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Morning Lookout: Shark Park is open, state looks to slavery reparations, potential solutions

Good Morning and happy hump day! It’s June 2 and we’re waking up to June Gloom. Of course, our local National Weather Service meteorologists had some jokes about that on Twitter yesterday. The rest of the day will shape up to be mild with intermittent clouds and a high of 70.

A major climatic shift a few years ago resulted in a small stretch of the Santa Cruz County coast becoming a magnet for great whites — a phenomenon you can go see thanks to a growing number of shark tours in the area.

Over the hill, the Santa Clara Sheriff’s Office released bodycam footage from deputies’ initial response at the rail yard where a gunman went on a shooting rampage last week, killing nearly a dozen coworkers.

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 dive in:

‘Shark Park’ is here to stay: What to know and how to see our new local great whites up close

Passengers on a Memorial Day shark-watching tour in Santa Cruz check out an approaching great white shark.
(Kevin Painchaud/Lookout Santa Cruz)

Great white sharks, once a rare sight in Monterey Bay, are now a predictable, common occurrence in a particularly hospitable area running southeast along the coast from Capitola. Such a common occurrence, in fact, that local companies now regularly lead tours offering shark encounters. This new tourism opportunity is the result of a profound shift in our local ocean habitat. Read more from our Mallory Pickett here.

Presented by Santa Cruz County Bank

With a goal to continue their mission to uplift the community through music and music education, Kuumbwa Jazz created...

‘Their own intersection of pandemics’: Oral historians reflect on stories from UCSC’s year of crisis

Water tanks at the UCSC campus.
(Irene Reti / Contributed)

To call 2020 a year of crisis for UC Santa Cruz might put it too mildly. From a heated graduate student strike to the pandemic to a near brush with a ferocious wildfire — its been a series of challenges and turmoil. Two UCSC historians set out to document 22 first-person accounts of what it was like during “The Empty Year,” an oral history project inspired by a similar one conducted after the Loma Prieta Earthquake. The project’s authors hope it can be used to inform and educate in the future. Read their Q&A with our Nick Ibarra here.

ANOTHER READ: California to consider ending some workplace mask requirements (LA Times)

‘The youngest pig in the sty’: Kiana Lee and KPIG’s generational shift

Kiana Lee at KPIG
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

Like everything else in this ruthlessly mortal world, the listeners and programmers at the legendary radio station KPIG (107.FM) are getting older. Laurie Roberts, the station’s operations manager and most prominent on-air personality who died in May, certainly knew that. And one of her most immediate legacies is in programmers like 24-year-old Kiana Lee who has quickly gained a fan base on her Sunday afternoon show that mixes oldies with youthful tunes and fresh perspective. Read more from our Wallace Baine here.

Around the state...

Hundreds marched in Santa Cruz Tuesday to honor Geoge Floyd on the first anniversary of his death on May 25, 2021.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

California’s slavery reparations task force is convening. Here’s what happens next: A historic California task force met for the first time yesterday with the ultimate goal of recommending reparations for descendants of enslaved people and those affected by slavery. The state is beginning to consider compensation and other potential remedies after a first-of-its-kind law passed last year required it. Read more about everything you need to know about this from the LA Times here.

The Santa Clara County Sheriff's Dept. release these images of items found in 57-year-old Samuel Cassidy.
The Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Department released this image of guns and ammunition found in the home of gunman Samuel Cassidy. (Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Department)

WATCH: Deputy body-camera footage shows initial response to San Jose mass shooting: Body-camera video from a Santa Clara County sheriff’s deputy shows the first law enforcement team that entered a San Jose light rail yard to locate the gunman who took the lives of nine people last week. The footage, released yesterday evening by the sheriff’s office, follows a team of officials with guns outstretched, moving up the building’s exterior stairwell leading to the third floor. Read more and watch the video here.

People walk near the state Capitol in Sacramento, Calif., Wednesday, March 18, 2020.

California lawmakers urge more help for schools, businesses in budget talks with Newsom: Democratic leaders of the California Legislature unveiled a state budget blueprint yesterday that would boost public schools and small businesses beyond the proposal made last month by Gov. Gavin Newsom, a move that is likely to set the stage for friendly but detailed negotiations before the June 15 constitutional deadline for action. Read more here.

MBEP is launching Equal Access Monterey Bay, a community-based initiative to bring high-speed broadband to families and...

Around the county...

KTVU anchor Frank Somerville remains off air after abrupt Sunday exit (Santa Cruz Sentinel)

Cal Fire moves to peak staffing levels as wildfire season takes off (KSBW-TV)

Suspect arrested in Watsonville on suspicion of murder (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

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We’re all about Santa Cruz County, from north to south and in-between.