Inside the headquarters of NHS, the company behind Santa Cruz Skateboards and other iconic skate brands
Inside the headquarters of NHS, the company behind Santa Cruz Skateboards and other iconic skate brands.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)
Latest News

Morning Lookout: Santa Cruz Skateboards hits 50, teaching sub’s racist video, COVID vax update

A good morning to you, Santa Cruz County fam. It’s Thursday, Sept. 14, and it’ll be another duel between the sun and marine layer, with temps headed as high the mid-80s in some spots.

Much to cover, and I’ll fill you in if you like — but if you’d rather poke around Lookout’s latest, go to it.
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Wallace Baine is up first, dropping in on NHS Inc. as the company behind Santa Cruz Skateboards and many other industry brands — to say nothing of the classic dot and Screaming Hand logos — celebrates a big milestone. “To be able to do what they’ve done — for 50 years! — I mean, you can’t suck,” says one insider. “You have to be rad.”

A substitute Pajaro Valley Unified School District teacher seen in a racist rant in a video making the rounds on social media is no longer with the district, Hillary Ojeda reports, with PVUSD’s interim superintendent addressing the “deep pain” caused by the video in a letter to families.

After a summer COVID surge, an updated vaccine will soon be available around Santa Cruz County. With jabs expected by the end of September, county health officials recommend getting it along with your flu shot.

And in Lookout’s Community Voices opinion section, housing advocate Susan Monheit responds to a recent critique of a ballot initiative she’s helping to spearhead with group Housing for People. “Having a vote of city residents before current zoning is amended to allow for unprecedented heights will wake people up about what is happening with high-rise development in our town and create an opportunity for conversation about what we value,” she writes.

A full slate of Thursday headlines also includes the latest in local business news and notes from Jessica M. Pasko, and you’ll find that on the other side of this update from the Santa Cruz Mountains.

Photo of the day

The Sempervirens Fund has bought a 51-acre property on the western side of Castle Rock State Park in the Santa Cruz Mountains
(Via David Royal)

The Sempervirens Fund said Wednesday that it has bought the largest remaining private landholding on the western boundary of Castle Rock State Park.

The fund, California’s oldest land trust, said it paid $1.3 million to buy the 51-acre property known as Castle Rock Hollow from landowner Jim White to protect the property from being developed into housing or commercial cannabis farming.

The trust intends to eventually transfer the property to California State Parks to expand Castle Rock and help with the agency’s plans to reroute the popular Skyline-to-the-Sea hiking trail away from Highway 9. Last month, State Parks said it had paid $4.21 million to acquire 222 acres of property from Sempervirens to expand Castle Rock, the first acquisition in the Santa Cruz parks district since 2011.

Santa Cruz Skateboards hits its 50th anniversary as a crucial component in the history of skateboarding

skateboarder Ron Whaley
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

This year, NHS Inc. — the Seabright-based parent company of Santa Cruz Skateboards — marks its half-century anniversary in the skateboard business. In the immense but imaginary skatepark of today’s skateboarding industry, Santa Cruz Skateboards is that legendary skater that all the other kids stop to watch. It has shaped what the industry looks like today. And it has built a brand that has spilled out beyond the world of skateboarding, becoming a touchstone in the world of commercial art. More here from Wallace Baine.

FROM 2021: MAH returns to the art of skateboard artist Jim Phillips

Substitute teacher seen in racist video no longer working in Pajaro Valley Unified schools

A screenshot of a woman identified as a substitute teacher in Pajaro Valley Unified School District.
(Via TikTok)

A video posted on social media platform TikTok earlier this week shows a woman shouting at someone as he records an interaction on Highway 1 in Capitola after the drivers pulled over to assess a minor collision. The woman shouts expletives and racist comments directed toward Mexicans as he records. Hillary Ojeda has details.

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Make your voice heard and read what Santa Cruzans are saying on local issues


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

Certainly a full plate for a Thursday morning, but if you find your thoughts turning toward the weekend, I’m happy to say that Lookout has you covered. There’s the Santa Cruz County Fair, of course, plus plenty more great reasons to get to Watsonville, and if all that’s not enough, Wallace Baine will be back later with Weekender, full of recommendations for things to do all over the county, news and notes on local arts and culture and maybe a little trivia to get you ready for Lookout’s next trivia night event. You can get Weekender and all of Lookout’s other newsletters delivered right to you by signing up here, and don’t forget our breaking news alerts while you’re at it. Give us a follow on the socials, too — Lookout is 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.

So long, farewell ... at least til Friday morning.

Will McCahill
Lookout Santa Cruz