(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)
COVID 2022

LOOKOUT PM: A native son ready to police Watsonville & another unique New Year’s awaits us

Our weekday evening look at the day’s COVID-19 developments, both here in Santa Cruz County and beyond, compiled by Lookout Deputy Managing Editor Mark Conley.

Happy evening before the big eve, all.

If you’re anything like me, tomorrow at this time you’ll gleefully be just three hours away from an East Coast New Year’s co-opted for the better coast. Yes, becoming an early-morning ocean creature has also made me quite the party pooper.

I can hear my night owl wife nodding loudly upstairs, as she blows past me by several episodes on a Netflix binge tour yet again. Much like last year, being a party pooper isn’t the worst thing though. Sigh.

Anyway, enough about the New Year’s resolutions needed in this household. I’d love to hear yours, so bring ‘em on. And, of course, there’s plenty of Omicron in tonight’s final Lookout PM roundup of 2021.

Those headlines ...

Native son Jorge Zamora prepares for his new role as Watsonville’s top cop

Jorge Zamora is the new top cop in Watsonville
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

‘Almost surreal’: The longtime Watsonville police officer will become the department’s 16th police chief on Jan. 10, bringing the city native to the forefront of a challenging time for policing and the community at large. Zamora said he aims to build the department based on “good people,” not “perfect people.” Grace Stetson with the Zamora profile here.

PREVIOUSLY: Jorge Zamora selected to serve as Watsonville’s new police chief (GS)

Vaccine, Covid-testing update for Santa Cruz County

A child receives a COVID-19 vaccine
(Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times)

Rates, where to find a COVID shot or test; wait, cost and turnaround times: A weekly overview of COVID-19 vaccine progress and availability around Santa Cruz County, plus updates on booster shots, testing and more. All those details here.

FROM YESTERDAY: COVID-19 updates in Santa Cruz County: Infections, hospitalizations, deaths and demographic data (Lookout)

Unprecedented outbreaks have officials urging scaled-back New Year’s celebrations

Champagne flutes and a champagne bottle
(Via Pixabay)

The latest: The warnings come as the nationwide number of newly confirmed COVID-19 infections roared to a record high and hospitalizations in California and elsewhere continue to increase. More from the LA Times here.

CHARTING OMICRON: Omicron’s spread through one family shows variant’s frightening speed (LA Times)

Ring in 2022 with music, art and king tides

Tidepooling at low tide.
(Kevin Painchaud/Lookout Santa Cruz)

BOLO Best Bets: Late news from the Rio Theatre is that the double date of the White Album Ensemble has been postponed, thanks to the virus that shall not be named. Shows for New Year’s Eve, however, are all slated for a go as of Thursday morning. Of course, no one can blame you if you see fit to stay home Friday night, but didn’t we all follow that script last year? More from Wallace Baine and friends here.

STUFF COMING UP SOON: Check out our Down The Line calendar lineup here

Our ‘Looking Back’ finale

(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

Looking back at October-December: Though the days started to get longer and the weather cooler, news in our region continued to heat up. Look below at some of the biggest issues making news in the past three months. Take a look through those final months here.


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...

Will winter storms end California’s drought?

The Clear Creek flowing through the Brookdale Lodge.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

Officials conduct first snow survey: Storms in December pushed California snowpack to 160% of average, giving a boost to the state’s drought-depleted water supplies. More from the Times here.

More from here & elsewhere

FDA expected to authorize Pfizer boosters for 12-to-15-year-olds (Washington Post)
Nuggets-Warriors off; Rivers, Malone enter NBA protocols (Associated Press)
‘The Book of Boba Fett’ is the worst TV show of the year — or maybe ever (SF Gate)
Boulder Creek man alleged to have plotted murder (Sentinel)
‘Life-threatening’ wildfires force evacuations of thousands in Colorado (USA Today)
Which bowl games are worth watching on New Year’s Eve, New Year’s Day? (USA Today)

That is all for this final Thursday night of 2021. We will shut ‘er down tomorrow since y’all should have better things cooking. But a very happy and safe New Year’s to you and yours and I look forward to kicking 2022 off with you on Monday.

Mark Conley
Deputy Managing Editor

Presented by Santa Cruz County Bank

Habitat for Humanity Monterey Bay is partnering with local contractors and community volunteers to build their most...