Quick Take:

Since the late 1800s Sempervirens Fund has protected more than 35,000 acres of coast redwood forests. Today, they’re...

Good Morning! It’s Tuesday, October 26 and there will be patchy fog before 10 a.m. with an otherwise partly sunny day and a high of 61. While the worst of the weather has passed, the National Weather Service is warning that a High Surf Warning remains in effect until 11 a.m. today. Remember to continue to be cautious on the coast and never turn your back on the ocean.

In examining the aftermath of the storm, while 48-hour rain totals were significant in some parts of the county, experts say they didn’t reach levels that would cause concern for debris flow the CZU Lightning Complex burn scar. At a regional level, while the rain was good for parched NorCal, experts say it wasn’t nearly enough to combat the widespread drought that’s impacting the region.

There’s much to cover so let’s dive in:

The aftermath of the storm

Big waves battered the shore at Rio Del Mar on Monday.
Credit: Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz

48-hour rainfall totals: Like you, we were wondering just how much rain came down over the last couple of days. Here’s a breakdown of some locations:

  • W. Boulder Creek: 10.13 inches
  • Ben Lomond Mountains: 9.63 inches
  • Scotts Valley: 5.46 inches
  • Santa Cruz: 5.16 inches
  • Watsonville Airport: 3.41 inches

See the National Weather Service’s full breakdown of 48-hour rain totals around the whole Bay Area here.

Weekend rain made for treacherous driving Monday in the flats at Rio Del Mar.
Weekend rain made for treacherous driving Monday in the flats at Rio Del Mar. Credit: Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz

LOCAL: No debris-flow issues make for a good ‘dry run’ before winter: While the Santa Cruz Mountains saw plenty of rainfall Sunday, it wasn’t at the rate and amount that experts believe will pose debris flow issues in the CZU fire burn scar. And it might have been good preparation for weather events ahead. Read more from our Grace Stetson here.

File image of rain dripping down window
A stormy Cement Ship in Aptos on Monday. Credit: Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz

REGIONAL: Record rains transform a parched California, but ending drought remains elusive: Despite the mayhem the atmospheric river caused for some residents, the historic storm marked a welcome change for a parched California after a year of heat and drought with so little rain. “If we could have designed a storm it would have been this one,” one official said. But while the massive plume of moisture helped, experts said it will take much more than one storm to make a dent in the drought. Read more here.

How two new UCSC student-led groups are trying to tackle the housing crisis

The Student Housing Coalition seeks answers to the vexing questions of affordability.
The Student Housing Coalition seeks answers to the vexing questions of affordability. Credit: Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz

Facing rising rents and ever fewer housing options, students in the Monterey Bay area are juggling their academic schedules with the stress of finding and paying for housing. The Student Housing Coalition held its first meeting last week on the UCSC campus and announced its goals to bring diverse groups together to support solutions. Read more about their work from our Hillary Ojeda here.

How local independent commissions are changing California redistricting

Long Beach residents from different districts urged a new independent commission to put them in the same district
Long Beach residents from different districts urged a new independent commission to put them in the same district, during a meeting at City Hall on Oct. 20, 2021. Photo by Pablo Unzueta for CalMatters

California has a dozen new local independent commissions in this round of redistricting, a process that will create districts for elections from 2022 to 2030 based on the 2020 Census, the once-a-decade nationwide population count. Taking redistricting power away from officeholders could mean changes in representation and city priorities and community groups are fighting for influence. Read more here.

COVID 2021

Outgoing Santa Cruz County Health Services Director Mimi Hall.
Outgoing Santa Cruz County Health Services Director Mimi Hall. Credit: Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz

Q&A — Mimi Hall looks back as her time as health services director in Santa Cruz comes to a close: Mimi Hall, the county’s health services director for the past four years, is leaving the position at the end of this week to work for a nonprofit health exchange. In her Q&A with Lookout’s Grace Stetson, she reflects on her time here as well as her two decades of public service. Read the whole thing here.

San Pedro—May 24, 2021—Visiting nurse Latasha Hall, of New Orleans administers that vaccine to a student at San Pedro Senior High school on May 24, 2021. San Pedro Senior High school is one of the Los Angeles County Unified schools providing coronavirus vaccines for children 12 and up. (Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)
Visiting nurse Latasha Hall administers a COVID-19 vaccine to a student at San Pedro Senior High School on Monday. (Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)

Questions about the vaccine for your 5- to 11-year-olds? Tune in to these town halls this week: The Santa Cruz County Office of Education will be hosting two webinars this week to answer questions about COVID-19 vaccination ahead of the expected emergency use authorization of the Pfizer vaccine for children between the ages of 5 and 11. The town hall offered in Spanish is scheduled for tonight and in English for Thursday, via Zoom. Read more about what you need to know from Hillary here.

Medical assistant Letrice Smith fills syringes during a community COVID-19 vaccination clinic run by Ravenswood Family Health Network at Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park on April 10, 2021.

THE FACEBOOK PAPERS —Social media platform froze as anti-vaccine comments flooded users: In March, as claims about the dangers and ineffectiveness of coronavirus vaccines spun across social media and undermined attempts to stop the spread of the virus, some Facebook employees thought they had found a way to help. Instead, Facebook shelved some suggestions from the study. Other changes weren’t made until April. Read the whole story here.

Read the full, free coverage of the Facebook Papers from the Associated Press here.

Around the county…

Santa Cruz schools to widely stock menstrual products in schools (Santa Cruz Sentinel)

Watsonville native Ty Sambrailo retires from the NFL (The Pajaronian)

Monarch butterflies return to Pacific Grove, numbers double in 1 week (KSBW-TV)

That’s it for today. If you’re enjoying our coverage, please tell your family and friends about our Lookout Newsletter & Text Center, where they can sign up for all the newsletters and alerts we offer. You can also keep tabs on everything we’re publishing through the day by bookmarking our website and following us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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Have a great day!

Tulsi Kamath
Lookout Santa Cruz

Follow Tulsi Kamath on: Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn. Tulsi Kamath was the originator of Lookout Santa Cruz’s flagship Morning Lookout newsletter and its original Managing Editor.