Joseph Thompson has spearheaded the local Starbucks unionization movement.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)
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Morning Lookout: The 19-year-old behind Starbucks unionization; CZU rebuild woes continue

Hello, hello, hello! Today is Wednesday, April 6, and Mother Nature is turning up the heat on us, with temperatures around Santa Cruz County forecast to hit the 80s and possibly 90 under sunny skies.

In case you missed it, unionizing efforts at Santa Cruz Starbucks stores got a big boost yesterday with news that union votes have gotten the go-ahead from the federal government; today, we have a Q&A with Joseph Thompson, the 19-year-old UC Santa Cruz student who’s not only leading those efforts but also running for state office.

Meanwhile, the frustration continues for families trying to rebuild from the 2020 CZU fire, even as county officials say they’re ahead of the curve compared to other California counties facing similar fire recovery efforts.

Let’s get to the headlines already ...

Joseph Thompson, lead organizer for unionizing Starbucks, is just getting started

Union organizer Joseph Thompson outside Starbucks' Mission Street location
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

As three Santa Cruz Starbucks stores lead much of the chain unionizing in California, local leader Joseph Thompson cites their great-grandfather for union inspiration: “Organizing gives me energy, and because I’m young it’s going to be a lot easier for me to keep that up.” Read the full Q&A with Max Chun.

THOMPSON’S COMPETITION FOR STATE ASSEMBLY: She wanted a Santa Cruz woman in Sacramento, so veteran politico Gail Pellerin called her own number (Lookout)

Santa Cruz Starbucks stores among first in California to get OK for union vote

Customers entering and exiting the Starbucks on Mission Street on Santa Cruz's Westside.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

The Starbucks stores on Ocean Street and Mission Street are two of the first three of the coffee giant’s California locations to go to a union election after getting the go-ahead from the National Labor Relations Board. Max has the details.

BACKGROUND: With two Santa Cruz Starbucks locations moving to unionize and more on the way, why are we an epicenter of organizing? (Lookout)

A tale of two recoveries

Steve and Christine Homan's home in Bonny Doon — which the couple built in 1976 — was lost in the CZU fire.
(Via Steve Homan)

Rebuilding continues to frustrate families affected by the 2020 CZU fires, but Santa Cruz County officials say they’re ahead of the curve compared to other California counties. Grace Stetson has a deep dive on the situation.

CZU, ONE YEAR LATER: Read our series here

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‘There’s no way you can hide from it’

In the background, a new development project is under construction on former Caltrans-owned land in Hayward.
(Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times)

When New York Times economics correspondent Conor Dougherty first moved back to San Francisco from the East Coast in 2014, he saw one major issue that related to everything: housing availability and affordability. Now, eight years later and covering housing on top of economics, Dougherty comes to Santa Cruz to discuss the continued concerns. Read his Q&A with Grace here.

ONE APPROACH: ‘This is going to solve the housing crisis’: Santa Cruz builder waxes on importance of ADUs (Lookout)

Sacramento massacre was likely a shootout among rivals, not mass shooting, sources say

Detectives in Sacramento work the scene of a mass shooting.
(Via Los Angeles Times)

Evidence has emerged that Sunday’s deaths resulted from a fight that escalated into gunfire, killing bystanders in the crossfire between combatants. Get the latest from our partners at the Los Angeles Times.

MORE: Sacramento shooting suspect got out of prison early despite DA’s opposition (Los Angeles Times)

More local beer, Abbott Square brunch deals and Palm Deli’s next chapter

Fruition Brewing in Watsonville and Discretion Brewing in Soquel have both recently made consumer-friendly updates, and there’s a new brunch destination downtown. Get all that and then some in Lily Belli’s latest food and drink newsletter.

MORE FROM LILY: Find Lookout’s food and drink coverage here

Puzzles, puzzles and more puzzles

Sharpen your brain with word searches, sudoku and more in Lookout’s new Santa Cruz Puzzle Center. Find it here.



Around the county ...

Santa Cruz police investigating overnight shooting at The Blue Lagoon (KSBW-TV)
A family in Watsonville is heartbroken, gathering funds to send the remains of a young man to Oaxaca (KION-TV)
Santa Cruz Warriors ousted by Lakers in G League playoffs (Santa Cruz Sentinel)

Plenty to digest as we embark upon hump day. Lookout has lots more in the works, so bookmark our website and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to stay in the know. And you can get all of our newsletters, plus breaking news alerts, delivered right to you by visiting our Lookout Newsletter & Text Center.

And none of this is possible without community support — so if you’re not already, please consider becoming a Lookout member.

Stay cool and keep hydrated out there — I’ll see you back here tomorrow.

Will McCahill
Lookout Santa Cruz