Santa Cruz's Westside.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)
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Morning Lookout: A very Westside Wednesday; UCSC grad talks new novel and lessons learned

Greetings, Santa Cruz County! It’s Wednesday, March 30, and we’re looking at partly cloudy skies around our area today, with high temperatures in the upper 50s and low 60s.

It’s a very Westside Wednesday here at Lookout as we launch our Area Guides with a deep dive that starts with answering what makes it the Westside and explores local lore, landmarks, key characters and of course where to eat and drink.

We’re saving UC Santa Cruz for its own Area Guide, but one of the school’s most famous alums is coming back to campus, and Wallace Baine caught up with Reyna Grande to talk about her new book and her time at UCSC.

Also included among the morning’s headlines is an update on getting another COVID booster, so let’s dive in, shall we?

What makes the Westside the Westside?

Santa Cruz's Westside.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

It’s the San Lorenzo River geographically, but it’s as much a well-developed state of mind. Liza Monroy picks that identity apart — and provides a great guide for all to eat, visit and explore. Check out the debut of Lookout’s Area Guides.

WESTSIDE SPOTLIGHT: Dig in on quirks and local lore, iconic landmarks, key characters and where to eat and drink

UCSC grad Reyna Grande retells tale of ‘invasion of Mexico’

Writer Reyna Grande
(Via Reyna Grande)

Celebrated writer Reyna Grande triumphantly returns to her alma mater with a new novel set during the Mexican-American War. She talks about its roots, her teachers along the way and how Santa Cruz changed her life. Read her Q&A with Wallace Baine here.

MORE FROM WALLACE: Santa Cruz’s true-crime classic

Ready for a second COVID booster?

Long Beach Department of Health & Human Services holds an evening COVID-19 vaccination clinic
(Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times)

The FDA and CDC approved a second booster for people ages 50 and older or immunocompromised, but the shot won’t be available quite yet. Here’s what Max Chun learned.

LOCAL DATA: Find Lookout’s COVID dashboard here

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Hop’N Barley returns and fundraising for Ukraine

Toasting at the 2020 Hop 'N Barley Festival in Scotts Valley
(Via Hop’N Barley Festival)

Lily Belli has good news for beer lovers, an update on what’s replacing a Mission Street favorite and much more in her latest newsletter. Find it here.

MORE FROM LILY: Get all of Lookout’s food and drink coverage in one spot

California task force: Reparations for direct descendants of enslaved people only

Assemblymember Reggie Jones-Sawyer is a member of the California reparations task force
(Anne Wernikoff for CalMatters)

California’s first-in-the-nation task force to identify reparations for African Americans voted Tuesday to limit eligibility to those who can trace their lineage. Our partners at CalMatters have the details.

PREVIOUSLY: California created the nation’s first state reparations task force. Now comes the hard part (Los Angeles Times)


Around the county ...

Fatal Santa Cruz crash trails neighborhood concerns (Santa Cruz Sentinel)
New Watsonville community center aims to change youth outcomes (The Pajaronian)
Rattlesnakes are being seen uncommonly early around the Bay Area (SFGate)

News aplenty as we head into the final hump day of March. There’s lots more on the way, to be sure, so bookmark our website and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to stay in the know. If you missed Lily’s newsletter yesterday, meanwhile, or want to know more about the other newsletters and text alerts we offer, click over to our Lookout Newsletter & Text Center.

And my final daily refrain: If you’re not already, please consider becoming a Lookout member. Our content isn’t possible without community support.

Onward and upward!

Will McCahill
Lookout Santa Cruz