Santa Cruz Good Times

Nov 30th
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From the Editor

greg archerPlus Letters to the Editor 

I received some good news recently, and, perhaps, proof that people can change their thoughts and perceptions. At last, my Polish mother back in Chicago is willing to admit there is such a thing as climate change. This, after Chicagoland experienced its mildest winter in years, and, more recently, braving 90- to100-plus degree heat for nearly a week, only to be pummelled with 90-mile-an-hour winds last weekend, which left many suburbs without electricity for some time.

All that made me realize that the one discussion not being had (much) these days is about the state of the environment. I believe it hasn’t been a major headliner in quite some time. Perhaps that has a lot to do with what the media now chooses to focus on to generate high ratings—TomKat’s split, Obamacare, Anderson Cooper coming out. It’s surprising, especially with the evidence of such severe weather patterns, that the discussion isn’t being had. Send us your thoughts, ideas and musings about environemental matters and alternatives to This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

In the meantime, in this week’s issue, we ask: What The Fringe? As in ... what is it and what is the story behind a new festival set to unfold in Santa Cruz? This week, writer Kim Luke commands our attention with the lowdown on the Fringe Festival, a new creative outing which features a number of “artists” in various mediums. Turn to page 12 for the full story. And here’s a shout out to local Aleksandra Wolska, whose play “The Wall” runs at the fest’s Center Stage July 14-17 and 21-22 ( learn more at

Other local notables to watch out for (because they’re doing great work elsewhere): Wallace Baine (of the Santa Cruz Sentinel ); well-known county leader Lynn C. Miller, who comes on board as Community Television of Santa Cruz County’s interim executive director; Capitola Book Café, which continues to build momentum with its “Survive and Thrive” campaign (see, and Bookshop Santa Cruz, which makes big news this week by unveiling its new Espresso Book Machine (see related article on page 22).

That’s it for now. Enjoy the issue.

More next time ...

Greg Archer | Editor-in-Chief 


Letters to the Editor 

Understanding Environmentalism
Regarding the article on the Sierra Club redefining its goals, I think the challenge of being an environmentalist is the ability to have holistic viewpoint, a knowledge of the need of infrastructure for larger populations of people for less impact on the environment, not more. You also have to be realistic, and the issues you support should not have a high degree of negative impact on others. The correct answers are out there, and environmentalists and non-environmentalists really do want the same thing. Finding a way in agreement to that "thing" is the hard part.
Bill Smallman
Santa Cruz

Online Comments

On ‘Boardwalk Empire’ ...
Thank you for this very informative and well-written article (GT 6/28) about Fred Swanton. Nice getting to know him.

On ‘Pacific Avenue Poll Results’ ...
I thought about this yesterday as I drove down Pacific Avenue and saw people enjoying lunch at tables outside of Zoccoli's. Two-way traffic would only detract from such a “cafe experience.” Who wants to breathe in additional exhaust fumes? They should try making Pacific one-way from Front Street to Cathcart and two-way on the side streets off of Pacific, to make it less "confusing." I don't fully buy the out-of-town consultant's notions. Or else make a section pedestrian-only— perhaps two blocks. Walking is good for people!

Given the results of your informal poll, it seems as though the majority of Santa Cruz residents and visiting tourists would like Pacific Avenue. Mall to be pedestrian-only. Why are the downtown merchants so reluctant to give it a try? How else could they possibly know if its a viable idea or not? C'mon merchants: give this idea a chance. If it fails (I don't think it will), at least you acted fairly, and tried!

In the ’60s Pacific Avenue was a hugely popular place to cruise (cruz) in your hot rod or whatever. Young people would come from all over to do the circuit from Pacific Avenue (at Water Street) to Front Street to Beach Street, loop around at the end at the parking lot and go back. There was plenty of drinking and revving up your engine and other youthful amusements. The cops and business people didn't like the scene. This is likely the real reason why the traffic pattern downtown was changed ... not just to widen the sidewalks. It's (not) funny how the winners always write the history and mostly everyone is fooled.

Pacific Avenue was two-way in the biggining. We changed it to one way to make room for larger sidewalks. Being two-way I think would make access to both ends of the mall easier but not sure how we would go about going back from which we came? We would have to take back some sidewalk and not sure how popular that would be. Being a pedestrain-only mall just doesnt seem realistic. The only cost-effective way to deal with this right now, I think, would be to leave it alone. How much would it cost to return Pacific Avenue to a two-way street? I don’t even want to think about it.

On ‘Splitting Green Hairs’ ...
The silence from the traditionalists in light of the single-issue victory of the new majority may be telling. It would be good to get some comments from those who opposed the bicyclist "Pave Over the Gulch" faction. Seems a little like having commandeered the ship, and the new captains in order to stop opposition to bike paths. They're now a bit desperate to keep the crew from deserting.
—Robert Norse

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