An outdoor dining parklet outside Hula's Island Grill on Cathcart Street in downtown Santa Cruz
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)
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Morning Lookout: UC strike watch, Santa Cruz County parklets update and growing up trans

A chilly good morning, Lookout friends. It is Monday, Nov. 14, and a sunny day has dawned around Santa Cruz County, with high temps heading into the 50s and 60s after dipping into the 30s overnight.

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We’re kicking off the new week with a survey of the parklet scene around Santa Cruz County, with Thomas Sawano delivering an update on what the pandemic-era outdoor dining areas might look like from Santa Cruz to Capitola to Watsonville — and how restaurant owners are reacting to the process.

Hillary Ojeda, meanwhile, has a Lookout Q&A with transgender activist Reyes Morales Warne, who talks about growing up in Santa Cruz County and making it through the ups and downs to land in college.

While the Election 2022 votes are still being counted — another update is expected from the county clerk’s office Monday afternoon — Ami Chen Mills writes in a Community Voices opinion piece that Santa Cruz’s progressives need to come together better to overcome fundraising disadvantages.

And of course we’re monitoring another big story as we start the week: a strike by University of California graduate students that will hit UC Santa Cruz and across the university system. Check back with Lookout throughout the day, and keep reading for how to follow us on social media.

Monday’s headlines also include Wallace Baine on Santa Cruz’s Walt Whitman and a Community Voices op-ed from a retired teacher focused on stopping the spraying of pesticides near residential neighborhoods, so come along as we hit the highlights.

Santa Cruz County’s parklets are here to stay. What will they look like now?

Reef Dog Deli in Capitola Village.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

With COVID-19 restrictions over, Santa Cruz County’s restaurants are at a crossroads: Should they keep their outdoor, pandemic-era dining spaces, even as jurisdictions require more permanent setups? It’s a question of dollars and cents — punctuated by the changing faces of the county’s downtowns. Thomas Sawano reports.

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‘I truly never thought I’d make it to this point’

Reyes Morales Warne at the University of Oregon on Nov. 11, 2022.
(Via Reyes Morales Warne)

Reyes Morales Warne says growing up transgender in Santa Cruz County had its positives and its negatives. While finishing up his first quarter at the University of Oregon, he told Lookout about the challenges, how he got through it and his proudest accomplishment. Read the full Q&A here.

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And just like that, a new week is off and running. Given the potential for disruptive ripples from the UC strike, you’ll want to follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to keep tabs on everything that’s going on around Santa Cruz County — and click right here to sign up for breaking news alerts and our other newsletters.

None of our content is possible without community support — so if you’re not already, please becoming a Lookout member.

Have a great Monday!

Will McCahill
Lookout Santa Cruz