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Morning Lookout: Beach hazard advisory in place, murky future of the Nick and more

Good Morning! It’s Friday, March 19. The sun eventually will be out today after the wet day we had yesterday, but a hazardous wave advisory along the beach is set to take effect in a couple of hours.

Yesterday, public health officials said the county is almost guaranteed to move into the less-restrictive orange tier by the end of the month. But, though this spells hope for more businesses that will be able to expand reopening, one business that continues to have an uncertain future is Santa Cruz movie mainstay, the Nickelodeon.

Speaking of reopening, parents, teachers and students continue to face uncertainties even as students are finally getting back into classrooms this month. Lookout’s next free event aims to get your questions answered from the top education officials in the county.

And, our Mallory Pickett is on KPFA Radio this morning, talking about her recent coverage of dying kelp forests around the world and how otters in Monterey Bay are helping to save them locally.

Let’s start with that weather forecast:

Weather outlook: Beach hazard warning kicks in, showers roll out

Beach hazard advisory
(National Weather Service)

Powerful waves and winds will kick in along Santa Cruz County and other Northern California beaches this morning as showers move out and chilly temperatures settle in, the National Weather Service says. A “beach hazards statement” is set to run between 10 a.m. and 10 p.m. on Friday, but things are looking up in our weather world next week. Get more about the forecast here.

Celebrate the MAH’s 25th Anniversary with new exhibitions and events happening throughout Santa Cruz County in 2021.

Will the Nick ever show movies again? Here’s what the owner says

The Nickelodeon needs upgrades before it can re-open regardless of COVID-19.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

THE HERE & NOW: The Nick is neither open nor closed. It is, like many other small businesses in the pandemic, in a curious state of limbo, in hibernation, stuck somewhere between life and death. In light of the Regal Cinema 9 shutting down permanently in February, many local moviegoers are in a state of anxiety when it comes to the much more cherished Nickelodeon. Our Wallace Baine talked with the President and Chief Operating Office of Landmark Theatres, the Los Angeles-based movie-theater company that owns and operates both the Nick and the Del Mar. Here’s what he said.

FREE EVENT: School reopenings in Santa Cruz County: The experts answer your questions

Lookout event flyer

What safety precautions are in place in school buildings? What’s going on with sports and other extracurriculars? And, of course, what might school schedules look like in the fall? When it comes to education post-pandemic, the number of questions one might ask about school reopenings are seemingly endless. So Lookout, in partnership with Event Santa Cruz, is giving you a chance to run your questions by two top Santa Cruz County Office of Education officials: Superintendent Faris Sabbah and Director of School Safety Jennifer Buesing.

When: 6 p.m. on Tuesday, March 30
Where: Zoom
Register and submit your questions ahead of time here.

RELATED: Parents call for commitment, clearer path to full reopening of Santa Cruz County schools (Lookout Santa Cruz)

COVID TODAY: Santa Cruz County’s COVID testing positivity rate, now at 1.2%, is “lower than we’ve seen in many months, if ever,” the county health officer said during yesterday’s weekly press conference. This means it is “essentially guaranteed,” that the county will move to the less restrictive orange reopening tier on March 30. Read more of what was shared during the press conference, including when vaccine eligibility might expand to those under 65, the impact of Blue Shield’s involvement and more.

CHARTS: Fewer jobs, more wine: California’s deadly COVID year in 9 charts (CalMatters)

Three local nonprofits - Homeless Garden Project, Save Our Shores, and Teen Kitchen Project - are working hard to...

Regents — once again — approve UCSC’s controversial Student Housing West plan after years of delays

After two days of meetings, the University of California regents re-approved Student Housing West, a massive UC Santa Cruz student housing development that has been tied up for years amid litigation and opposition. Yesterday, taking into consideration the recommendation of a regents’ committee, the board approved the project with three in opposition. Read more from our Nick Ibarra here.

Around the state . . .

Danilo Yuchang, 59, sits in an ambulance with a white bandage around his head.
San Francisco resident Danilo Yuchang, 59, was walking back to work from his lunch break Monday when he was shoved and beaten unconscious. His attack is one of several in recent weeks that has shaken the city’s Asian community. (Danilo Yuchang)

‘I might be dead right now’: Asian man describes brutal attack on San Francisco street: Danilo Yuchang, 59, a Filipino Chinese man in San Francisco was headed back to his office from his lunch break when somebody shoved him from behind, knocking him to the ground. Yuchang lost consciousness as the person struck him repeatedly, breaking bones in his face and bruising his eyes until they were almost swollen shut. He is among numerous victims in a string of attacks against Asian residents in the Bay Area that has sent law enforcement scrambling and kept members of the Asian American community on edge. Read more from the LA Times here.

California’s Xavier Becerra confirmed as Health and Human Services secretary: California Attorney General Xavier Becerra was narrowly confirmed as the Health and Human Services secretary yesterday. Once he’s sworn in, he will be the first Latino to lead the agency. Read more here.

READ ALSO: Will Gavin Newsom appoint an Asian to replace Xavier Becerra? (CalMatters)

California approves ethnic studies curriculum for K-12 schools after years of debate: Ending years-long and often divisive debate over ethnic studies coursework in California’s K-12 schools, the State Board of Education has unanimously approved a model curriculum to guide how the histories, struggles and contributions of Asian, Black, Latino and Native Americans — and the racism and marginalization they have experienced in the United States — will be taught to millions of students. Read more from the LA Times here.

Around the county . . .

State denies parole to Santa Cruz serial killer (Santa Cruz Sentinel)

Watsonville Senior Center helps hundreds of vulnerable residents get vaccinated (The Pajaronian)

Santa Cruz County native launches Bay Area ‘Farmers Market on Wheels’ (Patch)

That’s it for today. As news develops through the day, I recommend signing up for Lookout’s Breaking News Text Alerts. We deliver the news as it happens straight to your phone so you can be in the know about what’s going on around the county. Sign up for our free text alerts here or just text the word BREAKING to (831) 265-0158.

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!

Tulsi Kamath
Managing Editor

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