The UCSC Arboretum's corpse flower pre-bloom
(Via UCSC Arboretum / Instagram)
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Morning Lookout: Waiting on UCSC’s corpse flower; fighting sex trafficking in Santa Cruz

Greetings, friends and neighbors! It’s Thursday, July 28, and another sunny day is on tap in Santa Cruz County, with highs in the 90s in the hills and as low as the 60s where the marine layer is apt to linger.

At UC Santa Cruz, a stink could be rising at any time along with the temperatures — the UCSC Arboretum’s corpse flower is just about ready to bloom, and Hillary Ojeda has an update from campus, including on extended post-bloom hours at the arboretum.

In our Community Voices opinion section, meanwhile, the co-founder of an organization that seeks to raise awareness about sex trafficking writes about her group’s mission and the reception riders on its annual Seattle-to-San Diego cycling trek have gotten in Santa Cruz.

To the headlines ...

Has the UCSC corpse flower bloomed yet? Not yet, but it’s close

The corpse flower prepares to bloom at the UC Santa Cruz Arboretum.
(Hillary Ojeda / Lookout Santa Cruz)

For more than a week, the UC Santa Cruz Arboretum has been informing the public about its corpse flower’s progress, as it’s expected to bloom for the first time since it was planted 10 years ago. Arboretum Director Martin Quigley said it could bloom Thursday night or Friday night — unleashing the dreadful smell that gives it its nickname. It typically blooms for about 24 hours before it begins disintegrating. Get the details here from Hillary Ojeda.

MORE FROM THE ARBORETUM: You dress for our weather — buy plants for our climate, too (Martin Quigley via Lookout’s Community Voices)

Teenagers regularly get manipulated into sex work — ‘even in beautiful places like Santa Cruz’

The 2022 Pedal the Pacific team spent three days in Santa Cruz in July.
(Via Savannah Lovelace)

A team of 11 young women is spreading awareness about sex trafficking by pedaling 1,700 miles down the West Coast — from Seattle to San Diego — and has a special fondness for Santa Cruz, where the team recently spent three days. Pedal the Pacific co-founder Savannah Lovelace and her teammates want communities to know that trafficking is not a “developing nation” problem. It’s happening across California and the Pacific Coast, Lovelace writes, even right here in Santa Cruz. Read her full Community Voices opinion piece here.

HAVE SOMETHING TO SAY? Here’s how to contribute to Community Voices

DAILY DIGEST

That ought to get your Thursday off and running. Your thoughts might be turning to the weekend, though, and Wallace Baine has read your mind — he’ll be along in a few hours with Weekender, his weekly look at Santa Cruz’s arts and entertainment scene, so bookmark Lookout and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to stay in the loop.

Our vital local journalism just isn’t possible without community support, so if you’re not already, please consider becoming a Lookout member — and spread the word about what we’re doing.

Forward into Thursday — I’ve got your back!

Will McCahill
Lookout Santa Cruz