Well, friends, I hope that you got through Monday unscathed.

Even though we all had to leave our comfy weekend mode to begin a new week, the weather was nice and sunny pretty much all day long. More is on its way, too, with temperatures supposedly above 65 degrees all week.

Before we get started with Monday’s news, I’d like to remind all of you Lookout members and partners reading this that we’re having an open house at our office this Thursday, April 28, from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.

Come meet the team and enjoy some small bites and free drinks! Click the image to register.

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And now, for the headlines.

COVID Dashboard: Metro ends mask mandate despite cases still ticking up

Motorists lined up at a COVID-19 testing site at the Long Beach Airport
Motorists lined up at a COVID-19 testing site at the Long Beach airport. Credit: Pablo Unzueta for CalMatters

The latest: Though cases are ticking up locally, the Santa Cruz Metro rescinded its mask mandate for vaccinated patients. See the most recent data here.

COVID Dashboard: Cases moving up, California delays K-12 vaccine mandate

The future looks electric: City of Santa Cruz committed to more updated EV charging stations, with county set to follow

Aptos resident Kelly Spellman at the Blossom's Farmstore & Coffeeshop.
Credit: Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz

Charge!: With California aiming to ban the sale of new gas-powered vehicles by 2035, the race is on to build the infrastructure Santa Cruz County needs to keep up with the burgeoning fleet of electric options. Grace has the details.

‘A big lift’ to get 988 launched: Much to do, and plenty of need, as Santa Cruz County prepares to roll out new behavioral health hotline

Heather Blume

More help: Health officials and organizations across the country, including in Santa Cruz County, are preparing for a major revamp of how services respond to behavioral health crisis calls. A new 988 number, launching nationwide in July, will provide people with a trained responder who can help the caller resolve a mental health crisis. Read more from Hillary here.

‘People don’t think clearly in crisis’: California police tap mental health clinicians on toughest 911 calls

April storms make small dent in California’s drought, but it’s not enough

Shaun Burns
Credit: Via NASA

Environment: Although April’s rain and snow have been impressive, nearly all of the state remains under significant drought conditions, officials said. More from the L.A. Times here.

California could shrink water use in cities by 30% or more, study finds

State Sen. Richard Pan prepares to announce a bill that adds COVID vaccines to California's list of required shots for K-12
Credit: Via Pizza My Heart

Pizza culture: With its super-cheap shirt-and-a-slice promotion, Pizza My Heart has created a surf-culture vibe that has made waves throughout the Bay Area. Wallace Baine looks at the phenomenon in the latest installment of our series spotlighting the people, places and things that are immediately identifiable with Santa Cruz County. Check out the story from Wallace here.

Icons of Santa Cruz: Fountain of Uke — how Santa Cruz fell in love with the friendly and humble ukulele

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More from here & elsewhere

Antisemitic flyers pop up in Danville; local rabbi says fight hatred with love (KSBW)
Watsonville: Hillcrest Estate residents could be liable for soil contamination issues (Sentinel)
COVID-19 cases are rising sharply again — should we worry? (Mercury)
PVUSD leader named region’s Superintendent of the Year (Pajaronian)
Elon Musk to buy Twitter in $44 billion deal (CNN)

… And another Monday in the books. I must say, I think I’m getting the hang of this newsletter thing pretty well here! That said, thanks for reading. I’ll be back at it tomorrow.

Max Chun

Max Chun is the general-assignment correspondent at Lookout Santa Cruz. Max’s position has pulled him in many different directions, seeing him cover development, COVID, the opioid crisis, labor, courts...