Hiya, folks! It’s Friday, June 3, and the forecast is a typical one for Santa Cruz County this time of year: the marine layer doing its June gloom thing in some spots, mostly sunny elsewhere, and highs in the 60s and 70s.

Lookout is keeping an eye on court proceedings today: Grace Stetson has the latest on the trial of the alleged vandals of the Black Lives Matter mural outside Santa Cruz City Hall, with the court hearing Thursday from muralist Abi Mustapha. Meanwhile, the CEO and founder of Santa Cruz CORE Fitness + Rehab is due in federal court today and is expected to change her not-guilty plea in a case involving alleged COVID-19 treatment fraud.

With Tuesday’s election day drawing ever nearer, we hosted a virtual debate between both sides of the rail-trail Measure D, with Mark Conley asking Yes Greenway and No Way Greenway to cut the rhetoric and explain the issues. We also crunched the fundraising numbers on the county supervisors races, finding that Shebreh Kalantari-Johnson is leading the District 3 pack and Felipe Hernandez has pulled in more than his District 4 rivals.

And Santa Cruz parks department workers are feeling unsafe and demoralized after a firebombing damaged vehicles in the city yard at Harvey West Park in an attack that appears related to the city’s homelessness response work.

Many headlines to get to, including Wallace Baine’s latest Weekender newsletter, so let’s have at it:

‘More than just paint on the ground’

Muralist Abi Mustapha talks to Assistant District Attorney Michael Mahan before testifying

The downtown Santa Cruz BLM mural vandalism case continues, with nearly 30 community members showing up to court Thursday to support muralist Abi Mustapha as she testified. With a restitution amount still not agreed, the case moves into summer for a possible trial date. Grace Stetson has the latest.

EARLIER: ‘They need to clean it up’: To BLM mural artist Abi Mustapha, restorative justice is the answer (Lookout)

Santa Cruz CORE founder Jaimi Jansen changing plea in federal COVID fraud case

Part of the exterior of the Santa Cruz CORE Fitness + Rehab facility in Santa Cruz.

With the founder of Santa Cruz CORE Fitness + Rehab due in court this morning to change her not-guilty plea in a federal case alleging the distribution of fake COVID-19 immunization pellets and vaccination cards, there are still many questions regarding the scope of Jaimi Jansen’s alleged fraud. Get the details from Max Chun.

BACKGROUND: Santa Cruz native among seven Californians charged in $150 million COVID aid fraud scheme (Los Angeles Times)

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A cheat sheet for your Measure D migraine

A section of the rail line near La Selva Beach
Credit: Mark Conley / Lookout Santa Cruz

Leaders of both Yes Greenway and No Way Greenway provided detailed answers to a range of questions. We asked for their best succinct closing arguments on time to build, cost, equity and environmental impact, among other core issues in the rail-trail debate. With voting set to close in Santa Cruz County on Tuesday, here is a side-by-side look at those arguments.

MUCH MORE ON MEASURE D: Get all of Lookout’s news coverage, plus opinion from our Community Voices section, here

How fundraising stacks up in county supervisors races

Graph showing contributions

With election day approaching rapidly, we take a look at how fundraising for the 3rd and 4th District Santa Cruz County Supervisor candidates compares, with the top candidates reporting dozens of contributors who maxed out their $500 gifts. Max Chun goes inside the campaign filings.

DOWN THE STRETCH: Election Guide: One week to go (Lookout)

Five Santa Cruz city parks vehicles set afire, causing $300,000 in damages

Caution tape blocks a crime scene where burned cars are parked at the City of Santa Cruz's parks yard at Harvey West Park.

In the middle of Wednesday night, at least five City of Santa Cruz parks vehicles were destroyed in what officials said was an intentional firebombing at the city’s yard at Harvey West Park. An investigation is underway, with spray-painted messages found nearby. Grace Stetson reports.


Weekender: Sol scheduled, Ukraine meditation & an overflowing B9

An image from  Jon Bailiff's Ukraine exhibit
Credit: Via Jon Bailiff

With First Friday and Pride festivities all over Santa Cruz, a packed weekend is ahead, and who better to be your guide than Wallace Baine? Check out his latest newsletter here.

OUR FULL EVENTS CALENDAR: BOLO, your place to go for things to do
PLANNING AHEAD: Never miss a show with Down The Line, Wallace’s expertly curated list of all the big events headed our way

Alameda County reinstates mask order as coronavirus cases soar

A pharmacist  wears a double mask when dealing with customers.

Effective today, masks are back indoors in Alameda County, the first time a California county has issued a mask mandate since the winter Omicron surge faded. Here’s more from our partners at the Los Angeles Times.

LOCAL PICTURE: COVID Dashboard: Recorded cases continue to drop, but county positivity rate matches state’s

What has Tony Thurmond done as California schools chief?

California Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond speaks at a 2019 news conference.
California Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond speaks at a 2019 news conference. Credit: Anne Wernikoff / CalMatters

Tony Thurmond faces little opposition for a second term as California schools superintendent, but critics question how much he has accomplished. He points to task forces that are influencing education policy and says he wants to help public schools rebound from the pandemic. Our partners at CalMatters dig in.

STATEWATCH: More California politics coverage from Lookout’s content partners

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Around the county …

Scotts Valley city budget starts to rebound (Santa Cruz Local)
Aptos to celebrate late basketball coaching legend Bill Warmerdam (Santa Cruz Sentinel)
Warriors falter in fourth quarter, fall to Celtics in Game 1 of NBA Finals (Associated Press)

How’s that for a jam-packed Friday morning? But wait, there’s more! Lily Belli is back later today with her latest Eaters Digest, so keep tabs throughout the day by bookmarking our website and following us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. And you can sign up for newsletters from Lily, Wallace Baine and more over at our Lookout Newsletter & Text Center.

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

Enjoy your Friday, and have a safe, relaxing weekend!

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...