Nat Young shows off the tribute to his mom Rosie.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)
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Morning Lookout: Nat Young stares down J-Bay; drought, wildfire in composition

Good morning, everybody!

Today is Tuesday, July 12, and we’re looking at another beautiful day of mild temperatures in the low- to mid-70s throughout most of Santa Cruz County.

It’s Mark filling in for Will again and I have the honor of promoting my own copy today, so please excuse that in advance. If you love a good comeback story, then Nat Young is right up your alley.

Nat is among the most successful athletes this area has ever produced and he’s getting a second chance at competing against the world’s best. But it has been anything but easy for him.

I had the chance to go deep on some topics with him before the season began. And now that he’s putting together an impressive season, and on the cusp of requalifying for 2023, it seemed like a good time to roll that to the world.

Of course, my guy Wallace also has a great tale about a homegrown talent, so keep on reading into the headlines...

Nat Young, Santa Cruz’s most accomplished pro surfer, seems to have re-found his flow

Nat Young found a hometown Santa Cruz company to be his next wetsuit sponsor in Buell.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

He is the top professional wave rider that Surf City has ever produced. But hanging onto your spot among the World Surf League’s top competitors is no small feat and Young’s tumultuous land life — watching his mom Rosie lose an extended battle with cancer — took a severe toll on his psyche. Sixteen months after her death, Young’s spirited and meditative comeback is in full swing. And this is only Chapter 1. My chat with Nat is here.

PREVIOUSLY: The Comeback Kid: Santa Cruz surfer Nat Young scratches back onto the world tour in honor of his mom

Santa Cruz composer reflects on California’s new climate normal in ‘The End of Rain’

Composer Scott Ordway
(Via Michael Altobello)

Santa Cruz native Scott Ordway will be on hand July 29 when the Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music presents the world premiere of his multimedia meditation on life amid the threats of drought and wildfire. Wallace with the story here.

CZU, One Year Later: For all of our one-year anniversary stories, go here.

Santa Cruz’s parking garage mistake: It would undermine library project, make affordable housing harder

Jason Architecture's rendering of the renovated Santa Cruz library at its existing location
(courtesy of Rick Longinotti)

Santa Cruz voters delivered a historic “no” vote on Measure F last month. Rick Longinotti attributes this to mistrust in city government. Longinotti believes city staff buried a consultant’s downtown parking strategic plan to win city council support for a new parking garage to be constructed along with a new downtown library. Read Longinotti’s Community Voices piece here.

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New variants, particularly BA.5, pushing a surge; but cases seem to be less serious

College Ten students Cheru Robinson and Ray Diaz start the John R. Lewis dedication ceremony at the Quarry Amphitheater
(Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times)

COVID Dashboard: New omicron subvariants appear to be driving yet another surge, but cases continue to be less severe as a whole than previously in the pandemic. See the latest numbers here.

COVID: Are widespread layoffs coming? How the pandemic has changed employers’ recession strategy

First image from NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope reveals thousands of galaxies in stunning detail

Students from Miguel Contreras Learning Center high school in Los Angeles demonstrate in front of City Hall

A new look: NASA reveals the first images from the James Webb Space Telescope, its $10-billion successor to Hubble. The LA Times with the details.


Cal State’s Black students are falling behind other groups — and poor graduation data obscures the crisis

Illustration by Miguel Gutierrez Jr., CalMatters; iStock

The way the Cal State system presents graduation rates obscures how the system is failing its Black students, a Cal Matters reports shows.

ICYMI: On self-care — and date night! — for Santa Cruz parents

Bikini lady pic
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

Local tips: More than ever, COVID-beleaguered parents need “Waves of Self Care: It Takes a Village,” the new book by Capitola’s Jaime McFaden. And Lookout parenting columnist Liza Monroy helps out with a half-dozen tips on how to arrange a date night around Santa Cruz County. Read Liza’s latest here.

THE OMICRON EXPERIENCE: Families with young children — including mine — still face pandemic purgatories


Around the area ...

San Jose man to face trial in Santa Cruz child drug, sex abuse case (Sentinel)
New details in case against man accused of killing Salinas cheer coach (KSBW)
Flood prevention, safety upgrades underway at mouth of San Lorenzo River (KSBW)
Hollister woman wins $5 million off lotto scratcher (KION)

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Have a great day!

Mark Conley
Lookout Santa Cruz