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Morning Lookout: Twin affordable housing projects with opposite reactions; Chief Mills announces departure

Good Morning! It’s Wednesday, October 13 and there will be patchy fog from 8-9 a.m. with an otherwise mostly cloudy day that will gradually clear up with a high near 63.

In case you missed the big news yesterday, Santa Cruz Police Chief Andy Mills has announced he will be leaving the department at the end of the month to take up a new job in Palm Springs. Two affordable housing projects — one in Santa Cruz and the other in Watsonville — mirror each other in many ways and yet one is being held up while the other is moving forward without much outcry. Developers discuss why they think this is happening. Finally, tribal leader Valentin Lopez talked to Lookout about the significance of renaming Cabrillo College, the mission bells and more.

Here is your news:

A tale of two affordable housing projects: Contentious in Santa Cruz, smooth in Watsonville

A preliminary rendering of the development at 831 Water Street in Santa Cruz.
(Courtesy City of Santa Cruz, Novin Development)

The 831 Water Street project, which would have 50% of its units classified as affordable housing, is very contentious in Santa Cruz. But a similar development in Watsonville was approved without much in the way of outcry. Read more about the key differences in the projects and why developers think one outpaces the other from our Grace Stetson here.

As of September 2021, only 73 advisors have earned the designation in the State of California. Sam Solgan of Bay Federal...

‘We hope people will listen’: Tribal leader talks Cabrillo, mission bells and a culture ‘brutally destroyed’

Valentin Lopez talks about the Cabrillo College name change.
(Via Amah Mutsun; Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

With the annual celebration of Indigenous Peoples Day this week, it’s a good time to recall and reflect upon why Native Americans feel so strongly about changing the celebrations of colonial history. Amah Mutsun Tribal Band leader Valentin Lopez talked to Lookout about his thoughts on mission bells, Cabrillo College and more. Read more from Lookout’s new Education Correspondent Hillary Ojeda here. Also, if you want to learn more about Hillary, you can read her bio here and send her a note/news tip at hillary@lookoutlocal.com.

Police Chief Andy Mills saying farewell to the ‘jewel’ that is Santa Cruz: ‘This is just an amazing city’

SCPD Chief Andy Mills.
(Grace Stetson / Lookout Santa Cruz
)

After four years at the helm of the Santa Cruz Police Department, Chief Andy Mills has tendered his resignation with his last day on October 29, the city announced yesterday. Mills will be moving closer to his grandchildren in San Diego by taking a job as chief at the Palm Springs Police Department. Read more from Grace and Lookout contributor Max Chun here.

The Westside speakeasy with sazón: Empanadas are the canvas for ‘Latin America in a pocket dough’

A hand sticks out with a tray of empanadas from Fonda Felix's Westside Santa Cruz location
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

After dipping his toes in the local food scene at Home in Soquel, Argentine chef Diego Felix has put down roots in Santa Cruz, selling empanadas and, soon, tapas out of the delivery door for Kelly’s French Bakery in the Swift Street Courtyard. Read more from Lookout Food Correspondent Lily Belli here.

Learn more about the Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History (MAH) and how to support and connect with this center for...

Around the state...

Phuong Vo, a program director for the California Healthy Nail Salon Collaborative

Are immigrants getting left out of California’s rent relief? The tenants living in the most precarious conditions — immigrants who speak limited English, don’t have a traditional lease or face digital barriers — are not applying for aid at the same rate as their estimated need, advocates say. Read more here.

Gov. Gavin Newsom signs a bill to return Manhattan Beach land to descendants of its original Black owners

Newsom’s vetoes: Why did the governor block California bills? Gov. Newsom had his reasons for blocking California bills passed by the Legislature: cost, duplication and some politics. Overall, he signed 770 bills into law and vetoed 66, or about 8%. Essentially, Newsom’s vetoes in 2021 proved more about what he has in common with his predecessors than how he is unique. Read more here.

Gov. Gavin Newsom speaks to the press during a visit to Ruby Bridges Elementary School

Health industry wields power in California’s high-stakes battle to lower health care costs: Gov. Gavin Newsom wants to regulate out-of-control health care spending in California. If he succeeds, it could provide him some political cover as he campaigns for reelection next year, giving him a major health care win even as he sidesteps progressive demands such as creating a single-payer system. But it could also cement the power of an industry that continues to wield immense influence. Read more here.

Around the county...

Man pleads not guilty in stabbing death (Santa Cruz Sentinel)

Photo: Man hurt after car collides with tree (The Pajaronian)

Santa Cruz County asks residents to register for ‘CodeRED’ to receive emergency alerts, notifications (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.

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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...

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