Rexford Winery's Sam Miller and family
Rexford Winery’s Sam Miller with wife April and son Zev.
(Via Laura Sutherland)
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Morning Lookout: Westside wine walk, weekend happenings and an honor for Lookout

Greetings, Lookout friends. It is Friday, April 7, and rain is likely to linger around Santa Cruz County into early afternoon before a gradual clearing that’ll bring sunny skies and 70s by Sunday.

Lots new on Lookout, if you’d like to take it at your own speed.
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Between the weekend and the promise of longer, sunnier days ahead, what better time to sip and stroll on Santa Cruz’s Westside? That’s where we find Laura Sutherland with the latest Lookout Guide, giving her tour of the area’s wine-tasting options.

Wallace Baine is in the weekend swing, too, delivering his weekly look at Santa Cruz County’s arts and entertainment scene. First Friday is upon us, and highlights from Davenport to the Capitola Mall are on the menu in his Weekender newsletter.

For the students among you, or those with students in their lives, be sure to check out Student Lookout, which has information on combating the opioid crisis in addition to the usual raft of deals, food recommendations and more.

Before the headlines, though, news on a big night for Lookout:

The Santa Cruz Chamber of Commerce held its annual Community Recognition Gala on Thursday at the Beach Boardwalk’s Cocoanut Grove. The chamber focused on awards to five organizations and people, and this year, one award went to us, Lookout Santa Cruz, named best small business/startup of the year. A table of Lookouters was there to celebrate.

From left, Lookout's Ashley Harmon, Jody K. Biehl, Jamie Garfield, Wallace Baine, Ken Doctor and Tamsin McMahon.

In his acceptance speech, Lookout founder Ken Doctor thanked the whole Lookout team and the community for the recognition, which comes just before Lookout turns 2½.

“We built Lookout, and you came,” Doctor told the crowd. “That took a leap of faith, but that should not be a surprise in this place we call home. While we work on old-fashioned principles of digging out the news without fear or favor, we understand Santa Cruz’s uniqueness. Here we have — in this room and wider — a business and nonprofit community that work together tackling the gnarly problems in a place we can call paradise with problems.”

Other awardees included:

  • Person of the Year: Chris Murphy, Santa Cruz Warriors president and senior vice president, franchise development, with the Golden State Warriors.
  • Organizations of the Year: Pajaro Valley Healthcare District Project and the Pajaro Valley Healthcare District. And those who worked on creating the locally run Watsonville Community Hospital — including Santa Cruz County Chief Administrative Officer Carlos Palacios, Salud Para La Gente CEO Dori Rose Inda, longtime health care executive John Friel — and interim CEO Matko Vranjes.
  • Business of the Year: Joby Aviation. The electric air taxi company is one of Santa Cruz’s largest employers.
  • Lifetime (Legacy) Award: Retired Santa Cruz County Bank executive Chris Maffia.

Of course, Lookout couldn’t have done it without you, our members and readers.

The Friday headlines also include the latest chapter in a Berkeley raptor soap opera — so let’s get this tour off the ground.

In vino veritas: A guide to Westside Santa Cruz’s walkable wine scene

The tasting room at Stockwell Cellars.
(Via Laura Sutherland)

With rainy season just about over (right?) and longer days, what better time to get familiar with — or revisit — the walkable winery tasting rooms of Santa Cruz’s Westside. Red, white, bubbly, in refillable bottles ... there’s more than enough to make a weekend or two out of. Laura Sutherland takes us for the stroll.

MORE LOOKOUT GUIDES: From neighborhoods to parenting to food and drink, get to know Santa Cruz County better

Cabrillo Fest’s new season, First Friday in high gear and Vets Hall rocking again

With recommendations for this weekend — including a wealth of First Friday happenings — and beyond, plus Santa Cruz County arts, culture and entertainment notes and a local trivia stumper, Wallace Baine’s Weekender is a must. Check it out here.

NEED MORE? Let Lookout’s BOLO events calendar help you fill your weekend dance card


Santa Cruz County Job Board

As promised, there will be a quiz later, so maybe get warmed up for Wallace Baine’s weekly local news test by perusing previous editions here. Follow Lookout on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to find this week’s quiz later Friday, and subscribe here to all of our other newsletters and breaking news alerts to keep up with Santa Cruz County goings-on and boost your quiz score. (Among those newsletters, by the way, is the specially curated Sunday Reads, a key part of any weekend around here.)

Our content isn’t possible without community support, so if you’re not already, please consider becoming a Lookout member.

Have a good Friday and a safe, relaxing weekend!