Blog Archives

April 11 – 17, 2011

SANTA CRUZ, THE BAY, THE SAN LORENZO, NEARY LAGOON…1948. Just waiting for the Tsunami!!! But seriously squint closely to see the huge sand bar under the San Lorenzo Bridge where our city-owned parking lot used to be.

Those were the days.

photo credit: Covello & Covello Historical photo collection.

Additional information always welcome: email

POWER OF WORDS. Scott MacClelland

DESALINATION PLANTS…LIKE NUCLEAR POWER PLANTS. Folks seem just as committed to believing that desalination plants will solve problems as people used to be in wanting Nuclear Power plants. Citizens of Davenport and Bodega Bay were completely convinced that Nuclear Power was the way to go. And Desal fans are just like that too. Questions are flying all over the internet about desal and what good it will do us and do we really need it. I’ve written many of them before and included a slew here again that I’ve picked out of email. Simply stated the City of Santa Cruz isn’t answering. They say costs aren’t available yet because choices haven’t been made…and yet they push and push. They ignore the fact that there’s no proof that the type plant they want here will work. And they deny that there’s none in existence of this kind that are working. Some questions are. Where is the city council taking us and future generations with their ill-conceived expensive desalination plant? Is there really not enough water for endangered salmon and threatened steelhead — seems like another drought alarm tactic to rush residents into approving a controversial and mega-expensive desal plant to be built on the city’s Westside. Appears that the besieged desal proponents are circling the wagons while gunning-up a kind of faux science solution that has no solid basis. The people of Santa Cruz are not stupid or easily deceived. Desal smells fishy. Please wake-up, city council members.

As the residents of Marin did last year, Santa Cruz voters will need to stop the city council’s desal plant scheme at the ballot box. We have a leadership drought. Desal is not about saving endangered and threatened fish! The so called “proposed” Santa Cruz desal plant is all about building the city’s biggest and most expensive infrastructure project in over half a century. Who are the interest groups and big players that are promoting desal — “the choice of last resort.” How about publishing a thorough investigative report to better inform residents and decision-makers at this time? Using “save the endangered fish” as a ploy for justifying the construction of an unproven, fossil-fueled powered desal plant is absurd. How can cash-strapped Santa Cruz afford to build a $100 – $140 million facility, while at the same time laying-off workers and drastically cutting back many important services and programs? We are a small city with ample rainfall; let’s get smart by reducing demand further, and storing and conserving our water now — before the next drought emergency.


How much ocean water needs to be processed to produce 2.5 mill gallons of potable water and at what price per gallon compared to standard water treatment?

  • How much has already been spent on the project? (total cost and net cost to Santa Cruz)
  • How much will the project cost through completion of construction (total cost and net cost to Santa Cruz)?
  • How will the plant be financed and what will be the total cost of the plant, including interest payments?
  • What will be the operating costs of the plant?
  • What is the cost per gallon of water, (including construction and operating costs) of desalination, versus our current water supply?
  • What is the projected rise in energy costs during the next 30 years and how does that affect the operating cost of the plant?
  • What is the agenda for proceeding with expansion of the plant?

CORRECTION: Spain versus Italy or Madrid versus Rome, whatever. Last week I had a video clip of Placido Domingo singing something from Tosca. I titled it as being sung on the original location in Spain. Silly me, Tosca took and takes place in Rome. Placido was born in Spain, maybe that’s what I was thinking. If you google it, Rome is 18 hours and 26 minutes from Spain, if you go by way of France through Barcelona, Marseille, Monaco and Livorno. But you don’t have to. And thanks to all those eagle type readers for pointing out that tiny, tiny mistake.

CALIFORNIA SCHOOLKIDS LEARN FROM FIRE-DAMAGED FOREST. Jodi Frediani sent this intriguing story. Are we locals (like especially Bonny Dooners) learning from our last fire??

JAPAN’S NUCLEAR POWER PLANT EXPOSED. Simon Kelly sent this link to photos taken by a small unmanned plane of the power plant disaster. Scroll down a bit after you open it.

ANOTHER CORRECTION AND ADDITION. One avid reader pointed out that the clip of two dogs eating took place in a “busty” restaurant. hat typo occurred in the youtube video itself, and there wasn’t a thing I could do about it. More importantly, Ron Sandidge sent this educational addition re the same clever clip… TWO DOGS DINING.It was shot on location in Denmark. The waitress is Danish. The two flags on the counter in the background are the Dannebrog (Danish flag). Only Danes light candles creating hygge*) in the middle of the day – check the clock on the wall. See what I married into and have come to learn

MUSIC IN THE FOREST. Mark Bernhard, dc. And some other kind readers sent in this same You Tube masterpiece. Nearly unbelievable, but nice.

TEXACO STATION, MORTON MARCUS, DeCINZO & BARTCZAK.Near legendary T. Mike Walker emails to say…”Thanks for another excellent issue. I especially enjoyed the pic. of you & the McDougal’s, as well as the animated Mort Marcus piece–I had never seen that either. And thanks for publishing DeCinzo, the last of the mavericks, and Bartczak’s Backwash–very surreal cartoon work. I also appreciated the photo of the Flying A gas station on Mission & King. In 67, for my 1st interview at Cabrillo, I had driven down the coast Road, thinking it would be shorter, and somewhere along the line lost all my brake fluid, so when I hit the first stop sign at Bay and Mission, I couldn’t stop, and started gearing down. When I got to Mission and King, I was doing about 15 mile per hour and steered across the lanes to crash into the huge stacks of used tires piled against the Mission Street back wall of the station. Pow! Tires everywhere! But no damage to anything that counted. Poor Mel Touey from Cabrillo drove out to get me–I was already over an hour late for my interview, and naturally they didn’t hire me that year. But the next year they did! (The year I discovered the newly constructed Hwy. 17.) Anyhow, keep up your good work. T. Mike Walker.

PATTON’S PROGRAM. Gary alerts us to the proposed huge shopping center being planned for highway 68. He details what’s involved with “Consent Agendas”, he asks about De-sal plants and their costs and tells details on the League of Women Voters Debate Thursday night. He then goes on about drive through restaurants and their impact. He closes with some words on AMBAG.
(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” )

BEAR OPENS BEAR PROOF LOCKER. Read this article on bears, it’s funny, fascinating and tells more about our interfacing than you may want to know.


LETTERS TO THE COLUMN.Here’s one I got this week, name withheld by request.

“The video of the dogs dining was so charming! I agree with you about “Certified Copy” – it annoyed me right from the start, despite my high hopes for it after seeing the trailer at the Nick and the fact that it was about art AND was filmed in Italy. After an hour I could stand no more, and walked out. This is something I’ve done maybe one other time (“Batman & Robin”) so that’s how bad I thought it was!! Binoche won best actress at Cannes for this? The filmmaker should not try to make another English-language film.
And the design of the proposed hotel where Unity Temple is really awful! I think Santa Cruz would benefit from some classy hotels (no, we’re miles away from becoming “another Miami Beach or Waikiki” as some exaggerated claims fear) but this design looks DULL DULL DULL! We need some distinctive architecture that might even be a destination in and of itself. We might be too small-town for a Frank Gehry, but come on!!” Anon.

Bruce Engelhardt writes re the Unity Temple Hotel, “This building, as proposed, is a disgrace and is exactly why I disapproved of the Coast Hotel project. It could easily fit into Sunnyvale but is a severe mar on the surface of our own local map. It’s a perfect example of unimaginative generic design and we deserve better in this art-oriented city. It will also result in serious traffic jams on Broadway, which is only one lane in each direction, during the prime tourist season as guests come and go amidst the usual cross-town traffic at rush hour. Worst of all, its way too close to sub-Broadway Riverside Ave. where I live”. Bruce Engelhardt

VINTAGE DE CINZO. DeCinzo thought The Sheriff’s Department was getting desperate…look below for more about that.

EAGANS DEEP COVER. Tim gives us the world’s largest Tinker Bell. You just gotta see it…down there about 4 pages.

LANDAU’S PROGRES. Saul Landau writes in this latest issue of Progreso Weekly, “To Libya With God on our Side”. He says por ejemplo,” Grabbing other people’s land and interfering in their affairs became as American as apple pie before the annexation of Texas, and “Manifest Destiny” as the engine of U.S. foreign policy. In 17th Century inspirational moments God sent His chosen from England to found the “city on a hill” (Boston). He had dispatched other select British subjects to settle “the promised land” (Virginia).According to John L. O’Sullivan in 1839, God intended “the fulfillment of our manifest destiny to overspread the continent allotted by Providence for the free development of our yearly multiplying millions.” See how Americans talked to God before Pat Robertson – before God punished us with Hurricanes for allowing homosexuals to cavort. Read the rest here… Saul Landau is an Institute for Policy Studies fellow whose films are on DVD from

PRESIDENT JIMMY CARTER’S OWN REPORT ON HIS CUBA VISIT. Progreso Weekly carried this report from President Jimmy Carter…I hadn’t seen it anywhere else. He says, “We then visited Fidel in his private home and found him to be vigorous, alert, and especially intent on monitoring voluminous media reports on his list of prescribed subjects. His primary health problem concerned his left knee and right shoulder, badly injured in a fall in 2004 at a ceremony honoring Che Guevara. Before leaving Havana, I had a press conference, a TV interview, and another brief session with President Castro, who met me at the airport, where I repeated my request that Mr. Gross be released and relayed concerns I had received from the dissident groups. He promised to investigate the concerns and report his decisions to me”. Read it all here…

DAN BESSIE’S NEW BOOK “REELING THROUGH HOLLYWOOD”.Film maker and ex-Santa Cruzan Dan Bessie lives in France now with his on-line love of his life. He emails,” Really great that the first review for the e-book edition of my latest book received five stars. Wow! The review is here; hope you’ll help spread the word —The review says in part, “REELING THROUGH HOLLYWOOD isn’t going to help you find an agent, sell a screenplay or get you a starring role in the next Quentin Tarantino flick. Nor will it tell you which actor beat up his lover or what stars are snorting coke. What this always lighthearted and sometimes poignant memoir will do, however, is offer fresh insight into a wonderful but crazy industry, detail an insider’s look at how movie making actually works, and provide a great read. Dan Bessie is an award-winning filmmaker who cut his teeth in cartoon animation then went on to write, produce and direct more than 125 films, both live and animated, from shorts for schools to features to TV specials.

Grateful thanks, Dan Bessie

LISA JENSEN LINKS. This week on Lisa Jensen Online Express (, local writer Claudia Sternbach recalls a life of small epiphanies, one kiss at a time. Also, more news about The Catalyst movie premiere at the Santa Cruz Film Festival, more James Durbin updates, and a look ahead to the swashbuckling 30th anniversary season of Shakespeare Santa Cruz. Lisa Jensen has been writing film reviews and a column for Good Times since 1975.

NEW MEDIA WATCH ISSUE. Ann Simonton sends in this new issue of Media Watch . Read about Egyptian women and virginity tests, about Sex and Video games, and Death by stoning!!


HANNA. This is another Sci Fi thriller starring the 17 year old Saoirse Clodagh Ronan. (If you spell that backwards you get Nanor Hgadolc Esrioas ). Anyways, she’s a super human result of some experiment that Cate Blanchett had something to do with. It is genuinely thrilling, exciting, well photographed, and just looks great on the big screen. It however does not make a lot of sense, but what does nowadays?

INSIDIOUS.The scariest thing in this film is Barbara Hershey’s plastic surgery. Her smile is now crooked and they can’t do many close-ups on her…poor thing. But the film itself is fairly scary in a Paranormal way. The houses are haunted, no bloody stuff, shadows, ghosts, and the evil place is called “Further” like Ken Kesey’ s bus!!! If you like scary films, this is a must see.

MIRAL.The very beautiful 27 year old Frieda Pinto (star of Slumdog Millionaire) who was born in Bombay here for some reason plays a 17 year old orphaned Palestinian girl involved in the Arab-Israeli war. The film deals with the Israeli Arab conflict in such a hammy, dull, overused plot it is simply insulting. Director Julian Schnabel has made a bunch of fine films and must have gotten too emotionally involved to remember how to direct. Don’t go.

POTICHE. Catherine Deneuve and Gerard Depardieu are lucky to get any roles anymore. They used to be great, but this crummy light weight comedy attempt makes fools of them both. It’s supposed to be a “feminist” theme but it’s actually degrading and embarrassing and not funny. It’s that thing about the French and comedy…remember how they think Jerry Lewis is funny? On the other hand Rotten Tomatoes gives this an 89% so there you are.

SANTA CRUZ BAROQUE FESTIVAL. The Santa Cruz Baroque Festival presents:
FOREST SONG: The Classical Clarinet (Concert IV)
Featuring Eric Hoeprich (classical clarinet) with Linda Burman-Hall (fortepiano)
In the baroque period the clarinet was indeed a ‘rare bird’ just hatched around 1700. The classical clarinet of Mozart’s time had only 5 keys but yielded great timbral variety. Enjoy the silken voice of this endangered instrument in works by Lefèvre, Stadler, Hoffmeister, Weber and Beethoven, brought to you by one of the world’s leading historical clarinetists. Eric Hoeprich has performed and recorded with renowned artists Frans Brüggen, Philippe Herreweghe, Sir Roger Norrington, and Christopher Hogwood, and Musica Antiqua Köln In addition to music, we explore parallels in the conservation of species and instruments with images of endangered wildlands, including rare birds and animals selected by biologist Richard Tenaza. This visual presentation is accompanied by a sound collage by Linda Burman-Hall. “Bilou Sapiens” (Wise Bilou) layers the voices of live wooden flutes over Tenaza’s fieldwork recordings of animal sounds from the Mentawai Rainforest (electro-acoustic composition with Lars Johannesson & Alissa Roedig, baroque flutes). Concert IV takes place on Saturday, April 16, at the UCSC Music Center Recital Hall beginning at 7:30 pm. Tickets can be purchased through the UCSC Ticket Office (, 831-459-2159), the Civic Center Box Office, and the SC Baroque Festival (, 831-457-9693).

A spirited evening of no holds barred virtuosity and lyricism on Saturday, April 23, 2011, 7:30PM @ Cabrillo College Music Recital Hall (VAPA 5000 building), Aptos, CA.
Featured Guest Artists
David Grisman, mandolin, Sandra Gu piano, Chad Kaltinger viola, Akindele Bankole tenor…plus NMW Ensemble, featuring guest violinist Roy Malan; conducted by Phil Collins. There’ll be 3 World Premieres by: David GrismanEight by Eight (2011) Akindele Bankole, The Place ‘HA-MAKOM’ Opus 1, (2010) Phil CollinsSpringing (2010).
Plus music by:
Peter Maxwell-Davies
Dances from the Two Fiddlers (1978)
Elliott Carter, Catenaires (2006)
Luciano Berioo king (1968) (in memory of Martin Luther King, Jr.)
Morton Feldman, the viola in my life (1970)
plus three David Grisman classics, specially arranged by the composer for NMW Ensemble:– Dawg’s Waltz, Opus 57 in g minor & Shalom Aleichem (arrangement of a traditional Jewish prayer). There’ll also be a Post-Concert Discussion with The Artists.

For more info like tickets etc go to…

HOSTETTER’S HOT STUFF.(As usual check out the dates, some are gone) Before this weekend gets any closer, I thought I’d send this out. Last call for the rare appearance of my band, Party of Five (AKA Party of However Many, Party of Party, etc.) in Berkeley. Close to full, but think about it. Right on its heels, even before it in fact, the Borromeo String Quartet in both Santa Cruz and San Francisco. The marvelous Festival of the Mandolins takes place all day Sunday in San Francisco. Tune up for that. Later in the week, Édessa and the Disciples of Markos confound one and all at Ashkenaz, and going all the way into next weekend, the hardy and discerning may experience the Marin Symphony Chamber Chorus doing Ghost Riders in the Sky (among other things). On into Paddy Keenan, the New Music Works and their whack at the mandolin, and the Big Uneasy with Harry Shearer. Begin by clicking this link: Hope to see you at one or another of these things. Keep an eye for updates. All the best, ph. (Paul left out the Jug Band Festival last Sunday at Don Quixote’s which was great, at least the first half).

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 on “blog”) at WWW.KZSC.ORG. Paul Johnston of Organizing for Santa Cruz will tell us about their many accomplishments on April 12, then Rick Longinotti will tell us many of the faults and failures of de-sal plants and why Santa Cruz is crazy to even consider the idea. On April 19th Mike Pappas owner of the new True Olive Connection Tasting Room on Lincoln Street will tell us all about his olive oils and vinegars. After Mike, Sandy Lydon returns to explain all his new trips, classes and tours. Any and all suggestions for future programs are more than welcome so tune in and keep listening.

QUOTES. “You do not need to leave your room. Remain sitting at your table and listen. Do not even listen, simply wait. Do not even wait, be quite still and solitary. The world will freely offer itself to you to be unmasked, it has no choice, it will roll in ecstasy at your feet”, Franz Kafka. “…the conscious “world” is in fact energy radiantly manifest at relative rates of regarded speed”, R. Buckminster Fuller.


Deep Cover