.The Editor’s Desk

Editor's Note

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

Who can forget their first ride on the Giant Dipper? It’s a rite of passage, a risk of passage for locals and some 2 million tourists a year. It’s hard to believe that in a transient California culture filled with things changing, we’ve had a truly historical landmark hitting the century mark.

Your first time on the ride is a big event, the day you step up to your biggest fears and face them, screaming and shouting and then buying the photo when you get down.

I can’t wait to take my 8-year-old son on his first ride, although for now, he wants no part of it. I already made the mistake of bringing him on the underground Fright Walk and he may never forgive me for it, so I’m patiently waiting for the day he’s ready for the big time.

No rush, because frankly, I remember being scared the first time because I’m no less scared every time I take it.

 On that first giant downhill I swore I’d never do it again. But after catching my breath, I was ready for a redux. And here I am, doing it year after year.

secure document shredding

Writer Geoff Dunn did it and got to hang out with Charles Canfield, the former big boss of the Beach Boardwalk. I was lucky enough once to get a private tour of Canfield’s old amusement collection of pinball machines and things retired from the arcade. It was unforgettably cool and I would pay for a tour of it again.

Dunn’s summation of his recent ride: “It’s thrilling! It’s life affirming! It’s fun! What an absolute rush!” What more can you say?

As I read this week’s issue I feel privileged to work with Dunn and writer Christina Waters, who wrote about the last production by the Jewel Theater.  Unlike every other local publication GT has writers who have lived our local history and know its twists and turns. They don’t need to look up a wiki.

They were there and they know the players.

They can tell stories first hand with a depth and grace you won’t find elsewhere.

Sure, we’ve got plenty of Gen Nows, like Mat Weir, Josué Monroy, Mark C. Anderson, Morgan Guerra, Ruby Lee Schembari and Alexandria Bordas, but our bench is deep with institutional knowledge of Santa Cruz, people who know the people who make local history and have seen much of it firsthand.

I can’t overstate how important that is in the world of journalism.

Check out the depth of this issue and enjoy.

Thanks for reading.

Brad Kava | Editor


DWARFED Taken at Bean Hollow State Beach, 5/10/24 (too bad it wasn’t May 4th). Photograph by Ali Eppy


In November 2024, residents will vote on the Water and Wildfire Protection Act, a ballot measure that focuses on protecting water quality, reducing wildfire risk, protecting the health of the Monterey Bay and our beaches, forest preservation, wildlife habitats, and improving parks and natural areas in Santa Cruz County.

Following a signature-gathering effort that resulted in 16,049 signatures turned into the County Registrar in April, supporters will gather to announce the launch of the campaign and its goals.

The gathering is 10am Friday, May 17 at the Live Oak Library (adjacent to Corcoran Lagoon), 2380 Portola Drive, Santa Cruz.


When the next disaster strikes, hundreds of Amateur Radio (Ham radio) operators will be ready to assist government agencies in Santa Cruz County and beyond.  These volunteers will demonstrate their radio skills on Saturday, June 22, in Aptos during their annual Field Day event.

Every June since 1933, more than 40,000 hams throughout North America set up stations in public places. This year’s is in the field behind Sevy’s on State Park Drive in Aptos. The public is invited. Admission is free.


“Life is like a roller coaster, live it, be happy, enjoy life.”

Avril Lavigne


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