COVID 2021

COVID PM: This pandemic-era Memorial Day weekend holds better promise than the last

Hello, everyone — and welcome to the loooooong weekend...

I’ll take this opportunity to give one more pre-grilling reminder that we’ve got a special discount membership offer via the code Lookout6Months to be put into action here — a special deal to celebrate our first six months of existence.

Now to the headlines of the day we go...

A different Memorial Day awaits California

How busy will Main Beach get this Memorial Day weekend?
(Kevin Painchaud/Lookout Santa Cruz)

As COVID-19 recedes, ‘It’s a relief’: With the Memorial Day weekend approaching, many Californians are enjoying newfound freedom as progress in the fight against the coronavirus has made it possible for wide swaths of the state to reopen. Sound familiar? California found itself in much the same position last year, and for many, the lure of recently reopened businesses and restaurants, along with the tempting normalcy of backyard barbecues, proved too tantalizing to resist after weeks of living under the state’s strict stay-at-home rules. The LA Times has more here.

Change-up with rules on unvaccinated youth campers

Campers at Kennolyn Camp
(Image from Kennolyn Camp website )

Outdoor rules considerably loosened: The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Friday significantly eased mask recommendations for youth campers in outdoor settings, saying all campers — even the unvaccinated — don’t need to wear masks outdoors unless community transmission of the virus is problematic. More from the Times here.

Friday headlines from around the county

Michael Rudometkin lived in Santa Cruz with his wife, Gloria.
(Via Facebook)

‘These tragedies touch hundreds’: Santa Cruz mayor laments local resident among VTA mass shooting deaths: A graduate of Cupertino High School and Evergreen College, Michael Rudometkin lived in Santa Cruz with his wife, Gloria. He was killed Wednesday morning when authorities say a VTA worker opened fired on his colleagues at the light rail yard on West Younger Ave in San Jose. More from our Nick Ibarra here.

Gunman faced disciplinary hearing for racial comments made to co-workers before mass shooting, sources say: Wednesday’s mass shooting at a Valley Transit Authority rail yard in San Jose claimed the lives of nine people and left the community in shock. Now authorities are sifting through the wreckage looking to understand why — and how — the gunman committed the horrific attack. More from the LA Times here.

JoAnne Roster, a teacher New Brighton Middle School, is Santa Cruz County's teacher of the year.
(Santa Cruz County Office of Education)

‘This group is extremely special’: Meet Santa Cruz County’s educators of the year in a not-so-normal year: Four Santa Cruz County educators — a teacher, classified employee, administrator and counselor — were selected out of a group of 74 nominees and honored as part of an annual tradition that carried added significance after a year of so much challenge and change. More from Nick Ibarra here.

Double duty: Locally grown Bob Dylan tribute aims to help small venues, too: Thanks Buddy is one of the Santa Cruz acts contributing to “Happy Birthday Uncle Bob!” to raise money for small clubs and venues while celebrating Dylan’s 80th. Meanwhile, livestreaming shows will honor late KPIG operations manager Laurie Roberts all next week. Wallace Baine has more here.

Emily Ham, incoming executive director at the Santa Cruz County Business Council.
(Contributed)

Santa Cruz County Business Council picks executive director with background in housing policy: The advocacy group representing many of the county’s largest employers announced Friday it has selected Emily Ham as its new executive director, citing her “expertise in public administration and understanding of Santa Cruz and the Monterey Bay’s unique policies and issues.” More on Ham here.

Heat risk

Holiday weekend heat: Enhanced fire risk as mountains expected to hit mid-90s; wind projections low: Mountain residents will have a hot Memorial day with highs in the mid-90s, while coastal communities will stay cool thanks to mild onshore breezes. Though this heatwave will be short and mild, it’s a reminder of the hotter, windier weather that is likely to occur in late summer. Our Cypress Hansen has more here.

Hula’s Island Grill has been a fixture in the community since 2006, but when the pandemic hit, they experienced...

More from here & elsewhere

What we know so far about Covid-19 immunity -- and what it means for vaccine boosters (CNN)
Idaho governor rescinds ban on mask mandates issued while he was out of state (CNN)
China is coming out strong after the pandemic — and U.S. economists are keeping watch (NBC News)
Graphic: Track Biden’s latest vaccination goals (NBC News)
Distribution of Eli Lilly COVID-19 therapy paused in 8 states over variant concerns (ABC News)
Biden to praise progress against COVID-19 pandemic ahead of major holiday weekend (ABC News)
Rapping grandmothers filmed a Stop Asian Hate music video in San Francisco’s Chinatown (SF Gate)
The FAA Has Seen A ‘Significantly Higher’ Number Of Unruly Passenger Reports In 2021 (NPR)

Enjoy your weekend, everyone.

Mark Conley
Deputy Managing Editor