The Food Not Bombs van.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)
Lookout PM Archive

LOOKOUT PM: Food Not Bombs fracas; Retailers grappling with new mask rules

Happy Thursday evening, everybody. Though New Year feels like it happened yesterday, here we are more than halfway through February. The statewide — and county — mask mandates have been lifted, infections are on the downslope (fingers crossed they stay that way) and the weather is beautiful.

Still, many retailers aren’t quite ready to toss the face coverings just yet.

‘Playing with fire’: COVID cases are dropping by half, but some retailers keep their own mask requirements

Streetlight Records supervisor Rob Zvaleko sorts through records near the store's signage.
(Max Chun / Lookout Santa Cruz)

To mask or not: The county’s mask mandate ended on Tuesday night. Then, why are retailers like The Starving Musician, Shen’s Gallery, Streetlight Records, Toque Blanche, Pacific Thai and Pacific Trading Co. keeping theirs? Lookout’s Max Chun takes the temperature downtown.

It’s a Clock Tower standoff between city, Food Not Bombs over permits

On Thursday, the city of Santa Cruz sent a cease and desist letter to the food distribution group Food Not Bombs
On Thursday, the city of Santa Cruz sent a cease and desist letter to the food distribution group Food Not Bombs: “There are serious safety issues at work here.”
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

Safety issue: Organization leader Keith McHenry says ‘We don’t need to seek permission from a city that refuses to make sure its residents are fed’ while a city spokesperson says the group must ‘operate under the rules and regulations and guidelines that any other organization within the city would be required to do.’ Lookout’s Grace Stetson details the dispute.

PREVIOUSLY: Santa Cruz tells Food Not Bombs it’s time to go: Lot 27 being cleared by city to make room for construction

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

Celebrate Black theater and otherwise get your groove on

BOLO Best Bets: The African American Theatre Arts Troupe at UC Santa Cruz doesn’t need Black History Month to get attention. This long-running program, the only one of its kind in the UC system, deserves respect the other 11 months of the year, too. But if you’re looking to honor the season and the legacy of Black theater, the next two weekends are offering the opportunity. The AATAT’s latest production, “‘da Kink in My Hair,” comes to campus, along with the play’s writer, Trey Anthony. It’s worth checking out on those nights when you’re not already grooving to jazz artist Makaya McCraven, stand-up comic Kristal Adams, or swank rapper Bryce Vine. So many attractions, so little time. Check out the details here.

More Events: See our full BOLO calendar listings for events in Santa Cruz here.

B Corporations, including the Santa Cruz businesses highlighted here, make it their mission to balance profit with...

Inside Lookout: High profile series launch & new local job board

What’s new: You may have seen Part I of our Unhoused series — Part II is coming this Sunday — and Wallace Baine’s new feature about Santa Cruz Icons. But Lookout founder and CEO Ken Doctor is announcing a number of other features both already here and coming your way — including a new job board. See all the details here.


No end in sight: California drought on course to break another record

A view of a scarred mountain peak from last summer's Caldor Fire
A view of a scarred mountain peak from last summer’s Caldor Fire, which burned through El Dorado County near the site of the California Department of Water Resources media snow surveys at Phillips Station in the Sierra Nevada Mountains on Feb. 1, 2022. The survey is held approximately 90 miles east of Sacramento off Highway 50 in El Dorado County. Kelly M. Grow/California Department of Water Resources

So dry: The first two months of 2022 are shaping up to be the driest January and February in California history, prompting state officials to warn of dire water conditions ahead. See more details from our partners at the Los Angeles Times here.

PREVIOUSLY: Western megadrought is worst in 1,200 years, intensified by climate change, study finds

Presented by UC Santa Cruz

UC Santa Cruz student Tommy Alejandrez was living on the streets when he met former NFL player Zack Follett on a busy...

Why California is hoping people keep wearing masks even as coronavirus cases fall

Avery Clark, 13, and her mom, Kristen Clark, from Reno, Nevada, wear masks in Capitola Village.
Avery Clark, 13, and her mom, Kristen Clark, from Reno, Nevada, wear masks in Capitola Village.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

Safety first: Many health experts are strongly recommending the public still wear masks even as the state lifted its order requiring them to be worn in indoor public spaces for vaccinated people. More details here.

More from here & elsewhere

Details emerge in fatal Moss Landing crash (Santa Cruz Sentinel)
Ousted S.F. school board member abruptly steps down (San Francisco Chronicle)
New Santa Clara County homelessness numbers show improvement (The Mercury News)
Wildfire near Bishop, Calif., grows to 3,900 acres (SF Gate)
Salesforce Deal With 1440 Multiversity to Create 100 jobs (Press Banner)

And that’s the way it was on this Thursday night. See you tomorrow to close out the week.

Dan Evans
Executive Editor

Presented by Kaiser Permanente

Kaiser Permanente has partnered with systems change agency to disperse donations of sanitizing wipes, N95...