Santa Cruz County Sheriff Jim Hart in the courtroom for Steven Carrillo's sentencing.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)
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Morning Lookout: Law enforcement’s mental health focus; West Cliff project heads for hearing

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Good morning, Lookout friends. It is Tuesday, Sept. 6, and virtually all of Santa Cruz County is under an excessive heat warning, with temperatures headed for 115 or higher in spots in the mountains and well into the 90s in many other places. Some tips from our friends at the National Weather Service:

If you want to get straight into what’s new on Lookout, go for it.
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Up first on this Tuesday is the first story in a series from Mark Conley, as local law enforcement agencies have responded to tragedies in the line of duty by placing a higher priority on mental health and helping those affected by post-traumatic stress recover.

In the city of Santa Cruz, meanwhile, there’s been some pushback on a senior housing facility planned near the surfer statue along West Cliff Drive. Previous community concerns resulted in a smaller footprint for the project, which comes up for a planning commission hearing next month.

And in our Community Voices opinion section, one local 10-year-old makes her case for having a phone — and we’d love your feedback on how you’ve tackled the issue in your own homes.

So please, read along for all the day’s headlines, including Wallace Baine’s column on his experience as a member of the People Who Stutter Club and more.

Post-tragedy, Santa Cruz cops are embracing a mental health culture shift, pushing PTSD understanding

A Bay Area-wide honoring of police officers lost on duty spotlighted Sgt. Damon Gutzwiller.
(Via Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office)

Two years after Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Sgt. Damon Gutzwiller was murdered, the recognition of post-traumatic stress and the long-term well-being of officers has never been more widely, or seriously, discussed. Leaders at local agencies say that’s imperative to keeping enough officers among their ranks and on duty. It’s why they aren’t taking for granted the services of an internationally acclaimed “cop whisperer” right here in their midst. Read the first story in Mark Conley’s series here.

LAST MONTH: Steven Carrillo gets life in 2020 murder of Santa Cruz sheriff’s deputy Damon Gutzwiller (Lookout)

How much opposition will there be to a senior living facility planned along West Cliff Drive?

The proposed development site.
(Via City of Santa Cruz)

A bit different than some of the other recently proposed developments, the city of Santa Cruz initially received a pre-application in 2019 for an assisted living project adjacent to the Shrine of St. Joseph church. After the public raised concerns in 2020, the project’s size was reduced; a presentation is scheduled for the planning commission’s Oct. 6 meeting. Max Chun has the details.

MORE ON DEVELOPMENT: ‘Skyscrapers’ in Santa Cruz? 17-story building plans moving forward as city tackles its housing problem (Lookout)

DAILY DIGEST

A belated start to the workweek after the long Labor Day weekend, but busy all the same. On a typical Tuesday at this time, we’d be hours away from Lily Belli’s newsletter hitting inboxes everywhere — but with Lily on a well-deserved vacation this week, you can dig into past editions for Lily Belli on Food here, or click here to peruse her Friday offerings of Eaters Digest, also on hiatus until next week.

In any event, you’ll want to keep Lookout bookmarked and and follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to stay current about everything going on in Santa Cruz County. And our content isn’t possible without community support, so if you’re not already, please consider becoming a Lookout member — and tell a friend about what we’re doing.

Stay hydrated, keep as cool as you can, and I’ll see you back here Wednesday morning.

Will McCahill
Lookout Santa Cruz