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MORNING LOOKOUT: The Nick in limbo, poetry honors Aschbacher, plus dumplings and ramen

Good morning! It’s Monday, Nov. 15, and the forecast calls for mostly sunny skies around Santa Cruz County, with highs in the low to mid-70s — and, for better or for worse, not much rain in sight in the immediate future.

And you might have noticed a new byline here: I’m Will McCahill, an editor at Lookout Santa Cruz who’s stepping into the big Morning Lookout shoes left by Tulsi Kamath. I’ve lived in Santa Cruz County for a dozen years, first downtown and now in Soquel; I’m a husband, dad and pet parent, thrilled to be helping deliver local news to a community I love dearly.

Being prepared is always key when you’re heading into a new week, so in that spirit, let’s get you caught up on what went down over the weekend. Lookout’s Wallace Baine checked in on the Nickelodeon, a key touchstone in Santa Cruz culture that remains in limbo as the pandemic drags on.

Wallace also caught up with local poet and teacher Trish Black Melehan and her new poetry collection. It’s inspired by the artwork of the late James Carl Aschbacher, whose murals are plenty familiar to anyone who’s spent time downtown.

Lookout’s Lily Belli gave us a taste of Full Steam Dumpling, which is taking the art of puffy, spicy Szechuan delights, plus ramen, to new levels.

In Washington, meanwhile, President Joe Biden is slated to sign the $1.2 trillion infrastructure bill today, and we’ve got a look at just what’s in it for California.

So let’s get to those headlines, shall we?

Nickelodeon in limbo

READ THE STORY: The Nickelodeon is a local treasure trapped in limbo
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

Wallace Baine says he hopes he’s not writing the obituary of the beloved Nickelodeon, but it’s clear the movie house isn’t going to reopen anytime soon. Read more on the Santa Cruz landmark.

MORE FROM WALLACE: To insure domestic tranquility, it’s time to ban those &#$%@! leaf blowers

Presented by Cosmic

Lookout’s own Ashley Holmes sits down with Eric Ressler, Founder and Creative Director at Cosmic, a Santa Cruz-based...

James in verse

Poet, teacher, and arts commissioner Trish Black Melehan in front of a downtown mural.
(Wallace Baine / Lookout Santa Crua )

“Journey Fantastique” by local poet and teacher Trish Black Melehan is a collection of poems inspired by (and featuring plenty of) the work of the late, great James Carl Aschbacher. Wallace maps out the collaboration here.

OPENING THIS WEEK: Change in scenery gives Jewel Theatre ‘new vision’ for long-awaited revival of ‘Pump Boys and Dinettes’ (Lookout)

Dumpling darlings

Gyoza making their way toward perfection.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

Owner and chef Andy Huynh’s new venture, Full Steam Dumpling, is causing a stir at Santa Cruz’s Food Lounge. Lookout’s Lily Belli has a review here.

MORE FROM LILY: Get all of our Food & Drink coverage in one place

Infrastructure week is finally here

President Joe Biden signs the $1.9 trillion stimulus bill Wednesday.
( via YouTube)

From wildfire help to transportation dollars, there’s plenty in the bill President Joe Biden is slated to sign today for the Golden State. Our partners at the Los Angeles Times scope it out.

Presented by Santa Cruz County Bank

Habitat for Humanity Monterey Bay is partnering with local contractors and community volunteers to build their most...

Best Bets has a cure for the Mondays

A Jewel Theatre production of "Pump Boys and Dinettes."
(Steve DiBartolomeo)

Just because the weekend is gone doesn’t mean there’s nothing on the calendar — the Jewel Theatre, for instance, opens its latest production this week. Get that and all the Best Bets from Wallace Baine and Lookout’s Team BOLO.

OUR FULL EVENTS CALENDAR: BOLO, your place to go for things to do

Around the county ...

Kaiser reaches tentative deal with union workers, staving off planned pharmacist strike (Santa Cruz Sentinel)
The Mat brings fresh tech to Boulder Creek (Press Banner)
Is the remote work revolution here to stay in the Bay Area? (San Jose Mercury News)

OK, now go out and have yourselves a Monday. 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.

To ensure you’re staying informed about all the goings-on in Santa Cruz, consider becoming a Lookout member. Our content isn’t possible without community support.

Have an excellent day!

Will McCahill
Lookout Santa Cruz

Presented by Coast Futura

Thousands of Santa Cruz County residents took a ride into the future of local public transportation in October during...