Lookout PM Archive

LOOKOUT PM: Watsonville Hospital, county COVID updates & more

Happy Thursday evening, everybody — and, boy, has this holiday-shortened week flown by.

Couple newsy notes here before we get to today’s happenings.

This one you should jump on fast if you are interested in partaking in the reimagined vision of Big Basin. As the promo material for tonight’s Planning For Big Basin’s Future virtual zoom meeting says: “Now’s your chance to speak up for the Big Basin future you want to see.” It runs from 6-8 p.m. so jam through the rest of this newsletter and get over there.

Also of note: Some windy weather expected to whip things up tomorrow.

nws tweet

Now to the headlines ...

Laird advances bill to create healthcare district

Watsonville Community Hospital
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

Another step in Watsonville Community Hospital transition: Through Senate Bill 418, State Sen. John Laird is pushing the creation of a healthcare district which could be the eventual owner of the Watsonville Community Hospital, if the sale is successful. More from Hillary Ojeda here.

PREVIOUSLY: Watsonville Community Hospital reaches preliminary agreement for sale to avoid closure (Lookout)

Santa Cruz County COVID update: Positivity rates still climbing, just not as fast

A staff member of Total Testing Solutions Covid-19 testing site in Los Angeles checks in a patient
(Raquel Natalicchio for CalMatters)

The latest: While Santa Cruz County’s COVID-19 positivity rate continues to rise, the rate has somewhat slowed. As of Thursday, the 14-day average was up 295%, below last week’s figure of 399%. The county registered five more deaths in the past week, bringing the pandemic total to 237. More of the details here.

CHILDCARE: California child-care workers struggle with COVID-19 test kit shortages (LA Times)
NURSING HOMES: Families complain as states require COVID testing for nursing home visits (Kaiser Health News)


Composting questions answered: What you need to know about the new statewide mandate

Putting food scraps into a bin
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

The dirty secrets revealed: Lookout reached out to leaders at the city of Santa Cruz, Watsonville and GreenWaste Recovery, which services the rest of Santa Cruz County, with logistical questions about the local rollout, and the answers vary widely based on location and service provider. Lily Belli with the details here.

PREVIOUSLY: Statewide composting mandate: What to know as rollout begins in Santa Cruz County (Lookout)

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‘Befana’ makes a defiant comeback, Rydell legacy continues to grow, all hail Karen Yamashita

A scene from "Befana: A Christmas Fable."
(Via Steve DiBartolomeo)

This week in the arts: At Cabrillo, it will be Christmas in February for an Omicron-delayed opera. Downtown, four fellowship artists get their own MAH exhibit. Online, a newly crowned literary titan talks about her craft and more — and Wallace Baine gives us a sneak peek at all of it. Wallace Baine with the details here.

Big art happenings, a new theater production and music to your ears

Painter Kajahl Benes-Trapp has recently been named a Rydell Fellow for 2022-23.

BOLO Best Bets: On the local clubs scene, there are still a lot of chess pieces moving around, thanks to the lingering Omicron variant. A few dates originally scheduled for the coming days have been canceled or postponed, but most are going forward, even with many of those at reduced capacity. Wallace & Co with the breakdown here.

BOLO CALENDAR: Your place to go for things to do
DOWN THE LINE: All the biggest and best shows, gigs & events ahead in Santa Cruz County

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As legislation surrounding single-family home zoning in Santa Cruz is constantly changing, read up on everything you...

More from here & elsewhere

Police shoot, kill armed man at San Francisco airport (LA Times)
Aptos park memorial planned for fallen deputy Sgt. Damon Gutzwiller (Sentinel)
Santa Cruz company gets on FDA fast track for pathogen sequencing method approval (Sentinel)
Miami-London jet turns back after flier won’t mask up (USA Today)
Bay Area man banned from Yellowstone after bloody hotel assault (SF Gate)
Owner of 42-year-old cult pizza favorite to revert name back to Blondie’s, adds SF location (SF Gate)

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

Mark Conley
Deputy Managing Editor