.Opinion: A Statement

‘Good Times’ supports a safer, more inclusive community


It’s an honor for Good Times to be named—for the fourth consecutive year—the General Excellence winner amongst the state’s largest weeklies in the California Journalism Awards. 

In addition to winning the top prize, Good Times picked up seven additional honors, including First Place for Front Page Layout & Design by Heather Tsang. The judges wrote: “Love the way the photography, typography and color play together; Feature Story and Open-Feature Story: “Bracero Legacy” by GT interim editor Adam Joseph. “This is excellence in reporting!” the judges commented. “Wonderfully descriptive, strongly and deeply written, educational. The reporter put me in the library right from the start, then showed me around and introduced me to the people. Beautiful work!” 

Also, GT won the top honor for its Coverage of Youth and Education: “Snatch and Grab” by reporter Todd Guild.

GT received additional honors for Health Coverage, Agricultural Reporting and News Photo (Tarmo Hannula.) 

Regarding GT’s award for General Excellence, judges noted, “Big local stories do come in small packages! Cover to cover, Good Times is a compelling read and a fun one at that. It’s also an extraordinarily well-designed publication—even the ads are a joy to read with wide gutters that help readability.” 

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Thank you to the California News Publishers Association for acknowledging our team’s hard work. It’s an ongoing effort. 

Adam Joseph | Interim Editor

Last week, Good Times ran an anonymous transphobic letter to the editor. It was an error to publish this letter, and was contrary to our long-held publication standards and tradition of supporting LGBTQIA+ rights. We apologize, unequivocally, to the community in general and to anyone in particular who was offended or hurt by its appearance. There is no place for hate speech in this community—or in these pages, period.

We have removed this letter from GT’s digital channels and have taken steps to ensure that future editions are more carefully reviewed to prevent a recurrence of this type of mistake. 

We will be following up with LGBTQIA+ community members and leaders to discuss how Good Times can support a safer and more inclusive community. Our commitment to a conversation about values we share as a community and facilitating dialog in a journalistic context will continue.


Puppy Love
Reesee hangs out near Pleasure Point in Capitola. Photograph by Cheri O’Neil.

Submit to ph****@go*******.sc. Include information (location, etc.) and your name. Photos may be cropped. Preferably, photos should be 4 inches by 4 inches and minimum 250dpi.


Santa Cruz County flood victims who experienced damage from the severe floods and storms that started on Feb. 21 can now apply for temporary rental help from FEMA. For the first two months, no rental receipts are necessary. If a FEMA inspector determines the primary home is uninhabitable, two months of additional rental assistance may be awarded. FEMA’s rental assistance also includes money for a security deposit and essential utilities, such as electricity and water. Apply at FEMA.gov/disaster/4699


Last week, the Santa Cruz County Office of Education (Santa Cruz COE) held a ceremony for the 2023 Santa Cruz County Educator of the Year Awards. These honors are awarded to staff and teachers across the county who have played a critical role in local education. Honorees received a plaque recognizing their service to Santa Cruz County, and their names were engraved in the Educators of the Year perpetual plaque hanging in the foyer of the Santa Cruz COE. Find the list of honorees at santacruzcoe.org


“Trans people are extraordinary, strong, intelligent, persistent and resilient. We have to be. And we will not stand for the picking and choosing of rights. We still have hope.”

—Grace Dolan-Sandrino


  1. While I appreciate your effort to post an apology I find it a little incongruous to see a trans flag with a single sentence immediately followed by flagrant self promotion of what a highly regarded newspaper you are. THEN you publish the rest of the apparent apology, which quite frankly comes across as rather performative and disingenuous. It’s always easy to apologize after you’re caught in the act. While you’ve removed the content from your digital channels the information is already out there. Let’s not fool ourselves that California is a bubble of safety for the queer, trans, nb, drag community. In 2022 alone there were anti-drag attacks in San Lorenzo, Campbell, Encinitas, Eureka, San Diego & Woodland. This does not include the verbal and physical attacks on the LGBTIQ2S+ community in California. Right here, at our local community college, in 2022 a Pride flag was burnt and just WEEKS ago (April 2023) an anti-LGBTIQ2S+ & antisemitic flier was found down town on someone’s windshield. This is the current climate we live in and you in all your wisdom CHOSE to publish this – I guess what bleeds leads – let’s hope you’re not found with blood on your hands. I PROUDLY and OPENLY sign MY name,

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  2. I agree with the other comment here by Leslie. Theres no room for this sort of rhetoric. Do NOT give transphobes a platform. They willing published an anon letter to the editor that spouted hateful and unfactual things. Plus the line about “children are being taught PRONOUNS” in the original is just nonsense. I expect better from you, Good Times.
    For those wondering what the original letter said, you can find it on the wayback machine. https://web.archive.org/web/20230519172213/https://www.goodtimes.sc/letter-to-the-editor-woke-up-call/

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  3. What, exactly, are the steps you’ve taken to ensure that a “mistake” like this doesn’t happen again? For your apology to mean anything, you need to be specific about WHO decided to run that letter in the first place, the thinking behind the decision, and exactly how you’re holding yourself accountable. Otherwise these are just empty words. That hate-filled screed didn’t just magically fall into the pages of your paper. Someone on your staff made the call to run it, especially since the letter included a CYA disclaimer at the top that said it didn’t reflect the opinions of the Good Times editorial group. That means the editors saw it, decided to run it and benefit from the controversy clicks it generated, but also seem above it. I’m afraid you’ll find you can’t wash your hands of this so easily.

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