LOOKOUT PM: The ‘mess’ of Santa Cruz districting and ... roller derby returns!
Hey, everyone and happy over-the-hump-we-go Wednesday evening.
My friend Grace and I got the task of burying our heads deep into the topic of Santa Cruz government early this week and it’s been a fascinating and mind-blowing study for us both.
Fortunately this area remains stocked with savvy political veterans following things closely from the sidelines who are more than willing to share their vast troves of knowledge.
We tried to bring the topic of district elections a little more down to earth, you know where most of us normal citizens hang. I hope we succeeded in that. Please ping us and let us know. And let us know what more you might need to know.
A couple of other hot topics today, one related to the behavior of parents, particularly at one local high school, and, the other, the return of a Santa Cruz cult favorite. Do read on.
To those headlines....
How Santa Cruz got into this districting ‘mess’ & what happens from here
A forced overhaul of city government: The city of Santa Cruz has been known for its “weak mayor” system for years. Well, now that a major overhaul of local governance is in order come November with district-by-district representation, some suggest it’s the perfect time for a “strong mayor” to step forward and lead the city through this challenging crossroads moment. But first the voters need to say yes to a strong mayor in June. More from Grace Stetson and I here.
Schools chief: Parents need to stop bullying teachers over mask mandates
Q&A with superintendent Faris Sabbah: Superintendent of Schools Faris Sabbah says Santa Cruz County parents are bullying teachers, upsetting staff and filing claims against school districts for enforcing mask mandates. Parents have bombarded schools with hundreds of “threatening messages” and angry emails and have had heated, in-person exchanges with teachers and office staff. How tough a response are the schools mounting? Sabbah describes it in detail. Hillary Ojeda has the details here.
On a new roll, roller derby revs up for the season
Rolling back to action: The Derby Girls transfixed crowds at the Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium for years. Now, they reboot to meet post-pandemic realities. Wallace Baine with the lowdown.
Can UC Berkeley plan to offer housing to homeless inspire other campuses to tackle crisis?
A trend in the making? In a partnership unique in American higher education, UC Berkeley is collaborating with the city and nonprofits to offer housing, meals and social services to those living in People’s Park. Will other campuses follow suit? More from the LA Times here.
Facing reelection, Newsom touts the ‘California way’ and teases gas tax rebate
California way? Gov. Gavin Newsom said little about his vision for the final year of his first term in his State of the State address. Instead, he chose to emphasize climate change policies, COVID-19 response and California’s prospering economy, a preview of the case he’ll make to voters in his campaign for a second term. The Times’ breakdown.
➤ JOBS TO REPAIR COMMUNITIES: See all the most recent listings here.
- Engineer - Associate or Assistant I/II at Soquel Creek Water District
- Bus Driver (Bus Operator) at Santa Cruz METRO
- Automotive Repair & Service Technician at Greg Solow’s Engine Room
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Ukraine’s army, vastly outgunned, inflicts losses on more powerful Russian forces
What we know: Low morale, logistics problems and resilient Ukrainian soldiers are slowing advances by Russian forces toward Kyiv as the war goes into a third week. More from the Times here.
California’s high gas prices have a little-known ingredient: Russian oil
Oligarch oil? Banning Russian oil will affect West Coast gasoline prices more than those in other parts of the country because the West Coast uses more Russian oil. The Times with the details.
More from here & elsewhere
➤ 49ers fan out of coma after apparent beating at NFC Championship Game (Sentinel)
➤ Sales tax to make June ballot in Santa Cruz (Sentinel)
➤ Longtime Scotts Valley City Clerk Retires (Press Banner)
➤ As QBs move around NFL, a new suitor may have emerged for Jimmy G (SF Gate)
➤ Disneyland’s most anticipated ride in years is on hold indefinitely (SF Gate)
➤ MLB cancels two more series; season may not open until mid-April (USA Today)
That is all she wrote for another beautiful Wednesday in paradise. Join you back here tomorrow for more.
Deputy Managing Editor