Gooooooooood morning Santa Cruz County! It’s Friday, April 29, and we’ve got a nice day ahead of us, mostly sunny with temps in the 70s, and more of the same on tap for the weekend.

I’ve got some fun stories for you this morning, starting with Mother Nature’s lawnmowers. We’ve seen them at Neary Lagoon, in Santa Cruz Gardens, at local high schools and elsewhere, and now goats are moving on to higher ed, as Hillary Ojeda explains in another installment of Ask Lookout.

And we’ve all crossed paths with Alexa and Siri, but how much do we really know about artificial intelligence? A panel discussion next week called “A.I. for Knuckleheads” aims to tackle that question and more, and Wallace Baine has a Q&A with the entrepreneur who will moderate it.

Wallace also delivered another stellar newsletter to get you informed about the fun stuff ahead on the Santa Cruz arts and entertainment scene — get to know Weekender here.

All that and a “Nespresso for weed” are ahead as we corral today’s headlines:

Have you seen — or herd — about the goats roaming the UC Santa Cruz campus?

People on the UC Santa Cruz campus watch goats graze as part of fire prevention efforts.

In this installment of Ask Lookout, we investigate the bovine sightings on campus. Check out what Hillary Ojeda found.

FROM LAST SUMMER: ‘Way better than humans’: Santa Cruz Gardens neighborhood turns to goats for fire safety (Lookout)

A gathering of (AI) knuckleheads

C. Craig Vachon

What is AI? And where is it taking us? We talk with entrepreneur and gadfly G. Craig Vachon, who leads a panel discussion Wednesday at the Kuumbwa Jazz Center about the perils and promise of artificial intelligence. Read Wallace Baine’s Q&A here.

MORE Q&As: Check out Lookout’s previous convos with Santa Cruz newsmakers

Weekender: Never too early to treat Mom, and summer is fast approaching

Weekender with Wallace Baine

Wallace Baine looks ahead to summer fun at the Boardwalk and Crow’s Nest, and check out B9 for his educated guesses on the best events for the weekend and the coming week. Weekender ahoy.

OUR FULL EVENTS CALENDAR: BOLO, your place to go for things to do

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California promised to close its last nuclear plant. Now Newsom is reconsidering

The Diablo Canyon nuclear plant

Delaying the closure of Diablo Canyon would mark a shift for nuclear politics as the climate crisis worsens. Our partners at the Los Angeles Times report.

POWERING INTO THE FUTURE: City of Santa Cruz committed to more updated EV charging stations, with county set to follow (Lookout)

We absolutely don’t need this $300 ‘Nespresso for weed.’ But we kind of want one

photo of Beed machine with illustrated rolled joints radiating from the center.

The pricey pod-based Beed from an L.A. startup is the joint-rolling party trick that post-pandemic folks deserve. The Times takes it for a test drive.

FROM LAST WEEK: A passion for baking: It’s 4/20, so one of the 30,000 cookies ‘Big Pete’ makes per day can’t be far away (Lookout)

Friday I’m in love (with puzzles)

Santa Cruz Puzzle Center promo

Mini-crosswords, word searches and sudoku await in our new Santa Cruz Puzzle Center. Find the cure for the common workday here.


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Around the county …

Watsonville will likely place sales tax increase on November ballot (The Pajaronian)
Empty Homes Tax garners needed signatures, verification in progress (Santa Cruz Sentinel)
First Project Homekey in Santa Cruz County receives funding from the state (KSBW-TV)
Grapes of Ash: How smokey air is polluting California’s wines (KAZU-FM)
BART brings back mask mandate, only SF Bay Area transit agency to do so (SFGate)
NFL draft: How Day 2 sets up for 49ers after first-round absence (San Jose Mercury News)

How’s that for a packed Friday slate? As usual, there’s more on the way, including another edition of Student Lookout and foodie goodness from Lily Belli in Eaters Digest. Bookmark our website and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to keep tabs throughout the day, and hit up our Lookout Newsletter & Text Center to get breaking news alerts and all of our newsletters delivered right to you.

And before I bid you adieu, a familiar refrain: Our content isn’t possible without community support, so if you’re not already, please consider becoming a Lookout member.

Enjoy this beautiful Friday and have a safe, relaxing weekend! See all of you back here Monday.

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...