Santa Cruz County Superintendent of Schools Faris Sabbah
Santa Cruz County Superintendent of Schools Faris Sabbah.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)
Latest News

Morning Lookout: Superintendent describes parents bullying teachers; roller derby returns

Good morning, Team Lookout! It’s Wednesday, March 9, and another mostly sunny day lies ahead for Santa Cruz County, with highs in the mid- to upper 60s.

New for you this morning is a Lookout Q&A with county schools superintendent Faris Sabbah, who outlined the bullying and threats teachers and school staff all over the county have faced over mask mandates.

On a lighter note, roller derby is coming back to the Civic this weekend, and Wallace Baine catches up with a Santa Cruz institution trying to find its footing after the long COVID shutdown.

Other headlines include how Santa Cruz city staff aim to spend more than $14 million the state has allotted for homelessness, so let’s get to it:

School superintendent says parents need to stop bullying teachers over mask mandates

Santa Cruz County Superintendent of Schools Faris Sabbah
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

Santa Cruz County parents are bullying teachers, Faris Sabbah says, upsetting staff and filing claims against school districts for enforcing mask mandates. Read his full Q&A with Lookout’s Hillary Ojeda here.

CHANGE AHEAD: California lifts school mask mandate after March 11; still ‘highly recommended’ in Santa Cruz County (Los Angeles Times/Lookout)

On a new roll, roller derby revs up for the season

Flower Power (center, pink wheels) leads the roller derby team on the floor.
(Via Mark Nockleby)

The Derby Girls transfixed crowds at the Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium for years. Now, they reboot to meet post-pandemic realities. Lookout’s Wallace Baine checks in on a local institution.

MORE FROM WALLACE: Find all of his columns here

How does the city of Santa Cruz plan to spend $14 million in state homelessness funding?

A pink tricycles sits at a homeless encampment at San Lorenzo Park.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

The state has given the city $14.6 million in one-year funding to better address the homelessness crisis. On Tuesday, city officials started to lay out how that money will be used. Lookout’s Grace Stetson has the details.

MORE FROM CITY COUNCIL: Read Grace’s Twitter thread on yesterday’s meeting

➤ DIGITAL-CENTRIC JOBS: See all the most recent listings here.


California’s high gas prices have a little-known ingredient: Russian oil

A Chevron gas station displays rising prices
(Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times)

Banning Russian oil will affect West Coast gasoline prices more than those in other parts of the country because the West Coast uses more Russian oil. Our partners at the Los Angeles Times explain.

UP, UP AND UP: How high could gas prices go? More pain at the pump likely coming (Los Angeles Times)

Facing reelection, Newsom touts the ‘California way’ and teases gas tax rebate

Gov. Gavin Newsom said little about his vision for the final year of his first term in his State of the State address. Instead, he chose to emphasize climate change policies, COVID-19 response and California’s prospering economy. The Times breaks down Newsom’s speech and what’s ahead.

MORE FROM SACRAMENTO: California judges could order help for homeless Californians under Newsom’s new plan (Los Angeles Times)

California surpasses 9 million coronavirus cases, equal to nearly 1 in 4 residents

The case count is larger than the combined population of San Diego, Orange and Riverside counties, and equivalent to nearly 25% of Californians testing positive at some point in the past two-plus years. More here on an unfortunate milestone.

LOCAL DATA: Find Lookout’s new COVID dashboard here


Around the county ...

Santa Cruz O’Neill Sea Odyssey hires new executive director (Santa Cruz Sentinel)
Man, woman found dead outside Rodeway Inn in Watsonville (The Pajaronian)
Hybrid, electric cars in high demand on Central Coast (KSBW-TV)

That’s it for now, but keep tabs throughout the day by bookmarking our website and following us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. You can also get breaking news and all of our other newsletters delivered to you wherever you are by visiting our Lookout Newsletter & Text Center.

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

Hump day is upon us — get out there and give it the what-for!

Will McCahill
Lookout Santa Cruz

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