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Morning Lookout: Possible 17 feet waves, dangerous beach conditions; water supply threatened

Good Morning! It’s Tuesday, September 28 and it will be sunny with a high of 69. Be careful if you’re going to be at the beach today as the National Weather Service says a building northwest swell could make for hazardous conditions on beaches on the Central Coast stretching from Sonoma to Monterey counties. The swell could result in up to 17 feet waves and strong rip currents through about 11 p.m. tonight.

When the water was not so hazardous in the past few days, two local teens joined a group paddling across the bay to raise money for those living with cystic fibrosis.

At the statewide and regional level, wildfire burn scars are threatening drinking water in the West. Let’s start with that:

The ‘burn scars’ of wildfires threaten the West’s drinking water

A chair frame in a burned home in the woods

Wildfires and their lasting effects are becoming a way of life in the West as climate change and management practices cause fires to increase in number, intensity and acreage burned, while extending the length of the fire season. In “burn scars,” where fires decimated forest systems that held soil in place, an increase in droughts followed by heavy rainfall poses a different kind of threat to the water supplies that are essential to the health of communities. Read more here.

California still won’t make COVID-19 workplace outbreaks public

Mask sign

Supporters of a push to require companies to report workplace coronavirus outbreaks publicly say they plan to keep fighting despite recent setbacks that they say allow big businesses to keep outbreaks secret. “Public disclosure of this data shouldn’t be as contentious as it is,” said Ana Padilla, executive director at UC Merced Community and Labor Center. Read more here. What do you think about this? Send us a note at

All California prison guards, staff must get COVID-19 vaccine, federal judge rules

File image of guard tower at prison
(via Pixabay )

A federal judge yesterday ordered that all correctional officers and staff entering California’s prisons be vaccinated. “Once the virus enters a facility, it is very difficult to contain, and the dominant route by which it enters a prison is through infected staff,” the judge wrote in his order explaining his reasoning. Read more here.

Local beat

Jack Snyder is all smiles as he hits land in Monterey 10 hours later.
(Vis Vinson Smith)

Pain with a purpose — Young paddlers cross the bay to raise money for cystic fibrosis: Paddlers have journeyed across Monterey Bay’s 28 miles for the past five years to raise money for people living with cystic fibrosis. But this year, the annual fundraiser reached a new milestone. Saturday’s fundraiser included the youngest team of paddlers ever to cross the bay — 14-year-old Jack Snyder from Aptos and 13-year-old Ryder Walding from Capitola. Read more from Lookout contributor Hanna Merzbach here.

My Hero Academia cosplay: Kianna Corona Maciel as Mina Ashido; Rori Perteet as Denki Kaminari.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

PHOTOS: Watsonville shows off its inner geek with inaugural ‘Nerdville’: Watsonville put out the call for nerds, and the nerds didn’t disappoint. They turned out more than 1,000 strong, organizers estimate. In the area’s first mini Comic-Con-style event, Friends of Watsonville Parks and Community Services put on a successful Nerdville on Sunday at the Gene Hoularis and Waldo Rodriguez Youth Center. See photos from Lookout’s photo contributor Kevin Painchaud here.

State and national politics

The dome of the U.S. Capitol Building is bathed in afternoon light on Monday, Jan. 18, 2021
(Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times)

California is losing a congressional seat. Which one it loses could help the GOP control the House: For the first time in history, California will lose a U.S. House of Representatives seat because of sluggish population growth over the past decade. And that could help Republicans capture the House. Republicans need a net gain of only five seats nationally to seize the House from Democrats. Read more here.

Sen. Alex Padilla (D-CA) on Capitol Hill on Wednesday, March 3, 2021 in Washington, DC.

Californians will vote multiple times in 2022 for the same U.S. Senate seat: New legislation, signed Monday, will have the most immediate impact on Sen. Alex Padilla, appointed by Gov. Gavin Newsom after Kamala Harris left her Senate post to become vice president. Under the new law, Padilla must stand for election to serve out the months remaining on Harris’ term while also vying for his own six-year term in the job. Read more here.

Around the county...

Search team recovers body of missing Santa Cruz County teen surfer (Santa Cruz Sentinel)

Watsonville man sentenced for double-fatal DUI crash (The Pajaronian)

Arrest for alleged knifepoint robbery at Scotts Valley homecoming game puts community on edge (KSBW-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.

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Have a great day!

Tulsi Kamath
Lookout Santa Cruz

The Small Business Development Center (SBDC) offers a variety of services to include HR advising. Their HR Advisor,...