Blog Archives

May 24 – 30, 2016

CLASSIC INTERSECTION of Pacific, Water, Front, and Mission streets. This was taken January 27, 1967. There was a long battle in 1972 to save this McHigh & Bianchi Building. Henry Faitz who ran for State assembly that year was part of it…we lost! Next door (to the left) you can almost see the original Plaza Stationery Store, which became Tower Records. Today we have Bank Of The West taking over all of this. Probably the next development will be a 20 story Corridor building.

photo credit: Covello & Covello Historical photo collection.

Additional information always welcome: email bratton@cruzio.com

DATELINE May 23, 2016

WIDENING HIGHWAY ONE…ANOTHER EXPERT SAYS NO.

1955 SANTA CRUZ. Here’s a 20 minute film of 1955 Santa Cruz. Have we lost or gained anything from the 61 years of growth?
IRIS DeMENT (H.Q.). “Let The Mystery Be”. The song and her rendition just haunts me

LOST BOYS FILMING IN SANTA CRUZ. Back in 1987 Kiefer Sutherland, Jason Patric and the late Corey Haim came to Santa Cruz to film “The Lost Boys”. The city went nuts over the “fame”.

Bruce Van Allen, Jack Nelson and Rick Longinotti from The Campaign For Sensible Transportation sent this email last week…”In case you missed it, on Saturday (5/14) we learned the answer to the question, “Stuck in Traffic, Will More Lanes Help?” Susan Handy, Director of the National Center for Sustainable Transportation at UC Davis told us, “Numerous studies consistently show that adding capacity to roadways fails to alleviate congestion for long because it actually increases vehicle miles traveled (VMT).” Susan explained how “induced travel” works. When a highway is consistently congested, some people decide not to take a trip or to take an alternate route or mode. These potential trips constitute a pent-up demand for auto travel on the highway. When highways are expanded that pent-up demand is unleashed as more cars return to the temporarily less-congested highway. Pretty soon congestion is back.
We already know that the Draft Environmental Impact Report on Highway 1 expansion predicts “very slight improvement in traffic congestion”. Susan said that the Draft EIR is overstating the congestion relief benefits, because the Draft EIR didn’t account for induced travel. If “very slight” congestion relief is an overstatement, then what would commuters get from the $100 million highway project that the Regional Transportation Commission (RTC) wants to ask voters to approve in November?

If you think that this money for highway expansion would be better spent on saving bus routes, creating safer bicycle and pedestrian routes and repairing roads, then please support our campaign. We’re mailing to as many voters as we can afford with the important message that widening highways doesn’t work and that we need sustainable transportation solutions. Would  you make a donation online? Or send a check to Campaign for Sensible Transportation, PO Box 7927, Santa Cruz, Ca. 95061? There’s not a lot of time left to persuade the RTC to shift priorities. Let your friends know about this!!!  

JUNE 4TH PARTY REMINDER. Don’t forget to get in touch, or tell only your June 4th friends to get in touch, if they’d like to be invited to our very exclusive June 4th Birthday Party. It’s a fun and intriguing party. Susan Heinz is creating a special Gemini reading just for us. Like noon to 2 p.m on 6/04.

THE REAL MICHAEL MOORE.  After Michael Horne’s Pulse Productions brought Michael Moore to Santa Cruz last week I asked him for any great backstage stories. Horne has told me some nearly horrendous tales of backstage demands, tempers, and plain nastiness from some ot the other “stars” he’s booked. Here’s some of what he wrote about Secrets of Michael Moore…

“Santa Cruz had 3/4 house sold at the Civic. A great evening. He spoke for about 90 minutes and then took another 90 min for Q & A. It was Michaels first talk in about 6 months after being essentially bedridden since his bout w pneumonia, so he had a lot on his mind! 

Nice dude backstage…as you would expect, smart, funny and down to earth. I asked Mayor Mathews to introduce him and she gave him an “Honorary citizen of Santa Cruz” plaque, which he got a kick out of. Someone shouted out “Send back the Bearcat” in the midst of the intro, so Michael ran with that to start the talk. 

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Horne concluded…”All in all a great experience and an honor to bring this brave warrior back to Santa Cruz”. 

WHY I’M OPENLY SECULAR by ENTERTAINER JOHN DAVIDSON from the San Francisco Chronicle May 12, 2016. John Davidson made some bold and wise comments on where he’s at with religion.

Read all of his statement here (link expands, click again to collapse)

Among other statements he wrote…

If people deny the scientific facts of evolution and climate change, and they are in positions of authority, such as in government or on a school board, their superstitions and religious views affect me, my children and my country.

If people believe that the Bible is a book of facts and not myths, then they are a danger to me and my loved ones, because the Bible, if taken literally, says people should kill anyone who does not agree with their faith (Deuteronomy 13), that women must submit to men, that slavery should be accepted, that homosexuality is wrong and that the end of the world is imminent. And, if people advocate for prayer instead of modern medicine, they are a drain on our health care emergency centers, not to mention a danger to themselves and their own children”.  As I said, there’s a lot more …click and read it.

John Davidson is an American singer, actor and hosts of TV shows that included “That’s Incredible,” “Time Machine” and “Hollywood Squares.”

PACIFIC AVENUE MARCH FOR HILLARY.

I walked with 20 other Hillary for President supporters last Friday night starting at 7PM.. It was an enlightening hour or so.  Got lots of quiet thumbs up from Hillary supporters, yes there were quite  a few.  One Trump supporter hanging out of a passing car hollering “Trump, Trump…”. Lots of Bernie’s people, student age, telling us to “feel the Bern”, whatever that means. Several of Pacific Ave. rougher looking back-packers followed along for a while, not cheering for anybody in particular, but mostly just making noise and expecting to be told to shut up.  Nobody did, nor were there any SCPD officers that I saw. It was an interesting walk, the street music was great,  very mellow evening. There’s no doubt in my mind that Senator Sanders will carry the Santa Cruz vote on June 7. 

But if you’re a Hillary supporter like me, tired of apologizing for not seeing Sanders as presidential material, join us every Friday evening until June 7th, at 7PM at Jamba Juice on Pacific Ave. to walk with us for Hillary. Not sure if we’re changing anybody’s mind who to vote for, but it’s rewarding enough to see the thumbs up and smiles from people.

(Paul Elerick is a member of, and former co-chair of the Campaign for Sensible Transportation, http://sensibletransportation.org . He’s a current member of Nisene to Sea, a group of mid-county citizens committed to maintaining an open hiking trail from Cabrillo College to Nisene Marks State Park

FAULTY TOWERS

There is something creepy about outside urban planners dissecting the place we call home. As I sat in council chambers last Thursday (5/19), listening to SF consultants Urban Field Studio deliver their presentation on the Corridors Plan to the Planning Commission, I felt our town’s identity inexorably slipping away. Given the small turnout, I fear most have accepted this urban makeover of Santa Cruz as inevitable, which I think is a mistake. Despite the fast tracking to get approval by council before the elections in November, there are glaring problems with the proposed rezoning that can and should be challenged.

To be sure the current General Plan calls for a greater density of housing along the four major corridors of Mission, Water, Ocean and Soquel. This makes some sense given the restraints of the Greenbelt, the continued expansion of UCSC, the bottomless pit of desire to live in Santa Cruz and the fact that building new housing in a hot market is a speculators’ dream machine. Too few believe the last 3 variables can be challenged so we are left with how best to implement growth. Within this narrowed vision, we should still expect robust debate, since there are winners and losers in this growth-at-all-cost game. So far, the debates and some concern for what’s left of Santa Cruz’s built identity have been non-existent.  Absent more community-awareness and expressed concern, there is no indication that this situation will change when the Corridors Plan goes to council in August.

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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  http://darksky.org    Plus she’s an avid ocean swimmer, hiker and lover of all things wild).

BRATTON NOTE. Be sure to look at this link from Gillian. http://www.cityofsantacruz.com/home/showdocument?id=52398.  It has eight (8) pages of Santa Cruz Developments. There’ll be one near you!!! La Bahia is at the very end of those pages. Is this the reason you live in Santa Cruz?

PATTON’S PROGRAM. From Gary’s Two Worlds website…5/22/16

There is “tension” within the Democratic Party, as the Party decides which candidate it will put forward as its Presidential candidate after the Presidential Nominating Convention to be held in Philadelphia this July. 

Those who want the tension-causing Bernie Sanders to drop out of the race are advocating for a course that would reduce intra-party “tension,” but that could mean all the difference for the long-term health of the Democratic Party, and not in a good way.

I say, let’s keep that tension going! I’d like to hope that the Democratic Party is going to come out of the elections in 2016 as a “thriving,” not a “dying” organization.

Absorbing and celebrating what Bernie Sanders and his supporters are bringing to the table is one way to make sure that’s true!

(Gary is a former Santa Cruz County Supervisor (20 years) and an attorney who represents indivuduals and community groups on land use and environmental issues. The opinions expressed are Mr. Patton’s. Gary has his own website, Two Worlds at  www.gapatton.net )

CLASSICAL DeCINZO. Classic DeCinzo predicts our future…car-wise. See below

EAGAN’S DEEP COVER. It’s the old unicorn versus the turtle story scroll down a little bit.

For more Eagan, baseball and his Uncle Everett check out… Tim Eagan’s blog

STRINDBERGS “A DREAM PLAY” AT UCSC. Last week I wrote August Strindberg’s plays inspired playwrights like Albee, Artaud, Beckett, Pinter and Tennessee Williams. A Dream Play was Strindberg’s personal favorite. He wrote The Ghost Sonata, Miss Julie, and The Dance of Death. A Dream Play is about life being lived out as a dream, or an illusion. Kirsten Brandt is directing it. It runs May 26-29 at UCSC’s Experimental Theatre. (That’s the large black box theatre up the hill from the Mainstage Theatre). 7:30 pm & 3 p, on Sundays. Tickets available online at ucsctickets.com. Go see it IF you like Beckett, Albee, Pinter, Tennessee Williams and plays like that. The acting, the play itself, the incredible sets and the directing by Kirsten Brandt are as engrossing as they are revealing of our own lives and dreams.

HILLARY BRATTON SINGS AGAIN! In case you and/or your friends will be in New York City Tuesday, June 14 daughter Hillary will be singing some of the great songs from her new album, “Tears on My Pillow but the rest of the Bed’s OK”. She’ll be backed by songwriter Barry Reynolds on guitar. It’s happening at the Rockwood Music Hall Stage 3 in the East Village at 196 Allen Street . She’ll go on about 7:30 p.m.

SANTA CRUZ WOMEN OF JAZZ. Jim Coffis sent this email from the Kuumbwa Jazz Center. Santa Cruz Women of Jazz features an impressive line-up of local, vocal talent featuring Gail CruseAnn WhittingtonRuby RudmanCharmaigne ScottVicki Neville Coffis, and Stella D’Oro. Three of the vocalists, Cruse, Coffis and Whittington are from the popular Back in Time vocal trio, known for their tight harmonies and swing era classics. Whittington has also led her own excellent groups for many years, with a warm vocal style favoring modern jazz classics. Ruby Rudman has sung it all, jazz, pop, funk/fusion. She has been featured locally with the Robin Anderson Big Band and fusion band Barbies in Jail. Charmaigne Scott is one of the Bay Area’s most celebrated blues, funk and soul singers, and a crowd favorite at the Monterey Bay Blues Festival for many years. She is also a wonderful, dynamic jazz vocalist. Stella D’Oro is the lead singer for Santa Cruz’s Stella By Barlight, a fine jazz quintet playing the music of Anita O’Day, June Christy and other jazz legends. The Back in Time band, featuring pianist Martan Mann, reedman Phil Smith and bassist Bill Bosch, superbly accompanies the Santa Cruz Women of Jazz. Expect an evening of contemporary jazz to classics of the Swing Era. It happens this Thursday May 26 at Kuumbwa.

MIRIAM ELLIS INTERNATIONAL PLAYHOUSE….UCSC’s Department of Languages and Applied Linguistics, Cowell College, and Stevenson College, will present The Miriam Ellis International Playhouse (MEIP), an annual multilingual program of fully-staged short theater pieces, for its 16th season. Three public performances will be held on May 25, 26, and 27 (Wed. – Fri.) at 8:00 PM at the Stevenson Event Center, UCSC, and will feature works in French, Japanese, Russian, and Spanish, with English super-titles projected above the stage. The program will be directed by Language lecturers and performed by Language students. It’s free and nearby parking is $4.00.

This year’s works include: (in French) Scenes from TARTUFFE, by Molière, directed by Miriam Ellis; (in Japanese) BEST FRIENDS, by Yuuki Himura & Osamu Shitara, directed by Sakae Fujita; (in Russian) UNCLE FYODOR, THE DOG AND THE CAT, by Edward Uspensky, directed by Natalya Samokhina and her students; (in Spanish) THE BAT, based on a myth by Eduardo Galeano, directed by Marta Navarro. The pieces range in style from folklore to classical and modern-day theater, with emphasis on their comic elements. The English subtitles titles make the material easily accessible to audiences, who are afforded a rare multicultural experience by the diversity of the programs. For further information, please contact lmhunter@ucsc.edu or ellisan@ucsc.edu.

LISA JENSEN LINKS. Lisa writes: “In a recent interview, I was asked how, when, and why I first got the writing bug. Read my answer, this week at Lisa Jensen Online Express (http://ljo-express.blogspot.com). Also, help me cheer on my next book, Beast: A Love Story, as it moves a couple of paw-prints closer to publication!” Lisa has been writing film reviews and columns for Good Times since 1975.

THAT IS THE QUESTION
(THE NEWEST FILMS IN ORDER OF PERFECTION)

THE MAN WHO KNEW INFINITY. Dev Patel the star from Slumdog Millionaire and The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel shows his very excellent acting chops in this true story. A low caste Indian child is born with the strange and genuine gift of understanding mathematics on the same level as Einstein. Because he’s Indian and dark skinned the British intellegentsia (Oxford etc. ) won’t accept him or his math theories. It’s a feel good story you’ve seen hundreds of times, but it’s worth going to.

NICE GUYS. Ryan Gosling and Russell Crowe make terrible buddies in this sloppy attempt at another buddy movie.This one is set in L.A. in the 70’s. An investigator and a cop team up and with no laughs, no subtleties whatsoever, more violence, much blood, …it’s awful. There’s a 13 year old girl in it that does an excellent job of acting her name is Angourie Rice. We’ll be seeing and hearing more of her.

HIGH RISE. After watching and liking Tom Hiddleston in The Hank Williams movie and becoming a complete fan of The Night Manager on HBO I figured anything he was in would be great. Whew, was I wrong. Both Hiddleston and Jeremy Irons give it their all but the director has ruined what I hear was a very  exciting book. It’s about a very tall apartment building that holds 2000 residents. The problem is that the poorest folks are on the first floor and the class system is seriously enforced all the way to the penthouse where Jeremy Irons who designed the building lives. The editing, the interwoven plots and the insane struggle of the classes to “move up” become bloody and are full of killing, anal, booze, drugs, more blood, eating dog meat, just plain yuck. Do not go see this movie.

STILL PLAYING AT A THEATRE NEAR US
FROM BEST TO REALLY BAD

MONEY MONSTER. Genuine Hollywood. What can you expect when you have George Clooney and Julia Roberts as stars and Jodie Foster as director. The entire film demands lots of tension and there is some but it keeps lagging. You will be totally aware that you’re watching Clloney and Roberts every time they move or speak. The irate investor/person of plot isn’t the best actor either. But there’s few other films around so see this…just be warned.

MEDDLER. Susan Sarandon and J.K. Simmons who plays a cop named Zipper are the main reasons to see this family drama. There are a few laughs, but the plot is so burlesqued that you’ll never be too absorbed or care about it. It’s a warm touchy-feelie flick but only hints at any of the characters depths so again you don’t get very involved.Your call….as usual. I didn’t know that Susan Sarandon is 70 years old. Same age as the character she plays.

DOUGH. Jonathan Pryce is the Jewish bakery shop owner in London who hires an African Muslim, pot – selling teen ager as a helper. It’s a British film and it’s a cute and cuddly early Hollywood type comedy. If you’re Jewish, it’ll probably make you feel good, except for the treacle.

SING STREET. Dublin, Ireland in the 1980’s and a group of kids form a band. It’s almost a musical except for the teen age/lovesick plot that makes the film into a really enjoyable trip. Not exactly Oscar material you’ll enjoy it in spite of yourself.

THE JUNGLE BOOK. I must confess to still being under the influence of the REAL Jungle Book movie. That’s the 1942 masterpiece starring Sabu as Mowgli. All real live action, no special effects, just Kipling and technicolor. This Disney commercial money maker is exactly that…a Disney money maker. Filmed darkly (to save FX expense) it’s a hodge-podge of Bill Murray’s  looney asides, some old Disney songs and not one iota of what Kipling had in mind when he wrote the book. Send the kids, and you go to the movie next door, believe me.

SNOW WHITE SELLS OUT. Or The Huntsman: Winters War. Yes, it does have the mirror and “who’s the ugliest thing in the land” gimmick . It also has tons of dwarves who’s names should be Poopy, Syphly, Pee Pee, Crotchy and awful things like that. A fully armed (remember Mad Max?)  Charlize Theron along with Emily Blunt, Chris Hemsworth and Jessica Chastain do their best to bring life and some semblence of excitement, or maybe even magic to this dull flick…and they couldn’t add anything worthwhile to this convuluted old prequel to Snow White Rotten Tomatoes gives it a measly 17 tomatoes. It’s evil sisters fighting each other, curses, ice walls (Game of Thrones stuff), and special effects dwarves…BUT if like that sort of thing, it’ll probably play for weeks.

CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR. These box office gazillion dollar money makers are getting more and more bizzarre. They are direct copies of comic book plots. You shouldn’t apply any common sense or logic to the plots. Like comic books (even the earliest ones 1930’s) were just for fun and escape. So is Captain America: Civil War. To see Don Cheadle, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, Robert Downeyjr., Paul Rudd, Marisa Tomei, Martin Freeman, William Hurt, Paul Bettany, Hope Davis, Alfre Woodard and the legendary Stan Lee (creator of the Marvel Comics) in as nonsensical and violent and bloody and senseless a film like this one is just embarrassing. I can’t wait to see such sagas as Orphan Annie vs. Little Lulu, Joe Palooka battles Dick Tracy, Bugs Bunny vs. Minnie Mouse. They can’t  fail.

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 archived for two weeks… (See next paragraph) and go to WWW.KZSC.ORG. Anita Monga artistic Director of the San Francisco Silent Film Festival (21st Year) returns May 24, then Chris Krohn and Michelle Glowa bring us up to date on the Beach Flats Garden issue. Mark Wainer and Judy Johnson talk about the Community of Artists show on May 31st followed by Santa Cruz County Clerk Gail Pellerin with updates on local voting. Former mayor Bruce Van Allen discusses local politics on Election Day June 7. The Short Story Winners from Bookshop Santa Cruz take over the June 14 program. June 21 has Carla Brennan talking about Meditation, Buddhism, and Mindfulness. 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   

People complain a lot about the younger generation, how they’re lazy and not involved, etc etc. Enter this young man from Louisiana. He’s 22, and has been an activist for 8 years. He’s well spoken and smart; this gives me hope.

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-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 Simont on, Lori Rivera, Sayaka Yabuki, Chris Kinney, Celia and Peter Scott, Chris Krohn, David Swanger, Chelsea Juarez…and that’s just since January 2011.

QUOTES. “VOTING”

“The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.”  Winston S. Churchill
“Elections belong to the people. It’s their decision. If they decide to turn their back on the fire and burn their behinds, then they will just have to sit on their blisters.” Abraham Lincoln
“As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.” H.L. Mencken
“Every election is determined by the people who show up.” Larry J. Sabato

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.

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