The damaged deck at Zelda's On the Beach in Capitola
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)
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Morning Lookout: Biden visit details, Zelda’s rebuild, Cabrillo-UCSC housing effort & protecting our ocean

Hello hello, Lookout friends. It’s Thursday, Jan. 19, and a sunny stretch is upon us in Santa Cruz County, with high temps in the mid-50s.

There’s a bunch of new Lookout content, so if you’d rather explore it on your own, head this way.
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President Joe Biden is headed this way, with an itinerary that will see him survey storm damage in the Santa Cruz Mountains by helicopter before he lands in Watsonville and proceeds to Capitola and Aptos. Read on for details, and share your POTUS photos with us at

The storm recovery and rebuilding process is underway at Zelda’s On The Beach, which was ravaged in the Jan. 5 ocean surge that hammered Capitola Village. “Logistically it’s going to be a little bit of a nightmare on how to make things work,” Zelda’s kitchen manager tells Lily Belli, adding that he’d love to reopen for spring break.

Down the road, an area bordering the softball fields at Cabrillo College’s Aptos campus would be the site of a student housing project for which Cabrillo and UC Santa Cruz are jointly applying for state funding, and Hillary Ojeda has details on that. There’s also an update on legal wrangling over the personnel files of ousted Cabrillo baseball coach Bob Kittle, via Mark Conley.

In Lookout’s Community Voices opinion section, meanwhile, environmental activist Dan Haifley reminds us, as we survey storm damage, of how important our ocean is in the fight against climate change and pushes everyone to chip in to protect it. And in the wake of the storm, we’re looking for stories of Santa Cruz County residents going above and beyond to help each other out amid the deluge, so keep reading to find out how to get those to us.

Much to fill you in on, so let’s jump to the headlines.

Biden to visit Watsonville, Capitola, Seacliff State Beach in tour of Santa Cruz County storm damage

White House officials said President Joe Biden and Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Deanne Criswell would spend around three hours Thursday afternoon meeting with local officials and residents and touring areas of Santa Cruz County devastated by landslides, flooding and surf swells. Get details here.

A LOOKOUT VIEW: President Biden, please come to Santa Cruz County and visit those who need help the most

Zelda’s plans to rebuild: ‘We’re missing walls, windows and a floor, but other than that we’re ready to go’

The deck at Zelda's On The Beach in Capitola was destroyed during the Jan. 5 storm surge.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

After a series of punishing winter storms and a violent tidal surge dramatically damaged the Capitola Village restaurant in early January, the iconic beachfront spot anticipates a closure of several months while it rebuilds, and aims to reopen by Memorial Day. Lily Belli reports.

FROM WALLACE BAINE: Capitola Village’s magic has taken a beating, but you can help rekindle the #capitolalove


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A full plate indeed this Thursday, and a busy day awaits. Follow Lookout on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to keep up with everything happening around Santa Cruz County, and sign up here for breaking news alerts and our other newsletters. One of those newsletters is Wallace Baine’s Weekender, a recommendation-packed look at the local arts and entertainment scene, hitting inboxes in the afternoon.

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Have an excellent Thursday!

Will McCahill
Lookout Santa Cruz