Striking UC academic workers picket on the UCLA campus in Los Angeles
(Pablo Unzueta / CalMatters)
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Morning Lookout: Facing ‘weather whiplash,’ UCSC strike aftermath, chocolate under scrutiny

Ahoy, friends and neighbors. It’s Wednesday, Feb. 8, and another mostly sunny day is upon us, with temps in most spots around Santa Cruz County headed into the mid-60s.

Looking to get a read on the temperature of the latest from Lookout? Hop in.
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I wasn’t familiar with the phrase “weather whiplash,” but local water officials are well aware of the phenomenon of intense rain and flooding alternating with long periods of drought, and they’re working to prepare Santa Cruz County water resources for more of it. Max Chun has details on efforts whose importance was only underlined by January’s storm blitz.

We’ve got lots more on the storms and recovery efforts underway across the area, and you can get up to speed in our Storms 2023: Road to Recovery section.

The effects of last year’s academic workers strike are still rippling through the UC Santa Cruz campus, where most union members voted to reject new contracts with the University of California system. Union leader Jack Davies talks about reasons for the opposition and what might be ahead locally and for the UC as a whole in a wide-ranging Q&A with Hillary Ojeda.

And with Valentine’s Day less than a week away, Lily Belli talked to local chocolatiers about a report that found high levels of some heavy metals in dark chocolate. There’s plenty more to the story, and Lily’s latest is among the Wednesday headlines — let’s head there now.

Preparing for ‘weather whiplash’ focus of county’s latest water resources status report

The Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors recently approved the latest Water Resources Status Report, and while the report comes out every year, this one focused heavily on preparing for the effects of climate change and “weather whiplash,” which includes heavy rains like the storm systems that hit in January. Max Chun reports.

ROAD TO RECOVERY: Find all of Lookout’s coverage of January’s storms and their aftermath here

UCSC graduate student union leader Jack Davies reflects on strike, new contract

UAW 2865 unit chair at UCSC Jack Davies
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz )

Nearly 48,000 University of California academic workers went on strike for better pay and benefits late last year — earning a new contract in December. The loudest opposition to the contract was at UC Santa Cruz, reflecting, UAW unit chair Jack Davies says, that members “were ready and prepared to continue the fight.” Read his Q&A with Hillary Ojeda.

MORE LOOKOUT Q&As: Hear from Santa Cruz County newsmakers in their own words


Santa Cruz County Job Board

That’s enough to keep you busy as we ease into hump day, but trust me, there’s much more to come from Lookout. Sign up for here for breaking news alerts and all of our other newsletters, and give us a follow on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to keep tabs on what’s going on around Santa Cruz County.

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It’s looking like a fine Wednesday, so get out there and make the most of it.

Will McCahill
Lookout Santa Cruz