Morning Lookout: Measure D op-eds, South County candidates in focus + downtown groundbreaking
Good morning, Santa Cruz County! It’s Thursday, May 19, and another sunny day is ahead — temperatures are headed into the 80s in some spots, and winds are forecast to pick up later on. Some of our Bay Area neighbors are facing a wind advisory tonight into tomorrow, and our friends at the National Weather Service have guidance we all should follow:
Stay safe out there, folks.
Meanwhile, I’ve got about 10 pounds of stories in a 5-pound bag this morning:
- Mark Conley took in Tuesday’s South County forum for candidates for State Assembly District 30 and 4th District Santa Cruz County Supervisor — here’s what he saw and heard.
- Measure D is never far from view as we head toward June’s election, and Lookout’s Community Voices opinion section brings us a pair of op-eds on the rail-trail debate today, with proponents making the case for a yes vote and opponents making the case for a no vote.
- And amid the swirl of development that’s remaking Santa Cruz’s downtown, a pair of projects are breaking ground today around lower Pacific Avenue, aiming to deliver on the promise of affordable housing — and Grace Stetson is on it.
There’s all that plus a look at Measure B, which seeks to raise the county’s transient occupancy tax, so let’s move along to today’s headlines.
Opinion: Vote yes on Measure D — let’s build a trail now
Measure D is the best chance Santa Cruz County has to build a safe and transit-oriented trail from Watsonville to Davenport. We dismiss the “deceptive” campaign slogans of our opponents and explain the facts and objective reports supporting our view. Greenway pits grassroots citizen activists against those who have held power and been wrong about the rail corridor for 35 years. Read the full Community Voices op-ed here.
➤ PREVIOUSLY: Opinion: Vote yes on Measure D (Community Voices op-ed)
Opinion: Vote no on Measure D — transportation justice demands a no vote
Measure D is inequitable and environmentally short-sighted. We believe Measure D will forever cut off North County and South County from alternate transportation and will reinforce disparities between north and south. Using the rail corridor for both rail and trail will unite us. Removing the tracks will pull us apart forever. Read the full Community Voices op-ed here.
➤ PREVIOUSLY: Opinion: Vote no on Measure D (Community Voices op-ed)
- Department Assistant - Human Resources (Short-Term) at Cabrillo College
- Assistant Director of Donor Relations at UC Santa Cruz
- Cloud Software Engineer at Fullpower
- Grants Manager at DigitalNEST
- Front Desk Receptionist at Yoso Wellness Spa
Local cred in the spotlight: Takeaways from Tuesday’s South County candidates forum
While Assembly District 30 contenders spent much of their time showing that they know this place where none of them resides, the homegrown District 4 county supervisor hopefuls differed mainly on their priorities and truly diverged on only one big issue. Hint: It involves the future of train transportation in Santa Cruz County. Here’s what Mark Conley saw and heard.
Pac Station South groundbreaking begins remake of Lower Pacific
As four new housing projects — aiming to add 185 units around lower Pacific Avenue and Front Street — begin to take shape, Pacific Station South gets going. Grace Stetson previews today’s groundbreakings downtown.
➤ HOUSING NUMBERS 101: Santa Cruz County has been told it must build 12,979 more units by 2031. Is that even possible? (Lookout)
Measure B: County Transient Occupancy Tax explained
Proponents view the measure as an opportunity to use Santa Cruz County’s large tourism revenue stream to fund essential services vital to the community’s well being, but some in the hospitality industry see the industry split as unfair. Max Chun sorts through it.
Wildlife officials truck chinook salmon to cooler waters in emergency move to help them spawn
Warming waters in Northern California have been lethal for winter-run salmon eggs; less than 3% hatched last year. Our partners at the Los Angeles Times report.
➤ MORE THREATS TO WILDLIFE: Scientists find new and mysterious DDT chemicals accumulating in California condors (Los Angeles Times)
Around the county ...
➤ Santa Cruz gives update on Highway 1, River Street intersection revamp (Santa Cruz Sentinel)
➤ Santa Cruz woman re-arrested and accused of selling vapes to teens (KSBW-TV)
➤ Watsonville youth equestrian team takes third at national finals (The Pajaronian)
➤ Invasive jumping worms have made their way into California, and scientists are worried (SFGate)
Now that is a packed morning update. And more is on the way, including Weekender, Wallace Baine’s newsletter hitting the high notes on the Santa Cruz County arts and entertainment scene. Trust me, you don’t want to miss it, so head over to our Lookout Newsletter & Text Center, where you can sign up for all the newsletters and alerts we offer. I’d also recommend you keep tabs throughout the day by bookmarking our website and following us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
And none of this is possible without community support — so if you’re not already, please consider becoming a Lookout member, and spread the word.
Attack this Thursday with an enthusiasm unknown to mankind, and let’s reconvene tomorrow morning!
Lookout Santa Cruz