Quick Take:

The Santa Cruz Main Jail is the largest mental health provider in the county. “Let that sink in,” writes Ricki Lee...

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Good morning, everyone. It’s Tuesday, April 4, and the forecast calls for a sunny day around Santa Cruz County, with temps again headed for the mid- to upper 50s.

Much to explore on Lookout, if you’re so inclined.
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Amid news that President Joe Biden has approved a major disaster declaration that will speed federal aid to Pajaro, Hillary Ojeda reports on how middle school students and educators displaced by last month’s flooding are navigating the confusing process. “I think this push to feel normal or to be back to normal — I don’t think it’s really fair,” one teacher says. “I just feel like I’m not able to give them the education they deserve.”

Elsewhere, getting a handle on the ongoing opioid crisis is the focus for organizations looking to make lifesaving drugs more available. The Santa Cruz Surgery Center is partnering with county agencies to get naloxone into its physicians’ hands, Max Chun reports, and community members can pick up Narcan and learn more about it at a Cabrillo College event later this month.

And in Lookout’s Community Voices opinion section, Ricki Lee Stautz, a social worker who was formerly incarcerated, writes about mental health in the Santa Cruz County jail and pushes for more investment in correctional evolution.

Now, to the headlines …

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How a Pajaro Middle School teacher and her students are navigating recovery after Pajaro River levee breach

Pajaro Middle teacher Ebelin Mata talks about teaching her students at Lakeview Middle, on March 27, 2023.

More than 400 students from Pajaro Middle School are now learning in makeshift classroom setups at Watsonville’s Lakeview Middle after their school flooded in March. “I find myself just feeling guilty that I’m trying to make the situation feel normal,” said Ebelin Mata, who teaches sixth and seventh graders. “When it’s not.” Read Hillary Ojeda’s story.

MORE: Pajaro residents begin to return home, almost two weeks after floods devastated community

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Push continues to get opioid-reversal meds into more hands around Santa Cruz County

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Credit: Kent Nishimura / Los Angeles Times

The Santa Cruz Surgery Center is partnering with the Health Improvement Partnership of Santa Cruz County and the county’s Health Services Agency to give physicians a kit including fentanyl antagonist naloxone for use in the community, and HIP is hosting an April 22 event at Cabrillo College where any county resident can pick up and learn more about Narcan. Max Chun has details.

PREVIOUSLY: As fentanyl’s painful death toll grows in Santa Cruz, taking young lives, it’s time for meaningful solutions

Cabrillo College PC roadblock

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That is Tuesday a.m. as I know it, friends. If that has whetted your appetite for more Lookout, I have good news: Among what’s coming down the pipeline is the latest in Santa Cruz County food and drink news, via Jessica M. Pasko. You can get that delivered directly to your inbox, along with all of our newsletters plus breaking news alerts, by clicking right here. You’ll also find that on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, so do give Lookout a follow.

Our content isn’t possible without community support, so if you’re not already, please consider becoming a Lookout member.

Enjoy your Tuesday, and I shall see you back here Wednesday 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...