Santa Cruz lifeguard Sae Ackerstein
Santa Cruz Junior Guards alum Sae Ackerstein is one of two locals headed to Texas this week for an international competition.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)
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Morning Lookout: Jr. Guards to international competition, Tony Alva’s local skate love, new kid-friendly café

Welcome to another morning, dear readers. It is Tuesday, Sept. 19, and it’s looking like another nice one around Santa Cruz County, sunny all over and temps from the upper 60s to low 80s.

Lookout is bursting at the seams with new stuff, and I’m happy to give you the tour — but if you’d prefer to check it out at your own pace, right this way.
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Up first is Hillary Ojeda, who catches up with recent Santa Cruz High grad Sae Ackerstein (whom you might remember from this Lookout opinion piece on junior guards) before she and Soquel High senior Munchie Price head to Texas for the International Surf Rescue Challenge.

Wallace Baine is in the house, too, after he tracked down Tony Alva to chat about the impact of Santa Cruz Skateboards on not only Alva’s stellar career but on skateboarding the world over. “It’s a major genius,” Alva says of the branding prowess of parent company NHS Inc., celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. “Are you kidding?”

A place where kids can play safely while adults relax with a cup of joe sounds like a dream to many parents, but, as Lily Belli reports, it’s on the verge of becoming a reality. Ahead of her latest Lily Belli on Food newsletter, coming later Tuesday, read along for what she found out about Haven Café's plans.

And in Lookout’s Community Voices opinion section, economist Richard McGahey returns with the latest in his back-and-forth with a local advocate on housing and development in Santa Cruz. “Susan Monheit and other housing opponents, typical of many left-NIMBYs, say economics don’t apply because Santa Cruz is unique,” he writes. “But they’re wrong.”

See, I told you there was plenty new from Lookout — and there’s much more in the Tuesday headlines, including our latest high school sports roundup. Onward!

Forged by chilly waters (and some tears), recent Santa Cruz grad heads to international surf rescue competition

Santa Cruz lifeguard Sae Ackerstein
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

Santa Cruz High graduate Sae Ackerstein, whose junior guards experience was the subject of a Lookout opinion piece that caused some social media ripples earlier this year, is off to Texas this week, where with Soquel High senior Madalyn “Munchie” Price she will compete with Team USA at the International Surf Rescue Challenge. Hillary Ojeda has the story.

DAD’S OPINION: Junior Guards joy: Why making my daughter cry every day was one of the best decisions of my life

Legendary skater Tony Alva reflects on what Santa Cruz Skateboards has meant in his career

As NHS Inc., the parent company of Santa Cruz Skateboards, celebrates its 50th anniversary, Wallace Baine tracked down Tony Alva to get a sense of Santa Cruz Skateboards’ impact not just on Alva’s career but on the skate world at large. Read the Q&A here.

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


Santa Cruz County Job Board

I’m going to get out of your way and let you ingest all of that, but not without the usual reminder that there’s more on the way from Lookout. As I mentioned, that includes another scoop of Lily Belli on Food, arriving in inboxes later Tuesday. Click here to sign up for that and all of Lookout’s other newsletters, and don’t forget our breaking news alerts, available via text and email. Following Lookout on social media is another good way to keep up with Santa Cruz Country news and views — 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.

Your Tuesday awaits — here’s to making the most of it.

Will McCahill
Lookout Santa Cruz