Inside the rebuilding Paradise Beach Grille.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)
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Morning Lookout: Capitola Village rebuilding progress, UCSC grading lags & restaurant news

Well good morning, friends and neighbors. It’s Wednesday, Feb. 1, and Santa Cruz County will kick off a new month with mostly sunny skies, though the forecast calls for clouds to roll in later as we enter a stretch that’s likely to bring us some rain.

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We’re headed to Capitola Village first, where Max Chun and Kevin Painchaud checked in on rebuilding efforts at restaurants hammered by the early January storm surge. Reopening predictions vary, but it could be within weeks for some.

Christopher Neely, meanwhile, talked to a federal climate scientist who put the storms damage to California at $1 billion — though he admits that estimate “should be considered conservative.” You can find all our post-storms coverage, plus links for how to get help, donate and volunteer, in our newest section, Storms 2023: Road to Recovery.

At UC Santa Cruz, ripple effects of the academic workers strike late last year are still being felt, with Hillary Ojeda reporting that some 5,000 students are still without at least one letter grade from fall quarter.

And you might still be digesting Lily Belli’s story about the new riverfront restaurants that could be on the horizon in downtown Santa Cruz, but she’s back with something more immediate: word of an opening day for Alderwood Pacific, a Capitola landmark celebrating a milestone and plenty more in the latest Lily Belli on Food newsletter.

Wednesday’s headlines also include a mountain lion attack in rural San Mateo County, so let’s jump in.

Capitola Village restaurant repairs moving along; some aiming to reopen within weeks

a worker dumps sand from a damaged restaurant back onto Capitola Beach
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

“We’re just kind of working with what we have,” said the manager of Paradise Beach Grille, one of the Esplanade establishments in rebuilding mode. Here’s what Max Chun and Kevin Painchaud heard and saw.

RELATED: Community Foundation gives $100K in storm relief grants to Capitola restaurants

About 5,000 UCSC students still without at least one letter grade for fall quarter in strike’s wake

Students walk past UC Santa Cruz's "squiggle" sculpture
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

About 5,000 undergraduates at UC Santa Cruz are still missing at least one letter grade for fall quarter assignments that went ungraded during the graduate worker strike. The university is encouraging faculty to prioritize grading for students who are most affected. Hillary Ojeda has details.

FROM DECEMBER: UC graduate student workers ratify labor agreement, end historic strike with big wage gains


Santa Cruz County Job Board

That’s all for now, but with more on the way, I recommend you follow Lookout on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to keep up with what’s happening around Santa Cruz County. Also good for that are our breaking news alerts and our other newsletters, which you can sign up for here.

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And it wouldn’t really be hump day if I didn’t think about this commercial, so the least I could do is share. Have a good one!

Will McCahill
Lookout Santa Cruz