a row of BCycle ride-share e-bikes outside Santa Cruz City Hall
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)
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Morning Lookout: Santa Cruz’s growth mirage, bike-share rides again & BLM mural repainting

Hiya folks. It is Monday, June 26, and morning clouds should give way to sun and temps in the 70s across Santa Cruz County — and there’s a warmup on the way that’s forecast to bring 90s to some spots by week’s end.

Lots new from Lookout as we start a new workweek; if you’d rather ease into it on your own, right this way.
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Hillary Ojeda starts us off this Monday, checking on recent reports that Santa Cruz was the second-fastest-growing city in the U.S. last year. While there’s nothing incorrect about the census data, one researcher says, it “gives people a very misleading picture” — and students are a big reason why.

Perhaps you took one of Santa Cruz’s new e-bikes out for a spin over the weekend, and Christopher Neely is along with a look at the city’s second foray into bike-share. This version is “leaps and bounds” better than the previous Jump deal, and will roll out to other parts of the county by next year.

Max Chun was on hand downtown Saturday as the Black Lives Matter mural got a new coat of paint, with the two men who vandalized it in 2021 among those on hand for an event that included some difficult discussions. Local artist and activist Abi Mustapha, a strong voice for the restorative justice approach, was also honored.

The Monday headlines also include one dad’s praises for Santa Cruz’s Junior Guards program and Wallace Baine on our local trivia boom — let’s get to it.

‘Factually accurate, and untrue’: Was Santa Cruz really the second-fastest-growing city in the U.S. last year?

UC Santa Cruz students wear masks as in-person classes resume on campus
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the population of the city of Santa Cruz grew by nearly 7,000 in a single year, or a growth rate of 12.5% between July 2021 and July 2022. But one researcher says all of the growth very likely came from a rebound in Santa Cruz’s student population when college and university campuses reopened after pandemic closures. Read Hillary Ojeda’s story here.

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

As Santa Cruz tries bike-share again, officials foresee a smoother ride this time around

Santa Cruz Mayor Fred Keeley (left) and transportation planner Claire Gallogly set out on BCycle ride-share e-bikes
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

With more than 400 bikes and 800 docks up and running around Santa Cruz and the UCSC campus, and plans to expand around the county by next year, the bike-share deal with Wisconsin-based BCycle is “leaps and bounds” better than the previous arrangement with Jump that petered out in 2020. Christopher Neely reports.

IN THE PUBLIC INTEREST: Sign up here for Christopher’s newsletter covering Santa Cruz County politics and policy, sent Mondays


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And another week is off and running. There’s more coming from Lookout, of course, including In the Public Interest, Christopher Neely’s Monday newsletter covering Santa Cruz County politics and policy (of which you got a little taste above). Click right here to sign up for that and all of our other newsletters, plus breaking news alerts via text and email. Lookout is also on social media — follow along on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to keep up with Santa Cruz County news and views.

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May your Monday be a good one!

Will McCahill
Lookout Santa Cruz