October 16 – 22, 2017

Highlights this week:
More about the MAH Black “M” and Abbott Fountain, Omei Boycott in effect, Save Santa Cruz meeting,…Debbie Bulger and mountain bikers… Greensite on Downtown Recovery Plan finale at Planning Commission…Krohn and what affordable housing crisis? our “crazy” police chief, Drew Glover running for City Council, why Robert Singleton for Planning Commissioner? …Steinbruner and why are we paying $3 million dollars for an Aptos Village Stoplight?, Aptos Village developer Testorff breaking rules, still no permits for Rancho Del Mar demolitions, historic 1890 Milsap House destroyed, and she too asks why Robert Singleton for Planning Commissioner …Patton about “Better Living Without Chemistry”…deCinzo and cyclists…Eagan and Ducking the issue…Munching with Mozart…Santa Cruz Chamber Players new season concert on 10/22…Jensen and Rotten Tomatoes symbols…I critique Loving Vincent and Marshall…Quotes on Forest Fires.

...

AERIAL VIEW DOWNTOWN SANTA CRUZ 1946. Look closely… see the post office, McHugh Bianchi Store, The Civic Auditorium, The Cooper House, the original pre-Catalyst building, just a bit of the Octagon,…a great photo.                                                       
    
photo credit: Covello & Covello Historical photo collection.

Additional information always welcome: email bratton@cruzio.com

NIAGARA FALLS COLLAPSE.
Having grown up in Buffalo, New York we went to the falls every time relatives visited. This footage is shocking and looks like our West Cliff Drive.
BLADERUNNER 2049. I’m just trying to get everybody to go see this brilliant film.
STEPHEN COLBERT’S FAKE INTERVIEW WITH TRUMP.

DATELINE October 16, 2017

OCTAGON PLATZ. Being back sitting near the front door of The Octagon not only re-opens contact with dozens and dozens of old and new friends, it creates grand new items to write about. Again the question came up about…”whatever happened to the big, tall black letter “M” that stood at the corner of Front and Cooper Street”. As I reported a couple of weeks ago Nina Simon MAH director replied…

…”When we designed and built the new deck wrapping around the corner, we wanted to invite people to easily hang out and people-watch from there. We also wanted to make the deck as big as possible”. What I learned last week from one of those reliable sources is the the big black letter M at last sighting was in Nina and her husband’s back yard!

I also learned that the Chuck Abbott Square Fountain, the only fountain in Santa Cruz was originally built with the original steps to The Octagon itself. The Octagon was our original Hall of Records in 1882. Alan Counahan who designed and built that fountain cut those stairs into the sides of that fountain over at Angelo Grova’s Michangelo’s studios on River Street. Where are those steps now? Who knows?? Somehow many folks keep forgetting that MAH, the entire Abbott Square operation all are under County not Santa Cruz City control.

OMEI BACK OPEN AND BOYCOTT?? According to once again located in Santa Cruz…Sentinel, Roger Grigsby has opened the Omei on a limited basis. As you probably remember Grigsby donated $500 to the 2016 U.S. Senate Campaign of David Duke the former head of the Ku Klux Klan. As Grigsby stated, “It would be really interesting if these people really listen to David Duke himself, rather than listening to what other people say about him,” Grigsby said of Duke, who led the KKK from 1974 to 1978′. It’s all about the supremacy of the white race and especially the males. Many folks stated that a boycott closed the Omei…I don’t think so. Grigsby himself stated it was the quitting of his staff. Now we have a chance to see if a BOYCOTT of the Omei will keep it closed. You probably remember Greenpeace boycotting Exxon, boycotting Nestle for their artificial breast milk, Wal-Mart and their gun sales, Gallo wine and Cesar Chavez’ protest? Well check inward and figure out if you want your money going to the Ku Klux Klan or whatever right wing organizations your Omei bill goes to.

I STILL NEED A CAR. I got one response from Ralph Williams who is trying to help me find a reasonably priced car. If any reader of friends of readers knows of an automobile for sale please get in touch as soon as possible. It’s easy just email me at bratton@cruzio.com . My 1998 Honda has about 205,000 miles on it and……please???


“SAVE SANTA CRUZ”. Stop Overbuilding, stop rezoning.
As their face book page says, “Who is being served here & who is making money? Please attend these housing events & ask tough questions The development on tap all over the City is not required to include below market rate housing & provides HUGE breaks to developers”.

There’s a meeting for everyone who cares about the character and community of Santa Cruz. It’s Thursday October 26 at The Santa Cruz Community Church 411 Roxas Street 6:30 -8 p.m.

Click the image on the right to see what Seabright and Soquel corner (Charlie Hong Kong) would look like

Hear more from your neighbors and find out ways you can get involved and TAKE ACTION!! The Church on 411 Roxas Street is between Trevethen Avenue and Park Way.

“MOUNTAIN BIKERS WANT MORE”. That’s what Debbie Bulger told me at The Octagon Platz last week. Debbie is the coordinator of “Mission: Pedestrian“, the Santa Cruz pedestrian advocacy group and local affiliate of California Walks. Write it up I said…she did!

MOUNTAIN BIKERS WANT MORE…Debbie Bulger.

Mountain bikers want more places to play in Santa Cruz. In fact they have displaced those on foot in park after park yet represent only one quarter the numbers of residents who prefer walking and hiking for recreation.

Right now Santa Cruz is a “Mecca” for mountain biking. Don’t take my word for it; listen to the mountain bikers themselves and the folks who track them: Singletracks.com  lists the Soquel Demonstration Forest/Forest of Nisene Marks as #2 in their posting of the BEST Mountain Bike Trails in California. That’s right, #2 in the whole state.

Stacy Peterson reports on santacruz.org : “From mellow rollers beside the ocean to technical singletrack through the redwoods, Santa Cruz is a mountain bike Mecca with spectacular terrain and views to match.”

Dan Palermini says this about the Soquel Demonstration State Forest on mtbr.com. “Boasting some of the best legal mountain biking in the San Francisco Bay Area, “Demo” is a regional riding hotspot . . . .”The Soquel Demo Forest above Nisene Marks has the Flow Trail, an almost 4-mile long technical screamer featuring banked turns and jumps.

The Mountain Bikers of Santa Cruz (MBoSC) website enthuses “We are blessed with a multitude of options for riding here in Santa Cruz County.” Additionally they assert, “Santa Cruz County is quickly becoming a bike park mecca.”

These sentiments explain the comments I receive whenever I’m out of town and mention to a new acquaintance that I’m from Santa Cruz. “Santa Cruz is a biking Mecca,” they invariably say whether they are from Orange County or Vermont.

MBoSC, on its own website, identifies over 200 miles of mountain bike routes in or near Santa Cruz at Wilder Ranch, Henry Cowell State Park, UCSC campus, Big Basin, Pogonip, and DeLaveaga Park not counting the miles of new trails to be created in the next few years in the San Vicente Redwoods (former Cemex). This plethora of trails does not count those in Monterey County such as the over 100 miles of trails on Fort Ord National Monument.

MBoSC is a well-funded non-profit with multiple paid staff members and numerous local partners in the bike industry such as Fox Shox, Santa Cruz Bicycles, and Ibis Cycles among others. Santa Cruz Bicycles has donated $500,000 for new trail development in the San Vicente Redwoods area. Some of these trails will be designated for mountain bike use alone.

I am not arguing against mountain biking as a sport or “wholesome family activity.” I am arguing against misrepresentation of the facts. It is critical that decision makers objectively analyze the situation and not be swayed by false claims of paucity of mountain biking trails.

In testimony before the Santa Cruz City Council those lobbying for more mountain biking trails in City parks claimed there are fewer than “40 miles of trails open to cyclists” in Santa Cruz. They derive that number because they don’t count fire roads. Many of those testifying were from out of town.

Despite the bikers’ public testimony, they actually have it pretty good in Santa Cruz—more than pretty good. What is threatened is the peaceful experience and serenity hikers’ desire. Few hikers crave the adrenalin surge of spotting a bike and rider hurtling downhill towards them at 30 mph or more. Officially, the bike rider is supposed to yield to the hiker. How many hikers choose to test this right of way challenge?

Because of such conflicts most hikers have been displaced on trails at Wilder Ranch, the Aptos Creek Fire Road, and the McCrary trail at Pogonip. Indeed, Pogonip and Moore Creek Preserve are part of a dwindling resource for hikers and dog walkers: a place to walk where they don’t have to worry about being run over. The stress is almost unbearable for elderly walkers who just want a quiet stroll in a natural setting.

The fact is the city of Santa Cruz  residents overwhelmingly prefer hiking, running, swimming, surfing, and soccer over mountain biking. A random sample survey of community preferences for fitness, athletic, or sports activities conducted for the City showed that the greatest percent of respondents (37%) preferred hiking or walking. Next came swimming and running at 17% each. Further down on the list after road biking, surfing and soccer was mountain biking at 9%. Despite the many mountain bike opportunities in the Santa Cruz area, mountain bikers want more. That is understandable; it is human nature to want more. They are lobbying the City of Santa Cruz to build additional trails in the Pogonip and at DeLaveaga Park Wilderness.

The City will be studying proposed new trails in our open spaces. If you are concerned about the loss of quiet, natural places for people to walk without fear, sign up for info on Walking in Nature at missionped.org and talk to your Santa Cruz City Council members.

HIGH RISE GAMBLING
Surveying the near empty council chambers at the last Planning Commission meeting for a final vote on the Downtown “Recovery” Plan (DRP), the chair of the Commission declared, “no one here means the community is ready for the Plan and supports it.” A convenient forgetting of the scores of people who have showed up and voiced their opposition to this rezoning of sections of the downtown for future building heights of up to 70 feet abutting the river levee between Soquel and Laurel and up to 85 feet on the west side of Front and between Pacific and Front for selected parcels: such heights way beyond those recommended in the post-earthquake DRP. I attended most of the meetings on this project, including this final one. I can attest that when the topic of building heights was on the agenda, public opposition was vocal and strong and ignored. When the public is ignored, they either get organized and push back or drift away. I was the only person who spoke against the project.

Most commissioners had nothing but praise for the DRP. Commissioner Conway did acknowledge that this “represents a significant change for our town” and “we’ll be counting on talented architects” to make it work. Commissioner Spellman is often the lone voice expressing a modicum of reservation for the overbuilding of Santa Cruz. His cautious critique of the DRP passed into the void, as did the CA Coastal Commission’s concerns, which were reframed by senior planner Ron Powers as “encouraging active uses of the river walk.” The CA Coastal Commission concerns were actually about the height of the buildings and the need for more community serving uses but no mind; this is about selling the private development agenda not communicating the facts.  Tall building heights are no problem, says the EIR (Environmental Impact Report) since we look at things “at eye level”. The EIR also concluded that the increased traffic from the project cannot be mitigated. This inconvenient truth was swept away by a Statement of Overriding Considerations, the means by which significant environmental impacts can be ignored in an EIR if other needs are deemed overriding. Chair Mesiti-Miller, noting that the traffic impacts from the project are unavoidable said, “I rejoice in that. It may get people out of their cars.” A unanimous vote of approval sent the DRP to city council for a meeting and vote on November 14th.

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

~
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.

...
By: Chris Krohn    Email Chris at ckrohn@cruzio.com

AFFORDABLE HOUSING CRISIS? WHAT AFFORDABLE HOUSING CRISIS?
Well, this week is being dubbed, “Affordable Housing Week” by the city of Santa Cruz. So, it’s official, a result of Affordable Housing Crisis Month(s), I guess. It begins this Thursday at the Civic Auditorium. Expect an inside look at our county’s housing crisis from UCSC sociology professor’s, Miriam Greenberg and Steve McKay. They will tell us things like how much people pay to live here (50-70% of their salary), and how many residents live three-to-a-bedroom (27%). The stats won’t be pretty, but then so many Santa Cruzanos live the housing nightmare each day, and having a pair of capable and well-versed academics sum up the pretty dismal Surf City housing scenario may feel like a special salve applied to a particularly nasty gash. They’ve been doing research and employing dozens of undergraduates to walk neighborhoods and collect up data and stories about how people survive here in, arguably the most difficult of housing markets in California. Doors open at 6pm and there will be plenty of organizers, activists, and nonprofits present to offer you opportunities to get involved. Other groups will be present too, representing homeless issues, climate change, and transportation among other themes that directly and indirectly affect our housing market. Greenberg and McKay go on at 7pm.


The face of Homelessness this past Saturday morning on Chestnut Street

Our “Crazy” Police Chief
Well, you may be hearing this for the first time, but our Police Chief, Andy Mills, went and penned an editorial that appeared in the Santa Cruz Sentinel. It states that the Santa Cruz Police Department will not issue camping citations between 9pm and 6am.

How crazy is that? Not very. There isn’t any room at the inn, so what he’s done is essentially taken a step back from the abyss of criminalizing people who are homeless, who need a legal place to sleep, and offered them some breathing room. The last homeless count in Santa Cruz was around 1500 and there are not enough shelter beds for even 30% of those experiencing homelessness. Here’s an excerpt from the chief’s Op-Ed:

“From 9 p.m. until 6 a.m. SCPD will not issue camping citations unless there is a complaint by someone in control of that property or some other crime or nuisance behavior is taking place. Instead, the police will turn their focus to finding those stealing out of your yards, cars, and homes during the night. SCPD will pursue them with vigor. I believe we can break the cycle of reactionary homeless policy.”


Drew Glover and his campaign manager, Juliette Lyon in a fun moment this past Sunday (10/15) when Drew hosted a “Campaign 2018” brunch. He’s officially running for Santa Cruz City Council. Go Drew!

That’s a wow! In my 35 years of living in Santa Cruz I’ve never heard a chief of police state such an obvious truth so intelligently and also, compassionately. Now it is up to the city and county to approve the resources to fund the necessary programs, transitional housing, and addition shelter services so desperately needed. Hopefully this stirs the pot a bit and will lead to meaningful change in our community.

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

Finally

The Good:  Drew Glover is running for city council in 2018. You can find out more at his Facebook page.

The (sort of) bad:  I counted 58 individuals milling around their tents that were situated on the Benchlands next astride the backside of 701 Ocean Street last Sunday night at around 6:15pm.

The Ugly:  The city council majority appointed their seventh (out of seven), planning commissioners last week. He is Santa Cruz Business Council stand-in and wannabe Real Estate entrepreneur, Robert Singleton. Sandy Brown and I nominated Candace Brown, Faz Faisal and Zav Hershfield to fill the seat, but the majority was having none of it. They wanted all the seats for themselves, I guess. Maybe there are too many renters, tenant’s advocates, sociologists, psychologists and community studies majors already on the commission. Ooooh, it was ugly. As Woodrow Allen’s character, Fielding Mellish once stated (in Bananas), “It’s a travesty of sham of a mockery of a sham of two mockeries…”

Bernie Sanders Quote of the Week
“Trump might be unaware that Puerto Rico is part of the US, but Congress must move as quickly as possible to pass a disaster relief package.” (October 12)

~
Chris Krohn is a father, writer, activist, former Santa Cruz City Councilmember (1998-2002) and Mayor (2001-2002). He’s been running the Environmental Studies Internship program at UC Santa Cruz for the past 12 years. He was elected last November to another 4-year term on the Santa Cruz City Council.

...
By: Becky Steinbruner    Email Becky at KI6TKB@yahoo.com

TAXPAYERS WILL HAVE TO PAY FOR A SECOND $3 MILLION STOP LIGHT FOR APTOS VILLAGE PROJECT DEVELOPERS????
The County Department of Public Works wants taxpayers to spend nearly $3 million more to help Barry Swenson, Joe Appenrodt, Pete Testorff and other unseen Aptos Village Project developers and have asked the Board of Supervisors for permission to apply for grants to do so from the Regional Transportation Commission.  Item #26 on the October 17 Board Agenda spells out the shocking request, at the expense of other much-needed road improvement projects in Supervisor Zach Friend’s District, such as Freedom Boulevard, San Andreas Road, Trout Gulch Road and Soquel Drive that are absolutely failing in places, but are receiving NO ATTENTION.

Write the Regional Transportation Commission and demand that the $3 MILLION Aptos Creek Traffic Light be dumped from the consideration table completely.  It is time that the Aptos Village Project developers pay for the impacts of their disgusting development that will add 8,000 vehicles/day.

George Donderos, Executive Director gdonderos@sccrtc.org, Luis Mendez, Deputy director lmendez@sccrtc.org, Daniel Nikuna dnikuna@sccrtc.org  Santa Cruz Regional Transportation Commission, 1523 Pacific Ave., Santa Cruz, CA 95060 or call 831-460-3215.  The RTC Board meets November 2, 9am, location TBD.  The RTC Budget and Administration Committee meets November 9, 3pm in the County CAO Conference Room (5th Floor) at 701 Ocean Street, Santa Cruz.

And don’t forget Second District Supervisor Zach Friend zach.friend@santacruzcounty.us 454-2200 and Dept. of Public Works Director John Presleigh john.presleigh@santacruzcounty.us 454-2160.

“SOMETIMES THE COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS TELLS US TO JUST APPROVE PROJECT PERMITS” EVEN WHEN THERE IS NO PARCEL NUMBER ASSIGNED.
Why did the Santa Cruz County Planning Department issue building permits for Aptos Village Project developers Barry Swenson , Pete Testorff, and Joe Apppenrodt when the permit applications had expired?  (Check the County Planning Department “Permit Status” for APN 041-011-41, 041-011-42 and APN 041-011-51).  That is what I wanted to know last week as the excavators were digging up what could have been remnants of the 1880’s railroad turntable near the historic Bayview Hotel.  The kind lady at the Building Counter had no explanation, and said it was odd.  She asked her supervisor.

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

Finally, send good thoughts to all those in the areas of the State continuing to burn that have lost their homes, their lives and for which life will never be the same.  Send thoughts of gratitude for the hundreds of emergency responders working around the clock to protect and serve, and will also be affected by the devastation.

I find myself appreciating the true beauty of our area, and wondering how best to fight and to save it from the Barry Swensons and tax-hungry governments steamrolling zoning changes and ignoring building codes to push through massive San Jose-like developments that will forever change the quality of life as we know it in Santa Cruz County..  Read the story of WHY the non-profit is moving here Nonprofit to move to Santa Cruz Delaware Project, making way for housing downtown  Join me October 19, 6:30pm in front of the Civic Auditorium to protest the Santa Cruz City Council waiving a 15% affordable housing requirement for Barry Swenson’s 79 condos in the five-story building on Pacific Avenue.  Attend the October 26, 6pm “Stop Over-Building Santa Cruz” at 411 Roxas St. in Santa Cruz. Do you think it is a good sign that Robert Singleton, a young aggressive pro-development-at-any-cost person just got appointed to the Santa Cruz City Planning Commission?

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.

...
By: Gary Patton    Email Gary at gapatton@mac.com


#286 / Better Living … Without Chemistry

(Photo by Shmuel Thaler)

When I was growing up, the DuPont Corporation told us we could achieve “Better Living…Through Chemistry.” That was sort of like the statement in The Graduate, advising that “plastics” was the “one word” that would open up a positive future for all aspiring young people, and for the nation at large. Chemistry and “plastics” definitely do go together.

As time went on, I became deeply skeptical about “plastics,” and chemistry, and about all “synthetics,” as the way forward to a better living or a better future.
A few weeks ago, in an article in my local paper, I learned that strawberry growers have discovered a “natural fumigation” technique, eliminating the need for methyl bromide and other synthetic chemicals dangerous to all life. The article is worth reading.

Isn’t it time that we abandon our quest to build a “synthetic” world, and realize that our lives will be better without chemistry?
I’m pleased to find that this is what local strawberry farmers are starting to understand”.

Gary 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 his blog at www.gapatton.net

...

CLASSICAL DeCINZO. “Cyclist’s Mecca”..see DeCinzo’s true view of the scene just scroll below.

EAGAN’S DEEP COVER. See Eagan’s ” Ducking The Issue” 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. This free concert series happens the third Thursday of every month in the upstairs meeting room of the threatened Santa Cruz Main Library. This Thursday  October 19th Daniel Lewin, solo violin plays Johann Sebastien Bach’s  Violin Sonata No. 3 in C major, (BWV 1005) Adagio Fuga Largo Allegro Assai. That happens at 12:10 p.m.

SANTA CRUZ CHAMBER PLAYERS START NEW SEASON. On Saturday and Sunday Oct. 21 and 22nd,MUSA the Bay Area ensemble Presents “Smörgåsbord Baroque”
Music by Antonio de Salazar, Teodorico Pedrini, Georg Philipp Telemann, and more

Derek Tam, concert director and haprsicord, Cynthia Black and Addi Liu, Baroque violins and Gretchen Claasen, Baroque violoncello.

“Smörgåsbord Baroque” features Baroque and Classical music from unexpected places! From the imperial Chinese court to the cathedrals of Guatemala, composers drew from European and indigenous sources to create music that dynamically captured the first wave of globalization from the 16th through 18th centuries.

That’s Saturday, October 21, 7:30 pm and Sunday, October 22, 3:00 pm at the Christ Lutheran Church 10707 Soquel Dr. Aptos, CA. Tickets just maybe at the door or… http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/3094600

LISA JENSEN LINKS. Lisa writes: “What separates a big red tomato from a (dreaded) splat over at Rotten Tomatoes? Find out this week at Lisa Jensen Online Express (http://ljo-express.blogspot.com/). And celebrate the upcoming publication of Beast: A Tale of Love and Revenge (coming in 2018) with another beauteous Beast of the Month!” Lisa has been writing film reviews and columns for Good Times since 1975.

LOVING VINCENT. The first movie ever to have been made with 1000’s of oil paintings to create animation of Vincent Van Gogh’s life and questionable murder or suicide. You’ll see dozens of his and your most favorite Van Gogh paintings  “come to life” plus an intriguing story line. The animation is so good that fans (I’m one) of PBS”s Masterpiece Theatre Poldark series will recognize Eleanor Tomlinson (Demelza) playing Adeline Ravoux in this absolutely beautiful film. It has a 77 Rotten Tomato rating! See it ASAP Landmark doesn’t keep masterpieces very long unless audiences show up the first week.

MARSHALL. It almost takes us back to Raymond Burr and  his role as Lawyer Hamilton Berger in the Perry Mason 1957TV series …it’s a courtroom drama. More importantly it’s based on an early case that Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall handled for the NAACP in Connecticut. You’ll recognize Kate Hudson as the “victim” and James Cromwell as the racist judge. Fine story, good cast, not the most memorable film in history but you’ll like it.

BLADE RUNNER 2049. Denis Villeneuve directed this sequel with advice from Ridley Scott and it has many hidden plot lines from the original (try to see it before you see 2049)…it’s an unique addition to science fiction films. Dystopian is the very overused word describing a disaster based future. This film again has Los Angeles really transfigured…and even darker and more devastated and bleak than the first one which was set in LA 2019. Ryan Gosling carries the entire story, with Robin Wright and Harrison Ford doing fine acting jobs too. I have rarely, if ever, seen or felt a theatre audience so still-so hypnotized-awed-puzzled-and silent as the one I joined last week. I’ve seen it 2 1/2 times now… it needs two viewings on as large a screen as possible because the photography is so impressive and important.

VICTORIA & ABDUL. Almost everyone knows that Judi Dench plays Queen Victoria in this cute, warm, cuddly feel good movie. Eddie Izzard plays the Prince of Wales ( Edward VII), but you won’t recognize him. I didn’t, and I’m a big fan of Izzards. Stephen Frears directed it. He did My Beautiful Launderette, Prick Up your Ears, Philomena and some more great films but this isn’t in that category. Aside from the cuteness, it ignores the cruelty of the British rule over India during the almost 30 years.

MOTHER. An excellent, genius- directed, absolutely intelligent plot, best-acted…what more can you ask from a movie?? Jennifer Lawrence, plus two  of my favorite actors Javier Bardem and Ed Harris, Brian Gleeson, and a darker Michelle Pfeiffer make a perfect cast for this challenging film. Not a scary, boo-type, odd, weird, what’s that?, cellar stairs type of film. It’s more like “what is going on”, “I can’t imagine what’s happening next kind of film, Directed by Darren Aronofsky, it’s a winner, and you’ll remember seeing it. So go. RT calls it a “psychological thriller” I agree.

BATTLE OF THE SEXES. Billie Jean King plays against Bobby Riggs in this easy going tennis and sex movie. Billie Jean has an internal battle with her own sex, which adds a deeper and more involved plot than the 1973 match which we’ve all been reading up on or remember from those days. Emma Stone reputedly the highest star in the world acts perfectly with Steve Carrell and the movie is a guaranteed hit with everybody. I didn’t recognize Sarah Silverman as the women’s coach because she wears sunglasses all through the movie. I liked Little Miss Sunshine better.

IT. This broke all box office records last weekend when IT opened…and IT should have. IT is a well made, very scary movie. Based on some Stephen King books, IT is chapter one of a two part nightmare- daydream that will grab you when you are least prepared to be scared. It has all the clichés…BUT it’s got tension, mystery, and perfect timing along with excellent acting. Just go see IT but only if you truly enjoy being scared. 86 on RT.

AMERICAN MADE. It is NOT another dopey, violent Tom Cruise superhuman action flick. This one is based on an unbelievable probably half true story about a guy who becomes an international drug runner then gets involved illegally with our CIA and the Iran Contra affair that almost got President Ronnie R. evicted. It’s probably Scientology that gives Tom Cruise that certain extra something…and I have to admit I like watching the buy. 87 on RT.

KINGSMEN: THE GOLDEN CIRCLE. I wished I’d remembered that this part 2 of an ongoing series comes from comic books. The entire movie looks like an animated cartoon. It’s violent, murderous, and plain goofy. Elton John plays himself and there’s a warning right there. To watch such good actors as Julianne Moore, Halle Berry and especially Colin Firth jump around for their million dollar salaries is embarrassing.

...

...

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. Gary Patton gives info and background on the Save Santa Cruz Organization on Oct.17. Also on the 17th Sheila Carrillo and Muna Alsheikh from The Muslim Solidarity Group (part of Santa Cruz Sanctuary) will talk about their aims, goals, and issues. City on A Hill editors in chief Nicolette Nodine and Michael Kushner talk about their publications.  The top winners of the Bookshop Santa Cruz Young Writers contest read their works on November 28. OR…if you just happen to miss either of the last two weeks of Universal Grapevine broadcasts go herehttp://www.radiofreeamerica.com/dj/bruce-bratton 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

The very best part of this is the last minute and 15 seconds.

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. ‘FOREST FIRES’

“She was beautiful, but she was beautiful in the way a forest fire was beautiful”, Neil Gaiman
“Among the environmental trends undermining our future are shrinking forests, expanding deserts, falling water tables, collapsing fisheries, disappearing species, and rising temperatures. The temperature increases bring crop-withering heat waves, more-destructive storms, more-intense droughts, more forest fires, and, of course, ice melting. We are crossing natural thresholds that we cannot see and violating deadlines that we do not recognize”. Lester R. Brown
“No time to grieve for roses when the forests are burning”, Zbigniew Herbert  
Read this next one twice…
“The forest fires are the worst disaster in California since I was elected”, Arnold Schwarzenegger

COLUMN COMMUNICATIONS. Subscriptions: Click and enter the box in the upper right hand corner of each Column. 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!) 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

BEST OF VINTAGE STEVEN DeCINZO.

Deep Cover by Tim Eagan.

October 10 – 16, 2017

Highlights this week:
ICE Raids here?, Homeless UCSC students hiding?, Voting for Mayor, Abbott Square Fountain distruction, County Jail volunteers quit, Community TV getting worse, I NEED A CAR …Greensite on the rail/trail environmental review …Krohn about loaded City Council agenda, future of City Manager, Homeless Task Force, going to Texas…Steinbruner reports that State Historic Preservation  Staff says, “Santa Cruz County Is A Black Hole for Historic Preservation“, Bulldozing Hirahara Barn, Swenson and Pacific hole condos get affordable units requirement waived by City Council, still no building permits at Rancho Del Mar, fees charged at Privates Beach just like Martin’s Beach issue ?…Gary Patton and “The Low Road” poem…DeCinzo and our Earthquake’s 28th anniversary…Jensen reviews Blade Runner 2049…I critique Blade Runner 2049 and Victoria & Abdul…Quotes about Earthquakes.  

...

Norman Lezin addressing a “Civil Rights Sympathy” demonstration in front of The City Hall on March 13, 1965. Norm was formerly Chairman of the Board of Directors of Salz Leathers and Salz Tannery. Salz closed in 2001. The leather industry was one of Santa Cruz County’s most important businesses. Norm was our Mayor 1964-1965 and he was one of the few Democrats in the area back then 😉 !!                                                  
    
photo credit: Covello & Covello Historical photo collection.

Additional information always welcome: email bratton@cruzio.com

Make your own Halloween decorations!
Today I found out… This is a great show on Youtube – this episode is about why some people sneeze from the sun.
They don’t make ’em like this anymore…

DATELINE October 9, 2017

OCTAGON & MAH MUSINGS. As I mentioned in the last two weeks I’m now back to sitting in front of the once meaningful Octagon building two or three afternoons per week. Folks ask and tell me all sorts of things. For example will there be more ICE Raids in Santa Cruz as Trump has now amped up DACA? Will our City Council take any stand on ICE Raids? What’s going to happen with that huge “homeless recommendations list” survey the City did about homeless? Is it just a council hype job? What about all the UCSC Students who are homeless…where and when are they entered into the statistics?  Any chance there will ever be another push to have rent control put on our ballots? Any possibility of us ever actually voting for the mayor position in Santa Cruz instead of the City Council choosing among themselves?

ABBOTT SQUARE FOUNTAIN. Long time friend Nick Royal emailed me and asked … in the little courtyard (now eating places) was a nice fountain by Alan Counahan.  I wonder if it still exists, some place? I liked it”.  Nick added that he knows Alan and his wife Gypsy who now live in Ireland.

MAH’s Nina Simon replied…”I met directly with Alan onsite regarding the fountain in 2014 and he agreed that it could and probably should be removed. Because it was poured in place, it was not easily moveable to another site – all but the central column would have been irreplaceable. We did actively pursue the possibility of recreating it with several other sites around the county, but ultimately, no one wanted to do that heavy reconstruction. 

Alan preferred for it to be destroyed rather than re-sited as he saw it as a site-specific piece. It was a few years ago, so I don’t remember his precise words, but Alan said something lovely about the idea that the fountain was built to commemorate an important time around the Earthquake, and that now downtown was in a new phase, a new time, time to move on… something like that.  

VOLUNTEERS AT THE COUNTY JAIL

Rick Longinotti stopped by the Octagon Platz to tell us that he and the Roman Catholic group of volunteers have stopped counseling, and helping at the County Jail because the officials tried to force them to sign a form freeing the County from any problems the inmates might either cause or be the result of. In a letter to the County he wrote…”I’m hoping that the County really doesn’t expect its jail volunteers to take responsibility for any damage that the inmates might do to one another while they are in our groups. Could you please ask the Sheriff Dept. to edit out the following paragraph in the waiver and I’ll be happy to sign it?

“I further agree to indemnify, hold harmless and defend the County, its officers, agents, employees, and volunteers from any and all claims, demands, actions, judgments, costs, attorney’s fees and damages of any kind for liability which the County may incur arising out of or in any manner related to the performance of voluntary service

He added…”The Catholics still aren’t going to the jail and it’s been six months since they raised their objection. See the Sentinel article here.

COMMUNITY TELEVISION & CLASSICAL ARTS? Far too many friends and locals are wondering what’s happened to our Community Television Station. Yes, it still runs the local meetings and Amy Goodman but what happened to Classical Arts ? It was the only cultural saving grace we’ve been able to enjoy over the years of cutbacks. The last on screen notice was that “Classical Arts no longer links to Dish Television” but CTV isn’t a Dish owned station. And of course we get the exact same daily movies over and over…what’s really happening at CTV? Why are they so bad at communicating? Why aren’t they more public?

HAPPY “WHAT” DAY? We must all be aware of the ethnic divisions in celebrating Columbus Day. Read this illuminating story from The Nation on how it all came about. I never knew… The Invention of Christopher Columbus, American Hero. From The Nation. Oct. 9, 2017

APOLOGY ABOUT EDITING. Mea Culpa all over the place. Last week’s BrattonOnline had way more than the usual errors, misspellings and goofs. I wish there was time each Monday morning to have some editor go over all the words that come flying in. Back in the day I had a few really great, supportive editors. Tom Honig, Buzz Bezore and Rob Pratt were the most memorable. Many errors are also due to lousy linking between Mac and PC. For example the 26 actual pages that made up last week’s edition took way more nerves and naps to produce…thanks for bearing with me, it and us all these years. [Webmistress adds: Mea culpa as well! I’ve had less time to edit – I used to do much more of it, and I’ll try to get back to it!]

I NEED A CAR. Over the more than 42 years that I’ve been writing a weekly column (12 of them online) I’ve posted a “car wanted plea” three times and each time it worked wonderfully. What I need is not an “affordable” car but “middle to low income” priced car. Also each time I’ve asked through this column many folks think that everyone else will respond…they don’t!!! I need you or any friend of yours who wants to sell a car to email me at bratton@cruzio.com and we’ll talk it over. Please??

TALL TALES AND RAIL~TRAILS
Until last Thursday, I hadn’t paid close attention to the controversial rail/trail project beyond the knowledge that some strongly support both rail and trail and some strongly support only the trail. Arguments seem persuasive on both sides.

When I read that the environmental review for Phase 1 of Segment 7 of this 32-mile  project, the 1.36 mile section from Natural Bridges to Bay and California Streets was on the October 5th Planning Commission agenda, I thought it wise to take a closer look. The city has a poor track record with environmental reviews or lack thereof. It took a lawsuit to convince the city that yes, if it was going to weaken its Heritage Tree Ordinance it needed to conduct an environmental review and its claims of CEQA exemption were unfounded. It took 2500 petition signers and a letter from an attorney to convince the city that an EIR was needed to adequately assess the environmental impact of changes proposed for the Municipal Wharf under the Wharf Master Plan. So I was keen to read and spot any inadequacies in the environmental documents for this segment of the rail/trail project. It did not take long.

The plan is to construct a 4.5 feet tall safety fence to separate the trail from the rail. It is to be made of steel posts and wire with the lowest rung 6 inches above grade. A friend commented that such a fence would be a disaster for animal migration, including skunks, coyotes, possums and the occasional deer on the far west side. With that in mind I was surprised to read under Section IV: Biological Resources on page 3-22 of the Mitigated Negative Declaration (MND) that: “The Project is located within an urban area and there are no wildlife corridors within the Project area.” Anyone living for a while on the lower Westside knows that’s not true. The MND follows that misstatement with: “Arroyo Seco and Neary Lagoon are not wildlife corridors for migratory fish species.” That’s true. It’s called Arroyo SECO for a reason. What about other species using the supposedly non-existent wildlife corridors? Not mentioned.

Such sloppy environmental review was sufficient to get me to the meeting. The room was crowded with the opposing camps of trail only defenders and rail/trail defenders. One fact is obvious. The rail/trail proponents or at least the many who wrote emails and those who attended the meeting have no interest in potential environmental impacts to animals or the loss of 25 trees due to the project. They applauded the MND and urged swift approval. The trail only proponents expressed concern regarding trees and used that issue to support the trail only option, which minimizes tree loss. No one mentioned animal corridors. When it was my turn to speak, I pointed out the incorrect entry regarding animal corridors. The planner in charge of the project shook his head as I was speaking. I hate when they do that. It’s a signal to other staff and commissioners that the speaker is wrong and is misquoting, which in this case was not true. Despite that tactic, when commissioners deliberated after public comment, three of them expressed concern regarding animal corridors and the impact of the linear fence. While they unanimously approved the project, one asked for that issue to be better addressed in the MND. We’ll see how that is handled when the MND goes to council.

Personally, this closer examination of the project has raised red flags. The 32 miles of the rail line from Davenport to Watsonville bisects many animal corridors, especially in the open space areas. A continuous steel fence running that distance should be of concern for animal migration. Besides that, many areas along the rail are lined with groves of trees providing immense habitat value. If you sight along the tracks in some places, to accommodate the widened rail/trail, all trees will be removed. Many are Monarch butterflies overwintering sites whether designated or not. At the Monarch Festival at Natural Bridges on Sunday, October 9th, the lead interpreter noted not only the decline of this iconic species but underscored the need to “help with trees on the coast and conserve tree groves” if we are to share a future with Monarch butterflies. How will further environmental reviews of the rail/trail handle this dilemma?

An environmental review manipulated to promote a project needs to be called out, whatever side of the issue you support. Otherwise such review is meaningless. In the long run we all lose… butterflies, trees, animals and ourselves.

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.

...
By: Chris Krohn    Email Chris at ckrohn@cruzio.com

Filled with riddle, mystery. and enigma

“It is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma, but perhaps there is a key.”
–Winston Churchill referring to Russia, but perhaps he could’ve been talking about how the issue of homelessness is addressed in the City of Santa Cruz


Vice Mayor David Terrazas and Council member Chris Krohn cycling through the streets of Houston on a bike-share program. The Santa Cruz version of bike share starts this spring.

City Council Agendas
If you throw in the Parks Master Plan, the report on Short Term Vacation Rentals and its dozens of resident emails, and the “2017 Homelessness Recommendations” list, this city council agenda is well over 1000 pages! Whaaaat! It’s true. You receive the agenda on Thursday night and, voila, by Tuesday morning at 11:30am you have totally digested it, or not…and that’s after the daughter’s Saturday soccer game, a 3-hour council steering committee panel of village elders meeting, a Friday night date with spouse, and of course, the usual Monday meeting with department heads, city attorney and city manager mad-dash…it ain’t pretty, but I know what you are thinking. This is why they pay us the big bucks, about $1500 take home pay each month. I can live with it, but it doesn’t necessarily assuage those self-inflicted guilty feelings of not getting the job done.

But Why?
Why are council agendas so hefty at certain times of the year? We’ve had so many off-Tuesday night meetings cancelled, and at the twice monthly official meeting there’s often been no 7 o’clock session. Why so much on this one agenda? Poor planning? Staff necessities? Is it a chess game–overload councilmembers when you want to get something through? Is the word out? Or is it simply that the city doesn’t sleep, so get used to it rookie!? Okay, the council was able to pivot somewhat and meet this past Monday in closed session for two hours to discuss the future of the city manager. It was the only thing on the agenda. So, it is possible for the council to meet and mediate the work load, sometimes. Is it possible to meet on all the off-Tuesday council meeting nights and take up an issue like homelessness or housing, or a combination of the two…and actually make some decisions? And, how about meeting in a different neighborhood each of those off-Tuesdays? You know, bring the city council to the people similar to the Mayor’s valiant efforts of holding “City Hall to You” meetings in different parts of the city. Why not go the distance and hold an “official council meeting” on the Westside to discuss, and decide upon, an aspect of university growth? Or meet on the eastside to debate the final fate of the “Corridors Plan?” Or meet in any neighborhood and discuss homelessness and what is to be done?

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

Bernie Quote of the Week
“Despite the Trump administration’s destructive efforts, we will not stop fighting for women’s rights and full reproductive justice.” (Oct. 6)

~Chris Krohn is a father, writer, activist, former Santa Cruz City Councilmember (1998-2002) and Mayor (2001-2002). He’s been running the Environmental Studies Internship program at UC Santa Cruz for the past 12 years. He was elected last November to another 4-year term on the Santa Cruz City Council.

...
By: Becky Steinbruner    Email Becky at KI6TKB@yahoo.com

SANTA CRUZ COUNTY PLANNING DEPT. WANTS TO BULLDOZE HISTORIC REDMAN-HIRAHARA BARN IN WATSONVILLE.

“You have legal ability to require the barn be re-built rather than demolished.  You do not have to be the beggars at the table here,” local historian Mr. Ross Gibson wisely told the County Historic Resources Commission at their October 2 meeting.  His sage words went unheeded.

Here is the video of that disgusting County Historic Resources Commission meeting last week.

Last week’s County Historic Resources Commission meeting was a real eye-opener.  Assistant Planning Director Wanda Williams insisted the wooden barn (built around 1900) next to the Nationally-Registered Redman-Hirahara house on Lee Road in Watsonville has no significance and in fact, informed the Commission that an over-the-counter demolition permit is in the works  This was a visible shock to the Commissioners, especially Ms. Carolyn Swift, who was aware of the 2010 archaeologist report recommending the barn also be placed on the National Historic Registry because of the incredible significance the barn played in housing many Japanese-American families returning to the area after forced incarceration during World War II.  Luckily for the Hirahara family, their neighbors had paid the taxes on their farm while they were imprisoned, but many other families were not so lucky.  The barn housed them until they could get re-established.

The Santa Cruz County Planning Director, Ms. Kathy Previsich, could care less.  Neither her Assistant, Wanda Williams, nor the Historic Resources Special Projects Planner, Annie Murphy were willing to acknowledge the importance of the barn, the significance of the 2010 archaeologist report or the blunder on the part of the Planning Dept. to follow through with the National Registry designation  when it was professionally recommended.  Instead, without notifying the Historic Resources Commission, staff is working diligently with the owner/developer Tut Family and Elite Developers to finish knocking the barn down, splintering the wood and any possible artifacts, and sending it all down the road to the dump.  And gee, wouldn’t it all be a shame if the demolition crew accidentally backed the dozer into the house?  That pesky historic house is in the way of a profitable new hotel or two, just like what is currently in the works on their other parcel across the road.  At the behest of Commissioner Swift, the Planning Dept. staff will ASK the developers if the Commissioners could be notified of the demolition date so as to possibly be present with archaeologists to retrieve historic morsels from the wreckage. 

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

COUNTY PUBLIC WORKS CLOSING APTOS VILLAGE TRAFFIC TO ONE LANE THROUGH DECEMBER, 2017.
The massive storm damage to Soquel Drive just at the underpass entering the Aptos Village will be repaired, beginning this week.  That has been a worry to many, and the FEMA repair will be welcome.  What will make it all a challenge for the area’s residents and businesses is the closure to one-lane of traffic until December 15.  That is in addition to the nightmare already in progress, for which there is little public information, in the taxpayer-funded County Phase I work to benefit the Aptos Village Project developers (http://aptosvillageimprovement.blogspot.com/)  AND the mess on Trout Gulch Road, Cathedral Drive and Aptos Creek Road that Barry Swenson Builder is creating, with absolutely no public information. 

Please contact Supervisor Zach Friend and let him know your thoughts.  He loves to hear from you.

831-454-2200,  Zach Friend zach.friend@santacruzcounty.us

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).

...
By: Gary Patton    Email Gary at gapatton@mac.com

#282 / When It Starts

The Sun magazine, which I have recently discovered, and which I find remarkable, has printed “The Low Road,” by Marge Piercy, in its October 2017 edition. 

The following is almost the whole poem, but I am ending where I have often said, in this blog, we must all begin. Marge Piercy says it more powerfully. She says it better than I ever could:

“The Low Road”

What can they do 
to you? Whatever they want. 
They can set you up, they can 
bust you, they can break 
your fingers, they can 
burn your brain with electricity, 
blur you with drugs till you 
can’t walk, can’t remember, they can 
take your child, wall up 
your lover. They can do anything
you can’t stop them 
from doing. How can you stop 
them? Alone, you can fight, 
you can refuse, you can 
take what revenge you can 
but they roll over you. 

But two people fighting 
back to back can cut through 
a mob, a snake-dancing file 
can break a cordon, an army 
can meet an army. 
Two people can keep each other 
sane, can give support, conviction, 
love, massage, hope, sex. 
Three people are a delegation, 
a committee, a wedge. With four 
you can play bridge and start 
an organization. With six 
you can rent a whole house, 
eat pie for dinner with no 
seconds, and hold a fund-raising party. 
A dozen make a demonstration. 
A hundred fill a hall. 
A thousand have solidarity and your own newsletter; 
ten thousand, power and your own paper; 
a hundred thousand, your own media; 
ten million, your own country. 

It goes on one at a time, 
it starts when you care 
to act, it starts when you do 
it again after they said no, 
it starts when you say We …

~Gary 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 his blog at www.gapatton.net

...

CLASSICAL DeCINZO. See and appreciate DeCinzo’s very serious 1989 earthquake vision just a few scrolls downward.The earthquake happened October 17, 1989 at 5:04 pm.

EAGAN’S DEEP COVER. See Eagan’s ” Worshipping What?” 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….with some “Dotard” concepts.

LISA JENSEN LINKS. Lisa writes: “Catch up with one of Santa Cruz’s most beloved Open Studios artists this week at Lisa Jensen Online Express (http://ljo-express.blogspot.com/). And life is still mysterious for human and replicant alike in the thoughtful 30-years-late sequel, Blade Runner 2049.” Lisa has been writing film reviews and columns for Good Times since 1975.

BLADE RUNNER 2049. Denis Villeneuve directed this sequel and it has very little visually or plot wise in the way of continuity…it’s an unique addition to science fiction films. Dystopian is the very overused word describing a disaster based future. This film has Los Angeles really transfigured…and terrible. Ryan Gosling carries the entire story, with Robin Wright and Harrison Ford doing fine acting jobs too. I have rarely, if ever,seen or felt a theatre audience so still-hypnotized-awed-puzzled-and silent as the one I joined last week. I’m going again, it needs two viewings on as large a screen as possible.

VICTORIA & ABDUL. Almost everyone knows that Judi Dench plays Queen Victoria in this cute, warm, cuddly feel good movie. Eddie Izzard plays the Prince of Wales ( Edward VII), but you won’t recognize him. I didn’t, and I’m a big fan of Izzards. Stephen Frears directed it. He did My Beautiful Launderette, Prick Up your Ears, Philomena and some more great films but this isn’t in that category. Aside from the cuteness, it ignores the cruelty of the British rule over India during the almost 30 years.

MOTHER. An excellent, genius- directed, absolutely intelligent plot, best-acted…what more can you ask from a movie?? Jennifer Lawrence, plus two  of my favorite actors Javier Bardem and Ed Harris, Brian Gleeson, and a darker Michelle Pfeiffer make a perfect cast for this challenging film. Not a scary, boo-type, odd, weird, what’s that?, cellar stairs type of film. It’s more like “what is going on”, “I can’t imagine what’s happening next kind of film, Directed by Darren Aronofsky it’s a winner, and you’ll remember seeing it. So go. RT calls it a “psychological thriller” I agree.

BATTLE OF THE SEXES. Billie Jean King plays against Bobby Riggs in this easy going tennis and sex movie. Billie Jean has an internal battle with her own sex, which adds a deeper and more involved plot than the 1973 match which we’ve all been reading up on or remember from those days. Emma Stone reputedly the highest star in the world acts perfectly with Steve Carrell and the movie is a guaranteed hit with everybody. I didn’t recognize Sarah Silverman as the women’s coach because she wears sunglasses all through the movie. I liked Little Miss Sunshine better.

This broke all box office records last weekend when IT opened…and IT should have. IT is a well made, very scary movie. Based on some Stephen King books, IT is chapter one of a two part nightmare- daydream that will grab you when you are least prepared to be scared. It has all the clichés…BUT it’s got tension, mystery, and perfect timing along with excellent acting. Just go see IT but only if you truly enjoy being scared. 86 on RT.

AMERICAN MADE. It is NOT another dopey, violent Tom Cruise superhuman action flick. This one is based on an unbelievable probably half true story about a guy who becomes an international drug runner then gets involved illegally with our CIA and the Iran Contra affair that almost got President Ronnie R. evicted. It’s probably Scientology that gives Tom Cruise that certain extra something…and I have to admit I like watching the buy. 87 on RT.

KINGSMEN: THE GOLDEN CIRCLE. I wished I’d remembered that this part 2 of an ongoing series comes from comic books. The entire movie looks like an animated cartoon. It’s violent, murderous, and plain goofy. Elton John plays himself and there’s a warning right there. To watch such good actors as Julianne Moore, Halle Berry and especially Colin Firth jump around for their million dollar salaries is embarrassing.

FLATLINERS. Ellen Page who looks like she’s about 18 and is really 30 has the lead in this potentially interesting but terrible mess of a movie. She and some fellow Med students try flatlining (killing) themselves then bringing each other back to life a minute or two later. They have death visions, the equipment fails, they chicken out, and they suffer night and day- mares. But IF there was a director (;-) he or she completely blew it. Don’t go…you won’t be able to make any sense of it either. ENDS THURSDAY OCTOBER12.

...

...

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. On October 10 Phyllis Rosenblum discusses the Santa Cruz Chamber Players 2017-18 season. Following Phyllis, Katie Hansen and Sierra Ryan two of the authors of the new MAH book Harvesting Our Heritage will discuss our County crop history. Gary Patton gives info and background on the Save Santa Cruz Organization on Oct.17. Also on the 17th The Muslim Solidarity Group (part of Santa Cruz Sanctuary) will talk about their aims, goals, and issues.  The top winners of the Bookshop Santa Cruz Young Writers contest read their works on November 28. OR…if you just happen to miss either of the last two weeks of Universal Grapevine broadcasts go herehttp://www.radiofreeamerica.com/dj/bruce-bratton 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

Tutorials are one of the best things about Youtube, for reals!

OR…if you just happen to miss either of the last two weeks of Universal Grapevine broadcasts go herehttp://www.radiofreeamerica.com/dj/bruce-bratton 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  

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.              “EARTHQUAKES

“Playing polo is like trying to play golf during an earthquake”, Sylvester Stallone
“The safest place to be during an earthquake would be in a stationary store.”
George Carlin,
“The earthquake, however, must be to every one a most impressive event: the earth, considered from our earliest childhood as the type of solidity, has oscillated like a thin crust beneath our feet; and in seeing the laboured works of man in a moment overthrown, we feel the insignificance of his boasted power.” Charles Darwin, Voyage of the Beagle
“Southern Californians freak out when it rains, yet when there’s an earthquake they’re like ‘pass the salt”, Gregor Collins,
“An earthquake is such fun when it is over“, George Orwell, Burmese Days

COLUMN COMMUNICATIONS. Subscriptions: Click and enter the box in the upper right hand corner of each Column. 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!) 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

BEST OF VINTAGE STEVEN DeCINZO.

Deep Cover by Tim Eagan.