Stacks of ballots waiting to be counted at the Santa Cruz County Clerk's office
Stacks of ballots waiting to be counted at the Santa Cruz County Clerk’s office.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)
Lookout PM Archive

LOOKOUT PM: It’s slow-going on the vote tabulation front with only 50% counted

Happy Friday evening, folks.

Did you survive that heat? The good news is that it appears we’ll take one big jump down in temperature tomorrow and then another big one on Sunday.

Speaking of feeling the heat, will the Warriors be able to even this thing up and push the NBA Finals toward an epic conclusion? We should all be watching.

And while we’re talking sports, let’s quickly check in on the primary election competition, shall we?

The Santa Cruz County Clerk’s office tallied another 3,229 votes the past 72 hours, bringing the total up to 33,569 counted — which amounts to a 20% voter turnout at this point.

However, this game is only at halftime. There are approximately 32,000 more mail-in votes to be counted, according to County Clerk Tricia Webber.

It’s been a slower process than anticipated, she said, mainly because of the number of mail-in votes that landed on Election Day. “I would like to be moving faster. Unfortunately, I’m not able to move faster,” Webber told us late Friday.

We’ll tell you more about that process and why the counting is going slow on Monday.

The important updates for now: 1) The only two races that were neck-and-neck, Santa Cruz’s sales tax measure (F) and the 4th District Supervisor, remain far too close to call, and 2) Webber’s team will work the weekend to add another 10,000 votes by Monday, they hope to add 10,000 more by Wednesday and complete most the vote with another 10,000 by Friday.

Webber said the next update on their site will happen at noon Monday and we have updated the charts for each race in easy-to-read fashion on our site here. Get back to that Warriors game and we’ll talk more politics on Monday.

To the headlines du jour we go ...

Petition in hand, Soquel Union Elementary School District parents confront issues of low teacher pay, high turnover

Parents and students turned out in support of the SUESD teachers.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

Taking action: A group of about 30 parents in the Soquel Union Elementary School District has taken action — confronting longstanding funding problems in the small district. A petition with more than 600 signatures asks for a reckoning on teacher pay in a district paying among the least in Santa Cruz County. Hillary Ojeda has the details.

PREVIOUSLY: Santa Cruz County’s lowest-paid teachers show up in force, asking for an 8% increase (Lookout)


Museum takes a fond look back at Seabright’s legendary Castle Beach

The Scholl Marr Castle stood from 1929 until 1967
(Via Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History)

Back then: An exhibit opening tomorrow at the Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History features photos and artifacts from the castle that sat near the entrance to what is now Seabright Beach until its destruction in 1967. What in 1929 was a Hollywood-inspired Moorish fantasy now can be remembered by new generations of Santa Cruzans. Get a sneak peek from Wallace Baine.

OPENING TODAY: ‘Agents of Change’: Poetry on art, offering strands of hope (Lookout)


Mayor Fred Keeley? The county’s most veteran politico is considering a run for Santa Cruz mayor

Fred Keeley at Michael's on Main for the No On D watch party.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

Will he do it? Fred Keeley has been living and breathing politics since he wandered into the nation’s capital at age 22 a half-century ago. Might he be the person to help the city of Santa Cruz wade through a tricky time for local governance? His supporters hope and believe so. What Mark Conley is hearing.

MORE ELECTION COVERAGE: The vote is in: 10 questions on what happens next (Lookout)

Student Lookout: Garden of Eden, eats on a budget and what to watch this summer

Strawberries in a green basket
(Via Molly Lautamo / Hilltromper Santa Cruz)

School is out, and Max Chun is here with recommendations on deals, events, movies to see and places to go for all those students with some well-earned free time on their hands. Check it all out here.

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Weekender: Jazz aplenty, royal recognition, the sweetness of summer — and my B9

What’s happening: With the weekend just about here and summer upon us, Wallace Baine celebrates the bounty of the season in his latest newsletter, including a packed slate at Kuumbwa Jazz and Baine’s Nine, his nine necessary know-abouts for the week ahead. Hop in — the water is nice!

OUR FULL EVENTS CALENDAR: BOLO, your place to go for things to do

Jan. 6 committee opens hearings on Trump’s ‘attempted coup’

Rep. Zoe Lofgren sitting next to Rep. Adam B. Schiff, appearing upset
(Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times)

After over 10 months of working behind closed doors, a House Select Committee began presenting its findings on the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the U.S. Capitol and the involvement of former President Donald Trump. “President Trump summoned the mob, assembled the mob and lit the flame of this attack,” committee Vice Chair Liz Cheney said. Our partners at the Los Angeles Times were there.

A WARNING: One year later, Jimmy Panetta wants people to know that Jan. 6 was no fluke (Lookout)

With a triumphant primary win, Newsom eyes the road ahead

U.S. Senator Alex Padilla and California Governor Gavin Newsom
(Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)

Breathing room With little chance of losing in November and unencumbered by typical reelection politics, Gov. Gavin Newsom is poised to instead focus on continuing to insert the state into the national debate issues that could boost his political profile. More from the LA Times here.

More from here & elsewhere

Watsonville man caught in sex sting (Pajaronian)
Preliminary hearing: suspect accused of shooting at CHP officers in Scotts Valley (Press Banner)
Pride Flag debate exposes political divide (Press Banner)
Cyclist on California mountains chased by angry zebra (SF Gate)
Microplastics found in freshly fallen Antarctic snow for the first time (SF Gate)

That’s it for yet another week. Enjoy the cool down over the next two days and we’ll see you back here Monday.

Mark Conley
Deputy Managing Editor