January 16 – 22, 2018

Highlights this week:
Where’s the Revolution, UCSC Students as Immigrants, No on Nissan, Public Cannabis meeting…Greensite on further growth at UCSC…Krohn on MLK March and UCSC Moratorium…Steinbruner and Nisene Marks parking, Nissan EIR on Feb12, Redman-Hirahara and Merriman Houses, Aptos Fire chief news, Soquel Creek and Aptos Village water issue…Patton and 25th amendment and impeachment…DeCinzo and early immigrant problems…Eagan and a national health alert…Munching With Mozart…New Music Works…Radical Mindfulness Class…Jensen and Call Me By Your Name…I critique The Post and Call Me By Your Name…Universal Grapevine guest list….Quotes about MUD.
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61 YEARS AGO THIS WEEK ON PACIFIC AVENUE. This is a March Of Dimes Promotion happening at J.J. Newberrys (later Woolworths) store at the corner of Pacific and Walnut streets on January 17,1957. You can see the Bank of America (New Leaf now) right at the corner, and we can almost read the marquee of the Del Mar theatre through the store windows. If you squint carefully you can see quite a few young girls in the group along with the boys.                                       

photo credit: Covello & Covello Historical photo collection.

Additional information always welcome: email bratton@cruzio.com

TOMMY SMOTHERS IMITATING JOHNNY CARSON. Just for old timers, who remember these guys.

Bee Gees accompany some North Korean marching and North Korea needs some humor!!!

DATELINE January 15, 2018

WHERE’S THE REVOLUTION? Doesn’t it seem to you, as much as it does to me, that with all the NATIONAL support, fire, eagerness and need to demonstrate, march, and protest in infinite ways… that all we really lack is a leader, to get almost all Americans to really revolt? More than just waiting for the local elections, more than knitting and picking and choosing our local candidates, but aactually revolt…as in REVOLUTION ?

UCSC STUDENTS-OUR IMMIGRANTS! What’s terribly wrong with our reaction to the news that UCSC is estimating 10,000 new students in 22 years? We should be, and mostly are overjoyed that young people are jamming our colleges. It says so much positive good for their hopes and plans and also so much bad about our colleges and our community’s lack of plans and faulty policies. More details follow further down in both Gillian Greensite’s and Chris Krohn’s articles.

NO TO AUTO ROW! Or NIX ON NISSAN!
Bob Morgan is a very community-involved guy. Bob is a former high school English teacher and K-12 principal. He’s active in Climate Action and local transportation issues. Plus he’s also active with Campaign for Sensible Transportation, and now Sustainable Soquel. He emailed to say… “A looming disaster in progress, the 29,000 square foot aesthetic nightmare of a NISSAN car dealership at the corner of 41st and Soquel Dr., is an enormous mistake. This is the proposed site for the OUT OF TOWN (from VISALIA) NISSAN DEALERSHIP OWNER DON GROPETTI’S ITALIAN CREAM-—HIS MAMMOTH NEW AUTO DEALERSHIP. Don Gropetti doesn’t care if he’s from Visalia and helped to make congestion and greenhouse gas emissions worse in the once beautiful San Joaquin Valley with his FIVE auto dealerships, because he now calls his palazzo on Carmel’s 17 Mile Drive home. Oh, that fresh Pacific Ocean air! No worries about his newest venture: it completely DISREGARDS the wishes of the community, so caringly (and dutifully) crafted during community workshops in Soquel. These “community input” sessions that brought out so many car dealership issues and were designed to put together Santa Cruz County’s Planning staff’s “SANTA CRUZ COUNTY SUSTAINABLE PLAN”, now are being laughed at by that same County Planning Department. Re-zone? Change the General Plan?, Ignore the Sustainable Plan?, make a more industrially intense use of the land?  No problem, says the County.

Some of the workshop’s lofty tenets were that we need to build community, create connections among residents, and guide our community development with a VISION of mixed retail and housing, walkability and bike-riding along safe roads on a scale suitable for Soquel. I guess former County Economic Developer, BARBARA MASON, and replacement ANDY CONSTABLE, a former real estate developer from San Jose, now living here (new Central Coast residents love being FROM San Jose and Visalia), landed a big county catch — helping to justify Constable’s yearly $250,000 salary and benefits package. So, Soquel Village neighbors will just have to deal with being a regional destination hub for automobile buyers who will come and go, leaving locals in the dust and exhaust, fighting more traffic, noise and glaring LEDs while they stare at the homogenized behemoth at the gateway to their village, and wonder what could have been. What about all that “community input” to create the Santa Cruz County Sustainable Plan? So much for “sustaining” the unique community zeitgeist of Soquel. Heck, soon enough we might even look like Visalia and San Jose — seen one auto dealership, seen ’em all. The project has some ways to go before final Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors’ approval, so we can still RESIST this mistake by telling our County Board of Supervisors, NO. Instead, respect the community-generated Santa Cruz County Sustainable Plan and keep our trust. Trust in community needs to be the Supervisors’ mantra. (Are you listening, John Leopold?) Email, write or call your County Supervisor if you care what happens to our community. It’s a bad idea for Soquel. It’s time to BOYCOTT NISSAN. Say NO to Auto Row!”

CANNABIS MEETING FOR EVERYONE. Jim Coffis, the deputy director of Green Trade which is “a coalition of Cannabis Businesses” sent this press release Monday Jan. 15…

THE FUTURE OF CANNABIS IN SANTA CRUZ COUNTY
A public meeting on the future of cannabis in the County of Santa Cruz will be held Wednesday evening, January 24, at the Resource Center for Nonviolence, 612 Ocean Street in Santa Cruz beginning at 7 pm. Hosted by a coalition of cannabis advocates, representing consumers, patients, caregivers, environmentalists, small growers and others involved in the local cannabis trade, the meeting is open to the public. The imminent release of the million dollar, year long, Environmental Impact Report on commercial cannabis is expected to renew the debate on the shape of local regulations. The Board of Supervisors is expected to take up the issue in early February.

Learn about your existing rights, current and proposed state and local regulations, and the economic viability and impact of cannabis in our community. Hear about the short and long-term future and how it will affect access, availability, cost, production and the environment.

Advocates supporting improved access to medical and adult use products and licenses; best farming practices; environmental improvement and social justice will share their insights.  

Experts will be on hand for one on one advice on the regulatory process, consumer rights, and best practices. Leaders and luminaries from the local cannabis community will speak on the current state of affairs and the next steps that need to be taken. All interested stakeholders are invited to explore available options to ensure the preservation of our unique and rich cannabis heritage in this new era of legalization”.

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.

Dateline (January 15, 2018)

TIME FOR AN ENROLLMENT CAP
As locals opened their newspapers on January 13th I imagined a collective community gasp of dismay at the headline: UCSC plans for sizeable growth.”  The impacts of current UCSC growth on its host town of Santa Cruz are as obvious as a poke in the eye and no less painful: escalating rents; local families outbid by groups of students and gridlock traffic. On campus, the negative impacts from UCSC growth are also painful: escalating rents; shortage of bed space; overcrowded classrooms, buses, facilities and resources. Only those at the top isolated in their ivory tower would fail to conclude that further increases in student enrollment are unsustainable, for the town, for the students and for the unique natural environment of the Cowell Ranch, site of UCSC, itself.

In response to the impacts of the current level of student enrollment, the Chancellor retorted: “the notion that we’re going to cap enrollment and live with a capped enrollment is simply not realistic in the world we live in.”  A “pipe dream.” While I have long admired the current chancellor, that is until he falsified a state audit at the request of UC president Napolitano, I found his comment dismissive at best. Or maybe we do live in distinctly different realities. Ours is one of financial uncertainty, ever -rising rents, dislocated low wage, local workers, traffic nightmares and strained resources. His is one of expanding graduate programs and a larger UCSC as a prominent research institution.  This departure from the original vision for UCSC as a predominantly undergraduate campus no doubt has its cheerleaders. At some point however the rubber hits the road and the chancellor’s reality has to grapple with finite limits and real life impacts of such growth.

A familiar refrain to justify continued growth at UCSC is that demand for a UC education is growing. This is true and has been for the last two decades. It is also why a new campus was funded and built as UC Merced. The University of California is a system of ten campuses and a student is guaranteed a first class education at each and every campus. Commonsense dictates that if growth at one campus is negatively impacting the finite resources of its host community then further growth could and should be directed towards a campus whose enrollment is under 7,000 students. Arguments that students would prefer to live in Santa Cruz rather than Merced are outweighed not only by the exorbitant rents in Santa Cruz but also because we are beyond carrying capacity on every meaningful measure of quality of life. You notice that UC Merced is rarely raised in discussions about UCSC growth impacts.  The reason for that omission has less to do with concerns about student preferences for the coast and more about faculty and department jostling for greater resources and power, in my opinion. In other words, concern about growth impacts on our town doesn’t enter the picture. Nor, apparently does concern for the natural environment of this former Cowell Ranch. The proposal to locate the proposed 3000 beds (2100 are new, 900 are to relieve current overcrowded dorms) on the meadow at the corner of Hagar and Coolidge Drives may not arouse concern for those who see just acreage to build on, but for those who know the invaluable and unique natural environment that encompasses UCSC and which is a treasure for study, research and preservation, it is a sad departure from the founding values and vision for UCSC. Nor will such public/private building on campus lower rents for students on or off campus, let alone non-student residents in town since ten thousand more students on campus means five thousand of them will be living off-campus. If you think things are bad now…just wait. But waiting is what we cannot afford to do.

Our elected representatives at the city, county and state level must make it clear to the Regents and the Office of the President that a cap on enrollment at UCSC is critical for our survival as a community. And for those elected who have a conflict of interest because of ties to UCSC, remember which end of the hill you were elected to represent”.

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(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

Dateline January 15.2018

2 TWO Photos of the week.

Cooper Street closed for the large march on MLK Day! Over 2000 marched.

Super community activist, Ernestina Saldana holds her “Bell of Freedom” award, given to her this past Sunday by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU). Justly and richly deserved. Si se puede!

January 15 2018

The notion that we’re going to cap enrollment and live with a capped enrollment is simply not realistic in the world we live in,” (UCSC Chancellor George) Blumenthal said at a news meeting Thursday. “I think it’s a pipe dream, because the demand for the UC education is increasing by leaps and bounds.”

Santa Cruz Sentinel, 1-12-18

We call it a moratorium, you call it a cap, let’s call the whole thing off!

UCSC Chancellor George Blumenthal named the elephant in the room last week and yes, it’s a 10,000-pound one! In a community of 60,000, ten thousand more students are really a lot. You heard right, Blumenthal’s opening salvo at our UCSC-city community is a Long-Range Development Plan that will add a whopping 10,000 additional bodies to Santa Cruz and grow the university to 28,000. Will Santa Cruz become a university with a city somewhere on the campus? Will campus growth effectively create a Town dressed up and encased in a towering Gown? Twenty-eight thousand is a figure not even envisioned by the most dreamy and visionary planners way back in the day.

The 28,000 number seems to have been thrown out by an ambivalent bureaucracy that is playing perhaps an unwitting part in the deterioration of a once great coastal town. UC Administrators on the hill are either afraid to tell their bosses in Oakland the hard truth that there is no more room at the inn, or are they just resigned to a different truth that California students must go somewhere so why not here? Perhaps, this figure is an early trial balloon, put out by the administration to see how much pushback there might be by townies, student activists, county supervisors, and city councilmembers? No one I know does not want all California children to experience a UC education, but this UC city is maxed out. There are nine other campuses and the state legislature ought to be planning for even more. The city of Santa Cruz, given its size, resources, and carrying capacity has reached its limit. No más after 19,500.

T-W-E-N-T-Y E-I-G-H-T  T-H-O-U-S-A-N-D Students?
I’m a member of CAG, the Community Advisory Group of 22 that was set up by the university to advise on the 2020 Long Range Development Plan (LRDP) process. The LRDP is the university’s “general plan” document and its already begun in earnest some two years before it is due to be submitted to the UC Regents. Chancellor Blumenthal and his assistant, Executive Vice Chancellor, Marlene Tromp who is mostly responsible for the UCSC budget, spoke to our group last Friday and dropped the bombshell: T-W-E-N-T-Y-E-I-G-H-T  T-H-O-U-S-A-N-D. It was not received well by most of the CAG. Although the Chancellor offered an olive branch when he said, “This needs to be a meaningful group (CAG) that provides meaningful input,” and then proceeded to pan the 2005 UCSC administration for not asking for enough community involvement back then. Blumenthal said, “I was struck by how little input there was from the community, it showed a lack of sensitivity on the part of campus.” Strong sentiments. I’m glad he wants to know our perspective, but those present wondered in various ways if things would be any different this time around, and if our community input would actually be taken seriously. After Blumenthal and Tromp left the room the CAG members were directed to pair up “with someone you don’t know,” and discuss our “core concerns” and be ready to report back to the group what those concerns are. We were limited to three. I immediately sought out someone who I thought might be my political opposite and there across the room was the former Sentinel editor, California secretary of state, assembly member, and current member of the Santa Cruz board of supervisors, Bruce McPherson. Turns out he and I share some similar concerns about university growth. We both liked it that the “U” wanted the community engaged in the LRDP process, but we were surprised by the 10,000-growth figure and wondered if it was simply a negotiating tool. Both of us agreed we want to see what resources UC will contribute to support these students before they arrive to our community. Financial resources that would cover their growth in the areas of housing, transportation, and water McPherson said. Moving around the large set of tables that formed a horseshoe at the Museum of Art and History downtown, each CAG member stated their “core concerns,” and they didn’t sound too supportive of growing the university more. I note a few of those concerns here:

Ted Benhari of Bonny Doon and the Committee to Limit University Growth (CLUE) said his concerns were the “quality of life impacts on the community and maintaining the urban services line…” Bill Tysseling, retired and the former Exec. Dir. of Santa Cruz Chamber of Commerce said, “Funding of infrastructure, and an eastern access [road] has to occur or we have to keep everyone on campus.”Cynthia Mathews, Santa Cruz city councilmember noted that “UCSC will completely dominate…basically you will have a company town. We need to avoid a monoculture.”John Aird, Healthcare Executive and CLUE member was emphatic, “Fifty-percent growth is flat-out unacceptable.”Andy Schiffrin an Aide in Supervisor Ryan Coonerty’s office and also a Santa Cruz political observer for over 40 years said, “Input is meaningless without accountability…it would take a legislative solution…it’s a political problem that we have…”Robert Orrizzi said the university must “stop growth until beds are on-line because the currently planned 3000 beds will not be going in until 2020, so don’t grow anymore until those are in place.”

“An LRDP is like a city’s general plan. It designates areas of campus for certain types of use: open space, for example, or housing. It does not mandate growth.” (my emphasis)

–Chancellor George Blumenthal, Jan. 12, 2018

Pipe Dreams Revisited: “Ain’t no power like the power of the people and the power of the people don’t stop!

The community is calling for a moratorium on student growth until city services can catch up in the areas of housing, traffic, and water infrastructure. A five-year moratorium sounds about right. Blumenthal was quoted in the Santa Cruz Sentinel last week calling a cap on enrollment “a pipe dream.” Well, since we have a lot of dreamers in this town, we get called a lot of names. Pipe dreams are something we know about. Stopping a good-ole-boy convention hotel on Lighthouse Field was once considered a pipe dream; voters dreamed of approving the purchase of greenbelt lands–a choice of taxing ourselves to buy open space was pipe dreamy; stopping developers from building 10,000 homes on Wilder Ranch was at first an activist pipe dream; preserving the Beach Flats Community Garden for the community is still in the “pipe dream” stages, a work in progress. And of course, there was everybody’s favorite little pipe dream that would just not go away, the legalization of first, medical marijuana and now complete legalization. Some pipe dreams just will not die. This community’s been known to dream big. One might also ask which is the bigger pipe dream, a moratorium on accepting more students beyond the current cap of 19,500, or allowing ten thousand additional bodies to migrate here from all parts of California and beyond, to an already crowded Surf City? Will they be told there is no more housing here? Hey Regents, game on.

Bernie Tweet of the Week;
“Republicans in Congress must now summon the courage to stand up to the racist ramblings of our “stable genius” president. Democratic and Republican senators must continue efforts to produce a bi-partisan Dream Act to be voted on by the Senate as part of the overall budget deal.” (Jan. 12)

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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.

Email Becky at KI6TKB@yahoo.com

SANTA CRUZ COUNTY PLANNING DEPARTMENT APPROVES APTOS VILLAGE PROJECT PHASE 2…SAN JOSE AT THE ENTRANCE TO NISENE MARKS STATE PARK?
On January 10, County Planner Randall Adams quietly approved the massive building design and use changes for Phase 2 of the Aptos Village Project that will, if built, create a San Jose-like character at the very entrance to Nisene Marks State Park and further aggravate existing near-gridlock traffic.  The modifications allow three-story structures throughout in Buildings 1,2,8,9,10 located behind the Aptos Station commercial area.   I only learned that it had been approved when I had time to visit the Planning Department Records Room January 11 (Thursday) just before the 4pm closing to the public.  Last week when I visited there, no Aptos Village Project records were available to review except the proposed Phase 2 modifications…but nothing else with which to compare them in order to determine the exact nature of the proposed modifications. 

How can the public comment on modifications when it is not clear exactly how the Project is being modified?  I wrote Assistant Planning Director, Wanda Williams (you may recall that Planning Director Kathy Previsich has recused herself from involvement because she and her husband have financially benefitted from the Project) and Project Planner Randall Adams to ask, but neither replied.  Neither replied to my question about how the general public can review the material if unable to visit the Planning Department Records Room during the limited hours it is open to the public. I figured out on my own that if one visits the County Planning Department website, click on the left hand menu bar “Pending Projects”, click on “Level 4 Discretionary Projects” and then search for Application #171292 and click on the application number, the material is there.  Here is the link to what comes up.

In order to compare those plans with what PREVIOUS Discretionary Approvals have morphed the Project, one must find the materials for Application # 151005, which massively changed the layout of the Project and may have changed some of the building designs, too.  That is what Randall Adams approved in 2015 that changed the layout of the new Aptos Village Way internal street and necessitated dividing Building 6 into two buildings 6A and 6B to flank the new road at Trout Gulch, moved the Soquel Creek Water District’s new Granite Way Well site location to the corner of Trout Gulch Road /Cathedral Drive (where the clay layer is so deep that production will be minimal), reduced the size of the County Park Parcel (which allowed the County to waive the $1000/bedroom park developer fees for the 144 bedrooms), added an additional 6 residential units but did not increase the number of affordable units, reduced the number of parking spaces near the County Park Parcel (the Planner recommended just adding more to the on-street parking along Aptos Creek Road),  and other massive changes that PROBABLY CONSTITUTED A NEW PROJECT. 

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

“CONNECT THE DROPS”  REGIONAL WATER WORKSHOP SCHEDULED FOR FEBRUARY 1 AT NEW BRIGHTON MIDDLE SCHOOL
Mark your calendar for this “State of the Groundwater” educational event sponsored by Santa Cruz County Local Area Formation Commission Office (LAFCO).  It will be held at New Brighton Middle School in Capitola, 6pm-8pm, with a keynote speaker from the State Dept. of Water Resources featured along with representatives of all local water agencies. 

It is unknown if the public will be given any time for PUBLIC question and answer, or whether people will be directed (as was the case at the last similar event) to tables of interest.  I hope the people will be able to ask questions publicly because last time, when the second option occurred, the place became so chaotic you had to shout to be heard when asking a question at one of the informational tables.  I expect we will hear glowing reports from Soquel Creek Water District about their “preferred project” PureWater Soquel and plans to inject treated sewage water into the area’s groundwater supply….against public protest.  How can this District boast of “Transparency Awards”???

I hope to see you there…I’ll be handing out information about the “Water for Santa Cruz” group who seeks to find a solution to the area’s water distribution issues that won’t risk health and safety problems and that ratepayers can afford.
Happy Martin Luther King Day….we will continue to uphold and continue to fight for that Dream

~Becky

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#14/ Before It’s Too Late?

Dateline January 14, 2018

Just How Stupid Is Trump?” That’s the title of an opinion piece published on January 8, 2018, by Robert Reich. Reich served as Secretary of Labor under President Bill Clinton, and is now employed by the University of California. He is, besides holding down his university position, a prominent political pundit. Reich doesn’t think that President Trump is necessarily stupid, but he does think that our president poses “a clear and present danger to America and the world.” 

Reich concludes his article by saying:

The 25th Amendment must be invoked before it’s too late.

The 25th Amendment is pretty complicated. Click the link if you would like a briefing on how it works. My own sense is that neither the 25th Amendment nor an impeachment of the president is going to rescue the nation (and the world). This is also the conclusion of The New York Times editorial board. On January 10th, quite possibly in direct response to what Reich said, The Times ran an editorial with the following title: “Is Mr. Trump Nuts?” 

Is he “nuts,” or is he “stupid,” and what should we do about it? The Times evaluates both impeachment and the use of the 25th Amendment, and comes to the following conclusion, which I believe is right on target:

The best solution is the simplest: Vote, and organize others to register and to vote. If you believe Donald Trump represents a danger to the country and the world, you can take action to rein in his power. In November, you can help elect members of Congress who will fight Mr. Trump’s most dangerous behaviors. If that fails, there’s always 2020.

The fact that we have placed a highly unsuitable person in charge of the Executive Branch of our government does not mean that we our normal governmental processes are no longer functional. In fact, they are!

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CLASSICAL DeCINZO. The more than omniscient DeCinzo gives us an inside view of Immigrant issues…see below.

EAGAN’S DEEP COVER. See Eagan’s “National Health Alert#13” 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 provocative “Roll of The Dice” in his Eaganblog.

MUNCHING WITH MOZART THURSDAY.
The MWM concert series presents The Wild Coast Brass. The Wild Coast Brass features  Kevin Jordan, Trumpet-Charles Old, Trumpet- Ruth Jordan, Horn-Steve Mortensen, Trombone and  James Paoletti onTuba. They’ll play Arthur Frackenpohl’s Brass Quintet, Don Sweete’s Mouse and the Elephant (Trumpet/Tuba Duet), J. S. Bach’s Fugue XI, WTC I (Low Brass Trio)  from Well-Tempered Brass Quintet, Anthony Plog’s Trio for Brass (Trumpet/Horn/Trombone),Traditional pieceThe Water is Wide, then Jose Carli’s Estampas and closing with Kevin McKee’s Escape. The concert is free and happens Thursday, January 18th 12:10 – 12:50 Santa Cruz Public Library Downtown Branch – Upstairs Meeting Room.

NEW MUSIC WORKS-DEFINITELY!!!
For 39 years The New Music Works has created some of the most new music of our time.  Now they say, “Nocturnal sonic emissions arising from next door-to-abroad, by living, tax-paying composers! A powerhouse line-up including four world premieres and a special line-up of guest artists.”  Performing on Feb. 3rd will be Sheila Willey, soprano, UCSC Guitar Ensemble, NewMusicWorks Ensemble, Philip Collins, conductor, Barry Phillips Ostinato for Elly (2016) clarinet, bassoon trumpet, trombone, marimba, piano, violin, double bass and Michael McGushin  A Queer Alphabet, (2017)  text by Gertrude Stein, (world premiere)s  soprano, flute, oboe, clarinet, violin, cello, double bass, harp, piano, percussion Heila Willey.

At 6 p.m. there’ll be a 45-minute Panel Discussion involving all seven of the evening’s featured composers.  

Buy Your Tickets Now! Sponsored by the Cabrillo College Music Department it happens SATuRdAy, FEbRuARy 3, 7:30Pm
barbara Samper Recital Hall
cabrillo college, Aptos, cA

RADICAL MINDFULNESS CLASS.
Carla Brennan has studied and taught Mindfulness for decades. I’ve been attending her weekly sessions and her classes for a few years…and If you’ve wondered about Mindfulness or need to know more Carla says;” Radical mindfulness is the practice of being unconditionally present to life as it arises, to completely be here now. Rather than living with true wakefulness and awareness, most of us are engaged in an endless struggle to control and limit our experience. We resist feeling our basic aliveness and contract around patterns of fear and confusion. Our meditation practice may become yet another attempt to control what we feel. We discover that beyond this futile struggle is an untapped capacity for clear knowing and compassion” Her 5 week one night per week class is titled…” Radical Mindfulness: The Art of Being Alive”
5-week class, Jan. 31, Feb. 7, 14, 21, 28 Wednesdays, 6:30 -8:30, 920F 41st Ave, Santa Cruz, CA 95062  Registration required. Space is limited. Please only register if you can attend at least 4 of the 5 classes. To register, go to EVENTBRITE. More information

LISA JENSEN LINKS. Lisa writes: “The awards season kicks off with a few front-running Oscar contenders, this week at Lisa Jensen Online Express (http://ljo-express.blogspot.com/). Also, please share your thoughts on authors rating their own books on Goodreads (useful or shameless?), and check out this week’s Good Times for my review of the sensual coming-of-age drama, Call Me By Your Name.” Lisa has been writing film reviews and columns for Good Times since 1975.

CALL ME BY YOUR NAME. No matter where you’re at sexually, this film deals beautifully with a young 17 year old boy in Italy working his way through his sexual coming of age. Armie Hammer plays the 30 year old scholarly hunk who visits the kid’s parents. You remember Armie Hammer, heir to the Armand Hammer oil fortune, and who played The Lone Ranger to Johnny Depp’s Tonto (2013)!!!

THE POST. This is Steven Spielberg’s answer to the Trump administration’s corruption and misuse of presidential power. Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks rip up the acting, as we expect them to do. It’s the story of the — then little — Washington Post trying to catch up to The New York Times, printing Daniel Elsberg’s Vietnam exposure papers. It makes easy parallels to Nixon and Trump’s dictatorships. It also makes great pitches for freedom of the press…and what we need to do to keep that freedom alive…especially now. Go see it, bring your friends. But truthfully, it’s not as interesting or revealing as the MSNBC documentary two weeks ago… “The Most Dangerous Man In America” — which is the same story from Elsberg’s view.

LADY BIRD. This film restored my faith in great films! RT gives it 100% and it’s the highest rated film in RT’s history!!! Greta Gerwig directed  Saorise Ronan and others in this sincere, well thought out movie. A teen aged daughter and her Mom have a terrible, never ending battle over clothes, religion, dating, sex, college and everything. It all happens in Sacramento in about 2003 , which is somehow appropriate. It’s sensitive, subtle, and surprising. Gerwig breaks many directing rules and creates new plot possibilities. Go see this film. Ps….as I’ve told many folks, it’s definitely  not about Lady Bird Johnson!!!

THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI. First, please note the 95 RT rating. When you have Frances McDormand, Woody Harrelson and Sam Rockwell working in a film directed by an Oscar winning director you almost can’t miss. It is definitely a dark comedy. The plot contains murder, rape, loyalty, cancer, and some absolutely brilliant acting. Go see it, and force all your friends to see it too.

DARKEST HOUR. Gary Oldman takes the role of Winston Churchill to new heights…and depths. Its world War II history and it’s the background story of what Churchill had to endure when he first took office as Prime Minister. He deserves the Oscar like few stars ever have. The story is absorbing, educational, and it makes you wonder why the USA doesn’t have someone like Churchill to handle Trump like Churchill handled Hitler and Mussolini.

THE SHAPE OF WATER. A 93 on RT and that means something! Sally Hawkins plays a beautiful mute working in a lab who cares for, and falls in love with a mysterious water creature. It’s a fable, a fairy story, and reminds us of the black and white fantasy films from the 40’s and 50’s. It’s vital to know that it’s directed by Guillermo Del Toro who also did Pan’s Labyrinth  and Hellboy. It is such an enormous change from every other film we’ve seen in years that its’ worth going just for the fun of it.

MOLLY’S GAME. This is an unusual “true” film about a once Olympic ski champion who becomes the owner/manager of zillion dollar poker games. Jessica Chastain and Idris Elba play the top roles and good old Kevin Costner has a bit part as Jessica’s father. It’s a fancy film with plenty of cinema tricks to keep us interested, and the acting’s ok too. But think twice before going, especially if you’re trying to give up movies for the New Year.

I TONYA. A very dark, depressing movie about some very depressed people. It’s got loud rock period music as the film score which almost qualifies it as a fun comedy but you’ll be able to count your laughs. Somewhere in the movie somebody says Americans love to hate or love their current sport stars…and its sure true here. Allison Janney plays Tonya’s seriously disturbed mother and deserves some award this Award season…but not for this one. Warning IF you do got you’ll leave wondering why you cared about Nancy Kerrigan or Tonya Harding.

ALL THE MONEY IN THE WORLD. This movie will forever change your reaction to the Getty Museum in Malibu…trust me. And, you’ve probably read that this movie was completely finished with Kevin Spacey in the lead role of J. Paul Getty, then with Spacey’s sex problems looming so large they completely re-filmed the part and replaced Spacey with Christopher Plummer. Ridley Scott directed it, and of course he directed Alien, The Martian, Into The Storm and other big box office hits. Michelle Williams and Mark Wahlberg are the other stars. It’s a cruel, nearly true story about how J.Paul wouldn’t give Italian kidnappers any ransom money when they kidnapped his grandson. I felt far removed from the film, and never identified with anyone in the plot. It was cold, well filmed, and credibly acted but it never drew me into feeling anything for anyone involved.

COCO. A genuine Pixar animated cartoon. And, the animation is amazingly three –dimensional. The plot is totally focused on the very rich and traditional Mexican culture. Day of the Dead, plenty of food, religion, music, and only a little boring after the first half hour. It’s completely original, you’ve never seen anything like this before, its way more creative and developed than what we usually think of as a Disney Cartoon. Go see it.

THE DISASTER ARTIST. A curious movie, a very curious movie about the making of what has become known by critics and the public as the worst movie ever filmed. That movie is “The Room“. James Franco and his brother Dave Franco are the leads. Zac Efron and Seth Rogen are in it too but there are not that many laughs. If you’re not careful you’ll start pitying just about everyone in the film for being so desperate just to make a movie. I began to like or appreciate it about 20 minutes before it ended. The closing credits are a must watch to be believed item.

STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI. Yes, 93 on RT and I thought it was a complete fake of a billion dollar move machine. I’ll always remember going to our Soquel Drive in (just a little stoned) and being completely taken into outer space with Star Wars 1. It had humor, empathy, great imagination, tension and a story you could care about. The franchise now stages monotonous, uncaring, space attacks and wars so numerous that you can’t remember who is on who’s side…and you don’t care much either. There’s the Dark Side, the Resistance, Adam Driver, R2D2, a very dull Carrie Fisher, an aging Mark Hamil as Luke Skywalker and those endless space battles that take up probably 33 1/3 of the movie. A great disappointment…go at your own peril, and its 2 ½ hours extra long.

DOWNSIZING.Matt Damon plays a guy who for might be considered an environmental move agrees to be reduced to about 5 inches tall and go live in a Truman’s Show type world with other shrinkees. It’s cute, pointless, and feel good. No genuine issues or meanings are dealt with ‘ Nasty ol’ Christoph Waltz plays his usual smirking, almost nazi-like character and Kristen Wiig plays Damon’s wife until she decides NOT to get shrunk. Save your money, subscribe to Netflix and watch Black Mirror instead.

THE GREATEST SHOWMAN. This is Hugh Jackman trying his best to bring life to the bio of P.T.Barnum. Jackman is an excellent dancer, singer and showman but this movie just doesn’t have the heart or solidity that a good film should have. The music is just more copying of Andrew Lloyd Weber’s gooey showbiz. It’s shallow, trite, and repetitious to a fault. Don’t bother seeing 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. We learn about the problems of the proposed Nissan Dealership in Soquel from Bob Morgan and Lisa Sheridan and how many of the citizens are opposed to it. Then activist, conservationist, columnist Gillian Greensite talks about local politics. Dr. Carlos Arcangeli, noted Urologist, bring us up to date on those problems on Jan.23. He’s followed by  UCSC Professor emeritus Ralph Abraham talking about his newest book, “Hip Santa Cruz Vol. 2” about that scene with articles by local veterans. Then on January 30 UCSC Music prof. Linda Burman Hall talks about the 45th annual Santa Cruz Baroque Festival opening February 10. 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 speaks for itself, I think 🙂

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. “MUD”
“Every struggle is like mud – there are always some lotus seeds waiting to sprout”, Amit Ray, Nonviolence: The Transforming Power
“Maturity is when you no longer get the urge to make snow angels in mud season”, Josh Stern,
“Spend your time with the people who talk about the stars because to whichever place you put your mind in, you will move to that place! Stars pull you to the stars; mud pulls you to the mud!” Mehmet Murat ildan
“You pray for rain, you gotta deal with the mud too. That’s a part of it“, Denzel Washington
“He who slings mud generally loses ground”. Adlai E. Stevenson
“They teach anything in universities today. You can major in mud pies”.  Orson Welles
“I could have ended the war in a month. I could have made North Vietnam look like a mud puddle”. Barry Goldwater


COLUMN COMMUNICATIONS. Subscriptions: Click and enter the box in the upper right hand corner of each Column. You’ll get a weekly email notice the instant the column goes online. (Anywhere from Monday afternoon through Thursday or sometimes as late as Friday!) Always free and confidential. Even I don’t know who subscribes!!

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

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

BEST OF VINTAGE STEVEN DeCINZO.

Deep Cover by Tim Eagan.

January 10 – 16, 2018

Highlights this week:
B.A.P. Store news, Swenson Suites at 1547 Pacific, Oprah for President?, My cannabis store visit… “GILLIAN GREENSITE  is off the grid for a week so no piece this issue. Back as usual next week…CHRIS KROHN and Federal Power locally, Immigration, rent stabilization, end corridor plan, housing, homeless issues, public library moving…BECKY STEINBRUNER on Rancho Del Mar, property tax rising, AMBAG questions, Nisene Marks parking…GARY PATTON about a digital Republic, and the loss of personal data online…DECINZO and historic rainy days…TIM EAGAN and Deep Cover…LISA JENSEN and I Tonya…Santa Cruz Chamber Players…8 tens @ 8…I critique Molly’s Game, I Tonya, The Disaster Artist, Downsizing…Quotes about January.
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SOQUEL AND BRANCIFORTE 1960. Why is it that even with all the changes in the last 58  years, we can still identify where this corner is? Sure it’s now Bay Photo Lab, Solar Technologies, and the good old Shoppers Corner and the Buttery. Look closely and you’ll see that the Auto Float Tire Store was selling gas for 30 cents per gallon!                                                     

photo credit: Covello & Covello Historical photo collection.

Additional information always welcome: email bratton@cruzio.com

EMMY AWARDS WITH TIM CONWAY & HARVEY CORMAN.
DEAN MARTIN with FOSTER BROOKS. Ralph Davila with his acute humor found this gem
BETTE MIDLER SINGS UKULELE LADY. Always been one of my favorite songs. Our Goodtime Washboard 3 performed it for years.

DATELINE January 8, 2018

BRITISH AUTO PARTS ON UPPER PACIFIC. In a small side question last week relating to the historic photo of the Town Square from high atop the hill at Mission and Pacific, I asked if anyone knew what the visible sign stating B.A.P meant. Some great responses came in…here’s the best…Will Roblin says: “I went to a wonderful BAR in that area in 1973 – The United. [Not sure if it’s got anything to do with this photo!; United might have been further away from Tea Cup, but that’s the correct side of the street.] Sign on the wall said: “BE GOOD OR BE GONE”; some very mellow, creative types could be found there. It was good (no frills, open atmosphere) but it’s still gone.

The Holgers wrote, “Bruce — Years ago an outfit named British Auto Parts went by that acronym.  It purveyed MG and Austin Healy stuff in that era.  Who knows?”

Mike Hess wrote, “Could not find out what B.A.P. stands for but attached is a newspaper clipping from 1965. It was a transmission shop. Always look forward to Bratton on-line!

Historian and author Stan Stevens wrapped it all up when he emailed saying…

“It appears that B.A.P. moved to a Front St. location at the start of its Santa Cruz branch operation in 1963. They had 16 other locations. Then, after the death of its manager in March 1964, they moved to North Pacific Avenue in Sept. 1964”. He attached a photo of another ad from The Santa Cruz  Sentinel from Friday, April 29, 1966…here it is….

WAFFLING ON SWENSONS SUITES ON PACIFIC. The vote’s been taken, and Santa Cruz City councilmembers Sandy Brown and Chris Krohn’s pleas to make some of Swenson’s suites at 1547 Pacific affordable got outvoted. It’s a tragedy that — over and over again — our City Council majorities vote in favor of giving developers what they ask for, or what will “pencil out” over humane and usually undeniable civil rights to fair housing. Then again, I must say it’s been 29 — that’s twenty nine — years since the 1989 earthquake took out the Bookshop Santa Cruz and The Pacific Coffee Roasting buildings, and the resultant hole has not been all that much to look at…or think about. Especially since they took out that “suspended sidewalk” that took us to the parking lot that was behind it. In addition to retail space on the street level, the new Swenson monthly rents will consist of 2 bedroom units at $3,7000, 1 bedrooms at $2,500 and studios for $2,000 yes…per month. Those figures will undoubtedly shift upward. So yes, the council’s developer-kissing will be forgotten with a big ribbon cutting ceremony, probably by Mayor Martine Watkins in 2019. And Pacific Avenue will once again look more like a town that never had an earthquake.

MY FIRST POT/CANNABIS SHOP VISIT. It’s been decades since paying $5 for a matchbox of pot or $15 for a lid in and around Berkeley in the 50s. Taking Jim Coffis from Green Trade Santa Cruz’s advice, I went to the Treehouse, which labels itself “A full service cannabis dispensary”. It’s located at 3651 Soquel Drive, the former Senate Mattress store.  It’s way upscale, much closer to an elegant jewelry store than a CVS store. They display only one or two of each of their “items”, and the clerk/attendant/guide punches your selections into his/her tablet and you pick up your total items at another desk on your way out. Very polite, regimented, and as they say, “Rooted in Community”. Whether you like pot or not, go visit Treehouse and see what the talk is all about. No, I didn’t buy anything…probably next time.

(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

Dateline January 8, 2018 majority report #108

All Politics are Local, Even State, Federal and International Issues

Feds vs. the City of Santa Cruz
Just when you thought it was safe to go into the liberal, do-your-own-thing, can’t-we-all-just-get-along, feel-good political waters of both the Golden State and the People’s Republic of Santa Cruz, a political hell begins to erupt. Along comes Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke to tell us that he’s going to allow off-shore oil drilling off the central coast. Then it’s Attorney General Jeff Sessions, he wants to stop all cannabis production. What does Acting Commissioner of the IRS, David Kauter require? That homeowners no longer deduct their mortgage payments from their federal taxes. Next in line is another “Acting Director,” Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Thomas Homan, he wants to deport our immigrant community members. And then there’s the FCC chairman, Ajit Pai, he wants to slow down our internet traffic. The master of this dog house, Donald Trump, lost California by over two million votes, so to some political watchers it would seem quite logical that he would come to hinder, thwart, hobble, restrict, and generally wreak havoc on the people of this state. He’s beginning. Not long ago I can remember letters to the editor, or to city hall, inquiring and questioning the wisdom of devoting city time to debating  national and international issues. War for example has been debated by past city councils: Ronald Reagan’s contras, George Bush Sr.’s Kuwaiti expedition, and later his son’s Iraq War policies. Once the council passed a resolution to send Chilean mass murder, Gen. Augusto Pinochet, who was being detained in London, back to stand trial in Santiago. More recently the council is set to discuss a resolution asking the legislature to prohibit importation of crude oil from the Amazon. Santa Cruz has a long track record of being involved in US domestic and foreign policy issues.

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Seen along Ashby Street in Berkeley, Ca.

What Just Might be Coming to the SC City Council This Year?

  • Revenue enhancement measures (taxes) to cover the increasing costs of city pension costs, mainly police and fire will be on the ballot. (Some options: Hotel, sugar beverage, real estate transfer).
  • Rent stabilization, rent freeze, just-cause eviction ordinance will all likely be debated vigorously this year, in Santa Cruz and at the state capitol. Link here
  • Will 2018 see a silver stake finally pierce through the Corridor Plan and exorcise the final ghosts of a plan that was never accepted by many on the city’s eastside? See here…
  • Will this be the year the Jessie Street Marsh actually moves toward restoration and the 2003 plan is finally implemented? Follow here
  • A housing plan is needed that designates 50% of the planned for 1000 downtown units be affordable and offered to people who live here now, not as short-term rentals or second homes.
  • A plan to confront homelessness that is authored by both the city and county, which includes a designated on-going revenue stream to get people housed and into programs that offer drug, alcohol and mental health treatment.
  • And lastly, there is that pesky $23-million-dollar question: will the public library bond money be used as bait to finally convince the public to support the Public Works Department’s five-story parking garage to be built on the current site of the Farmer’s Market at Lincoln and Cedar streets?

Predictions for 2018

  • The city of Santa Cruz will join other municipalities in forming a state bank!
  • Ranked Choice Voting will get on the ballot this November.
  • Rent control will be instituted in Santa Cruz come January 1, 2019.
  • Barry Swenson Builder will finally be convinced to build the damn affordable rental units.
  • Homelessness-houselessness ain’t going away.
  • The Giants will make it to the playoffs!
  • The Trump Administration gets into a spat with Santa Cruz, which makes national news.

Bernie Tweet of the Week
“We need to get our priorities right. Not giving tax breaks to billionaires. Not throwing millions of people off of health insurance. We have got to pay attention to the working families of this country.” (Jan. 8)

~ Chris Krohn

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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.

Email Becky at KI6TKB@yahoo.com


RANCHO DEL MAR CENTER REMODEL IS MORE THAN A “FACE-LIFT”
Take a look at this amazing photo by Erik Chalhoub, editor of the Aptos Life and Register-Pajaronian.  As you can see, the theater is gone, gone, gone…

Rancho Del Mar work underway
Still no reply to phone calls placed with the Rancho Del Mar tenants that were evicted on short notice last fall.  Send them good thoughts and maybe a few bucks if I can get a Go-Fund-Me set up for them.  Stay tuned.

WHAT IS AMBAG AND WHY DOES IT DICTATE LOCAL GOVERNMENT POLICIES?
I am curious about the influence that the Associated Monterey Bay Area Governments (AMBAG) has over Santa Cruz County and other municipal land use and transportation policies.  The County Planning Department sets the number of building permits it publicly states that MUST be issued based on a State requirement that is approved by AMBAG to make sure each County “takes its share of the burden” for the state’s population growth.  These are the RHNA numbers that officials cite without any explanation to define what that means: “Regional Housing Need Allocation”. Here is a link to learn more about that.   

AMBAG was formed in 1968 and comprises of 24 representatives from Santa Cruz, Monterey and San Benito Counties and all cities within.   AMBAG has no ability to enforce the growth policies and transportation projects, according to Ms. Heather Adamson, the AMBAG Director of Planning, yet time and time again, I hear local government officials say “We have to do this because it is mandated by AMBAG”. 

I think the real truth is that it all revolves around money.  AMBAG gets grant money from State and Federal programs, so the local jurisdictions do what is necessary to get the money.  Here is the website for AMBAG…take a look and see what you learn.  http://www.ambag.org/about-us

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NISENE MARKS STATE PARK ACCESS DENIED TO VISITORS FOR LACK OF AVAILABLE PARKING
Thanks to the photo and report from a concerned Aptos citizen (who wishes to remain anonymous) who contacted me about State Parks posting the entry to Nisene Marks State Park as closed, due to lack of available parking in the park.  Doesn’t it make sense to you that the Phase 2 Aptos Village Project could be used to re-instate the prescriptive use of parking for the State Park visitors and public benefit of re-building the world-famous Post Office Bike Jumps instead of adding more traffic to the nearly-gridlocked Village? Take a look at this photo:  The sign was posted December 31, 2017 and AGAIN last Sunday, January 7.

CONTACT SUPERVISOR ZACH FRIEND ABOUT THIS AND OTHER ISSUES In the January 2018 issue of the “Aptos LifeSecond District Supervisor Zach Friend wrote about all the wonderful things he has done in the past year.  Under “Community Meetings” he reported “we’ve held 71 open office hours in Aptos, Corralitos, La Selva Beach and Watsonville and held or attended nearly 50 community and neighborhood meetings in Seacliff, La Selva Beach, Aptos, Watsonville, Capitola and Corralitos. ”  Wow.  Where are the Community meetings for the general public (not just the Rio del Mar Improvement Association buddies) regarding the Aptos Village Project????   Who can attend his Wednesday 9am-10am constituent meetings held occasionally?

Maybe he’ll schedule one if you ask for one regarding the significant building design modifications for the Phase 2 Aptos Village Project.  He needs to do that SOON, before Planner Randall Adams makes his Level 4 Discretionary decision about adding MORE three-story buildings and San Jose-like structures at the Aptos Creek Road entrance…also the gateway to Nisene Marks State Park. That’s Zach Friend <zach.friend@santacruzcounty.us> 701 Ocean Street, 5th Floor, Santa Cruz, CA     831-454-2200  

You might also ask him why he made NO MENTION OF WATER ISSUES in his 2017 Reflections of being County Supervisor (January 2018 edition not yet available on line but in local coffee shops, banks and libraries)

~Cheers, Becky Steinbruner

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

Email Gary at gapatton@mac.com

Dateline Saturday, December 30, 2017
#364 / The Digital Republic

An article by Nathan Heller, in the December 18 & 25, 2017, edition of The New Yorker, identifies Estonia as a “digital republic.”

In other words, the article is not talking about some “abstraction,” but is claiming that an actual country, a nation, is now qualitatively different from the kind of political republics that exist in what most of us still consider to be the “real” world, a world that is definitely more “analog” than “digital.

Heller’s article is worth reading, perhaps particularly if you teach a course in “Privacy, Technology, And Freedom,” as I do. Here’s a sample of what Heller has to say:

I booked a meeting with Marten Kaevats, Estonia’s national digital adviser. We arranged to meet at a café near the water, but it was closed for a private event. Kaevats looked unperturbed. “Let’s go somewhere beautiful!” he said. He led me to an enormous terraced concrete platform blotched with graffiti and weeds.

Seagulls riding the surf breeze screeched. I asked Kaevats what he saw when he looked at the U.S. Two things, he said. First, a technical mess. Data architecture was too centralized. Citizens didn’t control their own data; it was sold, instead, by brokers. Basic security was lax. “For example, I can tell you my I.D. number—I don’t fucking care,” he said. “You have a Social Security number, which is, like, a big secret.” He laughed. “This does not work!” The U.S. had backward notions of protection, he said, and the result was a bigger problem: a systemic loss of community and trust. “Snowden things and whatnot have done a lot of damage. But they have also proved that these fears are justified.

“To regain this trust takes quite a lot of time,” he went on. “There also needs to be a vision from the political side. It needs to be there always—a policy, not politics. But the politicians need to live it, because, in today’s world, everything will be public at some point.”

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~ Gary Patton

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OPRAH FOR PRESIDENT? It takes a deep breath to think about it twice…then again, just maybe possible? There are rumors that she has been thinking about it, and last night’s Emmy Award speech was amazingly powerful. Yes, Oprah has little political history, but then again what has that proved for our past leaders? Who else is out there? Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders? As much as I like and would vote for either/both of them…Where are they lately? Hopefully Webmistress Gunilla Leavitt has found a way to link the Emmy Speech, so you too can consider the possibilities.

CLASSICAL DeCINZO. See DeCinzo’s extra classical view of our rain season problems scroll down a few pages…

EAGAN’S DEEP COVER. Tim and I missed connecting this week for a new one, but…. As always, at TimEagan.com you will find his most recent  Deep Cover, the latest installment from the archives of Subconscious Comics, and the ever entertaining Eaganblog.

SANTA CRUZ CHAMBER PLAYERS. This courageous, dedicated, talented musicians and the organization behind it has been presenting small group concerts of live chamber music for 39 years. Next weekend (Jan. 13 @ 7:30 and Jan. 14 @ 3 p.m.) their concert is titled “Czech, Please” and will feature musics by  Smetana, Dvorak, and Suk. The musicians involved in this concert are Roy Malan, concert director and violin, Susan Freier Harrison, violin; Polly Malan, viola Stephen Harrison, cello; and Robin Sutherland, piano. Czech Please of course means music from Czechoslovakia. All their concerts are at Christ Lutheran Church in Aptos just off the freeway at the Freedom Blvd. turnoff. Then take an immediate right past the CHP headquarters and up the hill. You probably can’t miss it. Tickets may be available at the door or at Brown Paper Tickets            

EIGHT 10’s at EIGHT PLAYS. For 23 years the Actors Theatre has performed and presented evenings of eight original plays submitted from everywhere… and each lasting only 10 minutes.

Funny, sad, profound, moving and even boring, but wait ten minutes and there’ll be a new one. There are now two evenings “A” and “B” each presenting eight different plays. It’s great fun.

They opened  Jan. 5 and will  run through February 4th at the Center Stage Theatre 1001 Center Street (near where the old India Joze used to be). Go to to the website for the rest of the information

LISA JENSEN LINKS. Lisa writes: “She was famous for all the wrong reasons, but the raucous biopic I, Tonya aims to set the record straight, this week at Lisa Jensen Online Express (http://ljo-express.blogspot.com ). Also, something old, something new in the book department, with the gorgeously Gothic dust jacket of my next book, Beast: A Tale of Love and Revenge, revealed in its entirety, while my last book, Alias Hook, racks up another boffo review! ” Lisa has been writing film reviews and columns for Good Times since 1975.

MOLLY’S GAME. This is an unusual “true” film, about a former Olympic ski champion who becomes the owner/manager of zillion dollar poker games. Jessica Chastain and Idris Elba play the top roles, and good old Kevin Costner has a bit part as Jessica’s father. It’s a fancy film with plenty of cinema tricks to keep us interested, and the acting’s ok too. But think twice before going, especially if you’re trying to give up movies for the New Year.

I TONYA. A very dark, depressing movie about some very depressed people. It’s got loud rock music as the film score, which almost qualifies it as a fun comedy — but you’ll be able to count your laughs. Somewhere in the movie somebody says Americans love to hate or love their current sport stars…and its sure true here. Allison Janney plays Tonya’s seriously disturbed mother, and deserves more awards this Award season…but not for this one. Warning…IF you do go you’ll leave wondering why you still care about Nancy Kerrigan or Tonya Harding.

THE DISASTER ARTIST. A very curious movie about the making of what has become known by critics and the public as the worst movie ever filmed. That movie is “The Room“. James Franco and his brother Dave Franco are the leads. Zac Efron and Seth Rogen are in it too, but there are not that many laughs. If you’re not careful you’ll start pitying just about everyone in the film for being so desperate just to make a movie. I began to like or appreciate it about 20 minutes before it ended. The closing credits are a must-watch-to-be-believed item.

DOWNSIZING. Matt Damon plays a guy who — for what might be considered an environmental move — agrees to be reduced to about 5 inches tall and go live in a Truman’s Show type world with other shrinkees. It’s cute, pointless, and feel-good. No genuine issues or meanings are dealt with. ‘Nasty ol’ Christoph Waltz plays his usual smirking, almost Nazi-like character, and Kristen Wiig plays Damon’s wife — until she decides NOT to get shrunk. Save your money, subscribe to Netflix and watch Black Mirror instead.

DARKEST HOUR. Gary Oldman takes the role of Winston Churchill to new heights…and depths. Its World War II history and the background story of what Churchill had to endure when he first took office as Prime Minister. He deserves the Oscar like few stars ever have. The story is absorbing, educational, and it makes you wonder why the USA doesn’t have someone like Churchill to handle Trump like Churchill handled Hitler and Mussolini.

THE SHAPE OF WATER. A 93 on RT and that means something! Sally Hawkins plays a beautiful mute working in a lab who cares for, and falls in love with a mysterious water creature. It’s a fable, a fairy story, and reminds us of the black and white fantasy films from the 40’s and 50’s. It’s vital to know that it’s directed by Guillermo Del Toro who also did Pan’s Labyrinthand Hellboy. It is such an enormous change from every other film we’ve seen in years that its’ worth going just for the fun of it.

LADY BIRD. This film restored my faith in great films! RT gives it 100% and it’s the highest rated film in RT’s history!!! Greta Gerwig directed  Saorise Ronan and others in this sincere, well thought out movie. A teen aged daughter and her Mom have a terrible, never ending battle over clothes, religion, dating, sex, college and everything. It all happens in Sacramento in about 2003 , which is somehow appropriate. It’s sensitive, subtle, and surprising. Gerwig breaks many directing rules and creates new plot possibilities. Go see this film. Ps….as I’ve told many folks, it’s definitely  not about Lady Bird Johnson!!!

THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI. First, please note the 95 RT rating. When you have Frances McDormand, Woody Harrelson and Sam Rockwell working in a film directed by an Oscar winning director you almost can’t miss. It is definitely a dark comedy. The plot contains murder, rape, loyalty, cancer, and some absolutely brilliant acting. Go see it, and force all your friends to see it too.

ALL THE MONEY IN THE WORLD. This movie will forever change your reaction to the Getty Museum in Malibu…trust me. And, you’ve probably read that this movie was completely finished with Kevin Spacey in the lead role of J. Paul Getty, then with Spacey’s sex problems looming so large they completely re-filmed the part and replaced Spacey with Christopher Plummer. Ridley Scott directed it, and of course he directed Alien, The Martian, Into The Storm and other big box office hits. Michelle Williams and Mark Wahlberg are the other stars. It’s a cruel, nearly true story about how J.Paul wouldn’t give Italian kidnappers any ransom money when they kidnapped his grandson. I felt far removed from the film, and never identified with anyone in the plot. It was cold, well filmed, and credibly acted but it never drew me into feeling anything for anyone involved.

COCO. A genuine Pixar animated cartoon. And, the animation is amazingly three –dimensional. The plot is totally focused on the very rich and traditional Mexican culture. Day of the Dead, plenty of food, religion, music, and only a little bor ing after the first half hour. It’s completely original, you’ve never seen anything like this before, its way more creative and developed than what we usually think of as a Disney Cartoon. Go see it.

STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI. Yes, 93 on RT and I thought it was a complete fake of a billion dollar move machine. I’ll always remember going to our Soquel Drive in (just a little stoned) and being completely taken into outer space with Star Wars 1. It had humor, empathy, great imagination, tension and a story you could care about. The franchise now stages monotonous, uncaring, space attacks and wars so numerous that you can’t remember who is on who’s side…and you don’t care much either. There’s the Dark Side, the Resistance, Adam Driver, R2D2, a very dull Carrie Fisher, an aging Mark Hamil as Luke Skywalker and those endless space battles that take up probably 33 1/3 of the movie. A great disappointment…go at your own peril, and its 2 ½ hours extra long.

THE GREATEST SHOWMAN. This is Hugh Jackman trying his best to bring life to the bio of P.T.Barnum. Jackman is an excellent dancer, singer and showman but this movie just doesn’t have the heart or solidity that a good film should have. The music is just more copying of Andrew Lloyd Weber’s gooey showbiz. It’s shallow, trite, and repetitious to a fault. Don’t bother seeing 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. January 9th has Otolaryngologist, Dr. Douglas Hetzler discussing surfer’s ear, ear wax and dangers of candling and many other health issues. Following the Doctor Jim Coffis and Pat Malo from Green Trade Santa Cruz talk about the latest legal cannabis scene. UC San Diego Professor Emeritus Roddey Reid comes from Berkeley to talk about his book, “Confronting Political Intimidation and Public Bullying” on Jan. 16. Then activist, conservationist, columnist Gillian Greensite talks about local politics. Dr. Carlos Arcangeli, noted Urologist, bring us up to date on those problems on Jan.23. He’s followed by  UCSC Professor emeritus Ralph Abraham talking about his newest book, “Hip Santa Cruz Vol. 2” about that scene with articles by local veterans. Then on January 30 UCSC Music prof. Linda Burman Hall talks about the 45th annual Santa Cruz Baroque Festival opening February 10. AND ALSO…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 grew up on Dave Allen. I have vivid memories of watching him on TV in my grandmother’s apartment. I hadn’t thought about him for a long time, and I was delighted when I found this piece about him on Youtube.

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.    “JANUARY

“January is the garbage can of movies in America, directly after all the Oscar contenders have been out”. Michael Caine

“It snowed and snowed, the whole world over,
Snow swept the world from end to end.
A candle burned on the table;
A candle burned.”
–  Boris Pasternak, Dr. Zhivago  


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BEST OF VINTAGE STEVEN DeCINZO.

Deep Cover by Tim Eagan.