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Morning Lookout: You should know more about our Slug Olympian + a Homeless Garden update

Good Monday Morning, y’all!

This is Mark and I give that Southern shoutout to my friend Tulsi, who will be resting up for another well-deserved week before getting back into the Morning Lookout driver’s seat. You are missed, Tulsi.

Until then, hold onto your hats!

After all the humidity we’ve been having, there was a bit of fall crispness in the air this morning. Did you feel it? The ocean’s delightful warmth provided a welcome contrast to the air biting at my feet and ears. The south swell that promises to re-ignite Lake Monterey Bay was just barely teasing. But tomorrow is another day and I anticipate my stoke cup will begin its gradual refill.

Hope you had a nice weekend. Let’s get to the headlines, and we’ll start with some news out of Tokyo ...

UCSC Olympian has a bigger golden dream

Izzy Connor enjoying every bit of her Tokyo moment,
(Via Izzy Connor)

She wants to help destigmatize the mental health conversation in sports, society: Soon-to-be UC Santa Cruz student Izzy Connor plans to join the ranks of high-profile athletes like Simone Biles, Michael Phelps and Naomi Osaka who are refusing to just be quiet about the mental rigors that go into striving to be the best. I was lucky enough to catch up with Izzy before her big Tokyo moment.

DID YOU HEAR? Simone Biles coming back to compete in beam final (ESPN)

And ICYMI, one of our other Santa Cruz County Olympians collected more hardware...

‘Katie’s carry-on bag is gonna be overweight’

The silver-medal winning team in Tokyo, including Katie Zaferes at left.
(Via USA Triathlon)

Aptos triathlete adds a silver medal to her bronze: Aptos’ super triathlon couple, Katie and Tommy Zaferes, were already returning from the Tokyo Summer Games with a collective smile on their faces after Katie ran the race of her life earlier in the week to take bronze in the women’s race. Then Katie snagged some silver as well.

PREVIOUSLY: Aptos’ triathlon super couple: Katie, Tommy Zaferes to tackle Tokyo course together, from different vantages (Lookout)

Presented by Santa Cruz Shakespeare

Santa Cruz Shakespeare (SCS), an inspired, professional theater company in Santa Cruz County with deep local roots that...

And, shockingly, the U.S women’s soccer team will have to settle for a shot at bronze...

U.S. women’s soccer loses to Canada in Tokyo Olympics

Tokyo, Japan, Monday, August 2, 2021 - Team United States forward Carli Lloyd.

Will play for bronze: The U.S. lost their goalkeeper Monday, then they lost their shot at a gold medal, with Jessie Fleming beating backup keeper Adrianna Franch on a penalty kick in the 76th minute to give Canada a 1-0 win in a Tokyo Olympics semifinal. More from the LA Times here.

Sowing seeds of hard work & hope

April Wilson works the field near Natural Bridges.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

Homeless Garden Project’s delayed move to Pogonip still on the horizon: A long-planned move to the Pogonip hit a snag when the city discovered environmental contamination on the site stemming from skeet shooting that happened almost 100 years ago. Since discovering the contamination, the Homeless Garden Project has worked with soil scientists, state and county regulators and the City of Santa Cruz to define which areas at Pogonip are safe for organic urban farming. More from Hanna Merzbach here.

Presented by Housing Matters

The social and economic health of Santa Cruz County depends on the empowerment that comes when everyone has a place to...

‘More confusing than building IKEA furniture’


The fight to clean up the recycling maze: At least 85% of single-use plastic items don’t get recycled, even if they carry the familiar triangular symbol. A California bill would restrict which plastics can bear the mark. As Sen. Ben Allen puts it: “Americans find recycling… more confusing than building IKEA furniture, doing their taxes, playing the stock market or understanding their spouse.” More from CalMatters here.

‘The war has changed’

Our pandemic world
(Via Pixabay)

Delta variant is rising. Breakthrough infections too. How should I protect myself? The Delta variant of the coronavirus is turning out to be a more formidable foe than previously believed, largely thanks to its ability to infect — and be spread by — people who are fully vaccinated. The Times answered some lingering questions.

ICYMI: As fears of the Delta variant grow in the San Lorenzo Valley, are vaccine numbers keeping pace? (Lookout)

Presented by Schooner Realty

Live your best beach lifestyle with alluring sand and breathtaking ocean views in a hideaway mid-century home tucked...

Around the county...

A guide to hiking in the Pajaro Valley (Pajaronian)

PVUSD bans balloons, creates ‘Green Team’ to address environmental concerns (Pajaronian)

An SLV council? A committee is trying to make it a reality (Press Banner)

That’s it for today — oh, except for one final headline not to be taken lightly by those of us who (with a nod to Samuel L. Jackson & Quentin Tarantino) dig on swine:

Bacon may disappear in California as pig rules take effect (SF Gate)

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Have a great day!

Mark Conley