Inside the Santa Cruz offices of KSQD-FM
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)
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Morning Lookout: Santa Cruz rental market now nation’s priciest, KSQD’s expansion & an ambitious grad

Morning, folks. It is Thursday, June 22, and it appears the marine layer is going to linger for Santa Cruz County, with the sun peeking through at times as we warm into the 60s.

There’s a variety of new Lookout stuff to explore, and if you’re the solo type, feel free.
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Underlining just how difficult our area is for renters, a new report finds that Santa Cruz County is the nation’s most expensive rental market. That’s up one spot from last year, Max Chun and Hillary Ojeda report, and renters would have to earn an average “housing wage” of $63.33 an hour to be able to afford a two-bedroom at fair market rate.

Christopher Neely takes to the airwaves for a story on the expansion of Santa Cruz-based KSQD-FM, which now reaches the Monterey Peninsula after raising the funds to buy two new frequencies. It’s a victory for community radio in a challenging time.

From Watsonville, Beki San Martin has the story of a recent high school grad who has navigated time in the foster care system and multiple moves to thrive at St. Francis High and earn a local scholarship as she prepares to head to UC San Diego. “I’ve gone through things a lot quicker than most people” says Reyna Maharaj. “So anything new is never challenging for me too much or even if it is, I know I have the ability to tackle it.”

And in Lookout’s Community Voices opinion section, prioritizing people-friendly rights-of-way should be the goal as Santa Cruz undergoes a dramatic facelift, a pair of advocates write.

The Thursday headlines also include a new county health officer and an appreciation of Pentagon Papers leaker Daniel Ellsberg. Let’s go.

Santa Cruz County now the most expensive rental market in the U.S., report finds

A model of a house with a set of keys
(Via Pixabay)

Santa Cruz County finds itself at the top of the list of most expensive rental markets in the country, according to the nonprofit National Low Income Housing Coalition, after three years in the top three. It passed the San Francisco metro area comprised of San Francisco, Marin and San Mateo counties, which held the top spot in last year’s report. Get the numbers from Max Chun and Hillary Ojeda.

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

KSQD’s Monterey County expansion marks resurgence of community radio in a time of media consolidation

KSQD board chair Rachel Goodman.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

A fundraising campaign allowed Santa Cruz-based KSQD-FM to buy two new frequencies and boost the station’s population base from 175,000 to 645,000 in an expansion that hit airwaves Wednesday as far away as Salinas and the Monterey Peninsula. Tune in here with Christopher Neely.

PREVIOUSLY: K-Squid proving that radio still has staying power


Upcoming events in Santa Cruz County

Midtown Fridays @1111 Soquel Ave.
Embroidery Workshop @Wallflower Santa Cruz
Zayante Fire Fundraiser @Felton Music Hall
Stephen Marley @The Catalyst Club
Bodhi Mojo @Woodhouse Blending & Brewing
Frequency Festival @Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History

Santa Cruz Elks Oktoberfest @Santa Cruz Elks Lodge
Foodie Fruity Wreath Making Extravaganza @Scotts Valley farmers market
Vegan Italian Cooking & Wine Pairing Class @Flipjack Ranch
Teen Kitchen Project Everett Farm Dinner @Everett Family Farm
Echos Of Empire @Civic Auditorium

For the love of dogs @Chaminade Resort & Spa
41st Santa Cruz Triathlon @Depot Park
Music at the park @Skypark
Jean Dawson @The Catalyst

And in case that all isn’t enough for you, voracious consumer of all things Santa Cruz County, well, you’re in luck. Coming later is the latest edition of Weekender, Wallace Baine’s roundup of news, notes and recommendations from our arts and entertainment scene. How can I get in on that, you ask? Click right here to get Weekender and all of Lookout’s other newsletters sent right to you, and don’t forget to sign up for breaking news alerts while you’re there. You can also find Lookout on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram — give us a follow and you won’t miss a thing.

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

Keep on truckin’, and I’ll catch you again Friday.

Will McCahill
Lookout Santa Cruz