READ THE STORY: The Nickelodeon is a local treasure trapped in limbo
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)
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Morning Lookout: The Nick fading to black; Soquel Union teachers demand raise

Good morning, Lookout fam! Today is Friday, March 18, and Santa Cruz County has another sunny day ahead, with highs in the upper 60s and low 70s; rain is in the forecast for tomorrow, followed into next week by some unseasonably warm temperatures.

We’re starting off today with an update on a beloved downtown institution — the Nickelodeon Theatre, which remains shuttered amid the double whammy of the COVID pandemic and the streaming boom.

Meanwhile, negotiations are continuing between the Soquel Union Elementary School District and its teachers, who are the lowest paid in the county and who are pushing for a raise.

Yesterday also brought another chapter in the case against the two men accused of vandalizing the Black Lives Matter mural in downtown Santa Cruz, though no trial date has yet been set.

And Wallace Baine and Lookout’s Team BOLO have recommendations aplenty for things to do this weekend, so let’s get on with today’s headlines:

Fade to black? Revival of Santa Cruz’s beloved Nick could be a fantasy

The downtown Santa Cruz Nickelodeon Theatre sits empty in March 2022.
(Max Chun / Lookout Santa Cruz)

Streaming and COVID-19 have dealt a double blow to the pastime of in-person moviegoing, and the half-century-old Nickelodeon looks like a casualty. Max Chun has the latest.

FROM NOVEMBER: Wallace Baine: The Nickelodeon is a local treasure trapped in limbo (Lookout)

Santa Cruz County’s lowest-paid teachers show up in force, asking for 8% increases

New Brighton Middle School teachers Melissa Walding and Michelle Bell.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

More than 50 teachers of the Soquel Education Association asked the five-school Soquel Union Elementary School District to rapidly bring up their wages. Their pay ranks at the bottom of the local districts, in one of the nation’s least affordable markets. Hillary Ojeda explains.

MORE FROM K-12 EDUCATION: Q&A: School superintendent Faris Sabbah says parents need to stop bullying teachers over mask mandates (Lookout)

➤ BUILDING CAREERS: See all the most recent listings here.

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BLM mural vandalism trial still not set; restitution hearing scheduled for late May

The tire tracks left on the Black Lives Matter mural in downtown Santa Cruz.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

Brandon Bochat and Hagan Warner, the Santa Cruz County residents facing felony vandalism charges with a hate crime enhancement for doing burnouts over the downtown mural in July 2021, aren’t going to trial yet, Superior Court Judge Syda Cogliati ruled Thursday. Get the update here.

RELATED: ‘They need to clean it up’: To BLM mural artist Abi Mustapha, restorative justice is the answer (Lookout)

Best Bets has major only-in-Santa Cruz vibes

Travis Wycoff and Kylie Webb performed an aerial duet in 2015's 'What is Erotic?' program at The 418 Project.
(Via The 418 Project)

We’ve told you about The 418 Project’s “What is Erotic?” show, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg of options to fill your social calendar this weekend and beyond. Here’s what Wallace Baine and Team BOLO recommend.

LONG-RANGE PLANS: Check out Down The Line, Wallace’s master list of all the big events headed our way

Turning brokenness into beauty

The Rev. Cristina Moon bows before a ceramic lotus flower at a Los Angeles Buddhist temple
(Jason Armond / Los Angeles Times)

A year after the killing of six women of Asian descent in Atlanta, Buddhists are honing their response to anti-Asian violence. Our partners at the Los Angeles Times have the story here.

FROM 2021: Hate crimes against Asians jumped 107% in California in ‘an epidemic of hate’ (Los Angeles Times)

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Around the county ...

Feds award $5.2M for Santa Cruz County homeless projects (Santa Cruz Sentinel)
Circle Church housing group expects demolition by summer (Santa Cruz Local)
North County Fire welcomes seven new firefighters (The Pajaronian)

And that’s what I know this Friday morning. Well, actually, I’ve got some insider info, so I’d recommend you keep Lookout bookmarked and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for all the good stuff we have in store, including another edition of Eaters Digest from our food and drink maven, Lily Belli. You can also sign up for breaking news alerts and our other newsletters via our Lookout Newsletter & Text Center.

All this content isn’t possible without community support — so if you’re not already, please consider becoming a Lookout member.

Enjoy this beautiful Friday, and have a safe, relaxing weekend. See ya on the flip side.

Will McCahill
Lookout Santa Cruz

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