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Morning Lookout: SLV High freshmen head back to class, recall effort begins against PVUSD trustee

Good Morning! It’s Tuesday, April 20, and it will be partly sunny with a high of 61.

We have developments in two sticky school situations on opposite ends of the county — yesterday, a group formally announced its intent to pursue a recall effort against Pajaro Valley Unified School District trustee Georgia Acosta after she was censured by her fellow board members last month. Meanwhile, parents are sounding off as freshmen are headed to class this morning at San Lorenzo Valley High for the first time in a year amid allegations of inappropriate behavior by teachers.

On the lighter side, a newly retired UC Santa Cruz professor, who was oftentimes the subject of controversy in town, spoke with Wallace Baine about his spotted legacy and his love of theater and Shakespeare.

And since it’s 4/20, deemed by pot smokers everywhere as their day, we have a round-up of Green Tuesday deals for you lower down.

Here are your headlines:

As SLV High reopens Tuesday, teacher misconduct investigation hangs over school community: ‘It feels yucky’

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

As San Lorenzo Valley High School freshmen arrive on campus for their first moment of in-person instruction this morning, a concerning pall hangs over the school’s teaching ranks.

  • Two teachers remain out on paid leave, as a total of four district employees are being investigated by San Lorenzo Valley Unified School District based on allegations made via social media by current and former students.
  • A former SLV High teacher, Michael Henderson, will be in Santa Cruz County Superior Court again on Wednesday. facing multiple felony counts for allegedly sexually abusing a girl under age 14 — a case that dates back to 2019.

As the comments on social media mount, read more about how parents are reacting to the allegations from our Mark Conley here.


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

‘This is a pattern’: At least five people now raising misconduct allegations against SLV High teacher

Campaign launches to recall embattled PVUSD trustee Georgia Acosta

PVUSD Trustee Georgia Acosta (left), until recently the school board's president, and Superintendent Michelle Rodriguez.
PVUSD Trustee Georgia Acosta (left), until recently the school board’s president, and Superintendent Michelle Rodriguez.
(PVUSD and Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

Embattled for months following her involvement in an attempt to oust Pajaro Valley Unified School District Superintendent Michelle Rodriguez, former board president trustee Georgia Acosta is now facing an effort to recall her from office. Elected to office in 2016, Acosta has become the subject of mounting ire from some within the district. Read more about the recall effort, what backers will need to do and when the election might happen here.


March 24: PVUSD trustees censure former president Acosta, reveal email that expands superintendent saga questions

March 30: An email suggests outside coordination over PVUSD superintendent’s ouster. All involved are staying silent

March 10: PVUSD board votes against paying $16K in legal fees authorized by its former president

‘Run out of town at 33,’ Danny Scheie returns to Santa Cruz for for a fitting Shakespearian farewell

Danny Scheie is getting the gang back together on April 23.
(Via UCSC & Danny Scheie)

Celebrated (and controversial) UC Santa Cruz theater professor Danny Scheie gets the band back together for another run-through of ‘Comedy of Errors’ on April 23, then he will continue to do what he loves most — act. Wallace Baine writes:

In a time long ago and far away, in a Santa Cruz of a previous century, a man named Danny Scheie would, too often for his comfort, find himself in hot water with the locals.

And I was to blame.


Read the whole thing here.

Road-tripping south? Highway 1 to reopen Friday

The gap in Highway 1 after the collapse in January . . .
(via Caltrans)

Highway 1 at Rat Creek in Monterey County will completely reopen this Friday, April 23, at noon. A full closure had been in place following the January 28 post-fire debris flow that washed out 150 feet of the roadway. Get a look at the project that repaired the washed-out section here.

Green Tuesday: Here’s a round-up of the best 4/20 cannabis deals across Santa Cruz County

Marijuana plants.

Santa Cruz cannabis dispensaries aren’t letting the COVID-19 pandemic upend 4/20 celebrations this year with a whole host of deals and sales. Most sales are only while supplies last, and some deals are only available online or in-store, so visit each website for details. Here’s a rundown of those offers.

COVID 2021

Daniel Zanales, LVN, fills syringes with the Moderna COVID-19 Vaccine
Nurse Daniel Zanales fills syringes with the Moderna COVID-19 vaccine Thursday at the South Central Family Health Center in Los Angeles. (Francine Orr / Los Angeles Times)

One-quarter of Californians now fully vaccinated against COVID-19: One in 4 Californians are now fully vaccinated for COVID-19 as the state continues its dash to widely inoculate residents and ward off any potential resurgence of the pandemic. Despite the sheer numbers involved in reaching that threshold, federal data show that the state is continuing to lag behind others — ranking 32 in the country — in terms of completely vaccinating its populace. Read more from our partners at the LA Times about how our state stacks up against the rest of the country.

California encourages venues to require vaccine ‘passports’ — just don’t call them that: California health officials have repeatedly said they have no plans to institute COVID-19 vaccine “passports” — digital or paper passes that allow vaccinated residents or those who’ve tested negative into concerts, baseball games and other sports arenas. However, private companies and medical and education institutions are already working to produce a pass, akin to an airline boarding pass, that could be used digitally or printed out. Read more about this from our partners at the LA Times.

Buying locally produced food and goods benefits you and your community in more ways than you think.

Around the county …

New ice cream shop to open in Aptos (The Pajaronian)

Motorcyclist dies in crash on Highway 1 near Waddell Creek (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