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Morning Lookout: What will our health officials say about Delta, vaccine concerns locally?

Good Morning, Santa Cruz!

It looks like another beautiful day ahead — 75 is the forecast high in downtown — before we cool down slightly heading into the weekend.

We’ll be watching and listening intently today as Santa Cruz County health officials offer up their insights and guidance on the Delta variant concern here and how that might affect our preventative measures moving forward.

If you have any specific questions for us to pose to Dr. Gail Newel and Co., hit us in the next few hours with an email to The presser begins at noon. Follow reporter Grace Stetson via Twitter for live updates.

We’ll also be hitting you with a BOLO Best Bets newsletter later today so you can scope out the possibilities for the weekend ahead. If you want to receive our BOLO text messages as well, here is the place to sign up for that.

Now to the assorted headlines du jour...

‘Outburst’ for a good cause

Will Durst (left) clowns around with Dan St. Paul and Richard Stockton on the stage at Kuumbwa Jazz Center.

Local comics come together for San Francisco comedy icon Will Durst: Santa Cruz’s Richard Stockton headlines a benefit show July 31 at El Vaquero Winery to help Will Durst rehab after a devastating stroke. “He’s more than just a great comic,” Stockton says of the 69-year-old Durst. “He’s been a leader in lifting us all up to be the best we could be.” Wallace Baine with more here.

Greenway announces plans to go after ballot-necessary signatures

A segment of the old branch rail line in Santa Cruz County.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

They hope to interim trail-only game plan to vote on next June’s ballot: To be considered in the June 2022 election, the committee will have to receive at minimum 12,000 signatures. But the group has been touting support in recent months from a diverse group of environment- and health-conscious community members. Grace Stetson with more here.

Presented by Kaiser Permanente

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

Wildfire smoke is more dangerous than you think

(Via Pixabay)

From heavy metals to COVID-19 complications, new studies show concerns: As wildfires ravage hundreds of thousands of acres across California, more is being learned about the damaging effects of their smoke. More from the LA Times here.

So how will they judge these new sports?

Kolohe Andino will represent the U.S. in Japan.
(LA Times)

Surfing, skateboarding, sport climbing and karate are now Olympic sports: As the Opening Ceremonies happen today (4:30 p.m. Paciifc), it’s time to look at how exactly surfing, skateboarding, sport climbing, karate and other newly added sports be scored during the Tokyo Olympics. Oh, and baseball and softball are back too.

HOW TO WATCH: The Tokyo Olympics begin this week — here’s your guide for how to watch them (LAT)

Tokyo Olympics teeter on the edge of being both a psychological & political drama

Lindsey Horan battles for the ball with Sweden's Kosovare Asllani in the first half.

Analysis: Billions of dollars in broadcast revenue are at stake, as are political fortunes and a sense of national pride. For good or bad, Tokyo could impact the future of the Olympic movement and, by extension, the 2028 Los Angeles Games. The Times’ David Wharton explores.

PREVIOUS: Debating the ‘Pandemic Games’: How COVID-19 is transforming the Tokyo Olympics even before they start (LAT)

Browse the line up of Frequency, the Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History’s (MAH) new biennial festival of light, sound,...

Around the state

For 3.5 million California families, jobs don’t cover high cost of living


Unsustainable: California’s high cost of housing and child care are creating such a burden on working families that millions of households don’t make enough to meet their most basic necessities. The United Ways of California, which put out the study, advocates for expanding eligibility so assistance doesn’t fall off just as families attain economic stability. More from CalMatters here.

One of America’s hottest cities is down to one water well. What happens if the taps go dry?


120 degrees: Taps could go dry for Needles’ 5,000 residents, who each drink as much as two gallons of water daily to cope with 120-degree temperatures. More from the Times.

Growing sucker fish to quell a water war?

Klamath Falls,

As drought slams California and Oregon, that’s what Klamath farmers are doing: In the Klamath basin, some farmers hope to head off potential violence by repopulating fish that are part of a decades-old water and wildlife conflict. More from the Times.

Bay Federal Credit Union’s new First Time Homebuyer Program has provided loans for eight new homeowners for a total...

Around the county...

Monterey Bay Birding Festival canceled again (Pajaronian)

CZU fire families: Rebuilding stalled (SLV Post)

Cocaine, heroin, over 1,000 cannabis plants found during search warrant in Watsonville (KION)

Have a great Thursday everyone!

Mark Conley