When I read a few years ago that David Lowery—guitarist and vocalist for one of Santa Cruz’s all-time great bands, Camper Van Beethoven—had led a successful multi-million-dollar lawsuit against Spotify to recover unpaid songwriter royalties, I felt a certain amount of civic pride, for sure. And some hope—it seemed like it might be a turning point for Spotify’s notoriously terrible treatment of the musicians off of whom it makes billions of dollars.
However, as Mike Huguenor’s cover story this week reveals, the situation has only gotten worse. Spotify is only one of the many services paying next to nothing to artists for the music they stream. Lowery, Huguenor reports, has continued to keep watch on the industry, even while he’s crafted a new model of distributing his work. And the industry numbers, which are thoroughly detailed within, are downright shocking.
There is arguably some hope, even within the brutally anti-artist world of streaming, thanks to a Bay Area company that pays out as much as 90% of its revenue to musicians: Bandcamp. But can it make a meaningful difference? I highly recommend Huguenor’s story.
Also, in this issue, Johanna Miller writes about the final totals for our Santa Cruz Gives campaign—which were incredible. Thanks to all of our partners and of course to our readers for making it successful beyond our wildest expectations.
Lastly, time is running out to vote for the Best of Santa Cruz County. Go to goodtimes.sc and support your favorite local businesses today!
STEVE PALOPOLI | EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Read the latest letters to the editor here.
Re: Rail Trail
Fact is, there is overwhelming public dissent against rail. Mark Mesiti-Miller claims (Letters, 1/13) there were 255 pro-rail responses. He falls to mention the 10,000+ signatures collected by Greenway in favor of trail-only. He also fails to mention how Measure L was passed by Capitola to preserve the trestle for a trail and the sound defeat of John Leopold in the 2nd district last November. It’s time to get real that rail is dead and we need to concentrate on active transportation on the abandoned corridor and revitalized bus system and ADA transport now! If he truly believes there is overwhelming support for rail, let’s stop with the made up numbers and bring it to an actual vote.
— Jack Brown
Trains are a heavy hammer, a robotic bull you would not want running through the sweet china shop which is Santa Cruz. Running train service will change the Santa Cruz environment, and not for the better. Some sweet places will become quite undesirable. Why would you implement that kind of heavy mass transit a half-mile from the ocean? Dystopia.
And for all that, the freeway traffic will NOT lighten up. It won’t happen. The freeway pipe will always fill to the limit of tolerable capacity. There are plenty of studies going back at least to the 1980s on that.
Re: Homeless Sweep
This senseless pushback is infuriating! Close this dangerous crime magnet now! The Dakota Avenue neighborhood community has been negatively affected and at the mercy of camp transients for a year! We were finally about to receive help from the city, when this small group of self righteous “protesters” decide to berate police with an opinion that is not shared by the neighborhood it directly affects!
This encampment is not simply people down on their luck living in tents.
Our community knows from first-hand experience that every single reason for the park closure due to health and safety concerns is 100% factual. Anyone who claims otherwise does not live here and has no right to speak for those of us that do.
PHOTO CONTEST WINNER
About this Event
Join us to learn more about the diversity of your San Mateo County Parks! We are teaming up with the California Academy of Sciences, and Sequoia Audubon Society to bring you our first virtual Countywide BioBlitz! This bioblitz is in celebration of California Biodiversity Day!
Attend this free webinar with a tutorial on how to use iNaturalist and safe practices to take when visiting parks during the pandemic. This is a self-led BioBlitz with a webinar tutorial to begin. You will be emailed the Zoom link as the event gets closer.
Be sure to join the Project page on iNaturalist and download the free iNaturalist App: https://www.inaturalist.org/projects/bioblitz-2020-san-mateo-county-parks
Join us Saturday, September 12th at 9 AM for the free webinar tutorial on Zoom and then proceed to any of our open San Mateo County Parks at any point during the weekend to take a trail and explore and document all that you can find with the iNaturalist app. If you feel so inclined, see how many parks in our department you can visit and BioBlitz over both Saturday and Sunday! Please only visit by yourself or with persons in your household and follow all regulations regarding social distancing and face covering usage.
After your personal Bioblitzing adventure you can upload your observations and watch other BioBlitzer observations pile in over the course of the weekend. We look forward to seeing all the amazing finds you discover in your San Mateo County Parks!
Submit to [email protected]. Include information (location, etc.) and your name. Photos may be cropped. Preferably, photos should be 4 inches by 4 inches and minimum 250dpi.
Messiah Lutheran Church will be hosting a communal blood drive for the Stanford Blood Center from 9am to 3pm on Friday, Jan. 22, at 801 High St. in Santa Cruz. Blood banks are an essential part of hospital services. A single donation can be used to save the lives of up to three patients. Donors are encouraged to book a one-hour appointment at bit.ly/mlc0122 or by calling 888-723-7831.
Pest mites are one of the biggest threats to strawberry growers in California. Farmers commonly use predatory mites, who feed on their strawberry-loving kin, to protect their berries. Now, Parabug and Biotactics Inc. are taking pest control to the next level by using drones to deploy predatory mites in the fields, and bringing the technology to fields on the Central Coast—where 90% of the country’s strawberries are produced. These bugs are usually spread by hand, but drones could be better at accurately targeting pest mites. For more information, visit parabug.solutions.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK
“What Spotify pays me is not even enough to pay the musicians playing with me or the people working on the discs. It’s not working. Something is going to have to give.”-Beck