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Good Morning! It’s Thursday, July 15 and it will be mostly cloudy with a high of 70.

While Santa Cruz County remains on par with the rest of the state in terms of vaccinations, the rising number of Delta cases, including one in Santa Cruz County, statewide and county public health officials are mulling new measures to get shots in arms — from vaccine clinics in Santa Cruz County to possible stricter regulations for all Californians.

In cooler and happier news, Watsonville’s Ruben Ibarra has become the latest resident to get drafted into Majors, but he isn’t forgetting where he came from or the journey to get where he is now.

And finally, before we get to the headlines I just wanted to give y’all a heads up: I will be taking a break to get some air and see family now that the pandemic has eased some. I will be back in August but in the meantime, my awesome colleagues at Lookout will be picking up the slack (thanks, team!).

Here are your headlines:

‘Loyal to my soil’: Watsonville MLB draft pick Ruben Ibarra won’t forget ball fields where it all began

His eye is squarely on the ball.
Credit: Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz

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.” Read more here.

County & MAH make it easier to ‘Vax up Santa Cruz!’: As Delta concerns grow, effort mirrors pushes elsewhere

Covid 19 vaccine vocab_LA_thmb
Credit: File photo

With nearly 60% of the population fully vaccinated, Santa Cruz County is on par with the rest of the state. But as concerns about the Delta variant grow, health officials are ramping up their efforts to push that percentage. To that end, publich health officials and the Museum of Art & History are teaming up for a “Vax Up Santa Cruz!” event next week. Read more here.

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

Long Beach Department of Health & Human Services holds an evening COVID-19 vaccination clinic
Credit: Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times

Health officials say upward of 99% of the new Delta infections being confirmed in Los Angeles County involve those who have not been inoculated against COVID-19 — a clear challenge and source of frustration given the pandemic’s continued potency. But while there are undoubtedly those who fundamentally reject rolling up their sleeves, officials note there are many reasons why people may not yet have gotten vaccinated. Read more here.

Recovery & reopening

READ THE STORY: In Saturn Cafe’s next life, it will be a Drunk Monkey — only now, ‘we can basically do whatever we want’
READ THE STORY: In Saturn Cafe’s next life, it will be a Drunk Monkey — only now, ‘we can basically do whatever we want’ Credit: Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz

Charting which Santa Cruz County businesses received Restaurant Revitalization Fund grants — and for how much: In Santa Cruz County, 109 businesses received a total of $33,417,774.54 in funding grants from the Small Business Administration via the Restaurant Revitalization Fund (RRF). Gayle’s Bakery in Capitola and Alderwood in Santa Cruz were the two biggest winners gauged by dollars received. See which other businesses received grants and for how much here.


Three key takeaways for California small business owners: Though California all but fully reopened exactly one month ago, many small businesses in California are still dealing with the devastating effects of the pandemic. CalMatters reporter Nigel Duara moderated a Milken Institute discussion that addressed opportunities and remaining challenges for small businesses. Read the key takeaways here.

Around the state…

A truck crosses the Enterprise Bridge at Lake Oroville, which stands at 33 percent full
A truck crosses the Enterprise Bridge at Lake Oroville, which was 33% full and 40% of historical average when this photo was taken on June 30 in Oroville. (Brian van der Brug/Los Angeles Times)

With drought worsening, should California have much tougher water restrictions? As Californians wonder when mandatory water restrictions might be coming, officials and experts including those who played roles in addressing the 2012-2016 drought say the pace and strategy of Newsom’s current response sufficiently incorporate insights gained from the past. Read more here.

A student adjusts his face mask in Mrs. Darsi Green's, 2nd grade class
California is embracing one of the nation’s most stringent school mask mandates in the fall, but enforcement will be left to local educators. (Jason Armond / Los Angeles Times)

Educators grapple with how to enforce California school mask mandate in the fall: California will embrace one of the nation’s most stringent school mask mandates next fall, but is leaving enforcement to local educators, who are proposing a range of consequences for students who don’t follow the rule — such as issuing warnings or barring them from campus. Some even suggested they may ignore the order because they don’t believe it’s needed. Read more here.

Around the county…

Anti-mask advocate released from Santa Cruz jail, found competent to stand trial (Santa Cruz Sentinel)

Man arrested at US-Mexico border prime suspect in Watsonville homicide investigation (The Pajaronian)

Faultline Brewing joins Scotts Valley hangar development (Scotts Valley Press Banner)

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
Managing Editor

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.