Johnny Brown, Ellery Brown and Ketanji Brown Jackson
Johnny Brown and Ellery Brown, the parents of Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson, listen to their daughter speak during her confirmation hearing. (Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times)
Lookout PM Archive

LOOKOUT PM: Meet ‘The Weekender’ and the next Omicron subvariant

Happy Thursday evening, my sweaty friends.

We should consider an April heatwave a fun weather novelty, but we’re not living where we live because of our hearty resilience to temperature swings.

But, hey, it’s back mostly to the 70s tomorrow and then here come some raindrops by Monday!

To the headlines we go ...

Weekender: Crisis at Actors’ Theatre; Mountain Winery lineup announced; the debut of the B9


Welcome! This is Weekender, our new guide to arts & entertainment (you know, the fun stuff) that replaces the weekly Best Bets newsletter. As Santa Cruz County shakes off two years of chaos and trauma, we want to keep an eye on the region’s creative spirit as it reemerges from the cave of COVID. Wallace Baine will the intro here.

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Find recommendations from Team BOLO — Wallace, Max Chun and Lucille Tepperman — here
Down The Line: What’s coming up in the months ahead

Longtime Cabrillo Festival leader Marin Alsop returns for a Santa Cruz homecoming

Marin Alsop, longtime music director of the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music
(Via Alessandra Fratus)

Back in action: A new documentary on her life and career is bringing Marin Alsop, former music director of the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music, back to her old stomping grounds. Wallace with the story here.


No more mask mandate: UC Santa Cruz students greet coming change warily

Fourth-year student Destyni Ellis, 24, sits outside the Earth and Planetary Sciences building on the UC Santa Cruz campus.
(Hillary Ojeda / Lookout Santa Cruz)

Mask or no mask: “I have a teacher who was like, ‘Away with the masks!’ And just wants to see everybody’s faces. But I know people are gonna still wear it and be cautious about it.” After two years of pandemic restrictions and remote learning, UC Santa Cruz students wonder about the school’s move to lift its mask mandate effective Sunday. More from Hillary Ojeda here.

The new Omicron subvariant XE is getting attention. How concerned should we be?


The next one: Even as the highly contagious Omicron subvariant BA.2 is increasingly dominating California and the U.S., an even more potentially contagious subvariant, XE, has attracted the attention of global scientists. More from the LA Times here.

Watsonville council will decide whether to hire new city manager from Gonzalez on Tuesday

Watsonville plaza on Dec. 15, 2020.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

Huffaker replacement? Watsonville City Council will consider Rene Mendez for the vacant City Manager role, following a three-month search. More from Grace Stetson here.

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Visiting a state park? Your library card can get you in for free


Library with a view: In an effort to provide more equitable outdoor access to all Californians, residents can now use their library cards to gain free entry to more than 200 state parks, officials announced this week. More from the Times here.

Ketanji Brown Jackson’s confirmation to the Supreme Court: a visual timeline

Ketanji Brown Jackson and her family

Quite a day: The Senate’s confirmation of Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to the Supreme Court concludes her historic nomination to become the nation’s first Black female justice. Take the visual stroll with the Times here.

More from here & elsewhere

Santa Cruz County drought: dry vegetation fuels wildlife risk but reservoir level strong (Sentinel)
No protest against Opal Cliffs ‘Privates’ going public (Sentinel)
Sheriff’s Office searches for information on Hwy 1 shooting (Pajaronian)
Big Sur fire arsonist found guilty for starting 2020 wildfire (KSBW)
Fatal crash closes road near Zayante: CHP (KSBW)

That’s it for this sizzling Thursday. See you all for the cooldown tomorrow.

Mark Conley
Deputy Managing Editor