A man watches Tuesday's memorial at Front and Laurel streets in downtown Santa Cruz.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)
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LOOKOUT PM: A new take on emergency shelters; memorial for the unhoused dead

Good evening Santa Cruz, and happy Hump Day. This is Dan Evans, filling in for Mark, who is taking a well deserved break.

The National Weather Service is predicting significant rain starting tonight, though Christmas Day and into next week. Keep those umbrellas handy and keep in mind the less fortunate among us as the wet stuff falls from the sky.

On the shortest day of the year, Santa Cruz remembers the unhoused who died in 2021

Community members listen in during Tuesday's memorial.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

Somber remembrance: Community members and advocates gathered at Front and Laurel streets Tuesday to honor 151 unhoused people who died in 2021 on the streets of Santa Cruz County and in shelters. Here’s what Lookout’s Kevin Painchaud heard and saw.

EARLIER THIS WEEK: As more weather approaches, city, homelessness advocates seek solutions

Redistricting and what it means for Santa Cruz County

An election and redistricting illustration by Miguel Gutierrez Jr., CalMatters; iStock

Lines drawn: After holding 150 meetings and reviewing more than 30,000 pieces of public input, California’s independent redistricting commission has voted to approve its final maps. See what it all means statewide and locally from our partners from CalMatters as well as Lookout’s Will McCahill.

PREVIOUS COVERAGE: Whose line is it anyway? A closer look at redistricting proposals and their impacts on Santa Cruz County

California giving COVID testing kits to students ahead of class restarting in January

A first grader holds hands with his mother as he walks to be tested for the coronavirus
A first grader holds hands with his mother as he walks to be tested for the coronavirus before attending classes at Northridge Middle School.
(Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)

The details: Faced with the spreading Omicron variant, state officials unveiled plans to provide rapid coronavirus tests for K-12 public schools and expand hours at testing sites. Read the details from our partners at the Los Angeles Times and look for work on the local response in the coming days.

Recent Omicron news

UCSC announces remote instruction for first two weeks of winter 2022 quarter (Lookout)
Omicron in Santa Cruz: First two cases of variant identified in residents in their mid-20s (Lookout)

In true sustainable fashion, Bay Federal Credit Union partnered with the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary...

A new way of looking at emergency shelters: micro tiny homes.

One of the two micro tiny homes Alekz Londos has distributed in Santa Cruz over the last year.
One of the two micro tiny homes Alekz Londos has distributed in Santa Cruz over the last year. In 2022, he and his business partner aim to create 200 more units.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

Solution or “aluminum can?”: Alekz Londos created a small number of microshelters for the unhoused last year and is working to dramatically increase that in 2022. While some have expressed uncertainty about the structures, Londos says it’s better than a tent or the ground. See what Lookout’s Grace Stetson found here.

Working to make sure as many people as possible get vaccinated

Paul Angelo and the command center at Dominican Hospital.
Paul Angelo and the command center at Dominican Hospital.
(Photo by Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

Unsung Santa Cruz: Dominican Hospital’s Paul Angelo was instrumental in making vaccine care and outreach a top priority in Santa Cruz County. He helped organize the distribution of vaccines in South County first and has continued on from there. More from Lookout contributor Andrew Lackman here.

FIND ALL THE STORIES HERE: Unsung Santa Cruz: Lookout highlights regular folks doing great things

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

More from here & elsewhere

Watsonville homeless encampment to remain through Jan. 3 (Sentinel)
S.F. Gay Men’s Chorus cancel shows amid growing omicron worry (San Francisco Chronicle)
Cupertino ordinance aimed at preventing duplexes, homes of more than 2,000 square feet may violate state law (Mercury News)
Swift water rescue team searching Soquel Creek for missing teen (KBSW)

And that’s the way it was in Santa Cruz on this Wednesday. Have a good night and I’ll see you back tomorrow.

Dan Evans
Executive Editor

Santa Cruz Mountains Trail Stewardship is breaking ground on 19 miles of new trails at Cotoni-Coast Dairies and needs...

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