August 14 – 20, 2017

Highlights this week: Charlottesville, The Ku Klux Klan… Red, White and Blue Beach changing owners…Cabrillo Festival and some history…Greensite on better public process for developments…Krohn in Portland plus Eugene and city politics and Faris Sabbah qualifications…Steinbruner and the Sentinel article on Aptos Village problems, Barry Swenson Builders, Rancho Del Mar and Aptos Jewelers closing, Privates Beach in Capitola, Soquel Creek Water District…Patton about Government, Trump and democracy…Eagan and a Pensive moment…DeCinzo and cyclists…Jensen reviews Step…I critique The Glass Castle, Annabelle: Creation, and The Dark Tower…Quotes about Beaches.

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ORIGINAL PERGOLESI January 20, 1954. As we can see, this was once the dentist Dr. Miller’s Offices. We’ve been reading about the Pergolesi Coffee House closing. One could say it went from pain to pleasure to pain again.                                                

    
photo credit: Covello & Covello Historical photo collection.

Additional information always welcome: email bratton@cruzio.com

TREE FORTS AT UCSC
GREAT SCENE FROM AMADEUS. Remember this scene?? Only historians will tell you that back then conductors didn’t stand where Mozart did…if they even had conductors!!!
TEETER TOTTER SCENES. They don’t make them like they used to…

DATELINE August 14, 2017

CHARLOTTESVILLE & NO FURTHER COMMENT…(from The WRAP and Yahoo News  Sat. August 12, 2017)

Former Ku Klux Klan grand wizard David Duke blasted Donald Trump on Saturday for the president’s tweeted call for unity following the violent protests by white supremacists and neo-Nazis in Charlottesville, Virginia, that left three dead and more than 30 injured.

“I would recommend you take a good look in the mirror & remember it was White Americans who put you in the presidency, not radical leftists,” Duke tweeted.

A friend sent me the SOUTHERN POVERTY LAW CENTER website. It says that there’s a  Neo-Nazi hate group in Santa Cruz. Go here to prove it. https://edit.splcenter.org/hate-map

If you click around you’ll find other  DAILY STORMER groups (as in storm troops) in Mountain View, Santa Monica and Los Angeles.

OUR BEACHES AND THE LAW. I asked a friend to tell us what’s happening legally at the good old Red, White and Blue Beach. Here’s the reply…

IN THE NORTH COAST WIND
August 13, 2017

Ownership of Red, White and Blue Beach, our North Coast’s last accessible, privately owned beach, will be changing hands. Earlier this year, Judge Paul Burdick ordered the property sold to settle the claims of heirs to the property.

For decades, until it closed in 2008, nudists visited, paying a modest fee to stay in tents and RV’s while they swim and cavort and enjoy a dog and camera free beach. Bordered by Wilder Ranch State Park to the south and Coast Dairies State Park to the north, the property would seem to be a logical addition to the Parks portfolio. But time has shown that California State Parks doesn’t have the resources to manage the beaches, improve access, or develop any sanitary facilities to serve the hundreds of visitors who come each week to the North Coast beaches they acquired in 2006 as part of the first phase of the Coast Dairies transaction. In comparison, Red, White and Blue Beach is in pristine condition.  By restricting access, the owners have prevented the ongoing onslaught of trash and graffiti that have become a feature of Santa Cruz County’s North Coast beaches since they became public, and even more visitors can be expected when access to the adjacent Monument property just inland is developed.

The Santa Cruz County Land Trust has long had their eye on the property. Time will tell if they will prevail in the planned private sale, or perhaps a wealthy individual will follow millionaire Vinod Kholsa’s example at Martin’s Beach, up the coast in San Mateo County.

The billionaire venture capitalist bought the beach property and barred visitor access, sparking an ongoing court battle over public access to the coast versus an owner’s property rights.

CABRILLO FESTIVAL OF CONTEMPORARY MUSIC. Christi Macelaru both impressed everybody and he too seemed to be impressed by his first season here as the conductor of the Festival orchestra. I counted over 70 members of the orchestra…and that’s huge by today’s music market. Dennis Russell Davies began teaching the Santa Cruz new music goers when he took over the Festival in 1974. He’d conduct some Beethoven and then a brand new composition and show us how they related, Marin Alsop after she got through her Leonard Bernstein  period brought us dozens of living composers. Christi, using almost all of Marin’s orchestra veterans played it safe and didn’t make any big changes…and everyone seemed to like his choices.

ODD LOCAL HISTORICAL NOTE TO THE FESTIVAL. composer Christopher Rountree mentioned in his remarks to the audience that he had long time relations to sheriffs in Santa Cruz…he sure did!!! As one historical webpage states… Undersheriff Rountree and Sheriff Howard Trafton were shot and killed while attempting to arrest a man who was interfering with highway construction crews. Sheriff Trafton was able to return fire during the shootout and killed the suspect”. That was on September 5, 1925. We also now have a Santa Cruz County Jail named Santa Cruz County CA Roundtree Medium Facility after Christopher’s grandfather. More than that, The men of the Rountree family served as peace officers for nearly a century in Santa Cruz County. Go here to reads all about the Rountree family

WHEN A PROJECT IS A FAIT ACCOMPLI

Unable to attend a recent city council meeting, which approved by a slim one-vote margin, the proposed new hotel at the site of the run-down now condemned Lanai Hotel on Beach Hill, I caught a re-run on Community TV.  At first sight this one seemed easy for council to vote against: a developer wishing to build a 60-room hotel to replace his current 20-room hotel at a height that will block the “breathtaking ocean-views” for the assisted living and memory care residents of Sunshine Villa, the historic Victorian directly behind and at the same height as the proposed hotel. Who would take away from an elder with dementia their view of the ocean from a facility to which they are confined? The developer, four council members and city staff, that’s who. (Brown, Watkins and Krohn voted against). What at first sight seemed an easy decision for me became more complex as the details emerged. Apparently in the past, Sunshine Villa had sought to develop the site and build a facility as tall as the proposed hotel, which would have blocked the views of the ocean for those in the current building. They later withdrew the project.  The architect for the hotel project posited that Sunshine Villa’s current position was hypocritical. Sunshine Villa’s manager responded that their tenants at that time had different needs. I found myself thinking, a view of the ocean is a view of the ocean.

The hotel developer and owner was asked if he could reduce the scale of the hotel down to three stories which would significantly reduce the loss of view-shed? He replied that despite his owning the land, such a reduced scale would not “pencil-out.” He would not make sufficient profit to cover the cost of underground parking and cost of building, since he is not building a box but a handsome building. When asked if he had ever in the two years it took to develop the project sat down with the residents and management of Sunshine Villa to discuss concerns and explore options, the developer said no. Any ambivalence I had was dissipated, replaced with thoughts of “heartless” and “greedy.” Unfortunately the council majority didn’t share my thinking and approved the project with a request to ensure the back-side of the building, which will soon replace the ocean view for Sunshine Villa residents, is a bit more interesting than the current design (Mathews) and a request for future projects over 40 units to have Public Works/Transportation Commission input (Terrazas) since traffic issues were raised and dismissed.

The source of the problem for this project, for the Hyatt on Broadway, for the Wharf Master Plan and for a host of other projects is that years of work are often done behind the scenes prior to scrutiny by the public and even the council. “Stakeholders” is a euphemism for “supporters of the project.” The City Staff follow codes and zoning or are supposed to do so. If the project is within the guidelines, then staff usually recommends approval or recommends variances to accommodate aspects such as increased height limits and council majorities usually approve staff recommendations. By the time the public or folks impacted, such as Sunshine Villa residents or Broadway residents get wind of a project it has already been in the development stage for years. The iconic 110 year-old red horse chestnut tree that grew on the edge of the site on Broadway should have been protected under the Heritage Tree Ordinance which states a “heritage tree can only be removed if a design cannot accommodate it.” Rather than telling the developer’s architect at the beginning of the process to submit a design to accommodate the heritage tree as required by ordinance, staff approved a design that by its nature could not accommodate the tree. Thus began the charade where the heritage tree could not be protected. Another source of the problem is the acceptance of developers’ statements that the economics “will not pencil out” if they don’t get to build as high and as massive as they want. Is this true? Some basic economics and alternatives should accompany every significant development. It’s quite possible that the proposed hotel to replace the Lanai could make a decent if not obscene profit with 40 rooms rather than 60, a tripling of the current 20 rooms. Council and the public should have access to such information.

A way to avoid conflicts between developers and residents and allow council a better gauge of public sentiment would be to float a project idea prior to any costly architectural design work being done. Had staff and council done that with their Wharf Master Plan, the howls of protest would have sent urban design firm ROMA scurrying back to San Francisco without a million bucks of questionable public monies in their pockets for a design make-over that few if any seem to like. I applaud the Dream Inn developers for holding a public meeting prior to any fixed design to gauge public reaction to the proposal for their West Cliff and Bay parking lot. If the developers, city staff and council majority listen and respond to the chorus of opposition rather than seeking ways around it, then public process has real rather than perfunctory meaning.

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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By: Chris Krohn    Email Chris at ckrohn@cruzio.com

GAME CHANGING WEEK?

Game Changed.

All eyes this past weekend were on Charlottesville, Virginia. I hope they still are, even as your eyes multi-task and read these words too. Will the horrifying puss from our mixed and still remaining racist amnesia continue to drip unheeded from the wound that is the AltRight? It starts with the Presidency, and until “he who shall not be named” steps up this wound will continue to fester. Can the ropes that brought down the Saddam Hussein statue in Bagdad now be used to fell the pro-slavery memorials in Charlottesville, Richmond, and St. Louis? We must support this movement. According to the New York Times, three people have lost their lives–Heather D. Heyer of Charlottesville, 32 and a Bernie supporter, helicopter pilot, Lieutenant H. Jay Cullen, 48, of Midlothian, Virginia, and Trooper-Pilot Berke M.M. Bates, 40, of Quinton, Virginia, and at least 19 were injured when, a car ran into a “supporters-to-tear-down-the-statues” rally. Santa Cruz mourns this week.

Connecting the Dots
I was in Portland last week. It’s a city that many of our Santa Cruz brothers and sisters are retreating to, I wanted to find out why. The trip accomplished goals for both my current jobs. I attended the Ecological Society of America’s (esa.org) annual meeting at the Oregon Convention Center, an enviro cast of over 5000. The overall theme for this year’s get-together was “Linking biodiversity, material cycling and ecosystem services in a changing world,” meaning folks, we are up shit’s creek with no paddle in sight, now we really need each other more than ever! And that’s just what ecology is about. It’s both a branch of biology linking all us organisms to one another and to our physical surroundings, and it’s a political movement that forms questions and seeks answers in how best to protect the environment. We may not be able to stop climate change, but we can fight like hell to develop mitigations, change habits, and educate each other on the real global threat: relentless consumerism under the flag of capitalist ideology.

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Street furniture in Eugene. Can’t you just imagine this kind of street furniture taking over Cooper Street as an extension of the MAH, or perhaps closing off part of Church Street alongside Regal Cinema 9, or even placing some on Lincoln Street next to the Farmer’s Market? We can do it… with the people leading.

Immigrant Note
Just to keep it real, a manager at a chichi “bio-dynamic” (means organic and a whole lot more, look it up!) winery near Portland said the labor shortage this year is severe. “Scarce, more unskilled, and expensive” is how she put it. All the wineries are in contact with ICE, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and wondering what will happen, she said. “ICE is saying, ‘Yes, we are authorized to detain whoever we want, but we are only going after those who have a warrant.'” Raise your hand if you believe this…They pay $13 an hour, “and the contractors are paying even fifty-cents more an hour to attract experienced pickers, but it’s getting harder and more cut-throat now,” she said. If you include workers’ compensation and insurance, her winery will pay $16.90 an hour and still can’t attract enough laborers this year.

Bernie Tweet of the Week
“As hate crimes and hostility toward minorities surge, now more than ever we must stand against those who threaten our brothers and sisters.” (August 12)

Upcoming Events

  • Aug 16th – Food Lounge – 5:30 p.m. Showing of Citizen Jane.Community discussion to follow. 1001 Center Street #1
  • Aug 17th – Rank Choice Voting (non-partisan) Community Meeting – 7 – 8:30 p.m. Presentation by FairVote – 411 Roxas –  Santa Cruz Community Church.
  • Aug 22nd–City Council meeting, 2:30pm, City Council Chambers, 801 Center Street, SC

~Chris Krohn is a father, writer, activist, former Santa Cruz City Councilmember (1998-2002) and Mayor (2001-2002). He’s been running the Environmental Studies Internship program at UC Santa Cruz for the past 12 years. He was elected last November to another 4-year term on the Santa Cruz City Council.

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By: Becky Steinbruner    Email Becky at KI6TKB@yahoo.com

“HEART OF THE VILLAGE” WILL BE A TRAFFIC NIGHTMARE
Last Sunday’s (8/13) Santa Cruz Sentinel cover story about the Aptos Village Project was disgusting.  Lots of quotes by Supervisor Zach Friend and Chamber of Commerce leader John Hibble painted an unrealistic picture of this overly-dense and out-of-character development that has been pushed through by the County to benefit Barry Swenson Builder.  Neither of them lives in the area and they will not be affected by the intensified daily gridlock of 8,000 additional vehicles caused by the development. 

Do you think any of the influence in all this mess getting shoved through despite public protest might be related to former Supervisor Ellen Pirie’s efforts, driven by the need to “feed the County machine”?  Here is a quote from Assistant County Planning Director Ms. Wanda Williams’ May 6, 2011 e-mail to Supervisor Ellen Pirie in a discussion about the Apple Barn’s preservation: “The loss of the NR-3 (historic) rating would trigger the need for preparation of an Environmental Impact Report and I have been told by the Swenson team that the EIR requirement will kill the project—something that we are working furiously to avoid.” 

How about this February 16, 2011 e-mail exchange between out-going County Planning Director Tom Burns and Supervisor Ellen Pirie: “The staff tends to get caught too much up in the details on the CEQA issues, and Wanda (Williams) seems to get where they need to get to.  Just remember, try to avoid us doing the detailed CEQA review for the RR crossing project.”    Public Records Act requests are great things when the County actually honors them, as was the case a year ago.

The reason Tom Burns handed the Aptos Village Project over to Wanda Williams, the Assistant Planning Director, and not to Kathy Previsich, the new Planning Director, is because Kathy Previsich’s husband, John, bought land adjacent to the Aptos Village Project  in the 1990’s and HAS GREATLY PROFITED FROM THE APTOS VILLAGE PROJECT DEVELOPMENT BY SELLING A SEWER EASEMENT FOR HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS $$$, SO SHE LEGALLY HAD TO RECUSE HERSELF.  In fact, the photo on the front page of last Sunday’s Santa Cruz Sentinel was taken from the vantage point of the Previsich driveway…Hmmmmm

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Item 6.7 (page 125)  Approval if bid award for $53,300 to Coastwide Environmental Technologies from Watsonville to demolish the two houses next to District offices to make way for the PureWater Soquel West Annex treatment plant.  One house was built in 1890 and probably has some valuable historic heart redwood taken from local canyons…why not offer that for salvage, or even move the house?  There is some asbestos in an area of the kitchen counter, according to an earlier report, but not the entire house.   No respect for historic structures or the fact that t well-known commercial artist, Mr. Millsap, grew up there?  WHAT IS THE RUSH TO DEMOLISH THE HOUSES AND CLEAR THE DECK FOR PUREWATER SOQUEL WEST ANNEX?  Isn’t the  EIR still in process?  Could it be that staff and the Board REALLY HAVE made up their minds to do this project?

Hmmm…part of the bid price break-down is “paint stabilization and hazardous waste paint debris disposal” for $5,000.  That’s right, all paint pre-1970 contained lead and is potentially toxic.  Golly, I wonder if Barry Swenson Builder was careful about the paint removal last week from the Apple Barn exterior prep work?  I hope the County knows…write Rebecca Supplee Rebecca.Supplee@santacruzcounty.us and John Gerbrandt John.Gerbrandt@santacruzcounty.us or call 831-454-2022 and ask.

Item 6.8 (page 138) approve up to  $44,500 for contract with a Washington, D.C. lobbyist???  I remember hearing this discussed at the may 16, 2017 Board meeting, and really wondered how a District with the second-highest customer rate charge could justify hiring yet another consultant.  The Board seemed rather doubtful at the time, but agreed to allow staff to launch a proposal to solicit bids.   Well, here it is…a request for alot of money to lobby, hiring CapitalEdge.  Staff and Board members Carla Christensen and Rachel Lather even conducted interviews.

I wonder if the Soquel Creek Water District customers know their rates are scheduled to increase by over 17% next year???   Take a look at some of the correspondence on pages 183-208…I think some people are beginning to ask important questions of the District and Board.   That’s good news!

Cheers,

Becky Steinbruner (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).

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#225 / Dangerous Claims Of Political Illegitimacy


I just got through reading the book whose cover is pictured on the right. Markos Moulitsas, founder of Daily Kos, and Michael Huttner, founder of ProgressNow, outline ways to change our national politics in the time of Trump.  The authors have some very good ideas, and they outline their “45 ways to fight Trump” in five different sections:

  1. Resist Trump At All Costs
  2. Protect The Culture

III. Minimize Damage, Policy

  1. Build Electoral Infrastructure
  2. Build Grassroots Infrastructure

I particularly applaud Sections IV and V, since that is really what democratic self-government is all about. We, the people, can and must assert control over our own government, but generally speaking, talking about it isn’t going to be enough. Some actual action, focused on elections, is going to be required. This is the message of activist Micah White, too, about whom I wrote in a blog posting a week or so ago

I do want to say that there were some things in the Moulitsas-Huttner book that I found disturbing. Specifically, statements like these: 

  • Why do the Dakotas, with their combined population of 1.6 million have four senators, while California, population 38.8 million, has two? [Page 2] 
  • Donald Trump is not the legitimate president of the United States… [Page 2]  
  • We aren’t living in a legitimate democracy… [Page 3] 
  • We cannot accept the results of an illegitimate election won by an illegitimate candidate by illegitimate means…       [Page 4] 
  • People as racist, sexist, and anti-Semitic as Trump and his gang of brownshirted cronies have no legitimate role in our nation’s public life [Page 6].
  • Let me comment, first, on why North and South Dakota (two separate states) have four senators to California’s two. It’s pretty clear why! Our Constitution allocates TWO senators to each state, regardless of population. While we could have organized our nation differently, there are some very good reasons to have adopted a “federal” system. “Mass democracy” has its potential problems. Read Hannah Arendt if you need convincing. 
  • Avoiding any debate on the merits of our federal system (and there are definitely arguments on both sides of the question), I don’t like to see the authors deliberately attempting to mislead their readers. 

The sentence to which I object acts as though there is an “equivalence” between “the Dakotas” and “California.” The sentence therefore implies that the allocation of two senators to California, while “the Dakotas” get four, is somehow unfair and “illegitimate.” Of course, unless and until we amend the Constitution, the allocation of senators that the authors complain about is totally “legitimate,” and it’s not “unfair,” either. That’s the system we’ve set up. It would be fine to argue for a change to the system, but unless the system is changed, giving “the Dakotas” four senators is exactly the way our system is supposed to work. There is nothing “illegitimate” about the system. Quite the opposite!

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I am sorry that Donald Trump won the election. I think he is unqualified and unsuited for the job, and he should be replaced. There are several different ways that could happen, but voting him out of office, the next time there is a presidential election, is the normal way we take care of such matters. To say that our system is “illegitimate” opens up the possibility that some other means for governing ourselves should be chosen. And if the last election wasn’t “legitimate,” then maybe we should delay the vote next time around, or ask the generals to take charge!

Friends, that’s the door to Venezuela! Or Kenya. Or the Philippines

Let’s stop any further talk about the “illegitimacy” of our current democracy, or of the president the nation elected. Check out the 45 ways to make sure the next election produces a different result! Our very legitimate democracy can take care of business; that’s what I think. Suggesting that it can’t is dangerous in the extreme.

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

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CLASSICAL DeCINZO. DeCinzo takes a broad view of “cyclists” below a page or two.

EAGAN’S DEEP COVER. See Eagan’s “A Pensive Moment” 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: “While a certain temporary resident of the White House and his cronies are doing everything they can to defund educational opportunities, along comes a movie like the affirmative and joyful Step to explain in vivid terms how education can transform lives, families, and communities. This engrossing documentary examines the stakes for three young black women, high school seniors from inner-city Baltimore, as they strive to be the first members of their families to go to college. Read all about it in this week’s Good Times, and keep checking back at Lisa Jensen Online Express (http://ljo-express.blogspot.com/) for more news, reviews, and updates!” Lisa has been writing film reviews and columns for Good Times since 1975.

THE GLASS CASTLE. Woody Harrelson, Naomi Watts and especially Brie Larson bring this autobiographical life story to the screen. “Dysfunctional family”  doesn’t come close to describing their family problems. The problem is that Woody Harrelson almost always plays exactly Woody Harrelson (as do John Goodman,Vin Diesel, Sylvester Stallone, etc.) He’s an incurable drunk and takes his family on his 100’s of trips through hell. It qualifies as a sob story except that Brie Larsen is just mesmerizing and perfect in the role. Plus you have to believe that Naomi Watts is an old wrinkled mountain woman married for life to Woody. ! Go see it and bring a hanky.

ANNABELLE:CREATION. This is supposed to be the prequel to the Conjuring series (in case you’ve seen the haunted doll series). You can stay home and write the tired old script in seconds. Dark cellar stairs, creepy doll in closet, innocent orphan girls, scarecrows, dumbwaiters,  you’ve seen it dozens of times if you haven’t been careful.

THE DARK TOWER. How can a movie from  books by Stephen King, and produced by Ron Howard, and which stars Mathew McConaughey and Idris Alba be so bad?? (18 on RT). It’s intergalactic, bloody, complexly stupid plot…and it’s filmed mostly in the dark. That saves tons of money spent on special effects. McConaughey is the bad guy and Alba is the good guy, in case somebody forces you to go. It’s more depressing than watching Fox news!!

AN INCONVENIENT SEQUEL: TRUTH TO POWER, We should never forget that there were 22,438 Trump Voters in Santa Cruz County and they should all be allowed in free to see Al Gore’s update on Climate Warming. As you know climate warming is worse than ever. Facts, experts, news clips, common sense and a great documentary team show us just how bad itreally is right now.

LADY MACBETH. A well deserved 89 on RT and it should be more. Florence Pugh plays the Lady, and she only made one other film The Falling in 2015. The book source was written in 1865 and this version is set in a Downton Abbey time. It’s full of sex, great costumes, amazing woman empowerment (that you won’t like!) and a thriller that will hold you to the screen every second. I loved it. 9 Thumbs up. ENDS THURSDAY, AUGUST 17

DETROIT. Will Poulter who plays a Detroit cop is one of the most dislikable actors we’ll ever see onscreen.  You wouldn’t like him even if he played Jesus, Tom Hanks or even Cristi Macelaru. He leads the cops into the Algiers Hotel killings that happened in Detroit in 1967. It’s all about racial hatred and cops killing black people. Way overdone, no depth, no development and far below the work that Kathryn Bigelow and her work directing The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty.  Here’s a link to The Guardian statistics about how many people Police kill in the United States each year…. https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/ng-interactive/2015/jun/01/the-counted-police-killings-us-database

THE BIG SICK. Kumail Nanjiani the Pakistani jerk from the “Silicon Valley” tv sit com not only wrote this plot but he and his real wife lived it. The film is a bit long but it’s well worth seeing. It’ll grab you when you least expect it. He’s a standup comic and falls in love with Zoe Kazan, a “white” girl. It’s heart rending, funny and  a tale told of cultural differences between his traditional Pakistani family and her very contemporary Mom  (Holly Hunter) and dad. Go see it…it’ll surprise you.(and I’ll predict some Awards around December-January).

ATOMIC BLONDE. Charlize Theron does a nearly perfect job as the Blonde in this James Bond – Berlin Wall era action movie. Very well done fight scenes, complex spy loyalty plot, John Goodman is getting more and more difficult to believe, and he’s in it too. James McAvoy is there too but he doesn’t matter much. It’ll be the first of many sequels believe me, even though it didn’t do that well on opening weekend. Charlize T. also produced the film, and it’s based on a graphic novel.

DUNKIRK. Acclaimed auteur Christopher Nolan directs this World War II thriller about the evacuation of Allied troops from the French city of Dunkirk before Nazi forces can take hold. co-star, with longtime Nolan collaborator Hans Zimmer providing the score.

Dunkirk is a city in France and during WWII the Nazis drove the allied troops to Dunkirk’s beaches. There were 400, 000 troops stranded there with no ships to take them to safety. Tom Hardy, Kenneth Branagh and Mark Rylance are in the film briefly and do fine acting jobs. The film is all war and is well made and directed…better than most war films. But with City Of Ghosts playing now that’s the one to see IF you like genuine war films.

MAUDIE.  A 90 on Rotten Tomatoes and Sally Hawkins plus Ethan Hawke play a severly crippled arthritic and her cruel, stubborn husband…and it’s a true story. The film is sad, poignant, heart gripping and maybe even mawkish. Other than some fine acting by all involved I’m not sure why they made this film, or why you might enjoy it. Me? I’m not sure if I did.

WONDER WOMAN. IF you like comic book heroes or heroines (hope its ok to use that term) Wonder woman is several cuts about the usual no brainer/ violent/monster filled box office smashes we keep seeing. Gal Gadot is a former Miss Israel and we keep hearing about that. She plays W. Woman. Robin Wright, is in it too and she is a long time favorite of mine. She is Sean Penn’s ex. Chris Pine just jumps around looking like the usual Hollywood cutie pie. If you remember that she’s a comic book star and is supposed to battle, fight and pose in tight pants all the time you could enjoy this more than most of that ilk. Do remember too that Wonder Woman is a DC comics creation NOT a Marvel Comic character…there’s a big difference, and I was corrected on Bushwhackers last Friday.

WAR ON PLANET OF THE APES. This should really be classified as an animated saga. It’s all digital ape stuff with Woody Harrelson as an evil human. It has a plot that could make you think seriously…if you can take the computer apes seriously. It could eb said to relate to the Democrats versus the Republicans. Republicans (Harrelson) want to build a wall among other plot devices and the more liberal apes just want to have peace.  About 90 % of the film is centered on wars between the two forces and who will rule in the future. Better to go to one of our museums or galleries instead.

SPIDERMAN:HOMECOMING. Michael Keaton completely steals every movie he’s ever made and he sure does playing an evil “Vulture” in this latest version of the web spinner (there have been at least 13 versions of Spidey on TV and the movies!!) Spidey is a high school student with Teresa Tomei as his mom. Robert Downey jr. is back as Iron Man. It doesn’t matter much but Gwyneth Paltrow is in it too. It’s a little better than most of the Marvel Comics hero movies but not much.

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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. On August 15 Julie James releases the news about the new Season of The Jewel Theatre. After Julie, interventional cardiologist and Doctor Neil Sawhney (PAMF) brings us up to date on heart news. August 22 has Faisal Fazilat explaining what Ranked Choice Voting is all about…followed by Magi Amma and Danny Drysdale talk about the Santa Cruz Bernie Organization. On August 29 The San Francisco Mime Troupe’s Marilet Martinez tells us about their 9/9, 9/10 performances here. September 5 has Lisa Hadley and Davis Banta previewing their Quality Of Life play. Then therapist Alexandra Kennedy talks about her Awakening to Life In Transition retreat. UCSC’s Gary Griggs discusses his newest book, “Coasts In Crisis” on Sept.12. On October 10 Phyllis Rosenblum discusses the Santa Cruz Chamber Players 2017-18 season. The top winners of the Bookshop Santa Cruz Young Writers contest read their works on November 28. Do remember, any and all suggestions for future programs are more than welcome so tune in, and keep listening. Email me always and only at bratton@cruzio.com

This lady is great!

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

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.    “BEACHES”
“I love out-of-the-way, rugged places. For me, holidays are about the experiences, and the people, and the memories, rather than sitting on a nice beach getting tanned. I try to plant myself where I am and embrace what is there in front of me”. Evelyn Glennie

 “To go out with the setting sun on an empty beach is to truly embrace your solitude”,  Jeanne Moreau

“The sea does not reward those who are too anxious, too greedy, or too impatient. One should lie empty, open, choiceless as a beach – waiting for a gift from the sea”,  Anne Morrow Lindbergh

“In this big ball of people, I’m just one grain of sand on this beach”,  Aurora

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

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

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

BEST OF VINTAGE STEVEN DeCINZO.

Deep Cover by Tim Eagan.

August 9 – 15, 2017

Highlights this week: Dream Inn expansion is definitely in the Coastal Zone!!!…Shocking photos of proposed Downtown Development… Landmark closing S.F. movie Theatre…Mauna Kea telescope protest on Maui brings six arrests… Greensite on Questionable funding for the Wharf Master Plan…Krohn re Meetings and Martin Bernal… Steinbruner and Aptos Fire Chief, Water for Santa Cruz, new city buses…Patton deals with Sempervirens Fund and conflict of interest problem…DeCinzo and What Would Jesus do?…Eagan and Nailing it Down…Jensen links to Lady Macbeth…I critique Inconvenient Truth Sequel, Detroit, Lady Macbeth…Quotes about “Immigrants”
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BUILDING THE DREAM INN 1962. This was taken just before we lost the view of sky, Sisters Hospital and a sense of place. Also note the pilings from the long gone railroad wharf that were still in place. I didn’t have time to check the names of the Santa Cruz City Council at this time …and I hope they are/were proud of what they did!!! Just like we should put Mayor Cynthia Chase’s name on the new Hyatt House at Ocean and Broadway.

    
photo credit: Covello & Covello Historical photo collection.

Additional information always welcome: email bratton@cruzio.com

TRUMP MEETS GILBERT & SULLIVAN. We watched the Trump-Rossini opera production…now catch this one.

DATELINE August 7. 2017

DREAM INN EXPANSION PLOT WITHIN COASTAL ZONE!!! In direct contrast to what folks were told when they went to the Ensemble/Dream Inn sales job/party on Tuesday August 1st…the Coastal Planner/analyst for the California Coastal Commission Ryan Moroney stated that the Dream Inn parking lot site for the proposed high rise IS in the coastal zone and a portion of it is in the appealable zone.

The appealable aspect is very important for a lot of very concerned environmentalists. What’s hard to figure out is whether Miller Maxfield Inc. knew they were lying or were just guessing, or were slightly misinformed by their leaders.   If they were guessing, it’s interesting that they made the same guess… that it’s not in the Coastal Zone! What an introduction and kick-off to this monstrous insult to our community, and our environmental laws.

PHOTOS FROM THE DOWNTOWN RECOVERY PLAN. Hopefully you can pick out the captions or recognize all the corners involved in this wholesale plot to forever change our Downtown…all for big bucks.

TRUMP AND STREISAND DUET. Jimmy Fallon sinks to a low but funny level here…!!!
THE REAL JOHNNY DEPP. This is a nutty interview…and I always like to remind folks that Depp’s brother had a bookstore in Santa Cruz right near where Richelle Noroyan’s parents had a restaurant near where Westside Video is now.

LANDMARK CLOSING SAN FRANCISCO MOVIE HOUSE. Landmark Theatres the folks who bought and operate our Nickelodeon and Del Mar Theatres decided to close their Opera Plaza Cinema on Van Ness Avenue in San Francisco. They still have the Clay and Embarcadero Center Cinemas and about 55 other art-independent film houses around the country. The Chronicle said last week….”Opera Plaza LP, owner of the commercial property at the 13-story condo tower in the Civic Center, has filed a request with the city to convert the ground-floor space from a movie theater to 6,000 square feet of retail sales and service. “Opera Plaza Cinema is no longer economically viable — and has not been for a long period of time,” said Nathan Nishiguchi of Urban Pacific Properties, managing agent for Opera Plaza. “The operator (Landmark Theatres) and the landlord have arrived at the decision that closing the theater is the most appropriate next step.” So far there’s no local angle to this story…let’s hope!!!

NO RADIOACTIVE “DUMP’ SITE AT UCSC.
I was corrected when I wrote last week that UCSC’s clear-cut on Heller Drive was to be a “dump site” for just a teensy little bit of radioactive waste”. The $20 million building will “process and temporarily hold waste generated by teaching, research, and campus maintenance activities”, as Scott Hernandez-Jason told me. “currently, lab waste is directed to two different interim facilities, one on Science Hill and one at the base of campus”, he said. I wanted to make that perfectly clear. 

MAUNA KEA TELESCOPE PROTEST. Native Hawaiians and supporters have been protesting the building of another telescope on their sacred Mauna Kea. 6 were arrested when they locked and linked arms like our UCSC protestors did last year. The story from Huffpost tells it all…”The $1.4 billion project has received funding from a number of private and public organizations, including the University of California system, the California Institute of Technology and the Association of Canadian Universities for Research in Astronomy. The United States, Japan, India, Canada and China have all contributed as well.   

BBC link… BBC link…
http://www.bbc.com/news/blogs-trending-32239000
What is puzzling is that we have seen NOTHING in our local (Santa Cruz, San Francisco, San Jose) papers. I haven’t seen any coverage on our TV networks either. It couldn’t be due to the University of California connections could it?

CABRILLO FESTIVAL OF CONTEMPORARY MUSIC NEWS. I always wondered, and especially so this year with their new and very cheery, happy conductor Cristian Macelaru being so new… who and how are the orchestra members chosen ? Who auditions them, etc. Well I learned that all the members of this year’s orchestra were recommended by either Marin Alsop or from Cristi’s own lists. No auditions, they were so well known and so proficient. That’s why they sound so good…and if you read the program you’ll see they come here from almost everywhere!!!

MAKING WAVES OUT OF RIPPLES
When the tsunami of March 11th 2011 reached Santa Cruz I was watching from the cliffs above Cowell Beach. While the harbor was being hammered with severe damage as the waves compressed into its narrow entrance, surfers and beach goers enjoyed the gentle ins and outs of the surges at Cowell’s. I almost went home for my swimsuit to join in the fun.

It was therefore a surprise to learn that the city of Santa Cruz in 2012 applied for a federal government grant for disaster funding for the municipal wharf, resulting they said, from damage to the wharf from the tsunami. Having witnessed the wharf barely caressed by the tsunami and being a curious person, I requested all documents related to this grant application.

The city stated in its application on Form ED-900, that, “the tsunami damaged the Santa Cruz Municipal Wharf’s structural support system of 4,528 pilings and interlocking horizontal structural supports.” It further stated that, “many of these pilings and supports are damaged.” Additional comments included, The Wharf was severely damaged (my emphasis) by the March 2011 tsunami natural disaster. This project mitigates the immediate impacts of this physical damage while envisioning and preparing the Wharf to withstand similar events and be able to rebound quickly from future economic interruptions to a vital tourist and safety infrastructure project.” Based on such statements the U.S. Economic Development Administration (EDA) approved the $850,000 disaster grant with a required local matching fund of $170,000, which was drawn from the city Parks and Recreation budget.

The project, according to the city’s entries on its application to EDA, was to replace and reinforce supports damaged by the impact of the tsunami waves; that construction could begin immediately after the potential grant award and would take place within a twelve-month period.  An Engineering Report to examine all pilings was to follow plus a Wharf Master Plan. A cost breakdown stated: Demolition and removal: $15,000; construction (of new pilings and supports) $485,000; architects and engineering fees $350,000. Then a curious switch happened. A revised Form ED-900 entry stated: “The IRC (Internal Review Committee) of the EDA recommended that the project description be limited to a wharf master plan and engineering report to evaluate the structural integrity of the wharf. Therefore there is not any construction with this project.” I requested more records. None was available. I was told that this revision was a based on verbal exchanges and the city did not attend the meeting of the IRC when such a recommended change was made. There are no receipts or records of any replaced wharf pilings in the year after the tsunami. The distribution of federal and matching local funds was also changed: the full $1.1 million went to ROMA who drafted the Wharf Master Plan and the 2014 Engineering Report from Moffat and Nichol, a subsidiary of ROMA.

The 2014 Engineering Report concluded that: Most piles are in excellent condition. A small percentage are (sic) in need of replacement.” And, “the piles are in good condition, overall. Less than 5% of the 4,450 piles need replacement. Notable exceptions are underneath buildings where replacement is difficult with the building structure in place.” And, “the condition of the structure is good; due to the quality of original construction and continuous maintenance. There are some areas of deterioration, primarily due to water leakage below the deck and vehicle overload in parking areas.” No mention of tsunami or severe damage. The only reference to the tsunami is from ROMA, the authors of the Wharf Master Plan who write in reference to closing the wharf prior to predicted periods of “extreme waves such as occurred with the 2011 tsunami” (my emphasis).

It would appear that the Wharf Master Plan is based on shaky ground. That plus the overwhelming opposition to the proposed changes to the wharf should give council pause for thought before digging the hole any deeper. Shelving this ill conceived and unpopular project would go a long way to restoring trust in local government.

Many thanks to all who requested petitions to gather signatures opposed to the Wharf Master Plan. If you would like to do the same, contact me at gumtree@pacbell.net

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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By: Chris Krohn    Email Chris at ckrohn@cruzio.com

Meetings! Meetings!
Meetings, it’s what’s for dinner, breakfast and lunch, too. As a member of the Santa Cruz City Council you attend a lot of meetings. You have to have a disciplined regime too in order to avoid overeating the carbs, drinking too much coffee, and keeping a regular exercise routine becomes difficult. Body deterioration is always right around the corner in this job. But you keep going. (Why?) You meet— for-profits, non-profits, neighborhood groups, individuals with “issues,” and city department heads too; you sit–for council meetings, commission meetings, various board meetings; you meet some more–with mountain bikers, golfers, homeless-houseless activists, affordable housing advocates, and market-rate for-profit developers.Then repeat.Don’t know what I would do without meeting spots like Zachary’s, Cafe Bene, and Cafe Pergolesi…I’m getting to where I’m expecting a rent bill in the mail any day now.

So, I will cover a few of those meetings in this week’s column. Sound boring? I hope not, but when you get elected, and real peoples’ lives are involved in almost every decision the council makes, and various parts of $275 million (total city budget) are on the line, well, your attention becomes very focused…I met with the Santa Cruz City Manager (CM), Martín Bernal on July 25th. We talked about the Downtown Recovery Plan “amendments,” in which the developers are looking for the city council’s blessing to build taller buildings along Front Street, Pacific Avenue and the San Lorenzo River. It will be coming to the city council in September or October according to Bernal.

He went to Google Maps and showed me the parcels on his twenty-five-inch computer screen, the ones that have been assembled by market-rate housing developers. There they were, from Soquel to Laurel Street along Front and Pacific avenues. Developers Barry Swenson, Doug Ross and Owen Lawlor representing Devcon, are spearheading this current California gold rush. Will they build many affordable units? This is anyone’s guess, but I am guessing NO, not without an engaged community making their demands, as Frederick Douglas would say, and being present at all the meetings, formal and informal, that are coming up. (Note to self: there is something called the “Downtown Engagement Event” (?) scheduled for only special “stakeholders” to tour these building sites “in supporting the success of downtown,” according to item #8 on the city council’s consent agenda this week. Stay real tuned in on this one!)

We also talked about agendizing upcoming marijuana regulations (he will get back to me, “they keep being delayed,” Bernal said) as new state law kicks in January 1st. (Did you know marijuana is legal in California? But, will it become like Las Vegas where you can only sell it, but using it anywhere seems to be illegal.) There was a pushback email (spam?) about the new police chief. Somebody identifying themselves as the “POA” (Police Officers Association) was very unhappy over the new police chief and surmised that the fix was in before anyone was even interviewed for the job. Bernal assured me that he was in contact with the “real” POA, and the message was not from them, and the POA president was looking into the matter of who sent this errant email to the entire city council.

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HIROSHIMA DAY 2017. “Never Forget”. Taken August 6th at the “COLLATERAL DAMAGE” statue next to Town Clock in downtown Santa Cruz. The Santa Cruz Chapter of the United Nations Association sponsored the event.

We have two new department heads. Andy Mills is our new police chief and Lee Butler is the new planning director. Mills brings a lot of experience from San Diego and Eureka, while Butler has been working in the busy housing boom towns of San Jose, Gilroy, and Santa Clara. While Mills found a place to rent in Capitola, Butler has been living in Santa Cruz for the past 15 years. He currently resides on the Westside. Butler will command a staff of 38 with an $8 million budget. Mills has 94 sworn officers and a $27 million budget. I met with Butler last week for an hour and a half freewheeling, one-on-one discussion about his past and the Santa Cruz present and future. (I hope to sit down with Chief Mills sometime next week.) Butler is all about “transparency” he said. He’s got experience with “traffic demand management” plans, environmental impact reports and the creation of affordable housing. His experience was that in Santa Clara and San Jose they almost always extracted the required number of inclusionary rentals and for-sale units from developers (10% in Santa Clara and 20% in San Jose).

He also mentioned that assessing developers an “impact fee” of $30-$40 per square foot brought in some significant money to the affordable housing fund. Can we do it here? That will be up to the city council. I found it refreshing that Butler had more questions than answers and he readily acknowledged that he was on a sort of listening tour and trying to get up to speed with current city culture. As I bid Lee farewell I mentioned that he’s perhaps going into the community buzz saw of scrutiny and asked if he was a bit nervous. He said he wasn’t, and looked forward to the challenge of working with the council, his own staff and the community.

Bernie Quote of the Week. “ The reality is…. Fraud is the business model of both Wall Street and the pharmaceutical industry. It’s not the exception. It’s the rule. (Aug. 4th. 2017)

~ Chris Krohn is a father, writer, activist, former Santa Cruz City Councilmember (1998-2002) and Mayor (2001-2002). He’s been running the Environmental Studies Internship program at UC Santa Cruz for the past 12 years. He was elected last November to another 4-year term on the Santa Cruz City Council.

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By: Becky Steinbruner    Email Becky at KI6TKB@yahoo.com

PHOTO OP FOR ZACH FRIEND DELAYS OPENING OF VALENCIA ROAD BRIDGE FOR RURAL APTOS RESIDENTS
It was amazing to many Aptos residents to see that the new bridge over Trout Creek on Valencia Road remained CLOSED FOR USE over the weekend even though the work was complete last Friday.  Why?  Simply to allow Supervisor Zach Friend to have a glorious publicity event at 11:30am on Monday.  Zach Friend could not be bothered to show up at the bridge last Friday morning when about 20 youngsters were gathered there for some other photo op…The bridge remained closed all weekend.  Construction crews even parked equipment across both access points to block any possible entry, just in case someone got the idea to move the chain link fence sections and drive, bicycle or walk across. 

Stunning, isn’t it? Why does Zach Friend care more about his own publicity stunts than the health and welfare of the nearby 140+ residents of Rolling Green Estates and Aptos School Road?   In addition to having to travel over 5 additional miles to town, they have had increased emergency response times to medical and safety issues in their neighborhood since the road was closed last January.  Well, he does have his own political future to think of, you know…

I think it is interesting that this “temporary bridge”, as part of the project’s $3.8 million repair, took eight months to complete.  Contrast that with an almost identical situation on Nelson Road in Scotts Valley.  That “temporary bridge” was in place within three weeks after the culvert failed and, according to the County Department of Public Works report issued to the Board of Supervisors as Item #47 on the August 8, 2017 Consent Agenda, cost $351,000 and is complete as a FEMA repair.  I think there is more to this picture than meets the eye…

Say “Cheese”, Zach.

APTOS / LA SELVA FIRE CHIEF JONES ASKED FOR TWO-YEAR CONTRACT EXTENSION
I found it shocking that Chief Jon Jones could ask the Aptos / La Selva Fire District Board to extend his contract another two years when he has zero support and trust from the firefighters and chiefs.  Although the Board has remained silent since last month’s meeting, it became known recently that Chief Jones did indeed make his request on July 13, the date of the last Board meeting. 

ATTEND THE THURSDAY, AUGUST 10 APTOS /LA SELVA FIRE DISTRICT  BOARD MEETING IF POSSIBLE.  The Board will vote to decide whether to approve or deny Chief Jones’ request.  Remember that Firefighter Local 3535 voted unanimously “No Confidence” in Chief Jones last April, and the Aptos /La Selva Fire Chiefs Association followed that action in May with a unanimous vote of “No Confidence”.   This is unprecedented action, and truly calls out to the Community for support of those who serve us with dedication

Write to the Board and Ms. New: (you must specifically ask Ms. New to have your comments included in public correspondence in the Board’s agenda packet)

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~Cheers,

Becky Steinbruner

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.

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By: Gary Patton    Email Gary at gapatton@mac.com

FROM GARY A. PATTON  From Gary’s “We Live In A Political World” website… #219 / Save The Trees???

The Sempervirens Fund just sent me a fundraising email (see above for the graphic that accompanied it). Sempervirens is a nonprofit organization that has been saving redwood trees since 1900. I am not exactly a “big donor,” but I have consistently supported the Sempervirens Fund, which is why I am on the organization’s email list.

This latest email from Sempervirens, though, came at a bad time, as far as I am concerned, because I recently heard about a controversy in which I think the Sempervirens Fund did exactly the wrong thing. This wasn’t a good time for the Sempervirens Fund to ask me for money.

I routinely read Bratton Online, a weekly blog covering all things Santa Cruz, and the July 26 – August 1 edition had some distressing news about Sempervirens

Here is the Bratton Online story in its entirety:

SEMPERVIRENS FUND & THE CALIFORNIA FORESTRY ASSOCIATION & SOME SERIOUS QUESTIONS. 
Betsy Herbert, longtime forest activist, resigned from the Board of Directors of the Sempervirens Fund. Her environmental and community serving credentials are impressive: A PhD in environmental studies from UCSC, longtime local forest advocate, former watershed manager for San Lorenzo Valley Water District, currently President, Santa Cruz Mountains Bioregional Council and board member, Center for Farmworker Families. Most importantly now is that she served on the Sempervirens Fund board for 15 years until she resigned last week. 

Historically, the Sempervirens Fund has used money from donors to provide permanent protection to the redwood forests of the state. Now, over Betsy’s objection, the Board has put Rich Gordon, former Member of the Assembly, on the Sempervirens Board. What makes this exceptional is that Gordon has just been named as the President and Executive Director of the California Forestry Association, which is the state’s main lobbying group representing the timber industry. The CFA website tries to present itself as working for “sustainable forests.” In fact, the CFA’s main mission in Sacramento is to make it easier to cut down more trees. Here’s the California Forestry Association website

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~There IS such a thing as a bona fide conflict of interest. I know one when I see one. Apparently, the Sempervirens Fund Board doesn’t…or doesn’t mind the conflict, on the theory that the organization is going to get some sort of benefit.

Whatever best describes the reality, the words “non-donor” best describe me, with respect to the Sempervirens Fund. 

I am not giving money to an organization that says it wants to “Save Trees,” while it puts the state’s foremost timber industry lobbyist on its Board of Directors.

I am not giving money to an organization that doesn’t know what a conflict of interest is…..

Or doesn’t care!….

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

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CLASSICAL DeCINZO. First there was no room at the inn…now this. See below a scroll or two.

EAGAN’S DEEP COVER. See Eagan’s “Hitting that damned nail” 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 with his ideas on

Yes and Not No” this week.

LISA JENSEN LINKS. Lisa writes: “It’s not Shakespeare, but expect something wicked indeed in the psychological thriller, Lady Macbeth, this week at Lisa Jensen Online Express (http://ljo-express.blogspot.com/). And speaking of the Bard, find out how Santa Cruz Shakespeare turns an iffy play into a visual delight with The Two Gentlemen of Verona!” Lisa has been writing film reviews and columns for Good Times since 1975.  

AN INCONVENIENT SEQUEL:TRUTH TO POWER, We should never forget that there were 22,438 Trump Voters in Santa Cruz County and they should all be allowed in free to see Al Gore’s update on Climate Warming. As you know climate warming is worse than ever. Facts, experts, news clips, common sense and a great documentary team show us just how bad itreally is right now.

LADY MACBETH. A well deserved 89 on RT and it should be more. Florence Pugh plays the Lady, and she only made one other film The Falling in 2015. The book source was written in 1865 and this version is set in a Downton Abbey time. It’s full of sex, great costumes, amazing woman empowerment (that you won’t like!) and a thriller that will hold you to the screen every second. I loved it. 9 Thumbs up.

DETROIT. Will Poulter who plays a Detroit cop is one of the most dislikable actors we’ll ever see onscreen.  You wouldn’t like him even if he played Jesus, Tom Hanks or even Cristi Macelaru. He leads the cops into the Algiers Hotel killings that happened in Detroit in 1967. It’s all about racial hatred and cops killing black people. Way overdone, no depth, no development and far below the work that Kathryn Bigelow and her work directing The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty.  Here’s a link to The Guardian statistics about how many people Police kill in the United States each year….

A GHOST STORY. Excellent, wonderful, brilliant, thoughtful, meaningful…really worth seeing and thinking about. It should be titled : “A Ghost’s Story“. It is a story about a kindly ghost who watches the world after he dies. No blood, no BOOS, no closets, just Rooney Mara and Casey Affleck have lead roles. Casey as the bedsheeted ghost wanders through time and locations’ trying to connect or figure out what life is all about. It is well worth seeing, probably twice!! I’ve seen it twice and it’s even better the second time!! ENDS THURSDAY AUGUST 10….darn!

THE MIDWIFE. Catherine Deneuve has always been magnetic in her films and she still is as an aging and still controlling mother. 86 on RT. Well known French actor Catherine Frot plays the daughter of the man Deneuve cheated with decades ago. It’s a beautiful, excellent film that you’ll remember for years. Go see it. ENDS THURSDAY AUGUST 10..damn!.

THE BIG SICK. Kumail Nanjiani the Pakistani jerk from the “Silicon Valley” tv sit com not only wrote this plot but he and his real wife lived it. The film is a bit long but it’s well worth seeing. It’ll grab you when you least expect it. He’s a standup comic and falls in love with Zoe Kazan, a “white” girl. It’s heart rending, funny and  a tale told of cultural differences between his traditional Pakistani family and her very contemporary Mom  (Holly Hunter) and dad. Go see it…it’ll surprise you.(and I’ll predict some Awards around December-January).

ATOMIC BLONDE. Charlize Theron does a nearly perfect job as the Blonde in this James Bond – Berlin Wall era action movie. Very well done fight scenes, complex spy loyalty plot, John Goodman is getting more and more difficult to believe, and he’s in it too. James McAvoy is there too but he doesn’t matter much. It’ll be the first of many sequels believe me, even though it didn’t do that well on opening weekend. Charlize T. also produced the film, and it’s based on a graphic novel.

DUNKIRK. Acclaimed auteur Christopher Nolan directs this World War II thriller about the evacuation of Allied troops from the French city of Dunkirk before Nazi forces can take hold. co-star, with longtime Nolan collaborator Hans Zimmer providing the score.

Dunkirk is a city in France and during WWII the Nazis drove the allied troops to Dunkirk’s beaches. There were 400, 000 troops stranded there with no ships to take them to safety. Tom Hardy, Kenneth Branagh and Mark Rylance are in the film briefly and do fine acting jobs. The film is all war and is well made and directed…better than most war films. But with City Of Ghosts playing now that’s the one to see IF you like genuine war films.

MAUDIE.  A 90 on Rotten Tomatoes and Sally Hawkins plus Ethan Hawke play a severly crippled arthritic and her cruel, stubborn husband…and it’s a true story. The film is sad, poignant, heart gripping and maybe even mawkish. Other than some fine acting by all involved I’m not sure why they made this film, or why you might enjoy it. Me? I’m not sure if I did.

LANDLINE. A New York and Jewish themed near comedy that isn’t very funny…or meaningful. John Turturro is the only familiar face in the cast. It’s about a disturbed family and the dozens of lies they try to live with. Everybody cheats on each other. You would come away from this film feeling much better about your family…which must operate much better than this one. ENDS THURSDAY AUGUST 10.

WONDER WOMAN. IF you like comic book heroes or heroines (hope its ok to use that term) Wonder woman is several cuts about the usual no brainer/ violent/monster filled box office smashes we keep seeing. Gal Gadot is a former Miss Israel and we keep hearing about that. She plays W. Woman. Robin Wright, is in it too and she is a long time favorite of mine. She is Sean Penn’s ex. Chris Pine just jumps around looking like the usual Hollywood cutie pie. If you remember that she’s a comic book star and is supposed to battle, fight and pose in tight pants all the time you could enjoy this more than most of that ilk.

WAR ON PLANET OF THE APES. This should really be classified as an animated saga. It’s all digital ape stuff with Woody Harrelson as an evil human. It has a plot that could make you think seriously…if you can take the computer apes seriously. It could eb said to relate to the Democrats versus the Republicans. Republicans (Harrelson) want to build a wall among other plot devices and the more liberal apes just want to have peace.  About 90 % of the film is centered on wars between the two forces and who will rule in the future. Better to go to one of our museums or galleries instead.

SPIDERMAN:HOMECOMING. Michael Keaton completely steals every movie he’s ever made and he sure does playing an evil “Vulture” in this latest version of the web spinner (there have been at least 13 versions of Spidey on TV and the movies!!) Spidey is a high school student with Teresa Tomei as his mom. Robert Downey jr. is back as Iron Man. It doesn’t matter much but Gwyneth Paltrow is in it too. It’s a little better than most of the Marvel Comics hero movies but not much.

VALERIAN AND THE CITY OF A THOUSAND PLANETS. (See above for the NO 3D at the Regal 9). This is an excellent example of a comic book film. Set in the 28th century its silly, preposterous, amazing, and it’s sort of like the first Marlon Brando Superman film.  The cast actually includes Herbie Hancock, Ethan Hawke and Clive Owen…but not very much! It’s full of stolen creatures from Star Wars, Avatar, yep even Jar Jar Binks, and long scenes looking like Blade Runner. Only if you like comic books.

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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. Dr. Shawna Riddle (PAMF) guests on August 8th talking about staying healthy in Santa Cruz. She’s followed by John Aird talking about C.L.U.E. (Coalition for Limiting University Expansion) and what they’ve accomplished. On August 15 Julie James releases the news about the new Season of The Jewel Theatre. After Julie, interventional cardiologist and Doctor Neil Sawhney (PAMF) brings us up to date on heart news. Then on August 29 The San Francisco Mime Troupe’s Marilet Martinez tells us about their 9/9, 9/10 performances here. September 5 has Lisa Hadley and Davis Banta previewing their Quality Of Life play. Then therapist Alexandra Kennedy talks about her Awakening to Life In Transition retreat. On October 10 Phyllis Rosenblum discusses the Santa Cruz Chamber Players 2017-18 season. The top winners of the Bookshop Santa Cruz Young Writers contest read their works on November 28. 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

NEW UNIVERSAL GRAPEVINE ARCHIVE FEATURE. Stuff changes at KZSC a lot. If you missed 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.

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. “IMMIGRANTS”
“We asked for workers. We got people instead”,  Max Frisch
“Immigration is the sincerest form of flattery”,  Jack Paar
“Remember, remember always, that all of us, and you and I especially, are descended from immigrants and revolutionists”,  Franklin D. Roosevelt
“The truth is, immigrants tend to be more American than people born here”, Chuck Palahniuk, Choke
“I take issue with many people’s description of people being “Illegal” Immigrants. There aren’t any illegal Human Beings as far as I’m concerned”, Dennis Kucinich

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

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

Direct email: Bratton@Cruzio.com
Direct phone: 831 423-2468
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BEST OF VINTAGE STEVEN DeCINZO.

Deep Cover by Tim Eagan.