Blog Archives

February 6 – 12, 2018

Highlights this week:
BRATTON about Linda Vista Center “fake facts”…GREENSITE on an air taxi future…KROHN re revolutions, activism, homelessness, rent control, wealth gap…STEINBRUNER reports on AMBAG legality and confusion, Nisene Marks closed again and again…PATTON and Trump’s speech: unity — a questionable goal? …EAGAN and “IncredibleTkrrump“…DeCINZO and our bicycle problem…JENSEN reviews “Winchester”…BRATTON critiques “Winchester”…UNIVERSAL GRAPEVINE GUESTS…QUOTES about “Valentines”.


HIGH STREET and SOUTHERN VIEW circa 1890. You can actually see the Town Clock Tower in its original location, and just about all the “original locations” of our city back 120 years ago.                                                        

photo credit: Covello & Covello Historical photo collection.

PREVIEW OF COMING EVENTS. DIANE GRUNES was/is kind and brilliant enough to send this amazing, well done, short video. Just watch CLOSELY so you don’t miss any frame of it.

DATELINE February 5, 2018

LINDA VISTA CENTER REVISITED. Last week I wrote that I’d been told by Center employees that the Westside Video Store building in the Westside Plaza was going to be demolished. It isn’t, and I should have checked first. Turns out that “the Linda Vista Center” is the correct name for what I called the “Westside Plaza”…(remember the Linda Vista Market where Shen’s Gallery now sits? It had paintings of dancing milk cartons on the windows?) The Center’s real estate management said, “Bruce’s had some bad informants… We are still evaluating what will eventually be done to upgrade the center, but demolition is definitely not on the table. A new roof on the entire building is scheduled to go on the 21st of this month.” Other businesses in the Center also told me last week there was no demolition planned…or announced! This must qualify as a “FAKE FACT”

Dateline February 5, 2018

At the recent Titans of Tech night at the Dream Inn, local inventor JoeBen Bevirt of Joby Aviation, outlined his scheme to develop electric air taxis, with the “goal to liberate humankind from the automobile” and to “save a billion people an hour a day” in their commutes. He is seeking county approval to use part of the closed Cemex cement plant property in Davenport for this purpose. For some, such a future may generate goose bumps of excitement. The city’s Economic Development director Bonnie Lipscomb lauded the assembled techies with, “You are our super heroes!” For others, including myself, such a vision is a nightmare in the sky. Even a solitary drone with its swarm of bees hum drives me inside cursing as it invades my privacy, scatters birds and harasses marine mammals. Elephants en masse stampede to the hills at the sound of a drone. I’m with the elephants on this one. They outsmart us. When the 2004 tsunami hit Thailand, elephants took to the hills while humans went down to the shoreline to check it out.

Some will say, “thank goodness your sort of thinking didn’t prevail 100 years ago ,or we would never have developed the automobile.”  Hmm….

As with the automobile, air taxis may sound good in theory and roads jammed with cars inching along at 5 miles an hour during commutes is not what Henry Ford probably had in mind.  I predict that air taxis, if developed will share a similar fate.

To counter daydreams, air taxis will not be your personal aircraft. They will need a pilot. They will carry only two passengers. They will require ground infrastructure, which means that you will have to get transport from home to a hub. They will land at another hub, not plop you down at your workplace. Bevirt claims that the cost will eventually fall to be competitive with Uber but that requires mass usage and mass usage means a whole lot of air taxis in the sky. Most people don’t like living near an airport. How about multiple air taxi hubs? The most compelling objection for me is the vast invasion by human technology of our skies. Yes, we have planes, and fortunately, most are high enough to not intrude when we look skyward. LAX has 1500 take offs and landings each day and is the third busiest airport in the country. Now imagine hundreds of thousands if not millions of air taxis (remember the claim is to save a billion people an hour in commute time) flying at a far lower altitude (an air traffic control nightmare, even if automated) and suddenly the skies are as crowded as the freeways. Is it starting to sound less glamorous?

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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    Plus she’s an avid ocean swimmer, hiker and lover of all things wild.

Dateline February 5, 2018 | Majority Report 2018 #5

Note: be ready for multiple exclamation points. They are small expressions of joy as I see lots of positive and powerful seeds being planted in an otherwise painful political era.

Resistance Is Futile?
Is resistance futile? Sanctuary cities are holding the line. Medical marijuana ordinances have given way to the complete legalization of cannabis, which may be under attack shortly by los Federales, but for now we’ve gone down our own California path. We were also busy taking on the federal government’s off-shore oil drilling scheme with renewed confidence this past weekend when over a thousand marched along West Cliff Drive to say hell no, no drilling here! This is what it’s going to take, and people are responding! The strategy may very well be delay, delay, delay through our court system (thank god for the third branch of guv!), like how He Who Shall Not Be Named’s deportation order was also scuttled awhile back. Millions participated in Woman’s marches around the globe, perhaps likely spawned by President Harasser (PH) himself. So many came away from that activist moment dedicated to the empowerment of women at the local, state, and national levels of government.  In the face of a mountain of evidence–Weinstein, Spacey, Nassar, Keillor–a welcome tide of debate, discussion, and hopefully changed attitudes is washing across America. What will 2018 yield? Activism is not futile. It’s real, dynamic, emancipating, and it’s spreading. People in large numbers are holding the line against the PH factor. They’re holding community forums, passing local impeachment ordinances, which get people to talk more to each other, and people engaging in civic participation, while necessary, can also be rewarding and liberating.

Special Bernie REQUEST re-Tweet from Emily Holden

‘My request of you is please get involved in the political process. Start running for office. You can do it. You can run for school board, city council, state legislature, Congress or the http://Senate.Trust  me. I work in the senate. I know, and you can do it.”

Resistance 2.0
We must continue to “think globally” and keep one eye focused on the dangerous shenanigans of this tin-eared President, while “acting locally” to keep, expand, and create policies and programs that nurture our community. And what is facing our community but the twin scourges of homelessness and the lack of affordable housing. This November voters will be asked if our city council has responded well to these thorny issues. Organizer and Santa Cruz County supervisor candidate, Steve Pleich spoke truth to power this past Sunday in a letter to the Santa Cruz Sentinel. He described how Police Chief Andy Mills seemed to get the homeless issue early on by centralizing camping in the Benchlands in order to provide some breathing room for the city council to figure how to acquire a homeless shelter. Unfortunately, “the positive effects of the chief’s strategy are now being bled off by the inability of city officials to create longer term emergency shelter.” Use your vote in November to get a new city council to adequately fund homeless services, hold developer’s feet to fire by including affordable housing units in all new construction, and standing up to UC Santa Cruz as it contemplates inviting 10,000 more to Surf City. Elections are about issues. Vote for your issues this November and don’t forget past elected officials’ voting records.

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Bernie Tweet of the Week

“Today, our government is controlled by the most extremist, reactionary, xenophobic, bigoted, and thankfully, in many ways the most inept and incompetent administration in modern American history.” (Jan. 30)

Can we picture 3 or 4 “villages” (communities!) of these tiny homes discreetly placed around the city with 20-30 houses positioned around a plaza-green space…can you?
(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).

Email Chris at


Dateline February 5,2018


I attended the January 30 Open House and Public Hearing that the Associated Monterey Bay Area Governments (AMBAG) held at Simpkins Swim Center.   I had tried to do my homework on the issues that I understood would be discussed in the “Moving Monterey Bay Forward Draft 2040 Plan” at the event.  What I found was: The massive MTP/SCS presented by AMBAG is an EIR done as required under SB375 to address GHG.  The related RTP, submitted by SCCRTC includes GHG that includes emission levels from trucks that cannot be included in the GHG reports by the MTP/SCS AMBAG analysis.  The RTP was created by the SCCRTC to represent Santa Cruz RTPA’s.  

This all means multiple Projects being discussed in a swirling alphabet soup of acronyms not always defined, each with different standards for some topics such as Greenhouse Gas Emissions.  One AMBAG representative at an information table was incredibly rude, never allowing me to finish asking my question before blurting out his interpretation of an answer and directing me to read the two-inch-thick document on the table that I was seeing for the first time.  The “Moving Monterey Bay Forward 2040” Plan was not at that table…it was at a different table.  I never got there because I was examining the new document, which presented much different information regarding Regional Growth Forecasts than I had read in the “Moving Monterey Bay Forward 2040 Plan”.

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Last weekend, State Parks officials once again posted a sign at the Aptos Creek Road entry to Nisene Marks State Park: “NO ENTRY”

Contact State Park Facilities Director Mr. Chris Spohrer via e-mail at         Ask that State Parks negotiate a private/public purchase with the Aptos Village Project developers to secure the “North Remainder” parcel in the Phase 2 development for State Park visitor parking and to re-build the world-famous Post Office Bike Jumps.  That is the highest use of the land that will best serve the greater Community for future generations.  I am willing to help fundraise to support the public/private purchase….are you?  Please contact me. Becky Steinbruner  or 831-685-2915

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.

Email Becky at


Dateline February 2, 2018 | #33 / Just What Kind Of “Event” Do You Mean?

President Trump gave his State of the Union speech on Tuesday. You can click right here for a complete transcript. While a case can be made that the speech was hyper-partisan and divisive – and that is what Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank thinks – I, personally, saw the speech as rather unexceptional, with a rather traditional conclusion:

Americans fill the world with art and music. They push the bounds of science and discovery. And they forever remind us of what we should never forget: The people dreamed this country. The people built this country. And it is the people who are making America great again. 

As long as we are proud of who we are, and what we are fighting for, there is nothing we cannot achieve. As long as we have confidence in our values, faith in our citizens, and trust in our God, we will not fail. Our families will thrive. Our people will prosper. And our Nation will forever be safe and strong and proud and mighty and free. 

Thank you, and God bless America”.

These sentiments (genuinely heartfelt as they may be) are quite conventional, and I believe the president’s State of the Union speech is a typical example of personal and national self-congratulation. This is an art form cultivated by all presidents.  While I was not overly impressed by the president’s State of the Union address, I was riveted by some of the president’s remarks made earlier, before he gave the State of the Union speech. Here is a report from NBC:

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E pluribus unum,” our national motto, reflects not the elimination of “difference,” but a celebration of the fact that out of all our differences we can act together as one. 

I don’t think that this is the way our current president understands it. Thus, I’m quite worried about just what kind of “Major Event” he might mean”.

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 and subscribe to his daily blog at

Email Gary at


CLASSICAL DeCINZO. Zeroes in on bicyclists…scroll below…

EAGAN’S DEEP COVER. See Eagan’s ” The IncredibleTrump”down a few pages. As always, at you will find his most recent  Deep Cover, the latest installment from the archives of Subconscious Comics, and the ever entertaining Eaganblog. Read Tim’s take on Star Trek the original, and the series that follows.

Ralph Abraham will lead a discussion – “A Gender Tipping Point: Hip Santa Cruz in the 1960s and 70s”. UCSC Professor Emeritus Abraham is the creator of the Santa Cruz Hip History Project and editor of two books: Hip Santa Cruz Volumes 1 and 2, with Volume 3 on the way. He observes, “From the florescence of hip culture in Santa Cruz in the 1960s there emerged the longer lasting feminist revolution of the 1970s.” This presentation promises to be a fun opportunity to “speculate together on the dynamics of this important bifurcation.” When: Sat, Feb 10, 2018, 11am at MAH.

Lisa writes: “Get your art on, this week at Lisa Jensen Online Express ( ). Celebrate the return of a beloved tradition, Hearts for the Arts, a benefit for the Santa Cruz Arts Council, now open for bidding at Artisan’s Gallery, and take a virtual tour of the annual Take Away: Art to Go show at the Pajaro Valley Arts gallery. Also, more proof that truth is stranger (or at least more interesting) than fiction in my review of Winchester in this week’s Good Times.” Lisa has been writing film reviews and columns for Good Times since 1975.  

WINCHESTER. To see Helen Mirren in a miserable flop like this is just embarrassing. You know where 98% of it was filmed, right? Yes — on sound lots in Australia…NOT the famous Winchester Mansion just over the hill. It’s dull, boring, darkly-lit, and for what’s supposed to be a scary movie, it somehow misses every bump in the night. Even Helen Mirren does a shameful job…it’s her worst ever!!

THE PHANTOM THREAD. Paul Thomas Anderson the director first made Boogie Nights, he topped that one with Magnolia, There will be Blood, and Inherent Vice and now there’s Phantom Thread. The star is Daniel Day-Lewis and seeing him and Anderson work together in this one makes it not a film but an experience. Day-Lewis in A Room With A View, My Left Foot, The Unbearable Lightness of Being became greater and greater with each role. Now he has promised to never make another film. If that’s true Phantom Thread is a brilliant masterpiece to end a career. It’s the story of a driven, crazed artist who designs women’s clothes…that’s all you need to know. As critics are saying it’s not a film for mass audiences, just those folks who appreciate genius. Closes Thursday, Feb.8th.

LADY BIRD. This film restored my faith in great films! RT gives it 100% and it’s the highest rated film in RT’s history!!! Greta Gerwig directed  Saorise Ronan and others in this sincere, well thought out movie. A teen aged daughter and her Mom have a terrible, never ending battle over clothes, religion, dating, sex, college and everything. It all happens in Sacramento in about 2003 , which is somehow appropriate. It’s sensitive, subtle, and surprising. Gerwig breaks many directing rules and creates new plot possibilities. Go see this film. Ps….as I’ve told many folks, it’s definitely  not about Lady Bird Johnson!!!

CALL ME BY YOUR NAME. No matter where you’re at sexually this beautiful film deals with a young 17 year old boy in Italy working his way through his sexual coming of age. Armie Hammer plays the 30 year old scholarly hunk who visits the kid’s parents. You remember Armie Hammer heir to the Armand Hammer oil fortune and who played The Lone Ranger to Johnny Depp’s Tonto (2013)!!!

THE SHAPE OF WATER. A 93 on RT and that means something! Sally Hawkins plays a beautiful mute working in a lab who cares for, and falls in love with a mysterious water creature. It’s a fable, a fairy story, and reminds us of the black and white fantasy films from the 40’s and 50’s. It’s vital to know that it’s directed by Guillermo Del Toro who also did Pan’s Labyrinth  and Hellboy. It is such an enormous change from every other film we’ve seen in years that its’ worth going just for the fun of it.

THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI. First, please note the 95 RT rating. When you have Frances McDormand, Woody Harrelson and Sam Rockwell working in a film directed by an Oscar winning director you almost can’t miss. It is definitely a dark comedy. The plot contains murder, rape, loyalty, cancer, and some absolutely brilliant acting. Go see it, and force all your friends to see it too.

DARKEST HOUR. Gary Oldman takes the role of Winston Churchill to new heights…and depths. Its world War II history and it’s the background story of what Churchill had to endure when he first took office as Prime Minister. He deserves the Oscar like few stars ever have. The story is absorbing, educational, and it makes you wonder why the USA doesn’t have someone like Churchill to handle Trump like Churchill handled Hitler and Mussolini.

THE POST. This is Steven Spielberg’s answer to the Trump administration’s corruption and misuse of presidential power. Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks rip up the acting as we expect them to do. It’s the story of the then little Washington Post trying to catch up to The New York Times printing Daniel Elsberg’s Vietnam exposure papers. It makes easy parallels to Nixon and Trump’s dictatorships. It also makes great pitches for freedom of the press…and what we need to do to keep that freedom alive…especially now. Go see it, bring your friends. But truthfully it’s not as interesting or revealing as the MSNBC documentary two weeks ago… “The Most Dangerous Man In America” the same story from Elsberg’s view.

I TONYA. A very dark, depressing movie about some very depressed people. It’s got loud rock period music as the film score which almost qualifies it as a fun comedy but you’ll be able to count your laughs. Somewhere in the movie somebody says Americans love to hate or love their current sport stars…and its sure true here. Allison Janney plays Tonya’s seriously disturbed mother and deserves some award this Award season…but not for this one. Warning IF you do got you’ll leave wondering why you cared about Nancy Kerrigan or Tonya Harding.

COCO. A genuine Pixar animated cartoon. And, the animation is amazingly three –dimensional. The plot is totally focused on the very rich and traditional Mexican culture. Day of the Dead, plenty of food, religion, music, and only a little boring after the first half hour. It’s completely original, you’ve never seen anything like this before, its way more creative and developed than what we usually think of as a Disney Cartoon. Go see it.

MOLLY’S GAME. This is an unusual “true” film about a once Olympic ski champion who becomes the owner/manager of zillion dollar poker games. Jessica Chastain and Idris Elba play the top roles and good old Kevin Costner has a bit part as Jessica’s father. It’s a fancy film with plenty of cinema tricks to keep us interested, and the acting’s ok too. But think twice before going, especially if you’re trying to give up movies for the New Year.

STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI. Yes, 93 on RT and I thought it was a complete fake of a billion dollar move machine. I’ll always remember going to our Soquel Drive in (just a little stoned) and being completely taken into outer space with Star Wars 1. It had humor, empathy, great imagination, tension and a story you could care about. The franchise now stages monotonous, uncaring, space attacks and wars so numerous that you can’t remember who is on who’s side…and you don’t care much either. There’s the Dark Side, the Resistance, Adam Driver, R2D2, a very dull Carrie Fisher, an aging Mark Hamil as Luke Skywalker and those endless space battles that take up probably 33 1/3 of the movie. A great disappointment…go at your own peril, and it’s 2 1/2 hours extra long.

THE HOSTILES. In 1892 The Comanches fight the Cheyennes, settlers battle all American Indians, while Christian Bale leads a group that includes Rosamund Pike through all sorts of ethnic and tense battles. It’s a bit more sensitive than the John Ford John Wayne westerns but nowhere near as exciting. The photography is not just scenic, it’s gorgeous.

12 STRONG. This is almost a Hollywood western. Chris Hemsworth and Michael Shannon fight Taliban attacks in the Afghan War right after 9/11. It was actually shot in New Mexico and southern California…and you’ll believe it when/if you see it. It’s very confusing, and hard to figure who is on whose side. Apparently it’s “based on a true Story” but what isn’t nowadays? I counted three audience members actually playing computer games while the movie was grinding on for two hours and ten minutes plus the usual 20 minutes of Regal ads and previews.

THE GREATEST SHOWMAN. This is Hugh Jackman trying his best to bring life to the bio of P.T.Barnum. Jackman is an excellent dancer, singer and showman but this movie just doesn’t have the heart or solidity that a good film should have. The music is just more copying of Andrew Lloyd Weber’s gooey showbiz. It’s shallow, trite, and repetitious to a fault. Don’t bother seeing it.



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. February 6 has Espressivo Orchestra director, conductor Michel Singher talking about their Feb. 15 concert then Edward Moncrief author of Raining Blackbirds talks about his book and farm laborers. UCSC’s Felicia Rice discusses her new book  “Doc/Undoc”  an art piece centering on the immigration experience. Then Ashlyn Adams talks about her two new movie theatres opening next month in the former Circle Church. OR…if you just happen to miss either of the last two weeks of Universal Grapevine broadcasts go here 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

This is good for a few chuckles…

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.


“All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt”, Charles M. Schulz

“We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us”,     Joseph Campbell

“If my Valentine you won’t be,
I’ll hang myself on your Christmas tree”.  Ernest Hemingway

“Love is the only shocking act left on the planet”. Valentine’s Day Movie

“The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. I let him eat in bed”.  Ljupka Cvetanova,     The New Land

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:
Direct phone: 831 423-2468
All Technical & Web details: Gunilla Leavitt @


Deep Cover by Tim Eagan.

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