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Morning Lookout: Big Basin rebirth; Fox Racing factory closure and layoffs

Good Morning! It’s Wednesday, August 18 and after some patchy fog between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m., you can expect a mostly cloudy morning that will gradually clear up with a high of 78.

A Red Flag Warning is in place for much of the Bay Area, though Santa Cruz County is not included. Our thoughts are with our neighbors to the north in El Dorado County where the Caldor Fire exploded yesterday. SFGate reports that California Highway Patrol is warning of the potential closure of Highway 50 which could impact any visitors of Lake Tahoe.

Let’s start with some hopeful news, closer to home:

A Big Basin rebirth: California’s oldest state park won’t be the same, but nature is assuring it will be back

Inside Big Basin State Park on Tuesday, August 10.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

A year after the CZU Lightning Complex Fire tore through 97% of the park, Big Basin is showing signs of new growth and enters into a new renovation phase. ”We’re going to be looking at how to make the park more resilient in the future,” says the local State Parks superintendent. Read more from our Neil Strebig here.

AN OFFER FOR YOU: As we continue our CZU, One Year Later project, Lookout is offering a free signed copy of the ‘2020 Hindsight’ photo essay book — produced by local news photographers Shmuel Thaler and our Kevin Painchaud, with contributions from our Wallace Baine — to those who sign up for an annual Lookout membership. To get this offer, click on this link and use the code 2020HINDSIGHT at check out.

What started as a simple partnership to provide financial literacy training to Diamond Tech Institute students has...

Fox Racing factory in Watsonville set to close; more than 200 could face layoffs

Fox Racing factory closes in Watsonville
Fox Racing announced it will be closing its Watsonville factory in the fall. The facility, located at 130 Hangar Way, will close at the end of October.
(Neil Strebig / Lookout Santa Cruz )

Fox Racing is set to lose another Santa Cruz County outpost this fall. Last week, Fox announced the closing of its Watsonville factory, which will impact 222 employees. In the notice sent to local officials, all employees who are not relocating will be terminated by March 31, 2022. Read more here.

COVID 2021

A motorist receives the COVID-19 vaccine at The Forum in Inglewood .

Jab steps: Here’s where to get vaccinated throughout Santa Cruz County: With the Delta variant sparking a COVID-19 surge that’s expected to continue through August, just under 60% of Santa Cruz County’s total population is fully vaccinated. To help get more people vaccinated, our Grace Stetson put together a list of where you or your loved ones can go to get vaccinated. Find the whole thing here.

Teacher Bob Anderson speaks at the front of his classroom to students sitting at desks.

How kids can stay safer at school despite Delta variant threat: Despite the threats posed by the Delta variant — a particular worry for parents of children under age 12, who are too young to be eligible for a COVID-19 vaccine — there are ways to enhance kids’ safety at school. Here’s what it will take to protect students.

A student adjusts his face mask in Mrs. Darsi Green's, 2nd grade class at Weaverville Elementary School

What impact will the pandemic have on early literacy? The pandemic has touched many students with heightened stress, disruptions and remote learning hurdles, but experts say it may have the greatest impact on the youngest learners, those in the formative years of learning to read. Read more here.

Recall Newsom updates

Republican recall candidate John Cox

Cox served with subpoena, Elder blasted for remarks on women at California recall debate: Republicans hoping to replace Gov. Gavin Newsom in the recall election focused their criticism on the Democratic governor and a leading replacement candidate who both declined to join them at a debate yesterday, which included a moment of spectacle in which one hopeful was served with a subpoena on stage. Read more of what transpired here.

Campaign poster for former U.S. Rep. Doug Ose
(via Doug Ose Campaign )

Former Rep. Doug Ose drops out of California governor recall race after heart attack: “Sometimes you have to do things that you don’t want to do. It is what [it] is: my campaign for governor is over,” Ose said in a statement sent from his campaign. While he is expected to make a full recovery, Ose said additional procedures and potential surgery were required. Read more here.

RECALL ELECTION GUIDE: Our partners at CalMatters created a comprehensive Recall guide that includes everything from who will be on the ballot to where different candidates stand on issues. Find the full guide here.

Around the county...

COVID-19 outbreak reported at Santa Cruz skilled nursing facility (KSBW-TV)

Jr. Wildcatz receive generous donation from local dealership (The Pajaronian)

Santa Cruz County animal shelter’s expansion finally breaks ground (Good Times)

That’s it for today. If you’re enjoying our coverage, please tell your family and friends about our Lookout Newsletter & Text Center, where they can sign up for all the newsletters and alerts we offer. You can also keep tabs on everything we’re publishing through the day by bookmarking our website and following us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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Have a great day!

Tulsi Kamath
Lookout Santa Cruz