COVID 2022

LOOKOUT PM: Restaurants battle on, Watsonville names a police chief

Happy Thursday evening, everybody. We are almost there.

Lots of good stuff to throw your way tonight so let’s get right to it.

The headlines ...

Local eateries vs. the supply-chain blues

Tyler Cobb working the kitchen at Home.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

What we learned from four local businesses: The number of challenges facing Santa Cruz restaurants in the pandemic era is astronomical. In fact, we’re plain lucky so many owners and chefs love what they do enough to endure. We talked to four different proprietors around the area to learn about their struggles. Lily Belli with the details.

COMING FRIDAY: Your weekly dose of Eaters Digest

Watsonville names a new police chief

A Watsonville police squad car. Like other cities, Watsonville is grappling with calls to 'defund the police.'
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

Jorge Zamora is a South County native: The longtime Watsonville officer — who has served over 25 years with the department — will replace recently retired Police Chief David Honda. Jorge Zamora’s badge pinning ceremony will take place on Jan. 10. Grace Stetson with the story.

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This week’s COVID-19 updates in Santa Cruz County

Jaime Stacy and Colm Stacy, 6, wear masks on the wharf in Capitola

Infections, hospitalizations, deaths and demographic data: Santa Cruz County’s COVID-19 positivity rate has flattened for the second week in a row, signaling a slow-down in the increase of cases. Santa Cruz County’s total death toll increased by one to 226. All the latest details from Lookout here.

The latest data on vaccines/boosters in Santa Cruz County
Did California get its money’s worth from $1.7 billion COVID test contract? (CalMatters)

Presented by Kaiser Permanente

While the holidays can be a cheerful time for many, they can also be some of the most difficult times for others. Kaiser...

Bringing smiles to the faces of isolated, vulnerable seniors has done the same for him

Kris MacKellar and Barbara Miller share an embrace.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

Unsung Santa Cruz: Kris MacKellar has done all kinds of jobs in his lifetime, but none more fulfilling than driving his aging Ford pickup around the hills of Santa Cruz County during the pandemic, bringing food and kindness to seniors and people with disabilities. Andrew Lachman with the story here.

UNSUNG SANTA CRUZ: Check out our celebration of normal folks doing amazing things

No supply-chain woes with the gift of local music

A close-up of Anthony Arya playing guitar
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

BOLO Best Bets: Need a last-minute gift idea? Forget stuff. Think experiences. Buy a ticket for a loved one to any of the beautiful holiday-themed presentations ahead of us this weekend. Wallace Baine & friends rundown that and more.

SPEAKING OF GIFTS: Have you checked out all of our Keeping It Local guides?

The Friends of the Santa Cruz Public Libraries are close to reaching their goal for their 2021 Realizing the Promise...

Oil sheen confirmed off Huntington Beach as charges are filed in earlier spill

Huntington Beach

Not over yet: A sheen in the Pacific Ocean roughly two miles off Huntington Beach has been identified as oil, officials confirmed Thursday morning. More from the LA Times here.

More from here & elsewhere

Driverless car crashes in the Bay Area, startup’s permit suspended (SF Gate)
Atmospheric river is a big win for Calif. as Sierra snow piles up (SF Gate)
FDA will allow abortion pills to be permanently available by mail (USA Today)
Global sea levels may rapidly rise if ‘doomsday’ glacier breaks off (USA Today)
Ivy League swimming champion becomes target of transphobic rhetoric (NBC News)
‘Sex and the City’ actor Chris Noth accused of sexually assaulting two women (NBC News)

That is all for this Thursday night. See you back here tomorrow to close down this week.

Mark Conley
Deputy Managing Editor

Presented by Housing Matters

It takes the whole community working together to help those experiencing homelessness find pathways to permanent...