The sun sets on Lighthouse Point and Steamer Lane in Santa Cruz
(Via Ryan Craig)
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Morning Lookout: Lighthouse erosion worries, cockfighting cases and weighing surf risks

Good morning, Santa Cruz County. It is Tuesday, May 23, and it’s looking like a mostly cloud day for many of us, with highs in just the 50s closer to the bay but some clearing and temps in the 60s in the mountains.

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Battered West Cliff Drive is on the agenda for the Santa Cruz City Council on Tuesday, Max Chun reports, and in addition to immediate plans for the iconic roadway, the possible relocation of the Mark Abbott Memorial Lighthouse at Lighthouse Point is among the topics in a draft plan that’s on the agenda.

Max also has a look at cockfighting in Santa Cruz County, with pending court cases bringing attention to incidents of animal cruelty and connections to organized crime.

And in Lookout’s Community Voices opinion section, Santa Cruz native Evan Quarnstrom writes about surfing the waves of Reunion Island, an Indian Ocean spot notorious for shark attacks. “Statistically, I am more likely to get hit by a car than attacked by a shark,” he writes. “But the fear of sharks is more real. More visceral. A shark attack leaves its victim with almost no control.”

OK, let’s check out those Tuesday headlines.

Move the lighthouse on West Cliff? With possible sea cave collapse, city council looking at alternatives

The Mark Abbott Memorial Lighthouse in Santa Cruz
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

The Santa Cruz City Council will discuss preliminary plans for West Cliff Drive on Tuesday, with the impact of this winter’s battering storms on the iconic coastal roadway and what comes next an immediate focus. A draft plan also floats a future study of a sea cave underneath Mark Abbott Memorial Lighthouse, which could determine how seriously the city will look at the feasibility of relocating the lighthouse; a leader of resident group Save West Cliff is pushing for action sooner. Read more here from Max Chun.

PREVIOUSLY: Cul-de-sacs and long-term erosion: Citizens, city staff take up gnarly issues of ‘saving West Cliff’

Animal cruelty criminal case shines spotlight on cockfighting as ‘a serious issue’ in Santa Cruz County

Ariana Huemer, from the nonprofit rescue operation Hen Harbor in Zayante, holds a rooster.
(Alison Gamel / Lookout Santa Cruz)

With two cockfighting cases pending in Santa Cruz Superior Court, it’s “a serious issue in the community,” said Todd Stosuy of the Santa Cruz County Animal Shelter. Beyond animal cruelty, the illicit activity is often tied to organized crime and money laundering. Max Chun reports.

RELATED: Cockfighting bust just the latest in Watsonville man’s long criminal history


A busy start for a Tuesday, and there’s plenty more on the day’s Lookout menu. Coming in mere hours are the latest bits and bites from Santa Cruz County’s food and drink scene, which you can get in newsletter form by signing up right here (and take advantage of all our other newsletters plus breaking news text and email alerts while you’re at it). You should also follow Lookout on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to keep tabs on all we’ve got cooking.

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Have a good Tuesday!

Will McCahill
Lookout Santa Cruz