Morning Lookout: Racist messages being found around town, should we worry about fourth COVID wave?
Good Morning! It’s Monday, April 5 and we’ll see some intermittent clouds today and a high of 64. Amid Easter celebrations, the Stanford women’s basketball team — and Santa Cruz’s own Haley Jones — did some celebrating of their own. Read to the end for the details.
Santa Cruz has started to come out of the long hibernation, a sign of lowering cases, rising vaccination rates and an overall sense of optimism. But even as more people venture outdoors, national cries for caution and a possible fourth wave have been worrisome. Our Mallory Pickett talked to several experts to find out if we have a reason to be worried at the local level.
Meanwhile, some who have ventured out into the county’s public spaces in the last few months have been met with nasty surprises: rocks and flyers painted with glitter and hearts — and white supremacist messages.
But before we get to that story and all your other headlines, you should know about another free event you’re invited to later this week. On Friday, our Wallace Baine will sit down with Rep. Jimmy Panetta for an hour on Zoom. From immigration to wildfire mitigation to recovery post-pandemic, it’s all on the table. You can sign up for the free event here.
Now, let’s get to it:
Racist messages on rocks, flyers shock Santa Cruzans as propaganda uptick mirrors state, nation
White supremacist propaganda has been found on rocks and flyers around Santa Cruz County recently. The incidents, which have been discussed on social media and, most recently, in a Capitola City Council meeting last month, have prompted some to worry about their neighbors’ stances on racial and social equity. “It worries me that there might be some more of those people than I realized around here,” one Capitola resident said of a flyer she found in February that sported the racist messaging. Our Isabella Cueto connected the dots of statewide instances of racism and the recent upswing here.
Fourth wave fears, plus more on pandemic life
‘Impending doom’? What scientists say about chances of fourth COVID-19 wave in Santa Cruz, rest of California: As more Santa Cruz County businesses reopened last week, at the national level, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a dire warning of a possible fourth wave as cases of COVID-19 rose an average of 10% in the previous week. And earlier in the pandemic, California has celebrated declining cases by lifting lockdowns only to be faced with a surge of infections soon after. With this historical precedent, our Mallory Pickett talked to local, state and national public health experts about whether we should be worried about a fourth wave here.
Have you seen a doctor lately? Delays likely to trigger deaths, poor health: Other than COVID-19, Californians are still dying at about the same rates from heart disease, cancer and other disorders. But doctors fear the year-long delays in medical care could lead to early deaths and severe health problems. Read more from our partners at CalMatters here.
PVUSD begins back-to-class return: A full month after their counterparts in Scotts Valley put on backpacks and facemasks and headed to school, the last TK and Kinder classes in the county to go back are finally doing that today in the Pajaro Valley Unified School District. With their return, at least some students from all 10 public school districts have returned to in-person learning since the pandemic began. You can see the full calendar of school reopenings here. And later today, Be On the Lookout on our website for a story that breaks down the funding each school district has is set to get.
With parks seeing surge in popularity during the pandemic, local groups focus on safety, etiquette: Visitation to some parks in Santa Cruz County has doubled during the pandemic. Taking advantage of outside recreation is good for everyone’s physical and mental health, but it has also been a stressor on park infrastructure — so much so that Mountain Bikers of Santa Cruz created a series of comics illustrating proper trail etiquette to help address the influx of users during the pandemic. Read more about the parks boom from our Mallory PIckett here.
JOIN US THIS WEEK: A Fireside Zoom with Congressman Jimmy Panetta
It’s been a year of transition in Washington, D.C. So what does that mean for residents and businesses in the Monterey Bay area? Our Wallace Baine will sit down with U.S. Rep. Jimmy Panetta to explore that and a litany of other subjects during an hourlong virtual conversation — and you’re invited! Wallace will be asking Rep. Panetta the tough questions on your behalf and it’s an event you won’t want to miss. Meanwhile, if you have questions you’d like to ask Rep. Panetta, you can email them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
When: 5 p.m., April 9 (This Friday)
To register, click here.
A little Lookout fun
Skating through a pandemic, finding joy on the other side — and sharing it on Instagram: For some, the pandemic was a time to maintain stability — not the season for opening oneself up to new frustrations or disappointments. UC Santa Cruz student Elise Dauterive wasn’t one of them. The 20-year-old has come a long way in one year of roller skating — a journey that’s taught her a lot about vulnerability, the kindness of others and even race relations. Read more about her journey, her growing following and the lessons she’s learned over the past year from our Isabella here.
Q&A: When ‘Keeping it fun’ turns into a craft brew revolution: Talking shop with Humble Sea: The mountain crew that started Humble Sea Brewing in 2017 swears up and down their intention was never to become a Bay Area beer scene Goliath. “It was always just about making sure we kept it fun,” says co-founder Frank Scott Krueger. But when your kind of fun resonates with more people than you can reasonably accommodate, it’s time to to spread that fun out over a bigger geography — including Felton and Pacifica. Co-Founder Scott Krueger took time out from spec-ing out a paint overhaul on Humble Sea’s new Pacifica digs to talk to our Mark Conley about the excitement all around him. Read the whole interview here.
QUIZ: What’s your Santa Cruz Boardwalk history IQ? How well do you know the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk’s illustrious century-plus-long history? In honor of the Boardwalk’s grand reopening last week, Wallace consulted with Boardwalk history expert Ted Whiting III to put together a really tough trivia quiz, drawn from his research and personal recollections. Test your memory and mettle here. (It’s really hard!)
Monterey Bay Economic Partnership’s (MBEP) Blue Paper makes recommendations to address water-related barriers to...
Latest on Recall Newsom effort: GOP has unique edge — a lower bar to the governor’s post
Even before the attempt to recall Gov. Gavin Newsom officially qualifies for the ballot, Republicans hoping to replace him are in full campaign mode. The trio of notable GOP candidates running are not well known among the state’s voters so they are refining their message, raising money and trying to define themselves in contrast to their rivals. Sometimes, that has devolved into sniping at one another. Read more about the GOP challengers from our partners at the LA Times here.
Santa Cruz’s Jones helps deliver NCAA women’s basketball title
It took the Stanford women 29 years to get back to the winner’s circle. And it was Santa Cruz native, and Mitty High product, Haley Jones who helped make the deal official.
Jones’ late three-point play proved to be the difference in the Cardinal’s 54-53 win over Pac-12 rival Arizona on Sunday. The sophomore guard’s 17 points, to go with eight rebounds, led Stanford scorers and earned her the Most Outstanding Player award for the tournament.
Jones scored 24 points in 29 minutes two days earlier during a semifinal win over South Carolina. She credited coach Tara VanDerveer, who became the game’s all-time winningest coach this season, for the team’s success.
“This program is what it is because of Tara,” Jones told ESPN. “The legacy she’s created, just being able to be recruited by her, now be a part of the team, and then to take that a step further and win a national championship after the 29-year-long drought. … I don’t think it’s still honestly even hit me yet. Even standing with the confetti, I’m just still waiting for it to kick in.”
Around the county…
Thomas Edison’s man in Santa Cruz | Ross Eric Gibson, Local History (Santa Cruz Sentinel)
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Have a great day!