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Sebastián Valdez, a third-year psychology major, loves UC Santa Cruz, but is frustrated by the high student fees for...

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A pleasant morning to you, Santa Cruz County. It’s Thursday, Oct. 26, and the forecast says it’ll be another mostly sunny, cooler day, with temperatures in the 60s and a few 70s in the warmer spots.

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Wallace Baine checks in from Watsonville, which is ramping up for Día de Los Muertos celebrations. “Mexico has given this gift to the world,” one organizer says of the Day of the Dead traditions, “this way of embracing the cycle of life and death.”

From Scotts Valley, Lily Belli and Laurie Love preview the opening of Saison Cellar & Wine Bar, a passion project for well-traveled Ben Lomond resident Mark Bright. The wines of Burgundy, France, and the Santa Cruz Mountains take center stage, and there are some gems.

And it’s to campus we go in Lookout’s Community Voices opinion section, with third-year UC Santa Cruz student Sebastián Valdez writing about the Transportation and Parking Services (TAPS) bus fleet that, despite the high transportation fees he and his fellow Slugs pay, is old, dilapidated and unreliable.

We’ll get to the Thursday headlines shortly, but first, Lookout photojournalist Kevin Painchaud was also on campus Wednesday:

Photo of the day

Hundreds of UC Santa Cruz students gathered as part of a national student walkout in support of Palestinians.
Credit: Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz

Hundreds of UC Santa Cruz students gathered at Quarry Plaza on Wednesday afternoon as part of a national student walkout in support of Palestinians. Demonstrators called for the U.S. to end its support for Israel in the ongoing conflict with Hamas that has killed thousands of Israelis and Palestinians. The event was one of several rallies in support of Palestinians planned locally as Israel prepares for a possible ground invasion weeks after the surprise Oct. 7 attack by Hamas. The U.S. House of Representatives voted Wednesday to pass a resolution declaring solidarity with Israel.

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Watsonville springs to life honoring the dead for Día de Los Muertos

Traditional ceremonial dances from Mexico are a big part of Watsonville's Dia de Los Muertos celebration.
Traditional ceremonial dances from various localities in Mexico are a big part of Watsonville’s Día de Los Muertos celebration. Credit: Via Huve Rivas

“It’s really important that people know this is not Mexican Halloween,” the director of the Watsonville Film Festival says of Día de Los Muertos, being celebrated this weekend at the downtown plaza and elsewhere. “The essence of each is very different. Halloween is all about being scary and funny, and though Day of the Dead can be funny, too, they just come from different places.” Wallace Baine previews the weekend’s events.

MORE FESTIVITIES: What’s happening where this Halloween season in Santa Cruz County

Closing the curtain on The Dwellings construction: New townhomes for sale in Soquel PC

From Burgundy to the Santa Cruz Mountains, Saison’s Mark Bright brings fine wine to new Scotts Valley wine bar

Mark Bright pours wine at Saison Cellar and Wine Bar in Scotts Valley

Ben Lomond resident Mark Bright is the beverage director and co-founder of Saison Hospitality Group and a respected sommelier. Now, he’s bringing his wine knowledge and passion to Scotts Valley with the opening of Saison Cellar & Wine Bar, which will focus on hand-selected wines from Europe, particularly Burgundy, France, as well as the Santa Cruz Mountains. Go inside with Lily Belli and Laurie Love.

LILY BELLI ON FOOD: Mushroom lovers rejoice, a worthy winemaker dinner, Jayne Dough’s Capitola digs
LAURIE LOVE ON WINE: Santa Cruz cabernet harvest, Grazing on the Green highlights & Kathryn Kennedy wines

Five UC Santa Cruz projects awarded grant funding to tackle climate change challenges
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You never know what else we might have in store as Thursday unspools before us, so if you don’t want to miss anything, follow Lookout on social media — Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Threads — to keep up with what’s going on around Santa Cruz County. I do know what Wallace Baine, a veritable authority on goings-on all over our slice of paradise, is coming to inboxes later Thursday with Weekender, and you can sign up here for that and all of Lookout’s library of newsletters, plus breaking news alerts.

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

Until we meet again, be good to each other.

Will McCahill
Lookout Santa Cruz

Upcoming events in Santa Cruz County

Apple-Palooza @Farm Discovery at Live Earth
Cloe Hubbard @Steel Bonnet Brewing Company
James Durbin: Unplugged @Veterans Village
Noah Gundersen @Felton Music Hall
Lowdown Brass Band @Moe’s Alley

SUNDAY 11/12
Sip & Stroll @Capitola Village
Fall Wine Walk @Downtown Santa Cruz
Grateful Sundays with Matt Hartle & Friends @Felton Music Hall
The Lacs @The Catalyst
Gene Luen Yang | “The Books Of Clash Volume 2″ @Bookshop Santa Cruz

Click for the full event calendar

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...