We’ve been proud to be a sponsor of the NEXTies for several years, and this time around there’s an extra dose of pride because our own Lily Stoicheff is being honored as Writer of the Year. Because the NEXTies share our interest in the area’s up-and-coming talent, we’ve traditionally profiled all of the winners. But the awards have grown rapidly since Matthew Swinnerton took over, and there’s now simply too many to do so. More than that, we wanted to take a different approach this year and dive deeper into the story of a single winner that plays a role in an important issue facing the community. Like our attempt to dig a little deeper for a new take on the Best of Santa Cruz County issue last week, it felt like an opportunity to give readers something more.
The Warming Center, which is being honored by the NEXTies as Best Local Nonprofit, was a perfect fit. Matthew Renda’s profile of the group explains how they have worked hard with an all-volunteer staff to mend a hole in this county’s safety net. With homelessness always one of the most pressing issues in Santa Cruz, their dedication to providing shelter for one of the area’s most vulnerable populations is fully deserving of the recognition they’re getting this week. You can also find a full list of awardees and all of the details of the awards show on Friday at the Rio. Congratulations to this year’s NEXTies winners!
STEVE PALOPOLI | EDITOR-IN-CHIEF
Letters to the Editor
Best of Best of
Your current Best of Santa Cruz issue (GT, 3/15) is above/beyond anything I remember you doing before. Featuring the art of the late Doug Ross together with Maria’s story on him was a fabulous tribute to the man and his creativity. Thank you!
Sandra L. Cohen
Partner with the People
“Even if the SCPD had not participated in the controversial raids, they probably would have happened the same way—immigration checks and all.” (GT, 3/15) I agree, the federal government did not need any local cooperation for its offensive.
Why would any law enforcement department in the State of California ever participate in what amounts to a PR disaster, a useless waste of city resources, a murky war game under the cloak of darkness … to arrest fewer than a dozen people on rather mundane narcotics charges?
I would expect as much in Lassen County, Butte County or Kern County, but Santa Cruz?
I was hard-pressed to find any small department that has a Homeland Security office on-site.
Community leaders are working overtime with the faith communities, schools and nonprofits to gain trust and mend broken relationships in the immigrant community and the community at large. This task would be less complicated had Santa Cruz police declined to actively participate in the raids. So now we must reunite, reaffirm our commitment, and reinforce real civilian partnership and oversight of our police department.
Today our state legislature is considering a new law, Senate Bill 54, the California Values Act. That bill would prohibit local law enforcement agencies from making the mistake that the Santa Cruz Police Department made. It would prevent all local law enforcement agencies in California from collaborating with general immigration policies that fracture families and adversely affect local communities. SB54 would also prohibit indiscriminate access by ICE to state prisons and our local jails, while still allowing immigration enforcement targeting serious criminals. The California legislature must to support SB54.
Hundreds of listings of winners each year means our Best of Santa Cruz County issue is always followed the next week by our Best of Santa Cruz County corrections. With apologies to the winners, here are this year’s:
- Bella Roma was a runner-up for Best Date Night, Capitola.
- Pour Tap Room won Best Tap Room.
- Another Bike Shop was a runner-up for Best Bike Shop.
- The address for Rachel Carlton Abrams, MD is 740 Front St., Suite 130, Santa Cruz.
- The address for Connoisseur Carpet is 1521 Seabright Ave., Santa Cruz.
- The contact information for Best House Cleaner winner Clean Sweep is P.O. Box 1022, Felton; 239-4645; usecleansweep.com.
- The Best Crossfit category was omitted. Winner: Studio 831, 2351 Mission St., Santa Cruz, santacruzstudio831.com. Runners up: CrossFit Aptos, Seabright CrossFit.