A sign says "I'm strike ready" outside the board of supervisors meeting
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)
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Morning Lookout: County strike averted, Soif closing and PVUSD vacancies

Greetings, friends — a good morning to you! It’s Tuesday, Jan. 25, and another nice day is ahead for Santa Cruz County, mostly sunny with highs in the low to mid-60s.

Some breaking news to report this morning: A strike by county workers set to begin today has been averted, with the county and the union representing some 1,600 county employees reaching a tentative deal. Lookout will have much more later today, so stay tuned.

Not to endorse skipping breakfast or anything, but I would recommend that you save your appetite for something new today from Lookout, arriving in your inbox midday in the form of the debut of a brand-new newsletter from our food and drink maven, Lily Belli. As a newsletter subscriber, you don’t need to do a thing — just wait (hungrily) for it to arrive!

Lily brought us some sad news yesterday, reporting that downtown mainstay Soif Restaurant is closing after 20 years — though a mystery local restaurateur is set to take over the space.

Also Monday, Lookout’s Hillary Ojeda reported on the Pajaro Valley Unified School District addressing complaints about teacher vacancies, with administrators filing a formal report detailing how many of the jobs had been filled and what they have been doing to recruit.

So there’s plenty to cover — let’s get to the headlines:

‘That was a great 20 years’

After 20 years, the restaurant at Soif will be closing.
(Via Soif Instagram)

Soif Restaurant is set to close its doors Saturday — but a mystery local restaurateur has new plans for the downtown space. Lookout’s Lily Belli details what’s happening on Walnut Avenue.

MORE FROM LILY: Find all of her Eaters Digest columns in one spot

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PVUSD addresses teacher vacancies in wake of complaint

Pajaro Valley High School
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

After complaints were filed in November about the impact of teacher vacancies in the district, administrators filed a formal report detailing how many of the jobs had been filled and what they have been doing to recruit. Lookout’s Hillary Ojeda fills us in on the situation.

MORE ON EDUCATION: Find all of Lookout’s K-12 coverage here

49ers encourage fans to take over Rams’ stadium once again

San Francisco fans cheer in the stands
(Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)

With a spot in the Super Bowl berth up for grabs Sunday in Los Angeles, another red-and-gold wave could wash over SoFi Stadium as 49ers fans head south to cheer their team on against the Rams. Our partners at the Los Angeles Times report on efforts by both sides to fill the stands.

MORE ON NFC TITLE GAME: Another chance to beat L.A.: 49ers to face Rams with Super Bowl berth on line (Lookout)


Movie theater safety during COVID, the sequel

Patrons wear masks at a Los Angeles movie theater.
(Los Angeles Times)

Two years into the COVID-19 pandemic, do health experts and industry leaders have updated recommendations to make moviegoing safer? Read what they told the Times here.

COVID AND WORK: Six things to know about Omicron’s risks on the job (CalMatters)

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As the cost of college textbooks continue to rise, educators and students alike are looking to more contemporary modes...

Pharmacies turning away immunocompromised patients seeking fourth COVID shot

Michael Stremfel prepares a COVID-19 booster shot at Flintridge Pharmacy in La Cañada Flintridge.
(Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention quietly changed its guidance to allow an extra shot in certain cases, but some pharmacy personnel are confused about who is eligible. Our partners at Kaiser Health News explore the issue here.

GETTING SHOTS LOCALLY: Vaccine update: Rates, where to find a COVID shot or test; wait, cost and turnaround times (Lookout)

Around the county ...

Santa Cruz Community Health opens new clinic in Santa Cruz Mountains (Santa Cruz Sentinel)
Why has the Colorado fire size been cut in half? Cal Fire explains (KSBW-TV)
Bay Area wind turbines pose threat to ‘George Clooney’ of the bat world (San Jose Mercury News)

So that’s all for now, but bookmark our website and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to keep tabs throughout the day. And head over to our Lookout Newsletter & Text Center to sign up for breaking news alerts, our other newsletters and more.

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

Have a great Tuesday, and I’ll see you back here tomorrow.

Will McCahill
Lookout Santa Cruz

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