More than 3,000 donuts are made daily at the Original Ferrell's Donuts in Live Oak.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)
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Morning Lookout: Challenge to downtown library project; finding the original Ferrell’s

Good morning, Lookout friends! Today is Monday, May 9, and the forecast calls for a mostly sunny day around Santa Cruz County, with highs in the upper 50s and low 60s.

Downtown Santa Cruz is the focus this morning, the mixed-use library project in particular. The long-planned development has been on track to start construction as soon as next summer, but now a challenge to the plan could go before city voters in November, Grace Stetson reports. Grace also has a Q&A with John Hall, one of the leaders of the Our Downtown, Our Future group that’s behind the would-be ballot measure.

Today also brings the latest installment of Liza Monroy’s Santa Cruz Parenting column, with Liza relating what her teacher husband has taught her about being a mom.

Meanwhile, if you were thinking of grabbing a donut on the way to work this morning, you’ll certainly want to read Lily Belli’s deep dive on which, exactly, is the original Ferrell’s Donuts. A wild ride.

And a new piece for our Community Voices opinion section, Victoria Tatum writes about the challenges she and her family have faced in getting services for her son, Eliot, who has autism.

Wallace Baine also previews a monster-focused event at UC Santa Cruz, so let’s get to that and all of Monday’s headlines.

A new challenge to Santa Cruz’s downtown mixed-use library building

One of the latest renderings of the downtown mixed-use library project
(Via City of Santa Cruz)

The downtown mixed-use library project has been in motion for development since 2016, with construction of the new library planned to begin as early as next summer. Opponents — forming the group Our Downtown, Our Future — now aim to put a ballot measure before city voters this fall to block it. Lookout tackles the questions voters will likely consider. Grace Stetson has an overview.

EARLIER: Santa Cruz will provide more design details on the new downtown library (Lookout)

John Hall on downtown library initiative: ‘We are not about blocking things’

John Hall of Our Downtown, Our Future.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

As the Our Downtown, Our Future group waits for approval for a voter measure for November to challenge the current new downtown library proposal, one of its leaders explains its opposition. Read his Q&A with Grace.


I accidentally married a parenting expert

Liza Monroy (right) with husband Jason and their two daughters
(Via Liza Monroy)

In her latest Santa Cruz Parenting column, Liza Monroy explains what her husband, a special education teacher, has taught her about being a mom, and relays his top tips and strategies. Check it out here.

MORE FROM LIZA: Nine fun places for kids’ — in-person! — group classes around Santa Cruz County

Wait, which is the real original Ferrell’s Donuts?

Local chain Ferrell's Donuts has more than 70 years of history in Santa Cruz County.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

Seventy-three years ago, the first Ferrell’s started satisfying local tastes. Now there are five of them around the county, but answering that question of what’s “original” led us on a wild trek. Here’s what Lily Belli found.

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


Mr. W: What my autistic son has taught me about motherhood

Victoria Tatum with son Eliot (right) and daughter Carly
(Via Victoria Tatum)

Victoria Tatum has spent more than two decades fighting for services for her autistic son, Eliot. As her son became a teen, his anxiety made him increasingly violent. She thinks Santa Cruz families need better intervention, sooner, for families with special needs. Find her Community Voices piece here.

SANTA CRUZ’S NEW OPINION FORUM: Explore our new Community Voices section

For one weekend, UCSC becomes Monsters U

An illustration of a monster
(Via UC Santa Cruz Center for Monster Studies)

The UC Santa Cruz Festival of Monsters, slated for May 20-22, asks big questions about the figures, sliding between life and death, that have captured the human imagination for centuries. Wallace Baine has a preview.

MORE FROM WALLACE: Find all of his columns in one place

It’s not even summer, and California’s two largest reservoirs are at ‘critically low’ levels

A houseboat is beached at Shasta Lake in late June 2021, amid a parched summer
(Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)

Shasta Lake is at less than half of normal levels. Lake Oroville, the largest reservoir in the State Water Project, is at 55% of total capacity. Our partners at the Los Angeles Times report.

DEALING WITH DROUGHT: One way around California’s water restrictions: Recycle water from your laundry (Los Angeles Times)

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Around the county ...

Ground broken on SLVHS’ technical ed buildings (The Press Banner)
Local students shine in congressional art contest (Santa Cruz Sentinel)
Meta’s first-ever retail store just opened in the Bay Area. Here’s what it’s like. (SFGate)

And that’ll get you fueled up to take on a new week. 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. You can also keep tabs throughout the day by bookmarking our website and following us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

To ensure you’re staying informed about all the goings-on in Santa Cruz, consider becoming a Lookout member. Our content isn’t possible without community support.

Now get out there and show Monday who’s boss!

Will McCahill
Lookout Santa Cruz