Customers entering and exiting the Starbucks on Mission Street on Santa Cruz's Westside.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)
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Morning Lookout: Local Starbucks continue union push; Biden’s historic SCOTUS pick

Top of the morning to you, Lookout friends! Today is Friday, Feb. 25, and another pleasant winter day is ahead after this frosty start, with highs into the 60s around Santa Cruz County and a slight warming trend as we slide into the weekend.

Much to cover this morning, including ...

So let’s get after it:

Federal unionization hearing begins for Santa Cruz Starbucks

Starbucks' Mission Street location on Santa Cruz's Westside.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

Just weeks after workers at Starbucks locations on Ocean Street and Mission Street filed to unionize, their first hearing in front of the National Labor Relations Board took place Thursday. Meanwhile, other nearby locations are moving closer to filing themselves. Lookout’s Max Chun has the update.

BACKGROUND: With two Santa Cruz Starbucks locations moving to unionize and more on the way, why are we an epicenter of organizing? (Lookout)

Biden to name Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to Supreme Court in historic pick

Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson.
(Via Rose Lincoln / Creative Commons)

If confirmed, Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson would be the first Black woman to serve on the high court. Our partners at the Los Angeles Times have details on the selection and what’s next.

PREVIOUSLY: Supreme Court Justice Stephen G. Breyer to retire, giving Biden his first appointment (Los Angeles Times)

Best Bets is stoked for some chowder

Warm up with the in-person return of the Boardwalk’s clam chowder cook-off, hit up some art exhibits before they close or get out for some live music. Wallace Baine and Lookout’s Team BOLO deliver another stellar batch of recommendations.

HUNGRY FOR MORE? Find our full BOLO events calendar here

➤ HEY, WHAT’S THAT JOB?: See all the most recent listings here.

Vaccine clinic in San Lorenzo Valley aims to boost rates

A COVID-19 vaccination clinic in Boulder Creek
(Via Encompass Community Services)

Residents across the Santa Cruz Mountains have had lower rates of COVID-19 vaccines and boosters since the shots became widely available. A clinic Saturday aims to change that. Find out more from Lookout’s Grace Stetson.

GET THOSE JABS: Santa Cruz County vaccine update: Rates, where to find a COVID shot or test & more (Lookout)

California agriculture takes $1.2 billion hit during drought

Farmworkers at Lakeside Organic on Tuesday, Jan. 26.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

California’s agriculture industry saw $1.2 billion in costs and the loss of more than 8,700 jobs due to drought last year, according to a new report. More here from the Times on the drought’s devastation.

MORE: Western megadrought is worst in 1,200 years, intensified by climate change, study finds (Los Angeles Times)

For Ukrainians in California, Russia’s attack on Ukraine is ‘very personal’

Kseniia Korniienk, 28, demonstrates
(Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times)

As word spread of the Russian incursion after weeks of failed diplomacy, California’s Ukrainian diaspora watched, stunned but not surprised. Read what they told the Times.

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


Around the county ...

County sees decline in cannabis tax revenues (The Pajaronian)
Santa Cruz’s bid for D-III section title repeat ends against unheralded Mills (Santa Cruz Sentinel)
Santa Clara County plans to end indoor mask mandate next week; only a few exceptions now remain in state (San Jose Mercury News)

A solid start to your Friday, I’d say. And there’s plenty more in the Lookout oven, including the latest foodie goodness from Lily Belli coming later today in Eaters Digest, so keep tabs by bookmarking our website and following us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. Lily has a newsletter, too, which you can sign up for (along with breaking news alerts and more) at our Lookout Newsletter & Text Center.

And it’s always a great day to get behind local journalism, so if you’re not already, please consider becoming a Lookout member. Our content isn’t possible without community support.

Enjoy your Friday, and have a safe, healthy and relaxing weekend!

Will McCahill
Lookout Santa Cruz