Quick Take:

In true sustainable fashion, Bay Federal Credit Union partnered with the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary...

Greetings and salutations, Lookout peeps! Today is Wednesday, Jan. 19, and if the forecast is correct we’ll see these clouds give way to a mostly sunny day with highs in the mid-60s around Santa Cruz County.

Our county could be less than a week away from a strike, with some 1,600 public workers set to walk off the job next Tuesday after rejecting a deal county officials say is fair.

Elsewhere, work continues tonight to repair damaged fencing on a bridge over Highway 1, meaning more closures and a detour are on tap through Aptos. And in Santa Cruz, a temporary site for the unhoused at Depot Park is closing as the city makes way for expanded COVID-19 testing.

For all that plus what to know about getting free at-home COVID tests, read on for today’s headlines:

County at an impasse

A sign says
Credit: Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz

Union workers say they’re set to strike next week, while county management says its “last, best and final offer” is fair. Lookout’s Dan Evans breaks it down here.

FROM LAST MONTH: County workers could strike after 93.5% vote to approve walkout (Lookout)

City closing temporary unhoused site at Depot Park

A temporary site for unhoused residents at Depot Park in Santa Cruz
On Jan. 13, the city told the unhoused residents of the Depot Park that they would have to leave by Jan. 18. City staff was on site Monday and Tuesday to help people move their belongings. Credit: Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz

Between 30 and 35 unhoused residents were required to move as the city of Santa Cruz said it needs the space for increased COVID-19 testing capacity. Get details on the move and what’s next from Lookout’s Grace Stetson.

MORE ON HOMELESSNESS: Santa Cruz tells Food Not Bombs it’s time to go: Lot 27 being cleared by city to make room for construction (Lookout)

Highway 1 closures continue tonight in Aptos as crews repair bridge

The bridge in Aptos damaged in 2017 storms is finally slated to be repaired.
The bridge in Aptos damaged in 2017 storms is finally slated to be repaired. Credit: Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz

Overnight closures and detours will be in place again amid work to fix fencing and railings on the railroad overcrossing. We’ve got more information here.

MORE TRAFFIC WOES: Coming soon: 30-month construction project on Murray Street Bridge (Lookout)

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What to know about ordering free COVID tests

Boxes of iHealth COVID-19 Antigen Rapid Test kits
The federal government has created a website to order at-home COVID-19 tests. You can start ordering them Tuesday. Credit: Jay L. Clendenin / Los Angeles Times

The federal website providing free at-home COVID-19 tests is now open for orders. Our partners at the Los Angeles Times map out the process.

LOCAL ANGLE: ‘Hard month’ continues, but health officials hope vigilance, including mask upgrades, will make it end soon (Lookout)

State to give $10,000 to low-income college students for community service work

Students return to campus to attend in-person classes at Cal State Los Angeles
Several university and college campuses have been awarded funding for students who volunteer. Credit: Christina House / Los Angeles Times

The $60 million program aims to support California students from low-income backgrounds who want to volunteer. More from the Times here.

MORE FROM HIGHER ED: Find all of Lookout’s coverage in one place

André Leon Talley, fashion icon and culture influencer, dies at 73

André Leon Talley, former Vogue magazine editor at large, photographed in 2017.
André Leon Talley, former Vogue magazine editor at large, photographed in 2017. Credit: Jay L. Clendinin / Los Angeles Times

One scribe said Talley was “a bold, daring creation who never let anything obstruct his passions, curiosities and whims.” The Times reports on the man who helped pave the way for Black fashion writers, designers and more.

Around the county …

First public meeting on Big Basin State Park rebuild is Thursday (Santa Cruz Sentinel)
Santa Cruz County nonprofits need volunteers during Omicron surge (KSBW-TV)
If you own wetlands, here’s how you can help save Santa Cruz endangered species (KION-TV)

One more thing: We’re restarting our “Unsung Santa Cruz” series, which struck a chord with so many last month. We know there are many, more deserving people out there, and we need your help in identifying these folks. Please send your nominations — with as many details as possible — to news@lookoutlocal.com.

A preliminary rendering of the 831 Water Street project in Santa Cruz.
A preliminary rendering of the pair of five-story apartment buildings that could be built at 831 Water St. in Santa Cruz.

All right, you’re good to go for Wednesday morning — but be sure to check back throughout the day by bookmarking our website and following us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. You can also sign up for our Lookout PM and Best Bets newsletters, plus breaking news alerts and more, at our Lookout Newsletter & Text Center.

To ensure you’re staying informed about all the goings-on in Santa Cruz, consider becoming a Lookout member. Our content isn’t possible without community support.

Now get out there and conquer hump day!

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...