LOOKOUT PM: COVID case jump explained, Eaters Digest, Tomboy Sessions
Happy Friday evening, my fellow Santa Cruzans.
After a long and productive week, it’s time for a little downtime. Fortunately, there’s plenty to do. First Fridays returns tonight and the BOLO crew has a bunch of ideas to fill up the days and nights.
And a bit of a preview of an upcoming story:
A coalition of local government agencies and health care groups aiming to purchase the Watsonville Community Hospital got a crucial boost Friday from Gov. Gavin Newsom, but leaders acknowledge that steep challenges remain.
Newsom on Friday afternoon signed into law Senate Bill 418, legislation proposed by State Sen. John Laird that creates a health care district which, the nonprofit coalition says, will take over hospital operations and bring stability after years of financial woes.
The coalition, known as the Pajaro Valley Healthcare District Project, still needs to raise at least $64.4 million to acquire the hospital, which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in December.
Stay tuned for more from our Hillary Ojeda bright and early Monday.
Let’s get on to the rest of the day’s news:
Huge jump in local COVID cases explained
Strange data: A significant increase in COVID cases over the past two days to 10,143 was a result of the backlog. County public health officials were aware of the issue but said it did not impact their response. And the best news: The positivity rate continues to remain on the decline in Santa Cruz County. Read more of the details here.
➤ PREVIOUSLY: Vaccine update: Rates, where to find a COVID shot or test; wait, cost and turnaround times (Lookout)
Attention Tomboys: Popular music video series makes a big return
Back again: Another local standby is shaking off the pandemic mothballs as Midtown vintage store Tomboy is once again the scene for live performances headed for YouTube. Wallace Baine has the details on that, plus an Indexical-Kuumbwa cross-pollination and more.
Join the Santa Cruz Symphony for the third program of their 2021-2022 concert season, “Beethoven & The Hill We Climb”,...
EATERS DIGEST: Mutari’s chocolate cafe to close, Mentone happenings and stellar pastas at Lago di Como
Moving on: Valentine’s Day marks a bittersweet last day downtown for Mutari, with the space it’s occupied for the past seven years set for demolition. But fear not, Lily Belli finds that there’s plenty of foodie love afoot in Santa Cruz County. See the details here.
➤ More Lilly: Read previous Eaters Digests here. (Lookout)
ICYMI: Freight abandonment discussion on Felton line stirs passions at RTC
Also, kibosh put on pro-rail ballot measure: The Regional Transportation Commission on Thursday heard hours of staff reports and public comments regarding the possible closure of the Felton line to freight in order to save up to $65 million in repair costs. No action was taken, but RTC staff said they would continue working with the line’s owner, Roaring Camp, on a solution to the issue. Check out the details here.
➤ PREVIOUSLY: How Santa Cruz’s rail-trail debate created a standoff with Roaring Camp (Lookout)
UC Santa Cruz student Tommy Alejandrez was living on the streets when he met former NFL player Zack Follett on a busy...
First Friday, a Prankster and tunes to disperse the Omicron mists
BOLO Best Bets: The news on the Omicron front is promising, but Friday offers an intriguing test to see if Santa Cruz’s arts audiences are ready to get away from their screens and back out in the world. First Friday will include a number of venues open to the curious, some with live entertainment and most with a promise to engage personally with artists. Wallace Baine & friends with your weekend fix.
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More from here & elsewhere
➤ Santa Cruz ‘aggressive’ traffic enforcement cites 138 (Sentinel)
➤ Pence: Trump is ‘wrong’ to say election could be overturned (San Francisco Chronicle)
➤ Wealthy town has an answer against building affordable housing: Mountain lions (Los Angeles Times)
➤ Police used car registration to identify suspect in SoFi Stadium assault of 49ers fan (SF Gate)
➤ Breakthrough by UC Researchers Could Boost Our Body Clocks (Good Times)
➤ New California bill would hold hotels, motels accountable for trafficking (KSBW)
And that’s the way it was on this Friday night. Have a wonderful weekend everyone!