.The Editor’s Desk


Brad Kava | Editor

I asked for help making decisions about what we should do to update Good Times, and wow, did you respond.
My inbox is full with great suggestions. I’m going to print as many as I can today and let your voices take over.
Thanks. I can’t tell you what a joy it is to see how many readers care about what we do.

We’ll have more of your suggestions next week.

Brad Kava | Editor


TAKE FLIGHT — A duck on Neary Lagoon on June 12, 2023 — Photo: Craig Ferguson


Santa Cruz County Parks Department announced this year’s 2023 Spotlight Awards, which recognizes residents with excellence and creativity in their work, but who have not received widespread acknowledgment of their talent. This year’s recipients include Kevin Painchaud (photojournalist), Heejin Lee (mixed-media artist), Augie Escobedo (painter/muralist), Nikia Chaney (writer/poet) and Madeline Aliah (writer/poet). Each will be showing their work on the 5th floor of the County Government Center starting Aug. 1. For more information, visit:  www.santacruzcounty.us


Big Basin Redwoods is celebrating its one-year anniversary since welcoming visitors back into the redwoods last July 22. It’s been nearly three years since the 2020 CZU fires burned more than 97% of the park and destroyed nearly every structure. But this past year, the park was back in full swing, with 28,000 visitors. Still, the park has a long road ahead: it will be several years before the park is fully reopened. Make a reservation to support the park at: thatsmypark.org

Quote of the Week

Slavery was pure and unadulterated evil.
There is no “other side to the story.”
—Dan Rather


Incorrect information appeared in the July 19, 2023 issue of Good Times, in an article titled “Preparing for the Worst.” Active shooter training was held at the San Lorenzo Valley Unified School District tri-campus this year. Last year’s drills occurred at Scotts Valley High School. We regret the error.


Indigenous or Rich
The process to rename Cabrillo College clearly illustrates the folly of the name change game. Aptos, once the name of a tribe of Indigenous people is now associated with rich exclusivity? It turns out that associations change over time. We can associate Cabrillo College with great teachers and affordability, as I’m sure many do. It’s our choice. —Sandra Baron

Crossword Keep
I just got today’s issue. PLEASE keep the crossword puzzle!!! It’s one of the highlights of my week. —Bill

Here are a few of my opinions on how to improve the Good Times. • Add a food column of favorite recipes from local restaurants or great plant-based recipes. • Add a column on how to maintain health in a toxic world—easy steps to do at home. • Add a column on meditation providing prayers, mantras and tips on how to maintain peace of mind in a crazy world. • IF you only print letters and columns that cater to liberal agenda and bad mouthing conservatives you are just another FAKE NEWSpaper and are not providing thoughtful insight on BOTH SIDES of an issue. Just brainwashing the public to a corrupted agenda. BORING! • Have a whistle-blower column for people, government and businesses who are doing bad things to good people in the form of social justice. • Have a column for conservatives to voice their opinions on social and political issues.
J. Hasen

I transplanted here from the East Coast two years ago to be near my surfer son, noticed Good Times at New Leaf and picked it up to see what was going on in this little burg. Quite a lot, as it turned out.
But, when I neared the last page, I stopped dead: I was amazed to find the NYT crossword. Excellent! I work on it at mealtimes and usually complete it by the weekend. Then I have to wait until Wednesday: torture.
Thing is, I have progressively, with interest, read more and more of GT’s content. I enjoy it, but I have to say that removing the crossword would greatly reduce this reader’s incentive to pick up the periodical. For example, I read your editorial remarks. That is how I know that this blasphemous idea is even being considered. Please, do not discontinue the crossword!
I like the Street Talk column, too. The human face aspect appeals. It’s the tiny glimpse into the individual that makes it work.
Regarding “rough beast,” I got a kick out of your Yeats reference. But you can tell that trail runner to relax. After all, the beast is merely slouching. The runner will be fine, at least until he gets to Bethlehem.
—John Troy

To Keep
Definitely keep the x-word. Specifically, the NYT x-Word. It’s what gets me to pick up the GT even when the cover doesn’t sing to me.
I would love a column not just on green business, but local environmental heroes in arenas like behavioral change and public policy.

Downtown Rises
Having lived in Santa Cruz county for 55 years I saw the charm, ruralness, green, tranquility and tempo metamorphose into a less than appealing demographic. Paved over begonia gardens, biotically-rich farmlands subdivided, Monterey Bay views blocked by condos, homes and businesses. Asphalt, traffic, noise, fumes and impatience spread. Quirkiness, funkiness, mom and pop-ness disappeared.
I could brag saying, “It takes me 20 minutes to bike from Aptos to Santa Cruz, along Soquel Drive.” Traffic signals were much fewer then. It was pleasant.
Now increasing traffic stress, carbon emissions, noise and urban temperatures all increase. Santa Cruz City policy makers are considering 12-story high rises and a parking building replacing the farmers market, bordering Beach Hill, Laurel Street and the San Lorenzo River Streets would become congested and carbon intensive.
—Gary Harrold

Crossword Puzzle
Nice to have it but not the one you have every week. Way too difficult.
Street Talk: Excellent feature. Questions: Is Santa Cruz too liberal or too conservative? • How would you rate the police in Santa Cruz? • How prepared for the next earthquake? • Where would you vacation outside of California? • Do you favor term limits for all elected officials? • Why are taxes so high? • How do you choose wine? • What makes a great restaurant? • Should cars be banned downtown Santa Cruz? • Do you like the modern system of tipping such as the waiter handing you a pay machine before you get the meal or using the computer screen asking how much you want to tip with the server staring at you?
Wine vs cannabis columns: I prefer the latter.
Local business stories: Would be very interesting, but don’t overdo the green angle. Stories about what it takes for a relatively new business to survive in Santa Cruz would be great.
New Topics: The paper is loaded with stories about the arts. That’s good, but why not have a consumer orientation as well? Ex, a money feature. What does it typically cost in fees for a business to get licensed? How to file for a homeowners property tax exemption? How do waiters feel about tipping in Santa Cruz?
—Bill Statsky

Superhero 841
Santa Cruz’s own Superhero 841, a small but mighty sea otter, has captivated the world stage. She is a shining symbol of nature’s superpowers of courage, strength and resilience, despite human intervention. The message: Mother Nature will prevail!
—Fiona Fairchild

More To Keep
YES, please keep the NYT crossword puzzle and the answers. I haven’t missed an issue since those were added; it’s my favorite thing about GoodTimes.
I have always enjoyed the Street Talk column, and it’s great to hear from young and old, and people with diverse experience.
Suggestion question: If you could change one law in Santa Cruz County, what would you change? Sure, businesses that are coming and going would be interesting, especially if you interviewed the owners and people who worked there.
I’d like to see more local history articles, interviews with old-timers and a column featuring youth voices. For example, you could ask youth to send in their thoughts on whatever they are concerned about, and you could publish one youth editorial column for each issue.
—Heather Norquist

Where’s Risa?
I saw in this week’s Good Times that you made a comment that you’d love to hear our feedback … so here I am.
The one thing that I am missing the most from the Good Times is the person who did the horoscopes that were on the LAST PAGE of GT. I think her name was Risa? I haven’t even bothered to pick up the GT’s since she has been gone. The current horoscope person is just stuffy and boring. Sorry! What happened to Risa, and any way to bring her back?.
Thank you for being willing to hear feedback!!
—Heidi W.

Rail & Trail
There’s a very small special interest group working hard to prevent rail service in Santa Cruz county. They are motivated to write frequent letters and opinions to the news and social media despite an overwhelming rejection on Measure D last year. Santa Cruz voters turned down their plan to remove the rail tracks by 73%. Why are they continuing to push this short-sighted agenda so hard when a clear majority of Santa Cruz residents said build the trail and keep the rail? The continuing letters and posts advocating track removal and trail-only are from a small group trying to obscure the fact that most of us want both a safe wide trail and great passenger rail service.
—Russell Weisz


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