Blog Archives

August 27 – September 2, 2012

“THREE WAY” TRAFFIC ON PACIFIC (1925-28). Note the cars PARKED on both sides of Pacific Avenue and a parade of cabins on trucks going down themiddle of the street. You can also see the then County Bank Building at Cooper and Pacific and all the men wearing hats!!! That’s of course our Town Clock sitting in its’ original location atop the IOOF Hall.

photo credit: Covello & Covello Historical photo collection.

Additional information always welcome: email

THE BASKETBALL ARENA. It took a while but at last the citizens are taking a look at Don Lane, Martin Bernal and The Warriors proposed Basketball Arena. First there’s the Beach Hill Neighbors meeting and asking Lane about noise, parking, the $5 million dollars more that the City is supposed to loan to the Warriors, and the avoidance of the many zoning laws effecting this “temporary” structure. As they did with The Coast Hotel, The Development of Terrace Point, and The La Bahia Project, SCRP (Santa Cruzans for Responsible Planning) have invited representatives from the City to a meeting to discuss the visual impacts of the tent, will there be any extra events between May and September when the area is already packed with parking, and will the city be responsible for cleaning up the neighborhoods after each event? There are so many more questions we should all be asking before we allow this railroading by our city officials. Ask those City Council candidates where they stand on the Basketball Arena would they be supporting it if they were on the Council now…knowing as little as the Council does?

PARKOUR DOG FROM THE UKRAINE. Ann Osterman found this one.

SANTA CRUZ COUNTY GRAND JURY YEAR BEGINS. This oft maligned group could have an impact if we assisted them in looking for issues. I’ve been summoned but excused once or twice but still think that given the proper directions the Grand Jury might have effects. Here in its entirety is their press release…

August 22, 2012, Santa Cruz, CA–The Santa Cruz County Grand Jury has started its 2012-2013 investigation year. The Grand Jury is a group of trained citizens charged with ensuring that county and city departments and special districts function in the best interest of the residents of Santa Cruz County. The Grand Jury is the watchdog group that holds local governments accountable to its citizens.

If you have a complaint or commendation about your county or city government services or conduct, this year’s Grand Jury wants to hear from you. You can access complaint forms online by visiting “, or outside Room 318-I at 701 Ocean Street, Santa Cruz, CA 95060. You may also email or call (831) 454-2099.

About the Santa Cruz Grand Jury

The Grand Jury is a body of 19 local citizen volunteers impaneled by the Superior Court of Santa Cruz in accordance with the California Penal Code. The Grand Jury has three primary functions: (1) selectively audit local governmental agencies and officials; (2) investigate citizen complaints; (3) publish its investigative findings and recommendations to improve governmental operations. For additional information or press inquiries, please call the Grand Jury at (831) 454-2099 or email

ELERICK’S INPUT. Paul Elerick reports on the Aptos Safeway Development…


Last week, the latest “design review” meeting was hosted by Safeway consultants, Safeway execs, their “development company”. It was the best attended public meeting Aptos has seen for awhile. The Sentinel reporter said 160 people were there, but that didn’t include those that couldn’t get in due to space not being available. The format set up by Hamilton/Swift consultants left only a few minutes (less than 10) for public input on the project, which is what most of the audience was there for, having seen enough of Safeway’s design in previous meetings. Here’s how the half-hour for “public testimony” was allocated.

  • Introduction of several Safeway and developer managers – five minutes
  • Introduction of Theresa Thomae, director of Cabrillo’s Small BusinessDevelopment Center who has been funded by Safeway with a $50,000 grant to help relocate existing businesses who will be put out on the street – 10 minutes.
  • A rather long winded statement of support for the project by Chris Mann, the Board President of the Santa Cruz County Business Council, speaking as an Aptos resident – 5 minutes.

That left about 10 minutes to have the people reminded that the meeting was only to discuss “design review” that left new attendees wondering when they could voice their opinion on the project.

The design review presentation looked a lot like previous designs presented by Safeway; the audience being told there would be a “larger” meeting later on. Most of the people there, wearing anti-Safeway t-shirts and holding anti-Safeway expansion signs stayed for the rest of the design review, but are looking forward to that “larger” meeting at a larger venue. Cabrillo College’s theater was mentioned as one place that would work. Here’s hoping that this meeting will be managed in an orderly manner, and Aptos residents will be allowed to speak”. (Paul Elerick is co-chair, along with Peter Scott, of the Campaign for Sensible Transportation, , and is a member of Nisene 2 Sea, a group of open space advocates).

PATTON’S PROGRAM. Gary reports on The Attack against CEQA and says, “The California Environmental Quality Act, or CEQA, is California’s most powerful and important environmental law. More than anything else, CEQA facilitates and empowers community participation in the governmental decision making process.

I’ve placed a link in today’s Land Use Report blog to Everyday Heroes, a publication of the Planning and Conservation League Foundation. Everyday Heroes provides story after story about how CEQA is being used to protect our natural environment, to prevent pollution, to accomplish environmental justice goals, and to support good community development and land use planning. I’ve also included links to some of my own recent writing about CEQA, and particularly about the attack on CEQA that is being mounted in the State Legislature.

GOODBYE BOARDWALK HURRICANE. I love roller coasters, even these little metal ones and will miss “The Hurricane”. Lets hope Charlie doesn’t plan on another high rise ugliness like “The Doubleshot” that goes against every environmental principle by rising its’ 125 foot proof of how money and fear can buy out our city council.

I hate to say it, but it appears that Governor Jerry Brown has joined the attack on CEQA. His recent statement that “I’ve never seen a CEQA exemption that I don’t like,” has, at the very least, emboldened those business interests that would like to avoid CEQA requirements. Last week, as you may or may not know, we almost lost CEQA entirely in a last minute legislative play to “gut and amend” a completely unrelated bill that would essentially have made CEQA meaningless. On August 13th, Brian Nestande, a Republican member of the California State Assembly, did something quite unusual. He voted for a bill, AB 1500, containing a tax increase. Nestande was promptly stripped of his Party prerogatives by other Republicans, but the fact that he voted for a bill with a tax increase, authored by the Democratic Speaker of the Assembly, was explained by the fact that the Speaker had apparently promised him that the Speaker would support legislation to eliminate all those horrible environmental provisions in the California Environmental Quality Act, or CEQA, that the Republicans have loved to hate for the last twenty years or more. In other words, the leadership of the Democratic Party in the Assembly was rumored to be ready to eviscerate CEQA, in return for this pro-tax vote.

By last week, it was clear that Democratic State Senator Michael Rubio, from Bakersfield, was prepared to carry a bill to gut CEQA, put together by a business-based coalition. I saw a draft of the proposed legislation, and it would, in fact, have essentially repealed CEQA, without doing so upfront. Last Wednesday, the President pro Tem of the Senate, Darrell Steinberg, put an end to this “gut and amend” revolution for this session, but promised significant changes to CEQA next year. For all those who care about environmental protection, get prepared for a battle royal – and maybe even before next January”. Read all the rest here.

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”

Micaela Neus emails from Antarctica…”The calm before the storm: that’s the phrase on everyone’s lips these last few days. The first boat of the summer season arrives almost exactly one month from today and will bring in our replacements so we can go home. The preparations for the Turnover Vessel (so called because we will “turn over” the station to the new crew) will take every moment of the next few weeks. We must clean and stock supplies, stage the northbound cargo and shovel out the storage places for the incoming cargo, wrap up all our winter tasking, hide the evidence, etc. No matter how much we do, we’ll think of something we left out.

But all that starts in September. These last two weeks of August still hold some of the pleasures of a secluded winter on ice. The Real World has yet to intrude and there’s a feeling that we’ve got the whole continent to ourselves. For another ten days or so.

And then the rush and crush of coming and going. I’m looking forward to seeing my summer friends return although I know it will be like meeting an alien species. How do you have so much energy? Why are you so tan? And where did you get that avocado? They’ll look at me in much the same way and ask me what the winter was like. I’ve got one month to think of my answer”.

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

VINTAGE DE CINZO. DeCinzo imagines the John Lennon tragedy scroll down

EAGANS DEEP COVER. Tim Eagan plus 1,000,000 Mitts…a nightmare, down below

LANDAU’S PROGRES. Saul’s article is titled, “A Move To Free The Cuban Five”. Saul and Danny Glover visit Gerardo Hernandez in prison in Victorville. He states,We drove from the prison to the Ontario airport and asked ourselves: What, we asked ourselves, was a well-educated Cuban man doing in such a place? The U.S. government knew the Cuban agents had infiltrated Cuban exile groups that intended to cause damage to Cuba’s tourist economy. The five were fighting terrorism and sharing information with the FBI. They should never have been charged and now, almost 14 years of prison later, they should at last be freed. President Obama could and should pardon them and send them home. Cuba has indicated it would respond by freeing Alan Gross, who worked for a company contracted to USAID with a design to destabilize the Cuban government and was convicted in Cuba. It’s time for President Obama to put this issue on his agenda” Read the entire story here…. Saul Landau is an Institute for Policy Studies fellow whose films are on DVD from

LISA JENSEN LINKS. Lisa had a big Birthday Party last weekend and is recovering….she says she’ll have a bunch of surprises including her signing a book publishing deal, if you go to…

Lisa Jensen has been writing film reviews and a column for Good Times since 1975.

SEARCHING FOR SUGAR MAN.Why this magnificent film has that name is a mystery to me. Sugar Man was/is only a record producer it’s a great singer Sixto Rodriguez who was searched for. Please see this film if you like great song writing, guitar music, enjoy genius, and have ever wondered about the seamy side of show business. It’s one of the finest documentaries I’ve ever seen. Read more here…

COMPLIANCE.Truth is way more than fiction and this film tells of phone call pranks (disasters) that ruined people’s lives. All about phone call sex, fast food clerks, and superb acting, this film will freak you out and leave you trembling and nervous. Once again, it’s based on phone calls that are still happening. Go see it and wonder.

ROBOT & FRANK. Frank Langella has always been a fine actor and he does very well in this pseudo comedy about a forgetful senior who has to live with a robot his son buys for him. It’s pretty good but should and could never win many awards for anything, except frustration.

PREMIUM RUSH. Joseph Gordon-Levitt is a bicycle messenger in NYC. He gets chased by Michael Shannon and the result will remind you of Bullitt. Great bicycle chase scenes, for no reason at all it goes into a quasi-comedy then hard core action. Not great, but the stunts are fantastic and you’ll stay with it all the way through.

2 DAYS IN NEW YORK (but it seems longer). This is a French Comedy directed by it’s star Julie Delpy. French comedy is different from Spanish or British or Italian or Asian comedy. French comedy isn’t funny, and this film proves it. Don’t go.

A GEORGE PAL PUPPETOON…in case you forgot, or weren’t there!!

PARANORMAN IN 3D.I liked George Pal Puppetoons (see above) so when I heard that Paranorman was the latest in stop motion animation I had to see it. Stop motion animation is now so computer driven that it’s nearly impossible to see any difference from any Pixar, Spielberg computer driven cartoon. Paranorman is boring, trite and not worth seeing. Vampires, vampires, everywhere…when will it end??

HIT AND RUN. This absolutely blah attempt at comedy is a road movie. The plot IF you can stay awake to follow it, involves lots of people in cars driving and stopping a lot to do stupid things. I have no idea why it was made….and had to look it up 2 days after I saw it just to remember the storyline…it’s that bad.

YES ON P PARTY TIME… Measure P is the Right to Vote on Desalination. And on September 7, First Friday in Santa Cruz, you’re invited to a Barn Dance at the 418 Project, 418 Front St. No partner or dance experience necessary. Andy Wilson, the popular caller at Pie Ranch barn dances, will teach the dances to live music. Dancing starts at 8pm. Tickets are $25 or $12 for students, with proceeds benefiting Yes on Measure P, the Right to Vote on Desalination. Prior to the dance there is a dinner catered by India Joze, starting at 6.30pm, reservations required..

To reserve tickets to the dinner and/or the Barn Dance, go to or email All tickets will be available on the day of the event at Will Call. If you have any questions about this event, or you would like to check on the status of your ticket purchase, please feel free to contact Mathilde Rand at 831-475-2411“.

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.

On Tuesday, August 28 Lisa Uttal Project Coordinator of the brand new Santa Cruz Marine Sanctuary Center will guide us verbally through the new place. Sally Green from The Cultural Council of Santa Cruz follows Lisa. Grapevine on Sept. 4th will have Joan Van Antwerp telling news about the Van Antwerp Theatre Company’s next play. “Crooked” opening Sept. 19. Right after Joan, Jack Bowers and Sayaka Yabuki from New Music Works will share thoughts about their John Cage tributes. Julie James from The Jewel Theatre Company will talk about their new season and Jim Stearns will discuss his book “Feeding The (Grateful) Dead” on Sept.11. On Sept. 25th Scott Griffin, Nickelodeon chief operating manager discusses films, digital releases and local movie tastes followed by Jim Emdy from KUSP. He and I will talk about the many area opera season’s. OCTOBER 2nd means the Bi-annual KZSC pledge Drive with a special guest co-host. Cathy Pickerrell from Santa Cruz Chamber Players will provide season news on October 9th, then David Foster discusses thenewly opened Re-Store project. Do remember, any and all suggestions for future programs are more than welcome so tune in, and keep listening. Email me always at

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 update includes Nikki Silva, Michael Warren, Tom Noddy, Anita Monga, Mark Wainer, Judy Johnson-Darrow, 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, 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. 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. Hear them all!!!


QUOTES. “It’s not the size of the Ship; it’s the size of the waves“, Little Richard. “I wish I could change my sex as I change my shirt”, Andre Breton. “It is better to have a positive Wasserman test than never to have loved at all”, Doctor Hip pocrates.


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Deep Cover by tim eagan.

Posted in Weekly Articles | Comments Off on August 27 – September 2, 2012