Jalama Beach in Santa Barbara County.
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Morning Lookout: A local view of Iran uprising, UCSC’s ‘Grad Slam’ and a new marine sanctuary

Hiya, folks! It is Thursday, March 2, and after a chilly start, Santa Cruz County will see sunny skies and temperatures heading into the upper 50s.

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With outcry continuing in Iran against the nation’s Islamic regime, Christopher Neely talked to Santa Cruz City Councilmember Shebreh Kalantari-Johnson, who was born there before her family fled following the 1979 revolution. “It’s more than a protest. It’s an uprising that is reaching the point of revolution,” Kalantari-Johnson said as part of our latest Lookout Q&A. “If I were high up in the Islamic regime, I would be very scared. People are angry and rightly so.”

Wallace Baine is in the morning mix, too, previewing a Saturday event during which UC Santa Cruz graduate students get three minutes in front of judges and an audience to explain their chosen field. “You’re not being judged on what you do,” the organizer of “Grad Slam” explains. “You’re being judged on how well you explain what you do and how well you communicate generally.”

In our Community Voices opinion section, environmental activist Dan Haifley writes about the proposed Chumash Heritage National Marine Sanctuary, currently under consideration by the federal government off the coast to our south — a crucial part of a chain of marine protection stretching from Mendocino to Santa Barbara, he says.

Thursday’s headlines also include a new target date to reopen a stretch of Highway 9 in Ben Lomond that’s been closed since a New Year’s Eve landslide and an update on Tuesday’s victory for Ceiba College Prep in Watsonville — let’s get to it.

Shebreh Kalantari-Johnson believes her home country of Iran is on the brink of a revolution

Santa Cruz City Councilmember Shebreh Kalantari-Johnson.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

For Santa Cruz City Councilmember Shebreh Kalantari-Johnson, the ongoing uprising in Iran is personal. She and her family fled Iran in the early 1980s, only a few years after the Islamic regime came into power following the 1979 Iranian revolution. Read more from her sitdown with Christopher Neely.

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

UCSC’s next generation of scholars show their stuff in ‘Grad Slam’

On Saturday at the Kuumbwa Jazz Center, nine UC Santa Cruz graduate students will step into the spotlight with three minutes to explain their chosen field to the audience and a panel of judges. The winner needs to be informative, engaging, relatable, even seductive, Wallace Baine writes — and victory can prove energizing. Check out Wallace’s preview.

MORE TOWN-GOWN INTERFACE: UCSC unveils new arts and cultural hub on Santa Cruz’s Westside


toad fitness group

Santa Cruz County Job Board

Here’s hoping that warms you up a bit this brisk Thursday morning. If not, may I suggest another helping of Wallace Baine? That’s coming a bit later in the form of Wallace’s Weekender newsletter, which in addition to a boatload of recommendations for things to do around Santa Cruz County has an update on what Harbor High grad-turned-Hollywood A-lister Adam Scott has cooking these days. Sign up for here to get that and all of Lookout’s other newsletters delivered right to you, and take advantage of our breaking news alerts while you’re there. And as always, stay up to date by following Lookout on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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Be good and have a most excellent Thursday.

Will McCahill
Lookout Santa Cruz