A map of Ukraine and surroundings on a computer screen
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)
Latest News

Morning Lookout: ‘War in Europe’; good news for Watsonville Hospital

A brisk good morning to you, Santa Cruz County! It’s Thursday, Feb. 24, and we’ve got a sunny day ahead with high temperatures in the mid- to upper 50s.

We’re waking up this morning to news of Russia invading Ukraine on multiple fronts: “We now have war in Europe on a scale and of a type we thought belonged to history,” NATO’s secretary-general said earlier today. A good day to reread a primer on Ukraine from a local historian.

On the local front, the Pajaro Valley Healthcare District Project is moving forward in its effort to buy Watsonville Community Hospital. The hospital will stay open after a bankruptcy court gave the forming district until Aug. 31 to close on the sale as it raises more money and solidifies plans.

In Aptos, meanwhile, a task force examining a name change for Cabrillo College postponed the decision to the fall, citing a need for more community input.

And Lily Belli got a look at a bicycle-powered composting operation that recently got a state grant to expand its offerings.

So let’s get to those headlines:

‘We now have war in Europe’

Kiev, Ukraine.
(Via Pixabay)

Explosions resounded in Ukraine’s cities, airstrikes crippled its defenses and reports emerged of Russian troops entering by land and sea. Our partners at the Los Angeles Times have the latest.

BACKGROUND: Ukraine 101: UC Santa Cruz historian Peter Kenez offers seven major, and some contrarian, takeaways (Lookout)

➤ JOBS TO UPLIFT SOCIETY: See all the most recent listings here.

Watsonville Community Hospital sale to fledgling health district approved

Watsonville Community Hospital.
(Hillary Ojeda / Lookout Santa Cruz)

The fledgling Pajaro Valley Healthcare District Project got the OK from a bankruptcy court to continue raising money for its effort to buy Watsonville Community Hospital, which will remain open ahead of an Aug. 31 deadline. Lookout’s Hillary Ojeda has the background here.

PREVIOUSLY: Santa Cruz County, health officials confident a district will save Watsonville Community Hospital (Lookout)

Cabrillo College postpones renaming decision to fall

Cabrillo College from above
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

A final report and decision on a name change was scheduled to take place this spring, but the task force is postponing the decision to fall, citing a need for more community input. Read more from Hillary here.

MORE: Is it time to jettison the name ‘Cabrillo’? Or, in fact, time to double down on it? (Lookout)

Presented by Sol Property Advisors

As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to wreak unprecedented impacts on the housing market, there are several indications...

Hard Core Compost receives grant from CalRecycle to improve site

The climate-friendly local business collects compost throughout the Santa Cruz area via bicycle.
(Via Hard Core Compost)

Worker-owned, bicycle-powered Hard Core Compost’s business model is about as Santa Cruz as it gets. Lookout’s Lily Belli takes us on a tour.

MORE ON COMPOSTING: Composting questions answered: What you need to know about the new statewide mandate (Lookout)

California voters strongly support mask and vaccine mandates in K-12 schools

Third-grade students wear masks during class
(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

The poll suggests broad public support for policies aimed at reducing the spread of the coronavirus in schools, even as protests against mask and vaccine mandates garner attention. More here from the Times.

LOCAL OVERVIEW: COVID-19 updates in Santa Cruz County: Infections, hospitalizations, deaths and demographic data (Lookout)


Why pregnant people were left behind on COVID vaccines

A pregnant woman holding hands with someone
(Via Pixabay)

Clinical trials of COVID-19 vaccines excluded pregnant people, which left many women wondering whether to get vaccinated. Our partners at Kaiser Health News explain.

MORE COVID FALLOUT: Did the pandemic create more income inequality in California? (CalMatters)

Around the county ...

Live Oak woman to face attempted murder charges at trial (Santa Cruz Sentinel)
Demand for homeless services climbs in Watsonville (Santa Cruz Local)
Capitola hit and run suspect turns himself in (KION-TV)

OK, we’re caught up and ready to head into Thursday. Lookout has plenty more coming today, including another set of Best Bets from Wallace Baine and Team BOLO for things to do this weekend and beyond, so bookmark our website and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to keep tabs throughout the day. You can get Best Bets and all of our newsletters, plus breaking news alerts, by visiting our Lookout Newsletter & Text Center.

To ensure you’re staying informed about all the goings-on in Santa Cruz, consider becoming a Lookout member. Our content isn’t possible without community support.

Enjoy your Thursday — catch you back here tomorrow.

Will McCahill
Lookout Santa Cruz

Presented by Kaiser Permanente

Kaiser Permanente has partnered with systems change agency SupplyBank.org to disperse donations of sanitizing wipes, N95...