Phil Baer holds up a "Kennedy for President" sign at Front and Laurel streets in downtown Santa Cruz.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)
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Morning Lookout: RFK Jr.'s local chances, Cabrillo’s cake bosses, B40 Fire tax fails & Weekender

Greetings, Lookout readers. It’s Friday, July 21, and the forecast says it’ll be another warm one for many of us in Santa Cruz County, with the mountains hitting triple digits and upper 70s by the bay.

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A Kennedy in politics is nothing new, but Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is a different sort of candidate, and Wallace Baine digs into how his challenge of President Joe Biden is being received in Santa Cruz County. “As is typical these days, Kennedy is not presented as merely another political option,” Wallace writes. “He is either the poison or the antidote, depending on where you’re standing.”

From up Branciforte Drive just outside the Santa Cruz city limits, Max Chun reports that property owners in the Branciforte Fire Protection District have resoundingly rebuffed a tax that would have kept the district’s lone station open and improved staffing. The vote clears the way to consolidate the district with Scotts Valley’s.

And Laura Sutherland sat in on the final exam at Cabrillo College’s wedding cake-making class, taking us inside what, as you can imagine, is a complicated process.

We got word Friday morning of the death of crooner Tony Bennett, and that’s also among the day’s headlines. Let’s take a look.

Will Santa Cruz County be open to what RFK Jr. is selling?

Supporters of Robert F. Kennedy Jr. march in the World's Shortest Parade in Aptos on July 4.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

Anti-vax crackpot with an antisemitism problem or an antidote to a Democratic establishment intent on power and under the sway of Big Pharma and other moneyed interests? His position as a member of a grand political family gives Robert F. Kennedy Jr. instant name recognition, but whether a Santa Cruz County that has a history of supporting insurgent candidacies will back him in his challenge to President Joe Biden is an open question. Wallace Baine takes the pulse.

HAVE YOUR SAY: Make your voice heard on local issues with a letter to the editor

Inside the final exam in Cabrillo’s Art of Creating Wedding Cakes class

Mehnaz Kahn apply the frosting to her cake.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

Whether they’re looking to take the next step professionally or wanting to show off for friends and family, the students in Anne Baldzikowski’s Cabrillo College class learn to assemble wedding cakes from the bottom up. Laura Sutherland sat in on the final exam, where there’s extra credit for cutting up your cake and letting classmates take a bite. Here’s what she saw.

MORE FROM LAURA: The dish on Nita Gizdich and her fabulous pies


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

A full Friday morning, so take your time. As is Friday custom around Lookout, we’ll have the latest Eaters Digest coming from Lily Belli later on, and you can sign up here for that and all of our other newsletters (including Sunday Reads and In the Public Interest, Christopher Neely’s Monday dispatch from the Santa Cruz County policy and politics scene), plus breaking news alerts via email and text. Otherwise, staying current with local news and views is a breeze: Follow Lookout on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Threads.

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May your Friday be a pleasant one, with a safe, relaxing weekend beyond.

Will McCahill
Lookout Santa Cruz