Santa Cruz city manager Matt Huffaker
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)
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Morning Lookout: Facing Santa Cruz’s ‘big-city problems’; more COVID boosters + our Puzzle Center

Greetings, Lookout peeps! Like you, I was pretty surprised to wake up to an inch of fresh snow on my sidewalk. Definitely don’t have the right shovel for this.

Oh, and it’s Friday, April 1 ... so April Fool’s! I know, I know, you folks are too smart to fall for that stuff. We’re actually looking at a mostly sunny day with highs from the mid-60s into the 70s, with similar conditions forecast for Santa Cruz County into the weekend before a bit of a warmup next week ... and I’ll always be here for your dad-joke needs.

Off the bat today, check out Mark Conley’s Q&A with Matt Huffaker, Santa Cruz’s new city manager. He’s got plenty on his plate, he says, running a “medium-size city with big-city problems.”

And forget Wordle — the only puzzles you need are right here on Lookout, as our new Santa Cruz Puzzle Center rolls out. Take it for a spin and let us know what you think!

We’ve also got the latest on how a second round of COVID-19 booster shots is rolling out locally, plus what you should know if your weekend plans might include a bong, so read on for all of Friday’s headlines.

‘A marathon at sprint pace’

Santa Cruz city manager Matt Huffaker
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

In the city of Santa Cruz, it’s been a rough, tumultuous stretch for all elected officials and staff trying to triage issues — largely centered around homelessness. New Santa Cruz City Manager Matt Huffaker calls this a “medium-size city with big-city problems,” and he’s trying to be the type of leader to facilitate solutions. Read his Q&A with Mark Conley.

MORE ON HOMELESSNESS: Find our Unhoused Santa Cruz series here

It’s official: A second COVID booster is coming to health care providers and pharmacies near you

Mardiros Ebrahamian, 82, gets a booster shot Moderna vaccine for COVID-19
(Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)

Another round of shots is rolling out locally for those over 50 and immunocompromised people. Get the details from Max Chun.

MORE LOCAL DATA: Check our COVID dashboard here

The Santa Cruz Puzzle Center is here

Wordle is so February, amirite? So get your daily puzzle fix from Lookout, with mini-crosswords, sudoku and more in our newest feature, the Santa Cruz Puzzle Center. Take it for a spin now.

➤ Want more? Check out our Job Board.
Hiring? Post a job.
*NEW* Buy job board bundles of 4 or 8 to save 25%. Redeemable at any time; get your bundles here.

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Best Bets is stoked for First Friday

Santa Cruz is bursting with all sorts of art today, with First Friday events from downtown to Ben Lomond, and there’s live music, comedy, theater and a midnight movie classic happening, too. Get all the recommendations from Wallace Baine and Team BOLO right here.

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

Frustrating, little-known disorder in spotlight after Bruce Willis’ aphasia diagnosis

The aphasia community hopes Bruce Willis’ diagnosis will help reduce the stigma of invisible illnesses and lead to better understanding of a condition that affects about 2 million Americans. Our partners at the Los Angeles Times report.

Careful, cannabis users: Bongs may create more secondhand smoke than cigarettes

A woman smokes in a licensed cannabis sales section at the 2019 Outside Lands music festival
(Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)

Smoking a bong creates concentrations of fine particulate matter four times greater than a cigarette or hookah, the UC Berkeley study found. Click here for more on the findings.

LOCAL ANGLE: ‘Nature is like a slow-cooked meal’: Regenerative farming brings cannabis, food crops into soil harmony (Lookout)

CLICK HERE TO BECOME A LOOKOUT MEMBER

Around the county ...

Motorcyclist killed in crash near UC Santa Cruz campus (KSBW-TV)
Adult Ed’s new cosmetology program fills countywide need (The Pajaronian)
Haley Jones’ passing fancy has Stanford in Final Four and on the brink of another title (San Jose Mercury News)
Watsonville’s boys soccer team to be honored at San Jose Earthquakes game Saturday (Santa Cruz Sentinel)

Now you’re on your toes — beware April Fool’s pranks, yeah? — and ready to power into the weekend. You should definitely keep Lookout bookmarked and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for all the goodies we have in the pipeline, including another delish edition of Lily Belli’s Eaters Digest. Lily’s got a newsletter, too, and you can find that and much more by hitting up our Lookout Newsletter & Text Center.

Know what’s a great way to pile up some good karma? Supporting the local journalism that keeps Santa Cruz and our democracy healthy — so if you’re not already, please consider becoming a Lookout member. Our content isn’t possible without community support.

Seize this Friday by the horns, have a safe, relaxing weekend, and I’ll see you back here Monday morning.

Will McCahill
Lookout Santa Cruz

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