Latest News

Morning Lookout: Start of the heatwave, drought conditions and BOLO

Good Morning! It’s Friday, July 9. Weather is top of mind for us as surging temperatures around the area could make for dangerous conditions this weekend, especially in the Santa Cruz Mountains. More on that lower down.

Meanwhile, Santa Cruz County, along with many others, is officially under the governor’s emergency drought orders, expanded yesterday as he asked residents to conserve water. If you felt a rattler yesterday afternoon, it might have been a 5.9 quake that struck between Yosemite and Mammoth, the reverberations of which were felt across the Bay Area.

And finally, I have some exciting news lower down about our brand new events calendar that we think you’re going to love.

Here’s your news:

The heat wave & Santa Cruz: Pleasantly warm in the lowlands, hot, hot, hot in the upper mountains

The heatwave will top out on Saturday.
(Via NWS)

Downtown Santa Cruz will reach the upper 80s on Saturday but the higher points of the San Lorenzo Valley — such as Ben Lomond and Boulder Creek — will push as high as 104 and possibly not cool down below the low 80s at night. Read more about the forecasted heatwave here.

It’s official: Santa Cruz County now in drought state of emergency

The Russian River, just north of drought-stricken Lake Mendocino in Ukiah, Calif., on June 16, 2021.

Gov. Gavin Newsom added Santa Cruz County to the state’s drought state of emergency list Thursday; with that list now including 50 of California’s 58 counties, Newsom is encouraging all residents to voluntarily reduce water usage by 15%. Read more here.

California’s regional drought state of emergency: What you need to know

The southern section of Stevens Creek Reservoir at Stevens Creek County Park in Cupertino

With extended drought emergency declarations in place, roughly 42% of Californians have been asked to control and reduce water consumption. Read everything you need to know about the basics of California’s worsening drought situation.

Local beat

Composer/baker Joe Ortiz.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

‘Circus’ act: Capitola’s baker/composer returns to Cabrillo Stage with his latest pop opera: Local playwright/composer Joe Ortiz highlights Cabrillo Stage’s new summer season with his latest musical, “Circus: Knives, Blood & Water.” Longtime collaborator Greg Fritsch says, “It’s about the terrible cost of secrets and lies, and the power of truth and forgiveness.” Read more here.

The main entrance to the new Capitola Library
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

Get your summer reads on: Santa Cruz libraries expanding hours: Beginning Saturday, the downtown, Live Oak, Capitola, Scotts Valley, Felton and La Selva Beach branches will all have extended hours as county facilities continue their post-pandemic reopening. Read more here.

Presented by Kaiser Permanente

Kaiser Permanente’s Santa Cruz County service area is building partnerships with community and government organizations...

Y’all check out BOLO yet?

BOLO: Your place to go for things to do

Yesterday, many of you received our first-ever Best Bets newsletter, as we launched a cool new feature for you — a comprehensive events calendar for things happening in Santa Cruz County. Let me explain:

What is BOLO? It stands for Be On the Lookout and is the name of our events calendar that is a searchable database of everything you could possibly want to do around town. See it here.

What is Best Bets? At Lookout, we have a Team BOLO, led by Wallace Baine, which is tasked with mining the calendar and talking to venues around town to curate a weekly list of the biggest and best bets for events. We will send this list out every Thursday afternoon so you have what you need to prep weekend plans. Read the first one here and sign up to get the Best Bets newsletter here.

What is Down The Line? As an added bonus, our Wallace Baine is keeping track of the MAJOR events happening in town that you will need to plan for months in advance. His Down The Line list is so comprehensive, it includes events all the way into 2022. You can read it here.

Have feedback for us? Send it to

Around the county...

Aptos artist drops out of Open Studios after tension around her vaccine status (Santa Cruz Sentinel)

MVC coaching duo steps down after more than a decade with programs (The Pajaronian)

Northern California blaze sparks terrifying tornado fire (KSBW-TV)

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

Camp Tannery Arts is in session this August for kids aged 7-15! This camp will be featuring 15+ experienced artists who...