Incoming Santa Cruz County public defender Heather Rogers
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)
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Morning Lookout: County’s first public defender and a home for local playwrights

Good morning, friends! Today is Wednesday, March 23, and what’s been a foggy morning in some places is forecast to give way to more sun and highs in the 70s and nearing 80.

The Lookout machine is up and running this morning — here’s what’s new:

All that plus an update on outdoor dining in downtown Santa Cruz and a win for UCSC student-parents, so let’s dive in:

Heather Rogers, the first public defender in Santa Cruz County history, doesn’t see cases, only people

Heather Rogers is set to begin her duties as Santa Cruz County's first public defender July 1.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

“You know how when you find something that you love, it just feels like you don’t want to stop? That was how public defense was for me from the very beginning.” Read her full Q&A with Max Chun.

PREVIOUSLY: Heather Rogers sees natural fit as county’s first public defender: ‘I was immediately drawn to this work’ (Lookout)

Homegrown Kate Hawley spins a new tale of middle-age angst

Santa Cruz playwright Kate Hawley
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

Jewel Theatre is set to give Santa Cruz playwright Kate Hawley a world premiere of “Remains to Be Seen.” It’s the third time the company has debuted her work. Wallace Baine traces Hawley’s path.

GET THE SCOOP ON LOCAL EVENTS: BOLO, your place to go for things to do

Julie James looking for jewels from local playwrights

Julie James (left), Jewel Theatre Company's artistic director, in the company's 2013 production of "Pump Boys and Dinettes."
(Via Steve DiBartolomeo)

Jewel Theatre Company artistic director Julie James says she has one goal: To produce one local play a year. James gets the Q&A treatment from Wallace.

FROM NOVEMBER: Change in scenery gives Jewel Theatre ‘new vision’ for long-awaited revival of ‘Pump Boys and Dinettes’ (Lookout)

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Outdoor dining to stay in downtown Santa Cruz

Jesus Martinez from Cen-Con Inc. works on removing sections of the parklets on the 1100 block of Pacific Avenue.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

What might have looked like workers dismantling parklets on the 1100 block of Pacific Avenue is in fact just modifications as the block prepares to reopen to one-way vehicle traffic. Lily Belli scopes out the next steps for outdoor dining and more in her latest newsletter.

MORE FROM LILY: Find all of Lookout’s food and drink coverage in one place

A baby step: UCSC students celebrate reopening of infant care program

UC Santa Cruz family housing
(Via UC Santa Cruz)

Graduate students at UC Santa Cruz are celebrating a small but impactful decision: The school is reopening its infant care program after it closed in December 2019. Hillary Ojeda has the details.

MORE FROM HIGHER ED: A plan for 300 on-campus beds for Cabrillo College students? Here’s how that is taking shape (Lookout)

Humanitarian crisis in Ukraine deepens as Biden travels to Europe

A train passenger holding a dog is seen through the car window
(Marcus Yam / Los Angeles Times)

Ukrainian officials say Russian forces hijacked an aid convoy bound for Mariupol, the scene of the worst humanitarian crisis of the nearly monthlong war. Our partners at the Los Angeles Times have the latest.

COMING SUNDAY: Singing for the children of Ukraine, Santa Cruz Chorale matches the moment (Lookout)

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Around the county ...

Santa Cruz County takes steps to mitigate rental eviction (Santa Cruz Sentinel)
Watsonville officers apprehend teen with gun near Watsonville High (KSBW)
Pajaro River levee engineer’s report open for public comment (The Pajaronian)
Downtown Santa Cruz library renderings released (Santa Cruz Local)
Why Santa Cruz punk bands have the world’s attention (Good Times)

And we’re off and running into this hump day. Much more in store, of course, so keep tabs throughout the day by bookmarking our website and following us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. And if you’re enjoying our coverage, please tell your family and friends about our Lookout Newsletter & Text Center, where they can sign up for all the newsletters and alerts we offer.

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 fantastic Wednesday!

Will McCahill
Lookout Santa Cruz

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