Latest News

Morning Lookout: Sexually Violent Predator to be released in Bonny Doon? Judge to hear residents’ pleas

Good Morning! It’s Tuesday, September 9 and it’s officially time to get back to the grind after what I hope was a great long weekend. It will be a warm one today — sunny and 85.

This morning, Bonny Doon residents will be gathering at the courthouse to protest the release of a man designated a “sexually violent predator” by the state, into their mountain community. At the statewide level, after voters rejected the “Zero Bail” measure last November, lawmakers are now considering an amended law that could put the bail industry out of business.

Before we get to the news of the day, I wanted to remind y’all of Lookout’s double giveback initiative with Second Harvest Food Bank with the goal of fighting childhood hunger. Through the program, if you sign up for an annual Lookout membership, $54 will be donated to the cause. Read more about the initiative and participate here.

Here’s a look at your headlines:

A test of ‘Bonny Doon Strong’: Why a ‘Sexually Violent Predator’ should not be this community’s next battle

READ THE STORY: A test of ‘Bonny Doon Strong’: Why a ‘sexually violent predator’ should not be this community’s next battle
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

HAPPENING TODAY: A man designated as a “Sexually Violent Predator” by the state has been approved for conditional release to be placed in the Bonny Doon mountain community — his only connection to the county is his heinous abduction and rape of a woman on Seabright Beach 40 years ago. Later this morning, a judge will hear the impassioned pleas of neighbors who are still reeling and recovering from the trauma of last year. Read our Mark Conley’s column on the issue here.

California voters rejected ‘zero bail.’ Now lawmakers weigh new overhaul of system

Bad Boys Bail Bonds is located across the street from the Los Angeles County Jail

Ten months after California voters rejected a state law to eliminate cash bail for many offenses, a new fight is brewing in the Legislature over an alternative plan by lawmakers that would slash the amount arrestees must pay to get out of jail. The national bail industry that spent $10 million to defeat a “zero bail” measure on last November’s ballot is lobbying hard against the new proposed legislation and warns it will sue if the bill passes. Read more here.

‘Fire militia’: How Gordon Rudy helped his Boulder Creek neighborhood weather the CZU flames

Gordon Rudy stands in front of his Boulder Creek home on Wednesday, August 11.
(Neil Strebig / Lookout Santa Cruz )

From sneaking back to his Boulder Creek neighborhood during the CZU Lightning Complex Fires and helping dig a fire line to racing through the woods on his dirt bike with a makeshift fire extinguisher to put out burning stumps, Gordon Rudy played a key role in saving his property and a number of others. Read his story from our Neil Strebig here.

PHOTOS: Vigil held in Watsonville to honor Aptos High stabbing victim

The vigil in Watsonville Sunday featured photos of the 17-year old Aptos High student.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

PHOTOS: After the tragic stabbing death of an Aptos High School student last week, more than 100 community members attended the Peace & Unity Vigil held Sunday in Watsonville’s Romo Park and honored the 17-year-old’s memory along with other young victims of violence. Lookout photo contributor Kevin Painchaud was in attendance and captured the scene.

Watsonville Film Fest celebrates Mexican music, honors farmworkers with free live show at the Plaza

Celebrando La Cultura Concert, a free outdoor concert honoring farmworkers, will take place on Sept. 17.
(via Watsonville Film Festival Website)

The Watsonville Film Festival will hold a free concert in honor of local farmworkers later this month and the lineup includes North Bay headliners “Los Cenzontles,” who also have a special connection to a film being screened at the festival showcasing a modern mainstay of traditional Mexican music. Read more from our Wallace Baine here.

Recall Newsom Updates


Who’s on your ballot? Here are the 46 people challenging Gov. Gavin Newsom in the recall election: The first question California voters face in the Sept. 14 recall election is simple: Remove Gov. Gavin Newsom from office or retain him? The second question is where voters face a more complicated decision: Whom to select, if anyone, from the 46 people on the ballot vying for the chance to become governor if the recall succeeds? Here is a snapshot of all the people who will appear on the ballot.

A nurse prepares to give a patient a shot

Vaccines, unemployment, housing, drought: Where top recall candidates stand on the issues: The LA Times asked six leading Newsom replacement candidates — five Republicans and one Democrat — how they would address several pressing issues facing the state and about their political ideologies in an effort to provide readers a better understanding of how they might lead if elected. Here’s what they had to say.

Around the county...

Central Coast events commemorating the 20th anniversary of 9/11 (KION-TV)

Businesses on the Central Coast trying to keep up with the high demand, as many people flee from wildfire smoke (KSBW-TV)

No injuries reported in Lincoln Street shooting (The Pajaronian)

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
Lookout Santa Cruz