Blog Archives

September 12 – 18, 2011

FISHING ON THE SAN LORENZO, December 8, 1940. This was back in the day before the Santa Cruz City Council’s let pollutants and developers kill off our fish. This was the opening of the steelhead season, by Murray Street on East Cliff.

photo credit: Covello & Covello Historical photo collection, click for bigger version.

Additional information always welcome: email

WHAT CITY COUNCIL PENSIONS? I ran this item last week, and Cynthia Mathews immediately corrected The Santa Cruz Sentinel, Doug Deitch and me.

As previously mentioned Cynthia Mathews has been out there running for re-election in 2012. You can tell because she’s smiling, friendly, and joining every group she can squeeze into. But now comes along by way of Doug Deitch of all people, this data on the Sentinel website about the pensions she and Mike Rotkin receive. What pensions? How much do we pay former City Councilmember’s? Why does Cynthia get an annual pension of $34,569.48 and Mike Rotkin only get $9, 789.24? What other City jobs has Cynthia had? Not Planned Parenthood surely? I always thought that City Council members did it for the civic duty thing. Would somebody look into this hard earned City Expenditure….and reveal all the facts behind what our City Council are really paid??? Wasn’t it widely touted as $1000 per month while in office??

Check Michael E. Rotkin’s monthly and annual pension at

Monthly pension $ 815.77
Annual pension $ 9,789.24

Mike had 6 terms or 24 years in office.

Now check Cynthia’s pension at…

Monthly pension $ 2,880.79 (not correct she says)
Annual pension $ 34,569.48 (not correct she says)

She had 4 terms or 16 years in office….why the difference? And how come they make more in pensions???

CYNTHIA MATHEWS CORRECTION EMAIL. Cynthia wrote in an email the same day the column came online…, “I don’t know how the Sentinel arrived at its figures for my pension as a retired council member, but the information you cite in your column is incorrect. My monthly pension for 16 years of service is $811.86, for an annual total of $9,742.32. This is calculated on the same formula used for all council members. For details you could contact the City HR department”. Much mail and questions have come in all week about these City Council pensions. Questions like… don’t many of the Council members have full time jobs? Doesn’t the mayor get an extra paycheck while being Mayor? Do council persons get health benefits, do they get social security, and the biggy…just how many hours per week do they work? They wave the self sacrifice FLAG a lot and whisper that they only make $1000 a month, but now we see that ain’t true. Would someone go to Human Resources and track down the City Council Pension Story??…PLEASE???

The Webmistress here, sneaking in a favorite video as a response to the Pachelbel on Ukulele one from last week. Shhh!

PENSION QUESTION. Gail Williamson asks, “I was wondering if you knew when and how pensions for city council members started? Did the council vote the pensions in, or is it the city manager who designated them public employees or what?” Gail Williamson.

NO WORD FROM RAPUNZEL ROBINSON. As mentioned above Cynthia got back to me immediately with a correction on that Sentinel error. But still no word back from Lynn Rapunzel Robinson on her dropping out of the California Assembly race. I’ve called her twice and left messages on her phone machine. I emailed her too and nothing!!. In the past when I dared write anything about Lynn, her husband John Robinson would phone me immediately and say things like “you dumb fuck” or similar words he learned from hanging out with Carnies, Theme Park and Amusement Park people at his President & CEO job at California Attractions & Parks Association in Sacramento, CA (CAPA). So it looks like Lynn has no plan B either. I’ll be the first to let you know if Lynn responds to the dropout news. You’d think any responsible candidate would answer.

PATTON’S PROGRAM. Among other items such as the California Environmental Quality Act taking a big hit Gary says, “I, personally, think that the future growth and development of every local community should be a “political” issue, in the best sense of the term. That is, I believe that local communities should be trying to make growth happen the way the majority of the community wants, instead of letting growth just “happen to” the community, as the consequence of lots of individual decisions added up. Measure J, Santa Cruz County’s growth management system, was adopted by the voters in 1978, and Measure J requires the Board of Supervisors to vote on growth on an annual basis. As far as I know, no other local community in California has done anything similar. The Board can vote for rapid growth, slow growth, or something in between. Again, why don’t you let the Board know what you think?

Gary goes on to tell us in his KUSP broadcasts about the killing of oak trees in Monterey and about taking a walk on Fort Ord property. That would be a change, they used to make me march or do double time when I was at Fort Ord. check out all of Gary’s opinions at PATTON (Gary Patton is “Of Counsel” to the Santa Cruz law firm of Wittwer & Parkin, which specializes in land use and environmental law. The opinions expressed are Mr. Patton’s. Gary has his own website, “Two Worlds / 365”

I strike the hero’s pose after successfully donning an immersion suit in under a minute. If I had to get into it for an actual emergency situation, you wouldn’t see me smiling… these full-body dry suits are worn only if we have to abandon ship while crossing the Drake Passage.

ANCHOR IN ANTARCTICA. Greetings from Puntas Arenas, Chile!

“I thought, dear, that you would rather have a live ass than a dead lion.” [Sir Ernest Shackleton to his wife Emily, after deciding to turn back a mere 97 miles from the Pole. January 16, 1909]

Legend may favor lions but true Antarcticans live quite contentedly as asses, as so many people do. We simply do it much further from outside help than the average person, and that requires a greater degree of self-reliance from us collectively in regards to emergency response. To that end, I spent the last two weeks in Colorado training for the Fire Brigade and our Ocean Search and Rescue (OSAR) Team.

Palmer Station does not have berthing enough to support trained firefighters or medical staff beyond one general physician, and neither do most Antarctic encampments.* Prevention goes a long way and everyone on station has duties if disaster strikes. Still, we must organize and train ourselves to respond to fire, medical, or environmental emergencies. I’ll write more about these teams specifically when I get on station.

Like most members of the various teams, I have no “real world” background in fire, SAR, or any medical qualification. We volunteer because the station needs it.

This sense of responsibility leads the way to gratitude, knowing that the entire community will mobilize to aid you in a time of need. This awareness fundamentally changes the tone of station, in my opinion, and all for the better. This tacit trust between people is one of the aspects of living in Antarctica that I miss the most when I redeploy, and for which I return season after season.

*McMurdo Station on Ross Island is an important exception. Being the largest “town” in Antarctica, it has a fire department and full medical staff including a dentist during the summer.

(Micaela Neus works for Raytheon Polar Services Company as a utilities technician and is currently living at Palmer Station, Antarctica until April 2012.

VINTAGE DE CINZO. DeCinzo is hot on the trail of an ongoing mess…wheel downward.

EAGANS DEEP COVER. Tim’s inside version of creating jobs….spin downwards.

LANDAU’S PROGRES. Saul takes on a genuine schlemiel and says, ” Remember the aggressive guy in grade school and high school who snarled out of the corner of his mouth, and always egged other guys into fights but never felt knuckles on his own cheek? He’s the same guy who later got six college deferments for the draft while he advocated for the righteousness of the Vietnam War. No one liked him, no obstacle in oozing his way into political leadership – naturally, in the Republican Party. And once he achieved political power he really enjoyed, quietly of course, pushing people around. From U.S. Defense Secretary he was then moved laterally to honcho at Halliburton with its lavish DOD contracts. If it had been anyone else, one would have thought conflict of interest. But patriotic Dick Cheney? Perish the thought! Read the rest here…

Saul Landau is an Institute for Policy Studies fellow whose films are on DVD from

CHRISTINA WATERS RETURNS FROM VACATION!!! She’ll be back from vacation and slinging her well-seasoned opinions starting this week – Sept. 15 – @ And don’t forget to check out her “Plated” column each Wednesday in the SCWeekly.”

LISA JENSEN LINKS. How seaworthy is Laurie King’s new Russell-Holmes mystery novel, “Pirate King?” Find out this week at Lisa Jensen Online Express. Also, some thoughts on why The Help is cleaning up, and some kudos to Lampshade Productions for upholding the Santa Cruz arts community tradition of doing it for themselves. Lisa Jensen has been writing film reviews and a column for Good Times since 1975.

CONTAGION. Gwyneth Paltrow coughs and chokes her way into your heart in this dirty handed plague type film. Matt Damon gets about the only chance to add any semblance of depth to any character and my friend Elza Minor (Ebony Magazine film critic) and I both fell asleep during the first 1/2 hour. Not a bad film, but sure could have been better.

ATTACK THE BLOCK. Much of the dialogue is “in British” with no subtitles so it’s hard to understand many of the great “throwaway” lines, but go see this nearly insane aliens-invade London comedy. It’s a spoof of alien films and has plot twists and turns that no one has ever used before. It’s a surprise from start to end.

HOSTETTER’S HOT STUFF. (As per usual Paul and I are on different clocks so please realize that many of his early events are over and gone). He syas, “It’s been hectic, I’ve been distracted. Nonetheless, things keep happening, and among the ones coming up soon are Mike Marshall and Caterina Lichtenberg at large in California, mandolins in hand, Tandy Beal shenanigans coming up, Brian Blade and the Fellowship at Kuumbwa (amazing jazz), the Berkeley Oldtime Music Festival in Berkeley, a whole bunch of good things in the queue with the Celtic Society, the New Music Works Garden Party whooptidoo coming up, the Tamburitza extravaganza featuring everyone who ever made a dent in the genre, Baaba Maal onstage in an interview at the Rio of all things, and the details are all at, if you care to take a peek. Cheers, p.h.

MARSH THEATRE, SAN FRANCISCO.I finally got to the Marsh Theatre in San Francisco last Sunday. I’d been hearing about “the marsh” for years, because it has been producing some of the best live performances at least in Northern California. It’s a small (110 seats) theatre and most attractions are one or two people standup shows. I saw now classic, and near-legendary Geoff Hoyle (from The Pickle Family Circus) create his constantly sold out “Geezer” show. Geezer is Geoff’s gut bursting, soul searching view and vision, of getting old, living life and facing death all in one brilliant one man exploration. Try to get tickets. Rumors are that after Geoff finishes this run and does a show at Teatro ZinZanni he’ll be back at “the marsh”. Check out their line up, Charlie Varon, Marga Gomez, Josh Kornbluth, plus they have classes, Youth Theater, workshops. But by all means be sure to see Geoff Hoyle in “Geezer“.

HENRY 8TH ( VIII). Regal Theatres, Fathom and all these folks screwed up and never publicized this live telecast Shakespeare series live from London’s Globe theatre. What I did find online is…

“This summer and fall NCM Fathom, Globe Theater and Arts Alliance Media invite you to experience classical Shakespeare titles as a lowly groundling of 400 years ago—front row and intense. You can avoid lengthy stands in the yard, however, as this four-part series reaches you in the gallery-like prestige of movie theaters nationwide. The Merry Wives of Windsor, Henry IV Part 1, Henry IV Part 2 and Henry VIII were captured in 2010 at the internationally renowned Globe Theatre in London, and you’ll see them larger than life stateside. Each show is at 6:30 p.m. local time.

On Thursday, September 15 at 6:30p.m. Henry VIII cements the in-theater events, which is only fitting since a performance of this play at the Globe Theatre in 1613 resulted in a cannon malfunction that torched the original structure.

Yet the open-air playhouse emerged from the charred ground, a reconstruction process that will be shared during the performances. Other additional footage includes a historical perspective on the Globe, and the work of the Globe today.

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 sometimes old programs are archived…(see next paragraph) and go to WWW.KZSC.ORG. Tuesday Sept. 13 Angelo Grova, Rose Sellery and Tina Brown talk about their FashionART Runway & Trunk Show happening Sept 24 followed by KUSP’s Opera host Jim Emdy and I discussing up coming Opera seasons. September 20th has Christopher Krohn discussing UCSC’s Environmental Studies Internship Program of which he is director, then on that same program, Rita Bottoms author of the new book “riffs & ecstasies” will talk about that book. On Sept.27 Brian Spencer and Al Muller talk about The Letters play coming to the Actors Theatre in October. Also on the 27th, ceramic sculptor Peggy Snider discusses her works and Open Studios. UCSC’s Micah Perks talks about a writing event on the campus on October 4th followed by Davis Banta relating stuff about Sam Shepard’s True West. On October 11 Teresa Landers tells news about The Santa Cruz City Library system. Felicia Rice follows her and will talk about UCSC’s Digital Arts and New Media. Author, actor and acting teacher Joanne Linville will take the entire hour on October 18 to talk about her book Seven Steps to an Acting Craft. County Supervisor John Leopold will again co-host the fall pledge drive on October 25. City Council person Katherine Beiers will be the guest on November 1st. Followed by Meg Sandow and friend discussing the Homeless Garden Project. Do remember, any and all suggestions for future programs are more than welcome so tune in, and keep listening.

UNIVERSAL GRAPEVINE ARCHIVES.In case you missed some of the great people I’ve interviewed in the last 5 years here’s a chronological list of just this year’s podcasts. Click here then tap on “listen here” to hear any or all of them… all over again. The Great Morgani on Street performing, 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 Conpany. Plus 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. Hear them all!!!


QUOTES. “If you can’t say anything good about someone, sit right here by me“, Alice Roosevelt. “If you have to kill a man it costs nothing to be polite”, Winston Churchill. “I regret very much my inability to attend your banquet. It is the baby’s night out and I must stay at home with the nurse”, Ring Lardner.


Deep Cover by tim eagan.

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