Gail Pellerin and her dog Darwin.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)
Lookout PM Archive

LOOKOUT PM: Why not her? Plus locally raised meat & sky-high studios

Happy Monday evening, folks.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Gail Pellerin this morning about her leap into the 28th District State Assembly race over the weekend. If you don’t know Pellerin’s story, you should.

Interesting parts of it were previously told by Wallace Baine and Grace Stetson. In fact, if you have time, I encourage you to read both of those pieces before reading my interview with her.

Also in the mix of journalism we have on offer today: Lily Belli brings to light one of the more interesting Santa Cruz County farms you probably haven’t heard about and Grace digs into dual sets of sobering affordability data, one for high-end folks who can afford $1,000/night type living and another for those just trying to scrape by in this county.

To those headlines...

She wanted a Santa Cruz woman in Sacramento, so this veteran politico called her own number

Close up of an older woman with red hair
(Kevin Painchaud | Lookout Santa Cruz)

‘What about me?’: Recruitment of others led Gail Pellerin to the revelation that no one has better qualifications for the California State Assembly than herself. That’s why the noted advocate for voting rights and mental health awareness is attempting to become the first area woman to ever earn an elected seat in state government. The highlights of our morning chat here.

One Santa Cruz County farmer’s quest to grow sustainable, locally raised meat

Ryan Abelson supplements his pigs' diet with fruit and vegetables from nearby farms.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

The Pajaro Pastures story: Fresh, well-raised local meat is an oddity within Santa Cruz County’s agricultural cornucopia — just 1% of our local production. Pajaro Pastures’ Ryan Abelson is among those trying to change that amid long-standing slaughterhouse laws that favor big farmers over local, smaller ones. Lily with the story.


Book a stay at a Santa Cruz ‘super-rental’: It’s only $1,000 a night

This four-bedroom, three-bathroom Rio Del Mar condo hit the rental market in 2021 asking $30,000 a month.

Out of control: Rents are soaring across California and the country. Here in Santa Cruz County, even the top end of the market is becoming ridiculous. Grace gives you a closer look at the madness here.

Want to rent a Santa Cruz studio? You’ll pay double what you paid last year

Chart showing rent increases in the city of Santa Cruz.

A painful closer look: Rental prices seem to have gone through the roof in Santa Cruz, as anyone looking for good shelter can attest. But how bad is it, really? 112%, 15%, 14% and 9%. In just one year, the numbers tell the story of the affordability crisis. More of the ugly details here.

ICYMI: Baseball balladeer Dan Bern’s holy scripture

Wallace Baine: With baseball back, after a fearsome owner-player showdown, former Soquelite Dan Bern greets the season appropriately. As does Wallace.

➤ LOCAL MARKETING JOBS: See all the most recent listings here.

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California lawmakers pass urgent bill to stop Berkeley enrollment cuts

The UC Berkeley campus
(Via Pixabay)

A solution in sight? If signed by Gov. Newsom, the bill would allow UC Berkeley to resume enrollment for thousands of students. More from the LA Times here.

COVID-19 is fading. But ending the health emergency could leave us vulnerable

Janet Smith (left) takes Alejandrina Flores' temperature inside the COVID unit at a Los Angeles hospital.
(Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times)

Questions loom: If the U.S. public health emergency ends, Americans would be vulnerable to a new coronavirus variant that sparks another COVID-19 surge. More from the LA Times here.

Attacks hit breadth of Ukraine as talks with Russia resume


Talking again: Russian forces pummeled cities across Ukraine even as the country’s leaders said they were attempting a fourth round of negotiations with Moscow. More from the Times here.

In dispatches from Ukraine, one Chinese man attracts love — and hate (Times)

More from here & elsewhere

Santa Cruz County COVID-19 numbers continue to drop (Sentinel)
“Operation Shoulder Tap” results in 170 citations including 6 in Santa Cruz (KSBW)
Woman interrupts Russian state TV broadcast, says ‘stop the war’ (SF Gate)
A new COVID variant pops up in several countries. Here’s what is known (SF Gate)
Braves make mega-trade for A’s Matt Olson; likely end Freeman era (ESPN)
QAnon, Ukraine, ‘biolabs’: U.S. far right boosts Russian propaganda efforts (NBC News)

That’s it for a beautiful mid-March Monday evening. See you back here tomorrow, everyone.

Mark Conley
Deputy Managing Editor