Plus Letters To the Editor
Why live in Santa Cruz County?
If there’s a single question that the Best of Santa Cruz County issue boils down to every year, I think it’s that’s one. I don’t know if you’ve heard, but it’s just a tad expensive to live here—something like 75 percent more expensive than the average cost of living across the U.S., last time I checked. There’s a highway to the east that the roller coaster industry would shut down as categorically unsafe in a minute, and yet thousands of us commute on it every day. Unemployment remains high, and there’s enough collective paranoia in this town to keep you up all night worrying about personal safety, secret wars, anti-popes, chemtrails, and whether maybe—just maybe—Stephen King really did have it in for John Lennon.
So, again, the question: why live in Santa Cruz? This Best of Santa Cruz County issue has hundreds of answers. We’d like to take credit for all of them, but most everything we publish about what’s best in Santa Cruz each year, we learn from you. And once again, thousands of you took to the ballot box, and taught us everything we need to know about what makes this a great place to live. The best places to eat; the best places to find music, theater and all forms of artistic expression; the best places to shop; the most interesting people, and a lot more. If you look at it from a certain perspective, this issue is sort of a collective answer to that sometimes confounding question of why we choose this place.
It’s also, as far as I can tell, the largest issue ever in GT’s almost-40-year history. That speaks to something, too: that people who live here care deeply about what makes Santa Cruz County great. And we should, because there’s no other place like it. Here’s to the Santa Cruz experience.
Steve Palopoli | Editor-in-Chief
I want to offer you my very profoundest thanks for publishing the article re: sexual violence in the fields of South County! I have been working with Watsonville farmworkers for the past 15 years, and have witnessed firsthand the incredibly difficult life circumstances that they all endure, including substandard living conditions, lack of healthcare, lack of child-care, pesticide exposure, and ongoing grueling poverty. Most cannot afford to purchase the very crops that they harvest, and most Santa Cruz County residents seem completely unaware of their difficult circumstances. Thank you again for calling attention to one of our county’s greatest blights.
Dr. Ann López | Director, Center for Farmworker Families
I just wanted to thank you for the well written story, “Cloaked In Fear.” The response to the story, to our work, to this issue, has been phenomenal. I am really impressed with how you described this issue, the people you contacted, and how thorough you were with this issue. Well done!
Laura E. Segura | Executive Director, Monarch Services
Thanks to Geoffrey Dunn for the retrospective in these pages of the late iconic Santa Cruz editor Buz Bezore. To know Buz was to feel close to the pulse of Santa Cruz during the period when he tapped the zeitgeist of our big little town. You really didn’t need to know him, but just pick up an Express and get into the groove. Geoff’s personal anecdotes of Buz, including history of his demons rang the memory bell of those frothy, ambiguous, delicious days of music, culture, journalism and baseball. Thanks, Jeffy, good job. Thanks, Buz, for your big heart. Your friend, Kevy.
Kevin Samson | Santa Cruz
Thanks for the super article on Buz and friends. For a long time, Buz and friends were a force to be reckoned with in Santa Cruz somewhat like the Merry Pranksters. The group as it morphed over time was extremely talented with a great flare for life and artistic expression.
I wanted to remember Peter Stafford, who did typesetting in the good old days for all the weeklies that came out. He was a catalytic part of the Pranksters who worked nights to make sure that proofread copy got to the presses on time. The refrigerators were always filled with the beer and the “buz” was always on.
L. Francis | Soquel
On Buz …
There will never be another like him. Nor should there be. Buz, you were a mad genius and I enjoyed (almost) all the time we spent together over the years at the Weekly and then founding the Express. Buz had the most iconic smile—part devilish, part angelic and this special twinkle in his eyes.I cried when I found out about your passing, then pulled out the bound copies of the first year editions of the Express and read them once again. Those were special times, with special people on a mission to create something great. I think we did that, but only with Buz with his editorial vision, drive and skill plus lots of beers and other items could that have occurred. You were the beacon and captain of the ship, but the demons always surrounded you. Have some peace my friend—and thank you for being you.
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Office with a view … A sunset scene from the Pacific Avenue office Good Times has occupied for the last 20 years. An upcoming move is one of several big changes GT is undergoing, including new owners and staff. photo//ian webb. Submit [email protected] Include information (location, etc.) and your name. Photos may be cropped. Preferably, photos should be 4 inches by 4 inches and minimum 250 dpi.
Back to the Land
Santa Cruz’s Pacific Elementary School is one of the top five finalists in the Dole Fruit Bowls and Captain Planet Foundation Learning Garden Challenge, a contest that judges schools based on their use of learning gardens in the curriculum. Another criteria is how well the school teaches its pupils about healthy eating, food origins, and environmental stewardship. The winner was announced April 22, after this issue went to press. Find out more on the Dole Facebook page.
A Helping Hand
Fresh and healthy soups and salads, artisan breads, and delicious desserts (sourced from more than 50 local eateries) are on the menu for the upcoming 15th Annual Soupline Supper, which takes place from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 24 at the Cocoanut Grove. This year’s “Celebrity Ladlers” include County Supervisors Neal Coonerty and John Leopold, and Assemblymember Mark Stone, among others. For tickets and more info, visit souplinesupper.org.
“Guess that this must be the place.”