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Morning Lookout: Accused BLM mural vandals in court today, hybrid campus resource program to return next month

Good Morning! It’s Thursday, October 7 and the day will start off cloudy, gradually becoming sunnier with a high of 66.

Later this morning, two young men facing felony charges are due in court after the Black Lives Matter mural outside the Santa Cruz library was vandalized earlier this year. Meanwhile, activists are calling for restorative justice. And next month, a controversial school resource officer program is expected to return to Aptos and Watsonville high schools, but with a twist. We have the latest updates from PVUSD here. Also, in breaking national news, Pfizer has asked the US government for authorization to give the vaccine to children ages 5 and up.

Before we get to the headlines, I wanted to tell you about a special Lookout offer for new members. With the world reopening (yet again) we can return to the movies! There’s some great films on the roster with Daniel Craig’s last Bond movie, “A Time to Die” and the “Venom” sequel competing, and the long-awaited “Dune” opening Oct. 22. So here’s the deal: If you become a new member today, we’ll give you two movie tickets to either the CineLux in Capitola or Scotts Valley. You can sign up here.

Also, a mea culpa from yours truly: I accidentally wrote in yesterday’s newsletter that two Santa Cruz “assemblymembers” had thrown their hats in the ring for the race for Third District Supervisor. As a number of you pointed out, what I meant to say was “councilmembers.” It happens, folks! Sorry about that. But, this is a great excuse to go back and read that article if you haven’t already.

Here are your headlines:

Hybrid SRO program on its way: PVUSD chief says cop-clinician pairing to be in place by Nov. 1

Aptos High parents support kids.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

In an attempt to reconcile safety concerns in the wake of the Aug. 31 fatal stabbing of an Aptos High School student, the Pajaro Valley Unified School District voted to bring back law enforcement presence to Aptos and Watsonville high schools. Now, with hiring drawing to a close, the program will soon come to fruition with SRO-mental health clinician pairs expected on campuses by Nov. 1. Read more about the plans from Lookout contributor Hanna Merzbach.

NATIONAL NEWS: 4 hurt after student opens fire during fight at Arlington high school (NBC DFW)

Bay Federal Credit Union’s new First Time Homebuyer Program has provided loans for eight new homeowners for a total...

New child tax credit may be life changing for the poorest families. But will they sign up?

San Fernando Gardens resident Gloria Acosta, 38, receives a flyer from Adrian Ramirez

A new federal child tax credit program meant to fight child poverty during a tumultuous pandemic would give the poorest families $300 a month for each child younger than 6 and $250 for older children. But the same people who could benefit the most are the hardest to reach. Those who haven’t been filing taxes, often because their income is too low, need to affirmatively sign up for the program. Many don’t know it exists. Read more here.

Alleged BLM vandals face preliminary hearing — and Santa Cruz community activists are watching

READ THE STORY: Two arrested after Black Lives Matter mural vandalized in downtown Santa Cruz
(Via Santa Cruz Police Department)

HAPPENING TODAY: With 20-year-old Brandon Bochat of Santa Cruz and 19-year-old Hagan Warner of Boulder Creek due in court this morning to face felony charges with a hate crime modification, Thomas Sage Pedersen is among those calling for restorative justice should a plea deal come to pass. Read more from Lookout contributor Max Chun here.

How a coast crowded with ships, port gridlock and an anchor might have caused O.C. oil spill

A crew cleans up oil chucks Tuesday from a major oil spill in Huntington Beach.
(Allen J. Schaben/Los Angeles Times)

The U.S. Coast Guard is looking at the possibility that the crush of shipping traffic came into violent contact with a network of undersea infrastructure and triggered a spill that sent an estimated 144,000 gallons of oil into the ocean. On Tuesday, diver reports and footage from remotely operated submarines showed that a 4,000-foot section of a nearly 18-mile oil pipeline had been displaced approximately 105 feet and had a 13-inch split along its length. Read more here.

Oil spill puts spotlight on the magic and fragility of California’s coast

As the oil spill spreads, a team of biologists from the UC Santa Cruz assess the overall biological habitat
(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

While only small bits of oil have washed onto several beaches in the Huntington Beach area so far, officials warn that the shifting currents could still push thicker parts of the slick ashore. Scientists say that could be devastating for some of the richest marine ecosystems in California. Even if the area dodges a disaster, the specter of future ones persists because it’s so close to sprawling oil infrastructure. Read more here.

This month, Arts Council Santa Cruz County invited you to explore over 300 artist studios during the Open Studios Art...

Climate change is supercharging California heat waves, and the state isn’t ready

How heat waves form in Southern California
(Paul Duginski / Los Angeles Times)

Climate change is transforming the character of the West’s hottest periods — making them more frequent, more persistent, more humid and more lethal. Experts say this shift in heatwaves should prompt changes in emergency notifications and public health response to keep the death toll from rising. But that isn’t happening. Read more here.

Around the county...

Pacesetters consider transit options with a safety lens in Aptos after stabbing (Santa Cruz Sentinel)

SC Warriors to host home game at Chase Center (The Pajaronian)

Meth addict caught behind a Walgreens in Santa Cruz (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.

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.

Have a great day!

Tulsi Kamath
Lookout Santa Cruz

A number of Santa Cruz County nonprofits are teaching kids how to grow and cook food, and develop stronger connections...