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Morning Lookout: Meet our new editor, Delta surge slows in CA but experts stress caution

Good Morning! It’s Tuesday, August 17 and you can expect some patchy fog before 9 a.m. followed by a sunny day with a high of 83.

Today, Lookout’s new leader at the helm, Executive Editor Dan Evans, released his introductory column to tell y’all about his mission and vision for Lookout and Santa Cruz. (Welcome, Dan!)

Some California officials are hopeful as the surge of new COVID cases is beginning slow in some places, though experts warn it’s too early to tell. Meanwhile, in a new twist in vaccine hesitancy, skeptics are increasingly asking for blood transfusions from unvaccinated donors — an option experts say is neither practical nor medically justifiable.

And before we get to the news of the day, a reminder: As we continue our CZU, One Year Later project, Lookout is offering a free signed copy of the ‘2020 Hindsight’ photo essay book — produced by local news photographers Shmuel Thaler and our Kevin Painchaud, with contributions from our Wallace Baine — to those who sign up for an annual Lookout membership. To take this offer, click on this link and use the code 2020HINDSIGHT at check out.

And with that, here are your headlines:

My local journalism restoration project: A journey that has taken me from California to Miami and back again

Greg and Dan Evans hit the minor league ballpark road back east and kept on driving.
(Dan Evans / Lookout Santa Cruz)

Earlier this month, Lookout’s new Executive Editor Dan Evans took the helm in our newsroom. Dan, a native Californian, has deep ties to Santa Cruz and the Bay Area — even briefly attending UC Santa Cruz in the mid-90s. In his introductory column, he writes of his vision for Lookout and his mission to serve Santa Cruz County. He writes, in part:

“Local journalism has always been my true love and my return to Santa Cruz nearly 30 years after leaving feels like a spiritual homecoming... Every journalism job I’ve had since then has been in California; prior to my move to Florida five years ago, I was the editor of community news for the Los Angeles Times.”

Read the whole thing here.

Habitat for Humanity ReStore will open in Watsonville after closing up shop on Westside


Habitat for Humanity ReStore is on the move. The store announced it would be relocating from its Westside location in Santa Cruz to a new 9,700-square-feet location in downtown Watsonville. The ReStore sells various new, donated and second-hand items including furniture, furnishings and building materials. Read more here.

Down the line: All the biggest shows, concerts and events in Santa Cruz County you can’t miss, through March ’22

File image of concert goers
(via Pixabay )

After nearly 1.5 years indoors, we know you’re jonesing to get out and experience life again. You may have seen our Team BOLO’s weekly Best Bets newsletter — sent Thursdays — which gives you a comprehensive look at the best events in the week ahead. If you want to sign up for that newsletter, you can do so here.

However, you may not know about Down the Line — a master document that contains only the biggest and best names, shows and concerts coming up in Santa Cruz County over the next seven months. These are the shows you don’t want to miss... the big deals. You can check out this epic master list here.

COVID 2021

Donated blood in bag
(via Pixabay)

‘Tainted’ blood: COVID skeptics request blood transfusions from unvaccinated donors: The nation’s roiling tensions over vaccination against COVID-19 have spilled into an unexpected arena: lifesaving blood transfusions. Most of the nation’s blood supply is now coming from donors who have been inoculated, experts say, which has led some who are skeptical to demand transfusions only from the unvaccinated. Read more here.

A father waits with his son to be tested for COVID-19 at Northridge Middle School

California sees signs Delta surge is slowing, but a new challenge looms: The number of people being infected and falling seriously ill with COVID-19 is no longer accelerating at dramatic rates and even beginning to flatten in some areas. Many experts are optimistic over the progress, but some officials stressed it’s too early to know definitively whether the surge caused by the highly contagious strain is peaking. Read more here.

PG&E threatens power shutoffs as Dixie fire rages in Northern California

Power pole
(Via Pixabay)

As the Dixie fire continues to rage, Pacific Gas & Electric Co. announced it could cut power for roughly 39,000 residents across 16 counties in Northern California on Tuesday night to reduce the risk of wildfires from energized power lines. Santa Cruz County is not on the list. Read more here.

Bay Federal Credit Union continues their investment in the community by helping Jacob’s Heart Children’s Cancer Support...

Why do Tesla cars keep crashing into emergency response vehicles? Feds are investigating

A Tesla
(Via Pixabay)

At least 11 times over the past seven years, cars made by Tesla Inc. and running its autonomous-driving or driver-assist systems have slammed into emergency vehicles that were parked on roads and highways. Now the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration wants to know why. Read more here.

Recall 2021 Voter Guides:

Illustration by CalMatters

Newsom recall basics: How to vote in California’s election: California’s historic election is fast approaching and no doubt you’ll have questions like who is on the ballot, what will happen once the election is over, how to vote in the recall election and more. To help, our partners at CalMatters compiled an FAQ sheet so you have everything you need when it’s time to vote. Read the FAQs here and find their full voter guide here.

Few voters mid day at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion and Music Center in downtown Los Angeles
( (Al Seib / Los Angeles Times))

Will your write-in vote in California’s recall election count? Maybe not: Notably absent from the roster of candidates to replace Gov. Gavin Newsom are any prominent Democrats. As a result, some Democratic and left-leaning independent voters are thinking about writing in the name of an experienced politician with like-minded views just in case the Sept. 14 recall succeeds. They can certainly do so, but they’ll probably be wasting their vote. Read more here.

Around the county...

Anthem Blue Cross, Dignity Health come to agreement on contract after eight months (Santa Cruz Sentinel)

Watsonville’s Diamond Technology Institute wins top award (The Pajaronian)

Santa Cruz County hosts back-to-school vaccination clinics (KION-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

Since May 21, the Midtown Fridays Block Party has brought fresh life into the parking lot located at 1111 Soquel Ave.,...