Quick Take:

Thousands of Santa Cruz County residents took a ride into the future of local public transportation in October during...

Happy Tuesday evening, everybody.

The most vicious of the weather past us for the moment, it appears the county emerged relatively unscathed. But we’ll be following up more with local experts to assess the trouble spots.

It was a newsy Tuesday with advancements on two hot-button issues in the county: Rail Trail (or, more specifically, the push for Trail Without Rail) and 831 Water Street. More on each below, plus a healthy dollop of Unsung Santa Cruz, Lookout’s holiday series focused on regular folks doing yeoman’s work.

To the headlines of the day we go…

Greenway submits signatures for proposed initiative on use of rail line

Hydrogen fuel cell powered train
READ THE STORY: When this was ‘The Murder Capital of the World’: Local author explores Santa Cruz’s nightmarish moment Credit: Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz

The latest: The proposal, which still must have its signatures verified before qualifying for the June 2022 ballot, would potentially force county leaders to use the Santa Cruz Branch Line for a park-like bicycle and pedestrian path. This is in opposition to those who want a commuter rail line and trail combo. More from Grace Stetson here.

Santa Cruz reverses course, votes to move forward on first SB-35 development with 831 Water Street

READ THE STORY: State putting pressure on Santa Cruz to push forward on 831 Water Street project
READ THE STORY: State putting pressure on Santa Cruz to push forward on 831 Water Street project

City changes tune: The decision, a reverse of the council’s original Oct. 12 vote, helped the city avoid what could’ve been costly litigation from the developer or others. The project is also the first SB 35 proposal in the city of Santa Cruz, meant to streamline developments that provide affordable housing units. More from Grace about that here.

Singing for those passing into the great beyond has become Marti Mariette’s calling

Marti Mariette
Credit: Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz

Unsung Santa Cruz: The mission of the Threshold Choir is not only to bring solace to the loved one, but to his or her family as well, to restore a sense of the sacred to the experience of dying. The organization discourages the terms “performance” or “rehearsal,” because they want their singing to transcend the performer-audience dynamic. Wallace Baine with the touching story.

ICYMI: Editor Dan Evans introduces ‘Unsung Santa Cruz’, other initiatives
TOMORROW: We introduce you to two South County cafeteria superstars

After loss and transition, Santa Cruz’s William Coulter returns to celebrate ‘A Celtic Christmas’

William Coulter (third from left) with the other performers in
William Coulter (third from left) with the other performers in “A Celtic Christmas.” Credit: Via William Coulter

At the Rio: Grammy-winning guitarist William Coulter lost his Bonny Doon home and just about everything in it in the 2020 CZU fire. He got back to music slowly, dazedly — “I knew that if I didn’t get back to it, it might slip away” — and comes to the Rio on Friday performing with an Irish holiday variety show. Wallace with the details here.

Vaccine update: Rates, where to find a COVID shot or test; wait, cost and turnaround times

Christian Loza, 7, left, receives a vaccination
Christian Loza, 7, left, receives a vaccination from Christopher King at a Kaiser Permanente clinic in Tustin on Nov. 4. (Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times) Credit: Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times

The latest from Santa Cruz County: As of Tuesday, 70% of Santa Cruz County residents were fully vaccinated, a slight increase from the week prior. Though slightly higher than the statewide figure of 66%, Santa Cruz has one of the lowest rates in the greater San Francisco Bay Area. Our latest compilation of data here.

Combating the youth mental health crisis: What signs should parents be watching out for?

Most schools have at least one person with mental health training, and teachers can often point parents to appropriate resources. (Jarrod Valliere / The San Diego Union-Tribune)

Important resources: Young people are experiencing an alarming increase in mental health challenges, the U.S. surgeon general has said. Here’s what you should know. More from the LA Times here.

More from here & elsewhere

Search intensifies for Bay Area woman last seen in SF on Saturday (SF Gate)
Ex-Gov. Andrew Cuomo ordered to pay back money from COVID-19 book (USA Today)
A Northern Calif. couple finds hundreds of pounds of prized mushrooms (SF Gate)
Ex-NFL player, former 49er, who shot six, killed himself, suffered from CTE (USA Today)
State to probe Kentucky candle factory where workers say they were threatened with firing (NBC News)
South Dakota teacher ‘dash for cash’ competition went viral. Critics say it’s demeaning. (NBC News)

Let’s see what tomorrow brings, my friends.

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...