Santa Cruz Good Times

Oct 07th
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From the Editor

greg archerPlus Letters to the Editor 

Few would argue that these days, coffee has become more than just about drinking the beverage itself. Especially if you’re out ordering coffee at a local coffeehouse. From the wide range of specialty drinks to the time we actually spend at a coffeehouse—socializing, working and, of course, drinking coffee—our “coffee experience” has become just that—an experience. One local enterprise, Verve, has risen in popularity over the last few years because it knows exactly what Santa Cruzans want in their java endeavors. This week, Christa Martin wonderfully captures the unique drive behind the company and the huge role it plays in the upcoming—and downright intriguing—South West Regional Barista Competition being held at the Rittenhouse Building in Downtown Santa Cruz beginning March 9. We’ll see you at the event.

More inspiration came this week with the official announcement of the headliners performing at the upcoming Blues Festival, beginning May 26 at Aptos Village Park. It’s the 20th anniversary of the revered local event, and, this year, festival planners have lured in some of the best in music—Los Lobos, Joan Osbourne, Big Sam’s Funky Nation, Johnny Lang, Elvin Bishop, James Cotton, Coco Montoya and The Doobie Brothers. (Yes, those brothers.) All great fun ahead. Learn more at

Some fun news that came across my desk: Jess Brown, executive director of the Santa Cruz County Farm Bureau and the organization Agri-Culture, is appearing in an international ad for Jameson Whisky. The ad, which is on display in numerous spots around European and U.S. cities (from San Francisco to New York City) is an original oil painting by a local artist. It’s good to see another local gain visibility, and Brown deserves the kudos. In addition to his amazing work at the Farm Bureau, he has also served as president of Santa Cruz Cultural Council and Monterey Museum of Art. Congrats Jess. Cheers.

Have a great week. Thanks for reading.

Greg Archer | Editor-in-Chief
Letters to the Editor

Predicting Policing?
Please! The article on “Predictive Policing” in the Feb. 9 issue of GT made me laugh. I frequently walk on the river levee and find that anyone with their eyes and ears open can predict when a drug deal is gonna go down. Duh. No technology or complex algorithm needed there.
Patti Sirens
Santa Cruz

DeLaveaga Review in Question
While Karen Peterson gave an excellent review of the food and natural beauty of DeLaveaga (GT 2/16), it was very disappointing that she missed the point on what makes the place so special. How many restaurants in this county have been owned and operated by the same families for 42 years? George Vomvolakis, the man she referred to as the "morning's host," has owned and operated the restaurant with partner and chef John Bei since opening in 1970. How can you mention another chef's name and miss the fact that the same man who created the menu 42 years ago is still back there running the kitchen? Locals who go to DeLaveaga do so because of the great food and friendly atmosphere that George and Jon have created, and it’s fantastic that they're still doing it after all these years. Had Karen done a little bit of homework, she and her readers would have gotten a better idea of what DeLaveaga restaurant is really all about.
Pete Vomvolakis
Santa Cruz

Deconstructing Cohen’s Oscar Prank
I think it is kind of sick for Sasha Baron Cohen to be making light of Kim Jong Il’s death and ashes by pretending to spill them on Ryan Seacrest. We live in a really sick world. I mean these movie star people just don't have a clue as to what is going on in the world, or history or anything. I am saddened by their buffoonery, I mean, on the same day that major violence breaks out in Afghanistan, and the Burning of American flags taking place, Sasha decides to be a stupid idiot (like all Liberals when it comes to taste). Ouch.
David Brumfield

Best Online Comments

On ‘Shift Happens’ ...
My competitor for the 5th District Supervisor position, Bruce McPherson, states that he is the only candidate experienced enough to: "Hit the ground running" by "Overseeing the realignment" plan. Seems to me, this is a failure of the State Government to keep prison populations in check, and a clever way for the State to cover this up. Mr McPherson has held major office positions in the state government during the past two decades. The number of prisoners that are to be released is 30,000. Nobody wants to mention this, (in fear of being branded a racist), but an estimate number of illegal immigrants in California state prisons in 2008 was 27,000. I am not a racist, but I do believe controlled immigration, which the State could have controlled long ago, would have helped decrease the criminal element that is plaguing this State and increasing prison populations which we cannot afford to control. I do honestly hope these prisoners do successfully integrate into society. My campaign is all about improving the economy and creating jobs, which I will work toward as I believe this is the only realistic way to take on this added burden by giving these guys jobs, versus someone overseeing it from the golf course.
Bill Smallman

On ‘Neighborhood Watch’ ...
I, too, grew up in this neighborhood—Ocean Street—(on and off), as well as helped my adult sister move into (as a better place) and out of (to a better place) since 1972. It is a richly diverse neighborhood inundated with children, poverty, small business owners, wonderful families, community organization as well as economic, alcohol, drug and co-addiction problems. The big money is not needed for these problems and they exist in every city. Please never forget all the children that do come from these neighborhoods and their parents (no longer children struggling to survive, but full adults expected to know how). Many reasons we all struggle to do better is that we are simply struggling to survive due to all of the issues cited above.
Coco Faulk

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