Quick Take:

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Happy Wednesday evening to everyone out there in the soggy 831.

After a bit more of a blast tonight, it looks like we’ll have four days to dry out (if not really warm up) before another week of wet weather socks us.

Jolly Saint Nick better hope for better news late next week.

Speaking of weather, we will break down the aftermath of Monday’s doozy. And along with our latest Unsung Santa Cruz offering, we bring you some late-day news on the BLM mural vandalism charges front.

To the headlines of the day we go…

Men accused of vandalizing Black Lives Matter mural to stand trial

Aerial view of the vandalized mural.
Aerial view of the vandalized mural. Credit: Via Santa Cruz Police Department

Trial awaits: Following a preliminary hearing Wednesday, a Santa Cruz judge ruled there was enough evidence for the two men accused of vandalizing the Black Lives Matter mural outside City Hall to stand trial. They are next due in court Jan. 5. Max Chun with the details here.

Assessing the impacts of Monday’s storm, prepping for more next week

PG&E crews work on clearing down trees that fell on power lines in Boulder Creek.
PG&E crews work on clearing down trees that fell on power lines in Boulder Creek. Credit: Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz

The worst behind us, for now: Monday’s storm impacted Santa Cruz residents in different ways, with aftershocks still being felt. Lookout checked in with various factions across the county to understand the impact, and see how they were preparing for next week’s storm — likely heaviest next Monday and Tuesday. Grace Stetson with the details here.

Questions linger after Cabrillo board of trustees places VP on administrative leave

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

What we know: Cabrillo College Vice President of Instruction Paul De La Cerda is on administrative leave until Jan. 31 after a Monday evening vote by the board of trustees. Officials have declined to provide reasons for the decision to put him on leave or why the January date was chosen. More from Hillary Ojeda here.

Cafeteria assistants Pablita and Maria bring a feeling of familia to Amesti Elementary

Pablita Lazo packs a sandwich at Amesti Elementary.
Pablita Lazo packs a sandwich at Amesti Elementary. Credit: Hillary Ojeda / Lookout Santa Cruz

Unsung Santa Cruz: At Amesti Elementary School in Watsonville, the calming and energetic presence of Pablita Lazo and Maria Rodriguez has served everyone well, especially during the pandemic. Hillary with today’s feature.

TUESDAY: Marti Mariette sings to those in their final moments on earth
TOMORROW: He was driven to drive the county, helping feed, befriend vulnerable, isolated seniors.

County looking for artists to create art for Aptos, Live Oak library projects

A rendering of the proposed Aptos branch library.
A rendering of the proposed Aptos branch library. Credit: Via County of Santa Cruz

Artists needed: Santa Cruz County artists looking to make an impact in public art now have a couple of high-profile opportunities to create site-specific pieces for public library projects. Wallace Baine with the details.

White House warns of January virus surge, says boosters protect against Omicron variant


The latest: Cases of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus are expected to rise next month after families gather for the holidays, White House officials said Wednesday, citing new data that suggests the variant is highly transmissible but can be blunted by vaccine booster shots. More from the LA Times here.

Covid batters NBA, NFL and NHL, sidelining key players and postponing games (NBC News)

Fewer people moving to California, more leaving during the pandemic, study shows

File image of people in an airport
Credit: via Pixabay

No shocker: The number of people moving to California from other states has dropped significantly since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, and more Californians are leaving the state, according to a study released Wednesday. More from the LA Times here.

More from here & elsewhere

Cal State poised to drop SAT as admissions requirement as chancellor supports review (LA Times)
Will California redistricting mean better congressional maps than Texas? (CalMatters)
Viewers blinded by Pete Davidson’s hoodie as Curry breaks record (SF Gate)
Central US hit with 100 mph winds and tornadoes, thousands left without power (USA Today)
NASA spacecraft ‘touches’ the sun for first time in ‘monumental moment for solar science’ (USA Today)
Agency overseeing Trump’s D.C. hotel lease failed to examine ethical, constitutional conflicts, report says (NBC News)

That’s it for tonight folks. Stay warm and I’ll see you on the other side of the hump.

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...