A metal print called "Four Mile Flow" by Carlin Schelstraete.
(Via Visual Arts Network)
Lookout PM Archive

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

One of six draft districting maps proposed by the city of Santa Cruz. For an interactive version of all the maps, go here.
(Via City of Santa Cruz)

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

Santa Cruz County Superintendent of Schools Faris Sabbah
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

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.

Student access banner image
Keep your eyes out for our newest Santa Cruz METRO bus ad sharing this exciting student program.


On a new roll, roller derby revs up for the season

Santa Cruz jammer Splenda.
(Via Mark Nockleby)

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?

DJ Prendez hangs out at People's Park in Berkeley on January 25, 2018.

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.

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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

A Chevron gas station displays rising prices
(Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times)

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.

Mark Conley
Deputy Managing Editor