Justin Cummings after his swearing-in to the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors in December 2022.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)
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Morning Lookout: Cummings’ Coastal Commission priorities, SC Shakespeare transition & Hwy. 17 tree work

Hiya, folks. It’s Wednesday, April 12, and a mostly sunny, breezy day is ahead for Santa Cruz County, with highs in the mid- to upper 50s.

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Wednesday marks the first meeting of the California Coastal Commission for Santa Cruz County Supervisor Justin Cummings, who tells Christopher Neely that he’s still learning the ropes of the new gig after his March appointment. Sea-level rise and water security are among big issues Cummings sees coming before the powerful commission.

A transition is underway at Santa Cruz Shakespeare as the theater company heads into its 2023 season, and Wallace Baine is along with a look at how things might change under Charles Pasternak, who will be co-artistic director with Mike Ryan this summer before fully taking the reins. “The hope is to expand programming,” Pasternak says, though the changes will be more incremental than seismic.

The Wednesday headlines also include an update on the tree work that has snarled traffic on Highway 17 and when commuters might see some relief — onward!

Q&A: County Supervisor Justin Cummings steps onto Coastal Commission at a critical time

 Justin Cummings is sworn in as an appointee to the California Coastal Commission.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

District 3 Supervisor Justin Cummings earned an influential statewide role in March when Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon chose him to serve on the vastly powerful California Coastal Commission. He spoke with Lookout as he looks ahead to the big issues, both local and statewide, he will be responsible for addressing. Read his Q&A with Christopher Neely here.

MORE LOOKOUT Q&As: Hear from local newsmakers in their own words

It’s Two Gents of DeLaveaga for Santa Cruz Shakespeare with changing of guard atop company

Incoming Santa Cruz Shakespeare artistic director Charles Pasternak (left) and outgoing artistic director Mike Ryan
(Via r.r. jones)

Longtime artistic director Mike Ryan, a steady hand in Santa Cruz Shakespeare’s transition from UC Santa Cruz to DeLaveaga Park, is sharing that role with Charles Pasternak, himself a familiar face to local theatergoers, this summer. After that, it’s Pasternak’s ship to steer. “I see my role in expansion as a sort of daring but careful one,” he says of what’s to come. More here from Wallace Baine.

MORE FROM LOCAL THEATER: Citing post-lockdown challenges, Jewel Theatre says it’s shutting down in 2024


Santa Cruz County Job Board

That’s what I know as we embark on hump day. Lookout always has something cooking, though, so be sure to follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to make sure you don’t miss news from around Santa Cruz County. You can also stay up to date via our breaking news text and email alerts, to say nothing of our other newsletters — all of which you can sign up for here. (Newsletters and alerts will also help you score high on our weekly news quiz, hint hint.)

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An excellent Wednesday to all!

Will McCahill
Lookout Santa Cruz