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Morning Lookout: RTC to consider ‘interim’ trail; another UC strike looming?

Good Morning! It’s Thursday, June 3 and it will be another day of intermittent clouds and a high of 70. If you, like me, felt a subtle wobble this morning around 5:15 a.m., turns out it was a magnitude 3.6 quake with an epicenter near San Jose, according to the U.S. Geographical Survey.

In yet another detour in the ever-evolving rail trail plans, the RTC is set to consider today an “interim trail” for pedestrians and bikers. At UC Santa Cruz and other schools in the UC system, lecturers are priming for a strike after more than two years of fruitless contract negotiations.

Finally, at a statewide level, Gov. Gavin Newsom and Democratic lawmakers are looking at a host of healthcare provisions aimed at low-income mothers and babies — including ending sales tax for menstrual products and diapers.

Here’s a look at your news:

‘Interim’ rail trail? Commission could open saga’s next chapter Thursday

The defunct Santa Cruz Branch Rail Line runs alongside a recently completed section of the trail portion
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

HAPPENING TODAY: With plans for electric passenger rail effectively in a “timeout,” the Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commission will reconvene today to consider another option in the ever-evolving rail trail picture: a so-called “interim trail” that could see railroad tracks temporarily removed and the creation of a path for bikers and pedestrians. Read more about what’s on the table from our Mallory Pickett here.

Another UC strike looming? Clouds gather at UCSC, elsewhere as lecturers authorize walkout

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

After more than two years of negotiations with the University of California, non-tenured lecturers at UC Santa Cruz and across the UC system voted Friday, to authorize a strike — which could be their first in almost two decades. Despite 96% of union members voting to authorize a strike, there are few more things that need to happen before the group does go on strike — which could take a couple of months. Read more from our Haneen Zain here.

His very own ‘Tour de cello’: Wistful over the lost year, UCSC senior on a graduation serenade mission

UCSC senior Ross Piscitello plays his cello at Crown College on Wednesday
UCSC senior Ross Piscitello plays his cello at Crown College on Wednesday, the first stop on his planned tour of all 10 residential colleges before graduating.
(Nick Ibarra / Lookout Santa Cruz)

UC Santa Cruz anthropology and politics major Ross Piscitello is graduating next week on his way to law school. But first, he’s making a final tour of the campus, cello in tow. “Every day until Thursday of my graduating week, I am going to a different college and playing for probably about an hour — just to give a sort of tour of the campus for myself, but also play music for others,” he said. Read more from our Nick Ibarra here.

READ ALSO: ‘Their own intersection of pandemics’: Oral historians reflect on stories from UCSC’s year of crisis (Nick Ibarra)

Around the state...

Surfers Kevin Naughton, left, and Craig Peterson stand on the sand in Laguna Beach.
“I want people to have a good time. I have a good time when people are having a good time,” Kellie Hart said of group bike rides. “And the more the merrier.” (Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)

How three surfer dudes left California to find a secret surfing oasis in El Salvador: The Olympic trials for surfing are being held in El Salvador. The seeds for this were planted decades ago by young Californians looking for good waves. Bob Levy grew up in El Salvador but discovered surfing in the Golden State, and remembers the day he returned to his homeland and hit the beach with a stiff, 10-foot surfboard under his arm. “They thought it was an airplane wing,” he said. Read more of this fascinating story from the LA Times here.

Nurses attend a candlelight vigil for nurse Celia Marcos outside Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center

Bill calls for $7 billion in COVID-19 bonuses for healthcare workers: California lawmakers are considering legislation that would require hospitals, clinics and skilled nursing facilities to pay medical professionals $10,000 in “hero pay” for their work during the COVID-19 pandemic. But some employers and business groups have bristled at the $7-billion price tag, calling the bill “dangerous and costly.” Read more from the LA Times here.

Stock image of a mother holding a baby.
(via Pixabay)

Newsom wants to spend millions on the health of low-income mothers and their babies: Amid a pandemic that has pushed millions of mothers out of the workplace and heightened the risk of death for pregnant women, California Gov. Gavin Newsom and lawmakers are seeking a slate of proposals for low-income families and children. Some proposed solutions include ending sales taxes on menstrual products and diapers and adding doulas and early childhood trauma screenings to Medi-Cal. Read more from our partners at Kaiser Health News here.

Hula’s Island Grill has been a fixture in the community since 2006, but when the pandemic hit, they experienced...

Around the county...

Bicycle Film Festival to premiere virtually in Santa Cruz (Santa Cruz Sentinel)

Formerly homeless Cabrillo graduate reconnects with former NFL player who helped him (KION-TV)

San Lorenzo Valley family and friends remember victim of VTA mass shooting (Scotts Valley Press Banner)

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Have a great day!

Tulsi Kamath
Managing Editor