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Sunday Reads: Capitola Village love, helping bullying victims and a major disaster declaration for Santa Cruz

Good morning! Don’t put away your umbrellas just yet. There’s more rain headed to Santa Cruz County after another wet Saturday that brought more flooding and evacuations.

The National Weather Service forecasts showers throughout the day and into Monday, bringing up to 2 inches of rain total over the remainder of the long weekend. A flood watch remains in effect through Tuesday and there is a beach hazard statement in effect until Monday morning because of the potential for large waves. So best to stay out of the water today.

But then things should start drying out and the sun should make a reappearance come Tuesday.

Capitola Village’s magic has taken a beating, but you can help rekindle the #capitolalove

Capitola Village from the air
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

It’s hard to visit Capitola Village and not come under its spell — and that makes it even harder for anyone who’s felt the magic to see it in its current storm-ravaged state. And while our Santa Cruz County gem will always be vulnerable, we can all do our part to help the healing process by returning that love now. Read Wallace Baine’s Sunday column.

MORE FROM WALLACE: Find all of his columns here

Biden declares major disaster for Santa Cruz County as FEMA head tours region amid more flooding and evacuations

FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell, center, views damage to Seacliff State Beach with state and local officials.
Left to right: Second District Supervisor for Santa Cruz County Zach Friend, Chief Deputy director of Cal OES Lisa Ann L. Mangat, Administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency Deanne Criswell and Deputy District Superintendent of Santa Cruz State Parks Jordan Burgess, view the heavy damage done to Rio Del Mar and Seacliff State Beach on Saturday.
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

President Joe Biden issued a major disaster declaration for Santa Cruz Saturday night, hours after FEMA Administrator Deanne Criswell and members of her staff, toured storm-damaged pars of the region. Local and state officials had been urging the White House for the declaration, which is set to unlock federal dollars for local governments and residents to pay for storm recovery. Criswell visited parts of Rio Del Mar and Capitola on Saturday and was expected to tours areas of the San Lorenzo Valley.

That visit came as another atmospheric river hit the county on Friday and Saturday, filling already-swollen creeks and rivers, the Santa Cruz Sheriff’s Office issued evacuation orders for Felton Grove, Paradise Park, parts of Soquel Village and Rio Del Mar. Read the latest here.

MORE STORM COVERAGE: in Lookout’s Storm Central blog

I’ve spent years being bullied in school, but now I’ve found hope. I want to bring it to others.

Scotts Valley High School student Maddy Rutherford
(Via Madelyne Rutherford)

Maddy Rutherford is a ninth grader at Scotts Valley High and says she has been bullied since elementary school. Her experiences filled her with self-doubt and made her not want to go to school. This year, her first in high school, she was selected to be in a new program at Scotts Valley High called Hope Squad, which makes her part of a team of students who help students in need of friendship or someone to talk to. Scotts Valley is the only Santa Cruz County school with this program. She thinks that should change. Read her Community Voices op-ed here.

FROM JUNE 2022: ‘I’m the one who had to bury my son’: Scotts Valley mom fights for change in wake of bullied child’s suicide

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