Cleanup supplies stacked up at Pajaro Middle School
Cleanup supplies stacked up at Pajaro Middle School.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)
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Morning Lookout: Oversized vehicle restrictions approved, Pajaro school rebuild & Cabrillo’s culinary gem

We meet again, Santa Cruz County. It is Friday, May 12, and, marine layer willing, a mostly sunny day awaits, with temps ranging from the 60s to around 80 — and the Santa Cruz Mountains could hit 90 as the weekend warmup builds in.

There’s about 15 pounds of new Lookout in a 5-pound bag, so if you’d rather unpack it all on your own, have at it.
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Santa Cruz’s oversized vehicle ordinance is a go, Christopher Neely reports, after the California Coastal Commission approved a one-year test of the law governing overnight parking for recreational vehicles in city’s coastal zone. County supervisor and former Santa Cruz city councilmember Justin Cummings was among the commissioners voting in favor.

From post-flood Pajaro, Hillary Ojeda reports that Pajaro Middle School will remain closed, and its students dispersed to Watsonville locations, through the 2023-24 academic year as cleanup and rebuilding continue on the damaged campus.

Fridays are a foodie day at Lookout, and this week Laura Sutherland takes us inside the culinary arts program at Cabrillo College. Its students and grads have found their way into restaurants across Santa Cruz County, and have turned the school’s upscale Pino Alto Restaurant into what one fan calls “Santa Cruz’s quiet secret.”

Fridays also mean it’s time to test how well you’ve been following the Santa Cruz County news and views Lookout has been delivering all week, so read along if you think you’re ready to take Wallace Baine’s latest news quiz.

And speaking of Wallace, he’s got another jam-packed Weekender, his weekly guide to things to do all over the county plus news and notes from our bustling arts and entertainment scene — so please do keep scrolling for that, plus a new Student Lookout and more, as we roll into the Friday headlines.

Coastal Commission OKs one-year pilot of Santa Cruz’s embattled oversized vehicle ordinance

RVs line a street on Santa Cruz's Westside
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

After years of questions and division, the City of Santa Cruz will be able to move forward with its law restricting recreational vehicles from parking along its coastal areas. Santa Cruz County Supervisor Justin Cummings, a newcomer to the California Coastal Commission who voted against the ordinance as a Santa Cruz city councilmember, voted with the 9-2 commission majority Thursday. Read more from Christopher Neely.

PREVIOUSLY: County Supervisor Justin Cummings steps onto Coastal Commission at a critical time

Cabrillo College’s culinary arts program stokes classroom-to-kitchen pipeline

Cabrillo College's Sesnon House.
(Via Cabrillo College)

From creating wedding cakes and catering special events to putting on lunch and dinner at the upscale Pino Alto Restaurant at the campus’ venerable Sesnon House, Cabrillo College gives students hands-on experience as they pursue options from certification to associate degrees, sending them into restaurants and businesses across Santa Cruz County and beyond. Get a taste from Laura Sutherland.

MORE FOOD & DRINK: My Thai Beach reopens, new restaurant from Trestles owner & the solo cooking doldrums

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Lots to digest as we head into Mother’s Day weekend. I know you’re all about keeping informed on what’s going on around Santa Cruz County — you get this newsletter, after all, and you’ve read all the way to the bottom, for which many thanks indeed — and Lookout has plenty of ways for you to stay in the loop. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and sign up right here for breaking news alerts via email and text, plus all of our other newsletters, including the specially curated Sunday Reads and our Monday staple covering local politics and policy, In the Public Interest from Christopher Neely.

Before I sign off for the week, a heads-up about an event happening Saturday for Lookout members:

Join Coastal Watershed Council river ecologist Kaiya Giuliano-Monroy and Lookout staffers Saturday to learn more about the San Lorenzo River and get your hands dirty maintaining the native ecosystem along the riverbanks.

We invite Lookout members to meet Lookout staff at Cat & Cloud at downtown Santa Cruz’s Abbott Square at 9:15 a.m. for a complimentary coffee and a walk along the riverwalk with Wallace Baine. We’ll discuss the upcoming changes and construction projects coming downtown as we make our way to the restoration site. Find more information here.

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

Have a super Friday and a safe, relaxing weekend — and that goes double for all the moms out there!

Will McCahill
Lookout Santa Cruz