.From The Editor

ednote stevePlus Letters To the Editor

As the calendar comes to a close, it’s once again time for our annual Year in Review issue. This is one of the most fun issues of the year for us to write, and hopefully one of the most interesting for you to read as well, as we always try to find a different way to illuminate some of the year’s most important stories locally.

In past years, we’ve broken down a lot of the quirkier news stories from the last 12 months into funny little bite-sized nuggets, which is a hoot and all. But this year we decided to try the opposite: zeroing in on a handful of this year’s newsmakers and blowing up their stories with interviews that dig into their perspective and background. As Santa Cruz’s alternative news source, GT likes to provide deeper coverage of Santa Cruz than mainstream outlets often do, and we hope you’ll like our new experiment toward that end (let us know either way at le*****@go*******.sc).

We’ve sourced these subjects from four different aspects of Santa Cruz life: politics, culture, environment, and media. There is a pretty wild mix of personalities and philosophies—Lori Nixon’s defiant reflection on her involvement in the student protest that blocked Highway 17 is sure to be infuriating to some readers, inspirational to others; Ty Pearce’s personal and professional story is probably the most fascinating to emerge in Santa Cruz this year; Greg Pepping provides a unique perspective on the San Lorenzo River, one of Santa Cruz’s most important environmental stories; and my profile of our own man on the street Matthew Cole Scott is a bit of a tweak on the “newsmaker” concept, since he literally makes the news here each week, but it’ll answer a lot of the questions I get all the time about how Local Talk works.

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One last holiday note: thanks to everybody who has made Santa Cruz Gives happen this year. Don’t forget that you still have until midnight on Dec. 31 to be a part of it, and please read my story this week about the Volunteer Center of Santa Cruz County, which was a huge part of this debut of Santa Cruz Gives. In working with them this year, I got a first-hand look at the incredible things they do, and how they are one of our most important resources for good work in this county.

Happy holidays to you and yours!





Acid Tested

I am an SC local from 1987, and I have long found the Good Times to be a secret treasure in this beloved community. In recent days I have been traveling, mostly for love, and so I have (sadly) missed some GT issues, much to my dismay.

But it was my good fortune (and good judgment) that I snagged a copy of the “Acid Test” edition before it was replaced by this week’s edition, and tonight I dropped down to Oswald and—Manhattan (by Ben) in hand—I dove into Geoffrey Dunn’s Acid Test phantasmagorum.

Wow! I was sucked in as a baggage clerk into a jet engine. Swoosh! I couldn’t put it down.

Please pass my congratulations and gratitude to Master Dunn for this phenomenal article which magnificently and simultaneously embodies and illustrates its subject matter and its subtler intentions. I am not sure how many people will understand the stream-of–consciousness style used to write about the stream-of-consciousness event which occurred here some half century behind, so I want to give you a huge shout out for not just aspiring to, but for f***ing nailing this magnificent piece of work. I was mesmerized. Moreover, and most ecstatically, it was in the stream … in and of and by itself, of the nature of the jazz-slammed, acid-addled, spirit-swooshing freeeeedom of the very times it was recounting and illuminating and documenting—magnificent! Magnificent!

“Rumor has it that the Grateful Dead played a few more gigs.”


“Endings are the conceit of storytellers and morticians.”


Standing ovation! Such wondrous beauty laid in the English rap language—first evidenced so long before we had that word for it—and rendered here again, 50, 60 years onward, root and branch, in our local rag. The Good Times. Good times, truly, indeed. It’s a sneak attack.

Which is all to say, please accept my recognition and gratitude.

John Roevekamp, Scotts Valley


On the evening of Oct. 31, 2015, a homeless acquaintance of mine named Michael David died in Dominican Hospital due to cancerous tumors first detected back in July. I want to take this opportunity to thank the loving and gracious staff of Dominican Hospital, who went out of their way to show a homeless man love and compassion on a daily basis. Thanks for your service to him and our community.

Jonathan Silverman, Santa Cruz

For the Birds

Unfortunately, the picture of page 6 of the 12/9 issue is not a picture of Brandt’s cormorants. It is actually a group of penguins.


Well, they’re not penguins either, but we get your point. They were identified as Brandt’s cormorants in the photograph submission; we should have corrected this to pelicans. Apologies to our readers. — Editor

Letters Policy

Letters should not exceed 300 words and may be edited for length, clarity, grammar and spelling. They should include city of residence to be considered for publication. Please direct letters to the editor, query letters and employment queries to le*****@gt******.com. All website-related queries, including corrections, should be directed to we*******@gt******.com.


photo contest


A TIME FOR REFLECTION Low tide at Waddell Creek. Photograph by Tore Franzen.


good work


Everyone knows the O’Neill Sea Odyssey is one of the most incredible field trips in town. But a new evaluation from Applied Survey Research also shows the outing makes a big difference in kids’ environmental awareness, and that teachers use the materials in class, too. Between July 2014 and June 2015, 5,519 students from 207 classes took a ride. Fifty-one
percent said it was their first time on the ocean. Donate at santacruzgives.com.

good idea



There’s a reason winter is known as the slow season in Santa Cruz. The local County Visitors Council is coping with the trend through a campaign it’s calling the Let’s Cruz Winter Campaign: #SCWhales Promotion. Through Jan. 31, participating inns and vacation rentals are offering three nights for the price of two on any stay. The CVC is also promoting birding and whale watching. Visit santacruz.org for more information.



“Although no one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new ending.” — Carl Bard


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