Quick Take:

The 155-room terraced luxury hotel near the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk has been in the planning stages for some time....

Mornin’, Lookout fam! It’s Thursday, Sept. 22, and Santa Cruz County is looking at a mostly sunny, warmer day, with highs into the 80s in many spots.

A reminder after Wednesday’s prescribed burn at Wilder Ranch State Park: Cal Fire has a burn scheduled off Empire Grade:

There is a ton of new stuff on Lookout, so if you’d like to explore on your own, get after it.
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Patagonia made big headlines last week with news that founder Yvon Chouinard was giving away the company that made him a billionaire to help fight climate change. One Santa Cruz surf pro has been a Patagonia ambassador for more than a decade, and Mark Conley caught up with Kyle Thiermann to chat about Chouinard’s decision and his own journey.

In our Community Voices opinion section, activist Jess Torres has a remembrance of Santa Cruz’s Deborah Pembrook, who made an outsized impact on the fight against human trafficking and efforts to heal its victims before her death in April.

And on the local development front, Wallace Baine was on hand on Beach Street for groundbreaking ceremonies for the La Bahia luxury hotel property near the Boardwalk, which now has a targeted opening date, and Max Chun reports on Santa Cruz Community Credit Union settling on a new downtown location and how the Cruz Hotel, planned for the Front Street location SCCCU is vacating, is facing new challenges. (And don’t miss Wallace’s look at the drastic makeover that whole area is undergoing.)

As I said, much to get to, so let’s … get to it:

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Only one billionaire’s legacy? Santa Cruz’s Patagonia ambassador reflects on Chouinard’s gift to Earth

Kyle Thiermann

Many Santa Cruzans might think of the small Patagonia outlet store on River Street as the only local vestige of the iconic outdoor lifestyle brand forged on environmental consciousness that made big headlines recently. But the company’s ethos, made loud and clear by founder and indignant billionaire Yvon Chouinard, is also carried on by people like Kyle Thiermann, a Santa Cruz kid who grew up with a different idea about what a pro surfer could be. Check out Thiermann’s Q&A with Mark Conley.

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Remembering Deborah Pembrook, Santa Cruz’s anti-trafficking matriarch

Deborah Pembrook (center) died unexpectedly in April. The survivor community calls her the “mother” of the movement.

Santa Cruz — and the world — lost a “matriarch” of the anti-human-trafficking movement when Deborah Pembrook died suddenly in April. Pembrook, a survivor of child sex trafficking, escaped years of continuous exploitation by heading west and settling in Santa Cruz in 1989. She made a life out of helping survivors — including those in Santa Cruz — and devoted her time to pushing the nation to rethink how trafficking is approached. Jess Torres, a survivor who considers Pembrook a mentor, writes about her legacy and the work still to do. Read Torres’ Community Voices opinion piece here.

MORE FROM COMMUNITY VOICES: Read letters to the editor and more op-eds, and learn how to submit your own, via Santa Cruz’s new opinion forum

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Better read up — there might be a quiz later. Nah, just kidding (probably) — what is for sure coming later is the latest Weekender, Wallace Baine’s weekly recommendation-packed jaunt through Santa Cruz County’s arts and entertainment scene. You can imbibe that in newsletter form by clicking here (and maybe sign up for text alerts and our other newsletters while you’re at it); following us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram is also a good way to stay current.

I might have mentioned this before, but our content isn’t possible without community support. We’d love to have you aboard, so if you’re not already, please consider becoming a Lookout member.

A beautiful Thursday awaits, so get out there and appreciate it!

Will McCahill
Lookout Santa Cruz

A veteran jack-of-all-trades journalist who is Lookout’s copy editor, writes and compiles Morning Lookout newsletter and produces Lookout’s other editorial newsletters and helps run Lookout’s social...