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Morning Lookout: A note about our website, Hwy 1 encampment clearing out

Good Morning! It’s Monday, May 10, and you can expect some intermittent clouds and a high of 75.

A quick note about our website: We are migrating our reader, registration and membership technology today. You’ll be able to access all content without interruption. Feel free to introduce Lookout to your friends; thanks for sharing. To be clear, during this time, you will not be able to sign into the site, but then again there’s no immediate need to, as you can read all of Lookout. We’ll keep posted on any developments.

A school official in the Soquel district is publicly coming under fire from his own staff over questions of competence and poor treatment of employees. Meanwhile, after posting a 72-hour notice on Friday, crews this morning will begin clearing the massive homeless encampment near the intersection of Highways 1 and 9 today.

One last thing before we get to the news: If you want to stay abreast of all the big goings-on as they’re happening, I suggest you sign up for our free Breaking News Text Alerts here or text the word BREAKING to (831) 387-7662.

Let’s get to the headlines:

‘Difficulties and wariness’: Soquel school district’s student services director taking fire from staff

Soquel Elementary School.
(Via Soquel Union Elementary School District)

Soquel Union Elementary School District’s Student Services Director Eric Olsen is taking fire from his staff, a conflict simmering for more than a year that last week erupted into the public eye. The majority of Olsen’s staff have internally shared a lack of confidence in his leadership. Those grievances were aired publicly to the district’s school board last week. Read more from our Nick Ibarra here.

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Development and infrastructure

Cars come within several feet of the homeless encampment at Highways 1 and 9.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

#BOLO: Highway 1 and 9 homeless encampment begins clearing out to make way for construction project: After the 72-hour notice was posted by Caltrans on Friday, cleanup is set to begin at a large homeless encampment near the intersection of Highways 1 and 9 today. Homeless advocates began going to the intersection on Friday to try to begin finding places for the displaced campers to relocate but over the weekend. Be On the Lookout on our website later today for a report on what takes place today as crews begin clean up and stragglers at the camp are evicted.

The defunct Santa Cruz Branch Rail Line
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

ICYMI: What exactly went down with the Rail Trail last week? A plan to have passenger rail service along the coast of Santa Cruz County has switched into slow gear. State and federal funding is unlikely to be made available without local funding, and locals are unlikely to want to tax themselves without a clear plan. So what now? Isabella Cueto explains.

California proposal embraces all-electric buildings — but stops short of ban on natural gas: The California Energy Commission has released a draft version of the next update to the state’s energy building code, a document that favors the use of electric heat by saying that heat pumps would be the baseline technology for new construction. That doesn’t go as far as some environmentalists had hoped. Read more in depth from our partners at Inside Climate News here.

Recovery and reopening

Guests wearing face coverings and enjoying the Kelp Forest exhibit.
(©Monterey Bay Aquarium)

The Monterey Bay Aquarium is now open: How to schedule, and what to expect from, a visit: The Monterey Bay Aquarium has reopened its doors after being closed for more than a year. As of May 5, the general public can reserve tickets for visits beginning on May 15. “The only time in our history we were ever closed before was the day after the Loma Prieta earthquake, and that was for the day,” an aquarium official said. Now, with visitors back in the building, a long-awaited sense of normalcy is returning, for employees and visitors. Our Mallory has everything you need to know about the reopening here.

ANOTHER SIGN OF NORMALCY: The Scotts Valley Art, Beer & Wine Festival is on (Lookout’s Laurel Bushman)

A well-earned week of gratitude for nurses, doctors: Watsonville Hospital is doling out the appreciation this week for nurses and doctors after a year of battling COVID-19 on the frontlines. The hospital will celebrate its medical team with daily events for staff, including an ice cream social, raffle, photo booth, staff-wide breakfast and barbecue over the course of next week. Here are the dates to remember:

  • National Nurses Week: May 6-12
  • National Hospital Week: May 9-16

Laurel has more here.

The scene on the Roaring Camp grounds Friday.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

THE HERE & NOW — Roaring Camp live shows begin with tie-dye high, a promise of pre-pandemic good vibes: On Friday at Roaring Camp, Felton Music Hall began its outdoor summer music series, with a sold-out live set from Dark Star Orchestra, one of the country’s top Grateful Dead tribute bands. Wallace Baine writes “despite some reminders that we’re all still living in the tail end of a pandemic, the experience was tantalizingly close to the sunshine and good vibes of a pre-pandemic California summer.” Read his event recap here and see the full summer lineup here.

Presented by Santa Cruz County Bank

Wild Poppies – a small local olive oil business – was created by two sisters, Kim Null and Jamie de Sieyes. Their...

Around the area …

Winery owner David Bruce, a pinot pioneer, dies at 89 in Los Gatos (Santa Cruz Sentinel)

Watsonville City Council sets study session for food trucks (The Pajaronian)

Suspect in Santa Cruz County catalytic converter thefts arrested (KION-TV)

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.

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Have a great day!

Tulsi Kamath
Managing Editor