Morning Lookout: Watsonville grad’s big dreams, downtown development woes and more
Good Morning! It’s Tuesday, July 6 and I hope you all had the best Fourth of July weekend filled with good food and good company.
Over the weekend, the Delta variant became the dominant strain of the virus in California. The highly contagious variant has sparked mixed messages from doctors and public health officials about whether people who received the Johnson & Johnson vaccine will need an additional booster shot.
Meanwhile, the road to recovery will involve a lot of building and reimagining of Downtown Santa Cruz — which will look different soon with seven new “high rises” slated for construction soon. Meanwhile, one potential change at the Santa Cruz Community Credit Union’s downtown location has been met with pushback from some credit union members.
It’s back to the grind today so let’s start your week with top headlines:
Watsonville High grad chases dream of return to hometown as an immigration attorney
Consuelo Vidal-Perez experienced the callousness of immigration law firsthand when her grandparents were barred from visiting her dying mother. Now she’s heading to USC to chase her dream of returning to Watsonville as an immigration attorney to help families like hers. Read more about Vidal-Perez here.
Centered on creating beautiful, meaningful experiences out of flea market finds, Lori Powell’s thriving Santa Cruz...
Members petition against development of Cruz Hotel at Santa Cruz Community Credit Union site
The Santa Cruz Community Credit Union’s downtown location is still positioned to be sold, though its future as a new hotel might be in doubt. On Friday afternoon, credit union members dropped off a petition with 636 signatures, asking for a public meeting with the financial institution’s board of directors on the topic. Lookout could not immediately reach the Santa Cruz Community Credit Union Supervisory Committee for comment Friday but will continue efforts this week. Read more here.
Building boom will super-size downtown Santa Cruz — but will affordability follow?
Decades of restrictive building rules have kept Santa Cruz a low-rise city, with the seven-story Palomar Inn on Pacific Avenue currently the tallest building downtown. But the century-old Palomar might soon be sharing the skyline with seven new six- and seven-story buildings currently planned for the downtown area. Read more here.
Wealth, class and remote work reshape California’s new boomtowns as people flee big cities
Most Californians who moved in 2020 stayed in-state, many trading city life in the Bay Area or Los Angeles for suburban or rural communities. A growing number of families have moved inland over the last few years, data show, fueled by the hunt for more open space, a sense of community and affordable housing. Read more here.
He had 10 minutes to flee the Salt fire. Now his home is gone
When Ethan Junkersfeld evacuated his Lakehead home Wednesday afternoon, he never thought it would be the last time he saw it intact. A friend called and woke Junkersfeld from a nap, warning that the Salt Fire in Shasta County, that had ignited along Interstate 5, was bearing down on their Cascade Cove neighborhood. Read his full story here.
Health & Wellness
Do people who got the Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine need a booster?
Unlike the Moderna and Pfizer vaccines, there is little data available about the efficacy of Johnson & Johnson’s vaccine against the Delta variant. As a result, some doctors and public health officials have speculated about the need for a “booster” shot for those who received the one-dose inoculation. But last week, the company released new data. Read more of what that means for you here.
Giving blood has been off-limits for many gay men. A new study could help change that: Men who have sex with men have long faced restrictions on giving blood in the United States. Decades ago, as AIDS began devastating gay communities, the FDA advised blood centers to prohibit any man who had had sex with another man since 1977 — even once — from donating. A new study could lead to changes. Read more from the LA Times here.
Around the county...
Three abandoned dogs rescued near Davenport (Santa Cruz Sentinel)
PVUSD deals with ramifications of distance learning (The Pajaronian)
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Have a great day!