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New Leaf Community Markets brand manager Lindsay Gizdich said the store is moving from Pacific Avenue in order to have...

Welcome to Part 3 of our year-end look of the top headlines in Santa Cruz County. As summer peaked and moved into fall, our region saw a multitude of tragedies and joys — and Lookout was there to help you understand and work through them.

July 2021

As summer heated up, so did the drama in Santa Cruz. July saw the Black Lives Matter mural downtown vandalized — with the alleged perpetrators set to have their day in court shortly after the new year. The Delta variant began to show its head locally, and health officials (again) recommended masks indoors. Lookout also checked out issues at Capitola Beach as well as provided an analysis of the local home market. Click the links with the photos below for July’s big stories.

  • READ THE STORY: Two arrested after Black Lives Matter mural vandalized in downtown Santa Cruz
  • READ THE STORY: Tokyo, here she comes! UCSC student becomes first athlete from school to head to Olympics
  • TORRANCE, CA - AUGUST 05: Dr. Anita Sircar, MD, hurries through the cover unit
  • READ THE STORY: ‘Loyal to my soil’: Watsonville MLB draft pick Ruben Ibarra won’t forget ball fields where it all began
  • READ THE STORY: Dramatic rescue image: Sheriff’s office social post shows what went into efforts to help person in distress
  • READ THE STORY: ‘Abundance of caution’: Santa Cruz health officials urge people to mask up indoors once again
  • The Palomar Building is the tallest in downtown Santa Cruz
  • READ THE STORY: Capitola Beach bummer: After popular spot gets unhealthy F, is it safe to swim there?
  • File image of a door with a key
  • Tina & Zach Friend

Women surfing


As we close the book on 2021, we take a look back at the stories that made headlines in Santa Cruz County, from the effects of the pandemic and local business, education and entertainment to everyday life around the county.

August 2021

August was a month full of tragedy and redemption. For the first anniversary of the CZU Complex fire, Lookout published nearly a dozen stories on the recovery, reconstruction and the everyday folks who make our area the special place it is. UC Santa Cruz students continued to struggle to find housing, and health officials went from recommending masks to mandating them. And, at the end of the month, a 17-year-old was stabbed to death at Aptos High School. Click the links with the photos below for August’s big stories.

  • Syringes at the Marin County Vaccination Point of Dispensary
  • Miriam Villalobos and Santiago Tehandon, Watsonville residents who died of COVID-19 complications
  • Palace Art & Office Supply exterior.
  • U.S. Rep. Jimmy Panetta ad podium
  • 12 kids were rescued at the harbor after their boats capsized.
  • Riverfront development renderings
  • READ THE STORY: When this was ‘The Murder Capital of the World’: Local author explores Santa Cruz’s nightmarish moment
  • Two Aptos/La Selva fire trucks
  • Pajaro Valley Unified School District Superintendent Michelle Rodriguez

September 2021

Following the tragic death on Aug. 31, Lookout trained its sights on giving you the full context and stories behind the Aptos High stabbing. But that wasn’t the only thing that happened that month: health officials, citing a decreasing case load, removed the mask mandate, Bonny Doon residents protested the potential placement of a sexually violent predator in their community, and Santa Cruz received an explosion of new murals. Click the links with the photos below for September’s big stories.

  • READ THE SERIES: Complete coverage of the Aptos High School stabbing and its aftermath
  • READ THE STORY: A test of ‘Bonny Doon Strong’: Why a ‘sexually violent predator’ should not be this community’s next battle
  • READ THE STORY: Masks off: Santa Cruz health officials remove mandate
  • Jimbo Phillips' "Plastic Pollution" mural
  • The Lost Boys
  • A scorched property overlooking Foreman Creek in Bonnie Doon on Dec. 15, 2020.
  • READ THE STORY: ‘They need to clean it up’: To BLM mural artist Abi Mustapha, restorative justice is the answer
  • RVs line a street on Santa Cruz's Westside
  • READ THE STORY: Farmers market exec: Downtown redevelopment ballot initiative doesn’t represent our interests
  • READ THE STORY: Goodbye to a legend: Why we’ll never see a character like Lee Quarnstrom again
  • READ THE STORY: Housing at the forefront: UC regents to consider plan for a 44% increase in UCSC enrollment by 2040

Coming tomorrow: October through December.

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