Far West Fungi regional manager Naomi Wolf sets down a jar of dried Cordyceps militaris.
Far West Fungi regional manager Naomi Wolf sets down a jar of dried Cordyceps militaris.
(Max Chun / Lookout Santa Cruz)
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Sunday Reads: Local author’s latest, ‘Last of Us’ fungus downtown, debate over UCSC’s East Meadow

Good morning! The Pajaro River breached its levee early Saturday, causing widespread flooding and forcing the evacuation of the entire community of Pajaro, just across the Monterey County line. You can read more about that here. And another atmospheric river is headed our way, with the heaviest part of the system hitting Santa Cruz County late Monday into Tuesday. Expect a rainy Sunday, according to the National Weather Service. You can find the latest storm updates on our Storm Central blog.

10 hot jobs
(Simon Shim)

With nod to Quixote, Santa Cruz’s Elizabeth McKenzie takes readers on an adventure in new novel

Santa Cruz author Elizabeth McKenzie with her new novel, "The Dog of the North."
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

“The Dog of the North” is Elizabeth McKenzie’s follow-up to her acclaimed 2016 novel “The Portable Veblen,” and she’ll talk about it in person at Bookshop Santa Cruz on Tuesday, the day it’s released. Wallace Baine catches up with the Santa Cruz author.

MORE LOCAL LITERARY TREASURES: Surf City Lights: Bad Animal’s grand ambitions to become the world’s next great bookstore

Cordyceps for sale? Far West Fungi embraces ‘shroom boom,’ including ‘The Last of Us’

Cordyceps, the fungus made famous by HBO's "The Last of Us."
(Max Chun / Lookout Santa Cruz)

You can find a species of Cordyceps, the fungus that ravaged the world in HBO Max’s “The Last of Us,” available for purchase at Santa Cruz’s own downtown mushroom store, Far West Fungi. Regional manager Naomi Wolf says the post-apocalyptic show is just the latest example of a flourishing mushroom renaissance. Max Chun gets familiar ahead of Sunday’s season finale.

MORE LOCAL POP-CULTURE CONNECTIONS: The Santa Cruz angle to Mike White’s HBO hit ‘The White Lotus’

UCSC’s East Meadow: Green for the last time?

The author opposes building on UCSC's iconic East Meadow.
(Via East Meadow Action Committee)

UC Santa Cruz’s sloping East Meadow — the pristine, grass-covered gateway to campus — is a local treasure and should not be developed, when there are many better alternatives for sorely needed housing, argues Christopher Connery, a longtime community activist and a professor in both the literature and history of consciousness departments. Regents of the University of California are set to meet starting Wednesday to discuss UCSC’s long-stalled plan to build family housing and a child care center on the East Meadow. Connery believes this is a short-sighted “folly beyond comprehension” that risks destroying the campus’ beauty and the integrity of the founders’ vision. Read Connery’s Community Voices opinion piece here.

UCSC students need more housing: Student Housing West is a win for campus and community

UCSC students need housing to thrive, administrators say.
(via UC Santa Cruz)

Students need housing. That is why UC Santa Cruz must move forward and build Student Housing West, administrators Akirah Bradley-Armstrong and Ed Reiskin write in a Community Voices opinion piece. “UCSC is built into a stunning natural landscape, and building anywhere on our iconic campus is a tightrope walk,” they say. But Student Housing West — with 3,000 units, including 140 at the foot of campus — offers the best chance to house students soon and to help relieve the community housing burden. Read their op-ed here.

MORE FROM CAMPUS: Find all of Lookout’s higher education coverage here

Test your newsy knowledge with this week’s Lookout news quiz

How closely do you follow Santa Cruz County goings-on? Our 10-question quiz based on stories from Lookout correspondents and contributors puts you to the test. Click here to see how you fare.

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