Nika Mohan at MeloMelo Kava Bar.
Nika Mohan at MeloMelo Kava Bar. MeloMelo Kava Bar is one of the few businesses in Santa Cruz that offer Narcan to anyone requesting it.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)
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Student Lookout: Baseball season, Narcan kits and is the hype surrounding ‘Skinamarink’ real?

Hello once again, folks,

I hope y’all enjoyed your spring break and are getting back into the swing of things as smoothly as you can. With the Central Coast sun shining a little more often than it has for the better part of the year, it’s hard not to already look forward to the summer.

Where are my baseball fans at? The start of the 2023 Major League Baseball season has me very excited, especially with the new rules changes. There’s the pitch clock that limits the downtime to 15 seconds in between pitches so far, though I think increasing the time to 20 seconds wouldn’t hurt. The larger second base is great for preventing collisions and, more modestly, increasing steals. However, as an ex-catcher, it pains me to see that it’s more difficult to throw runners out now.

Shoot me a text and give me your thoughts on the rules changes, as well as your World Series matchup prediction. Personally, I’d LOVE a Subway Series between the Mets and the Yankees, with the Mets winning a battle of New York. That is, if the Mets can prevent their annual late-season collapse this time around.

It’s now just a couple days after I began writing this, and the Mets have looked horrendous in every game they’ve played since. It’s already happening.

If you haven’t signed up for your FREE Lookout Membership, enter your phone number below to register. In addition to unlimited access to all of Lookout, you’ll receive exclusive Student Lookout text alerts every Friday with deals, recommendations and more.

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Deals Download

Check out these student discounts:

  • Students (and teachers) get 10% off at Well Within on Thursdays.
  • HoM Korean Kitchen offers 15% off for students.
  • Seymour Marine Discovery Center offers free admission to UC Santa Cruz students and 25% off for all student tickets.

BEST DEAL OF THE MONTH: Student tickets at Kuumbwa Jazz

Located in downtown Santa Cruz, Kuumbwa Jazz is a nonprofit providing Santa Cruz the full spectrum of jazz music through live performance and education. Check out an upcoming show and take advantage of discounted student tickets.

➤ Want to share these deals with your friends? Have them sign up for Student Lookout texts with this link.

Good Eats

Pana Food Truck and Abbott Square restaurant ($ - $$)

I just had one of these bad boys last weekend, so I’m bringing this back as a strong recommendation — especially since Pana just won the NEXTies award for Food Business of the Year! The arepa food truck that has long been stationed at the same parking lot where the Westside farmers market is held on weekends now has its own brick-and-mortar restaurant in the Octagon building at Abbott Square. I’d recommend getting all three sauces (avocado, garlic, and spicy red sauce) no matter which arepa you decide to order.

Recently, Ashley Spencer — one of the writers pitching in with Lily Belli on maternity leave — looked into a dining renaissance happening on the Santa Cruz Municipal Wharf. Stagnaro’s restaurant has reopened, and a Humble Sea pop-up is on the way, among other exciting changes to the iconic wharf.

With the reopening of Stagnaro Brothers and Firefish Grill, a Humble Sea pop-up, Makai’s island grog and a summer...

Take this week’s news quiz

Inside Santa Cruz: Doctors to start carrying emergency kits to reverse opioid overdoses

Kits of Narcan are available at the front counter at The Slough Brewing Collective in Watsonville.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

Written by Kaya Henkes-Power, newsroom intern

Between 1999 and 2020, more than 564,000 people died from an opioid overdose nationwide, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Santa Cruz County has not been immune to the effects of the opioid crisis. The Santa Cruz County Sheriff-Coroner’s Office recorded 95 drug-related deaths in the county in 2021, including double the number of fentanyl-related deaths from the previous year. Coroner’s office investigator Dr. Stephany Fiore told Lookout in December that the county was on track to surpass that number of fentanyl-related deaths for 2022.

To combat this crisis, the Santa Cruz Surgery, the Health Improvement Partnership of Santa Cruz County and the county’s health agency are distributing naloxone — an opioid antagonist — to physicians. The Santa Cruz Surgery Center applied for a supply of Narcan through a state program but since it didn’t fit in the categories eligible, it was denied. However, the Surgery Center was able to obtain the medicine through its partnerships.

Max Chun spoke with Lisa Cooper, the CEO of the Santa Cruz Surgery Center, about this project. Cooper says the project is giving first aid kits equipped with two doses of naloxone to 66 physicians at the Surgery Center and Dignity Health. The goal is to ensure doctors are able to treat a possible overdose when they are outside of work.

The Health Improvement Partnership is holding a drive-thru event April 22, where you can pick up free Narcan, used to reverse an opioid overdose. There will also be local resources and information on how one can talk to the youth about opioid and drug use. All ages are welcome and you can even walk up if you are unable to go through the drive-thru.

Here are the details for the drive-thru event:

When: Saturday, April 22, noon to 4 p.m.
Where: 6500 Soquel Dr., Aptos, at the Inspire testing location in Cabrillo College’s Parking Lot R

Here are other resources one can go to for harm reduction, support or to get Narcan.

Harm Reduction Coalition of Santa Cruz County

Phone: 831-769-4700
Operation days: Monday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday

Established in 2018, the Harm Reduction Coalition of Santa Cruz County is a group of volunteers and staff who are committed to harm reduction. Its goal is to “provide a safe space for a person to define their own wellness.” They are able to anonymously deliver items such as Narcan, wound care and harm-reduction items. Here is a list of what’s available.

The coalition is authorized to deliver Monday, Wednesday and Friday throughout the county, including Watsonville and the San Lorenzo Valley. When calling, a representative will ask that you provide a safe address (no public parks), an ideal time to meet and a list of items needed. It’s important to note that some items might not be available and the organization will try to contact you as soon as possible, but the more notice you give the better. The coalition also provides a mobile Sunday outreach that can also be found on the corner of Coral and Limekiln streets in Santa Cruz. The Harm Reduction Coalition doesn’t provide only harm-reduction resources, it also provides educational material, health care items and referrals.

United Way of Santa Cruz County: 211

Phone: 2-1-1 or text your ZIP code to 898-211

United Way of Santa Cruz County’s 2-1-1 program is a 24-hour, seven-days-a-week resource hotline for an array of needs. The organization is able to provide local resources for someone who calls in need of education, treatment, counseling and prevention. It also provide different categories of resources online, organized by ZIP code.

End Overdose

National nonprofit End Overdose seeks to educate and train people to step in when there is a suspected overdose. End Overdose distributes fentanyl testing strips and Narcan through the mail. To get these items you will have to create an account and go through a free online training course. In this course you will learn how to administer Narcan correctly, how to identify an overdose and how to provide aftercare. You can also order fentanyl test strips free of charge.

Around Town - Events

Did you know that we have an events calendar? BOLO, which stands for Be On the Lookout, is our hub for the best events in the county. See all the listings here.

Here is an event you should check out:

First Friday, Friday, 5-8 p.m.

Another month, another First Friday. Head to the Santa Cruz Art League, the Tannery Arts Center on River Street, Curated by the Sea and many more to check out the local art on display spanning a number of mediums. Check out the full list of participants around the county here.

Senderos presents Stories of Culture: Oaxaca in Santa Cruz Films, Saturday, 6-8 p.m.

Join nonprofit Senderos for an evening filled with Oaxacan food, performances and film at The 418 Project. The three short films featured at the event will explore Indigenous food, music, and traditional healing practices. You’ll get the chance to dig into some authentic Oaxacan cuisine, too. These shorts were shown at the Watsonville Film Festival, so if you couldn’t make it there, now is your chance!

April in Santa Cruz Contemporary Music Festival, Thursday, 7:30 p.m.

This year’s festival features quite a few accomplished musicians from across the Bay Area. The diversity of the artists and the music they will perform is bound to keep things interesting over the two weeks that the festival is running. All but the final April 30 performance will be at UCSC, so check out one or all of them!

➤ Want more? If you’re still looking for great things to do, check out Wallace Baine’s Weekender here.

How I got my job

Eco-Flow Plumbing owner Scott Liess at his office in Santa Cruz.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

This week, newsroom intern Kaya Henkes-Power sat down with Eco-Flow Plumbing owner Scott Liess, who opened his business in the midst of the Great Recession.

Predictably, it was a challenge for him to get the business going during such a difficult economic period, and he was hesitant to start the business with just a truck and some tools. Now, more than a decade later, he’s still going strong.

This week, I watched: “Skinamarink” (2022), directed by Kyle Edward Ball

Still from "Skinamarink."
(Via IndieWire)

You might have heard of this one a while ago via social media, as it got leaked online before its official release. That prompted word-of-mouth buzz — divisive buzz at that, as some people said “Skinamarink” was among the scariest movies they’d ever seen, while others said it was among the most boring movies they’d ever seen. So, naturally, I had to check it out and it’s … definitely something.

The ultra-slow experimental horror film really requires patience. I am not exaggerating when I say a good portion of this movie is static shots of dark corners of rooms, empty hallways and unsettling, distorted old cartoons. The aesthetic and vibes are wonderful here and sort of remind you of your childhood fears of the dark and the thing that may or may not be lurking just out of sight. That said, even as a definite enjoyer of slow and experimental cinema, this one kind of outstayed its welcome even at its modest hour and 40 minutes runtime. Ball could have shaved off 30 minutes and it would have still been effective and creepy. I think he also went a little too heavy on the digitally added grain, making it look more like an obvious special effect rather than the look of an authentic VHS tape. The occasional cheap jumpscare was more likely to cause me to roll my eyes more than cover them, too.

All that aside, it’s a very unique and at times very unsettling little film that commits to the bit at an unwavering level. You won’t see something like this released to a wide audience again for a long time, so it certainly deserves some credit. If you want to venture into the surveillance footage-esque, analog-style horrorscape of “Skinamarink,” I’d recommend:

  • Watching in a dark room. Like, pitch black.
  • Using the best speaker/headphones you can.
  • Turning your phone off so you can really immerse yourself in the movie’s uncanny environment.

Do all that, and you might just find yourself nervously peeking into the shadows of your house post-viewing. Or you’ll fall asleep — and I wouldn’t even blame you.

Rating: 3 or 3.5/5

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Lookout Job Board

Are you looking for a job? Check out our job board for Santa Cruz County openings.

More local jobs: Browse more open positions on the Lookout Job Board.

I hope spring is off to a good start for all of you. Cozy winter weather is great and all, but the warmer days are feeling really nice right about now.

Take care and catch y’all next week.

— Max