Opinion: A Heartfelt Salute to What Got Us Through This Year

There’s a lot of reason for hope going into this new year

The iconic surfer statue on the Westside of Santa Cruz was dressed up as a firefighter in tribute to the people working to contain the devastating CZU Lightning Complex fire that started in August. PHOTO: TARMO HANNULA

Editor's Note

Steve Palopoli Profile Photo

Longtime readers know that our annual Year in Review issue is traditionally the time that we let the snark fly. It’s when we look back at all the news that made us facepalm or freak out or just shake our head in stunned resignation. It is, needless to say, usually dripping with irony.

But you know what? Snark and irony just did not feel right this year. I don’t know how we’re all going to even recalibrate our sarcasm meters after what we’ve all been through in 2020. There’s a lot of reason for hope going into this new year—hope that a lot of us haven’t felt in a long time. That got us thinking about the things that bridged the gap from the before times to this moment full of possibility. Especially when things got way grimdark, we needed the people, places and things in this week’s cover story more than we even imagined we could. Coming up with a list of 50 for this salute to Santa Cruz County’s hope-bearers was surprisingly easy—it was whittling down the list that was hard. So please enjoy our heartfelt, snark-free salute to the things that got us through this year.

And one more personal thank-you to our readers as we wrap up 2020. Santa Cruz Gives’ total is now at more than $625,000—far beyond even our stretch goal and almost a quarter-million dollars more than we raised in total last year for Santa Cruz County nonprofits. The crazy thing is that Dec. 31 is traditionally our biggest day of the campaign for donations. If you gave this year, thank you so much, and if you haven’t yet, I encourage you to go to before midnight on New Year’s Eve and do it!

Finally, voting is in full swing for our Best of Santa Cruz County awards at Like our nonprofits, our businesses need your support! Have a great and safe New Year’s, and we’ll see you in 2021!



Letters to the Editor

Online Comments

Re: Snail

Great piece on Snail. I was the GT music editor, 1985-90. Saw the reunion shows. Lotsa great SC memories. Keep up the fine work.

— Karl Neice


Re: Bigfoot Museum

Years ago after learning of his total devotion to the Sasquatch People, I felt a need to pick up the phone, taking a chance that Mike whom I had just learned about might be at the museum. And I was more than excited (and to be honest a little surprised) to find someone of such unbelievable kindness and patience on the other end. Viewing the Big Guys from a similar perspective to him I had some in depth questions to which he gave me his full attention, never once making me feel I was an imposition upon his knowledge nor time. Such a wonderful quality anytime but especially

nowadays! But as I discovered, when it comes to Mike, you will not find a more devoted–to his fellow humans and Big Brothers alike–anywhere. ANY donation, I’m sure, will be SO greatly appreciated. Thanks for this wonderful article which I plan to share with my various Bigfoot groups on Facebook since such knowledge should not be lost. EVER.

— Laurian Dawkins

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