Quick Take:

Centered on creating beautiful, meaningful experiences out of flea market finds, Lori Powell’s thriving Santa Cruz...

Hey, everyone — we’ve almost made it through another work week.

And I’m just as staggered looking through our well-curated list of BOLO Best Bets as I was last week. You name it — music, theater, festivals, comedy — it’s happening. (I’m sure you’ve already bookmarked these but just in case: We’ve got the full listings of local events here and a longer-range look here.)

And yet … the broader news of the moment, from what L.A. County did Thursday, to the pop-up Santa Cruz County and the MAH will hold next week to continued concerns about the Delta variant’s yet-unknowns, there are mixed vibes in the universe.

To the headlines of the day we go, and — because I try hard to be an eternal optimist — we’ll start with the fun stuff …

‘Overnight, gone, all of it gone’

Mira Goto had her first child, a son, this spring.
Credit: Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz

Singer Mira Goto was set to go big as the pandemic hit pause: Celebrated Santa Cruz singer/songwriter re-emerges to the spotlight after the pause of 2020, ready to resume her promising career in country music interrupted by the pandemic. During the pause, she took time out to become a mother. More from Wallace Baine on Mira’s reboot here.

Ruben Ibarra is ‘Loyal to my soil’

READ THE STORY: ‘Loyal to my soil’: Watsonville MLB draft pick Ruben Ibarra won’t forget ball fields where it all began
Credit: Kevin Painchaud /Lookout Santa Cruz

ICYMI…Watsonville MLB draft pick Ruben Ibarra won’t forget ball fields where it all began: Ruben Ibarra is the latest Watsonville resident to get drafted into Major League Baseball, but he won’t forget his roots and the way it all started. “Even on weekends and early mornings, when we weren’t really doing anything, my dad was still out there hitting 100 ground balls and throwing 100 pitches and then coming back home to ice his shoulder.” More from Max Chun and Kevin Painchaud’s visit to the Ibarra house here.

COVID cases surging in California a month after reopening

Registered Nurse April Lu, 31, is working with a non covid patient Providence Holly Cross Medical Center
Credit: Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times

Sizing up the situation: A month after California’s reopening lifted most pandemic restrictions, COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations are rising, worrying public health officials as they contend with the more infectious Delta variant and the lagging pace of vaccinations in some communities. More from CalMatters here.

Are vaccination lag, Delta variant putting California’s reopening at risk?

Guilmar Nuyens, left, waits in line with other mask-wearing customers to order food from China Cafe inside the Grand Central Market in downtown Los Angeles on May 14. (Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)

What we know: Despite the startling increases in new coronavirus infections and hospitalizations, officials stress that this uptick is different from earlier waves. More from the LA Times here.

L.A. County returns to indoor mask rules. What it means for dining, shopping and more (LA Times)

No time or ‘enormously selfish’? People who haven’t gotten a COVID-19 shot may have many reasons (LA Times)

UC system mandates COVID-19 vaccinations and will bar most students without them from campus (LA Times)

Is homelessness Newsom’s weak point in recall?

Gov. Gavin Newsom

Republicans are counting on it: Challengers in the California recall see Newsom as vulnerable on the issue, but some experts and advocates say their ideas could worsen life for homeless people. More from CalMatters here.

Tomorrow is Friday, everyone — see you then!

Mark Conley

Follow Mark Conley on: Twitter, Instagram, Facebook. Mark joins Lookout after 14 years at the Mercury News and Bay Area News Group, where he served as Deputy Sports Editor on a staff that covered three...