Crowds lined roads near Watsonville Municipal Airport to greet President Joe Biden.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)
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Morning Lookout: Post-storm insurance questions, Smitten Kitchen wisdom & recapping Biden’s visit

A brisk good morning to you! It is Friday, Jan. 20, and a sunny day, and weekend, are ahead for Santa Cruz County — goodness knows we have earned it.

Plenty new Lookout content awaits, and I won’t hold you back if you’re chomping at the bit to explore.
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The dry days ahead will give many of us the chance to assess what this month’s storms did to our homes and other property, but if you’re thinking about pursuing an insurance claim, you’ll want to read Hillary Ojeda’s Q&A with the head of a nonprofit that helps folks navigate just this sort of situation.

It’s clearly a Q&A Friday, because Lily Belli is along with her chat with Deb Perelman, the home cook behind the wildly popular Smitten Kitchen blog and whose latest book has her out on a tour that lands Monday in Santa Cruz.

And of course, the county is still buzzing after President Joe Biden’s three-hour(ish) tour Thursday, and we’ve got coverage from Christopher Neely and Tamsin McMahon, a history lesson from Wallace Baine and a gallery of images from Kevin Painchaud, Lookout readers and others.

Our headlines also include how you can get involved with cleanup efforts Friday and Saturday in Felton Grove, Wallace Baine’s Weekender and lots more.

Damaged by the Santa Cruz storms? Tips from the pros on how to deal with insurance

Flooding and home damage in Rio Del Mar
(Via Caroline Manning Montgomery)

“First thing is to do your best to dry out your property and stabilize it. Be safe, and recognize that most people are going to have a fight with their insurance companies to get them to pay for the damage,” says Amy Bach, executive director of United Policyholders. Her group aids consumers in the many ins and outs of getting insurance claims paid. Check out her Q&A with Hillary Ojeda.

RECOVERY EFFORTS: Volunteer cleanup in Felton Grove on Friday and Saturday — and other ways to help

‘Focus on the things you’re craving’ and other tips from Smitten Kitchen’s Deb Perelman

Author and blogger Deb Perelman comes to Santa Cruz on Jan. 23 to promote her newest cookbook, "Smitten Kitchen Keepers."
(Via Penguin Random House)

Deb Perelman is a self-taught home cook who, over the past 17 years, has earned millions of devotees for her unfussy and triumphant recipes through her blog, Smitten Kitchen. On Monday, she talks to fans at the Hotel Paradox, brought to town by Bookshop Santa Cruz. But first, she talked to Lily Belli.

MORE LOOKOUT Q&As: Hear from local newsmakers in their own words

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Much to keep you busy on this Friday morning. Among the items still coming are Lily Belli’s Eaters Digest, and an excellent way to make sure you don’t miss that or anything else going on around Santa Cruz County is to follow Lookout on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. We also offer breaking news alerts, which you can sign up for here, and that link can get you in on all of our other newsletters, including the specially curated Sunday Reads over the weekend.

All of this content just doesn’t happen without community support, so if you’re not already, please consider becoming a Lookout member. An enormous thanks to our members, and please spread the word about what we’re doing.

May your Friday be a good one, and have a safe, relaxing weekend!

Will McCahill
Lookout Santa Cruz