Quick Take:

Tom Brezsny of Brezsny Associates looks forward to the future to compile his top predictions for 2022’s booming real...

Good morning, Santa Cruz County! It’s Monday, Jan. 31, and our forecast calls for a mostly cloudy day with highs in the upper 50s and low 60s. There’s also another wind event coming our way as January turns to February …

… and particularly after seeing a fire flare up in Big Sur amid high winds earlier this month, no reminder needed about playing it safe.

Lookout kicks off this week in the classroom, with students, parents and educators giving Hillary Ojeda some insights on what social emotional learning is and how it’s being implemented in classrooms.

Meanwhile, Wallace Baine continued our Unsung Santa Cruz series with a woman who spotted a big need during the COVID-19 pandemic and her game-changing idea.

And with the Santa Cruz Regional Transportation Commission set for what could be a heated meeting Thursday, get caught up on the standoff with Roaring Camp Railroads in the rail-trail debate.

We’ve got all that and more to cover, including the 49ers’ disappointing loss yesterday to the Rams, so let’s get to Monday’s headlines:

What is social emotional learning?

Branciforte Middle School Principal Casey O'Brien reads worksheets for a social emotional learning lesson
Branciforte Middle School Principal Casey O’Brien reads worksheets for a social emotional learning lesson. Credit: Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz

A curriculum being taught across Santa Cruz County aims to help students excel academically and personally. Lookout’s Hillary Ojeda got an up-close look at Branciforte Middle School.

MORE FROM COUNTY SCHOOLS: Find all our K-12 education coverage here

Why one woman’s outside-the-box idea could be a fitness game changer

Natalia Rivera-España has seized the pandemic opportunity.
Natalia Rivera-España has seized the pandemic opportunity. Credit: Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz

Natalia Rivera-España didn’t intend to start a business, but she spotted a big need during the pandemic and knew she’d regret it if she didn’t act. Wallace Baine explains in a new installment of Lookout’s Unsung Santa Cruz series.

FIND THE FULL UNSUNG SANTA CRUZ SERIES HERE: Lookout highlights regular folks doing great things

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How Santa Cruz’s rail-trail debate created a standoff with Roaring Camp

The Roaring Camp train.
The Roaring Camp train. Credit: Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz

Regional transportation commissioners are set to discuss abandoning the Felton rail line for freight trains at a meeting Thursday — something Roaring Camp Railroads stridently opposes. Lookout contributor Jacob Pierce digs in.

MORE TO KNOW: What’s railbanking, and why are Santa Cruz transit experts discussing it? (Lookout)

49ers come up short of Super Bowl LVI

Rams at SoFi
SoFi Stadium in Inglewood will play host to Super Bowl LVI between the Rams and Cincinnati Bengals on Feb. 13. (Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

The Niners saw a fourth-quarter lead evaporate Sunday in Los Angeles as the Rams booked a spot in the NFL’s title game, to be played on their home field. Our partners at the Los Angeles Times break down what you should know about Super Bowl LVI.

ICYMI: Cruz Kitchen & Taps opens and a Santa Cruz Starbucks files for unionization

Cruz Kitchen & Taps in downtown Santa Cruz
Cruz Kitchen & Taps is now open at the corner of Laurel and Pacific in downtown Santa Cruz. Credit: Via Instagram

Lily Belli samples a newcomer to the downtown food scene and much more in the latest installment of Eaters Digest. Score a helping here.

MORE FROM LILY: Get all of Lookout’s food and drink coverage in one place


Around the county …

Watsonville’s Dutra announces third run for county supervisor (The Pajaronian)
Missing Watsonville man found (KION-TV)
Santa Cruz surfer John Mel wins QS event in Pismo Beach (Santa Cruz Sentinel)
Trekking California’s mysterious Bigfoot trail (San Jose Mercury News)

That’s it for just now, but keep tabs throughout this last day of January by bookmarking our website and following us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. And you can get breaking news alerts and subscribe to our growing volume of newsletters by visiting our Lookout Newsletter & Text Center.

You can also get this week off to a good start by helping to support local journalism — consider becoming a Lookout member if you’re not already. Our content isn’t possible without community support.

Good luck with your Monday, and I’ll find you back here tomorrow morning!

Will McCahill
Lookout Santa Cruz

A veteran jack-of-all-trades journalist who is Lookout’s copy editor, writes and compiles Morning Lookout newsletter and produces Lookout’s other editorial newsletters and helps run Lookout’s social...