An employee of H&H Fresh Fish holds up a pair of live crabs that were caught in Washington.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)
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Morning Lookout: County’s decades of violating state law, bargain crab prices & a love letter

Good morning, everyone. It is Tuesday, Feb. 21, and Santa Cruz County is in for a mix of sun and clouds, with breezier conditions as the day goes on heralding a change that is forecast to bring cold temperatures and possibly snow in our higher elevations later in the week.

Much new on Lookout as we begin an abbreviated workweek — if you’re wanting to explore on your own, right this way.
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Local government is in focus this Tuesday, with Christopher Neely finding that Santa Cruz County has been violating the state’s open-meetings law for years as elected officials convened privately to vote on appointments and nominations to regional boards — including the powerful California Coastal Commission.

In news one local business owner says is “great for the customer, but bad for the fishermen,” the price of Dungeness crab is way below recent highs, Lily Belli reports. Live crabs, which have sold for more than $20 a pound in recent years, are going for $9 a pound in the Santa Cruz Harbor.

In our Community Voices opinion section, you’ll find a love note Katy Marsh Thompson, a vibrant presence at local farmers markets and beyond who is under hospice care with stage 4 ovarian cancer.

Tuesday’s headlines also have Wallace Baine venturing to “The Sinatra Show” at Chaminade and a column from Mike Rotkin on changing California laws governing where we can build, so please, read along.

Attempt at illegal Coastal Commission nominations shows decades of state law violations by Santa Cruz County

West Cliff Drive in Santa Cruz.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

In what has been called an “significant betrayal of the public trust,” Santa Cruz County has been convening private meetings of mayors, accompanied by city and county executives, to vote on appointments to regional public agencies. The group’s Jan. 27 nomination of three officials to serve on the highly influential California Coastal Commission has been invalidated and will now be done in public Tuesday. Christopher Neely has details.

MORE LOCAL POLITICS: Santa Cruz Mayor Fred Keeley on his ‘intentional’ avoidance of cameras during January’s storms

Flooded market has Dungeness crab prices way down

An employee of H&H Fresh Fish holds up a pair of live crabs that were caught in Washington.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

Live crabs are going for $9 per pound at H&H Fresh Fish Co. in the Santa Cruz Harbor, less than half of the $20 mark seen in recent holiday seasons. “It’s great for the customer,” says an H&H co-owner, “but bad for the fishermen.” Here’s what Lily Belli found.

MORE FROM LILY: Creative, comforting cuisine, stellar desserts, warm service make Vim worth battling Mission St. traffic


toadal fitness group

Santa Cruz County Job Board

Jumping right in with both feet, we are. There’s plenty on the way from Lookout, including more on the local culinary scene with the latest Lily Belli on Food newsletter. Get that delivered directly to you — along with our other newsletters and breaking news alerts — by clicking right here. Lookout is on the socials, too: Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to keep up with Santa Cruz County doings.

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Have a great Tuesday!

Will McCahill
Lookout Santa Cruz