Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History manager Liz Broughton (left) and Jim Smith of Aptos
Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History manager Liz Broughton (left) and Jim Smith of Aptos, who turned the mastodon tooth in to the museum.
(Via Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History)
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Morning Lookout: Mastodon tooth finds home, unifying UCSC through music & OTC overdose meds

Morning, Lookout friends. It is Wednesday, May 31, and a mostly cloudy morning should give way to sunnier skies around Santa Cruz County, with highs in the 60s and low 70s.

Ready to hop in and discover what’s new on Lookout? I won’t be too miffed if you skip the tour.
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A mastodon tooth that became a local social media sensation has found a home, Christopher Neely reports, with the Ice Age fossil finding its way from an Aptos beach to the Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History.

On campus, meanwhile, a UCSC group is making strides in organizing music events they hope will bring fellow students together and build a unifying culture that’s struggled to take hold in the redwoods. “Unifying students to the power of music is what we’re really all about,” a Slug Life Productions Board member tells Hillary Ojeda.

And the coming over-the-counter availability of opioid overdose-reversal drugs is a good thing, local health officials tell Max Chun, though the change also brings concerns about accessibility.

Wednesday’s headlines also have the latest in Santa Cruz County food and drink news, including some summer food and gardening workshops that might be just what you need to up your game. Onward!

The mastodon tooth is about 1 foot long and thousands of years old.
(Via Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History)

A woman walking on Rio Del Mar State Beach on Saturday posted a Facebook photo of a unique object she saw in the sand but left behind. A local paleontologist recognized the mysterious object as the tooth of an adult mastodon, an Ice Age mammal that went extinct between 5,000 and 10,000 years ago. However, by the time he rushed to the beach, the tooth was gone, setting off a desperate search for a rare scientific discovery. On Tuesday, an Aptos resident gave the tooth to the Santa Cruz Museum of Natural History. Christopher Neely has the story.

MORE FROM RIO DEL MAR: Rio Del Mural: Taylor Reinhold spearheads splashy new piece in storm-battered village

UC Santa Cruz has struggled to create a unified campus culture. These students are trying to change that.

Core members of Slug Life Productions Board from left to right: Ari Meister, Mackenzi Rauls, Israel Lasarow and Jai Castro.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz )

UC Santa Cruz’s decentralized, woodsy campus has made hosting big student events challenging, but after putting on a concert last week at the renovated Quarry Amphitheater, Slug Life Productions Board members say they’re motivated to keep organizing events, and are gauging fellow students’ interest in a fee that could support those efforts. Read more here from Hillary Ojeda.

RELATED: Red Rocks in the Redwoods? Exploring the Quarry Amphitheatre’s potential to become an elite concert venue


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And just like that, we’re into the last day of May. With more coming from Lookout, make sure you’re taking advantage of all the ways we offer to stay current with Santa Cruz County goings-on: Follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and sign up here for our other newsletters and breaking news alerts via email and text.

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Keep it real this hump day — I’ll see you next time.

Will McCahill
Lookout Santa Cruz