Field workers work the rich Pajaro Valley soil at Lakeside Organic Gardens in Watsonville.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)
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Morning Lookout: Challenge of going organic in South County; next step for West Cliff development

Hello there, Lookout fam! It’s Wednesday, Oct. 5, and what’s been quite a foggy morning in some parts of Santa Cruz County is forecast to turn into a mostly sunny day, with highs from the 70s to around 90.

If you’d rather blitz through the marine layer right to Lookout’s latest ... go on with your bad self.
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Mark Conley is back with Part 2 of his “Seeds of Change” series, and after Part 1 outlined the pressure berry giant Driscoll’s and other farmers are facing to stop the use of pesticides near school zones, the latest chapter looks at the obstacles to going organic and traces the practice’s deep roots in Santa Cruz County.

Up Highway 1, a senior living facility proposed for a parcel just off West Cliff Drive in Santa Cruz will be the subject of a public hearing Thursday, and Max Chun fills us in on the details and what could be ahead.

We’ve also got news from Hillary Ojeda on UCSC expanding its Center for South Asian Studies and Lily Belli noting a downtown restaurant bloom among Wednesday’s headlines, so let’s delay no further.

Organic’s big South County moment: Might school-zone pesticide switch provide momentum for change?

Field workers weed kale at Lakeside Organic fields off Holohan Road in Watsonville.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

Longtime UC Santa Cruz researcher Joji Muramoto is the first organic soil specialist employed by the University of California system. The rich history of the area’s organic movement was largely spawned in the northern half of Santa Cruz County and inspires people like him. But the market-driven realities that prevent more South County farmers from growing organic present an ongoing challenge to sustainability and a reduction in carcinogenic pesticide use. Don’t miss Part 2 of Mark Conley’s “Seeds of Change” series.

PART 1: Pressure building on pesticides, Driscoll’s says it will consider organic-only by schools

Senior living facility planned along West Cliff Dr. returns to public hearing Thursday

The proposed development site.
(Via City of Santa Cruz)

Rescheduled from its initial Sept. 1 date, the 76-unit senior living facility proposed for a site along West Cliff Drive will go to the City of Santa Cruz Planning Commission on Thursday at 7 p.m. for presentation and public input. Are size, traffic, unit affordability and environmental impacts still a major point of contention as the project was downsized from its 2020 iteration? Max Chun has the update.

PREVIOUSLY: How much opposition will there be to a senior living facility planned along West Cliff Drive? (Lookout)

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A familiar final refrain as I send you off into the wilds of Wednesday: Our content isn’t possible without community support, so if you’re not already, please consider becoming a Lookout member.

Take it slow in the fog, and I’ll see you back here Thursday.

Will McCahill
Lookout Santa Cruz