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Morning Lookout: Misconduct allegations at SLV High, everything you need for Vax Day

Good Morning! It’s Thursday, April 15, and it will be mostly sunny with a high of 63.

Traditionally, today would be the day I’d remind everyone it’s Tax Day. But for the second year in a row, the tax filing deadline has been extended, so you’ll have another month to file if you’re a procrastinator like me.

However, it is Vax Day with all people over the age of 16 newly eligible for the vaccine today. We’ve got resources and information for you as you navigate the vaccine process, but more on that later.

Last night, our Nick Ibarra broke big news: After a flood of allegations of sexual assault, grooming and misconduct arose on social media, the San Lorenzo Valley Unified School District has put two SLV High teachers on leave and as it investigates claims against four employees.

At the statewide level, a CalMatters report reveals that California politicians owe more than $2 million in unpaid campaign fees, which in some cases, have gone unpunished for years. Also, state lawmakers are pushing for various policing reforms including a police misconduct panel and an expanded ban on chokeholds.

Here are your headlines:

Two SLV High teachers on paid leave as district investigates misconduct allegations against four employees

San Lorenzo Valley High School
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

Two San Lorenzo Valley High School teachers are on leave — among a total of four district employees under investigation — as a swirl of misconduct allegations against them have surfaced on social media in recent weeks, the district’s superintendent said. Social science teacher Eric Kahl and science teacher William Winkler are both on paid leave as the investigation takes place and misconduct allegations against two other employees are being investigated, according to San Lorenzo Valley Unified Superintendent Laurie Bruton. Read more about the allegations from our Nick Ibarra here.

Over the years, programs at Life Lab have emerged into one of the premier educational resources for gardening in the...

Policing and law enforcement

A screenshot of body camera footage released by the Santa Cruz County Sheriff's Office
A screenshot of body camera footage released by the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office after a deputy-involved shooting on April 6, 2021. This shot comes shortly before a deputy shot the suspect.
(Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office)

WATCH | Sheriff releases graphic video of deputy-involved shooting in Aptos: Santa Cruz County Sheriff Jim Hart released graphic footage Wednesday of an officer-involved shooting in Aptos last week captured by body cameras worn by two deputies involved. The shooting occurred April 6 in the parking lot behind the Aptos Village Square shopping center — where the sheriff’s office had received more than 20 calls for service in recent months related to trespassing, drug activity and other incidents, Hart said. The video contains graphic images and language that may be disturbing to some. Read more and see the footage here.

California lawmakers push for police misconduct panel, expanded chokehold ban: California law enforcement officers could lose their certification based on the decisions of a panel that includes victims of police misconduct under legislation that moved forward Tuesday in the Legislature, as lawmakers also supported an expansive ban on policing techniques that obstruct a person’s breathing. Two other closely watched bills also were approved by the committees dominated by Democrats. Read more from our partners at the LA Times here.

GET OUR ALERTS: By the way, if you want to make sure you’re keeping on top of the news of the day, I suggest signing up for Lookout’s Breaking News Text Alerts. We send out text alerts to keep our readers on top of the news as it’s happening. You can sign up for our free text alerts here or just text the word BREAKING to (831) 387-6546.

It’s Vax Day!

Elizabeth Raygoza gets her Pfizer vaccine shot from Physician Assistant-Certified Alyssa Hernandez

‘Try all the methods’: Everything county health leadership is saying about vaccines: At yesterday’s press conference, Santa Cruz County health officials remained positive about local infection rates, which remain low, and vaccination progress, but cautioned that demand is certain to exceed supply when vaccine eligibility opens to all adults on Thursday. Read more of what we learned from yesterday’s press conference from our Mallory Pickett here.

Team Lookout prepares for Vax Day by doing its best to get appointments — here’s what happened: As journalists, we’ve documented so many stories of those who have already walked the vax path. Now that it’s “my turn” for so many more, what should we all expect? Our editor crew here at Lookout is all under 50 and while we each are comfortable being mostly behind the journalistic curtain (editors tend to be that way), we all felt a civic duty of sorts to share our experience in trying to hunt down that elusive needle in a haystack this week. You can read our stories in last night’s COVID PM newsletter here.

What do I do and where do I go to get a vaccine in Santa Cruz County? To help you in your quest for the life-saving jab, Lookout has broken down all the resources to help find vaccine appointments nearby and lists of pharmacies and healthcare providers you can call to make an appointment. We hope it helps! Find the resource list here and share it with your friends and family who may need it. (Yes, so far, most of us have had success using the resources on the list.)

Hopefully, you and your loved ones don’t have a tough time getting a vaccine. But unfortunately, with existing supply issues, that might happen. We want to hear your stories. Share them with us by replying to this email or sending us a note at news@lookoutlocal.com.

Around the state and nation …

Illustration

California politicians owe $2 million in campaign fines, don’t get punished: California’s secretary of state’s office has failed to collect $2 million in fines owed by politicians, lobbyists and campaign donors who the office says filed disclosure reports late, a CalMatters analysis shows. The agency has allowed some of the largest fines to languish for many years with no consequences. The debts are owed by a range of political players — 26 state lawmakers, 21 superior court judges, as well as former legislators, losing candidates, ballot measure campaigns, Democratic and Republican clubs and more. Read more from our partners at CalMatters here.

Biden moves to overturn Trump birth control rules: The Biden administration yesterday formally proposed the repeal of Trump-era regulations barring abortion referrals and making other changes intended to evict Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers from the federal family planning program, Title X. The 2019 rules dramatically limited access to these family planning services for many low-income people. Our partners at Kaiser Health News are tracking the Biden administration’s rollback of Trump health policies. We’ve got Kaiser Health News’ story about those actions here.

Celebrate the MAH’s 25th Anniversary with new exhibitions and events happening throughout Santa Cruz County in 2021.

Around the county …

Santa Cruz police arrest parolee after alleged brandishing, kidnapping (Santa Cruz Sentinel)

Freedom Boulevard facelift scheduled for next fiscal year (The Pajaronian)

New farmers’ market to arrive in Watsonville (KION-TV)

That’s it for today. If you’re enjoying our coverage, please tell your family and friends about our Lookout Newsletter & Text Center, where they can sign up for all the newsletters and alerts we offer. You can also keep tabs on everything we’re publishing through the day by bookmarking our website and following us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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Have a great day!

Tulsi Kamath
Managing Editor

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