Latest News

Morning Lookout: UCSC development plans, homelessness solutions, women’s day and more

Good Morning! It’s Monday, March 8. The forecast calls for clouds today with a high of 56.

Today is International Women’s Day, so we’ve created a way for you to honor the women who inspire you with a special interactive feature. More on that in a bit.

Speaking of inspiring women, one of our many here at Lookout, Tulsi Kamath, has today and tomorrow off, so this is Chris Fusco filling in for her this morning!

Locally, it’s the last day to submit public comments on UC Santa Cruz’s Long Range Development Plan, and the university also is relaunching a separate, large campus housing project. Meanwhile, there are new developments in the superintendent firing and rehiring saga in PVUSD; multiple developments on the housing and homelessness beats; plus our Wallace Baine enlightens, informs and entertains you with a couple of gems, including this one on four Latinx artists.

Part of our mission at Lookout is to deliver you relevant news from across the nation, and our content partners at the LA Times do just that this morning, reporting on the scene in Minneapolis as the first police officer charged in the killing of George Floyd heads to trial. Another national talker? Prince Harry and Meghan’s sitdown with Oprah.

Meanwhile, statewide, the Recall Newsom movement shows no sign of retrenching, and our partner CalMatters dives into the latest.

Here we go:

UC Santa Cruz’s long range — and more immediate — plans for campus development, growth

"The Squiggle" sculpture at UCSC's Porter College.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

With public review window closing today, UCSC and surrounding community on collision course over enrollment growth: The university’s recently unveiled 2021 Long Range Development Plan seeks to prepare the campus for a projected enrollment of 28,000 by 2040, which is about 44% higher than enrollment last year. While university officials have repeatedly said that the plan isn’t a mandate for more students — but rather a framework to prepare the campus for potential future needs — the prospect of more students, faculty and staff is being met with concern among Santa Cruz residents and government leaders. Nick Ibarra tells you why the issue is so important to Santa Cruz and county leaders, and tells you how you can weigh in on it, here.

Student Housing West back on the table: UCSC is seeking re-approval to move forward with Student Housing West, a more than 3,000-bed student housing project that has seen long delays amid alumni-led opposition and environmental litigation. UCSC Chancellor Cynthia Larive announced Friday she intends to bring the project back to the University of California Board of Regents for re-approval at their meeting March 17. Nick has much more here.

Presented by Santa Cruz County Bank

The Volunteer Center of Santa Cruz County re-envisioned its programs and initiatives to meet the needs and challenges of...

Homelessness, tiny homes . . . and more to come Tuesday

Our government accountability team, Isabella Cueto and Patrick Riley, has been leading the media pack on developments regarding housing issues and homelessness countywide. We’ll be keying in on their work more deeply in tomorrow’s newsletter, as Santa Cruz city leaders on Tuesday are set to make a final vote on a controversial “temporary outdoor living ordinance” aimed at curbing homelessness, and the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors, also Tuesday, will be talking about both a shelter expansion plan and tiny homes.

In the meantime, here are three must-reads from Isa and Pat from over the weekend:

Changes make Santa Cruz ordinance on homelessness more humane, but, if passed, will it actually work? (Isa)

At pivotal time in homelessness crisis, Santa Cruz County supervisors pitch major shelter expansion plan (Pat)

As officials seek public input on tiny home expansion, a question: How to differentiate them from RVs? (Pat)

Tell us about the women who inspire you — and meet the women who inspire us

Lookout seeks to honor the inspiring women in our lives.
Lookout seeks to honor the inspiring women in our lives.
(Lookout Santa Cruz Staff)

For me, it’s my wife, Lori. For Tulsi, it’s her mom, Veena. Who are the women that inspire you? Give them a shout-out by posting their picture and saying a few words about them in our interactive International Women’s Day feature. The more pictures and nice things we can all say, the better. Submit your photo and message here, and learn more about International Women’s Day.

Wallace Baine on the local arts scene — and surf culture

Huitzlipotzli by Ralph James D'Oliveira, part of the on-line exhibit Califas Legacy Project, beginning today.
Huitzlipotzli by Ralph James D’Oliveira, part of the on-line exhibit Califas Legacy Project, beginning today.

Viva Califas: Arts organizations come together to highlight the work of local Latinx artists: The Califas Legacy Project throws a much-needed spotlight on the contributions of local visual artists Guillermo Aranda, Carmen Leon, Ralph D’Oliveira, and Amalia Mesa-Bain. Read Wallace’s overview of the effort — and see some beautiful artwork — here.

Meet the surf/skate culture preservationists who helped rock, heal the Pleasure Point neighborhood: As hosts of the popular podcast ‘Off the Lip’ podcast, Neil Pearlberg and Terry Campion are both chronicling and creating surf/skate culture in Pleasure Point. During COVID they’ve provided a much-needed outlet for musicians and those of us needing music in our lives. Read Wallace’s profile here.

PVUSD Trustee Georgia Acosta (left), until recently the school board's president, and Superintendent Michelle Rodriguez.
PVUSD Trustee Georgia Acosta (left), until recently the school board’s president, and Superintendent Michelle Rodriguez.
(PVUSD and Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

Earlier, we told you about big things coming up Wednesday in city and county government; the same will be happening in the Pajaro Valley Unified School District, where school board members will be discussing whether former president Georgia Acosta, who remains on the board as a trustee, might have violated policy by tallying up more than $16,000 in legal fees relating to the brief dismissal of the district superintendent Michelle Rodriguez. Nick Ibarra dove into this subject over the weekend. He has all the details here.

Take a break from commercial movie platforms, and enjoy a week of independent Latinx films at the 9th Annual...

Around the nation and state . . .

Think we had a busy weekend here at Lookout? Our content partners at the LA Times and CalMatters had busy ones, too. Here’s some of their latest work on our website:

Minneapolis on edge as the first officer charged in killing of George Floyd goes on trial (LA Times)

WATER COOLER TALKER: Harry and Meghan talk to Oprah, say palace raised ‘concerns’ about skin color of their child (LA Times)

Who gets a $1,400 check, and other ways the COVID-19 relief bill may affect your pocketbook (LA Times)

LATEST ON THE POTENTIAL RECALL: In a recall election, Gov. Gavin Newsom could get more votes than his replacement — and still lose his job. (CalMatters)

Around the county . . .

Volunteer known as Mr. Watsonville dies (Pajaronian)

Santa Cruz Warriors get playoff rematch with Rio Grande Valley (Santa Cruz Sentinel)

That’s it for today. If you’re enjoying our coverage, please tell your family and friends about our Lookout Newsletter & Text Center, where they can sign up for all the newsletters and alerts we offer. You can also keep tabs on everything we’re publishing through the day by bookmarking our website and following us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

To ensure you’re staying informed about all the goings-on in Santa Cruz, consider becoming a Lookout member. Our content isn’t possible without community support.

Have a great day!

Chris Fusco
Executive Editor

Stay connected & support local journalism
We’re all about Santa Cruz County, from north to south and in-between. Members have unlimited access to our 24/7 local news coverage.