A voter submits a ballot at a drop box
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)
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Morning Lookout: Inside Good Times shakeup and why a parcel tax makes sense for Santa Cruz

Hey hey hey. It is Thursday, June 8, and I, too, was surprised to see rays of sunshine out of a blue sky as dawn arrived. That’ll be the order of the day for Santa Cruz County, with highs into the 70s — so enjoy it, since the forecast calls for a cloudy pattern to return for the weekend.

There’s plenty cooking on Lookout; head this way if you’re too hungry to stick around for the tour.
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Santa Cruz free weekly Good Times has been under the microscope following its publication of an anonymous letter attacking the trans community, and that’s led to a change in leadership, Christopher Neely reports. Media veteran Brad Kava has taken the reins and is charged with striking a balance. “Where do you draw the line for freedom of speech, representing everyone fairly, and hate speech?” he says. “It’s tough.”

Lookout has reported extensively on the citizen-led process aimed at putting a measure to fund affordable housing on the ballot in the city of Santa Cruz in 2024, and in our Community Voices opinion section, advocate James Weller writes that among the options under discussion, a $95 parcel tax makes the most sense.

OK, to the Thursday headlines ...

Good Times’ sudden leadership change follows publication of controversial anonymous letter

Santa Cruz free weekly Good Times announced it had tapped media industry veteran Brad Kava to serve as interim editor in the wake of a fierce backlash over the publication of an anonymous letter to the editor attacking the trans community. The decision to run the letter and the subsequent reaction highlights the blurry divide in the media between promoting free speech and giving a platform to hate speech, and where and how those in charge should draw that line. More here from Christopher Neely.

PREVIOUSLY: Drag Story Time organizers denounce anonymous transphobic letter

Santa Cruz needs an affordable housing tax measure; a $95 parcel tax is the best option

The third meeting of Santa Cruz residents working to formulate a housing measure to bring to voters in 2024
(Kevin Painchaud / Lookout Santa Cruz)

The city of Santa Cruz needs more taxes to support affordable housing, writes James Weller, a local housing advocate. A proposed 2024 ballot measure is under discussion by a citizens committee and in recent polls 63% preferred equally either a parcel tax or an assessed-value tax-rate increase. That leaves Weller optimistic. Anyone can join in the planning process over the next month; Weller invites Santa Cruz residents to participate. Read his Community Voices opinion piece here.

MORE ON THE PROCESS: Keeley’s grassroots vision for Santa Cruz’s housing bond has been messy and complicated


Upcoming events in Santa Cruz County

Midtown Fridays @1111 Soquel Ave.
Food Truck Friday @Skypark
Mountain Film on Tour Santa Cruz @Rio Theatre
Roosevelt @The Catalyst

Out of The Darkness Santa Cruz County Walk @Skypark
Community Crafters-Basic Earring Making Workshop @Boulder Creek Branch Library
Farm Dinner @1481 San Miguel Canyon Rd.
Big Mountain @Moe’s Alley
MaMuse, WildChoir & The Feelings Parade @Rio Theatre

Halloween Pop-up Event @Little Trends
Rail & Trail Festival @Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk
David Luning @Kuumbwa Jazz Center
Marc E. Bassy @The Catalyst

That’s it for the moment, but you know there’s more on the way from Lookout. If perhaps your thoughts are turning toward the weekend, Wallace Baine is all over it — his Weekender newsletter will be winging its way to inboxes later Thursday, with news and notes from the Santa Cruz County entertainment scene and recommendations for things to do all over. Sign up here to get that and all of our other newsletters, plus breaking news alerts, delivered right to you — and Lookout is on social media, too, so give us a follow on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Our content isn’t possible without community support, so if you’re not already, please consider becoming a Lookout member.

It’s a beautiful day; don’t let it get away.

Will McCahill
Lookout Santa Cruz