msn.com 18 Sep, 2020 06:45 am

Santa Cruz judge lays down her gavel

When Judge Kim Baskett stepped down from the Santa Cruz County Superior Court bench late last month after a nearly 30-year career in public service, it was to retire from at least her second significant career.

Kim Baskett (Kim Baskett — Contributed) p Not unlike the couple’s 3-decade-old turning point, this year’s ongoing coronavirus pandemic, recent wildfires and even a serious caterpillar infestation helped cast a bright spotlight on working life, said Baskett, 67, of Aptos.“Because of what we’ve gone through and how we made it through, because we both started our careers all over again — the downtown took a really long time to recover and we had to close our doors — we always used to say, there’s never going to be anything tougher than what we did then,” Baskett said.” This year, however, just might rival her toughest experiences, Baskett said.“I think that’s what COVID-19 brought to me, was this clarity about what’s important and if I did get sick, because we still are working, we’re an essential service … what would I regret, not having these years just to relax, to travel and go see the kids,” Baskett said.

That justice will take a seat as a new misdemeanor crimes judge and, for the first time, Baskett said, have some of their court days dedicated to minor violation cases.A judge, appearing behind a large desk in their official dark robes, can seem confusing and intimidating to regular people, Baskett said.

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