Pajaro Middle School teacher Ebelin Mata teaches in her classroom at Watsonville's Lakeview Middle School.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)
Latest News

Morning Lookout: Cabrillo renaming delay pleases few; new routines for Pajaro Middle students

Hiya folks. It’s Tuesday, Sept. 12, and morning clouds should burn off into a sunny day around Santa Cruz County, with highs in the 70s and 80s.

No time for the guided tour? Right this way to Lookout’s latest.
JUMP TO ... Latest News | Opinion | Events | Guides | Puzzles

Monday night’s vote to delay the renaming of Cabrillo College until at least 2028 came as no surprise, but it nevertheless left those on both sides of the issue disappointed, Hillary Ojeda reports. Supporters of efforts to disassociate the college from European explorer Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo see the governing board caving to donor pressure, while some opponents wanted to see trustees end the process altogether.

Hillary also has news from Watsonville, where Pajaro Middle School students displaced by March flooding are settling in for a full academic year at Lakeview Middle School. “Right now I feel settled, but in the beginning it was very chaotic,” one seventh grader told her.

In Lookout’s Community Voices opinion section, Justin Marc tells his story via the poetry that has helped him through addiction and time in jail. “I was lost, broke financially and spiritually / became an absent father because I didn’t want her to see me in my shame,” he writes.

The Tuesday headlines also include our latest high school sports roundup, and we’ll get there after a dispatch from Lookout photojournalist Kevin Painchaud, who covered a Monday event remembering those lost in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

Photo of the day

first responders from Santa Cruz County fire departments climb the stairs at Seacliff State Beach, part of a 9/11 memorial
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

Firefighters from Watsonville, Santa Cruz and Scotts Valley, along with staff members from California State Parks, participated in the fourth annual 9/11 Memorial Stair Climb at Seacliff State Beach in Aptos on Monday morning to commemorate the 22nd anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Nearly 60 participants walked up and down the stairs 13 times, taking about 2,200 steps — equivalent to 110 stories, the height of the World Trade Center.

Both sides of Cabrillo College name-change debate disappointed after board votes to delay renaming until 2028

Cabrillo College
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

Some who support renaming Cabrillo College say they feel the governing board’s 6-1 vote Monday to delay the name change until at least 2028 is a sign trustees are caving to threats made by donors to take their funding away if the school changes its name. Meanwhile, some name-change opponents say they think the board should have instead voted to scrap the renaming process entirely. Here’s what Hillary Ojeda heard.

WALLACE BAINE’S TAKE: The winner in latest Cabrillo renaming delay? That a larger conversation continues

Six months after levee breach flooded their classrooms, Pajaro Middle School students settle into new normal

Students participate in music class at Lakeview Middle School.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

The March 11 failure of the Pajaro River levee forced the closure of Pajaro Middle School until at least fall of 2024. Now at the start of a new academic year, the middle school’s more than 400 students are settling into their temporary academic home inside Watsonville’s Lakeview Middle School. Students say they’re getting into a routine but still miss their school. Hillary Ojeda catches up with students, teachers and administrators.

FROM APRIL: How a Pajaro Middle School teacher and her students are navigating recovery after Pajaro River levee breach


Santa Cruz County Job Board

That’ll give you a taste of what’s happening this Tuesday, but save room — among what’s yet to come from Lookout is another mouthwatering serving of Lily Belli on Food. You can sign up for that and all of Lookout’s newsletters by navigating over here — and don’t forget our breaking news alerts, available via text and email. There’s also good old-fashioned social media if you want to keep up with Santa Cruz County news and views — connect with Lookout 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.

Get out there and make it a good one — catch you all on the flipside.

Will McCahill
Lookout Santa Cruz