Former Marine David Crowe, a resident of Veterans Village in Ben Lomond.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)
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Sunday Reads: Inside Veterans Village, Santa Cruz author in exile and introducing obituaries

Introducing Santa Cruz County Obituaries

Today, we expand Sunday Reads. Each week, Wallace Baine has offered some of his most engaging work here in our special Sunday edition. And our Community Voices section provides a thoughtful opinion piece on our community and culture. Now, we add obituaries.

Santa Cruz County Obituaries is our area’s first digital obituary section. Since Lookout launched almost two years ago, we’ve had many requests to publish obituaries and now can do so. As with so much of Lookout, our digital-only publishing allows us to offer features that haven’t previously been possible: personal touches like family videos, interactive photo galleries, favorite songs, and links for friends and family to send flowers, gifts or donations in loved ones’ honor. And of course, the obituaries are easy to share with friends and family, directly and on social media.

We appreciate the help and guidance of Santa Cruz Memorial in designing the new section.

Every Sunday, the latest obituaries will now be featured within our newly upgraded Sunday Reads email newsletter — and then can be found permanently on Lookout, accessed via our “Sections” tab, on the upper left corner of each page (three lines, one squiggly, on your phone).

Let us know what you think, and, as always, let us know more of what you’d like to see.

Sierra Godfrey, part of the vast Santa Cruz diaspora, writes stories about her native city in hope of finding her way back

Novelist and Santa Cruz native Sierra Godfrey
(Via Sierra Godfrey)

“I think I could have set it anywhere,” East Bay-based novelist Sierra Godfrey says of “A Very Typical Family,” out Tuesday. “But because I poured so much of myself into this novel, Santa Cruz needed to be the setting for home, and for bringing the family back together. Probably because of my past, it feels the most like home out of anywhere I’ve ever lived.” Wallace Baine catches up with her for his Sunday column.

MORE FROM WALLACE: Rides, pigs, monster trucks and a ‘zucchini in a bikini’: It’s time for the Santa Cruz County Fair

Take a peek at Veterans Village: It’s an answer to homelessness, but needs more money

Gabriel Barthel, a former Air Force medic and resident of Veterans Village in Ben Lomond.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

Veterans Village in Ben Lomond offers cabins, scenic views and services to six homeless veterans and could be a model for how to handle homelessness in our community and nation. The only problem? Money. It has millions, but needs more. In this Lookout video, Keith Collins, a veteran homeless advocate and the director of operations and programming at Veterans Village, and two veterans who live there explain why Veterans Village matters, needs to grow and deserves support. Click here for the video and story via Community Voices editor Jody K. Biehl and Lookout photojournalist Kevin Painchaud.

MORE ON HOMELESSNESS: Come with us to the Benchlands: Listen to five voices of Santa Cruz’s unhoused (Lookout’s Community Voices)

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 Part 1 of Mark Conley’s series here.

PART 2: ‘Yoda on your shoulder’: Three times he was nearly murdered but a ‘cop whisperer’ brought him back

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