January 16 – 22, 2019

Highlights this week:

BRATTON…Women’s March,  MLK March, Santa Cruz Online, Obama Avenue in NYC, Tamara Parker died. GREENSITE…On The Death of a Spouse. KROHN…Priorities of council issues, Camp Ross, Bernie still for president, City Council didn’t pass Measure M. STEINBRUNER…Soquel Creek Water District and sewage water, lacking EIR, Twin Lakes Church and Cabrillo Property and water rate increase. PATTON…Tech dividend and sharing the wealth. EAGAN…Walls and Cages. JENSEN…looking ahead. BRATTON…critiques On The Basis of Sex. UNIVERSAL GRAPEVINE GUEST LINEUP. QUOTES…on “Marches”.


                                 

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PACIFIC AVENUE. August 29, 1957. This is about at the corner of Walnut and Pacific. Reeve’s is now the Gap, then we have Synergy, and Berdels at the corner.                                                    
                                   

photo credit: Covello & Covello Historical photo collection.

HOW THE ROVER GOT TO MARS. This is serious…no jokes in it, it’s huge and powerful, and Ralph Davila sent it.
THE MOST INCREDIBLE TRUCK DRIVERS IN THE WORLD!

DATELINE January 14, 2019

WOMENS MARCH (ON JANUARY 19). This march and rally has become a very strong statement, especially for Santa Cruz Women. Their website says… “The March begins at 10am at Pacific and Cathcart Street. We are asking people to start gathering at 9am. The route will follow Pacific and turn right onto Water, then turning ‘right’ into the County Parking Lot at the County Offices. 701 Ocean St, Santa Cruz, CA 95060. The Rally will begin at 11am. For more details see below…  We need your help to fund the 2019 Santa Cruz Women’s March, and beyond. Please use the link below and make a donation, any amount is helpful. Thank you! See you on Saturday, Jan 19, 2019 at 9 am.”

Women’s March: Sign up here!

MLK MARCH (ON JANUARY 21) NEWS. Carson Kelly from Santa Cruz Indivisible sent this plea!!! “For those of you that have signed up to help at this weekend’s Marches (Women’s March on 1/19 and MLK March on 1/21)… thank you! For those that haven’t, there is still time! And both Marches need the volunteer support.

MLK March: Sign up here!

Photographers needed: 

The Citizenship 2.0 project will also take place at the Rally, and we need assistance. One of Santa Cruz Indivisible’s calls-to-action will be to ask participants: “What civic duties do you have as a resident of the United States?” We will be asking people to answer the question on a small whiteboard, and then pose for a picture holding up their answer. We hope to gather hundreds of answers and put them into social media, as part of our Citizenship 2.0 project introduction. 

To help us with this, please register here . Thank you for your support

Carson Kelly.

SANTA CRUZ ONLINE. Erstwhile and honest and former KUSP staffer Michael Lewis has created a new and important source of political and environmental daily information. It’s Santa Cruz Online.  Michael writes to tell us: “Democracy is practiced by those who show up. Since we all have limited time and energy, we need to know where and when to show up, to support those causes we support and defend. With a newly seated Santa Cruz City Council, this year will be our opportunity to work with our representatives and community activists who support our causes. I’ve created a website, Santa Cruz Online, as an annotated calendar of events, meetings, actions and opportunities in Santa Cruz City and County government. I’ll be posting weekly reviews of upcoming meeting agendas and minutes for City Council and County Board of Supervisors, as well as advisory bodies, committees, and affiliated organizations. Click HERE to go to Santa Cruz Online, and enter your email address in the “Follow” box (in the right hand column on a computer or at the end of the post on a mobile device) to receive timely updates.

    Michael Lewis
Santa Cruz Online: https://sconline464234593.wordpress.com/

OBAMA AVENUE, NYC.  Mark Bernhard and Ann Steyeart sent this…

Petition Asks NYC to Rename a Stretch of Fifth Avenue 

A petition started by MoveOn.org calls for the block of Fifth Avenue in New York between 56th Street and 57th Street to be renamed “President Barack H. Obama Avenue.” Such renaming is not unusual. The New York City Council recently approved naming streets for the hip-hop group Wu-Tang Clan, Notorious B.I.G., Woody Guthrie, and Audre Lorde. A section of freeway in Los Angeles has been renamed for Obama.

What is special about Fifth Avenue from 56th Street to 57th Street is that it just so happens to be home to Trump Tower. Donald Trump’s reelection campaign will be headquartered there. If the city council approves the name change, the reelection committee’s mailing address will become:

Committee to Re-elect President Donald Trump
725 President Barack H. Obama Avenue
New York, NY 10022

TAMARA PARKER DIED. Tamara Parker and partner Patrick Casey once owned and operated Casey’s Ice Cream Parlor in Scotts Valley. Tamara later owned and operated “Legal Document Services” on Walnut Street, which was a new name for Para Legal functions. She was one of my favorite clients and friends from the more than 250 clients I had while a marketing consultant for Cabrillo’s Small Business Development Center for nearly 15 years. She was as ardent a world traveler as she was in making sure her clients received 100% of her attention and care. She married and retired about 5 years ago, and moved to a great senior community “The Villages”, in east San Jose. She’ll be missed.

January 14, 2019

ON THE DEATH OF A SPOUSE.
On January 19th, it will have been two years since my life’s partner and love of 30 years, John Phillip Bergwall, died. I tend to be a private person and avoid talking about personal issues. Death, however, is a social issue. Collectively we shy away from its discussion, leaving individuals to cope alone and others at a loss for words.

While you have no idea of the impact of such a life-changing event until felt personally, lifting the shrouds of silence on the inevitability of death might help us feel the wonder of life shared more keenly. It is indeed short.

John died suddenly, without warning, as I was driving him to an appointment. Cardiac arrest. On Broadway, just a few yards from where we had faithfully held our weekly vigil to save the life of the 110 year-old red horse chestnut tree on the site of the Hyatt Hotel that had ignored the community’s pleas to save the tree. Our many signs were John’s work, artist that he was.

A line from Susan Abulhawa’s Mornings in Jenin resonated: “Struck by…death’s lack of drama. Its matter-of-factness. Its quiet authority.”

And this from Emily Dickinson spoke to me:
This is the hour of lead-
Remembered, if outlived,
As freezing persons recollect the snow-
First-Chill-then Stupor-then the letting go.

We live as though there is always tomorrow. Like most people I was at a loss for words if someone whispered that so and so had just “lost” her or his spouse. Not that I blurted out “well, you’re better rid of the old fart!” I murmured something hopefully caring but unintelligible. Like with sex, we lack a meaningful language of communication around death since both are taboo subjects. Interesting that one is the potential beginning of life and one the ending of it. We live in the middle part and leave the beginning and end to chance. I feel the middle could be better-lived if the end were better articulated.

There are many widows and widowers amongst us although the former far outnumber the latter. We are invisible. Once the rituals have ended, it is assumed we get on with our lives and “get over it.” I can’t speak for everyone but those I can speak for will tell you that is not so. The sharp edges somewhat dull but the emptiness is still keenly felt. Tears are just below the veneer of daily living. Maybe this is a measure of how much love was shared when the other was alive. The paradox of wishing for less love in life to ease the pain of eventual loss is not a very good solution.

I’ll leave you with a few thoughts. Treasure those you love as though they may be gone forever tomorrow. The universes are distant, cold and immense while love is close by and warm. If you know someone who has lost a loved one, say something simple and caring. Avoid saying nothing out of discomfort…it’s not about you. Avoid comparisons. No, it’s not like when your dog died; they are not “in a better place”; time may not help; things don’t always happen for a reason; we are not lucky to have had the time we had. Sometimes a hug is all that is needed since such physical closeness has disappeared. Whenever I leave the wharf after Gilda’s, the place I drove to after the emergency room and John dead on the gurney, since Gilda’s is family, one of the women at the kiosk always asks “How are you today?” Even after two years, I know she means “How are you today without your beloved John?” That touches the heart. That is sufficient.

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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Jan. 14, 2019

PRIORITIES
What Should the City Council Take On?


The camp behind Gateway Plaza shopping center,
“Camp Ross,” has grown to 135 tent structures.

What is the most important issue facing Santa Cruz right now? I met with over a dozen people this week all of whom would seem to have priority differences. There were the dozens of activists who came out to the council meeting seeking protections for tenants now; I met in the backroom (no smoke) of Lupulos Beer House  with folks wanting to decouple the library from the garage and take a look at that wonderful space bounded by Cedar, Lincoln and Cathcart streets as a public space, a town commons perhaps, and a permanent place for the Downtown Farmer’s Market; then there was the guy on the Westside who says UCSC is being let off the housing hook because they seem to be absent from the city council debate on renter protection and affordable housing (I hope not); the highest priority for the dance-arts community is preserving space for art downtown in the face of the Devcon-Swenson-Ross developer frenzy to re-do Pacific Avenue and Front Street; Save Our Shores is looking at eliminating plastics from the ocean; the “Berniecrats” organized a slate of state convention delegates that includes Justin Cummings and Jeffrey Smedberg, and were urging supporters to go to SEIU to vote this past Sunday; city commission appointments, set for a city council decision on January 21st, was on the minds of many I met with this past week, as was the ongoing saga over whether the Corridor Plan is really dead; and how do we get the Lawlor Project to build those 31 affordable units inside their 205-unit sprawling market-rate development on Pacific near Laurel Street? But when I ran into Daniel and Dougie at the now penned in homeless camp, dubbed Camp Ross, I realized anew what our community priorities might be.

Camp Ross, 25% more Tents this Week than Last
After counting 105 tent structures last week all packed between the cinder block back wall of Ross Dress for Less, and the unforgiving asphalt and noise of the Highway 1 and River Street intersection, I just figured there wasn’t much space left to grow. But when I visited this past Saturday the number of tent-structures ballooned to 135 with still more people looking for a spot. I also learned that, while this location is not really perfect for anyone–campers, community, businesses, drivers–it is in fact a place for the homeless and the houseless to be and collect their thoughts, use a rest room perhaps, wash up and maybe take a respite to plan for tomorrow. Is it safe for everyone? No, not like the city-sponsored River Street camp was. Is it a place to rest? For now, yes, but the city council and board of supervisors need to act, and act quickly on addressing this critical situation.

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“In America, a woman—not the government or her employer—must control her own body. We must vigorously defend women’s access to all reproductive health services and allow them to make their own medical decisions.” (Jan. 14)
(Chris Krohn is a father, writer, activist, and was on the Santa Cruz City Councilmember from 1998-2002. Krohn was Mayor in 2001-2002. He’s been running the Environmental Studies Internship program at UC Santa Cruz for the past 14 years. He was elected the the city council again in November of 2016, after his kids went off to college. His current term ends in 2020.

Email Chris at ckrohn@cruzio.com

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January 13, 2019

PLEASE HELP “WATER FOR SANTA CRUZ” DO THE RIGHT THING
On December 18, the Soquel Creek Water District Board certified as complete the Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the Project to inject treated sewage water into the MidCounty groundwater drinking supply (PureWater Soquel Project) and approved the Project.  The release of the document for public review on December 7 came as a surprise to the public, and during the busy holiday season, the District allowed only 10 days to review the 4″-thick voluminous and complex information.  There were no copies provided at the libraries.  The District refused to honor many many requests for a time extension.

There are MANY flaws, deficiencies and errors in this EIR.  Since the Board approved all that, the only recourse to correct the problems and force the District to consider the feasibility of water transfer (conjunctive use) agreements for regional water management is legal action.

This is the right thing to do.  

Please consider helping Water for Santa Cruz County to take this important and responsible action by donating whatever amount you are able.  Visit their website to learn more, and to click “Donate” with whatever amount you can spare.   https://waterforsantacruz.com

WHAT IS SOQUEL CREEK WATER DISTRICT DOING AT TWIN LAKES CHURCH AND CABRILLO COLLEGE DRIVE?
Many people who were not aware of the Soquel Creek Water District’s plan to inject millions of gallons of treated sewage water into the drinking water supply for MidCounty may not know that preliminary construction work for the PureWater Soquel Project actually began on or about January 2 of this year at Twin Lakes Church, adjacent to the lower Cabrillo College campus.  The District Board approved a faulty Initial Study/Mitigated Negative Declaration (IS/MND) on November 6, even before the Final Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the treated sewage water injection project, aka, PureWater Soquel Project, was complete or the Responses to Comments made on the Draft EIR published for public review.  I have been reviewing the term of the Lease and Easement Agreement between Twin Lakes Church and Soquel Creek Water District.  The work begain in early January.  Here are some facts:

  1. The temporary agreement is for 3 years, and the District is paying $800/month, payable in advance in one chunk ($28,800 if my math is correct). 
  2. The District has also agreed to reimburse the Church $6,475 for some outside plan reviews and construction consultations (associated with additional demands of the Project).
  3. The District gets to use additional space (location not specified, but probably the adjacent parking lot) for equipment staging.  The time anticipated for the staging is 100 days, but the District will pay the Church $100/day for any additional time needed to complete the Project.
  4. The Pilot Project will use 8+million gallons of potable water that will be taken from a hydrant on Church property (not the one on the entrance island near the Project).  The District will install a separate meter on this source and credit the Church on water bills for the amount used in the Project.  I do not know what rate will be used (bulk rate? Commercial rate?  Special rate?), as it is not specified in the Agreement.
  5. If the Pilot Project is deemed useful as an injection well site for PureWater Soquel, a 50-year Long-term Lease Agreement has been prescribed, and will provide the Church with up to 3.5 Acre Feet/year free water for 50 years for irrigating the athletic fields with the treated sewage water from the PureWater Soquel Project if it is available, or with potable water if it is not.
  6. Also part of the Long-Term Lease is that the District will waive all Water Demand Offset requirements of the Church for the proposed expansion of on-site resident housing, provided it is adjoining existing such housing, or as an Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) and does not exceed 1600 square feet.
  7. Terms in the construction agreement state that there is to be minimal activity during busy times at the Church (M-F 7:45am-9am and 2:45pm-3:30pm, Saturday 5:30pm-7:30pm, and Sunday 8:30am-12:30pm). “The street and driveway adjacent to the construction site shall be kept clean and swept daily.”
  8. The District is to have placed a sign at the site, immediate upon beginning of Project work, describing the Project information.  They were a bit late getting a sign up, and the one there now is almost impossible to read because it is printed on see-through mesh.  By County Code, there must be a 24-Hour Disturbance Contact number posted for members of the public to be able to call with problems…I do not know if that is on the mesh sign.  The Church representative who signed the Agreement is Valerie Webb.
  9. The next step is that Maggiora Brothers will show up and begin drilling the 1000′-deep pilot well, and geological data regarding the soils will be logged.  Once drilling begins, it could be continuous and may take 2-3 weeks.   It will be loud, so if students, staff, or Church members are bothered by the sound, the District will be required to install sound blankets to deflect the noise upward.  The District will also be bringing in 2-3 large “Baker Tanks”, which essentially are big portable settling ponds, to use in de-chlorinating the hydrant water before injecting it into the Aquifer, and also to let muddy water associated with the drilling (containing potentially-toxic drilling mud compounds) settle before dumping it into the adjacent creek.  That is all supposed to be monitored, and I expect the area will be completely off-limits to anyone not associated with the Project.  It is curious that no one from Fish and Wildlife submitted comment on this Project.
  10. The injection testing will last into March or April.  Although the environmental document and Director Bruce Daniels stated the injection would be “gravity feed”, THAT IS NOT TRUE.  There will be either generator-driven electric pumps forcibly injecting the 6+Million gallons (the 8+ million figure for the total project includes construction water needs) or a portable power drop-down brought for the construction site. The injection must be continuous and will also be very noisy. Again, if anyone is disturbed by the noise, the District must install sound-deflection blankets.
  11. After the Pilot Project is evaluated, the well would either be capped and developed later as part of PureWater Soquel, or destroyed under permit.

    The District is responsible for re-landscaping the disturbed area, replacing the 18 trees that were cut down, chipped and hauled to the Buena Vista Landfill.  Let’s hope the biotic assessment at that time was done well…the trees were known to support solitary bat habitat and populations.  I have requested a copy of the report via a Public Records Act request from the District.

  12. You can review the comments submitted on the Initial Study for the Pilot Project on the District website, and also as part of the November 6, 2018 Board meeting held at Community Foundation.  The Board adopted two resolutions that night regarding the Project in items 6.3 (page 39) and time 6.4, which was specifications for the Project to go to bid.  The Project was put out to bid before the 30-day CEQA appeal window for it closed.  The Bid was awarded on December 4, also before the CEQA appeal window terminated.  No appeals were filed…it is a complicated and expensive process to appeal CEQA actions, but was warranted, in my opinion, because of the incorrect statement that the injection process would be “gravity feed” but will in fact require pressure-injection pumping.    The Board approved all of this.
  13. At the time of my questioning the Project approval on November 6, Chairman Bruce Daniels told me that the City of Santa Cruz was “making them do this for future Aquifer Storage Recharge sites.”  That was also not true because the City is using their own Beltz 12 well, located within their service area, for that purpose and will begin testing that this month.   
  14. One also has to wonder why only the Twin Lakes Injection Well site is being tested so rigorously in advance of the PureWater Soquel Project, and not also the Willowbrook and Monterey sites.   There is likewise little geologic information known about those proposed injection well sites.
  15. Finally, one must question whether the Board fully considered on the Draft EIR and Responses to Comments, which has become the Final EIR for PureWater Soquel Project upon their December 18 approval.  Did the Board act with a fair and impartial state of mind to evaluate all impacts and feasibilities associated, having taken such extensive action and expenses to ratepayers at the Twin Lakes Church Pilot Injection Well Site in advance of even approving the EIR for PureWater Soquel???

You may share this information with whomever you wish.  You can see the original documentation on the Soquel Creek Water District website archived agenda for December 18, 2018, pages 66-79, with other legal information associated following page 79.

I think this Board really needs to be taken to task for these irresponsible actions….and ratepayers need to consider either recall action or writing a letter to Santa Cruz County LAFCO Director Pat McCormick, asking that the Commission place on their next agenda (February 6) an item to consider CONSOLIDATION OF SOQUEL CREEK WATER DISTRICT WITH SANTA CRUZ CITY WATER DEPARTMENT.  Here is the address:

Santa Cruz County LAFCO Director Mr. Pat McCormick, County Governement Building Room 318D, 701 Ocean Street, Santa Cruz, CA   95060.  You can talk with him by calling 831-454-2055.  While LAFCO cannot initiate annexation, it CAN initiate consolidation.

Many agencies, such as Aptos/La Selva Fire and Central Fire Districts, are now consolidating to save costs to ratepayers by eliminating redundant administrative costs and overhead while improving efficient service to the public.  Consolidating Soquel Creek Water District with Santa Cruz City would most definitely do that, while supporting a more logical and cost-effective regional approach to water supply management and storage issues in the County.  Santa Cruz City Water, under direction of Ms. Rosemary Menard, is proceeding in a balanced and cost-effective manner to ensure the area’s water resources are being managed well, and paying equal respect to a wide range of Capital Improvement Projects to ensure reliable water at an affordable price to ratepayers.  Review the January 7, 2019 City Water Advisory Commission presentation

SOQUEL CREEK WATER DISTRICT RATEPAYERS NEED TO PROTEST IMPENDING RATE INCREASES BY FEB. 19
If you are a ratepayer of the District, you probably received a glossy notice from the District notifying you that they are about to RAISE YOUR RATES AND FEES AGAIN AND AGAIN AND AGAIN (every year through 2023)!!!  This is to pay for the District’s project to daily inject millions of gallons of treated sewage water into the drinking water supply for the entire MidCounty region.  The PureWater Soquel Project is estimated to cost $90-$135 Million but will total nearly $200 Million with debt burden. 

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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

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January 7, 2019 #7 / A Tech Dividend?


Manuel Pastor (left) once taught at the University of California, Santa Cruz. He is now a Professor of Sociology and American Studies and Ethnicity at the University of Southern California. Chris Benner (right) was formerly at USC and is now a sociology professor at UCSC. Benner and Pastor are suggesting a “tech dividend” for workers in the Silicon Valley.

The proposed tech dividend would be modeled after Alaska’s oil-industry annual permanent fund payments, which means that it would not be available only to tech workers. Click right here for a brief explanation, published in the Mercury News.

The Benner-Pastor proposal, which has to qualify as “radical,” since it suggests that wealth should be “shared,” not siphoned off to those at the very top of the economic pyramid, is just one way that we might go about repairing our badly-damaged economy. We really are “all in this together,” and the incredible wealth produced in our economy needs to be allocated so that everyone shares in the benefits of economic success. Worker cooperatives, and stock payments to workers (another way to spread ownership to all who work in a common enterprise) have been mentioned in this blog before. Here’s another idea!

And as a final word, how about we make tech businesses internalize their costs, too? That would mean, among other things, that the companies creating jobs would have to take a large share of the responsibility for making sure that adequate housing was built for the workers that are needed, as new jobs are generated. 

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

Email Gary at gapatton@mac.com

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EAGAN’S SUBCONSCIOUS COMICS. Scroll below for secret scenes and driving forces.

EAGAN’S DEEP COVER. See Eagan’s “Cages and Walls ” 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: I opened the window and “in –flew- enza” !! No she didn’t really, but check out Lisa Jensen Online Express (http://ljo-express.blogspot.com ). Lisa has been writing film reviews and columns for Good Times since 1975.

ON THE BASIS OF SEX. If you saw the recent documentary “RBG“, there’s no reason to see this near-religious tribute to Ruth Bader Ginsberg — though she is a lot prettier in this version. We know by now that RBG is some kind of saint, and that she had a lung problem a few weeks ago. Felicity Jones is a British actress, and manages to sound about 80% American with a New Yorker accent that flips on and off. It’s sort of a mix between Joan of Arc and Mary Poppins.

IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK. A 94 on Rotten Tomatoes, Golden Globes and Oscar talk, this is a deeply moving story about a black Harlem family in the 70’s, facing the very real race problems that remain with us all. James Baldwin wrote the book, and the Beale Street reference is only to drive home the fact that time and equality haven’t changed. Rape, pregnancy, mother’s love, are combined with super acting to wrench hidden feelings from all of us. Don’t miss this excellent film.

ROMA. What’s extra perfect about Roma is that you can see it on the theatre screen right now, realize how perfect a film it is, and then go home and watch it again on Netflix. I did exactly that. Alfonso Cuarón (Gravity, Children of Men, Y Tu Mama Tambien) directed this complex self-biography/masterpiece. I’m not sure what’s best… the acting, the photography, or the story. It’s Mexico City in the 1970’s, and we watch the changes in the life of a housekeeper and of the world she lives in. See it, especially if you like award-winning classics.

BEN IS BACK. Julia Roberts does one of her very best roles in this controlling Mom dealing with her addict son. Lucas Hedges also captures the rest of the screen as the remorseful son who is earnestly trying hard to stay “clean”. A very hard biting drama, and probably has been a true story many thousands of times. Go see the movie.  

VICE. Not a GREAT movie but an important one. Christian Bale is completely unrecognizable as Dick Cheney and his performance is for sure Oscar-worthy. I had no idea how evil and powerful Cheney became working under and on top of George W. Bush. It is a scary movie and lacks continuity but politics fans need to see it.

FAVOURITE. Emma Stone, Rachel Weisz, and Olivia Colman work together nicely in this  costume drama that tries to be a comedy or else it’s a comedy that looks like a costume drama. Olivia Colman is Queen Elizabeth in this 18th Century and she’s been winning all sorts of awards and praise for her slap stick fun. The movie is intentionally full of out of proper time words and gestures. They say fuck a lot and make very modern gestures. Not my favorite movie but just maybe it’s yours?

WELCOME TO MARWEN. Poor reviews like a 28 on RT, but I liked it much more than they did. It’s “based on a true story” about a guy who got severely beaten by thugs and lost his memory…completely. So he re-creates a new world populated with Barbie  and Ken dolls. Steve Carell plays Mark Hogancamp, the real life sufferer who still lives in up-state New York. Since the movie is about a mentally de-ranged guy it too is disturbingly directed. It’s complex, confused and really involving as well as hypnotic. CLOSES THURSDAY, JANUARY 17

MARY, QUEEN OF SCOTS. Saoirse Ronan and Margot Robbie play strong and competing would be queens in this costume drama set around the 16th century. It’s a battle between the two great actresses over the throne. It’s full of Catholicism, cruelty, cunnilingus, and other controversial topics. It’s way over done and certainly doesn’t add much too cinematic history.

MARY POPPINS RETURNS. This is a NEW Mary Poppins movie.  Emily Blunt is no Julie Andrews and if you’re old enough to remember seeing the 1964 original you’ll realize just how wonderful it was. There’s not a single memorable song in this take, there’s no purity, innocence, or genuinely creative additions to the 54 year old original. Lin-Manuel Miranda, Ben Whishaw, Emily Mortimer and Julie Walters with Colin Firth and Meryl Streep added just to give it hype. Meryl Streep is sort of the Ed Winn character but she’s not as good.

BIRD BOX. Sandra Bullock stars in this dystopian melodrama. Invisible aliens attack earth and if you look at them you’ll have to commit suicide!! I saw this on Netflix, it’s brand new in limited release and who knows of it’ll ever go wall to wall in theatre. It’s a mish mash of time periods as Sandra takes two children on a blindfolded row boat trip to escape these invaders. The ending ??? It doesn’t have one exactly, as our heroes stay over at a school for the blind and stare at the sky. The photography is fine, the acting is pretty good, but none of it makes sense.

GREEN BOOK. Viggo Mortensen and Mahershala Ali (from Oakland) are getting extra-super praise for their roles in this almost-true story of a white chauffeur driving a black jazz pianist through the American south in 1962. I couldn’t buy the entire plot. Both Viggo and Mahershala play their roles way over the top…becoming caricatures. There isn’t a surprise, revelation, or any lesson to be learned from this movie. It’s a story we are all too familiar with. If Slumdog Millionaire got an Academy Award, this one could too. But not from me.

BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY. I should note that I’m no fan of “Queen” the band, or of Freddie Mercury, their Mick Jagger-copying lead singer. Nonetheless this Hollywood-style movie is shallow, hammy, trite, and adds nothing to film, music, or history. It’s actually boring for much of its screen time of two hours and 15 minutes.

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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. . Julie James talks about Jewel Theatre’s new play Red Velvet on January 15. Then Celia and Peter Scott talk about Campaign For Sustainable Transportation. Phil Collins from New Music Works discusses their Feb. 2 concert featuring Terry Riley, piano and Sarah Cahill on January 22. Following Phil will be Attorney Bill Parkin and Ron Pomerantz talking about the lawsuit against the City and developer Owen Lawlor. John Laird discusses his plans to run for Bill Monning’s State Senate Seat on January 29. Linda Burman-Hall discusses the full season of The Santa Cruz Baroque Festival on Feb. 5. Ellen Grace O’Brian talks about her book, ” Jewel Of Abundance” on February 12.  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

Enjoy this Daily Show clip…

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.   “MARCHES”

“If your child marches to a different beat, a different drummer, you might just have to go along with that music. Help them achieve what’s important to them” Sonia Sotomayor

“I don’t even really see sit-ins and marches as passive. I see them as quite assertive. I see those as emotionally aggressive tactics. I see people putting their lives on the line and being bold and brave”. Ava DuVernay

“I actually believe that this Trump phenomenon, which has affected many of us, is going to accelerate the use of art for philanthropy, because people are realizing that art is a vehicle for showing opposition – just look at the signs in the women’s marches”. Agnes Gund


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

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

Direct email: Bratton@Cruzio.com
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January 9 – 15, 2019

Highlights this week:

BRATTON…John Laird to run for Bill Monning’s senate office?, Measure O lawsuit filed against City, City Council and Owen Lawlor Developer… 2018’s Sentinel prediction,  Kessler, Primack and the shrinking Sentinel, Tom Noddy and the Flying Karamazov Bros., good bye John DizikesGREENSITE…debunks the “housing crisis.”  KROHN…extra busy. No column, back next week. STEINBRUNER…no PG&E power , road blocked, back next week. PATTON…and“The Good Life”. EAGAN…Subconscious Comics and “Divided Government” in Deep Cover. JENSEN…about Roma and Harry Potter BRATTON…I critique “If Beale Street Could Talk” and lotsa good movies out now.UNIVERSAL GRAPEVINE GUEST LINEUP. QUOTES…on “Storms”

                                 

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CVS/Long’s Drug Store, July 27, 1965. Note the back of the Del Mar Theatre at the very far left. That’s about the only way to get your bearings at this job site. It’s Front Street and Soquel, with the four story parking structure including Oswald’s Restaurant today.                                         
                                   

photo credit: Covello & Covello Historical photo collection.

MUSICAL SAW DUET. Odd, just odd that’s all.
Bohemian Rhapsody (Queen) on a Harpejji G16. Watch your first harpejji concert.

DATELINE January 7, 2019

JOHN LAIRD INTO BILL MONNING’S SENATE SEAT? Last Tuesday night (1/1/19) on my Universal Grapevine radio program, Gary Patton surprised me — and probably most listeners — by saying that John Laird is seriously considering running for California State Senator Bill Monning’s seat. Bill terms out in 2020. He was elected in 2012 to the senate, and re-elected in 2016. John says he’ll send me more details ASAP! Santa Cruzan John Laird is currently our California Secretary of Natural Resources. John has been in public Service for 40 years, 23 of which were in elected office. Go here for his longer bio…  

MEASURE O LAWSUIT AGAINST CITY OF SANTA CRUZ, THE CITY COUNCIL AND DEVELOPER OWEN LAWLOR. Activists Shelley Hatch and Ron Pomerantz have “filed a Petition for Writ of Mandamus against Respondents City of  Santa Cruz and City Council of the City of Santa Cruz . I’ve taken as much of the legal words in the action and included them in the next few paragraphs.” The Petition alleges that Respondents violated the California Constitution and a local voter-adopted initiative, Measure 0, that requires new developments to include a share of price restricted affordable housing in new housing developments, and that Respondentviolated the California Environmental Quality Act”. Owen Lawlor of Lawlor Land Use Development Company is the developer of the proposed Pacific, Laurel and Front Street mixed 205 residential units and commercial 6 story building.

This lawsuit challenges the failure by Respondents City of Santa Cruz and City Council of the City of Santa Cruz (collectively referred to herein as “Respondents”) to enforce  the requirement of a voter-adopted initiative measure that requires new developments to include a share of price-restricted affordable housing in new housing developments (Measure O). While Respondents pay lip service to the need for affordable housing, what Respondents actually do is to use the need for such affordable housing as an argument to endlessly promote market-rate development within the City of Santa Cruz.

Such market-rate development fails to quell or dampen the need for affordable housing. Contrary to the impression that Respondents have given by their promotion of market-rate housing, providing more market-rate housing does not actually provide a solution to the housing woes besetting the community, and does not alleviate the need for affordable housing.

In fact, as long as market-rate housing in the City of Santa Cruz, or even the County of  Santa Cruz, is less expensive than housing in Santa Clara County (the address of the economic juggernaut infamously known worldwide as Silicon Valley), and as long as there is a world-class university, Airbnb and second homeowners, Santa Cruz will remain steadfastly unaffordable. No amount of market-rate development in an attractive California coastal area will dampen prices such that homes are affordable. Indeed, respondents ignore the economic realities of homebuilding. Density in San Francisco did not reduce the price of homes any more than it did in the New York City Borough of Manhattan.

The high cost of land and labor in California, and Santa Cruz, and the fact that developers only build when demand is strong, means that housing affordability will remain a perennial problem. Measure O, the growth management initiative adopted by the voters in 1979 that also created the City’s Greenbelt, recognized the folly of mindless growth and mandated an affordable housing requirement for new development. Measure O recognized that there was “an already existing housing crisis in the City of Santa Cruz… .”. The commitment, courage, and willingness shown by Shelley Hatch and Ron Pomerantz is amazing and inspiring. Now we get to watch how the new City Council will work under pressure.

SANTA CRUZ SENTINEL January 2018.  Exactly one year ago this week I wrote in this space….

JANUARY 1 ST, 2018 SADLY SHRINKING SENTINEL First it was Wallace Baine, then Don Miller, then Karen Kefauver, Stacey Vreeken, and Haven Livingston…all gone. Now we have to wonder about such favorites as Donna Maurillo, Offra Gerstein, Jondi Gumz, Julie Jag — and how about the new column by Steve Kessler? As we’ve been reading, the cutbacks are all generated by Digital First Media. Go here… to see the extent of their print empire, consisting of 97 newspapers. Here’s an example (quote) of what they promise to do for advertisers… “Taking an omni channel approach, we look at a comprehensive view of the purchase journey for your ideal customer group and model the optimal combination of digital touch points to increase your marketing efficiency”. (1/07/19… Jondi Gumz just left after 26 years and Wallace Baine had a piece in Sunday’s  (1/06/19) S.F. Chronicle).

ABOUT STEPHEN KESSLER, MARK PRIMACK, AND THE SANTA CRUZ SENTINEL 2019.
James Weller from Sanctuary Santa Cruz and the Peace United Church of Christ wrote a much-deserved critique on Facebook last week. Jim also adds that he has no authority to speak for those organizations, or for any of their members other than myself. Open the link, or links, to his entire piece — but his calling out of Kessler and Primack is spot on. Read how they slam Justin Cummings and Drew Glovers votes. Read about their accusation of exploiting the very legal UCSC student votes…and the ridiculous welcome to the “reality of governance”. See what Weller says about rent control and the “purchase of Propaganda”. And special thanks to James Weller, for allowing me to re-print all of it here…

“Enough already, from the stalking horses harnessed to the Sentinel’s bandwagon of shameless commerce. I’m talking about the politically purposed pundits Mark Primack and Stephen Kessler, whose blatherings seem to be the Sentinel’s favorite blunt instruments, pounding away at least once a week on the Opinion page.

What disgusts me is not so much that these smarty-pants oracles are beating their drums for the bourgeoisie, but that their utterances are full of errors. Worse, these are intentional errors.

Kessler, for instance, in his January 5 blurt, claims that Justin Cummings and Drew Glover, two of the three City Council candidates elected in November, nevertheless did “lose the popular vote,” laughably likening the function of our local popular election to that of the Electoral College.

Kessler’s rubric is “City Council Reality Check: Do the Math.” But he showed his work, and it is obviously bogus. No passing grade for you, Stephen. You compare the total number of votes for Drew and Justin with the total number of votes for all the other eight candidates, saying moronically that “a two-to-one margin” did not vote for the winners. Do I really need to point out that the total number of votes for all the candidates does not equal the number of voters?

He says that Justin’s and Drew’s campaigners asked supporters not to vote for a third candidate, though they could have. Yet, incredibly, Kessler ignores the common-sense certainty that most voters did nevertheless vote for three candidates, although we cannot determine which voters voted for whom. If every voter made three choices, then the total number of votes divided by three would equal the number of voters, which would come to 25,000. Now, look: Cummings won 12,516 votes, Meyers won 11,862, and Glover won 10,972. That means each in turn was favored by a whopping plurality among the rest of the candidates, though Cummings did poll an absolute majority among all of them.

No matter how you slice it, the winners won by solid pluralities of the popular vote. Period. Kessler got it badly wrong, and with a purpose.

Like Primack, Kessler whines about Glover’s “exploitation of the [UCSC] student vote” calling it a “clever political stratagem,” as if there were something nefarious about that. In his very next sentence, Kessler calls that outcome “fair and square by the rules of residency and same-day registration.” Well, duh. Those are the rules, aren’t they, Stephen? And the vast majority of us approve of them.

There are other equally telling lacunae in Kessler’s commentary, and nowhere does he tell the plain truth about why the likes of him, and Primack, are in print in the first place. When Kessler pompously says to Cummings and Glover, “welcome to the reality of governance,” as if he has any authority in the matter, the agenda is thinly veiled.

This isn’t about political philosophy. It’s about rent control, stupid. It’s about sore winners in the successful campaign to kill Measure M, the recently defeated rent-control and tenant eviction protection ballot measure. Glover, Cummings, Brown, and Krohn publicly supported M. Now, they are a majority of the City Council, which is what Kessler, Primack, and the Sentinel are freaking out about.

Some 57% of Santa Cruz residents are tenants, and they overwhelmingly support rent control, the failure of M notwithstanding. M was killed by nearly a million dollars’ worth of deceptive and diversionary propaganda bought and blasted at us by landlord interests, which bamboozled the electorate. The age-old ruling class strategy is to divide the populace, in this instance by pitting tenants against homeowners, and students against everyone else.

Yet in fact, very many voters who were scared off by the manufactured hue and cry against M allowed that they actually do support some form of rent control, but not this one. It was a ubiquitous refrain. In its particulars, M was a necessarily complex proposition, made weirder by the wild card of Proposition 10, conjuring a political Schrodinger’s cat if there ever was one.

But the 2018 election circus that seemed to be all about Measure M is over with. Before us lies the very different realm of municipal legislative process. And, guess what? In 2019, according to the will of the People, by due process, there definitely will be a rent control ordinance enacted by the Santa Cruz City Council. You can bet on it.

One thing on which Kessler agrees with the majority of us is that the process should “be a matter of reason, listening, persuasion, negotiation, [and] compromise.” I believe all that will indeed happen.

But this time, the landlord interests will not be able to buy their desired outcome by carpet bombing us with their purchased propaganda, as they did in 2018. This time, all their money will be to no avail. They’re going to have to come to the table. And there are way more of us than there are of them”. James Weller

TOM NODDY & THE FLYING KARAMAZOVS! Tom Noddy emailed to say he’s working on getting the original four Flying Karamazov Brothers plus himself to re-unite at the 50th anniversary of the Oregon State Fair. That’ll run August 23rd – September 2. Longtime Santa Cruzans who loved our downtown will never forget the Four Flying Karamazovs (UCSC students who went on touring the world, even making big time films). They’ll also remember Tom Noddy the bubble guy and Artis the Spoonman and all sorts of great entertainers that made our Pacific Avenue so unique.

JOHN DIZIKES DIED. There are certain people who create a place — or better yet, space — in their community that no one else can fill. John Dizikes was one of those special people. He had an unusual ability to be larger than life, to simply fill more dimensions than most folks do. No matter how many decades later, John represented all those special and unique features that UCSC had when it opened. He was a great radio interview, an incredibly knowledgeable opera companion, and we’ll all miss him…very much.

January 7, 2019

WHAT HOUSING CRISIS?
Let’s get one thing straight. We do not have a housing crisis. We have a UCSC- generated student growth crisis. Calling it a “housing crisis” is addressing the symptom not the cause. Putting a band-aid on the symptom without excising the cause will not solve the crisis. The cry to “build more housing!” manipulated by developers and housing zealots and latched onto by well meaning, concerned residents will fail to make a dent in the crisis unless the cause is named and tackled head-on.

Consider that in 2002, the UCSC student population was 12 thousand (11 thousand undergraduates and 1 thousand graduates.) The maximum rent for a 4-bedroom house, the size favored by students when they move off campus after their first or second year was reported to be $2300 a month. A Sentinel article on UCSC and downtown rentals for the beginning of the 2002 academic year, written by staff writer Heather Boerner noted that, “This summer, it’s not so bad being a student looking for a place to live. More rentals are on the market, both downtown and at UC Santa Cruz. Rents remain slightly lower than they were last year for the type of big houses students pile into.” And more good news, “don’t expect the student rental market to make renting more difficult for long-term residents this fall.”

Contrast that with a January 1st. 2019 Sentinel article by reporter Jondi Gumz in which Paul Bailey of Bailey Properties notes that a 3 bedroom home (which can house 6 students) rents for $4800 a month. Other than the massive rent increase for a smaller house, the only other metric that significantly changed in that time is the size of the student population. There are now 19 thousand students (17 thousand undergraduates and 2 thousand graduates) enrolled at UCSC with half of that number competing for off-campus housing, allowing landlords to raise rents to whatever the market will bear and enticing speculators to buy up and profit from the situation. Pro-development advocates fabricate a slew of culprits for the “housing crisis”: slow growth activists; environmental regulations; permit costs; rental inspections etc. They conveniently leave unexamined the UCSC demand side, which sits like an 800-pound gorilla on the neck of Santa Cruz, the smallest town to host a UC campus.

UCSC growth is also the cause of the current landlord/tenant hostilities over rent control. It is true that earlier rent control campaigns pre-date rapid UCSC growth but it is the more recent explosion of campus growth that has created the conditions for landlords to capitalize on a fifty percent rent increase in the past 4 years, an untenable situation for renters, especially lower income students and all low income service workers and families, predominantly Latinx. While landlords fume and tenants march, it is clearly not a level playing field. One side is making money and the other is paying the price. Meanwhile, the Regents who created the local housing crisis send missives from the UC ivory tower that the plan is for a further 10 thousand student-enrollment at UCSC. Time to lift our collective heads from the sand, acknowledge that building more in the face of expanding student enrollment is a dead end and organize, not only for a moratorium on further UCSC growth but a roll back to a 2002 enrollment level. That will solve the housing crisis. A far better alternative than paving over paradise.

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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January 7.

Chris Krohn is working with his new City Council colleagues and it’s taken considerably more time out of his work lefe. He will be back next week.

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

Email Chris at ckrohn@cruzio.com

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January 7, 2019.

As of 7:32 am on January 7 Becky had no PG&E power in her house and the road was blocked. So no STEINBRUNER STATES report this week!

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

Email Becky at KI6TKB@yahoo.com

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December 31, 2018 #365 / The Good Life (According To David Brooks)

David Brooks, columnist for The New York Times, titled his December 18, 2018, column, “Who Killed The Weekly Standard?” For those who don’t know, The Weekly Standard was a rather conservative publication (but not a publication that was very enthusiastic about our current president). 

On December 17, 2018, the owners of The Weekly Standard, a couple of rich, conservative, white guys (you can read Brooks’ column to learn more), abruptly shut it down.

What struck me in Brooks’ column was his definition of “the good life.” Brooks said “the good life” was exemplified by The Weekly Standard

The good life consists of being an active citizen and caring passionately about politics; … it also consists of knowing something about Latin American fiction, ancient Greek culture and social impact of modern genetics; … it also consists of delighting in the latest good movies and TV shows, the best new cocktails and the casual pleasures of life.

Many of us would agree that the “latest good movies and TV shows,” and “casual pleasures,” are among the things that make life good. I am not so much, personally, interested in “the best new cocktails,” though I do like Latin American fiction. I am not against ancient Greek culture, either. While this is definitely my personal view, I tend to worry a bit, and do not rejoice about, the “social impact of modern genetics.”

Brooks is right on target, though, at least I think so, when we look what Brooks puts at the top of his list:

The good life consists of being an active citizen and caring passionately about politics.

Let’s not forget that. As Hannah Arendt points out, in her book, On Revolution, “being an active citizen” and “caring passionately about politics” is what that “pursuit of happiness” thing is actually all about. 

You know the “pursuit of happiness” I am talking about, right? I am sure it can include all sorts of “casual pleasures.” The “pursuit of happiness” is one of those “unalienable rights” mentioned in the Declaration of Independence! It is right up there with life and liberty, and according to Arendt, Brooks is correct in saying that it consists of “being an active citizen and caring passionately about politics.” 

For 2019 and 2020, keeping Brooks’ definition in mind, let’s let those good times roll!

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

Email Gary at gapatton@mac.com

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EAGAN’S  SUBCONSCIOUS  COMICS. Peer into the wild, profound world of yours and my id, ego, and unmentionables.

EAGAN’S  DEEP COVER. See Eagan’s “Divided Government ” 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. Eaganblog has his “View From The Solstice” poem (very subtle) and his blog contains “Just Say Suck” which is nearly unforgettable.

ANNIE LYDON & DAVE STAMEY SHOWS. Singer, performer Annie Lydon joins songwriter and world renowned cowboy vocalist Dave Stamey with two shows at Michaels on Main  2519 Main Street Soquel on January 9 & 10. Get tickets immediately …they always pack the house. Doors open at 6:30, show starts at 7:30. Go to www.michelsonmainmusic.com  and scroll down.

SANTA CRUZ CHAMBER PLAYERS…Concert #3. The concert is titled “On the Shoulders of Giants!”it features the  Wild Coast Brass with Kevin Jordan, Concert director and trumpet. They’ll be playing music by J.S. Bach, Barber, Canadian Brass and more.  That’ll happen Saturday, January 19, 7:30 pm and Sunday, January 20, 3:00 pm at The Christ Lutheran Church which is at 10707 Soquel Drive, Aptos (Off Highway 1 at Freedom Blvd.)

RED VELVET, THE PLAY. The Jewel Theatre Company, Santa Cruz’s only full time professional theatre company presents Lolita Chakrabarti’s play Red Velvet from January 23-February 17 at the Colligan Theatre in the Tannery. It’s about the backstage world of London in the early 1800’s. The play is Othello and the lead gets sick and a black man from America is about to take his place as the black Othello!! Go to https://www.jeweltheatre.net/red-velvet  for more data and tickets.

LISA JENSEN LINKS. Lisa writes: “Don’t expect action, but prepare to be immersed in Roma, the cinematic version of deep yoga breathing to observe and appreciate the small details of life, this week at  Lisa Jensen Online Express(http://ljo-express.blogspot.com)  Also, some further thoughts on where we go when we’re no longer here, with input from Harry Potter and Mr. Earl!” Lisa has been writing film reviews and columns for Good Times since 1975.

IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK. A 94 on Rotten Tomatoes, Golden Globes and Oscar talk, this is a deeply moving story about a black Harlem family in the 70’s, facing the very real race problems that remain with us all. James Baldwin wrote the book, and the Beale Street reference is only to drive home the fact that time and equality haven’t changed. Rape, pregnancy, mother’s love, are combined with super acting to wrench hidden feelings from all of us. Don’t miss this excellent film.

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ROMA. What’s extra perfect about Roma is that you can see it on the theatre screen right now, realize how perfect a film it is, and then go home and watch it again on Netflix. I did exactly that. Alfonso Cuarón (Gravity, Children of Men, Y Tu Mama Tambien) directed this complex self-biography/masterpiece. I’m not sure what’s best… the acting, the photography, or the story. It’s Mexico City in the 1970’s, and we watch the changes in the life of a housekeeper and of the world she lives in. See it, especially if you like award-winning classics.

BEN IS BACK. Julia Roberts does one of her very best roles in this controlling Mom dealing with her addict son. Lucas Hedges also captures the rest of the screen as the remorseful son who is earnestly trying hard to stay “clean”. A very hard biting drama, and probably has been a true story many thousands of times. Go see the movie.  CLOSES THURSDAY, JANUARY 10.

VICE. Not a GREAT movie but an important one. Christian Bale is completely unrecognizable as Dick Cheney and his performance is for sure Oscar-worthy. I had no idea how evil and powerful Cheney became working under and on top of George W. Bush. It is a scary movie and lacks continuity but politics fans need to see it.

WELCOME TO MARWEN. Poor reviews like a 28 on RT, but I liked it much more than they did. It’s “based on a true story” about a guy who got severely beaten by thugs and lost his memory…completely. So he re-creates a new world populated with Barbie  and Ken dolls. Steve Carell plays Mark Hogancamp, the real life sufferer who still lives in up-state New York. Since the movie is about a mentally de-ranged guy it too is disturbingly directed. It’s complex, confused and really involving as well as hypnotic.

MARY, QUEEN OF SCOTS. Saoirse Ronan and Margot Robbie play strong and competing would be queens in this costume drama set around the 16th century. It’s a battle between the two great actresses over the throne. It’s full of Catholicism, cruelty, cunnilingus, and other controversial topics. It’s way over done and certainly doesn’t add much too cinematic history.

MARY POPPINS RETURNS. This is a NEW Mary Poppins movie.  Emily Blunt is no Julie Andrews and if you’re old enough to remember seeing the 1964 original you’ll realize just how wonderful it was. There’s not a single memorable song in this take, there’s no purity, innocence, or genuinely creative additions to the 54 year old original. Lin-Manuel Miranda, Ben Whishaw, Emily Mortimer and Julie Walters with Colin Firth and Meryl Streep added just to give it hype. Meryl Streep is sort of the Ed Winn character but she’s not as good.

BIRD BOX. Sandra Bullock stars in this dystopian melodrama. Invisible aliens attack earth and if you look at them you’ll have to commit suicide!! I saw this on Netflix, it’s brand new in limited release and who knows of it’ll ever go wall to wall in theatre. It’s a mish mash of time periods as Sandra takes two children on a blindfolded row boat trip to escape these invaders. The ending ??? It doesn’t have one exactly, as our heroes stay over at a school for the blind and stare at the sky. The photography is fine, the acting is pretty good, but none of it makes sense.

GREEN BOOK. Viggo Mortensen and Mahershala Ali (from Oakland) are getting extra-super praise for their roles in this almost-true story of a white chauffeur driving a black jazz pianist through the American south in 1962. I couldn’t buy the entire plot. Both Viggo and Mahershala play their roles way over the top…becoming caricatures. There isn’t a surprise, revelation, or any lesson to be learned from this movie. It’s a story we are all too familiar with. If Slumdog Millionaire got an Academy Award, this one could too. But not from me.

BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY. I should note that I’m no fan of “Queen” the band, or of Freddie Mercury, their Mick Jagger-copying lead singer. Nonetheless this Hollywood-style movie is shallow, hammy, trite, and adds nothing to film, music, or history. It’s actually boring for much of its screen time of two hours and 15 minutes.

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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. . Julie James talks about Jewel Theatre’s new play Red Velvet on January 15. Then Celia and Peter Scott talk about Campaign For Sustainable Transportation. Phil Collins from New Music Works discusses their Feb. 2 concert featuring Terry Riley, piano and Sarah Cahill on January 22. Linda Burman-Hall discusses the full season of The Santa Cruz Baroque Festival on Feb. 5. AND/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

Very touching short piece. Soon, there won’t be any actual survivors of the Holocaust left. It is vital that we do not forget!

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. “STORMS”

“The fishermen know that the sea is dangerous and the storm terrible, but they have never found these dangers sufficient reason for remaining ashore”, Vincent Van Gogh

It is only in sorrow bad weather masters us; in joy we face the storm and defy it. Amelia Barr

“I
think that the
world should be full of cats and full of rain, that’s all, just
cats and
rain, rain and cats, very nice, good
night.”

Charles Bukowski, Betting on the Muse: Poems and Storie


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82 Blackburn Street, Suite 216
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