Plus Letters To the Editor
This week’s issue introduces Good Times’ improved paper stock and freshened-up typography. Most significantly, it commemorates our switch to a Platinum LEED-certified printing plant. The crisper look is a nice reward for being kinder to our planet—and the ink won’t rub off on your fingers either.
It ties in nicely to something Event Santa Cruz founder Matthew Swinnerton told me about the NEXTies awards, which he’s organizing this year for the first time: “The format they had was great, and I want to keep the traditions. But I want to add a little twist to it. It has to stay fresh.”
That’s one of the things that makes this week’s cover story on the revamped, re-invented NEXTie awards so perfect for this issue, as we roll out our new look. It’s exciting to hear Swinnerton talk about his plans for the May 30 awards show, as the guy cannot hide his enthusiasm for everything Santa Cruz. In talking to him about what these awards signify, it’s clear that he gets it: Santa Cruz has a new generation of community-builders on the rise, and their stories need to be told. From the Watsonville Film Festival’s Consuelo Alba, to All About Theatre’s Lindsey Chester, to Zach Davis and Kendra Baker of Assembly/Penny Ice Creamery/etc., to Santa Cruz Waves’ Tyler Fox, to Greg Pepping of the Coastal Watershed Council, these are people who, like Swinnerton himself, are thinking differently about the place they live, and this week we profile all of them.
There are also two regular features to introduce (or re-introduce) to our readers—Maria Grusauskas’ Wellness column, a favorite in Santa Cruz Weekly, and ArtFiles, the new bi-weekly column in which Christina Waters profiles the fascinating artists who make up our local creative community.
We also bid a sad farewell to one of those artists, Ralph Peduto. Geoffrey Dunn’s tribute in this issue celebrates him in the way he should be remembered: serious about his craft, with a touch of humor about himself. We will miss him.
Steve Palopoli | Editor-in-Chief
C’mon, People, Now
I just want to say that it is utterly baffling to see that grown-up councilpeople are unable to realize that, with or without a sanctuary camp, we STILL have unhoused folks (aka homeless). Anyone with a shred of a conscience would want the best for these unhoused people of our own community. Shall we just keep our unhoused hidden around town like Easter eggs for Sheriff Rosco P. Coltrane to hunt down and ticket until the sanctuary tiny house community comes to its utopian fruition—or think up a practical way to keep all these pesky buggers in a basket? It’s quite simple, as Mr. Adams has generously exposed to all of us what a happy homeless camp can look like, pretty immediately.
So, homeless in danger, or homeless in safety? Don’t know all the nitty gritty, itty bitty details yet? Too shanty-esque for your taste buds? “Uh, nope, yep, scrap it!” C’mon people, show some compassion and genuine servitude. The inhumanity reeks of the fear of not getting reelected, or of perhaps just plain inhumanity. Freaking baffling.
Go Brent, go! You have my compassionate vote, brother—you flea-bitten varmint, you building-occupier you.
—Trish W. | Santa Cruz
We Can Do It
I appreciated your publishing an article about the sanctuary camp/village concept for housing the homeless. We can do that here. Whether it happens or not is up to the community. I feel deep sorrow for the way that people can’t get a break from the difficulties they face if they are experiencing homelessness. I want the whole community to respond as if it were their mother, or their brother or sister—or father, or uncle, aunt, cousin—who just needs a chance to have a safe place to be. We all could use a little help from time to time.
—Leslie Dinkin | Brookdale
Blight Makes Right?
Interesting intersection on these stories with our leaders worried about neighborhood “blight” (apparently people sleeping in the streets do not blight the properties of their patrons, many of whom are real estate developers).
Very odd that it is legal for developers to make campaign contributions, and even odder that our candidates brag about which ones they have captivated.
—Paul Cocking | Santa Cruz
Re: Sanctuary Camp
Our census count and [Eugene’s] are done similarly, so we should not be counting their [homeless population] at 10,000, and ours at 3,500—but rather theirs at 1,750, and ours at 3,500.
Lane County has a population of about 350,000. Santa Cruz County is about 250,000. Santa Cruz’s population is about 65,000, and Eugene’s is about 100,000.
Why does Santa Cruz have so many more homeless than Eugene? Furthermore, Lane County’s homeless population is shrinking (down from 3,971 in 2010) while ours is growing (2,771 in 2011)?
While this might seem like a solution, what is driving our homeless growth? Perhaps we should figure that out before anything else.
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LIQUID METTLE This photo of a wave off Its Beach was taken last week with a GoPro camera. See more on Instagram: @theonlywona. Photo//Wonaphoto.
Arana Gulch Expansion
The city of Santa Cruz’s Public Works Department is currently in the process of expanding the Arana Gulch nature area on Santa Cruz’s east side. The new developments will include permeable concrete trails, making Arana Gulch accessible to the disabled, elderly, children in strollers and anyone else for whom traversing the uneven or muddy surfaces was a challenge. The improvements also include a new west entrance to Arana Gulch, making it easier to access for people who live west of the greenbelt.
Kuumbwa Jazz Honor Band
With arts education getting cut statewide, it’s becoming increasingly important for nonprofits to provide arts and music opportunities for local kids. The Kuumbwa Jazz Honor Band trains some of Santa Cruz’s most talented young jazz musicians, led by noted pianist and composer Eddie Mendenhall. The group will perform their grand finale concert on the Kuumbwa stage Wednesday, May 28 at 7 p.m. Tickets are $10 in advance, $15 at the door. Auditions for next year’s Jazz Honor Band will be held in the fall.
“My interest is in the future, because I am going to spend the rest of my life there.”
— Charles Kettering