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Morning Lookout: #MeToo movement brewing in craft beer industry; Santa Cruz official being investigated

Good Morning! It’s Tuesday, June 1 and it’ll be mostly sunny with a high of 71. We are now officially in fire season and Cal Fire crews spent Memorial Day battling two fires in the Santa Cruz Mountains, one of which continues to blaze.

Hopefully, y’all had a great, long weekend and got a moment to reflect on the sacrifices made by those who laid down their lives in defense of our country. With a new day comes a new reason to celebrate — It’s the first day of Pride Month! Our Wallace Baine profiled the effort of a person who wants to create a safe space for LGBTQ+ Santa Cruzans to hang out and meet people.

Meanwhile, we have news brewing of a burgeoning #MeToo movement taking the craft beer industry by storm — including here in our county. And Santa Cruz Vice Mayor Sonja Brunner is being investigated after a complaint was filed alleging violation of conflict of interest rules.

Here are your headlines:

Fermenting bad behavior? #MeToo craft beer moment hits Santa Cruz, but strong women fight for equity

Adair Paterno and Emily Thomas flank a classic offering from Humble Sea, Krusty The Clownfish.
(Via Event Santa Cruz & Humble Sea)

Recent #MeToo allegations have rocked the artisan beer world, including allegations levied at an industry darling — Humble Sea Brewing Co. — here in Santa Cruz County. Earlier this month, the brewery posted a statement apologizing and addressing the allegations. Now the accusations are spurring female leaders in the brewing industry to speak up about the culture and push for inclusivity and clearer lines in the workplace. Read the full story from our Neil Strebig and Mark Conley here.

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State body probing conflict-of-interest claim against Santa Cruz vice mayor

Sonja Brunner
Sonja Brunner.
(Provided by Sonja Brunner)

Santa Cruz Vice Mayor Sonja Brunner — also the director of operations for the Downtown Association of Santa Cruz — is under investigation by the California Fair Political Practices Commission after a complaint alleged that she violated conflict-of-interest rules by voting on the since-scrapped controversial Temporary Outdoor Living Ordinance. Read more about the allegations against Brunner here.

Memorial Day fires keep crews busy in Santa Cruz Mountains; containment effort continues today

Two separate fires in the Santa Cruz Mountains kept crews busy on Memorial Day. Monday morning, a 7.5-acre blaze broke out on China Grade Road which was declared contained by 12:30 p.m. Then a few hours later, crews responded to a 3.41-acre fire near Hihn Hammon Truck Trail. As of this morning, Cal Fire says the Hihn Fire is 90% contained. Read more here.

Also, if you need it, our Cypress Hansen put together some very helpful guides so you can be fully prepared before, during and after a wildfire. Check out the full Wildfire Resource Center here.

Let’s hang at The Neighbor’s: LGBT-centric cafe, pub would fill gap in Santa Cruz scene

Frankie Farr
“It’s pretty depressing to think of all these people driving over the hill or all the way up to San Francisco just to find community when we have it right here,” Frankie Farr says.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

A Kickstarter effort by Frankie Farr to launch in June seeks to educate the larger community in Santa Cruz County on what LGBTQ+ people already know all too well: Santa Cruz does not have — and therefore really needs — a gay bar. The new campaign will aim to raise money to open The Neighbor’s, “the queer café and pub that gives back,” as its website says. Read more from our Wallace Baine here.

ICYMI: Post-pandemic percolations — 10 places to look forward to thanks to Beer Thirty, Penny Ice Cream & others

The crispy-fried hen mushroom sandwich.

From a new Beer Thirty and Penny Ice Creamery to wine options from Beauregard, Big Basin and Sante Arcangeli to a local chef returning home from Napa, the new businesses taking shape help bolster this growing feeling of normalcy and new adventure ahead. Read more from Lookout contributor Amber Turpin here.

Around the state...

Bicyclists ride through town at dusk in Downieville.

A fight over Jim Crow Road divides rural Northern California town: As the story goes, a Native Hawaiian man came as a Gold Rush pioneer to a mountainous swath of Sierra County to strike it rich. His name — Jim Crow — was given to a ravine, a stream and a street off scenic Highway 49, three miles east of Downieville, Calif. Generations later, people who own property along the less-than-a-mile-long road say the name has got to go. Read more from the LA Times here.

Sculpture on UC Santa Cruz campus
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

A bold plan for UC: Cut share of out-of-state students by half amid huge California demand: As the University of California confronts record demand for admission, lawmakers are considering a plan to cut in half the share of nonresident students to make more room for locals. “It’s not about ending out-of-state students — they really add to the mix and the educational experience,” said Sen. John Laird. “We just have to make sure there’s enough space for in-state students.” Read more from the LA Times here.

Jesenia Chavez is a kindergarten and first-grade teacher at UCLA Community School in Los Angeles.

The pandemic magnified the student mental health crisis — and teachers are struggling to face it: A long-simmering crisis of mental health struggles among students has been magnified by the pandemic, and relatively few teachers have been adequately trained to spot the signs of trauma and respond to it appropriately, mental health advocates say. During the pandemic, food and financial insecurity, exposure to death and illness, prolonged isolation and fear of contracting the virus have triggered traumatic stress. Read more from the LA Times here.

Around the county...

Memorial Day weekend collision in Corralitos claims two lives (Santa Cruz Sentinel)

Tourists flock to Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk for Memorial Day (KION-TV)

Watsonville raises Pride flag (The Pajaronian)

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