.The Editor’s Desk

Editor's Note

Santa Cruz California editor of good times news media print and web
Brad Kava | Good Times Editor

¿Hablas español?

You may not speak Spanish, but look around and so many of your neighbors do. Of Santa Cruz County’s 269,000 residents, some 34.2 percent are of Latino descent.

What does that mean politically?

Author Mike Madrid, who speaks at Bookshop Santa Cruz Monday about his new book, The Latino Century: How America’s Largest Minority Is Transforming Democracy, thinks it’s beneficial to our community and the whole country.

“The political and cultural importance of our growing Latino population will shift the country in new and unpredictable ways, primarily toward more optimism and tolerance of others,” Madrid says in an excellent cover story by Steve Kettmann.

Optimism and tolerance are just what we need in one of the most depressing election seasons in memory.

And for those reeling from President Joe Biden’s disappointing performance in last week’s first debate, Madrid offers hope: “Debates don’t make a significant impact on the trajectory of a presidential campaign—they just don’t,” he says.

And on his X feed (Does anyone still need to hear “formerly known as Twitter”?) he playfully quotes the movie Animal House:  “Was it over when the Germans bombed Pearl Harbor?”

I can’t tell you how much this cover story meant to me. It brightened a dark day and offered optimism and hope. We are so lucky to have Steve Kettmann writing for us, when he’s not otherwise engaged at The New York Times.

And we are lucky to have analysts like Mike Madrid, who has worked with Republicans and Democrats and has deep understanding of the political system and writes in a way that makes politics interesting for all.

In other news, a day doesn’t go by that I don’t curse our streets with their dangerous potholes and lack of room for cyclists. The county’s grand jury agrees in a report covered by writer Bianca Sieraski in our news section. “63% of local roads have been categorized as being in poor, very poor or failed condition since November 2019,” she notes.

How do you feel about that? I carry the scars on my arm that was broken by a pothole and wish fixing the roads was a bigger priority than some of the more far-fetched things they are spending money on.

Who is the most famous person born in Aromas? It might be Jake Nielsen, who released his first full-length album, Everyday Thing (The Orchard Records), in December 2022. The first single, “40 to Life,” is a high-energy, blues-meets-reggae rhythm barn burner. Read all about him in Kristen McLaughlin’s arts story.

Have a great Fourth!

Brad Kava, Editor


SUPPER TIME Pelican feeding at Moss Landing. Photograph by Mark Bickerstaffe


Good news for movie fans: The Downtown Santa Cruz Cinema is planning a major $3 million to $5 million remodel, adding some 200 seats to its 9 theaters, revamping self-serve food stands, upgrading the escalators and bathrooms, and modernizing the screens and sound.

There will be cheaper stadium-style seats as well as the double-wide VIP seating there now, according to GM Mark Pike, who wants to bring back a family atmosphere. Work is scheduled to begin at the end of this year and last two years. The theaters hold 738 people now and should top out at 900.


The Santa Cruz Public Works Department will begin construction of the $4.7 million Front-Spruce-Pacific Sewer Rehabilitation Project in early July. Construction is expected to last through mid-September 2024.This will restore a critical sewer pipe running from Kaiser Permanente Arena to Neary Lagoon. It is the largest influent pipe directing sewage to the City’s Wastewater Treatment Facility. As the pipe approaches the end of its operational life, its restoration is essential to maintain efficient wastewater treatment. Visit www.tinyurl.com/front-spruce-pacific-sewer for more information.


“When the debate is lost, insults become the loser’s tool”


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