Plus Letters To the Editor
This week, Elizabeth Limbach shines a light on one of the darkest corners of South County culture with her story on sexual violence against women in the fields of Watsonville. It’s no secret among farmworkers, but even in Santa Cruz County, where ag has always been a top industry, few outside that community know the shocking scope of the problem. Limbach’s story reveals how one local group is trying to change that.
That’s not the only Watsonville issue we take on in this issue. After all, there are traffic problems, and then there are traffic problems that require a county supervisor to run out into the street and wave his arms at cars. Aric Sleeper reports on the latter, and which spot in the Pajaro Valley Unified School District is driving county, city, school and even Caltrans officials crazy.
It’s impossible to understand the political landscape in Watsonville right now without looking closely at the special municipal election coming up on June 3, and in this week’s pages, Roseann Hernandez explains the public safety issues driving the push for Measure G.
Finally, a little about the question that I’ve been asked most often since the merger of Good Times and Santa Cruz Weekly: “What are you going to do about astrology?” And when I say it’s the most-asked question, I mean it is far and away the most-asked question. I could tell someone I’m planning to build a Good Times space station, and they’d probably say “Aw, that’s nice! So are you going to run Risa D’Angeles or Rob Brezsny?” So let me cut to the chase: we’re running both. Risa and Rob have each built their own fiercely devoted fan bases in Santa Cruz over the years, and now they both have a home in these pages.
Steve Palopoli | Editor-in-Chief
Congratulations on your inaugural issue. The articles on Buz Bezore brought back lots of memories, especially with regard to local journalism.
This community is fortunate to have great writers such as Geoffrey Dunn and Christina Waters. I'd love to see more historical pieces from time to time. The past three decades have been quite a ride.
—Robert deFreitas | Santa Cruz
More Buz Words
I don’t often get teary-eyed reading cover stories in weekly newspapers, but Geoffrey Dunn and Christina Waters got me good with their reflections on Buz Bezore. Great heartfelt writing, and an awesome tribute to a true force of nature who helped shape the cultural scene in Santa Cruz as much anyone in the ’70s and ’80s. I have fond memories of those Friday happy hours, as I was at most of them. It gave me a chill reading both stories in what was Buz’s office in his Express days, and is now mine “upstairs at Union and Center.”
—Larry April | Santa Cruz
Behind the Jokester
I very much enjoyed reading Geoffrey Dunn's cover story about journalist Buz Bezore, both for his coverage of the subject's personal history, as well as the history of the local alt journalism scene. I had the opportunity to know Buz very briefly—having been on staff at Community Television during the time Geoffrey hired him—and quite as Jeff described, I do recall that Buz created quite a stir amongst staff, to say the least. That aside, his impish sarcasm and relentless drive to get things done was undeniable. However, what I didn't know before reading the article was that Buz had experienced an immense amount of personal tragedy and loss. Learning this gives me a much deeper understanding of the man behind the witty jokester I barely knew (but had some opinions about). After reading Jeff's article, it is clear to me now that in addition to his many accomplishments, contributions, and less-than-successful personal and professional ventures, above all Buz Bezore was a survivor. And by that I am inspired.
—Helen Giffrow | Santa Cruz
On Buz ...
Thank you, Christina and Jeff, these are two great pieces of writing that capture the irrepressible essence of Buz, and the unruly spirit of a Santa Cruz that exists now only in our most cherished memories. Speaking for all of us post-Express Santa Cruz writers—we all crawled out from under Buz Bezore's baseball cap. #Dostoevsky
Great stories about Buz. Belushi reference reminds me of the end of Animal House. Just plug Buz in, dressed as a pirate, grabbing the girl, stealing the convertible and riding off into the sunset.
— Eric Bloom
I was lucky to have worked for Buz at the Independent. Buz was my first editor, and I'll always treasure what he taught. He was as tough and demanding a wordsmith as I ever had in a 30-year career, and I carried his teachings through all of it. He wrote me a hand-written note when he liked a story I wrote for the Mercury News, and it was as valuable to me as a diploma.
I always remember one thing he said: Trying to get at the truth was like tap dancing on the moon. Miss ya Buzz
Ten new businesses received the desirable title of Certified Green Business from the City of Santa Cruz at the city council’s April 8 meeting. Recognized through the Monterey Bay Area Green Business Certification Program, these businesses (which included Mission Hill Creamery, The Land Trust of Santa Cruz County, Awe Sum Organics and Santa Cruz Waves) were found to go “above and beyond” with measures to run an environmentally friendly business.
Earth Day Action
Earth Day lands on Tuesday, April 22 this year. What are you doing to celebrate? There is no shortage of activities locally, including the annual Santa Cruz Earth Day shindig from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, April 19 at San Lorenzo Park. Get the party started early by pitching in for one of Save Our Shores’ cleanups, which will descend on Cowell and Santa Cruz Main beaches and along the San Lorenzo River from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. on Saturday. Learn more at saveourshores.org.
“To pay attention, this is our endless and proper work.”
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