Over eight years of heading up GT, I have written somewhere around 400 of these editor’s notes. That’s more than 80,000 words—the length of a short novel. That means some of you have read a whole book’s worth of whatever I was thinking about as we finished each week’s paper, which blows my mind. I feel like at this point I’ve told you so many stories about my life living in and covering Santa Cruz—from UCSC to the Pajaronian to Metro Santa Cruz to Santa Cruz Weekly to here—that I’m not sure how many more I even have!
Well, I have one more—and it’ll be my last, as I’m leaving Good Times at the end of the year for a new opportunity on the other side of the hill. This time, I want to tell you what bringing you the paper every week for almost a decade has meant to me.
In short, everything. When I came back here to be editor of Santa Cruz Weekly, after seven years of not covering this area, it was the start of a real creative rebirth for me. When we merged with Good Times a couple of years later, some people were skeptical, because GT really is a beloved local institution. But others were looking forward to what we would bring to it—including local ownership for the first time in decades—and I remember thinking, “Well, we’ll see what people think in a year.” But long before that, I started hearing encouraging feedback.
I think both our news and cultural coverage got better every year—and then the pandemic hit. By the fall of 2020, there were two emergencies to cover, Covid and the CZU fire, as well as an important social movement in Black Lives Matter. We were liveblogging news about all three nonstop, doing more news coverage than at any time in the paper’s history. But there was so much to cover, nonstop, that for the first time I really had no idea whether we were doing an adequate job or not. So when we were subsequently named the best weekly newspaper in the state by the California Newspaper Publishers Association for the second year in a row, I was stunned, and even more grateful for our staff’s incredible dedication through the toughest of times.
We’re now at three years in a row for that award, and I’m so proud of what we’ve accomplished. I’m thankful to all of the amazing people I’ve had the chance to work with, both at GT and in the community. And I’m thankful for you, for picking us up, clicking to us online, and reading us. You’re the reason we do it, and the reason I’ve kept coming back to cover Santa Cruz County again and again in my career. There’s no other place quite like this one, and I’ll miss you.
STEVE PALOPOLI | EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
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ALL HAIL THE KING TIDES
It might be wet and gloomy outside, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be a beach day. Strangely enough, it’s one of the best times to explore the seaside, because the California King Tides are coming to our shores. That means high tides and powerful waves, but also dramatic low tides expose rarely seen tide pools. Mark your calendars for Jan. 21 and 22, when the King Tides return.
More trails and roads in Big Basin Redwoods reopened last Friday, a total of four miles that includes the newly renovated Meteor Trail, a one-mile segment of Skyline to the Sea Trail, and dog-friendly access along the first mile of North Escape Road. The first mile of Sunset Trail is finishing reconstruction, and is expected to open sometime next month. Since Big Basin reopened to the public on July 22, over 16,000 people have visited the park. You still need to make a reservation, which you can do at: parks.ca.gov.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK
“You can get excited about the future. The past won’t mind.”—Hillary DePiano
I’m sorry to hear this, Steve. I hope whatever is next deserves you. To paraphrase you, “There’s no other editor quite like this one, and I’ll miss you.”
Here’s to hoping new editor brings a positive direction to GT. It’s really been a downer past decade.
Good luck and Happy Trails ahead, we will miss You!
In Many of the Good Times, the exciting writing was actually your excellently crafted Editor’s Note – just to say, it will be missed as well
Oh Steve, we will miss you. Thank you so much for your excellent reporting and words of wisdom throughout the years. Wishing you continued success!
Steve, happy for you, but sad for me.
I would love to stay in your loop!