.From The Editor

ednote stevePlus Letters To the Editor

I’ve known Wendy Mayer-Lochtefeld for a long time. As the former co-owner of the Capitola Book Café, she has a tremendous reputation in this community. And as a writer with an incredible depth of knowledge in—and passion for—books, she has elevated Good Times’ lit coverage to new heights over the last several months.

So I was shocked when this ambassador of local literacy and longtime champion of the book arts confessed to me her shameful and crippling addiction: self-help books. But we quickly realized that, besides being hilarious, her guilty pleasure makes her the perfect person to bring some tough love to an industry that thrives this time of year, when we’re all in a resolution-keeping, self-helping mood. Her story in this Health and Fitness issue is a useful reality check for those of us who like the idea of self-improvement, but don’t know how to zero in on the books with some actual insight.

Speaking of fitness, it is of course another industry that makes a big chunk of its cash this time of year. And its fads fly by even faster than those in self-help. While reminding us of the sometimes amusingly transitory nature of such trends, Brad Kava tracks down the most interesting ones for the coming year. So pick up an ancient Indian weapon and let’s get going, maybe to one of the fitness events for 2015 that we’ve catalogued for your motivational needs.

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Lastly, be sure to check out Maria Grusauskas’ story on the health properties of mushrooms. Fungus has made a comeback in this relatively wet winter, and we’ve written about the subject a few times already. But this is the best article I’ve seen locally in a long time about why these mysterious growths continue to fascinate.





Messing With Our (Mast)Head

In 1973, I wrote an article for Sundaze, the first great Santa Cruz free weekly, interviewing Jay Shore, who was leaving the Sentinel to start the Santa Cruz Times, a weekly of “serious substance,” he claimed, which would cost a quarter (“Nobody respects anything that’s free,” he told me).

After a while, bleeding capital, he changed the name to Good Times and dropped the charge, attaching the motto, “Lighter than air,” turning it into fun consumer froth to soak up the entertainment-oriented ad base, a formula with which a series of more “substantive” alternate free weeklies could never long compete.  

That the Santa Cruz Weekly was able to purchase and absorb Good Times and successfully meld the two is a great reflection of this town’s emerging synthesis, 40 years later, and the recent redesign of the paper’s masthead beautifully reflects it. (Even Rolling Stone quickly dropped the straighter font Jay had emulated in that search for “serious respect,” reincorporating the swirl of its more colorful roots.) The appealing, straightforward flow of your new look is a perfect representation of why what you’re doing works, from all angles. It has made Good Times a name with which I can finally be proud to identify.

Congratulations on giving a sometimes too-polarized community a single ad-supported weekly that embodies this maturing yet eternally playful outpost, where real fun comes from facing our challenges honestly, in a spirit of genuine joy and appreciation for all our blessings. Well done.

Steven Robins, Felton

Piping Hot

There’s a pi symbol in the middle of your new masthead, formed by the riser of the “d” in “Good,” which is topped by the leading end of the crossbar from the rather enthusiastic capital “T” in “Times” (which rather looks like the Greek letter tau).

I look forward to my next issue of the Good Pie.

Jim Jones, Santa Cruz

Jim Jones is the author of last year’s remarkable book, “Police Blotter Haiku,” which is made up of exactly that. It is a favorite in the GT office, and I keep meaning to give it a mention. — Editor


Re: Jackie Zealous

Nice to read about local bands, and I know quite a few people who will be heading to the Crepe Place this weekend for their show. I must agree that Jackie Zealous has some thought-provoking songs of their website—really good music! Looking forward to their new recordings. I hope to be able to make their show in San Francisco in a couple of weeks.  Everyone should check them out!

— Karen Lynn

Re:  Leaps of Faith

I loved this article! It captured Tandy and Jon perfectly, and made me so happy!  Congratulations to you both … still crazy after all these years.

— Phyllis Haskell Tims

Letters Policy

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photo contest

photo-contest-surfs-upSTARK REALITY Surf activities can be lonely in Capitola on a cold winter day. Photograph by James Stark.


good work


One of Santa Cruz’s favorite trivia masters, Thomas Todd, recently got his 22 minutes of fame. Todd, who lately has been leading Monday night trivia at Rosie McCann’s, appeared on Jeopardy on Thursday, Dec. 29, finishing second. Viewers got an entertaining earful about Todd’s days as an elephant mascot named Peanuts, who danced around a little league dugout. That’s awesome.


good idea



The Santa Cruz Parks and Recreation Department doesn’t like to let a good tree go to waste. During the high winds of “Stormageddon” last December, an old tree fell at Harvey West Park near the pool entrance. A cleanup crew salvaged what they could of the tree, and city officials hope to use that wood to put a sign or a bench in that same spot.



“Making resolutions is a cleansing ritual of self-assessment and repentance that demands personal honesty and, ultimately, reinforces humility. Breaking them is part of the cycle.”— Eric Zorn



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