Morning Lookout: Push for EV chargers, new 988 helpline and fentanyl town hall
Greetings, friends! Today is Monday, April 25, and a mostly sunny day is ahead for Santa Cruz County, with highs nearing 80 in some spots.
There’s much to cover as we kick off a new week, not least a reminder about tonight’s virtual town hall and listening session on the fentanyl crisis:
Ahead of that event, read Part 1 of “Poisoned,” our series on fentanyl’s growing local death toll, from Mark Conley and Max Chun. That story and the entire series are free to all readers.
What else is new for Monday?
- Grace Stetson looks at the push to add and update existing electric vehicle charging stations around the county, with the city of Santa Cruz leading the way.
- A new mental health crisis line, 988, is launching in July, and Hillary Ojeda details how local officials and nonprofits are gearing up for the rollout.
Our headlines also include Wallace Baine’s tale of another Santa Cruz icon, the Pizza My Heart T-shirt, so let’s head that way now.
The future looks electric
With California aiming to ban the sale of new gas-powered vehicles by 2035, the race is on to build the infrastructure Santa Cruz County needs to keep up with the burgeoning fleet of electric options. Get the details here from Grace Stetson.
➤ BACKGROUND: Clean-car rules: California unveils proposed measure to ban new gasoline-fueled cars (CalMatters)
‘A big lift’ to get 988 launched
Health officials and organizations across the country, including in Santa Cruz County, are preparing for a major revamp of how services respond to behavioral health crisis calls. A new 988 number, launching nationwide in July, will provide people with a trained responder who can help the caller resolve a mental health crisis. Hillary Ojeda reports.
➤ MORE ON THE LOCAL FRONT: Helping students, families navigate mental health: $4M grant will target challenge of finding services (Lookout)
Pizza My Heart’s popular T-shirts are the most affordable way to represent local pride
With its super-cheap shirt-and-a-slice promotion, Pizza My Heart has created a surf-culture vibe that has made waves throughout the Bay Area. If you’ve got a PMH T-shirt, or a dozen, don’t miss Wallace Baine’s latest installment of Icons of Santa Cruz.
➤ MORE ICONS: Find our full series here
As fentanyl’s painful death toll grows in Santa Cruz, taking young lives, it’s time for meaningful solutions
Lookout’s monthlong dive into the rise of fentanyl-related deaths locally finds a lack of cohesive attention paid to this post-pandemic epidemic, as local officials plan a Monday town hall to assess and troubleshoot new strategies. Read Part 1 of “Poisoned” ahead of tonight’s event.
➤ VIRTUAL TOWN HALL, 6-7 P.M. TONIGHT: Join via here Zoom
California’s biggest election this year could be the race for attorney general
The progressive incumbent, Rob Bonta, who was handpicked by Gov. Gavin Newsom, will have to defend his record against candidates running tough-on-crime campaigns, including Anne Marie Schubert. Our partners at the Los Angeles Times look ahead.
➤ MORE ON THE RACE: Can a conservative break through for California attorney general? (CalMatters)
In case Monday isn’t enough of a puzzle ...
Get that brain back up to weekday speed with sudoku, a mini-crossword or maybe a word search. Our Santa Cruz Puzzle Center has what you need.
➤ GOT AN IDEA FOR A SANTA CRUZ-THEMED PUZZLE? Drop us a line at email@example.com
- Insurance Agency Representative at Farmers Insurance - Pedro Gonzalez Insurance Agency, Inc.
- Events & Food Drives Project Manager at Second Harvest Food Bank
- Government Relations Manager at Central California Alliance for Health
- Executive Director at Grey Bears
- Musical Theater Production, Summer 2022 - Adjunct Instructor at Cabrillo College
Around the county ...
➤ Two Santa Cruz residents arrested for homophobic hate crime (Santa Cruz Sentinel)
➤ Rattlesnake season has begun: How to stay safe (KSBW-TV)
➤ Inept ‘People’s Convoy’ chased out of Bay Area by egg-throwing kids (SFGate)
Some good fuel to launch us into a new workweek. Lookout has plenty more coming, so you’ll definitely want to bookmark our website and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to keep tabs throughout the day. And you can sign up for breaking news alerts and all of our other newsletters at our Lookout Newsletter & Text Center.
Our content isn’t possible without community support, so if you’re not already, please consider becoming a Lookout member.
Now get out there and conquer Monday — you’ve got this!
Lookout Santa Cruz