American Idol: The Durb WatchJames Durbin. We can’t get you off our minds. Durbin Fever is high, especially this week, as American Idol voters whittle down the competion to the Top Three. More answers will be unveiled Thursday night so read this week’s Durb Watch (below). And stay tuned ... and tune into GTv on goodtimessantacruz.com for our special coverage of a fun outing at Pizza My Heart, where Durbin fans came out to show their support for the popular 22-year-old local singing sensation. (Keep on keeping on, James ... we’re rooting for you.)
From music, we move to ... more music. This week’s cover is a kick. Music Editor Jenna Brogan takes us inside local singing organizations—think Glee and stir—and the result proves to be very compelling. For starters, the local talent here never ceases to amaze, but the groups Brogan highlights each have their own unique style and backstory that you may find even more intriguing. Dive into the fun beginning on page 14.
And from Music, we head right into some film business. The Santa Cruz Film Festival comes to a close this weekend and the excitement is still high. The closing night film by director Rocky Romano, Ruffo, plays at 7:30 p.m. at The Rio. We garnered quite a bit of online response from last week’s cover story on Romano’s doc, which chronicles local surf icon Anthony Ruffo’s life challenges. (See Letters.) Join the convertsation online at goodtimessantacruz.com. And check out all the other film fest details at santacruzfilmfestival.org.
There’s more movie madness, particularly an upcoming film event at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, May 19 at the Del Mar Theatre in Downtown Santa Cruz, where there will be a screening of the new documentary The Big Uneasy. The best news? There will be a Q&A with director Harry Shearer afterward. See you there.
Thanks for reading. More soon ...
Greg Archer | Editor-in-Chief
Letters to the Editor
Major Metro Issues
Your article on Bus System Blues (GT 5/5) struck a nerve. Driving past Cabrillo College any day during the week, students are waiting for a bus, but now Metro is considering cutting more bus routes to make up for a $3 million shortfall. Meanwhile, our Regional Transportation Commission has authorized spending $22 million to widen Highway 1 for less that’s a mile between Morrissey and Soquel exits that will move rush-hour traffic exactly that far before it jams again. Use that $22 million to keep the buses running for seven years!
Also, we should be concerned about combining a Regional Transportation Commission, whose majority has stated their number one priority is widening the highway, with a Metro Transit District who is fighting to keep public transit functioning. Some of these RTC commissioners would love to get their hands on the Metro District’s half-cent sales tax for their highway widening project that was turned down by the voters in 2004.
for Sensible Transportation
Ruffo’s ‘Wild Ride’
Regarding last week’s cover story on Anthony Ruffo and the film about him in the Santa Cruz Film Festival, those of us succeeding in recovery all love to hear about someone else doing it. Being an old surfer who'd had a brief, pleasant encounter with Anthony at Huntington, at the pier years ago, I was sad to hear he'd gotten in trouble. Reading this great article gives me just a little more hope for the future of those in similar situations. Addiction to anything is unfortunate. Good on you, Anthony, and good luck with the legal system. You'll survive. Never fear.
Ruffo Is Inspiring
The Anthony Ruffo story is an inspiration. I remember Anthony on Cowell's beach 30 years ago and always looked up to him—he was kind of fascinating. I have the utmost respect for anyone who has the balls to confront the power of addiction, admit it and then heal it. It's a very long and painful process. Right on, Anthony. You keep on ... keepin on.
Jump On That Durbin Train
Regarding the Best of Santa Cruz issue and James Durbin getting the Best Singer/Performer picture in the Critics’ Picks (GT 4/28), I've been following James for the past two years and I agree with GT that, without a doubt, James is the best of Santa Cruz. I'm very happy for his success and it's fantastic that he can showcase his amazing talent, passion and love for singing on a national stage with American Idol. Remember, everyone, it's up to us to vote every Wednesday night to help James and his family achieve his dream. Go James, go.
Memorial Day Deadlines
Good Times offices will be closed Monday, May 30, in observance of Memorial Day. Offices will reopen 9 a.m. Tuesday. The following holiday deadlines will be in effect for the June 2 issue:
Display and Class Display advertising deadlines will be 4 p.m., Thursday, May 26.
Classified advertising deadline will be 11 a.m., Friday, May 27.
Editorial Calendar, Music and Events deadlines will be noon, Tuesday, May 24.
Emotions ran high last week when James sang a heartfelt rendition of “Without You,” but they ought to be even higher this week: If Durbin isn’t voted off, and makes the Top Three, then our home boy will come home this weekend for special events on Saturday, May 14. (Check out our updates online.) GTv will be on hand if the events happen, so stay tuned ... In the meantime, seeing that we think he’ll be here and that things will move forward, join us at one of the Idol viewing parties, (Wednesday nights) where we root James on: Pizza My Heart (2180 41st Ave., Capitola). Ideal Bar & Grill (106 Beach St.], Carmona’s Barbecue and Deli (1040 East Lake Ave., Watsonville) and Green Valley Grill (40 Penny Lane, Watsonville). Read our updates online every Thursday and Friday at goodtimessantacruz.com.