April 10 – 16, 2014

THE ORIGINAL FISHERMAN’S WHARF. Once we had a fisherman’s Wharf and a Railroad Wharf right next to each other. The Sea Beach Hotel is on the right, it opened in 1888, and burned up (or down) in 1912. (Covello & Covello Historical Photos)

photo credit: Covello & Covello Historical photo collection.

DATELINE APRIL 7, 2014

GOOD TIMES ALL THE TIME. By now just about everybody who reads hard copy is aware of the buy-out of Good Times and some other weeklies by Dan Pulcrano. Here are the “legal” details if you missed them. http://www.bizjournals.com/sanjose/news/2014/03/31/metro-newspapers-buys-weeklies-in-santa-cruz.html

What many folks may not remember (or know) are some of the changes Good Times has gone through in the last 39 years. Not even counting the time when the Good Times offices were moved to Capitola (next to AAA). I can remember at least four different office locations just on Pacific Ave alone. You probably remember too that for a while Rupert Murdoch who also owned or owns The Wall Street Journal, Dow Jones, Harper Collins, The New York Post and more, was the owner of our Good Times too!!! Then there were the great parties, like the very first Good Times Halloween Party up at the old Pogonip Country Club in 1975. It was jointly celebrated with The Santa Cruz Symphony. The party got so out of hand, both groups were told never, never come back!!! Here’s more of the story…. Lisa Jensen has still more in her section. Scroll down a little bit.

SAVE THAT TREE. Gillian Greensite works hard to save our Heritage Trees. She was on my radio program last Tuesday night talking about one tree in particular…I asked her to write something about saving that tree. She writes…

“There is a beautiful tree at 407 Broadway, between the levee and Ocean Street, soon to be killed to make way for a Hyatt Hotel. It is a red horse chestnut, one of only three in Santa Cruz. Described as “sacred” and “a guardian of the property” by the original owners of the land, it is now being sacrificed in the name of profit by local developer Tejal Sood. Ms. Sood, her architect Peter Bagnall and Planning director Juliana Rebagliati presented the city council with misleading and incorrect testimony in order to secure their tree removal permit. By stating that the tree had a “very large root ball” and “very very sensitive roots” and is a “tree in decline” they managed to sway the council into believing that the tree could not be saved and was not worth saving.

By contrast, tree experts David Cox of Environmental Design and Barrie Coate, local, esteemed arborist, both inspected the tree and assessed it as “in excellent health” with a life span of many centuries, a “unique” specimen that could be preserved with a retaining wall and a planting space of 24 feet. Unfortunately such information came in after the fact and the Soods have their tree removal permit. It’s too late for legal action. The only hope left is to appeal to the Soods to spare the tree with a slight design modification which should have happened from the beginning if the city had followed its Heritage Tree Ordinance. Tejal Sood declares her family’s roots in the community and her desire to be a good neighbor at every opportunity. With only one week left before the tree will be killed, it may help if we all email Ms. Sood and respectfully ask that she do everything possible to save this beloved tree. Her email is tejalsood@yahoo.com

If we cannot convince Ms. Sood to change her mind, we plan to hold a demonstration on the sidewalk in front of the tree with signs for all to see who drive by. Nothing illegal. If you wish to be kept informed of developments- email me at gumtree@pacbell.net. Gillian Greensite, Save Our Big Trees.

MUNICIPAL WHARF WIDENING, THE REAL COST. According to the Sentinel (3/29) The cost just for implementing the master plan for the 2 acre widening of the Santa Cruz Municipal Wharf will be $1.02 million dollars. That’s for the master plan. A lot of that preliminary money (according to the Sentinel) will come from our Parks and Recreation Departments park maintenance fund. And why should we bother maintaining our parks when we can add all those new businesses on the wider wharf? We need to ask our sitting City Council (or any future candidates) just how much are the estimates for the actual construction of the wider wharf?? WE should all guess just how much it costs to sink just one redwood tree piling and multiply it out. Then there’s the adding of more 100 ton ships and boats to our Monterey Bay Sanctuary. Will we eventually see Viking Lines, Royal Caribbean, Carnival and Princess Cruise ships docking here…or a few feet off shore with little boats bringing those tourists straight to Charlie Canfield’s Boardwalk???

APTOS VILLAGE…NOT YET!!! With all the talk and debate over the pros and cons of the development of the new Aptos Village I wondered exactly what step of the creation the village is in. I asked Jesse Nickell senior vice president of Barry Swenson Builder about it. He said it probably won’t be happening this year. They are still in the design stages, and they haven’t yet even applied for permits. That should give plenty of time for any and all the neighbors to give lots of input…and for elected officials to figure out traffic problems and EIR’s in general.

BOOK DOMINOS in SEATTLE

PATTON’S PROGRAM. Gary opens this week’s broadcasts with “Water and Development” plus “Transportation”. He details more of Sand City’s Eco-Resort a 184 room condominium that the Coastal Commission staff recommends approval…and lawsuits are following!!! More Monterey County Land use stuff like a farming ordinance is involved. The Carmel River Watershed Conservancy that involves The California American Water Company is back in the news. He closes with the issue of Measure O and that we should all stay in touch with The Carmel Valley Association through their weekly bulletin. Link here…

Read all of above scripts at Gary Patton’s KUSP Land Use site http://blogs.kusp.org/landuse. Gary is a former Santa Cruz County Supervisor, and an attorney who represents individuals and community groups on land use and environmental issues. The opinions expressed are Mr. Patton’s. Gary has his own website, “Two Worlds / 365?www.gapatton.net

CLASSICAL DE CINZO. De Cinzo re-visits nature and UCSC… see downwards.

EAGANS DEEP COVER. Tim takes a poke at Republican Senator Barrasso and the cooking of the books…see below.

LISA JENSEN LINKS. Lisa writes: “What just happened? Read all about the unexpected merger between Good Times and Santa Cruz Weekly, this week at Lisa Jensen Online Express (http://ljo-express.blogspot.com). Also, as if there isn’t enough drama around here, join me in celebrating the return of Game of Thrones!” Lisa has been writing film reviews and columns for Good Times since 1975.

THAT IS THE QUESTION
……In order of perfection……

LE WEEKEND.Be very aware that the previews you may have seen are 100% misleading. This is NOT a fun filled weekend in Paris romp for a two senior- long time- married couple. Jim Broadbent and Lindsay Duncan who is 64 (you’ll wonder when you see her) star in this bittersweet, soul searching, awkward view of a marriage. It’s about devotion, growing old, egos, and suffering alone. Broadbent you know about but Lindsay Duncan was in the HBO series Rome, films like Under The Tuscan Sun, a bunch of Pinter plays, Prick Up Your Ears, Mansfield Park, and Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland. Oops, she was also in the last Sherlock Holmes “His Last Vow” with Mr. B. Cumberbatch. See this most excellent film but remember, it’s not fun just wonderfully thoughtful.

EARNEST AND CELESTINE. An Oscar nominee for Best Animated Feature. Don’t be put off by the ” animated” word. This is absolutely beautiful, intelligent, sensitive and very clever animation. Not Disney, not Pixar, sort of like Beatrix Potter illustrations. The film is in French which adds to the brilliance. Go see it and bring the kids!!!

CAPTAIN AMERICA, Winter Soldier.You take Scarlett Johansson, Robert Redford, Samuel L. Jackson, and put them in a film like Captain America and what do you have?? Not much, just another bloody, violent, superhero, Marvel Comic blockbuster. It does have a few seconds where we can think about security versus fear as a way to run the USA. Redford plays an evil Wall Street warmonger, and Johansson jumps around a lot and she ereally does have an intriguing voice, if you stop looking and listen to her. She’s a good “guy” and works with Chris Evans as the Captain. Just go if you’re under 16, and bored.

OTHER SIDE OF THE TRACKS. Remember how we used to wonder why the french liked Jerry Lewis so much…and how we’d wonder about the French sense of humor??? You’ll experience it again if you see this smart cop with “dumb” assistant flick. It’s is so obvious a plot you’ll go nuts trying to think up as many plot changes as possible, but don’t bother. Good thing it’s only here for a week.

THE PLAYERS.Another reason to be thankful this dopey French comedy is here for just a week. Jean Dujardin (“The Artist”) and friends created this dopey mess of 6 or maybe 8 short segments with only a second- long black screen to separate them. It’s about two guys and their wives, girlfriends, and much more vulgar, slutty, anti – women humor. Never mind about this film…hopefully it’s gone by now!!!

STILL PLAYING AT A THEATRE NEAR US

(from BEST 2 worst)

ENEMY. . (Damn, it has gone already!!) but it was/is so good, I’ll repeat “This film is from the book “The Double” by José Saramago. Saramago is one of my favorites. Jake Gyllenhaal plays the lead; he is one of my favorite actors. I loved every second of this film. Darker than Noah and as surrealistic as Bunuel it’s a piece of art to ponder deeply. Wikipedia says, “Saramago addresses serious matters with empathy for the human condition and for the isolation of contemporary urban life. His characters struggle with their need to connect with one another, form relations, and bond as a community, and also with their need for individuality, and to find meaning and dignity outside of political and economic structures”. If you need easy, clear cut non provoking entertainment this isn’t it. But if Fellini, Bergman, and Tarkovsky give you stuff to think about go see Enemy asap. P.S. Isabella Rossellini plays his mother

LUNCHBOX.You’ve seen the lead Irrfan Khan in great films if you’ve seen any Indian films lately. HBO’s In Treatment, The Life of Pi, Slumdog Millionaire etc. It’s the touching, sensitive, no big action story of a non-relationship. It’s also a tour of contemporary Mumbai, India. It’s a wonderful film.

CESAR CHAVEZ. Michael Pena who plays Cesar in the film is no Cesar Chavez. We learn nothing of Chavez’s upbringing, why he’s such a great leader and where he got the guts to do what he did. We learn nothing about who or what role Dolores Huerta played in all the struggle. It’s interesting to us locally because we all knew a little or a lot about Chavez’ fights and it does give us a framework for what we knew but it’s not much of a portrait of such an important person. It should have been titled “5 years in the life of Cesar Chavez”.

BAD WORDS. This is a much more serious film than the trailers would have you believe. Jason Bateman, the lead actor ( and also the director) is excellent in his role. But there’s a dark side, a deep reason that Bateman is competing against the kids in this spelling bee movie, and it’s not funny. Tons of swear words in this film, and the spelling words are fun to learn, but there are a lot of better films out and running at the moment.

THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL.Like Salvatore Dali and Norman Rockwell Wes Anderson makes brilliant films but the intent, meaning, and any statements behind what you see are confusing. Budapest Hotel is one of Anderson’s simplest films. Lots of laughs, not much subtlety, and Ralph Fiennes is at his funniest best. Tilda Swinton, Bill Murray, Jason Schwartzman, Jeff Goldblum, Willem Dafoe, Adrien Brody, Harvey Keitel, Tom Wilkinson, Jude Law, Owen Wilson, Edward Norton and F. Murray Abraham are also inthe film for publicity purposes I guess. Rotten Tomatoes says Johnny Depp, Ursula Kuhnt, and Angela Lansbury are in it too, but I didn’t see them.

DIVERGENT. Shailene Woodley has come a long way from George Clooney’s daughter in The Descendents, or her wonderful job in “The Spectacular Now”. She’s the main thing in Divergent. She diverges from the approved 5 factions in this Chicago land of the far distant future. It’s a lot like Hunger Games and Shailene reminds me a lot of Jennifer Lawrence in looks and in the roles they play in both these flicks. Ashley Judd is in this too, so is Kate Winslett. Much war, blood, fights, teen age stuff. You could stay home and study about oil deposits in Santa Cruz County and be better off.

NOAH. A very dark, non-human, bloody, director’s version of one part of the bible. If you liked the Bible you probably won’t like this special effects version.There are so many ” non biblical” characters and adventures that the entire movie just looses it completely. Check out this biblical source to see just some of the problems. What is amazing is Aronofsky’s addition of huge silly looking stone monsters (looking like Hollywood Transformers) called Watchers that help Noah fight off the humans. But Russell Crowe does as good a job as he can with his funky role and script to match.

THE LEGO MOVIE. Check it out, Rotten Tomatoes gives it a 95 % (Monuments Men got 34%!!!). It’s notTHAT great but its clever, sort of Pixar clever. Yes it’s all animated with those little Lego people doing all the acting”. Voices like Morgan Freeman, Elizabeth Banks, and Chris Pratt are just fine, but there are dozens of almost secret throwaway lines that will really grab you. Many product take offs, huge slaps at our commercial lives, and it ends up with what you might even call a moral lesson!!! The 3D version is extra cute…but you could rent it in a year and still enjoy!!

NON STOP. It’s not a “who dunnit” but a “who’s doing it” murder mystery on board an airliner. It’s really confusing, and Liam Neeson holds it together as best he can. It’s odd and disappointing to see Michelle Dockery from Downton Abbey have such an almost non speaking part. Julienne Moore does her usually fine acting as does Lupita Nyong’o from 12 years as a Slave. Go if you want to, but you won’t like it very much.

NEED FOR SPEED. It’s difficult to put all of this racing saga in the overflowing movie trash bin. Aaron Paul and his relationship with co-star Imogen Poots is fascinating and well done. The racing footage is ok even in 3D it’s not great, but ok. The film has such a Hollywood ending like you’ll never believe.

MR. PEABODY AND SHERMAN. I only watched 6 minutes of the part where Peabody and Sherman confront Leonardo DaVinci. It was enough to convince me that none of the wit, cleverness, sharpness of the Rocky & Bullwinkle, Dudley Do Right days were gone. This is just another witless money grubbing Hollywood cartoon.

300: RISE OF AN EMPIRE. It’s got an evil queen Menses (who looks like a dark, mysterious Margaret O’Brien) fighting the pure-at-heart Sphinctus Erectus who’s from grease or maybe it’s Greece. It’s full of blood and a PG type warning “no acting was performed during the making of this film” should have been given before we had to watch it.

UNIVERSAL GRAPEVINE. Each and every Tuesday from 7:00-8:00 p.m. I host Universal Grapevine on KZSC 88.1 fm. or on your computer (live only or sometimes old programs are archived… (See next paragraph) and go to WWW.KZSC.ORG. UCSC Music prof. Ben Leeds Carson talks about April in Santa Cruz events on April 1st then Gillian Greensite discusses the new Santa Cruz Municipal Wharf plans and Heritage trees. April 8th has Kathleen Johnson from Advocacy Inc.telling us about Senior Care facilities then Marco Romanini guests to talk about Neighbors Organized to Protect Our Community (NOPOC) and their battleagainst PG&E. On April 15 Peggy Dolgenos from Cruzio discusses the Santa Cruz Business Council followed by Gary Patton on the topic of Land Use and water issues. April 22 we have Ricardo de La Cruz and Kate Minott talking about the new plans for a Memory Care facility to be built here. Jeffrey Smedberg follows them telling us about the 13th annual Reel Work Film Festival (4/26-5/6) Santa Cruz County Superior Court Judge Paul Burdick returns April 29 to talk more about issues from the bench. Marty Rizzo follows on 4/29 by telling us “new” details in our earliest Santa Cruz Mission Days. 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

UNIVERSAL GRAPEVINE ARCHIVES. In case you missed some of the great people I’ve interviewed in the last 5 years here’s a chronological list of just this year’s podcasts. Click herehttp://kzsc.org/blog/tag/universal-grapevine then tap on “listen here” to hear any or all of them… all over again. The update includes 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. Hear them all!!!

QUOTES. “Often undecided whether to desert a sinking ship for one that might not float, he would make up his mind to sit on the wharf for a day”, Lord Beaverbrook. “When it blows here, even the seagulls walk”, Nick Faldo. “If Columbus had an advisory committee he would probably still be at the dock”, Arthur Goldberg.

COLUMN COMMUNICATIONS.

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BEST OF VINTAGE STEVEN DeCINZO.

Deep Cover by Tim Eagan.

Posted in Weekly Articles | Comments Off on April 10 – 16, 2014

April 1 – 7, 2014

THE ORIGINAL SANTA CRUZ FISHERMAN’S WHARF circa 1910. You can see the Sea Beach Hotel in the upper right hand corner. The fish were for local consumption and according to Sheila O’Hare and Irene Berry most of the fish were packed and shipped to San Francisco. That’s Louis Perez on the left and the boy facing the camera is Stephen Ghio, who died two years after this photo was taken.

photo credit: Covello & Covello Historical photo collection.

DATELINE March 31, 2014

CRUISE SHIPS AND THE “NEW” WHARF. The proposed renovating of our Santa Cruz Wharf has now been revealed, at least in the Sentinel. Good old Roma Design Group has said it’ll be “like adding 2 acres of recreational open space on the bay”. Of course it’ll also be like taking away two acres of the bay, but that’s progress. I hope the city council gives Santa Cruzans a chance to be heard on this. Recently we heard almost at a rumor stage that cruise ships would be able to dock at this 2 acre wharf. We need to think and re-think the consequences of making this wider wharf dockable for cruise ships. Just how much of our Santa Cruz character do we give up to become a Cruise ship stop? Where will these cruise shippers shop? Will they all go to the Boardwalk? Will The Boardwalk be contributing any $$$ to this wider wharf? Does the home grown character and historical significance of our wharf matter to anybody? Is this another not so great idea like the “new” Exploration Center?? Citizen input is necessary here…be sure to ask any and all Cioty Council candidates where they stand on the development of the wharf. …ask them out and out “is the expansion of the wharf a good idea or not?” and don’t let them waffle on it. Speaking of which, where are the current City Council persons stands on this 2 acre wharf??

MAN IN CEMENT MIXER. Not much to comment on here, it’s just one of those stupid things we’ve all tried ONCE.

ETHICS & GOLF. Ted Burke of Shadowbrook and Crow’s Nest pursuits, sends in this one..“This video at the link below is about 78 seconds long, and although a golf situation, it presents a real-life dilemma regarding ethics. . . .
Click here to see for yourself

MONTEREY BAY NATIONAL MARINE SANCTUARY EXPLORATION CENTER.

I’ve had a lot of questions and comments on that new (2012) Exploration Center down by the Wharf and Boardwalk. They all say the same thing…” why was it built?”, “who ever goes there?”, “why is it so boring?”. The answer to those queries is that it cost $15.9 million dollars, the city of Santa Cruz gave the land for free, and I hear that no one, not even the expected number of school children are forced to go there. We need to ask for attendance figures. Turns out that there’s only even just ONE Google review of the place…and that’s got to tell you something. The open hours are only Wednesday-Sunday 10-5 p.m. It’s gotta be our biggest bayside bomb! I know you probably have never been, I went once when it first opened. Who’s responsible for such a waste of good parking spaces? Or the historical waste of that great old Gas station/surfboard rental shop that once stood there??? Youy think there’s other ways $15.9 million dollars could have been spent???

ELERICK’S INPUT.

NISENE 2 SEA TRAIL OPENS!

Shortly after 1:00 PM on March 29th, about 40 dedicated hiking advocates met at the entrance to the long awaited Nisene2Sea trail. It was a beautiful event, even with the rain, and after a short briefing by Nisene2Sea leader Kathryn Britton, off we went to walk the trail from Kamian Drive. in Vienna Woods to the fence line at Cabrillo College. Parents and kids, grandparents, dogs on leashes were all there. Space does not permit to document the history of this project that started conceptually back in 1998 when neighbors met with the new property owners to propose selling some of the 142 acres to State Parks and were rebuffed. Our thanks go to County Parks, County Planning, former County Supervisor Ellen Pirie and current County Supervisor Zach Friend for staying with us on this quest.

In the end, the only down side of our trail walk was seeing the rampant desecration of old trees within sight of the trail done by the property owners. We’ll be there when they come forward with their plan to subdivide their land, to make sure County Code Enforcement is being done.

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

PATTON’S PROGRAM. Gary opens with the Monterey Peninsula and their water issues. Then he deals with Santa Cruz County’s water problems. Santa Cruz’s City Zoning Administrator or ZA gets a good review and he talks about our civilian Planning Commission. He saves up to deal with The Coastal Commission and the “Ghandour Project” in Sand City and their proposed 1.34 million square feet of new construction!!! He closes by giving us the “Three E’s”. Check him out!!! Read all of above scripts at Gary Patton’s KUSP Land Use site http://blogs.kusp.org/landuse. Gary is a former Santa Cruz County Supervisor, and an attorney who represents individuals and community groups on land use and environmental issues. The opinions expressed are Mr. Patton’s. Gary has his own website, “Two Worlds / 365?www.gapatton.net

EAGANS DEEP COVER. Tim reveals Hobby Lobby inner drives see below…

APRIL IN SANTA CRUZ. Every year UCSC’s music department presents their “Contemporary Music Festival“. They call it ” April In Santa Cruz“. There are six concerts this year. Check it out at http://arts.ucsc.edu/series/april-in-santa-cruz-2014 . It opens Friday April 6th with Ensemble Nova and guests. Then there’s music by Lou Harrison and all sorts of new music. I wouldn’t miss them.

LISA JENSEN LINKS. Lisa writes: “Find out if the massive Noah sinks or swims, this week at Lisa Jensen Online Express (http://ljo-express.blogspot.com). Also, more adventures in writing as I discover that even after you write the book, an author’s work is never done.” Lisa has been writing film reviews and columns for Good Times since 1975.

THAT IS THE QUESTION
……In order of perfection……

ENEMY. This film is from the book “The Double” by José Saramago. Saramago is one of my favorites. Jake Gyllenhaal plays the lead, he’s one of my favorite actors. I loved every second of this film. Darker than Noah and as surrealistic as Bunuel it’s a piece of art to ponder deeply. Wikipedia says, “Saramago addresses serious matters with empathy for the human condition and for the isolation of contemporary urban life. His characters struggle with their need to connect with one another, form relations and bond as a community, and also with their need for individuality, and to find meaning and dignity outside of political and economic structures”.If you need easy, clear cut non provoking entertainment this isn’t it. But if Fellini, Bergman, and Tarkovsky give you stuff to think about go see Enemy asap. P.S. Isabella Rossellini plays his mother.

LUNCHBOX. You’ve seen the lead Irrfan Khan in great films is you’ve seen any Indian films lately. HBO’s In Treatment, The Life of Pi, Slumdog Millionaire etc. It’s the touching, sensitive, no big action story of a non-relationship. It’s also a tour of contemporary Mumbai, India. It’s a wonderful film.

CESAR CHAVEZ. Michael Pena who plays Cesar in the film is no Cesar Chavez. We learn nothing of Chavez’s upbringing, why he’s such a great leader and where he got the guts to do what he did. We learn nothing about who or what role Dolores Huerta played in all the struggle. It’s interesting to us locally because we all knew a little or a lot about Chavez’ fights and it does give us a framework for what we knew but it’s not much of a portrait of such an important person. It should have been titled “5 years in the life of Cesar Chavez”.

BAD WORDS. This is a much more serious film than the trailers would have you believe. Jason Bateman, the lead actor (and also the director) is excellent in his role. But there’s a dark side, a deep reason that Bateman is competing against the kids in this spelling bee movie, and it’s not funny. Tons of swear words in this film, and the spelling words are fun to learn, but there are a lot of better films out and running at the moment.

NOAH. A very dark, non-human, bloody, director’s version of one part of the bible. If you liked the Bible you probably won’t like this special effects version. There are so many “non biblical” characters and adventures that the entire movie just loses it completely. Check out this biblical source to see just some of the problems. What is amazing is Aronofsky’s addition of huge silly looking stone monsters (looking like Hollywood Transformers) called Watchers that help Noah fight off the humans. But Russell Crowe does as good a job as he can with his funky role and script to match.

STILL PLAYING AT A THEATRE NEAR US
(from BEST 2 worst)

THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL. Like Salvatore Dali and Norman Rockwell Wes Anderson makes brilliant films but the intent, meaning, and any statements behind what you see are confusing. Budapest Hotel is one of Anderson’s simplest films. Lots of laughs, not much subtlety, and Ralph Fiennes is at his funniest best. Tilda Swinton, Bill Murray, Jason Schwartzman, Jeff Goldblum, Willem Dafoe, Adrien Brody, Harvey Keitel, Tom Wilkinson, Jude Law, Owen Wilson, Edward Norton and F. Murray Abraham are also in the film for publicity purposes I guess. Rotten Tomatoes says Johnny Depp, Ursula Kuhnt, and Angela Lansbury are in it too, but I didn’t see them.

DIVERGENT. Shailene Woodley has come a long way from George Clooney’s daughter in The Descendents, or her wonderful job in “The Spectacular Now”. She’s the main thing in Divergent. She diverges from the approved 5 factions in this Chicago land of the far distant future. It’s a lot like Hunger Games and Shailene reminds me a lot of Jennifer Lawrence in looks and in the roles they play in both these flicks. Ashley Judd is in this too, so is Kate Winslet. Much war, blood, fights, teen age stuff. You could stay home and study about oil deposits in Santa Cruz County and be better off.

TIM’S VERMEER. The Art of Vermeer would be better titled as Art of Da Mirror. A billioneer engineer thinks Vermeer used mirrors to paint his masterpieces. Maybe he did, so what? What if Van Gogh used his ear as a paintbrush? It is a barely interesting docuumentary, if you’re not too busy, or in a really good mood and have nothing else to do.

THE LEGO MOVIE. Check it out, Rotten Tomatoes gives it a 95 % (Monuments Men got 34%!!!). It’s not THAT great but its clever, sort of Pixar clever. Yes it’s all animated with those little Lego people doing all the acting”. Voices like Morgan Freeman, Elizabeth Banks, and Chris Pratt are just fine, but there are dozens of almost secret throwaway lines that will really grab you. Many product take offs, huge slaps at our commercial lives, and it ends up with what you might even call a moral lesson!!! The 3D version is extra cute…but you could rent it in a year and still enjoy!!

NON STOP. It’s not a “who dunnit” but a “who’s doing it” murder mystery on board an airliner. It’s really confusing, and Liam Neeson holds it together as best he can. It’s odd and disappointing to see Michelle Dockery from Downton Abbey have such an almost non speaking part. Julienne Moore does her usually fine acting as does Lupita Nyong’o from 12 years as a Slave. Go if you want to, but you won’t like it very much.

NEED FOR SPEED. It’s difficult to put all of this racing saga in the overflowing movie trash bin. Aaron Paul and his relationship with co-star Imogen Poots is fascinating and well done. The racing footage is ok even in 3D it’s not great, but ok. The film has such a Hollywood ending like you’ll never believe.

MR. PEABODY AND SHERMAN. I only watched 6 minutes of the part where Peabody and Sherman confront Leonardo DaVinci. It was enough to convince me that none of the wit, cleverness, sharpness of the Rocky & Bullwinkle, Dudley Do Right days were gone. This is just another witless money grubbing Hollywood cartoon.

SON OF GOD.Going to see this saga is way easier than reading the book. It is also more straight from the bible not like the Noah movie. It should have said at the end “No saviors were injured during.. etc”. This shortened version of a made for TV series at least has everyone in the cast liooking Jewish or Italian/Roman. Except of course “HIMSELF” who appears to have come from the Hills of Beverly or Mount Malibu. It’s a sappy, gooey, mass marketed and n ever did tell us how the Shroud of Turin ended up in Santa Cruz!!

300: RISE OF AN EMPIRE. It’s got an evil queen Menses (who looks like a dark, mysterious Margaret O’Brien) fighting the pure-at-heart Sphinctus Erectus who’s from grease or maybe it’s Greece. It’s full of blood and a PG type warning “no acting was performed during the making of this film” should have been given before we had to watch it.

UNIVERSAL GRAPEVINE. Each and every Tuesday from 7:00-8:00 p.m. I host Universal Grapevine on KZSC 88.1 fm. or on your computer (live only or sometimes old programs are archived… (See next paragraph) and go to WWW.KZSC.ORG. UCSC Music prof. Ben Leeds Carson talks about April in Santa Cruz events on April 1st then Gillian Greensite discusses the new Santa Cruz Municipal Wharf plans and Heritage trees. April 8th has Kathleen Johnson from Advocacy Inc.telling us about Senior Care facilities then Marco Romanini guests to talk about Neighbors Organized to Protect Our Community (NOPOC) and their battle against PG&E. On April 13 Peggy Dolgenos from Cruzio discusses the Santa Cruz Business Council followed by Gary Patton on the topic of Land Use and water issues. Santa Cruz County Superior Court Judge Paul Burdick returns April 29 to talk more about issues from the bench. 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

UNIVERSAL GRAPEVINE ARCHIVES. In case you missed some of the great people I’ve interviewed in the last 5 years here’s a chronological list of just this year’s podcasts. Click here http://kzsc.org/blog/tag/universal-grapevine then tap on “listen here” to hear any or all of them… all over again. The update includes 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. Hear them all!!!

QUOTES. “The first of April is the day we remember what we are the other 364 days of the year”, Mark Twain. “Men are April when they woo, December when they wed. Maids are May when they are maids, but the sky changes when they are wives”, Shakespeare. “Here cometh April again, and as far as I can see the world hath more fools in it than ever”, Charles Lamb. And of course…..”April is the cruellest month“, T.S.Eliot.

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 April 1 – 7, 2014

March 26 – April 1, 2014

PACIFIC AND CHURCH STREETS. January 1952, 11:10 am. Good old Leask’s Department store, which they sold just before the 1989 earthquake. It’s now Urban Outfitters and Regal’s Cinema 9. And of course, it was before Pacific Avenue was beautified into The Abbott Garden Mall.

photo credit: Covello & Covello Historical photo collection.

FLIGHT OF THE BUMBLEBEE…A VOCAL!!!! Apparently Michael Stamp, Charles Hilger and Nick Royal all found this You Tube very funny and/ or quirky.
BABY DANCES TO BANJO MUSIC.

DATELINE MARCH 24, 2014

CITY COUNCIL CAROUSEL CONTINUED. So Steve Pleich emailed wondering why his name wasn’t on the “Council Carousel” of candidates last week. It’s because no one talks much about Pleich, but he said he’s running. Bruce Van Allen confirmed that he indeed is “still mulling it over”. Van Allen and Leonie Sherman were at the California Sierra Club fundraiser at Katherine Beiers last Sunday. Assemblyman Mark Stone spoke and gave a ringing statement about how Jim Hart has the right kind of approach in his campaign for Sheriff. Mary Jo Walker who is our County Auditor-Controller and I had a fine talk. She told me she’s “running” for Fred Keeley’s old job of County Treasurer. Nobody’s running against her, so it’s not really a campaign per se. She said 11 other counties in California had voted to combine the treasurer and auditor’s offices. So that’s a good thing and so far no one knows or would guess just what Fred Keeley will do.

DOG’S DAY AT HOME
JONATHAN WINTERS AND ROBIN WILLIAMS.
POLAR BEAR VS. SPY CAMERA
2001 SPACE ODYSSEY

ON OUR BACKS BUT THEIR DIME. An involved reader says…”Always good to see who is taking our legislators out to dinner. Western States Petroleum Association took Assemblymember Luis Alejo out for a $323.25 dinner”. On the other hand amazingly good as well as so-so reports keep coming in about Alejo.

OIL WELLS IN SANTA CRUZ COUNTY. Most folks seem pretty complacent about ever having to fight against oil drilling and fracking in our county.The ususal starement is let Aromas handle it, our section of Monterey Shale has no oil. I linked last week to Sandy Lydon’s website where he details the history of oil wells in this County. Lots of them. On Universal Grapevine last week he warned that just because the technology “back in the day” wasn’t as perfected as it is today, doesn’t mean that oil companies can’t or won’t go back to those deserted oil deposits and try again. Here’s urging you to check out his brief history of Oil in Santa Cruz County…and think again. http://www.sandylydon.com/sec_23.html Be sure to note the photo of the oil drilling derrick in De Laveaga Park c. 1926.

RT CHANNEL. It must have been me, but I just found out that channel 103 on our Comcast network is Russian Television !!! Wikipedia says, “RT, previously known as Russia Today, is an international multilingual Russian-based television network. It is registered as an autonomous nonprofit organization funded by the federal budget of Russia through the Federal Agency on Press and Mass Communications of the Russian Federation. Then Wiki says, “RT presents round-the-clock news bulletins, documentaries, talk shows, and debates, as well as sports news and cultural programs on Russia aimed at the overseas news market. The network’s signal is carried by 22 satellites and over 230 operators, which allows some 644 million people to watch the channel in more than 100 countries. RT America is available to 85 million people in the United States. In 2011 it was the second most-watched foreign news channel in the U.S. after BBC World News, and the number one foreign station in five major U.S. urban areas in 2012. It is also very popular among younger American people, U.S. college students, and in U.S. inner city neighborhoods. In 2013 RT has become the first TV news channel in history to reach 1 billion views on YouTube. According to the Broadcasters’ Audience Research Board between 2.25–2.5 million Britons tuned their televisions to RT during the second half of 2012, making it the third-most watched rolling news channel in Britain, behind BBC News and Sky News. The channel is often criticized for its lack of impartiality and use of propaganda”. I wouldn’t recommend anyone switching to Comcast ever, but if you already have it, listen and watch RT Channel…it’s a different world.

SANTA CRUZ SHAKESPEARE IN THE GLEN!!! Lots of us were not sure about whether or not this resurrected season will actually be back in the Stanley-Sinsheimer Glen. Mike Ryan’s video clip now showing at the Nick Theatres said it would be. On Monday (3/24) I asked Bill Richter chair of the board of Santa Cruz Shakespeare, he said, “Thanks for seeking clarification. Important issue. UCSC and Shakespeare Play On have signed a term sheet that sets forth all of the key terms for the use of the Glen for the 2014 and 2015 seasons. The term sheet is now being turned into a “lease” (which when signed is the binding legal contract). We expect to receive a draft of the lease for review in the next 24-48 hours. All is on track and I am not worried. We will be in the Glen.

PATTON’S PROGRAM. Gary opens this week’s broadcasts explaining LAFCO and why we need it. He talks about CONSENT AGENDAS mostly in Monterey County. If you have forgotten about the Santa Cruz County Commission on The Environment it meets on Wednesday (3/26) and will deal with the RTP and our future. Re-using Fort Ord or FORA (Fort Ord Reuse Authority) faces problems in saving their environment and open space. It’s all here, check it out. Read all of above scripts at Gary Patton’s KUSP Land Use site http://blogs.kusp.org/landuse. Gary is a former Santa Cruz County Supervisor, and an attorney who represents individuals and community groups on land use and environmental issues. The opinions expressed are Mr. Patton’s. Gary has his own website, “Two Worlds / 365?www.gapatton.net

CLASSICAL DE CINZO. From the mouths of babes…via DeCinzo. See downwards.

EAGANS DEEP COVER. It’s about Putin on the Ritz…check it out a few pages below

LISA JENSEN LINKS. Lisa just got a fabulous review in Publisher’s Weekly (3/24) and was still able to send this…she writes: “My novel, Alias Hook, gets a great review in Publisher’s Weekly! Tune in for this and other fun stuff this week at Lisa Jensen Online Express (http://ljo-express.blogspot.com).” Publisher’s Weekly said, “Jensen’s second novel, a twist on the Peter Pan story which reconceives of Captain Hook as a tragic hero, shows how she’s matured as a writer since her excellent debut, A Witch from the Sea. Jensen’s wonderful imagination and devotion to history and myth allow the reader to fly with her through this outstanding adventure—no fairy dust required. (July)” Lisa has been writing film reviews and columns for Good Times since 1975.

THAT IS THE QUESTION
……In order of perfection……

THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL.Like Salvatore Dali and Norman Rockwell Wes Anderson makes brilliant films but the intent, meaning, and any statements behind what you see are confusing. Budapest Hotel is one of Anderson’s simplest films. Lots of laughs, not much subtlety, and Ralph Fiennes is at his funniest best. Tilda Swinton, Bill Murray, Jason Schwartzman, Jeff Goldblum, Willem Dafoe, Adrien Brody, Harvey Keitel, Tom Wilkinson, Jude Law, Owen Wilson, Edward Norton and F. Murray Abraham are also in the film for publicity purposes I guess. Rotten Tomatoes says Johnny Depp, Ursula Kuhnt, and Angela Lansbury are in it too, but I didn’t see them.

DIVERGENT. Shailene Woodley has come a long way from George Clooney’s daughter in The Descendents, or her wonderful job in “The Spectacular Now”. She’s the main thing in Divergent. She diverges from the approved 5 factions in this Chicago land of the far distant future. It’s a lot like Hunger Games and Shailene reminds me a lot of Jennifer Lawrence in looks and in the roles they play in both these flicks. Ashley Judd is in this too, so is Kate Winslett. Much war, blood, fights, teen age stuff. You could stay home and study about oil deposits in Santa Cruz County and be better off.

BLOOD TIES. Clive Owen plays a very, very bad guy and crook as well as brother to Billy Crudup who is of course a very, very good guy and a cop. Dropping names, we have Marion Cotillard, Mila Kunis and Zoe Saldana playingfemme fatales or wives or sisters. This movie is 60 years behind the times. We older folks saw it many times in the 40’s. It wasn’t any more significent back then either. It’ll be gone soon, so no problem.

STILL PLAYING AT A THEATRE NEAR US
(from BEST 2 worst)

PARTICLE FEVER. You’ll feel a lot smarter after you see this documentary about the “God Particle”. The Higgs Boson ultimate discovery that is supposed to explain everything. You’ll feel smarter but you won’t be able to describe this film to anybody. It’s so far over our heads, and it mostly looks like a hype piece to justify all the billions of dollars spent on the research. Mr. Higgs is in it and we never find out what happened to Boson. It is very impressive.

THE WIND RISES. It’s a masterpiece of genuine animation, not Disney, digital or Pixar it’s from Ghibli’s studio in Japan. They made Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke and a few other classics. It’s not for children, it’s a sophisticated, intelligent biography of Jiro Horikoshi famed aeronautical engineer, and how “Jiro” created the famed WW 2 “Zero” fighter plane. The earthquakes, the war, the tender love story are absolutely stunning. See it asap.

TIM’S VERMEER. The Art of Vermeer would be better titled as Art of Da Mirror. A billioneer engineer thinks Vermeer used mirrors to paint his masterpieces. Maybe he did, so what? What if Van Gogh used his ear as a paintbrush? It is a barely interesting docuumentary, if you’re not too busy, or in a really good mood and have nothing else to do.

MONUMENTS MEN. This movie is boring with laughs.. It is terribly miscast with George Clooney, Bill Murray, Matt Damon, John Goodman, Hugh Bonneville (from Downton Abbey) Jean Dujardin and Cate Blanchett. This is spupposed to be about art experts seeking masterpieces of art that Hitler’s troops had hidden. What’s funny about that?? Yet, the music, those funny actors, just weird that’s all. No continuity, little empathy, a few killings…not a bit of cleverness in it. Absolutely no reason to see this film.I didn’t know that there were more than 300 troops involved as Monument Men not just the 5 or 6 that Clooney created. You might get something out of renting it..like for a rainy night!!

THE LEGO MOVIE. Check it out, Rotten Tomatoes gives it a 95 % (Monuments Men got 34%!!!). It’s notTHAT great but its clever, sort of Pixar clever. Yes it’s all animated with those little Lego people doing all the acting”. Voices like Morgan Freeman, Elizabeth Banks, and Chris Pratt are just fine, but there are dozens of almost secret throwaway lines that will really grab you. Many product take offs, huge slaps at our commercial lives, and it ends up with what you might even call a moral lesson!!! The 3D version is extra cute…but you could rent it in a year and still enjoy!!

NON STOP. It’s not a “who dunnit” but a “who’s doing it” murder mystery on board an airliner. It’s really confusing, and Liam Neeson holds it together as best he can. It’s odd and disappointing to see Michelle Dockery from Downton Abbey have such an almost non speaking part. Julienne Moore does her usually fine acting as does Lupita Nyong’o from 12 years as a Slave. Go if you want to, but you won’t like it very much.

NEED FOR SPEED. It’s difficult to put all of this racing saga in the overflowing movie trash bin. Aaron Paul and his relationship with co-star Imogen Poots is fascinating and well done. The racing footage is ok even in 3D it’s not great, but ok. The film has such a Hollywood ending like you’ll never believe.

MR. PEABODY AND SHERMAN. I only watched 6 minutes of the part where Peabody and Sherman confront Leonardo DaVinci. It was enough to convince me that none of the wit, cleverness, sharpness of the Rocky & Bullwinkle, Dudley Do Right days were gone. This is just another witless money grubbing Hollywood cartoon.

300: RISE OF AN EMPIRE. It’s got an evil queen Menses (who looks like a dark, mysterious Margaret O’Brien) fighting the pure-at-heart Sphinctus Erectus who’s from grease or maybe it’s Greece. It’s full of blood and a PG type warning “no acting was performed during the making of this film” should have been given before we had to watch it.

UNIVERSAL GRAPEVINE. Each and every Tuesday from 7:00-8:00 p.m. I host Universal Grapevine on KZSC 88.1 fm. or on your computer (live only or sometimes old programs are archived…. Aletta deWal guests on March 25 to discuss art and marketing, followed by Gunilla Leavitt talking about Yarn and her Golden Fleece Yarn Shop. 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

UNIVERSAL GRAPEVINE ARCHIVES. In case you missed some of the great people I’ve interviewed in the last 5 years here’s a chronological list of just this year’s podcasts. Click here then tap on “listen here” to hear any or all of them… all over again. The update includes 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. Hear them all!!!

QUOTES.” An intellectual is someone who has found something more interesting than sex”, Edgar Wallace. “I don’t hold with bi-lingualism. English was good enough for Jesus Christ”, Ralph Melnyk. “Violence is the repartee of the illiterate“, Alan Brien.

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 March 26 – April 1, 2014

March 20 – 26, 2014

SANTA CRUZ COUNTY BUILDING BEING BUILT. Proof that real people built this mess not demons. The photo was taken June 30, 1965. Then look across the mighty San Lorenzo River, which appears totally dry and see Pacific Avenue, the old jail, The Cooperhouse, the Civic…what stupendous changes this entire area has gone through.

photo credit: Covello & Covello Historical photo collection.

DATELINE MARCH 17, 2014

LA BAHIA UPDATE. Don Webber active member of the Beach Hill Neighbors and Friends of La Bahia spends more time studying the La Bahia proposals than anyone I know. I asked him what’s new with Craig French’s and Boardwalk Charlie Canfield’s latest plans for La Bahia. He has three areas of concern and that need modification. They are (in brief) 1. The extent of demolition. 2. The interface with residences. and 3. Parking and traffic. If you care about the demolition of one of our most obvious historical landmarks, and if you care about how the Bahia will look from the First street face and if you care about the eternal parking problem in the entire Beach Area. read all of Don Webber’s analysis RIGHT HERE

CITY COUNCIL CAROUSEL. With Tim Goncharoff cancelling his campaign kickoff, most folks think he and his campaign are toast. Too bad too, I think he’s a good candidate…naive, foolish, stubborn, but still a good candidate. Hillary Bryant told me last Thursday about her running , “I don’t know, it’s so hard on the kids”. Rochelle Naroyan is running, no body knows about David Terrazas, and only a few even care. Cynthia Chase is going to wait a campaign or two, Steve Schnaar changed his mind too and he’s not going for it. Bruce Van Allen is mulling it over and so is Leonie Sherman.

E.C RITTENHOUSE’S MAUSOLEUM. Jacob Pierce of the Santa Cruz Weekly wrote an article on the Rittenhouse Mausoleum at the corner of Church and Pacific. He didn’t understand an important part of our concept of having a plaza there. I wrote a letter to the Weekly, they didn’t print it last week…so here it is, just in case.

My letter to the weekly…re plaza

Re: “What Happened To The E.C. Rittenhouse Building” (Cover, Mar. 4):

Jacob’s article on the Rittenhouse Building was great. Though one little item needs clarification, it wasn’t “environmentalists” or even what you might call “activists” who were pushing for years to create a plaza on the notorious Pacific-Church Corner. The pro-plaza group was made up of many Performing Artists and their organizations. Audrey Stanley of Shakespeare Santa Cruz and Tandy Beal and the Cabrillo Music Festival and The Santa Cruz Symphony and I all appeared before the City Council asking the Council and then Mayor Tim Fitzmaurice to build the plaza. It would have been a well designed combination of small businesses on the perimeter including a large second floor restaurant overlooking the large grassy performing space. There would have been benches, and a park like ambiance plus those performance and business spaces. But the merchants shot it down and convinced the City Council, some of whom who had researched plazas and even established an official Plaza Advisory Panel that “it would attract the wrong element”.


Frank Lima “The Great Morgani” asks “When is Doctors on Duty, next to Hotel Paradox, going to change their marquee to read “PAIR O DOCS” ? A burning and deep question.

WHAT WHARF PLAN??? In case you aren’t a lifetime subscriber to the Sentinel (I am) Gillian Greensite wrote an amazing story in last Sundays (3/16) Sentinel titled

Wharf plan lacks community input

That which draws the most ire in Santa Cruz is large-scale development projects on the fast track to the City Council about which the community is largely unaware. The latest example is the Wharf Master Plan, a million ­dollar blueprint that transforms the Municipal Wharf into an almost unrecognizable tourist draw. I caught the consultant’s presentation by chance at the most recent Parks and Recreation Commission meeting. The funds to develop the Wharf Master Plan by San Francisco consultant firm ROMA, is a combination of $850,000 secured by the city from the U.S. Commerce Department under a grant covering tsunami impacted areas (the wharf was not tsunami affected) plus $170,000 from city monies. One conclusion confirmed that the 100-year-old wharf is, “in good serviceable condition” with, “very few structural problems.”

Some of the plan’s aspects might appeal, such as a new 28-foot-wide walking, jogging, bike riding, fishing, wheel-chair accessible path on the eastern side, projected seaward from the current walkway. Other aspects suggest an appearance of willful disregard for local maritime conditions; for public appreciation of the wharf as a non-Disney icon and for the value of the historic family wharf restaurants. Gilda’s name was mispronounced by the ROMA consultant and singled out as an example of “ugly,” and, “not the kind of thing that creates an experience,” and, “we can do better.” The end of the wharf would be transformed with large buildings, relocated sea lion viewing haulouts and capacity for 100-ton vessels. Read all of Gillian’s story here…

What is with the City Council secrecy on this? What’s with the spending of all this money and not letting the people know?? That is our BUSINESS DEMOCRATS vs. LABOR DEMOCRATS in a nutshell.

BURNING CORPSES NEXT DOOR??? As some concerned neighbor of the Santa Cruz Memorial Incinerator said, “how’d you like to have a daily fire next to your house when they burn flesh, wood, bone, metal, and mercury??” Remember when we used to have plain old bonfires?

And why does SC Memorial not want to add more scrubbing to their incinerator chimney?

GROCERY OUTLET…AGAIN, STILL. A concerned reader hoped I hadn’t “crossed over” in supporting Grocery Outlet’s moving into the Morrissey Post Office space. Yep, I did and I told her I liked the old Lucky Store, I told her none of us gets to choose which franchise goes in there, maybe a Quicky Lube, a MacDonalds, some Coffins R Us, it’s about the money and zoning.

I figure it’s only the Morrissey Safeway that will suffer, and with the recent sale of the Safeway chain, who can guess what Albertson’s will do with that property (I’ll bet they close it). We don’t want to get into the complaints from Staff of Life neighbors, which I did last week.

BUSINESS DEMOCRATS or LABOR DEMOCRATS. That’s one nationalidentification that’s been poping up lately. Then there’s labels like POLICE Democrats or PEOPLE Democrats that work equally well. Applied locally that would mean people like Cynthia Mathews, the Coonertys, Zach Friend, The Democratic Women’s Club, Mike Rotkin, Hilary Bryant, those folks are BUSINESS or POLICE Democrats. Then there’s the People’s Democratic Club and…Send in your suggestions.

GOODBYE BUZ BEZORE. You can tell by the amount of coverage on Buz Bezore that he was an important figure in our local print media history. All of us who were involved with Buz could easily write stories about our relationships just about nearly forever. What is almost funny is that in the last few days many of us have been franticaly trying to put together dates, facts and memories…and it’s all a mess of tears, laughs, politics, egos, and not much accuracy. I quit Good Times at least twice to join Buz in starting weekly papers, and those sure were the great old days. Tony Russomano sent this aerticle by Mike Connor in the May 5, 2004 issue of Metro Santa Cruz. Mike interviewed and collected what I’ve found to be the most accurate account of those days and what we were up to.

Check out Lisa Jensens blog for March 12, where she tells about Buz and the two of them at UCSC, his free-lancing at Good Times and their long friendship. Somewhere in all of this there’s high praise for The Santa Cruz Express. Sometime, someone should write a book just about how Buz and our small happy band of sisters and brothers created that paper, how great a paper it was and sadly, how it fell apart. There’ll never be another Buz.

SANDY LYDON’S NEWSLETTER. Go hereto get a sampling of what Sandy and friends are up to. Go visit places like Siberia, Croatian Watsonville, Mongolia, and Big Sur. Equally important is Sandy’s historical look at our local droughts. We should memorize that part.

ELERICK’S INPUT.

NISENE 2 SEA TRAIL OPENS TO THE PUBLIC.

After fifteen years of negotiations, a number of setbacks, the cumulative effort by Nisene 2 Sea, California Conservation Corps, agencies within Santa Cruz County Government, and two County Supervisors, the “Cabrillo Connector” trail will soon be open for public enjoyment. The Cabrillo Connector is a County owned trail through private property that allows the public to travel between Cabrillo College and The Forest of Nisene Marks State Park. The public is invited to join in the celebratory grand opening walk starting at the Danube Drive/Kamian Way intersection on Saturday Mar 29 at 1:00 P.M.

This new trail leads to the Vienna Woods trail into Nisene Marks Park, the only multi-use trail on its western side and provides park entrance and access to the fire road in the park at level of steel bridge which is a number of miles inland from Aptos Village.

People old and young, leashed dogs, and bicycle riders of all ages are encouraged to join the walk. Please stay within the boundaries of the trail and bring dog poop bags if your dog comes along.

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

PATTON’S PROGRAM. Gary reports a meeting re the Pajaro River and flood control, nad tells how serious that situation is. He warns of possible law changes that could allow easier development on rural parts of our county. Monterey County will be dealing with so-called affordable housing and a new development. The Carmel Valley Association will be handling their version of their own water problem next Sunday. He ends the week detailing the Mobile Home Owners League meeting next Saturday at the Live Oak Grange. There are details and questions about property rights vs. the trailer owners rights. Read all of above scripts at Gary Patton’s KUSP Land Use site http://blogs.kusp.org/landuse. Gary is a former Santa Cruz County Supervisor, and an attorney who represents individuals and community groups on land use and environmental issues. The opinions expressed are Mr. Patton’s. Gary has his own website, “Two Worlds / 365?www.gapatton.net

CLASSICAL DE CINZO. UCSC students rate the rents…see downwards

EAGANS DEEP COVER. Tim takes another stand…scroll below.

LISA JENSEN LINKS. Lisa writes: “Join me in bidding a fond farewell to Buz Bezore, legendary editor and agent provocateur of the Santa Cruz alternative journalism scene, 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.

THE TEMPEST. Christopher Plummer leads the cast in this Stratford Festival “live” telecast from 2011. It’s Thursday night 3/20 at the Del Mar and it starts at 6:00 p.m. !!! there’ll be an encore showing Sunday 3/23 at 11am. The New Yorker loved this production…check it out at…http://www.newyorker.com/online/blogs/culture/2012/09/a-terrific-tempest.html

THAT IS THE QUESTION
……In order of perfection……

GIRLS IN THE BAND.It’s closing this Thursday (3/20) and it’s an excellent film. A documentary about the forgotten women instrumentalists in the world of jazz. Not singers so much but instrumentalists. It’s also one of the most empowering messages from those courageous women who fought for the chance ro play alongside and instead of the men. Brilliant, fun, exciting, educational and well made go quickly.

PARTICLE FEVER.Ends (3/20)You’ll feel a lot smarter after you see this documentary about the “God Particle”. The Higgs Boson ultimate discovery that is supposed to explain everything. You’ll feel smarter but you won’t be able to describe this film to anybody. It’s so far over our heads, and it mostly looks like a hype piece to justify all the billions of dollars spent on the research. Mr. Higgs is in it and we never find out what happened to Boson. It is very impressive.

ART OF THE STEAL. (CLOSES 3/20). It has Kurt Russell, Terence Stamp and Matt Dillon in it and it’s about stealing. Yes, I saw it but I don’t want to talk about it, and you wouldn’t either if you happened to see it by accident or something.

NEED FOR SPEED. It’s difficult to put all of this racing saga in the overflowing movie trash bin. Aaron Paul and his relationship with co-star Imogen Poots is fascinating and well done. The racing footage is ok even in 3D it’s not great, but ok. The film has such a Hollywood ending like you’ll never believe.

MR. PEABODY AND SHERMAN. I only watched 6 minutes of the part where Peabody and Sherman confront Leonardo DaVinci. It was enough to convince me that none of the wit, cleverness, sharpness of the Rocky & Bullwinkle, Dudley Do Right days were gone. This is just another witless money grubbing Hollywood cartoon.

STILL PLAYING AT A THEATRE NEAR US
(from BEST 2 worst)

THE WIND RISES. It’s a masterpiece of genuine animation, not Disney, digital or Pixar it’s from Ghibli’s studio in Japan. They made Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke and a few other classics. It’s not for children, it’s a sophisticated, intelligent biography of Jiro Horikoshi famed aeronautical engineer, and how “Jiro” created the famed WW 2 “Zero” fighter plane.The earthquakes, the war, the tender love story are absolutely stunning. See it asap.

HER. “Her” got the Golden Globe award for screenplay, it deserved it and many, many more.

Joaquin Phoenix’s brilliance and Scarlett Johansson as the voice in his computer make an unsettling and endlessly fascinating team. Amy Adams plays exactly the opposite role from her American Hustle babe and is still great. It may unnerve some folks because it hits closer to home than is comfortable…it’s one of the most original films of the decade, go see it.

THE WOLF OF WALL STREET. I have to say that finally, finally, finally Leonardo Di Caprio and Martin Scorsese paired tocreate a superb and excellent film that fully utilizes their talents. Di Caprio proves that his brief moments in earlier films was no accident…he is awesome in this lewd, vulgar, cocaine extravaganza. Based on the book by the films supreme con artist hero, you’ll sit on the edge of your seat for the full three plus hours. It’s what we all believed goes on behind Wall Street’s doors and even more than that.The action never stops and it is as completely breathtaking in every sense of the word. Go see it, unless you have scruples or a vestige of decency or get jealous easily.

12 YEARS A SLAVE. This film has received dozens of nominations for Awards, and well deserved. It’s a hard hitting, brutal, honest, surprising film. It is also beautifully acted, well cast, and a film you won’t forget for a very long time. Chiwetel Ejiofor is a magnificient actor and carries the film. Brad Pitt, Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Dano, and Paul Giamatti add the unnecessary Hollywood element and do good jobs but it’s Ejiofor you’ll think about a lot. It’s a true story written by the central character in the pre-civil war days. Just see this film…now.

THE AMERICAN HUSTLE. Clever, smart, twisted, greatly acted, and even more clever. What more can you ask from a film?Seeing Amy Adams as a very sexy babe is a long ways from her princess role in Enchanted. Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper, Jeremy Renner and even Robert DeNiro keep the level of who’s conning whom at a fever and funny pitch. It’s a circus version of the real ABSCAM scandal that took down a bunch of politicians. I really meant the word clever. See it asap, and if you get a chance read the plot before you go!!!

TIM’S VERMEER. The Art of Vermeer would be better titled as Art of Da Mirror. A billioneer engineer thinks Vermeer used mirrors to paint his masterpieces. Maybe he did, so what? What if Van Gogh used his ear as a paintbrush? It is a barely interesting docuumentary, if you’re not too busy, or in a really good mood and have nothing else to do.

WALKING THE CAMINO. (SEE SOON) This is about a 500 mile trek/hike/pilgrimage in Northern Spain that has been continuing for centuries. Martin Sheen likes this documentary even though he and his son Emilio Estevez made their film “The Way” about the same trek. A few years ago. Kathy Bisbee, executive director of Santa Cruz Community Television went on the Camino walk a few months ago and is going back pretty soon. She said Walking the Camino movie isn’t as deep or touching or as human as The Way.

MONUMENTS MEN. This movie is boring with laughs.. It is terribly miscast with George Clooney, Bill Murray, Matt Damon, John Goodman, Hugh Bonneville (from Downton Abbey) Jean Dujardin and Cate Blanchett. This is spupposed to be about art experts seeking masterpieces of art that Hitler’s troops had hidden. What’s funny about that?? Yet, the music, those funny actors, just weird that’s all. No continuity, little empathy, a few killings…not a bit of cleverness in it. Absolutely no reason to see this film.I didn’t know that there were more than 300 troops involved as Monument Men, not just the 5 or 6 that Clooney created. You might get something out of renting it..like for a rainy night!!

THE LEGO MOVIE. Check it out Rotten Tomatoes gives it a 95 % (Monuments Men got 34%!!!). It’s notTHAT great but its clever, sort of Pixar clever. Yes it’s all animated with those little Lego people doing all the acting”. Voices like Morgan Freeman, Elizabeth Banks, and Chris Pratt are just fine, but there are dozens of almost secret throwaway lines that will really grab you. Many product take offs, huge slaps at our commercial lives, and it ends up with what you might even call a moral lesson!!! The 3D version is extra cute…but you could rent it in a year and still enjoy!!

SON OF GOD.Going to see this saga is way easier than reading the book. It should have said at the end “No saviors were injured during.. etc”. This shortened version of a made for TV series at least has everyone in the cast liooking Jewish or Italian/Roman. Except of course “HIMSELF” who appears to have come from the Hills of Beverly or Mount Malibu. It’s a sappy, gooey, mass marketed and n ever did tell us how the Shroud of Turin ended up in Santa Cruz!!

NON STOP. It’s not a “who dunnit” but a “who’s doing it” murder mystery on board an airliner. It’s really confusing, and Liam Neeson holds it together as best he can. It’s odd and disappointing to see Michelle Dockery from Downton Abbey have such an almost non speaking part. Julienne Moore does her usually fine acting as does Lupita Nyong’o from 12 years as a Slave. Go if you want to, but you won’t like it very much.

300: RISE OF AN EMPIRE. It’s got an evil queen Menses (who looks like a dark, mysterious Margaret O’Brien) fighting the pure-at-heart Sphinctus Erectus who’s from grease or maybe it’s Greece. It’s full of blood and a PG type warning “no acting was performed during the making of this film” should have been given before we had to watch it.

UNIVERSAL GRAPEVINE. Each and every Tuesday from 7:00-8:00 p.m. I host Universal Grapevine on KZSC 88.1 fm. or on your computer (live only or sometimes old programs are archived…. Patricia Castagnola will bring us up to date on The Santa Cruz Aids Project on March 18, and historian, author, tour guide Sandy Lydon returns to relate history and talk about droughts. Aletta deWal guests on March 25 to discuss art and marketing. 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

UNIVERSAL GRAPEVINE ARCHIVES. In case you missed some of the great people I’ve interviewed in the last 5 years here’s a chronological list of just this year’s podcasts. Click herehttp://kzsc.org/blog/tag/universal-grapevine then tap on “listen here” to hear any or all of them… all over again. The update includes 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. Hear them all!!!

QUOTES. “For the chicken, the egg demands involvement, but for the pig, bacon demands total commitment”, John A. Price. “I am not a vegetarian because I love animals: I’m a vegetarian because I hate plants”, A.W. Brown. “I love Chinese food. My favorite dish is number 27”, Clement Atlee.

COLUMN COMMUNICATIONS.

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BEST OF VINTAGE STEVEN DeCINZO.

Deep Cover by Tim Eagan.

Posted in Weekly Articles | Comments Off on March 20 – 26, 2014

March 10 – 16, 2014

THE ORIGINAL EASTSIDE SANTA CRUZ POST OFFICE. There was a high school band, a squad of soldiers, and some unnamed dignataries speaking at the actual dedication of the Post office on Februay 3, 1951. Most residents can tell that this is now the Hart Fabrics Store at 1601 Seabright Avenue. Looks like we’ll have another East Side Post Office dedication in 2015.

photo credit: Covello & Covello Historical photo collection.

 

DATELINE March 10, 2014

THE ORIGINAL FLYING KARAMAZOV BROTHERS & THE RENAISSANCE FAIRE. Grant Wilson dug this one (or 2) out of his files and was telling The Great Morgani and me about it last Sunday at Octagon Lulu’s.

TOM NODDY REACTS TO THE MORGANI AFFAIR.There are miles of type being spent on “The Morgani Affair”, and it’s important from many angles. No resolution has been announced, we’re all wondering what the outcome will be and when and where Morgani will be allowed to play again. Frank Morgani Lima has doubts that there really are the 50 “legal” spaces to play…we’ll see. In the meantime Bubble Man Tom Noddy who assumed the role of protector of the street performers decades ago in Santa Cruz sent me the following letter. It’s long, but if you care about the ambiance, friendliness, and attraction of Downtown Santa Cruz you’ll want to read every word…

“Bruce,
I was glad to see you write about the insults offered to The Great Morgani that resulted in him leaving Pacific Avenue. He said, clearly, that the officers were polite in informing him that what he had done successfully for 17 years was illegal and that they would now enforce the law against him as well. The music crime that he committed all of that time was to sensibly stand with his back to the building while performing.

The idea of outlawing that activity use to come up over and over at the Downtown Association meetings that I attended in my capacity as spokesperson for the Santa Cruz Street Performers’ Guild. It got to a point where one or another of the long time merchants would alert me to the fact that yet another newcomer was going to propose it at the next meeting and he or she would ask me to attend “… and remind us why we rejected this idea the last time”.

I’m not sure what the appeal was to the idea … put all the performers out on the curb … what? like trash? But the thing that had them reject it over and over was my reminder that that would mean that good acts (like Morgani) would then stand at the curb, turn their back to the traffic play while a crowd gathers in front of some shop’s show window. If they are conscious (as crowds are noted for being) they will not lean against the glass or block access to the entryway.

JOHNNY CARSON DOES RONALD REAGAN. Absolutely wild fun. I’d forgotten this clever bit…great laughs…and we deserve some about now. It was sent from “ltho” ??? and thanks.

“But, Tom …” one or another merchant was sure to mention, “not all of the performers are great musicians, they don’t gather crowds and I, for one, do not appreciate their sound.” THAT, of course, is a valid point. I would readily concede it but then ask them where the want such an individual to perform (his/her 1st Amendment rights allow the activity). I would ask if they wanted them to stand with their back to that little piece of building between two show windows?? OR would they prefer that the police and hosts enforce an ordinance that would put these less talented musicians out on the curb and singing in toward their OPEN DOOR?

They would all go “oh …” and the matter would be dropped for a while again … until some new shop opened downtown and some new merchant got the grand idea of putting all of the performers out on the curb. (This was a constant problem for me after coming to agreement with one Downtown Association and City Council after another … some newcomer would get this bright idea … I often got a laugh at those meetings by complaining “You Santa Cruz merchants are so damn transient”.)

But when my back was turned they pushed this curbside-only provision on to the law books and then promptly failed to enforce it when they found that it had certain … um … “unforeseen consequences”. Then a new couple of council members came on in 2002 and they demanded that the downtown police enforce all laws on the books plus some new ones that they thought up. It was a mess and no one understood where performers were allowed to perform so after a while it settled down into what it was always intended to be … Selective Enforcement. They liked Frank Lima (The Great Morgani) so they let him stand where it made sense for him to stand and they cited this ordinance or that ordinance to move any performer who garnered any complaint from anybody anywhere. If they didn’t get a complaint but wanted someone moved, the police or hosts would contact a particular law office upstairs and they would reliably issue the needed complaint that was then promptly enforced as though there is no right to free expression when someone else objects to it. This was going to, someday, lead to a legal case that went higher than the municipal court judges who routinely ignored such claims of constitutional protection. Eventually, I assumed, Frank would be called as a witness in someone’s case and he would be a good one. Even the downtown hosts would make great witnesses before being coached by the City Attorney to not say what they regularly told performer’s downtown … that any complaint is sufficient cause to move them … even a complaint by a host on duty.

But, instead, this Council and City Attorney have decided to “send a message” (Barisone called it that in a KSBW interview) by finally stopping the most popular performer downtown. There is a big reaction to this right now. Even the Sentinel editorial told the Council that “street performing is not and never has been a downtown problem”. But when the reaction dies down or when Frank agrees to go back to Pacific Avenue under some special exemption … the other shoe will drop and the real sweep will begin in earnest.
Unless, of course, alert citizens like yourself and former Arts Commission member Linda Bixby continue to raise a ruckus and stand up, not only for Morgani but for the right of street performers to share their art with us for free and to let them do so before, during and while they are creating art that this or that critic or merchant appreciates.
Tom Noddy

PS You are mistaken about Tom Scribner’s performances going on without donations. Tom had a bowl that he set down on the planter edge where he played and he spent that small but regular income mostly at Lulu Carpenters when they use to serve alcohol.

 

(from Bratton) PPS. Tom, you too are sort of “mistaken”, Scribner bragged all of his early years playing in front of his “home” in The Saint George Hotel about not “passing the hat”. It was only near his last days he would collect enough for “one more” Brandy Manhattan when Lulu’s wouldn’t front a freebie for him.

DANCING WITH LIGHT. I found this brilliant dance idea on Kathleen Crocetti’s FB page

CALIFORNIA SIERRA CLUB PARTY. Unlike the local chapter of the Sierra Club that has been neutered and morphed into a pro growth & business fan club this is the California State Chapter which has sent this party invite to believers…
Gary Patton & Katherine Beiers Invite You To A House Party For Sierra Club California. Assembly Member Mark Stone, Former Assembly Member John Laird, County Supervisor John Leopold will attend. And we can meet Sierra Club California Director Kathryn Phillips. Mark Stone will talk about important environmental legislation pending in the State Legislature. Kathryn Phillips will provide an in-depth look at what the Sierra Club is doing to achieve a fracking moratorium, and to address critical water issues facing California. Please plan to attend! There will be music, food, wine and all those good things! Plus great company! Plus a wonderful chance to help support the critically important work of Sierra Club California!! It’ll be at Katherine’s House – 135 Gharkey Street, Santa Cruz Sunday, March 23, 2014 / 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. RSVP to gapatton@mac.com If you can’t attend, please send a donation to Sierra Club California, 909 12th Street, Suite 202, Sacramento, CA 95814. You can donate online at http://sierraclubcalifornia.org

MOBILE HOME RESIDENCY LAW FORUM. Manufactured/Mobile Home residents: Understand your rights as homeowners, and be empowered with the tools to enforce your rights! All Santa Cruz County manufactured/mobile homeowners are invited to join in, be informed and help out. 1pm – 4 pm Saturday March 22 Live Oak Grange 1900 17th Ave. Santa Cruz http://sccmmha.files.wordpress.com/2014/02/gsmol-roadshow.pdf Click here to download event flier! Get On Our Email List For SCCMMHA Updates And Notices. Just Ask! sccmmha@gmail.com Tell your neighbors about the SCCMMHA. See you soon!

STOP SEAWORLD PETITION. Ron Clegg sent this page and it’s worth reading and signing!! Find it here!

ELERICK’S INPUT. Paul clearly states….

MORE APTOS SAFEWAY DRAMA

As everybody that follows the news knows, Safeway has been sold to a mega-corporation that includes Albertson’s and other stores. What happens to Safeway’s expansion plan for Aptos is anybody’s guess. With Aptos Cinemas being granted a new two-year lease, along with lease extensions to other businesses at Rancho Del Mar, Aptosians should remain vigilant but hopeful. By hopeful, one outcome could be that store owners at Rancho could form their own “group” and buy the center from the new owners at a fair price. Let the new owners write off their loss as a bad decision made by the old owners, and just clean up existing all the Safeway’s in the area, like their store on Morrissey. I’ll bet Albertson’s management could fit a nice grocery store into Rancho Del Mar without decimating the entire property. Maybe even turn a profit without peddling gasoline. But anything is possible so we’ll have to stay on top of this issue. (Paul Elerick is co-chair, along with Peter Scott, of the Campaign for Sensible Transportation, http://sensibletransportation.org , and is a member of Nisene 2 Sea, a group of open space advocates).

TWO YEAR OLD SKATEBOARDER. Cruz Ortiz Zamarron found this2 year old skateboarder…

PATTON’S PROGRAM. Gary describes a “Consent Agenda” and why it’s important. He tells why burning corpses can cause problems, even though the Santa Cruz City Staff thinks it’s ok!!! He talks about the Santa Cruz Puma Project night at the Rio Theatre on Wednesday night 3/12, and about Pumas crossing Highway 17. He suggests that we all sign up for County Supervisors periodic newsletters from John Leopold and Zach Friend. He ends his broadcast week by telling us about The Regional Transportation Plan and its revision. Read all of above scripts at Gary Patton’s KUSP Land Use site http://blogs.kusp.org/landuse. Gary is a former Santa Cruz County Supervisor, and an attorney who represents individuals and community groups on land use and environmental issues. The opinions expressed are Mr. Patton’s. Gary has his own website, “Two Worlds / 365?www.gapatton.net

CLASSICAL DE CINZO. DeCinzo show us the only real value in Girl Scout Cookies. Scroll downwards.

EAGANS DEEP COVER. Reap the grim rewards of Obama Care check out Eagan…just below.

 

LISA JENSEN LINKS. Lisa writes: “Secrets of the world of book-publishing revealed this week at Lisa Jensen Online Express (http://ljo-express.blogspot.com). (Hint: if you’re looking for instant gratification, better find yourself another gig.) Also, catch up with a forgotten chapter in American musical history—female jazz instrumentalists—in the excellent doc, “The Girls in the Band.” Lisa has been writing film reviews and columns for Good Times since 1975.

THAT IS THE QUESTION
……In order of perfection……

THE GREAT BEAUTY. Check your listings but it looks like the Cinelux in Scotts Valley is playing this Academy Award winning Best Foreign film at 5:15 daily. It was and is my top film of last year and probably for the next number of years. In Italian, and has memories of La Dolce Vita but better….go see it while we can. I’ve seen it twice and I’m going again.

TIM’S VERMEER. The Art of Vermeer would be better titled as Art of Da Mirror. A billioneer engineer thinks Vermeer used mirrors to paint his masterpieces. Maybe he did, so what? What if Van Gogh used his ear as a paintbrush? It is a barely interesting docuumentary, if you’re not too busy, or in a really good mood.

300: RISE OF AN EMPIRE. It’s got an evil queen Menses (who looks like a dark, mysterious Margaret O’Brian) fighting the pure-at-heart Sphinctus Erectus who’s from grease or maybe it’s Greece. It’s full of blood and a PG type warning “no acting was performed during the making of this film” should have been given before we had to watch it.

STILL PLAYING AT A THEATRE NEAR US
(from BEST 2 worst)

THE WIND RISES. It’s a masterpiece of genuine animation, not Disney, digital or Pixar it’s from Ghibli’s studio in Japan. They made Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke,It’s not for children, it’s a spohisticated, intelligent biography of Jiro Horikoshi famed Aeronautical engineer, and how “Jiro” created the famed WW 2 “Zero” fighter plane.The earthquakes, the war, the tender love story are absolutely stunning. See it asap.

HER. “Her” got the Golden Globe award for screenplay, it deserved it and many, many more.

Joaquin Phoenix’s brilliance and Scarlett Johansson as the voice in his computer make an unsettling and endlessly fascinating team. Amy Adams plays exactly the opposite role from her American Hustle babe and is still great. It may unnerve some folks because it hits closer to home than is comfortable…it’s one of the most original films of the decade, go see it.

THE WOLF OF WALL STREET. I have to say that finally, finally, finally Leonardo Di Caprio and Martin Scorsese paired tocreate a superb and excellent film that fully utilizes their talents. Di Caprio proves that his brief moments in earlier films was no accident…he is awesome in this lewd, vulgar, cocaine extravaganza. Based on the book by the films supreme con artist hero, you’ll sit on the edge of your seat for the full three plus hours. It’s what we all believed goes on behind Wall Street’s doors and even more than that.The action never stops and it is as completely breathtaking in every sense of the word. Go see it, unless you have scruples or a vestige of decency or get jealous easily.

12 YEARS A SLAVE. This film has received dozens of nominations for Awards, and well deserved. It’s a hard hitting, brutal, honest, surprising film. It is also beautifully acted, well cast, and a film you won’t forget for a very long time. Chiwetel Ejiofor is a magnificient actor and carries the film. Brad Pitt, Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Dano, and Paul Giamatti add the unnecessary Hollywood element and do good jobs but it’s Ejiofor you’ll think about a lot. It’s a true story written by the central character in the pre-civil war days. Just see this film…now.

NEBRASKA. Bruce Dern plays an almost 80 year old geezer who gets suckered by a million dollar Publishers Warehouse type con and goes on this father/son road movie through Nebraska to collect it. It’s funny at times but it’s also mean, ageist, and cruel. Alexander Payne makes films like that. Dern plays a character named Woody Grant, that’s Grant Wood spelled differently. See it but be prepared.

PHILOMENA. I saw this beautifully touching film again a few weeks ago just to make sure it was/is that good…it is. Judi Dench is never less than wonderful in her wide ranging roles. How she pulls off this true story of a human, less than brilliant mother looking for her orphaned son is magnificient. In case you wonder…Steve Coogan does NOT turn out to be her son. Go see it asap.

THE AMERICAN HUSTLE. Clever, smart, twisted, greatly acted, and even more clever. What more can you ask from a film?Seeing Amy Adams as a very sexy babe is a long ways from her princess role in Enchanted. Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper, Jeremy Renner and even Robert DeNiro keep the level of who’s conning whom at a fever and funny pitch. It’s a circus version of the real ABSCAM scandal that took down a bunch of politicians. I really meant the word clever. See it asap, and if you get a chance read the plot before you go!!!

MONUMENTS MEN. As mentioned above this movie is boring. It is terribly miscast with George Clooney, Bill Murray, Matt Damon, John Goodman, Hugh Bonneville (from Downton Abbey) Jean Dujardin and Cate Blanchett. This is spupposed to be about art experts seeking masterpieces of art that Hitler’s troops had hidden. What’s funny about that?? Yet, the music, those funny actors, just weird that’s all. No continuity, little empathy, a few killings…not a bit of cleverness in it. Absolutely no reason to see this film.I didn’t know that there were more than 300 troops involved as Monument Men not just the 5 or 6 that Clooney created. You might get something out of renting it..like for a rainy night!!

THE LEGO MOVIE. Check it out Rotten Tomatoes gives it a 95 % (Monuments Men got 34%!!!). It’s notTHAT great but its clever, sort of Pixar clever. Yes it’s all animated with those little Lego people doing all the acting”. Voices like Morgan Freeman, Elizabeth Banks, and Chris Pratt are just fine, but there are dozens of almost secret throwaway lines that will really grab you. Many product take offs, huge slaps at our commercial lives, and it ends up with what you might even call a moral lesson!!! The 3D version is extra cute…but you could rent it in a year and still enjoy!!

 

SON OF GOD. Going to see this saga is way easier than reading the book. It should have said at the end “No saviors were injured during.. etc”. This shortened version of a made for TV series at least has everyone in the cast looking Jewish or Italian/Roman. Except of course “HIMSELF” who appears to have come from the Hills of Beverly or Mount Malibu. It’s a sappy, gooey, mass marketed and never did tell us how the Shroud of Turin ended up in Santa Cruz!!

NON STOP. It’s not a “who dunnit” but a “who’s doing it” murder mystery on board an airliner. It’s really confusing, and Liam Neeson holds it together as best he can. It’s odd and disappointing to see Michelle Dockery from Downton Abbey have such an almost non speaking part. Julienne Moore does her usually fine acting as does Lupita Nyong’o from 12 years as a Slave. Go if you want to, but you won’t like it very much.

SC BAROQUE FESTIVAL TO PERFORM MUSIC BY COMPOSER ROBERT STRIZICH AND FRENCH BAROQUE MASTERWORKS. The concert titled “Baroque Inspirations” to be performed by Lux Musica, presents opulent French Music from the court of Louis XIV by Marin Marais,which will be played on the following Baroque instruments: flute, violin, cello and harpsichord. In addition, Artistic Director Linda Burman-Hall and Lars Johannesson will perform featured composer Robert Strizich’s work “Tombeau” for harpsichord and baroque flute. At the start of the concert, the Ninth Annual ‘Youth Chamber Music Contest’ awards will be presented to the following young artists:The Grand Prize Winners for “Classical Piano Trio” are Stanley Wang, Violin; Marc Picard, Cello; and Derek Hamersly, Piano. Location: UCSC Recital Hall Date & time: Saturday, March 15, 2014 at 7:30 PM. Tickets are available at www.scbaroque.com or by calling 831-457-9693; Civic Center box office: 831-420-5260; and UCSC box office: 831-456-2159. Tickets will also be available at the door.

UNIVERSAL GRAPEVINE. Each and every Tuesday from 7:00-8:00 p.m. I host Universal Grapevine on KZSC 88.1 fm. or on your computer (live only or sometimes old programs are archived… (See next paragraph) and go to WWW.KZSC.ORG. Kathleen Crocetti guests on March 11 to talk about her art programs in Santa Cruz City schools.Then Barry and Shelley Phillips tell us about their musical lives. Patricia Castagnola will bring us up to date on The Santa Cruz Aids Project on March 18, and historian, author tour guide Sandy Lydon returns to relate history. Aletta deWal guests on March 25 to discuss art and marketing. 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.

 

UNIVERSAL GRAPEVINE ARCHIVES. In case you missed some of the great people I’ve interviewed in the last 5 years here’s a chronological list of just this year’s podcasts. Click herehttp://kzsc.org/blog/tag/universal-grapevine then tap on “listen here” to hear any or all of them… all over again. The update includes 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. Hear them all!!!

BEST OF CLASSICAL STEVEN DeCINZO.

QUOTES. “They really got Morgani by the Barisones“, anonymous. “This is the sixth book I’ve written, which isn’t bad for a guy who has only read two”, George Burns. “I’ve given up reading books, it takes my mind off myself”, Oscar Wilde.

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: 831 423-246822

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 March 10 – 16, 2014

March 5 – 11, 2014

CAFÉ PERGOLESI BACK IN THE DAY. This as we all know was Dr. Miller Dentist’s office at the corner of Cedar and Elm Streets in Santa Cruz. At least it was on January 20, 1954 when this photo was taken. Dentist Miller lived and operated here “around the turn of the last century”. Do note the classic Studebaker.

photo credit: Covello & Covello Historical photo collection.

DATELINE MARCH 3, 2014

ABOUT GROCERY OUTLET. After curing the jerks in my knees and calculating how many meetings it would take to oppose this “evil chain market” operation from opening up in our East Side Morrissey Post Office, I decided to look up Grocery Outlet on-line just to see how big an operation it is. In the first place, the Post Office will be there until the end of December, 2014. A couple who live in Berkeley own the entire Grocery Outlet operation. Some combined quotes from my internet search: “The Grocery Outlet chain of stores currently encompasses more than 200 independently operated stores in Arizona, California, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Pennsylvania and Washington. The premise of the market is to provide name-brand products at low prices, 40 percent to 60 percent below conventional retail prices. A variety of products will consistently be offered at Grocery Outlet, including: seasonal products, health and beauty, housewares, apparel, organic produce, fresh meats, dairy and frozen goods”.

So when you think about it Grocery Outlet will NOT be competition to Staff Of Life or Shoppers Corner. Those customers are so loyal they’ll die before shopping at Grocery Outlet. The real competition will be and is the old Safeway across the street. I looked up Safeway in Wikipedia it says, “Safeway is an American supermarket chain; it is the second largest supermarket chain in North America, after The Kroger Company, and has 1,335 stores located throughout the western and central United States and 195 in northwestern Mexico, as of January 2014. It also operates some stores in the Mid-Atlantic region of the Eastern Seaboard. The company is headquartered in Pleasanton, California. Supermarket News ranked Safeway No. 4 in the 2011 “Top 75 North American Food Retailers” based on 2010 fiscal year estimated sales of $41 billion. Based on 2009 revenue, Safeway is the 11th largest retailer in the United States.”

More than not hurting Staff Of Life or Shopper’s Corner, Grocery Outlet doesn’t sell dented cans or rejects, they buy direct from manufacturers and “have special deals on healthy and specialty foods”. The Morrissey store will be more like their store in Seaside, one informed friend tells me, not like the old one in Watsonville. Remember too that Lucky Market was at the post office location so was that Liquor Barn. So the streets have handled the traffic for generations, and the number of trucks delivering to Grocery Outlet??? How many deliveries and exits happen at the present Post Office??? Think about that. AND think about having a source for better prices than Safeway…that’s good too. Besides that, Safeway isn’t doing so well financially. Sure, it’s miserable to lose that post office, but that’s their business and all the meetings in the world wouldn’t effect that.

More to follow. Such as the amount of traffic that is a City Council problem because the site is zoned exactly for that grocery business. The Grocery Outlet will be exactly the same size as the present building, and if Grocery Outlet doesn’t go in, somebody else will!!! Here’s a link to this month’s Grocery Outlet opening in Yreka.

NEW YOUTUBE OF “THE GREAT MORGANI”. Frank just sent this one…direct from Del Williams

GREAT MORGANI NOT HARRASSED. I ran into The Great Morgani at East Cliff’s Dollar Store last week (the in-group store). He had a few things to say, the main one was that “the Police didn’t harrass me, they were polite and we had a very civil discussion”, unquote. The other item was that “Robert Norse called me an anarchist, I’m no anarchist”. He also told me that his parents owned a chicken farm out on Soquel Avenue back in the day. Frank Morgani also liked last week’s historical photo of the original Hindquarter corner. So did I.

Former member of the Santa Cruz City Arts Commission and former member of the Benicia City Council Linda Bixby adds to the ruckus and says, “I am crushed, CRUSHED at the prospect of losing Morgani downtown. What an amazing, uplifting, enormously talented and creative artist he is and what a boon to the community. Would it seriously not be possible to create a niche for him in some way? This is an enormously sad – and I would say embarrassing – reflection on our governance. It is so hard as a citizen and former arts commissioner to see the creative spirit being sapped out of our town in service to what? Public safety? I suggest the council re-read the Arts element of the General Plan, to be reminded that the plan calls for our community to reflect in every way possible – including in our streetscapes – the fact that this is an arts community. No one is a more revered, celebrated part of our streetscape than Morgani. When the city puts out an economic development brochure trying to lure businesses here, do they put pictures of a clean sidewalk or a new water pipe on the cover? Of course not; they tout our public art. Can’t have it both ways, folks”. Thanks Linda.

One other thing that’s come up in our media a lot this last week or so, is Tom Scribner. We should remember that Tom never played for money, or passed the hat. He just liked to play the saw once in a while. The other thing is that the Scribner statue didn’t appear easily on Pacific Avenue. The City Council, mostly council member Larry Edler fought placing that “Wobbly Commie” statue in public. So it stood for quite a while in SCOPE PARK. I think it was Neal Coonerty that so thoughtfully and graciously had it placed in front of Bookshop Santa Cruz.

CLUB ZAYANTE HISTORY. Nealry legendary Club Zayante owner Tom Louagie is writing a book about the club…and it’ll be a never to be forgotten saga. He sent me a few pages last week. Names such as Pig Heart, Sol of Sirocco, Clifton Chenier, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, The Chambers Brothers and on and on it goes with great stories attached to all of them. No press date yet, but I’ll let you know.

A REALLY JOLLY PARTY TIME. Web Director Gunilla Leavitt found this one. She calls it hysterical…take a look..

SECRETARY OF STATE CAMPAIGNERS STOP. Nancy Abbey president of The People’s Democratic Committee emailed to say, “The Democratic Central Committee’s forum for the three Democratic candidates for Secretary of State Wednesday night (2/26) was very interesting. All three are thoughtful men who’ve done good work, so meeting them and hearing their views was exciting, but, for my money, Derek Cressman was a clear winner and I plan to work for his campaign. But, my main point is that I was startled to hear Alex Padilla say he didn’t support public financing of elections “because there are so many other important things to spend the money on”. A Secretary of State who doesn’t think public financing is important!?!? And sees it as a waste of money!!!! Full disclosure: I am a big supporter of getting corporate and billionaire money out of politics and have been very involved in the issue so my ears really perked up at that one. She continues, “But also, the California Democratic Party supports public financing. Both Derek Cressman and Sen Yee made strong statements in support of it. Yee stressed the importance of voting to maintain democracy and Cressman stressed the success of public financing in other states and in San Francisco and Los Angeles in particular (Cressman, as Vice President of State Operations for Common Cause, was very instrumental in its success). She adds, “Check it out yourself:
The exact same language on public financing and disclosure is in the 2014 draft party platform:

OLDIE BUT FUNNY.

EL SALVADOR ELECTION NIGHT PARTY. Les Gardner invites us all…”Join in as we watch Sanchez Cerén become the new President of El Salvador. Viewing will be at the Santa Cruz County Democratic Headquarters, 740 Front Street, Suite 165, Santa Cruz on Sunday, March 9, 2014 from 6:30-9pm. Special Guests; Assembly Member Luis Alejo, Assembly Member Mark Stone, Hector Perla plus Community Activists And people from the Salvadorian Community. Refreshments will be served along with good companionship. There is a strong possibility that either the President or Vice-President elect will be calling that evening. There will also be a special surprise presentation to Assembly Member Luis Alejo. Vice President Cerén, at this moment has over a 10 point lead with 8 days to go. P.S. If you have a photo of yourself and Vice President Cerén, please bring a copy. Les Gardner is going to El Salvador later in the week and would be happy to ask Cerén to sign your photo.

ALVAH BESSIE’S “THE SYMBOL”. Dan Bessie is afilmaker and former long time Santa Cruzan who now lives and communicates from France. In “way back” when I was at KCBS in S.F. I met and interviewed his father Alvah Bessie who had written a novel based on Marilyn Monroe. On later visits to Dan in Santa Cruz Alvah and I learned we shared the same birthday (June 4). Alvah was not only a great guy but was also one of the Blacklisted and nearly nortorious Hollywood Ten.

Dan writes….”My father’s THE SYMBOL has just been republished as an e-book, by UNTREEDREADS. So if you’re used to reading via a PDF, or on a KINDLE or other digital device, and have never read this (in my view) wonderfully perceptive novel, I urge you to invest the $5.99 for an Untreedreads copy (My siblings and I share a bit higher royalty that way).* The UNTREED website:

Published originally in 1965 by Random House and then in a 1 million copy release by Dell paperbacks, reviews for THE SYMBOL included blurbs that damned it for “Its sex escapades, parade of four-letter words and its star-studded who’s-who game.” and praised it as “. . . a triumph of storytelling . . . Alvah Bessie gives us a full length, absolutely convincing portrait. He has in an uncanny way, entered [his character’s] mind and heart, so that we know and feel what it must be like to be famous and so haunted.”

Dan adds, “THE SYMBOL’S most accurate review, I believe, came from Martha Gellhorn, widely regarded as one of the greatest of war correspondents, and (incidentally), third wife of Ernest Hemingway:

The Symbol is remarkable because it is written by a man and is the story of an entirely believable woman. Men have always written about women without hesitation or doubt, and have turned out curious effigies—bitches, nymphs, goddesses, little dream wives—all man-made. Bessie has accomplished a superb feat of the imagination by inventing a woman who is not a man-made puppet, she is a breathing female, alive on her own. That is a magical achievement and cannot be explained. It has happened”. So if you have a Kindle or some such contraption…

PATTON’S PROGRAM. Gary talks about some possibly illegal meetings of The Monterey County Bd. Of Supes (on water issues). He tells of the exciting possibilities of the San Lorenzo River Forum on 3/04, and another held by the Soquel Creek Water District. UCSC’s Earth Summit happens Thursday 3/6, and some positive ideas such issue forth from it. Gary adds stuff about a sustainable Farmland Strategy…which is part of the ongoing theme of “Land Use” He closes by telling us of a Friday night UCSC meeting dealing with City Repair and neighborhood communication and nurturing our local culture. Read all of above scripts at Gary Patton’s KUSP Land Use site http://blogs.kusp.org/landuse. Gary is a former Santa Cruz County Supervisor, and an attorney who represents individuals and community groups on land use and environmental issues. The opinions expressed are Mr. Patton’s. Gary has his own website, “Two Worlds / 365?www.gapatton.net

CLASSICAL DE CINZO. DeCinzo deals with power, not his usual power issues, but our most current power problem !!

LISA JENSEN LINKS. Speaking of predicting Oscar winners.Ms. Jensen got it exactly right on 12 out of 13 predictions !!! She goes on to say, ” And I was 12 for 13 in my Oscar predictions this year—maybe a personal best! Of the 13 categories I called, the only one I flubbed was Production Design; I guessed Gravity, but the gold went to The Great Gatsby. (However, I DID correctly predict that Gravity would win for Cinematography and Gatsby would win for Costumes!) I swept all the big categories— for once!’ She adds “It’s not every day you meet someone who paints his own Vermeer painting. Find out how a San Antonio engineer does it—and discover the sweet spot where art and science intersect—in the fascinating doc Tim’s Vermeer, this week at Lisa Jensen Online Express (http://ljo-express.blogspot.com). Also, get set for a downpour of family mysteries in the Jewel Theatre Company’s Three Days of Rain.” Lisa has been writing film reviews and columns for Good Times since 1975.

THAT IS THE QUESTION

……In order of perfection……

THE WIND RISES. It’s a masterpiece of genuine animation, not Disney, digital or Pixar it’s from Ghibli’s studio in Japan. They made Spirited Away, Princess Mononoke,It’s not for children, it’s a spohisticated, intelligent biography of Jiro Horikoshi famed Aeronautical engineer, and how “Jiro” created the famed WW 2 “Zero” fighter plane. The earthquakes, the war, the tender love story are absolutely stunning. See it asap.

NON STOP. It’s not a who dunnit but a who’s doing it murder mystery on board an airliner. It’s really confusing, and Liam Neeson holds it together as best he can. It’s odd and disappointing to see Michelle Dockery from Downton Abbey have such an almost non speaking part. Julienne Moore does her usually fine acting as does Lupita Nyong’o from 12 years as a Slave. Go if you want to, but you won’t like it very much.

SON OF GOD.Going to see this saga is way easier than reading the book. It should have said at the end “No saviors were injured during.. etc”. This shortened version of a made for TV series at least has everyone in the cast liooking Jewish or Italian/Roman. Except of course “HIMSELF” who appears to have come from the Hills of Beverly or Mount Malibu. It’s a sappy, gooey, mass marketed and n ever did tell us how the Shroud of Turin ended up in Santa Cruz!!

STILL PLAYING AT A THEATRE NEAR US

(from BEST 2 worst)

GLORIA. (SEE SOON) This “foreign” film from Chile should sweep the Oscars. Paulina Garcia (age 54) creates a performance that goes far beyond words and images as she show us the deep insides of a mid life, courageous, gutsy approach to the world. It’s one of the finest women’s roles I’ve ever seen on screen. Do not miss it.

HER. “Her” got the Golden Globe award for screenplay, it deserved it and many, many more.

Joaquin Phoenix’s brilliance and Scarlett Johansson as the voice in his computer make an unsettling and endlessly fascinating team. Amy Adams plays exactly the opposite role from her American Hustle babe and is still great. It may unnerve some folks because it hits closer to home than is comfortable…it’s one of the most original films of the decade, go see it.

THE WOLF OF WALL STREET. I have to say that finally, finally, finally Leonardo Di Caprio and Martin Scorsese paired tocreate a superb and excellent film that fully utilizes their talents. Di Caprio proves that his brief moments in earlier films was no accident…he is awesome in this lewd, vulgar, cocaine extravaganza. Based on the book by the films supreme con artist hero, you’ll sit on the edge of your seat for the full three plus hours. It’s what we all believed goes on behind Wall Street’s doors and even more than that.The action never stops and it is as completely breathtaking in every sense of the word. Go see it, unless you have scruples or a vestige of decency or get jealous easily.

12 YEARS A SLAVE. This film has received dozens of nominations for Awards, and well deserved. It’s a hard hitting, brutal, honest, surprising film. It is also beautifully acted, well cast, and a film you won’t forget for a very long time. Chiwetel Ejiofor is a magnificient actor and carries the film. Brad Pitt, Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Dano, and Paul Giamatti add the unnecessary Hollywood element and do good jobs but it’s Ejiofor you’ll think about a lot. It’s a true story written by the central character in the pre-civil war days. Just see this film…now.

NEBRASKA. Bruce Dern plays an almost 80 year old geezer who gets suckered by a million dollar Publishers Warehouse type con and goes on this father/son road movie through Nebraska to collect it. It’s funny at times but it’s also mean, ageist, and cruel. Alexander Payne makes films like that. Dern plays a character named Woody Grant, that’s Grant Wood spelled differently. See it but be prepared.

PHILOMENA. I saw this beautifully touching film again a few weeks ago just to make sure it was/is that good…it is. Judi Dench is never less than wonderful in her wide ranging roles. How she pulls off this true story of a human, less than brilliant mother looking for her orphaned son is magnificient. In case you wonder…Steve Coogan does NOT turn out to be her son. Go see it asap.

THE AMERICAN HUSTLE. Clever, smart, twisted, greatly acted, and even more clever. What more can you ask from a film?Seeing Amy Adams as a very sexy babe is a long ways from her princess role in Enchanted. Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper, Jeremy Renner and even Robert DeNiro keep the level of who’s conning whom at a fever and funny pitch. It’s a circus version of the real ABSCAM scandal that took down a bunch of politicians. I really meant the word clever. See it asap, and if you get a chance read the plot before you go!!!

MONUMENTS MEN. As mentioned above this movie is boring. It is terribly miscast with George Clooney, Bill Murray, Matt Damon, John Goodman, Hugh Bonneville (from Downton Abbey) Jean Dujardin and Cate Blanchett. This is spupposed to be about art experts seeking masterpieces of art that Hitler’s troops had hidden. What’s funny about that?? Yet, the music, those funny actors, just weird that’s all. No continuity, little empathy, a few killings…not a bit of cleverness in it. Absolutely no reason to see this film.I didn’t know that there were more than 300 troops involved as Monument Men not just the 5 or 6 that Clooney created. You might get something out of renting it..like for a rainy night!!

ROBO COP. I liked the earlier original Robo Cop (Peter Weller 1987) and was almost reluctant to see this version. I was way wrong. This is one fine super-hero type film. Set in 2028 this nice, efficient, loving husband cop is turned into a machine and shows us where all this security issue we face today could lead. Exciting, nearly believable, nicely acted. Go see it if you like Batman, Superman, Iron Man and things like that.

THE LEGO MOVIE. Check it out Rotten Tomatoes gives it a 95 % (Monuments Men got 34%!!!). It’s notTHAT great but its clever, sort of Pixar clever. Yes it’s all animated with those little Lego people doing all the acting”. Voices like Morgan Freeman, Elizabeth Banks, and Chris Pratt are just fine, but there are dozens of almost secret throwaway lines that will really grab you. Many product take offs, huge slaps at our commercial lives, and it ends up with what you might even call a moral lesson!!! The 3D version is extra cute…but you could rent it in a year and still enjoy!!

OSCAR NOMINATED ANIMATED SHORTS. Someday, somehow I’ll find outwhere and when these animated and live action short films are shown throughout the year. As always some are stunning and have touches of cinematic greatness and some are boring, bad and pointless. Mr. Hublot is one of the great ones and opens the animated program. The digitally animated giraffe and duck who act as emcees for all this animated program are vulgar, gross, unfunny…and require enormous patience just to sit through their miserable bits. Possessions is a Japanese meditation on keeping possessions and isn’t worth mentioning. Feral is supposed to be profound but fails. However Room on The Broom is cute, traditional, and doesn’t set any new artistic standards. Get a Horse is a Disney product and combines 1930’s style animation with current talent, but it’s also sort of brutal, go warned.

OSCAR NOMINATED LIVE ACTION SHORTS. Helium is touching, poignant, and deals with a young boy dying in a hospital. The Voorman Problem is also well worth watching, and centers on a guy who claims to be God (maybe he is!!!) An African short That Wasn’t Me is brutal, anti-war and mystifying. Just Before Losing Everything tells us about a battered woman and her kids who are trying to get away from her husband. It’s fast, nervous, and well done but I’m not sure of the point it tries to make. Do I Have to Take Care of Everything is sort of funny but to spend that much time filming, directing, financing it just for a one line joke was way beyond my understanding.

3 DAYS TO KILL. Kevin Costner not only has daughter bonding issues and major family problems but a huge number of spies and nasties keep trying to kill him for 1 hour and 40 minutes. It’s got some intentional laughs, and a few special effects, mostly it’s a dopey film and not worth any admission price…even if you go alone and you shouldn’t.

POMPEII IN 3D. Pompeii was just like Santa Cruz is today.They are a seaside resort town, have a few earthquakes, a 5 to 2 City Council, theybuild a new stadium, and then Mt. Vesuvius erupts and the movie’s over. You really, really hope that Vesiuvius erupts about 10 minutes after the film starts but you have to wade through a cockamamie story about gladiators becoming friends, and an Angelina Jolie look- a- like love affair that turns to solid lava. It’s a boring mess and Kiefer Sutherland must have needed the money.

UNIVERSAL GRAPEVINE. Each and every Tuesday from 7:00-8:00 p.m. I host Universal Grapevine on KZSC 88.1 fm. or on your computer (live only or sometimes old programs are archived… (See next paragraph) and go to WWW.KZSC.ORG. Mrch 4th has Jayme Kelly Curtis talking about the Art of The Guitar Festival (including the book, pereformances, and exhibit) immediately after which Pat Matejcek will be discussing the Regional Transportation Commission’s draft plan. Kathleen Crocetti guests on March 11 to talk about developments of art in public schools.Then Barry and Shelley Phillips tell us about their musical lives. Patricia Castagnola will bring us up to date on The Santa Cruz Aids Project on March 18, and historian, author tour guide Sandy Lydon returns to relate history. Aletta deWal guests on March 25 to discuss art and marketing. 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.

UNIVERSAL GRAPEVINE ARCHIVES. In case you missed some of the great people I’ve interviewed in the last 5 years here’s a chronological list of just this year’s podcasts. Click herehttp://kzsc.org/blog/tag/universal-grapevine then tap on “listen here” to hear any or all of them… all over again. The update includes 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. Hear them all!!!

QUOTES “Facts are for people who have no opinions”, B. Bratton. “The Answer is in the plural and they bounce”, Edwin Lutyens. “I don’t know what my dog’s real name is, but I call him Rover”, Stafford Beer.

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: 831 423-246822

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 March 5 – 11, 2014