A neon sign outside the Santa Cruz Roller Palladium of a roller skate with wings
(Nik Altenberg / Lookout Santa Cruz)
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Morning Lookout: A long-held abortion story; roller skaters’ challenges, Dylan and Measure E

Greetings and salutations! Today is Tuesday, May 17, and the forecast calls for mostly sunny skies around Santa Cruz County, with highs in the 70s.

Lots on our plate this morning, and we start with a Community Voices opinion piece from Peggy Flynn, who writes for the first time about her decision to have an abortion in the 1980s, when she was in her 20s. “I’ve never regretted my decision, not once,” she writes.

Lookout’s Election 2022 coverage continues, meanwhile, with a look at Measure E, which will split the city of Santa Cruz into either six or seven voting districts and could add a directly elected mayor. Max Chun explains.

And the COVID-19 pandemic has fueled a boost in roller skating, but without a dedicated, free outdoor public space, Santa Cruz County skaters are pushing for changes, Nik Altenberg reports.

Oh, and Bob Dylan is coming to town, so stick around for that and all of today’s headlines.

I’ve never talked about my abortion. It’s time.

Peggy Flynn awarding a winning bid during the 2022 Homeless Garden Project auction
(Via Anna Hattis)

Peggy Flynn had an abortion in the 1980s, when she was in her 20s and single. She never told her family. She has also never regretted it, nor had children. She is talking about it now — for the first time — because she is horrified at the leaked Supreme Court decision, which, if finalized, could overturn nearly 50 years of case law. Women have to speak up, she says. All women deserve control over their bodies and the right to decide what constitutes a fulfilling life. Find her Community Voices op-ed.

SANTA CRUZ’S NEW OPINION FORUM: Explore Community Voices here

As roller skating picks up speed, finding dependable spaces no easy trick for Santa Cruz skaters

Roller skaters gather at Scotts Valley Skate Park
(Nik Altenberg / Lookout Santa Cruz)

The pandemic-driven surge in popularity has highlighted the lack of skating infrastructure in Santa Cruz County, something local groups — and a key ally in Santa Cruz Mayor Sonja Brunner — are working to change in a lasting way. A petition drive is gaining steam. Nik Altenberg examines the scene.

MORE: Skating through a pandemic, finding joy on the other side — and sharing it on Instagram (Lookout)


Measure E: Santa Cruz City District Elections explained

A proposed map for the six-district system should Measure E pass
(Via City of Santa Cruz)

Some see the potential change as a means for leadership that represents the whole community in a four-year mayor; others are too worried about the implications of the chosen redistricting maps to approve of the measure. Max Chun explains.

Measure C: County Disposable Cup Tax explained
Measure F: Santa Cruz City Sales and Use Tax explained

Bob Dylan coming to Civic

The poster for Bob Dylan's tour stop June 23 in Santa Cruz
(Via Another Planet Entertainment)

Bob Dylan rolls into Santa Cruz on June 23, with the soon-to-be-81-year-old bringing his “Rough and Rowdy Ways” tour to the Civic Auditorium. Tickets go on sale Thursday. Wallace Baine is on it.

DOWN THE LINE: Check out Wallace’s expertly curated list of all the big events headed our way

COVID Dashboard: Bay Area health officials urge caution amid surge

Dr. Susan Wu chats with Kimberli Samuel and her 7-year-old daughter Amelle Samuel
(Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times)

“There’s a lot of COVID out there right now, so it’s time to take more precautionary measures to protect yourself and your loved ones,” Santa Cruz County Health Officer Gail Newel said in a recent news release. Get the latest local data here.

MORE: Is Paxlovid, the COVID pill, reaching those who most need it? The government won’t say (Kaiser Health News)

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California properties at risk of wildfire expected to see sixfold increase in 30 years

A neighborhood destroyed by fire
(Via CalMatters)

Just over 100,000 properties in the state currently have a 1% or greater annual chance of being affected by wildfire. The number is expected to reach about 600,000 by 2052, according to new research. Our partners at the Los Angeles Times report on the findings.

LOOKOUT’S WILDFIRE RESOURCE CENTER: Everything you need to be prepared before, during and after a wildfire

‘Like torture’: For Californians with special needs, getting to see a dentist can take years

Namirah Jones, 19, brushes her teeth at home with her mom, Mia Costley,
(Lauren Justice for CalMatters)

Tens of thousands of Californians with disabilities require special accommodations for dental care, but only 14 centers in the state can treat them. Read more from our partners at CalMatters.

FROM COMMUNITY VOICES: Mr. W: What my autistic son has taught me about motherhood (Victoria Tatum)

Around the county ...

Street vendor regulations ramp up in Santa Cruz (City On A Hill Press)
Pacific Grove Unified School District to reinstate mask mandate (KSBW-TV)
Eataly Silicon Valley sets opening date for three-story Italian food emporium (San Jose Mercury News)
A possum in the press box is just the latest problem for the A’s (SFGate)

Much to chew on this Tuesday morning — and this being Tuesday, that means another newsletter from our food and drink maven, Lily Belli, will be hitting inboxes within hours. Want your inbox to be one of them? Click over to our Lookout Newsletter & Text Center to sign up for newsletters from Lily, Wallace Baine and more, plus breaking news alerts. You can also keep tabs throughout the day by bookmarking our website and following us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

And you can play a part in supporting all of this local journalism! If you’re not already, please consider becoming a Lookout member. Our content isn’t possible without community support.

Enjoy your Tuesday — see you all back here tomorrow!

Will McCahill
Lookout Santa Cruz