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Morning Lookout: New homeless ordinance gets first nod, why is our county excluded from state’s emergency drought plan?

Good Morning! It’s Wednesday, May 12, and it will be a cloudy one today with a high of 65.

Last night, the Santa Cruz City Council gave initial approval to a new, more restrictive camping ordinance that is replacing the highly controversial and recently nixed “temporary outdoor living ordinance.” Meanwhile, Cabrillo College is finally reinstating its football program in 2022 after a two-year hiatus after sanctions were imposed when a coach helped players secure housing. On the environmental beat, Gov. Gavin Newsom earlier this week declared drought emergencies in all but 17 counties in the state — and ours was among those left out. We explore why this morning.

Before we get to the headlines, an update for our readers: We’ve completed our user technology migration here at Lookout. You can now sign back into our website using the email connected to your membership or registration account, and, in some cases, might need to refresh your browser beforehand. If you’ve forgotten your password, you can reset it — or request a “magic link.” Thanks so much for reading and supporting Lookout — and for your understanding during this process.

With that, here is your news:

TOLO out, CSSO in: Santa Cruz City Council gives first OK to new homeless camping law

Keith McHenry of Food Not Bombs makes himself heard to those who gathered outside Santa Cruz City Hall.
(Kevin Painchaud/Lookout Santa Cruz)

The “Camping Services and Standards Ordinance” — replacing the controversial temporary outdoor living ordinance — was given an initial nod by the Santa Cruz City Council last night, kicking off another round of public input and discussion. The new ordinance, which needs two approvals to become law, is more cut-and-dried than the TOLO, and more restrictive. Read more about the new ordinance and what transpired last night from our Isabella Cueto here.

Burgundi Thure, Owner of Sew Rose, provides a one-stop home decorating service for her clients, including creating...

Santa Cruz heads toward a district-based system for city council representation

A woman wears a mask as she casts her vote on Election Day in Santa Cruz County on Nov. 3, 2020.
A woman wears a mask as she casts her vote on Election Day in Santa Cruz County on Nov. 3, 2020.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

Santa Cruz will soon kick-start a process to divide the city into seven voting districts ahead of the November 2022 election. City council members unanimously approved a timeline yesterday afternoon for a transition from at-large city council elections to district-based ones. The districting effort has been simmering for years, and gained steam in February 2020 when the city was accused of violating state voting laws with its at-large system. Read more on what’s ahead from Isa here.

EXPLAINED: Why isn’t Santa Cruz included in the state’s newly released emergency drought mitigation plan?

Gov. Gavin Newsom speaks about the drought on Monday, in front of the half-empty San Luis reservoir in Merced County.
(Office of Gov. Gavin Newsom )

Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a drought emergency in 41 of California’s 58 counties this week. Santa Cruz County is currently experiencing a rapidly intensifying drought, and has moved from “moderate” drought in April to “extreme” drought in May. Yet, when the emergency declaration was released, Santa Cruz wasn’t on the list. Why not? Our Mallory Pickett set out to find out.

Newsom to propose transitional kindergarten for all California 4-year-olds in budget plan

Children play math games
Transitional kindergarten, or “T-K” classes, would be provided to all 4-year-old children in California under a budget proposal by Gov. Gavin Newsom. (Liz Moughon / Los Angeles Times)
(Liz Moughon / Los Angeles Times)

Transitional kindergarten, currently available only to about one-third of California’s 4-year-olds, would be expanded to all age-eligible students by the 2024 academic year under a proposal to be unveiled Wednesday by Newsom. Those plans include additional after-school and summer programs in low-income communities, more than $3.3 billion for teacher and school employee training and $3 billion to encourage the development of “community schools.” Read more from the LA Times here.

They’re going for it: Cabrillo College reinstates football with promise of more oversight, local players

Cabrillo College trustees are set to decide in May whether to reinstate the suspended football program.
(Cabrillo College / Contributed)

Seahawks football is set to take wing in 2022 after two years on the sidelines. Cabrillo College trustees this week unanimously voted to reinstate football in fall 2022, subject to the slate of policy changes aimed at putting more of a focus on local recruitment and athletes’ academic success. The move comes a year after the college took the unusual step of suspending its own football program. Read more from our Nick Ibarra here.

The yellow for real this time? With case counts down, Santa Cruz County in line to make move next week


Santa Cruz County met the requirements for the least restrictive yellow tier of the state’s Blueprint for a Safer Economy framework yesterday, after narrowly missing it for two weeks in a row. Counties must meet tier requirements for two weeks before moving to a less restrictive tier. This means that as long as numbers remain the same or continue to decrease Santa Cruz could move to the yellow tier next Tuesday. Read more from Mallory here.

Dr. Fernando Lozano, Professor of Economics and Chair of the department at Pomona College, gives his take on how the...

Around the county …

Santa Cruz neighborhood group launches ‘Goat Fund Me’ to reduce fire fuels (Santa Cruz Sentinel)

World Champion Santa Cruz pizza-thrower reflects on career (The Good Times)

Santa Cruz police warn of false claims about attempted abductions (KION-TV)

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Have a great day!

Tulsi Kamath
Managing Editor