Happy Wednesday evening, folks.

It was warm and beautiful today, as promised, with more on the way tomorrow. Unless, of course, it was too hot and sweat-inducing, which could be the better description if you live up in the valley. It appears Felton could get up to 93 Thursday with Boulder Creek going as high as 95.

Stay cool and hydrated, our mountain friends — and get down to the cooler coastal zones if you can. Capitola will only top out at 86.

Now, about those headlines …

A tale of two recoveries: Rebuilding frustrates CZU families; officials say they’re ahead of the curve

Steve and Christine Homan's home in Bonny Doon — which the couple built in 1976 — was lost in the CZU fire.

Breaking it down: With building costs up 20-30% from pre-pandemic levels, red tape, updated building codes, construction price hyperinflation and the recurring nightmare of personal loss have combined to stymie efforts to get Santa Cruz County residents back into houses in areas devastated by the 2020 CZU blaze. Grace Stetson with the story.

CZU: One Year Later … read our series of stories checking in with folks


Joseph Thompson, lead organizer for unionizing Starbucks, is just getting started

Starbucks union organizer Joseph Thompson

Q&A: As three Santa Cruz Starbucks stores lead much of the chain unionizing in California, local leader Joseph Thompson cites their great-grandfather for union inspiration: “Organizing gives me energy, and because I’m young it’s going to be a lot easier for me to keep that up.” Max Chun has the story.

Santa Cruz Starbucks stores among first in California to get OK for union vote

Starbucks' Mission Street location on Santa Cruz's Westside.
Starbucks’ Mission Street location on Santa Cruz’s Westside. Credit: Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz

The latest: The Starbucks stores on Ocean Street and Mission Street are two of the first three of the coffee giant’s California locations to go to a union election after getting the go-ahead from the National Labor Relations Board. Max with those details here.

PREVIOUSLY: Federal unionization hearing begins for Santa Cruz Starbucks; other stores moving forward

At least five shooters involved in Sacramento massacre, gang ties likely, police say

Detectives in Sacramento work the scene of a mass shooting.
Detectives in Sacramento work the scene of a mass shooting. Credit: Via Los Angeles Times

At least five: Evidence has emerged that Sunday’s incident resulted from a gang feud involving Crips and Bloods that escalated into gunfire. More from the LA Times.

Newsom urged Californians to cut water use by 15%. In February they saved less than 1%

Vehicles cross the Enterprise Bridge at Lake Oroville, with water levels in the biggest state reservoirs well below average. (Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)

Water watch: Californians reduced urban water use by half a percent in February, a far cry from Gov. Gavin Newsom’s voluntary conservation goal of 15%. More from the Times here.

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From scandal to scrutiny: How intense citizen oversight reshaped Oakland police

Oakland PD
Oakland has arguably become the state’s most watched police department. Credit: Via CalMatters

Reverberations: A 22-year-old scandal exposing abuses by Oakland police resulted in a higher rate of complaints sustained against officers, and many are leaving the department amid the heightened scrutiny. More from CalMatters here.

Puzzle time

File image of Sukoku game
Credit: via Pixabay

If you haven’t checked out our new offering of puzzles yet, this is your lucky day. Do that it here.

More from here & elsewhere

UC Santa Cruz taps Aisha Jackson as newest administrator (Sentinel)
‘Embarrassing’: Planning commissioners accuse staff of ‘counting votes’ (Pajaronian)
Santa Cruz police investigating overnight shooting at The Blue Lagoon (KSBW)
At least one person killed in crash near Aromas (KION)
Report: Homeless man shielded bystanders in Sacramento shooting (SF Gate)

That’s it for this Wednesday evening. See you all on the other side tomorrow.

Mark Conley
Deputy Managing Editor

Follow Mark Conley on: Twitter, Instagram, Facebook. Mark joins Lookout after 14 years at the Mercury News and Bay Area News Group, where he served as Deputy Sports Editor on a staff that covered three...