.The Editor’s Desk

Editor's Note

Santa Cruz California editor of good times news media print and web
Brad Kava | Good Times Editor

As I watch these giant new buildings going up downtown, I’m conflicted. On one hand, I wish we could keep Santa Cruz looking like it did 50 years ago; small, with strict height restrictions.

On the other hand, I know we are short on housing and cities need to condense to provide a range of places to live and services for the new residents. We are following the latest trend of building retail below residential units, which, if it works, will help downtown thrive and provide mixed uses.

On one hand, we are becoming more of a 15-minute city, meaning that you can get the services you need within a 15-minute walk or bike ride. That’s essential to a vibrant downtown.

On the other hand, we are becoming less and less quaint and picturesque. Not to be a total retro-head, but I miss the days before the 1989 quake when Pacific Avenue was a curving snake with cobblestone paths and the big battles were for saving local businesses and keeping out chain stores. Now, we’ll take what we can get to provide people with what they need as stores like Costco, the Gap, Forever 21, Ace and CVS prove. Big isn’t always bad.

I don’t want to be one of those growth-is-always-terrible people, and while I miss our cute downtown, I’ve seen benefits to growth, such as the Warrior’s arena, which is bringing people together and stimulating business, while providing a great family atmosphere.

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(I’m really bummed out to lose the Nickelodeon theaters, one of my favorite things about downtown. We’re following up on what’s happening there for an article).

In last week’s issue, journalist Josué Monroy gave an objective perspective of what downtown growth looks like. If you missed it, check goodtimes.sc

I’d really like to hear your opinions on this. Are you happy with the way we’re growing? What can we do better? What mistakes are we making? How do you want the city to look over the next decades? Drop a line to ed****@we*****.com

For some other perspectives on the history of our county, you must read our interview with historian Sandy Lydon about how we got where we are, and you should go see his talk at the Rio Theatre next week, his last.

And for a much needed laugh, check out our cover story on the tenth anniversary of DNA’s comedy festival…and learn how he got his legal, unusual name.

Let the Good Times roll.

Brad Kava | Editor

Photo Contest

FAN IN THE STANDS James Durbin greets a fan, Brandon, at the Scotts Valley Art and Wine Festival. Photo: Virginia Sajan Photography

Good News

The Santa Cruz County Office of Education, in partnership with the X Academy, announces the launch of the new Santa Cruz COE X Academy Robotics Club.

With chapters in Santa Cruz and Watsonville, the club is available at no cost to all high school students. Club members are able to design and build an underwater robot, learning skills such as 3D design, coding, and laser-cutting.

Two open houses are scheduled this weekend in both Santa Cruz and Watsonville. For more information, visit cs.santacruzcoe.org/robotics.

Good Works

To address community health concerns related to air quality, Santa Cruz Metropolitan Transit District (METRO) has once again pledged to participate in California Clean Air Day by offering free fares countywide, including trips on the Highway-17 Express and ParaCruz, on Wednesday, October 4, 2023.

METRO is offering free fares to the community to encourage the use of public transit as a way to reduce air pollution, which matters more than ever. It also serves as a reminder to our community that everyone has a role in clearing the air and increasing the health of our community.


“All life we work, but work is a bore. If life’s for living, what’s living for?”
—Ray Davies


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