Morning Lookout: City council sides with Roaring Camp; examining homelessness
Greetings, Lookout friends! Today is Wednesday, Feb. 9, and we’re turning up the heat, with highs forecast to touch 80 in some parts of Santa Cruz County.
Before we dig into the day’s top stories, a heads-up about a big project we’re launching this weekend:
COMING SUNDAY: We live in paradise and yet so many in our midst live a chaotic existence we strain to comprehend. Why are so many people living on the streets? Why can’t a smart, compassionate community like this agree on solutions? How can the system be so seemingly broken? Lookout talks to those whose job it is to solve the unhoused crisis and examines the myriad reasons we haven’t gotten further on what many believe to be the most intractable issue of our generation.
As for what to know as you power up on Wednesday:
- The Santa Cruz City Council sided with Roaring Camp in the developing standoff over plans to stop freight rail service.
- Valentine’s Day is just around the corner, and Lookout food and drink guru Lily Belli checks out some sweet local happenings.
- The Omicron surge has hobbled California’s new Medicaid prescription drug program — dangerously so.
- And could Silicon Valley be losing its tech monopoly to ... Texas?
Read on for those headlines and more:
2021 has brought forth another year of crazy activity and record high prices as the paradox of the pandemic continues to...
Santa Cruz City Council urges rejection of plans to stop freight service in county
Though it would have no formal impact, the Santa Cruz City Council sided with Roaring Camp in the latest chapter in the debate over the future of rail in the county. Lookout’s Dan Evans and Max Chun explain.
➤ OVERVIEW: How Santa Cruz’s rail-trail debate created a standoff with Roaring Camp (Lookout)
➤ LAST WEEK: Freight abandonment discussion on Felton line stirs passions at RTC; kibosh put on pro-rail ballot measure (Lookout)
Hanloh x Birichino collab an out-of-the-box Valentine’s treat
If you’re not getting Lily Belli’s weekly food and drink newsletter, well, you’re gonna miss some stuff. Check out her latest and sign up here.
➤ MORE FROM LILY: Find all of Lookout’s food and drink coverage here
Silicon Valley’s tech monopoly is over. Is the future in Austin, Texas?
The Bay Area’s hold on venture capital remains solid, but the loss of Tesla and other companies threatens California’s economic and financial future. Read more from our partners at the Los Angeles Times.
➤ MORE ON BUSINESS & TECHNOLOGY: Find all of Lookout’s coverage in one place
‘Somebody is gonna die’
Problems with California’s new Medicaid prescription drug program are preventing thousands of patients from getting their medications, including some life-saving ones. Our partners at Kaiser Health News report on the troubled rollout and what officials are doing about it.
➤ LOCAL COVID NEWS: Statewide mandate for indoor masking to sunset on Feb. 15, but Santa Cruz’s guidelines still uncertain (Lookout)
‘Unprecedented’ backlogs with the IRS could mean tough tax season
Taxpayers are likely to face delays in having their returns processed by the IRS, getting refunds and having questions answered in a timely manner. Get the details here from the Times.
UC Santa Cruz student Tommy Alejandrez was living on the streets when he met former NFL player Zack Follett on a busy...
In the streaming era, Super Bowl commercials will be working overtime
Younger viewers aren’t watching TV, but ad-makers are finding a way to reach them through the big game. Get the scoop ahead of Sunday’s extravaganza.
➤ MORE FROM L.A.: SoFi security in question as Super Bowl approaches: Apparent beating of 49ers fan was kept secret for days (Los Angeles Times)
Around the county ...
➤ Loch Lomond Reservoir at 85% capacity after a dry start to 2022 (KION-TV)
➤ AB 1832 could protect California Coast from contentious deep sea mining (Santa Cruz Sentinel)
➤ New tattoo shop breaks through Watsonville’s strict restrictions (The Pajaronian)
➤ Big Sur volunteer firefighters feel pinch of housing prices, growing responsibilities (SFGate)
And we’re off and running this hump day. Keep tabs throughout the day by bookmarking our website and following us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and get Lookout delivered to you wherever you are by visiting the Lookout Newsletter & Text Center.
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Enjoy your Wednesday ... and don’t forget to stay hydrated!
Lookout Santa Cruz