Guy Preston, executive director of the Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commission
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)
Latest News

Morning Lookout: Arming voters on D and transitional kindergarten options explained

Hello, friends! It’s Thursday, June 2, and a mix of sun and clouds is in store today for Santa Cruz County, with highs generally in the 70s.

We’re in the final week before balloting ends, with Measure D taking up much of the local election bandwidth. The rail-trail puzzle also takes up plenty of bandwidth for Guy Preston, and Mark Conley talked to the executive director of the Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commission in an attempt to sort through all the noise.

Another issue facing voters in the city of Santa Cruz is dividing the city up into voting districts, on the ballot in the form of Measure E. Our neighbors on the other side of the bay have recently gone through a similar process, and Monterey City Councilmember Tyller Williamson gives us his take in a Community Voices op-ed.

We also learned yesterday of a flap in the 4th District Santa Cruz County Supervisor’s race, with the local Democratic Party filing a cease-and-desist order against candidate Jimmy Dutra over what it says is a dishonest mailer.

And school might be out for the summer, but there’s plenty from education correspondent Hillary Ojeda: She explains how new expanded transitional kindergarten program offers parents more choice, and more quandaries; Hillary also profiles Ray Diaz, who packed a wealth of community organizing into his first year at UC Santa Cruz and has plans for much more.

To the headlines!

The Measure D middle man

Guy Preston is helping vet an interim plan and an ultimate plan.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

The Regional Transportation Commission is the entity tasked with letting us move about Santa Cruz County in smarter and more efficient ways. The man leading the exploratory charge as the nonpartisan director of RTC staff has had the most difficult task of his professional life with both sides of the Measure D issue digging in deep with win-at-all-costs attitudes. But Guy Preston vows to block out the noise and keep plowing ahead with clear eyes, arming the RTC voting board with the best information he can provide. First he wants to arm voters. Mark Conley goes deep.

MUCH MORE ON MEASURE D: From funding to key leaders to opinion from Community Voices, find all of Lookout’s coverage here

How the new expanded transitional kindergarten program offers parents more choice — and more quandaries

A child pumps out hand sanitizer in a kindergarten classroom.
(Al Seib / Los Angeles Times)

Leaders say they understand the challenges parents now face in choosing early education in Santa Cruz County. Lookout put together a guide for parents on navigating the new choice-full landscape. Get details from Hillary Ojeda.

BACKGROUND: Welcome to the TK challenge: Transitional kindergarten comes with benefits to families, difficulties for administrators (Lookout)


UCSC rising sophomore Ray Diaz brings student, worker issues to the forefront

UC Santa Cruz student Ray Diaz
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

As Ray Diaz finishes his first year at UC Santa Cruz — which included a run for student body president and meeting Angela Davis — he’s finally taking a breath and realizing he “did do a lot.” He’s got a dorm room full of mementos to remind him of just how much he’s done, and how much he still wants to do. Hillary profiles him here.

MORE FROM CAMPUS: Time names UCSC professor Karen Miga one of its 100 most influential people of 2022 (Lookout)

Monterey survived redistricting; Santa Cruz can, too

Monterey City Councilmember Tyller Williamson
(Via Tyller Williamson)

Tyller Williamson, a city councilmember in Monterey, sees redistricting as good for minority communities because it allows them more representation. He also “cautiously supports” an at-large mayor. Monterey transitioned to district elections in November and is still working out the kinks. He’s watching Santa Cruz optimistically and says our two cities can learn from each other. Read his full Community Voices opinion piece here.

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Read what Santa Cruzans are saying about Measure D and more
MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD: Find out how to contribute

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Santa Cruz County Democratic Central Committee files cease-and-desist order against Jimmy Dutra

A controversial Jimmy Dutra mailer
(Via Andrew Goldenkranz)

Election Day is in less than a week, and some candidates are making a last-ditch effort to get votes. For Jimmy Dutra, running for Santa Cruz County Supervisor, however, that effort could result in both confusion and litigious action. Grace Stetson reports.

DOWN THE STRETCH: Check out our election guide

Around the county ...

Watsonville homicide defendants plead not guilty (Santa Cruz Sentinel)
County kicks off summer wheelchair basketball program (The Pajaronian)
4.1 earthquake wakes up the San Francisco Bay Area on Thursday morning (SFGate)
Three key Warriors players “questionable” for tonight’s Game 1 of NBA Finals (San Jose Mercury News)

A full plate for a Thursday morning, to be sure — and if your thoughts are turning toward the end of the workweek, well, Lookout has you covered there, too. Wallace Baine returns later today with his Weekender newsletter, and you can get his expert recommendations and more from the arts and entertainment scene by clicking over to our Lookout Newsletter & Text Center. As always, keep tabs throughout the day by bookmarking our website and following us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

And what better way to build up some good weekend karma than by supporting local journalism? Our content isn’t possible without community support, so if you’re not already, please consider becoming a Lookout member.

Now get out there and make it a great day!

Will McCahill
Lookout Santa Cruz