.From The Editor

ednote stevePlus Letters To the Editor

Many great contemporary minds have waxed poetic on the strangeness of love: James Thurber, Bo Diddley, Cheech and Chong. Our Valentine’s Day issue this week is all about that. First, there’s the cover story by Geoffrey Dunn, which is partly about the fiery, obsessive love affair between Frank Sinatra and Ava Gardner, and partly about the enigmatic relationship of Dunn’s parents—and all about how true love is impossibly difficult and movingly delicate. It’s a fascinating story with an unexpected twist.

Also in this issue, Maria Grusauskas profiles a couple that helps other couples trip their way through the strangeness of love. They’re not just about fixing relationships that are in trouble; they also want to help healthy relationships to continue thriving—and, as she writes, are providing quite a model for them to do so.

Finally, Wendy Mayer-Lochtefeld interviews Santa Cruz author Laurie King about her New York Times bestselling series of novels that feature Sherlock Holmes in a romantic relationship. What’s it like to write about a famously cerebral literary character in love? King tells us, and also explains the philosophy that guides her development of this unusual romance.

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I hope you find something in this issue that puts you in the mood for love. Happy Valentine’s Day!





Some Questions

Why are the Los Angeles and New York experiences with housing to reduce expensive reliance on first responders and improvement in quality of life for all residents not talked about? It would be helpful if residents knew what the city and county are actually spending, and for what, on key issues like homelessness and economic development.

Why is UCLA advertising its students’ outreach to the homeless in the New York Times, and the UCSC program barely talked about?

Why do many civic leaders seem to believe if street people are simply given tough love, they will go elsewhere?  

Why is it legal to be homeless?  It’s unconstitutional in New York.

Why are we sending shelter boxes to third-world countries and bragging about it when our local disabled veterans and others are wandering around on winter nights with all their belongings? If we give them enough citations and bus tickets, they will go back to Detroit? In the winter?

Why do New York and Berkeley have architectural contests on homeless housing and our local leaders say there is no place to put it? Not enough open space around here?

What is the regional identity of Santa Cruz compared to Monterey, San Luis, Santa Barbara, Marin? How are economic development departments of the city and the county shaping this image? What are the combined staff salaries of these tax-supported groups?

What are they spending on regional advertising? Why does a listing in the online version of the tax subsidized visitors publication cost me $300? Why are there so many empty stores downtown? What other coastal community would tolerate an empty lot on their main street for 25 years?

What if some of our street people were paid to clean the streets?

Paul Cocking, Santa Cruz


Re: The Fight For Selma

Once again, we can learn and be challenged to do the right thing and not give up hope that one person can make change happen. The article does a beautiful job in interweaving one person’s story with the larger background event.  It shows that doing the right thing can resonate down through the decades! Well done.

George Laird

Re: Dog Beaches

We have miles and miles of beaches. Are there dogs on every beach? I would imagine household cats cause more bird deaths than dogs. If you look at the eucalyptus trees around Schwan Lagoon, where the cormorants roost, the trees and their environs are very messy due to bird poop, but nobody complains.

Responsible dog owners should pick up after their dogs. It’s the right thing to do.

Anyone, anywhere on this planet who discharges untreated sewage into the ocean is just as guilty as these dogs and their owners, and they do it on a much bigger scale. For example, imagine how much untreated waste is discharged into the ocean by Tijuana, or any other third-world city.

And let’s not forget those sea lions at the end of the wharf. Where do you think they go when they have to go potty?

Susan B Karimchise

I live on one of these proposed beaches, and I cannot tell you how many times I see dogs defecate on the beach without anyone picking it up. I see countless dog fights and even numerous human confrontations regarding dogs. I don’t see birds or sea lions. I see dogs and poop. I hear dogs, and their human counterparts yelling at them, all day from before sunrise until after sunset. Now I’m a dog lover, and there is nothing I like to see more than a happy pooch running wild and free, but it’s not like there are not existing parks for them to do so in Santa Cruz. I think it is more a matter of the ol’ lazy dog owner who wants to make nature convenient for them. I’m not buying it or this pilot program. Take your dogs to the dog parks. We have already paid for them, and will continue to do so.


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photo contest


REFLECTED GLORY At Pleasure Point, they’ll need a crane. Photograph by Jonifer Hotter.


good work


Ben Lomond resident Mardeen Gordon aced the limericks challenge on NPR’s Wait Wait … Don’t Tell Me this week. The charming woman knows about Comcast, Fifty Shades Grey and running—and she’s great at rhyming, too. Gordon told host Peter Sagal that she’s an artist, writer, musician and sign-maker. “Wow,” Sagal responded. “Did they pass a law in California that no one has to have real job? Because I think that’s awesome.”


good idea



Wouldn’t the old Jerry’s Sports building in Seabright be a great place for an Apple Store? It appears that Apple looked at both the Rittenhouse building and the old Borders (before it became a Forever 21). This highly visible spot on Soquel Avenue has a vital ingredient both of those downtown Santa Cruz locations lack—ample free parking.




“What to do on St. Valentine’s Day? Love and love and love! What to do on other days? Love and love and love!” — Mehmet Murat Ildan



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