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The Ultimate Sacrifice
We mourn the loss of Sgt. Damon Gutzwiller who lost his life while serving his community this past Saturday. Sgt. Gutzwiller was a patrol supervisor and worked for the Sheriff's Office since 2006, and was a volunteer with the agency before that. He was 38 years old, married, had one child, and another on the way. In announcing his death, Sheriff Hart said it was his "toughest day on the job" and that "Today we lost a hero." A vigil attended by 1,000 people took place on Sunday. Funeral arrangements are still being worked out. No one can prepare for this kind of unexpected loss. Our hearts go out to his family, friends, and colleagues.

The outpouring of support to the Sheriff's Office from local law enforcement agencies both here and throughout the state has been great. If you would like to make a donation to Sgt. Gutzwiller's family, please click  here
This week of June 8th newsletter gives you the latest update on local issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Remember to visit the County website about COVID-19 by clicking here  which will be updated when anything NEW is announced.

  • The Governor announced major changes to the restrictions in place for COVID-19. Last Friday he announced that this coming Friday, June 12, gyms, wineries, and hotels can open with specific restrictions and other social distancing protocols in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19. He also sent out guidelines for schools. This carries us deep into Stage Three of the four-stage process identified by the State. It is still critically important for people to wear face coverings when inside businesses that are open for service and to keep physically distant from others. To read more about it, click here. The Health Officer will determine whether to approve all these openings and will review the limited beach closure order in a new Shelter In Place order this week. Look to my Facebook page or the county's website for updates.
  • This week the temporary housing program at the Seventh Day Adventist Camp on the Old San Jose Road will begin. Approximately 25 young people will move into the 10 trailers on the site. Working with the Community Advisory Group, the start has been delayed to address issues of fire safety and other considerations to ensure the safety of those in the program and the surrounding community. The program will have 24-hour staffing and security. No walk-ons or walk-offs will be allowed. There will be no visitors, and programming will be carried out on site. A shuttle will provide rides to the nearest bus stop for those without cars. The program will run only as long as the Shelter-In-Place order is in effect.
  • Last Wednesday I held a Zoom Town Hall with Dr. Marm Kilpatrick, a UC Santa Cruz professor studying infectious diseases who is Science Adviser to the County's Economic Recovery Team. He provided useful information about what we might expect with the virus in our community and how to manage the risks as we re-open businesses. It was a very informative and data driven conversation and I encourage you to view it here.
  • There is a weekly press conference with County health officials on Thursday at 10:00 a.m. You can watch it on the County's Facebook site by clicking here.

Upcoming Town Halls
We have seen the demonstrations nationwide calling for a justice system that works for all. I will host a town hall conversation this Wednesday to share what steps the County has taken and what we still need to do to have a fair and equitable system of justice. Joining in this conversation will be Rev. Deb Johnson, Inner Light Ministry; Brenda Griffin, NAACP; Joy Flynn, local Protest Organizer; and Fernando Geraldo, Probation Director.

Wednesday, Jun 10, 2020
6 p.m. - 7 p.m.
Or iPhone one-tap :
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Or Telephone:
    Dial  +1 669 900 9128  or +1 253 215 8782  or +1 346 248 7799  or 
+1 301 715 8592  or +1 312 626 6799  or +1 646 558 8656
    Webinar ID: 911 4863 5560

On June 17, I am inviting County Administrative Officer Carlos Palacios to participate in the weekly Town Hall. With the local economy hit hard by the pandemic response and its associated restrictions, the County is facing difficult challenges to secure the funds necessary to support operations at the level to which we are accustomed. Mr. Palacios will talk about what we might expect and what are  the triggers that can bring additional resources that can help our community during these tough times.

On June 24, I am inviting back Dr. Farris Sabbah, County Superintendent of Schools, to talk about what the school year will look like next year. Dr. Sabbah has been meeting weekly with school superintendents and can share how schools are working to prevent the spread of disease in our school communities and how the county has responded to the challenges of distance learning.

For details about upcoming Town Halls please check my Facebook Page, the newspaper or

Live Oak Says Goodbye To Tree
Live Oak School District staff are saddened to share with the community that the beloved and historic oak tree at Live Oak Elementary on Capitola Road has died and is being removed. The tree is a landmark in the district and the larger community and will be missed by all.  The District is making plans to commemorate this great tree which holds a special place in our community. They are working with Lewis Tree Service to retain the wood to continue the oak's connection and contribution to our schools, our students, and the community. The Shoreline Middle School woodshop teacher will work with students to create a commemorative bench and use additional wood for student projects and plaques.
Not paid for with County funds