DATELINE FEBRUARY 9, 2015
SANTA CRUZ SENTINEL UP FOR SALE. Now we know why the Sentinel has been making all those tightening changes…they’re trying to make it look like a better buy for some corporate mega machine to buy it. From all I can gather it’s part of a $125 million package of 77 newspapers. Reporter J.M. Brown has been canned and as he said in an email, he’s a pay grade or two below the group who know what’s happening. As we have come to expect, there has been nothing reported in the Sentinel…so far. As many have stated, as bad as the Sentinel has become wait until we have no daily paper at all. A sad commentary on our community.
B.E.A.R.C.A.T. UPDATE & SAN LEANDRO TOO. The headline in KQED News for Jan. 9 states, “San Leandro Police Face Opposition in Push for New Armored Vehicle”. The San Jose Mercury headline (1/08) says, “San Leandro armored vehicle forum draws crowd”. And yet we’ve seen nothing in the Sentinel about the San Leandro battle to stop the BEARCAT in their city. CBS (KPIX TV 5) San Francisco reported on 2/05/15 “SAN LEANDRO– Amid an ongoing debate over the militarization of local police departments, the San Leandro City Council said they would move forward with plans to purchase an armored rescue vehicle. In a 6-1 vote, the council approved the purchase of the Bearcat Medevac. The vehicle will be paid mostly thorough a $200,000 Homeland Security grant” It’s amazing and as well as shocking to see how our government both nationally by selling these tanks, and locally by buying them, are becoming so militarized, and they are getting approval by our elected officials.
(I REPEAT) THE BEARCAT ATTACK VEHICLE BY ANY OTHER NAME. Now that we know BEARCAT stands forBallistic Engineered Armored Response Counter Attack Truck and now we all know how it’s really going to be used…let’s vote and change the name to “G.A.R.B.A.G.E” that would be Government Approved Reactionary Barricade Against Groups of Environmentalists.
FRED KEELEY’S OPEN SPACE DISTRICT. It would take too long to explain, but when I see Fred Keeley’s name on almost anything….I get worried about some hidden deal. I asked a number of informed friends about Keeley’s Plot and plans for this “district” thing. Replies came in, “I think there has mainly just been “talk” about how creating an Open Space District would be beneficial. The Land Trust of Santa Cruz County explored the idea, too, some years ago. In general, an Open Space District would be a new governmental agency with the governmental purpose being to acquire and protect open space lands. To create such an agency, LAFCO would likely be involved, and there might also be some special state legislation involved. “We should look into the Open Space Authority of Santa Clara County, which was created by a specific state law. Here’s a link to review the law governing that District (called an Authority) by going to the this link. Here’s a link to the Authority’s website, to give you an idea of the kind of entity that might be created here. “The key thing in making any Open Space District work is the willingness of the public to tax themselves, in order to raise money to be spent on the purposes of preserving open space. A 2/3 vote would be required. If a District were created here, and funded, then the “management” of the District would be key. Some Districts spend a lot of money on administrative overhead; some are more bureaucratically efficient, and devote more of their money to actual property acquisition and preservation”. More to follow.
|HUGE ICE FLOW. My cousin Dean Hagen sent this email.
HOW PROGRESSIVES IN RICHMOND BEAT BIG OIL. In a “David vs. Goliath” race, 3 of the 3 Team Richmond Progressive candidates were elected to the Richmond City Council. 5 of the 5 candidates promoted by Chevron were defeated — How did they do it? Hear Richmond City Councilwoman Gayle McLaughlin describe how they built authentic relationships in the community to mobilize voters in support of their leadership on the Richmond City Council over a ten year period in which they: § Raised the minimum hourly wage;§ Increased green tech jobs and attracted businesses that included both sole operator and firms with a number of employees;§ Opened a foreclosure prevention program to acquire underwater mortgages and resell to citizens at reduced principals;§ Initiated a “livable, walkable community environment”; § Built condominiums for senior housing…AND Formed the Richmond Youth Corps.What can we learn from them? How can we organize campaigns to elect progressive candidates and build a better, kinder Santa Cruz? Saturday, February 21, 4-6 pm Center for Spiritual Living: 1818 Felt St. Sponsored by People’s Democratic Club and WILPF Santa Cruz.
BILL KOCHER’S NOW IN MONTEREY. You have to admire Bill Kocher for having the guts and gall to return to the neighborhood where his zillion dollar De-Sal plant and plans failed so miserably. He’s now Marina Coast Water District’s new interim general manager.
STILL MORE ON THAT DAMNED BEARCAT
This whole thing has been mishandled from the start. According to the Good Times, Congressman Farr requested this armored vehicle for Santa Cruz back in September of 2013, saying to somebody that it was something Santa Cruz needed. Was this “need” just pulled out of the blue? Who was consulted in Santa Cruz to find out if Sam was correct? Could this be a colossal oversight by an out-of-touch staffie in his office?
Considering that this was once presented as a way to make use of military surplus gear, what changed to make this not true? We’re now told that the damned thing has yet to be built. Sounds like a never ending list of pork items that never stops. How many of us have to say no? Who EVER said yes? Maybe some of these questions will be answered Wednesday night (2/11) at the public meeting on this subject.
(Paul Elerick is co-chair with Peter Scott of the Campaign for Sensible Transportation, http://sensibletransportation.org , and he’s a member of Nisene 2 Sea, a group of open space advocates).,
PATTON’S PROGRAM. Gary gives more news about development of Fort Ord and tells of the impact on environment for just about any development.Then he tellls of Mayor Don Lane and his affordable housing dreams. There’s a water supply reliability forum scheduled from 4:00 to 6:00 o’clock Wednesday 2/11 in Santa Cruz, the forum is jointly sponsored by the Santa Cruz Chamber of Commerce, the Santa Cruz Water Department, the Water Supply Advisory Committee, and Desal Alternatives. That’s a very broad sponsorship list! He adds, “Guest speakers are economist David Mitchell, who will present “Water Reliability and the Community’s Economy,” and water and energy efficiency consultant John Rosenblum, who will present “Deep Conservation: Going Beyond The Building Code.” Hard to think of a more important topic. I encourage listeners and readers to attend!” Read the complete scripts of the above at Gary Patton’s KUSP Land Use site http://blogs.kusp.org/landuse . Gary is a former Santa Cruz County Supervisor (20 years) and an attorney who represents indivuduals and community groups on land use and environmenatl issues. The opions expressed are Mr. Patton’s \. Gary has his own website, Two Worlds/365” – www.gapatton.net
|OLGA KORBUT ON THE OLYMPIC BARS. 1972
CLASSICAL DeCINZO. Scroll down and see a preview of De Cinzo’s Jurassic Park nightmare..
EAGAN’S DEEP COVER. Rand Paul is ahead by at least a foot check out Eagan a few pages below.
|EUBIE BLAKE, NINA McKINNEY AND THE NICOLAS BROTHERS.
Great 1932 jazz, vocals and dancing in all 4 songs.
NEW MUSIC WORKS & SARAH CAHILL. An unusual menu of solo piano music titled
“PIANO REVERIE” is happening at Peace United Church of Christ, Santa Cruz (900 High Street) on Sunday, February 15, 2015, 3pm Sarah’s performance selections will include:
Shade Studies (2014), Samuel Carl Adams
Valentine Waltzes, George Antheil
Feuerklavier, Luciano Berio
Pleasant Dreaming, Philip Collins
selected Preludes, Ruth Crawford
Trumpet of Angus Og by Henry Cowell
Patterns of Plants (selections) by Mamoru Fujieda
Dance for Lisa Karon (1938) and Largo Ostinato, Lou Harrison RCSC
Annea Lockwood St. Petersburg Waltz, Meredith Monk
B’midbar (selections), Larry Polansky
Fourth Pentagram (selections) (1925), Dane Rudhyar. There will be a short reception at intermission, featuring a showing of Valentine’s artwork by the children of Santa Cruz Art Studio and truffles from Donnelly Chocolates.Tickets at the door, probably.
WESTSIDE VIDEO MOVES NEAR OMEI AND SHEN’S GALLERY. Rarely do you see a group of friends and family work together and as hard as the gang at Westside Video did last weekend when they moved the million Video tapes (yep, video tapes) Blue Rays, DVD’s and film stuff to their new location at 2334 Mission Street. That’s between Omei Restaurant and Shen’s Gallery and next to La Cabana Taqueria. Westside will order any/all requests for hard to find videos too.
LISA JENSEN LINKS. Lisa writes: “If you love art, or history, or both, run, don’t walk, to see Mr. Turner while its still in town, reviewed this week at Lisa Jensen Online Express (http://ljo-express.blogspot.com). And speaking of movies, don’t forget to tune in the Universal Grapevine radio show on KZSC, Tuesday, February 17, to hear Bruce Bratton and me duke it out over this year’s Oscar nominees.” Lisa has been writing film reviews and columns for Good Times since 1975
THAT IS THE QUESTION
(NEW ONES – IN ORDER OF PERFECTION)
TWO DAYS ONE NIGHT. Marion Cotillard does an absolutely wonderful, brilliantjob of acting in this very emotional and powerful saga of a woman who is facing some of life’s biggest challenges. She’s depressed, weakened, alone- even though she has friends and you’ll share all of her life threatening problems. Highly reccomended …in fact please go, IF you like good cinema.
PROJECT ALMANAC. A bunch of teenagers build a time travel machine. They then go through every trite, hackneyed, stupid plot device we’ve ever seen, and then the movie’s over. And just like all time travel movies you’ll sit there and notice all the impossible contradictions as to why it couldn’t work. It’s also very dull, has that cheap hand-held camera look, and doesn’t have 2 minutes of excitement in it. Don’t rent it either..
JUPITER ASCENDING.The special effects must have cost millions for this sci-fi flick. What is odd is that Eddie Redmayne (winner of BAFTRA’s leading actor award for playing Stephen Hawkins in The Theory of Everything) has a part playing the nasty Balem Abrasax, whoever that is. Mila Kunis, Channing Tatum and Sean Bean are in it too but I’ll bet they aren’t proud of it.
STILL PLAYING AT A THEATRE NEAR US
FROM BEST TO REALLY BAD
BIRDMAN. Greatest possible cast with Michael Keaton, Edward Norton, Zach Galifianakis, and Lindsay Duncan. Keaton is always good and here he plays an ex Batman/Birdman who tries to make it back to fame in a Broadway play. This is not a simple Hollywood flick!!! Don’t expect some cheap laughs, and takeoffs on Batman movies. It’s a complicated psychological look at egos, fame, friendship, family. It’s a very fine film, worth your going to see by all means. It’s just deeper than the previews make you think. I’m betting on this to take the best film Oscar!!!
A MOST VIOLENT YEAR. Just watching Oscar Isaac and Jessica Chastain plus David Oyelowo act is reason enough to see this not very violent film. It’s set in 1981 New York City where mob control of the furnace oil delivery business is the entire plot. Oscar Isaac is the main Al Pacino– type nice guy fighting the evil truckers. Jessica Chastain doesn’t get a chance to do much but what she does is near-perfect. Go see this film IF you like well made films.
THE IMITATION GAME.Excellent film, and if you care a lot about authenticity look the plot up on Wikipedia (much artistic license) but it doesn’t matter, it’s still a fine film. Benedict Cumberbatch as Alan Turing and Keira Knightly as his best friend are nearly perfect. It’s all about breaking the code that the Germans were using during WW2. Turing invents a machine, and in spite of his extra odd personality, the Germans are defeated. The sub theme of Turing’s then illegal homosexuality, and the deathly consequences he paid for it are strangly underplayed, but significent. See this fine film asap.
THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING.Stephen Hawking is played by Eddie Redmayne who did Les Miserables. Felicity Jones from Spider Man 2 and Emily Watson is in it too but you’ll hardly recognize her. David Thewlis is also perfect and downplays his role nicely. It’s a heart rending- tear jerker- feel very good- movie. Redmayne will be near the top for an Oscar because they always go for handicapped roles (My Left Foot, Rainman etc.). There’s very little of Hawkings actual scientific genius in the film. It’s more about how later he split from his long suffering and eternally supportive wife and went for his beautiful sexy caretaker and how his wife paired up with her choir director!!! Hawkings book A BRIEF HISTORY OF TIME sold more than 10 million copies in twenty years (but only 8 people read it!!). It was translated into 35 languages sez Wikipedia.The Met has commissioned an opera based on the book which should happen in 2015. Wikipedia also says, “the theory of everything, is a physicists’ jargon term for a theory in physics which unifies the four fundamental forces of nature: gravity, the strong force, the weak force, and the electromagnetic force”, but recently Hawking says that theory will probably never happen. Go see it, and bring a hankie.
SELMA. Given the state of racial affairs in the USA and the world today, this movie should be seen by every thinking human.It’s a powerful document of a shameful historic period in our history that should never be forgotten. There are many facts, lessons, and messages here that need repeating over and over again, no matter how well you think you remember or understand our Civil Rights issues. It gives us a real picture of Martin Luther King and David Oyelowo portrays him beautifully. Tom Wilkinson isn’t a great LBJ but he tries hard and Rotten Tomatoes gives it a 99, so there you are. Go see it.
MR. TURNER. Mike Leigh the director of this partial biography,has made at least 20 films, all without scripts or casts before he starts shooting and he doesn’t make simple films. Secrets & Lies, Life is Sweet, and High Hopes among others. Mr. Turner is famed ‘action” painter J.M.W. Turner (1775-1851). Timothy Spall plays Turner and is so kinky and erractic that you can’t stop watching him. But the story line is so pointless, jumpy, erractic and odd that you constantly keep wide awake just trying to piece it together for your own sake. It’s a curious film, not a great film, and you’ll wonder what point Mike Leigh was trying to make when he directed this beautifully photographed attempt.
BLACK SEA. Jude Law gets a great chance to play atough, driven, courageous, mean submarine captain….and he does it perfectly, it’s a Jude Law we’ve seldom if ever, seen on screen. A bunch of non- communicating Russians and Brits are forced to work together to get $182 million dollars worth of gold bars out of a sunken German U-Boat. It’s incredibly tense, all underwater, and probably best described as a “mans” movie….and it’s really, really, good.
OSCAR NOMINATED LIVE ACTION SHORTS. A few years ago one of these Oscar Shorts had an interview with a filmaker who said how much deeper, better, easier, cheaper it is to make shorts than to attempt “greatness” or even getting your “statement out” in a full length film. This years live action shorts AND the animated shorts are all so much better in general than the years out- put of feature length films…it just isn’t funny. Butter Lamp from China (and set in Tibet) is worth the price of admission.
OSCAR NOMINATED ANIMATED SHORTS.Try to sneak in and see “Duet” a gorgeous, colorful 4 minute love story. Unfortunately it didn’t make the final cut for Oscar nominations but it’s being shown anyway. Go see this grand grouping of shorts.
BLACK OR WHITE. Kevin Costner and Octavia Spencer battle it out over this loosey-goosey Hollywood style color line plot. This film is supposed to be dealing with the ongoing racist life styles in the USA but it really doesn’t. It’s a token film, superficial and actually a very stereotyped thin attempt to make a statement…save your money.
INHERENT VICE. I can’t review this film fairly. I can’t “get into” Thomas Pynchon’s books and this film is an excellent adaptation of his 2009 Los Angeles themed novel. Like his books the film’s plot weaves and staggers leaps ahead and falls back. Here’s what a friend of mine who knows Pynchon as a friend said of the film…” Upon further reflection, I realize now that when I said the movie was schizophrenic, what I was feeling was that there was no coherent thematic feel (despite a cinematic unity/style) but that THAT is precisely the nature of Tom’s writing. His stock in trade is the mixture of high and low culture, profane/sacred, slapstick/goofiness with high art/glorious writing. This and his (consistent) paranoid/anti-authoritarian/pro-individual themes contributes to his status as a primary source of “postmodern” literature. We like our stories to be linear and with a consistent theme or tone, whether books or movies, despite our own experience that real life is a hodgepodge of conflicting occurrences and desires, successes and failures, punches out of left field, transcendent grace, whacky/strange/unpleasant thoughts, wistful memories of lost loves/opportunities, etc. creating a general posture of “Huh?” This befuddlement and all of society’s attempts to “explain” or provide coherency/context (religion, morality, philosophy, politics, etc.) at the expense of individual spontaneous expression and our general turning away from looking at the usually disastrous, and evil consequences and actions of these (corporate/fascist) control mechanisms is a central theme of Tom’s writing. That Yin/Yang “chaotic” nature is, I think, what I was feeling and it perfectly captures Tom’s writing style. So I think this movie is a resounding success not only in presenting the primary story line but in somehow capturing the quality of the writing in the film. It is not a film for everybody, nor are the books”. A complex review, a complex film, and a very complex writer.
AMERICAN SNIPER. Director Clint Eastwood downplays the bar fighting, cruder aspects of this Navy Seal sniper who killed 160 humans and maybe another 95 not confiirmed. Brad Cooper got all big and tubby for the part, and does a great job as an actor. We see a bit of complexity and thoughtfulness from this killing machine, but untimately its’ another Eastwood product. Only go if you like killing, war, and surprise endings, or if you want to see Brad Cooper acting like it’s really a baby and not a doll he holds in one scene!!!
WILD. Any Santa Cruzan will be totally sucked in when Reese Witherspoon starts hiking the Pacific Crest Trail and starts reading a copy of one of Adrienne Rich’s books. Somebody mentions Adrienne later in the film too. Cheryl Strayed did hike the PCT and wrote the book.Thomas Sadoski from HBO’s The Newsroom is in it too. Good acting, a few award nominations are already happening and it’s a very good feel-good movie. Not a great movie but a good feel good thing….especially for women. And it wasn’t filmed in California!!!
THE HOBBIT: THE BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES. This is supposed to end the Hobbit trilogies, but considering the huge opening weekend they’ll probably squeeze another dwarf flick and go for four. Yes, Martin Freeman is still in it as Bilbo Baggins, the titular lead of the little people. So is Ian McKellen, Elijah Wood, and good old Ian Holm for two minutes at the end. Like Exodus it’s all done with pixels, and it’s impossible to tell one army from another. It’s very bloody and violent as all these billion dollar money makers are. So if you want to support more of these torture scenes, just go.
|UNIVERSAL GRAPEVINE RADIO PROGRAM
KZSC 88.1 FM or live online at
www.KZSC.ORG TUESDAYS 7-8 P.M.
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. February 10 John Orlando gives details on the remaining two concerts in The Distinguished Artists Series. After John Kianna Anvari and Luis Cubas co-editors of the UCSC publication TWANAS talk about their aims and goals. On Feb. 17 Good Times film reviewer Lisa Jensen and I talk about the Oscars. Then cardiologist Dr. Neil Sawhney discusses current news and recent methods of maintaining heart health. Jonathan Marx discusses ADHD in Adults on Feb. 24 and John Malkin follows him bringing us up to date on the B.E.A.R.C.A.T. issue. March 3 has Julie James and Bill Peters from the Jewel Theatre talking about their new production, “Harper Regan”. Santa Cruz County Clerk Gail Pellerin returns March 10 telling us about campaigns, voting, and the election department. Do remember, any and all suggestions for future programs are more than welcome so tune in, and keep listening. Email me always at email@example.com
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 herehttp://kzsc.org/blog/tag/universal-grapevine 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, 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. Hear them all!!!
QUOTES. “Rain slips through your fingers as easily as words blow away in the wind, and yet it has the power to destroy your whole world”, Karen Maitland. “Life isn’t how to survive the storm, it’s about how to dance in the rain”, Taylor Swift (yes, Taylor Swift!!!) “And in this moment, like a swift intake of breath, the rain came”, Truman Capote
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BEST OF VINTAGE STEVEN DeCINZO.
Deep Cover by Tim Eagan.