Rep. Barbara Lee in Watsonville on Monday night.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)
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Morning Lookout: Lee’s Watsonville bounce, PVUSD enrollment reversal & Redwood Records’ rise

We meet again, Lookout friends (or, for first-time readers, welcome to the show!). It is Wednesday, Aug. 30, and it’s going to be a warm one around Santa Cruz County, with triple digits in the hills and around 90 even near the bay.

Plenty new on Lookout as we hit hump day, if you’d like to explore it all at your own pace.
JUMP TO ... Latest News | Opinion | Events | Guides | Puzzles

Christopher Neely has more from Monday’s campaign stop in Watsonville by Senate candidate Barbara Lee, with the Oakland congresswoman seeking to set herself apart from the pair of fellow Democrats who visited Santa Cruz last week.

After reporting a jump in enrollment last week, Pajaro Valley Unified School District dug into the numbers a little more and now says its student population is actually down to start the school year, Hillary Ojeda reports. What was thought to be a 500-student gain is now a 675-student drop, the district’s interim superintendent tells Lookout.

And Wallace Baine has a look at a downtown Santa Cruz success story, with Redwood Records taking over the former Metavinyl space at Cedar and Maple and, among other things, bringing in musicians for live performances on what one co-owner calls the world’s smallest stage.

Lily Belli is also in the mix, bringing us word on a makeover at Solaire, the restaurant inside Santa Cruz’s Hotel Paradox, among her news and notes from the local food and drink scene. We’ll dig into that after this report from Lookout’s latest trivia night, Tuesday at Abbott Square downtown.

Wallace Baine hosting Lookout's trivia night in Abbott Square.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

The trivia questions were flying fast and furiously Tuesday night at Lookout’s monthly trivia night. Abbott Square in downtown Santa Cruz was the scene of the event, hosted by Lookout’s Wallace Baine and co-host Sven Davis. The contest focused on a wide variety of subjects and themes, from recalled toys to sex scandals to public broadcasting to a name-that-tune-style music round.

Tuesday’s winning team was the Goat Serenaders — Amber Gillespie, Jason Whitmire, Terry Ray, Patricia Dwyer and Debra Szecsei. The Serenaders defeated two other teams in the event’s final round. The winning question had to do with the name of the world champion competitive eater who is a San Jose State grad. All three teams guessed the correct answer, Joey Chestnut, but only the Goat Serenaders were also able to name Chestnut’s nickname: “Jaws.” A question by guest “Sleepy John” Sandidge about a famous Beatles song determined the runner-up in the round: “Vera, Chuck and Dave” are the grandchildren named in the Beatles’ “When I’m Sixty-Four.”

The Goat Serenaders, Tuesday's winning trivia team
The Goat Serenaders, Tuesday’s winning trivia team comprised of Amber Gillespie, Jason Whitmire, Terry Ray, Patricia Dwyer and Debra Szecsei, took home a prize pack that included a Lookout swag bag, Gilroy Gardens tickets, free spenga sessions and a cookie tower from Pacific Cookie Company.

Rep. Barbara Lee energizes Watsonville during U.S. Senate campaign stop

Congresswoman Barbara Lee at Jalisco Restaurant in Watsonville on Monday night.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

Touting “a different perspective and lived experiences” from the Democratic candidates who had preceded her in visiting Santa Cruz County, Oakland Rep. Barbara Lee talked about the state’s housing crisis and homelessness and her ability to work across the aisle at an event at Jalisco Restaurant. Christopher Neely sets the scene.

SENATE CANDIDATES IN SANTA CRUZ: Find Lookout’s coverage of visits by Lee and Reps. Katie Porter and Adam Schiff here

After revealing surprise enrollment jump, PVUSD says student population might have actually dropped by 675

Pajaro Valley High School
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

Last week, Pajaro Valley Unified School District said total numbers for its schools appeared to show about 500 more students enrolled this year than expected. But upon closer look, officials say they accidentally included dependent charter schools in the district’s total enrollment figures. Interim Superintendent Murry Schekman said the realization the district’s enrollment was in fact continuing on a downward trend is frustrating and makes planning for the district difficult. Schekman sees cost of living as the primary driver for the trend. More here from Hillary Ojeda.

MORE FROM K-12 EDUCATION: As dental woes drive school absences, Santa Cruz County leaders put focus on teen oral health


Upcoming events in Santa Cruz County

“Ten” exhibition @Radius Gallery
Poetry Series @Boulder Creek Branch Library
Dylan Rose: Father & Son @Bargetto Winery
The Latin Dead @Felton Music Hall
Sofia Talvik @Ugly Mug Coffeehouse

Midtown Fridays @1111 Soquel Ave.
Food Truck Friday @Skypark
Mountain Film on Tour Santa Cruz @Rio Theatre
Roosevelt @The Catalyst

Out of The Darkness Santa Cruz County Walk @Skypark
Community Crafters-Basic Earring Making Workshop @Boulder Creek Branch Library
Farm Dinner @1481 San Miguel Canyon Rd.
Big Mountain @Moe’s Alley
MaMuse, WildChoir & The Feelings Parade @Rio Theatre

Halloween Pop-up Event @Little Trends
Rail & Trail Festival @Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk
David Luning @Kuumbwa Jazz Center
Marc E. Bassy @The Catalyst

Keep it tuned to Lookout as we hit another hump day — you never know what we might have up our collective sleeve. Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Threads to stay current with Santa Cruz County news and views, and sign up here all of Lookout’s other newsletters and our breaking news alerts via text and email.

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Stay cool, friends, and keep hydrated.

Will McCahill
Lookout Santa Cruz