.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 hear stories about people leaving Santa Cruz for more affordable housing, I think about my walk downtown last Friday night.

The first thing I saw was a giant line of bicyclists, the controversial Critical Mass group, known for blocking traffic to encourage others to ride. I didn’t see them blocking anything. It looked like fun.

Next thing I saw was a parade of people dressed in animal costumes, known as Furries. There were giant chipmunks, squirrels and all sorts of critters. I talked to an organizer who told me they march and hang out once a month.

Then I caught a fantastic a capella group outside the O’Neill shop. Over at the Vets Hall there were two simultaneous concerts: a bunch of throbbing punk bands you could hear from blocks away and hip-hop artist Stunna Girl. I didn’t hear her, but the crowd waiting to get in was one of the best dressed groups anywhere. They looked like they were in NYC.

There was also a funk/soul band playing outside at Abbott Square and art exhibits all over town for First Friday. One of the exhibits I saw was a packed house of portraits by and of unhoused people.

secure document shredding

I’ve lived in some of those places with more affordable housing, and none of them had the diversity, originality, artisticness and downright creative spark that I see here on almost any given night.

I’ve been to so many towns where the music was just another cover band, doing classic rock songs that were as bland and boring as oatmeal. I don’t know any town our size or much, much bigger (hello, San Jo) that has so much innovation and creativity.

On nights like this I think the cost of living here is high, but it’s worth it.

That said, this issue features a big local cultural event centered on literature, called Deep Reads, covered by New York Times writer and book author Steve Kettmann. And speaking of big names, last week I caught best-selling writer Jonathan Franzen spinning tales and discs on radio station KSQD (90.7-FM). That was a keeper.

Wellness columnist Elizabeth Borelli has a great feature this week about how Santa Cruz is one of the happiest cities in the world and should be a “blue zone” city, one with healthy people living longer lives. I agree.

So how much is happiness worth? That is the question.

Thanks for reading.

Brad Kava | Editor


SUNDOWN  Sunset at Santa Maria Beach in Live Oak. Photograph by Cristy Norian



With a spirit of resilience and a commitment to community health and safety, Ayo Banjo and the Santa Cruz County Black Health Matters Initiative are pleased to announce the Santa Cruz Cookout. This vibrant community event takes place 2–5pm Saturday at DeLaveaga Park. The Santa Cruz Cookout is a call to come together in support and joy, to recognize the beauty of Black culture, and to contribute to a future where everyone is empowered to thrive.


Over the last 31 years, Play It Again Sports in Soquel has kept a quarter of a million sporting goods out of the landfill and on the field, court, rink, etc. Locally owned, the store is integral to families looking to sell and buy used equipment, such as baseball bats, which these days can sell for $350 to $500 new, but can be had for $20 here. “We see a lot of sticker shock,” says co-owner Andrew Frankl. “It’s fun and fulfilling to see people get something more appropriate for their needs. Our tracking system registered a quarter million items and we thought that was something to celebrate.”


“Nationalism is an infantile thing.

It is the measles of mankind.”

―Albert Einstein


  1. Dear Brad, I so appreciate the Good Times and your work.
    Was especially moved by yr account of encounters with government in the 1970s.
    That said, may I respectfully request that your photo on the editorial page be changed to show us your whole face, without sunglasses? That would increase my perception of your trustworthiness (which is not at all in question). Sincerely yours, Suzanne

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