Wayne Shaffer speaks to guests on the Fourth of July.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)
Latest News

Morning Lookout: ‘Grim’ fire outlook, a local anti-abortion voice and weekend bubbles

Good morning, friends. Today is Friday, July 8, and Santa Cruz County is warming up as we head into the weekend, with the forecast calling for highs in the 70s and 80s.

The fireworks of July Fourth might be behind us, but as Cal Fire’s local chief reminded local officials recently, that doesn’t mean we can let our guard down on fire season. The danger is “grim as always,” Nate Armstrong says, and as Hillary Ojeda reports, firefighters are working hard to get ahead of threats.

The Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade remains top of mind for many, and with voices on the pro-life side muffled in Santa Cruz County, often by choice, Mark Conley profiles Wayne Shaffer, a longtime community fixture in providing services for women in need of food, shelter and assistance in bringing their babies to term.

And with the weekend upon us, Lily Belli is back with another helping of Eaters Digest, recommending some fizzy offerings from Birichino winery, previewing the return of a beloved local beer festival and more.

Without further delay, to the headlines ...

‘I lose sleep over this’

Wayne Shaffer shows off one of the sacramental shrines strewn about Shaffer Park.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

Santa Cruz’s Wayne Shaffer doesn’t strike you as any sort of modern political activist on the front lines of the post-Roe v. Wade battlefront. He is, however, a longtime community fixture in providing services for women in need of food, shelter and assistance in bringing their babies to term. Shaffer admits this can be a hard place to convince others to agree with his religious convictions and social conservatism, but that hasn’t prevented him from trying to spread the gospel as he knows it. Mark Conley catches up with him.

MORE: Find all of Lookout’s coverage of the Supreme Court’s decision overturning Roe and local reaction, plus opinion from our Community Voices section

Fire danger looking ‘grim as always’: Cal Fire CZU chief talks prevention efforts as warmer weather looms

Cal Fire Unit Chief Nate Armstrong
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

Northern California and the state as a whole have so far avoided having a fire season similar to the past several years. But despite the encouraging trend, local Cal Fire chief Nate Armstrong told the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors last week that the next couple of months have above-normal fire potential. Hillary Ojeda has the details.

ANOTHER LOCAL CHIEF: People call the fire department for everything: A Q&A with new Santa Cruz fire chief Rob Oatey (Lookout)

A pét-nat parade at Birichino, Hop N’ Barley beer festival returns and a new culinary cozy

Pétillant naturel wines are a specialty at Birichino winery.
(Lookout Santa Cruz)

Birichino winery is putting its own spin on fizzy, fun pét-nats, a beloved local beer festival returns to Scotts Valley and a chance to experience the as-yet-unopened Trout Farm Inn from your yoga mat — it’s all here in this week’s Eaters Digest.

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


Weekender: A return to Boomeria, cozying up with Nick Offerman and a Cement Ship earworm

Inside "the Chapel" at Boomeria during the 2021 baroque festival.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

Another happening weekend is upon us, and Wallace Baine has all the details from Santa Cruz County’s arts and entertainment scene in his latest Weekender newsletter. Find it here.

LOOKOUT’S FULL EVENTS CALENDAR: BOLO, your place to go for things to do

As monkeypox spreads in California, LGBTQ community demands urgent action

A rendering of the virus that causes monkeypox.
(Via Pixabay)

California community health and LGBTQ rights leaders are demanding a much more aggressive response to monkeypox from government and health agencies. Our partners at the Los Angeles Times report.

LOCALLY: First probable monkeypox case in Santa Cruz County diagnosed (Lookout)

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Around the county ...

Caltrans to stabilize eroded Highway 17 slope near Scotts Valley (Santa Cruz Sentinel)
Santa Cruz County residents encouraged to buy NOAA emergency weather radios (KSBW-TV)
Rene Mendez off to running start as Watsonville city manager (The Pajaronian)

That’ll do it for this Friday morning. Bookmark our website and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to keep tabs throughout the day and into the weekend, and swing by our Lookout Newsletter & Text Center to sign up for our other newsletters, breaking news alerts and more.

What better way to bank some good karma than by supporting the local journalism that’s so crucial to a functioning democracy, right? We rely on community support to produce all our content, so if you’re not already, please consider becoming a Lookout member. Tell your friends, too!

Enjoy your Friday, and have a safe, relaxing weekend!

Will McCahill
Lookout Santa Cruz