Blog Archives

June 18 – 24, 2012

LOVELY CAMP CAPITOLA 1875. Hard to believe this was only 137 years ago. Frederick Hihn was the lead developer of Capitola. Note the trestle in the background.

photo credit: Covello & Covello Historical photo collection, click for bigger version.

Additional information always welcome: email

YOU ARE “WELCOME TO RIVER STREET”. It started with a FB question from Susan Hillhouse Leask, she asked, “Who designed the River Street Sign?”. Frank Perry answered and said “check out the Sentinel 2/17/02”. I then emailed former City Councilperson Ed Porter . He had a lot vested in that dumb sign. He answered, “In 2001, There was a “retrofit” design contest and close to 100 renderings of “What the sign SHOULD look like” were posted at the Community Television studios. Several of the images were quite beautiful. But, the City Council did not respond. We also listed the sign for sale on Ebay to see what would happen. I recall that we received an offer for $26,000. Eventually, Scott Kennedy made a City Council motion to do nothing with the sign until River Street improvements had been completed for one year. Years of budget cuts followed and no Councilmember had any interest in reviving the question. But, some rich, Redwood-like colors and, a message such as “Welcome to Santa Cruz” would surely work well…..Ed says the Sentinel said, “River Street sign due for makeover? By Genevieve Bookwalter – Sentinel staff” I’m willing to handle that hot potato,” said Councilman Tony Madrigal. “I’d really like to see it say, Welcome to Santa Cruz.'” The debate over what to do with the blue-and-yellow, super-sized, industrial-looking sign, which reads “Welcome to River Street/Downtown Santa Cruz” and considered by many to be a gaudy first impression of Surf City, reared its head again Tuesday. A consultant presenting ideas for new development south of Laurel Street and along the Front Street and San Lorenzo River corridors recommended something be done with the giant sign at Highway 1 and River Street, which erroneously labels the area as “downtown,” thus possibly confusing tourists.

The advice was sandwiched between pitches to raise building height limits to 50 feet on lower Pacific Avenue, plan high-density housing in the Trader Joe’s/Longs Drugs parking lot and construct a new parking garage south of Laurel Street. But the sign was the issue that drew perhaps the most attention of city leaders.

The study session was a joint meeting between the City Council and the Planning Commission, as Santa Cruz looks to update its development plans for decades to come. No votes were taken or final decisions made.

The River Street sign became a target of some in the city after it was bought and installed in 2001 with $83,000 in state gas tax revenue. Some city and county residents, who packed council meetings and Sentinel editorial pages with requests to change the sign or take it down, said it was not only ugly but inaccurate.

BIRDS VERSUS RAVEN. Author Jon Young sent this mini documentary voiced by David Attenborough.

Then Councilman Tim Fitzmaurice suggested throwing a tarp over the sign, while then Councilman Ed Porter listed the sign on auction Web site eBay, describing it as “splendid.” But the highest bid of $20,000 was far short of the sign’s purchase price and the cost of hauling it off. Tuesday, Councilman Mike Rotkin pointed out that some might oppose taking the sign down: “There were businesses on River Street that fought for that sign,” Rotkin said. But others said the sign could at least be improved. “I think if we can do something that we actually think, That’s better,’ we shouldn’t avoid that because of the joke factor,” Councilman Don Lane said.

I predict that sign will be there longer than any city council member. Maybe we should make it a campaign issue along with De-sal.

BERKELEY’S ANTI-SITTING LAWS. The Berkeley Daily Planet editor Becky O’Malley has a great piece on those new nasty laws Berkeley is dealing with. Check all of this out.


UCSC TO TAKE OUT 120 REDWOODS. Jodi Frediani forwards this note from Forest Update (June 12 issue)…

While USCS is cutting classes and charging students exorbitant fees for their education, campus development and expansion continue. The proposed Merrill College ‘Renewal Project’ includes the following: Other Site Work. “Grading for the accessibility improvements would require removal of most of the trees in the wooded area south of the Taqueria. That area would be graded to conform to the adjacent path and service road, and to create a flat, sunny gathering space. The existing Taqueria patio would be demolished and the area incorporated into a new terraced patio that would extend to the eastern facade of the Cultural Center. The dense trees on the slope above the moat would be thinned. Exterior building lighting and site lighting would be replaced. Portions of the existing irrigation piping and sewer piping would be replaced, and utilities extended to the new Plaza Building.”

“Site work for the Project would require removal of a total of approximately 120 trees, mostly redwoods. Approximately 45 new coast live oak, ginkgo biloba, and scarlet oak trees would be planted in the site as part of the new landscaping.”

“Also widening and repaving the service road, new service vehicle parking, new ADA-compliant parking, new bridges, a new Taqueria and new, sunnier plaza.”

Along with copies in libraries at UCSC, and the downtown Santa Cruz Library, the Draft Initial Study/Proposed Mitigated Negative Declaration is also available on the UCSC website at The public review and comment period ends Monday July 9, 2012 at 8 a.m.



On Friday, June 22, 2012 at 1:30 pm or thereafter the Board of Supervisors will be reviewing and hopefully approving a $40K request in the Public Works budget to hire the California Conservation Corps to clear and construct the trail on the County owned 16 foot wide trail easement between Cabrillo property and The Forest of Nisene Marks State Park.

Approval of the entire $40K in the 2012-2013 budget to hire the California Conservation Corps is essential since the County is not willing to assume the risks associated with using all volunteer labor for trail construction. Because the trail easement cannot be used by the public until after the actual trail is completed, failure to approve the entire $40K will effectively prevent any construction of this public access trail.

Given the importance of this final step in the preservation of a public access route between Cabrillo and Nisene Marks, Nisene2Sea activists have been asking interested members of the public to voice their support of budget approval to be sure that this budget request of $40K for County Trail construction is approved without any reduction.

Completion of the County Trail on the trail easement owned by the County will restore this important connection (for use by hikers, pedestrians, bicyclists, and leashed dogs) and secure the only inland western multiuse access route into Nisene Marks. In addition, the trail will give Cabrillo students, elementary and private school students, and mid-county residents of the high density areas near Soquel Drive in Aptos, Soquel, and Capitola with an easy and convenient access to Nisene Marks at a point that is miles inland from the main park entrance in Aptos Village. Further this County trail route will provide nearby neighborhoods with easy and safe off road access to Cabrillo, nearby schools, bus stops, and the resources at Cabrillo College.

Please plan to attend the Budget Hearing on Friday, June 22nd at 1:30 PM and voice support for this item. The hearings are held in the Board of Supervisors meeting room at the County Government Building at 701 Ocean St.

(Paul Elerick is co-chair, along with Peter Scott, of the Campaign for Sensible Transportation , and is a member of Nisene2Sea, a group of open space advocates).


Note that it was filmed in FULTON, CA

PATTON’S PROGRAM. Gary states on Thursday’s broadcast, “At 7:00 o’clock next Tuesday evening (6/26), the Santa Cruz City Council will consider adoption of the Final Draft General Plan 2030, and the Final Environmental Impact Report prepared on that Plan, which analyzes its possible impacts. As you may recall, if you are a frequent listener to this Land Use Report, I’ve been providing periodic alerts that this proposed revision of the City’s current General Plan was moving forward. There are a lot of issues related to water. There are issues of new density in lower density neighborhoods. There are provisions about global warming, and there is a commitment to significant new population growth. That’s just a partial list of what the Plan provides. Since every community General Plan is a “Constitution” for land use in that community, you should invite yourself to this party, even if you didn’t get an individual E-invite. It’s important”.

Read it all here (Gary Patton is “Of Counsel” to the Santa Cruz law firm of Wittwer & Parkin, which specializes in land use and environmental law. The opinions expressed are Mr. Patton’s. Gary has his own website, “Two Worlds / 365”


Sandy and Gary Griggs are planning another Bay Walk in October, go here to get all the details….

ANCHOR IN ANTARCTICA. This weekly report from Micaela Neus at Palmer Station in Antarctica.

“Tomorrow morning, we begin loading our research vessel with tens of thousands of pounds of hazardous waste. Our vessel usually ferries supplies and people back and forth from the tip of Chile, crossing the Drake Passage to the Western Antarctic Peninsula. Every two years, we pack up all the used laboratory chemicals, empty aerosol containers, dried up tubes of epoxy, and any other type of hazardous waste into shipping containers. On the very last trip of the season, the ship goes through the Panama Canal to Port Fourchon, LA in order to unload the waste for processing and to spend some time in dry dock before the next research season.

We call this voyage “The Haz Run” because we load the ship as full of Haz Waste as we can: three huge tanks of contaminated fuel, six containers filled with various forms of waste ranging from Ewww- plus- Gross (two-year-old tampons) to “I Said Don’t Touch It” (methyl ethyl ketone peroxide), and miscellaneous other tanks of Nasty Stuff Known to the State of California to Cause Cancer. Luckily, most of it goes to Houston, TX.

This year’s Haz Run will be the largest one in Palmer Station history. People have repeated this statement all week, but I never asked why. We have the same amount of people generating waste for the same amount of time… shouldn’t each Haz Run consist of more or less the same amount of waste? Three tanks of contaminated fuel help set the record, but I bet the general increase of activity in Antarctica plays a part too.

Research in the Antarctic is on a clear upward trend and each season requires more materials to support scientists while they’re in the field. This fundamental fact guides nearly every aspect of planning and resource allocation, including our amazing Waste Disposal Program that gets about 65% of regular trash from McMurdo Station to a recycling center in the United States.

However, I haven’t heard if anyone has considered the breaking point of Hazardous Waste at Palmer Station. Our baseline operations (life support and basic services) create a fair amount of used industrial products like used motor oil and glycol that must go north on the Haz Run. The scientists contribute the bulk of the other dangerous chemicals and basically all of the radioactive materials. More science means more waste, just as a higher population means a greater quantity of burnt-out CFL bulbs and dead batteries. Will we reach a limit to the science we can support based not on what we can afford to supply, but rather on how much we can arrange to throw away?

I’m only speculating, of course. Many intelligent, very experienced people regularly sit down to talk about topics like this one; I certainly don’t belong at that table. I mostly discuss the issue philosophically. Garbage is a global dilemma, and radioactive waste poses still greater challenges to both environmental safety and social justice. The modern world would not exist without the production of large quantities of hazardous waste, and how we deal with its disposal is a critical question. If trash does prove to be our tipping point down here, then Palmer Station simply conforms to a model seen in sites all over the world… including the place where you live, no doubt.

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


Hey, it’s tourist time….show them this one!!!

EAGANS DEEP COVER. Magician Eagan looks into the future of reality TV….scroll below a few pages.

LANDAU’S PROGRES. « Elections Loom » is the title of Saul Landau’s column in Progreso Weekly. Among other things he says, “New York City’s wealth stands in stark contrast to the countless people begging on its streets. New York is different of course, but not for the 1% who live well across the country; the rest of the population less or far less well. That’s America in 2012, where people have begun to consider their choice of leader for the next four years. The President and his rival don’t mention the homeless and poor in their campaign speeches. They refer to the middle class, and spew vague words their advisors hope will connect with voters. In 2008, almost 60 million people voted for Sarah Palin (yes, for McCain also). And to this day some 20 million think Obama is a Kenyan-born Muslim socialist, devoted to destroying our country” Read it all here

Saul Landau is an Institute for Policy Studies fellow whose films are on DVD from

LISA JENSEN LINKS. Lisa writes: “Lisa Jensen Online Express (, will be back next week. She and Art Boy are on hiatus to the Old World. Check back at the end of the month for all the arts and entertainment news that fits.” Lisa has been writing film reviews and columns for Good Times since 1975. Lisa Jensen has been writing film reviews and a column for Good Times since 1975.

ROCK OF AGES.If you think Alec Baldwin (with shoulder length hair) and wearing tie dyes kissing Russell Brand on the lips and announcing that they’re gay and in love is even remotely funny….and if you want to be alone, go see this flop of a film. Catherine Zeta-Jones and Paul Giamatti are in it, and should have their acting licenses cancelled for at least 3 years. Tom Cruise as a bare-chested rock star proves that Scientology doesn’t work for everyone!!! What else can I say?

DRIFTWOOD CONSORT. “Musettes du Coeur” French love Songs program.
Driftwood Consort presents “Musettes du Coeur,” a program of French love songs and dances from the 1600s and 1700s. Straight from Christopher Ballard’s anthology of popular love songs they’ll play rustic and languid airs such as “Ah! When will he return,” as well as refined instrumental variations by Michel Blavet and company, such as “The Nightingale in Love.” Direct in their affect and wonderfully melodious, several of these catchy folk tunes were even arranged as lullabies for the radiant “Sun King”. An enchanting afternoon of music, performed by The Driftwood Consort consisting of Sheila Willey (voice), Lars Johannesson and Alissa Roedig (baroque flutes), Amy Brodo (viola da gamba) and Jonathan Rhodes Lee (harpsichord). “Musettes du Coeur” takes place at Mt. Calvary Lutheran Church in Soquel (2402 Cabrillo College Drive). Tickets available only at the door from 2:30pm on the day of the event. For more information, please email, or visit This event is part of a three-concert mini series which will continue in the fall.

SANTA CRUZ 11 BENEFIT. Gail Page emails, “There will be a benefit for the SC11 on Sunday July 1 at India Joze, 3-6 p. m” Check out for details and ways to support the 11..

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. Historian and author Frank Perry guests on June 26 to talk about his new book “Notes From Santa Cruz” the musical history of our town from the 1800’s to 1970. Bubble Man Tom Noddy tries radio bubbles on July 3 followed by Anita Monga artistic director of San Francisco’s Silent Film Festival who’ll reveal the best bets for the 7/12- 7/15 Fest. Nikki “Kitchen” Silva guests on July 10 talking about “The Hidden World Of Girls” after which Michael Warren discusses this years’ annual Shakespeare Santa Cruz plays. Dr. Rosalind Shorenstein discusses women’s medicine on July 17th. She’s followed by Executive Director Ellen Primack whowill talk about the many features of this years’ 50th annual Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music. Do remember, any and all suggestions for future programs are more than welcome so tune in, and keep listening. Email me always at

UNIVERSAL GRAPEVINE ARCHIVES.In case you missed some of the great people I’ve interviewed in the last 5 years here’s a chronological list of just this year’s podcasts. Click here then tap on “listen here” to hear any or all of them… all over again. The Great Morgani on Street performing, Paul Whitworth on Krapps Last Tape. Jodi McGraw on Sandhills, Bruce Daniels on area water problems. Mike Pappas on the Olive Connection, Sandy Lydon on County History. Paul Johnston on political organizing, Rick Longinotti on De-Sal. Dan Haifley on Monterey Bay Sanctuary, Dan Harder on Santa Cruz City Museum. Sara Wilbourne on Santa Cruz Ballet Theatre. Brian Spencer on SEE Theatre Co. Paula Kenyon and Karen Massaro on MAH and Big Creek Pottery. Carolyn Burke on Edith Piaf. Peggy Dolgenos on Cruzio. Julie James on Jewel Theatre Conpany. Then there’s Pat Matejcek on environment, Nancy Abrams and Joel Primack on the Universe plus Nina Simon from MAH, Rob Slawinski, Gary Bascou, Judge Paul Burdick, John Brown Childs, Ellen Kimmel, Don Williams, Kinan Valdez, Ellen Murtha, John Leopold, Karen Kefauver, Chip Lord, Judy Bouley, Rob Sean Wilson, Ann Simonton, Lori Rivera, Sayaka Yabuki, Chris Kinney, Celia and Peter Scott, Chris Krohn, David Swanger, Chelsea Juarez…and that’s just since January 2011. Hear them all!!!

QUOTES. “When we want to read the deeds that are done for love, whither do we turn? To the murder columns”, George Bernard Shaw. “Be wary, how you marry one that hath cast her rider, I mean a widow”, James Howell. “Every good painter who aspires to the creation of genuine masterpieces should first of all marry my wife”, Salvador Dali.


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Deep Cover by tim eagan.

Posted in Weekly Articles | Comments Off on June 18 – 24, 2012