Lifeguard shortage
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)
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Morning Lookout: Elusive Otter 841, lifeguard shortage, Soquel commute snarl & Cabrillo name opinion

Welcome, Lookout friends. It is Tuesday, July 18, and we’ve got another summery forecast for Santa Cruz County, with fog giving way to sunny skies and temps ranging from the low 70s to upper 80s.

There’s plenty new on Lookout, but if exploring on your own sounds better than a guided tour, here’s the shortcut.
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Max Chun is first out of the chute, with an update on Santa Cruz’s celebrity sea otter. State and federal wildlife officials have spent recent days trying to capture Otter 841, as she’s known, for study, but a Monterey Bay Aquarium spokesperson says that could take days or even weeks.

Santa Cruz County pools and beaches have seen a lifeguard shortage in the wake of the pandemic, Gabrielle Gillette reports, with lockdowns and closures taking away training opportunities — and low wages are also a likely factor, officials told her.

The Cabrillo College renaming debate returns to Lookout’s Community Voices opinion section, with Watsonville resident Rosemary Anderson criticizing the approach of the school’s board of trustees.

Tuesday’s headlines also include a Caltrans project making travel around Soquel difficult and a look at new oversight for the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office — onward.

Otter 841 continues to evade capture off Cowell Beach; effort could take weeks

(Mark Woodward / Native Santa Cruz)

Santa Cruz’s infamous surfboard-stealing otter remained at large after the latest unsuccessful attempt Monday afternoon by wildlife officials to take it into custody for study. A spokesperson for the Monterey Bay Aquarium said scientists believe that could take days to weeks. More here from Max Chun.

PREVIOUSLY: ‘Not normal at all’: Experts warn public to steer clear of Santa Cruz’s surfboard-stealing sea otter

Santa Cruz faces low lifeguard numbers as pools, beaches struggle to keep aquatics programs afloat

Lifeguard shortage
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

Amid a national lifeguard shortage, Santa Cruz County pools and beaches find themselves struggling to find help during peak summer swimming season, though the pandemic’s ebb and hiring incentives have made a dent. Get the details from Gabrielle Gillette.

WORKING IN SANTA CRUZ: Check out Lookout’s How I Got My Job series, local jobs board and more


Santa Cruz County Job Board

That’s your first taste of Tuesday around Santa Cruz County, with more on the way from Lookout. In mere hours we’ll have another fresh-out-of-the-oven helping of Lily Belli on Food, which you can sign up here to have delivered right to you in newsletter form (and while you’re there, I’d recommend adding Lookout’s other newsletters and breaking news alerts to your plate, too). Of course you can find Lookout on social media — give us a follow on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and now Threads, too, to keep current with local news and views.

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Now get out there and attack this Tuesday with an enthusiasm unknown to mankind.

Will McCahill
Lookout Santa Cruz