Well hello, friends! It’s Thursday, March 3, and — fingers crossed here — there’s a chance for a few raindrops, with temperatures in the high 50s and lower 60s.

Folks in some parts of Santa Cruz County could see smoke the next few days around Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park, part of a controlled burn:

We’re also keeping an eye on this evening’s meeting of the city of Santa Cruz’s planning commission, which is scheduled to assess two appeals against the city’s controversial oversized vehicle ordinance. The city council approved the OVO in November, but local advocacy group Santa Cruz Cares and the American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California are calling for the city to find more compassionate ways to address local homelessness. Lookout’s Grace Stetson will be tuned in to the meeting, so check back with Lookout for continuing coverage.

And on the arts scene, Wallace Baine has the dish on “This Is Now,” an ambitious three-gallery exhibition showcasing 150 local artists in multiple media.

We’ve also got a full slate of morning headlines, from the far-flung effects of La Niña to possible criminal conduct by former President Donald Trump in the Jan. 6 Capitol attack and the latest from Ukraine. So let’s get to it:

A sprawling canvas of COVID times

A metal print called
A metal print called “Four Mile Flow” by Carlin Schelstraete. Credit: Via Visual Arts Network

“This Is Now,” at the Radius Gallery at the Tannery, downtown’s Curated By the Sea downtown and the R. Blitzer Gallery on the Westside, is an exhibition featuring 150 local artists that comes as audiences grow more comfortable returning to venues. Get the scoop here from Lookout’s Wallace Baine.

OUR FULL EVENTS CALENDAR: BOLO, your place to go for things to do

California drought, Australia floods and La Niña

A flooded area near a river
Credit: Via Pixabay

The phenomenon known as La Niña, amplified by the effects of climate change, brings years of drought to some parts of the world and torrential rain to others. Our partners at the Los Angeles Times track the impact near and far.

HERE IN THE GOLDEN STATE: California drought continues after state has its driest January and February on record (Los Angeles Times)

Hundreds feared dead in Ukrainian port city under siege from Russian forces

Soldiers check vehicles at a checkpoint entering Kyiv
Ukrainian soldiers examine vehicles at a checkpoint on a main road entering Kyiv, the Ukrainian capital, on Wednesday. Credit: Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times

Russian forces made more gains Thursday despite fierce Ukrainian resistance. The civilian death toll, while still unclear, is expected to grow exponentially. Get the update from the Times.

LOCAL CONNECTION: Santa Cruz’s Ukrainian sister city is long way from war, but deeply entwined in its cultural conflict (Lookout)

Jan. 6 committee says Trump ‘may have engaged in criminal acts’ to overturn election

President Donald Trump in 2020
Credit: Via White House

In a federal court filing, the committee suggested the emails it is trying to obtain will show former President Donald Trump himself violated multiple laws. Read more here on the probe.

THREAT REMAINS: One year later, Jimmy Panetta wants people to know that Jan. 6 was no fluke (Lookout)

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➤ JOBS FOR THE DIGITAL-MINDED: See all the most recent listings here.


Now that California has counted up its homeless population, can it track the money?

Dan Moreno and Santos Mendez speaking with Lookout contributor Hanna Merzbach. David Sally sits near by
Dan Moreno and Santos Mendez speaking with Lookout contributor Hanna Merzbach. David Sally sits near by Credit: Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz

Volunteers fanned out across the state for the first statewide count of California’s homeless population since 2020. The number is expected to be higher, raising more questions about the impact of the state’s increased spending. Our partners at CalMatters look at what’s ahead.

INSIDE MONDAY’S COUNT: Here’s what putting a number on homelessness looked like, from Santa Cruz to Watsonville & beyond (Lookout)
UNHOUSED SANTA CRUZ: Find our full series here

A continuing lockout, canceled games and a lot of anger

Dodger pitcher Max Scherzer reacts to a strikeout against the San Francisco Giants on Oct. 14, 2021.
Former Dodgers pitcher Max Scherzer, who signed with the New York Mets before the lockout, stands to lose $232,975 for each day of the regular-season calendar that is missed. (Wally Skalij / Los Angeles Times)

Major League Baseball’s lockout is now in its third month. What happens now that Commissioner Rob Manfred has canceled the first week of the season? The Times looks for answers.

PREVIOUSLY: ‘Manfred gotta go’: Players throwing high heat at MLB’s decision to cancel games (Los Angeles Times)

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Around the county …

Cabrillo College investigating ‘offensive racist’ graffiti (The Pajaronian)
Seawater intrusion threatens California’s coastal agriculture — here’s how the Pajaro Valley is pushing back (KAZU-FM)
Longtime volunteer Lois Henry resigns from San Lorenzo Valley Water District board (The Press Banner)
Capitola council forms coming year’s budget draft — line item by line item (Santa Cruz Sentinel)

And that’s what I know this Thursday morning. Plenty more ahead today from Lookout, so keep tabs throughout the day by bookmarking our website and following us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Among the goodies we have in the pipeline is another helping of Best Bets from Wallace Baine and Team BOLO, which you can get delivered right to you by visiting our Lookout Newsletter & Text Center.

Our content isn’t possible without community support, so please, if you’re not already, please consider becoming a Lookout member.

Have a great day!

Will McCahill
Lookout Santa Cruz

A veteran jack-of-all-trades journalist who is Lookout’s copy editor, writes and compiles Morning Lookout newsletter and produces Lookout’s other editorial newsletters and helps run Lookout’s social...