Quick Take:

Join the Santa Cruz Symphony on January 15 & 16 as they celebrate the arrival of 2022 with a live show at the Santa Cruz...

Happy Friday evening, y’all. I’ll be honest: the rainy and gray skies seem to be reflecting the news of the day. But at least it’s the weekend!

Hug your family, friends and/or pets and take a deep breath — while fully geared up in your N95 or KN95 mask, of course. It’s not as bad as it looks, and, health officials say, it’ll likely be over soon.

But strap on that metaphorical helmet and take a gander at what happened today in and around Santa Cruz County:

Cabrillo vice president pleads not guilty

Cabrillo College vice president Paul De La Cerda
Cabrillo College vice president Paul De La Cerda. Credit: Via Cabrillo College

Court date: Paul De La Cerda, Cabrillo College’s vice president of instruction, pleaded not guilty Friday morning after being charged in December with embezzlement and misappropriation of funds. Lookout’s Hillary Ojeda has the story.

PREVIOUSLY: Cabrillo vice president placed on leave following felony charges related to previous job

Warming Center fulfilling basic needs

The encampment along the San Lorenzo River benchlands flooded Monday

Gimme shelter: During the Dec. 13 storm, local advocate Brent Adams opened the Warming Center at Footbridge Services to help the unhoused during the inclement weather and beyond. Now he’s assessing how he can best prepare for the remainder of the winter months while also dealing with budgetary constraints. Lookout’s Grace Stetson takes a deep dive into its operations.

More coverage of the unhoused: ‘We need more safe spaces’: As more weather approaches, city, homelessness advocates seek solutions

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Cabrillo pushes back most in-person classes

An aerial view of Cabrillo College's Aptos campus
A joint Cabrillo College-UCSC student housing project has been proposed for the area adjacent to Cabrillo’s ball fields. Credit: Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz

Joining the club: A day after UCSC announced it was pushing back in-person instruction by another two weeks, Cabrillo College officials said classes for its spring semester would be mostly online until Feb. 22. Hillary Ojeda has the details here.

THURSDAY: UCSC delays in-person instruction by two more weeks, will start back on campus Jan. 31

COVID, COVID everywhere and not a test to take

CVS has been selling out of rapid tests within the hour of receiving a shipment.
CVS has been selling out of rapid tests within the hour of receiving a shipment. Credit: Max Chun / Lookout Santa Cruz

Good news, bad news: As COVID cases surge, pharmacies and testing sites are being flooded by people hunting for tests. However, local health officials agree with the emerging evidence that Omicron is less dangerous, particularly in vaccinated people. Lookout’s Max Chun breaks it all down.

Latest Stats: COVID-19 updates in Santa Cruz County: Infections, hospitalizations, deaths and demographic data

Cancellations abound

Former U.S. Sen. Al Franken is coming to the Santa Cruz Civic in January
Al Franken became the latest rescheduled event this week, moved from Friday to April 8.

Well, it’s raining anyhow: Whether it’s Al Franken at the Civic, a reception for the MAH’s latest exhibition, a world premiere opera at Cabrillo, musical performances at the Catalyst and Moe’s Alley or arts events at the Tannery and Actors’ Theatre, Omicron is having the final say. Wallace Baine makes the sad roll-call here.

ICYMI: Pearl of the Ocean closes, a much-needed gut check and the return of SF Beer Week

Magali Brecke, a licensed acupuncturist and herbalist, and a functional nutritionist, and one of her recipes
Magali Brecke’s recipes emphasize nutrient-dense, anti-inflammatory foods, with no sugar, gluten, soy or other allergens. Credit: Courtesy Liz Birnbaum

EATERS DIGEST: As 2022 begins, we say goodbye to two Santa Cruz restaurants, Pearl of the Ocean and India Joze. Nutritionist Magali Brecke shares some advice on how to bounce back after the holidays, and SF Beer Week returns. Lily Belli has it all right here.

Still hungry? All of Lily’s columns are here.

More from here & elsewhere

New Santa Cruz law banning overnight RV parking inches forward (Santa Cruz Sentinel)
Arbery killers get life in prison; no parole for father, son (San Francisco Chronicle)
California is limiting nursing home visits again amid omicron surge (Mercury News)
Sidney Poitier, trailblazing star who helped break down Hollywood color barriers, dies at 94 (Los Angeles Times)
Bay Area Bed Bath & Beyond locations are slated to close next month (SF Gate)
Monterey County hospitals to change policies due to COVID-19 surge (KBSW)

And that’s the way it was on this Friday. Have a good evening all.

Dan Evans
Executive Editor

Follow Dan Evans on: Twitter, Instagram. With wide experience in local journalism and education, Dan joins Lookout Local with an eye toward having the publication both explain and improve life in Santa...