.Opinion: Aug. 19, 2020


I suppose there isn’t a business sector that hasn’t been hit hard by the Covid-19 pandemic (except toilet-paper manufacturing and the stock market, which definitely have something in common). Still, I was surprised we hadn’t yet written about the plight of local gyms, which have faced some of the most intense risks and restrictions. Andrew Steingrube rectifies that in this week’s Health and Fitness Issue. As with so many of the local businesses we’ve written about since shelter-in-place orders came down in March, I feel for what much-loved local gyms like Toadal Fitness and Rocky’s are going through at the same time that I’m inspired by how quickly they’ve adapted and innovated.

I also recommend Maria Grusauskas’ story on how we are (or should!) be changing how we think about our health in this slowed-down time of quarantining, unquarantining and requarantining. Importantly, it’s as much about mental health as it is physical health, but please take to heart its advice about safety and rejecting all of the dangerous anti-mask disinformation out there right now.

Lastly, I’m happy to report that Santa Cruz Gives is returning for another campaign of holiday giving—and I know that of all the years we’ve done it, this one will be the most important to the local nonprofits it supports. If you would like to make your nonprofit one of them, SCG is accepting applications through Monday, Sept. 14. Apply online at apply.scgives.com.



Read the latest letters to the editor here.

Gift of Don

I wanted to thank Good Times and Wallace Baine for the excellent article on Don McCaslin (GT, 8/12). It was written with such warmth (no pun intended) that I felt like I was watching and listening to his band playing in front of the Cooper House one more time. It brought back many wonderful memories, including the early days of Kuumbwa and, more recently, following the well-deserved recognition of his son Donny. What a gift Don was. Thanks to his legacy, his is a gift that keeps on giving.

Jeff Rockwell | Soquel


Long Live the Sounds

Thanks for the great tribute story to Don McCaslin. I remember first seeing him and his band one afternoon in the late ’70s outside Cooper House and being mesmerized by this long-haired bearded musician who clearly dominated the fabulous sound! Then I gazed up to a mural on the wall and there he was in it. I knew then I was seeing a Santa Cruz legend. Alas, the earthquake took down that great mural. Long live the jazz sounds of Don McCaslin! 

Julie Bitnoff | Santa Cruz



Re: Don McCaslin

Nice article, thanks for it. I was one of those “rotating” members of Don’s band, playing bass for many years during the Jamie Brudnick era, as I also joined up shortly after the ’89 earthquake. I’ll miss him and the huge rotation of players and his loyal fans at the Wharf House, Severino’s and at the “new” Cooper House where we played for a few years. Some of my best memories were when Donny Jr. came down and sat in with the band. To all of those in Santa Cruz who knew and loved Don, there really aren’t adequate words. To all of those who didn’t, check out his son.

David Schnittman


Re: Recall and Race

I couldn’t agree more about working to end institutional racism, but must object to the inaccuracies in Mr. Schnaar’s letter. (GT, 8/5). His description of the successful recall of Councilmen Krohn and Glover is full of inaccuracies. There were a dozen reasons the recall was initiated, and the recall effort was already underway when the HR complaints were filed by city staff and subsequently charges substantiated against each council member. Mr. Schnaar blames those charges on race, omitting the fact that one of the women filing the charges was our first African-American mayor and conveniently leaving out the fact that Mr. Krohn is white. Rather than strengthening his argument, these inaccuracies serve to undermine it. Mr. Glover was recalled not because he is biracial, but because he harassed city staff, testified in court on behalf of the plaintiffs in a law suit against the city, voted to keep the Ross Camp open long after the health department chief, fire chief and police chief declared it dangerous, and voted to place homeless encampments in neighborhoods throughout the city, among others. It was not about race, it was about bad policy and bad behavior on the part of both councilmen. As far as white landlords buying the election, that is also inaccurate and disrespectful to the majority who voted for the recall, but since we are talking about race here, I will leave it at that.

— Carol Polhamus


secure document shredding

Last week’s cover story about Don McCaslin misspelled Jamie Brudnick’s name. GT regrets the error.


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County Clerk Gail Pellerin will hold a Voting Matters event via Zoom on Thursday, Aug. 20, at 6pm to discuss plans for the Nov. 3 presidential general election, with a special emphasis on addressing concerns over postal issues and ballot receipt and return. For information on how to join the Zoom call, visit facebook.com/votescount. To participate via phone, call 1-669-900-9128. The meeting ID is 846 2321 6255 and the passcode is 523889.



The city of Santa Cruz Parks and Recreation Department is now offering educational and active classes for all ages for the Fall 2020 season. New virtual classes for kids include Kidz Love Soccer, Chess for Kids, and Thanksgiving Mini STEAM Camp. Exploring Watercolors, Crafting Your Life After 55 and Pilates on the Walk are returning. There are also Korean language classes. The Fall Activity Guide is available at santacruzparksandrec.com.


“I hated every minute of training, but I said, ‘Don’t quit. Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.’”

-Muhammad Ali


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