Sometimes I find a theme will arise in an issue of GT whether those of us who put together the paper each week thought to put it there or not. That was definitely the case this week with the battle between sound and silence. On the one hand, there’s the cover story by Aaron Carnes on local musician Henry Chadwick, whose sound is getting him attention from music journalists and fans around the country right now. It’s also, at a deeper level, about how hard it is to break out beyond the oddly insular music scene here, and what’s fueling Chadwick’s unexpected success. On the sonic side, there’s also Cat Johnson’s story about “Mighty” Mike Schermer, who went from changing sheets at UCSC to becoming a sought-after guitar sideman and leader of his own band.
But there’s a flip side, too, in the form of new contributor Daniel Talamantes’ article about the benefits of silence in our distinctly loud culture. And I have an article this week about the Wellstone Center in the Redwoods that explains why its founders Steve Kettmann and Sarah Ringler are pushing back against the noise to create an oasis of quiet for writers in Soquel.
I’m always surprised and fascinated when the issue is done and these threads of similar and contrasting ideas seem to suddenly rise off the page. I hope you enjoy finding those and other connections throughout this issue, too.
STEVE PALOPOLI | EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
Letters to the Editor
Tracks Must Go
In regards the upcoming ballot measure by the RTC to fund Highway 1 widening, I could not agree more with Steve Schnaar (GT, 7/27) that we have to get out of our cars. We have a wonderful opportunity to build a beautiful bike trail, and we have the perfect path in the rail line, going from Davenport to Watsonville. A program of incentives to get people electric bikes, coupled with the trail, could get many people out of their cars. But the tracks have to go. If in the near to middle future someone comes up with a better use of the path, we will figure that out. Leaving the rails in is a non-starter, like highway widening. The only reason not to pull them is the owner gets to expense the track at book value, propping up their stock price. The measure as presently constructed is designed for failure; it would only pass due to voters’ ignorance.
While I agree with Steve Schnaar in the short term about the negative impacts of widening Highway 1, I think it’s important to point out that driving and automobiles do not, in and of themselves, contribute to climate change. It’s the type of automobiles we drive and how they are manufactured that adds greenhouse gases to the atmosphere. The sooner we can transition to all-electric vehicles manufactured using power that doesn’t add carbon dioxide or methane to the air, the better off we’ll be. In opposing the current plans to widen Highway 1, we should not lose sight of the even more important battle to transition away from our current fossil fuel economy.
Still the Thing
As many locals may have done, I was afraid that our best Shakespeare days were behind us, with the loss of the beloved Sinsheimer Grove. But after Ms. Jensen’s and Ms. Waters’ encouraging reviews I went to the new locale past the Delaveaga golf course and discovered the best two productions I have seen in years! All hail to two great directors, a fabulous cast, and the amazing discovery that changing young Hamlet’s gender makes the role more powerful, rather than diluting it. We are so blessed to have Shakespeare in this world, and twice blessed to have such passionate, engaging, and amusing productions presented here in our own quaint (and brilliant!) little town.
Go quickly to see both of these first-rate productions, with stunning and true performances by great actors (Bernard K. Addison as both Hamlet and Bottom! Larry Paulsen as both Puck and the lead of The Players!) delivering fine and true productions conceived by inspired directors. Just to see Hamlet played by this powerful woman, Kate Eastwood Norris, who proves that fierceness and existential crisis are not the terrain of a single gender. I, too, was worried, deeply, about Hamlet the female Dane, and found, as Ms. Waters said, that “I was quickly smitten.” I will not wish to see Hamlet (my favorite Shakespeare play) as a man again, as this was so much better.
In case you forget, Shakespeare expands the soul by reminding us how marvelous the world we inhabit—as complex and convoluted humans—really is. This is something worth re-“membering,” and these are productions which re-“mind” us well, with joy and intrigue, brightness and generosity, how wonderful it is, this fabulous globe of Shakespearean life.
Re: “Dancing in the Sunset” Photo Contest winner (GT, 8/3): It gets better, Kenny. Having lost my companion rottweiler Pooh Bear last year, after 14 wonderful years, I promise it will not be so raw as time passes. His loss was a wonderful catalyst for me to offload some old unfinished business as well, as I grieved fully and audibly. His last gift to me. Hugs.
In last week’s cover story about the web dramedy Cleaner Daze, we stated that after Olivia Orea got out of rehab “she was caught up in transporting drugs from across the border.” In actuality, she became involved in an effort to retrieve a car stolen by drug traffickers near the border. Orea did not transport illegal substances across state or international borders. We regret the error.