Rep. Jimmy Panetta speaks at the Pajaro River levee.
(Via Alison Gamel)
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Morning Lookout: Pols’ Pajaro pressure, UCSC land acknowledgment, Capitola holdup

A good morning to you, Santa Cruz County. It is Thursday, April 13, and sunshine is the order of the day, with temps headed into the mid-60s for most of us.

It’s a newsy day, so hop on into exploring Lookout if you’d rather not wait.
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The Pajaro River levee was the focus Wednesday for a pair of California’s voices in Washington, with Sen. Alex Padilla and Rep. Jimmy Panetta vowing to up the pressure to speed repairs there. As Christopher Neely reports, officials want quicker action both to fix the breach that flooded the town of Pajaro last month but also on the long-promised $400 million overhaul.

Hillary Ojeda was on the UC Santa Cruz campus Wednesday, reporting on a call from the chairman of the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band for the school to update its land acknowledgment. Valentin Lopez says the acknowledgment, which recognizes that land on which UC Santa Cruz sits is Native land that was taken rather than handed over, should include more about the Awaswas, Native tribes wiped out by violent colonization.

And in our Community Voices opinion section, columnist Claudia Sternbach shares thoughts and humor on aging after being sent down a rabbithole by “Jeopardy!” and “Antiques Roadshow.”

The Thursday headlines also include an armored truck robbery in Capitola, so read on to know more.

Padilla, Panetta promise to ‘pressure’ pace of Pajaro levee project

California Senator Alex Padilla speaks at a press conference near the Pajaro River in Watsonville.
(Via Alison Gamel)

U.S. Sen. Alex Padilla and Rep. Jimmy Panetta visited the banks of the Pajaro River on Wednesday in an effort to get the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers moving faster on not only repairs to the levee whose failure flooded the town of Pajaro in March but also the long-promised levee overhaul. The Corps is aiming to finish emergency repairs by the fall, and to break ground on a long-promised $400 million upgrade by summer 2024. Christopher Neely reports.

MORE FROM PAJARO: How a Pajaro Middle School teacher and her students are navigating recovery after Pajaro River levee breach

Amah Mutsun Tribal Band chairman calls for update of UCSC’s land acknowledgment

Rebecca Hernandez and Amah Mutsun Tribal Band Chairman Valentin Lopez discuss the meaning of the UCSC land acknowledgement.
(Via Carolyn Lagattuta / UC Santa Cruz)

The land acknowledgment recognizes that land on which UC Santa Cruz sits is Native land that was taken rather than handed over. During a campus event Wednesday, Valentin Lopez of the Amah Mutsun Tribal Band said UCSC’s acknowledgment needs to include the fact that because of violent colonization, there are no surviving descendants of the Awaswas-speaking people who once lived in the region. Read more from Hillary Ojeda.

LOPEZ Q&A: ‘We hope people will listen’: Tribal leader talks Cabrillo, mission bells and a culture ‘brutally destroyed’


Seems like plenty to keep you busy as we scope out this here Thursday. But wait, there’s more! The day’s Lookout menu also includes the latest Weekender, Wallace Baine’s recommendation-filled weekly dispatch from Santa Cruz County’s arts and entertainment scene. That’s coming later, and you can sign up for here to get that delivered right to you in newsletter form. (That link will also get you signed up for our other newsletters and for Lookout’s breaking news alerts.) If you’re out there on social media, don’t forget to follow Lookout on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram so you don’t miss anything.

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It’s shaping up to be a nice day, so get out there and enjoy it!

Will McCahill
Lookout Santa Cruz