Cristine Chopra, executive director of the Santa Cruz County College and Career Collaborative
Cristine Chopra, executive director of the Santa Cruz County College and Career Collaborative.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)
Latest News

Morning Lookout: Otter 841 update, 2024 supervisors field, helping students chart their path

Hiya, folks. It’s Monday, Aug. 14, and a cloudy morning (with sprinkles possible) is forecast to clear to mostly sunny skies around Santa Cruz County, with highs ranging from 90s in the mountains to 70s closer to the bay.

A new week means lots of new Lookout content, which you can explore right here.
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Our most famous marine mammal is still swimming free in the waters off Santa Cruz, Max Chun reports, with Otter 841 continuing to elude attempts by fish and wildlife officials to capture her. And those efforts could stop entirely if there are no more reports of the otter interacting with surfers.

Ahead of his Monday In the Public Interest newsletter on local politics and policy, Christopher Neely has a look at how the field is shaping up in races for three seats on the Santa Cruz County board of supervisors. Incumbent Manu Koenig is facing a challenge in District 1, and retirements in Districts 2 and 5 have brought out several candidates in those areas.

Lookout’s How I Got My Job series returns, with Gabrielle Gillette profiling a key player in local education. As executive director of the Santa Cruz County College and Career Collaborative, Cristine Chopra prepares underrepresented students for higher education.

The Monday headlines also include Community Voices opinion from one teen on her experience with sexual harassment at a Santa Cruz Metro bus station, and Wallace Baine’s preview of a Friday mixed martial arts event downtown headlined by a local fighter. Let’s take a look.

Otter 841 still roaming free as Fish & Wildlife struggles to capture her

(Mark Woodward / Native Santa Cruz)

Otter 841 remains free in the Santa Cruz waters, even as state and federal fish and wildlife workers continue to try to capture her. They could halt attempts if ocean conditions like visibility and water clarity worsen, or if surfers stop reporting run-ins. Max Chun has details.

PREVIOUSLY: Selfies by the sea: Otter 841’s popularity renews concerns about humans encroaching on marine wildlife

Volunteer Center August 2023

Field begins to coalesce in races for three Santa Cruz County supervisor seats

Santa Cruz County Supervisor Manu Koenig is facing a challenge from Lani Faulkner for his District 1 seat.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

Incumbent Manu Koenig is facing a challenge from pro-rail Lani Faulkner in District 1, while the retirement of Zach Friend in District 2 has so far seen three candidates — Kristen Brown, Kimberly De Serpa and Douglas Deitch — file paperwork. Monica Martinez and Christopher Bradford are running to replace Bruce McPherson in District 5, with Sheriff Jim Hart still seen as a possible candidate. Get an early 2024 picture from Christopher Neely.

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


Santa Cruz County Job Board

Lots to sort through as we embark on another workweek. There’s more coming from Lookout, including (as mentioned earlier) Christopher Neely’s politics and policy newsletter, In the Public Interest. Get that and all of Lookout’s other newsletters sent right to you by signing up here. We also offer breaking news alerts via text and email if you’re looking to keep up with local news and views, and you can always connect with Lookout on social media — find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Threads.

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Your Monday awaits — get out there and make the most of it.

Will McCahill
Lookout Santa Cruz