Morning Lookout: Harbor’s post-tsunami plans and Watsonville hospital’s next steps
Hey hey hey, good morning, Santa Cruz County! Friday, Jan. 21, is here, and it’ll be a partly cloudy day with high temperatures around the mid-60s.
It will also be a breezy one, particularly in the Santa Cruz Mountains:
Here’s what else I know this morning:
- The Santa Cruz Harbor is back on solid footing after last Saturday’s tsunami, but long-term repairs loom.
- State Sen. John Laird is advancing a bill that would form a health care district that would eventually take over as owner of Watsonville Community Hospital if its sale to a local nonprofit is successful.
- The rise in the rate of county COVID-19 infections is slowing slightly, but it was still up nearly 300% this week.
- And on the entertainment and arts scene, Lookout’s Wallace Baine has a preview of upcoming opera, art and literary events, and he and Team BOLO have a pile of recommendations for things to do this weekend and well beyond.
One more thing: We’re restarting our “Unsung Santa Cruz” series, which struck a chord with so many last month. 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
OK, now let’s get to those headlines!
Long-term repairs loom for harbor post-tsunami
The Santa Cruz Harbor is back on solid footing after the surge of water that followed Saturday’s South Pacific volcano eruption, but there’s still a $6.5 million price tag. Get the details from Lookout’s Max Chun.
➤ SURFING DURING A TSUNAMI? Lookout’s Mark Conley explains why he and others would do such a thing
Another step in Watsonville Community Hospital transition
Through Senate Bill 418, State Sen. John Laird is pushing the creation of a health care district that could be the eventual owner of the beleaguered facility if its sale to a nonprofit is successful. Lookout’s Hillary Ojeda maps out next steps.
➤ PREVIOUSLY: Watsonville Community Hospital reaches preliminary agreement for sale to avoid closure (Lookout)
COVID-19 updates in Santa Cruz County
The rise in the COVID-19 positivity rate slowed somewhat in the past week amid the Omicron surge. Find the latest local data in our weekly update.
➤ MORE LOCAL INFO: Vaccine update: Rates, where to find a COVID shot or test; wait, cost and turnaround times (Lookout)
BOLO Best Bets is feeling artsy
From a big new exhibit at the Museum of Art & History to a new theater production and music aplenty, it’s a busy midwinter weekend around Santa Cruz County. Wallace Baine and Lookout’s Team BOLO have recommendations for your social calendar.
➤ OUR FULL EVENT LISTINGS: BOLO, your place to go for things to do
Santa Cruz County arts world continues to inspire
At Cabrillo, it will be Christmas in February for an Omicron-delayed opera. Downtown, four fellowship artists get their own MAH exhibit. Online, a newly crowned literary titan talks about her craft. Wallace previews it all.
➤ WANT MORE WALLACE? Find all of his columns in one place
Whether it’s helping members get a new home or combating predatory lending with short-term, lost-cost loan options,...
Six things to know about Omicron’s risks on the job
With the latest COVID-19 variant rampaging through California, how risky is it to go in to work? Our partners at CalMatters talk to the experts.
➤ OMICRON IN LOCAL SCHOOLS: Next step in keeping Santa Cruz schools going: ‘Substantial Exposure.’ What we know about that new protocol
Around the county ...
➤ Aptos park memorial planned for fallen deputy Sgt. Damon Gutzwiller (Santa Cruz Sentinel)
➤ Watsonville Councilman Estrada says he won’t seek reelection (The Pajaronian)
➤ COVID-19 forces suspension of Central Coast high school wrestling season (KSBW-TV)
➤ Monterey Bay’s mysterious mammoth tusk (KAZU-FM)
Whew, that’s a full plate for this morning. But bookmark our website and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram because we’ve got more in store today, including another serving of Eaters Digest from Lily Belli. And you can get all of our newsletters, plus breaking news alerts, at our Lookout Newsletter & Text Center (tell a friend, too!).
If you’re not already, please consider becoming a Lookout member (membership also makes a great gift for fans of local journalism). Our content isn’t possible without community support.
Have an excellent Friday and safe, relaxing weekend! I’ll meet you back here on the other side.
Lookout Santa Cruz