Attendees of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Youth Event raise their fists on Jan. 15, 2022.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)
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Morning Lookout: MLK and the unhoused, tsunami surfing

Good morning Santa Cruz! If you’ve decided to sleep in a bit for the holiday and are seeing this a bit later in this morning, know that your dedicated Lookout crew doesn’t mind a bit. Go grab yourself that cup of coffee and put on the comfy slippers.

Before we get to the headlines, I want to announce that we’re restarting our “Unsung Santa Cruz” series. The 12 people we featured last month — including a woman who sings to the dying, a volunteer firefighter who lost her childhood home in the CZU fire while saving those of her neighbors and a Watsonville man known simply as “Mr. Volunteer” — clearly struck a chord.

But we know there are many, more deserving people out there, and we need your help in identifying these folks. Please send your nominations — with as many details as possible — to

Ready for the news? Here we go:

Surfing during a tsunami? Here’s why some foolish Santa Cruzans like me would do such a thing

A depiction of the work known as "The Great Wave" by Japanese artist Hokusai.

Lookout’s Mark Conley was one of the surfers Saturday morning at Pleasure Point — amidst a sea of high school surf contestants. He writes: “there are reasons that some of us Santa Cruz folks are different than others and would want to put themselves out there into nature’s grasp with little to go on. We’re a bit different when it comes to pushing the envelope.” Read more here.


As we look at the problem of Santa Cruz’s unhoused, Dr. King’s words are prescient as ever

One of the estimated 2,167 unhoused among Santa Cruz County's population.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

On this MLK Day weekend, it’s worth pondering that Dr. King’s example, though fundamentally rooted in the experience of being Black in America, goes beyond race and racial justice. It’s a bigger container than that. It’s about compassion to fellow humans, particularly to those outside your sphere of common background or circumstance. Wallace Baine breaks it all down here.

Presented by Sol Property Advisors

As legislation surrounding single-family home zoning in Santa Cruz is constantly changing, read up on everything you...

One man’s lonely journey through California’s plan to end homelessness

Fernando Maya outside of the hotel where he lived for five months through Project Roomkey.
Fernando Maya outside of the hotel where he lived for five months through Project Roomkey. Nov. 17, 2021. Miguel Gutierrez Jr., CalMatters

The pandemic gave a chronically homeless veteran in Los Angeles a chance at permanent supportive housing, but his experience differed from what state leaders envision. Can California offer the right support as it adds tens of thousands of new units? See Fernando Maya’s story from our partners at CalMatters here.

What’s happening for MLK Weekend?

Martin Luther King Jr. in Washington D.C.
(Via Wes Candela / Rutgers)

With schools, government offices and many businesses closed, many community organizations will honor King with a day of service. Click here for a rundown.

MLK youth event focused on awareness and political action

Community organizer Thairie Ritchie addresses a crowd of around 50 people
Community organizer Thairie Ritchie addresses a crowd of around 50 people at the Martin Luther King, Jr. Day Youth Event on Jan. 15, 2022.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

The youth-focused event, held Saturday just east of downtown Santa Cruz, is one of three planned in coming months to celebrate the life of the slain civil rights leader. Lookout contributor Ford Kanzler gets the details here.

Presented by Allterra Solar

The State of California, specifically the Public Utilities Commission, has proposed a set of regulatory changes – NEM 3...

More kids in the hospital with COVID renew fears for medically fragile children

Jamie Chong, 33 and her son Asher, 2 and 1/2, are photographed in the front yard of their home in Simi Valley.
Jamie Chong and her son, Asher, who will soon turn 3. Asher, who has cerebral palsy and issues with his respiratory and gastrointestinal systems, is still too young to be eligible for a COVID vaccine. (Mel Melcon / Los Angeles Times)

Young children — those younger than 5 — are being newly hospitalized with COVID-19 at higher rates than at any point before in the pandemic. Our partners at the Los Angeles Times check out what this means for kids and parents here.

Tsunami coverage recap

Evidence of moderate to significant flooding in Santa Cruz Harbor on Jan. 15, 2022.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

A volcanic eruption Saturday near New Zealand caused massive waves to inundate the island nation of Tonga and continue on to the West Coast. Though Santa Cruz Harbor area saw significant flooding, few injuries were reported here or regionally. See the recap of the day’s events here.

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

Around the county ...

UCSC selects Akirah J. Bradley-Armstrong for campus post (Santa Cruz Sentinel)
Good Riddance Bassist Chuck Platt Hospitalized After Being Hit by Car (Good Times)
Monterey Japanese American Center set to reopen after nearly 2 years due to COVID-19 (KBSW)

That’s it for today. If you’re enjoying our coverage, please tell your family and friends about our Lookout Newsletter & Text Center, where they can sign up for all the newsletters and alerts we offer. You can also keep tabs throughout the day by bookmarking our website and following us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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Have a great day!

Dan Evans
Executive Editor
Lookout Santa Cruz