Aptos High School staff
From left to right: Sheriff’s Deputy Paul Lopez; Jonathan Flores, campus security; David Ortiz, campus security; Heather Waltz, mental health clinician.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)
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Morning Lookout: School safety in PVUSD, county strike and fines for water wasters

Hello hello — it’s Wednesday, Dec. 8, and we have ahead of us a partly sunny day with highs in the 60s, and a slight chance of rain in the evening.

The new-look school safety program pairing a school resource officer with a mental health clinician at Aptos and Watsonville high schools is off to a running start, and Lookout’s Hillary Ojeda got a look at how things are going so far.

Meanwhile, Santa Cruz County employees could go on strike as early as this week after union members voted overwhelmingly to authorize a walkout, as Lookout’s Max Chun and Dan Evans reported.

A new memoir from local author Claudia Sternbach has the attention of Lookout’s Wallace Baine, who explains the faux correspondence of “Dear Goldie Hawn, Dear Leonard Cohen.”

And the state of California is considering fines for wasting water as the drought worsens and conservation lags.

Hopping in on Wednesday’s headlines:

New-look school safety programs off and running

Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Deputy Paul Lopez began at Aptos High Oct. 18.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

The Pajaro Valley Unified School District is moving forward with the implementation of its school policing pilot program, which pairs a mental health clinician with a school resource officer at Watsonville and Aptos high schools. Lookout’s Hillary Ojeda goes inside the program.

MORE ON APTOS HIGH ATTACK, AFTERMATH: All of Lookout’s coverage in one place

County workers could strike this week after 93.5% vote to approve walkout

Members of SEIU Local 521 gathered outside the county board of supervisors meeting on Tuesday.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

Leaders of the union representing Santa Cruz County workers announced Tuesday that its members have voted to authorize a strike if the county continues to negotiate in what they see as bad faith. Lookout’s Dan Evans and Max Chun detail the situation here.

PREVIOUSLY: County workers protest working conditions, say they are on the edge of a strike (Lookout)

Revealing herself through faux correspondence

Aptos writer Claudia Sternbach.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

Aptos writer and former Sentinel columnist Claudia Sternbach tells absorbing, often painfully honest stories about the pains and joys of her life, set in the form of never-postmarked letters to famous people. Lookout’s Wallace Baine dives in.

MORE FROM WALLACE: Watsonville writer Jaime Cortez brings the focus to the fields in his semi-autobiographical new book, ‘Gordo’

California considers $500 fines for water wasters

A sprinkler
(Via Pixabay)

As conservation lags, the proposal could usher in a wave of water regulations that harken back to previous droughts while underscoring the seriousness of the current one. Our partners at the Los Angeles Times look at what’s ahead.

MORE CHALLENGES: A ‘no snow’ California could come sooner than you think (Los Angeles Times)

Presented by UC Santa Cruz

UC Santa Cruz has expanded its annual Second Harvest Holiday Food and Fund Drive to help boost donations—needed now more...

Car crash deaths have surged during COVID-19 pandemic

A car crash is seen through a sideview mirror
(Via Pixabay)

Evidence suggests the pandemic has made U.S. drivers more reckless — more likely to speed, drink or use drugs and to leave their seatbelts unbuckled. More here from the Times.

PANDEMIC DRAGS ON: California prepares for winter COVID-19 surge; if not from Omicron, then from Delta (Los Angeles Times)

Around the county ...

Armed man robs Target in Capitola, shoots at security guards (KSBW-TV)
‘They belong here’: Watsonville’s Amesti Elementary mural highlights community pride (Santa Cruz Sentinel)
Judge: Watsonville must pay airport business’ legal costs (The Pajaronian)

That should get your Wednesday started off right. Keep track of goings-on around Santa Cruz County all day by bookmarking our website and following us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram — and visit our Lookout Newsletter & Text Center to sign up for all the newsletters and alerts we offer.

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

Now get out there and conquer hump day!

Will McCahill
Lookout Santa Cruz

Presented by Santa Cruz Symphony

The Santa Cruz Symphony League has announced its 45th Annual Home Tour Fundraiser. This year the series expands via...