Santa Cruz Good Times

Sep 19th
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Best of the Rest 2009

best_rest_granniesBest Activist Group
Raging Grannies


East Cliff Drive, Santa Cruz
Coming to a consensus about the best beach in Santa Cruz County is, at best, a hopelessly painful task. Almost like lying down in the sand all oiled up and deciding which appendage you would prefer to have chopped off.  For Seabright Beach to win Best Beach out of the miles of beautiful miles of coastline is a nothing short of amazing considering the crowds, the occasional sulphurous smell and the lack of parking. Which goes to show that Santa Cruzans are not stupid. They would never vote for their favorite beach and let the world in on their secret.  | Bruce Willey
Runners up
Twin Lakes
Pleasure Point
Its Beach

Worst Eyesore
Pacific Avenue panhandlers

Runners up
River St. sign
Cheap Hauling trucks
Empty Sentinel building
Highway 1

Place to take the kids

Runners up
The beach
Long Marine Lab 
Blue Ball Park
Natural Bridges

Student hangout
Caffe Pergolesi

I wouldn’t relegate this coffee shop to only being the best in terms of a “student hangout.” This place meets the needs of all coffee junkies—hipsters, punk rock kids, gamers, the tattooed among us and your everyday, normal java-sipping person who wants to chill amongst a fascinating crowd. OK, and of course, there are the students. It’s no surprise that Perg (as locals call it) is a rest stop for students. They can study here, surf the web, over-caffeinate themselves and soak up local culture. It’s one hip java joint. Caffe Pergolesi, 418A Cedar St., Santa Cruz, 426-1775.
Runners up
Lulu Carpenter's
UCSC campus
Saturn Cafe
Pacific Avenue

Wi-fi cafe
Lulu Carpetners

Runners up
Caffe Pergolesi
Bad Ass Coffee
Verve Lounge

Computer training
Cabrillo College

You’ve heard the phrase “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” Well, the computer school at Cabrillo College begs to differ, teaching both basic and advanced computer skills to students at all levels of proficiency. Thousands of locals have passed through the multitude of computer classes at Cabrillo College, earning transfer credits and vocational degrees alike. This marks another annual win for the stalwart center.
Runners up
Grey Bears
UC Extension

Website for local info
Good Times

ot to get too Sally Field on your ass, but, wow, you really like us. Seriously, thanks to readers—or should we say web surfers—our ever-evolving website keeps, well, evolving. Visitors have grown quite a bit over the last year—you apparently appreciate the expanded music and calendar listings. That, coupled with a variety of online contests, keep things fresh. At least we like to think so. New this year: GTv, an exclusive video channel that will feature a clip of the week with a GT staffer interviewing community members or capturing otherwise cool content. In fact, log on today and watch great coverage of several Best Of winners.  Log on to the new web site local Santa Cruz News, Arts, Events, Entertainment, Dining, Music, Movies, Astrology, Events Calendar, Visitor Guide, Restaurants, Hotels & Motels in Santa Cruz, California
Runners up
Bratton Online

Green service
Green Cab

Honk if you dig Go Green Cab. Wait. You did. It’s the 21st century so making as many eco-friendly decisions as you can is, well, in. One of your best choices, apparently, is Go Green Cab Company, which has been carting around locals for several years now. GG uses bio-diesel, which reduces, well, you know, that carbon footprint we’re all worried about. A good thing. 833 Front St, Santa Cruz,
Runners up
Terranova Landscape
Vapor Dry Cleaning
Solar Technologies

Ryan Coonerty

Runners up
John Laird
Barack Obama
Sam Farr

Activist Group
Raging Grannies

Runners up
Resource Center for Nonviolence

Local hero
Ryan Coonerty

Either the guy’s got a lot of friends ‘round these parts, or Santa Cruz just plain loves Ryan Coonerty —maybe both, judging by his impressive triple-win in this year’s Best Ofs. Coonerty was born and raised in the area, and now, at age 35, is one of the City’s most prominent young faces. He serves as a second-term City Councilmember, VP of Bookshop Santa Cruz (the family business) and a Legal Studies lecturer at UC Santa Cruz. Perhaps you voted for him because of his instrumental role in the City’s historic settlement with UCSC last year, his recent efforts to spur the local economy, or because of his landslide win for re-election to the City Council in the 2008 race. But, one thing’s for sure: with a repertoire of politician, author, businessman and academic, we’re all wondering if there is something he can’t do, and what he’ll do next. Will it be children’s books? The Supreme Court? Professional sports? We’ll just have to wait and see.
Runners up
Pink Umbrella Man
Tie: Joe Ferrara /John Laird

Hottest trend
Mackerilla bags

Runners up
Going green

Local mover & shaker
Ryan Coonerty
Runner up
Angela Chestnut

Nonprofit organization
Second Harvest

A dynamic force in the county and one that deserves as many kudos as it can get. It’s hard to match Second Harvest’s immense dedication to assisting those in need. But thank goodness its here. We’re all the better for it. Some stats: according to the 2006 Hunger Study, many local families live with the daily reality of hunger and one in three households served by Second Harvest has a monthly income under $500. More startling is this fact: 50 percent of Second Harvest’s clients are children. Thanks to the nonprofits unique programs, it can distribute food to feed 47,000 individuals and families each month. Take note of the Stamp Out Hunger campaign beginning May 9—leave a non-perishable or monetary donation for your letter carrier to pick up.
Runners up
Ecology Action
Children's Hospice

Political issue
Gay marriage / Prop 8

If a midwest state with tons of farmland and cows—by the way, California cows aren’t happy cows any more—can say yes to gay marriage (we heart you, Iowa), then, well, why can’t California? Good question. One day after Election Day ’08, when most celebrated a triumphant presidential election (Obama’s), here in California, things were bittersweet. Proposition 8, which would ban same-sex marriage in the state, had been shoved before voters and the result wasn’t pretty—shocking actually. It passed. In the aftermath, it fueled (again) a nationwide debate and—this is the blessing in disguise—brought more fire to the overall issue of civil rights. The battle continues, with grace I might add, because in the end, you can’t really escape the Truth: Marriage is an inalienable right. That said, watch for the LGBT community, and its many allies, to never give up, and, at last, welcome the great shifts ahead.
Runners up
Cleaning up downtown