Santa Cruz Branch Rail line
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)
Lookout PM Archive

LOOKOUT PM: Felton line fracas to the forefront; Act II for food lounge

TGIF! You’ve made it through yet another week. If you haven’t made your weekend plans yet, check out our Best Bets — curated lovingly by the BOLO crew — for the best Santa Cruz County has to offer.

But without further ado, let’s get to those headlines so you can get your downtime going as soon as possible:

How Santa Cruz’s rail-trail debate created a standoff with Roaring Camp

Roaring Camp in Felton will take you into the woods.
(Kevin Painchaud/Lookout Santa Cruz)

Adverse abandonment: A Feb. 3 meeting of the Santa Cruz Regional Transportation Commission is likely to be heated. Why? Commissioners are slated to discuss foreclosing the Felton line to freight trains — which the line hasn’t been used for in years — as a way of moving a rail-trail plan forward. But the owners of the line, Roaring Camp Railroads, are against this idea and are rallying supporters to stop it. Lookout contributor Jacob Pierce pieces together the complex puzzle here.

More from Jacob: What’s railbanking, and why are Santa Cruz transit experts discussing it?

Cruz Kitchen & Taps opens and a Santa Cruz Starbucks files for unionization

Eaters Digest: The chef behind Drunk Monkeys food truck has things cooking in the former Saturn Cafe spot in downtown Santa Cruz, while a growing Starbucks labor movement is looking to get foothold in California on Ocean Street. Lookout’s Lily Belli gets the scoop on all things food and drink here.

Earlier: In Saturn Cafe’s next life, it will be a Drunk Monkey — only now, ‘we can basically do whatever we want’


Santa Cruz Food Lounge 11th Hour Coffee exterior
The Santa Cruz Food Lounge on Center Street downtown.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

More from Lily: With founder Andrea Mollenauer choosing to focus on teaching, she has turned to the brothers behind 11th Hour Coffee to take over the downtown commercial kitchen and event space — and Joel and Brayden Estby have big plans. Read more about the details here.

More food and drink coverage: Read all of Lily’s columns and features here

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ICYMI: Pranksters, LSD and the Dead: Ken Babbs was there at Santa Cruz County’s most famous (or infamous) party

Ken Babbs with a trombone and furry friend with the Merry Prankster bus "Furthur."
(Via Ken Babbs)

Epic happening: Ken Kesey, Neal Cassady and the crew immortalized in “The Electric Kool Aid Acid Test,” not to mention the band that became the Grateful Dead, got the party started at Ken Babbs’ Soquel digs. And it’s all in Babbs’ new book, which he’ll discuss in an upcoming Bookshop Santa Cruz event. Wallace Baine gets all of the details here.

More Wallace: See previous features and columns here


49ers-Rams football, Lunar New Year pose new COVID-19 challenge for California

Fans take a photo with Rams mascot Rampage at SoFi Stadium.
(Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)

Big events coming: California is on the downslope of yet another coronavirus surge as it enters another season of celebration; will gatherings in the coming days send things in the opposite direction? Our partners at the Los Angeles Times take a look at the issue here.

More COVID news: When parents are vaccinated against COVID-19, protection extends to their kids

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More from here & elsewhere

Pelosi, lawmakers tout millions coming to SFO for upgrades, terminals (San Francisco Chronicle)
Silicon Valley economy is in “surprisingly good shape” (The Mercury News)
Popular NorCal town still torn over changing racist namesake (SF Gate)
See the list of celebrities attending the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am (KSBW)
The Best Western: UCSC Graduate Student Housing (City on a Hill Press)
Man with ties to Aptos deli charged in sexual assaults (Santa Cruz Sentinel)

And that’s the way it was on this Friday. Have a great weekend everyone!

Dan Evans
Executive Editor