April 22 – 28, 2019

Highlights this week:

BRATTON…Our Circle Community Church, KZSC and PSA’s. GREENSITE…Greensite on the illusion of affordable housing. KROHN…is away this week and will return next week. STEINBRUNER…got delayed working on her lawsuit at the law library and missed our deadline. She too will return next week. PATTON…Is Global Warming our doomsday prediction? EAGAN…flying immigrants. JENSEN…about old Easters and chocolate bunnies. BRATTON…I critique High Life, Amazing Grace and Teen Spirit. UNIVERSAL GRAPEVINE GUEST LINEUP. QUOTES… “Black Holes”


                                 

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41st and CAPITOLA ROAD 1967. This was before all of us got here and developed everything. That was the Ow family’s King’s Plaza Shopping Center. Then it was Orchard Supply Hardware. Now it’s empty.                                                         

photo credit: Covello & Covello Historical photo collection.

JUDY COLLINS & LEONARD COHEN – “Hey, Thats No Way To Say Goodbye” 1976
GEORGE CARLIN ON HOUSELESSNESS. Chris Krohn found this one.

DATELINE April 22, 2019

SAVING OUR CIRCLE CHURCH. John Sears, one of the organizing activists working to Save the Errett Circle Community Church, added a newsletter to their members. You can and should go to their Facebook group. John states, “The Santa Cruz City Planning Department website still shows only a plot plan and they only report on project status at the end of the month so the application process and progress remain opaque. It might be interesting if we organized a field trip to Planning to exercise our rights to view the documents and be informed. If you are interested, let me know.

Our online petition is approaching 250 signatures. Be sure to consider signing it . Search “Change.org Circle Church Santa Cruz CA.” Over the weekend we distributed 500 door hangers in and around the Circles.

Something each of us can do is to talk about Saving the Circle Church property with other folks, comment online, write to the newspapers, release your creative talents towards our goal in poems? songs? paintings?..I posted a comment when asked for our thoughts about this on Nextdoor that read:

“For most of my 42+ years in the Circles 111 Errett Circle has quietly done its job at the heart of the neighborhood. Most of us do not give our own pulsing hearts much thought when she is quietly doing her job but do when she is in trouble. Few people stop to think about, much less articulate what pleasantness and sense of well-being is contributed to our lives in the Circles by having a place that serves as open space, as a Commons, a community center, a place of worship, a place grounding us in history and identity, a monument at the end of our beckoning streets.  In a dense neighborhood of small lots these are not trivial functions.


Until recently it was owned outright by a Church and though ministers came and went exhibiting their stewardship according to their strengths or limitations, the place itself help her steady purpose for the most part, dogs chased balls, kids ran and shouted, once upon a time a bell called, voices raised in song were heard, and freely passing through one might stand a moment gazing from the center down the boulevard to the sea and sky beyond. Much of this location’s nurturing effect is subliminal, like the valuable human thing that draws people to see a sunset from West Cliff. 

Now the property has been, commodified, monetized, sold for a relatively few pieces of silver, and its fate is uncertain. After the awful “outreach” meeting in November in order to deal with my feelings I began to write. I started with a title, “Requiem for a Neighborhood.” It started with a Joni Mitchell lyric…” Don’t it always seem to go, you don’t know what you got till it’s gone.” I hope I never have to finish it.  I do recommend this Ted talk by Mark Lakeman of City Repair in Portland, Oregon to better understand the importance of community sites  such as this one.

Sue Powell, another chief organizer of the Friends of the church, adds “PLEASE SIGN THE PETITION – by clicking on the link below. Neighbors and friends are organizing to preserve the property at 111 Errett Circle as a community center, a spiritual space, and neighborhood commons. Instead of demolition, our vision is to beautify, enliven, and foster this historic space at the heart of our Circles Neighborhood so that it continues to be used for a variety of activities for all generations.

KZSC AND PUBLIC SERVICE SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENTS. KZSC hasn’t been getting very many PSA’s — i.e. Public Service Announcements. Tell every well-intentioned nonprofit group you know to go to the KZSC website, read the easy PSA rules, and send them in. They are free, and are read many, many times.

RALPH DAVILA’S OWN PRIVATE OXFORD DICTIONARY.

Purloin – an amorous cat
Haiku – doves singing in treetops
Hydrangea – the act of concealing a parks employee
Algorithm – the pulse of he who almost became president.
Harlequin – one of 5 siblings of the same age riding an American motor-cycle. 

April 22, 2019

GRASPING AT STRAWS
Without rent control or government subsidies, truly affordable housing in Santa Cruz is a chimera. That doesn’t stop people from trying to fit this round peg into a square hole. While the attempt is laudable, the assumptions should be subject to careful analysis with evidence that the result will achieve the goal before eliminating zoning, height/density restrictions and parking requirements. Otherwise, not only will the character of Santa Cruz be lost but also the added market rate housing, which raises nearby property values will only further displace lower income workers and families. That much has been demonstrated in studies across the state of the impact of new dense housing on established neighborhoods.

The latest, much-touted solution to fail the test of affordability is ADU’s (Accessory Dwelling Units). This element rose to the top of the list of the city-sponsored, yearlong discussions on solutions to the “housing crisis.” ADU’s, many argued are “affordable by design”, since they are smaller than the main house on a single-family lot and the land is already available. Sounds reasonable unless you consider that housing is a commodity with profit the bottom line. With bottomless demand by those wanting to move to Santa Cruz plus an ever-expanding UCSC, supply can expand until our neighborhoods are defined by 7 story apartment blocks, yet rents and housing costs will continue in an upward trajectory without price and rent control.

While the state forced cities to relax their restrictions on parking and setbacks for ADU’s, our city went even further down this road. It’s hard to argue against encouraging more ADU’s if one accepts that they will add to the supply of affordable housing. Nevertheless, this re-zoning of single-family areas of the city has not achieved the assumed goal. According to the findings presented at the Planning Commission meeting on 4/18/19, rents for ADU’s currently on the market, range from $2000 to $3500 a month. This is considered an “above moderate” rent level. The biggest unmet need for housing in our community is for low and very low rent levels. So ADU’s do nothing for the most impacted by high housing costs. Yes, they add housing but we don’t need more, we need far lower rents and ADU’s do not contribute to that need.

The city should be applauded for doing research to assess whether assumptions are real or merely claimed. Other suggestions for “affordability” need similar scrutiny.

When 1010 Pacific Avenue was approved by council in 2004 with more than the required affordable units, it was touted as being much needed housing for our teachers, firefighters and police: “workforce housing” in today’s vernacular. With this as the carrot, a variance for increased building height was readily approved by council. But has this housing achieved its professed goal? The nine-month leases suggest student tenants but I could be wrong. Their promotional blurb claims “easy access to CA-17, gets you over the hill to the tech firms of Silicon Valley and other Bay Area destinations” suggesting that local teachers, police and firefighters are not the anticipated tenants. A survey of residents and rents could and should be done.

The most recent proposal that is claimed will lead to more affordable housing is to “unbundle” parking costs from rents, meaning, not require developers to include parking in their buildings or to charge extra for parking if they do include it. A commentary in the Sentinel of 4/22/19 by transportation planner Patrick Siegman asserts that affordability will be the desired result. He cites, interestingly, a tenant at 1010 Pacific who does not own a car and therefore saves $125 a month, which is what 1010 Pacific charges for parking. She is a student and rides the bus to UCSC and walks to downtown shops. What works for a student may not work so well for the “workforce.” Siegman views parking requirements as being outdated from the Eisenhower era rather than a response to a car owning populace. His solution for avoiding the impact on neighborhoods with prices and/or residential parking permits (far fewer than the anticipated cars) is an assumption that needs evidence before eagerly accepted by city planners and council. My commonsense says that a claim of no impact is unlikely as it is unlikely that developers will pass on to their tenants the savings in cost from not having to provide parking or greatly reduced parking.

Recent city recommendations for reduced parking requirements for large developments as well as eliminating parking requirements for all new ADU’S allow for an assessment of the impacts if the city is willing to do the research. Unless new tenants sign a contract that they will not own a car, impacts from unbundling parking are more likely than not to further deteriorate our rapidly impacted neighborhoods while the goal of truly affordable housing remains out of reach.  

Gillian Greensite is a long time local activist, a member of Save Our Big Trees and the Santa Cruz chapter of IDA, International Dark Sky Association  http://darksky.org    Plus she’s an avid ocean swimmer, hiker and lover of all things wild.

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CHRIS KROHN. Is journeying this week and will return next week.

(Chris Krohn is a father, writer, activist, and was on the Santa Cruz City Councilmember from 1998-2002. Krohn was Mayor in 2001-2002. He’s been running the Environmental Studies Internship program at UC Santa Cruz for the past 14 years. He was elected the the city council again in November of 2016, after his kids went off to college. His current term ends in 2020.

Email Chris at ckrohn@cruzio.com

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STEINBRUNER STATES. Becky is working on perfecting her lawsuit at the Law Library and couldn’t finish her weekly contribution…she too will return next week.

Becky Steinbruner is a 30+ year resident of Aptos. She has fought for water, fire, emergency preparedness, and for road repair. She ran for Second District County Supervisor in 2016 on a shoestring and got nearly 20% of the votes.

Email Becky at KI6TKB@yahoo.com

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April 22, 2019 #112 / What A Guy!

Last Saturday (4/20), Guy McPherson (pictured) came to my home town, Santa Cruz, California. He spoke at the Resource Center for Nonviolence, and his topic was advertised as “Abrupt Climate Change.” Dr. McPherson’s message was not a hopeful one. In fact, I think it is fair to say that McPherson is against any expression of “hope” when we consider global warming and climate change. It is McPherson’s view that there is no hope for us, and that there is nothing we can do, at this point, to prevent the complete extinction of the human race.

McPherson says that it would be wrong for a doctor to tell a patient with a terminal disease that there may be “hope.” That would be a lie. It isn’t going to help. Similarly, it would be wrong for anyone who has studied the issue of climate change to tell people that there is any “hope” that we can do anything that will prevent the total extinction of all life on this planet, including, specifically, the extinction of human life. McPherson sees his job as trying to establish a “Planetary Hospice,” to bring comfort to all of us during these last few years of our lives, which may well be over by 2030. If you click this link you will be able to read an article that makes the argument.

There was some reluctance in the audience to hear this message of absolute hopelessness. For instance, consternation was expressed when Dr. McPherson said that reducing the use of fossil fuels, which are putting greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, will not actually help us at all. It turns out, he says, that the particulates released by the combustion of hydrocarbon fuels (he called them aerosols) actually help reflect sunlight, and thus reduce global warming. Reducing hydrocarbon emissions will reduce the creation of those aerosols and thus actually speed up global warming, even though the emission of greenhouse gases may be reduced. As Dr. McPherson put it, where the burning of fossil fuels is concerned, “we are damned if we do; we are damned if we don’t.”

The part of Dr. McPherson’s presentation that I liked best was a brief video illustrating the power of the exponential function. From 1975 to 1995, as I worked on the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors to fight the unconstrained growth then occurring in Santa Cruz County (and considered to be inevitable, by the way), I talked a lot about exponential growth. I referred to a great presentation by UCSC Emeritus Professor Peter Scott, “the bug in the bottle.” Click on the link to read a blog posting of mine from 2010, summarizing Dr. Scott’s illuminating discussion of the exponential function. My blog post mentions greenhouse gas emissions, incidentally.

The video that Dr. McPherson played takes a somewhat different tack, and is well worth watching. It makes the point very well. Once we put processes in motion that are governed by an exponential function, things can quickly get out of hand. The following video makes the point: 

So, are things out of hand where global warming and climate change are concerned? I think so! I am not sold on the idea, however, that the best thing we can all do right now is to drop any effort to reduce our human contributions to global warming, and to turn the entire world into a “Planetary Hospice,” so we can all take our time to give a proper goodbye to all those persons, places, and things we love. That is what Dr. McPherson is prescribing. 

I prefer the prescription suggested by the School Strike 4 Climate and the Extinction Rebellion (both mentioned in my blog post yesterday). Whatever the future may be – and we should remember that “the future’s not ours to see” (que sera, sera) – human activity aimed at revolutionary change will be a lot more satisfying than McPherson’s admonition to get into “hospice mode,” and to forget about preventing human extinction. 

I do agree with Dr. McPherson that we should face the facts. I like what that Extinction Rebellion “Pink Boat” says: “Tell the Truth.”

I we do tell ourselves the truth, we will not indulge in any false hopes that there isn’t a deadly exponential process underway. We should acknowledge that the extincton of human life (and all life) is a real possibility. All that is true. However, without any false hopes whatsoever, it might actually be possible for us to change what we are doing in a way that could end up helping to reduce the coming age of climate change difficulties and disasters. 

I am not ready, personally, to go into a planetary version of “hospice care.” I prefer the idea that we ought to give revolutionary, nonviolent change a chance. 

Let’s see what “Extinction Rebellion” can accomplish.

It’s worth a try! 

Gary Patton is a former Santa Cruz County Supervisor (20 years) and an attorney for individuals and community groups on land use and environmental issues. The opinions expressed are Mr. Patton’s. You can read and subscribe to his daily blog at www.gapatton.net

Email Gary at gapatton@mac.com

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EAGAN’S SUBCONSCIOUS COMICS. Eagan’s weekly visit behind our scenes….scroll below.

EAGAN’S DEEP COVER. See Eagan’s ” Sanctuary City Transit” down a few pages. As always, at TimEagan.com you will find his most recent  Deep Cover, the latest installment from the archives of Subconscious Comics, and the ever entertaining Eaganblog.

SANTA CRUZ CHAMBER PLAYERS. Santa Cruz Chamber Players presents “Madness and Music: from Concert to Cabaret” at Christ Lutheran Church in Aptos. That’s Saturday April 27 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday April 28 at 3 p.m. Music by Bach, Schumann, St. Saens, Maconchy and more. Ivan Rosenblum, director and piano. For cost and other information, go to http://www.scchamberplayers.org/

LISA JENSEN LINKS. Lisa writes: “Nurturing fond memories this holiday week of all the Easter Sundays I spent with Art Boy prepping walls for the kids to paint during the 10 years he created murals with 4th and 5th-graders at elementary schools across the county. Read all about it this week at Lisa Jensen Online Express (http://ljo-express.blogspot.com ). No baskets full of chocolate bunnies for us — but, boy was it worth it!” Lisa has been writing film reviews and columns for Good Times since 1975.

HIGH LIFE. Deep, very deep space, and a bunch of criminals — including Robert Pattinson  and Juliette Binoche — are sentenced to ride in a space ship to the Black Hole for years. This is the long (very long) movie about the crimes they committed before the space ship. Pattinson has become an excellent actor….even with just a few words in his script. What’s sort of cool is that their spaceship isn’t the usual immaculate vessel but is dirty, dusty and old. It’ll keep you interested just trying to figure out what the plot really is.

AMAZING GRACE. Sometime in the mid 50’s three friends and I went to a church in the darkest part of Los Angeles to hear Mahalia Jackson — an amazing experience I’ve never forgotten. Watching Aretha Franklin sing gospel songs in this 1971 documentary doesn’t come close. Gospel is its own art form, and Aretha is and was one of our greatest singers — but there’s something lacking in this film.

TEEN SPIRIT. There is/was a Nirvana song titled “Smells like Teen Spirit”, and this movie does smell like Teen Spirit. It’s almost a Doris Day-style movie about a pretty young farm girl who wants to make it big as a band singer. Elle Fanning does her own singing, which doesn’t matter much. Teen Spirit was — or is — a deodorant, by the way, and Elle Fanning is now 21 years old. CLOSES THURSDAY APRIL 25

TRANSIT. A well deserved 96 on Rotten Tomatoes!!! It’s a complex story of oncoming war with Nazis, Paris, fake documents and questionable time shifts. It’s also a tangled love story but with psychological turn-abouts.  Completely absorbing and intelligent, beautifully acted,and just a little boring in spots…go see it. CLOSES THURSDAY APRIL 25

GLORIA BELL. Julianne Moore and John Turturro are the struggling twosome trying to be a couple in this semi-serious drama set in Los Angeles. Julianne is great as the insecure, horny, pot-smoking single working mother who’s trying hard to find a mate. Turturro is even more confused in his search for a woman to replace his ex-wife, and to help him forget her and the drain she places on him. Good film, very engrossing: Julianne Moore has never been better — and that’s saying a lot. 93 on RT.  CLOSES THURSDAY APRIL 25

MUSTANG. It’s a simple-minded movie about some Nevada State prisoners who turn wild mustangs into saddle broken riding horses to sell at an auction every year. It’s apparently factual. It stars Bruce Dern at his cranky, snarly best teaching the boys/men how to handle themselves and their steeds. Predictable, corny, and will remind you of My Friend Flicka or any other old horse movie.

US.So much of this movie was shot at our Boardwalk and has hundreds of nearly unrecognizable locals in it…you simply have to see it. It’s a socially-aware horror movie with a very complex plot, and truly scary. Jordan Peele— who also directed Get Out— made sure it also contains a serious critique of racial inequality and our attitudes to living “the good life”. It’s disturbing, puzzling, well-acted, and a little better than Lost Boys… but not as good as Harold and Maude. A 94 on Rotten Tomatoes.

PET SEMATARY. A remake that shouldn’t have been remade. John Lithgow is frankly boring as the nervous farmer neighbor. Stephen King’s book was fantastic…as I remember from way back when. The original movie version (1989) had some scary scenes, but avoid this sad copy.

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UNIVERSAL GRAPEVINE. Each and every Tuesday from 7:00-8:00 p.m. I host Universal Grapevine on KZSC 88.1 fm. or on your computer, (live only or archived for two weeks… (See next paragraph) and go to WWW.KZSC.ORG. Jane Mio from City Parks & Rec., Sierra Club, Valley Women’s Club talks about the San Lorenzo River issues and survival on April 23. She’s followed by James Clifford organizer & member of the East Meadow Action Committee at UCSC. April 30 has land use attorney Gary Patton discussing the “Save Santa Cruz” organization. Then Rachel Kippen the new ex.dir of the O’Neill Sea Odyssey talks about her job and the Monterey Bay. May 21st has concertmaster Roy Malan discussing the Hidden Valley String Orchestra concert occurring on June 2nd. OR…if you just happen to miss either of the last two weeks of Universal Grapevine broadcasts go herehttps://www.radiofreeamerica.com/schedule/kzsc   You have to listen to about 4 minutes of that week’s KPFA news first, then Grapevine happens. Do remember, any and all suggestions for future programs are more than welcome so tune in, and keep listening. Email me always and only at bratton@cruzio.com

This guy’s great! 😀

UNIVERSAL GRAPEVINE ARCHIVES. In case you missed some of the great people I’ve interviewed in the last 9 years here’s a chronological list of some past broadcasts.  Such a wide range of folks such as  Nikki Silva, Michael Warren, Tom Noddy, UCSC Chancellor George Blumenthal, Anita Monga, Mark Wainer, Judy Johnson, Wendy Mayer-Lochtefeld, Rachel Goodman, George Newell, Tubten Pende, Gina Marie Hayes, Rebecca Ronay-Hazleton, Miriam Ellis, Deb Mc Arthur, The Great Morgani on Street performing, and Paul Whitworth on Krapps Last Tape. Jodi McGraw on Sandhills, Bruce Daniels on area water problems. Mike Pappas on the Olive Connection, Sandy Lydon on County History. Paul Johnston on political organizing, Rick Longinotti on De-Sal. Dan Haifley on Monterey Bay Sanctuary, Dan Harder on Santa Cruz City Museum. Sara Wilbourne on Santa Cruz Ballet Theatre. Brian Spencer on SEE Theatre Co. Paula Kenyon and Karen Massaro on MAH and Big Creek Pottery. Carolyn Burke on Edith Piaf. Peggy Dolgenos on Cruzio. Julie James on Jewel Theatre Company. Then there’s Pat Matejcek on environment, Nancy Abrams and Joel Primack on the Universe plus Nina Simon from MAH, Rob Slawinski, Gary Bascou, Judge Paul Burdick, John Brown Childs, Ellen Kimmel, Don Williams, Kinan Valdez, Ellen Murtha, John Leopold, Karen Kefauver, Chip Lord, Judy Bouley, Rob Sean Wilson, Ann Simonton, Lori Rivera, Sayaka Yabuki, Chris Kinney, Celia and Peter Scott, Chris Krohn, David Swanger, Chelsea Juarez…and that’s just since January 2011.

QUOTES. “BLACK HOLES”

“Do you realize that if you fall into a black hole, you will see the entire future of the Universe unfold in front of you in a matter of moments and you will emerge into another space-time created by the singularity of the black hole you just fell into?” Neil deGrasse Tyson

“The internet to me is kind of like a black hole, and I never really go on it”. Jennifer Lawrence

“Look at the universe! What do you see? An order? Tranquillity? A divine peace? You fool! You ignorant! Over there, galaxies are colliding, suns are exploding, black holes swallowing stars! Now look at the universe again! What do you see? A disorder? Chaos? Anything savage? You see a hell? Now, you see the truth!” . Mehmet Murat ildan


COLUMN COMMUNICATIONS. Subscriptions: Subscribe to the Bulletin! You’ll get a weekly email notice the instant the column goes online. (Anywhere from Monday afternoon through Thursday or sometimes as late as Friday!), and the occasional scoop. Always free and confidential. Even I don’t know who subscribes!!

Snail Mail: Bratton Online
82 Blackburn Street, Suite 216
Santa Cruz, CA 95060

Direct email: Bratton@Cruzio.com
Direct phone: 831 423-2468
All Technical & Web details: Gunilla Leavitt @ godmoma@gmail.com


April 17 – 23, 2019

Highlights this week:

BRATTON…Historical photo update, Regal 9 history, Nick and Del Mar history, movies at Wikipedia. GREENSITE… on local anthropocentrism or “it’s all about us.” KROHN…first 100 days,transportation, housing, houslessness, city commissions, city wages. STEINBRUNER…Cemex plant future, Sustainable Soquel and Nissan, water meeting events. PATTON…DMZ zone surprises. EAGAN…”Market Forces”. JENSEN…Game of Thrones, Ash is the Purest White. BRATTON…I critique Transit and Ash is the Purest White. UNIVERSAL GRAPEVINE GUEST LINEUP. QUOTES…”Bridges”.


                                 

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SEA BEACH HOTEL (behind the 2 story house in front). Sea Beach opened in 1888.  Freight car lower right is a narrow gauge South Pacific Coast rail car which was sold in 1887 to Southern Pacific.                                                    

photo credit: Covello & Covello Historical photo collection.

YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN BLOOPERS.
DOWNTOWN SANTA CRUZ 2017. Just a bit commercial..but still fun to watch.

DATELINE APRIL 15, 2019

HISTORICAL PHOTO NEWS. If you scroll down to last week’s BrattonOnline, you’ll see I asked for help on identifying the other two guys in the 1950 photo of Richard Nixon in Santa Cruz . Ever alert and well informed author and historian  Stan Stevens provided me with a photo of the Sentinel’s front page of October 4, 1950. It says that it’s F.H. Lakey on the left he was from Huntington Park. Then there’s Nixon who was the main speaker at this gathering of the California Real Estate Association. He talked about Korea and Alger Hiss to the 1500 delegates. On the right is California Assemblyman Glenn E. Coolidge the official host of the convention. UCSC’s Coolidge Drive and the bridge by Murray Street are named after him. Thanks too for more info from another reader on this… and I lost his name.

REGAL 9 THEATRE HISTORY. Whether you go there or not, the Regal Cinema 9 movie theatre is a big part of our community. Because folks ask about it, here’s a bit of history and facts about Regal Santa Cruz 9. The Regal 9 opened as a Theatre owned by the Signature chain on May 19, 1995. It was designed by Uesugi & Associates from San Francisco.  Regal bought it and re-opened it September of 2004. It has 704 seats. Their largest theatres, #3 and #4, have 115 seats and 147 seats respectively. The now defunct Riverfront theater opened in July 1970 and Regal shut it down in July 2018. It had two theaters with a total of 750 seats.

NICKELODEON & DEL MAR THEATRE HISTORY. Bill Raney and his wife JoAnne Walker Raney opened the Nick in 1969. He owned and operated it with his second wife, Nancy, until selling it to Jim Schwenterley in 1992. Jim and then partner Chuck Volwiler undertook the huge operation of restoring and reopening the historic Del Mar (opened in 1936). Chris Krohn was our mayor at the time of the Del Mar’s re-opening and presided over the festivities. The Del Mar’s three theaters have 288 seats, 138 seats and 138 seats, The Nick has four theaters  Nick 1- 177seats, Nick 2-110 seats, Nick 3-68 seats, and Nick 4 with 39 seats. That’s 564 seats for the Del Mar and 394 for the Nick. Jim and partner Paul Gottlober added the Aptos Cinema, now torn down to the dismay of Aptosians. In 2015 Landmark bought the Del Mar and the Nick and are trying to sell them right now.

MOVIES ON WIKIPEDIA.  I had no idea that we could and should look up movies on Wikipedia…even the newest of films. It seems to me that there are more plot holes or unclear plot twists than ever. Checking them out on Rotten Tomatoes or the movies own website is rarely much help. And in addition Wikipedia gives you/us the genuine “reception” the film received. In addition to all of above I learned this when I looked up Rotten Tomatoes:

FROM Wikipedia.. Rotten Tomatoes is an American review-aggregation website for film and television. The company was launched in August 1998 by three undergraduate students at the University of California, Berkeley: Senh Duong, Patrick Y. Lee, and Stephen Wang.[4][5][6][7] The name “Rotten Tomatoes” derives from the practice of audiences throwing rotten tomatoes when disapproving of a poor stage performance.  Since January 2010, Rotten Tomatoes has been owned by Flixster, which was in turn acquired by Warner Bros. in 2011. In February 2016, Rotten Tomatoes and its parent site Flixster were sold to Comcast‘s Fandango.[8] Warner Bros. retained a minority stake in the merged entities, including Fandango.[2] It just proves that college students should go to movies more.

April 15, 2019

WE ARE NOT ALONE
We act as though we are the only species on earth. Or at least the only species worth considering. This anthropocentric worldview is not characteristic of all cultures nor for all of human history but is alive and well in current day Santa Cruz.

Three different issues brought this home this past week. The first was UCSC’s Sixth Annual Climate Conference held at the Rio. The theme was Climate Justice. Global warming disproportionally disadvantages the most vulnerable and focusing on this impact is long overdue. The speakers were knowledgeable, engaging and motivating. We need to “bake in equity” in our policies as we prepare to reduce carbon emissions and adjust to a warming world was a major theme. One speaker noted that the planet will survive climate change but humans may not. I found myself thinking, “nor may many other species survive this man-made cataclysm.” To be fair, this was a conversation about social justice, which implies humans. But shouldn’t we “bake in” to our consciousness a concern for the fate of all species of life including plants and trees? Isn’t it a combination of anthropocentrism and capitalism that has stripped the forests bare, polluted the rivers and oceans, fouled the air, sent species into extinction and depleted the earth? We are not in this alone.

The second was contained in an article in City on a Hill newspaper. The topic was the Regents recent approval for building on the East Meadow despite massive opposition including from significant, influential people. The Vice President of Internal Affairs of the Student Union Assembly was quoted as saying, “With over 100 houseless students in the city, it is absurd for there to be so much open space on campus-like the East Meadow- and leave it unused.”  The word “unused” reveals an ignorance that is hard to shift. How do you get someone to look out onto a meadow and “see” the myriad species of life that inhabit it? It is not empty, unused space. It is teeming with life that cannot survive our jackbooted takeover with buildings, transport, pets and activities. This view of open space as “unused” is the same mind-set that rips out mature trees to widen a road and labels it “improvements.” Take a look at the “improvements” opposite Outdoor World on River Street. When the city approved the low income housing abutting the levee next to Outdoor World they also approved the removal of a row of mature, handsome trees that were probably 60 years old, labeling their removal, “improvements.” They were replaced with two straggling juvenile crepe myrtle trees, which are dying from neglect.

The third was the city’s assessment of the environmental impacts of Segment 7 Phase 2 of the Rail Trail, the .79ths of a mile stretch from Bay/California down past the Water Treatment Plant and ending at the wharf roundabout. The Planning Commission will discuss and vote on this item at its meeting on Thursday April 18th at 7pm. This less than a mile stretch, with many trees and lots of brush will be cleared and “improved” with the trees removed, a retaining wall of between 4 and 19 feet high running the length along with lights and security cameras. The cost is around $10 million. It appears that for many, the urge to get the rail trail with a Class 1 trail trumps concern for the impact on other species including the 21 heritage trees to be removed. The city describes this area of open space as “low quality habitat” to justify a conclusion of “less than significant impact” to the biological species in this area, including a monarch butterfly habitat. Vague statements pass for analysis, such as, “if birds are present they are likely choosing Neary Lagoon over the low quality habitat.” Well birds are present if you care to notice them and this is not a “low quality” habitat but rather contains a plethora of plants including wetland species. In a 30- minute walk through, a seasoned birder identified 11 different bird species, mostly foraging in the canopies of large healthy trees that will be cut down to make way for one species…us.

There are in fact 8.7 million species in the world and 1-2 million are animals. Our survival is linked to the diversity of life. If we continue to privilege one species, ourselves, and ignore the rest we indeed have a short future, irrespective of climate change.

Gillian Greensite is a long time local activist, a member of Save Our Big Trees and the Santa Cruz chapter of IDA, International Dark Sky Association  http://darksky.org    Plus she’s an avid ocean swimmer, hiker and lover of all things wild.

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April 15, 2019

FIRST HUNDRED DAYS.

Much is made, by pundits mostly, of a government’s First Hundred Days in office, usually after a tempestuous election. April 20th marks the 100th day of the current Brand-New Council. What has been done by this Santa Cruz City Council since the installation of Justin Cummings and Drew Glover this past December 11th? The story is on-going, filled with fits and starts, but lots of productive legislation too.

Transportation
In the areas of transportation and parking big things have happened. First, the new city council has been able to get a “stop all work” order on the library-garage project that was passed on a 5-2 council vote in the waning months of the old council. Councilmembers Sandy Brown and I thought there was a better way to spend money. Instead of concrete housing for cars how about amenities for pedestrians, bicycles, and alternatives to the “rusted automobile? (Good morning Santa Cruz how-are-ya…”apologies to Arlo Guthrie). Instead, we’re hoping to see an environmental victory come forth out of a revamped and remodeled Church Street library! Secondly, the new council voted to fund bus passes and Jump Bike time for every Santa Cruz downtown employee. (We’re just not sure now why it takes a few months to implement the plan?) In addition, there’s a group organized, Downtown Commons Group, looking at making the Farmer’s Market permanent at Lincoln and Cedar and creating the entire space into our community’s central park. To top it off, a council study session was held on the night of March 19th–approved by a 4-3 council vote–to look at downtown parking and the “need” or not, of another 5-story parking garage. It was successful and can be seen on the city’s web site. Shawn Orgel-Olson also was voted onto the city’s Transportation and Public Works Commission. Go Shawn!

Housing
Concerning tenant protection, this council is overseeing the formation of a Housing Task Force to revisit rent stabilization, just cause eviction, real affordable housing choices, and tenant-landlord mediation. The rent is too damned high and this council wants to do something to keep people in their homes now. The new council also set aside $30,000 for lawyers’ fees in advising renters of their rights.

Houselessness
There is much to take on this area. The new council only nibbled away around the edges, approving an old, new version of a campground at 1220 River Street. But perhaps the greatest victory is wresting $1.4 million from the state apportioned Hap-Heap county funding for homeless services. This money is intended to be spent on a 24/7 emergency shelter. Hopefully, more to come on this one soon. Also, over $100,000 has been spent on shoring up the Ross-Gateway camp at River Street and Highway 1. The city has provided washing stations, port-a-potties, garbage pickup, and wood chips at that site.

City Commission Picks
There is a buzz around the Parks and Recreation, Planning, Transportation and Public Works, Arts, and Downtown Commissions after the new city council injected some fresh blood into these ranks. The council really needs the expert advice of these commissioners, especially in the area of affordable housing and transportation. And when I write “affordable housing” I mean we need more low income units (50%-80% of our area’s median income ($32,710 to $52,336 in city of Santa Cruz using 2017 statistics from the US Census Bureau and HUD–Housing and Urban Development. ) Big things will be given to our commissions and big things will be expected. Stay tuned!

City Wages
Perhaps a day of reckoning is at hand concerning paid staff in the City of Santa Cruz. The council passed a better than expected pay and benefits package for members of the Service Employees International Union (SEIU) recently. Of course, it was not enough, but it was a beginning. It covered around 470 workers at the lower end of the city’s pay spectrum. In order to pay for it, the council must grapple with holding the line on executive pay and also make some tough decisions on managers and middle managers. A friend recently mentioned to me, since the median income in the city is about $65,000, why not simply hold the line on anyone making over $100,000 and use the money to boost those at the lower pay grades. What do people think of that idea? Let your councilmembers know what you think.

Ilhan Omar Tweet of the Week


“This country was founded on the ideas of justice, of liberty, of the pursuit of happiness. But these core beliefs are under threat. Each and every day. We are under threat by an administration that would rather cage children than pass comprehensive immigration reform.” (April 13)

(Chris Krohn is a father, writer, activist, and was on the Santa Cruz City Councilmember from 1998-2002. Krohn was Mayor in 2001-2002. He’s been running the Environmental Studies Internship program at UC Santa Cruz for the past 14 years. He was elected the the city council again in November of 2016, after his kids went off to college. His current term ends in 2020.

Email Chris at ckrohn@cruzio.com

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April 15, 2019

CAN DAVENPORT HANDLE A HUGE RESORT? WHY ISN’T CEMEX PAYING FOR THE EIR?
At the Tuesday, April 16 meeting, the County Board of Supervisors will consider a recommended plan to essentially double the size of Davenport by re-purposing the CEMEX-owned 172+ acres at the now-shuttered Davenport Cement Plant.  The odd thing is that this is all coming before the Board for land that is privately-owned, and no action will go forward because the County does not have the money to conduct the required Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for whatever development the Board might approve.  Why doesn’t CEMEX pay for that???

Here is what the County Administrative Office (CAO) wants to see happen in Davenport:

  • An Eco-Lodge with 75 rooms (average price of $347/night)
  • 55 Cabins
  • 25 Tent Cabins
  • 39 Campsites with amenities (bathrooms with running water, showers, and a camp store)
  • A restaurant serving the Eco-Lodge
  • A spa
  • 3,500 SF event space/retreat space/small market
  • 225,000 SF Flex Space (clean tech, light industrial, artist-maker space, retail or live-work space)
  • 60 units for employee housing (some may be affordable family housing)
  • 20 market rate homes
  • A restaurant/wine tasting venue (perhaps in the historic Crocker Hospital on the coastal side of the highway)
  • A visitor Center with public restrooms and public parking
  • An emergency medical service storage facility
  • Public trails.

Got all that?  That is the gist of Alternative #5 that was supposedly developed via community meetings to gather input on what the people of Davenport would like to see there.  I attended a couple of those meetings, with an interest in the future of the private at-grade railroad crossing from Highway 1 to Davenport’s New Town and the Warrenella Road farming communities, and really head that the people of Davenport are worried about the TRAFFIC impacts of a large development in their community.  They wanted a local grocery store, and some affordable housing, please.

Instead, it seems the County has calculated the land use values of the different Alternatives, based on what might be built there, and determined that Alternative #5, at $6 Million/Acre would be acceptable.  BUT FOR WHOM???

Here is the link to the Board Agenda Packet…take a look (beginning on Page 95)

Contact the Board: 831-454-2200, write your County Supervisor:

YOU MIGHT ALSO ASK THEM ABOUT THEIR THOUGHTS ON THE CLOSED SESSION DISCUSSION OF THE SUSTAINABLE SOQUEL CEQA WRIT OF MANDATE AND THE NISSAN DEALERSHIP

click here to continue (link expands, click again to collapse)

MAKE ONE CALL.  WRITE ONE LETTER.  ATTEND ONE PUBLIC MEETING.  MAKE A BIG DIFFERENCE! BUT JUST GET SCRAPPY AND DO SOMETHING!

Cheers,

Becky Steinbruner

Becky Steinbruner is a 30+ year resident of Aptos. She has fought for water, fire, emergency preparedness, and for road repair. She ran for Second District County Supervisor in 2016 on a shoestring and got nearly 20% of the votes.

Email Becky at KI6TKB@yahoo.com

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April 13, 2019#103 / Lessons From The DMZ

A play I saw at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival a couple of years ago, Hannah and the Dread Gazebo, came to mind as I was writing my blog post yesterday. The play itself was excellent (you can watch a brief excerpt by clicking this link); however, what struck me most about the play, and what I most remember, is a fact mentioned during the performance. 

It turns out that the Demilitarized Zone between North and South Korea is now a wonderland of biodiversity. All that was required for biodiversity to return to this area was for human beings to get off the land. The DMZ is 160 miles long, and about 2.5 miles wide. If you venture into the DMZ, as you probably know, you will likely be killed by machine guns trained on you from both North and South Korea. Hence, human intrusions are rare. The result, as documented by an article in The Guardian, is that “the Demilitarized Zone, or DMZ, is home to thousands of species that are extinct or endangered elsewhere on the peninsula. It is the last haven for many of these plants and animals and the centre of attention for those intent on preserving Korea’s rich ecological heritage.”

If we would like to head in the “right direction,” and start giving back territory to Nature, so that we can survive as a species (and this is what E.O. Wilson says we need to do), it looks like the DMZ provides a pretty good test case and proof of concept. We can, in fact, help restore the biodiversity we have put in peril by simply getting off the land, and leaving it alone. Machine guns might not actually be necessary! There are surely other ways to ensure that we can restore land to its natural state (by simply leaving it alone). 

A recent story published on the EcoWatch website, indicates that we can start restoring our marine environments in the same fashion, by establishing marine sanctuaries. The article cites “a Greenpeace report [that] lays out a plan for how world leaders can protect more than 30 percent of the world’s oceans in the next decade — as world governments meet at United Nations to create a historic Global Oceans Treaty aimed at strictly regulating activities which have damaged marine life.”

There are lots of places where it would make sense for human beings to step back, and remove themselves and their activities. The results, in terms of biodiversity, could be astounding. 

Hey, what about repurposing some of the thousands of military installations that the United States has established all over the world?

Gary Patton is a former Santa Cruz County Supervisor (20 years) and an attorney for individuals and community groups on land use and environmental issues. The opinions expressed are Mr. Patton’s. You can read and subscribe to his daily blog at www.gapatton.net

Email Gary at gapatton@mac.com

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EAGAN’S SUBCONSCIOUS COMICS. Eagan takes us strolling through that unknown , funny and forbidden territory…scroll below.

EAGAN’S DEEP COVER. See Eagan’s ” Market Forces ” down a few pages. As always, at TimEagan.com you will find his most recent  Deep Cover, the latest installment from the archives of Subconscious Comics, and the ever entertaining Eaganblog.

MUNCHING WITH MOZART. Every third Thursday of almost every month there is a free concert held in the upstairs meeting room of the threatened Santa Cruz Public Library. This month the theme is “Celebrating Russian Music” and it happens April 18 12:10-1 p.m. The program contains…

Russian Folk Songs Michael Glinka (1804-1857) , Peter Ilich Tchaikovsky (1840-1893)  Alexander Skryabin (1871-1915) Sergei Rachmaninoff (1873-1943) Sergei Prokofiev (1891-1953)   Dmitri Shostakovich (1906-1975)

Sofia Gubaidulina (b.1931) and good old Sergei Rachmaninoff (1873-1943). Remember…it’s free and at the Santa Cruz Library, April 18, 2019 12:10-1:00

Central Branch Meeting Room upstairs.

FIRST ANNUAL VETERANS CHILI COOK-OFF!!!  More than 17 Santa Cruz county Veterans organizations are gathering together Saturday, April 20 at 1960 Freedom Boulevard for this monumental celebration. Experts, award winners, chefs, and a huge amount of friends will enjoy this great fun event. It starts at 11:30 am and will run at least to 4 p.m. It’s hosted by VFW 1716. Tickets and info at (Santa Cruz County Veterans Advocate) Dean Kaufman 831-420-7348 or at the Santa Cruz County Veterans Office 842 Front Street (by the post office).

LISA JENSEN LINKS. Lisa writes: “Fasten your seatbelt and snuggle up to your favorite direwolf for the launch of the long-awaited eighth and final season of Game of Thrones, this week at Lisa Jensen Online Express http://ljo-express.blogspot.com . What can we expect from the most notorious perpetrator of fan abuse in the history of entertainment?  No doubt, there will be blood. Also, prepare to be surprised as the Chinese gangster epic, Ash Is the Purest White, evolves into something entirely else. Catch up with my review in this week’s Good Times!” Lisa has been writing film reviews and columns for Good Times since 1975.

ASH IS THE PUREST WHITE. This one earned a 98 on Rotten Tomatoes. Set in 2001 China, it’s a long (2 hours plus) saga of a woman’s love and devotion of a gross thug. It’s also sad and a document of how the world famous 3 Gorges Dam ruins the community and surrounding country. The film is blocked in three chapters that painfully take us through her stage of love and survival. Brilliant, courageous and worth it!!  CLOSES APRIL 18 !! Hurry!!!

TRANSIT. A well deserved 96 on Rotten Tomatoes!!! It’s a complex story of oncoming war with Nazis, Paris, fake documents and questionable time shifts. It’s also a tangled love story but with psychological turn-abouts.  Completely absorbing and intelligent, beautifully acted,and just a little boring in spots…go see it.

BEST OF ENEMIES. This is actually a feel good movie disguised as a statement on racial bigotry in 1971. It’s about a Ku Klux Klan chief (Sam Rockwell) becoming friends with a black woman activist, brilliantly played by Taraji Henson. Santa Cruzans should be reminded of our KKK connection when we learned that Roger Grigsby— owner of the local OMEI restaurant —was a supporter of David Duke the head of the KKK. Then too, the film’s opening scenes of the City Council meeting in Durham North Carolina will remind active locals of our current council charade. CLOSES APRIL 18

GLORIA BELL. Julianne Moore and John Turturro are the struggling twosome trying to be a couple in this semi-serious drama set in Los Angeles. Julianne is great as the insecure, horny, pot-smoking single working mother who’s trying hard to find a mate. Turturro is even more confused in his search for a woman to replace his ex-wife, and to help him forget her and the drain she places on him. Good film, very engrossing: Julianne Moore has never been better — and that’s saying a lot. 93 on RT. CLOSES APRIL 18

MUSTANG. It’s a simple minded movie about some Nevada State prisoners who turn wild mustangs into saddle broken riding horses to sell at an auction every year. It’s apparently factual. It stars Bruce Dern at his cranky, snarly best teaching the boys/men how to handle themselves and their steeds. Predictable, corny, and will remind you of My Friend Flicka or any other old horse movie.

US.So much of this movie was shot at our Boardwalk and has hundreds of nearly unrecognizable locals in it…you simply have to see it. It’s a socially-aware horror movie with a very complex plot, and truly scary. Jordan Peele— who also directed Get Out— made sure it also contains a serious critique of racial inequality and our attitudes to living “the good life”. It’s disturbing, puzzling, well-acted, and a little better than Lost Boys… but not as good as Harold and Maude. A 94 on Rotten Tomatoes.

PET SEMATARY. A remake that shouldn’t have been remade. John Lithgow is franklyboring as the nervous farmer neighbor. Stephen King’s book was fantastic…as I remember from way back when. The original movie version (1989) had some scary scenes, but avoid this sad copy.

HOTEL MUMBAI. This is NOT the documentary showing the 2008 attack by 10 Pakistani terrorists of the Taj Hotel in Mumbai. It is the ruthless, uncaring re-staging of the savage killing of 166 victims over 3 days with no police or soldiers to protect them. Why anyone would want to produce such a film that has no plot, no message, hackneyed acting is a serious question. Why anyone would want to see such a depressing film is another serious question. If this brutal movie makes box office profits should we be expecting acting versions of Parkland or the recent mosque tragedies? CLOSES APRIL 18… AND GOOD RIDDANCE!!

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UNIVERSAL GRAPEVINE. Each and every Tuesday from 7:00-8:00 p.m. I host Universal Grapevine on KZSC 88.1 fm. or on your computer, (live only or archived for two weeks… (See next paragraph) and go to WWW.KZSC.ORG. Kristin Brownstone and Jerry Lloyd discuss the Santa Cruz Actors Theater  “Looking For Normal” play on April 16th. They’re followed by Jeffery Smedberg and Franco Picarella from the Reel Work Film Festival listing the screenings around the county and Bay. May 21st has concertmaster Roy Malan discussing the Hidden Valley String Orchestra concert occurring on June 2nd. OR…if you just happen to miss either of the last two weeks of Universal Grapevine broadcasts go herehttps://www.radiofreeamerica.com/schedule/kzsc   You have to listen to about 4 minutes of that week’s KPFA news first, then Grapevine happens. Do remember, any and all suggestions for future programs are more than welcome so tune in, and keep listening. Email me always and only at bratton@cruzio.com

This kid is Precocious with a capital P 🙂

UNIVERSAL GRAPEVINE ARCHIVES. In case you missed some of the great people I’ve interviewed in the last 9 years here’s a chronological list of some past broadcasts.  Such a wide range of folks such as  Nikki Silva, Michael Warren, Tom Noddy, UCSC Chancellor George Blumenthal, Anita Monga, Mark Wainer, Judy Johnson, Wendy Mayer-Lochtefeld, Rachel Goodman, George Newell, Tubten Pende, Gina Marie Hayes, Rebecca Ronay-Hazleton, Miriam Ellis, Deb Mc Arthur, The Great Morgani on Street performing, and Paul Whitworth on Krapps Last Tape. Jodi McGraw on Sandhills, Bruce Daniels on area water problems. Mike Pappas on the Olive Connection, Sandy Lydon on County History. Paul Johnston on political organizing, Rick Longinotti on De-Sal. Dan Haifley on Monterey Bay Sanctuary, Dan Harder on Santa Cruz City Museum. Sara Wilbourne on Santa Cruz Ballet Theatre. Brian Spencer on SEE Theatre Co. Paula Kenyon and Karen Massaro on MAH and Big Creek Pottery. Carolyn Burke on Edith Piaf. Peggy Dolgenos on Cruzio. Julie James on Jewel Theatre Company. Then there’s Pat Matejcek on environment, Nancy Abrams and Joel Primack on the Universe plus Nina Simon from MAH, Rob Slawinski, Gary Bascou, Judge Paul Burdick, John Brown Childs, Ellen Kimmel, Don Williams, Kinan Valdez, Ellen Murtha, John Leopold, Karen Kefauver, Chip Lord, Judy Bouley, Rob Sean Wilson, Ann Simonton, Lori Rivera, Sayaka Yabuki, Chris Kinney, Celia and Peter Scott, Chris Krohn, David Swanger, Chelsea Juarez…and that’s just since January 2011.

QUOTES.”BRIDGES”

“We build too many walls and not enough bridges”. Isaac Newton
“If a man can bridge the gap between life and death, if he can live on after he’s dead, then maybe he was a great man”. James Dean
“Never burn bridges. If it’s a faulty bridge then close it off and let it fall on its own”. Gregor Collins
“A bridge can still be built, while the bitter waters are flowing beneath”. Anthony Liccione  


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Snail Mail: Bratton Online
82 Blackburn Street, Suite 216
Santa Cruz, CA 95060

Direct email: Bratton@Cruzio.com
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