Morning Lookout: fill empty storefronts downtown; the superintendent talks about the challenges of Scotts Valley

Hello again, Lookout peeps! It’s Thursday, August 4, and with the welcome return of the marine layer, Santa Cruz County should see gradually clearing skies and temperatures in that typical wide range of the 60s to 90s.

We’re heading to downtown Santa Cruz this morning, where the pandemic and shifting retail demands have left some storefronts empty. But those spaces are gradually filling up, reports Max Chun, as city officials, landlords and business owners chart a roadmap for both the immediate and longer-term future that includes many developments. .

Meanwhile, on Highway 17, it’s been a tough stretch for educators, and Lookout’s Hillary Ojeda spoke with Scotts Valley Unified School District Superintendent Tanya Krause about how she and the district manage issues of equity, inclusion, turnover and more.

And in our opinion section of Community Voices, recent UC Santa Cruz graduate Madison Barneaux writes about their cocaine addiction and how their family and coming to UCSC saved them.

There’s a lot to do, so let’s see those Thursday headlines.

As commerce itself transforms, downtown Santa Cruz is refining its approach to filling in the blanks

The empty site of the former Pacific Avenue Starbucks, which still has no tenants.

(Max Chun / Belvedere Santa Cruz)

COVID has made running a business in downtown Santa Cruz even more difficult on top of all the pre-existing impacts of online shopping. Today, there are 15 empty storefronts, compared to about 30 open after the pandemic. The city is working on new ways to attract more businesses — especially those owned by women and minorities — to these locations. Max Chun Reports.

MORE LOCAL COMPANY: Think outside the (big) box: Capitola Mall leans into the local (Lookout)

sale of summer subscriptions on Lookout

Time, turnover, refusal from parents: Superintendent Tanya Krause details challenges as she seeks fairness in Scotts Valley

Scotts Valley Unified School District superintendent Tanya Krause at an immunization clinic

(Kevin Painchaud / Belvedere Santa Cruz)

Santa Cruz County’s fourth-largest school district is seeing a 30% staff turnover this year amid affordability concerns and COVID-related stress on the profession. Scotts Valley Unified Superintendent Tanya Krause talks about the pressures of the moment and how they affect her efforts to create equitable and inclusive school environments. Here is his Q&A with Hillary Ojeda.

AFTER: Scotts Valley Introspection: Flag Flap Highlights Persistent Community Issues Related to Diversity and Inclusion

UCSC PROMOTED CONTENT ROADBLOCK (Construction well underway on new student housing)

click to play our puzzle of the day

A busy Thursday, to say the least. It’s also shaping up to be a busy weekend in these parts, so you’ll want to bookmark Lookout and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and instagram to get the scoop via Weekender, Wallace Baine’s investigation of the Santa Cruz arts and entertainment scene.

None of our content is possible without community support – so if you aren’t already, please consider become a Lookout member. And spread the word about what we do!

Now go boldly forward and give Thursday a run for his money!

Will McCahill
Santa Cruz Lookout

David H. Henry