Inside Lookout: Obituaries join Opinion, Job Board, Puzzles -- & Best of the Month

Wallace Baine hosted the first of three monthly Lookout trivia nights Tuesday at Abbott Square.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

Chipotle.

That was the answer to Wallace Baine’s California-centric trivia contest, our second Lookout Trivia Night held a couple of weeks ago in the Abbott Square courtyard. Wallace packed half the courtyard, and the group did a better job of getting the answers right this time around, our second outing. (Maybe because Wallace went easier on them?)

The question: Which of the following fast food chain’s original restaurants was not located in California?
1) Chipotle Mexican Grill
2) Jamba Juice
3) Panda Express
4) In-N-Out

That’s right. We all can claim credit for the other three.

We’re already getting lots of sign-ups for the third trivia fest on Sept. 27 at 6:30 p.m., so get registered (free) quickly.

The impresaria behind the Trivia Nights is Lookout’s own Jamie (Keil) Garfield, who joined us after a nine-year stint at the Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History (MAH), leading education and community event programs onsite, in Abbott Square and beyond. Jamie recently dropped the Keil and assumed the Garfield, with her marriage to Zac Garfield, and we’re all, including her, getting used to the new surname. Congrats to them.

Jamie has juggled membership – she’s been the friendly person on our end of member communications – and student engagement and events. Now, she’s able to devote herself fully to the student programs and events. And what a list of upcoming events. Consider what we’ve got coming up:

While we are all-digital, our team of 15 have our feet planted in the terra firma of Santa Cruz County. We’re each and all part of the community and these events keep us, and you, in better touch.

For us, these events are great chances for us to meet you and you to meet us, and share greetings and ideas. That list above is just partial. Soon, we’ll be adding Member Get-Togethers, held at Lookout HQ, right in the midst of redevelopment. These small group informal sessions, with appropriate refreshments, will give us a chance to hear the issues and questions on your mind, and help us make Lookout better each month. Look for the announcement soon.

And remember, we always let our members know first about events (and other upcoming perks) of membership, so if you haven’t, please become a member today.

Password, please!

We’ve chronicled our tech transition to make reading and staying logged in easier. The good news: The new system is working well and you’re able to read more.

But … any remaining issues are best solved by setting a password. And it’s easy to do. Do it and access should be smooth. Here’s the quick process.

Elections are us

Then, there are the candidate forums, the dates for which we’ll soon announce, too. Yes, Labor Day in the books; it’s full campaign season. Next week, we’ll formally launch our fall Election 2022 coverage. (We’ve done a bunch of run-up coverage, already collected here.)

We’ll tell you more about that coverage soon, but here’s a sneak peek:

  • Access Democracy: We want you all to participate in the work of democracy as much, and as easily, as you can. Access Democracy will build on top of our voters guides and provide entryways to hear and debate the issues. This year, with the aid of the American Press Institute, we’re extending our use of texting (sign up at our Newsletter & Text Center if you haven’t) to make it easier for our readers – and all community members – to contribute their own questions, comments and letters to our Community Voices section.
  • Coverage: We did a good job in the spring primary election and we’ll do an even better job for November, as our news reporting staff reaches full strength (more on that soon). We know you want to know what are the real differences among competing candidates and the facts behind ballot measures. Our whole newsroom of 10 is involved in doing that for you – and countywide, and you’ll see the involvement of two of our newer interns, Thomas Sawano and Blaire Hobbs in that work as well. Thomas and Blaire are now the 12th and 13th interns to join us in our (almost) two-year life, and we value their work and that of other UCSC and Cabrillo College interns. More on our internships (and business residence) here.
  • Community Voices: Opinion is the lifeblood of democracy. Get your letters in; we welcome fresh viewpoints on the election and its issues.
  • Candidate (and measure) forums: A number of you who showed up and told us much you appreciated our spring candidate forum. We’re now planning several to more widely put the candidates and measure proponents/opponents front and center, and fairly questioned, with lead moderation by Jody K. Biehl, our Community Voices editor.

It’s a good package, but you can make it better. Write to me at ken@lookoutlocal.com to tell us how we can make it better, and what else you’d like to see us do.

ICYMI


We know digital publishing can be a blur. Here’s some of the best of what you might have missed in the past month, and for those of you who could take one, hope you finally enjoyed a real vacation.

The Right Not To Remain Silent


The biggest open secret is how much mental toll we’ve all experienced with the pandemic. We unravel that day to day, and will see its latent effects for years, I suspect. Mental health is on lots of people’s minds nationally.

Locally, Mark Conley went into the heart of one the deepest stresses imaginable, as he chronicled in three parts, The Right Not To Remain Silent, the toll that local killings of police have taken, months and years later – and how we’re seeing a profound law enforcement shift in facing the issues.

Karen Lansing of Aptos has earned the moniker "cop whisperer."
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

Hillary Ojeda has stayed on top of the twists and turns of Watsonville Community Hospital going from private to public. The community’s fundraising response to that change has been phenomenal, reminding me of the effort to fund Santa Cruz Shakespeare almost a decade ago. But the hospital’s change in ownership is just a beginning, with lots of big questions about health, public health and more. Hillary’s interview with new(ish) CEO Steven Salyer begins to lay out a path for understanding those, as we cover this important story for the people of South County and the whole county as well.

On Thursday, we published a great “Yes, we can” piece in Community Voices. Climate change can seem overwhelming and near-impossible to take on. But longtime Santa Cruz community leader Pamela Davis has done just that with the new(er) NIAC building. It’s really green. Lookout is looking forward to how we can make a difference in the climate fight. Let us know here, too, what you’d like to see us do.

Nesh Dhillon of Santa Cruz Community Farmers Markets
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

Ever since I moved back to Santa Cruz a dozen years ago, I’ve prized our local Aptos farmers market, and the rest of them. Finally, as COVID ebbed, we marshaled the forces to put together the most comprehensive guide to all the markets in the county. Peruse it here, including our handy-dandy searchable list of vendors. And enjoy our Farmers Market Friday profile of new vendors each week. Like me, you may enjoy understanding the inner workings of these world-class markets. Read Lily Belli’s Q&As with the two farmers market directors, Catherine Barr and Nesh Dhillon; I did and now I understand how that complex of food gets to us each week.

Wallace’s searingly honest piece, “From a writer to a stand-up comedian to the president, People Who Stutter are speaking their truth”, is not to be missed – and shared.

We are not a newspaper, but…

Fundamental and deep reporting continues to be the basis of Lookout. We will always be a blend of old – fundamental journalistic practice and principle – and new. You can see part of that old transforming as we have added newspaper-like features to assert ourselves as the primary, first-read news source Santa Cruzans tell us they want. That means, in Year 2, we’ve added a growing Opinion section, a Job Board, Puzzles and this past week, Obituaries.

Even before we launched, many told us they wanted obituaries to be part of our offering. And now we’ve done it, and especially thank Santa Cruz Memorial for its help in getting the new offering established.

Santa Cruz County Obituaries is our area’s first locally operated digital obituary section. As with so much of Lookout, our digital-only publishing allows us to offer features that haven’t previously been possible: personal touches like family videos, interactive photo galleries, favorite songs, and links for friends and family to send flowers, gifts or donations in loved ones’ honor. And of course, the obituaries are easy to share with friends and family, directly and on social media.

Every Sunday, the latest obituaries will now be featured within our newly upgraded Sunday Reads email newsletter — and then can be found permanently on Lookout, accessed via our “Sections” tab, on the upper left corner of each page (three lines, one squiggly, on your phone)

Credit for these innovations, other than Community Voices, goes to Ashley Holmes, our director of sales and marketing. Creating digital products takes a lot of both creative and organizational work, and she nails one after another.

Meet Ashley, Jamie and more


Both Ashley and Jamie will be hosting this month’s Santa Cruz Chamber Business After Hours networking event at our office downtown. If you haven’t signed up, join us.

It’s this coming Thursday, Sept. 22, 5-7 p.m. As with all Lookout get-togethers, we do local. We’ve partnered with Movin’ & Shakin’ for some delicious Venus gin cocktails and Bookies Pizza and its authentic Detroit-style pies. A great monthly event for the business community and others to come together and talk.

Student Lookout returns

Last spring, we launched Student Lookout, a useful weekly guide to enjoying Santa Cruz (and finding the best deals), written by students and for students. With fall, it’s back, returning tomorrow and each Friday. Anyone can get it, but make sure the UCSC and Cabrillo students in your life (or you!) can go to the student access page to sign up.