January 19 – February 2, 2015

LEASKS DEPARTMENT STORE AT PACIFIC AND CHURCH STREETS January 1952 at 11:10 am. This is now Urban Outfitters and Regal Cinema 9. This grand and traditional Department store went through many iterations from 1892 when Samuel Leask from Scotland opened it until Gottschalks bought it in the 1980′s and it was there until the quake of 1989.
photo credit: Covello & Covello Historical photo collection.

Additional information always welcome: email bratton@cruzio.com


DATELINE January 19, 2015

DATELINE January 26, 2015

ARANA GULCH, THE RIBBON CUTTING. At least two hundred or more locals and lots of bicyclers attended Wednesday’s (1/14) Arana Gulch ribbon cutting. This “bike path” which in reality must be 20 feet wide with two new bridges cuts a huge highway through our Green Belt to provide a short cut for bicyclists who must not like to bicycle. Last week’s S.F. Chronicle (1/18) had a big piece apologizing to author Ed Abbey (“Desert Solitaire”,”Monkey Wrench Gang”) for his pointing out over a lifetime that cutting a highway through Arches National Park in UTAH so more people “nature lurkers”could enjoy nature was a terrible contradiction. http://www.sfgate.com/travel/article/Utah-s-Big-Five-parks-in-winter-6016318.php Abbey called it “Industrial Tourism”. Will we now pave a road through The Pogonip so students will save yardage from their bike commute? Will we build a bridge over Twin Lakes so we don’t have to drive around that gas – wasting bend? At what point do we stop proclaiming that our comfort and convenience is more important than nature? One ribbon cutting speaker even noted that taggers have already painted the “Path”. We can probably guess just how our Park and Rec. Dept will clean and maintain this new attraction. To apply all of Ed Abbey’s lifelong battle and his principles to the onward race to create the Santa Cruz Redwoods National Monument State Park. More, much more on the park in future weeks.

PIANO MAN. Ralph Davila sent this musical gem. It stars Billy Joel, Kevin Spacey…..doing Piano man.

UNIVERSAL GRAPEVINE WEEKLY NEWS. I’ve been remissfor nine years (since June of 2006 when I started my Universal Grapevine radio program) of not reporting/repeating the news that listeners and I learn from those Tuesday night programs. For example, Bruce Jaffe newly re-elected director of The Soquel Creek Water District said Tuesday night (1/13) that yes, there are existing pipes that could carry water from Santa Cruz to Soquel. He also stated and many folks wanted to know this…yes, the Soquel Creek Water District will be happy to collaborate with Santa Cruz on water transfers. Another little gem of news from Jaffe was that the Soquel voters have been very careful and elected only board members with science backgrounds and credentials. They completely rejected the Aptos Chamber of Commerce (with help from Bill Tyselling of the Santa Cruz Chamber) slate of development/business candidates. Earlier in the Grapevine program environmental attorney Bill Parkin stated that it’s true P.G.& E. has pulled back on its plan to erect huge monster power lines and support structures clouding the Day Valley, Freedom landscape for at least ten years. He also said it looks like Barry Swenson’s Aptos Village Development will get underway in this late summer. That’s complete with water, traffic, and the influx of all those new residents moving in. Parkin also talked about the nearly infamous CAL-AM’s de-sal proposal in Marina and how frustrated the locals are. I need to apologize that KZSC hasn’t yet been able to add my programs to their podcasts. So right now it’s listen on Tuesdays 7-8p.m.88.1fm or live online at KZSC.org or never!!

WORLD’S LARGEST VACUUM CHAMBER. Watch a bowling ball and feather fall when there’s no air!!!
CRAZY RUSSIAN PENCIL GUY. You really need to try this at home!!!

SANDY LYDON’S SANTA CRUZ HISTORY CLASS CANCELLED.Last weekI gave as big a shout out and urging everyone to enroll in Sandy Lydon’s History 25A Santa Cruz County and the Monterey Bay Region to 1880 class. Sandy announced Sunday (1/18) that he had to cancel it. He said, “ It’s been just too difficult for folks to register — many have given up and turned away. And, there are a gazillion of folks who want to take it again and the computer won’t let them. So I’m going to shut it down and cancel it. A lot of this has to do with the re-focusing of the college to transfer students and occupational programs”. “Folks who are registered will get refunds, etc and we’ll re-format it and do it on the Extension side and make it easier to register, hopefully in the Fall”.

WORLD’S LARGEST VACUUM CHAMBER. Watch a bowling ball and feather fall when there’s no air!!! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E43-CfukEgs

HISTORICAL PHOTO COMMENT. Triton H. wrote to say this about last week’s historic Eastside Post Office Photo…. “What struck me as remarkable about this week’s fabulous historic photo is not that the Eastside U.S. Post Office is no longer there, it’s that the Roller Palladium still is ! Relatively unchanged. That weird old dingy cavern of a roller skating rink has hosted generations of Santa Cruz 6th graders at roller skating parties. (I believe it was run by a couple, Denny & wife Heddy, who also operated a tiny little coffee shop counter at the corner where Pacific Avenue meets Front Street). I for one sure the heck remember going there and having a lot of fun back in the early-60′s, probably because it was one of the first places a kid could go to without tag-long Mom & Dad. And here’s what else is remarkable: The sign, see arrow. That Roller Palladium sign on the corner is gone, but look what survives: The round neon “winged roller skate” which evidently is now affixed to the corner of the building itself. Probably most people wouldn’t really notice or care, but as two aficionados of Old Santa Cruz, I hope you’ll also get a kick out of coming to the realization that a 65+ year-old relic survives, and quite nicely at that ! Anyway take care”.Triton H.

A READER WRITES. Ted “Shadowbrook” Burke writes to say, “As one of our communities notable film critics I thought you might enjoy this line delivered the other night by David Letterman: The Late Show With David Letterman….” This morning the Academy Award nominations were announced. Meryl Streep once again was nominated. I thought she did a tremendous job as the Olympic wrestler”. Happy New Year to you!

ELERICK’S INPUT. Mr. Paul Elerick of Aptos writes…


The armored military surplus vehicle has to be the most opposed Santa Cruz Police action ever brought before the public. After watching the well-moderated hearing (thank you Mayor Lane), it was clear where the public stood. It was simple, they didn’t want the vehicle, send it back, don’t even think about accepting it. Council voted to go ahead with what their police department wanted.

This hearing was followed by still another anti-homeless ordinance that continued the attack on poor people who have no place to sleep by issuing “stay away” tickets for those found sleeping in city parks. This also passed on a 7-1 vote with only Council Member Posner listening to the public; and voting accordingly. For the voters in Santa Cruz who didn’t vote last November, you better get ready for another two years of living with what TBSC (Take Back Santa Cruz) wants for you..

(Paul Elerick is co-chair with Peter Scott of the Campaign for Sensible Transportation, http://sensibletransportation.org , and he’s a member of Nisene 2 Sea, a group of open space advocates).