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Opinion: Revisiting Past GT Cover Subjects

The Gibbs Report, Kaethe Hostetter and Keith Greeninger are back in the news

Keith Greeninger. PHOTO: Tarmo Hannula. File

Editor's Note

Steve Palopoli Profile Photo

This week is all about revisiting issues that have graced the covers of Good Times past. First, there’s Jacob Pierce’s cover story about the 10th anniversary of the Gibbs Report. If you’re like, “The what now?,” well, maybe you don’t exactly remember the 2011 report by retail consultant Bob Gibbs—but if you’ve lived in Santa Cruz for a while, you are certainly familiar with the debate it sparked over this city’s future. His suggestion that Pacific Avenue should be redesigned for two-way traffic through all of downtown was probably the best-known (and for a lot of locals, the most hated) recommendation. But more significantly, his general thesis that attracting shoppers’ car traffic was more important than holding on to Santa Cruz’s legacy of a pedestrian mall—and definitely more important than moving toward more bike-friendly streets—became the impetus for a big pushback against a car-focused downtown. The cover story explores that history, and where we might go from here. (Personally, I wonder what would have happened when the pandemic hit, if the city had followed Gibbs’ recommendations. Would restaurants even have had the space for the parklets that basically saved our dining scene?)

Also in this issue is a follow-up on our former cover-story subject Kaethe Hostetter, who last time we wrote about her had returned to Santa Cruz from Ethiopia, after the pandemic wrecked her plans for a world tour with her ensemble QWANQWA. Now, Aaron Carnes catches up with her as she performs a multimedia solo show at the Tannery.

Finally, I want to mention a Veteran’s Day show this week featuring Keith Greeninger, who I wrote about for a cover story last year. We all know Keith does amazing work in this community, but in my 2020 article I mentioned his song “22 Angels,” which was just about to be released on his new album at the time. That song, about the epidemic of suicide among veterans and active-duty men and women in the U.S. armed services, has struck a chord in a huge way with families across the country, and it may be the most important song he’s ever written. He’ll be playing it when he performs on Sunday, Nov. 7, at the “Felton Still Remembers” event at Hallcrest Vineyards from 11am-4:30pm. The Joint Chiefs, One Country and Michael Gaither also perform. Tickets are $37.50, go to hallcrestvineyards.com.

 

STEVE PALOPOLI | EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

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