.The Editor’s Desk

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

I was terrified the first time I was about to meet Rowland Rebele. He and Cabrillo instructor David Sheftman had set up a scholarship for journalism students to get paid for working at local media outlets and I was taking over administering it.

It turned out to be one of the greatest meetings of my life. Rebele, who went by “Reb,” was at that time the true definition of a compassionate conservative. He apologized for showing up all muddy to the meeting. He had been in the hills talking to homeless people to make sure they were counted and would get the services they needed.

Though he was the county’s largest donor to John McCain’s campaign, he turned out to be the opposite of the country club Republican I feared. He was the embodiment of a trickle-down theory I don’t usually believe in. He told my class his goal was to give away all of his money before he died, and he was truly walking the walk.

Over the years his talks to future journalists were the highlights of our semester. He’d slam his fist on the desk to get their attention and punctuate his stories, including telling them how to have a successful love life after 65 years of marriage and showing them that life doesn’t have to stop or slow down as you age.

His words and actions changed their lives, as well as those of so many people in our community. You can read some of their letters to him in this issue. He has also been incredibly generous to our local colleges, donating more than $1 million to grants and scholarships that will live on forever. He has also financially supported a number of publications, including Growing Up in Santa Cruz, which I own.

secure document shredding

I had been planning to run this cover story tribute to Reb for months and commissioned one of our finest writers, Geoff Dunn, to write it. I really wanted Reb to bathe in the appreciation from our community for his efforts. He died before seeing it, something that makes my heart ache.

At least his beloved family will see it and know how much he and they are loved for their sacrifices. You can leave your memories and thanks to him at our Tribute page (goodtimes.sc/remembering-rowland-rebele)

Brad Kava | Editor


STROLLIN’ Blue Heron on a stroll at the Santa Cruz Harbor, July 30. Photo: Susan Japinga

Good News

Chevron, Aera Energy (formerly owned by Exxon and Shell), and California Resources Corporation are revealed as the top three holders of California’s idle oil and gas wells, together owning nearly 70%, creating a crisis that has harmed Californians across the state for decades. The new report from Sierra Club finds that these three companies alone earned profits in 2022 over 14 times greater than the cost to clean up their idle wells, despite letting the cost fall on taxpayers.

Released Tuesday, the report, The $23 Billion Question: What Created California’s Idle and Orphan Wells Crisis and How to Solve It, is available at SierraClub.org

Good Work

You can honor a loved one or celebrate a milestone on 200 new redwood picnic tables at local parks and beaches.

The Tribute Tables program enables park supporters to have a message engraved into the cross-timber of the tables at 19 state parks and beaches.

The minimum donation is $2,500. To learn more visit www.thatsmypark.org/tribute-tables.

Quote of the Week

‘The measure of intelligence is the ability to change’
—Albert Einstein


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