Claudia Sternbach (left) and her twin sisters
Aptos writer Claudia Sternbach (left) and her twin sisters.
(Via Claudia Sternbach)
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Morning Lookout: Training local student leaders; a journey through loss and grief

Good morning and welcome to a new month! It is Thursday, Sept. 1, and Santa Cruz County will be feeling the effects of the “heat dome” settling over us, with highs around 100 in the mountains and in the 80s even close to Monterey Bay. Stay hydrated and get ready for more of the same at least through the upcoming holiday weekend.

Itching for a solo trek into Lookout’s newest offerings? Saddle up.
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For those of you sticking with me, thanks for reading! We’re kicking things off with Hillary Ojeda’s report on an effort by the Santa Cruz County Office of Education to train students to serve as student trustees on local school boards, with the basics of democracy key underpinnings of the summer academy.

Also new this Thursday is a Community Voices opinion piece from Aptos writer Claudia Sternbach, who traces the fraught circumstances surrounding a promise she made to her late sister to scatter her ashes in the bay.

Plenty more in the headlines, including Watsonville Community Hospital back in public hands and how gardening might extend your life, so please, follow along.

‘Our voices should matter in the present as well as in the future’: Academy trains high school students to participate in board meetings

Soquel High School senior Lynda Otero.
(Via Lynda Otero)

The Santa Cruz County Office of Education launched a School Board Academy for Students this past summer with the aim of helping students understand how school boards function and training them on how to serve on boards as student trustees. Students and COE officials shared what they learned with Hillary Ojeda.

Q&A WITH FARIS SABBAH: Affordability, teacher housing, student well-being: Superintendent outlines county’s top challenges (Lookout)

I’ve finally found a way to say goodbye to my sister, nine years after she died

Claudia Sternbach (center) is mourning her sister, Carol (left), who would have been 70 this month. This photo is from 1954.
(Via Claudia Sternbach)

Writer Claudia Sternbach lost her younger sister Carol to cancer in 2013. That same week, she also “lost” her other sister, Carol’s twin, to a family rift she never understood and can’t — despite the years — mend. Sternbach has kept Carol’s ashes in a lidded ceramic bowl on a shelf in her Aptos home all these years, despite promising Carol she would spread them in the sea. She’s been unable to part with them without Carol’s twin, her other sister, present. But now, to mark Carol’s 70th birthday, Sternbach writes that she has decided to scatter the ashes and let go of the hurt that haunts her. She has found the perfect way. Read her Community Voices opinion piece here.

GOT SOMETHING TO SAY? Find out how to contribute a letter to the editor and read what your fellow Santa Cruzans are saying in Lookout’s Community Voices section


Santa Cruz County Job Board

That ought to be enough fuel to carry you into Thursday. Thursday, of course, means the weekend is right around the corner — and a long holiday weekend at that! — so right on cue, Wallace Baine will be along presently with Weekender, chock full of recommendations for things to do all over Santa Cruz County, the latest on our arts and culture scene and plenty more. All that is to say you should bookmark Lookout and and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram so you don’t miss anything.

And just because I say it frequently doesn’t mean it’s not true: Our content isn’t possible without community support, so if you’re not already, please consider becoming a Lookout member. And if you like what we’re doing, please help us spread the word.

Again, try to stay cool this toasty Thursday, keep hydrated and don’t leave kids and pets in the car — I’ll see you Friday!

Will McCahill
Lookout Santa Cruz