Quick Take:

Road closures and power outages have been a near-constant fact of life in the San Lorenzo Valley since the parade of...

Good day to you all,

I’m guessing that you’re doing your best to savor the last few days of spring break right about now, so I’ll keep this brief. I myself have a couple of days off this week, so I’ll be doing us both a favor.

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Let’s get right to it …

Deals Download

Check out these student discounts:
  • Students (and teachers) get 10% off at Well Within on Thursdays.
  • HoM Korean Kitchen offers 15% off for students.
  • Seymour Marine Discovery Center offers free admission to UC Santa Cruz students and 25% off for all student tickets.

BEST DEAL OF THE MONTH: $5 movie tickets at CineLux

CineLux Theatres are now offering $5 movie tickets on Tuesdays. You can purchase your tickets online or in person. What a deal!

$5 ticket tuesdays at cinelux movie theatres

➤ Want to share these deals with your friends? Have them sign up for Student Lookout texts with this link.

Good Eats

Upper Crust ($)

Do you like pizza, pasta and trivia? I’ll go out on a limb here and assume that you like at least one of the three and implore you to take advantage of Upper Crust’s weekly deals. Tuesdays feature all-you-can-eat pizza for $12.95 and Wednesdays are time for all-you-can-eat pasta for $13.95, along with trivia. Bring some friends and test the limits of your stomach and the amount of miscellaneous knowledge in your brain.

Recently, Jessica M. Pasko — one of the food writers pinch-hitting for Lily Belli during her maternity leave — spoke with a number of restaurant owners in the San Lorenzo Valley who have struggled with difficult recovery efforts in the aftermath of the county’s brutal winter. The area’s residents have stepped up and shown their support as much as they can, according to the businesses themselves.

Inside Santa Cruz: Pajaro Valley flooding

Flooding in Pajaro after a breach of the Pajaro River levee
One of Kevin Painchaud’s photos from Pajaro after the March levee break and the flooding that followed. Credit: Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz

Written by Kaya Henkes-Power, newsroom intern

Displaced for nearly two weeks after flooding caused by the Pajaro River levee breach, Pajaro residents began to return home last week, following Monterey County’s decision to lift an evacuation order March 23. But officials warned there are still many hazards. Cal Fire officials say that 903 homes have been damaged and that only 500 structures (mostly in the northern part of Pajaro) remain unaffected. This was not the first time the area has flooded since the levee was built in 1949; it had flooded five times prior to this year.

County spokesperson Nicholas Pasculli spoke with Lookout reporter Hilary Ojeda late last week, saying it was unclear when water will be safe to drink again, and that it would be another week before the community’s sewage system would be safe to use. Other health concerns remain, as the floodwaters have contaminated homes with sewage and caused mold to grow inside homes. Some residents were unable to return to their homes because of the mold. Many people are having to start from scratch, trying to salvage what belongings they have left. Others are still displaced.

Agricultural businesses were also affected by the levee failure, with several farms seeing their crops flooded. Dick Peixoto, owner of Lakeside Organic Gardens, said he lost 20 acres of broccoli in the floods and estimated that 200 acres of his farm had flooded. Peixoto told Lookout’s Max Chun that while it’s still too early to assess the full extent of the damage to the region’s agricultural land, it’s likely that no farm has emerged unscathed. Gov. Gavin Newsom said farmworkers affected by the floods would receive a $600 check; that turned out to be connected to pandemic aid, which has made local leaders push for further flood relief. State Sens. John Laird and Anna Caballero and Assemblymembers Robert Rivas, Dawn Addis and Gail Pellerin pushed Newsom to give out an extra $1,500 in direct economic aid to displaced evacuees and unemployed farmworkers. To read more about this, check outChristopher Neely’s newsletter.

Young Pajaro residents are also having to grapple with disruptions to their schooling and questions around when they can return to a normal educational life. As many were displaced, the Pajaro Valley Unified School District saw a drop in attendance but resumed classes March 15. The district added bus stops and shelters started bus services, but some students were unable to reach schools they attend in Watsonville. Mindy Dumont, a fourth grade teacher at Ohlone Elementary School, told the Los Angeles Times: “I’m hearing stories of kids who have not yet come to school because they don’t have a change of clothes and they’re not at the shelter and they don’t have a place to shower.”

Check out other ways to help those affected by the Pajaro levee breach.

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Around Town – Events

Did you know that we have an events calendar? BOLO, which stands for Be On the Lookout, is our hub for the best events in the county. See all the listings here.
click to go to our events calendar

Here is an event you should check out:

March to End Homelessness, Saturday, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Housing Matters, one of the county nonprofits working to create and promote equitable solutions to homelessness, is putting on its first March to End Homelessness this Saturday. This is a great way for you to connect with organizations and community members who share a passion for ending homelessness in Santa Cruz County, which remains one of the country’s most expensive areas to live in. If you’ve been looking for ways to get involved, this is a good starting point.

➤ Want more? If you’re still looking for great things to do, check out Wallace Baine’s Weekender here.

How I got my job

Alexandra Navarro, chief of staff at Scotts Valley's Paystand.

Newsroom intern Kaya Henkes-Power is back again with another insightful conversation with a local professional. This week, she spoke with Alexandra Navarro, chief of staff at Paystand, a Scotts Valley-based business-to-business payment network.

They touched on a number of topics, including what it’s like to be a Latina in the tech industry, seeking jobs in the industry as a person of color and the expectations one should have if they do end up in tech.

This week, I read: Michigan’s repeal of right-to-work law a big win for unions

A flurry of unionization efforts has been in the news over the past few years, with some of California’s most historic efforts happening here in Santa Cruz. An article published by data-driven publication FiveThirtyEight digs into Michigan’s recent repeal of an 11-year-old right-to-work law — legislation that allows workers to choose whether or not to join a union.

Some of this was new to me, too, as I am not all that familiar with the implications of right-to-work laws. Although I have covered many of the local labor disputes over the past year, I had failed to recognize how right-to-work laws significantly hamper union organizing and bargaining efforts and resources. This is a good, quick read for those looking to better understand the legislative aspect of unions’ power in the workplace.

Puzzle Center

Got what it takes to decipher this Word Search puzzle? Put yourself to the test. If you enjoy these, check out our full Puzzle Center.

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Lookout Job Board

Are you looking for a job? Check out our job board for Santa Cruz County openings.
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More local jobs: Browse more open positions on the Lookout Job Board.

That’s it from me on this somewhat shortened version of Student Lookout. I hope y’all make the most of your last few days of break! Fear not, Memorial Day is coming.

See you right here next week.

— Max

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Max Chun is the general-assignment correspondent at Lookout Santa Cruz. Max’s position has pulled him in many different directions, seeing him cover development, COVID, the opioid crisis, labor, courts...

Kaya Henkes-Power joins Lookout as a newsroom intern during her final year majoring in English at Cabrillo College. After her journey at Cabrillo College, Kaya plans to transfer to a state university to...