Good evening, everybody.

Another fantastically beautiful day in paradise. Hope you got out there away from a keyboard or device of any kind and enjoyed it.

I didn’t! But tomorrow is another day.

To the busy day of headlines …

The first public defender in Santa Cruz County history, doesn’t see cases, only people

Heather Rogers is set to begin her duties as Santa Cruz County's public defender on July 1.
Heather Rogers is set to begin her duties as Santa Cruz County’s public defender on July 1. Credit: Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz

Q&A with Heather Rogers: “You know how when you find something that you love, it just feels like you don’t want to stop? That was how public defense was for me from the very beginning,” says Heather Rogers, a Santa Cruz native who steps into the role as public defender July 1. Max Chun with the interview.

RELATED: Heather Rogers sees natural fit as county’s first public defender: ‘I was immediately drawn to this work’ (Grace Stetson)

Q&A: Julie James looking for jewels from local playwrights

Jewel Art Director Julie James
Credit: via Jewel Theater

Sweet and simple: Jewel Theatre Company artistic director Julie James says she has one goal: To produce one local play a year. Wallace Baine has the story here.

Homegrown Kate Hawley spins a new tale of middle-age angst

Santa Cruz playwright Kate Hawley
Credit: Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz

Worth being seen: Jewel Theatre is set to give Santa Cruz playwright Kate Hawley a world premiere of “Remains to Be Seen.” It’s the third time the company has debuted her work. More from Wallace here.

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Newsom makes his offer on gas tax rebate, with $400 payments to vehicle owners

The prices for fuel at a gas station in Oakland on March 7, 2022.
The prices for fuel at a gas station in Oakland on March 7. Credit: Martin do Nascimento / CalMatters

Gas gouge relief: Gov. Gavin Newsom is proposing $11 billion in a California tax rebate to offset high gas prices, including $400 debit cards per vehicle. He must negotiate a final deal with the Legislature. More from CalMaters here.

Humanitarian crisis in Ukraine deepens as Biden travels to Europe

A train passenger holding a dog is seen through the car window
Civilians pack a train leaving Irpin, Ukraine. Credit: Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times

Trying to help: Ukrainian officials say Russian forces hijacked an aid convoy bound for Mariupol, the scene of the worst humanitarian crisis of the nearly monthlong war. More from the LA Times here.


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More from here & elsewhere

Madeleine Albright, groundbreaking diplomat and feminist, dies at 84 (USA Today)
Santa Cruz approves amendment to street vending permits (Sentinel)
Watsonville police: Teen with loaded gun arrested outside high school (Sentinel)
Supervisors tackle tobacco, pretrial services issues (Pajaronian)
A popular Hawaii destination may be the state’s ‘No. 1 drowning capital’ (SF Gate)
‘Get out!’: Calif. preschool teacher leads students in anti-Biden chant (SF Gate)

That’s it for this Wednesday. See you on the other side of the hump tomorrow.

Mark Conley
Deputy Managing Editor

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...