Blog Archives

October 31 – November 6, 2011

PACIFIC AVENUE, WATER STREET AND MISSION STREET. This was the Anthony Block and here we can see Irwin’s Nickelodeon just about our first movie theatre. It’s where the Town clock is now. See page 84 of John Chase’s Santa Cruz Architecture for some great details.

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

Additional information always welcome: email

LATTÉ BREAKING NEWS. I ran this last week …”Big Secret…there’s a “big retailer coming on to Pacific Avenue”, even most council members don’t know who or where, probably into the “old” Borders store. I’m guessing it’ll be announced this week…you can read it in The Sentinel later after the news is delivered to Scotts Valley.

Rumors had the location wrong BUT… Now it can be told… “It’s confirmed that this will be a Walgreens to be opened in February or March 2012. Saturn Café is the only business that will remain in this building. The building is to remain the same on the outside except for signage”. Yes, that’s another George Ow building. Maybe that’s what Ow and Jesse Nickell were talking about when I saw them having coffee last week at Hoffman’s. I think the newly re-designed Hoffman‘s looks tacky and no where near the style and aesthetics it used to have.

DEVELOPING PACIFIC AVENUE. Funny thing is I used to know Downtown Association Chip’s last name, but I forgot. We had a brief (maybe 5 min.) conversation about two way traffic on Pacific. He and his cohorts are so fixed on business and bucks they forget quality, integrity, class, and community. They want any business downtown and I’m sure are jumping gaily over the Walgreen news. Our downtown will look like San Francisco’s Fisherman’s Wharf if their mentality and greed isn’t stopped by the community. The community has to take action because The Current City Council, plus LOBA, and The Chamber are all blinded by bucks. San Jose and LA had the same problem and look at the growth there. Also look at the clips of the Charlottesville, Virginia Downtown mall. Think about it.

DOWNTOWN MALL – CHARLOTTESVILLE, Virginia. This looks a lot like Santa Cruz could look.

PACIFIC GARDEN MALL. Ken Koenig opined on this… Bruce: I’m with you on this one. I think the idea of making downtown two way traffic is ridiculous. I was driving there the other day thinking about what happens when one car decides to double park, or delivery trucks are double parked, or the street gets congested, etc. Really regressive. (At least now you can drive around the folks who are double parked for whatever reason. Try telling the delivery trucks not to double park on the street.
I agree that the mall should be without traffic but apparently (according to Lisa Rose) studies show that leads to the death of the area. I haven’t been to Santa Monica’s Third Street Mall for a long time. I’ve been told lately there are lots of stores closed but I would think that was due to the recession. How having two way traffic on Pacific would help business is beyond me. Best wishes, Kenneth L. Koenig Santa Cruz, CA

History of the Charlottesville Mall.
The narrator is a City Council member and the worst narrator in the world…BUT the story and visuals are great.

MORE ON PACIFIC MALL. Ron Sandidge adds…I’ve had the opportunity to witness Danish culture and life first hand. Below is a link to the Google page that shows various websites with information about Copenhagen’s walking street, Strøget. It was controversial too and then the merchants realized tremendous business success, ending much of the debate. Soon connecting streets (tributaries if you will) joined in. The concept proved worthy and other Danish towns and cities implemented the idea as well.

You could look up Stroget on Wikipedia and see what a success it has become.

REPUBLICANS FOR BILL MONNING. What’ll be fun to watch are the growing ranks of Republicans for Bill Monning. Bruce Van Allen reports that it’s really happening.

LA BAHIA, MARK STONE, ASSEMBLY RACE AND ETHICS. Good Times ran Susan Martinez and Fred Geiger’s letter last week. It hit so many good points I asked Susan and Fred if I could run it here…they said yes.

Dear Editor,

In a recent letter, Robert deFreitas condemned Coastal Commission member and SC County supervisor Mark Stone for his Coastal Commission vote against the La Bahia project in SC. Mr. deFreitas claims there was only one environmental issue relevant. He says that point was visual esthetics and that its impact was not an issue of objection of the Commission staff. The fact is the staff had previously opposed this project due to its over 70 ft. height (double the allowable height in that area) and flip-flopped its position when the height was lowered by just a few feet – certainly an insufficient modification. There were at least 3 other environmental legal impediments to the approval of the La Bahia that were raised by many speakers at the hearing. As to the “open public process” mentioned by deFreitas, we attended several of these meetings over the years. The developer was proposing 5 stories and the public acceptance seemed about 50% either way at that height. When brought forward for governmental approval, the project height had grown by 40% to 7 stories. So much for developers listening to the public for input.

A bit cute but it shows the potential of a community supported mall…and it was designed by Lawrence Halprin!!

It seems that there are always individuals who are willing to sacrifice the environment as long as a few bucks are likely to find a way into their own pockets. It was evident at the hearing that it was these people who were supporting the project and in their own presentations mentioned only financial reasons for their support (which are irrelevant under the Coastal Protection Act). The arguments against the project voiced by Stone and the rest of the majority on the Commission were directly related to the legal requirements of the Coastal Act. If there was a legitimate legal case for approval, why was the La Bahia rejected by a clear majority of the Coastal Commission?

Mark Stone should be appreciated for resisting these self-interested peoples’ demands and voting in accordance with the environmental protections contained in the Coastal Act that he swore to uphold regardless of untoward pressures. According to the Ventana magazine of the local Sierra Club, “SC County now has a Commission on the Environment and has bans on pesticide spraying by the county, genetically modified crops, Styrofoam containers and single use plastic bags because of Mark’s leadership”.

Mr. Stone will be running for State assembly for a seat in our redistricted community recently vacated by Bill Monning. We can think of no one else who has proven his integrity and environmental commitment as well as being an effective elected as clearly as has Mark Stone. We will be strongly supporting him in his run for State Assembly and expect him to achieve a resounding victory to the benefit of all in our district.

Susan Martinez , Fred Geiger. Santa Cruz

BERKELEY DAILY PLANET. You need to read The Planet if you want to know the truth about The Oakland cops (Berkeley Cops too!) and what happened at Occupy Oakland.

PEPPER SPRAY TIMES. I got this link from the aforementioned Berkeley D. Planet

PATTON’S PROGRAM. Gary relates how the Santa Cruz City council is fast tracking the 2 Way traffic on Pacific and how they are doing the same thing on pushing for the De-sal plant and asks why, and says we should attend any/all meetings to say our piece. He talks about Sustainable Agriculture and gives a big plug for Frances Moore Lappe’s appearance here on Nov. 11th. (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. Besides that, Gary has his own website, “Two Worlds / 365”

Halloween is an unusual holiday, on any continent. We celebrate our disobedience to the standards of decorum and good-neighborliness that we ourselves set, and will sanction almost any misdeed as long as it retains an air of make-believe. Ice-folk need little encouragement to party in any case and an evening’s release from our many social restrictions will always be popular. However, Halloween has an extra significance in Antarctica as the unofficial deadline to find someone to share your bunk bed for the season.

People who work in Antarctica have seasonal lives. We might spend the austral summer in Antarctica then head north for the summer in Alaska or Greenland, or else take a job in national forests or on island bases, research vessels, or other temporary situation. Consequently, many of our romantic relationships also happen in seasonal cycles and are dependent on location. Ice people often have “ice-wives/husbands,” partners for the months we spend in Antarctica who we may not see off-ice even as friends. “Ice marriage, tarmac divorce,” we say, meaning that the marriage begins when the plane lands on the ice-runway at the start of the season and ends when its wheels hit tarmac again in New Zealand six months later. Some people return to one another every season, just as people have preferred roommates; other relationships end with the contract, no hard feelings. A few people do this while partnered with someone else back home, whether or not their homebound partner knows it. At least one person will switch partners mid-season — I recommend watching from a safe distance.

Like most human behaviors, this cycle is so recognizable and predictable that Halloween has become a known point in the season when many flirtations turn into liaisons and suspected-sweethearts come out as public-couples. Did any of this happen this weekend at Palmer Station? I would do wrong to tell you, and so I won’t. I will say that this particular reveler has gone home alone, for two years in a row. Then again, I dressed up as Death.

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


VINTAGE de STEVEN DECINZO. Steven looks at one part of religion…scroll down

EAGANS DEEP COVER. Mr. Eagan notes which way the wind is blowing tax-wise see below.

LANDAU’S PROGRES. Saul looks at the George Clooney film The Ides Of March and says… »Sex, of course, also enters the plot – flashes of Bill Clinton! Discovering that his innocent babe (intern) has something going with their boss, Myers loses his zeal – for the boss and his job. In fact, the film shows Myers’ true character emerging from his unpleasant finding. He uses the rhetoric of idealism to cover the sordidness hidden in his heart and soul. The character flaws coincide with the image of Democracy drowning in the muck of money and media madness. Baseness at the foundation of politics, The Ides of March cautions, disguises real political choice – long before presidential elections.

The deal triumphs over the ideal. U.S. democracy in action means, as one film character says, “A president can start wars, lie, cheat, drive the country into bankruptcy, and in general do anything he wants — but he can’t fuck an intern.” Read it all here… Saul Landau is an Institute for Policy Studies fellow whose films are on DVD from

KZSC PLEDGE DRIVE – BIG SUCCESS. KZSC station manager Michael Bryant emails, “One week ago KZSC set a modest goal of $20,000. On Halloween, listeners to The Great 88 had donated that much and more; “spooky good” in these times. Our thanks to everyone that helped our local community radio”, Michael. (Ed note. I personally want to thank all the readers/listeners who pledged and donated and helped Universal Grapevine).

LISA JENSEN LINKS. Lisa links,”How cool did the Rio look last weekend for New Music Works’ Metropolis premiere? How furiously is Alexandre Dumas spinning in his grave over the latest, misbegotten adaptation of The Three Musketeers? Learn the answers to these and other mysteries this week at Lisa Jensen Online Express. Lisa Jensen has been writing film reviews and a column for Good Times since 1975.

ANONYMOUS, the movie. I haven’t seen it yet but in this Shakespeare-hot town we need to know that Roger Ebert wrote, “In a New York Times article, the Shakespeare scholar James Shapiro has cited a few technicalities: (a) de Vere writes and stars in “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” when he was 9 years old, and (b) “he died in 1604, before 10 or so of Shakespeare’s plays were written.”. I have a personal theory. The most detailed and valuable record of life in London at that time is the diary of Samuel Pepys, who attended plays in court and in town, and as Secretary of the Navy, was an inveterate gossip, well-wired for information. He wrote his diary in a cipher, not intending it to be read. If he had knowledge of the true authorship of the plays, I don’t believe he could have suppressed it”.That’s Ebert, then I asked Michael Warren of UCSC’s Shakespeare Santa Cruz he hadn’t seen it yet either and he wrote, “If you want my opinion re authorship, that’s simple. Like nearly all Shakespeare scholars, I am a confident Stratfordian, and think that there is no need to attribute the authorship of the plays to anyone other than The Man From Stratford–actor, shareholder in the company, dramatist, and property investor; there is plenty of evidence of a conventional kind to lead one to believe he was “the author.” However, I do believe that in the texts of a few plays there is evidence of other hands (for instance Macbeth, Measure for Measure perhaps) and that he collaborated with John Fletcher on at least two plays, Henry VIII and The Two Noble Kinsmen, and so on. Life, writing plays, authorship itself, and textual transmission are all far more complicated than the anti-Stratfordians make them out to be, especially four hundred years ago”. At any rate it opens Nov. 4th and from all reports it’s a beautiful film, lots of pageantry, shot on German stages, well acted, fun to think about, basically a fraud and very worth seeing.

PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 3. I’ve seen all 3 of the Paranormal Activity series and had the living hell scared out of me by each one of them. That’s a beautiful phrase “The living hell” because that’s what happens when you’re scared. I’m impressed that the film makers have been able to create a new way of telling the story on film. Their camera and editing technique are completely new and it’s worked for three films now. What if someone came up with as new a way to tell say a love story on film? The creativity in Paranormal Activities is just amazing. So if you like being scared go see any of all of these Activities.

THE RUM DIARY. This version of Hunter Thompson’s early career is a terrible film. Poorly directed, very poorly directed, dull script, Johnny Depp at his dullest, and it’s boring. Oddly enough it could be called Pirates of The Caribbean. It’s about rich developers wanting to build hotels on beach front property in the Caribbean. They are ruthless, take advantage of the locals, screw honest people and as a newspaper reporter Hunter Thompson (Depp) sees through their scheme. Not Santa Cruz but in Puerto Rico territory.

IN TIME. Justin Timberlake does a fine acting job and so does Amanda Seyfried in this science fiction Orwellian thriller. It has moral and ethical overtones because the concept is that in the future you use the days and months of your life as money. So when you can something say like a bottle of scotch, it would cost you two and a half hours of your life. It’s possible!!! Go see it or at least rent it later.

ENLIGHTENED. A definite guilty pleasure. This HBO series now in its’ third week stars Laura Dern and Mike White who are also producers of the series. Laura Dern has always been a great actor and she shines…even glistens in this one. I wouldn’t sign up for HBO just for this but if you already have it don’t miss Enlightened.


HOSTETTER’S HOT STUFF. Paul postulates…”As autumn inexorably advances upon us, things keep happening in our area, among them: the San Francisco World Music Festival, winding up this weekend, the Hot Club of SF with a scattering of interesting events coming up here and there, a highly recommended appearance by a trio of Canadian sonic explorers called Three Meter Day, the talented and exuberant California Honeydrops at Moe’s in SCruz, and probably elsewhere (follow the links), the inspired combination of Jim Kweskin and Geoff Muldaur with Suzy Thompson at the Freight, Deby B. Grosjean’s CD release party, the long overdue return of Kiran Ahluwalia, a marvelous singer of modern ghazals, and some very welcome rumblings from the Sangati Center, which sort of languished there for awhile. Here’s where you look for more details:

Also, the sixteen or so strings of Jimmy Crowley and Marla Fibish are doing a tour shortly, mostly very small venues and house concerts in the Bay Area, I highly recommend you check for the details. Great spirited Irish music in the form of singing and playing on the extended family of mandolin-type things. They have a new CD and everything!Carry on. Ph….Marla Fibish???

BOOK EVENT. Don Young who taught at Cabrilho College for decades has written “The Battle For Snow Mountain”. I’ve read it, its surreal, funny, and an “only in the Army” adventure. Don fought in “The Battle of The Bulge” and has told the story as only he could. Get the book and hear him talk about it at the Capitola Book Café on Thursday November 10 at 7:30 p.m. And hear him on Universal Grapevine Tuesday November 8th at 7 p.m.

BOOKSHOP BIRTHDAY. Bookshop Santa Cruz turns 45 years old this very Friday night and that means 20% off everything all day Friday! It also means that for the 34th year our Hot Damn String Band will play our hearts out to add to the festivities. We still miss Jim Houston who played string bass with us for more than 20 of those years but Jim Reynolds will still be on guitar, Annie Steinhart, fiddle, Dave Megram banjo, Todd Kimball mandolin, Gary Cunningham string bass, and yours truly on washboard. Cake and ice cream will be served at 8:15 we start at 7:30 p.m. See you there.

Here’s an old story by Rob Pratt on the Hot Damners from the old Metro newspaper.

FRIDAY NIGHT LIVE CONCERTS at UCSC. The series continues with “A Distant Music” featuring Paul Nauert, composer. A concert featuring the premiere performances of Paul Nauert’s song cycle “A Distant Music” for tenor, piano, and string quartet and “Pathfinding” for solo B-flat clarinet with guest artist Paul Miller, clarinet. Also on the program: “Suite Italienne” by Igor Stravinsky featuring Roy Malan, violin, and Michael McGushin, piano, and Nauert’s “Darwin Street” for solo bass clarinet with Paul Miller. The String Quartet is Roy Malan, violin, Kevin Rogers, violin Ivo Bokulic, viola, Vanessa Ruotolo, cello , Paul Miller, clarinet Brian Staufenbiel, tenor. Michael McGushin andCarl Pantle, piano .(It’s one of the world’s largest quartets!!). It’s Friday, November 4, 2011 – 7:30 p.m. at UCSC’s Music Center Recital Hall. Tickets are available at the UCSC Ticket Office (831-459-2159), the Santa Cruz Civic box office.

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. The November 8th Grapevine has former Cabrilho Professor Don Young talking about his book,” The Battle For Snow Mountain”, and then poet Robert Sward will read from his new book, “New and Selected Poems”. On November 15th the winners of Bookshop Santa Cruz’s Youth Writing contest will read their entries. Ralph Abraham will talk about 2 of his new books on November 22 followed by Gary Patton and UCSC Environmental Studies Interns. November 29 has Assemblyman Bill Monning discussing inside Sacramento stuff, then Jim Mosher talks about his teens and alcohol program. . Do remember, any and all suggestions for future programs are more than welcome so tune in, and keep listening.

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. Plus 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. “Christianity is a communist plot“, Tom McNamara. “As every second passes my teeth get worse”, Art Speigelman. “While we are sleeping two-thirds of the world is plotting to do us in”, Dean Rusk.


Deep Cover by tim eagan.

Posted in Weekly Articles | Comments Off on October 31 – November 6, 2011

Comments are closed.