Pajaro residents march to call for more help following March flooding
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)
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Morning Lookout: Pajaro frustration, wharf’s rejuvenated food scene, Cummings to Coastal Commission

Greetings, friends and neighbors. It’s Friday, March 31, and a mostly sunny day is ahead for Santa Cruz County, with temps maybe hitting 60 in spots.

There’s about 10 pounds of new Lookout content in a 5-pound bag, so if you can’t wait for the tour, tear into it.
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For Lookout’s Community Voices section, Kevin Painchaud was in Pajaro on Thursday as around 200 people marched to call for more help in the wake of the flooding that devastated the small agricultural town. “It’s undignified,” one organizer told him of conditions there.

The Santa Cruz Wharf, meanwhile, is the destination for Ashley Spencer, who’s got a look at new and reimagined food and drink (and entertainment) options as the city and business owners try to tempt more locals to the venerable tourist haunt. She also digs into the challenges the wharf has faced in recent years and what’s coming next.

Thursday afternoon brought news that Santa Cruz County Supervisor Justin Cummings has been appointed to the California Coastal Commission, and Christopher Neely reports on what that means and how it might not have come to pass had it not been for a Lookout investigation.

Friday’s headlines also include Wallace Baine’s recommendation-packed Weekender, an analysis of what the historic indictment of Donald Trump means and the latest Student Lookout, so tag along, won’t you?

‘It’s undignified’: Pajaro residents march to voice frustration, call for more help

Pajaro residents march to call for more help following March flooding
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

Close to 200 people marched through Pajaro on Thursday to the bridge separating the Monterey County agricultural town from Watsonville, on the Santa Cruz County side of the Pajaro River. They voiced frustrations at what they say is a slow response and lack of help after the March 11 failure of the river’s levee flooded Pajaro and left many homes damaged or uninhabitable. Here’s what Kevin Painchaud heard and saw.

EARLIER THIS WEEK: Newsom asks Biden to declare a major disaster in Santa Cruz, Monterey counties and others

Bait the hook: Dining renaissance underway at the Santa Cruz wharf

Nautical is the theme inside Makai Island Kitchen & Groggery.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

With the reopening of Stagnaro Brothers and Firefish Grill, a Humble Sea pop-up, Makai’s island grog and a summer concert series, the wharf is aiming to tempt Santa Cruz locals into the mix at the popular tourist destination. Ashley Spencer gives us a taste.

MORE: City aims to pilot wharf to calmer waters after stormy few years


A heaping helping of Lookout to speed you into the weekend. As I’ve hinted at before, there’ll be a quiz later, so follow Lookout on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to get the latest weekly news brain-teaser from Wallace Baine, hitting an internet near you later Friday. A great way to keep abreast of everything going on around Santa Cruz County — and thus up your chances of acing said news quiz — is to subscribe to all our other newsletters (including the specially curated Sunday Reads) and sign up for breaking news text and email alerts. Do all that here.

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Enjoy what’s looking to be a beautiful Friday, and have a safe, relaxing weekend.

Will McCahill
Lookout Santa Cruz