Renderings of a proposed new Ferris wheel at the Boardwalk.
Rendering of a proposed new Ferris wheel at the Boardwalk that’s before the City of Santa Cruz’s planning commission for approval.
(Via City of Santa Cruz)
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Morning Lookout: Unhoused numbers fall, Cabrillo name-change delay, new Boardwalk Ferris wheel

Greetings, friends, neighbors and fellow caffeine enthusiasts. It’s Friday, Aug. 4, and Santa Cruz County should see a bit of a warming trend into the weekend, with Friday highs in the upper 80s in warmer spots and mid- to upper 70s closer to the bay, with another step up Saturday.

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The numbers are in from the county’s latest survey of its unhoused population, and they’re the lowest since 2011, Max Chun reports. The 2023 point-in-time count, conducted Feb. 23, saw a 21.5% decrease over last year, though one advocate says that could be something of a mirage.

The Cabrillo College renaming process took another turn Thursday, Hillary Ojeda reports, with word that the name-change subcommittee is recommending that the school’s board of trustees push back a vote on the matter that had been scheduled for Monday.

And the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, without a Ferris wheel since 2017, could soon have a new one, though next steps will have to wait until Aug. 17 after a vote by the city’s planning commission was delayed Thursday. Read on for details from Max.

With the weekend in sight, Friday’s headlines also bring Wallace Baine’s recommendation-filled stroll through our local arts and entertainment scene — including a First Friday honor for Lookout’s own Kevin Painchaud — so stick around.


Lookout members get a tour of the Santa Cruz Wharf
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

This past Tuesday evening, more than 35 Lookout members and readers joined us on the Santa Cruz Wharf for another installment of Lookout’s Inside Santa Cruz event series. We kicked off the event at Humble Sea’s new beer garden overlooking the ocean. Then, City of Santa Cruz Wharf Recreation Coordinator Annalise Bryant captivated the group with the stories and rich history on a walking tour of the wharf.

Lookout members get a tour of the Santa Cruz Wharf
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

Our Inside Santa Cruz Series works to bring people together to explore unique, noteworthy or “under the radar” happenings and offerings of Santa Cruz County. Stay tuned for our next one. You’ll see it soon in our Member Center.

Santa Cruz County 2023 point-in-time count shows lowest homelessness level in over a decade — but ‘still a lot of gaps’

An encampment in a section of Pogonip that city workers and police were clearing Monday.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

Santa Cruz County’s homeless population decreased by more than 20% compared to last year, according to a February survey. But local officials point to ways the county can continue to improve, including better financial-assistance resources and tenants-rights education, paired with more support from federal and state governments. The one-day count has its limitations, and one advocate says “it doesn’t feel like there have been a lot of big wins” in the past year. Max Chun has more.

SANTA CRUZ FREE GUIDE: ‘They need to know they matter’: Why a humanistic approach is core to this new homelessness group’s work

Cabrillo College governing board set to vote Monday on delaying name change

Cabrillo College's football field from above
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

A subcommittee is recommending that the Cabrillo College board of trustees delay its previously scheduled Aug. 7 vote to select a new name for the college. After listening to community feedback and hearing concerns of a community task force, the subcommittee says the board should give it more time “to engage the wider community on a naming timeline and process that unifies rather than divides the greater college community.” The subcommittee intends to return to the board with a recommended course of action by Nov. 6. The latest from Hillary Ojeda.

CABRILLO COLLEGE NAME CHANGE: Find Lookout’s continuing news and opinion coverage here


Upcoming events in Santa Cruz County

“Ten” exhibition @Radius Gallery
Poetry Series @Boulder Creek Branch Library
Dylan Rose: Father & Son @Bargetto Winery
The Latin Dead @Felton Music Hall
Sofia Talvik @Ugly Mug Coffeehouse

Midtown Fridays @1111 Soquel Ave.
Food Truck Friday @Skypark
Mountain Film on Tour Santa Cruz @Rio Theatre
Roosevelt @The Catalyst

Out of The Darkness Santa Cruz County Walk @Skypark
Community Crafters-Basic Earring Making Workshop @Boulder Creek Branch Library
Farm Dinner @1481 San Miguel Canyon Rd.
Big Mountain @Moe’s Alley
MaMuse, WildChoir & The Feelings Parade @Rio Theatre

Halloween Pop-up Event @Little Trends
Rail & Trail Festival @Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk
David Luning @Kuumbwa Jazz Center
Marc E. Bassy @The Catalyst

A full slate as we head into this first weekend of August (and last weekend before it’s back to school for many local students and educators). Hope you’re hungry for more from Lookout, because Lily Belli is on deck with her latest Eaters Digest, a mainstay for weekend food and drink planning. That arrives later Friday in newsletter form, so click right here to sign up for that and all of Lookout’s other newsletters, which also include our specially curated Sunday Reads and In the Public Interest, Christopher Neely’s Monday look at local politics and policy. (You can get breaking news alerts via email and text, too.) If you’re the social media type, you’ll find Lookout there: We’re on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Threads.

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

Ciao for now, mischief makers — have an excellent Friday and a safe, relaxing weekend.

Will McCahill
Lookout Santa Cruz