(Courtesy Jon Silver)
COVID 2022

LOOKOUT PM: Say it ain’t so, Joze! BLM mural trial update. School & Omicron.

Happy Wednesday evening, everybody.

If you’ve ever been to India Joze, in any of its different iterations that span five decades in Santa Cruz, you know one thing for sure: It is like no other.

It’s with the wistful knowledge of its impending closure that we set out across the street from our Front Street office last week to capture a bit of the bittersweet moment ahead, as the unique couple behind the unique place depart the brick-and-mortar world — that now involves more work thanks to the ‘to-go’ phenomenon — for a simpler, more true-to-their-roots existence.

I think you’ll enjoy our video interview with Sasha Childs as India Joe himself runs some final celebratory laps around the kitchen with his staff, trying to make these final in-house meals as special as can be.

We also have your heavier news du jour: The preparations for a return to school, the shutdown of a very cool upcoming event, an arraignment trial for the men accused of vandalizing the BLM mural and the state extending the mandatory mask mandate.

To the headlines ...

Checking in on India Joze as its brick-and-mortar existence winds down

Sasha Childs talks to Lookout about the final days of India Joze on Front Street.

Final days on Front Street: But here’s the good news: It doesn’t sound like Jozseph Schultz, the classic proprietor of India Joze, has any intention of staying out of the kitchen and performing his famous food alchemy any time soon. Our Max Chun and Giovanni Moujaes caught up with the action across Front Street last week. Please enjoy the video here.

PREVIOUSLY: The Joe behind Joze: New ‘Foodie’ doc pays tribute to a Santa Cruz culinary legend (Wallace Baine)

Mixed results in arraignment of men accused of vandalizing BLM mural

Brandon Bochat and Hagan Warner are due in court Wednesday for an arraignment hearing.
(Via Santa Cruz Police)

What happened Wednesday: Brandon Bochat pleaded not guilty to felony vandalism charges with a hate crime enhancement, while Hagan Warner was granted a delay as he seeks a new attorney. The co-defendants are next scheduled to appear in court Feb. 10. More from Grace Stetson here.


Back to school amid Omicron: Greater emphasis on testing, improved masks

A Main Street Elementary parent departs with a COVID-19 test kit.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

From K-12 to UC Santa Cruz: As K-12 students, teachers and staff return to in-person classes, community members are feeling nervous but encouraged by the increased access to testing and improved quality of masks. While UC Santa Cruz is starting with remote instruction this week, Cabrillo College, with its later start date of Jan. 24, is planning a regular start but still closely monitoring cases. More from Hillary Ojeda here.

BOOSTER NEWS: CDC advisory panel recommends youths 12-15 should get a booster (USA Today)
MENTAL HEALTH PUSH: State seeks to speed credentials for 10,000 direly needed school mental health counselors (LA Times)

Safety concerns shut down the comeback of celebrated theater festival ‘8 Tens @ 8'

Wilma Marcus Chandler (left) has passed the baton as Actors' Theatre artistic director to Andrew Ceglio (right).
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

Bitten by Omicron: Santa Cruz’s Actors’ Theatre has again had to shelve its festival of 10-minute plays, this time amid the Omicron surge, but new artistic director Andrew Ceglio still has ambitious plans for 2022 and beyond. More from Wallace Baine here.

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California extends indoor mask mandate as Omicron surges


The latest: California will extend its statewide mask mandate for indoor public spaces for another month as an unprecedented wave of coronavirus infections continues to wash over the state. More from the LA Times here.

California suddenly snow-capped, very wet — how long will the water rush last?

Skiers and snowboarders enjoy fresh snow
(Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)

Early prognosis good: The recent rains “did not completely eliminate the drought,” said Brad Pugh, a meteorologist with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration who helps manage the Drought Monitor map. “There’s still long-term precipitation deficits dating back two years. But it certainly helped improve drought conditions.” More from the Times here.

PREVIOUSLY: No, California’s drought isn’t over. Here’s why. (CalMatters)

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More from here & elsewhere

Team rescues Santa Cruz County woman trapped in fire burn scar (Sentinel)
County health officials: avoid the ER unless seriously ill (Pajaronian)
Tech founder out after antisemitic, anti-vaccine screed (AP)
Novak Djokovic Is Refused Entry Into Australia Over Vaccine (New York Times)
These CES products are actually worth buying (USA Today)
‘An outrage’: Why drivers were left stranded overnight, some for 24 hours, on I-95 in Virginia (USA Today)

That is all for this Wednesday night. See you back here tomorrow. And if you aren’t part of the awesome community supporting the local journalism that keeps the light of truth flickering here in Santa Cruz County, well, there is no time like right now. Just click RIGHT HERE and join this great mission.

Mark Conley
Deputy Managing Editor

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