Community members repaint the Black Lives Matter mural in front of Santa Cruz City Hall on Saturday, June 24, 2023.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)
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Sunday Reads: Black Lives Matter mural repainting, local trivia boom and Junior Guards’ serious fun

‘I will do everything I can to make things right’: BLM mural vandals apologize as civic leaders declare Abi Mustapha Day

Artist and SC Equity Collab co-founder Abi Mustapha reacts to learning that June 24 would now be called "Abi Mustapha day."
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

Nearly two years after Brandon Bochat and Hagan Warner vandalized the Black Lives Matter mural in front of the Santa Cruz City Hall, the men joined more than 50 community members to help repaint the mural and give a public apology. Santa Cruz City Councilmember Sonja Brunner and 3rd District County Supervisor Justin Cummings declared June 24th Abi Mustapha Day in honor of the local artist and SC Equity Collab co-founder. Read more from Max Chun.

MORE COVERAGE: BLM mural vandals sentenced to probation, community service; ordered to pay restitution

‘They need to clean it up’: To BLM mural artist Abi Mustapha, restorative justice is the answer

Name that factoid: Trivia events are booming as social gatherings in Santa Cruz County

Wallace Baine hosted the first of three monthly Lookout trivia nights Tuesday at Abbott Square.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

In the wake of pandemic lockdowns, trivia nights occupy a comfortable middle space between an intimate dinner and a musical or theatrical performance, a way to engage with friends and strangers and still be home before vampire hours. There’s a wide variety of them across Santa Cruz County, including one from Lookout starting up Tuesday. Read more from Wallace Baine, who hosts Lookout’s Tuesday event at Abbott Square.

MORE FROM WALLACE: LOL: Santa Cruzan is crowned world’s official greatest laugher

Junior Guards joy: Why making my daughter cry every day was one of the best decisions of my life

Junior guards on the sand at Cowell Beach in Santa Cruz
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

“The best day of 2023 came and went unnoticed by most of the city 13 days ago,” says Santa Cruz dad Dan Ackerstein. That’s because on June 12, the Junior Guards program to teach kids ages 6-17 water rescue skills began in the city of Santa Cruz. Similar programs exist in other parts of the county and propel kids to state, national and international competitions. Ackerstein calls Junior Guards “the most ridiculous, difficult, important and remarkable things about Santa Cruz. It’s basically a rite of passage for many families, including, now, mine.” Find his Community Voices opinion piece here.

MORE FROM THE SHORE: Cowell Beach, once among California’s most polluted, gets ‘A’ for cleanliness for fourth straight year

‘Mentally, physically, financially exhausting’: Santa Cruz County now the most expensive rental market in the U.S.

An aerial view of the Westside.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

Santa Cruz County tops the list of most expensive rental markets in the country, according to the nonprofit National Low Income Housing Coalition. According to the report, the fair market rent for a two-bedroom rental in the county is $3,293; renters would have to earn an average “housing wage” of $63.33 an hour to be able to afford that rent. Max Chun and Hillary Ojeda report.

CHANGING SANTA CRUZ: Lookout’s ongoing coverage of downtown’s ongoing facelift

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