.The Editor’s Desk

Editor's Note

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

The first time I felt the physical power of music it was negative.

I had been at a two-day rap concert called Summer Jam at Shoreline Amphitheatre and in the middle of the second day I came down with a flu that was as bad as when I had Covid. My throat swelled, my head ached and I could barely walk, I was so dizzy.

The lyrics reflected how I felt. It was all N-word with an unhealthy dose of misogyny. And to make matters worse, two of the performers pulled guns on each other backstage and they shut the show down early.

The next day I had committed to cover a concert by the band Yes at Concord Pavilion, not just because it was my job, but I was bringing a friend, the musician Greg Kihn, who wanted to go despite my illness.

Here’s the amazing part. Midway through the first song, my head cleared, my fever abated, and damn, I felt great. It was like a miracle.

Now, my skeptical side thought it was a 24-hour virus and cured on its own.  But it happened so fast and powerfully, I was convinced it was because the positive music of the band with the positive name cured me of a case of illness caused by negative vibes.

So, I was thrilled when our wellness writer Elizabeth Borelli was working on a story about sound baths and their curative possibilities. I’ve wanted to try one and will do so after reading the cover story. Let me know if you tried one and how it went.

On other fronts, we’re taking another look at how Downtown SC is changing, this time south of Laurel Street, by the KP Pavilion. Our picturesque and relatively sleepy town is on the way to looking like a Silicon Valley city. Is this progress, or a case of paving paradise and putting in a parking lot? Check out two articles by William S. Woodhams for the facts.

More positivity as master hiker Richard Stockton takes a stroll through the once hotly contested and now beloved Arana Gulch. It’s a great one if you can avoid the way-too-fast ebikes.

Writer John Koenig takes you someplace you didn’t expect: local classes for ancient sword fighting. It’s either the most Santa Cruz thing you’ve heard, or the least. You have to love living in a community filled with daily surprises.

Speaking of surprises, ukulele player Jake Shimabukuro returns to the Rio Theatre and will turn heads as usual. I’m no fan of the uke. It’s up there with the bagpipes, which I avoid at all costs. But people come away from his shows celebrating the things he’s done with it. He’s collaborated with Warren Haynes and Dolly Parton, so those are some high-level references.

There’s a lot more in this issue, which also features a special section on health and fitness that should keep you reading up to the July 4 holiday.


Thanks for reading.

Brad Kava, Editor


SUMMER’S HERE It was a full moon, it was solstice, it was Jive Machine jammin’ on the beach, with our beautiful Monterey Bay as a backdrop. It just doesn’t get any better than this. Photograph by Ross Levoy


The Santa Cruz County Animal Shelter will cut adoption fees by at least half until June 30. Currently, the shelter houses 74 dogs and 180 cats, and 23 dogs and 115 cats in foster care.

The adoption fees for puppies and kittens under six months will drop to $105 and $60, from $210 and $125. The fees for adult dogs and cats will drop from $150 and $110 to $75 and $55. Rabbits of all ages can also be adopted for $35, down from $75.

The shelter will waive adoption fees for six dogs, two cats and four rabbits that have been at the shelter for more than 60 days. The fees include spay or neuter surgery, vaccinations, flea and tick services, microchipping and licenses.

Information: www.scanimalshelter.gov.


Santa Cruz Parks and Recreation, in partnership with the California Department of Transportation, will hold a ribbon-cutting for the newly renovated Main Beach public restrooms at 120 Beach Street, Friday at 10am.

The project, funded by the Clean California program led by Caltrans and the Parks and Recreation Facilities Tax, increases ADA accessibility, provides cleaner restrooms and upgrades site furnishings. The building features a collection of three tile mosaic wall murals by local artist Taylor Reinhold titled “Pacific Dream.” This $1 million project was made possible by Governor Gavin Newsom’s Clean California program, a historic, $1.2 billion cleanup effort led by Caltrans to remove trash, create thousands of jobs, and reclaim, transform and beautify public spaces.


“After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music.”Aldous Huxley


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