Security-camera footage of the person suspected of vandalizing the Black Lives Matter mural in downtown Santa Cruz.
(Via City of Santa Cruz)
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Morning Lookout: Seeking BLM mural vandalism suspect, Cabrillo renaming nears & Prop 13 reform

Ahoy, readers. It is Thursday, Aug. 3, and it’s looking to be another (eventually) sunny day around Santa Cruz County, with highs mainly in the 70s.

If you’re too busy for my tour, you can get right to all that’s new on Lookout by heading this way.
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Cabrillo College’s board of trustees is set to vote Monday on a name change for the school, and ahead of that vote, Hillary Ojeda spoke with students, alumni and instructors who are in favor of cutting ties with 16th-century European explorer Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo. “Whenever you try to make change in a social justice context, you always have a backlash,” one says. “There’s always a conservative backlash, and I think that’s what we’re seeing.”

In Santa Cruz, police are asking for the community’s help in tracking down the person behind the latest incident of vandalism of the downtown Black Lives Matter mural. Max Chun has more from Wednesday afternoon’s news conference, where officials released security-camera images and spoke about the incident.

And in Lookout’s Community Voices opinion section, former Santa Cruz mayor Mike Rotkin writes that it’s time to reform Prop 13 and bring more funding to California K-12 public schools hamstrung under the landmark 1978 property tax relief law.

The Thursday headlines also include Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis agreeing to debate California Gov. Gavin Newsom — stay tuned.


Syringes at the Marin County Vaccination Point of Dispensary
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

Lookout photojournalist Kevin Painchaud is being honored with a Spotlight Award from the Santa Cruz County Arts Commission at a reception from 5 to 7 p.m. Friday at the County Government Center in Santa Cruz. This is the first year for the awards, which recognize Santa Cruz County residents who have achieved a high level of excellence and creativity in their work, but who have not received widespread acknowledgment of their talent. The other award recipients are: mixed-media artist Heejin Lee, painter and muralist Augie Escobedo, along with Nikia Chaney and Madeline Aliah, who are both writers and poets. Kevin’s photographs, including his work for Lookout on the CZU fires (above), COVID and this winter’s storms, will be on public display on the fifth floor of the county building at 701 Ocean St. in Santa Cruz through Oct. 20.

‘A monument to racism in Santa Cruz County’: Ahead of Cabrillo College renaming vote, supporters press for change

Cabrillo instructor John Govsky.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

With Cabrillo College’s board of trustees slated to vote Monday on renaming the school, breaking the connection with 16th-century European explorer Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo and undoing harm to Native peoples are top of mind for those advocating for the move. Hillary Ojeda reports.

MORE: Find Lookout’s continuing news and opinion coverage of the Cabrillo name change here

SCPD releases suspect description in BLM mural vandalism; city leaders address incident

An image of the suspect from a security camera on Center Street.
(Via City of Santa Cruz)

The Santa Cruz Police Department released security-camera stills Wednesday of the suspect who defaced the Black Lives Matter mural with blue paint on Saturday. SCPD is investigating the incident as felony vandalism, but chief Bernie Escalante said a hate crime charge is entirely possible. More here from Max Chun.

PREVIOUSLY: ‘Our Black community is feeling that very strongly right now’: BLM mural organizers push for hate crime charge after latest vandalism


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

That all ought to keep you busy, but if Thursdays find your thoughts turning toward the weekend, well, Lookout has you covered: Wallace Baine has another Weekender queued up and coming soon, packed with recommendations for things to do all over Santa Cruz County, plus news and notes from our vibrant arts and culture scene. Click here to sign up for that and all of Lookout’s other newsletters, plus breaking news alerts via text and email. We’re on your friendly neighborhood social media, too: Find Lookout on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Threads to keep current.

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

Enjoy your Thursday — and just remember, we’re all winging it.

Will McCahill
Lookout Santa Cruz