.Opinion: A Heartfelt Salute to What Got Us Through This Year


Longtime readers know that our annual Year in Review issue is traditionally the time that we let the snark fly. It’s when we look back at all the news that made us facepalm or freak out or just shake our head in stunned resignation. It is, needless to say, usually dripping with irony.

But you know what? Snark and irony just did not feel right this year. I don’t know how we’re all going to even recalibrate our sarcasm meters after what we’ve all been through in 2020. There’s a lot of reason for hope going into this new year—hope that a lot of us haven’t felt in a long time. That got us thinking about the things that bridged the gap from the before times to this moment full of possibility. Especially when things got way grimdark, we needed the people, places and things in this week’s cover story more than we even imagined we could. Coming up with a list of 50 for this salute to Santa Cruz County’s hope-bearers was surprisingly easy—it was whittling down the list that was hard. So please enjoy our heartfelt, snark-free salute to the things that got us through this year.

And one more personal thank-you to our readers as we wrap up 2020. Santa Cruz Gives’ total is now at more than $625,000—far beyond even our stretch goal and almost a quarter-million dollars more than we raised in total last year for Santa Cruz County nonprofits. The crazy thing is that Dec. 31 is traditionally our biggest day of the campaign for donations. If you gave this year, thank you so much, and if you haven’t yet, I encourage you to go to santacruzgives.org before midnight on New Year’s Eve and do it!

Finally, voting is in full swing for our Best of Santa Cruz County awards at goodtimes.sc. Like our nonprofits, our businesses need your support! Have a great and safe New Year’s, and we’ll see you in 2021!




Read the latest letters to the editor here.

Online Comments

Re: Snail

Great piece on Snail. I was the GT music editor, 1985-90. Saw the reunion shows. Lotsa great SC memories. Keep up the fine work.

— Karl Neice


Re: Bigfoot Museum

Years ago after learning of his total devotion to the Sasquatch People, I felt a need to pick up the phone, taking a chance that Mike whom I had just learned about might be at the museum. And I was more than excited (and to be honest a little surprised) to find someone of such unbelievable kindness and patience on the other end. Viewing the Big Guys from a similar perspective to him I had some in depth questions to which he gave me his full attention, never once making me feel I was an imposition upon his knowledge nor time. Such a wonderful quality anytime but especially

nowadays! But as I discovered, when it comes to Mike, you will not find a more devoted–to his fellow humans and Big Brothers alike–anywhere. ANY donation, I’m sure, will be SO greatly appreciated. Thanks for this wonderful article which I plan to share with my various Bigfoot groups on Facebook since such knowledge should not be lost. EVER.

— Laurian Dawkins


A perfect metaphor for the end of 2020, taken at Moran Lake Beach. Photograph by Bill Brigham.

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.

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This week, we tip our caps to the white wagtail, a rare winged visitor that recently landed in Santa Cruz County. These small birds typically breed in Alaska and Asia, including Eastern Russia, but one was somehow blown off course or else found themselves on an exploratory mission to our county, including the San Lorenzo River mouth at Main Beach in Santa Cruz. The black and white bird is slightly smaller than a robin.



The Return the Favor campaign, sponsored by Santa Cruz Community Credit Union (SCCCU), ended Dec. 7, bringing $49,000 to local nonprofit organizations along the way. Now, the credit union is extending particular thanks to three generous businesses: UR 1 Stop Auto Sales, Cardinale Oldsmobile GMC and BTW Industries, Inc. Between donations from SCCCU, contributions from members, grant support and annual donations, the institution put $174,000 into the community this year.


“Gratitude celebrates life with a joyful ‘yes’ at every knot of the great network in which everything is connected to everything.”

-Brother David Steindl-Rast


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