Kris MacKellar and Barbara Miller share an embrace.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)
Latest News

Morning Lookout: Trial in BLM vandalism case and another Unsung Santa Cruz hero

Greetings, team! It’s Thursday, Dec. 16, and the forecast calls for some sun peeking through the clouds as we dry out a bit, with temperatures in the mid-50s for Santa Cruz County.

We’re greeting this day with another installment of our Unsung Santa Cruz series, with Lookout contributor Andrew Lachman introducing us to a man who brought meals and good cheer to older adults and others isolated amid the COVID-19 pandemic.


Here are your headlines:

Bringing smiles to the faces of isolated, vulnerable seniors has done the same for him

Kris and
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

Kris MacKellar has done all kinds of jobs in his lifetime, but none more fulfilling than driving his aging Ford pickup around the hills of Santa Cruz County during the pandemic, bringing food and kindness to seniors and people with disabilities. Lookout contributor Andrew Lachman has the latest installment in our Unsung Santa Cruz series.

MORE UNSUNG SANTA CRUZ: Find all our stories in one place

Supporting local Santa Cruz businesses continues to be more important than ever. When it comes to buying gifts this...

Men accused of vandalizing Black Lives Matter mural to stand trial

READ THE STORY: Two arrested after Black Lives Matter mural vandalized in downtown Santa Cruz
(Via Santa Cruz Police Department)

Brandon Bochat and Hagan Warner will stand trial on charges of felony vandalism — with a hate crime enhancement — and reckless driving, a judge ruled Wednesday. Lookout’s Max Chun has the details.

PREVIOUSLY: ‘They need to clean it up’: To BLM mural artist Abi Mustapha, restorative justice is the answer (Lookout)

Assessing the impacts of Monday’s storm, prepping for more

PG&E crews work on clearing down trees that fell on power lines in Boulder Creek.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

Lookout checked in with various factions across the county to understand what happened and to see how they were preparing for what’s forecast to come. Read what Grace Stetson found out.

FROM MONDAY: Rain causes over 18,000 to lose power; evac warning in San Lorenzo Valley (Lookout)

Questions linger after Cabrillo board of trustees places VP on administrative leave

Cabrillo College
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

School officials have declined to provide reasons for the decision to put Vice President of Instruction Paul De La Cerda on leave or why the Jan. 31 date was chosen. Read more here from Lookout’s Hillary Ojeda.

BACKGROUND: Cabrillo vice president is charged with embezzlement, misappropriation of funds from former job (Lookout/Los Angeles Times)

County looking for artists to create art for library projects

A rendering of the proposed Live Oak library branch annex.
(Via County of Santa Cruz)

Projects underway in Aptos and Live Oak will be the canvas for art that reflects those communities. Lookout’s Wallace Baine has more details here.

MORE PUBLIC ART: Are we now officially among the top mural towns in America? We just might be. (Lookout)

Whether it’s helping members get a new home or combating predatory lending with short-term, lost-cost loan options,...

White House warns of January virus surge

An EMT prepares COVID-19 tests for delivery to a lab
(Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)

The government is advising anyone who is eligible to get a booster shot as the Omicron variant spreads across the United States. Read more here from our partners at the Los Angeles Times.

LOCAL INFO: Vaccine update: Rates, where to find a COVID shot or test; wait, cost and turnaround times (Lookout)

Around the county ...

Homeless advocates ask Watsonville officials to address mounting issues (The Pajaronian)
DUI checkpoint slated for Friday night in Watsonville (Santa Cruz Sentinel)
Santa Cruz’s role in NASA’s new James Webb Space Telescope (Good Times)

A nice, hot cup of headlines, yes? There’s plenty more to come today, including recommendations for things to do this weekend and beyond as Wallace Baine and our dedicated Team BOLO deliver another round of Best Bets. You can get those sent directly to your phone and inbox by visiting our Lookout Newsletter & Text Center, and keep tabs throughout the day by bookmarking our website and following us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

If you’re not already a member (or, hint hint, if you’re looking for a great gift), consider a Lookout membership. Our content isn’t possible without community support.

Now get out there and make it a great day!

Will McCahill
Lookout Santa Cruz

The Volunteer Center connects our community with meaningful ways to give back during the holidays, including its latest...