Boarded up storefronts along Mission Street in Santa Cruz
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)
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Morning Lookout: A Mission Street overhaul, housing mandates & a nonprofit leader

Greetings, Lookout friends. It is Monday, April 17, and the forecast says it’ll be a mostly cloudy day around Santa Cruz County, with highs in the upper 50s and low 60s.

Plenty to peruse around Lookout as we kick off a new workweek, if you’d like to peruse solo.
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On Santa Cruz’s Westside, it’s been an interesting few years for the strip mall at Mission and King streets, begging the question of just what’s going on there. Max Chun has some answers in another installment of our Ask Lookout series.

Monday means another shot of Santa Cruz County politics and policy from Christopher Neely, whose latest In the Public Interest newsletter examines how the county and its cities are crunching the numbers on housing units the state expects them to build in the current cycle — and how the state looks to be taking a tough approach.

And Lookout’s How I Got My Job series continues, with Isabelle Tuncer talking to Kaya Henkes-Power about how she came to lead nonprofit El Sistema Santa Cruz, the crucial role of music and art and nonprofits as first responders.

The Monday headlines also includes Wallace Baine’s survey of all the fun stuff coming to Santa Cruz County this summer, plus one UCSC student’s DIY kombucha pitch in Lookout’s Community Voices opinion section — let’s get on with the show.

What’s in the works for charred Mission Street shopping center?

The shopping center on the corner of Mission Street and King Street
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

A run-of-the-mill shopping center is one of the latest parcels in Santa Cruz to be turned into a construction site as it undergoes a facelift and prepares to bring in new tenants. It’s a welcome update for a structure that has seen a fair amount of trouble in recent years. Max Chun has the latest Ask Lookout.

YOU ASK, WE ANSWER: From the real Ferrell’s Donuts to the Virgin Mary appearing in Watsonville, check out the whole Ask Lookout series

As Santa Cruz County faces a mandate of fourfold increase in new housing, all stick, no carrot from state

California Attorney General Rob Bonta holds a news conference in April.
(Gary Coronado / Los Angeles Times)

In this edition of In the Public Interest, Christopher Neely delves into regional housing allocation numbers, how many new units Santa Cruz County and its cities are expected to build by 2031 and the state of California’s approach to making sure those goals are met. Read it here.

PREVIOUSLY: Kaiser’s deal with the county, Santa Cruz’s shifting approach to homelessness and more get the In the Public Interest treatment


Santa Cruz County Job Board

A busy start to the week, to be sure, and with everything Lookout has coming through the pipeline, I highly recommend you follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram for all our coverage of Santa Cruz County. We also offer breaking news alerts via email and text in addition to our other newsletters, so sign up for all that here.

Our content isn’t possible without community support, so if you’re not already, please consider becoming a Lookout member.

Here’s to an excellent Monday!

Will McCahill
Lookout Santa Cruz