June 13 – 19, 2018

Highlights this week:
BRATTON…South California Culture, Tom Hanks, vacation notes, Santa Cruz’s lousy 24.7 % voter turnout, Big NO on UCSC growth. GREENSITE…On Trees. KROHN…Graduate student organizing, Google buses on Pacific Avenue and UBER bikes. STEINBRUNER…Soquel Creek’s sewage water problem, Twin Lakes Church purchase, Rancho del Mar’s business closure, noise, cars and music in rural Freedom, Carlos Palacios and what IS he saying?, County budget hearings. PATTON…looking at the expensive Five55 development and its impact. EAGAN…blast from the past, as the webmistress got the comics out of sync. DeCINZO…looks again at the coffee house culture. JENSEN…relates to Art Boy’s passing and her Beast book. BRATTON…critiques Adrift. UNIVERSAL GRAPEVINE FUTURE GUESTS QUOTES…about FATHERS DAY..

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PACIFIC AVENUE Circa 1925. According to the Town Clock in its’ original position it looks about like 11:30 am. The St. George Hotel is on the left just above the electric trolley. Look at those lanes…enough room for two rows of parked cars, two sets of rail lines and lots of walking room in between. How smart was it to rip out those trolley lines?                                                   

photo credit: Covello & Covello Historical photo collection.

W.C. FIELDS. Always a laugh, throughout the decades.

HANDPAN DRUM. There’s something special about this clip.

DATELINE June 11, 2018

VACATION TRAVEL NOTES. Driving east on route 46 chugging behind trucks and such I’ve never missed seeing a large official  road sign stating “BROWN MATERIAL ROAD” off to the right. I’m assuming that it’s the result of a poor translation!! But it does produce a smile when you think of using it in such phrases as “Brown Material City Council” or “Brown Material President”. In addition to reading the L.A. Times each morning I read the Victorville Valley Daily Press. It’s a very right wing Republican paper as are most things in Victorville. The paper was happy to announce that the Adelanto (neighboring town) State prison was just completing a much larger facility that will strongly hold more than 2000 (two thousand)illegal immigrants. I probably learned more from ruminating over the statement printed every day from the newspaper’s editor. Read and think about it….”We believe that all men are equally endowed by the Creator, and not by a government, with the gifts of freedom, and that it is every man’s duty to God to preserve his own liberty and respect the liberty of others. Freedom is self-control, no more, no less.” The quote is repeated every day and is from R.C. Holles, an American Newspaper Publisher (1878-1970). For me that sums up just about all the differences between my beliefs and what’s coming out of Washington daily and crazily.

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA CULTURAL NEWS.  I read the L.A. Times daily for over a week while in Victorville. It is an unusual newspaper full of lengthy reports and I liked it much more than my daily San Francisco Chronicle. It said that Tom Hanks is doing Shakespeare’s Henry IV live on stage in L.A. It also said that Will Geer’s Theatricum Botanicum theatre troupe is quite alive and well in its same old site in Topanga Canyon.  Older Santa Cruzans will remember that it was The Theatricum Botanicum that opened the very first Shakespeare Santa Cruz Season in UCSC’s Quarry. Will Geer was a fine actor who was black listed by the House Un-American Committee. He was good friends with Pete Seegar, Woody Guthrie and Burl Ives.

RETURNING TO GOOD OLD SANTA CRUZ POLITICS. Santa Cruz Indivisible sent out an announcement saying… Santa Cruz had a 24.47% voter turnout for the Primary. That’s 37,295 out of 152,387 total Santa Cruz voters. California as a whole had about a 37% turn out. THIS IS SHOCKING but not surprising. Some districts, as reflected in the numbers above, had higher turnout than in 2014. We have a lot of work ahead to take back the House in November. We need people like you! One-on-one in-person canvassing is the most effective way to connect with voters and potential voters. There are also other ways to connect with voters through phone and text banking.  We need help from you to make this happen. Connect with Santa Cruz Indivisible at http://santacruzindivisible.org/signup  to figure out the best way to get involved!!!

John Aird, titular head of C.L.U.E. (Coalition for Limiting University Expansion) sent out a positive statement…”Wonderful to wake up to a huge headline in the Sentinel – “VOTERS SAY ‘NO’ TO UCSC GROWTH” – with an article that says that this should send a signal to UCSC and in fact the Regents themselves that Santa Cruz says “enough is enough”. The preliminary result shows that Measure U received an over 75% “Yes Vote”, a number that may indeed actually in fact go higher once the counting of thousands of more mail-in ballots has been counted in the next couple of weeks. Whatever the final tally turns out to be, it indicates to our City, County, and State Representatives the fight that’s expected of them to prevent further growth at any cost”.

June 11, 2018

“ANY FOOL CAN CUT DOWN A TREE…” John Muir.
When I arrived at Lied Lodge, Nebraska for a 3 day Sierra Club Chapter Chairs Assembly, I had no idea I was stepping into a tree lover’s paradise. A quick peek online before departure gave some indication that it might prove a pleasant location with pictures of well-kept white barns displaying the bold words “Plant A Tree” painted on the outsides. To my delight, on arrival I discovered that Lied Lodge is owned and operated by the Arbor Day Foundation, the organization that sponsors an annual Arbor Day and scores of national and international tree preservation and planting programs. The nearby small town of Nebraska City saw the first Arbor Day in 1872 through the efforts of J. Sterling Morton, a name familiar from the household product, Morton salt. An estimated 1 million trees were planted in Nebraska during the first Arbor Day. The lodge itself, an impressive building similar in stature to the Ahwahnee Hotel in Yosemite, has as its centerpiece in the lobby a massive and beautiful wall hanging covered with the words “Plant a Tree” in many more languages than I could recognize. Around the walls, along the wainscoting and even around the fireplace in the bar were quotes from the famous in tribute to the beauty and importance of the life form we call trees. The grounds of the 20 acre property are dense with many species of trees including huge Oaks, Hickory and Catalpas, filled with birdsong. The Arbor Day Foundation also sponsors Tree City USA, the program that awards the right to display that moniker to cities that have a proven record of tree care, including having a city tree board and spending $2 per head of population on tree preservation and planting. Santa Cruz is a Tree City USA. The following story of one tree’s fate will serve as a measure of whether we deserve such status.

At 1420 King St. a Sequoia has lived for a number of decades. With so many other large trees on King St. cut down over the years, this tree is now prominent in the skyline. Like others of its species, it is a stately, compact tree and if preserved can look forward to a very long life. Unfortunately the owner of the property recently died leaving the tree’s fate in the hands of its new owners. The new owners who bought the property in 2017 dislike the tree sufficiently to declare in their public correspondence that it is too big for the lot and has no business being there. My opinion is, if you are looking to buy and don’t like the heritage tree on a piece of property, look elsewhere. Trees have rights too and we recognize that via the Heritage Tree Ordinance. Their letter is filled with the typical claims to be tree lovers, peppered with untruths and alarmist statements such as “the tree is a time bomb waiting to go off.” They applied for a permit to cut the tree down. The city arborist Leslie Keedy denied the permit, finding no basis for its removal in the Heritage Tree Ordinance’s Criteria for Removal. To put this in context, the vast majority, close to 90 per cent of applications for heritage tree removal is granted. When one is denied, it’s safe to assume Ms. Keedy has carefully weighed the options and her decision is valid. She also advised them of the city’s Heritage Tree Grant Program which awards up to $5000 to property owners to care for heritage trees on their property. They appealed her decision and it was heard before the city Parks and Recreation Commission on June 4th. Only commissioner Jane Mio voted against the appeal and in favor of saving the tree. Many other community members, including myself are prepared to appeal and so it will head to city council for the final decision. The tree meanwhile is oblivious to human folly and goes on breathing in our human produced carbon dioxide and breathing out oxygen, a symbiotic relationship if ever there was one.

Ms. Keedy recently held a tree planting day. I along with many other volunteers planted 20 young redwoods at Sergeant Derby Park. All good. However it will take 30 years minimum before these trees reach the carbon sequestration capacity of this one Sequoia. If council decides its fate is death, the loss of that one tree will hardly be compensated by the 20 young trees. If one factors in the loss of carbon storage in the Sequoia during the period of their growth to heritage size, we are on the losing end of climate change. When the Jumpbike program was trotted out, council and commissioners waxed lyrical about the carbon savings that might result from potentially getting more folks to ride bikes. Yet humble, hard working heritage trees are overlooked in this discussion. We cut them down at our peril.  The date for the appeal before council has not yet been set. If council votes to allow this Sequoia to be cut down, the Heritage Tree Ordinance is largely meaningless and Santa Cruz should be stripped of its title as a Tree City USA.

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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June 4, 2018

GRADUATE STUDENT ORGANIZING, GOOGLE BUSES ON PACIFIC AVE. AND UBER BIKES.


Living the collective bargaining dream…Graduate students (right) at UC Santa Cruz bargain on wages and working conditions with the UC managerial class in the Humanities building on the UCSC campus.

Collective Bargaining: negotiation of wages and other conditions of employment by an organized body of employees.

There it was, a site for sore eyes.  Recently, Graduate Students were sitting across the table in the Humanities building on the UCSC campus. I caught them in the act of bargaining over their wages and working conditions. OMG. It was a scene that looked pretty remote back in the early ’90’s when I was a member of the executive committee of the Graduate Students Employees Association (G-SEA).George Deukmejian was governor and Ronald Reagan had gutted the air traffic controllers union (PATCO) a decade before. Labor was reeling. All we were asking back then was to form a union and be able to negotiate with university higher-ups (higher in salary only). The United Autoworkers (UAW) took a chance and began expending major resources in an organizing effort because they saw graduate students as being a used and abused class of workers who, if the union was successful, would go forward in life as role models and spokespeople for the union effort. At the time, G-SEA was compiling complaints such as a grad student being coercedinto washing their professor’s car; unwanted sexual advances; grad student-written journal articles that the professor would take credit for; and absurdly large class section sizes that Teaching Assistants (TAs) had no power in negotiating over. But fast forward to this bargaining session. It was open to all grad students and bubbling with real and relevant questions: Why do TA’s at Rutgers (a public university in New Jersey) receive $2800 per month, while UCSC TA’s get a little over $1800? (It was also said that the University of Michigan and University of Washington both pay more.) What about the money the office of the president had squirreled away (a reported $175 million)? And what about the rampant rise of administrator positions and salaries in the face of stagnant of TA wages?

Call Out the Troops, That Will Take Care of the Great Unwashed Masses
Well, as you can imagine, these questions got to be a bit much for the 10-plus team of UC negotiators and the lead negotiator brought up the oft-used tactic of those wielding decision-making power: the-legal-occupancy-of-the-room-question. It’s proved to be a tried and true delaying, and annoying, tactic in the past on the part of management and those in power. The conversation went something like this:

UCSC Management: Only 47 people are allowed in this room. That’s the law.

UAW bargaining Team: Can we also hold to the fire codes in some of our classes and sections that are over-enrolled, and students are sitting on the floor and in aisles?

Four doors were quickly propped open, lots of room to leave now in case of a fire. But, it was clear to all present that a hazardous situation simply did not exist. In truth, I counted 86 in the room, mostly graduate students and UC negotiators, but there was actually space for up to 30 or 40 more bodies, seriously. Union bargainers asked for a larger room. UC managers said this was the only room they had. They continued with more questions until, lo and behold, the Fire Marshall arrived and ordered the room cleared of any participants in excess of the 47. (Who do you think called the Fire Marshall?) The students complied and got the number down to around 50, but clearly there was a bitter pall cast over the negotiations. But I suddenly thought there was no going back. The grad student union was here to stay! The testimonials that followed brought tears to the eyes of many: homeless students living in their cars or the forest or a friend’s couch; students using valuable research and study time to search for food in places like the food bank, Grey Bears, and the student food pantry; regretful students not having realized they would shell out 70% of their meager wage for rent in the out of control Santa Cruz rental market; and the lack of campus childcare is a significant issue for grad student parents. The collective bargaining continues. I will offer updates.

Google Buses on Pacific Avenue


ALL ABOARD! Getting on the Google/Amazon/Apple bus at the Transit Center on Pacific Avenue and headed over to Silicon Valley.

Truth be told, my daughter works for Google in New York City. She makes six figures. She lives with two other professionals who make six figure salaries as well. They live in a three-bedroom apartment in the East Village. They pay $4400 per month in rent. She walks the mile and a half each morning to Google’s sprawling campus located at 111 8th Avenue in Manhattan. She says she likes living in the city. Now, consider Santa Cruz and the Five55 Pacific’s 94-market-rate condo project that just opened. It’s located at the confluence of Front Street and Pacific Avenue. There’s a pool, a roof-top lounging space, and an outdoor kitchen with a pizza oven, but only “for those with the most discriminating tastes,” boasts their web site. Studios go for $2500 and one-bedrooms are $three grand$. What’s wrong with these two pictures? For starters, I don’t believe there are any three-bedroom apartments at Five55 Pacific Avenue thus making it more expensive than New York City’s East Village real estate. There are many six-figure jobs in NYC, there are not so many in Santa Cruz. The studio and one-bedroom configurations of Five55 Pacific insure that people will double and triple up in these apartments. It even states on their web site tenants are allowed to have three (!) in the one-bedroom apartments. So, where will these tenants come from? Eating at Zachary’s the other morning some friends and I spotted no less than four Google (Apple and Amazon too!) buses in less than an hour. They were making their way down Pacific to pick-up points where their six-figure passengers awaited. These large-ish salaried-class are making their bedrooms on this side of the hill because the current housing developer class, while not noticing the lack of affordable housing for locals, continues to chart a course of building for tech workers. The Downtown (Recovery) Plan will be discussed on the evenings of June 12th and June 19th, at 7pm. If you believe Santa Cruz should chart its own course without Google, Amazon, and Apple’s meddling then come out to these meetings and demand affordable housing now, not luxury tourist cells for the burgeoning high-tech class. Of course they want to live here, it is more livable in Santa Cruz than San Jose, but for how long? The city council needs your input. If these companies wish to locate to our industrial areas on the Westside, or Harvey West Park, pay taxes and have their employees bike or walk to work, then that is a different conversation, one we should have, one we ought to entertain, but on our community’s terms not Silicon Valley’s.

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Violence and murder by the state is not a civilized act. We must abolish the death penalty. (June 2)
(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).

Email Chris at ckrohn@cruzio.com

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June 11, 2018

SOQUEL CREEK WATER DISTRICT BOARD DECISIONS TO INJECT TREATED SEWAGE WATER INTO YOUR LOCAL WATER SUPPLY SURE SEEMS LIKE…

A “DONE DEAL”
In my last column, I wrote about the Special Meeting of the Soquel Creek Water District Board on May 29 in their very small conference room without video or audio recording.  The website notification titled the meeting subject as “Water Planning for FY 2018/20” but in fact, the discussion was exuberantly focused on how to speed up work to construct the PureWater Soquel Project to inject 3 million gallons/day treated sewage water into the local groundwater supply.  I was able to attend the Special Meeting and video recorded it.  Here is the link:

Soquel Creek Water District – Special Meeting 5/29/18 (1:54:26)
https://youtu.be/TPtv00GykvI  

I also attended the Regular Board meeting on June 5 at the Community Foundation Building in Aptos when the Consultant from ESA gave a CEQA Presentation and Information on PureWater Soquel Project, and District staff presented the Draft 2018/19 Budget.  I offered to video record the meeting because Community TV was not there, but was told it was being recorded.  Nothing is listed on the Board Calendar for June 5 other than the agenda packet.

Take a look at page 144 of the Draft Budget:
“The costs to operate the Advanced Purified Groundwater Replenishment Plant will not be a factor until construction of the plant is completed in what was expected, last year, to be 2023/24.  The Raftelis Finance Plan, due in September 2018, will reflect updated completion timelines for this project.  It is anticipated that there will be additional staffing costs after construction is complete, so projected operating costs have been set at $1.8 million for what was expected to be the first year of operation.”

THAT SOUNDS LIKE A DONE DEAL TO ME. WHAT DO YOU THINK?
Look further on page 144:
“The EIR for the Pure Water Soquel Advanced Purified Groundwater Replenishment project is budgeted in 2017/18 and 2018/19, with project design work budgeted to begin in 2018/19 and construction anticipated as early as 2021/22, should this project be selected as the District’s supplemental supply alternative.” 

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

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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June 5, 2018

The picture above shows a photo taken during the construction of a new apartment complex located in the City of Santa Cruz. This new structure is actually a lot bigger than it appears here. The development is about twice as long as what is shown and contains ninety-four units. The developer calls it Five55

The development is located at 555 Pacific Avenue in Santa Cruz (right where Pacific Avenue runs into Front Street), and this street address accounts for how the developer came up with the upscale name. The new apartments are being presented as “luxury living.” The photo below, from the news story reporting on this new development, shows the kind of glamour look that the developer is counting on to market his rental units.

As for the rental units themselves? Well, they are not exactly big, and they are certainly not “low rent.” The prices, at least, if not the actual apartments, are definitely found at the “luxury” level.  Here is some data from the news story in the Santa Cruz Sentinel

The monthly rent for a 440-square-foot studio: “$2,400 … and “about $2,800” a month for a 636-square-foot one-bedroom unit.

Apparently, the website for the development actually quotes higher prices. If you are thinking that a 440-square foot studio apartment is a bit small to qualify as “luxury” quarters, the developer’s spokesperson says “not to worry.”

“It feels bigger,” said Leah Boone, Redtree Partners’ project manager …  [And furthermore, said Boone], “nobody in Santa Cruz spends that much time indoors.”

Right! That’s it! Nobody actually spends much time indoors! In fact, it seems that lots of people are choosing to live on the streets!

So, who can afford to live at Five55? Let’s quote the Sentinel article again: “If you go by the longtime rule of thumb to pay no more than 30 percent of your income for housing, you’d have to earn $108,000 a year. We need to get on the bus to Google,” said Donna Musselman, a workplace consultant who lives in Santa Cruz. 

The average wage in Santa Cruz County is $50,440 a year, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, while the average wage in Santa Clara County, home to tech giants Google, Facebook, and Apple, is $133,952 a year. The median pay at Facebook is over $240,000 a year. The Sentinel headline got it right: “Five55 complex offers 94 units at rates beyond reach of average wage earners.”

The Santa Cruz City Council eliminated a requirement that the new complex had to provide affordable, “inclusionary” units that average wage earners could afford. It’s clear that this development is not aimed at addressing the City’s affordable housing crisis. The housing is aimed at high-tech workers in the Silicon Valley, who don’t live here now, not our local workforce. John Burroughs, Lighthouse Bank chairman, says, “Must be a lot of people want to live here.”

Well, Duh! So, let’s build housing for all those upper-income people who would like to relocate to our community, instead of providing for our own local residents and their kids? Is that our plan?

In fact, the City of Santa Cruz doesn’t need “luxury living.” The City needs price-restricted units that will be permanently affordable to persons with average and below average incomes (as measured by the average income in Santa Cruz, not in the Silicon Valley).

Some people claim that “more housing” is the answer to the City’s affordable housing crisis. Just build more high-rise apartments and everything will get better. Prices will come down! Isn’t that what the “law” of supply and demand says will happen?

Well, based on what we’re seeing here, that isn’t the way it actually works. If you adhere to the “let’s just build a lot of market rate housing” view, why don’t you just hop on over to “Five55?” Maybe you can pick up one of those 636-square foot “luxury” models.  If you can afford $2,800 per month, that is!

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 and subscribe to his daily blog at www.gapatton.net

Email Gary at gapatton@mac.com

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CLASSICAL DeCINZO. Another way to look at Coffee Shops…just below a few pages…

EAGAN’S DEEP COVER. This week is a rerun, since we got out of sync with the comics. Back on track next week! 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.

LISA JENSEN LINKS. Lisa writes: “Allow me to ponder the delicate art of uncoupling as I begin my new life without Art Boy, this week at Lisa Jensen Online Express (http://ljo-express.blogspot.com/). Meanwhile, soak up the Aschbacher vibe at a tribute exhibit put up by the good folks at the Pajaro Valley Arts Gallery, and more details on the upcoming Celebration for James in August. Oh, and my Beast book gains another fan in the blogosphere!” Lisa has been writing film reviews and columns for Good Times since 1975.  

ADRIFT. All boat loving Santa Cruzans will have to see this “true” Hollywood yacht survival story starring Shailene Woodley. She plays a 24 year old boat nut in 1983 who meets a guy and they set sail from Tahiti to San Diego. Big storm (hurricane) masts break, sails gone and she stays alive for 6 weeks. It’s pretty good even with annoyingly placed and many flashbacks but everyone I talked to about it, me included, noticed that Shailene Woodley never lost her eyeliner and Hollywood eyelashes in all that time but did get appropriately dirty, frazzled, and whipped. The woman who lived it and wrote the book actually did go right back on boats and is still sailing even as we read!!! Don’t spend your last $10 on it.

LOOKING FORWARD TO SEEING. The Seagull, Hereditary, First Performed, Hotel Artemis and On Chesil Beach (which CLOSES THURSDAY June 14)

DISOBEDIENCE, Rachel Weisz and Rachel McAdams are excellent in this heavy religious drama dealing with the Jewish faith and that community in London. It’s the re-kindling love affair between Weisz and McAdams that drives the story. It is intense, serious, and a very good movie. CLOSES THURSDAY June 14.

RBG. This nicely-done documentary tells us a lot more than has ever been made public before. Ruth Bader Ginsberg (RBG) is a surprisingly quiet, shy woman. It reminds us that Bill Clinton got her the job as Supreme Court Justice: oddly enough it does not remind us that Ronald Reagan appointed Sandra Day O’Conner as the first woman to serve on the court. See this film. It’ll give you hope that you can fight against the odds.

DEADPOOL 2. Ryan Reynolds again plays Deadpool and any movie goer knows that this is another Marvel Comics CGI fantasy. Marvel Comic movies are as difficult to understand and accept as watching a Butoh or Kabuki play. The first Deadpool movie was violent, full of in-jokes, and Deadpool 2 is in the same mold. Ryan Reynolds adds a little humanity to his character which sets these films apart from the other Marvel Comic sagas. But only attend IF you understand how these super hero flicks work.

SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY. 71 on RT. Sure Han Solo and Chewbacca get their histories told in this 2 ½ hour long pointless and nearly plotless cornball saga. So are Woody Harrelson, Thandie Newton and Emilia Clarke (without her silver hair). It saved tons of production money but it is also the darkest movie I’ve ever tried to see. I mean everyone is in the dark all the time. I swear that most of the time you can NOT see their faces, expressions or planetary make-up. The plot is meaningless. It has absolutely none of the charm, humor, or depth that the early Star Wars films had. It’s not worth going to any trouble to see unless you are THAT much of a fan.

ISLE OF DOGS. This is Wes Anderson’s latest, and I didn’t like it any more than any of his other sideways attempts at new cinema statements. The Royal Tannenbaums, Darjeeling Limited, Moonrise Kingdom, and The Grand Budapest Hotel all not just bored me but left me mystified. Rushmore was a notch up. Isle of Dogs uses cute Japanese-themed names like Kobayashi, Atari, Watanabe, Yoko-ono, and the clever Major Domo. The very famous and excellent Hollywood persons who do the voices are near legendary, but Anderson’s attempt at cleverness, brilliance and just plain story telling once again leaves me very cold and bored CLOSES THURSDAY June 14.

AVENGERS: AN INFINITY WAR. I am trying with enormous difficulty to like, enjoy understand Marvel Comics blockbusters. It is an entirely separate category of movies centering on comic books and graphic novels. I came of age reading Superman, Batman, Captain Marvel’s first issues in the early 40’s and still these movies go beyond my comprehension. They are the world’s number one money makers, The special effects, the blood, killings, raccoons piloting  spaceships just fly beyond my senses. One critic stated that there are 73 main characters in this latest chapter. This is apparently a near perfect Marvel Comic blockbuster. You’re on your own here and it’s two and a half hours long.

THE BOOK CLUB. It’s nearly painful to watch these four “actors” Jane Fonda, Diane Keaton, Mary Steenburgen and Candace Bergen faking it through a very unfunny comedy. Ranging from their early 60’s through Fonda’s age of 80 they get absolutely no chance to show their considerable acting skills. The script is amateurish, the directing and the photography is embarrassing. This movie doesn’t make it on any level…don’t go. Some friends have told me that it’s a good “chick” film, but that’s mean and is sexist isn’t it?  

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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. On June 12 Alvaro Perez  from Maria Herrara’s UCSC class will report on the UC campus wide Service Workers Strike. Then Lisa Sheridan and Robert Morgan talk about Soquel issues. June 19 has Lisa Robinson from the San Lorenzo Valley Museum describing their current exhibits and future plans. After Lisa, Julie Thayer will update us on the PG&E versus our trees battle.  Jane Mio discusses our river system and what’s needed to protect it first on June 26. Then Lisa Rose and Trink Praxel from Santa Cruz Indivisible talk about their upcoming event. Jumping to July 10, Lisa Jensen will be talking about her book “Beast: A Tale of Love and Revenge” and her Bookshop book signing. July 24 has Dr. Larry DeGhetaldi CEO of Sutter Health Santa Cruz and Pres. of Palo Alto Medical Foundation of Santa Cruz talking about medical issues and developments.

I could not stop watching this. The guys are a little too “Steve Irving” in their delivery for my taste, but man is it mesmerizing!

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. “FATHERS DAY

“The first half of our lives is ruined by our parents, the second half by our children.” Clarence Darrow
“To a father growing old nothing is dearer than a daughter”, Euripides
“It doesn’t matter who my father was; it matters who I remember he was”, Anne Sexton
“Dad taught me everything I know. Unfortunately, he didn’t teach me everything he knows”, Al Unser
“I gave my father $100 and said, “Buy yourself something that will make your life easier.” So he went out and bought a present for my mother.”  Rita Rudner.


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
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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.

May 28 – June 11, 2018

Highlights this week:
BRATTON…what and who to vote for, Tourist ships coming to Santa Cruz? GREENSITE…on future West Cliff Drive battles. KROHN…when Santa Cruzans organize, our progressive community. Library issues, developing “downtown”, the Nissan into Soquel surprise. STEINBRUNER…Soquel Nissan Dealer OK’d – but why?, Santa Cruz copying San Jose, who runs the county, Madonna Construction and soil contamination, Aptos Village deals, What South County vision, Soquel Creek water issues, where’s Sen. Monning’s water tax bill? PATTON…getting out the important voters. EAGAN…another classic “Subconscious Comic”. DeCINZO…opines on horses and biker trails. JENSEN…about Beast the movie, not her book! BRATTON…critiques Beast and Solo: A Star Wars Story. UNIVERSAL GRAPEVINE FUTURE GUESTS. QUOTES… for “JUNE”

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“SCHOOL DEPARTMENT BUILDING BEING MOVED” (April 24, 1951) That’s the data on the back of the photo. It was taken  at Mission and Center Streets. It’s the Bank of The West corner now, if I’ve guessed right. Do note the two guys riding atop the building.

photo credit: Covello & Covello Historical photo collection.

DATELINE May 28, 2018

BI-ANNUAL HOLIDAY TIME. Once again, needing a break from the rigors and whims of the weekly BrattonOnline and my two weekly KZSC radio programs, I’m going to Victorville and Mar Vista (Los Angeles) for the next week and a half. SO…no BrattonOnline or my two radio show next week…and it’ll all be back the week of June 11th.

ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER GOES TOPLESS! Think again about our former governor and our present president. Watch Arnold grope a dancer…

PRESIDENT TRUMP’S EXPENSIVE & REALLY POOR “TASTE”.
HERE’S HOW TO VOTE…
Governor Delaine Eastin
Lt. Governor Gayle McLaughlin
Secretary of State Alex Padilla
Controller Betty T. Yee
Treasurer Fiona Ma
Attorney General Dave Jones
Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara
State Board of Equalization Maria Cohen
United States Senator Kevin De Leon
United States Representative Jimmy Panetta
Member State Assembly  Mark Stone
Judicial Superior Court Judge Syda K. Cogliati
School Superintendent Tony K. Thurmond
Prop 68 YES
Prop 69 YES
Prop 70 NO
Prop 71 YES
Prop 72  YES
CITY of SANTA CRUZ
Measure  S YES
Measure T YES
Measure U YES
SANTA CRUZ by DRONE VIEW. Always fun to see the place…BUT turn off the music, it’s broken.

HOW TO VOTE ON TUESDAY JUNE 5TH. If you’ve read BrattonOnline more than once there’ll be no surprises in my urging, pleading, and at least trying to cajole you into voting for the best of everything and everybody. I did as much research as possible, and then I asked many of my most trusted friends and acquaintances who and how they are voting…or have voted. I voted last Thursday in person at the County Building. It was so crowded there that they let me vote by myself in the little Wedding Chapel room…which I never knew existed.

You might notice my not listing a vote for SANTA CRUZ COUNTY THIRD DISTRICT SUPERVISOR. Coonerty or Pleich. That’s because I have so many good, and not good points connected with both of them that my final vote was so full of doubt that I don’t want to talk about it.


TOURIST BOATS/SHIPS DOCKING IN SANTA CRUZ?  Pat Matejcek sent this very depressing and scary notice… “Leaders in Eureka are trying to make the tiny North Coast city a cruise ship destination. On Monday, they welcomed their first cruise ship to the bay in six years. Passengers were greeted with cider and live jazz music then departed on tours of the redwoods and the old town Victorians.  A “who’s-who” of Eureka politics sipped champagne with the captain. Here are some photo highlights.
// Lost Coast Outpost | Times-Standard

Read that issue of the Eureka Newspaper over carefully. Read the comments. Ms. Matejcek added. “the Eureka Mayor wanted the ships!!” Think for a minute (or much longer) how the Boardwalk/Seaside Company would profit from this. Think again about the “trolley” taking the tourists to Pacific Avenue and what ??? Taco Bell, Urban Outfitters, Starbucks, or Five Guys Burgers? What is even more scary is trying to bet how our current City Council would vote on tourist cruise ships docking here.

May 27, 2018

RED ALERT!
You’ve seen them.  You can’t miss them. You may have ridden one. Or jumped out of the way of one. The 250 city-approved red e-bikes from Jump Bikes, an Uber-owned company, are now for rent via an app on your smart phone at 27 outdoor locations or hubs and more are expected if demand grows.

What possible objection could there be to providing more bicycles to encourage more people to get out of their cars and reduce our carbon footprint? That’s the sales pitch. For proponents that hypothetical is sufficient. But is it accurate? What impacts are being ignored? What hidden agendas are in the works?

I attended the recent Planning Commission where a neighborhood appeal of the Jump-bike location for Woodrow and West Cliff was heard. It was a full house and all but one spoke against this specific location as bringing commercial interests into the neighborhood, adding scores of e-bikes on the already crowded West Cliff Drive path and visually degrading the coastline with rows of bright red rental bikes as in the simulated photo. The group Friends of West Cliff has appealed the other 5 coastal bike hubs to the California Coastal Commission which will vote on this issue at its June meeting in San Diego. Item 22 under New Appeals.   Judging from the staff report and recommendation it is unlikely the Commission will vote that the appeals raise substantial issues, which is a requirement for further deliberation. If you want to comment, do so before June 1st. Impact on path access and safety for walkers is a key concern.

Although this is a relatively small issue in the scheme of things, my radar for twaddle started pinging when Public Works staff in charge of the project reported that the librarians at Garfield Park library were enthusiastic at the prospect of one of the e-bike hubs being located in front of the library, removing fifty percent of the public car parking: twaddle. Staff’s statement that the selection of hubs was based on broad community input: twaddle. Soliciting support at Bike-to-Work Day and Open Streets does not equal broad community input. Asserting that providing these bikes will reduce carbon emissions when a team of 8 to10 Jump Bike workers in a warehouse at Harvey West Park drives around and collects bikes left attached to bus stops and trees and returns them to their hubs: twaddle. Jump Bikes must be a lucrative business: 8 to 10 workers for 250 bikes is a ratio that puts our schools’ teacher to pupil ratio to shame.

The Planning Commission vote was 5-2 with Commissioners Nielson and Spellman voting to uphold the neighbors appeal against the hub on Woodrow/ West Cliff. As architects, they seemed to understand the visual clutter that these multi e-bike hubs are imposing on our coastal beauty. The other commissioners just didn’t get it.  When Commissioner Spellman asked why Delaware St. wasn’t chosen as a site for hubs since it has all the necessary attributes without the undesirable visual impacts, staff’s response was that the people who chose the hub locations didn’t want that location. Well excuse me!

The hidden agenda is to create conditions sufficiently crowded to rationalize the closure of one lane of West Cliff Drive and make it one way. Commissioner Conway asked staff to look specifically into this option. Not so hidden anymore. While this would be popular in some circles it would be the end of livability for the lower west side neighborhoods as traffic cuts through quiet neighborhood streets to get access back to the coast. It has been tried before and each time massive neighborhood objections have forced it off the table.  If city staff were wise, they would work with the neighborhoods rather than against them. As a well-known local shared with me, long ago West Cliff Drive used to be narrower. It would be possible to widen the path to accommodate more bikes and walkers, narrow the road and keep it both ways for cars and road bikes, both of which would need to travel more slowly which is not a bad thing. Or, as Santa Cruz is increasingly marketed for tourists, live within our limits and make West Cliff path for walking and wheelchairs only. Wisdom unfortunately seems in short supply at city hall so a major, unnecessary battle over West Cliff Drive is likely just around the corner.

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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May 28, 2018

MAKING INROADS
Breaking News: Organizing Neighbors Works
This week I want to acknowledge a few of the people-initiated actions that led to some city hall power brokers having to change policy courses, rethink their priorities, and actually have to deal with the needs and wants of voters. We often dwell on the times that these same decision-makers failed to heed the people’s call to stop, and change course. The dreaded BearCat tank was one, for instance; rezoning of the Unity Temple church property from multi-family to hotel in order to make way for the Broadway Hyatt is another; and a lot of effort was put into obtaining some affordable units at two Swenson projects, the 94-condos at 555 Pacific and the 79-condo scheme at 1237 Pacific, but to no avail. That meant 173-units of housing in all and yet nothing was designated as affordable, at least not for ten years. But alas, there were other more recent political endeavors undertaken that have yielded some positive change.

Progressive Community Strikes Back
The Corridors Plan has been put on hold (shelved? maybe, maybe not) because of the work of the Branciforte Action Committee’s (BAC) relentless door-to-door, town hall, and telephone pole placard-style of campaigning. It was a grassroots campaign that halted some pretty onerous single-minded, profit-driven desires that saw developers in cahoots with city planners. Of course, this one ain’t over, but it has been significantly put on hold for a while. The current rent freeze now in effect in the city of Santa Cruz has led to countless rent increases NOT taking place. Of course, it may be short-lived until the results of the November election are in, but for now we need to declare a victory…because it is keeping some people in their homes right now.

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

A Strange Decision
I couldn’t help but be mystified by the county Board of Supervisors decision to allow Nissan to build a car dealership off Soquel Avenue near 41st. This was one of those few blockbuster decisions that happen every decade. It seems to me it was a complete 180-degree reversal from the future many of us thought we were headed towards: alternative transportation, cutting greenhouse gases, and affordable housing now! Aside from the enormous amounts of tax revenue that cities and counties reap from these deals, I thought our county was different. I wanted to think that we were going towards a future not based in gasoline-powered pods, but supporting a more livable community, environmentally sustainable and one fundamentally opposed to more cars. Seems like this property could’ve been housing, which may have brought as much traffic as some Nissan supporters argued, but you would’ve had housing. Now we will get another temple to the automobile. This all makes very little sense.


Waste, the Final Frontier. This is where it all goes, the Dimeo Landfill located up just the coast from Santa Cruz. I toured the landfill with my daughter’s Environmental Science class. Leslie O’Malley the city’s Waste Reduction Coordinator emphasizes the 3 R’s, Reduce, Reuse, Recycle and has added others: Repurpose, Refuse (the junk to begin with) and Re-acquaint (yourself with your old stuff). Being at the butt end of our society is both mind opening and mind blowing.
But being anti-Trump and anti-Republican is not enough. We need to continue our fight for a progressive agenda which will take on oligarchy, and improve the lives of working people throughout our country. (oligarchy, a small group of people having control of a country, organization, or institution)

(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).

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May 28, 2018

SUPERVISOR JOHN LEOPOLD DISREGARDED HIS CONSTITUENTS…NISSAN SOQUEL DEALERSHIP DOLLARS AT WORK
Last Tuesday’s County Board of Supervisor meeting agenda featured the scheduled 1:30 pm item to consider the Planning Commission’s weak recommendations for approval of the Nissan Auto Dealership at 41st Avenue and Soquel Drive, near Soquel Village.  Supervisor John Leopold caved in to County greed, and in the process, blatantly disregarded the trust of his constituents that he would keep his public promises and honor the many hours of public meetings and organized efforts by his constituents to get his attention regarding their concerns.

Here is a link to an excellent Letter to the Editor by Ms. Lisa Sheridan , one of the Sustainable Soquel activists who helped gather over 500 signatures on a petition asking Supervisor John Leopold to abide by the Sustainable Santa Cruz County Plan that would include much-needed housing for the area and was developed with many public meetings and spent hundreds of thousands of dollars  in County staff time.

Here is what local residents posted on NextDoor about the issue:

“From Dick Zacheile.
Our County Board of Supervisors just approved moving the Nissan Dealership to 41st Ave and Soquel Drive, against most citizens’ wishes.  With 25-30 citizens speaking against it (vs. 2 for it), our Board changed the zoning to allow this major business to relocate to where it will increase traffic in what is already the busiest area of the County.   One Supervisor asked only for more trees and a park.  One talked a lot but made little change.  Two said/asked nothing or next to nothing. That’s right, nothing.  They just sat there.  The vote was 4-1.  Only Zach Friend voted against it but made no comments or questions to sway the others.  There was almost NO discussion between Board members.  The well-conceived Sustainable Soquel Plan took much effort and was accepted by the Board in 2014, but it was completely ignored.  Citizens spent much time writing letters, attending meetings, informing neighbors, and presented a petition with 500+ signatures.  All was completely ignored.  It had already been decided; it was a “Done Deal.”  The Board certainly did NOT care about public input.  It did not even glance at the 500+ petition signers that are against this application  Did they think this applicant from Pebble Beach really cared about our traffic problems?  So much for our politicians representing us local citizens!  Such a poor, disgusting performance by our elected officials.”

You can read Citizen Correspondence on the Agenda Website for the Item #58 here

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

THANK YOU TO MR. JOE DOMINGUEZ, PAJARO VALLEY UNIFIED SCHOOL DISTRICT’S NEW CHIEF BUSINESS OFFICER, FOR HELPING THE CLIFF SWALLOWS AT PAJARO VALLEY HIGH SCHOOL

It was a sad state of affairs that the School Board approved spending $55,000 to prevent the Cliff Swallows from nesting at the new Pajaro Valley High School, located in a sensitive Slough Habitat and continued to spend countless staff hours and precious water to power-wash the nests away.  It was indeed very sad to see that the Swallows continued to try building mud nests, resorting to areas closer to human contact and more problematic for maintaining healthy school conditions.

It was incredibly refreshing to meet with Mr. Joe Dominguez last week at the school, watch the swallows, and talk with maintenance staff.  “We can do better than this,” he said, and made immediate changes to the policies.  Things are still in the works, but the outlook is MUCH BETTER for the beautiful Cliff Swallows who are genetically-imprinted on the structures at the school for nest-building and raising their young.  These birds devour many mosquitoes and other insects…a real public benefit, and truly an outstanding educational opportunity for the students, staff and community.  Please contact me if you are interested in helping with the “Friends of the Swallows” group forming at the school. Becky Steinbruner ki6tkb@yahoo.com

THANK YOU, JOE DOMINGUEZ!!

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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May 25, 2018
#145 / It’s What You’re For

Pictured is Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams. Abrams is a Democrat, and she just won a primary contest against another “Stacey,” also a Democrat. The Nation calls Abrams’ victory “revolutionary.”

Joe Garofoli writes a column for the San Francisco Chronicle that he titles, “It’s All Political.” Garofoli’s column on Thursday, May 24th revealed that there was a “major Bay Area connection” behind Abrams’ success: 

Long before liberal pundits and MSNBC jumped on Abrams’ bandwagon, she was getting strategic help and money from a small crew of Bay Area political operatives and wealthy donors. She’s about to get $10 million more for the general election from that group, headed by San Franciscans Steve Phillips and his wife, Susan Sandler.

To them, Abrams represents what the Democratic Party should be doing to win back red states like Georgia as a way to take control of Congress and the presidency. 

The plan: Forget chasing working-class white voters who backed Donald Trump in 2016. Instead, appeal to a coalition that includes people of color, young voters and progressive whites. 

Or, as Abrams said on a 2017 episode of my “It’s All Political” podcast: Democrats need to spend less time convincing “Republicans to be Democrats instead of getting Democrats to be Democrats.”

Let me agree with Abrams on that strategy. Explaining to voters how bad Donald Trump is doesn’t win elections. Hillary Clinton tried it at the presidential level, and it clearly didn’t work. It won’t work for state or congressional campaigns, either. 

It is not who you’re against that will be persuasive; it’s what you’re for! 

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 and subscribe to his daily blog at www.gapatton.net

Email Gary at gapatton@mac.com

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CLASSICAL DeCINZO. Scroll downward to check out DeCinzo’s views of our “trail users”.

EAGAN’S DEEP COVER. See another of Eagan’s classic “Subconscious Comics” 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.
http://www.timeagan.com/?subconscious_comics

LISA JENSEN LINKS. Lisa writes: “It’s no relation to my upcoming new novel, but the British movie, Beast, delivers dark, edgy thrills, this week at Lisa Jensen Online Express (http://ljo-express.blogspot.com ). Also, more tributes pour in for my beloved Art Boy, and stay tuned for details on how you (yes, you!) can help us stage his Life Celebration in August!” Lisa has been writing film reviews and columns for Good Times since 1975.  

BEAST. A deeplyaimed story of a young woman falling in love with a man with a complex and hidden history. They live on an island amidst a small community that features many involved connections. Jessie Buckley stars, and you’ll never forget either her or the complex twists in this very British murder mystery…go quickly.

SOLO: A STAR WARS STORY. 71 on RT. Sure Han Solo and Chewbacca get their histories told in this 2 ½ hour pointless and nearly plotless cornball saga, and has Woody Harrelson, Thandie Newton and Emilia Clarke (without her silver hair). It may have saved tons of production money but it’s the darkest movie I’ve ever tried to see. I mean everyone is in the dark all the time — so you can NOT see their faces, expressions or planetary make-up. The plot is meaningless. It has absolutely none of the charm, humor, or depth of the early Star Wars films. It’s not worth going to any trouble to see unless you are THAT much of a fan.

LET THE SUNSHINE IN. Juliette Binoche deserves at least an Oscar right now for her role in this very French film. A 90 on RT doesn’t give it enough. Binoche is a Parisian artist who like most earth dwellers has problems with relationships. Bad choices, desperate flings, but damn, it hoits close to anybody’s home who has ever fallen in and out of love. Gerard Depardieu closes the film in a spectacular few minutes while closing credits roll past. See this French film but only if you like well made serious movies.

DISOBEDIENCE, Rachel Weisz and Rachel McAdams are excellent in this heavy religious drama dealing with the Jewish faith and that community in London. It’s the re-kindling love affair between Weisz and McAdams that drives the story. It is intense, serious, and a very good movie.

THE RIDER. This is an almost-true life story about a rodeo cowboy who got thrown, and thereafter has to live with a steel plate in his head. It’s heartfelt, homey and you probably have to like horses to truly enjoy it. It doesn’t bring out the intelligence, feeling, and knowledge of the hero, but it does contain his real-life father, and friends, acting at their best….which get in the way. It’s a feel good film, however, and worth seeing.

RBG. This nicely-done documentary tells us a lot more than has ever been made public before. Ruth Bader Ginsberg (RBG) is a surprisingly quiet, shy woman. It reminds us that Bill Clinton got her the job as Supreme Court Justice: oddly enough it does not remind us that Ronald Reagan appointed Sandra Day O’Conner as the first woman to serve on the court. See this film. It’ll give you hope that you can fight against the odds.

TULLY. This isn’t a bad movie and the biggest problem with it is that we’ve all heard about how Charlize Theron gained 50 pounds to star in it. So all the way through the movie we keep thinking gee, she really gained 50 pounds instead of being concerned with the plot. The plot is motherhood and she’s the mother of three kids. Then the hired nanny “Tully” comes in and a whole new world opens up. It could have been a much better film but the plot dwindles off someplace…and you won’t be satisfied with the ending.

A QUIET PLACE. Whew!!! This earned 97 % on Rotten Tomatoes — and is a genuinely scary movie. It’s well-paced, with fine acting, and Emily Blunt does a perfect believable mother, guardian and victim role. It’s upstate New York sometime in the future, and aliens (much like the Shape of Water Thing with longer legs) have taken over. The monsters attack and kill anything they hear, so everybody has be deathly silent…which makes for great suspense and tension. The kid who plays the deaf child Regan is Millicent Simmonds: she’s genuinely deaf, and she’s fabulous. Go see this IF you love scary movies.

DEADPOOL 2. Ryan Reynolds again plays Deadpool and any movie goer knows that this is another Marvel Comics CGI fantasy. Marvel Comic movies are as difficult to understand and accept as watching a Butoh or Kabuki play. The first Deadpool movie was violent, full of in-jokes, and Deadpool 2 is in the same mold. Ryan Reynolds adds a little humanity to his character which sets these films apart from the other Marvel Comic sagas. But only attend IF you understand how these super hero flicks work.

ISLE OF DOGS. This is Wes Anderson’s latest, and I didn’t like it any more than any of his other sideways attempts at new cinema statements. The Royal Tannenbaums, Darjeeling Limited, Moonrise Kingdom, and The Grand Budapest Hotel all not just bored me but left me mystified. Rushmore was a notch up. Isle of Dogs uses cute Japanese-themed names like Kobayashi, Atari, Watanabe, Yoko-ono, and the clever Major Domo. The very famous and excellent Hollywood persons who do the voices are near legendary, but Anderson’s attempt at cleverness, brilliance and just plain story telling once again leaves me very cold and bored.

BLACK PANTHER. Like Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman created a lot of good will and empowered women Black Panther does the same for Blacks in America and apparently around the rest of the world. Both are based on comics – DC and Marvel respectively – and are full of violence, killings and special effects. I’m finding it more and more difficult to see these action films with messages like revenge, torture, and blood and guts as having any semblance of cinematic art. Black Panther is science fiction, space travel and still the characters use spears and super hi tech weapons to kill each other. There are messages in this movie so I read…but I sensed nothing positive in it. Now I wonder since this has been such a blockbuster if we’ll see Mexican Panther, Chinese Panther, Croatian Panther?

AVENGERS: AN INFINITY WAR. I am trying with enormous difficulty to like, enjoy understand Marvel Comics blockbusters. It is an entirely separate category of movies centering on comic books and graphic novels. I came of age reading Superman, Batman, Captain Marvel’s first issues in the early 40’s and still these movies go beyond my comprehension. They are the world’s number one money makers, The special effects, the blood, killings, raccoons piloting  spaceships just fly beyond my senses. One critic stated that there are 73 main characters in this latest chapter. This is apparently a near perfect Marvel Comic blockbuster. You’re on your own here and it’s two and a half hours long.

THE BOOK CLUB. It’s nearly painful to watch these four “actors” Jane Fonda, Diane Keaton, Mary Steenburgen and Candace Bergen faking it through a very unfunny comedy. Ranging from their early 60’s through Fonda’s age of 80 they get absolutely no chance to show their considerable acting skills. The script is amateurish, the directing and the photography is embarrassing. This movie doesn’t make it on any level…don’t go.

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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. The top 3 winners from the annual Bookshop Santa Cruz Short Story Contest read their works on May 29. I’ll be on vacation June 5 so KZSC’s own DJ Gata will take over for the full hour and play classical rock and her own unique musics. On June 12 Alvaro Perez  from Maria Pirata’s UCSC class will report on the UC Strike. Then Lisa Sheridan and Robert Morgan talk about Soquel issues. June 19 has Lisa Robinson from the San Lorenzo Valley Museum describing their current exhibits and future plans. After Lisa, Julie Thayer will update us on the PG&E versus our trees battle.  Jane Mio discusses our river system and what’s needed to protect it first on June 26. Then Lisa Rose and Trink Praxel from Santa Cruz Indivisible talk about their upcoming event. Jumping to July 10, Lisa Jensen will be talking about her book “Beast: A Tale of Love and Revenge” and her Bookshop book signing. July 24 has Dr. Larry DeGhetaldi CEO of Sutter Health Santa Cruz and Pres.of Palo Alto Medical Foundation of Santa Cruz talking about medical issues and developments. 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

This is one of those “Why didn’t I think of that?!” things. Or even “Why hasn’t anyone thought of this before now!?!?!”. It’s really brilliant.

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. “JUNE”
“Summer is a promissory note signed in June, its long days spent and gone before you know it, and due to be repaid next January”, Hal Borland
“In June, as many as a dozen species may burst their buds on a single day.  No man can heed all of these anniversaries; no man can ignore all of them.”   Aldo Leopold
And what is so rare as a day in June? Then, if ever, come perfect days” James Russell Lowell


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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.