September 18 – 24, 2017

Highlights this week:
Griggs and Vulnerable Santa Cruz…True story of Barry Swenson’s Illegal Tank Removal…Nestlé’s buys vegan biz (like Coke buying Odwalla)… Peter Bartczak mural’s demise… Warning against Western Service Workers Association …Dolores the movie,  reviewed by Krohn and Bratton…Greensite on Housing Costs…Krohn and affordable housing, and the Pacific Ave. hole and Swenson plans…Steinbruner and true story of Swenson and Aptos Village development problems, Rancho Del Mar fighting TRC developer, Zach Friend not responding or caring or helping… Patton and DACA deal…DeCinzo and school time…Eagan and Medicare…Mark Stone Party Thursday…FashionArt show next Saturday…Jensen and a movie hint…I critique Mother, Dolores, Viceroy House and Beach Rats…Quotes, an amalgam of.

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McHugh & Bianchi General Store. November 1972. This grand identifying structure was replaced with Bank Of The West in 2011. It was right across the street from Scribner Square at the corner of Pacific and Mission.. It was once known as the Hotaling Building and Hinkle’s Cash Store.                                                        
    
photo credit: Covello & Covello Historical photo collection.

Additional information always welcome: email bratton@cruzio.com

SANTA CRUZ TIME CAPSULE 1979-1999. As created and filmed by LBJohnson.
THE HUMANS 1979 from their album. Early Santa Cruz music!!!
Larry Hosford and Jeff Cruse on KUSP at General Feed and Seed in Soquel.

DATELINE September 18, 2017

VULNERABLE SANTA CRUZ. UCSC Earth Scientist professor and former director of the Institute of Earth Sciences Gary Griggs and I talked about the official City of Santa Cruz Vulnerability Study that he and Brent Haddad were commissioned to do. Paid for by FEMA money, it was also known as the Santa Cruz Climate Adaptation Plan. It laid out the dangers of flooding Pacific Avenue, floods filling Neary Lagoon, shores crumbling, on and on it reads. What’s the City ever done in reaction to the study, what has the City ever done by way of the evacuation plan it urged…nothing, just nothing. It’s the same as back in 1988 one year before the 1989 earthquake when the city commissioned experts to detail the possible earthquake dangers. That study said that almost all the business on Pacific Avenue needed re-shoring, needed huge new support systems. The businesses on Pacific and the City Council paid the study fee and sent the experts back out of town and almost all the building owners did absolutely nothing. Except oddly enough Max Walden who owned The Cooper House did the necessary re-structuring. But after the 89 quake local “experts” said the Cooper House did get damaged and because the new owner wanted the FEMA money he let the historic building be destroyed.  Are we still in the same boat? Will the next tsunami, tidal wave, or quake destroy more of our community because the City Council again ignores all the warnings? We’ll see, won’t we? Listen to the Griggs interview at … http://www.radiofreeamerica.com/dj/bruce-bratton  and click on “September 12”.

BARRY SWENSON GOT CAUGHT AND FINED! Becky Steinbruner has again, scooped everybody in her BrattonOnline column long ago and told all of us about Barry Swenson and the ILLEGAL TANK REMOVAL…this week she tells us the entire story that the Sentinel missed completely. Read it just below.

NESTLE’S BUYS IN. Read in The Monterey County Weekly how Nestle’s bought out a Moss Landing organic vegan business. Read the details here… Read the details here…

Remember Greg Steltenpohl’s selling of Odwalla Juices in Davenport to Coca Cola back in 1996. Read what’s happened to Greg here…

A fond farewell to Moonlight Dance, located at Scope Park, with artist Peter Bartczak and the Santa Cruz Arts Commission. Moonlight Dance has been a poignant symbol of the accepting and diverse culture of Santa Cruz for 24 years. The community shared fond memories and thoughts of the mural.

PETER BARTCZAK & MURAL. Like destroying the Cooperhouse, the closing of Logos, losing the Pergolesi, losing the Art and History from the McPherson Museum of Art and History, the painting over Peter Bartczak’s “Moonlight Dance”  mural in what used to be Scribner Square (SCOPE PARK) means losing more of the spirit of Santa Cruz. That’s the spirit that identifies us as a community and bonds and binds the folks who have chosen to live here. It is the same spirit that preserved the Town Clock….watch Peter

BEWARE THE WESTERN SERVICE WORKERS ASSOCIATION. This cult of young adults are back again (Trader Joe’s downtown) asking for spare change and trying to get more young people to join their group. Controversy follows them everywhere and always read this website before you get involved …or donate… Anybody know anything about the western service workers association?

CHECK YOUR FINGERS. Under no circumstances should anyone go see the movie “Beach Rats” now showing at the Nickelodeon. (see critique down below). But the one thing I did remember from critiquing it last Sunday is just one statement in the film. “If your index finger is longer than your ring finger, that means you’re gay”.

DOLORES…MORE THAN A MOVIE. Two more than salient topics are dealt with in this long overdue tribute to Dolores Huerta. One is to realize what history (and all of us) has done to motivated women. Obviously Hillary C. but add in Elizabeth Roosevelt, Elizabeth Warren, Nancy Pelosi and on and on. Huerta is shown to be a monumental force in spite of all odds, most of which are sexist. The second feature of this documentary is the power and strength and validity of The Boycott and its place in our history. From Delano and the grape boycott, to General Motors, Safeway, Nestle, Luis Valdez, Angela Davis are featured

HOUSING COST SHIBBOLETHS
A recent Sentinel editorial noted that California’s high cost of housing, including rents, hinders economic growth and is the major factor behind the high cost of living in the Golden State (As We See It 9/14/17). The editorial laid out the reasons for the state’s high housing costs as seen by the editorial board, namely: zoning restrictions that limit the amount of developable land; NIMBYS (Not In My Back Yarders); high development impact fees; overly strict building codes and labor rules; CEQA  (California Environmental Quality Act) abuses and inclusionary zoning measures (requiring a development to include a certain number of below market-rate units.) Wow, their list neatly summarizes factors that protect the environment; ensure building safety; respect the right to protest gentrification and overbuilding in neighborhoods and provide for some (never enough) lower-than- average priced (never low enough) housing units in multi-unit developments. Conspicuously absent from the Sentinel’s list is any mention of investors, speculators and developers whose right to profit from a basic human need for shelter is never questioned.  

This developer friendly view of the high cost of housing brings to mind a similar distortion when people discuss why we have a high rate of rape in Santa Cruz, in California, in the US and globally. The usual list includes: women wearing skimpy clothes; women drinking; women going out alone; women partying; women not using the buddy system; women flirting…you get the picture. The main cause of rape is masculine sexual aggression, which is rendered invisible and thus assumes the status of a force of nature that women must navigate around, alter their lives around and suffer the guilt and blame if they fail and are raped. We will never radically reduce the incidence and trauma of rape if we ignore the cause and focus on extraneous factors that are at best, irrelevant, at worst victim-blaming. We need to re-focus attention on creating the social conditions for boys to be raised in a culture where “being a man” is not equated with being aggressive and in which all genders respect and support each other. No, not easy, we don’t have a good role model at the top right now and it won’t happen overnight but at least we can stop looking in all the wrong directions while ignoring the only one that will make a difference.

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

Who Will Hold the City Council’s Feet to the Affordable Housing Fire?

“If Not Now When? If Not Us, Then Who?”

(Outrageous) Photo of the week

Your tax dollars at work! What happened to the smaller Ford Rangers, or even the Toyota Tacoma’s? What message is the city sending? What about an E-truck? Try jogging, biking, or strollering around this F-150 behemoth!?! Difficult at best. Why is the city purchasing such bloat? Just a couple of months ago I saw Park Rangers patrolling the river levy driving an electric golf cart. These carts are maneuverable and provide plenty of room to get around the recreating residents. Somebody has too much money in the city, and I have a homeless shelter that needs funding.

Brother, Can You Spare a Condo?
The housing “buck” that’s supposed to stop at the Santa Cruz City Council this week came and went. It came in the form of a Barry Swenson 79-condo project at 1547 Pacific Avenue; the site of the pre-earthquake Bookshop Santa Cruz. Our housing hyper-sensitive community was entitled to 12 units of affordable housing in this project. There it was on the table, but upon voting, our community was left hung out to dry and the 12 units disappeared into that same black hole of council misses: 555 Pacific Ave., 1800 Soquel Ave. 716 Darwin Street and the recent dubious additions to 630 Water Street. Somehow TWELVE bedrooms and studios just slipped through the folded arms of a compliant, developer-first five-two majority city council. Folks, our city council is just not holding developers accountable.

In this case, Swenson front man, Scott Connelly, was not offering any affordable units, and the Council Five wasn’t demanding any. In fact, Scotty will build a completely unfriendly-family project with NO 3-bedroom units, while at the same time turning several two-bedroom units into studios and more one-bedrooms in this “Santa Cruz hot, hot” housing market. How hot is it? I asked a simple question: Scotty, before you beam me up, how much will the rent be at 1547 Pacific Avenue? After all, it’s the location where I was introduced to caffeine during my UCSC undergrad days at Caffe Pergolesi, and where the Penny University was founded, and also where I was recently told, Supervisor Gary Patton held his Monday agenda review sessions before Tuesday County supervisor meetings. Well, it took Scott about ten minutes to get to the, er, actual, illusory maybe, rent prices. But finally, he did reveal some numbers to gaping mouths, dropped jaws, and bystander gasps. In a doctor’s voice charged with telling the patient she’s got incurable cancer, Mr. Connelly stammered and finally arrived at the price tags: Studios for $2000, 1-bedrooms for $2800, and 2-bedroom units as high as $3800…and “our” Santa Cruz City Council scored zero affordable units that day.

I often feel like I am living in a parallel universe while occupying a seat on the left side of city council dais. Some 58% of the community members that occupy some part of the universe I’m also apart of are renters. And those renters were looking to the council last Tuesday afternoon to help level this insane Santa Cruz rental market. I am deeply sorry to say the council failed this rather simple test because guess what? There’s hundreds more units of housing being contemplated along Front Street and the river, and achieving deep levels of affordability does not look very promising at this point.

Public Wants Council to Demand Developers Build the Affordable Units
To top it off, 28 of 29 members of the public who wrote in pleading with the council to demand that the developer at least take some time and come back to the council with the requisite number of affordable units were almost completely ignored. “Just figure it” out they wrote in unison. The city is entitled to 15%, or 11.85 units under the “Planned Development” scenario that the developers agreed to enter in. Perhaps the correspondence is best summed up by what retired teacher, Ruth Valdez, wrote:

“As a retired-teacher I am finding it nearly impossible to afford housing in this area where I’ve lived and worked since 1985. Is this any way to treat us? In your approval of 79 condos on Pacific Ave at the old Bookshop Santa Cruz site, your Council needs to demand that the developer build the 13 inclusionary units as per our ordinance for Planned Development units. The Council has discretion to demand this. I urge you to demand that these affordable units be built as part of the development. We need all the affordable housing possible in our city.”

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~Bernie Quote of the Week

“A great nation is not judged by its billionaires, but by its compassion.”

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

SANTA CRUZ COUNTY DISTRICT ATTORNEY FINES BARRY SWENSON BUILDER $125,000 FOR ILLEGAL TANK REMOVAL & SOIL CONTAMINATION AT APTOS VILLAGE PROJECT

The Santa Cruz Sentinel reported Sept. 16, Page A4 that Barry Swenson Builder agreed to pay $125.000 environmental fine related to a major Aptos development (notice the name is missing) for “improperly handled and disposed of” underground storage tank.  Here is the link.

The San Jose Mercury News also ran an article.

Well, in my opinion, the articles do not report the whole truth of this story.  Here is what really happened:  Barry Swenson Builder (the articles say the company is now called “Swenson”) and Santa Cruz Underground Paving crews came upon a buried metal tank in the Aptos Village Project on March 1, 2016.  By law, the crews should have stopped work, notified County Environmental Health and Aptos/La Selva Fire staff that the tank was there.  Did that happen???  NO.  Crews, at the direction of Barry Swenson Builder project foremen Jim Lynn and Keith Henderson, continued to extricate the tank.  The tank ruptured and spilled hundreds of gallons of old diesel fuel, probably associated with the historic Lam-Mattison Apple Dryer and Vinegar Works, the foundation of which was adjacent to the tank.  

I happened to drive by just then and saw the workers furiously channeling the liquid into a trench that SCUP had hastily created and I saw the large metal tank on the ground nearby.  I saw the liquid welling up from the hole where the tank had been, all next to the intersection of Village Drive and Granite Way.  I did not have a camera, but went back the next day and found NO TANK, and the trench filled in.  Hmmmm….

I contacted Assistant Planning Director, Ms. Wanda Williams, about the tank.  It took nearly a month to get an answer.  She assured me that all was well, that Barry Swenson Builder had a permit from County Environmental Health to remove the tank.  What caught my attention, however, was that the copy of the receipt for the permit was for March 8, 2016 (not March 1 or before) and that double fees for the permit were levied.  Hmmmm….

Luckily, I found out the shocking truth from some honest County staff: 

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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.

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

#258 / That DACA Deal

Did President Trump make a deal on DACA? A deal that actually involved working with Democratic Party members of Congress? Yesterday, the media said, “Yes,” or at least, “we think so.” Of course, nothing is done until it’s done; we will all have to wait to see what ultimately happens. Nonetheless, the news stories raise an intriguing possibility. Could it be that we are finally moving away from a politics that is so hyper-partisan that it might be possible to contemplate a Congress that will play the role it is supposed to play in our governmental system? 

After the election of President Obama, in 2008, the Republican Party took the position that all Republican Party members of Congress would vote, en bloc, against anything that President Obama proposed. And the Party acted accordingly, with the Republican Party leadership ruthlessly enforcing that hyper-partisan “party line.” That meant, as a practical matter, for the last ten years of the Obama presidency, that nothing could happen on any significantly controversial matter. 

Any legislation passed by the Republican-controlled Congress could be vetoed by the President, and any program that the President favored would simply not be enacted by the Congress, no matter what. In the latter category were immigration reform, and specifically any program that would try to find ways to allow children who had been brought to the United States without proper authorization to stay in this country, and to continue to contribute to it. The President’s “Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals” program, carried out by Executive Order, was one of the “work arounds” that resulted from the Republican Party’s unwillingness to work with a Black President.

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~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

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CLASSICAL DeCINZO. Scroll below to see De Cinzo’s opinion of students …and fall!

EAGAN’S DEEP COVER. See Eagan’s ” Medicare For All ” 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 CONCERT. Not a bit of Mozart or classical music for some reason this Thursday. Here’s what they sent…”Jazz standards form the basis of the musical tradition that has been called “America’s Classical Music,” with jazz bands interpreting the songs in an endless variety of ways. Persephone (featuring guitarist and vocalist Suki Wessling and drummer Jen Bruno) presents these songs stripped back down to their essence, with the songs’ musical and lyrical context. (For more information, visit PersephoneBand.com.) Join us for a celebration of pan-American song! Thursday, September 21st 12:10 – 12:50 Santa Cruz Public Library Downtown Branch – Meeting Room.

BIG MARK STONE PARTY THIS THURSDAY (9/21). Join almost every thankful resident and voter in the 5th Annual Party in Support Of Assembly member Mark Stone. Mark has been a great County Supervisor, near-perrfect Coastal Commissioner and has been taking good care of us in Sacramento. Please Join Friends, Supporters, and Hosts, Les and Nancy Gardner, George Couch, Democratic Club of North Santa Cruz County, Democratic Women’s Club of Santa Cruz County for The Thursday, September 21, 2017 5:00pm to 7:00pm party at Bruno’s BBQ 230-G Mt. Hermon Road • Scotts Valley, California.
Sliding Scale: $30 – $50 Supporter: $250 Sponsor: $1,000.

Checks can be made payable to Friends of Mark Stone PO Box 81, Monterey, CA 93942 or contribute online at www.FriendsOfMarkStone.org For More Information Or To RSVP Please Contact: 831-234-5885

FASHIONART…THE 11th ANNUAL!!!
FashionART Santa Cruz brings together the very best of fashion and wearable art to create a one of a kind, unforgettable event. In 2006, Angelo Grova, of Michaelangelo Gallery, hosted a fashion show in the parking lot outside his gallery to help support a friend studying fashion design. Much to Grova’s surprise, more than 400 people showed up in his parking lot that night… and so, FashionART Santa Cruz was born. Encouraged by the overwhelming success of that evening Grova, along with a dedicated group of volunteers, moved the show to the Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium. Now an annual event, FashionART Santa Cruz showcases exquisite creations by emerging designers and spectacular, wearable art pieces. FashionART Santa Cruz takes the very best of fashion and art and brings them together to create a unique, colorful production full of surprises and creative talent. FashionART Santa Cruz is a full blown multi-media runway show featuring ready to wear from local and Bay Area designers and unique, one of a kind art pieces, all strutting down the runway for a truly unforgettable event. FashionART Santa Cruz 2017 will partner with non-profit organization, the Santa Cruz Education Foundation, who will receive partial proceeds from ticket sales. General Admission/Reserved Tickets. Tickets can be purchased from the Civic Auditorium by phone (831) 420-5260, in person, or online using the button below. It happens Saturday September 23, at the Civic Auditorium starting at 7 p.m. To purchase Premium Runway Seating tickets the day of show, contact FASC by phone: (831) 426-5500 or email: fashionartsantacruz@gmail.com And for sure don’t miss the TRUNK SHOW in the Civic parking lot that opens at 7 and goes on until after the Runway Show.

LISA JENSEN LINKS. Lisa writes: Lisa writes: “Check out the newest trailer from what may be one of my favorite movies of the year (hint: it’s from Guillermo del Toro) this week at Lisa Jensen Online Express (http://ljo-express.blogspot.com/). And if you’re feeling blue that the final season of Game Of Thrones won’t be broadcast until (gah!) 2019, cheer up with this on-set blooper reel!” Lisa has been writing film reviews and columns for Good Times since 1975.

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.

DOLORES. See both Chris Krohn’s and my “advice” and “promotion” of this very necessary documentary up above. We all have some opinion of Dolores Huerta based on rumor, poor memory and the ignoring by media. That’s why we should all see this film. It’s also strong on feminism and Gloria Steinem along with Angela Davis have much to add to Dolores’ near overwhelming labor organizing. Then too you’ll learn just how much aid and direction that Bobby Kennedy gave to Dolores. See this film and bring a good friend…or Republican. 100% on RT!!!

VICEROYS HOUSE. When you have Hugh Bonneville (from Downton Abbey) playing Lord Mountbatten it would seem to  guarantee a masterpiece but this saga about Britain leaving the control of India in 1947 and dividing that part of the country into Pakistan and India, but it’s dull and near-boring in its’ accuracy. You’ll see Ghandi, Churchill, newsreels, and corpses…and learn a lot of history about oil deposits in Pakistan. Go warned.

BEACH RATS. This is a very gay movie so… if you’re not gay don’t go, it’s a terrible movie.  If you are gay really don’t go!!! The acting the plot, the shallowness, will or should, infuriate you. There is no depth, no background, lots of violence, crotches, lying, but mostly bad acting. And don’t forget about the length of your index vs ring finger (see above). ENDS THURS. SEPT.21.

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.

THE BIG SICK. Kumail Nanjiani the Pakistani jerk from the “Silicon Valley” tv sit com not only wrote this plot but he and his real wife lived it. The film is a bit long but it’s well worth seeing. It’ll grab you when you least expect it. He’s a standup comic and falls in love with Zoe Kazan, a “white” girl. It’s heart rending, funny and  a tale told of cultural differences between his traditional Pakistani family and her very contemporary Mom  (Holly Hunter) and dad. Go see it…it’ll surprise you.(and I’ll predict some Awards around December-January). ENDS THURS. SEPT.21.

WIND RIVER. Jeremy Renner and young beauty Elisabeth Olsen track down a killer on an Indian Reservation in the very cold Wyoming winter. Much better than average, you’ll stay with the plot and quite decent acting…all the way. It males some obvious social comment along the way, and that works too. The conclusion is a bit crude and drunken, but Renner is almost always worth watching.

DUNKIRK. Acclaimed auteur Christopher Nolan directs this World War II thriller about the evacuation of Allied troops from the French city of Dunkirk before Nazi forces can take hold. co-star, with longtime Nolan collaborator Hans Zimmer providing the score.

Dunkirk is a city in France and during WWII the Nazis drove the allied troops to Dunkirk’s beaches. There were 400, 000 troops stranded there with no ships to take them to safety. Tom Hardy, Kenneth Branagh and Mark Rylance are in the film briefly and do fine acting jobs. The film is all war and is well made and directed…better than most war films. But with City Of Ghosts playing now that’s the one to see IF you like genuine war films.

ATOMIC BLONDE. Charlize Theron does a nearly perfect job as the Blonde in this James Bond – Berlin Wall era action movie. Very well done fight scenes, complex spy loyalty plot, John Goodman is getting more and more difficult to believe, and he’s in it too. James McAvoy is there too but he doesn’t matter much. It’ll be the first of many sequels believe me, even though it didn’t do that well on opening weekend. Charlize T. also produced the film, and it’s based on a graphic novel.

LOGAN LUCKY. This film has just about everything that should guarantee greatness or at least give you two hours of “Good Movie”. It’s a robbery movie that takes place at the annual Coca Cola NASCAR race in Concord North Carolina. Channing Tatum isn’t very impressive, but Adam Driver steals many, many scenes with his one arm. Katie Holmes is in it too but it’s Daniel Craig who is most watchable. It’s odd and weird but Hillary Swank shows up in the last few minutes that must hint that there’ll be Logan Lucky 2. Steven Soderbergh has done better.

WONDER WOMAN. IF you like comic book heroes or heroines (hope its ok to use that term) Wonder woman is several cuts about the usual no brainer/ violent/monster filled box office smashes we keep seeing. Gal Gadot is a former Miss Israel and we keep hearing about that. She plays W. Woman. Robin Wright, is in it too and she is a long time favorite of mine. She is Sean Penn’s ex. Chris Pine just jumps around looking like the usual Hollywood cutie pie. If you remember that she’s a comic book star and is supposed to battle, fight and pose in tight pants all the time you could enjoy this more than most of that ilk. Do remember too that Wonder Woman is a DC comics creation NOT a Marvel Comic character…there’s a big difference, and I was recently corrected on KZSC’s Bushwhackers Breakfast Club.

ANNABELLE:CREATION. This is supposed to be the prequel to the Conjuring series (in case you’ve seen this haunted doll series). You can stay home and write the tired old script in seconds. Dark cellar stairs, creepy doll in closet, innocent orphan girls, scarecrows, dumbwaiters,  you’ve seen it dozens of times if you haven’t been careful.

HOME AGAIN. Some friend used the word “torpor” in a meeting I attended last week. Torpor fits this movie almost perfectly…so does, stupor, inanity, vapid, fatuous and it stars Reese Witrherspoon. It’s not funny enough to be a comedy and not serious enough to be even close to a drama. A 40 year old woman (Witherspoon) rents/shares  her house to three young guys and they have sex…you shouldn’t watch. RT gives it 35 but it shouldn’t have. ENDS THURS. SEPT.21.

THE HITMANS BODYGUARD. Samuel L. Jackson probably says “motherfucker” at least 100 times in this car chase, bloody, violent flick. Audiences laugh nowadays at the violence and I have a tough time with that. Jackson is the Hit man and Ryan Reynolds is supposed to be his body guard for some reason that I slept through. Salma Hayek is supposed to be Jackson’s wife and I guess to prove it, she too says “motherfucker” at the very end of the movie. Don’t expect to enjoy Gary Oldman, because he only has about 10 lines.

THE TRIP TO SPAIN. This is the third supposed comedy that two British actors, comics, impressionists… Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon have made, and they shouldn’t make any more. These guys go on supposedly food tasting trips to restaurants in England, Italy and now Spain. In each restaurant and on the road they do imitations of famous British actors…James Bond, well Sean Connery, Michael Caine, and  Mick Jagger and try very hard to be funny. I haven’t laughed once during any of these contrived messes and find the two actors just about nauseating. Don’t blame me if you do decide to 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. . Jane Mio and Barbara Riverwoman from the San Lorenzo River Mysteries group start the hour on Sept.19.  After which Christina Morgan Cree and Jenny Sandrof reveal the fashion secrets of the annual FashionArt show happening Sept. 23.  September 26 has Conductor, artistic director Michel Singher talking about the next Espressivo Orchestra Concert, after Michel,  Betsy Anderson and Alison Carrillo talk about  Museo Carrillo. October 3 we’ll talk with Erik Gandolfini and Avondina Wills about the Mountain Top play at the Center Stage. On October 10 Phyllis Rosenblum discusses the Santa Cruz Chamber Players 2017-18 season. Gary Patton gives info and background on the Save Santa Cruz Organization on Oct.17. 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

If I didn’t post this before, I’m posting it now. And if I did, it’s worth watching again. This guy is hilarious 🙂

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. “AN AMALGAM”

“Man is by nature a political animal”, Aristotle
“People who think they know everything are a great annoyance to those of us who do”, Isaac Asimov
The saddest aspect of life right now is that science gathers knowledge faster than society gathers wisdom”. Isaac Asimov

“Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the former”. Albert Einstein

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Santa Cruz, CA 95060

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BEST OF VINTAGE STEVEN DeCINZO.

Deep Cover by Tim Eagan.

September 12 – 18, 2017

Highlights this week:

Earthquake hole on Pacific Avenue getting new development??..Garfield Circle Church reactions…Steve Pleich running for Supe in 2019…Greensite with updates on the Wharf and Hyatt…Krohn about marijuana concerns, the Mayors feedback session at MAH, plans for Downtown…Steinbruner deals with Taxpayers paying for Aptos Village road work, “Denser housing does not mean Affordable housing” sez County official, tough County pot laws developing, WILPF mtg. coming about water, drinking sewage water, lets help save Rancho del Mar businesses…Gary Patton  and Inescapable Trump facts, plus military equipment coming to our cities…DeCinzo and annual Civil War Tribute in Felton… Eagan and Global Warming and warning…Lisa Jensen asked to be Official Rotten Tomatoes Critic!!… I critique “It”, Home Again, and A Trip To Spain…and quotes about FALL.

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PACIFIC AVENUE PLAZA FOUNTAIN, August 23, 1967. The real name is The Morris Memorial Fountain. The Town Clock that towers over the fountain now was added July 4, 1976. Then on August 5, 1995 E.A. Chase’s statue “Collateral Damage” was placed a little to the east of the Clock Fountain.
    
photo credit: Covello & Covello Historical photo collection.

Additional information always welcome: email bratton@cruzio.com

10 Amazing Science Tricks Using Liquid These are fun!
Cloying DELIVERY But fascinating famous painting mysteries
HOW TO SURVIVE WHILE IN A FALLING ELEVATOR

DATELINE September 11, 2017

PACIFIC EARTHQUAKE PIT UP FOR DEVELOPMENT. It’s that last and most noticeable 1989 earthquake hole on Pacific Avenue where BookShop Santa Cruz used to be.  Developer Bill Brooks and Geoffrey Dunn tried to develop it awhile back, that didn’t work. Prior property owner Ron Lau had a tough time working with Neil Coonerty trying to rebuild something there…that flopped. Now developer Barry Swenson has glorious concepts for that prime location. He wants to develop 2 bedroom suites, all high priced rentals. Building right up to the sidewalk, and more than likely chopping down the historic Black Walnut tree on Center Street near Locust. Let’s see what our City Council does with this one.

STEVE PLEICH RUNNING FOR THIRD DISTRICT SUPERVISOR. Never saying die, Steve Pleich announced that he has already taken out papers to run for the Third District Supervisor’s job. In case you just got here, the Third District covers some of Santa Cruz city, Bonny Doon, Davenport, Swanton Road and Ryan Coonerty heads it up now. Ryan’s term ends January 7, 2019.

GARFIELD CIRCLE CHURCH. Sheila Carrillo wrote to tell us that a friend of hers “and one of the current tenants at the Circle Church is hopefully going to make an offer. It would be a performing arts/education complex and maybe even some co-housing. In the meantime, let’s let the church know that we don’t want a big development going in there. I suggest we start by calling the church–the pastor is Christopher Drury and the assistant is Kristen 426-0510   and let them know that our community wants the church to work with a buyer who will save the historic buildings, continue the church’s stewardship mission, and maintain the character of the neighborhood.. A bonus would be to continue to serve the current tenants who are primarily children and special needs groups. Hopefully, someone will set up an online petition. Si se puede!”

Then Sheila added, “Unfortunately, it  seems like the Circle Church is (and always was) a done deal. The whole thing was handled very sneakily by the church. The other thing you might want to explore, in a different direction, is the fact that some cities (Venice, Cal. and Hollywood for example) are building (REAL) affordable housing above city owned parking lots”.

STEVE PLEICH RUNNING FOR THIRD DISTRICT SUPERVISOR. Never saying die, Steve Pleich announced that he has already taken out papers to run for the Third District Supervisor’s job. In case you just got here, the Third District covers some of Santa Cruz city, Bonny Doon, Davenport, Swanton Road and Ryan Coonerty heads it up now.

REVISITS AND A CORRECTION

First a correction: In the August 30th issue of BrattonOnline I wrote on the proposed building of 3000 beds on the west side of campus at UCSC. From information shared by UCSC at a scoping meeting and confirmed by someone who attended a different meeting with UCSC, I noted that 900 of these beds will be new and the other 2100 will be to relieve pressure on converted lounges and doubles that are being used as triples. That information was incorrect. The 2100 beds will be new and the 900 will be to relieve pressure on existing resources. My apologies for the error.

Second, an update on the Don’t Morph the Wharf campaign: the Environmental Impact Report, which you may recall was a direct result of community and legal pressure on the city, has not yet been released. It most likely will be ready within the next couple of months. Meanwhile hundreds of people, most of them from Santa Cruz, are eagerly signing the Don’t Morph the Wharf petition. Many are prominent Santa Cruz natives, many are old-timers and most have never heard of the Wharf Master Plan. All are adamantly opposed to the particulars of the Plan when shown the consultant’s renditions of the proposed changes. The overwhelming sentiment expressed is, “We love the wharf the way it is: don’t mess with it!” When they hear that federal Tsunami Relief funds were obtained to pay for the Plan with the false claim that the wharf was “severely damaged” from the tsunami, a certain level of disgust is expressed. If you would like to gather some signatures on the petition, email me at gumtree@pacbell.net.

The former Unity Temple and late
Red Horse Chestnut on Broadway
Their replacement: Hyatt, Queen Palms
and Red Horse Chestnut sapling

Lastly, it’s time to revisit a tree issue. The first photo above is of the iconic 110 year-old Red Horse Chestnut tree that the city failed to protect under its Heritage Tree Ordinance and which was sacrificed, as was the neighborhood, for the recently completed Hyatt Hotel (at Broadway and Ocean Streets) as seen in the second photo.  Such is how the character of Santa Cruz is changed: for the worse in my opinion. If you squint you can spot a Red Horse Chestnut sapling planted in the far right hand side of the property, a required  mitigation for the loss of the 110 year-old tree. The original tree inspired an outpouring of love and a fierce devotion to try to save it. The sapling is cramped in a far corner with too little room to spread its future crown to the sky. No love lost there.

I had a chance to raise the issue of heritage tree protection with the newly hired Planning Director Lee Butler. I shared the observation that by the time a developer brings in a design to planning staff the process is well under way. Delineating heritage trees on a property early and before a design is contemplated is key. Sometimes that happens and sometimes it doesn’t. Developers should be alerted by planning staff that they are required under the ordinance to accommodate heritage trees wherever possible in their design prior to their spending time and money on its creation. That if they fail to do so they will be sent back to the drawing board. It should not be acceptable to create a design that fails to accommodate a heritage tree and then claim the tree is in the way and has to be cut down, which is what happened with the Hyatt design. By the time the public is made aware of a development a few days before it reaches city council for a vote it is usually too late to make significant changes. Well, council does have that power but few are prepared to wield it to save trees. Only Katherine Beiers, who was on the city council when the Hyatt was initially approved, voted against its approval over the tree loss issue. Bravo Katherine! Director Butler agreed that early timing is crucial and said he would look into it.  

Follow-up and scrutiny are also key. On a number of occasions I’ve had to contact the city to save a heritage tree that is slated for removal but which could easily be saved (the Frederick Street project) or to alert them that ground has been broken on a project and the heritage trees earmarked for protection are being damaged. The Seaside Company back-hoed trenches a few feet from the trunks and right through major roots of the 5 heritage trees earmarked for protection during their remodel of the Sea and Sand Inn on West Cliff.  A few years later, the city gave them an emergency permit to remove all 5 trees on the grounds of safety.  

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

Every Week…Something

Can’t believe another week went by and it’s already Sunday afternoon and here I am trying to churn out something at the Coffee Roasting Company (now that Pergolesi is no more) and going over my notes from another hectic week of meetings, forums, and get-togethers. Meetings with the new Planning Director, Lee Butler, the Mayor, the city manager, Beach Hill advocate and sometimes activist Don Webber, with Team WAMM and Team Planning Department on a new Marijuana ordinance coming soon, and with the redoubtable and always entertaining old-time Santa Cruz rabble-rousers of the Community Water Coalition. Pleasant Get-togethers included sit-downs with former Assembly Speaker Pro Tem and Santa Cruz County Treasurer, Fred Keeley who’s working on a county housing bond…and the other one with John Leopold, a Santa Cruz County Supervisor who had some push-back at me from my comments here last week, ‘So what’s the county doing on homelessness?’ John says county is doing plenty beginning with the success of the “All-in Plan,” hiring a full-time coordinator on homeless issues, and building transitional housing. And the main forum this week was a 50-resident discussion at the MAH, part of Mayor Cynthia Chase’s “listening tour” on housing. Even got to be on John Sandidge’s radio show with Culture Czar Grant Wilson and abogado extraordinaire, Ben Rice. (p.s. I’ve taken up “free yoga” too at Patagonia, 8:30a on Sundays.)

Team WAMM
The Wo/men’s Alliance for Medical Marijuana is the real deal. Their deeds are the stuff of legend. Their mission, to offer care, medicine, and concern to many sick and dying people, is more awesome, complicated and necessary now than it’s ever been. In case you just got to Santa Cruz, WAMM has been a force for peace, spiritual and mental healing, and patient’s rights going on 25 years. They were the major force behind passing California’s Prop 215, “the Compassionate Use Act,” in 1996, and then they were forced to take on the bullying tactics of John Ashcroft’s Attorney General’s office after their farm was raided in 2002 by the DEA (yes, that Drug Enforcement Agency). Mike and Valerie Coral, the founders of WAMM, were even detained and taken to a San Jose holding facility, their 136 plants pulled up, but it all ended on a “high” and defiant note. The WAMM club’s weekly patient distribution of medical marijuana took place on the steps of city hall in front of a thousand residents as a DEA helicopter flew overhead. Fast forward to today and WAMM is still fighting to be a licensed dispensary in the city of Santa Cruz, and it will be on the council agenda this week. In case you are wondering, ganga is now legal in California and the law is set to take effect January 1st. Questions apart from licensing WAMM, abound: 1) residents are allowed to grow six plants in their garden, but they must be out of sight from other humans. Why? 2) dispensaries must be 600 feet apart in the local ordinance, but I believe only 300 feet apart under state law…why? 3) There is farmland within the city of Santa Cruz where pot could be grown, but the local ordinance being proposed outlaw’s “cultivation” within city limits. Why? 4) Will plant nurseries be able to sell “six-packs of marijuana plants, in the “open?” 5) Smoking rooms are not allowed in the proposed Santa Cruz ordinance. Does this unfairly discriminate against the poor who have fewer options, and as a result will people be smoking marijuana openly on the streets where it is also not legal? 6) And perhaps most importantly, we need to demand that an organic product be the only kind of marijuana product allowed to be manufactured, processed and packaged here within the confines of Surf City. Branding is important, and if the Santa Cruz brand is not organic we stand to lose not only a part of our values, but a piece of the market as well.

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The San Francisco Mime Troupe’s production of “Walls,” was welcomed back to San Lorenzo Park by over 400 residents this past Sunday.

Odd stuff: If you look at the published minutes of last week’s city council closed session agenda item B, #2 you may wonder. I can’t say anything other than what is stated on the agenda, “Donald Harman v. City of Santa Cruz, et al. Northern District Court of California, Case No. 5:16-cv-034361.”

Hot stuff: The Downtown Recovery Plan Amendments and Downtown Association Executive Director, Chip!’s “Party” downtown on September 22nd. No one is sure what it is, but tickets cost $100. The locations to be visited from his web site look to be the new Glow Candle Lounge, MAH Secret Garden, and this just in from Chip!, “Downtown is constantly being redesigned. Representatives from Santa Cruz Economic Development Department and others will be on hand to talk about some of the exciting possibilities for Downtown including a Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium renovation, a permanent Kaiser Permanente Arena a renovation of SC Pacific Station and some very exciting housing projects right here in Downtown Santa Cruz.”Kinda makes you wonder what’s up that it costs a hundred bucks to see our downtown on that night and being ex-ed out of a discussion on some pretty big topics? Why wouldn’t they want to share this evening with everyone…for free?

Sleeper stuff: This is when those in power want you to look over there at the spot on the wall, while they’re downplaying (hiding?) what they are doing right in front of you. This week’s candidates for “Sleeper Stuff”…my fellow Santa Cruzans, keep your eyes on the Wharf Master Plan, the marijuana dispensary conversation and the subsequent ordinance(s), and the Downtown Recovery Plan.

~Bernie Quote of the Week
“I will do everything I possibly can to protect the DREAMers from being thrown out of the only country they have ever known.” (Sept. 8)

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

SIGN AN ONLINE PETITION TO SUPPORT RANCHO DEL MAR LOCAL BUSINESSES
TRC Retail, the owner of the Rancho del Mar Center in Aptos, has given the boot to all tenants in the old theater area, with a deadline of September 30 to be out.  That is no way to treat tenants who have reliably paid their rent and whom you want to support during a very disruptive remodel project, don’t you think?

You may recall that when Kaiser bought the CrossRoads Center in Watsonville last year, those tenants also received a 30-day eviction notice.  You may also recall that then-Mayor Felipe Hernandez stepped up to the leadership plate and negotiated a 90-day termination notice with Kaiser, which allowed the merchants to find new retail space and relocate in an organized manner that preserved their businesses and served the Community well.

Where is Supervisor Zach Friend?????  Silent, as usual, and smiling for the Aptos Times cameras.  Please sign this online petition that I was somehow able to create (technology is not my forte) and let Second District County Supervisor Zach Friend know you want him to help these people who will suffer great financial hardship.   He needs to negotiate the ability for them to stay in their current locations until the end of December.  Some, such as the Baskin-Robbins owner, must first secure corporate approval to relocate his franchised store, which can take two months alone.  A 30-day eviction notice is unacceptable and borders on cruel, especially considering that TRC Retail has known for many months that eviction would be the plan.

Sign the Petition

Sign the Petition

ZACH FRIEND <: SUPPORT LOCAL MERCHANTS IN RANCHO DEL MAR CENTER

So where is the County Economic Development Advisor, Ms. Barbara Mason?  It is her job to help merchants like these.  Our tax dollars pay her to do this.  She recently sat next to the TRC Retail people at the County Zoning Administrative hearing when they were seeking a variance for their four 12-foot-tall entrance signs.  Call 831-454-2100 and ask for Barbara Mason’s help to ensure that these small local business owners get help, too.  She has not responded to my multiple calls and e-mails, nor to those of the Rancho del Mar merchants who have been given the 30-day boot. 

While you’re on the phone, give Mr. Bruce Walton at TRC Retail a jingle (858) 442-9960 and remind him that he and other TRC staff assured the 300+ Community members at the public meetings that the existing tenants would be treated fairly.  Ask him to keep that good-faith promise to the public who supports those retailers and ask that the existing retailers be allowed to remain until the end of December, with first priority to move back in after the remodel is complete.

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WILL AUDIT SINK STATE WATER TUNNEL?
Well, there is a good question and some interesting investigation.  Take a look at this San Jose Mercury News article about government corruption.

A Federal audit concluded that $50 million in taxpayer money was used improperly by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation to subsidize San Joaquin Valley irrigation districts.  The money helped subsidize planning the water tunnel project when the irrigation districts were supposed to pay for the work.  According to the audit findings, only a small amount of the funds would be required to be repaid by the irrigation districts, under a special agreement.  Further, one of the chief Directors of the Westland Irrigation District, Mr. David Bernhardt, involved in the illegal $50 million deal, has been chosen by Donald Trump as the second in command for the Interior Department, which oversees the Bureau of Reclamation.  That places him in a position to give the irrigation districts preferential treatment in how the Interior Department implements the 2016 water legislation and permitting for the proposed tunnels.

Handy, don’t you think?  I wonder if Mr. Bernhardt has an office in Africa, next to Ellen Pirie’s?  It seems a safe place for hiding when the deals made become public.

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.

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

FROM GARY A. PATTON  From Gary’s “We Live In A Political World” website…

We’re including two of Gary’s Two World’s this week…

From Monday, September 11, 2017
“UNMINCED”

This is the inescapable fact: on November 9th, the United States elected a dishonest, inept, unbalanced, and immoral human being as its President and Commander-in-Chief. Trump has daily proven unyielding to appeals of decency, unity, moderation, or fact. He is willing to imperil the civil peace and the social fabric of his country simply to satisfy his narcissism and to excite the worst inclinations of his core followers.*
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* David Remnick, “The Divider,” The New Yorker, August 28, 2017

And from Sunday, September 10, 2017

#253 “I HAVE JUST A FEW SUPERFICIAL CONCERNS”

The Wall Street Journal reports that President Trump has “reinstated the ability of local police agencies to receive surplus military equipment, including grenade launchers….” See above for a picture of a grenade launcher. Click the link above for the entire article. Click here for a commentary!

Quoting again from The Wall Street Journal article, “Civil-rights activists criticized the move, saying having military vehicles and similar equipment in local communities … suggests a police force at war with residents. They also said the programs have few rules to control how the equipment is used and ensure officers are trained to use it properly.”

And here is one final quote from the article, outlining the position of the Trump Administration:

Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the change in a speech before the National Fraternal Order of Police, the nation’s largest police union. “We will not put superficial concerns above public safety,” Mr. Sessions told police officers, according his prepared remarks.

If you think it is a “superficial concern” that the federal government apparently wants to turn our local police agencies into armed combat units, with full military capabilities, then you will probably go to sleep tonight feeling safer, understanding that your police department may soon be mobilizing grenade launchers (and similar military equipment) against civil rights demonstrators and other kinds of bad guys. 

I have an opposite opinion. It’s like they say about the movies, or a play: “Once you show the audience the gun, you know it has to be used.”

I don’t want my city to end up looking like some town in Syria. Think about what kind of damage a “grenade launcher” can do on your city streets.

I have been urging, for some time, that we put the “war metaphor” to rest, as a fundamentally inappropriate way to understand the reality of our life. Putting military combat gear in the hands of our local police is a non-superficial escalation of violence in the heart of our local communities. That’s my opinion, at least.

Despite the federal government’s desire to outfit our local police with military equipment, local police departments and other law enforcement agencies don’t have to participate in the program. Contact your City Council and County elected officials. Get them to adopt an official policy for your community that will prohibit the use of any military equipment by local law enforcement (and may I say, especially “grenade launchers”).

(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

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CLASSICAL DeCINZO. Reliving and paying tribute to the the Civil War in Felton (Roaring Camp). Scroll downward a ways…think about it!!!

EAGAN’S DEEP COVER. See Eagan’s ” Global Warming/Warning” 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: “Feast your eyes on the fabulously dark and romantic new cover of my next book, Beast: A Tale of Love and Revenge, this week at Lisa Jensen Online Express (http://ljo-express.blogspot.com/). Also, take a look at my newly arrived Advanced Reader Copies, for a first glimpse of Beast in book-like form. And don’t look now, but yours truly has just been invited to join the roster of “Tomatometer-approved” movie critics over at Rotten Tomatoes!” Lisa has been writing film reviews and columns for Good Times since 1975

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.

HOME AGAIN. Some friend used the word “torpor” in a meeting I attended last week. Torpor fits this movie almost perfectly…so does, stupor, inanity, vapid, fatuous and it stars Reese Witrherspoon. It’s not funny enough to be a comedy and not serious enough to be even close to a drama. A 40 year old woman (Witherspoon) rents/shares  her house to three young guys and they have sex…you shouldn’t watch. RT gives it 35 but it shouldn’t have.

THE TRIP TO SPAIN. This is the third supposed comedy that two British actors, comics, impressionists… Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon have made, and they shouldn’t make any more. These guys go on supposedly food tasting trips to restaurants in England, Italy and now Spain. In each restaurant and on the road they do imitations of famous British actors…James Bond, well Sean Connery, Michael Caine, and  Mick Jagger and try very hard to be funny. I haven’t laughed once during any of these contrived messes and find the two actors just about nauseating. Don’t blame me if you do decide to go.

MENASHE. An excellent story about life in a Hasidic Jewish community in New York. A young father tries with all his might to raise his young son in this orthodox world. It’s subtitled and all in Yiddish with subtitles. Go see it.  ENDS THURS. 9/14

TULIP FEVER. Christopher Waltz and Alicia Vikander have the leads in this complex, twisted plot that somehow is based on a legendary tulip mania in Amsterdam in the 1700’s . It has beautiful costumes and ok photography but the story line is so pointless, that you’ll sleep during ¾ of the film. A sad disappointment. 10 on RT. ENDS THURS. 9/14

WIND RIVER. Jeremy Renner and young beauty Elisabeth Olsen track down a killer on an Indian Reservation in the very cold Wyoming winter. Much better than average, you’ll stay with the plot and quite decent acting…all the way. It males some obvious social comment along the way, and that works too. The conclusion is a bit crude and drunken, but Renner is almost always worth watching.

THE BIG SICK. Kumail Nanjiani the Pakistani jerk from the “Silicon Valley” tv sit com not only wrote this plot but he and his real wife lived it. The film is a bit long but it’s well worth seeing. It’ll grab you when you least expect it. He’s a standup comic and falls in love with Zoe Kazan, a “white” girl. It’s heart rending, funny and  a tale told of cultural differences between his traditional Pakistani family and her very contemporary Mom  (Holly Hunter) and dad. Go see it…it’ll surprise you.(and I’ll predict some Awards around December-January).

DUNKIRK. Acclaimed auteur Christopher Nolan directs this World War II thriller about the evacuation of Allied troops from the French city of Dunkirk before Nazi forces can take hold. co-star, with longtime Nolan collaborator Hans Zimmer providing the score.

Dunkirk is a city in France and during WWII the Nazis drove the allied troops to Dunkirk’s beaches. There were 400, 000 troops stranded there with no ships to take them to safety. Tom Hardy, Kenneth Branagh and Mark Rylance are in the film briefly and do fine acting jobs. The film is all war and is well made and directed…better than most war films. But with City Of Ghosts playing now that’s the one to see IF you like genuine war films.

THE GLASS CASTLE. Woody Harrelson, Naomi Watts and especially Brie Larson bring this autobiographical life story to the screen. “Dysfunctional family” doesn’t come close to describing their family problems. The problem is that Woody Harrelson almost always plays exactly Woody Harrelson (as do John Goodman,Vin Diesel, Sylvester Stallone, etc.) He’s an incurable drunk and takes his family on his 100’s of trips through hell. It qualifies as a sob story except that Brie Larsen is just mesmerizing and perfect in the role. Plus you have to believe that Naomi Watts is an old wrinkled mountain woman married for life to Woody. ! Go see it and bring a hanky.

ATOMIC BLONDE. Charlize Theron does a nearly perfect job as the Blonde in this James Bond – Berlin Wall era action movie. Very well done fight scenes, complex spy loyalty plot, John Goodman is getting more and more difficult to believe, and he’s in it too. James McAvoy is there too but he doesn’t matter much. It’ll be the first of many sequels believe me, even though it didn’t do that well on opening weekend. Charlize T. also produced the film, and it’s based on a graphic novel.

WONDER WOMAN. IF you like comic book heroes or heroines (hope its ok to use that term) Wonder woman is several cuts about the usual no brainer/ violent/monster filled box office smashes we keep seeing. Gal Gadot is a former Miss Israel and we keep hearing about that. She plays W. Woman. Robin Wright, is in it too and she is a long time favorite of mine. She is Sean Penn’s ex. Chris Pine just jumps around looking like the usual Hollywood cutie pie. If you remember that she’s a comic book star and is supposed to battle, fight and pose in tight pants all the time you could enjoy this more than most of that ilk. Do remember too that Wonder Woman is a DC comics creation NOT a Marvel Comic character…there’s a big difference, and I was recently corrected on KZSC’s Bushwhackers Breakfast Club.

PATTI CAKES. A youngster in New Jersey tries to make it in show biz…you’ve seen this 100’s of times before only not with an overweight unloved pudge as the star. It’s too corny and too predictable and too sad to be a comedy. If you like, or better yet if you LOVE rap music you’ll like this film much more than I did. ENDS THURS. 9/14

LOGAN LUCKY. This film has just about everything that should guarantee greatness or at least give you two hours of “Good Movie”. It’s a robbery movie that takes place at the annual Coca Cola NASCAR race in Concord North Carolina. Channing Tatum isn’t very impressive, but Adam Driver steals many, many scenes with his one arm. Katie Holmes is in it too but it’s Daniel Craig who is most watchable. It’s odd and weird but Hillary Swank shows up in the last few minutes that must hint that there’ll be Logan Lucky 2. Steven Soderbergh has done better.

SPIDERMAN: HOMECOMING. Michael Keaton completely steals every movie he’s ever made and he sure does playing an evil “Vulture” in this latest version of the web spinner (there have been at least 13 versions of Spidey on TV and the movies!!) Spidey is a high school student with Teresa Tomei as his mom. Robert Downey jr. is back as Iron Man. It doesn’t matter much but Gwyneth Paltrow is in it too. It’s a little better than most of the Marvel Comics hero movies but not much.

ANNABELLE: CREATION. This is supposed to be the prequel to the Conjuring series (in case you’ve seen this haunted doll series). You can stay home and write the tired old script in seconds. Dark cellar stairs, creepy doll in closet, innocent orphan girls, scarecrows, dumbwaiters,  you’ve seen it dozens of times if you haven’t been careful.

THE HITMANS BODYGUARD. Samuel L. Jackson probably says “motherfucker” at least 100 times in this car chase, bloody, violent flick. Audiences laugh nowadays at the violence and I have a tough time with that. Jackson is the Hit man and Ryan Reynolds is supposed to be his body guard for some reason that I slept through. Salma Hayek is supposed to be Jackson’s wife and I guess to prove it, she too says “motherfucker” at the very end of the movie. Don’t expect to enjoy Gary Oldman, because he only has about 10 lines.

I DO…UNTIL I DON’T . It’s supposed to be a comedy about a documentarian making a film about marriage. It stars Lake Bell, Ed Helms, and mostly Mary Steenburgen. Miserable acting, pointless plot twists about fidelity and marriage and goes in absolutely no direction with a boring ending. ENDS THURS. 9/14

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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. UCSC’s Professor of Earth Sciences Gary Griggs discusses his newest book, “Coasts In Crisis” on Sept.12. Then Patricia Rain talks about her 2nd annual Vanilla Festival. Jane Mio and Barbara Riverwoman from the San Lorenzo River Mysteries group starts the hour on Sept.19.  After which Christina Morgan Cree reveals the fashion secrets of the annual FashionArt show happening Sept. 23.  September 26 has Conductor, artistic director Michel Singher talking about the next Espressivo Orchestra Concert happening Oct.15. October 3 we’ll talk with Erik Gandolfini and Avondina Wills about The MountainTop play at the Center Stage. On October 10 Phyllis Rosenblum discusses the Santa Cruz Chamber Players 2017-18 season. Gary Patton gives info and background on the Save Santa Cruz Organization on Oct.17. 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

I love this guy 🙂 He brings me back to my adolescence 🙂

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. “FALL”

“Spring passes and one remembers one’s innocence.
Summer passes and one remembers one’s exuberance.
Autumn passes and one remembers one’s reverence.
Winter passes and one remembers one’s perseverance.”
Yoko Ono

“At no other time (than autumn) does the earth let itself be inhaled in one smell, the ripe earth; in a smell that is in no way inferior to the smell of the sea, bitter where it borders on taste, and more honeysweet where you feel it touching the first sounds. Containing depth within itself, darkness, something of the grave almost.”
? Rainer Maria Rilke,

“What makes a hero? Courage, strength, morality, withstanding adversity? Are these the traits that truly show and create a hero? Is the light truly the source of darkness or vice versa? Is the soul a source of hope or despair? Who are these so called heroes and where do they come from? Are their origins in obscurity or in plain sight?”
? Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Notes from Underground

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

Direct email: Bratton@Cruzio.com
Direct phone: 831 423-2468
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BEST OF VINTAGE STEVEN DeCINZO.

Deep Cover by Tim Eagan.