Last week, GT held a wrap-up meeting for Santa Cruz Gives, where we handed out checks for the $181,089 raised through your generous donations to the 33 nonprofits selected for this year’s campaign. There were also awards handed out to groups who excelled in three categories. The first two were simple enough: the Warming Center won for Most Donors, and Friends of the Public Libraries for Most Young Donors. But the third category was the interesting one: Most Innovative. Unchained was selected for their amazing project that pairs at-risk youth with dogs who need training and a home.
It got me thinking about how many truly pioneering nonprofits we are so lucky to have in Santa Cruz County, and then that got me thinking again about how the only real positive change that is likely to come in the next four years is through groups like this at our microcosmic local level.
The next day, I sat down to read Christina Waters’ cover story this week about FoodWhat?!, and I was blown away that there was yet another remarkable nonprofit doing community work that isn’t on the radar of the federal or state government even in the best of times. Nobody else is going to do what FoodWhat?! is doing for Santa Cruz County’s youth, ever. All I can do is read the stories of how they’ve transformed lives and marvel at the massive effort put into small positive changes that most of us wouldn’t have even recognized the need for. I hope you’ll do the same.
I also encourage you to read Maria Grusauskas’ piece on the Women’s March in Santa Cruz. I think that after the marches last weekend many of us are feeling like “OK, what now?” The answer her story suggests points right back to everything I was thinking about last week. Let’s all fight for the small positive changes, and see if they transform lives.
STEVE PALOPOLI | EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
Read the latest letters to the editor here.
TEETH TO POWER
Re: “Fill Waiting” (GT, 12/17): My family had dental coverage off and on for years, depending on the ebb and flow of employment/no employment, company benefit/none. So there were stretches where we received no dental care except for emergencies. I have contacted the Foundation of Dental Professionals a couple of times with no response, at which time I bemoaned the cost of insurance, high deductible and small payout. That covers a period of 45 years with/without dental care. There are few activists in this profession; there’s plenty of medical insurance, through Obamacare, for one, which happened with the aggressive push from our (former) president and Congress.
Dentists know that many Santa Cruzans do not receive appropriate care, but what the hey, they have expenses; costly equipment and dental supplies, overhead for rent/lease, utilities, insurance and wages, etc. They prefer to cause no waves and sit back in the comfort of their profession. With good paying jobs scarce in this area, there are many who must wait until that first nasty toothache to force them into a dental office. By then, the cost has escalated into the thousands of dollars. Once again, where are the brave practitioners willing to put together a dental program to take care of everyone?
Kathy Cheer | Santa Cruz
The Meals You Served
Second Harvest Food Bank would like to thank Good Times for another successful Santa Cruz Gives holiday fundraiser. We believe there’s strength in community, and this proves it. Thanks to the leadership of Good Times and the generosity of its readers, Second Harvest Food Bank raised $6,955 through the campaign, which will allow us to provide 27,820 healthy meals to children, seniors, veterans, and others in need.
Jan Kamman, Director Corporate & Community Relations | Second Harvest Food Bank
Re: ‘Survivor Types’
It is quite apparent that both Lex and Kelly are very special people. Lex shone on Survivor, he had this amazing charisma and I for one, am gutted that he did not win! I pray that their love and strength will take them far and with the precious gift from Josh to Kelly, I know that they will give it their best! They are the ultimate survivors and I wish them nothing but happiness and a long and exciting love-filled life!!
I cannot love this article or my friend Kelly any more than I do—and Josh is now a member of our community.
I remember reading about Erica’s tumor, “Helen,” via Kelly’s Facebook page, and I love how this story comes almost full-circle. What joy!
— Susie Pickle-Clarke
The Jan. 4 news story “Office Chase” mistakenly reported that this is the first time there are five women on the Santa Cruz City Council. It also happened in the 1990s. We regret the error.
PHOTO CONTEST WINNER
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.
Congressmember Jimmy Panetta (D-Carmel Valley) has joined the Congressional Pro-Choice Caucus and Congressional LGBT Equality Caucus, as his staff announced last week. The newly elected legislator, who represents Santa Cruz and Monterey counties, says their issues reflect basic civil liberties he plans to push for in office. The bipartisan LGBT caucus, founded in 2008, consists of 90 members of Congress who have made LGBT equality a priority.
COUNT ON VOLUNTEERS
The annual homeless count happened Monday, Jan. 23, with volunteers hitting the streets at dawn. Volunteers had attended a one-hour training on safety and methodology. The final Santa Cruz County Point-In-Time Homeless Census & Survey usually comes out in the summer. Â The most recent survey two years ago found that homelessness had dropped 44 percent to 1,964 peopleâ€”still high compared to other communities.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK
â€œDonâ€™t eat anything your great-great grandmother wouldnâ€™t recognize as food.â€-Michael Pollan