.From The Editor

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A few weeks ago, I went to a meeting at the headquarters of the Community Foundation in Aptos. Gathered around the table were staff members from all of the nonprofits we chose this year to support as part of the Good Times Holiday Giving campaign.

It was humbling just to be in the same room with the local leaders of Community Action Board, Grey Bears, Homeless Services Center, Mountain Community Resources, and Pajaro Valley Loaves and Fishes. These are people whose work saves lives every day in Santa Cruz County. Some, like MariaElena De La Garza of CAB and Tim Bratton of Grey Bears, were practically iconic to me, as I’ve followed their work in the community, while others like Kristal Caballero of PVLF and Jannan Thomas of HSC were new to their jobs. But the thing they all shared was an infectious energy. They were full of questions about how they could help their organizations make the most of this opportunity. Most of us don’t see the extreme hunger and poverty in our county, but these people work to make it better every day. That could hurt anyone’s heart after a while, but they were all so positive and excited about this project. There was hope in that room.

I told them that day about how this issue would kick off the month-long Holiday Giving campaign, and that in it, we wanted to tell their stories. That’s what you’ll find in this week’s cover story. Read about them, and the incredible work they’re doing in our area, and you’ll agree with me that they deserve support from all of us this holiday season.

Steve Palopoli | Editor-in-Chief




Hope for Local Tech

I am writing in regard to the recent article in Good Times, “The New Tech Nexus” (GT, 9/17).  I just wanted to praise the article and the start-up company Santa Cruz Works.

I am a business student at San Jose State University. I am also a small-business owner in Santa Cruz. I often ponder why there are so many amazing minds in this county, and not enough good tech and industry jobs here. I was appalled to read the statistic that 21,000 people work and commute over the hill for tech-related jobs. As I head into my senior year as an entrepreneurship major, I was so excited to see this start-up company in action. I am always looking for ways to stay local, but also looking for ways to create jobs for individuals so they can stay local as well. There is a quality of life that suffers when you spend it commuting in a car. I experience this several days a week.

I wanted to thank Santa Cruz Works, and applaud it for its vision and the opportunities it is bringing to the local community members. It is important to build an infrastructure for jobs in this county. My only qualm with this article is that it did not explain how the company would inform commuters and potential job candidates that the opportunities exist here. This key piece missing from the article kept me asking how this would happen.

The article piqued my curiosity enough to research this company more. I look forward to seeing how the company does. We need more awareness around growth potential in our county and if the visionaries stick together and support one another, then there may be hope for a thriving Santa Cruz!

Wendy Smith, Soquel

Online Comments

Re: The F Word

This is an interesting article that echoes a conversation that feminists are having nationwide. While women have a lot more opportunities, there is still a lot to be talked about, like equal pay. Thank you for paying tribute to another aspect of Santa Cruz’s unique history. Maybe looking at the past will spark some new conversation on how we can define feminism going forward.

— Tina Brown

Re: Wine Harvest

Nice article, and of course you picked a couple of our area’s best and most conscientious winemakers. I am looking forward to the 2013 vintage with all its fruit ramifications and style of our area winemakers. I attended the Pajaro Valley Community Health Trust’s Evening of Wine and Roses, and tasted many of the new wines rolled out this year (23 wineries). It’s an unsung event that gives an opportunity to taste them all. Interesting and informative article, I enjoyed it, thanks.

—  Ed Penniman


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photo contest

photo-contestMARQUEE MASHUP Rio Theatre owner Laurence Bedford asks, “Do you think these two have ever shared a marquee before?” We’re guessing no, but we’d love to hear them duet on a Leonard Cohen song. Photograph by Laurence Bedford.


good work

Giving with All the Trimmings

Dick Peixoto of Lakeside Organics in Watsonvillle donated 200 turkeys to Second Harvest Food Bank on Monday. The turkeys arrived in time to be distributed to Pajaro Valley families, through Second Harvest’s local partner agencies, in the days before Thanksgiving. Is there any better time to be reminded about the impact of sharing with those in need?


good idea

Honoring Donors

Dozens of flowers will be dedicated on behalf of organ donors at the Rose Parade in Pasadena on New Year’s Day. One of the honorees will be Winton “Jon” Martin Dowler, whose corneas were donated when he died 26 years ago. Dowler was honored at the Watsonville DMV this past week, at a reception with DMV office manager Rhonda Shipley, his daughter. The flower will appear on this year’s float for the California Transplant Donor Network.




“Thanksgiving, man. Not a good day to be my pants.” — Kevin James



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