Catherine Barr, the executive director of Monterey Bay Certified Farmers Markets.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)
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Morning Lookout: Mental health leader’s lived experience; the force behind Aptos farmers market

Top of the morning to you, readers! It’s Wednesday, Sept. 14, and another mostly sunny day lies ahead for Santa Cruz County, with highs in just the 60s and 70s — blissfully comfortable after our recent heat wave (and something to savor with another one possibly on the way).

Plenty to explore on Lookout, and I won’t mind if you want to strike out on your own.
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If you’re still with me, I’ve got plenty to tell you about as we hit hump day.

Mark Conley has a Q&A with Xaloc Cabanes, whose lived experience with anxiety, drug dependence and domestic abuse informs his role as chair of the county’s mental health advisory board.

In another Lookout Q&A, Lily Belli catches up with Catherine Barr, director of Monterey Bay Certified Farmers Markets, who talks about how the Aptos market at Cabrillo College has grown into our county’s largest and what’s ahead. (And for much more on all our local farmers markets, be sure to hit up our definitive guide.)

Max Chun delivers news from local politics, with Bodie Shargel dropping out of the race for the District 4 seat on the Santa Cruz City Council and throwing his support to fellow progressive Hector Marin.

And with the Santa Cruz County Fair kicking off, we’ve got a special perk for Lookout members: The first three members who email Jamie Keil, our director of student engagement and membership, will each get two tickets to the fair. (And if you’re not a Lookout member, now’s a good time — sign up here!)

There is lots more in Wednesday’s headlines, including the city of Santa Cruz beginning to clear the Benchlands homeless encampment and city workers authorizing a strike, so let’s take a look.

The ‘wounded healer’ who is helping Santa Cruz County through a time of mental health crisis

Xaloc Cabanes thinks of himself as a "wounded healer."
(Mark Conley / Lookout Santa Cruz)

Xaloc Cabanes has survived a lot — and applied it, heading Santa Cruz County’s mental health advisory board. His “lived experience” leads the way as society deals with numerous challenges, old and new. Read his full Q&A with Mark Conley here.

ONE-ON-ONE WITH LOCAL NEWSMAKERS: Find all our Lookout Q&As here

‘We’re kind of a big family’: Inside the Aptos farmers market, Santa Cruz County’s first and biggest

Catherine Barr, the executive director of Monterey Bay Certified Farmers Markets.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

For 30 years, Catherine Barr has managed the market, from its infancy hosting 15 scrappy farmers to now 70 and thriving each Saturday. As the pandemic ebbs, she outlines the market’s innovations, including a new cookbook exchange this year, a revived chef series and do-it-yourself crafts. Lily Belli has the Q&A.

DEFINITIVE GUIDE TO LOCAL FARMERS MARKETS: From locations to tips, frequently asked questions and profiles of vendors, we’ve got the goods on Santa Cruz County’s thriving scene

DAILY DIGEST

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A lot to digest on this Wednesday. More is on the way, too, so a good plan would be to bookmark Lookout and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram — you won’t miss a thing.

And none of what we do is possible without community support — so if you’re not already, please consider becoming a Lookout member.

Enjoy what’s shaping up to be a beautiful Wednesday, and I’ll meet you back here in the morning.

Will McCahill
Lookout Santa Cruz