A couple walking in the rain near West Cliff Drive in Santa Cruz.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)
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LOOKOUT PM: Looking back at 2021; all-cash offers for homes on the rise

Good evening Santa Cruz! For those of you who had to shake off the holiday grogginess and get back to work — know your dedicated Lookout crew feels that completely.

But the news never stops, certainly not around here. Wallace Baine has some ideas for your end-of-year plans, we take a look at why it’s so hard to buy a home, and we kick off a four-part series looking at the biggest stories of the year.

The seemingly non-stop rain seems to have taken a bit of a break today, though the forecast has more of the same on tap for Tuesday. But the last few days have been glorious for local photographers.

With that moment of Zen, let’s get on to the headlines:

The year that (almost) was

The scene at the mouth of Santa Cruz Harbor.
The scene at the mouth of Santa Cruz Harbor.
(Courtesy Guerin Myall)

Looking Back: Though January 2021 seems like it happened in another lifetime, it really wasn’t that long ago. Today Lookout launched a series going through the biggest stories from each month. For instance, who could forget the dramatic rescue of the younger sailors whose boats capsized in Santa Cruz Harbor in January? How about the viral anti-mask video that was filmed at Trader Joe’s? Re-read those stories and more here.

All-cash offers making it increasingly difficult to get that dream home

The challenge of home buying has been increasingly complicated by all-cash offers.
(Photo illustration by Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

It’s not your imagination: An increasing number of tech businesses pay their workers in stock options — something that can make it much, much easier for those folks to cut a check for a $1 million or $2 million home. Contributor Maria Gaura looks in on the details.

‘It’s infuriating’: Why Santa Cruz’s earliest ADU adopters are asking where to find their perks (Lookout)

Presented by UC Santa Cruz

With purpose-driven and persistent effort, UCSC sought to advance justice, push the envelope of knowledge, and advocate...

Honeydrops coming to town

Oakland-based R&B band the California Honeydrops
Oakland-based R&B band the California Honeydrops have always considered Santa Cruz a “second home.”

(Josh Miller)

Weekday and weekend fun: At a loss on what to do as 2021 turns to 2022? Between the Honeydrops’ R&B-soul blend and the White Album Ensemble’s late-period Beatles, Wallace Baine has a few ideas to get you rockin’ in the waning days of the year. Read all about it here.

Presented by Santa Cruz County Bank

Habitat for Humanity Monterey Bay is partnering with local contractors and community volunteers to build their most...

Going back to the office in 2022? Omicron may have other ideas

Kevin Kelly, Emerald Packaging's chief executive officer, on the factory floor on March 24, 2020.
Kevin Kelly, Emerald Packaging’s chief executive, is asking his administrative employees to put in shifts on the factory floor to replace workers who are out sick because of COVID-19. (Russ Mitchell / Los Angeles Times)

Here we go again: As the new variant spreads, businesses across California are rethinking timelines for bringing workers back into the office and scrambling to cope with lost productivity. Read what our partners at the Los Angeles Times have to say about the issue.

The Friends of the Santa Cruz Public Libraries are close to reaching their goal for their 2021 Realizing the Promise...

More from here & elsewhere

Snow hits Bay Area’s higher elevations over wet weekend, and more could come (San Francisco Chronicle)
El Camino Real: Why Silicon Valley’s ‘grand boulevard’ still hasn’t taken off (Mercury News)
Jackie Greene to Ring in the New Year at Felton Music Hall (Good Times)
70-mile stretch of I-80 in Sierra closed indefinitely due to Tahoe snowstorm (SF Gate)

And that’s the way it was in Santa Cruz on this Monday. Good night to all, and to all a good night!

Dan Evans
Executive Editor