Morning Lookout: Watsonville Hospital shockwaves, local art gift guide and Omicron shrug
Greetings and salutations! It’s Wednesday, Dec. 1, and high temperatures could threaten the 80-degree mark in some parts of Santa Cruz County on this sunny first day of 2021’s last month.
And, yeah, after some early rains, it’s getting dry out there again:
Here’s what I know this morning:
- A nonprofit coalition has been in discussions to buy Watsonville Community Hospital and keep it from closing, Lookout’s Hillary Ojeda reports — a closure that would “send shockwaves through the county.”
- On a happier note, Lookout’s Wallace Baine surveyed the local art scene and found a dizzying array of gift options — the latest installment of our Keeping It Local holiday gift guide. (And keep it with Lookout today for Lily Belli’s recommendations for edible gifts!)
- And while the Omicron variant has health officials worried across the U.S., many Americans are greeting this latest COVID-19 development with a shrug.
Let’s dive in on those headlines and more:
Trying to avoid countywide ‘shockwaves’
A local task force is working keeping Watsonville Hospital open, but it’s far from a certain process. Lookout’s Hillary Ojeda maps out what’s ahead.
➤ PREVIOUSLY: ‘Crying on the way into work’: Watsonville Hospital nurses denounce short-staffing conditions (Lookout)
Keeping It Local: For the art lover, Santa Cruz County offers a dizzying variety of gift options
Wallace Baine digs into the art scene as Lookout’s “Keeping It Local” gift guide continues. Find his recommendations here.
➤ FIND THE FULL SERIES HERE: Keeping It Local: Lookout shows you how to keep your hard-earned dollars here in Santa Cruz
Omicron? Many Americans give it a shrug
The dangers of the Omicron COVID-19 variant are unknown. But many Americans say they aren’t very worried. Our partners at the Los Angeles Times take the pulse.
➤ BACKGROUND: How bad will Omicron be? Scientists won’t really know for months (Los Angeles Times)
How much will California redistricting shift political power?
Redistricting won’t change that California is a blue state. But it could decide just how blue it is. Get the analysis here from our partners at CalMatters.
➤ LOCAL REDISTRICTING: County Board of Supervisors votes to redraw supervisorial districts, reunifying Scotts Valley (Lookout)
Tsim Schneider’s latest book “The Archaeology of Refuge and Recourse” explores the dual practices of refuge and recourse...
The American West went through climate hell in 2021. But there’s still hope
The region has entered a dangerous era of hotter heat waves, ever-more-brutal droughts and a growing threat of violence. Read an overview from the Times here.
➤ MORE WORRIES: More than 400 toxic sites in California are at risk of flooding from sea level rise (Los Angeles Times)
Fishing in Orange County resumes after oil spill near Huntington Beach
A 45-mile stretch of coastline in Orange County was closed to fishing and other seafood procurement for nearly two months. The Times reports on the aftermath of October’s spill.
➤ BACKGROUND: Oil spills have marred the California coast — and shaped our politics (Los Angeles Times)
Around the county ...
➤ Aptos resident Dave Draper, former world-class bodybuilder, dies at 79 (Santa Cruz Sentinel)
➤ Why California is moving forward with firing vaccine-resistant health care workers (San Jose Mercury News)
➤ Neighbors search for answers in couple’s murder-suicide (KSBW-TV)
That’ll get our first day of December off to a solid start. Remember to check back throughout the day for another installment of our Keeping It Local gift guide and much more; bookmark our website and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. And you can get it all in your inbox and phone by visiting our Lookout Newsletter & Text Center.
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Let’s get out there and conquer hump day!
Lookout Santa Cruz