An unhoused man and his dog along the Pajaro River in Watsonville.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)
Latest News

Morning Lookout: Inside Santa Cruz’s homeless count; school mask mandate ending

Good morning, Santa Cruz County, and welcome to a new month! It’s Tuesday, March 1, and we’ve got another beautiful day ahead, with highs approaching 80 in some parts of the county.

News you can use if your travels will be taking you along Portola Drive the next few days:

As I told you yesterday, Monday marked the first time since 2019 that Santa Cruz County attempted to put a number on our homeless population, and Lookout journalists were out from Ben Lomond to Santa Cruz to Watsonville to see how the point-in-time count went. A great effort from our team and well worth a read.

Monday also brought news that mask mandates will be lifted in California schools after next week, with Santa Cruz County superintendents saying that masks will remain “highly recommended” after March 11 and urging continued vigilance and patience as the COVID-19 pandemic grinds on.

To the headlines ...

Here’s what putting a number on homelessness looked like

A group walks through Lighthouse Field.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

As Santa Cruz County attempted to put a number to its homeless population for the first time since 2019 early Monday with the biennial “point-in-time” count, Lookout’s team of journalists embarked on ride-alongs with some of those involved with the enumeration. Here’s what we saw throughout the county.

MORE ON THE PROCESS: On the ground, Santa Cruz counts its homeless (Lookout)
UNHOUSED SANTA CRUZ: Read our full series here

California lifts school mask mandate after March 11

Students in masks complete schoolwork with computers and books.
(Jason Armond / Los Angeles Times)

Santa Cruz County superintendents announced that masks will no longer be required in county schools after next week but will remain “highly recommended” amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Get the details here.

PREVIOUSLY: Masks off again: Santa Cruz County to align with state as Omicron tapers off (Lookout)

Five dead, including three children, in Sacramento County church shooting

The Church in Sacramento, site of Monday's shooting.
(Via Google Maps)

A father killed his three daughters and a man overseeing his supervised visit with the girls before turning the gun on himself, authorities said. Read more here from our partners at the Los Angeles Times.

➤ FOSTERING CREATIVITY THROUGH JOBS : See all the most recent listings here.

Huge Russian convoy advances on Kyiv

Volunteers with Ukraine's military file past trenches dug to defend their positions against a Russian invasion of Kyiv.
(Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times)

As Kyiv awaits a full Russian onslaught, an airstrike hits a central square in Ukraine’s beleaguered second-largest city, Kharkiv. The Times has the latest here.

LOCAL REACTION: ‘It’s the families of your neighbors’: Group protests Ukraine war in downtown Santa Cruz (Lookout)

Why Western sanctions aren’t hitting Russia where it would hurt the most

An oil refinery
(Via Pixabay)

The United States and its allies have held off on an embargo of Russian oil and gas following the invasion of Ukraine, worried about risks of political and economic blowback. Read more here.

MORE ON THE DOMESTIC IMPACT: Invasion will factor into Biden’s State of the Union address tonight (Los Angeles Times)


Around the county ...

Santa Cruz Works to honor local tech giants (Santa Cruz Sentinel)
The blob’s lasting impact on West Coast crab fishing (KAZU-FM)
Monterey Bay Aquarium looking for volunteers (KION-TV)

Now you’re ready to conquer your Tuesday. But before you go, I’d highly recommend you hit up our Lookout Newsletter & Text Center, where among other things you can sign up for Lily Belli’s latest food and drink newsletter, delivered straight to your inbox later today. And don’t forget keep tabs throughout the day by bookmarking our website and following us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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.

Have an excellent day — I’ll see you back here tomorrow morning.

Will McCahill
Lookout Santa Cruz

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