Quick Take:

Watsonville Community Hospital’s new CEO, Stephen Gray, says he aims to transform the facility into one of the nation’s...

Good morning, all. It is Friday, Sept. 29, and another nice day is ahead for Santa Cruz County, though it looks as though we’re still on track to see some raindrops overnight and into Saturday.

JUMP TO Latest News | Opinion | Events | Guides | Puzzles

I’m leading off with state and national news after Dianne Feinstein, the first woman to represent California in the Senate, died at 90. A towering figure for decades, she rose from San Francisco politics on her way to be elected to the Senate during the “Year of the Woman” in 1992. Read on for more from our content partner the Los Angeles Times.

Closer to home, Hillary Ojeda has a Q&A with the incoming CEO of Watsonville Community Hospital. Stephen Gray talks about getting the hospital on firmer financial footing and his lofty ambitions for recognition beyond Santa Cruz County.

And ahead of her Eaters Digest newsletter, coming later Friday, Lily Belli takes us to downtown Santa Cruz to sample the rice balls, full of organic ingredients and good karma, you can find at the Zen Musubi kiosk on Pacific Avenue.

The day’s headlines also include the latest Weekender from Wallace Baine, packed with recommendations for things to do this weekend and beyond.

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Dianne Feinstein, the first woman to represent California in the Senate, dies at 90

Sen. Dianne Feinstein exits the Senate Chamber following a vote at the U.S. Capitol on Feb. 14, 2023
Sen. Dianne Feinstein, shown in February after returning to Washington following her extended absence due to the shingles virus. Credit: Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times

Dianne Feinstein survived two assassination attempts and a mayoral recall to become the most popular politician in California for years running. Much more here from our partners at the Los Angeles Times.

FROM APRIL: Feinstein’s absence puts focus on Newsom’s promise to appoint a Black woman as senator

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

Zen Musubi’s rice balls aim to bring good karma to downtown Santa Cruz kiosk

Zen Musubi is open in the kiosk in front of New Leaf Market on Pacific Avenue in downtown Santa Cruz.
Zen Musubi is open in the kiosk in front of New Leaf Market on Pacific Avenue in downtown Santa Cruz. Credit: Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz

Zen Musubi opened earlier this month in the kiosk on Pacific Avenue formerly occupied by Café Campesino. Owner Lisa Koda’s menu of Japanese rice balls with fillings like wild-caught salmon, tofu and Spam is made with organic ingredients — and good karma. Get a taste from Lily Belli here.

MORE LOCAL FOOD & DRINK: Santa Cruz bars and restaurants sound alarm on city’s new rules for outdoor dining

Santa Cruz METRO unveils striking new wildlife buses as ‘One Ride at a Time’ campaign expands PC roadblock

The Mountain Affair event Community Bridges
Click for the full event calendar

click to play our puzzle of the day

And that, friends, is how Friday morning is looking. As mentioned, there’s more coming later in Lily Belli’s Eaters Digest, which we’ll be blasting out in newsletter form in the coming hours. That’s just one of our many such offerings — among what’s coming up is Sunday Reads (I’ll leave you to figure out when that hits inboxes) and In the Public Interest, Christopher Neely’s coverage of local politics and policy, coming Monday, which is also when we roll out our high school sports roundup. To sign up for all of that plus breaking news alerts via email and text, get yourself to this link right here. And before I sign off, a reminder to find us on social media: Connect with Lookout on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Threads and you won’t miss our mix of Santa Cruz County news and views.

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

Here’s to a smooth Friday and a safe, relaxing weekend beyond.

Will McCahill
Lookout Santa Cruz

Upcoming events in Santa Cruz County

FRIDAY 10/20
The Mountain Affair @Ristorante Casa Nostra
Beers, Bikes and Bon Bons @Santa Cruz Mountain Brewing
Vine to View Dinner @Chaminade Resort & Spa
10 O’Clock Lunch Band @Mid-County Senior Center
“The Thin Place” by Lucas Hnath @Santa Cruz Actors’ Theatre

Wonderland – The Gala @Hotel Paradox
Pickleball Tournament @Cabrillo College
20th Annual Bonny Doon Art, Wine & Brew Festival @Crest Ranch
The 7th Annual Floating Pumpkin Patch @Simpkins Family Swim Center
Pleasure Point Sip & Stroll @Pleasure Point
Symphony Concert: Operas Of Seville @Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium
Uncork Corralitos @Alladin Nursery

SUNDAY 10/22
Symphony Concert: Operas Of Seville @Henry J. Mello Center for the Performing Arts
Lydia Pense & Cold Blood @Moe’s Alley
Gaby Castro @Chaminade Resort & Spa
Solidarity Records: The Fully Baked Tour @Shanty Shack Brewing
An Evening With Patty Griffin & Todd Snider @Rio Theatre

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...