The crowd outside the downtown Santa Cruz courthouse Tuesday.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)
Latest News

Morning Lookout: Abortion rights rally, former mayors speak and good trouble at UCSC

Hello, Lookout friends! Today is Wednesday, May 4, and we’ve got another mostly sunny day ahead, with highs in the 70s and 80s around Santa Cruz County.

Much to get to this morning:

To the headlines!

Santa Cruzans react quickly to threat of Roe v. Wade overturning

The crowd outside the downtown Santa Cruz courthouse Tuesday.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

On six hours’ notice, more than 200 people met at the Santa Cruz county courthouse Tuesday, protesting fast-moving restrictions across the country on abortion access — and the news that the U.S. Supreme Court is about to strike down the decision that has assured a women’s right to choose for 49 years. Grace Stetson reports.

MORE FROM LOCAL ACTIVISTS: ‘It’s really unknown territory’: Longtime Planned Parenthood leaders look back — and forward (Lookout)

A four-year mayor? Santa Cruz’s past mayors weigh in

Previous Santa Cruz mayors (from left to right: David Terrazas, Martine Watkins, Donna Meyers, Don Lane, and Cynthia Mathews)
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz and Brereton, Mohamed & Terrazas LLP)

Is having a four-year mayor a good idea? The June 7 primary ballot will give voters the choice of whether to create an at-large elected mayor position who serves a four-year term, or to keep the role as it stands currently. Five of Santa Cruz’s previous mayors share their thoughts on the potential change. Here’s what they told Max Chun.

RELATED: District maps decided upon for new-look Santa Cruz voting system; so what happens next? (Lookout)
MORE LOCAL AND STATE POLITICS COVERAGE: Check out our Election 2022 section here

UCSC readies for ‘good trouble’ as it dedicates a college to John Lewis

Flora Lu (right), a UCSC environmental studies professor, with students
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

John R. Lewis’ life and commitment to social justice, from the streets of Alabama to the halls of Congress, are legendary. Now, UC Santa Cruz’s College Ten takes on his name with a ceremony Friday, and charts new paths in social activism and positive social change. Hillary Ojeda talked to administrators and students.

PREVIOUSLY: UCSC College Ten to be named in honor of civil rights icon John R. Lewis (Lookout)

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Pesto King comes to Mentone, cherry challenges and (rumors of) a new Garlic Festival?

"Pesto King" chef Roberto Panizza is coming to Mentone May 14-15
(Via Facebook)

In her latest food and drink newsletter, Lily Belli has news on big pesto happenings in Aptos, an update on local cherries and salmon, and breaks down an odd chapter in the Gilroy Garlic Festival saga. Find it all here.

MORE FROM LILY: All of Lookout’s food & drink coverage in one place

With water running out, California sees no relief from drought thanks to La Niña

U.S. Drought Monitor released April 28.
(Paul Duginski / Los Angeles Times)

La Niña was expected to dissipate, but it could linger through the summer. That’s bad news for drought- and wildfire-prone California. Read more from our partners at the Los Angeles Times.

FROM LAST MONTH: April storms make small dent in California’s drought, but it’s not enough (Los Angeles Times)

Happening tonight: A gathering of (AI) knuckleheads

An Amazon Echo Dot, enabled with the voice tech we're familiar with as Alexa.
(Via Amazon)

What is AI? And where is it taking us? We talk with entrepreneur and gadfly G. Craig Vachon, who leads a panel discussion tonight at the Kuumbwa Jazz Center about the perils and promise of artificial intelligence. Here’s Wallace Baine’s Q&A with Vachon.

WANT MORE WALLACE? Find all of his columns in one place


Around the county ...

Volunteer Center’s annual awards ceremony returns May 18 (The Pajaronian)
Monterey Bay F.C. recruits Santa Cruz County players (Good Times)
Cabrillo women’s beach volleyball team qualifies for state championships (Santa Cruz Sentinel)
Police apprehend climber at top of San Francisco’s Salesforce Tower (SFGate)

That’s it for the moment — but with more Lookout goodies in the oven, you’ll want to keep tabs throughout the day by bookmarking our website and following us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. If you’re enjoying our coverage, please tell your family and friends about our Lookout Newsletter & Text Center, where they can sign up for all the newsletters and alerts we offer.

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Happy Star Wars Day, and May the Fourth be with you!

Will McCahill
Lookout Santa Cruz