.The Editor’s Desk

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

One of the things I most miss living by the ocean and city lights in Santa Cruz is a dark and holy star scape. I first saw what was really out there when I went to summer camp in the Adirondack Mountains and had an expansive 180 degree view of the night sky, with stars magically starting from the ground.

I was entranced nightly by the view I didn’t even know existed as a child of the suburbs. When I headed West I saw skies like that in Missouri, Montana and Colorado and finally in a cabin near the Mystery Spot which had a skylight. I went to bed nightly watching shooting stars and satellites pass over my bed.

But then I moved closer to the beach and the magic was erased by night fog and city lights.

So when Richard Stockton proposed an article on bringing back the night sky, I was all in. I worry that future kids will never know the magic I used to see and was happy to read about others with my obsession.

We so often overlook natural beauty in favor of progress, paving paradise and putting up a parking lot, as Joni Mitchell wrote. Can we do something about it now? The people Richard talks to have some answers.

secure document shredding

Where do you go to see a great night sky? Is it something you think about? I plan trips to places where I can still see the sky, but they are becoming fewer as the mallization of America continues its march.

I’m so obsessed I bought one of those fake planetarium things that beams stars on my bedroom walls and ceilings. It’s not really a solution, but it reminds me of what I’m missing and hope to preserve for future generations.

In other news this issue: the Coastal Commission came down hard on the Rio del Mar homeowners who shut down access to a beach pathway. That’s been a long fight with a surprise twist. You also should check out the review of a surprising place to find Korean food in Boulder Creek, a town that still has starlight.

Thanks for reading,

Brad Kava

Photo Contest

photo contest pick a kite swirls around the surfers museum

SWIRLING DERVISH I caught this wonderful sight at the Lighthouse in August. PHOTO: Ross Levoy

Good Idea

Fourth grade students in Santa Cruz County will soon receive a free pass to visit  national parks with their families as part of a new partnership to improve accessibility for students on the  Central Coast.

Distribution of 3,000 passes is expected to take place from now through the end of January. The passes are valid to access  national parks, lands, and waters, through August 31, 2024.

“Few experiences are as powerful and transformative as visiting our nation’s National Parks and Monuments,” said Santa Cruz County Superintendent of Schools Dr. Faris Sabbah.

Research shows that without free access, 73% would never have visited a national park and students are more likely to visit parks for life if they experience them young. Families can find out more, and apply for a printable pass online, at everykidoutdoors.gov.

Good Works

Dominican Hospital has provided a $750,000 grant to support the County of Santa Cruz Health Services Agency (HSA) Youth Crisis Diversion Project. These funds will support HSA to establish a temporary diversion of youth experiencing a behavioral health crisis to a preferred Emergency Department with trained behavioral health staff. It is anticipated that 150 youth under the age of 18 and their families will be served as part of the grant, regardless of ability to pay.

“Currently, Santa Cruz County has limited options for crisis support services for our youth. We recognize that our community is in need of these services and we are proud to step up and make this contribution,” said Dominican Hospital President Nanette Mickiewicz, MD.

The County of Santa Cruz Health Services Agency is working on a long-term solution to establish a permanent youth clinic and residential facility, expected to open in 2025.


Keep your eyes on the stars,
and your feet on the ground.
Theodore Roosevelt


  1. Great comment on the night sky Brad! Living in Bonny Doon with larger properties the starry sky is quite beautiful. Does Santa Cruz County have a dark skies ordnance that has regulations regarding shielding of exterior lighting and brightness of residential and commercial lighting ? San Bernardino County adopted such an ordnance a year ago to help reduce the light pollution.

    I also applauded the Coastal Commission’s decision to fine the Aptos HOA regarding public access and emailed a thank you to Justin Cummings for his engagement.

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  2. Great comment on the night sky in Santa Cruz. In the last few years the bright stadium lights shine up toward the university. Why do stadium lights need to shine up. Can’t the be directed down or shaded so they don’t pollute the night sky?

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