Images of Mateo at the Deihl house.
(Mark Conley / Lookout Santa Cruz)
Latest News

Morning Lookout: A mom’s fight for change after son’s suicide; inside West Cliff construction

Morning, folks. Today is Wednesday, June 22, and it’ll be a cooler one around Santa Cruz County after yesterday’s triple-digit spike, with highs ranging from the 70s to low 90s and clouds moving in later. Unfortunately, that will bring with it some risk of thunderstorms, particularly inland:

Well worth your time this morning is Mark Conley’s sitdown with Regina Deihl, who’s pushing for changes in Scotts Valley schools after her 15-year-old son, Mateo, died by suicide in February after years of bullying in the district. “I understand how hard this is for the school district,” she said. “But I’m the one who had to go down and pick out his casket. I’m the one who had to bury my son.”

Our Ask Lookout series returns today with a look inside the public works process in Santa Cruz, prompted by a question about why it’s seemingly taking so long to fix up the path along West Cliff Drive near Natural Bridges. We’re looking forward, too, with an interactive map of projects underway or coming soon.

And changes are coming to local safe syringe programs, Grace Stetson reports, after the nonprofit Harm Reduction Coalition lost its funding from county supervisors.

Plenty of headlines to get to, including what’s on tap at the renovated Trout Farm Inn in Zayante, so let’s take a look.

‘I’m the one who had to bury my son’

Regina Deihl
(Mark Conley / Lookout Santa Cruz)

Scotts Valley High School freshman Mateo Deihl was different, his family and friends say, in wonderful ways. A traumatized product of the foster care system, he had compassion for others and tried to be nice to all. It made him an easy target for bullying. When his mother stepped in to try to help affect change, she says her attempts fell on deaf ears at the middle school and high school. Mateo took his own life in February and now his mom, Regina Deihl, a longtime lawyer in the juvenile justice system, must decide what path to take in honoring his legacy. Here’s what she told Mark Conley.

MORE FROM COUNTY SCHOOLS: COVID, mental health and security challenges: School superintendent Faris Sabbah reflects and looks ahead to next four years (Lookout)


The West Cliff path near Natural Bridges has been a mess for years. What’s the holdup?

The sidewalk under repair
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

Who hasn’t seen the ongoing work/workaround on one of Santa Cruz’s most popular walkways? Good news on this one — and we’ve put together a reader’s guide/map to the public works projects coming soon to neighborhoods in Santa Cruz. Max Chun has the goods.

YOU ASK, WE ANSWER: Check out previous Ask Lookouts on the Fishhook, SeaBreeze Tavern, Ferrell’s Donuts and more

County’s safe syringe programs see a change as Harm Reduction Coalition loses funding

The Harm Reduction Coalition of Santa Cruz County gives away free syringes in nine sizes.
(Rachel Bluth / Kaiser Health News)

The Harm Reduction Coalition — which has officially partnered with Santa Cruz County’s Health Services Agency for two years — and its safe syringes and related programs didn’t receive funding for the year. Supervisors cited duplication of services with the county’s own efforts, but HRC leaders say they provide needed, additive options. Get the details from Grace Stetson.

Trout Farm Inn resurrected, Alice Waters at UCSC and Michelin misses

A team of new owners is reviving the historic Trout Farm Inn in Zayante.
(Via Loopnet)

Lily Belli’s On Food newsletter returns with a look at what the team behind Beer Thirty has planned in Zayante, a farm-to-table icon coming to town and much more. Dig in here.

MORE FROM LILY: Find all of Lookout’s food and drink coverage in one place

‘There’s a human cost to this’: California school bus funding stalled for 40 years

A row of parked schoolbuses
(Via Pixabay)

School officials are urging Gov. Gavin Newsom and California legislators to require that the state fund school buses for all districts. Read more from our partners at the Los Angeles Times.

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Around the county ...

Public access: Court rules in favor of Rio Del Mar homeowners (Santa Cruz Sentinel)
How the push for farmworker housing is hindered by persistent myths (Good Times)
Aptos area CHP gains four new officers (The Pajaronian)
Thousands without power due to wildfire in San Mateo County (SFGate)

That’s it for right now. 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 throughout the day by bookmarking our website and following us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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Have a great Wednesday!

Will McCahill
Lookout Santa Cruz