Jen Hastings
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)
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Morning Lookout: An unsung hero in trans care, 2022 retrospectives and a festive Eaters Digest

Soggy greetings to you, dear readers. It’s Friday, Dec. 30, and more of the wet stuff is on tap for Santa Cruz County through Saturday, with the forecast calling for sunny break on New Year’s Day.

There’s a ton of new Lookout content to find, and if you want to do that at your own pace, get after it.
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Transgender and reproductive health care made headlines across the country in 2022, and a key driver of positive change here in Santa Cruz County has been Jen Hastings. The physician with a unique view of health care is the subject of the latest in our Unsung Santa Cruz series, via a Max Chun profile.

Spotlighting prominent people Santa Cruz County lost this year, Wallace Baine’s year-end Remembrance 2022 series wraps up, with vignettes featuring impactful activists, artists and many more.

The retrospectives continue in Eaters Digest, with Lily Belli looking back at the best of what she ate and drank in 2022, and with Lookout correspondents picking their favorite stories of the past year and explaining why.

And as the fentanyl epidemic continues to hammer Santa Cruz County, Kate Hull looks at an effort to get the opioid antagonist Narcan into local bars and nightclubs, another story you can find below. So let’s get to those headlines one last time in 2022, shall we?

A community looks back at those we lost

Artist Liz Lyons Friedman, Shakespeare matchmaker Audrey Stanley, activist Gloria Nieto and poet Robert Sward are among the Santa Cruz County community members Wallace Baine remembers as he wraps up his year-end series. Find his vignettes here.

REMEMBRANCE 2022: Read the whole series

Beyond trans and reproductive health care, Jen Hastings works to foster understanding

Jen Hastings
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

Having worked for years in transgender health care and advocacy, reproductive health care and opioid awareness, Jen Hastings has built up an impressive, decades-spanning résumé. While that important work continues, Hastings is considering a shift back to clinical care as access to reproductive care faces attacks across the country. Read more in Max Chun’s Unsung Santa Cruz profile.

THE WHOLE SERIES: Lookout highlights regular folks doing great things


Santa Cruz County Job Board

One more thing before I go: Lookout is working on an ongoing series exploring working life and we’d love your input. How did you get your job? What do you love most about it? What are the biggest challenges? What do students and recent graduates need to know about how to get into your industry? Share your stories and career advice with us — email us at and put “career advice” in the subject line.

There’s more to come from Lookout into the holiday weekend and beyond, and you can stay current by following us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and by signing up here for breaking news alerts and for our other newsletters, including the specially curated Sunday Reads.

Thanks to all our members for being the bedrock for Lookout’s local journalism — we really couldn’t do all we do without your support, and we look forward to even better things in 2023. Our content isn’t possible without community support, so if you’re not already, please consider becoming a Lookout member.

Oh, and a little housekeeping before I sign off — there will be no Morning Lookout on Monday as we observe the New Year’s Day holiday, and I’m taking a little time off next week, so my colleagues will be covering the early shift.

Have an excellent weekend and a fun, safe New Year’s celebration — thanks for putting up with me in 2022, and I’ll catch you in 2023.

Will McCahill
Lookout Santa Cruz