January 20 – 26, 2016

MAY 1947. ENTERING SANTA CRUZ COUNTY. What is mysterious is that the sign right behind the Santa Cruz County Sign says, “California Highway 56”. Any historians out there know if Highway One was once Highway 56??. Good thing they widened the highway!!

photo credit: Covello & Covello Historical photo collection.

Additional information always welcome: email photo@brattononline.com

Webmistress Video Pick of the Week

DATELINE January 18, 2016

VIOLENCE IN MOVIES. I’ve talked to many folks who have been shying away from Quentin Tarantino’s “Hateful 8” because of the violence. There certainly is a lot of violence in that film. Bloody, visceral, cruel and gooey violence. We get far too much senseless violence in our films and on TV. Violence has become a guaranteed box office money maker for films, especially in the last decade. Yet violence has been an important part of theatrical productions since Greek and Roman theatre. We need to think of Medea, The Iliad, Oedipus, and more tradegies such as Shakespeare’s Hamlet, Macbeth, Ibsen’s The Doll’s House, Death of A Salesman, The Misfits, and on and on. I tried many justifications for the uses and purposes of watching a theatrical tradegy….Aristotle won out. He said, “The aim of tragedy, is to bring about a “catharsis” of the spectators — to arouse in them sensations of pity and fear, and to purge them of these emotions so that they leave the theater feeling cleansed and uplifted, with a heightened understanding of the ways of gods and men”. “Hateful 8” for example is Tarantino’s way of exposing us to the horrors and torturous results of racial hatred. Tragedy also helps prepare us for those real tragedies that happen to us.

LUCIANO PAVAROTTI MOSCOW 1964. La Donna e Mobile. A young Pavarotti.

ANOMALISA & SYNECDOCHE & CHARLIE KAUFMAN. Anomalisa hasn’t hit Santa Cruz yet but I want to give a head’s up so that none of us miss it. I just re-watched Synecdoche Charlie’s 2008 magnificent film and was struck all over again about how much Kaufman can put into one film plot. Philip Seymour Hoffman and Catherine Keener go beyond acting on many levels and have left us with a masterpiece that will be re-discovered many, many times over the decades to follow. His “Being John Malcovich” film is another example of the depth and intelligence Kaufman can transfer from his original ideas to the screen. Few directors have the ability or independence or reputation to fight off the financial powers that rule cinema today. Let’s not miss Anomalisa, coming soon to the Nickelodeon.

NEWS IN OUR COMMUNITY. Ex-mayor Chris Krohn wrote a letter to the Sentinel Monday January 18. He expressed some important news items we’ve been missing. He wrote… “Just a note of concern about four stories of concern that somehow missed being chronicled in the Sentinel. I am assuming, given the state of most news outlets these days, newspapers in particular, you are stretched to the max on resources…The four stories I am thinking about without a doubt affect the potential paying customer base, i.e. folks who might, or already buy the paper.

LUCIANO PAVAROTTI 1987. La donna è mobile. Madison Square Garden. New York. 20 years after his very early appearance as seen above.
DEBRA PAGET DOING A BELLY DANCE. 1959. From the nearly bizzarre “The Indian Tomb”
  1. construction workers throwing up a picket at Pacific Collegiate School (all last week) Somebody has not paid somebody?
  2. Santa Cruz City council meeting in closed session (last Tuesday) and basically voting to evict gardeners from 23-year community gardening effort, returning almost half of the present garden to the Seaside company while leaving the rest up to parks and rec to deal with. The plan will take out a row of fruit trees and the current plot of the longest serving community garden member, Emilio Martinez. You might remember that in the Sentinel’s previous coverage it was noted that the group cleaned up a derelict property and that there exists no real green space or public park in a neighborhood of 2800 residents.
  3. CFSTCampaign for Sensible Transportation has decided not to support a sales tax measure for widening hwy 1, but would support an existing package of measures that would fund rail and trail and fix local roadways…many members of this group have previously spoke out on the grave consequences of widening and helped defeat two (or 3) past efforts to widen hwy. 1.
  4. (probably my reason for writing…or thinking of the Sentinel) There was an amazing memorial service (Sun.) for long-time professor, Marge Frantz at the UCSC music recital Hall Sunday…present was a veritable who’s who in Santa Cruz political, academic, and social history. It was quite an amazing gathering of a couple of hundred people—former supervisors and mayors, academics, music (folksinger Holly Near for example sang a few songs). Marge was a Santa Cruz version of the Berkeley Free Speech movement’s spokesperson, Mario Savio. (Marge began her work at Berkeley during the FSM movement.)

Again, seems like these are issues the SC Sentinel might be reporting on, and I believe, they are places where people who read, at least the hardcopy version of the paper, can be found…ones who have money to buy the paper. I am not sure where the newspaper industry is headed, but I do think the local version of the paper has a good chance of staying around for awhile longer if it continues to cover the significant local issues…I have found you at your best when you stay away from reprints of national stories and stay focussed on the local (hyperlocal?)…Seems like the larger papers that do national news are in fact going away because the market can only support a few—LA Times, NY Times, Wash Post—to tell the national stories. They will never be able to tell the local stories though. There is a place for the Sentinel.

thanks,

Chris Krohn

ELERICK’S INPUT. Mr. Paul Elerick of Aptos writes…

TRANSPORTATION BALLOT IS MOVING AHEAD

As of now, the REGIONAL TRANSPORTATION COMMISSION (RTC), SANTA CRUZ COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS and several organizations including the SANTA CRUZ BUSINESS COUNCIL, and The SANTA CRUZ CHAMBER OF COMMERCE are on record as endorsing the current ballot measure proposal’s expenditure plan. So have I ( Paul Elerick, the author of this column). While the precise percentages of what each of the five categories receive will be on the final measure, my opinion is that this first cut is a pretty good balance.

There is an issue with some people on the funds being allocated to “highway widening”. This is not the widening that was proposed in 2004, which was auxiliary lanes and HOV lanes all the way from the fishhook to San Andreas Road. What is being proposed here are three auxiliary lane projects from Morrissey Ave. to State Park Drive. These are lanes that run between freeway entrances and the next off ramp. They are just that, extra long entrance and exit lanes, and will allow Capitola and Aptos residents to get on and off the highway sooner and easier. You may be getting a call from a professional polling consultant asking probing questions about transportation. Keep in mind what the “widening” actually is. Read the entire ballot measure proposal here. This is the most important ballot measure you will have to vote on in November.

Consider that 30% of the measure (the largest allocation) goes towards neighborhood projects like repair and maintenance of local streets and roads, school traffic safety, bicycle and pedestrian safety throughout the county.

The other four categories break down as follows.

25% – Highway Corridors, the aux lanes, two bicycle/pedestrian highway overpasses, etc.

16% – Mobility Access. Metro improvements, meets needs for elderly and disabled.

15% – Coastal Rail Trail – Funding for creating and to maintain the Monterey Bay Sanctuary Scenic Trail

14% – Rail Corridor. Funding to maintain the track and bridge infrastructure, environmental analysis of passenger rail transit options, Watsonville/Pajaro Valley train station connection with the Capitol Corridor and Coast Daylight train services, improvement, upgrade and installation of signals at railroad crossings and underground conduit and/or pipes to facilitate utilities including Internet services.

(Paul Elerick is co-chair with Jack Nelson of the Campaign for Sensible Transportation, http://sensibletransportation.org , and he’s a member of Nisene 2 Sea, a group of open space advocates).

GREENSITE’S INSIGHT.
DOLLARS: NO SENSE

Historic structures give a sense of place and connection to past generations. In a throwaway society they become increasingly scarce unless respected and preserved. With each loss we physically cut ourselves adrift from those who came before. Such were my thoughts as I learned that the only cottage on the ocean side of West Cliff Drive (1307 WCD) has been sold and will be “remodeled” in a more contemporary style, bearing faint resemblance to the original. While the mass and footprint cannot be enlarged as per the legal non-conforming structure ordinance, the features that give this cottage its historical identity will disappear.

The cottage is perhaps best known as “Jennifer’s house” in the 1983 Clint Eastwood movie, Sudden Impact. Local historian Ross Gibson shared its more interesting history. According to Ross, “the cottage was built by the talented cellist Mrs. Bessie Boyd Miller in 1937 and named “Tide Cliff Studio.” The main Cotswald cottage overlooks the secluded Philbrick Cove to the east and the detached Music Studio small cottage, with its grand piano, has a western view of what used to be the Pendelton Bros. flower fields, fronting the cliffs for 50 years. Bessie’s later marriage to her childhood sweetheart, Thomas Douglass Frazer, a well-known California School landscape artist long associated with the ‘Bohemian Club,’ was held in the cliff cottage in 1938 with Metropolitan Opera singer Madame Sophia Sumorukova accompanied by Wilda Leiner Reed.” You don’t have to be a history buff to love this iconic landmark along West Cliff Drive with its Cotswald style and pastel colors harmonizing with sea and sky. Postcards over the decades have captured its charm.

The cottage and property were bought for a few dollars shy of 4 million from a buyer working in the Silicon Valley tech industry, according to the estate agent who sold the property. The website promoting its sale shows the interior rooms that are stunningly beautiful with high gloss hardwood floors, pristine white walls and stone fireplaces. All of this will be torn down with only the studs of two walls remaining. I guess anyone with money is entitled to their dream home from scratch but I couldn’t help dwelling on the waste of resources involved. The architect’s blurb on the side of the plans struck me as disingenuous. Based on that summary, the real estate agent should have described it as a run-down fixer-upper!

At the public hearing before the Zoning Administrator, who approved the “remodel” over Coastal Commission concerns, those of us who expressed dismay at this loss were dismissed as “nostalgic” by the new owners’ land use consultant. She understood why we might feel this way but the message was clear: get over it. In this mind-set, a connection to the past, to history and a love of its tangible forms is an emotional weakness, an inability to accept change, as though all change is for the better. Those who fight to save the familiar, the small scale, the low density in Santa Cruz are told to get with the program. You like the historic wharf the way it is? Get over it. We have an expensive Wharf Master Plan to implement. You like the old single story local businesses? Get over it. We have high-rise mixed-use, dense new buildings coming your way under the Corridors Plan. You like the single story older homes on the eastside? Get over it. We’re building 40 feet tall, market-rate, multi-story developments next door. And if you complain too much we’ll throw in a few epithets such as elitism and NIMBY’ism. And whom does all this development benefit besides the developers and speculators? According to the promotional brochure for 555 Pacific, which I wrote about last week, “the property boasts an ideal location for students, high tech workers and second homers.” The Delaware Live/Work development is marketed nation-wide. In its promotional materials Santa Cruz is described as “an ideal place to live if you are young, single and rich.” Move over locals, here comes a tidal wave of gentrification.

( Gillian Greensite is a long time local activist, member of Save Our Big Trees and the Santa Cruz chapter of International Dark Sky Association IDA, Plus she’s an avid ocean swimmer, hiker and lover of all things wild).

PATTON’S PROGRAM.

“To be, or not to be?” These famous words, perhaps the most famous of all the words that Shakespeare penned, can be placed in a land use context this week. Wednesday (1/21) the lanning Commission of the City of Santa Cruz will decide whether or not Santa Cruz Shakespeare will be able to move their theatrical productions to the upper reaches of the City’s DeLaveaga Park. Information can be found at kusp.org/landuse. There is a public hearing scheduled, for Thursday 1/22, beginning at 7:00 p.m. The City is anticipating a big crowd, with both supporters and opponents coming out in large numbers, so the Planning Commission will hold its meeting at the Civic Auditorium. If you’d like to get personally involved (always something that I suggest), you should plan your evening accordingly.

Folks around the Monterey Bay probably know that the University of California at Santa Cruz kicked Santa Cruz Shakespeare out of their traditional location on the campus, without any good reason that anyone can figure out. That move by the University has Santa Cruz Shakespeare looking for a new home. You can have your say tomorrow evening at the Planning Commission, and you should mark your calendar for a City Council meeting on Tuesday, February 9th. That’s when the Council is likely to make a final decision on whether a new location for Santa Cruz Shakespeare is “to be, or not to be.” 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 opinions expressed are Mr. Patton’s. Gary has his own website, Two Worlds/365” – www.gapatton.net

CLASSICAL DeCINZO. Another traffic facilitator preview??? Scroll down a few pages.

EAGAN’S DEEP COVER. The correct side of Mr. Trump. See below.

MUNCHING WITH MOZART THURSDAY. This is a great and free live performance that happens in the upstairs meeting room of the Santa Cruz Public Library on the third Thursday of every month. Carol Panofsky (oboe, baroque oboe, recorder) organizes these noon to 1 p.m. concerts and they are sponsored by the Friends of the Santa Cruz Public Libraries. This Thursday (Jan. 21) features pianist Heather Thompson playing Chopin, Scarletti, Liszt, Grieg and Sibelius. Because it’s wonderful and free, you better get there early if you want to sit down.

JEWEL THEATRE’S “FALLEN ANGELS”. Noel Coward’s comedy “Fallen Angels” has been making audiences laugh since it opened way back in the “20’s. Two women minus and plus two husbands and wild complications.

(note; Santa Cruz Shakespeare’s Mike Ryan played one of the husbands in the Pasadena Playhouse version back in 2013 and Art Manke directed that production and is directing this one too. It plays at the new Colligan Theatre Jan. 28-Feb. 21. Info at www.JewelTheatre.net

LISA JENSEN LINKS. Lisa writes: “Join me in celebrating the extraordinary career of the late, great Alan Rickman, an actor of extreme talent and bracing wit, this week at Lisa Jensen Online Express (http://ljo-express.blogspot.com). Also, this year’s Oscar nominations: what were they thinking?” Lisa has been writing film reviews and columns for Good Times since 1975.

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

13 HOURS: THE SECRET SOLDIERS OF BENGHAZI. It’s the story of the C.I.A. men stationed in Libya and how they failed to defend the USA embassy during an attack on September 11, 2012. It’s 2 1/2 hours of poorly edited combat scenes, and we are provided with almost no back story or explanation of what’s happening. Just blood, violence, and the sadness of losing.

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

ROOM. There is some discussion on whether or not this film is based on a novel or reality. Either way it is a well done, agonizing, torturous, moving film. Brie Larson as the teen age mother and Jacob Trembly as her son deserve special acting awards. Kidnapping the young teenager and raping her in a locked shed for years while she somehow manages to raise her son and maintain a sense of humanity will have you completely fixed to the screen. See this film.

BROOKLYN. Whew…I knew I loved this film and now I see that Rotten Tomatoes gives it 100% Saoirse Ronan plays the lead Irish (very Irish) girl who comes to New York City in the 1950’s. She adjusts then falls in love with an Italian (very Italian) young man. That seems to be ok but she has to return to Ireland on a visit and falls in love with a young Irish (very) young man. It’s not too funny, it’s deep, profound, wrenching and perfect acting. You could easily loose your heart in this film. See it, if you like wonderful films. It also stars (in a smaller role) Jessica Pare who you’ll for sure remember as Megan Draper, Don Draper’s dark-haired sexy wife in Mad Men.

THE HATEFUL 8. Quentin Tarantino is BACK! A beautiful film. A plot, a tragedy as intriguing as Agatha Christies “Ten Little Indians”and acting as great as any we’ve ever seen. With a cast consisting of Samuel Jackson, Kurt Russell, Tim Roth, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Bruce Dern, Michael Madsen, and Channing Tatum and written and directed by Quentin hisself, how can we miss? It’s in the Pulp Fiction, Reservoir Dogs vein. It’s bloody, beyond violent, extremely funny, thought provoking and mystifying. Go see it on some big screen.

THE REVENANT. What’s odd about The Revenant is that hardly anyone I know, knew what the word meant. Looking it up (I had to) in Wictionary you’ll find… · Someone who returns from a long absence. A person or thing reborn. A supernatural being that returns from the dead; a zombie or ghost. The film is a Big Golden Globes winner for best Drama film and for Leonardo DiCaprio’s best acting and Alejandro Inarritu for best Director. Set in the 1820’s its about Leonardo and his fellow fur trappers being attacked or occasionally helped by Indian tribes such as the Ree, the Ankara,the Pawnee and the Sioux. DeCaprio almost dies from a bear attack and spends the rest of the film crawling and freezing his way to revenge the trappers who left him to die. DeCaprio has only 15 lines in English, he takes off his clothes and sleeps inside a dead horse (after removing the guts) and then he wins the Golden Globes!!! Go figure, and you need to see it on a big screen.

CAROL. Many big nominations and awards for this poignant, touching, sad, pertinent story of women’s love. Rooney Mara reminded me of Audrey Hepburn and does a perfect acting job here. Cate Blanchett is the lead and does all she can, and will continue to win more prizes. Yet there is/was something cold, removed and stiff, stage play-like that kept me from really getting inside the emotions they played on screen. Go see it by all means.

THE DANISH GIRL. Eddie Redmayne as one of the world’s first transgendered males is of course the main attraction. But Alicia Vikander as his wife and main support, actually does a better job of acting. The script stalls and sleeps part way through, and the pacing is eccentric but you’ll watch it all the way just to see how it ends. Redmayne (who is 33) won an Oscar nomination for his body-bending role as Stephen Hawking in “The Theory of Everything” last year, is being touted for it again this year. Remember him in “My Week with Marilyn”? He’s an excellent actor and will probably play a tree or a screwdriver or a python next, but I’m not betting on him winning anything for this film.

THE MARTIAN. This Hollywood Matt Damon-starring film is cute, humorous , Hollywoody like George Clooney in Gravity. It’s about Damon being left behind on Mars by his team mates (Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig, and Michael Pena). Chiwetal Ejiofor and Jeff Daniels are the NASA, Pasadena JPL business men in charge. It drags in spots and the FX look like they stole them from “2001”. Matt Damon is just too cute and funny and extraordinary to be real, But go see it. You’ll stay awake just to see how it all works out. It’s tense near the end but the ending itself is corny.

SPOTLIGHT. Lots of Oscar buzz around this excellent film. When you have a cast like Mark Ruffalo, Michale Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Billy Crudup, Stanley Tucci and Live Schreiber and a plot involving the Roman Catholic church’s child molesting priests and the “official cover-up” you got a winner. It’s shocking, even though you think you know all there is to know. When you add in the current troubles the Vatican is having…you’ve got a very sick institution. It’s newspaper business at its best. It’s also reporting such as no newspaper can afford today…you’ll see how important that is/was. Rotten Tomatoes gives it a 97%!!!

THE BIG SHORT.The cast is very well known by now. Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, Christian Bale, Marisa Tomei, and Brad Pitt. This is a Hollywood version of what should have been a Michael Moore documentary of the bankers, real estate brokers, and the rest of the crooks behind the Wall Street explosion of 2008. It bored me to a snooze because I haven’t the foggiest idea , or any knowledge of all those financial dealings. Go only if you’re up on all those money market concepts.

JOY. Jennifer Lewis outshines every star ever in Hollywood in this nearly true story of a young woman who invents a mop and after some failures, makes (and still is making) vast fortunes on QVC and online sales. Bradley Cooper is in this mess of a film and so is Robert DeNiro, Virginia Madsen, Dianne Ladd and even Isabella Rossellini. They shouldn’t have been and aside from watching Jennifer Lewis one more time, there’s absolutely no reason to waste your $$ on this one.

STAR WARS The Force Awakens STINKS & MORE. I was actually stunned when I left the theatre after viewing Star Wars: The Force Awakens. My sister and friends immediately asked what I thought about the film, I couldn’t even think about it as I would have with any other film I’ve re viewed in the last 40 plus years. Then I read Michael Hiltzik’s business column in the 12/30/15 edition of the L.A. Times. Michael’s new book is titled Big Science. His column is titled, “Why Star Wars Stinks”. In it he tells how the film is unimaginative, dull in long stretches, and is a poor copy of the original 1977 Star Wars. He says and I agree that it’s not a movie.”It’s the anchoring element of a vast commercial program”. He goes on to say that this film will bring in nearly 5 Billion dollars and that because of the related product sales it wouldn’t matter if NO ONE SAW the film, it still would make those profits. The plot is obscure, the art work is wonderful, and it’s cold, impersonal, and dull. Read the critique above. This is not a movie, it’s a product placement showcase for Disney productions and world wide toy manufacturers.

SISTERS. This is an almost perfect example of a trash movie. Amy Poehler and Tina Fey outdo each other with crotch, sex, poop and pee jokes that aren’t funny. It’s a shame to see these obviously brilliant, smart, tasteful women sink so low that they have to take roles in movies this low class. Don’t go and don’t let anyone you care for go either.

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. January 19 has Tisha Nusbaum from the Pacific Arts Complex talking about her dance classes and other programs. Bob Taren Worker’s Comp attorney, returns to talk about local issues. Veterans Advocate Dean Kaufman and Veteran Buzz Gray discuss Journey for Change and The Veterans Court on Jan. 26, then Gillian Greensite brings us up to date on more local challenges and concerns. Linda Burman-Hall reveals the Santa Cruz Baroque Festival’s new season on February 2. On February 9 Barry Phillips talks about his Dolcissime Suite premiering at the Santa Cruz Chamber Players on Feb. 13 & 14. Then on Feb. 16th Josef Sekon talks about pianist Theodora Serbanesou-Martin who performs on Feb. 21st as part of his Aptos Keyboard Series. After Josef, Jacob Martinez follows and tells us of the huge progress that The Digital Nest has been enjoying. 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

NEW 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, 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.

QUOTES. “Once you learn to quit, it becomes a habit”. Vince Lombardi Jr. “If a man watches three football games in a row, he should be declared legally dead”, Erma Bombeck. “The same boys who got detention in elementary school for beating the crap out of people are now rewarded for it. They call it football”, Laurie Halse Anderson. “In football everything is complicated by the presence of the opposite team”, Jean-Paul Sartre.

BEST OF VINTAGE STEVEN DeCINZO.

Deep Cover by Tim Eagan.

Posted in Weekly Articles | Comments Off on January 20 – 26, 2016

January 13 – 19, 2016

BEFORE ABBOTT SQUARE. Here’s the corner of Cooper Street and Front Street after 1866 when the Hall of Records was built and 1882 when they built The Octagon.

photo credit: Covello & Covello Historical photo collection.

Additional information always welcome: email photo@brattononline.com

DATELINE January 11, 2016

ARTIS THE SPOONMAN ROCKS ROSSINI. Artis played the spoons on Pacific Avenue for many years. Now he’s a grandfather. Watch his stuff about 1:48 into the clip.

2014 Nanjing Youth Olympic trailer,500 people dancing in the sky. Mark Bernhard and Anne Steyaert found this gem,

MAH AND THE LOW RISK ALCOHOL PLAZA.

The Santa Cruz Museum of Art & History’s Nina Simon has new plans for developing Abbott Square. Those plans are changing and moving ahead rapidly. They’ll be presented to our City Council this week or next. Partnering with San Jose real estate developer and owner of the San Pedro Square John McEnery, read Twitter about McEnery or see http://www.sanpedrosquaremarket.com/about-san-pedro-square-market

Somebody needs to ask that because Santa Cruz Mayor Cynthia Mathews and Council member David Terrazas and County Supervisor Ryan Coonerty are either on the MAH board or as MAH donors, why hasn’t a feasibility study been done on this project? We also need to take a very careful look (or have professionals do it) at the now approved budget of 5 (FIVE) million dollars. Take a look at the proposed Abbott Square development on the MAH website. http://www.abbottsquare.org then try to remember when, if ever, you’ve heard of a development of that scope coming in even close to the opening promises.

Maybe more than anything, and I’ve said this before, because it’s off the Pacific Avenue path of locals and tourists, will the absolutely necessary crowds of customers go to this hidden plaza? The businesses in the much touted arcade between Pacific Avenue and MAH have failed left and right over the years.

Then too how come McEnery got to bring all San Jose (over the hill ) restaurants here and none of our local restaurants were given the chance. Will McEnery be the owner of the “low risk” bar? I’ll bet yes, that’s because that’s where the big money and profits come in. Of course all that profit money will leave Santa Cruz and go to San Jose. Abbott Square plaza if it does succeed, will hurt our locally owned businesses, especially resturants. Also you probably won’t be able to bring your lunch or any food from outside into Nina’s Plaza because you can’t at McEnery’s San Pedro Square in San Jose. You can bet he’ll stop us from doing that in his and Nina’s Plaza.

Besides all that, what ever happened to a once popular belief that Santa Cruz was unique and special and that we hoped we would never become like San Jose…now we’re welcoming the very essence of San Jose into the heart of our downtown.

DEMOCRACY NOW TO KZSC. Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez’s Democracy Now is already running on KZSC (88.1 fm) 5 to 6 am. on weekdays. Of course you can get it online at DemocracyNow.org. If you would like to hear Democracy Now at a prominent (better) time on KZSC email prc@kzsc.org or call 831 459-4726.

BAIT & SWITCH.

Headlines can be manipulated to give a false impression as was evident in the Sentinel’s recent headline, “Project seeking home sales mandate.” The article beneath the headline described developer Barry Swenson’s request before the Planning Commission to change his already-approved permit for building 94 small residential units for sale (plus retail stores) at 555 Pacific, to building the units for rent for up to 15 years. The reasons for seeking such a change after ground has already been broken? Insurance against a housing market slowdown and lenders who feel uncomfortable with the city’s rules and a fluctuating housing market. What market slowdown? Every day we are reminded of the housing shortage crisis. These units were approved under the city’s Small Ownership Unit Ordinance, which was developed to fill a need. Having secured approval for the project under that ordinance, the developer now wants to follow a more lucrative path. Why are his lenders uncomfortable? Maybe they’ve noticed that the for-sale market in Santa Cruz is hot but the rental market is sizzling. More student rental housing? Never mind agreements and conditions of approval. Just pesky city rules. Staff worked to help “modify” the agreement to suit the developer. Commissioners voted unanimously to support the new agreement although Mark Mesiti-Miller and Mari Tustin voiced concerns. It’s now up to council for the final decision.

The project itself is out-of-scale and out-of-character with Santa Cruz. Four stories of glass and steel in that quiet part of south Pacific as the road curves towards the first roundabout and the wharf. A harbinger of future development in our town under the Corridors Plan. This project was initially approved also because it was viewed as “linking” dowtown with the beach area. This concept of “linking” downtown with the beach area for commercial gain, a long-standing city and developers’ goal, in my opinion shows a lack of careful analysis. No amount of “branding” and “wayfaring signs” will change the fact that folks who want to shop and stroll downtown, go to the movies, have coffee or a bite to eat probably have no desire to go to the beach. And beach-goers, in sandy swimsuits with coolers and wet feet probably don’t want to go to a movie or shop downtown. Different groups, different interests. It’s also a class issue. Most of the visitors who go to the beach with families and coolers of food are working class folks from over the hill. They come to enjoy the beach and a respite from the heat. Other than at the Boardwalk, they tend not to buy food in restaurants nor shop at over-priced boutiques. This fact has long been a source of frustration for the tourist industry, which has made no apologies for working to change the class nature of visitors to Santa Cruz.

It would be a breath of fresh air if the city council majority told the developer that in the current housing economic climate his project is still a sound investment as originally approved and that for the common good, no changes to that agreement will be made. I’m not holding my breath.

(Gillian Greensite is a long time local activist, 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).

PATTON’S PROGRAM.

A CLUE REVIEW

Back in 2008, a community group in Santa Cruz called “CLUE,” the “Coalition to Limit University Expansion,” was part of a settlement that ended several lawsuits that challenged the Long Range Development Plan of the University of California at Santa Cruz. It is undeniable that the growth of the UCSC campus, over the years, has had negative impacts on the City of Santa Cruz, and, in fact, on Santa Cruz County. How many of the cars in that traffic jam on Highway One, going north every weekday morning,are transporting a worker at the UCSC campus to his or her job? Well, lots of them! In fact, the growth-related impacts of UCSC not only affect traffic, they affect water and housing, too.

There are definitely lots of positive impacts that come from UCSC, including significant positive impacts on the local economy. CLUE, however, was formed to make sure that the negative impacts were not overlooked, and that they were addressed with real mitigation measures.

Because of the legal settlement in 2008, the City, the County, the University, and CLUE now have a process in place to measure the housing, traffic, and related impacts of UCSC growth.

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 opinions expressed are Mr. Patton’s. Gary has his own website, Two Worlds/365” – www.gapatton.net

LOCAL BOY MAKING VERY GOOD. Diane Grunes, well known and much loved area personality has a son named Danny. She says, “My son, Danny Grunes, along with some close friends, shot a commercial this year called “Doritos Dogs”, and submitted it to the final year of the “Doritos Crash The Super Bowl contest”. Out of over 4,500 entries, Good Morning America just announced…THEIR COMMERCIAL MADE THE TOP THREE!!! Now they need your help to win. If they get the most fan votes, “Doritos Dogs” will win $1 Million & it’ll air during Super Bowl 50!!! You can view the spot and vote once per day, per device Jan. 4 – 31 at this link: https://crashthesuperbowl.doritos.com/finalists and vote for “Doritos Dogs” (on the far right of the three commercials). If you want to stay updated on how they’re doing, follow their Facebook and Twitter pages for updates and exclusive content. I can’t thank you enough for helping Danny and his friends, by taking the time to vote, and for encouraging your friends and family to do the same. It would be so cool if “Doritos Dogs” won!!! PLEASE help by voting once per day, per device Jan. 4 – 31!!! Thank you so much, Diane D., a proud Mom.

CLASSICAL DeCINZO. DeCinzo and the Super Bowl see below!!!

EAGAN’S DEEP COVER. Tim assures us that the good old boys will live up to their name see downwards.

SANTA CRUZ CHAMBER PLAYERS. January 16, 17. The Chamber Players perform music by Albéniz, Tárrega, Manuel de Falla, Luys de Narváez and Chris Pratorius-Gómez in concerts titled ” Legends of Grenada:Musical Confections from the Heart of Andalusia” on

Saturday, January 16, 7:30 pm and Sunday, January 17, 3 pm. Featuring C.A. Jordon: soprano
Andrew Scott Carter: tenor, Jennifer Cass: harp, Kristin Garbeff: cello, Rob Watson: guitar, and David Long, piano. Chris Pratorius-Gómez, is the artistic director, piano player, and composer. Tickets at the door or online at http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/2156455 . It’s at The Christ Lutheran Church 10707 Soquel Drive in Aptos by the Freedom Blvd. turnoff from Hwy1.

SHAKESPEARE’S THE WINTERS TALE. THE KENNETH BRANAGH THEATRE COMPANY presents Judi Dench and Kenneth Branagh in Shakespeare’s the Winter’s Tale at the Del Mar Theatre Thursday Jan. 14 at 7:30pm & Sunday Jan. 17 at 11am. That’s the one with the great nutsy line “Exit, pursued by a bear”. It’s one of his “problem” plays it’s a bit romantic and a bit comedy, but with those two actors..it’ll be great.

8 TENS @ 8. The “B” plays. I’ve seen just about every 10 minute play ever produced by the Eight Tens group. This year there are two nights of eight plays each. I saw Group B last Saturday and must tell you they comprised just about the best evening of Eight Tens I’ve ever seen. I’d guess that the Group A might be just as good. As usual the plays range from deeply serious and unfathomable to nutsy and hilarious. Go see them.

LISA JENSEN LINKS. Lisa writes: “It’s been quiet over at Lisa Jensen Online Express (http://ljo-express.blogspot.com) so far in the new year, as I slog through the final edits for my next book. I should be in Virgo Heaven, but it’s…so…much…work. Will I ever make it to the finish line? Stay tuned…” 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 REVENANT. Big Golden Globes winner for best Drama film and for Leonardo DiCaprio’s best acting and Alejandro Inarritu for best Director. Set in the 1820’s its about Leonardo and his fellow fur trappers being attacked or occasionally helped by Indian tribes such as the Ree, the Ankara,the Pawnee and the Sioux. DeCaprio almost dies from a bear attack and spends the rest of the film crawling and freezing his way to revenge the trappers who left him to die. DeCaprio has only 15 lines in English, he takes off his clothes and sleeps inside a dead horse (after removing the guts) and then he wins the Golden Globes!!! Go figure.

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

THE HATEFUL EIGHT. Quentin Tarantino is BACK! A beautiful film. A plot as intriguing as Agatha Christies “Ten Little Indians”and acting as great as any we’ve ever seen. With a cast consisting of Samuel Jackson, Kurt Russell, Tim Roth, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Bruce Dern, Michael Madsen, and Channing Tatum and written and directed by Quentin hisself, how can we miss? It’s in the Pulp Fiction, Reservoir Dogs vein. It’s bloody, beyond violent, extremly funny, thought provoking and mystfying. Go see it on some big screen.

STAR WARS The Force Awakens STINKS & MORE. I was actually stunned when I left the theatre after viewing Star Wars: The Force Awakens. My sister and friends immediately asked what I thought about the film, I couldn’t even think about it as I would have with any other film I’ve reviewed in the last 40 plus years. Then I read Michael Hiltzik’s business column in the 12/30/15 edition of the L.A. Times. Michael’s new book is titled Big Science. His column is titled, “Why Star Wars Stinks”. In it he tells how the film is unimaginative, dull in long stretches, and is a poor copy of the original 1977 Star Wars. He says and I agree that it’s not a movie.”It’s the anchoring element of a vast commercial program”. He goes on to say that this film will bring in nearly 5 Billion dollars and that because of the related product sales it wouldn’t matter if NO ONE SAW the film, it still would make those profits. The plot is obscure, the art work is wonderful, and it’s cold, impersonal, and dull Read the critique above. This is not a movie, it’s a product placement showcase for Disney productions and world wide toy manufacturers.

BROOKLYN. Whew…I knew I loved this film and now I see that Rotten Tomatoes gives it 100% Saoirse Ronan plays the lead Irish (very Irish) girl who comes to New York City in the 1950’s. She adjusts then falls in love with an Italian (very Italian) young man. That seems to be ok but she has to return to Ireland on a visit and falls in love with a young Irish (very) young man. It’s not too funny, it’s deep, profound, wrenching and perfect acting. You could easily loose your heart in this film. See it, if you like wonderful films. It also stars (in a smaller role) Jessica Pare who you’ll for sure remember as Megan Draper, Don Draper’s dark- haired sexy wife in Mad Men.

THE DANISH GIRL. Eddie Redmayne as one of the world’s first transgendered males is of course the main attraction. But Alicia Vikander as his wife and main support, actually does a better job of acting. The script stalls and sleeps part way through, and the pacing is eccentric but you’ll watch it all the way just to see how it ends. Redmayne (who is 33) won an Oscar nomination for his body- bending role as Stephen Hawking in “The Theory of Everything” last year, is being touted for it again this year. Remember him in “My Week with Marilyn”? He’s an excellent actor and will probably play a tree or a screwdriver or a python next, but I’m not betting on him winning anything for this film.

SPOTLIGHT. Lots of Oscar buzz around this excellent film. When you have a cast like Mark Ruffalo, Michale Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Billy Crudup, Stanley Tucci and Live Schreiber and a plot involving the Roman Catholic church’s child molesting priests and the “official cover-up” you got a winner. It’s shocking, even though you think you know all there is to know. When you add in the current troubles the Vatican is having…you’ve got a very sick institution. It’s newspaper business at its best. It’s also reporting such as no newspaper can afford today…you’ll see how important that is/was. Rotten Tomatoes gives it a 97%!!!

YOUTH. Do go prepared for a meditation on old age, death, love, marriage, fame, and acting.

It’s impressionistic, symbolic, intellectual, dream-like…and not easy to follow. Michael Caine

shows how much better an actor he is than co-star Harvey Keitel, and It’s also an excellent film. If you saw “The Great Beauty” a few years ago by the same director, Paolo Sorrentino you’ll have a clue about his approach to life and aging. “Youth” doesn’t compare with “The Great Beauty”, which was/is a masterpiece.

CONCUSSION.This could have been a contender for the much deserved revealing of the role the NFL plays in the maiming and killing of football players. Will Smith does the best he can with a sanitized script as a Doctor from Nigeria tries to stop the 28% or more players develop long term brain/mental problems. Alec Baldwin and Albert Brooks add some drama but the movie is too soft, too Hollywood, too cute to be the driving force necessary to change the way the NFL plays ball. Read today’s issue (Jan. 4) of the Huffington Post to see reactions to concussions and the National Football League. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/news/nfl-concussions

IN THE HEART OF THE SEA. It’s about this whale, sort of an early Jaws, look- a- like movie. Supposedly it’s like a prequel to Moby Dick. It’s got some great scenes and interesting moments but it isn’t put together in any logical or interesting way. You can skip this one too.

SISTERS. This is an almost perfect example of a trash movie. Amy Poehler and Tina Fey outdo each other with crotch, sex, poop and pee jokes that aren’t funny. It’s a shame to see these obviously brilliant, smart, tasteful women sink so low that they have to take roles in movies this low class. Don’t go and don’t let anyone you care for go either.

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. . On January 12 actors Scott Kravitz and Mar Nae Taylor discuss this years “8 TENS @ 8″ plays playing Jan. 8- Feb. 7, they’re followed by Cesario Ruiz telling us all about “My Mom’s Mole’ “ his new culinary food start-up. January 19 has Tisha Nusbaum from the Pacific Arts Complex talking about her dance classes and other programs. Bob Taren Worker’s Comp attorney returns to talk about local issues. Veterans Advocate Dean Kaufman and Veteran Buzz Gray discuss Journey for Change and The Veterans Court on Jan. 26. Linda Burman-Hall reveals the Santa Cruz Baroque Festival’s new season on February 2. 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

NEW 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, 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.

QUOTES. About FLOODS

“The flood of money that gushes into politics today is a pollution of democracy” Theodore White. “The flood of print has turned reading into a process of gulping rather than savoring” Raymond Chandler. “We must build dikes of courage to hold back the flood of fear”, Martin Luther King, Jr.

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
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Direct email: Bratton@Cruzio.com

Direct phone: 831 423-2468

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BEST OF VINTAGE STEVEN DeCINZO.

Deep Cover by Tim Eagan.

Posted in Weekly Articles | Comments Off on January 13 – 19, 2016

January 6 – 12, 2016

THE RAINS CAME. 1958. This is between Front Street and the river. That’s the Garibaldi Hotel which was built in 1894 and demolished in 1958. It was on an island, according to John Chase’s book, which you had to reach by a pedestrian bridge from the end of Cooper Street.

photo credit: Covello & Covello Historical photo collection.

Additional information always welcome: email photo@brattononline.com

DATELINE January 4, 2016

ZINGER BOOK REVIEW OF PAGE SMITH’S “NEW BOOK”. I like the L.A. Times much more than the San Francisco Chronicle and read it daily when I’m in that area. I was surprised to read in the Book Review section of the Sunday, Dec.27 issue written by David Treuer that there are 2 “fresh” (ie newly released) books on American Indian history. “Masters of Empire” by Michael A. McDonnell and a big surprise, ” Tragic Encounters: The People’s History of Native Americans” by Page Smith. It was discovered and published posthumously by Counterpoint Press. (He died in 1995). Treuer says “Tragic Encounters” occupies an unusual place in his oeuvre, but it bears his typical style”.He goes on to say there are problems with Page’s framing and language, generalizations, it lacks research, and he didn’t like Page’s use of the word “Squaw”. He then goes on to say that the other book “Masters” by Michael McDonnell is a work of genius. Here’s a link to a Chicago Tribune copy of the same review

http://www.chicagotribune.com/la-ca-jc-native-american-histories-20151227-story.html . I hadn’t read a word or even heard about this “new’ book and I also didn’t know that Page’s first name was Charles.

STAR WARS MISTAKES.
MONKEY SEES A MAGIC TRICK.
BLIND ALGERIAN MAN AND HIS UNIQUE GUITAR.
BLOOPERS, YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN.

STAR WARS STINKS & MORE. I was actually stunned when I left the theatre after viewing Star Wars: The Force Awakens. My sister and friends asked what I thought about the film, I couldn’t even think about it as I would have with any other film I’ve reviewed in the last 40 plus years. Then I read Michael Hiltzik’s business column in the 12/30/15 edition of the L.A. Times. Michael’s new book is titled Big Science. His column is titled, “Why Star Wars Stinks”. In it he tells how the film is unimaginative, dull in long stretches, and is a poor copy of the original 1977 Star Wars. He says, and I agree, that it’s not a movie; “It’s the anchoring element of a vast commercial program”. He goes on to say that this film will bring in nearly 5 Billion dollars and that because of the related product sales it wouldn’t matter if NO ONE SAW the film, it still would make those profits. The plot is obscure, the art work is wonderful, and it’s cold, impersonal, and dull. That’s why I asked Doug Esterline to give us his opinions.

DOUG ESTERLINE ON STAR WARS. I’ve known Doug Esterline for many years. He oversees the second longest airplane runway in North America, and deals with private and commercial airlines from all over the world. To put it mildly, he’s a Star Wars fan, enthusiast, follower and expert. He has seen the first six episodes of Star Wars “hundreds of times”. He too was not very excited about this latest “Episode”. In case you too haven’t memorized the titles and the years the Episodes were filmed, here’s a guide…

  • Episode 4 A New Hope. (the first in 1977)
  • Episode 5 The Empire Strikes Back (1980)
  • Episode 6 Return of The Jedi (1983)
  • Episode 1 The Phantom Menace (1999)
  • Episode 2 Attack of the Clones (2002)
  • Episode 3 Revenge of the Sith (2005)
  • Episode 7 The Force Awakens (2015)

I asked Doug for a critique/review. He wrote…

First of all, I am a HUGE Star Wars fan. I grew up watching what we now know as Episodes 4, 5, and 6. Although some of the purists disagree, the 3 prequels for the most part did justice to the series. I felt an excited nervous anticipation following the announcement of Episode 7. So many sequels to previous movies have weakened the legacy of their predecessors. Others have enhanced it. Would it continue an already incredible series? Would it be best to let it stay as is?

First for the positives, the acting was top notch, particularly that of Harrison Ford. The comedic responses were well timed and not overbearing. There were no lame, annoying characters such as Jar Jar Binks or Ewoks. The action sequences and special effects did not disappoint. However, every film has its flaws, and this episode had too many glaring ones to ignore. The heroes of Episodes 4-6, whose “can do approach” to the challenges they faced lead the Rebel Alliance to victory, just seemed to roll over and give up in The Force Awakens. Luke disappears when his student Kylo Ren turns against him. R2-D2 just checks out following Luke’s disappearance. Han and Leia, whose love was unstoppable in Episodes 5-6, go their separate ways at the first crisis: Kylo Ren’s (their son’s) defection. Han Solo, so battle savvy, who won the Millenium Falcon from Lando Calrissian, somehow loses the Millenium Falcon after Episode 6.

Now for some other issues contributing to the weak story line. Why wasn’t Leia trained in the ways of the Force? How come the dark side has more of a presence than the Jedi (after the Sith were destroyed at the end of Episode 6 and the prophecy from Episode 1 was fulfilled)? How did Luke’s blue lightsaber, which he lost after having his hand cut off in Episode 5, show up unexplained over 30 years later? How does Darth Vader’s mask, which presumably burned up at the end of Episode 6, show up in Kylo Ren’s possession? Where was Lando Calrissian (the guy who blew up the 2nd Death Star)? How does Rey, with no explained training, soundly defeat Kylo Ren(who had explained training) during their climatic lightsaber duel? Why was Han Solo so surprised at seeing the effects of Chewbacca’s crossbow? They had been friends for over 30 years and somehow he never picked up on that before? Please. C3PO’s red arm was just stupid; no reason for it – just a cheesy gimmick. And now for the worst part of the story line; the death of Han Solo left me feeling like I had been kicked (hard) in the gut. As I said previously, he was one of the heroes I grew up watching. Had this been a stand alone movie, this would have been a lot easier to take. To sum up, the release of this movie proved my worst fears about this new release to be true. A story line that weakens the series and the lame disposal of one of the heroes of movies past ranks Episode 7 at the bottom of the Star Wars series. Sometimes, its just good to let a good thing be. A sequel is not always a good move. Sadly, Episode 7 illustrates this point all too clearly.

ACADEMY AWARDS AND DOCUMENTARIES. Once again, in reading the L.A. Times last week I learned that in order for a documentary to qualify for an Academy Award it must be actually reviewed in either the L.A. Times or The New York Times. Yep, the latest L.A. Times issues are loaded with reviews of documentaries. The Academy also says … What advertisements are required? The ad may be as simple or as elaborate as you wish. However, it must be a minimum of one inch by two inches and must include the film title, exhibition times and dates for all screenings of the film. The ad must run in The New York Times, Time Out New York or The Village Voice (New York); Los Angeles Times or LA Weekly (Los Angeles). Please note: a theater listing or theater grid will NOT meet this requirement. It must be a separate ad for the film only.

ELERICK’S INPUT. Mr. Paul Elerick of Aptos writes…

EVENTS TO WATCH FOR IN 2016

The Apple Barn scheduled to be moved to kick off the Aptos Village Development will not survive. It will be damaged beyond repair by the movers with nothing more than an “oopsie” by Barry Swenson Builders to explain what happened. BSB will then request a major modification to their building permit to accommodate the grocery store planned to be housed in the old Apple Barn.

The “business community” will do serious soul searching before they decide whether or not to support a campaign to fund the transportation ballot measure in November 2016. Why? The Highway 1 widening Draft EIR predicts a miniscule amount of congestion relief by adding three new sections of auxiliary lanes reaching to State Park Drive, not what Highway 1 widening supporters may take issue with. Unless both sides of the Highway issue get together an agree on what the final contents of the Transportation Ballot measure are, it will either not make the ballot or fail miserably, the worst possible outcome.

Take Back Santa Cruz will have their credibility tested in the 2016 Santa Cruz City Council elections. You can guess which current and former council members will have TBSC backing, but it’s not at all clear about who their opponents from the real world will be.

And last, but the most painful to see will be the incredible traffic jams in and around the community of Aptos once the Aptos Village construction actually starts.

(Paul Elerick is co-chair with Jack Nelson of the Campaign for Sensible Transportation, http://sensibletransportation.org , and he’s a member of Nisene 2 Sea, a group of open space advocates).

HOUSING HYPE.

As a finale for 2015, the Sentinel ran a series of articles reminding us of the high cost of housing in Santa Cruz and the impossibility of trying to find an affordable rental unit. Personal hardship stories were moving. I don’t lack sympathy for those with limited means being faced with escalating rents and can only thank providence for my moving to Santa Cruz long ago, when rents were $100 a month and a decent house could be bought for under $100 thousand. Had I not arrived then, I would not be living here now. Mindful of my privileged status as an early resident, I am nonetheless critical of some of the assumptions and conclusions surrounding the discussion on the housing “crisis”. It is a wolf in sheep’s clothing.

A common establishment view of the cause of the current housing crisis in Santa Cruz is the no-growth (more accurately, slow-growth) policies adopted in the 1970’s. If only we had been able to build more housing, so the logic goes, we would not be in this mess. This view fails to recognize that housing is a commodity, profit is the goal, demand is manipulated and supply has hardly been static. I’ve watched as housing developments have been built over the past 40 years with ads running in out-of-town newspapers encouraging folks to “come live by the sea in sunny Santa Cruz.” Others, such as 1010 Pacific, were promoted to council as homes for our police, fire and teachers but in reality turned out to be just more student housing. I watch as city departments introduce to Santa Cruz City Council their out-of-town new hires who are “looking forward to bringing their families to live in Santa Cruz.” I watch the UCSC student population increase from 6,000 in 1979 to almost 18,000 in 2015. With half the student population opting to live off-campus, with many parents paying their rents and frequently offering to pay more than the asking price, locals who seek rental housing are out-bid. I watch as Santa Cruz is marketed on a global scale, eyed by many upscale visitors as a place for a second or third home, or for an investment property, with Airbnb waiting to help with the mortgage and therefore raising the value and ultimately the cost of all Santa Cruz housing stock big-time.

Another common establishment view is that nothing gets built in Santa Cruz because of city rules and regulations, no-growth council members or NIMBY neighbors. This is simply not the case. It’s been decades since any city council majority failed to support a housing or hotel development. Neighbors who turn out to council to plea for some respite from the impacts of height and scale variances for new large-scale developments are ignored. Even pleas to save a few long-established street trees are ignored, as was the case with a recently- approved housing development on lower Seabright Avenue.

There has actually been a lot of new housing stock built, approved, under construction or pending in our city which has a supposed water crisis in dry years and a road carrying capacity at overload. Recently constructed are: 21 apartments; 9 studio units; 24 condos and a 13- lot subdivision. Under construction are: 248 residential units; 10 apartments and an 8-lot subdivision. Recently approved are 94 small units; 20 apartments; 4 condos; 36 townhouses and 126 units. Pending are 58 condos. Since developers can pay in-lieu fees instead of including the required small number of affordable units, all of this development is most likely market-rate, is advertized outside Santa Cruz and will likely be occupied by new arrivals or current and future students.

It is in this context that we should be more critical of the Corridors Development Project that is working its way through city staff, consultants, Commissions and ultimately to council. I have written before how this project will drastically alter our town for the worse. This in-filling, dense, “smart-growth” approach is already being challenged in Portland as not delivering on its promises but rather has exacerbated overcrowding, traffic congestion and given speculation, has not made housing any more affordable. Our experience will be no different.

(Gillian Greensite is a long time local activist, 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).

PATTON’S LAND USE REPORT. Gary’s newly condensed KUSP report contains …

Abbott Square is located right in the heart of downtown Santa Cruz, at the corner of Cooper and Front Streets. It’s currently home to Lulu Carpenter’s coffeehouse, prominent on the corner. Lulu’s occupies the lovely brick “Octagon” that was once the County’s official Hall of Records. Adjacent to the Octagon is what used to be the County Jail, now a refurbished edifice occupied by the local offices of the California Coastal Commission and the Museum of Art and History. If the Museum gets its wish, Abbott Square will shortly be transformed. On Wednesday, January 6th, at 10:00 a.m., the City’s Zoning Administrator will consider whether or not to issue an Administrative Use Permit and Design Permit to develop Abbott Square into a community plaza and public market. If the requested permits are approved, the reconfigured Abbott Square will become home to seven eating and drinking establishments (four restaurants, two food kiosks, and one bar) with outdoor seating, low-risk alcohol service, and incidental, live, outdoor entertainment. You can get links to the staff report, and to the Zoning Administrator agenda, at kusp.org/landuse. If you think you have a stake in how the Santa Cruz downtown looks, and operates, it would be good to check out the details, outlined in the thirteen-page staff report.

There is an”unhidden agenda” for the Land Use Report. I am trying to stimulate listeners to get personally involved in the land use decision making process. I had such an experience myself, in the early 1970’s, when I joined a community group that was trying to “Save Lighthouse Field” in the City of Santa Cruz. If you have ever been out to Lighthouse Point, located at the very northernmost point of Monterey Bay, you will know that our efforts were successful! The success of the Save Lighthouse Point Association changed local politics in Santa Cruz, with the big change being that community residents suddenly saw that their personal involvement in local land use matters could actually make a big difference. It’s still true! Hence, the “unhidden agenda” of this Land Use Report.

I am kicking off the New Year, this week, with a refresher course in what it takes to be effective as a concerned member of the community, as the land use decision making process moves ahead at the local government level. Land use decisions often have a truly determinative effect on what our communities will be like in the future. So, if you care about the economic, social, and environmental aspects of the community in which you live, you should get personally involved! You are going to have to be involved in local politics, if you want to have an impact on land use. That is a basic feature of American democracy, so if you don’t like “politics,” get over it! Let’s cleanse our politics from the inside out, instead of just bitching about bad political decisions.

Here is “Step Two.” Realize that “Good Things Come To Those Who Don’t Wait.” You really need to get ahead of the curve if you want to have an impact. You should be working on land use issues far in advance of that final public hearing. You need to decide that you care enough that you will study up in advance, so that you will know at least as much about the local land use issues you are working on as the planners do! Otherwise, they’re going to tell you what is going to happen, and the public is actually supposed to tell them! 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 opinions expressed are Mr. Patton’s. Gary has his own website, Two Worlds/365” – www.gapatton.net

CLASSICAL DeCINZO. Yosemite Restoration, over and over. See below.

EAGAN’S DEEP COVER. Hitting the target, Eagan style. Scroll downwards.

8 TENS AT 8. This year’s Festival presents 16 short plays, 8 each night, playing in repertiore.

“A” and ‘B” nights rotate over the 5-week Festival.

A” Night plays

  • FOLLOWING MS. SERGEANT by Alie Mac | Directed by Anita Natale
  • THE ITALIAN PRISONER by Paul Lewis | Directed by Brian Spencer
  • GOOD MEDICINE by Rod McFadden | Directed by Joyce Michaelson
  • A SHARED VIEW by Mary Caroline Rogers | Directed by Audrey Stanley
  • YOU TOO by Tim Woods | Directed by Scott Kravitz
  • JANIS GIVES COMFORT by Carol Keig | Directed by Kathryn Adkins
  • THREATENED PANDA FIGHTS BACK by Rex McGregor | Directed by Helene Simkin Jara
  • FLIRTING WITH AGE by Jack Spagnola | Directed by Gerry Gerringer
B” Night plays

  • ‘TIS A TALE by Brian Spencer | Directed by Robin Aronson
  • GOSPEL ACCORDING TO BOWSER by Dan Borengasser | Directed by Wadsworth /Serman
  • COLOR ME SCREWED by Nedra Pezold Roberts | Directed by Daria Troxell
  • POOL PARTY by Ian McRae | Directed by Joan Van Antwerp
  • MILLERS OF CONNECTICUT by Zazu Lein | Directed by Davis Banta
  • ROCK, PAPER, SCISSORS by Keith Sanders | Directed by Evan Hunt
  • DOCTOR’S ORDERS by Clark Coleman | Directed by Alfred Muller
  • SALT AND PEPPER by Clifford Henderson | Directed by MarNae Taylor

All the plays happen at the Center Stage Theatre 1001 Center Street. Buy tickets at

http://www.sccat.org/#!tickets/c1fvn

ESPRESSIVO ORCHESTRA CONCERT. January 7. Michel Singher conductor and artistic director of the new, small, intense Espressivo Orchestra presents Gustav Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde (The Song of Earthly Existence) in the instrumental reduction for 15 players by Arnold Scho¨nberg and Rainer Riehn featuring Adam Klein, Tenor and Susanne Mentzer, Alto. It’s happening this Thursday January 7 at 7pm in the Peace United Church of Christ at 900 High Street.Tickets at the door or online at https://espressivo.tixato.com/buy .

SANTA CRUZ CHAMBER PLAYERS. January 16, 17. The Chamber Players perform music by Albéniz, Tárrega, Manuel de Falla, Luys de Narváez and Chris Pratorius-Gómez in concerts titled Legends of Grenada:Musical Confections from the Heart of Andalusia on Saturday, January 16, 7:30 pm and Sunday, January 17, 3 pm. Featuring C.A. Jordon: soprano Andrew Scott Carter: tenor, Jennifer Cass: harp, Kristin Garbeff: cello, Rob Watson: guitar, and David Long, piano. Chris Pratorius-Gómez, is the artistic director, piano player, and composer. Tickets at the door or online at brownpapertickets.com . It’s at The Christ Lutheran Church 10707 Soquel Drive in Aptos by the Freedom Blvd. turnoff from Hwy1.

LISA JENSEN LINKS. Lisa writes: “What were my favorite movies of 2015? Stream these for a happy new year, this week at Lisa Jensen Online Express (http://ljo-express.blogspot.com).” 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 HATEFUL EIGHT. Quentin Tarantino is BACK! A beautiful film. A plot as intriguing as Agatha Christies “Ten Little Indians”and acting as great as any we’ve ever seen. With a cast consisting of Samuel Jackson, Kurt Russell, Tim Roth, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Bruce Dern, Michael Madsen, and Channing Tatum and written and directed by Quentin hisself, how can we miss? It’s in the Pulp Fiction, Reservoir Dogs vein. It’s bloody, beyond violent, extremly funny, thought provoking and mystfying. Go see it on some big screen.

STAR WARS:The Force Awakens. Read the critique above. This is not a movie, it’s a product placement showcase for Disney productions and world wide toy manufacturers.

CONCUSSION.This could have been a contender for the much deserved revealing of the role the NFL plays in the maiming and killing of football players. Will Smith does the best he can with a sanitized script as a Doctor from Nigeria tries to stop the 28% or more players develop long term brain/mental problems. Alec Baldwin and Albert Brooks add some drama but the movie is too soft, too Hollywood, too cute to be the driving force necessary to change the way the NFL plays ball. Read today’s issue (Jan. 4) of the Huffington Post to see reactions to concussions and the National Football League. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/news/nfl-concussions

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

BROOKLYN. Whew…I knew I loved this film and now I see that Rotten Tomatoes gives it 100% Saoirse Ronan plays the lead Irish (very Irish) girl who comes to New York City in the 1950’s. She adjusts then falls in love with an Italian (very Italian) young man. That seems to be ok but she has to return to Ireland on a visit and falls in love with a young Irish (very) young man. It’s not too funny, it’s deep, profound, wrenching and perfect acting. You could easily loose your heart in this film. See it, if you like wonderful films. It also stars (in a smaller role) Jessica Pare who you’ll for sure remember as Megan Draper, Don Draper’s dark- haired sexy wife in Mad Men.

THE DANISH GIRL. Eddie Redmayne as one of the world’s first transgendered males is of course the main attraction. But Alicia Vikander as his wife and main support, actually does a better job of acting. The script stalls and sleeps part way through, and the pacing is eccentric but you’ll watch it all the way just to see how it ends. Redmayne (who is 33) won an Oscar nomination for his body- bending role as Stephen Hawking in “The Theory of Everything” last year, is being touted for it again this year. Remember him in “My Week with Marilyn”? He’s an excellent actor and will probably play a tree or a screwdriver or a python next, but I’m not betting on him winning anything for this film.

SPOTLIGHT. Lots of Oscar buzz around this excellent film. When you have a cast like Mark Ruffalo, Michale Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Billy Crudup, Stanley Tucci and Live Schreiber and a plot involving the Roman Catholic church’s child molesting priests and the “official cover-up” you got a winner. It’s shocking, even though you think you know all there is to know. When you add in the current troubles the Vatican is having…you’ve got a very sick institution. It’s newspaper business at its best. It’s also reporting such as no newspaper can afford today…you’ll see how important that is/was. Rotten Tomatoes gives it a 97%!!!

YOUTH. Do go prepared for a meditation on old age, death, love, marriage, fame, and acting.
It’s impressionistic, symbolic, intellectual, dream-like…and not easy to follow. Michael Caine

shows how much better an actor he is than co-star Harvey Keitel, and It’s also an excellent film. If you saw “The Great Beauty” a few years ago by the same director, Paolo Sorrentino you’ll have a clue about his approach to life and aging. “Youth” doesn’t compare with “The Great Beauty”, which was/is a masterpiece.

IN THE HEART OF THE SEA. It’s about this whale, sort of an early Jaws, look- a- like movie. Supposedly it’s like a prequel to Moby Dick. It’s got some great scenes and interesting moments but it isn’t put together in any logical or interesting way. You can skip this one too.

SISTERS. This is an almost perfect example of a trash movie. Amy Poehler and Tina Fey outdo each other with crotch, sex, poop and pee jokes that aren’t funny. It’s a shame to see these obviously brilliant, smart, tasteful women sink so low that they have to take roles in movies this low class. Don’t go and don’t let anyone you care for go either.

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. On Jan. 5th Gary Patton former Santa Cruz County Supervisor, talks about PCL (Planning & Conservation League) and the work they do stopping state –wide undesirable development. He’s followed by author, physicist, quantum realist, Nick Herbert. On January 12 actors Scott Kravitz and Mar Nae Taylor discuss this years “8 x 10’s @ 8″ plays playing Jan. 8- Feb. 7, they’re followed by Cesario Ruiz telling us all about “My Mom’s Mole’ ” his new culinary start-up. Do remember, any and all suggestions for future programs are more than welcome so tune in, and keep listening. Email me always at bratton@cruzio.com

NEW 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, 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.

QUOTES. “Yesterday, everybody smoked his last cigar, took his last drink and swore his last oath. Today, we are a pious and exemplary community. Thirty days from now, we shall have cast our reformation to the winds and gone to cutting our ancient shortcomings considerably shorter than ever”, Mark Twain. “New Year’s Resolution: To tolerate fools more gladly, provided this does not encourage them to take up more of my time”, James Agate. “Making resolutions is a cleansing ritual of self-assessment and repentance that demands personal honesty and, ultimately, reinforces humility. Breaking them is part of the cycle”, Eric Zorn.

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 @ gunilla@thegoldenfleece.com

BEST OF VINTAGE STEVEN DeCINZO.

Deep Cover by Tim Eagan.

Posted in Weekly Articles | Comments Off on January 6 – 12, 2016

December 22, 2015 – January 4, 2016

SANTA’S VILLAGE May 9, 1959. Youngsters won’t be impressed, but that’s Liberace’s brother George in the plaid jacket. He played the violin. That’s the late magician “Hocus Pocus” not dressed in his usual clown outfit, but as Santa. I don’t know who the geeky looking guy in the short pants and bow tie with his hand on George’s shoulder is…does anybody?

Ps. Next week I’m taking my usual vacation to Mar Vista by the ocean and Victorville by the something else. Happy Holidays and stay in touch.

photo credit: Covello & Covello Historical photo collection.

Additional information always welcome: email photo@brattononline.com

DATELINE December 21, 2015

LOST WORLD 1966. I’ve always thought our Scotts Valley grafted and mutiliated tree collection was called “Tree Circus” or “Trees of Mystery”. This footage shows vintage signs stating it’s Lost World. So where were the plaster dinosaurs and T. Rexes that once stuck out above the trees …and what was that place called?

MORE LOST WORLD. This vintage video shows Santa’s Village, Trees of Mystery, and Roaring Camp. Plus some dinosaurs!!

TOURIST TRAPPING. Monterey and Carmel have always beaten Santa Cruz in terms of the number and quality of tourists they draw. Their tourists stay overnight in comparison to our annual 3,500,000 Boardwalk tourists who come here from the valley and go home that same day. This morning’s S.F. Chronicle (12/21/15) had a long article titled, “Shuttered Santa Cruz ghost of Christmas past draws faithful flock”. It was all about our Scotts Valley Santa’s Village.

The village opened in 1957 it was sold in 1966 and again in 1977 according to The Chron and struggled a few more years and closed forever. The Highway 17 “Santa’s Village Road” off-ramp sign is still there today. Monterey’s Aquarium draws almost 2 million tourists annually if you’re counting, and they also have The Cannery. It seems our side of the Bay has always tried to bring in the tourist bucks. Consider Roaring Camp and The Mystery Spot, both still open and successful. There’s also the various attractions that have folded at the summit of Highway 17. Then of course we have to factor in the number of tourists (parents, friends, etc.) that UCSC attracts each year.

UCSC CHANCELLOR GEORGE BLUMENTHAL & UNIVERSAL GRAPEVINE. The chancellor was amazingly candid during his U. Grapevine interview last Tuesday (12/15). He talked and easily gave us much background on such “hot issues” as The Highway 6 and their suspension, Shakespeare Santa Cruz’s exit from the Glen, problems with housing students, the development of “North Campus“and water, the influence of Silicon Valley, the colleges and themes and changes in the last 50 years…and theoretically astro-physically speaking, about the changing distance between the earth and moon!! Tune in Tuesday Dec. 29 they’ll be re-playing it (7-8 p.m.) while I’m on vacation or go to http://www.radiofreeamerica.com/dj/bruce-bratton if you want to hear it right now.

LANDMARK THEATRE NEWS. If you want to keep in touch with all the films and all the screen times at our three local Landmark theatres (Nicklelodeon, Del Mar, and Aptos Cinemas) you really should subscribe to the Landmark Newsletter. It will also list telecasts by the National Theatre Live, The Royal Shakespeare Company, The Royal Opera House, and the Globe Onscreen screenings of live performances. Go here to link up…

SIDEWALK CAFÉ IDEA! Do we want more tourists traipsing around? Judi Grunstra sent this idea: Parked Bench.

GREENSITE’S INSIGHT.

ON A PERSONAL NOTE:

I’d like to end the year on a more personal note than is usual. Writing a weekly critical perspective on local politics for BrattonOnline is rewarding for me and I hope for some of you too. In a recent conversation with a close friend, I wondered aloud if I was coming across as a ruthless critic of everything existing? Not that I’d mind that reputation too much, although personal stereotypes can be exploited to weaken the message. And even in 2015, women are still given less slack to be outspoken and direct, compared to their male counterparts. While I have no plans to be less critical in the new year, so long as the powers that be keep providing excellent targets, I’d like to share a little of the context for my thinking and writing.

I arrived in Santa Cruz from Australia in 1975. Assured that Santa Cruz was a small town, I was already complaining that small towns don’t have freeways as we drove up Highway 17, not yet accustomed to the fact that freeways were the norm in the US. Although I love the excitement of a big city, my heart and contentment are rural. I’ve always loved big trees, the sound of the wind roaring through their canopies, their beauty, from massive trunks to the tiniest of leaves, taking in and storing carbon dioxide and giving us oxygen; what a gift! That they were worshipped by cultures far more tuned to nature than our nature-dominating world is a real tug for me. When I moved to the lower Westside in 1979, beautiful big trees were a common feature of the neighborhoods. One by one they were cut down, usually for no better reason than a dislike for big trees on the part of new homeowners and absentee landowners. As I learned the ropes of city politics, along with like-minded neighbors, I tried to save some of these trees. Through this process I learned that the deck is stacked. Staff reports are written not to present the facts but to favor one party, usually the one with influence and money. It is a subtle form of corruption. I doubt money changes hands. Of course I am an optimist. Councils come and go and most praise staff, rarely do they challenge the bias, either from too much work to do or because they agree with the agenda. This situation is not unique to Santa Cruz. We live in a commodified world. “Tech the Halls” and “Happy Honda Days” seep into our consciousness and replace old time greetings. Hotels are imposed on neighborhoods. Density and infilling masquerade as “affordable” housing. Economic development is courted at a time when we need to be living within our dwindling supply of natural resources. I understand why many prefer to opt out of politics although for me it is the stuff of life. And there are successes. We did just prevail in the lawsuit, Save Our Big Trees v. City of Santa Cruz. And committed activists defeated the city’s effort to impose a desalination plant on our community. Reasons for celebration! Happy New Year to all!

(Gillian Greensite is a long time local activist, 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).

PATTON’S LAND USE REPORT. Gary’s newly condensed KUSP report contains …

When the public invests huge amounts of money in providing new infrastructure, it properly expects that this new infrastructure will be used to its capacity. If a new highway is created, for example, often costing hundreds of millions of dollars, the public should expect that the new facilities will be used. That does turn out to be the case, too. When a highway is widened, or a new highway is constructed, traffic patterns change, and “induced demand” calls people onto the new highway that wouldn’t have gone there before. Congestion relief is often (in fact usually) very temporary. Again, that only makes sense. When the public spends lots of money for a new highway or a highway widening project, it will end up using that new capacity.

This is holiday time, and one of the big ones, but what’s the land use connection? I could talk about the affordable housing situation in Judea, two thousand years ago, and opine that maybe not much has changed, but let me tie, instead, to a more modern reflection on the Christmas Holiday. Let’s contemplate Scrooge, in Dickens’ wonderful tale, “A Christmas Carol.”

This year, in the land use arena, Scrooge is being played by the University of California at Santa Cruz, which has kicked Santa Cruz Shakespeare out of its traditional venue at “the Glen,” located on the UCSC campus. Because the University has decided that there is “no room in the Glen” for Santa Cruz Shakespeare, this beloved theatre group is having to search for new lodgings.

And behold, they have found a possible home, and are proposing to hold summer performances in DeLaveaga Park, located above the Prospect Heights area in the City of Santa Cruz. Santa Cruz Shakespeare has proposed a project consisting of a Design Permit, Slope Variance, and Watercourse Development Permit to construct an outdoor theatre that can accommodate an audience of 483 persons. Nearby residents are not, necessarily, thrilled. If you want to get involved, I have links to more information at kusp.org/landuse. Comments on the proposed Negative Declaration must be filed by January 12th.

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 opinions expressed are Mr. Patton’s. Gary has his own website, Two Worlds/365” – www.gapatton.net

CLASSICAL DeCINZO. DeCinzo’s take on tightening air flight security…see below.

EAGAN’S DEEP COVER. From deep in Tim Eagan’s super classic Subsconscious Comics comes this week’s season saga…scroll down.

LISA JENSEN LINKS. Lisa writes: “A couple of splendidly nuanced performances from Eddie Redmayne and Alicia Vikander highlight The Danish Girl, this week at Lisa Jensen Online Express (http://ljo-express.blogspot.com).” Lisa has been writing film reviews and columns for Good Times since 1975.

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

YOUTH. Do go prepared for a meditation on old age, death, love, marriage, fame, and acting.
It’s impressionistic, symbolic, intellectual, dream-like…and not easy to follow. Michael Caine shows how much better an actor he is than co-star Harvey Keitel, and It’s also an excellent film. If you saw “The Great Beauty” a few years ago by the same director, Paolo Sorrentino you’ll have a clue about his approach to life and aging. “Youth” doesn’t compare with “The Great Beauty”, which was/is a masterpiece.

THE DANISH GIRL. Eddie Redmayne as one of the world’s first transgendered males is of course the main attraction. But Alicia Vikander as his wife and main support, actually does a better job of acting. The script stalls and sleeps part way through, and the pacing is eccentric but you’ll watch it all the way just to see how it ends. Redmayne (who is 33) won an Oscar nomination for his body-bending role as Stephen Hawking in “The Theory of Everything” last year, is being touted for it again this year. Remember him in “My Week with Marilyn”? He’s an excellent actor and will probably play a tree or a screwdriver or a python next, but I’m not betting on him winning anything for this film.

SISTERS. This is an almost perfect example of a trash movie. Amy Poehler and Tina Fey outdo each other with crotch, sex, poop, pee jokes that aren’t funny. It’s a shame to see these obviously brilliant, smart, tasteful women sink so low that they have to take roles in movies this low class. Don’t go and don’t let anyone you care for go either.

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

BROOKLYN. Whew…I knew I loved this film now I see that Rotten Tomatoes gives it 100% Saoirse Ronan plays the lead Irish (very Irish) girl who comes to New York City in the 1950’s. She adjusts then falls in love with an Italian (very Italian) young man. That seems to be ok but she has to return to Ireland on a visit and falls in love with a young Irish (very) young man. It’s not too funny, it’s deep, profound, wrenching and perfect acting. You could easily loose your heart in this film. See it, if you like wonderful films. It also stars (in a smaller role) Jessica Pare who you’ll for sure remember as Megan Draper, Don Draper’s dark- haired sexy wife in Mad Men.

SPOTLIGHT. Lots of Oscar buzz around this excellent film. When you have a cast like Mark Ruffalo, Michale Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Billy Crudup, Stanley Tucci and Live Schreiber and a plot involving the Roman Catholic church’s child molesting priests and the “official cover-up” you got a winner. It’s shocking, even though you think you know all there is to know. When you add in the current troubles the Vatican is having…you’ve got a very sick institution. It’s newspaper business at its best. It’s also reporting such as no newspaper can afford today…you’ll see how important that is/was. Rotten Tomatoes gives it a 97%!!!

TRUMBO. Bryan Cranston, Helen Mirren, Diane Lane, John Goodman and even Elle Fanning all work nicely together to make this Hollywood Black List- anti HUAC extravaganza. It’s fun seeing look alikes for John Wayne, Edward G. Robinson, and Kirk Douglas. There’s no mention of Walt Disney’s part, or Adolph Menjou, or Alvah Bessie and Sterling Hayden (both of whom had children living in Santa Cruz) and how Hayden regretted turning stoolie. It is a very complex and sad story. It’s very much worth seeing historically and politically but not so much cinematically.

IN THE HEART OF THE SEA. It’s about this whale, sort of an early Jaws, look- alike movie. Supposedly it’s like a prequel to Moby Dick. It’s got some great scenes and interesting moments but it isn’t put together in any logical or interesting way. You can skip this one too.

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. December 22 has Amy White ex. dir. of Landwatch Monterey talking about all the land use projects they have in the works. After Amy, Michel Singher talks about the Espressivo Orchestra Concert happening on Jan. 7th. I’m on vacation Dec. 29. Then on Jan. 5th Alexandra Kennedy talks about life and suicide. She’s followed by author, physicist, quantum realist, Nick Herbert. On January 12 actors Scott Kravitz and Mar Nae Taylor discuss this years “8 x 10’s @ 8″ plays playing Jan. 8- Feb. 7, they’re followed by Cesario Ruiz telling us all about “My Mom’s Mole’ ” his new culinary start-up. Do remember, any and all suggestions for future programs are more than welcome so tune in, and keep listening. Email me always at bratton@cruzio.com

NEW 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, 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.

QUOTES.

“I stopped believing in Santa Claus when I was six. Mother took me to see him in a department store and he asked for my autograph,”Shirley Temple Black. “You know, in a way, ‘Dear Santa Claus’ is rather stuffy… Perhaps something a little more intimate would be better… Something just a shade more friendly…How about ‘Dear Fatty’?”Charles M. Schulz. “The three phases of Santa belief: (1) Santa is real. (2) Santa isn’t real.(3) Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus, Alton Thompson . “The main reason Santa is so jolly is because he knows where all the bad girls live,”George Carlin.

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 @ gunilla@thegoldenfleece.com

BEST OF VINTAGE STEVEN DeCINZO.

Deep Cover by Tim Eagan.

Posted in Weekly Articles | Comments Off on December 22, 2015 – January 4, 2016

December 15 – 21, 2015

MORE SNOW ON PACIFIC AVENUE, 1957. Not much of this corner left anymore. It’s that Pacific and Front Street meeting Mission and Water Street. The Bank of the West is now where the beautiful McHugh & Bianchi Market was and everything else is gone.

photo credit: Covello & Covello Historical photo collection.

Additional information always welcome: email photo@brattononline.com

DATELINE December 14, 2015

THE NICK, Del MAR, AND APTOS TWO DAY CLOSING. Remember that the three Nick theatres will be closed this Wed (12/16) and Thursday (12/17) as part of the Landmark Theatre group changeover. After some probing, I learned that it’s only because the staff at all three theatres needs to learn how to operate the Landmark computer system. Subscribers to the Nickelodeon Newsletter got an email from the Landmark Film Club last Monday (12/14) saying…

We are honored to welcome The Nick, Del Mar and Aptos to the Landmark Theatres family!

At Landmark, we view the Nickelodeon Theatres as a kindred spirit. We look forward to being able to continue to offer you diverse and entertaining film products in a sophisticated atmosphere. Our theatres showcase a wide variety of films—ranging from independent and foreign movies to Hollywood’s smartest releases. Landmark Theatres is the nation’s largest theatre chain dedicated to exhibiting and marketing independent film. We recognize that the Nickelodeon Theatres are local institutions, and we have no plans to change the features that make them unique. Look for an email from us with showtimes and more later this week.
Thank you for your support, and we’ll see you at the movies!

UCSC RETIRED PROFESSOR BILL DOMHOFF EXPLAINS WHY UCSC IS DIFFERENT.
BIG WAVES THIS WEEK IN SANTA CRUZ

LINDA HOEGER THOMPSON’S GONE. Linda was a warm-hearted genuine artist, who had love for almost everybody. She died last week. She was serious about genealogy and had more friends than we’ll ever know. We’ll miss her.

MORE ABOUT GORDON PUSSER. I received many, many, heartfelt, loving tributes to our late friend Gordon Pusser. Jennifer Bragar’s was exceptional. She wrote:

A TRIBUTE TO GORDON PUSSER by Jennifer Bragar.

Santa Cruz activists and politicians of a particular vintage have sat in Gordon’s living room planning the next tactical decision in land use battles and local campaigns. You experienced those intellectual exercises to formulate a strategy to make people aware of important land use decisions that would affect their daily lives, or to determine how often you had to get your name out in front of the voter to win an upset election. But, what made Gordon’s sessions stand out is that he opened his home and his heart to your cause. And even if you did not know him, his strategies had an impact on voters throughout the County.

Did you ever wonder how those political signs got mounted around the town electric poles in the late 1990s ? It was Gordon’s brainchild – he had the power of a personal copy machine and the resources to rent a cherry picker and knew a person who could post the signs. Meanwhile, he made sure the campaign stayed within the confines of the city’s sign regulations. If you were the candidate you can remember the awe of seeing your name plastered all over town the morning after the sign hanging occurred and you were glad to have Gordon on your side.

If, on the other hand, you were an opponent then you could sense the unspoken signal that Gordon had been up to something and your campaign had been hit hard – a favorite tactic being a mail piece featuring a highly critical deCinzo cartoon. To those of us loyal followers, we did the best we could to carry out Gordon’s fantastic visions for these campaign escapades.

Gordon loved the story of Mike Rotkin and Scott Kennedy being caught ripping campaign signs down near the west side Safeway in 1998 – almost as much as Bruce Bratton loves reporting on the surrounding events. It was great political moments like that when Gordon’s face would light up with a sparkle in his eyes and he’d be inspired to take more offensive action against campaign opponents.

The truth is, we knew him in his golden years when he took on fights he loved – saving Terrace Point, building renowned work/live artist space on Swift Street, and helping local campaigns – the three amigos, Bob Lee, and countless others. This after he’d spent a lifetime involved with the statewide Democratic Party and played important roles in the campaigns of San Francisco Mayor George Moscone, Senator Barbara Boxer, State Controller Ken Cory, and Governor Gray Davis. He knew all about name recognition and get out the vote tactics from all those years of experience and brought these talents to Santa Cruz. The City has not been the same since. Maybe you were there at a protest to save Terrace Point, maybe you were at the roasted lamb picnic he threw in Teresa’s honor, maybe you participated in a campaign run out at the ArtWorkSpace, or maybe Gordon simply touched you deeply. If he did, and you know who you are, continue his legacy and remain active. Most importantly be sure to teach the next generation how to engage in local politics, and in that way, you will build on Gordon’s legacy.

(Jennifer worked with Gordon on legal projects for years and he helped her start her land use and political consulting business, JB Associates, in 1999.

SAGA OF THE APTOS VILLAGE PLAN FINAL MAP APPROVAL.

At the request of Aptos activists, the Board of Supervisors agreed to take the Aptos Village Plan approval off their consent agenda and held a public hearing on 12/8.

This one item (heard at 4:00 PM) filled about 80% of the BOS meeting room, with all but three speakers blasting the AVP. The three speakers were Barry Swenson’s attorney, the owner of Testorff Construction who expects to get the contract, and one fellow from Santa Cruz who “liked the project”. More that 20 spoke in opposition to the project despite being told they should only be commenting on the final map approval.

One group, Save Our Aptos, presented the results of an opinion survey mailed to four postal routes adjacent to the AVP. 360 people responded, with the vast majority expressing concern of traffic, water and movement away from what they liked about Aptos. The public input took over a hour, and was proceeded by a brief presentation by the group’s attorney who pointed out the deficiencies in the “final map”, and the short time it was made available to the public, one day before appearing on the BOS agenda. For those interested in exactly what happened, an audio version of this meeting will eventually appear on the County’s website.

After a short deliberation with county staff and legal, the Board unanimously approved the map in question. You might ask what was their reasoning? They were told that if the County Surveyor has approved the map, and he did, nobody could challenge anything that was included in the map, and their action was only “ministerial”. I think that word should be changed to “waste of time”. AVP continues to plod along – stayed tuned.

Paul Elerick is co-chair with Jack Nelson of the Campaign for Sensible Transportation, http://sensibletransportation.org , and he’s a member of Nisene 2 Sea, a group of open space advocates).

GREENSITE’S INSIGHT.

A CALCULATED SILENCE.

Each semester I am invited to give a guest lecture on rape for three classes at Cabrillo College. It’s a highlight of the year for me. The students of all genders and ethnicities inspire optimism with their depth of thought, keen insights and desire to create a future free from male sexual violence. (98% of sexual assaults are committed by males, 2% by females). One theme explored is the silencing that has historically surrounded rape: how such silencing keeps those who are raped stigmatized and prevents a community from tackling rape prevention with the urgency it demands. For an example, I shared the recent City Council/Santa Cruz Police Department (SCPD) joint study session, which took place on November 3rd. At this meeting we were treated to about 3 hours of power point and presentations from the chief and deputy chiefs with council questions and comments prior to public testimony. During this time rape was never mentioned beyond its initial inclusion in the list of violent crimes, despite the fact that the rate of reported rape increased from 33 in 2013 to 63 in 2014. When I had a chance to speak during public testimony I urged council to consider it a red flag that the rate of reported rape had almost doubled and that 2015 appears to be on a similar upward trend. The response? Silence. Nothing. No comment. No question directed at the police chief and nothing offered from his end. Since that time I emailed a request to Chief Vogel to meet to discuss the issue of reported rape. No response. This deliberate silencing is nothing new. In the mid-eighties, I evaluated Santa Cruz city police reports on rape and submitted a report to council detailing problems with training, investigation and follow-through. The report was shelved.

In 2006 I was chair of the city’s commission dealing with rape and domestic violence and we presented an in-depth report detailing the high incidence of reported rape, the high incidence of rapes committed by strangers (17% nationally, 60% in Santa Cruz), the poor quality of many investigations and the low incidence of arrests. This time the report garnered vehement opposition from SCPD. Their spokesperson misled the council comparing apples and oranges. I was blacklisted from the commission. The report was shelved.

The high incidence of rape in Santa Cruz (reported rape is a fraction of the full incidence) and the fact that many rapes are committed by strangers, is not something the tourist industry wants broadcast. Similar to the movie Jaws, this information is being kept under wraps. Dissimilar to Jaws, the invisible predator in our town is not part of a movie. When did you last read of a reported rape in the local newspaper? Yet, according to online police data, there is a rape reported in Santa Cruz city almost weekly. We cannot do meaningful work to prevent rape in a climate of silencing.

After my remarks drawing attention to the invisibility of the almost 100 percent increase in reported rape, the council announced that the next topic for the safety sub-committee would be the up-tick in bicycle thefts. ( Gillian Greensite is a long time local activist, 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).

PATTON’S PROGRAM. Gary’s abbreviated KUSP Land Use Reports for this week include..

There is no policy document of more importance, where land use is concerned, than a local community’s General Plan. The General Plan is properly called the community’s “Constitution for land use,” since every planning decision, and every local ordinance and regulation, must be “consistent” with the local General Plan. That’s what state law requires. And there is probably no land use issue of more importance to our local communities than housing, and particularly affordable housing, housing that can be afforded by average and below average income families and individuals.

SANTA CRUZ’S UNWANTED BLOWHOLE

GROUNDWATER MANAGEMENT. I follow water issues in both Monterey and Santa Cruz County. Land use, transportation, and water policy all go together. From the point of view of “land use,” I would say the main idea is to make sure that commitments aren’t made to new development unless there is a clear way to provide necessary water. Additionally, new developments should really only be approved if the development, as proposed, won’t overstress, even further, the transportation networks that serve our local communities.

If you think that’s a “good” approach (a “common sense” approach, some might say), and if you don’t think that kind of approach to development is currently being taken by the local government agencies representing you, then maybe you should get more personally involved in the land use, water, and transportation decisions made by local government. As I say from time to time, stimulating that kind of personal participation is the “unhidden agenda” of the Land Use Report. In today’s blog posting, at kusp.org/landuse, I have a link to an article on groundwater management in Monterey County. It’s worth reading. It could also be well worth your time to get personally involved. One person who is personally involved sent me an email, saying that independent and mutual well owners in rural areas should have a voice in managing groundwater. That’s not now the plan, but it does sound like a pretty good idea to me! More Information: Land Use Links Gary Patton’s Two Worlds Blog Article InMonterey County Herald on Groundwater Management 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 opinions expressed are Mr. Patton’s. Gary has his own website, Two Worlds/365” – www.gapatton.net

MONARCH BUTTERFLIES AT NATURAL BRIDGES.2015

CLASSICAL DeCINZO. DeCinzo points a ink loaded missile at familiar targets. See below

TIM EAGAN STUFF…Every week for years now Tim Eagan has been sending us his brilliant, clever insightful cartoons. He draws and thinks more than these. Go here and join up to stay abreast of his latest thoughts.More than that, I’ve always though his Subsconscious Comics were among the finest cartoon strips we’ll ever see. Go here to catch up on those. http://www.timeagan.com/?subconscious_comicsSee below to see a non-jocular supporter of that flaming red-hair candidate.

MUNCHING WITH MOZART THURSDAY. This is a great and free live performance that happens in the upstairs meeting room of the Santa Cruz Public Library on the third Thursday of every month.

Carol Panofsky (oboe, baroque oboe, recorder) organizes these noon to 1 p.m. concerts and they are sponsored by the Friends of the Santa Cruz Public Libraries. Carol said in an email…” MunchMo provides a venue for musicians who want to work up a solo program, try out a new violin in public, or put together something a little different without a lot of pressure. I have also given opportunities to advanced students to play their competition/audition repertoire for a live, appreciative audience. As regards the audience, going to a formal concert with a friend is $50, minimum. Add in dinner, at least $100. Plus driving at night. And dressing up. This is too big an investment unless you know up front that you are going to really love what you hear. Library concerts are 40-50 minutes long and free–not a big risk. Parking can be found. You can come on your lunch hour. It is next to the childrens’ room at the library. How else can we expose the little ones to live music? There have been occasional complaints about children and lunches (especially if there are onions or things that crunch…), but that is really the whole point. Concerts are informal and accessible. There is no money involved. Musicians are not paid and concerts are free. No fund raising. No grants. No mailings. No thank you letters. The Friends of the Public Libraries staff the door and tune the piano a few times a year. I, in the name of The Santa Cruz Branchof the California Music Teachers’ Association, find the musicians, make up the printed programs, and set up the chairs. The weekend before the concert, I send out an email to everybody who has asked to be on the list. This Thursday (12/17) is “Celebrate Piano Ensemble”. You’ll hear music by Mozart, Dvorak, Borodin, Debussy, Gruber and of course Jingle Bells. Because it’s wonderful and free, you better get there early if you want to sit down.

LISA JENSEN LINKS. Lisa writes: “Want to celebrate the holidays without all the hysteria? I share one radical idea on how to do it this week at Lisa Jensen Online Express (http://ljo-express.blogspot.com). Also, find out why editing a book is not for sissies.” Lisa has been writing film reviews and columns for Good Times since 1975.

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

MACBETH. It’s about this guy and his wife, and 4 not 3, witches. Michael Fassbender’s natural German accent added to his hard job of sounding Scottish doesn’t make this an easy film to follow. Marion Cotillard is as good as possible as Lady Macbeth but the extra dark, moody, severly altered script is an extra challenge. But at least it’s nowhere near as laugh producing as Santa Cruz Shakespeae’s insane, inane, poor production last year.I couldn’t see any justification or any significant reason to re-make this film. Plus, it’s extra bloody and violent.

HEART OF THE SEA. It’s about this whale, sort of an early Jaws, look- a- like movie. Supposedly it’s like a prequel to Moby Dick. It’s got some great scenes and interesting moments but it isn’t put together in any logical or interesting way. You can skip this one too.

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

BROOKLYN. Whew…I knew I loved this film now I see that Rotten Tomatoes gives it 100%

Saoirse Ronan plays the lead Irish (very Irish) girl who comes to New York City in the 1950’s. She adjusts then falls in love with an Italian (very Italian) young man. That seems to be ok but she has to return to Ireland on a visit and falls in love with a young Irish (very) young man. It’s not too funny, it’s deep, profound, wrenching and perfect acting. You could easily loose your heart in this film. See it, if you like wonderful films. It also stars (in a smaller role) Jessica Pare who you’ll for sure remember as Megan Draper, Don Draper’s dark- haired sexy wife in Mad Men.

HEART OF A DOG. You’ll have to see this film/poem/saga/ meditation if you are a fan and follower of Laurie Anderson’s works. She tells a story in home movies about her family, death, music, and plenty of her personal artwork. She wowed and stunned us here in Santa Cruz years ago when she appeared and performed with the Cabrillo Music Festival under Dennis Russell Davies in 1979 when she was almost unknown. ( that was the same year that Garret List performed here, but you should never mention that one ). See this grand film and see it quickly.

ROOM. There is some discussion on whether or not this film is based on a novel or reality. Either way it is a well done, angonizing, torturous, moving film. Brie Larson as the teen age mother and Jacob Trembly as her 5 year old son deserve special acting awards. Kidnapping the young teen ager and raping her in a locked shed for years while she somehow manages to raise her son and maintain a sense of humanity will have you completely fixed to the screen. See this film, and give Trembly any acting award you might have.

SPOTLIGHT. Lots of Oscar buzz around this excellent film. When you have a cast like Mark Ruffalo, Michale Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Billy Crudup, Stanley Tucci and Live Schreiber and a plot involving the Roman Catholic church’s child molesting priests and the “official cover-up” you got a winner. It’s shocking, even though you think you know all there is to know. When you add in the current troubles the Vatican is having…you’ve got a very sick institution. It’s newspaper business at its best. It’s also reporting such as no newspaper can afford today…you’ll see how important that is/was. Rotten Tomatoes gives it a 97%!!!

TRUMBO. Bryan Cranston, Helen Mirren, Diane Lane, John Goodman and even Elle Fanning all work nicely together to make this Hollywood Black List- anti HUAC extravaganza.

It’s fun seeing look alikes for John Wayne, Edward G. Robinson, and Kirk Douglas. There’s no mention of Walt Disney’s part, or Adolph Menjou, or Alvah Bessie and Sterling Hayden (both of whom had children living in Santa Cruz) and how Hayden regretted turning stoolie. It is a very complex and sad story. It’s very much worth seeing.

SUFFRAGETTE. Carey Mulligan is almost too cute with those dimples to play the role she does here, and she’s great. Helen Bonham and Brenden Gleeson are at their best and Meryl Streep plays an almost cameo role. Seeing this film about women’s voting rights and also seeing “MissYou Already” has got to make you think deeply how deep the prejudice against women has gone and will women ever be treated as equals…here or anywhere. See this film, and think about Hillary Clinton and Carly Fiorina.

CHI-RAQ. It took me 10 minutes to catch on that the title of this Spike Lee film is really “Chicago-Iraq”. Jennifer Hudson, D.B.Sweeney, Wesley Snipes and especially Samuel. L. Jackson do great jobs as players/actors in Lee’s adaptation of the Greek tragedy Aristophanes’ “Lysistrata,” which was first performed in 411 B.C. It’s mixed up, hard to follow, and suddenly you get the message about Chicago and our world today. It becomes powerful, meaningful and a proud adition to Spike Lee’s growing list of important films. Go see it.

CREED. Even though it’sthe 7th Rocky film with Sylvester Stallone it’s many levels above all the earlier numb trite boxing flicks. Stallone is sincere, the plot (yes there’s a plot) is touching and the acting is completely believable all the way through. It’s almost entirely due to the direction by Ryan Coogler (he directed Frutivale Station) and the acting by Michael B. Jordan.

Even the boxing scenes are just a tiny bit Hollywood, and the ending is surprising too.I don’t agree with many critics saying Stallone should get an Oscar, but it’s not a bad film.

KRAMPUS.This is a genuine mess of an attempt at a horror film. Poor local Harbor High graduate Adam Scott. He once again was given a script that gives him zero chances to use his acting skills. Krampus is a bad Christmas spirit and a fine serious tradition if you believe in that stuff but this cheap effects, poorer animation in spots, it’s a waste of you time…and money, Save both.

SPHINCTER 007. It’ s nearly weird that there have been 24 James Bonds movies in the 53 years since they began. Remember that Pres. John F. Kennedy was a fan of Ian Flemings books. That kicked off the entire Bond Wagon. This Sphincter movie has Daniel Craig playing James Bond for the fourth time!!! Daniel Craig is terrible, this movie is terrible. It would take a book to discuss the differences between Daniel Craig and Sean Connery…you can easily think about those differences and stay away from this disaster of a movie.

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. to date we have… UCSC Chancellor George Blumenthal talks about being Chancellor on December 15, followed by ex- newspaper man and area benefactor Rowland Rebele. December 22 has Amy White ex. dir. of Landwatch Monterey talking about all the land use projects they have in the works. After Amy, Michel Singher talks about the Espressivo Orchestra Concert happening on Jan. 7th. I’m on vacation Dec. 29. Then on Jan. 5th Alexandra Kennedy talks about life and suicide. She’s followed by author, physicist, quantum realist, Nick Herbert. On January 12 actors Scott Kravitz and Mar Nae Taylor discuss this years “8 x 10’s @ 8″ plays playing Jan. 8- Feb. 7. Do remember, any and all suggestions for future programs are more than welcome so tune in, and keep listening. Email me always at bratton@cruzio.com

NEW 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, 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.

QUOTES. “For after all, the best thing one can do when it’s raining is to let it rain”. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. “As against having beautiful workshops, studios, etc., one writes best in a cellar on a rainy day”, Van Wyck Brooks. “It will never rain roses; when we want to have more roses we must plant more trees”, George Eliot. “There is little chance that meteorologists can solve the mysteries if weather until they gain an understanding of the mutual attraction of rain and weekends”, Arnot Sheppard.

COLUMN COMMUNICATIONS.

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Santa Cruz, CA 95060

Direct email: Bratton@Cruzio.com

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BEST OF VINTAGE STEVEN DeCINZO.

Deep Cover by Tim Eagan.

Posted in Weekly Articles | Comments Off on December 15 – 21, 2015

December 8 – 14, 2015

December 1946. Another favorite repeat…The St. George Hotel (one time site of the Hip Pocket Bookstore) and the future site of Bookshop Santa Cruz.

photo credit: Covello & Covello Historical photo collection.

Additional information always welcome: email photo@brattononline.com

WHAT ACID TEST? Reporter/ author Lee Quarnstrom’s book signing at Bookshop Santa Cruz and the other new history events were succesful beyond everyone’s dreams. After the booksigning I got to wondering, why call it a “TEST”?? We’d all tried LSD before in many places, with many friends. I asked Lee he said, “yes, we’d been using LSD for a long time before that party that’s now called the First Acid Test.

When we took the Kesey bus out to a number of parties around the Bay Area with the Grateful Dead and had LSD (often) available in big tubs of Kool-Aid and LSD wads being called acid it just occurred to some wit that we could call these Acid Tests. We never thought about actually “passing” it but it became our slogan, “Can you pass the Acid Test?”

The dinner in Felton Friday night and party afterwards at Don Quixote where the archivist of the Grateful Dead collection at UCSC spoke, as did Mountain Girl, George Walker, Ken Babbs and others, plus the group of Pranksters at the Bookshop, were, in my opinion, a historical event that will make the bohemian history books — old Pranksters coming out of the woods to gather for what could be their final time in their mid-70s. It was a great success and I am just ecstatic about the whole event, both nights. Can you pass the Acid Test? Not much to it!

BEARCAT REDUX. Lots of the conversations around our town since San Bernadino had folks asking (or thinking) maybe, just maybe that our Bearcat might not have been such a bad idea. And does our local police force really train for such events???

FAREWELL GORDON PUSSER. Susan Martinez and Bill Malone sent this note…” Very sad news…. Gordon Pusser passed away peacefully at home Monday morning (November 30th). He’d had Parkinson’s for a few years. Such a nice friend…kind and generous. His wife Teresa will have a small private family memorial. We’ll all miss him….”. Gordon was a good friend and very involved in our local politics for decades. We had our S.C.R.A.P. (Santa Cruzans for Responsible Planning) year after year.

AVILA. A trailer for HBO’s sensational series “Senor Avila”.

HBO LATIN AMERICA ORIGINALS. If you are subsbribed to HBO one way or the other, and you haven’t been watching the absolutely excellent HBO Latin America Series you are wasting some fabulous viewing. These subtitled adventure series are about the best and most exciting TV watching I’ve experienced, since forever. The series I’m totally addicted to right now is Sr. Avila (Senior). It’s from Mexico and stars Tony Dalton as Avila. It makes The Sopranos look like Mary Poppins. Killings and killers for hire, crooked cops, sex, crooked politicians, family, sex, it’s wonderful. Other series such as Epitafios which I began watching at least 5 years ago, Filhos deCarnaval, Capadocia (just watch the first two seasons, it deteriorates after that) Profugos, Preamer, they are all excellent. And beautiful to watch. They are filmed in Argentina, Brazil, Mexico and Chile. Great viewing, trust me.

KUSP DUMPS OPERA. Jim Emdy host of KUSP’s “The Opera Show” for many, many years emailed to tell us… “effective december 7th all weekday classical block has been deleted, replaced by local jazz from 8 to 11pm. classical is relegated to sunday 7 to 10 am and evening 7-9pm.”. Jim says, “I will continue on KKUP and expand my exposure there”. This makes one wonder what is happening at KUSP. Santa Cruzans flock to The Cinema 9 to see/hear the live telecasts of The Metropolitan Operas, Miriam Ellis’s S.C.O.S.I. (Santa Cruz Opera Society Inc.) has an amazing loyal following yet, KUSP’s killing of opera doesn’t seem too community minded…what is somebody trying to prove??

PLOTTING PLANNERS.

The two issues covered in this column recently, that of the par course equipment proposed to be built on West Cliff Drive, and the Seaside Company’s application to build a concrete retaining wall at Cowell Beach, were heard and voted on at last week’s Planning Commission. The results were predictable. Both were approved. The former by a 3-2 vote, the latter by a unanimous vote. The par course issue will be appealed and head to council. The latter cannot be appealed since the city granted the Seaside Company an emergency permit to construct their wall. The deliberations were revealing.

The par course structure, an eight-foot high, pull up dip combo, looks like a giant chair. The Planning Department staff report claimed that this structure will “protect views.” They rival Donald Trump with their bogus claims. They also conveniently omitted half the sentence under the Principal Permitted Uses for an OF-R (Ocean Front Recreational) District. The part they left out states, “but not including the use of any building or structure.” This should disallow an eight- foot high piece of par course equipment that requires a building permit. What part of “not” do they not understand? It gets worse. The Commission was presented with a petition bearing the signatures of 60 people opposed to the par course structure. Six people spoke against the structure, plus the appellant. Besides the Parks and Recreation planner, only one letter supported it and no one spoke in favor. Despite the clear indication that this structure will at best be controversial, planning commissioners Mark Primack, Peter Kennedy and Julie Conway all strongly supported it. Their reasoning suggested they lack awareness of their appointed role to represent the wishes of the community, not just their personal interests. Conway said she wants to do chin-ups and doesn’t want to travel far to do them. Primack said he’d give it a go at chin-ups, a sight that should scare both dogs and children.

The Seaside Company once again flexed its privileged muscle and got its way. I spoke and asked that the record reflect that the reason the cliff is failing is a result of the Seaside Company’s prior removal of the 100 year old heritage trees from the site, for which it was also granted an emergency permit, even though it took a month to get around to the task of tree removal. I also raised concern regarding the annual visit of a breeding pair of pigeon guillemots, a member of the puffin family, who fly from Puget Sound and return to the same nest each year. As a year-round swimmer at Cowell’s, I am delighted when the pair returns, watch from the water as their fledgling practices crash landings, and wish them well on their return journey as they depart for Puget Sound in the fall. Their nest is in the same cliff at Cowell’s that will be ripped apart for the concrete wall construction. The city’s response? They are not mapped in the General Plan so they don’t exist.

These two issues pale in comparison to the third issue on the meeting’s agenda that night: the presentation and discussion of the so-called Downtown Recovery Plan. Yet another set of outside consultants, the Odermatt Group, created computer modeling to showcase what could be constructed in the lower Pacific area and Front Street between Soquel and Laurel if additional heights are allowed. The proposal is for buildings of five to eight stories in height extending to the sidewalk. Think of the new PAMF building on Mission St. That building is two stories high. Now imagine it as eight stories high and you get some idea of the future of this area of downtown if we sit idly by.

(Gillian Greensite is a long time local activist, 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).

PATTON’S PROGRAM. Gary’s shortened KUSP report this week includes…News that the California Coastal Commission is meeting in Monterey on Wednesday 12/09.

The Commission will consider the issue of “takings.” The Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution not only gives citizens the right to avoid self-incrimination, it also says that “private property [shall not] be taken for public use, without just compensation.” There is a very interesting discussion relating to the “takings clause” on the Commission’s agenda. The question posed is whether the Commission has the authority to decide that the denial or conditional approval of a permit application would constitute a taking of private property for public use without just compensation, and, if the Commission found that it would, then grant a permit that the Commission would otherwise deny. An attorney is claiming that the Commission cannot give permit approval based on the Commission’s decision that to do otherwise would be a taking. The claim is that the Commission should just say “no” to the permit, and let the courts decide. This is a fascinating argument, with some real consequences for coastal protection. Gary goes on to say,

“On December 3rd, the Santa Cruz County Transportation Commission made some important decisions. Most significantly, the Commission approved an “Expenditure Plan,” related to a proposed sales tax measure. The proposal is for a thirty year, one-half cent sales tax that would appear on the November 2016 ballot. There would be five priorities for expenditures:

FIRST: Thirty percent of the proceeds would go to Neighborhood Projects
SECOND: Twenty-five percent of the proceeds would go for Highway Corridors
THIRD: Sixteen percent would go to Mobility Access
FOURTH:Fifteen percent would go to the proposed Coastal Trail
FIFTH: Fourteen percent would to to the Rail Corridor

KRAMPUS. Here’s a clip of local Adam Scott’s latest film Krampus. Watch this and forget the movie!!!

Commissioners believe that this package of projects is fair and balanced, and represents the diverse transportation needs in Santa Cruz County, and that the priorities established will provide an opportunity to invest not only in localtransportation infrastructure, but to invest in the environment, and the localeconomy, too. Ultimately, the voters of Santa Cruz County are going to decide whether or not to make these investments. It’s not too early to start thinking about this question, either. Those skeptical of highway widening might not like that part of the package, but those skeptical of the value of the rail corridor might also have reservations.

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 opinions expressed are Mr. Patton’s. Gary has his own website, Two Worlds/365” – www.gapatton.net

CLASSICAL DeCINZO. Widening Highway 1?? One small advantage…scroll below

EAGAN’S DEEP COVER. Echoes abound…shout with care…see downwards

LISA JENSEN LINKS.Lisa emailed to say she’s really busy editing and will connect later. She saw Spike Lee’s film Chi-Raq and I can’t wait to see how she reacted.

WARNING!!! The Nickelodeon, Del Mar and Aptos theatres will be closed Wednesday, December 16 and 17. They will open again under the Landmark banner on Friday Dec. 18.

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

HEART OF A DOG. You’ll have to see this film/poem/saga/ meditation if you are a fan and follower of Laurie Anderson’s works. She tells a story in home movies about her family, death, music, and plenty of her personal artwork. She wowed and stunned us here in Santa Cruz years ago when she appeared and performed with the Cabrillo Music Festival under Dennis Russell Davies, when she was almost unknown. See this one and see it quickly.

CHI-RAQ. It took me 10 minutes to catch on that the title of this Spike Lee film is really “Chicago-Iraq”. Jennifer Hudson, D.B.Sweeney, Wesley Snipes and especially Samuel. L. Jackson do great jobs as players/actors in Lee’s adaptation of the Greek tragedy Aristophanes’ “Lysistrata,” which was first performed in 411 B.C. It’s mixed up, hard to follow, and suddenly you get the message about Chicago and our world today. It becomes powerful, meaningful and a proud adition to Spike Lee’s growing list of important films. Go see it.

KRAMPUS.This is a genuine mess of an attempt at a horror film. Poor local Harbor High graduate Adam Scott. He once again was given a script that gives him zero chances to use his acting skills. Krampus is a bad Christmas spirit and a fine serious tradition if you believe in that stuff but this cheap effects, poorer animation in spots, it’s a waste of you time…and money, Save both.

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

BROOKLYN. Whew…I knew I loved this film now I see that Rotten Tomatoes gives it 100% Saoirse Ronan plays the lead Irish (very Irish) girl who comes to New York City in the 1950’s. She adjusts then falls in love with an Italian (very Italian) young man. That seems to be ok but she has to return to Ireland on a visit and falls in love with a young Irish (very) young man. It’s not too funny, it’s deep, profound, wrenching and perfect acting. You could easily loose your heart in this film. See it, if you like wonderful films. It also stars (in a smaller role) Jessica Pare who you’ll for sure remember as Megan Draper, Don Draper’s dark- haired sexy wife in Mad Men.

SPOTLIGHT. Lots of Oscar buzz around this excellent film. When you have a cast like Mark Ruffalo, Michale Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Billy Crudup, Stanley Tucci and Live Schreiber and a plot involving the Roman Catholic church’s child molesting priests and the “official cover-up” you got a winner. It’s shocking, even though you think you know all there is to know. When you add in the current troubles the Vatican is having…you’ve got a very sick institution. It’s newspaper business at its best. It’s also reporting such as no newspaper can afford today…you’ll see how important that is/was. Rotten Tomatoes gives it a 97%!!!

TRUMBO. Bryan Cranston, Helen Mirren, Diane Lane, John Goodman and even Elle Fanning all work nicely together to make this Hollywood Black List- anti HUAC extravaganza.

It’s fun seeing look alikes for John Wayne, Edward G. Robinson, and Kirk Douglas. There’s no mention of Walt Disney’s part, or Adolph Menjou, or Alvah Bessie and Sterling Hayden (both of whom had children living in Santa Cruz) and how Hayden regretted turning stoolie. It is a very complex and sad story. It’s very much worth seeing.

CREED. Even though it’sthe 7th Rocky film with Sylvester Stallone it’s many levels above all the earlier numb trite boxing flicks. Stallone is sincere, the plot (yes there’s a plot) is touching and the acting is completely believable all the way through. It’s almost entirely due to the direction by Ryan Coogler (he directed Frutivale Station) and the acting by Michael B. Jordan.

Even the boxing scenes are just a tiny bit Hollywood, and the ending is surprising too. I don’t agree with many critics saying Stallone should get an Oscar, but it’s not a bad film.

BRIDGE OF SPIES. Tom Hanks is the big draw for this Russian – German – American spy story. The Nick was packed all opening weekend. Mark Rylance (from Wolf Hall on PBS) plays a Russian “Spy” and is great. It’s all about the cold war,1957-1962, Berlin, USA spy pilot Gary Powers, secret negotians and it’s all directed by Steven Speilberg. That means it’s fast paced, not too demanding/shallow/easy to follow/ some jokes/some tears/ and a happy ending of course. You’ll like it, everybody does.

SUFFRAGETTE. Carey Mulligan is almost too cute with those dimples to play the role she does here, and she’s great. Helen Bonham and Brenden Gleeson are at their best and Meryl Streep plays an almost cameo role. Seeing this film about women’s voting rights and also seeing “MissYou Already” has got to make you think deeply how deep the prejudice against women has gone and will women ever be treated as equals…here or anywhere. See this film, and think about Hillary Clinton and Carly Fiorina.

THE SECRET IN THEIR EYES. Not a Santa Cruz film..right now. It’s about a young girl who’s body is found in a dumpster. Even Julia Roberts (her mom), Chiwetel Ejiofor (the cop), and Nicole Kidman ( their boss) doesn’t make this worth seeing. See it in maybe five years, if then.

THE MARTIAN. This Hollywood Matt Damon-starring film is like George Clooney and Sandra Bullock in Gravity. It’s about Damon being left behind on Mars by his team mates (Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig, and Michael Pena). Chiwetal Ejiofor and Jeff Daniels are the NASA, Pasadena JPL business men in charge. It drags in spots and the FX look like they stole them from “2001”. Matt Damon is just too cute and funny and extraordinary to be real, But go see it. You’ll stay awake just to see how it all works out. It’s tense near the end but the ending itself is corny.

VICTOR FRANKENSTEIN. Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter) plays Igor Strausman the hunchback to James McAvoy’s Doctor Frankenstein. Talk about bizarre… Dr. Frankenstein, being very kind, stabs Igor right in the Hunch!!! It turns out the hunch was just full of pus which we watch drain out, then Igor can stand up straight!!! I’m not kidding. This is a big million dollar saga and it’s impossible to follow. There’s no rhyme, reason, logic, charm, or perceived plot. Go only IF you’ve seen every other Frankenstein film.

SPHINCTER 007. It’s nearly weird that there have been 24 James Bonds movies in the 53 years since they began. Remember that Pres. John F. Kennedy was a fan of Ian Fleming’s books. That kicked off the entire Bond Wagon. This Sphincter movie has Daniel Craig playing James Bond for the fourth time!!! Daniel Craig is terrible, this movie is terrible. It would take a book to discuss the differences between Daniel Craig and Sean Connery…you can easily think about those diffrerences and stay away from this disaster of a movie.

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. UNIVERSAL GRAPEVINE. Booked so far are… Patrick Meyer talking about airplane noise and “Save Our Skies Santa Cruz” on Dec. 8. Patrick is followed by James Mockoski and Ross Gibson talking about their restoration of the 1917 Santa Cruz movie “Mothers Of Men”. UCSC Chancellor George Blumenthal talks about being Chancellor on December 15, followed by ex- newspaper man and area benefactor Rowland Rebele. December 22 has Amy White ex. dir. of Landwatch Monterey talking about all the land use projects they have in the works. After Amy, Michel Singher talks about the Espressivo Orchestra Concert on Jan. 7th. Then on Jan. 5th Alexandra Kennedy talks about life and suicide. Do remember, any and all suggestions for future programs are more than welcome so tune in, and keep listening. Email me always at bratton@cruzio.com

NEW 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, 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.

QUOTES. “Writers fish for the right words like fishermen fish for, um, whatever those aquatic creatures with fins and gills are called”, Jarod Kintz. “What would an ocean be without a monster lurking in the dark? It would be like sleep without dreams”, Werner Herzog. “There’s nothing wrong with enjoying looking at the surface of the ocean itself, except that when you finally see what goes on underwater, you realize that you’ve been missing the whole point of the ocean. Staying on the surface all the time is like going to the circus and staring at the outside of the tent”. Dave Barry. “There was a magic about the sea. People were drawn to it. People wanted to love by it, swim in it, play in it, look at it. It was a living thing that as as unpredictable as a great stage actor: it could be calm and welcoming, opening its arms to embrace it’s audience one moment, but then could explode with its stormy tempers, flinging people around, wanting them out, attacking coastlines, breaking down islands. It had a playful side too, as it enjoyed the crowd, tossed the children about, knocked limos over, tipped over windsurfers, occasionally gave sailors helping hands; all done with a secret little chuckle”, Cecelia Ahern.

COLUMN COMMUNICATIONS.

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BEST OF VINTAGE STEVEN DeCINZO.

Deep Cover by Tim Eagan.

Posted in Weekly Articles | Comments Off on December 8 – 14, 2015

December 1 – 7, 2015

SNOW ON PACIFIC AVENUE. 7:50 a.m. 1957. You can still tell this is Cooper Street and Pacific Avenue by the old County Bank building. That was the historic Cooper House on the far right (now Oneill’s Surf Shop) and the nearly historic Leask’s Department store (now Urban Outfitters) on the immediate left.

photo credit: Covello & Covello Historical photo collection.

Additional information always welcome: email photo@brattononline.com

DATELINE November 30, 2015

WIDENING HIGHWAY ONE, AGAIN!!

Paul Elerick does a great job (below) of detailing statistics showing even the hired consultants know widening highway 1 won’t help our grid-locked highway 1. A simpler question for the RTC would be “where in the United States has widening a freeway ever lessened traffic?” Why doesn’t everyone know by now that when a freeway/highway is widened traffic is quickened for a brief time then everyone takes advantage of that faster speed and either moves closer to that freeway or changes their route accordingly. We could use that same much needed money to improve our streets and roads.

CORRECTION TIME. Many thanks to all the folks who wrote to tell me that The Dallas Mavericks is a basketball, not football team. Footballs are the balls with the points at each end, right?

APOLOGY TIME. Somehow in last week’s BrattonOnline the video clip of Charlie Canfield talking about his old organ slipped digitally and covered part of Gillian Greensite’s banner/title. It was totally accidental and became cached. It won’t happen again, probably.

Mr. Paul Elerick of Aptos writes…
WILL WIDENING HIGHWAY 1 EVER WORK?

Here’s some telling information in the Highway 1 Draft EIR produced by consultants that answers this question. From Chapter 2:

this shows that the Tier I Corridor Transportation System Management Alternative [see definition below] would result in a very slight improvement in traffic congestion when compared to the No Build Alternative.

The delay is reduced in the morning commute but actually gets worse in the afternoon commute compared to the “No Build” alternative:

Delay Traffic delay in the northbound direction during the morning peak hour is expected to average 22 minutes per vehicle, which is a decrease of 54 percent compared to the No Build Alternative.

In the southbound direction during the evening peak hour, delay is expected to be 50 minutes per vehicle, which is a 2 percent increase compared to the No Build Alternative. This slight increase in delay over no-build conditions in the peak evening commute would occur despite the overall increase in traffic throughput that would result from the Transportation System Management (TSM) improvements.

Here’s the definition of the Tier I Corridor TSM Alternative:
The Tier I Corridor TSM Alternative proposes to add auxiliary lanes along the highway between major interchange pairs from Morrissey Boulevard to Freedom Boulevard, provide ramp metering, construct HOV bypass lanes and mixed-flow lanes on on-ramps, and improve nonstandard geometric elements at various ramps. The Tier I Corridor TSM Alternative also would include Transportation Operations System electronic equipment

Everybody should familiarize themselves with all this terminology, as they will be asked either in a survey or on the ballot to spend over $100 million dollars just on these widening lanes. (Paul Elerick is co-chair with Jack Nelson of the Campaign for Sensible Transportation, http://sensibletransportation.org, and he’s a member of Nisene 2 Sea, a group of open space advocates).

NO ROOM IN THIS INN.

The need is great. The support overwhelming. The proposal well-thought out. Yet a divided city council debated the issue for two hours and ended up voting, with a bare majority, to postpone until January 12th what was obviously an immediate need on November 24th.

With temperatures dipping as they spoke, the organizers and supporters of a Warming Center, a temporary site for homeless people to have a warm place to sleep on only those nights that dip below 34 degrees or 36 degrees with rain, when the Armory is full, presented a compelling and compassionate case for this simple gesture which is already available in San Jose, Monterey, Salinas and other cities that have a homeless population. But not yet, if at all in Santa Cruz, given the cold logic of those who opposed and argued against this small humanitarian gesture.

To their credit, Mayor Lane and council member Micah Posner tried to counter every argument against the proposal that council members Pamela Comstock, Cynthia Mathews and David Terrazas could muster. Comstock led the opposition, grilling the organizers on every aspect of the proposal such as safety, liability, qualifications of volunteers, all reasonable questions ably answered by Brent Adams, one of the two organizers of the Warming Center program. It soon became clear that it was Adams himself that was the focus of Comstock’s and Mathews‘ distaste. In answer to Comstock’s query as to whether he had a criminal record, Adams replied he had pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor trespassing charge as a result of the 2012 Occupy take-over of the former Coast Commercial bank building.

In sharp contrast to this attempt to paint the organizers in the worst light possible, the public testimony in support of the proposal brought inspiring words of compassion from long-time homeless benefactors, pastors, rectors, and those who had been previously skeptical but whose experience in attending and seeing the gratitude of the homeless in having a bed on a cold night, had changed their minds, and many others in support. The letters sent to council reflected overwhelming support. The city would be joining three churches already committed to providing a warm place to sleep and others were being approached.

Despite all the support, the council opponents dug in. Such vehement opposition to this modest, worthwhile, no-cost proposal was hard to comprehend. It wasn’t setting up a new homeless program; it wasn’t taking over a building in use; it wouldn’t take any more staff time than drawing up terms and conditions similar to the scores of events the city supports and for which it makes available our public resources such as blocking off streets for road races or closing west cliff drive for a street event. A few nights for the homeless to sleep under shelter when the Armory is full and the temperatures hover close to freezing was, as stated by the Mayor, a band-aid but sometimes a band-aid is really needed. Then the real source of tension was revealed. The proposal as written was to direct staff to identify a location and the elements needed to make this happen. That is, the council would set policy and staff would carry out that policy. This legitimate power relationship has long slipped away in Santa Cruz politics. As many have noted, staff increasingly sets policy and council often rubber stamps it. Once the question of “how do staff view this proposal?” became center stage the proposal was doomed.

Council member Posner tried to remind the council that it is they who set policy but once the city manager said it was adding too much work and the police chief said he hadn’t vetted the proposal and Comstock said she heard no support from department heads, the proposal quickly degenerated into “asking for staff’s input and returning to discuss the item on January 12th. “Even this proposal only squeaked by with cautious support from council members Cynthia Chase and Richelle Noroyan joining Lane and Posner. Staff input is an important part of any process but should not trump an emergency humanitarian measure to give shelter on a cold night nor trump council’s ability to set policy, which is what we vote them to do on our behalf. There are many cold nights ahead, perhaps no colder than the hearts of the three council members who turned their backs on those in need of a small gesture of compassion on the part of their city” .



(Gillian Greensite is a long time local activist, 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).

OPTICAL ILLUSIONS.
CREED or ROCKY 7. Just a fun peek at this older and ” new” Stallone.

PATTON’S PROGRAM. Gary reports on these items in his KUSP broadcasts

The Sea and Sand Inn, located on West Cliff Drive just above Cowell’s Beach, is hoping the Planning Commission will approve the installation of a ” soil nail wall,” which may or may not have some aesthetic impacts on the City’s most well-used beach. A few years ago, despite the protests of tree advocates, the Seaside Company, which owns the motel, cut down some heritage trees on the Sea and Sand Inn property, and there is at least a good argument that this has had an impact on bluff stability.

Another item that would affect West Cliff Drive is also on the agenda for Thursday Dec.3 when the Santa Cruz City Planning Commission will hold an important meeting at the City Hall

The City proposes to install a combination pull up and dip exercise bar in the landscape area on the east side of the parking lot closest to Its Beach. Lots of people think that the City’s West Cliff Drive walkway is just fine the way it is (I was out there on Thanksgiving, and it was getting a lot of use). Is this the first step towards turning West Cliff Drive into a parcourse? Finally, the Planning Commission is going to consider possible amendments to the City’s Downtown Recovery PlanThis will affect the future of the the Santa Cruz Downtown, also an important topic.

I believe most professional planners would agree that the California Coastal Commission sets the “gold standard” for planning agencies. One reason is that the Coastal Act articulates some very specific policies which are “mandatory,” as opposed to “discretionary” in form. Policies that are structured as “discretionary,” which are quite common at the local government level, aren’t really “policies” at all, since they contain a built-in exit that allows the local agency to disregard the policy if the agency wants to approve a particular development. For instance, if the so-called ” policy” states that the agency should prevent the conversion of agricultural land to urban uses “to the greatest extent feasible,” very common language in zoning codes, the local agency can always determine that it is not really “feasible” to protect farmland when an attractive development opportunity presents itself. If you really want to protect farmland, you have to have a policy that says something like, “commercially viable farmland shall not be developed or divided.” Period! The Coastal Commission is meeting in Monterey, starting on Wednesday, December 9th, through Friday, December 11th. I have links to the agenda at kusp.org/landuse. I invite you to review the agenda, and then to attend the Commission’s meeting, to see that “gold standard” planning agency in action” . 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 opinions expressed are Mr. Patton’s. Gary has his own website, Two Worlds/365” – www.gapatton.net

CLASSICAL DeCINZO. Scroll down for some food for thought, as always.

EAGAN’S DEEP COVER. Tim takes his grand and wild view of worldy stuff …see below.

LISA JENSEN LINKS. Lisa writes: “If you’re interested in backstage Hollywood, the craft and business of screenwriting, or the (belated) triumph of reason over fear-mongering, don’t miss Trumbo. Read all about it this week at Lisa Jensen Online Express (http://ljo-express.blogspot.com).“Lisa has been writing film reviews and columns for Good Times since 1975.

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

TRUMBO. Bryan Cranston, Helen Mirren, Diane Lane, John Goodman and even Elle Fanning all work nicely together to make this Hollywood Black List- anti HUAC extravaganza.

It’s fun seeing look alikes for John Wayne, Edward G. Robinson, and Kirk Douglas. There’s no mention of Walt Disney’s part, or Adolph Menjou, or Alvah Bessie and Sterling Hayden (both of whom had children living in Santa Cruz) and how Hayden regretted turning stoolie. It is a very complex and sad story. It’s very much worth seeing.

CREED. Even though it’sthe 7th Rocky film with Sylvester Stallone it’s many levels above all the earlier numb trite boxing flicks. Stallone is sincere, the plot (yes there’s a plot) is touching and the acting is completely believable all the way through. It’s almost entirely due to the direction by Ryan Coogler (he directed Frutivale Station) and the acting by Michael B. Jordan.

Even the boxing scenes are just a tiny bit Hollywood, and the ending is surprising too.I don’t agree with many critics saying Stallone should get an Oscar, but it’s not a bad film.

VICTOR FRANKENSTEIN. Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter) plays Igor Strausman the hunchback to James McAvoy’s Doctor Frankenstein. Talk about bizarre… Dr. Frankenstein being very kind, stabs Igor right in the Hunch!!! It turns out the hunch was just full of pus which we watch drain out then Igor can stand up straight!!! I’m not kidding. This is a big million dollar saga and it’s impossible to follow. There’s no rhyme, reason, logic, charm, or perceived plot. Go only IF you’ve seen every other Frankenstein film.

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

SPOTLIGHT. Lots of Oscar buzz around this excellent film. When you have a cast like Mark Ruffalo, Michale Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Billy Crudup, Stanley Tucci and Live Schreiber and a plot involving the Roman Catholic church’s child molesting priests and the “official cover-up” you got a winner. It’s shocking, even though you think you know all there is to know. When you add in the current troubles the Vatican is having…you’ve got a very sick institution. It’s newspaper business at its best. It’s also reporting such as no newspaper can afford today…you’ll see how important that is/was. Rotten Tomatoes gives it a 97%!!!

BROOKLYN. Whew…I knew I loved this film now I see that Rotten Tomatoes gives it 100%

Saoirse Ronan plays the lead Irish (very Irish) girl who comes to New York City in the 1950’s. She adjusts the falls in love with an Italian (very Italian) young man. That seems to be ok but then she has to return to Ireland on a visit and falls in love with a young Irish (very) young manIt’s not too funny, it’s deep, profound, wrenching and perfect acting. You could easily loose your heart in this film. See it if you like wonderful films. It also stars (in a smaller role)

Jessica Pare who you’ll for sure remember as Megan Draper, Don’s dark haired sexy wife in Mad Men.

BRIDGE OF SPIES. Tom Hanks is the big draw for this Russian – German – American spy story. The Nick was packed all opening weekend. Mark Rylance (from Wolf Hall on PBS) plays a Russian “Spy” and is great. It’s all about the cold war,1957-1962, Berlin, USA spy pilot Gary Powers, secret negotians and it’s all directed by Steven Speilberg. That means it’s fast paced, not too demanding/shallow/easy to follow/ some jokes/some tears/ and a happy ending of course. You’ll like it, everybody does.

ROOM. There is some discussion on whether or not this film is based on a novel or reality. Either way it is a well done, angonizing, torturous, moving film. Brie Larson as the teen age mother and Jacob Trembly as her son deserve special acting awards. Kidnapping the young teen ager and raping her in a locked shed for years while she somehow manages to raise her son and maintain a sense of humanity will have you completely fixed to the screen. See this film.

SUFFRAGETTE. Carey Mulligan is almost too cute with those dimples to play the role she does here, and she’s great. Helen Bonham and Brenden Gleeson are at their best and Meryl Streep plays an almost cameo role. Seeing this film about women’s voting rights and also seeing “Miss You Already” has got to make you think deeply how deep the prejudice against women has gone and will women ever be treated as equals…here or anywhere. See this film, and think about Hillary Clinton and Carly Fiorina.

THE SECRET IN THEIR EYES. Not a Santa Cruz film..right now. It’s about a young girl who’s body is found in a dumpster. Even Julia Roberts (her mom), Chiwetel Ejiofor (the cop), and Nicole Kidman ( their boss) doesn’t make this worth seeing. See it in maybe five years, if then.

THE MARTIAN. This Hollywood Matt Damon starring film is like George Clooney and in Gravity. It’s about Damon being left behind on Mars by his team mates (Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig, and Michael Pena). Chiwetal Ejiofor and Jeff Daniels are the NASA, Pasadena JPL business men in charge. It drags in spots and the FX look like they stole them from “2001” . Matt Damon is just too cute and funny and extraordinary to be real, But go see it. You’ll stay awake just to see how it all works out. It’s tense near the end but the ending itself is corney.

SPHINCTER 007. It’ s nearly weird that there have been 24 James Bonds movies in the 53 years since they began. Remember that Pres. John F. Kennedy was a fan of Ian Flemings books. That kicked off the entire Bond Wagon. This Sphincter movie has Daniel Craig playing James Bond for the fourth time!!! Daniel Craig is terrible, this movie is terrible. It would take a book to discuss the differences between Daniel Craig and Sean Connery…you can easily think about those diffrerences and stay away from this disaster of a movie.

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, you should listen live, and it’s also archived for two weeks… (See next paragraph) and go to WWW.KZSC.ORG. Booked so far are… The winners from Bookshop Santa Cruz’s Young Writers Contest read their entries on Dec.1st. Patrick Mayer talks about airplane noise and ” Save Our Skies” on Dec. 8. Patrick is followed by James Mockoski and Ross Gibson talking about their restoration of the 1917 Santa Cruz movie ” Mothers Of Men” . UCSC Chancellor George Blumenthal talks about being Chancellor on December 15, followed by ex- newspaper man and area benefactor Rowland Rebele. December 22 has Amy White ex. dir. of Landwatch Monterey talking about all the land use projects they have in the works. After Amy, there’s an update on what’s happening with the battle between the Community Garden and the Boardwalk Corporation. Then in Jan. 2016 Alexandra Kennedy talks about life and suicide on Jan. 5. Do remember, any and all suggestions for future programs are more than welcome so tune in, and keep listening. Email me always at bratton@cruzio.com

NEW 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, 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.

QUOTES.

“I’m addicted to warm Thanksgiving bird meat, but I should just quit cold turkey. To me, the beginning of December is like leftover November,” Jarod Kintz. ” It is December, and nobody asked if I was ready,” Sarah Kay

“The rapid nightfall of mid-December had quite beset the little village as they approached it on soft feet over a first thin fall of powdery snow. Little was visible but squares of a dusky orange-red on either side of the street, where the firelight or lamplight of each cottage overflowed through the casements into the dark world without. Most of the low latticed windows were innocent of blinds, and to the lookers-in from outside, the inmates, gathered round the tea-table, absorbed in handiwork, or talking with laughter and gesture, had each that happy grace which is the last thing the skilled actor shall capture–the natural grace which goes with perfect unconsciousness of observation. Moving at will from one theatre to another, the two spectators, so far from home themselves, had something of wistfulness in their eyes as they watched a cat being stroked, a sleepy child picked up and huddled off to bed, or a tired man stretch and knock out his pipe on the end of a smouldering log.” Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows.

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 @ gunilla@thegoldenfleece.com

BEST OF VINTAGE STEVEN DeCINZO.

Deep Cover by Tim Eagan.

Posted in Weekly Articles | Comments Off on December 1 – 7, 2015

November 24 – 30, 2015

WHEN RAIN FELL ON PACIFIC AVENUE IN 1955. One of my favorite historical photos.

This was about in front of The Rittenhouse building at Church and Pacific, where the Rip Curl Store opened a few months ago. I always remember Wally Trabing telling me this flood was almost his very first Santa Cruz Sentinel story assignment.

photo credit: Covello & Covello Historical photo collection.

Additional information always welcome: email photo@brattononline.com

DATELINE November 23

Happy Holidays

from the Webmistress!

and because I’ve hijacked this space already, here’s one more. Good luck NOT getting this song stuck in your head! 😉

Happy Turkey Day!!

“LET THE MYSTERY BE” SONG. I am completely addicted to watching “The Leftovers” on HBO. The opening/closing theme music has been driving me crazy. I just now found it on You Tube. Listen to Iris DeMent sing it…and watch the series too. The New Yorker gave the series extremely high praise last week.

WATER, DE-SAL, WATER SUPPLY ADVISORY COMMITTEE, THE COMMUNITY WATER COALITION AND THE SANTA CRUZ CITY COUNCIL.

I’ve been a member of The Community Water Coalition since 2008. Gary Patton our legal council wrote a letter to Mayor Don Lane and the city council this week all about the results of the Water Supply Advisory Committee. He stated that WSAC’s strategy is absolutely the correct one to pursue. He also stated regarding the use of the water we do have… “Currently, “development” and “demand” drives supply. It should be the other way around. John Aird another CWC member stated, “I believe the proposal that the City Council should put the WSAC recommended package to a 2016 vote is absolutely wrongheaded”.

NICKELODEON TRANSITION. By now every movie goer in the County knows about Jim Schwenterley selling the 3 theatres (Nickelodeon, The Del Mar and Aptos ) to the Landmark Theatre chain. Somehow we always thought that those locally owned theatres would never change. They would always be “our theatres”. Lots of questions remain…like will Landmark still “home-make” the caramel corn as they actually do in the Del Mar? Will we still only get those great (and slightly obscure) films even for six day runs, as we do now? Will the Rocky Horror Picture Show extravaganza still keep happening at the Del Mar along with Scott Griffin’s odd, great, weird choice of midnight flicks? We do know that Landmark Theatres has an Eco-Select special popcorn bag that’s used in all their theatres. Landmark owns 55 theatres, 267 screens in 26 markets ranging from NYC, Washington, Boston, to San Francisco and Berkeley. They sell DVDs, books and CD’s in their lobbies. Landmark Owners Todd Wagner and Mark Cuban also own all of part of Magnolia, Lions Gate and Weinstein Distributors and the Dallas Mavericks football team. They bought Landmark in 2003. Go here to see what the Landmark Theatres north of us are playing…looks good to me!!! Then I asked Bill Raney, the original owner of the The Nickelodeon back in the 60’s, what his reactions to the sale were. Bill said, “The only thing I worry about is whether they will keep the Nick’s present staff. Rumor has it that they will, in which case that staff will have the opportunity to explain to them some of the things that work and don’t work in Santa Cruz.

BOARDWALK’s BATTLE OVER THE COMMUNITY GARDEN. If only half of the tourists that come to the Boardwalk every weekend knew how poorly The Seaside Corporation treats its renters and neighbors they’d shut it down in 2 days!!! This will be a test of the guts of the City Council to see if such big deal humanitarians like Don Lane, Cynthia Mathews, and Richelle Naroyan really have the integrity and courage to ask for fairness from Charley Canfield… and after all the city has given the Boardwalk!!! Go here for a short film about the community garden… https://vimeo.com/139610416

BOARDWALK & CANFIELD HOMEWORK. The Santa Cruz Metro did a fine inrerview with Charley Canfield (age 75), Marq Lipton and Ann Parker on May 7, 1998. The story has lot of information about the stuff Canfield owns such as Marina Motors, The Surf Bowl, 1/3 of the houses in Beach Flats, The La Bahia apartments and tells us that he inherited all his money to start with. Other online sources show Canfield as owning Toyota of Santa Cruz and the Suburu dealership. It tells too how our City Council under Scott Kennedy allowed him to stop paying amusement tax on his Boardwalk vending machines. Read this article…it’s the tip of his ice berg.

GREENSITE’S INSIGHT.
A Tall Tale:

The Seaside Company has a problem. The bluff is collapsing beneath its Sea and Sand Inn at 201 West Cliff Drive, directly above Cowell Beach. The Company has applied to the city for a permit to build a retaining wall to shore up the areas of current bluff failure. The staff report claims that the cause of bluff failure was the rains we had last December. Oh what a tangled web we weave…! The real cause of the bluff failure is a cautionary tale. It starts with the presence of seven lovely heritage trees that graced the bluff top for decades. The earliest photograph of them is dated 1928. They caught my eye in 1975 and barely a day went by that I didn’t remark on their beauty, whether seen from the wharf, backlit by the setting sun or viewed from West Cliff with the sea sparkling between their branches.

In 2003 two of the largest trees were cut down with a permit from the city. Quite a loss, but there were five more trees and one becomes philosophical when dealing with the city. In 2006, the Seaside Company applied for a permit to remodel the Inn, which included adding a second story to the middle section. In this context, the Seaside Company hired geologists all testified to the stability of the bluff, which they assessed as having a very slow rate of erosion. There was no history of bluff failure. One geologist wrote that there is, “no discernable retreat of bluff top from the 1970’s to the present.” All good, the permit was approved and the second story addition built. We only asked that the trees be protected during construction and that the second story addition not impact the viability of the trees.

In 2010 the Seaside Company applied for a permit to remove the remaining five trees, which hadn’t done anything naughty in the meantime but visitors had probably remarked that the view from the second story would be superb except for the trees. The city concurred and its Environmental Review was another fine example of doublespeak and opinion masquerading as fact. In the middle of this process Mother Nature gave them a helping hand. After a typical December storm, a large section of the bluff marine terrace material failed and fell onto Cowell Beach. An objective observer would have noted that the collapsed section was directly beneath the spot where the two largest heritage trees had been removed. Since it is well known that trees stabilize soil on steep slopes, this correlation might have been mentioned and discussed. Not a word. In this context the same Seaside Company hired geologists wrote that this was “normal bluff erosion” and recommended all remaining trees be removed. “Normal” in this instance is what they would have calculated as 80 years worth of erosion when they assessed the stability of the bluff for the remodel. The city concurred with their recommendations and a month later issued an emergency permit to cut down the last five trees. No notice, no chance to appeal.

Had decisions been based on facts, knowledge and observation, it would have been evident that the bluff failure was caused by removing the first two trees. When the trees’ roots eventually died the bluff became unstable. One could predict that by removing the remaining five trees, the rest of the bluff would become similarly unstable, making further bluff collapse a certainty. That is exactly what has happened. In their staff report, the city Planning Department attributes the current bluff failure to heavy rainfall last winter. They state that this section of the bluff is “threatened by imminent and continued collapse.” If that’s the case, one wonders why they ever approved the Inn remodel? The only grounds for a variance to allow the Seaside Company to build its retaining wall is if the “hardship peculiar to the property was not created by an act of the owner.” Tree removal is not mentioned in the staff report. Such distortions and omissions can only lead to more failures, whether of bluff or trust. This item will be heard at the Planning Commission meeting of Thursday, December 3rd. ( Gillian Greensite is a long time local activist, 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).

CHARLEY CANFIELD TV INTERVIEW. Charley Canfield talks about old organs and carousels in this 2008 TV Interview.
9 HOURS OF RAIN ON A TENT!!! No kidding…listen for a few seconds, and if you’ve ever been camping it’ll get to ya!!!
GUNS AND ROSES PERFORMING NOVEMBER AND THE RAIN. There’s a sexy wedding dress and lots of cigarette smoking and it’s moody…that’s November for you.

PATTON’S PROGRAM. Gary says in his KUSP broadcasts…” Should the City of Santa Cruz put a measure on the ballot to get voter approval for a comprehensive water supply strategy recently recommended to the Council by its Water Supply Advisory Committee? The strategy is outlined in a 75-page report, but that doesn’t count the report’s many appendices that are hundreds of pages long. The strategy is based on taking water out of the San Lorenzo River during high water events, and then storing that water in local groundwater aquifers, to be used in times of drought. That’s a great strategy, if the groundwater aquifers don’t leak, which is a real possibility.

All involved in developing the proposed strategy admit that it might not work, and that it will take several years to find out whether it does. As of Monday, November 23rd, the public hasn’t even had a full chance to comment, and the City Council hasn’t even approved the strategy. Notwithstanding all this, putting the untried strategy on the ballot was one surprising recommendation from the City Manager in his agenda report. The City Manager thinks that a vote can<quote> “solidify community commitment to the strategy.”

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 opinions expressed are Mr. Patton’s. Gary has his own website, Two Worlds/365” – www.gapatton.net

THE BOARDWALKS GIANT DIPPER. Always a great thrill and their preservation of such a classic roller coaster is to be applauded.

A COMMUNITY FOR NATURE. Grey Hayes has a blog (see link and credentials below)

ABOUT LAND TRUSTS…the privatation of open space.

The rise of the ‘Land Trust Movement’ represents a disastrous shift in the way we protect land for future generations. The shift is from public responsibility, funding, authority and accountability to private funding and private ownership. This private ownership by Land Trusts –even those incorporated as non-profits– signifies the end of public accountability and transparency. In consequence, the purpose and focus of land protection has also shifted from the ecologically sound conservation of plants and animals to the recreational and utilitarian desires of the moneyed elite. At its best the Land Trust Movement is a capitalist response to reduced funding for public land protection agencies. You want protection for public lands? You are going to have to pay for it yourself. This view assumes that development and maximized use is a natural or desirable condition worthy of public support while protection from development and overuse is a special interest need and should be privately funded. At its worst the Land Trust Movement represents a shift toward a new feudalism, widening the gap between the rich and poor via control of land. At the whim of wealthy donors, Land Trusts manage and control entire ecosystems according only to the vicissitudes of an elite few, without regard for or accountability to the commons. In essence they transform management of natural areas into a commodity; excluding the views of the relevant sciences and the general public alike in pursuit of short-sighted, ego-driven land management goals. Read how the public lost control and a lot more by going to http://greyhayes.net/a-community-for-nature

(Grey Hayes has had land stewardship with UC Natural Reserves, did large-scale monitoring and strategic planning with The Nature Conservancy, professional education with the Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve, and taught undergraduates at UC Santa Cruz. An advisor to the Sierra Club and is now an active advisor to the California Native Plant Society. In 1990, he was honored to be recognized as a Fellow by the Robert and Patricia Switzer Foundation).

CLASSICAL DeCINZO. An early (and still current opinion) about The Boardwalk scroll downwards…

EAGAN’S DEEP COVER. What goes around…comes around…see Tim Eagan’s weekly vision below a bit…!!

LISA JENSEN LINKS. Lisa writes: “How do we love the Nickelodeon? Let me count the ways this week at Lisa Jensen Online Express (http://ljo-express.blogspot.com), as I salute the founders and history of Santa Cruz’s favorite movie theatre. Yes, it’s about to be transferred to new ownership, but the vibe should remain the same.” Lisa has been writing film reviews and columns for Good Times since 1975.

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

SPOTLIGHT. Lots of Oscar buzz around this excellent film. When you have a cast like Mark Ruffalo, Michale Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Billy Crudup, Stanley Tucci and Live Schreiber and a plot involving the Roman Catholic church’s child molesting priests and the “official cover-up” you got a winner. It’s shocking, even though you think you know all there is to know. When you add in the current troubles the Vatican is having…you’ve got a very sick institution. It’s newspaper business at its best. It’s also reporting such as no newspaper can afford today…you’ll see how important that is/was. Rotten Tomatoes gives it a 97%!!!

BROOKLYN. Whew…I knew I loved this film now I see that Rotten Tomatoes gives it 100% Saoirse Ronan plays the lead Irish (very Irish) girl who comes to New York City in the 1950’s. She adjusts the falls in love with an Italian (very Italian) young man. That seems to be ok but then she has to return to Ireland on a visit and falls in love with a young Irish (very) young manIt’s not too funny, it’s deep, profound, wrenching and perfect acting. You could easily loose your heart in this film. See it if you like wonderful films. It also stars (in a smaller role)

Jessica Pare who you’ll for sure remember as Megan Draper, Don’s dark haired sexy wife in Mad Men.

THE SECRET IN THEIR EYES. Not a Santa Cruz film..right now. It’s about a young girl who’s body is found in a dumpster. Even Julia Roberts (her mom), Chiwetel Ejiofor (the cop), and Nicole Kidman (their boss) doesn’t make this worth seeing. See it in maybe five years, if then.

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

ROOM. There is some discussion on whether or not this film is based on a novel or reality. Either way it is a well done, angonizing, torturous, moving film. Brie Larson as the teen age mother and Jacob Trembly as her son deserve special acting awards. Kidnapping the young teen ager and raping her in a locked shed for years while she somehow manages to raise her son and maintain a sense of humanity will have you completely fixed to the screen. See this film.

SUFFRAGETTE. Carey Mulligan is almost too cute with those dimples to play the role she does here, and she’s great. Helen Bonham and Brenden Gleeson are at their best and Meryl Streep plays an almost cameo role. Seeing this film about women’s voting rights and also seeing “MissYou Already” has got to make you think deeply how deep the prejudice against women has gone and will women ever be treated as equals…here or anywhere. See this film, and think about Hillary Clinton and Carly Fiorina.

THE MARTIAN. This Hollywood Matt Damon starring film is like George Clooney and in Gravity. It’s about Damon being left behind on Mars by his team mates (Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig, and Michael Pena). Chiwetal Ejiofor and Jeff Daniels are the NASA, Pasadena JPL business men in charge. It drags in spots and the FX look like they stole them from “2001”. Matt Damon is just too cute and funny and extraordinary to be real, But go see it. You’ll stay awake just to see how it all works out. It’s tense near the end but the ending itself is corney.

SPHINCTER 007. It’ s nearly weird that there have been 24 James Bonds movies in the 53 years since they began. Remember that Pres. John F. Kennedy was a fan of Ian Flemings books. That kicked off the entire Bond Wagon. This Sphincter movie has Daniel Craig playing James Bond for the fourth time!!! Daniel Craig is terrible, this movie is terrible. It would take a book to discuss the differences between Daniel Craig and Sean Connery…you can easily think about those diffrerences and stay away from this disaster of a movie.

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. Dr. Neil Sawhney PAMF cardiologist shares important heart issues and advice on Nov. 24. Then Bill Weigel reveals the issues and problems with the proposed Monterey Downs development. The winners from Bookshop Santa Cruz’s Young Writers Contest read their entries on Dec.1st. Patrick Mayer talks about airplane noise and “Save Our Skies” on Dec. 8. Patrick is followed by James Mockoski and Ross Gibson talking about their restoration of the 1017 Santa Cruz movie “Mothers Of Men”. UCSC Chancellor George Blumenthal talks about being Chancellor on December 15, followed by ex- newspaper man and area benefactor Rowland Rebele. December 22 has veterans advocate Dean Kaufman and a guest explaining many benefits available to veterans locally. Then there’s an update on what’s happening with the battle between the Community Garden and the Boardwalk Corporation. Do remember, any and all suggestions for future programs are more than welcome so tune in, and keep listening. Email me always at bratton@cruzio.com

NEW 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, 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.

QUOTES. “I always like walking in the rain, so no one can see me crying.” Charles Chaplin. “Are the days of winter sunshine just as sad for you, too? When it is misty, in the evenings, and I am out walking by myself, it seems to me that the rain is falling through my heart and causing it to crumble into ruins.”Gustave Flaubert . “Being soaked alone is cold. Being soaked with your best friend is an adventure.”Emily Wing Smith. “The sun did not shine. It was too wet to play. So we sat in the house. All that cold, cold, wet day.” Dr. Seuss, The Cat in the Hat.

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 @ gunilla@thegoldenfleece.com

BEST OF VINTAGE STEVEN DeCINZO.

Deep Cover by Tim Eagan.

Posted in Weekly Articles | Comments Off on November 24 – 30, 2015

November 17 – 23, 2015

DOWNTOWN SANTA CRUZ 1966. Amazing and even shocking to see the changes in our downtown in the last 49 years. The U.S. Postoffice is just about the only recognizable structure from those days. Mc Hugh Bianchi Market, The Tea Cup Restaurant, the pre-Swenson St. George Hotel, and a tiny peek at the Wells Fargo Bank building is just about all there is.

photo credit: Covello & Covello Historical photo collection.

Additional information always welcome: email photo@brattononline.com

DATELINE November 16, 2015

SAM FARR RETIRES!!! Wow and whew!!! Now lets watch for all the locals who’ve been waiting for this to happen. We should take money bets on who’s going to run…and on who’s going to win. Watch our Board Of Supervisors carefully and make your predictions. Luis Alejo’s absence on certain votes and his questionable money backers really doesn’t make him the favorite by any means. My money and support are on Mark Stone all the way.

LONDON NELSON & MAH HISTORY. If you get a chance to see the newly revised and modernized history exhibit at MAH do take a look at the references to LONDON Nelson. He’s one of our local historical figures. In spite of the mis-spelling of his name for decades as Louden, MAH got it right, we should be much obliged. Now if we can get folks to spell Gharky street and Cabriho College (and highway) the way their namesakes did…we’ll have something!!

YOU RAISE ME UP. Florida cousin Dean Hagen found this hunk of tear inducing Chinese kids singing the now patented style of Remember do not get teary at the ending!!!

WIDENING HIGHWAY ONE, THE PLOT THICKENS. Former mayor Bruce Van Allen sent an email urgent memo Monday (11/15) in case you missed it, it said….

In 2004, we led the County-wide opposition that decisively defeated a sales tax increase to widen Highway One. Since then we have actively supported numerous transportation improvements around the County, including the long push to get local public ownership of the 32-mile rail corridor stretching across the County, while maintaining resistance to wasteful investment in the outdated thinking behind widening highways. Now it’s back. A new 30 year transportation sales tax measure proposed for 2016 could fund useful and environmentally sound improvements. Unfortunately, the current proposal would waste 135 million dollars on widening Highway One. But widening Highway One STILL won’t work. Repeated scientific studies have shown that expanded freeways encourage more traffic and soon become congested again. Here’s the tiny benefit the CalTrans Environmental Impact Report estimates that the current plan to widen Highway 1 for Auxiliary Lanes will get us: “[This plan] would result in a very slight improvement in traffic congestion” when compared to no highway expansion”. And besides costing millions of our tax dollars, the CalTrans Environmental Impact Report estimates that the plan would result in an annual increase in greenhouse gases of 25% compared to no highway expansion. What does work to decrease congestion and prevent global warming over the long term? A state of the art, county wide, light rail with trail system. Please attend the Regional Transportation Commission’s meeting at 9:00 AM, Thursday, November 19, at the Vets Hall on Front Street in Santa Cruz next to the downtown Post Office. Tell them to forget about wasting money on the highway and get on track with a system that works. Also see Paul Elerick’s urgent plea just below.

TINY TIM, LEE QUARNSTROM AND TONY RUSSOMANNO IN SANTA CRUZ.

Presented in honor of “Angel’s” (Lee Quarnstrom) reappearance:

LEE QUARNSTROM AT BOOKSHOP SANTA CRUZ, December 3.

Tony Russomanno writes…I was delighted to see your item about the Dec. 3 Bookshop Santa Cruz appearance of Lee Quarnstrom, or “Angel,” as he was known to fellow Merry Prankster Tiny Tim. That’s the name Tiny shouted when he ran into Lee 23 years ago while shopping for a Butler toothbrush (the one with the rubber tip on the end for massaging gums) at what is now the Trader Joe’s on Front Street. The name “Angel” dates even further back to the mid-60s, when Tiny’s New York roommate, Wavy Gravy, brought him to The Spread and Tiny caught sight of then-17 year old Lee— tall, slender, a mop of golden hair— backlit against the warm California sun, leading Tiny to believe he was seeing an angel. The name stuck, at least with Tiny. The surprise reunion, along with Angel and Tiny’s confused reminiscence of the Grateful Dead, was part of my KPIX-TV report on the best thing that happened in Santa Cruz or anywhere else in the San Francisco Bay Area on July 16, 1993.

When Ann Parker was doing PR for the Boardwalk, she would only alert me to events that had the potential for something beyond the confines of a press release. All this one took was a phone call from her: “Hey, Tony, Tiny Tim’s in town for a few days. Want to do anything?” Sure. Here’s my plan: walk up Pacific Avenue with the camera rolling. Along the way, I got a call from my news director telling me I also had to fill in and do the weather. No problem. Tiny earlier told me he knew something like 16,000 songs, so I asked him to help me with the weather by singing a line matching each part of the forecast. Too perfect. Or, as Dave McElhatton attempted to say, “Tiny and Tony, together at last.” Requiescat in pace, Tiny Tim, 1932-1996

Gillian emails to say…
MASTER PLAN MANIPULATIONS

These days, the city’s use of well paid outside consultants seems to be the norm rather than the exception. Within the last year we’ve seen the Wharf Master Plan to the tune of $1 million contracted out to ROMA of San Francisco, the Corridors and Rezoning Plan contracted out to a high end Bay Area Urban Design team and now the city Parks Master Plan contracted out to RHAA, a big name landscape, architecture and planning firm with international reach, along with Godbe Research from San Mateo to conduct the phone survey and develop charts and graphs. Apart from the question of cost, there is the question of motivation. Why do we need outside consultants? Couldn’t a random phone survey of 304 people be coordinated by a local research group? Couldn’t a Master Plan be handled in-house? Or, why not dust off the existing Master Plans, developed after much staff time, community input and council deliberation? These include: the Arana Gulch Master Plan; Cowell and Main Beach Management Plan; DeLaveaga Park Master Plan; Depot Park Master Plan; Golf Course Master Plan; Jessie St. Marsh Master Plan; Moore Creek Corridor Access and Management Plan; Pogonip Master Plan; Neary Lagoon Management Plan and the San Lorenzo Urban River Plan.

The survey results for the new Master of Master Plans contain few surprises. Most people are happy with our parks and beaches and want them to be safe. The top interests/activities are hiking and walking which are double the next activity, swimming, then running, road biking, surfing and soccer in that order. That’s good to know. Priorities can be made. Yet the staff report does not reflect this research. It appears that pressure groups’ influence trumps data. For example, mountain biking is relatively low on the list of people’s preferred activities (below soccer) yet somehow it gains prominence in the staff report with calls for new mountain bike trails to be considered for Pogonip, DeLaveaga and Moore Creek Preserve (it is noted this spot might be a bit problematic). Despite the fact that hiking and walking are found to be the top activities by far, there is no mention of ways to ensure these activities are protected and enhanced by say, cracking down on illegal mountain bike-riding, taking more seriously the shocking erosion on the trails caused by this high impact sport or by designating more trails as hiking only. Hiking may be the number one activity as revealed in the survey but reading the staff report you would conclude it is the least popular. Similarly, the inclusion of a plan to consider buying Lighthouse Field from the state for an off-leash unfenced dog park, while admitting to a lack of resources to keep the current city parks and open spaces safe and clean would seem to be catering to another special interest group whose needs did not rank so highly in the survey results.

Within all this is a small item that may escape your notice until it’s a done deal. The city Parks Department is intent on installing a par course piece of equipment along West Cliff Drive. It resembles a giant chair about 8 feet tall. They first installed it on the bluff across from Stockton Avenue, which should have won a prize for the worst placed item ever along the California coast. When an alert resident informed the city that they needed a coastal permit (maybe they do need outside consultants) to locate such a hideous piece of equipment in front of one of the most beautiful views in the world, the city took it out and is now planning to install it closer to Its Beach. It’s less intrusive maybe, but intrusive in the sense of imposing Venice Beach culture onto our beloved West Cliff Drive where we have the privilege to enjoy the wild ocean and sea birds up close. Keep the equipment in the gym and use what nature presents before you. The item is on appeal to the city Planning Commission and the public hearing is on Thursday December 3rd, 2015 at 7PM.

(Gillian Greensite is a long time local activist, 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).

ELERICK’S INPUT. Mr. Paul Elerick of Aptos writes…

Action Alert! Now is the time to speak up for local funds to pay for sustainable transportation improvements. The SC Co. Regional Transportation Commission (RTC) is taking one big step, on Thursday, November 19th at a public meeting, to finalize a proposed November 2016 sales tax ballot measure with funding allocations for local transportation projects. The RTC will discuss how to divvy up the proposed 2016 tax measure which will produce about $450 million over 30 years if enacted. Please email the RTC and let them know you want enough funds to build a majority of the Rail Trail, upgrade the rail line and fund further study and design of passenger rail service. Their current provisional allocation of 30% shows vision and insight and deserves to be commended. Send your comments to info@sccrtc.org by no later then Wednesday November 18th mid-day. This sales tax measure will be the single largest source of funding for the Rail Trail and will do more than anything else to build the Trail as quickly as possible. The RTC Transportation Sales Tax meeting details: 11/19 @ 9am SC Vets Hall, 846 Front Street, Santa Cruz (next to the downtown Post Office). Here is a link to the agenda: http://sccrtc.org/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/15-11-19-TPW-Packet.pdf Once again, please email the RTC today to build the Rail Trail. Send your comments to info@sccrtc.org by no later then Wednesday November 18th mid-day.

(Paul Elerick is co-chair with Jack Nelson 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. GaryPatton states in his now abbreviated KUSP Land Watch reports this week…

The City of Santa Cruz is working on a broadly-supported strategy to deal with water supply. A study session was held on November 10th, and the Council is expected to take official action next Tuesday, November 24th. I have links at kusp.org/landuse, to guide you to information about a complex proposal from the City’s Water Supply Advisory Committee. I also have a link to the agenda of a special meeting of the Technical Advisory Committee of the Monterey Peninsula Regional Water Authority. That meeting took place today, Monday, November 16th.

The Santa Cruz proposal would secure future water supplies by capturing water from the San Lorenzo River, during high rainfall events, and then storing that in groundwater aquifers for future use. As currently planned, the system would benefit not only the City, but also other water agencies. In Monterey County, future water supplies would be secured by what I sometimes call “manufacturing water.” The main proposal, the Monterey Peninsula Water Supply Project, would take in seawater near Marina, and then desalinate that seawater to meet the needs of the Monterey Peninsula. The proposed “Pure Water” project would treat sewage effluent, and then use that treated effluent to build up groundwater supplies. All around the Monterey Bay, water supply issues remind me of one of those Facebook references to marital status: “It’s complicated!”

On widening Highway One… one of the big items on everyone’s wish list, according to the pollsters who did a poll last May, is reducing congestion on Highway One. I have no doubt that the polling is accurate about that concern. There is a problem, however. Identifying the priority doesn’t really tell us how to achieve the goal. If we had $113 million dollars to reduce Highway One congestion, which is what is being suggested, could we spend that money in a way that would, in fact, reduce congestion? As I noted last week on the Land Use Report, highway widening (seemingly an obvious solution) doesn’t really work. After a highway is widened, more people use the highway, illustrating what is called “induced demand.” The congestion stays just about the same. Money spent, but no progress made. Really to reduce congestion, we need to reduce the number of vehicles on the highway at peak times. That means we need to find a way to share rides, through transit and other mechanisms. Learning to share, not more money, per se, is what can solve our problem. 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 opinions expressed are Mr. Patton’s. Gary has his own website, Two Worlds/365” – www.gapatton.net

CLASSICAL DeCINZO Long ago comment on National monuments scroll downwards…

EAGAN’S DEEP COVER. Still another take on those Republican debates see below

LISA JENSEN LINKS. Lisa writes: “It’s a little slow out of the starting gate, but Jewel Theatre Company’s spirited new production of Guys And Dolls picks up steam and races to the finish in the spanking new Colligan Theater at the Tannery. Read all about it this week at Lisa Jensen Online Express (http://ljo-express.blogspot.com).” Lisa has been writing film reviews and columns for Good Times since 1975.

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

ROOM. There is some discussion on whether or not this film is based on a novel or reality. Either way it is a well done, angonizing, torturous, moving film. Brie Larson as the teen age mother and Jacob Trembly as her son deserve special acting awards. Kidnapping the young teen ager and raping her in a locked shed for years while she somehow manages to raise her son and maintain a sense of humanity will have you completely fixed to the screen. See this film.

EXPERIMENTER. Peter Saragaard plays the Yale experimenter who tests volunteers to see if they will administer electric shocks to fellow volunteers. It’s based on Stanley Milgram’s well known and weird testing. Winona Ryder is his wife. It’s as crazy a film as the experiments were. Elephants walk behind people with no explanation, cruelty, lies, and John Leguizamo are all part of this ultimately boring and failed attempt at making some kind of statement. Saragaard also wears the most fake looking beard ever pasted toward the end of the film. You can see the real one during the closing credits.

EAST SIDE SUSHI. To be fair Rotten Tomatoes gives this a 100% rating. It’s cute, feel good, and another food film. A young Latina woman tries to become a full fledged Sushi chef in an all Japanese setting and tradition. Filmed in East Oakland it is really predictable, and Hollywoody.

THE ASSASSIN. Excellent and even exquisite photography, and even asking three film friends who saw it at the Nick…none of us could understand any of it. A beautiful woman martial arts warrior has to kill (slice- up) people back in the Tang Dynasty days. The sword fights are filmed at a distance, it’s way too arty to be believed and you can’t gather clues about any humans. Pass this one by.

SPHINCTER 007. It’ s nearly weird that there have been 24 James Bonds movies in the 53 years since they began. Remember that Pres. John F. Kennedy was a fan of Ian Flemings books. That kicked off the entire Bond Wagon. This Sphincter movie has Daniel Craig playing James Bond for the fourth time!!! Daniel Craig is terrible, this movie is terrible. It would take a book to discuss the differences between Daniel Craig and Sean Connery…you can easily think about those diffrerences and stay away from this disaster of a movie.

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

SUFFRAGETTE. Carey Mulligan is almost too cute with those dimples to play the role she does here, and she’s great. Helen Bonham and Brenden Gleeson are at their best and Meryl Streep plays an almost cameo role. Seeing this film about women’s voting rights and also seeing “MissYou Already” has got to make you think deeply how deep the prejudice against women has gone and will women ever be treated as equals…here or anywhere. See this film, and think about Hillary Clinton and Carly Fiorina.

TRUTH. You won’t be able to stop thinking about how much Robert Redford does NOT look like Dan Rather. However you will also not stop thinking about how Cate Blanchett should be given her Oscar immediately. Cate runs the gamut of excellent acting as Dan Rather’s producer at CBS. This is about how George W. Bush got special favors to get into the National Guard and avoided serving in the war in 2004. CBS comes out looking really bad as business took over news reporting in the fullest sense, and remains so today. See the film. Take Don Lane with you, please.

STEVE JOBS. By now most of the world should know that Steve Jobs was a nasty, foccussed, driven, genius. We know too that his inventions have really changed the world and how we communicate. This film starring Michael Fassbender as Jobs, Kate Winslet as his enabler, Seth Rogen and Jeff Daniels in their usual stereotyped parts, is relentless. It’s all negative, fast paced, and it’s more or less a history lesson about the Apple tech-business behind the scenes. All in all it’s a fine film, but don’t expect to leave the theatre being happy.

SICARIO. Remember Javier Bardem the ruthless assassin in “No Country for Old Men”? Well Benicio Del Toro almost outdoes him in Sicario. Emily Blunt tries her best to act like a Federal agent (FBI) assigned to shady drug deals along the Mexico-El Paso border. Josh Brolin is the seasoned government agent who’s trying to stop the Cocaine, pot, drug trade being tunneled into the USA. It does a great job depicting the politics (ours and Mexico’s ) and shady acts that both sides deal with every day in this ongoing war. It’s an unusual action film, go if you like action films with a hint of truth.

THE MARTIAN. This Hollywood Matt Damon starring film is like George Clooney and

in Gravity. It’s about Damon being left behind on Mars by his team mates (Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig, and Michael Pena). Chiwetal Ejiofor and Jeff Daniels are the NASA, Pasadena JPL business men in charge. It drags in spots and the FX look like they stole them from “2001”. Matt Damon is just too cute and funny and extraordinary to be real, But go see it. You’ll stay awake just to see how it all works out. It’s tense near the end but the ending itself is corney.

BRIDGE OF SPIES. Tom Hanks is the big draw for this Russian – German – American spy story. The Nick was packed all opening weekend. Mark Rylance (from Wolf Hall on PBS) plays a Russian “Spy” and is great. It’s all about the cold war,1957-1962, Berlin, USA spy pilot Gary Powers, secret negotians and it’s all directed by Steven Speilberg. That means it’s fast paced, not too demanding/shallow/easy to follow/ some jokes/some tears/ and a happy ending of course. You’ll like it, everybody does.

BURNT. A more accurate title would be “Steve Jobs goes to Cooking School”. Bradley Cooper plays a self centered jerk who is at least as bad as S. Jobs. Sienna Miller does a good job with her thankless role but this movie should never have been made. Cooper is supposed to be a former drug addict with a money depbt to pay, he’s been sober for a few years, he drives everybody crazy…and still you won’t give a damn when/IF you watch it.

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. Shmuel Thaler and Wallace Baine discuss their new Gail Rich Awards book “The Creative Among Us” on November 17, those guys are followed by Dr. Shawna Riddle giving us Holiday health advice and common sense about vaccinations. Dr. Neil Sawhney PAMF cardiologist shares important heart issues and advice on Nov. 24. Then Bill Weigel reveals the issues and problems with the proposed Monterey Downs development. The winners from Bookshop Santa Cruz’s Young Writers Contest read their entries on Dec.1st. Patrick Mayer talks about airplane noise and “Save Our Skies” on Dec. 8. Later on, UCSC Chancellor George Blumenthal talks about being Chancellor on December 15. Do remember, any and all suggestions for future programs are more than welcome so tune in, and keep listening. Email me always at bratton@cruzio.com

NEW 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, 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.

QUOTES. What we’re really talking about is a wonderful day set aside on the fourth Thursday of November when no one diets. I mean, why else would they call it Thanksgiving?” ~Erma Bombeck. “An optimist is a person who starts a new diet on Thanksgiving Day”, Irv Kupcinet. “On Thanksgiving Day, all over America, families sit down to dinner at the same moment — halftime”,Author Unknown. Last, and not least… “Got no check books, got no banks. Still I’d like to express my thanks — I got the sun in the morning and the moon at night”. Irving Berlin.

COLUMN COMMUNICATIONS.

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Snail Mail: Bratton Online
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All Technical & Web details: Gunilla Leavitt @ gunilla@thegoldenfleece.com

BEST OF VINTAGE STEVEN DeCINZO.

Deep Cover by Tim Eagan.

Posted in Weekly Articles | Comments Off on November 17 – 23, 2015

November 4 – 17, 2015

DOWNTOWN SANTA CRUZ….PACIFIC AVENUE AND MISSION STREET. How time flies, what changes we’ve seen. That’s where McHugh & Bianchi used to be on the right side corner. Now it’s Bank of The West, There’s still an empty lot where Bookshop Santa Cruz used to be and Lulu Carpenter’s Café which was the first business to re-open on Pacific after the 1989 quake.

photo credit: Covello & Covello Historical photo collection.

Additional information always welcome: email photo@brattononline.com

DATELINE NOVEMBER 2, 2015
And hoping to catch up again on……. NOVEMBER 9, 2015

MONTEREY DOWNS AND HORSE PARK DEVELOPMENT. Way back in the early 1970’s a group of out of town developers (Hollywood Turf Club, Marine World, Moroto Investment Company etc.) treid to develop Wilder Ranch. They tried to build 10, 000 homes (that’s means 30,000 people coming here). We organized and eventually stopped them. The Monterey Downs proposed development on Fort Ord Land isn’t quite that large but the battle is not only looming but getting dangerous. Land Watch Monterey County has stated the facts…they are startling. From their website…

“The Monterey Downs and Horse Park components of the proposed project includes the following: a 225,000 square foot horse training facility that would be comprised of a track and stabling area, ancillary buildings, and a 6,500 seat sports arena and grandstand; a 330,000 square-foot commercial center; a 15,000 square-foot horse park that would be comprised of a visitors center, office space, veterinary clinic, and horse stables; two affordable extended stay hotels with a total of 256 units; 1,280 residential units ranging from apartments to single family residential homes; a 100,000 square foot office park; a 200-room (100,000 square foot) hotel; a 5,000 square foot tennis and swim club; a 73-acre habitat preservation area; and 74 acres dedicated to open space and parks and infrastructure” Link to the Land Watch website see just how bad this development will be and get involved in any way you can. Bill Weigle will be talking about The Monterey Downs development on Universal grapevine Tuesday November 24 at 7:30 p.m.

KUSP CUTS BACK ON GARY PATTON’S LAND WATCH PROGRAM. Gary Patton sent this email Saturday (10/31)… “KUSP will no longer be running the Morning Edition show from NPR; therefore, the Land Use Report is not going to appear each weekday in a “local break” in Morning Edition, which is how it has appeared in the past. I am not sure what the programming will be that surrounds the placement of the Land Use Report, and I think that the scheduling shown in this week’s transcripts may change, as KUSP experiments with its new programming schedule. As you will probably notice, I have also been instructed to prepare only FOUR segments for next week; they will run (as indicated in the transcripts) on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday; plus Sunday”. Gary went on to say he has no idea what KUSP’s programming plans are for the future. When they start their AAA changes by cutting locally originated and essential news oriented programs like Gary’s all we can do is wait…and hope. Opera program host Jim Emdy says that his Monday Night at The Opera Show will continue until mid November but after that is anyone’s guess”. Jim added, “all news and info are gone now in daytime. that includes Democracy Now, which is a free show”.

JOHN LEOPOLD FOR SUPERVISOR. Grand new local news happened on Universal Grapevine last Tuesday (10/27). John Leopold announced that he was once again running for 1st District Santa Cruz County Supervisor. I added that we remember that even the Santa Cruz Sentinel endorsed him that last time he ran (2008). He reminded us that the county primary happens in June and usually lots of people try running up until that time. As you might guess Doug Deitch says he’s also running in the first district. He’s run in other districts before. Zach Friend 2nd District supervisor also announced and took out papers to run. Becky Steinbrunner said (also on Universal Grapevine) that there are some highly qualified folks that are considering entering that district race and said the recall drive is progressing nicely. We haven’t heard from 5th District Supervisor Bruce McPherson yet.

OUR PRECIOUS WATER AND UCSC. We’ve all been reading how UCSC has been nearly perfect on their water cutbacks. However Toby Goddard from our Santa Cruz City Water Department states and I quote, “Based on the assumed student enrollment growthrate and demand factor, it is estimated that water demand for the UCSC campus willincrease by 10 million gallons per year from 2020 to 2030. Total UCSC demand at 2030 would be 348 million gallons per year, which represents a net increase of 136 million gallons per year over existing water use.This statement is from… The University of California and The City of Santa Cruz recently completed a Water Supply Assessment (WSA) and certified an EIR for the City of Santa Cruz Sphere of Influence Amendment (“SOI Amendment EIR,” Santa Cruz, 2010).

NEWS FROM GEORGE OW. George sent some mighty interesting news about changes at Kings Plaza (41st Ave. and Capitola Road) …

  1. Orchard Supply Hardware is doing a multi-million dollar remodel of their existing store. They were bought by Lowe’s a year or two ago and we are very happy that they kept ours open–and are now improving it. It is rumored that they are spending $5 million, but that is unconfirmed.
  2. There are two murals along 38th Avenue. One is the 240 long feet by 160 feet high “Whimsey” mural done by Elizabeth Sadoff, Dennis Marks and Julie Heffernan about 30 years ago. It was recently refinished to bring back fading colors. The second one is the “Whale Mural” alongside the CineLux Theater that was 20 feet high by 134 feet long. It will be smaller because of architectural changes, but will be renovated with a whale theme.
  3. The old Pizza Company-Tony & Alba’s space across from the CineLux Theaters is being remodeled by the owners of West End Tap and will be called the East End Gastropub. They are working out the decor and menu now. Bill Schultz is doing the construction.
  4. The space where Pretty Mama was at is being remodeled to be a woman’s nail, facial, skin, etc. spa.
  5. 5. CineLux is remodeling the former Capitola Book Company and theater space to increase the theater count from three to eight. Paul Gunsky is changing everything to make it a deluxe presentation, à la his remodel of the Scotts Valley Cinemas. Construction is still underway, but five screens are now operating and more will come on line soon. (George Ow is part of Ow Family Properties and owns Kings Plaza).
MARIANNE FAITHFULL SINGS “TIMES SQUARE”. This is one of the great songs by Barry Reynolds that my daughter Hillary Bratton recorded. It’s available on iTunes.
GEORGE LEWIS & HIS NEW ORLEANS JAZZ BAND November 1953. I heard this band many times and got to know them back in the day. I even almost went AWOL at Fort Ord to hear them play at the officer’s club in January 1955.

FINAL FAREWELLS. Al Johnsen taught pottery at UCSC back in it’s earliest days. He co-founded Big Creek Pottery and later opened his own Scott Creek Pottery. He was also the driving force behind the legendary Swanton Road Corn Roasts. He died Tuesday Nov. 3rd.

Marge Frantz also taught at UCSC for almost 30 years. She was a long time member of the Communist Party USA and lived for years at Piedmont Court.I have no details on her dying.

Ed Borovatz was a Santa Cruz school teacher and became our County supervisor in 1977. I remember that he lived in a near legendary house on Branciforte…we’ll miss them all.

BEACH FLATS & THEIR GARDEN & EMINENT DOMAIN. Fred Geiger wrote a letter to the Santa Cruz City Council and made some important points… “Dear Council members. As you likely realize, the General Plan calls for 1 Acre of publicspace per one thousand residents. The Beach Flats Community has about 2,600 residents and has only about ONE HALF an ACRE of public space. This is a completely unacceptable situation and has existed for very many years. Now the Garden space is to be reduced and no mitigation of this unacceptable situation is being proposed.

The City should exercise its right to Eminent Domain and secure this Garden plot, as well as other space, to rectify this unacceptable situation. The purpose of such taking of land (with just compensation) is to benefit the public good. I can think of no clearer circumstance in which it could be exercised! Thank You. Fred J. Geiger.”

BOOKSHOP SANTA CRUZ NEWS. Ex Register-Pajaronian and Mercury reporter Lee Quarnstrom will return to the Bookshop on December 3 to sign copies of his “When I was A Dynamiter” book. More details will follow but Lee told me…”It’s part of a big shindig that will include Supervisor John Leopold dedicating a plaque near The Spread, a house where I, along with Ken Kesey & his family and some other Merry Pranksters, lived in the mid-60s for a while. The plaque will memorialize the first Acid Test, held there 50 years ago, at the site of The Spread (now gone) on the north side of Soquel Drive just west of Rodeo Gulch — the gulch itself, not Rodeo Gulch Road, which is on the other side of the gulch. The Acid Tests, which we Pranksters, as we called ourselves, were held in in the Bay Area and southern California, with music by the Grateful Dead. Obviously those future details will make all this sensible!!!

Gillian Greensite writes…
IN THE SPOTLIGHT

Have you noticed a difference in your streetlights recently? Do they seem whiter and brighter? Do they disturb your sleep? The city has recently replaced our high-pressure sodium streetlights with its choice of light-emitting diode (LED) lights that create potential threats to human health and safety, wildlife ecology and naturally dark skies. Two months ago, on hearing that this retrofit was coming, the Santa Cruz chapter of the International Dark-Sky Association (IDA), of which I am a member, requested a meeting with the city Public Works director to find out the specs on the retrofit, and find out if the lights chosen met the latest IDA standards in LED technology in order to save energy costs, maximize safety and minimize light pollution. We were stonewalled, given the run-around by both the city and PG&E. By the time we had a meeting the streetlights were a done deal, bought and installed.

LED light is a breakthrough in lighting technology, saving energy and its costs. It is the light of the future. It has its risks, especially in the choice of the technology that our city has just installed. The white light emitted by the diodes has a spectrum that ranges from cool (blue) to warm (red). The cool end of the spectrum is linked to human sleep disturbances, disruption of the ecosystems of nocturnal animals, disruption to bird behavior, disruption to plant growth and its short-wavelength scatters light over a wider range, while the warm end minimizes these effects. Since the technology is rapidly changing, a word to the wise by those in city management in other cities is to not rush into this mass retrofit without careful scrutiny of all the options. The city of Davis found this out the hard way. They retrofitted their public streetlights with 4000 K blue-white LED lights (which our city has just installed) and the public reacted with outrage, sufficient to force the city to replace the lights with the IDA approved, warm spectrum, dimmable, 3000 K lights. It cost the city of Davis $350,000 to make the change. We early on alerted our city about what happened in Davis.

The 2030 General Plan has entries that call for reducing light pollution and exploring a “dark sky ordinance.” There is no indication the city considered the General Plan given that the old lights were 70 watts and according to PG&E, the new LED’s are the equivalent of 100 watts (4,000 Kelvins). PG&E cautioned the city that this choice of light may not play well in Santa Cruz but the city insisted on 4,000K blue-white lights. In terms of energy savings, warm-spectrum white LED lighting now achieves the same energy efficiency as cool-spectrum lights and is better for people and the environment. The new lights have increased glare that leads to more pedestrian, bike and car accidents. The city claims the blue-white spectrum lights provide more home safety and enable law enforcement to better identify suspects. There is no evidence that the cool-white lights achieve this better than the warm-spectrum lights. There is evidence that the kind of lighting chosen by the city compromises public safety by creating deep shadows which provide cover for those intent on doing harm.

There is also a more cosmic concern. We are fast losing sight of the night sky due to light pollution. Not only astronomers feel this loss. It is a profound loss for humanity to lose sight of the immensity and beauty of space, to ponder our origins and fate. Whether your concern is cosmic, health, safety or environmental impacts, the main point is that there was no avenue for public input and discussion of alternatives. It’s not too late. Davis has led the way. If you want to express your concerns, email city Public Works director Mark Dettle at mdettle@cityofsantacruz.gov, Joe Foster of PG&E at Joe.Foster@pge.com and city council at citycouncil@cityofsantacruz.com You can find more about IDA at http://darksky.org/ ( Gillian Greensite is a long time local activist, 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).

ELERICK’S INPUT. Mr. Paul Elerick of Aptos writes…

More on TAKE BACK SANTA CRUZ’S Community Safety Forum

The featured speaker for this event, Republican Lynne Brown from Sacramento seems to have taken her Electric Blue fundraising website down. Not sure if it’s worth the effort, but it would still be interesting to see who paid for Brown and her entourage to come to Santa Cruz and pitch their anti-AB 109 and Prop 47 cause back on October 22nd. There are still plenty of references to Electric Blue (“Supporting public safety professionals and their families”) out there. Their unregistered “foundation” has several Sacramento Tea Party political groups listed as supporters. Message to local groups who are asked to be co-sponsors at Take Back Santa Cruz Community Safety Forums…. Make sure you check out their programs before you lend your name. Paul Elerick is co-chair with Jack Nelson of the Campaign for Sensible transportation, http://sensibletransportation.org , and he’s a member of Nisene 2 Sea, a group of open space advocates).

AMY WINEHOUSE. I’d only seen her in that documentary..here’s her big video hit “Back To Black”

PATTON’S PROGRAM. Gary Patton states in his now abbreviated KUSP Land Watch reports this week…

Highway widening projects are always controversial. They cost a lot of money, of course, and they generally have pretty significant environmental impacts. The issue that I think is most often coming to the fore, nowadays, is a question about whether such highway widening projects actually accomplish anything positive, in terms of reducing highway congestion.

In other words, while spending many millions of dollars and causing large impacts to the environment might be a good tradeoff, if the end result were significantly less traffic congestion, those huge expenditures and negative environmental impacts look a lot less attractive if the end result is no significant improvement at all in the highway congestion problems that were the reason that the widening project was undertaken in the first place.

In fact, highway engineers are coming to the conclusion that widening highways results in what is called “induced demand,” which means that the new capacity from the widening project is quickly consumed by more people using the highway, so it’s the same old congestion, but with more people caught in the jam. The Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commission is proposing a project to widen Highway One in Santa Cruz County, from Morrissey Boulevard to Larkin Valley Road. An EIR process is just beginning. You are invited to get involved, and can get more information at kusp.org/landuse.

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 opinions expressed are Mr. Patton’s. Gary has his own website, Two Worlds/365” – www.gapatton.net

A REAL AMAZON STORE TO OPEN!!! Casy Coonerty Protti mentioned this news at our Bookshop Santa Cruz Birthday Party last Friday night. And I just found the news on HUFF POST It’s going to be across from The Empire State Building on West 34th Street. “It won’t be a regular store, though. There’s just too many items on Amazon. The store will be more like a warehouse. You’ll be able to return and exchange things you buy online in the store. You’ll also be able to order something online in the morning and pick it up at the store that night”. It also said that if that one works they’ll open more. Something just doesn’t seem right about that. Amazon started in 1995, in case you’d forgotten.

CLASSICAL DeCINZO. Fortune teller DeCinzo reminds us of rain, storms and FEMA!!! See below just a few pages.

EAGAN’S DEEP COVER. Tim gives us Deep Insight into the Republican future!!! Scroll below…

GUYS AND DOLLS IN THE NEW THEATRE!!! The Jewel Theatre Company must really be jumping up and down (plus dancing) getting ready for their big new production of Frank Loesser’s Guys and Dolls. It’s running in the brand new Colligan Theatre at The Tannery November 12-December 6. Laura Piccone is directing it and Lee Ann Payne is doing the choreography. Go to www.JewelTheatre.net for tickets or call 831 425-7506

LISA JENSEN LINKS. “Everybody’s a critic this week at Lisa Jensen Online Express http://ljo-express.blogspot.com as I consider what happens when audience expectations don’t match up with the book (or movie) actually produced. Also, there’s still time to catch up with some interesting fall films.” Lisa has been writing film reviews and columns for Good Times since 1975.

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

LABYRINTH OF LIES. A subtitled story of the tracking down and making Germany aware of and admitting to the truths of Auschwitz. It hints at the terrible experiments and guilt of Josef Mengele and how he escaped justice. It’s tough and uncompromising and a lesson for all of us. It’s only here by special inclusion from the distributors.

SUFFRAGETTE. Carey Mulligan is almost too cute with those dimples to play the role she does here, and she’s great. Helen Bonham and Brenden Gleeson are at their best and Meryl Streep plays an almost cameo role. Seeing this film about women’s voting rights and also seeing “MissYou Already” has got to make you think deeply how deep the prejudice against women has gone and will women ever be treated as equals…here or anywhere. See this film, and think about Hillary Clinton and Carly Fiorina.

MISS YOU ALREADY. A genuine women’s film!!! Drew Barrymore and Toni Collette play best friends since childhood. Jacqueline Bisset (almost unrecognizable) plays Toni’s mom.The film is laden and loaded with cancer, masctectomies, scars, childbirth, and is full of tragedy, and stuff in the lives,pains and feelings of women that I can’t posibly identify with…it is a woman’s film, and that is a compliment and high praise.

TRUTH. You won’t be able to stop thinking about how much Robert Redford does NOT look like Dan Rather. However you will also not stop thinking about how Cate Blanchett should be given her Oscar immediately. Cate runs the gamut of excellent acting as Dan Rather’s producer at CBS. This is about how George W. Bush got special favors to get into the National Guard and avoided serving in the war in 2004. CBS comes out looking really bad as business took over news reporting in the fullest sense, and remains so today. See the film. Take Don Lane with you, please.

OUR BRAND IS CRISIS.Sandra Bullock and Billy Bob Thornton give this film all their acting chops and still it just doesn’t get great. Bullock looks like a real human in this film unlike the inches of makeup and hokey “style” she affects in most of her films. Like TRUTH this is all about politics and business…only in Bolivia. It’s politically confusing and dull at times, but Bullock and Billy Bob are fun to watch.

BURNT. A more accurate title would be “Steve Jobs goes to Cooking School”. Bradley Cooper plays a self centered jerk who is at least as bad as S. Jobs. Sienna Miller does a good job with her thankless role but this movie should never have been made. Cooper is supposed to be a former drug addict with a money depbt to pay, he’s been sober for a few years, he drives everybody crazy…and still you won’t give a damn when/IF you watch it.

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

STEVE JOBS. By now most of the world should know that Steve Jobs was a nasty, foccussed, driven, genius. We know too that his inventions have really changed the world and how we communicate. This film starring Michael Fassbender as Jobs, Kate Winslet as his enabler, Seth Rogen and Jeff Daniels in their usual stereotyped parts, is relentless. It’s all negative, fast paced, and it’s more or less a history lesson about the Apple tech-business behind the scenes. All in all it’s a fine film, but don’t expect to leave the theatre being happy.

SICARIO. Remember Javier Bardem the ruthless assassin in “No Country for Old Men”? Well Benicio Del Toro almost outdoes him in Sicario. Emily Blunt tries her best to act like a Federal agent (FBI) assigned to shady drug deals along the Mexico-El Paso border. Josh Brolin is the seasoned government agent who’s trying to stop the Cocaine, pot, drug trade being tunneled into the USA. It does a great job depicting the politics (ours and Mexico’s ) and shady acts that both sides deal with every day in this ongoing war. It’s an unusual action film, go if you like action films with a hint of truth.

THE MARTIAN. This Hollywood Matt Damon starring film is like George Clooney and in Gravity. It’s about Damon being left behind on Mars by his team mates (Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig, and Michael Pena). Chiwetal Ejiofor and Jeff Daniels are the NASA, Pasadena JPL business men in charge. It drags in spots and the FX look like they stole them from “2001”. Matt Damon is just too cute and funny and extraordinary to be real, But go see it. You’ll stay awake just to see how it all works out. It’s tense near the end but the ending itself is corney.

THE INTERN. Robert DeNiro does his quirky, cute, funny old man role in this feel good comedy. Anne Hathaway does almost eaactly a role reversal of what her co-star Meryl Streep did in The Devil Wears Prada (2006). There’s a lot of ageism, truth, and predictability in this feel good flick but it’s fun…even if you’re old. Believe me.

BRIDGE OF SPIES. Tom Hanks is the big draw for this Russian – German – American spy story. The Nick was packed all opening weekend. Mark Rylance (from Wolf Hall on PBS) plays a Russian “Spy” and is great. It’s all about the cold war,1957-1962, Berlin, USA spy pilot Gary Powers, secret negotians and it’s all directed by Steven Speilberg. That means it’s fast paced, not too demanding/shallow/easy to follow/ some jokes/some tears/ and a happy ending of course. You’ll like it, everybody does.

CRIMSON PEAK. Once again I’m on the opposite side of the reviews. Rotten Tomatoes gave this a 69 % rating!! Jessica Chastain does a victorian, haunted near-witch role, Mia Wasikowska is her usual blonde wide eyed innocent, Tom Hiddleston spends most of the film figuring out just what role he is playing. It’s a Guillermo del Toro production and is gorgeous, but really tiring. No subtle surprises, no new suspense, just ghosts, and pretty costumes designed by Kate Hawley. Not our local talented Kate Hawley (I asked her). You could rent it, but not for Halloween…it’s not scary enough!!!

PAN. I mentioned to some film fan friends before I saw this mess that I’d never read such bad reviews of a major release as Pan got…and deserved. It is supposed to be a prequel to the too familiar Peter Pan story and tells of Peter and his American FRIEND Captain Hook!! Hugh Jackman as Blackbeard and Rooney Mara do what they can with such a shabby script, but it is extra shabby, and undecipherible to a fault. I won’t even try to explain the plot, I couldn’t understand any five minutes of it. It is bloody, evil, and has little or no meaning for existing. DO NOT ATTEND!

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. Tandy Beal talks about her production of “Mixed Nutz” and her Artsmart concerts followed by Debbie Hencke from “The Alliance of Concerned Citizens” talking about County Code changes. And on Nov. 10. Shmuel Thaler and Wallace Baine discuss their new Gail Rich Awards book on November 17, those guys are followed by Dr. Shawna Riddle giving us Holiday health advice and common sense about vaccinations. Cardiologist Dr. Neil Sawhney guests on Nov. 14 to talk about you heart and the holiday strains. After Doc Sawhney, Bill Weigel reveals the issues and problems with the proposed Monterey Downs development. The winners from Bookshop Santa Cruz’s Young Writers Contest read their entries on Dec.1st. Patrick Mayer talks about airplane noise and “Save Our Skies” on Dec. 8. Later on, UCSC Chancellor George Blumenthal talks about being Chancellor on December 15. Do remember, any and all suggestions for future programs are more than welcome so tune in, and keep listening. Email me always at bratton@cruzio.com

NEW 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.

QUOTES. “November hung his Granite Hat upon a nail of plush”, Emily Dickenson.

“The Hardest thing about boxing is picking up your teeth with boxing gloves on”, Kin Hubbard. “Losing the Super Bowl is worse than death. With Death you don’t have to get up in the morning”, George Allen. “You can observe a lot by just watching”, Yogi Berra.

COLUMN COMMUNICATIONS.

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Snail Mail: Bratton Online
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Santa Cruz, CA 95060

Direct email: Bratton@Cruzio.com

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BEST OF VINTAGE STEVEN DeCINZO.

Deep Cover by Tim Eagan.

Posted in Weekly Articles | Comments Off on November 4 – 17, 2015