout Update here.

The Tuesday headlines await, but first, a snapshot from Lookout’s Christopher Neely.

Photo of the day

Santa Cruz City Clerk Bonnie Bush sorts through signed petitions
Santa Cruz City Clerk Bonnie Bush (front) sorts through signed petitions submitted by the group Housing for People – Not Unaffordable Towers! while members of the organization look on. From left: Steve Bare, Susan Monheit, Keresha Durham, Keven Cook. Credit: Christopher Neely / Lookout Santa Cruz

The petition that would both restrict the city of Santa Cruz from increasing building height limits without a public vote and reserve a quarter of all new units in large multifamily developments for income-restricted tenants took a major step Monday toward the March primary ballot. The petition’s authors, Housing for People – Not Unaffordable Towers!, submitted to City Clerk Bonnie Bush more than 6,800 signatures supporting the initiative. Now, the signed petition will head to the Santa Cruz County Clerk’s office, which has 30 days to validate that at least the required 3,690 signatures are from valid city of Santa Cruz voters. If the petition crosses that threshold, it will qualify for a place on the March 5, 2024, primary election ballot. For more context on the initiative, and what it could mean for the city’s downtown expansion plans, check out our coverage from Monday.

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Prescribed burns set to begin at Wilder Ranch, Año Nuevo state parks

Wilder Ranch

Happening through Friday if weather conditions cooperate, the burns are expected to restore essential nutrients to the soil and reduce the chances of wildfires at Wilder Ranch and Año Nuevo state parks. Max Chun has details.

RELATED: Is California’s wildfire season finally over? Don’t bet on it, experts say

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

Soquel Demonstration State Forest set to reopen Tuesday, months after suffering winter storm damage

The Flow Trail in the Soquel Demonstration Forest.
The Flow Trail in the Soquel Demonstration Forest. Credit: Via https://www.mbosc.org/

A popular destination for hikers, mountain bikers and outdoor enthusiasts, Soquel Demonstration State Forest was shut down in mid-January because of dangerous conditions from the winter storms. It’s set to reopen Tuesday. Read more here.

STORMS 2023: Find Lookout’s continuing coverage of the aftermath and recovery here

Decades of dedication: Lisa Berkowitz’s lifelong commitment to Meals on Wheels PC roadblock

click to play our puzzle of the day

That’s plenty to chew on, but you’ll want to save room for what Lookout still has cooking. This being Tuesday, our menu includes another serving of Lily Belli on Food — that’s coming in just hours, and you can sign up right here for Lily and all of Lookout’s other newsletters, plus breaking news alerts delivered via email and text. Another great way to stay up to date on Santa Cruz County news and views is by following Lookout on social media — connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Threads.

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

Be good, and I’ll see you back here Wednesday.

Will McCahill
Lookout Santa Cruz

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...