.Opinion July 18, 2018


A couple of weeks ago, we did a cover story on how the nonprofit group Gravity Water was using a creative solution to help communities around the world that don’t have access to clean drinking water. I remember thinking at the time that this was a very Santa Cruz model; we have historically had a lot of forward thinkers in our community who have developed their ideas here and then taken them international.

Usually we think about this “think locally, act globally” ethos in terms of nonprofits or political activists, but this week’s cover story about photographer R.R. “Ron” Jones shows that it exists in our arts community, as well. Jones made his reputation in Santa Cruz shooting arts performances and musicians, but what I especially like about the retrospective of his work at the R. Blitzer Gallery—and Wallace Baine’s cover story on it this week—is that it shows a side of Jones that most of us have not gotten to see. The trips he’s taken to sometimes dangerous places to document life in different parts of the world shows that same need that so many people here feel to connect with a global consciousness. And his eye for the unusual and visually grabbing, developed over four decades of refining his art, comes through whether he’s photographing the AIDS crisis in Africa or doing a self-portrait in Santa Cruz. Jones is the kind of local—one whose work has made a lasting mark in our community, without most of us ever knowing his whole story—that I’m always excited to profile in GT.



Read the latest letters to the editor here.

Fact vs. Opinion

I was disappointed when reading the “report” by Jacob Pierce regarding affordable housing and rent control (GT 7/4/18). I put report in quotes because the piece, regrettably, strays far beyond merely presenting the facts and letting the reader form their own judgment.

Reading the piece leaves one with a strong impression as to the reporter’s opinion on the subject. And, unfortunately, the article goes even further, casting judgment on a public figure—Councilmember Chris Krohn—saying “Krohn implied a new plan somehow changes ownership rules for ADUs—it doesn’t.”

We’re not presented with the language of either the alleged implication by Krohn or the language supposedly supporting the author’s allegation, only the author’s opinion is supplied to the reader. In other words, “I’ll tell you what to think—don’t bother with the actual facts! This attitude, especially in this Trump era, is particularly unsettling!

As the community watches the slow death of the obviously biased Sentinel, many are hoping that the Good Times will step up as a reliable source for local news coverage. It is obvious for that to be achieved there needs to be a clearer separation of editorializing and reporting in the Good Times.

Fred J. Geiger
Santa Cruz

Fred, the sentence you quoted was fact, not opinion. To explain further: despite Councilmember Krohn’s claim to the contrary, the recent city report does not loosen owner-occupied requirements for ADUs, but rather offers a path to protect them. Nor does the plan mention corridor-rezoning efforts, although it does suggest proceeding with the early stages of Ocean Street Area Plan, which was approved with relatively little fanfare four years ago, before the corridors became a contentious topic. As for journalism in the Trump era, we hope it will continue to include holding public figures accountable. — Editor

Goodbye, Riverfront

Looks like the old UA/Regal Riverfront has turned off their projectors. The problem with this nice, clean semi-large building as a twin cinema has always been the location of the marquee. They placed it way in the back on River Street at the entrance, and many tourists and locals never even knew where the theater was. As Regal does not ever even advertise what they are playing, the new owners of Regal have pulled the plug on our Riverfront Cinemas. They always showed mostly their worst movies here. Let’s hope some new theater people can take it over soon and move the marquee to Front Street. At least this cinema did not have sound leakage that they have at the Regal 9 down the street. Time for Drafthouse Cinemas to open up in Santa Cruz for the first time with food and a movie, and show what Regal and Landmark are not doing or showing in this college and tourist town. Bring in their unique blend of programming and showmanship missing in Santa Cruz movie theaters. Let’s hope they don’t turn the place into another rock music club.  

Some newer films never even play in Santa Cruz. And don’t forget the seniors that enjoy going out to a movie that is not full of R-rated junk. Maybe even our local Cinelux chain can reopen the cinema with their first theater downtown and not play the same first-run junk that everyone else is playing and bring in some fresh new art movies or classics with some local comedy shows. Maybe Netflix can take it over, as the owner is local.

Terry Monohan


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The Regional Transportation Commission (RTC) is continuing its speaker series with back-to-back speakers offering insights on implementing different transportation models. Farhad Mansourian, general manager of Sonoma-Marin Area Rail Transit (SMART), will discuss the Bay Area’s newest passenger rail service. Kurt Triplett, city manager for Kirkland, Washington, will discuss how he spearheaded the purchase of the Cross Kirkland Corridor and implemented an interim trail along the former rail corridor. The talk will start at 9 a.m. Aug. 2., at the Watsonville City Council Chambers. For more information, visit sccrtc.org/speaker-series.


Santa Cruz County’s Safe Structures Program promotes safe, healthy and habitable structures through special inspections and safety upgrades. Once a building’s certified as safe, owners will be offered relief from code enforcement so their structures can continue providing needed housing and other resources to the community. Unpermitted remodels and structures may qualify for certification. Projects must have been completed prior to 2014, and must be unable to be modified to meet current building and zoning codes, or be otherwise ineligible for a building permit. For more information, visit sccoplanning.com.


“A thing that you see in my pictures is that I was not afraid to fall in love with these people.”

-Annie Leibovitz


  1. I want to lend my support, as I have over the years, for the Rail Trail and Friends of Rail Trail. I think this lawsuit by McNulty and Greenway is totally misguided and a frivolous lawsuit. Alternative transportation is sorely needed here in the Monterey Bay area, not just Santa Cruz but Monterey and Salinas as well. On Sustainable Transportation’s website, the most modern electric rail systems can be seen employed across many cities in the nation, whether big or small. SMART in Marin and Sonoma is proving to be very sucessful. Unlike what some Trail Now person told me, they have upwards of 3,000 riders a day, and now there are plans to expand SMART. This person told me 2,000. It reminded me of the many lies spread by this group Greenway! If Marin and Sonoma Counties could to it, so can Monterey and Santa Cruz Counties!


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