Good morning, Santa Cruz County! It’s Monday, Feb. 14, and our Valentine’s Day forecast calls for a bit of a cooldown after the record-breaking warmth of the past week, with highs in the mid-60s after the marine layer burns off.

We’ve got Valentine’s Day covered from a variety of angles: Lookout’s Max Chun demonstrates some latte art to get the day started off right, and he’s got tips to help you give that special someone a great day. And Lookout’s Lily Belli has some out-of-the-box ideas in case you waited too long to make reservations.

Before we ease into the workweek, let’s get you caught up on a busy Lookout weekend:

To the headlines!

This Valentine’s Day, win their heart with latte art

Credit: Via Pixabay

Let Lookout’s Max Chun show you how espresso and steamed milk becomes a drinkable work of art. Find his video tutorial here.

Three universal truths about why this county remains among the capitals of homelessness

An image of a homeless man

In this first part of a three-part Sunday series, Lookout digs into the questions surrounding homelessness in Santa Cruz County. Here’s the first chapter from Mark Conley and Grace Stetson.

LATER THIS MONTH: How many are homeless in Santa Cruz County? An already COVID-delayed count pushed by Omicron (Lookout)

job board banner for newsletters

➤ WORKING FOR BETTER HEALTH: See all the most recent listings here.

With two Santa Cruz Starbucks locations moving to unionize and more on the way, why are we an epicenter of organizing?

Customers entering and exiting the Starbucks on Mission Street on Santa Cruz's Westside.
Customers entering and exiting the Starbucks on Mission Street on Santa Cruz’s Westside. Credit: Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz

The first two Starbucks stores in California to move to unionize — among 60 nationally — could soon be joined by another five. COVID-19, the student-heavy workforce and troublesome customers all have contributed to the movement. Lookout’s Max Chun maps out the movement.

MORE LOCAL ORGANIZING: Workers at iconic Bookshop Santa Cruz vote to unionize (Lookout)

K-Squid proving that radio still has staying power

Staffers at KSQD-FM

The tide seemed to be going out on radio when KSQD launched at 90.7 FM in 2019, amid growing audiences for Spotify and its ilk, but the community-focused station with distinctly local voices has proved Wallace Baine’s skepticism wrong and carved out a niche in Santa Cruz. Read Wallace’s Sunday column here.

WANT MORE WALLACE? Find all of his work in one spot

Valentine’s Day: The extravagant, the low-key, and the socially distant

A photo illustration of hearts spilling out of an envelope

Not sure what to do for the day of lovers? Lookout’s Max Chun takes a look at various options available for a fun day or evening around Santa Cruz. See what Max suggests here.

EATERS DIGEST: Missed out on that Valentine’s Day reservation? Fear not (Lookout)

Rams rally to beat Bengals for first L.A. Super Bowl title

Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford throws a pass under pressure from the Cincinnati Bengals
Rams quarterback Matthew Stafford throws a pass under pressure from the Cincinnati Bengals during the third quarter of Super Bowl LVI at SoFi Stadium on Sunday. Credit: Robert Gauthier / Los Angeles Times

The Rams overcame a deficit in the final minutes after leading for most of Sunday’s game to win 23-20 on their home field, the first Super Bowl title for a California team since the 49ers won it in 1995. Our partners at the Los Angeles Times have coverage here.

EARLIER: SoFi beating victim remains in coma as his family appeals to the public for information (Los Angeles Times)

a banner advertising Lookout membership


Around the county …

Santa Cruz civil rights activist Darrell Darling dies at 81 (Santa Cruz Sentinel)
PVUSD examines budget, redraws trustee areas (The Pajaronian)
Possible SLVWD, Big Basin Water merger inches along (The Press Banner)
Wild pigs run amok in San Jose, residents want repayment for wrecked landscaping (San Jose Mercury News)
At $110M, this Woodside estate is the Bay Area’s most expensive listing (SFGate)

That will top your tank off as we start the week. There’s plenty more in the Lookout pipeline, though, so keep tabs throughout the day by bookmarking our website and following us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. You can also sign up for breaking news alerts and our ever-growing set of newsletters by visiting our Lookout Newsletter & Text Center.

To ensure you’re staying informed about all the goings-on in Santa Cruz, consider becoming a Lookout member. Our content isn’t possible without community support.

Enjoy your Monday, and I’ll meet 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...