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Morning Lookout: A contentious weekend on race, a look at mask fatigue and our Olympic triathlon duo

Good Monday Morning!

It’s Mark — and it’s looking like a partly cloudy day with a high of 69 downtown.

Some interesting news coming out this morning on major medical groups calling for all healthcare workers to be vaccinated. Santa Cruz County’s health officer, Dr. Gail Newel, expressed her own strong thoughts late last week on that topic.

It was an emotional time for many folks this weekend as Friday’s celebration of diversity was followed up by what Santa Cruz Police are investigating as a hate crime. The vandalization of the Black Live Matters mural downtown brought together a large group of vocal citizens on Sunday.

I also got the chance to catch up recently with a cool Olympic couple who will be trying to bring some hardware back to show their family in Aptos. More on that below. Along with reminders about the Highway 9 work ahead and the Tina/Zach Friend news, in case you missed it late Friday.

To all the headlines we go...

‘We need radical systemic change’

Luna HighJohn-Bey Founder of Santa Cruz Equity Project.
(Grace Stetson / Lookout Santa Cruz)

A community reflects beyond the BLM mural vandalism: Santa Cruz city leaders, including city council members and the chief of police, hosted a crime briefing that became more of a town hall-style discussion about racism in the county and what can be done to combat it. Grace Stetson was there for us.

Two arrested after Black Lives Matter mural vandalized in downtown Santa Cruz

The vandalized mural.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

Hate crime being investigated: Early Saturday morning the Santa Cruz Police Department received a report of vandalism to the “Black Lives Matter” mural painted at 800 Center Street and responding officers found vehicle tread marks swerving across the painted words. More from us here.

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A united show of diversity

Susan True and the leaders of Rise Together on Friday night at the Community Foundation.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

Official kickoff of Rise Together initiative celebrates a team approach to the equity fight: “We are the people who will build our community’s future — everyone who’s here,” Community Foundation leader Susan True told a crowd of more than 300 that had turned out for a full schedule of talks, activities, music and performances to inspire philanthropy and accomplish more as a community. Grace Stetson and Kevin Painchaud captured the night’s vibe.

The return of mask fatigue

(Via Pixabay)

Trying to make sense of an all-too-familiar COVID ritual that confounds us all: With Santa Cruzans, chief among them business owners, perhaps feeling a little whiplash on the mask front, our Neil Strebig offers some observations after talking to folks around the county about it.

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Aptos’ triathlon super couple takes on Tokyo

Katie Zafares getting her sundown run in at Seacliff.
(Via Tommy Zaferes)

Katie and Tommy Zafares to tackle triathlon course together, from different vantages: I caught up with Tommy via Zoom from Banyoles, Spain before he and Katie departed for Tokyo. We talked about their brief stints living in a custom-built tiny house on his sister’s property in Corralitos, how he’ll miss surfing Manresa and Moss Landing now that he and Katie have settled into a new life in Cary, N.C., and the next chapter in their lives post-Olympics that will have him studying up on diaper-duty procedures here soon. Check out our conversation here.

The Quiet Games: How Tokyo Olympic athletes are dealing with the loud sounds of silence (LA Times)

Olympic officials confident tropical storm will have limited effect on Games (LA Times)

A North-South balance to strike

Tina & Zach Friend

Tina Friend takes job in San Diego; husband Zach ‘committed’ to his supe job: Tina, the Scotts Valley city manager, accepted the same job in the beachside hamlet of Coronado, close to where Zach Friend grew up. But Zach was re-elected in November to a third term overseeing the Second District in Santa Cruz County. The Aptos couple has a 6-year-old son. ‘Racking up a lot of frequent flier miles’ is in his future, Zach says. More from Wallace Baine here.

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Traveling Highway 9 this week? Be ready for roadwork

Highway 9 in Ben Lomond.
(Google Maps)

Easy does it: The state highway will be closed overnight in parts of Ben Lomond starting Tuesday night. Here’s what you need to know.

Around the area...

UC students turned a ‘forever’ tuition increase into a five-year increase (Sentinel)

Local toy inventor takes a cut at knives (Sentinel)

That’s all for today, everyone. Have a great Monday!

Mark Conley