Cabrillo College student trustee Deviné Hardy.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)
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Morning Lookout: Cabrillo’s dynamic student trustee; voices of the Benchlands

Hello again, Lookout friends! It’s Monday, Aug. 22, and the familiar Fogust pattern continues around the bay, with clouds giving way to sun and 70s near the coast while the Santa Cruz Mountains will warm into the 90s.

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If you’re still with me, thanks for reading! First stop is Cabrillo College, where Hillary Ojeda caught up with student trustee Deviné Hardy, who as an African American “felt visibly invisible on campus” when she first arrived there 18 years ago. Life has brought her back, and she has thrown her energy into being the student advocate she always needed.

Last week, Mark Conley looked at what’s next for the Benchlands as the city of Santa Cruz moves forward with plans to clear the county’s largest homeless encampment; now, our Community Voices opinion editor, Jody K. Biehl, and photojournalist Kevin Painchaud bring us voices of Benchlands residents in five video interviews. As Jody writes, “They are part of our community. And they offer a glimpse of what can happen when luck, genetics, friendship and love turn sour and upend us.”

And with last week marking the second anniversary of the start of the CZU Complex fire, Wallace Baine reflects on how the devastating blaze has changed us all.

So let’s hit those headlines, shall we?

New Cabrillo College student trustee Deviné Hardy thrives in role of student advocate she always needed

Cabrillo College student trustee Deviné Hardy.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

Deviné Hardy first came to Cabrillo College 18 years ago, and recalls her anger then. After bartending, coordinating circus events and running a yoga studio, she’s back at the school with the plans to graduate with three degrees in the spring. Now, she has joined the Cabrillo board of trustees as its student representative, bringing all of that experience to the task. Hillary Ojeda has the story.

MORE FROM CABRILLO: Cabrillo College question: How to better serve its Hispanic students?

Come with us to the Benchlands: Listen to five voices of Santa Cruz’s unhoused

New fencing in the Benchlands area Wednesday.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

We often talk about “the unhoused” in Santa Cruz County, but we rarely talk to them. Here, in video clips, Lookout’s Jody K. Biehl and Kevin Painchaud take you to the Benchlands, Santa Cruz’s largest homeless encampment — a place of ongoing controversy as the city plans its closure — and hear from five people living there. If you haven’t walked the Benchlands, this is your opportunity. As part of our interviews, we asked Benchlands residents what they want you — the public — to know about them and their lives. Watch the videos here.

LAST WEEK: Beyond the Benchlands: Under lawsuit threat, Santa Cruz sets plan to clear homeless camp. What happens next?


Whatever you’ve got going this week, I hope our offerings help you get off on the right foot. And with more coming, here’s what the kids call a pro tip: Keep Lookout bookmarked and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram so you don’t miss a thing.

A new week is also a great time to support the local journalism that’s so crucial to both the Santa Cruz County community and our democratic experiment as a whole, so if you’re not already, we’d love for you to become a Lookout member. And if you like what we’re doing, I hope you’ll tell a friend.

Caffeinate, motivate, dominate — that’s my Monday mantra. Now get out there and make it a good one!

Will McCahill
Lookout Santa Cruz