.Opinion: May 27, 2020


There’s certainly a lot of nostalgia going around right now, and I don’t even mean for the “groovy ’60s” or the “roaring ’20s” and all the things nostalgia used to imply. I’m talking about nostalgia for the “relatively normal year of 2019”—which ironically didn’t even seem all that normal when we were in it, considering it’s felt like we are all living in Bizarro Land since the election of 2016.

Reading this week’s cover story by Wallace Baine about the new Queer Santa Cruz exhibit at the MAH, however, I was reminded that nostalgia is a double-edged sword. While it’s fun and even emotional to read about beloved local fixtures like Herland and the Bulkhead Gallery, for instance, it’s sobering to think about the discrimination and other challenges the LGBTQ+ community faced in Santa Cruz over the years—and still does today. That’s why it’s so meaningful that the exhibit and our story are not just nostalgia pieces. They are both artistic and political statements that advocate for not only continued progress in the future, but also a re-examination of history. I think you’ll find this piece both entertaining and important.

I also want to remind you to check our website, goodtimes.sc, regularly, as we have been doing multiple daily updates to our news coverage and features. We know that more readers than ever are looking to GT for news and information, and we’re bringing you those stories not only in the paper every week but also online every day, so be sure to follow what we’re doing and let us know what you think.



Read the latest letters to the editor here.

Taking His Shots

Re: “I’ll See You in My Streams” (GT, 5/20): As the photographer who shot the image of Chris Rene with Matthew Swinnerton of Event Santa Cruz, I have some thoughts. I have shot and attended thousands of events in my career, and this one was an interesting one. It felt more like shooting a demo or recorded music video event, and the artist in this case, Chris Rene, did quite well. It is so hard to keep the energy of a performer up when playing live, as there was so little feedback for them to keep energy high. In the future, if the artist can see the comments and “likes and hearts” it can help them, but also could be distracting. As a media creator who is often on live Zooms now, we focus on the recording. Documenting any event now is even more important than live audiences, as it creates a media record to work from.

Keep streaming live, keep playing music live and keep documenting our experiences in these times.

Jared Brick | Berkeley

How Healthy?

I read your article regarding the restrictions that are going to be put in place as of May 26 by Dr. Newel (goodtimes.sc, 5/22), and I have some questions. First of all, what scientific evidence is she using to keep businesses shut down, the face masks requirements, and preventing beach access? The fact that there have only been two deaths in Santa Cruz County from the virus hardly justifies the continuation of her restrictions, especially since the two deaths happened weeks after the initial restrictions were put into place on March 17. 

Also, how many people are getting sick from all of the stress being created by the media’s constant fear mongering? Remember, we’ve been told for years that stress will kill you, yet Dr. Newel’s restrictions don’t reflect the lives lost due to the constant reporting of death and devastation, mostly fabricated by a corrupt media, and the loss of income for many who cannot even feed their families. Does Dr. Newel know how many people have committed suicide from complete hopelessness and fear created by corrupt politicians, the media, and completely insane restrictions such as that drugs and alcohol are essential, but walking on the beach in the fresh air and sunshine—proven to protect against illness—isn’t allowed?

What scientific evidence does she have to continue to destroy people’s lives? Over two deaths, really? Also, how many people are infecting themselves from wearing the masks? If you watch people wearing masks, they are constantly touching their faces to adjust them or to put them on or remove them, how healthy is that? Also, how many people wear the same mask over and over each day? Is that healthy? Isn’t it true that the masks are setting more people up for getting infected? Lastly, as a cardiac patient, wearing a mask is causing me to have breathing problems as well as heart rhythm problems. I’ve also heard that people have gotten in car accidents while wearing them due to passing out. I especially imagine, like myself, that other seniors are having their health compromised by having to wear a mask. 

So I strongly oppose Dr. Newel’s totalitarian, baseless actions, and I hope my questions will be investigated and answered. Thank you.

Bambi Forester | Santa Cruz


The Pizza Gypsy and friend at Arana Gulch. Photograph by Nanda Currant.

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.



A new Felton real estate listing for a house on Hillside Drive features 94 photos of the beautiful five-bedroom home. The humorous twist is that 15 of those photos feature a man in a full-sized Bigfoot costume. The marketing ploy has paid off. The Zillow page’s daily views quickly grew from 400—which is really good, says realtor Daniel Oster, who came up with the idea—to 146,000. “I was hoping it would make people smile,” Oster tells GT. “The home buying process is stressful.” 

Find the full story and photos here.



The Santa Cruz County Chamber of Commerce sent out a survey to see how its members were coping with the Covid-19 pandemic and the associated shelter-in-place order. Of the respondents, 42%—a plurality of them—were open with reduced hours, and 80% had suffered losses greater than $10,000. Three-quarters applied for financial assistance, and of those, 60% have been awarded funds, while 25% are still waiting, and 15% were denied. Visit santacruzchamber.org for the full results.


“We should indeed keep calm in the face of difference, and live our lives in a state of inclusion and wonder at the diversity of humanity.”

-George Takei


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