(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)
Lookout PM Archive

LOOKOUT PM: Slow CZU rebuilds; UCSC historian weighs in on Ukrainian-Russia standoff

Happy Wednesday evening, everybody. You’ve again made it to the week’s halfway point. But if you’ll be driving late tonight or tomorrow, check out some important info below:

With that out of the way, let’s get to your headlines.

UCSC historian Peter Kenez offers another view of the Russia-Ukraine conflict

UC Santa Cruz historian Peter Kenez
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

Past is prologue: Peter Kenez, who taught Russian and Eastern European history between 1966 and 2011 at UC Santa Cruz, believes an invasion of Ukraine would not be representative of the Russians’ usual ways. Lookout’s Max Chun digs deep into the issue here.

➤ALSO: Ukraine 101: Kenez offers seven major, and some contrarian, takeaways

Santa Cruz County’s new CZU dashboard shows fewer than 10% have been issued rebuilding permits

Property damaged in the CZU Complex fire in 2020
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

Slow going: Last week, the county launched a CZU recovery dashboard, providing basic data about the rebuilding process. While county spokesperson Jason Hoppin said Santa Cruz’s progress is in line with other communities’ post-fire rebuilds, some survivors said the process remains overly burdensome. Grace looks into things here.

➤ SERVING UP HOT, NEW JOBS: See all the most recent listings here.

Demand for service dogs unleashes a ‘Wild West’ market

A golden retriever wearing a service dog sign and harness
(Via Pixabay)

Dog eat dog: Demand for service dogs has exploded in recent years as dogs have proved adept at helping children and adults with an increasing range of disabilities. While dogs once served primarily people with vision or mobility impairments, they now help people with autism, diabetes, seizures, and psychiatric disorders. That has overwhelmed nonprofit service dog trainers, who generally donate dogs to patients for at most a small application fee. But unmet needs have helped launch a for-profit service dog industry with hefty price tags. See the full story here.

Rising sea levels pose perilous threat to California coast as study raises new alarms

There was flooding in the flats in Rio Del Mar Wednesday morning even before heavy rain started to fall mid-day.
There was flooding in the flats in Rio Del Mar Wednesday morning even before heavy rain started to fall mid-day.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

Threat increasing: California and other coastal areas of the United States will experience frequent flooding, degraded infrastructure and other profound challenges as sea levels rise by as much as 1 foot by 2050, a federal study released Tuesday found. More from our partners at the Los Angeles Times here.


ICYMI: Masks staying on at Gayle’s, Rosie McCann’s to reopen, and Marco’s seltzer addiction

Vineyard at Windy Oaks Estate

Lily Belli on Food: California is lifting its universal mask mandate, but not all restaurants are ready to say goodbye to face coverings. The current mandate was put in place on Dec. 15 in response to the surging Omicron variant, and was originally set to expire in January before being extended another month. Get more details on the food and drink scene here.

More from Lily: All of her columns in one place.

Ballot measures on hotel, single-use cup taxes headed to June ballot

The Hotel Paradox in Santa Cruz.
The Hotel Paradox in Santa Cruz.
(Courtesy Hotel Paradox)

Millions at stake: On Tuesday, the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to place two measures — a hotel tax increase and a single-use cup and bag tax — on the June 7 ballot. The two measures would bring in an additional $2.4 million annually to be used in unincorporated county areas, said County Budget Manager Marcus Pimentel. Read more from Lookout’s Grace Stetson here.

More from here & elsewhere

S.F. school board recall: Alison Collins, Gabriela López and Faauuga Moliga ousted (San Francisco Chronicle)
You’ll need a Yosemite reservation to visit this summer. Here’s how to get one (Mercury News)
Mask mandate lifted in California, but what does that mean for SFO? (SF Gate)
History of Santa Cruz Music Chronicled in New Documentary Project (Good Times)

And that’s the way it was on this Wednesday night. See you back tomorrow.

Dan Evans
Executive Editor