Happy Wednesday, readers,

It was another beautiful day here in Santa Cruz, as previously forecast. That nice weather is still expected to stick around this weekend, so don’t be too bummed about having to work through the sunshine.

And, again, a quick reminder that we’re having an open house at our office this Thursday, April 28, from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. All Lookout members and partners are welcome! This is my last reminder, so RSVP now or forever hold your peace.

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

Lookout Spring open House banner

Now, on with the headlines …

Quelling the ‘stigma of shame’: The county’s top doctor opens up about the pain of losing a child to fentanyl

Gail Newel
Credit: Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz

Words from Newel: If it can happen to Santa Cruz County Public Health Officer Gail Newel and her wife, Kelli, both longtime physicians, then it can happen to any family. If it can happen to the highest achievers in our society, like doctors and dentists and lawyers, then it can happen to anyone. Nyeland Newel was a 38-year-old dentist who picked up an opioid craving while at UC Santa Cruz. His addictive genes collided with America’s opioid crisis in tragic fashion. Read the whole story from Mark Conley.

As fentanyl’s painful death toll grows in Santa Cruz, taking young lives, it’s time for meaningful solutions

ICYMI: Nine fun places for kids’ — in-person! — group classes around Santa Cruz County

Children handle a large snake

Summer preparation: Who is ready to let the kids out and into summer classes? Parenting columnist Liza Monroy has tracked down the best of what we know is out there, with key info to aid your planning. Read the debut of Liza Monroy’s parenting column here.

Welcome to the TK challenge: Transitional kindergarten comes with benefits to families, difficulties for administrators

Masks are off, COVID rates are up and musicians are once again on edge about touring

Fans at the first weekend of the 2022 Coachella music festival.

More of the same: A slew of acts have canceled tour dates as COVID cases rise once again, casting a pall over what was shaping up to be a record-setting concert season. Read the whole L.A. Times story here.

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

Push to limit California offshore oil after O.C. spill threatened by high taxpayers costs

Beachgoers at Newport Beach enjoy the afternoon as boats drag oil booms offshore on Sunday, Oct. 3, 2021.
Boats work to clean up an oil spill off Newport Beach in October. A bill to rescind leases for three oil rigs off the Orange County coast is being considered by state lawmakers. (Myung J. Chun / Los Angeles Times )

Environment: Senate Bill 953, a proposal that cleared its first hurdle Tuesday, would allow the State Lands Commission to terminate some offshore oil leases by the end of 2024. More from the L.A. Times here.

California’s malpractice payouts would rise under a deal to avoid a costly ballot fight

Tammy Martinez had one of her legs amputated after a doctor accidentally cut off circulation during an operation
Tammy Martinez of Fallbrook, Calif., says her left leg had to be amputated after a doctor failed to notice he’d cut off circulation to the limb during an operation. Credit: Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times

Health: The political deal ensures California’s cap on medical malpractice awards will increase but without a bruising ballot measure battle in November. Read the whole L.A. Times story here.

It’s not just physicians and nurses. Veterinarians are burning out too

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More from here & elsewhere

Santa Cruz County women honored as ‘trailblazers’ (Sentinel)
A deeper look at the emergency homeless support program at MPUSD schools (KSBW)
Fire in Watsonville destroys two trailers, displaces five (KION)
NEST Flight returns May 4-5 (Pajaronian)
The US is in ‘transition phase’ of pandemic, Fauci says (CNN)
What is going on? Everybody hates MLB’s baseballs — for different reasons (USA Today)

Last, but not least, tomorrow is the official launch date of our new Community Voices section. Headed by our very own Jody K. Biehl, this is our opinion section specifically built for the issues, challenges, and avenues of thought pervading the 2020s.

Check back tomorrow for the first entries in this exciting new chapter here at Lookout.

the logo for Lookout's Community Voices opinion section

And with that, I wish you all a good night.

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...