(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)
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Morning Lookout: Unsung Santa Cruz’s yoga hero; restaurants face supply woes

A brisk good morning to you, Santa Cruz County! It’s Friday, Dec. 17, and we’ve got a nice, sunny day to cap off the workweek, with temps reaching the low to mid-50s.

Our Unsung Santa Cruz series adds another chapter this morning, with Lookout’s Haneen Zain bringing us the story of a yoga studio owner who helped keep her Ben Lomond community together amid the pandemic and CZU fire — despite losing nearly everything herself.

And that’s not all I’ve got for you this morning:

Let’s jump into all those headlines with both feet:

‘They needed a community,’ and she was the one to keep them together

Juko Holiday kept people going through the pandemic and CZU Fire.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

Through the pandemic and the CZU fire, yoga studio owner Juko Holiday prioritized her clients through the community and safe space she cultivated at Ease Mountain Yoga in Ben Lomond. Lookout’s Haneen Zain has the latest in our Unsung Santa Cruz series.

THE FULL SERIES: Find all our Unsung Santa Cruz stories here

Local eateries vs. the supply-chain blues: What we learned

Brad Briske of Home has been able to keep making favorite items like his fried chicken because of his local sourcing.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

The pandemic has forced Santa Cruz County restaurants to face pricing switch-ups, menu casualties and sourcing issues. Read what some local owners told Lookout’s Lily Belli.

MORE FROM LILY: All of our food and drink coverage in one place

Watsonville names Jorge Zamora police chief

A Watsonville police squad car. Like other cities, Watsonville is grappling with calls to 'defund the police.'
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

The longtime Watsonville officer — who has served over 25 years with the department — will replace recently retired Police Chief David Honda. Lookout’s Grace Stetson has the details.

PREVIOUSLY: Watsonville police chief David Honda retiring, will leave top cop job July 1 (Lookout)

COVID-19 updates in Santa Cruz County

Jesse Lara and Norma Perez from San Jose in Capitola Village.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

Lookout checks in on infections, hospitalizations, deaths and demographic data. Get the latest numbers here.

WINTER WORRIES: Delta, Omicron could overwhelm hospitals soon (Los Angeles Times)

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Best Bets isn’t just event suggestions

A close-up of Anthony Arya playing guitar
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

Sure, Wallace Baine and Lookout’s Team BOLO have plenty of recommendations for things to do around Santa Cruz, but as Wallace writes, if you need last-minute gift ideas, forget stuff. Think experiences. Find it all here.

KEEPING IT LOCAL: Lookout shows you how to keep your hard-earned dollars here in Santa Cruz

Around the county ...

Donna Lind to serve as next Scotts Valley mayor (Santa Cruz Sentinel)
Ari Parker takes over as Watsonville mayor (The Pajaronian)
Lawsuit against Harm Reduction Coalition dismissed (Good Times)

And that’s all for right now. Save some room for a fresh helping of Lily Belli’s Eaters Digest later today, and bookmark our website and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for that and more. And if Morning Lookout has whetted your appetite, visit our Lookout Newsletter & Text Center to sign up for our Lookout PM and Best Bets newsletters, plus text and email alerts for breaking news.

To ensure you’re staying informed about all the goings-on in Santa Cruz, consider becoming a Lookout member (or giving a membership as a gift!). Our content isn’t possible without community support.

Go boldly into Friday; the weekend awaits beyond. I’ll catch you back here Monday.

Will McCahill
Lookout Santa Cruz

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