Erica Aisha Charves
(Via Erica Aisha Charves)
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Morning Lookout: Keeping up with housing goals; being Muslim in Santa Cruz

Good morning, folks. Today is Tuesday, May 3, and it’ll be a mainly sunny day around Santa Cruz County, with highs approaching 80 in some spots.

We’re hitting you with some numbers off the top today, namely the 13,000 housing units the state wants our county to build by 2031. Grace Stetson talked to local leaders past and present about whether that’s even possible.

Meanwhile, with local singer-songwriter Keith Greeninger set to return from a pandemic pause Friday at Kuumbwa, he talked to Wallace Baine about making peace with the chaos.

And in a piece for our new Community Voices opinion section, Erica Aisha Charves writes about her experience as a Muslim in Santa Cruz.

Much to cover in this morning’s headlines, including California officials reacting to a leaked document that seems to foreshadow the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade, so let’s get to it.

Can Santa Cruz County build 13,000 housing units by 2031?

File image of construction site
(Via Pixabay)

Regional housing needs allocation (RHNA) numbers are a fancy way of putting a metric to an area’s need to build a certain number of additional housing units; the state is poised to tell Santa Cruz County that it will need to build nearly 13,000 more housing units by 2031. Local leaders past and present explained to Lookout that it’s more of a guideline than a mandate. Read what they told Grace Stetson.

RELATED: Affordable Housing Month gets into the affordability nitty-gritty (Lookout)

Keith Greeninger makes peace with the chaos

Musician Keith Greeninger
(Via Keith Greeninger)

Well-known Santa Cruz singer-songwriter Keith Greeninger emerges from the pandemic with new material, heading back onto to the stage Friday at Kuumbwa and then to festivals. Wallace Baine catches up.

MORE FROM WALLACE: How Made Fresh Crew is leaving its artistic mark, refreshing Santa Cruz’s visual landscape

I want to talk about Ramadan, but everyone wants to know why I wear a headscarf

Erica Aisha Charves
(Via Erica Aisha Charves)

It’s generally easy to be a Muslim in Santa Cruz, except when it’s not, Erica Aisha Charves writes. People often look at me strangely because I wear a headscarf. Ramadan, the holy month of fasting, which ended Sunday, reminds me to be patient and empathetic, and to continue to educate our community about Islam. Read her Community Voices piece here.

LOOKOUT’S NEW OPINION FORUM: Check out Community Voices here


Find all our Election 2022 coverage in one place

From candidates and issues in Santa Cruz County to statewide offices, Lookout and our content partners have you covered with the June 7 primary on the horizon. Dive in here.

COMMUNITY VOICES OP-EDS: Hear from local candidates and officials

With Roe v. Wade hanging in the balance, California gears up for a fight

A crowd gathers outside the Supreme Court
(Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times)

California officials and abortion providers spoke out after the leak of a purported U.S. Supreme Court draft opinion that would allow states to outlaw abortion. Get the latest from our partners at the Los Angeles Times.

LOCALLY: As California becomes an abortion sanctuary, Planned Parenthood readies itself for an influx of patients (Lookout)

COVID transmission rates rising in the Bay Area, but few severe cases

Data as of May 2
(Santa Cruz County Health Services Agency)

Infections are continuing to tick up in Santa Cruz County and across California amid the so-called “stealth Omicron” variant, but hospitalizations remain low. Get the latest data in our COVID dashboard.

RELATED: Here we go again: California coronavirus cases rising. Is a new wave coming? (Los Angeles Times)

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Around the county ...

Suspicious Santa Cruz death under investigation (Santa Cruz Sentinel)
Pajaro Valley High School founder honored with owl nest box (KION-TV)
Why Morro Bay is struggling to remove one of California’s great architectural missteps: a trio of smokestacks (SFGate)

Lots to chew over this Tuesday morning — and there’s more coming on that front later with another serving of Lily Belli’s food and drink newsletter. Sign up for that and our other newsletter and alerts offerings by visiting our Lookout Newsletter & Text Center, and keep tabs throughout the day by bookmarking our website and following us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

This local journalism just isn’t possible without community support, so if you’re not already, please consider becoming a Lookout member.

Thanks for reading — enjoy your Tuesday, and I shall see you back here tomorrow morning.

Will McCahill
Lookout Santa Cruz