Members of the Ukulele Club jam at Twin Lakes State Beach.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)
Latest News

Morning Lookout: Our iconic ukulele; UCSC, Cabrillo react to hate-related vandalism

Hiya, Santa Cruz County! It’s Friday, March 11, and we’re going to warm up to around 70 under mostly sunny skies as we head into the weekend.

For the civic-minded, this weekend brings a chance to engage with the Santa Cruz political scene on campus at UCSC:

Students are also the focus of another feature we’re launching today, Student Lookout. We already give UCSC and Cabrillo College students free access to all of Lookout, and now we’re delivering a weekly infusion of timely news, things to do and tips for enjoying life in Santa Cruz County on a student’s budget. If you’re a student, or know one, click over to our Student Access page for more information and to sign up for Student Lookout text alerts.


There’s plenty more you should read from Lookout this morning:

So let’s get to the headlines:

Fountain of Uke

Sarah Balla proudly holds up her ukulele, made by fellow Santa Cruzan Tony Graziano.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

In the second installment of our Icons of Santa Cruz — spotlighting the people, places and things that are immediately identifiable with Santa Cruz County — Wallace Baine delves into how an instrument once considered campy has struck such a chord and inspired a legion of local devotees. Read it here.

PREVIOUSLY: Icons of Santa Cruz: The centurion of West Cliff Drive (Lookout)

‘It feels like a personal attack’

Image of people gathering around the pride flag at Cabrillo College
(Via Cabrillo College)

Two weekend hate-related incidents have left UC Santa Cruz and Cabrillo College students, faculty and administrators feeling shocked, vulnerable and angry. Hillary Ojeda reports on the reaction at both schools.

MORE FROM HIGHER EDUCATION: Find all of Lookout’s coverage in one place

Best Bets is on the dinosaur train

Animatronic dinosaurs flank an SUV
(Via Jurassic Empire)

Capitola Mall has some serious “Jurassic Park” vibes at moment, and that’s just one of the recommendations Wallace Baine and our dedicated Team BOLO have for you this weekend and beyond. Find ‘em all here.

OUR FULL EVENTS CALENDAR: BOLO, your place to go for things to do

➤ YOUR CAREER STARTS HERE: See all the most recent listings here.


With no respite from drought, officials call upon Californians to conserve water

Houseboats on the water at a receding Lake Oroville
(Brian van der Brug/Los Angeles Times)

Citing meager winter rainfall and snow, California officials are urging residents to conserve water as the state contends with a third year of severe drought. Our partners at the Los Angeles Times report on the situation.

MORE: California drought, Australia floods: Two sides of La Niña amplified by climate change (Los Angeles Times)

Biden to revoke Russia’s trade status, ratcheting up economic pain for Putin

President Joe Biden speaks at the White House
(Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times)

The U.S. is set to suspend normal trade relations with Russia for its unprovoked war in Ukraine. Get the latest here from the Times.

COUNTERING PUTIN’S AGGRESSION: How the U.S., Ukraine and the media have thrown a wrench into Russia’s disinformation machine (Los Angeles Times)

MLB lockout set to end as players and team owners agree to new contract terms

Opening Day is now tentatively set for April 7 after players and team owners agreed to terms on a new collective bargaining agreement Thursday. Read more here.

PREVIOUSLY: ‘Manfred gotta go’: Players throwing high heat at MLB’s decision to cancel games (Los Angeles Times)


Around the county ...

PG&E explains wildfire prevention strategies for Santa Cruz County (Santa Cruz Local)
County’s Juvenile Hall set for needed upgrades (The Pajaronian)
Main Beach, Cowell Beach cleanups slated for March 17 (Santa Cruz Sentinel)

That’s plenty to get your Friday started — but Lookout is far from done for today. Among other things, we’ve got another serving of Lily Belli’s Eaters Digest in the oven right now, so bookmark our website and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to keep tabs. For our other newsletters (including one from Lily), breaking news alerts and more, meanwhile, hit 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.

Have a most excellent Friday and a safe, relaxing weekend — and don’t forget to set your clocks ahead before you go to bed tomorrow night!

Will McCahill
Lookout Santa Cruz