Latest News

Morning Lookout: Diversifying surf culture, remembering a legend and more

Good Morning! It’s Monday, June 14 and we’ll see intermittent clouds and a high of 77. Later this week, the whole state is bracing for a heatwave that will bring triple digits temperatures. More on that, lower down.

In a joyous celebration, several dozen BIPOC people paddled out at Cowell’s in a pre-Juneteenth event organized by young Santa Cruz activist Bella Bonner and her Black Surf Club Santa Cruz crew. Meanwhile, it’s been 20 years since the death of one of Santa Cruz’s legendary surfers — Jay Moriarty — and our Wallace Baine examines his legacy, both in and out of the water.

And finally, 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:

‘Really cool to see all these people on boards’: Black Surf Club Santa Cruz brings diversity into the ocean

It was a Sunday at Cowell's to remember for many.
(Kevin Painchaud/Lookout Santa Cruz)

To kick off this year’s Juneteenth celebrations, the Black Surf Club Santa Cruz held its well attended Pre-Juneteenth Paddle-Out at Cowell Beach over the weekend. If yesterday was a preview, next weekend’s Juneteenth events will be unmissable. “Democracy is not a bystander sport. You have to participate. We have to get away from silo politics and come together as a whole.” Read Lookout contributor Liza Monroy’s account of the day that brought both first-timers and veteran surfers together.

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...

20 years of ‘Living Like Jay’: Honoring the legend of one of surfing & Santa Cruz’s brightest shooting stars

Jay Moriarity dropping into infamy in 1995 at age 16.
(Via JayRace Instagram/Bob Barbour)

Since his death in 2001, Jay Moriarity’s legend has continued to grow as a rare talent taken too soon, and a soul of kindness. He is a seminal figure in the history of Mavericks, in that he emerged in the early years after the break was first discovered. His iconic wipeout at age 16 remains one of the most memorable moments in surfing. Read more from our Wallace Baine here.

From groundskeeper to graduate: Katharina Pierini takes scenic route to UCSC degree

Katharina Pierini is graduating from UCSC this weekend after a journey at the university that began in 1994.
(Lluvia Moreno / Special to Lookout Santa Cruz)

As throngs of remarkable UC Santa Cruz graduates accepted their diplomas over the weekend, one stands out for her 27-year journey to a degree. Katharina Pierini first enrolled at UCSC in 1994 before life drew her away from her studies. Now a groundskeeper at the school, she finally earned her degree this weekend. Read more from our Nick Ibarra here.

Here comes ‘Super Tuesday’: Will we magically transport back to a 2019 existence on June 15?

A boy plays in the sand at the beach next to the wharf in Capitola
What awaits us in the post-June 15 world?
(Via Pixabay)

As California drops pandemic restrictions Tuesday, it’s up to the rest of us to determine what lessons of the COVID-19 lockdown will remain. In his latest The Here & Now column, Wallace writes in part:

On Tuesday, when we’re all finally able to emerge from our various emotional and psychological hidey-holes, one question will remain: How has this arduous and uncomfortable period in history changed us as individuals?

Read Wallace’s full column here and if you have a story to share, send it to

Around the state...


Will psychedelics become legal in California? Amid growing scientific research into therapeutic uses for psychedelic drugs and a progressive push to soften punishment for drug crimes, California lawmakers are considering a bill that would legalize magic mushrooms, Ecstasy and several other hallucinogenic substances. If passed, the bill would not permit the sale of psychedelics, but sets up the framework toward regulation in the future. Read more from our partners at CalMatters here.

A boat navigates Lake Mead, where a white "bathtub ring" along the shore shows low water levels

California’s biggest heatwave of the year heightens drought and fire fears: With a worsening drought gripping the West and wildfire season looming, California is bracing for the most severe heatwave of the year — one that promises to tax the state’s power supplies while also offering a grim preview of challenging months to come. The heatwave will bring triple-digit temperatures as parts of Northern and Central California are turning to water restrictions as the drought rapidly alters the landscape. Read more from our partners at the LA Times here.

The National Weather Service shared a neat map last night that shows the likelihood of different places in the Bay Area hitting triple digits. Thankfully, the Santa Cruz area appears to be largely spared.

Presented by Schooner Realty

Nestled in Happy Valley between Granite and Branciforte Creeks, this stately Victorian home will take your breath away....

Around the county...

Family of boy lost at sea starts foundation to raise awareness about beach hazards (KION-TV)

Man climbing rock wall rescued in Capitola (KSBW-TV)

Watsonville struggles to quell illegal fireworks (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.

To ensure you’re staying informed about all the goings-on in Santa Cruz, consider becoming a Lookout member. Our content isn’t possible without community support.

Have a great day!

Tulsi Kamath
Managing Editor