Latest News

Morning Lookout: Newsom wins, CZU survivors sound off, SRO program at Aptos High

Good Morning! It’s Wednesday, September 15 and it will be mostly sunny with a high of 76.

If you were waiting for this newsletter to find out the outcome of yesterday’s historic gubernatorial recall election, here it is: Newsom won. And here was his reaction to the news on Twitter:

Meanwhile, in local news, the County Board of Supervisors heard from nearly two dozen survivors of last year’s horrific CZU fire about their desire to eliminate some language in the proposed amendments for geologic evaluations. Meanwhile, tonight, the PVUSD board of trustees will revisit a controversial campus resource officer program from Aptos High after a tragic stabbing left one student dead last month.

LAST CHANCE: Also, before we get to the news, I just wanted to let you know that today is your last chance to join Lookout Santa Cruz and Second Harvest Food Bank in a special double giveback program to help fight childhood hunger. If you sign up today to become an annual Lookout member here, $54 will be donated towards feeding hungry kids in our county. Read more and sign up here.

Here is your news:

Newsom defeats recall attempt

Gavin Newsom / Larry Elder

5 takeaways from Newsom’s big win in California’s recall election: A strong GOP showing at the polls on election day could not match Democratic dominance in early voting for yesterday’s recall election. The emergence of conservative talk radio host Larry Elder in July provided the perfect foil for Newsom — resulting in the California electorate reverting to form. Read five key takeaways from last night’s election.

LOS ANGELES, CA - SEPTEMBER 14: Students, staff and nearby residents cast their ballots at UCLA

In red California, recall backers fuel unfounded claims of ‘rigged’ voting, bait workers: The Central Valley has long been a stronghold for red California. And yesterday, there were loud voices of support for the recall while some election workers had to deal with taunts over unfounded conservative claims of election fraud. Read more here.

A clause for concern: CZU victims express fear over verbiage included in proposed geological revision

CZU fire damage.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

Tensions ran hot at Tuesday’s Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors meeting, where CZU fire survivors expressed their desire to eliminate some language in the proposed amendments for geologic evaluations. “It feels like fire victims are being penalized for our homes burning down,” said San Lorenzo Valley local Antonia Bradford. Read about what transpired and next steps from our Grace Stetson here.

Aptos High tragedy: Campus police program to be discussed tonight

A screenshot of the leaders from Thursday's virtual meeting
(Grace Stetson)

HAPPENING TODAY: Earlier this month, Pajaro Valley Unified School District leaders told a rapt audience that the controversial issue of school resource officers (SROs) at Aptos High School will be revisited after a tragic stabbing left one student dead and two others facing charges. Today, the board will discuss the issue at a special meeting that will begin at 6:30 p.m. The meeting will be live streamed and you can watch it here. Our Hanna Merzbach will be covering the meeting so keep an eye out on our website for her report.

The public can ‘visit’ Big Basin Redwoods State Park one year after the CZU Lightning Complex decimated the park through...

‘Trying to find equilibrium’: County weighs in on weed-growing tussle with temporary license moratorium

A cannabis plant
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

With cannabis in the agricultural mix and an increasing number of landowners wanting to grow marijuana, tensions are reaching new heights in Santa Cruz County. Yesterday, after nearly two hours of public testimony, the County Board of Supervisors voted 4-1 to pass a temporary moratorium on the issuance of cannabis business licenses on commercial agriculture parcels that are within 500 feet of residential structures. Read more from Hanna here.

Proposed change to Santa Cruz mixed-use library plan exposes deep divides

The front of the Santa Cruz Public Library.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

A last-minute plea to turn a proposed affordable housing development into a park — and put the housing units elsewhere in Santa Cruz’s downtown — is exposing an increasing lack of trust between the city’s pro-growth and low-growth factions. This week, two groups sent a proposal to Santa Cruz City Council asking it to reevaluate spending $2.9 million on the library master architect contract. Read more from Grace here.

Around the county...

Watsonville City Councilman Aurelio Gonzalez resigns due to family emergency (The Pajaronian)

Body recovered off Panther Beach in Santa Cruz County (KSBW-TV)

Man shot by Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s deputy ordered to stand trial (Santa Cruz Sentinel)

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

What started as a simple partnership to provide financial literacy training to Diamond Tech Institute students has...