RVs line a street on Santa Cruz's Westside
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)
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Morning Lookout: Santa Cruz counting its homeless; local Ukraine war protest

Hello, hello, hello! It’s Monday, Feb. 28, and Santa Cruz County has a warm winter day ahead, with highs into the mid- and even upper 70s.

Today brings the latest effort to tally the local unhoused population, with officials and volunteers fanning out across the county early this morning to begin the effort. Lookout correspondents are with them, so check back later for their reports; in the meantime, here’s an overview from Grace Stetson on the efforts.

We covered plenty more on the topic in our Unhoused Santa Cruz series, which wrapped up Sunday:

So let’s look at Monday’s headlines, which also include a local protest against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine:

On the ground, Santa Cruz counts its homeless

Tents and bikes at a homeless encampment by the San Lorenzo River
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

About 100 people are combing the county this morning — and Lookout’s correspondent team will be with them, filing reports on what could be an important tool in countering homelessness. Read a primer from Grace Stetson.

Unhoused Santa Cruz: A ‘proper place’ for the homeless?

A homeless encampment at San Lorenzo Park in Santa Cruz on Dec. 18, 2020. The camp was home to 150 or more people.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

As Project Homekey-funded projects pop up around the county, we see pushback in Soquel, and maybe more widely. Lookout’s Mark Conley takes a closer look at the community whiplash and the likely growing pains ahead.

UNHOUSED SANTA CRUZ: Find the full series here

➤ CONNECTING COMMUNITIES THROUGH JOBS: See all the most recent listings here.

‘It’s the families of your neighbors’

Anastasia Zudlova, who helped organize the event, outside the Del Mar Theatre on Sunday, Feb. 27, 2022.
(Dan Evans / Lookout Santa Cruz)

More than a dozen people gathered outside the Del Mar Theatre in downtown Santa Cruz on Sunday afternoon to protest the war in Ukraine. Lookout’s Dan Evans reports from the scene.

MORE REACTION: For Ukrainians in California, Russia’s attack on Ukraine is ‘very personal’ (Los Angeles Times)

Fighting rages on in Ukraine as talks with Russia begin

Talks between Russia and Ukraine open today amid skepticism that they would produce any breakthrough to halt Europe’s biggest ground war in 75 years. Our partners at the Los Angeles Times have the latest.

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

Annual speech to Congress offers Biden an opportunity

The president’s State of the Union address tomorrow brings political challenges and opportunities amid unease over the pandemic, inflation and war in Europe. The Times maps out what’s ahead.

LAST WEEK: Biden names Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson to Supreme Court in historic pick (Los Angeles Times)


Around the county ...

Local author pens debut history novel (The Pajaronian)
Central Coast remembers John Steinbeck on his 120th birthday (KSBW-TV)
Watsonville boys get No. 2 seed in D-I soccer playoffs; unbeaten Santa Cruz girls left out (Santa Cruz Sentinel)
What 19,500 genomes say about California’s wildlife (San Jose Mercury News)

That should get you up to speed for now, but it’s shaping up to be a busy Monday. In addition to the point-in-time count we’re covering, Lookout is also keeping an eye on a possible change in California’s mask mandate for schools, with state health officials set to revisit guidelines. So keep tabs throughout the day by bookmarking our website and following us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and check out our Lookout Newsletter & Text Center for all the newsletters and alerts we offer.

And if you’re not already, please consider becoming a Lookout member. Our content isn’t possible without community support.

Here’s to powering through Monday, and a great week ahead!

Will McCahill
Lookout Santa Cruz