February 11 – 17, 2014

BEFORE THE COUNTY BUILDING AND AFTER THE 1955 FLOOD. That’s Soquel Street and the Soquel Bridge at the bottom and way atop the photo is the new Highway One Bridge. At the very bottom on the right you can see Riverside Electric. In between is the cleared area where the County Building would be built. (photo courtesy Covello & Covello Historical Photo Collection)

Additional information always welcome: email photo@brattononline.com

DATELINE February 10, 2014

SANTA CRUZ WATER SUPPLY ADVISORY COMMITTEE By now the names of the Chosen People who will serve on the SCWSAC (I guess we’ll call it “Screwsack”??) have been announced and denounced. What this committee will do is to allow the City Council to throw up their hands and say,” Gee, that water issue is something that “Screwsack” will have to handle”. For months the committee will meet, write up things, make meager suggestions, take even more pressure off the Council and in about 10 months (or sooner) will fall completely apart because it was so ineffectual. By the way has Mayor Lynn Robinson or Chris Reyes ever told us just how much water the boardwalk uses? I don’t remember ever seeing any statistics on that…anyone know???

JONATHAN WINTERS wows the audience…with a stick! I’ll guarantee you’ll laugh at this great ad-lib comic. Ted Burke sent it in and deserves thanks for it!!

NEW PARKING LOTS AND CATCHING RAINWATER. We all must know by now that capturing rainwater for re-use involves a huge expense. The words infrastructure and catchment are big here. But it’s impossible to not think about it, especially during the last week of rain. Lets hope that dynamite “Screwsack” (Santa Cruz Water Supply Advisory Board) at least proposes that all new parking lots (like PAMF’s on Mission Street) are all paved with porous material so that part of the rain will soak downwards. Then a new ordinance saying any new paving like patios, driveways, sidewalks etc will be made of porous stuff. It makes sense.

PLAY ON and the CHANCELLOR’S LETTER. As you might have guessed the UCSC Chancellor’s email plea for funding/donations to help Play On Shakespeare Santa Cruz was the biggest factor in the successful fund drive that allows the Shakespeare season to happen again this year. UCSC had been witholding all the SSC subscriber lists from the Play On group for some reason/ At least UCSC and the Chancellor finally helped by creating that emailed plea but why not sooner so Play On would have the best possiblke opportunity to hire and make choics for their next season?? Makes you wonder.

COLLECTORS ITEM FOR SALE (BRIEFLY). Jim MacKenzie and Renee Flower put together a wonderful book titled “From These Woods, the guitar makers of Santa Cruz County”. It’s an excellent collection of grand photographs and fine storys of our master local luthiers. Here’s the real deal….they only printed up 500 copies, it sells for $25 and is only available at Blitzer Gallery during the current Art of Guitar Festival now through March 15.. If you know any guitar makers, play guitar, love guitars, you have to buy this book, fast. It’s not for sale at any bookstore, and was only printed as part of the Guitar exhibit at Blitzer. Alex de Grassi wrote an introduction and Jaime Kelly Curtis did all the contacting. It’s an historic detailing of our guitar makers that dererves as much prestige and recognition as our surfing fame. Go here (Blitzer Gallery site) to get necessary details.

AGED & UNDATED FIRE DEPARTMENT PHOTO. Last week I ran an old photo of the Santa Cruz Fire Department in fron of their Santa Cruz Civic hangar. I couldn’t find my data on it and asked about a date for the photo. Len Klempnauer formerly of the Sentinel and author of “Wrong Side of the Highway,” responded and said, “You showed the fire station photo once before and had it dated – 1941” See below just a bit to check out the photo.

ELERICK’S INPUT. Paul Elerick says…

PEOPLE’S DEMOCRATIC CLUB HAPPENING

For those of you who missed this event, here’s a rundown on what took place at People’s Democratic Club’s Dinner Party/Fundraiser, attended by about 80 enthusiastic progressives at the home of Nancy Elliot and Paul Johnston.

PDC President Nancy Abbey got the evening program going by introducing MC John Laird, a former PDC president and currently California’s Secretary for Natural Resources. John introduced special guests County Supervisor John Leopold and Santa Cruz City Councilmember Micah Posner, and other elected officials and candidates. Watsonville Mayor Karina Cervantez, also a special guest was unable to attend, but wrote a letter that was read to the group. Both John Leopold and Micah Posner spoke, giving us a picture of local government as seen by the only progressive office holders at these levels.

PDC recognized their progressive activists of the year, Rachel Goodman for her work getting more women involved with running for office and Rick Longinotti for his work enlightening the community on the alternatives to increasing our water supply. A special award went to Stationary Engineers Union Local 39 who stuck it out for an astounding 70 days in a David and Goliath struggle against Dominican Hospital, and won. PDC members walked with them.

Among the PDC’s goals are “We believe that a democracy requires constant participation by its citizens. The PDC was founded to foster this participation”. Is this something you would like to be part of? You can become involved with the People’s Democratic Club by coming to their next meeting, February 20, 7:00 P.M. The meeting is at Democratic Party Headquarters in the Galleria on Front St. in Sana Cruz. (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).

TANDY BEAL FOUND THIS young and great Rwanda Dance Troupe.

PATTON’S PROGRAM. Gary talks about our County Supes considering a 40 unit senior housing development in Live Oak. The Soquel Creek Water District meets Tuesday night. The Aptos Local Economies also meets Tuesday to talk more about Safeway plans. The he talks about the Santa Cruz City Council appointments to “Screwsack” (SCWSAC). The Coastal Commission meets Wednesday in Pismo Beach and deals with Fracking. He gets a bit complex talking about the Sudden Oak Death survey. He went to the 10th Annual California Water Law Symposium and stated, that atmospheric scientists believe that the melting of Arctic ice, related to global warming, is a major cause of the high-pressure ridge that has blocked rainfall from reaching California this water year. I also learned (or had reconfirmed, more accurately) that water planners think that we are in the middle of an historic drought, despite the precipitation so evident last weekend. It is a time to stop fooling around on water, and fundamentally to reform our water system”.

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 faced the «new» coffee prices….scroll down a bit..

EAGANS DEEP COVER. Tim illustrates our major addiction see below

LISA JENSEN LINKS. Lisa writes: “The Beatles anniversary revels continue this week at Lisa Jensen Online Express (http://ljo-express.blogspot.com), with a fond look backwards from the front lines of Beatlemania. Also, there’s only one week left to discover the best art deals in town at two user-friendly local art shows. And say hello to my brand new cover for the US edition of Alias Hook! ” Lisa has been writing film reviews and columns for Good Times since 1975

ROMEO AND JULIET at THE DEL MAR .Orlando Bloom (Pirates of the Caribbean, The Lord of the Rings) and two-time Tony Award® nominee Condola Rashad (Stick Fly, The Trip to Bountiful) turned up the heat this fall as Broadway’s hottest, rule-breaking, heart-aching couple, ROMEO AND JULIET. Jealousy. Prejudice. Betrayal. And the chance that true love could actually conquer all. It could only be the greatest love story of all time, and, for the first time in over 36 years, it played live on Broadway in a stunningly modern production from five-time Tony® nominee David Leveaux. The acclaimed cast of 25 included Tony Award® winners Brent Carver (Kiss of the Spider Woman), Chuck Cooper (The Life), two-time Tony® nominee Jayne Houdyshell (Follies) and Christian Camargo (All My Sons).It’ll be broadcast live only twice at the Del Mar Thursday February 13 at 7:30 and Sunday morning at 11 am.

SANTA CRUZ CHAMBER PLAYERS. The fourth concerty in their series is..

“A Thread of Time: The Old Becomes New”. “A Thread of Time” explores some of the ways in which composers use old material or ideas, and set them in new ways. For this concert we selected 20th and 21st century works for an ensemble of flute, clarinet, violin, cello and piano. The pieces in this program draw their inspiration from renaissance songs, gentle folk tunes, complex baroque ideas, and devotional music of the American Shakers. It’s Music by Bolling, Wourinen, Martinu, and Barry Phillips. Lars Johannesson, is the artistic director and flute guy. Then there’sJeff Gallagher, clarinet, Natalie Carducci, violin, Amy Brodo, cello
Susan Bruckner, piano and Barry Phillips, composer and drums. It happens Saturday, February 15, 8 pm and Sunday, February 16, at 3 pm. Their concerts are all at… Christ Lutheran Church 10707 Soquel Drive, Aptos (Off Highway 1 at Freedom Blvd.). Tickets at the door, probably.

RETURN OF THE FILM CRITICS. Back in 2004 Morton Marcus, Lisa Jensen, Wallace Baine and I began our annual Critics and the Oscars smackdowns at the Nick. Morton passed on to heaven (where there are no bad movies) and Wallace doesn’t get to see very many movies anymore. So this year on Sunday February 23 Lisa Jensen from Good Times, Christina Waters from The Santa Cruz Weekly and I will hold forth. We’ll give our own best ten, predict what “THEE ACADEMY” will do and give everyone attending a chance to tell us your opinions and choices. It’ll be at NICK at 11 am and yes, it’s free!!!.

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

MY PERSONAL REVELATION. I realized just this week that I have an infallable “Inner Critic”. After studying cinema and writing about it for over 30 years including research at The Academy of Motion Pictures, The American Film Institute , The Berlin Film Museum all for a book that never happened…my “Inner Critic” finally made itself known. Less than 10 minutes into The Monument Men I was sound asleep…my Inner Critic had taken over!!! I’m not fooling about this. It was the 1:40 p.m. screening, I had a good nights sleep the night before, and wham I was asleep. It surprised me, I fully intended to watch the entire film, even with the terrible reviews. It doesn’t happen often, and it isn’t even when I consciously don’t like the film. It’s just certain films that the “Inner Critic” takes over and I wake up somewhere later during the movie. I’ll be ready next time.

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!!

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 supposed 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. You might get something out of renting it..like for a rainy night!!

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

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 INVISIBLE WOMAN. This is from a thoroughly researched book on the secret love affair Charles Dickens had with a very young woman while he was married. Ralph Fiennes plays Dickens (age 45) and Felicity Jones plays Nelly, the young actress (age 18). Dicken’s chubby, dull wife had 10 children with Dickens. You’ll wonder why Nellie stayed with Dickens, aside from his fame and celebrity standing. It’s a good film, but not a great film.

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.

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.

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. Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Dano, and Paul Giamatti 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.

DALLAS BUYERS CLUB. No doubt about it Mathew McConaughey stars in and steals most, but not all of this film. What’s odd is that I ended up thinking more about and reacting to Jared Leto’s superb job inplaying the transvestite role. Jennifer Garner and Steve Zahn are perfect in their roles too. It’s a fine film, but it is such a tour de force , so completely laid out, so perfectly designed that I never “got into” the film. It’s a spectacle, so in your face, no subtlety. And it’s an award winner for sure.

AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY. It’s an over the top version of the stage play and deals with so much nastiness, hatred, jealousy, fear and miserable people that you’ll leave the theatre feeling a lot better about your own life…whatever it is!!! Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts battle it out for Queen of Suffering, and the rest of the cast is perfect. See it only if you like great, but melodramatic, films.

 

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.

LONE SURVIVOR. It’s actually an old time “War Movie” only it’s based on fact and a book all about Navy Seals fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan. Mark Wahlberg financed it and is the Lone Survivor. I kept thinking of John Wayne in the Sands of Iwo Jima (1949). It’s an excellent war movie, if you like them.

JACK RYAN, SHADOW RECRUIT.. Just another film and another actor in the Jack Ryan franchise. Chris Pine is very cute as Ryan and he does as agood a job as you can expect. The plot isn’t from a Tom Clancy book this time. It’s about Russia destroying our financial system and somehow Kiera Knightly is Jack Ryan’s love partner. She shouldn’t have been because she just doesn’t fit in somehow. You keep thinking gee, that’s Keira Knightly playing that role. Kevin Costner plays Jack’s boss and he’s ok, just ok. BUT the plot is tight and complex enough that it will hold you all the way through. Go if you like spy type thrillers.

THAT AWKWARD MOMENT. Zac Efron and Miles Teller are two parts of a trio of GUYS (that’s “GUY” all in caps!!) It’s about how guys fear commitment, want to drink a lot, and have little or no clue about relating to women. Lots of body part jokes and unconvincing acting and I wouldn’t even suggest renting 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 W WW.KZSC.ORG. On February 11 Officer Brad Sadek of The California Highway Patrol will tell us about highways and safety then director Bill Peters and Julie James of the Jewel theatre Company will talk about their play, “Three Days of Rain” playing 2/27-3/16. February 18 has retired UCSC Professor Lincoln Taiz discussing his New Yorker interview on plant neurobiology. Then Lisa Jensen and I will talk about this years movies and The Oscars Smackdown we’re doing 2/23 at the Nick.. On February 25 Anastasia Torres-Gil will inform us about the status of local foster parenting. She’s followed by David Wright, owner of The Hidden Peak Teahouse talking aboutthe world of tea. Historian, tour guide Sandy Lydon returns March 2 to help support the KZSC Pledge Drive. Kathleen Crocetti guests on March 11 to talk about developments of art in public schools. Patricia Castagnola will bring us up to date on The Santa Cruz Aids Project on March 18.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 8 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 some of them… all over again. The update includes Nikki Silva, Michael Warren, Annie Morhauser, Tom Noddy, Anita Monga, Mark Wainer, Judy Johnson-Darrow, Wendy Mayer-Lochtefeld, Rachel Goodman, George Newell, Tubten Pende, Frank Perry, Gina Marie Hayes, Rebecca Ronay-Hazleton, Miriam Ellis, Deb Mc Arthur, The Great Morgani on Street performing, Paul Whitworth, Dr. Larry DeGhetaldi, Jodi McGraw, Bill Richter, Bruce Daniels, Deutron Kebebew, Sandy Lydon on County History. Ramona Turner, Stephen Slade, Dr. Alfred Petrocelli, Stephen Bignell, 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, Neal Coonerty, 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, Ryan Coonerty, 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 “Finishing second in the Olympics gets you silver. Finishing second in politics gets you oblivion”, Richard Nixon. “If you don’t try to win you might as well hold the Olympics in somebody’s back yard”, Jesse Owens.. “In Hollywood you can see things at night that are fast enough to be in the Olympics in the day time”, Will Rogers..

COLUMN COMMUNICATIONS.

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BEST OF VINTAGE STEVEN DeCINZO.

Deep Cover by Tim Eagan.

Posted in Weekly Articles | Comments Off on February 11 – 17, 2014

February 5 – 11, 2014

SANTA CRUZ FIRE DEPARTMENT. There’s no dates on the license plates in this photo so I can’t tell the date. The Civic hasn’t changed much, but we did get some new fire engines.

Additional information always welcome: email photo@brattononline.com

DATELINE February 3, 2014

THE HISTORY OF MUSIC.7 minutes of absolutely brilliantly illustrated musical history.
LIFE, DEATH, MAKE-UP. Just a weird attempt at profoundity

PING PONG. Unlike any match you’ve ever seen!!

THAT SANTA CRUZ WATER SUPPLY ADVISORY COMMITTEE.From the City Website…

The City Council formed the Committee to serve as the lead and clearinghouse of the community engagement effort around the City’s water supply options. The applications to serve on that committee closed on January 15″. No announcements have been made so far as to who has been chosen. The City website says the committee will be made up of…14 MEMBERS i.e.

  • 3 representatives each from environmental and business groups
  • 3 at-large Santa Cruz City residents
  • 1 non-City resident water customer
  • 1 representative from Desal Alternatives
  • 1 representative of the Sustainable Water Coalition
  • 2 members of the City Water Commission

The website goes on to say…” Applications will be reviewed by the City Council Nominating Committee, which will provide the City Council with a list of nominees for review and acceptance in February”. There’s a lot of concern that the Council nominating committee will stack the Water Supply group with a majority of PRO-Desal people. For example, the Sustainable Water Coalition is Cynthia Mathews creation, so we know that representative’s vote will go PRO-DESAL. What will be more controversial will be if the nominating committee will allow representatives from Ecology Action and Save our Shores. Both of those groups receive funding from the City Coffers and you can bet that they wont want to disagree with any City pressures so they too will vote yes or PRO-DESAL We should be hearing soon about those appointments…be advised and be wary about this “stacking”.

REGAL CINEMA 9 MAKEOVER!!! (Beer & Wine too !!!) Big changes in the works for our downtown Cinema 9 theatre. By June they will have replaced every seat in all their nine theatres with large luxury seats. Not only that but they’re going to sell beer and wine and you can take it to your seat!!! Even more than that…they’ll start selling hamburgers and fries. Nicole the Cinema 9 manager told me that she’s been trying hard to get these changes for a long time.

PAY RAISE FOR CITY COUNCIL….WHY??? More than a few voters have been asking just how can this Santa Cruz City Council in particular justify a raise in their pay? What exactly have they done that helps or adds anything to our City?

GIRL SCOUT COOKIES AND ABORTIONS. “Row” sent this link to Common Dreams. Read the ” comments” from Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts. Some funny, some crazed. And again, it’s about the competition and the selling of unhealthy junk food. Why are we encouraging our children to sell junk food??

ELERICK’S INPUT. Paul Elerick states…

SANTA CRUZ COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS

Our Board of Supervisors will continue to go through changes in 2014, with elections being held in the 3rd and 4th Districts. Ryan Coonerty appears to be a shoo-in to replace his father in the 3rd district; the 4th District could be more of an election.

Regarding the supervisors most recently elected, Bruce McPherson and Zach Friend, I have to say they are doing OK as is the entire Board. As an Aptos resident, I’m most familiar with the actions taken by 2nd District Supervisor Zach Friend. While we don’t agree on everything (Highway 1 widening, immensity of the Aptos Village plan, and probably Safeway expansion, none of these things are going to happen in the near future). The water crisis we are in will play a big part in large projects like these. We’ll see action on Seacliff’s Neighborhood Park and several road improvements before these things happen, especially the highway widening.

I’m one of Zach’s constituents who agreed with his position against growing medical marijuana in back yard plots. I’m all for medical marijuana purchasable at approved outlets, but home grown backyard cultivation just invites trouble from people looking for free pot to steal. I also agree with Zach on most of his votes on the RTC. I would urge 2nd District residents to contact Zach and let him know what your hot issues are. (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 deals with the Soquel Creek Water District Board of Directors meeting and their water experts report on recycling water. On Tuesday he talks about a large regional water facility handling seawater. LAFCO meets on Wednesday in the Santa Cruz County Building. Extending Santa Cruz city water up the hill to UCSC is not on the agenda for some reason. The Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commission meets Thursday in Watsonville. They’ll be discussing The Monterey Bay Sanctuary Scenic Trail Network. He warns us about a dangerous land use policy that didn’t work in Palo Alto, but could possibly happen in Santa Cruz if we aren’t aware enough. 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. Mr. DeCinzo reports on fly-by marijuana farming. Scroll downwards.

EAGANS DEEP COVER. Eagan show us the dis-united states map. See below.

LISA JENSEN LINKS. Lisa writes: “This week at Lisa Jensen Online Express (http://ljo-express.blogspot.com), welcome to the weird and wonderful world of found junk sculpture artist Stephane Halleux, whose work is one of the delights in this year’s Oscar Nominated Shorts movie programs. Don’t miss Ralph Fiennes as Charles Dickens in the excellent biographical drama, The Invisible Woman, and find out why this week marks (ulp) 50 years of Beatlemania!” Lisa has been writing film reviews and columns for Good Times since 1975.

HOLT MURRAY RETROSPECTIVE. Holt Murray was a brilliant metal sculpter who taught many years at Cabrilho College. He had a great sense of humor, and more than anyone else, he introduced me to the world of Opera. There’s a Retrospective Exhibition of his works at the Cabrilho Gallery now through February 21. There is also a reception Thursday February 6, 5:30-7 :00 p.m. After the recption there’s a discussion and film screening of original digital videos by Margaret Stanton Murray in the Art History Forum, VAPA room 1001 on the lowewr campus.

SANTA CRUZ BAROQUE FESTIVAL. These stalwart Baroque music lovers open their 40th anniversary season with a concert titled FROM LUTE TO UKE. Their website says, “Our musical tour of 700 years leads from medieval strings to the modern guitar and ukulele and is sure to delight fans of early music and vintage pop alike. This concert features medieval specialist Tim Rayborn, virtuoso of renaissance to romantic plucked strings John Schneiderman, and Ukulele Dick, performing on an array of instruments from the plucked string family. We will close the evening with a celebration of the Baroque Festival’s 40th anniversary. Presented in cooperation with the 2014 Santa Cruz County Art of Guitar Exhibit and Festival. Viva la Guitarra! It happens Saturday, February 8 at 7:30pm ~ UCSC Music Center Recital Hall.

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

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 digatially 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.

THAT AWKWARD MOMENT. Zac Efron and Miles Teller are two parts of a trio of GUYS that’s “GUY” all in caps!! It’s about how guys fear commitment, want to drink a lot, and have little or no clue about relating to women. Lots of body part jokes and unconvincing acting and I wouldn’t even suggest renting it.

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

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 INVISIBLE WOMAN. This is from a thoroughly researched book on the secret love affair Charles Dickens had with a very young woman while he was married. Ralph Fiennes plays Dickens (age 45) and Felicity Jones plays Nelly, the young actress (age 18). Dicken’s chubby, dull wife had 10 children with Dickens. You’ll wonder why Nellie stayed with Dickens, aside from his fame and celebrity standing. It’s a good film, but not a great film.

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.

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.

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. Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Dano, and Paul Giamatti 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.

GRAVITY. Rotten Tomatoes gave it a rare 98%, and many of my favorite reviewers went crazy over Gravity. George Clooney and Sandra Bullock are the astronauts in trouble and they float around in great 3D trying to fix everything and then battle to survive. Lots of Hollywood muck in this one in spite of director Alfonso Cuaron’s enormous talent.. He’s done some excellent films, Pan’s Labyrinth, Y Tu Mama Tambien, Children of Men but Gravity is not in my list of his best works. It’s about like a Saturday matinee war movie where you wonder if “so and so” will get home alive. BUT go see it in 3D, it’s probably just me.

DALLAS BUYERS CLUB. No doubt about it Mathew McConaughey stars in and steals most, but not all of this film. What’s odd is that I ended up thinking more about and reacting to Jared Leto’s superb job inplaying the transvestite role. Jennifer Garner and Steve Zahn are perfect in their roles too. It’s a fine film, but it is such a tour de force , so completely laid out, so perfectly designed that I never “got into” the film. It’s a spectacle, so in your face, no subtlety. And it’s an award winner for sure.

AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY. It’s an over the top version of the stage play and deals with so much nastiness, hatred, jealousy, fear and miserable people that you’ll leave the theatre feeling a lot better about your own life…whatever it is!!! Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts battle it out for Queen of Suffering, and the rest of the cast is perfect. See it only if you like great, but melodramatic, films.

LONE SURVIVOR. It’s actually an old time “War Movie” only it’s based on fact and a book all about Navy Seals fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan. Mark Wahlberg financed it and is the Lone Survivor. I kept thinking of John Wayne in the Sands of Iwo Jima (1949). It’s an excellent war movie, if you like them.

JACK RYAN, SHADOW RECRUIT.. Just another film and another actor in the Jack Ryan franchise. Chris Pine is very cute as Ryan and he does as agood a job as you can expect. The plot isn’t from a Tom Clancy book this time. It’s about Russia destroying our financial system and somehow Kiera Knightly is Jack Ryan’s love partner. She shouldn’t have been because she just doesn’t fit in somehow. You keep thinking gee, that’s Keira Knightly playing that role. Kevin Costner plays Jack’s boss and he’s ok, just ok. BUT the plot is tight and complex enough that it will hold you all the way through. Go if you like spy type thrillers.

HUNGER GAMES; CATCHING FIRE. Did you ever arrive late for something and then wonder what’s been going on before you got there? That’s how I felt about Hunger Games Catching Fire. I did see Hunger Games, the first one and it was exciting but I didn’t memorize or even remember much of it. So go warned about this sequel. Who are their friends, who will kill you…and more importantly WHY the killing?… are some questions this epic leaves you with. It’s exciting and sci-fi scenic, but I couldn’t get into it…or care much. Yes, Jennifer Lawrence is a fine actress, even in this. So is Philip Seymour Hoffman in a very small part, and every serious movie goer will miss him. A tragic waste of one of our greatest actors.

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. On February 4 we have Dr. Larry de Ghetaldi president of Palo Alto Medical Foundation of Santa Cruz telling us about PAMF and local plans. He’s followed by Ramona Turner the Sentinel’s Street Smarts traffic columnistwho missed the 1/21 appearance. On February 11 Officer Brad Sadek of The California Highway Patrol will tell us about highways and safety. February 18 has retired UCSC Professor Lincoln Taiz discussing his New Yorker interview on plant neurobiology. Then Lisa Jensen (and maybe Christina Waters) and I will talk about this years movies and The Oscars. 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. “Some Republicans are so ignorant they wouldn’t know how to pour piss out of a boot—even if the instructions were printed on the heel”, Lyndon B. Johnson. “He may be a son of a bitch, but at least he’s our son of a bitch”, Franklin Delano Roosevelt. “I’m astounded by people who want to “know” the universe when it’s so hard to find your way around Chinatown”, Woody Allen.

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
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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 February 5 – 11, 2014

January 28 – February 3, 2014

Very Early Santa Cruz. (Late 1800’s) You can probably guess that this is the corner of Pacific/ Front/ Mission streets. Note the easy parking and the horsecar tracks going down Pacific.

Additional information always welcome: email photo@brattononline.com

DATELINE January 27, 2014

LICENSE PLATE SCANNERS/ READERS. Brad Cava of Santa Cruz Patch brought this issue to the public when he printed, “With little or no discussion the Santa Cruz City Council Tuesday (9/12/13) approved the purchase of $38,000 of cameras that can photograph and keep indefinitely the license plates of every car entering or leaving the city. Called Automated License Plate Readers, the technology has been controversial in other cities, with freedom advocates claiming it is a step toward a 1984 surveillance system. The ones proposed by local police are mobile and can be kept in an officer’s car and set up when needed. They can read thousands of license plates per minute. The money comes from a federal grant to help local agencies buy equipment. Police across the country have used them for cameras and other paramilitary equipment. The sheriff’s department will share in the funds.

Then this….from Santa Cruz News.org September 2013

“The American Civil Liberties Union has called for restrictions on the devices’ use, asking lawmakers and law enforcement to adhere to certain principles, including:

  • License plate readers may be used by law enforcement agencies only to investigate hits and in other circumstances in which law enforcement agents reasonably believe that the plate data are relevant to an ongoing criminal investigation.
  • The government must not store data about innocent people for any lengthy period. Unless plate data has been flagged, retention periods should be measured in days or weeks, not months and certainly not years.
  • People should be able to find out if plate data of vehicles registered to them are contained in a law enforcement agency’s database.
  • Law enforcement agencies should not share license plate reader data with third parties that do not follow proper retention and access principles. They should also be transparent regarding with whom they share license plate reader data.
  • Any entity that uses license plate readers should be required to report its usage publicly on at least an annual basis.

Earlier this year, the ACLU released an extensive report on the use of the technology in municipalities throughout the U.S. The report was compiled after ACLU employees reviewed more than 26,000 pages of material gathered through public records requests from nearly 600 police departments in 38 states and Washington, D.C.”

John Malkin of Free Radio 101.3 fm talked about the scanners/readers on my Universal Grapevine program Tuesday 1/21. One topic we discussed was the very common reaction to scanners being…

“I don’t do anything illegal, and if it can track down criminals why worry about it?” The real concern is about invading our privacy. Think about all the places you go that are your own private concern. Places, choices, visits you don’t want made public. Doctor visits for a private concern, visits to a relationship that folks don’t need to know about, weekly stops for a little bottle of alcohol or a few drinks to get you through the week, seeing an ex-partner, an analyst or psychiatrist who’s helping you with affairs, seeing a healer, a Scientologist group, stopping at Frenchy’s Bookstore, learning where our politicians hang out when they aren’t supposed to. You can fill in your own private visits…all legal, and all worth keeping private. With these scanners there are few if any laws or regulations ruling who can use the results. When 1000’s of cars are scanned involving a specific crime there are only sketchy regulations regarding how long those scans can be kept. Many agencies around the US keep them for years.

There are issues here folks and as we keep learning our Santa Cruz City Council could care less and they approved these scanners, with no consideration whatsoever. Now we can do something about it. The ACLU Santa Cruz Chapter is having a meeting Wednesday, February 12 at 7 p.m. at London Nelson Community Center to talk about and hear background on License Plate Scanners.The public is invited and if you want to get involved with this scarey issue this would be the time to do it.

MASS GAMES FROM NORTH KOREA.
QUAD COPTER VIEW OF CAPITOLA 2012. Erich Boitano gets a thanks for this lovely vision.
THE MIGHTY SOQUEL CREEK.

PATTON ON MORRISEY SOQUEL POST OFFICE PLANS.

Gary Patton says this on his KUSP broadcasts about the news re Grocery Outlet opening in the post office building on Morrissey and Soquel. “ Big changes seem to coming to the Eastside of the City of Santa Cruz. Specifically, it appears that the U.S. Post Office located at the corner of Soquel Drive and Morrissey Boulevard is going to disappear around the first of next year. As listeners (readers) probably know, budget problems have led the U.S. Postal Service to close post offices all across the country. In this case, though, it doesn’t appear that the Postal Service has initiated the closure. It seems that they have simply lost their lease. Obviously, budget and financial issues do play a role whenever a lease comes up for renewal. Usually, being willing to pay more lets an existing user continue to occupy a rented property. Whatever the negotiations may have been, however, a letter dated January 13th informed at least some Eastside residents that changes were on the way.

The letter sent out on January 13th wasn’t from the Postal Service. It was from Grocery Outlet, a self-described “bargain market.” Grocery Outlet plans to join Safeway, Whole Foods, Staff of Life and Shoppers Corner to make the two-block area between Branciforte and Morrissey, into a kind of “Grocery Central.” Grocery Outlet has announced its intention to host a neighborhood meeting at the end of February. No specifics are currently available. At least some City planning approvals will be required, and if residents want to get engaged on this issue, I’d suggest sooner rather than later!”. BrattonNote…check out the Grocery Outlet in Watsonville before you make up your mind on this one!!

SYNCHRONIZED WALKING. Now here’s something I’ll bet the City Council would like to start in Santa Cruz.

PATTON’S PROGRAM. Gary starts off the week talking about a lot of Land Use Issues on the Santa Cruz County Board of Supes agenda. Then he tells us about the City Council and adopting the Ocean Street Area Plan which will change the County Building and the Paradox Hotel property into a site for a major retail operation!!! He closes on Friday telling us about our cities Water Commission plans and why we should start cutting back on water use sooner and not later. 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. Here’s DeCinzo’s inside view of the Coffee Roasting Company scroll below.

EAGANS DEEP COVER. Eagan’s view of late breaking equality see below a few pages.

LISA JENSEN LINKS. Lisa writes: “What was hot at this years Santa Cruz Chocolate Festival? Why is Sherlock one of the coolest shows on TV? How well is Tom Clancy’s durable CIA hero resurrected in Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit? When will the US edition Alias Hook finally arrive at a bookstore near you? Read all about it this week at Lisa Jensen Online Express (http://ljo-express.blogspot.com)Lisa Jensen has been writing film reviews and columns for Good Times since 1975.

RETURN OF THE FILM CRITICS.

Back in 2004 Morton Marcus, Lisa Jensen, Wallace Baine and I began our annual Critics and the Oscars smackdowns at the Nick. Morton passed on to heaven (where there are no bad movies) and Wallace doesn’t get to see very many movies anymore. So this year on Sunday, February 23 Lisa Jensen from Good Times, Christina Waters from The Santa Cruz Weekly and I will hold forth. We’ll give our own best ten, predict what “THEE ACADEMY” will do and give everyone attending a chance to tell us your opinions and choices. It’ll be at NICK at 11 am and yes, it’s free!!!.

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

THE INVISIBLE WOMAN. This is from a thoroughly researched book on the secret love affair Charles Dickens had with a very young woman while he was married. Ralph Fiennes plays Dickens (age 45) and Felicity Jones plays Nelly, the young actress (age 18). Dickens’ chubby, dull wife had 10 children with Dickens. You’ll wonder why Nellie stayed with Dickens, aside from his fame and celebrity standing. It’s a good film, but not a great film.

GIMME SHELTER. I almost went to see I, Frankenstein but when I realized that it had a 2 rating on Rotten Tomatoes I saw Gimme Shelter instead.It’s a true story about a 15 year old runaway, her druggy, prostitute, mother, her rich father Brendan Fraser, and James Earl Jones as a minister who tries to help her. You would like the movie more if you were a Christian or you could wait and rent it, it’s a very soulfull film.

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

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 to create 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.

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.

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. Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Dano, and Paul Giamatti 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.

INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS. Llewyn is pronounced “Lou-enn” and is the Coen Brothers newest creation. F. Murray Abraham, John Goodman, Carey Milligan, and Justin Timberlake are part of the cast, the lead is Oscar Isaac and they do magnificient acting jobs. If you know or care about the 1961 New York and Chicago folk music scene and specifically about Dave Van Ronk you’ll love this film. It’s not as crazy or funny as Oh Brother, Where Art Thou. The plot ambles as much as the folk singer guitarist lead character and the plot is as pointless as his life seems to be. You’ll get out of the film exactly as much as you put into it.

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.

GRAVITY. Rotten Tomatoes gave it a rare 98%, and many of my favorite reviewers went crazy over Gravity. George Clooney and Sandra Bullock are the astronauts in trouble and they float around in great 3D trying to fix everything and then battle to survive. Lots of Hollywood muck in this one in spite of director Alfonso Cuaron’s enormous talent.. He’s done some excellent films, Pan’s Labyrinth, Y Tu Mama Tambien, Children of Men but Gravity is not in my list of his best works. It’s about like a Saturday matinee war movie where you wonder if “so and so” will get home alive. BUT go see it in 3D, it’s probably just me.

DALLAS BUYERS CLUB. No doubt about it Mathew McConaughey stars in and steals most, but not all of this film. What’s odd is that I ended up thinking more about and reacting to Jared Leto’s superb job in playing the transvestite role. Jennifer Garner and Steve Zahn are perfect in their roles too. It’s a fine film, but it is such a tour de force , so completely laid out, so perfectly designed that I never “got into” the film. It’s a spectacle, so in your face, no subtlety. And it’s an award winner for sure.

AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY. It’s an over the top version of the stage play and deals with so much nastiness, hatred, jealousy, fear and miserable people that you’ll leave the theatre feeling a lot better about your own life…whatever it is!!! Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts battle it out for Queen of Suffering, and the rest of the cast is perfect. See it only if you like great, but melodramatic, films.

LONE SURVIVOR. It’s actually an old time “War Movie” only it’s based on fact and a book all about Navy Seals fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan. Mark Wahlberg financed it and is the Lone Survivor. I kept thinking of John Wayne in the Sands of Iwo Jima (1949). It’s an excellent war movie, if you like them.

JACK RYAN, SHADOW RECRUIT.. Just another film and another actor in the Jack Ryan franchise. Chris Pine is very cute as Ryan and he does as agood a job as you can expect. The plot isn’t from a Tom Clancy book this time. It’s about Russia destroying our financial system and somehow Kiera Knightly is Jack Ryan’s love partner. She shouldn’t have been because she just doesn’t fit in somehow. You keep thinking gee, that’s Keira Knightly playing that role. Kevin Costner plays Jack’s boss and he’s ok, just ok. BUT the plot is tight and complex enough that it will hold you all the way through. Go if you like spy type thrillers.

HUNGER GAMES; CATCHING FIRE. Did you ever arrive late for something and then wonder what’s been going on before you got there? That’s how I felt about Hunger Games Catching Fire. I did see Hunger Games, the first one and it was exciting but I didn’t memorize or even remember much of it. So go warned about this sequel. Who are their friends, who will kill you…and more importantly WHY the killing?… are some questions this epic leaves you with. It’s exciting and sci-fi scenic, but I couldn’t get into it…or care much. Yes, Jennifer Lawrence is a fine actress, even in this.

THE HOBBIT: The desolation of Smaug.. Seeing This part 2 of The Hobbit the same weekend I saw The Wizard of OZ in 3D and the Saving Disney film made the Hobbits a very poor comparison to The Oz Munchkins or Snow Whites Seven Dwarves. Those charecters became icons, legends and part of our history. The Hobbits, not so much. elves, dwarves and Hobbits, no comparison. Want to bet that any of The Hobbit films aren’t remembered and revered like Wizard of Oz? Then there’s J.R.R. Tolkien’s story line of a Gold ring, a vast fortune guarded by a dragon, and the music….this film sure owes a lot to Richard Wagner and his 4 Ring Operas. Sure Benedict Cumberbatch is in it, he’s Smaug the nasty dragon, but you won’t recognize him. Don’t expect any charm, trickyness, or inventiveness if you do go. Expect instead lots of blood, rolling ,chopped off heads and lengthy amounts of fights. Dwarves vs. elves vs. Hobbits…why?

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 On February 4 we have Dr. Larry de Ghetaldi president of Palo Alto Medical Foundation of Santa Cruz telling us about PAMF and local plans. He’s followed by Ramona Turner the Sentinel’s Street Smarts traffic columnist who missed the 1/21 appearance. On February 11 Officer Brad Sadek of The California Highway Patrol will tell us about highways and safety.. 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 last 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!!!

BEST OF CLASSICAL STEVEN DeCINZO.

QUOTES. “There are only two things that a child will share willingly—communicable diseases and its mother’s age”, Dr. Benjamin Spock. “The baby is fine. The only problem is that he looks like Edward G. Robinson“, Woody Allen. “When I was a boy, the Dead Sea was only sick”, George Burns.

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 January 28 – February 3, 2014

January 22 – 28, 2014

HOLY CROSS CHURCH AND SANCTUARY.. Circa 1889. Margbater Koch’s book says the Church on the left was dedicated in 1858 and was used until the brick sanctuary on the right was built in 1889.

Additional information always welcome: email photo@brattononline.com

FIRST HILAROUS PARODY OF “HER”. This one is from Spike Jonze, and Peter J. Logan discovered it.

A SECOND TAKEOFF ON “HER” . Susan Gibbs eked out this almost serious re-take of “HER”, the movie..Everybody has thought about it, these folks filmed one !

DATELINE January 20, 2014

THOSE DARNED CITY COUNCIL CANDIDATES. The Santa Cruz City Council race that happens this year is getting interesting. Rochelle Naroyan told me she’s running and has announced sooner this time because she believes she started her campaign too late last time. Cynthia Chase is going to wait another 2 years to run. Tim Goncharoff has been loading up all our Facebook Pages for months and I still don’t know who supports him. Then there’s Leonie Sherman, she’s a self defense instructor who’s worked with Women’s Crisis Center. Steve Schnaar is also rumored to be running for council. He’s active with the Hub For Sustainable Living, the homelessand the Sanctuary Camp. Steve Pleich will probably run again and will get just about the same amount of votes. Rachel Goodman’s name is out there floating around. She’s got more than enough campaign experience to be able to make some kind of impact.

THOSE DARNED 3rd DISTRICT SUPERVISOR CANDIDATES. By now most folks know that Ryan Coonerty is running for Dad’s 3 rd District supervisor seat. The only names I could come up with so far as even possible candidates are Bob Lamonica, who has a nearly serious “thing ” about anybody named Coonerty. Jane Yett was thinking about running butno late breaking hints from her camp lately. Greg Caput has some opposition and I’ll get to it asap but as of this writing….nada.

POETRYAND LAUREATES , ANOTHER LOOK. Bill Grant sent this thoughtful protest.

SHAKESPEARE’S “PLAY ON” IN FULL GEAR. That’s great news about Patrick Stewart joining the “Play On” team/movement/campaign/cause to revive Shakespeare Santa Cruz. The large question we should all keep wondering about (until there’s an answer) is why won’t UCSC allow “Play On” to use the huge mailing list of supporters/attendees that they built up over the last 35 years??? That mailing list has always been a source of great money/donations coming in for SSC every year. Now UCSC pulls some excuse like “privacy” and won’t allow the list to be used. It would solve 1000’s of financial problems, and more than likely put Shakespeare back on the boards this summer. Stay tuned to this one…something’s afoot!!

CITY COUNCIL CHAMBERS NEED NEW THINKING. This is NOT a reference to Mayor Robinson’s idea of having a folk singer open each City Council session with a folk song. Last Sunday’s Chronicle had a great article titled “Democracy better served in coffee-house atmosphere” by Joe Mathews. He was talking about City Council Chamber almost everywhere. He talked about the raised dais, rows of seats facing them, the quiet that is demanded, the nutty gadflies that attend these meetings, how the real business is done in the hallways outside the Chamber. How even more business is done in “closed sessions”. He says we should re-design the City Council chambers “take out the old fixed benches” and make it more like Starbuck’s!!! We’d have tables, nice couches, a bar to serve coffee and maybe even beer and wine! I’m not so sure about Starbuck’s but it’s worth re-thinking about. Read the details here…

ELERICK’S INPUT. Paul emails to say…

Water Management Issues

Droughts seem to bring on the worst in people. The entire state is facing the same problem, lack of rainfall and we’ll all take a hit on this one. We better get used to it, and yes that means those who have their own wells need to provide some way of monitoring themselves. One sure way to fill the Board of Supervisors meetings is to put private well metering/monitoring on the agenda. What makes private well owners so special?

Santa Cruz needs to keep close watch on the various “task forces” that have come and gone, chartered to come up with a solution to this problem. So far, the only solution I’ve heard that’s being considered is to throw more money at the unfinished de-sal EIR. That whole EIR will probably have to be started over from scratch whenever a community agreed-upon plan to address the water crises is completed.

When will our water agencies explain why they continue to add new hookups while asking existing customers to stop using so much water? Start with justifying adding huge projects like Aptos Village Plan and expansion of Rancho Del Mar Center that Safeway is contemplating.

(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).

POOL TRICK SHOTS. Ron Clegg found this gem… I can’t embed it, but follow the link – it’s very impressive!

HAWAII’S NORTH SHORE SURF FROM A DRONE. Every soul in our area has seen almost enough surf filmage. But, not like this !!! Simply gorgeous !!!

Pipeline Winter 2013 from Eric Sterman on Vimeo.

PATTON’S PROGRAM. Gary’s topics this week on KUSP are the new Urban Farming law which should help our urban environment. HE talks about The Santa Cruz City Council’s very suspect attempt to stack the Water Supply Advisory Committee. Then he’s all about Water & Wastewater and tours of the Graham Hill Treatment plant. Then he deals with the very real problem of Saltwater Intrusion in Mid-County, and possibly the regulation of private wells. Then there is the Rail Trail Plans and The League of Women Voters meeting happening on February 9th. 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 muses on the lack of riots…scroll below…

EAGANS DEEP COVER. Eagan deals with the bully pulpit, and a few bags of tea !!! See below…

LISA JENSEN LINKS. Lisa was busy writing but catch up at Lisa Jensen Online Express (http://ljo-express.blogspot.com), She’s working on her American edition of the new book and we’re all boning up on the annual film Critic’s Smackdown at the Nick on Feb.23. Lisa has been writing film reviews and columns for Good Times since 1975.

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

JACK RYAN. Another film and another actor in the Jack Ryan franchise. Chris Pine is very cute as Ryan and he does as good a job as you can expect. The plot isn’t from a Tom Clancy book this time. It’s about Russia destroying our financial system and somehow Kiera Knightly is Jack Ryan’s love partner. She shouldn’t have been because she just doesn’t fit in somehow. You keep thinking gee, that’s Keira Knightly playing that role. Kevin Costner plays Jack’s boss and he’s ok, just ok. BUT the plot is tight and complex enough that it will hold you all the way through. Go if you like spy type thrillers.

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

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.

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.

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. Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Dano, and Paul Giamatti 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.

INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS. Llewyn is pronounced “Lou-enn” and is the Coen Brothers newest creation. F. Murray Abraham, John Goodman, Carey Milligan, and Justin Timberlake are part of the cast, the lead is Oscar Isaac and they do magnificient acting jobs. If you know or care about the 1961 New York and Chicago folk music scene and specifically about Dave Van Ronk you’ll love this film. It’s not as crazy or funny as Oh Brother, Where Art Thou. The plot ambles as much as the folk singer guitarist lead character and the plot is as pointless as his life seems to be. You’ll get out of the film exactly as much as you put into it.

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.

DALLAS BUYERS CLUB. No doubt about it Mathew McConaughey stars in and steals most, but not all of this film. What’s odd is that I ended up thinking more about and reacting to Jared Leto’s superb job inplaying the transvestite role. Jennifer Garner and Steve Zahn are perfect in their roles too. It’s a fine film, but it is such a tour de force , so completely laid out, so perfectly designed that I never “got into” the film. It’s a spectacle, so in your face, no subtlety. And it’s an award winner for sure.

AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY. It’s an over the top version of the stage play and deals with so much nastiness, hatred, jealousy, fear and miserable people that you’ll leave the theatre feeling a lot better about your own life…whatever it is!!! Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts battle it out for Queen of Suffering, and the rest of the cast is perfect. See it only if you like great, melodramatic, films.

LONE SURVIVOR. It’s actually an old time “War Movie” only it’s based on fact and a book all about Navy Seals fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan. Mark Wahlberg financed it and is the Lone Survivor. I kept thinking of John Wayne in the Sands of Iwo Jima (1949). It’s an excellent war movie, if you like them.

HUNGER GAMES; CATCHING FIRE. Did you ever arrive late for something and then wonder what’s been going on before you got there? That’s how I felt about Hunger Games Catching Fire. I did see Hunger Games, the first one and it was exciting but I didn’t memorize or even remember much of it. So go warned about this sequel. Who are their friends, who will kill you…and more importantly WHY the killing?… are some questions this epic leaves you with. It’s exciting and sci-fi scenic, but I couldn’t get into it…or care much. Yes, Jennifer Lawrence is a fine actress, even in this.

THE HOBBIT: The desolation of Smaug.. Seeing This part 2 of The Hobbit the same weekend I saw The Wizard of OZ in 3D and the Saving Disney film made the Hobbits a very poor comparison to The Oz Munchkins or Snow Whites Seven Dwarves. Those charecters became icons, legends and part of our history. The Hobbits, not so much. elves, dwarves and Hobbits, no comparison. Want to bet that any of The Hobbit films aren’t remembered and revered like Wizard of Oz? Then there’s J.R.R. Tolkien’s story line of a Gold ring, a vast fortune guarded by a dragon, and the music….this film sure owes a lot to Richard Wagner and his 4 Ring Operas. Sure Benedict Cumberbatch is in it, he’s Smaug the nasty dragon, but you won’t recognize him. Don’t expect any charm, trickyness, or inventiveness if you do go. Expect instead lots of blood, rolling ,chopped off heads and lengthy amounts of fights. Dwarves vs. elves vs. Hobbits…why?

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. On January 21 the Sentinel’s Street Smarts traffic columnist Ramona Turner tells us backstories about safety, etc. She’s followed by John Malkin and the threat of License Plate scanners that the police want to bring in. January 28 has attorney and activist Bob Taren discussing 2014 predictions on our local issues. Then Linda Burman Hall gives details on the Santa Cruz Baroque Festival’s 2014 season. February 4 we have Dr. Larry de Ghetaldi president of Palo Alto Medical Foundation of Santa Cruz telling us about PAMF and local plans. 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. “Lots of people go mad in January. Not as many as in May, of course. Nor June. But January is your third most common month for madness”, Karen Joy Fowler.
“January, month of empty pockets! let us endure this evil month, anxious as a theatrical producer’s forehead”, Sidonie Gabrielle Colette. “January is the garbage can of movies in America, directly after all the Oscar contenders have been out”, Michael Caine

COLUMN COMMUNICATIONS.

Subscriptions: Click and enter the box in the upper right hand corner of each Column. You’ll get a weekly email notice the instant the column goes online. (Anywhere from Monday afternoon through Thursday or sometimes as late as Friday!) Always free and confidential. Even I don’t know who subscribes!!

Snail Mail: Bratton Online
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BEST OF VINTAGE STEVEN DeCINZO.

Deep Cover by Tim Eagan.

Posted in Weekly Articles | Comments Off on January 22 – 28, 2014

January 14 – 20, 2014

SELECTIVE TREE HARVESTING IN THE SANTA CRUZ MOUNTAINS. As the now historic “SELECTIVE” harvesting goes they SELECT all the trees they can make big bucks from and strip the mountain sides.

Additional information always welcome: email photo@brattononline.com

DATELINE January 13, 2014

WOOLIES AND SOWETO GOSPEL CHOIR. Rich Siebert found this gem. Check it out, and you’ll probably cry a little.

RAIN…10 HOURS OF LISTENING TO RAIN. Just listen to about three minutes of this rain…maybe if we all meditate???

WHAT IS SANTA CRUZ? What makes Santa Cruz such a fine place to live? Why did so many of us move here? Why do so many folks stay here? Location is a major factor but it is what’s left of the town character/ambiance/atmosphere/style/etc. that makes it so unique and special. That character is found in our Historic homes, our Historic (and vanishing) Historic buildings and as we see this week… in our Heritage trees. The proposed chain Hyatt Hotel at Ocean and Broadway brings together all the issues of preserving Santa Cruz. We have no design approval so we allow any chain to build any cookie cutter style that can be seen all over the USA. And in this Hyatt case we have absolutely no concern about saving another one of our Historic trees…and we know the City Council will allow that beautiful and certified Heritage Horse Chestnut tree on the site to be destroyed. Trees as just as important as homes and buildings in maintaining style and character of our town. At the rate Santa Cruz is allowing such changes to everything Historic (including MAH) we’ll be another San Jose almost before we know it.

RIANE EISLER IS COMING TO TOWN. She is the inspirational author of “The Chalice & the Blade”. Her talk is titled..

Toward a Caring Economy: Beyond Capitalism and Socialism, Economics as if women, men, children, and the environment actually matter”

Dr. Eisler will show that behind our most pressing individual and social problems lies the failure of economic models and policies to value and support the essential work of caring and care giving. Recognizing the powerful influence of our hidden system of gendered values, she proposes a new paradigm for a sustainable and equitable alternative to how our economy is structured. Presented by the Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom it happens on Thursday, January 30, 2014 at 7 pm in thePeace United Church of Christ (aka First Congregational Church) 900 High Street. Childcare provided! Tickets sold online at www.brownpapertickets.com/event/523897 and at Bookshop Santa Cruz. For further information, please go to www.wilpf.got.net. Or visit www.caringeconomy.org

ELERICK’S INPUT. Paul writes…

RANCHO DEL MAR SHOPPING AND ENTERTAINMENT

Another of the benefits of living in Aptos is being able to go to movies without a hassle. In fact, it’s downright easy; decide which movie at the Aptos Cinema you want to see, take a five minute drive (including parking time) to Rancho Del Mar Center, get your ticket and popcorn and (another five minutes) and enjoy the movie. You’ll see a first-run movie sitting in new comfortable seats as well. No parking charges, no sketchy people asking for money, and if you go at night you can be home in the same short time it took to get there. The cry for an “updated” shopping center is puzzling? What is the meaning of “dated”? In whose eyes? The current selection of businesses serves the community well, and if new ones need to be added, there are vacant storefronts advertised all the time. Message to Safeway should be “Fix up your existing store right where it is, leave the rest of Aptos alone”.(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).

BEST OF 2013 SNOWBOARDING.
PEOPLE ARE AWESOME 2014. Watch for the wheelchair stunts, and the avalanche skiing!!!

PATTON’S PROGRAM. Gary gives us some ammo on the City Council and the Chain Hotel proposed for Ocean Street. He talks about so called “minor” changes in permit approval. Then he talks about the proposed sale of Salinas River water to California American Water. Gary covers the importance of dealing with private wells and the drought and surface water. He ends the week with “Last Call In Capitola” and how their general plan is a big deal regarding future developments.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 barks up our tree with a new leash on life…scroll down a few pages.

EAGANS DEEP COVER. Tim Eagan takes a cold calculating look at the climate change…see below.

LISA JENSEN LINKS. Lisa writes: “This week at Lisa Jensen Online Express (http://ljo-express.blogspot.com), I finally catch up with the Mandela movie, check out Richard Stockton’s new one-man show, rhapsodize about the new season of Sherlock, and no doubt will find something to say about the Golden Globes.” Lisa has been writing film reviews and columns for Good Times since 1975.

RETURN OF THE FILM CRITICS.

Back in the day probnably 2003 or 2004 Morton Marcus, Lisa Jensen, Wallace Baine and I began our annual Critics and the Oscars at the Nick. Morton passed on to heaven (where there are no bad movies) and Wallace doesn’t get to see very many movies anymore. So this year on Sunday February 23 Lisa Jensen from Good Times, Christina Waters from The Santa Cruz Weekly and I will hold forth. We’ll give our own best ten, predict what “THEE ACADEMY” will do and give everyone attending a chance to tell us your opinions and choices. It’ll be at NICK at 11 am and yes it’s free!!!.

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

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.

AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY. It’s an over the top version of the stage play and deals with so much nastiness, hatred, jealousy, fear and miserable people that you’ll leave the theatre feeling a lot better about your own life…whatever it is!!! Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts battle it out for Queen of Suffering, and the rest of the cast is perfect. See it only if you like great films.

LONE SURVIVOR. It’s actually an old time “War Movie” only it’s based on fact and a book all about Navy Seals fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan. Mark Wahlberg financed it and is the Lone Survivor. I kept thinking of John Wayne in the Sands of Iwo Jima (1949). It’s an excellent war movie, if you like them.

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

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.

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.

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. Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Dano, and Paul Giamatti 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.

INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS. Llewyn is pronounced “Lou-enn” and is the Coen Brothers newest creation. F. Murray Abraham, John Goodman, Carey Milligan, and Justin Timberlake are part of the cast, the lead is Oscar Isaac and they do magnificient acting jobs. If you know or care about the 1961 New York and Chicago folk music scene and specifically about Dave Van Ronk you’ll love this film. It’s not as crazy or funny as Oh Brother, Where Art Thou. The plot ambles as much as the folk singer guitarist lead character and the plot is as pointless as his life seems to be. You’ll get out of the film exactly as much as you put into it.

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.

DALLAS BUYERS CLUB. No doubt about it Mathew McConaughey stars in and steals most, but not all of this film. What’s odd is that I ended up thinking more about and reacting to Jared Leto’s superb job inplaying the transvestite role. Jennifer Garner and Steve Zahn are perfect in their roles too. It’s a fine film, but it is such a tour de force , so completely laid out, so perfectly designed that I never “got into” the film. It’s a spectacle, so in your face, no subtlety. And it’s an award winner for sure.

SAVING MR. DISNEY. This film will grab you more the older you are or in direct proportion to the amount of attachment you have to the Disney world. I have a lot of attachment to Disney. Seeing Fantasia as a young boy changed my life by introducing me to classical music. Snow White, Pinocchio, even Dumbo were some of my favorite child memories. That means I cried a lot during Saving Mr. Banks. I made sure that the first film my daughter Hillary saw in a theatre was when I took her to see Mary Poppins. Emma Thompson deserves an award for playing Mrs. P.L. Travers author of Mary Poppins. I could go on for paragraphs about this film, just go see it. Maybe you don’t know that Walt Disney was not only a chain smoker but he swore constantly, a genuine foul mouth. Somewhere I have a photo of Walt sucking on a cigarette at our very own Boardwalk when he came here to get ideas for the Autoland Ride at Disneyland.

HUNGER GAMES; CATCHING FIRE. Did you ever arrive late for something and then wonder what’s been going on before you got there? That’s how I felt about Hunger Games Catching Fire. I did see Hunger Games, the first one and it was exciting but I didn’t memorize or even remember much of it. So go warned about this sequel. Who are their friends, who will kill you…and more importantly WHY the killing?… are some questions this epic leaves you with. It’s exciting and sci-fi scenic, but I couldn’t get into it…or care much. Yes, Jennifer Lawrence is a fine actress, even in this.

THE HOBBIT: The desolation of Smaug.. Seeing This part 2 of The Hobbit the same weekend I saw The Wizard of OZ in 3D and the Saving Disney film made the Hobbits a very poor comparison to The Oz Munchkins or Snow Whites Seven Dwarves. Those charecters became icons, legends and part of our history. The Hobbits, not so much. elves, dwarves and Hobbits, no comparison. Want to bet that any of The Hobbit films aren’t remembered and revered like Wizard of Oz? Then there’s J.R.R. Tolkien’s story line of a Gold ring, a vast fortune guarded by a dragon, and the music….this film sure owes a lot to Richard Wagner and his 4 Ring Operas. Sure Benedict Cumberbatch is in it, he’s Smaug the nasty dragon, but you won’t recognize him. Don’t expect any charm, trickyness, or inventiveness if you do go. Expect instead lots of blood, rolling ,chopped off heads and lengthy amounts of fights. Dwarves vs. elves vs. Hobbits…why?

GRUDGE MATCH. This extra dumb movie features Sylvester Stallone and Robert DeNiro in a stultifying and impossible HBO geezer boxing re-match. Stallone is at his best, which is not good in this dopey phony film, and Robert De Niro is at his absolute worst. There is no reason on earth to see this mess.

THE SECRET LIFE OF WALTER MITTY. Ben Stiller produced and stars in this mis- guided attempt at humor. The only reason to see it is to watch our Santa Cruz- locally born- movie star Adam Scott do a fine job of acting as a “dick head” or head dick who hounds Stiller through various adventures, some real and some are delusional. If you are old enough to remember the original Danny Kaye version, try to preserve that memory because this movie has zero relationship to it.

47 RONIN. I have as much chance to out-law Keanu Reeves from ever being allowed to appear in films again as I do fighting Girl Scout Cookies, but I’ll keep trying. This 47 Ronin movie had monumental production problems and that’s why it was released in January with all the other disasters. The genuine historical 47 Ronin were a tribute to Japan’s system of Samurai, honor, and respect. This Hollywood rip off added flying draperies, dragons, gods, devils, spirits and Keanu Reeves to top it all off. See any one of the earlier Chushingura films. They are all magnificant, and worlds apart from this tripe.

SANTA CRUZ CHAMBER PLAYERS. Their next concert is…

MUSIC OF LOVE, LONGING, AND JOY

From the depths of Brahms’ last works for solo piano, to the youthful yearnings of Mahler at age 15, this program is designed to please and inspire at every level. This concert features the rare appearance of both Michael Tierra and his celebrated son, Chetan Tierra, as pianists on the same program. Four pieces for solo piano, Op 119, were the last solo piano pieces written by Brahms, and were premiered just three years before his death. Mahler composed his only surviving chamber work, Piano Quartet in A Minor, at the tender age of 15. This piece was used as the haunting background music for the 2010 film, Shutter Island. Tchaikovsky expressed his deep Russian and Slavic origins in his music, of which the Dumka Variations are so representative. His Dumka piano variations Op 59 are subtitled “Scenes from a Russian Village.”Antonin Dvorák’s brilliant masterpiece Piano Quintet, Op 8, regarded as one of the masterpieces of the form, will feature local young piano virtuoso Chetan Tierra. Don’t miss this extraordinary program! Michael Tierra, artistic director and pian,Cynthia Baehr, violin, Rebecca Wishnia, violin, Chad Kaltinger, viola Judy Roberts, cello Chetan Tierra, piano. The concerts are on Saturday, January 18, 8 pm. and Sunday, January 19, 3 pm. at Christ Lutheran Church 10707 Soquel Drive, Aptos (Off Highway 1 at Freedom Blvd.)

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. Tuesday, January 14 has Sandy Skees telling us about their group “100+ Women Who Care” and their good works. Deutron Kebebew follows to share news and info about “PAPAS” and how that organization helps fathers and children. On January 21 the Sentinel’s Street Smarts traffic columnist Ramona Turner tells us backstories about safety, etc. She’s followed by John Malkin and the threat of License Plate scanners that the police want to bring in. January 28 has attorney and activist Bob Taren discussing 2014 predictions on our local issues. Then Linda Burman Hall gives details on the Santa Cruz Baroque Festival’s 2014 season. 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. “I want my children to have all the things I couldn’t afford. Then I want to move in with them,” Phyllis Diller. “Living in dreams of yesterday, we find ourselves still dreaming of impossible future conquests,” Charles Lindbergh. “Nature is an infinite sphere of which the center is everywhere and the circumference nowhere”, Blaise Pascal.

COLUMN COMMUNICATIONS.

Subscriptions: Click and enter the box in the upper right hand corner of each Column. You’ll get a weekly email notice the instant the column goes online. (Anywhere from Monday afternoon through Thursday or sometimes as late as Friday!) Always free and confidential. Even I don’t know who subscribes!!

Snail Mail: Bratton Online
82 Blackburn Street, Suite 216
Santa Cruz, CA 95060

Direct email: Bratton@Cruzio.com

Direct phone: 831 423-2468

All Technical & Web details: Gunilla Leavitt @ gunilla@thegoldenfleece.com

BEST OF VINTAGE STEVEN DeCINZO.

Deep Cover by Tim Eagan.

Posted in Weekly Articles | Comments Off on January 14 – 20, 2014

January 7 – 13, 2014

FRONT AND CATHCART STREETS June 24, 1952. Now we have the Surfrider Café where Thrash Motors was and The Greek Restaurant in this location. Remember when we had car dealerships downtown?
photo credit: editor’s photo collection.

Additional information always welcome: email photo@brattononline.com

DATELINE January 5, 2014

ANOTHER YEAR AHEAD. In addition to the lack of rain there are more issues of concern we need to watch out for in 2104. There’s Ryan Coonerty as a possible Board of supervisor. His rapid dropping of the De-sal isue after working hard to sell it to us should not be forgotten. Will he pick up and drop other projects just as easily? Will his backstage dealings with Pops and UCSC continue? Then too there’s still the issue with Nina Simon and her transformation of our former Museum of Art and History intoanother Community Center. The emails keep coming in and I’ll keep reporting all their areas of concern. A nagging problem folks have with Nina is that now that by hook and crook she has increased attendance at MAH will she remain here or take some better paying job in Atlanta or Omaha and leave her version of MAH “Simonized` ? I’ve already mentioned our new mayor Lynn Robinson and her deep conflicting connections to the Boardwalk. We have already seen how our City Council was so eager to give the Boardwalk all that money to make one of their parking lots even more profitable. I could go on and I will later but just be very aware during this new one.

SAVE APTOS. Here’s the latest notice from Aptos Local Economies (A.L.E.) better known as Stop Safeway….Please JOIN Aptos residents in protecting our community. January 14, 2014 at 7:15 pm (free). ALE meets monthly the 2nd Tuesday of the month at 7:15 pm, at the Aptos Grange, 2555 Mar Vista Drive, Aptos, CA 95003. Here is our ALE message from last month’s meeting: http://aptoslocaleconomies.com/message.php
Our Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/AptosLocalEconomies Visit our website for more information and updates: http://www.aptoslocaleconomies.com/ Thank you! mail: aptoslocaleconomies@gmail.com

NEW YORK TIMES DIALECT MAP, part #2. Dale Matlock sent this parody of the New York Times nearly viral Dialect Map. Its title is.. “WHAT DO Y’ALL, YINZ, AND YIX CALL STRETCHY OFFICE SUPPLIES?”
Friends and relatives have reported some weird results from the Times Map. See how you do.

FORMER SANTA CRUZANS BACK VISITING. In just a few minutes while coffeeing it up at The Coffee Roasting Co along comes Michelle Witt, with her husband Hans and daughter Mia. Michelle went from UCSC’s Arts & Lectures to Stanford and is now Artistic director of Univ. of Washington’s World Series of Performing Arts and Exec. Dir of U.W’s Meany Hall. Not two minutes later along comes Cedar Geiger, former Santa Cruzan who now lives on the Big Island just a couple of miles from The Hiccup Circus in Pahoa. Don’t talk to Cedar about the recent rains on the Big Island, they were staggering in their severity!!!

AMAZING T-REX ILLUSION. Gunilla Leavitt of The Golden Fleece, aka Gunilla’s Emporium of Wonderment and Yarn found this puzzling clip.

GIRL SCOUT COOKIES. The annual Girl Scout Cookie sales starts this week in our area. After only 25 years of fighting this really bad idea of encouraging little girls to compete selling junk food, I’m still not ready to give up. Why junk food cookies? Why create such huge profits for the baking companies that provide them? Why all the arrests of mothers (documented) who anually get caught stealing the money from their daughters? They could in one fell swoop start selling bio-degradable soap, plant seeds, potted plants, herbs, household items, anything but junk food. Check out their website and see just how commercial this waste has become. http://www.girlscouts.org/program/gs_cookies/cookies_soon.asp

RURAL BONNY DOON HIGHLANDER. Check out the January issue of The Highlander.

News about Cemex property being sold. There’s a report on what a Karst landscape is and why we should know more about it. Commercial changes at the Beauregard Vineyards, new legal concepts in the large dwelling ordinance and the future of the Bonny Doon Airport. .Read it [link fixed!]

ELERICK’S INPUT. Paul writes…

R. I. P. Vickie Powell

Vickie Powell will be remembered by all who knew her as a hard-working, tough, dedicated fighter for causes she believed in. She died on November 5 of last year. Her obituary wasn’t published until December 28, 2013. No cause more important to her was defeating Ryland Kelley’s attempt to turn the Porter-Sesnon property between Seacliff and New Brighton State Parks into a lock-out Condo development and several performing arts theaters known as Wingspread. Those of you who were still little kids back in the late 1980’s or otherwise weren’t around, take a few minutes to walk this beautiful section of our state park system and picture it becoming what owner Ryland Kelley had in mind for us. I took a walk there recently and it remains beautifully undeveloped. Park your vehicle off Pine Tree Lane, or ride your bikes there and over the property. Thank Vicki, Rosalie Kraft, the late Senator Henry Mello, the California Coastal Commission and the rest of the Friends of Porter-Sesnon who made Porter-Sesnon a part of the State Park System. A memorial service will be held at the Corralitos Grange on Saturday February 1, 2014 at 1 pm. Contact vickiememorial@gmail.com. In lieu of flowers, send donations to the Ventana Chapter of the Sierra Club, ventana.sierraclub.org. (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).

ALVINO REY AT HIS BEST. Mark Bernhard sent this gem…just for Alvino’s biggest fans!!! The singing guitar is beyond description.

PATTON’S PROGRAM. Gary highlights and describes the American Farmland Trust. He gives details on the aftermath of the Big Sur fire, and how Monterey County may help the burned out home owners. There’s an anti-fracking meeting in Salinas. Elkhorn Slough has 3 local organizations trying to protect it. He closes by telling us about Brock Dolman’s local area appearances on Friday and Saturday 1/10 & 1/11. 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. Scroll downwards just a few and check out professor DeCinzo’s explanation of the word « Asphalt » comes from !!!

EAGANS DEEP COVER.A New Years look at Income gaps…see down below a page or 3.

LISA JENSEN LINKS. Lisa writes: “This week at Lisa Jensen Online Express (http://ljo-express.blogspot.com), let’s do Lunch at Cabrillo Stage. Can a plucky little musical revived and remounted right here in our town make it all the way to Broadway? Also, go spelunking for undiscovered gems among my Top films of 2013, and ponder some (illustrated) ideas about the new cover art for the upcoming US edition of my novel, Alias Hook .” Lisa Jensen has been writing film reviews and a column for Good Times since 1975.

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

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 the films supreme con artist hero you’ll sit on the dge of your seat for the full three plus hours. It’s what we all believed goes onm 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.

GRUDGE MATCH. This extra dumb movie features Sylvester Stallone and Robert DeNiro in a stultifying and impossible HBO geezer boxing re-match. Stallone is at his best, which is not good in this dopey phony film, and Robert De Niro is at his absolute worst. There is no reason on earth to see this mess.

THE SECRET LIFE OF WALTER MITTY. Ben Stiller produced and stars in this miss guided attempt at humor. The only reason to see it is to watch our Santa Cruz locally born movie star Adam Scott do a fine job of acting as a “dick head` or head dick who hounds Stiller through various adventures, some real and some are delusional. If you’re old enough to remember the original Danny Kaye version, try to preserve that memory because this movie has zero relationship to it.

47 RONIN. I have as much chance to out-law Keanu Reeves from ever being allowed to appear in films again as I do fighting Girl Scout Cookies, but I’ll keep trying. This 47 Ronin movie had monumental production problems and that’s why it was released in January with all the other disasters. The genuine historical 47 Ronin were a tribute to Japan’s system of Samurai, honor, and respect. This Hollywood rip off added flying draperies, dragons, gods, devils, spirits and Keanu Reeves to top it all off. See any one of the earlier Chushingura films. They are all magnificant, and worlds apart from this tripe.

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

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.

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. Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Dano, and Paul Giamatti 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.

INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS. Llewyn is pronounced “Lou-enn` and is the Coen Brothers newest creation. F. Murray Abraham, John Goodman, Carey Milligan, and Justin Timberlake are part of the cast, the lead is Oscar Isaac and they do magnificient acting jobs. If you know or care about the 1961 New York and Chicago folk music scene and specifically about Dave Van Ronk you’ll love this film. It’s not as crazy or funny as Oh Brother, Where Art Thou. The plot ambles as much as the folk singer guitarist lead character and the plot is as pointless as his life seems to be. You’ll get out of the film exactly as much as you put into it.

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.

DALLAS BUYERS CLUB. No doubt about it Mathew McConaughey stars in and steals most, but not all of this film. What’s odd is that I ended up thinking more about and reacting to Jared Leto’s superb job inplaying the transvestite role. Jennifer Garner and Steve Zahn are perfect in their roles too. It’s a fine film, but it is such a tour de force , so completely laid out, so perfectly designed that I never “got into` the film. It’s a spectacle, so in your face, no subtlety. And it’s an award winner for sure.

SAVING MR. DISNEY. This film will grab you more the older you are or in direct proportion to the amount of attachment you have to the Disney world. I have a lot of attachment to Disney. Seeing Fantasia as a young boy changed my life by introducing me to classical music. Snow White, Pinocchio, even Dumbo were some of my favorite child memories. That means I cried a lot during Saving Mr. Banks. I made sure that the first film my daughter Hillary saw in a theatre was when I took her to see Mary Poppins. Emma Thompson deserves an award for playing Mrs. P.L. Travers author of Mary Poppins. I could go on for paragraphs about this film, just go see it. Maybe you don’t know that Walt Disney was not only a chain smoker but he swore constantly, a genuine foul mouth. Somewhere I have a photo of Walt sucking on a cigarette at our very own Boardwalk when he came here to get ideas for the Autoland Ride at Disneyland.

HUNGER GAMES; CATCHING FIRE. Did you ever arrive late for something and then wonder what’s been going on before you got there? That’s how I felt about Hunger Games Catching Fire. I did see Hunger Games, the first one and it was exciting but I didn’t memorize or even remember much of it. So go warned about this sequel. Who are their friends, who will kill you…and more importantly WHY the killing?… are some questions this epic leaves you with. It’s exciting and sci-fi scenic, but I couldn’t get into it…or care much. Yes, Jennifer Lawrence is a fine actress, even in this.

THE HOBBIT: The desolation of Smaug.. Seeing This part 2 of The Hobbit the same weekend I saw The Wizard of OZ in 3D and the Saving Disney film made the Hobbits a very poor comparison to The Oz Munchkins or Snow Whites Seven Dwarves. Those charecters became icons, legends and part of our history. The Hobbits, not so much. elves, dwarves and Hobbits, no comparison. Want to bet that any of The Hobbit films aren’t remembered and revered like Wizard of Oz? Then there’s J.R.R. Tolkien’s story line of a Gold ring, a vast fortune guarded by a dragon, and the music….this film sure owes a lot to Richard Wagner and his 4 Ring Operas. Sure Benedict Cumberbatch is in it, he’s Smaug the nasty dragon, but you won’t recognize him. Don’t expect any charm, trickyness, or inventiveness if you do go. Expect instead lots of blood, rolling ,chopped off heads and lengthy amounts of fights. Dwarves vs. elves vs. Hobbits…why?

“MERRILY WE ROLL ALONG`. MUSIC & LYRICS BY STEPHEN SONDHEIM

A Broadcast of the 5-STAR Reviewed Live Stage Show from London’s West End! Set over three decades in the entertainment business Merrily We Roll Along charts the relationship between three friends Franklin, Mary and Charley. Travelling backwards in time, this powerful and moving story features some of Stephen Sondheim’s most beautiful songs including ‘Good Thing Going’, ‘Not a Day Goes By’ and ‘Old Friends’. At The Del Mar Thursday, January 9th @ 7:30pm and Sunday, January 12th @ 11:00am

P.L. TRAVERS 10 MINUTES. More details on Disney’s conning P.L Travers to make “Mary Poppins`

SANTA CRUZ CHAMBER PLAYERS. Their next concert is Music of Love, Longing, and Joy
From the depths of Brahms’ last works for solo piano, to the youthful yearnings of Mahler at age 15, this program is designed to please and inspire at every level. This concert features the rare appearance of both Michael Tierra and his celebrated son, Chetan Tierra, as pianists on the same program. Four pieces for solo piano, Op 119, were the last solo piano pieces written by Brahms, and were premiered just three years before his death. Mahler composed his only surviving chamber work, Piano Quartet in A Minor, at the tender age of 15. This piece was used as the haunting background music for the 2010 film, Shutter Island. Tchaikovsky expressed his deep Russian and Slavic origins in his music, of which the Dumka Variations are so representative. His Dumka piano variations Op 59 are subtitled “Scenes from a Russian Village.`Antonin Dvorák’s brilliant masterpiece Piano Quintet, Op 8, regarded as one of the masterpieces of the form, will feature local young piano virtuoso Chetan Tierra. Don’t miss this extraordinary program! Michael Tierra, artistic director and pian,Cynthia Baehr, violin, Rebecca Wishnia, violin, Chad Kaltinger, viola Judy Roberts, cello Chetan Tierra, piano. The concerts are on Saturday, January 18, 8 pm. and Sunday, January 19, 3 pm. at Christ Lutheran Church
10707 Soquel Drive, Aptos (Off Highway 1 at Freedom Blvd.)

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. On Jan. 7, 2014 Bill Richter and Audrey Stanley will bring us up to date about Shakespeare Play on. Then Gerry Gerringer and Wilma Marcus talk about “8 Tens @ Eight`, Which runs Jan. 3-26. January 14 has Sandy Skees telling us about their group “100+ Women` and their good works. Deutron Kebebew follows to share news and info about “PAPAS` and how that organization helps children. Do remember, any and all suggestions for future programs are more than welcome so tune in, and keep listening. Email me always (and only) at bratton@cruzio.com

UNIVERSAL GRAPEVINE ARCHIVES. In case you missed some of the more than 700 great people I’ve interviewed in the last 7 (seven) years here’s a chronological list of some randomly student- produced 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. “Do not be angry with the rain; it simply does not know how to fall upwards,`
Vladimir Nabokov. “Kiss me with rain on your eyelashes, come on, let us sway together,
under the trees, and to hell with thunder,`
Edwin Morgan. “Rain is grace; rain is the sky descending to the earth; without rain, there would be no life`, John Updike

COLUMN COMMUNICATIONS.

Subscriptions: Click and enter the box in the upper right hand corner of each Column. You’ll get a weekly email notice the instant the column goes online. (Anywhere from Monday afternoon through Thursday or sometimes as late as Friday!) Always free and confidential. Even I don’t know who subscribes!!

Snail Mail: Bratton Online
82 Blackburn Street, Suite 216
Santa Cruz, CA 95060

Direct email: Bratton@Cruzio.com

Direct phone: 831 423-2468

All Technical & Web details: Gunilla Leavitt @ gunilla@thegoldenfleece.com

BEST OF VINTAGE STEVEN DeCINZO.

Deep Cover by Tim Eagan.

Posted in Weekly Articles | Comments Off on January 7 – 13, 2014

December 26, 2013 – January 6, 2014

THE FABLED COOPER HOUSE 1971. Once upon a time (1915) this was our County Courthouse. Located at Pacific and Cooper Streets. It became our beloved and much used Cooper House in the early 1970’s. With great stores, restaurant, and the Oak Room Bar. It was retrofitted BEFORE the 1989 earthquake but the City Council allowed it to be destroyed for financial reasons. The City has never been the same since. O’Neills is there now.

photo credit: a Shmuel Thaler photograph

Additional information always welcome: email photo@brattononline.com

 

DATELINE December 22, 2013

Bratton Online. I’m taking my usual one and a half weeks vacation from BrattonOnline and Universal Grapevine. Bratton Online will be back up the week of January 6. Universal Grapevine will be back on KZSC fm January 7th with Audrey Stanley and Bill Richter talking about Shakespeare Santa Cruz and “PLAY ON”. So nothing on MAH this week and I’m getting the now predictable reactions like “thanks for doing this”. Have a Happy Holiday Time, drive safely, send me radio program ideas, send me anything you want to send…I love hearing from you all. In the meantime, I’ll be in Mar Vista and Victorville for a week. Somebody has to go to Victorville!!!

GARY PATTON SUMS UP OUR DE-SAL BATTLE. See the link below to link to Gary Patton’s website. In it he said some extra-wise things such as…”The politics of the City of Santa Cruz cannot really be called “progressive” nowadays, at least not with respect to the way the City Council conducts its business. An article in Dec.20 edition of the Santa Cruz Sentinel reminded me of just how far we have come. The title of the article (in the print edition) is “Applicants sought for new water panel.” The story is about how the City Council will soon establish a new “citizen-led advisory panel that will study water supply and management options for at least the next year.”

The establishment of this new advisory group is billed as a way to “reset” the City’s conversation with the public about water supply issues. Since at least 2008, the year The Leftmost City was published, the City has been completely dedicated to the construction of a costly and energy-intensive desalination plant. Efforts to get the City to consider “alternatives” have been routinely and summarily dismissed by the Council. Earnest members of the public would get up at Council meetings, and make their case, and once they had exhausted their two minutes at the podium, begging for the City to consider alternatives, the Council would then move on, totally ignoring all these pleas that the City give “alternatives” a real chance….thats just the beginning read the rest at this link…it’s important http://networkedblogs.com/ScBsaGary 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

YOUR PERSONAL DIALECT MAP. Maybe it was Nada Miljkovic or Andrea Webster who found this stunning dialect map. I didn’t believe it, but after 25 questions it nailed my accent as Buffalo or Rochester, New York!!! 100 % right on…and no spam or sales tricks either. Give it a whirl yourself, right here!

BBC Documentary of Mary Poppins- P.l. Travers. 58 minutes long. There’s a lot of stuff that’s in Saving Mr Banks but hear the true story…it dceals with the integrity, heartbreak, and

Reality that the movie forgot.

ELERICK’S INPUT. We’re giving Paul and his weekly input, output and wide ranging takes on that part of the county a break until the week of January 6th. (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).

CLASSICAL DE CINZO. The ever timely and timeless DeCinzo has a Dickens of a time with UCSC…scroll below

EAGANS DEEP COVER. Eagan exposes John Boener’s inner self. I think John Boener is like he is because he had to go through grade school with a name like that….remember what they did with your name ??? scroll down.

LISA JENSEN LINKS.Lisa’s off this week too, be sure to check out her website. Lisa Jensen Online Express (http://ljo-express.blogspot.com) Lisa Jensen has been writing film reviews and a column for Good Times since 1975.

DOUG McCLELLAN’S RETROSPECTIVE. There’s a big show of Doug’s paintings, collages, sculpture, digital works and poetry opening January 3rd at Michaelangelo Gallery 1111-A River Street, Santa Cruz, CA (831-426-5500) Gallery Hours: Sat. & Sun. 12-4 or by appointment. The press release says, “Doug McClellan, Santa Cruz Artist of the Year in 1992, was one of the founders of the UCSC Art Department where he served as chairman during its early years. His exhibiting career spans the last 65 years, with 12 one-man shows and a string of etceteras. . He taught art for 37 years at art Institutes, colleges and UCSC. His art has been widely exhibited including solo shows in northern and southern California, and group exhibitions on the east and west coasts, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the Library of Congress in Washington, DC. At age 70, after a long stint as a painter/sculptor and several eras of teaching visual art, he started writing poetry again, “aided largely by the computer with its cut-and-paste-permissiveness.” He is the author of seven slender volumes of poems. The latest is So Many Chairs (Many Names Press, 2013).He currently alternates between digital collage and poetry. The show runs through the month of January.

THAT IS THE QUESTION

……In order of perfection……

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, 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.

STILL PLAYING AT A THEATRE NEAR US

(from BEST 2 worst)

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. Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Dano, and Paul Giamatti 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.

PHILOMENA. I saw this beautifully touching film again 2 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.

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.

INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS. Llewyn is pronounced “Lou-enn” and is the Coen Brothers newest creation. F. Murray Abraham, John Goodman, Carey Milligan, and Justin Timberlake are part of the cast, the lead is Oscar Isaac and they do magnificient acting jobs. If you know or care about the 1961 New York and Chicago folk music scene and specifically about Dave Van Ronk you’ll love this film.It’s not as crazy or funny as Oh Brother, Where Art Thou. The plot ambles as much as the folk singer guitarist lead character and the plot is as pointless as his life seems to be. You’ll get out of the film exactly as much as you put into it.

SAVING MR. DISNEY. This film will grab you more the older you are or in direct proportion to the amount of attachment you have to the Disney world. I have a lot of attachment to Disney. Seeing Fantasia as a young boy changed my life by introducing me to classical music. Snow White, Pinocchio, even Dumbo were some of my favorite child memories. That means I cried a lot during Saving Mr. Banks. I made sure that the first film my daughter Hillary saw in a theatre was when I took her to see Mary Poppins. Emma Thompson deserves an award for playing Mrs. P.L. Travers author of Mary Poppins. I could go on for paragraphs about this film, just go see it. Maybe you don’t know that Walt Disney was not only a chain smoker but he swore constantly, a genuine foul mouth. Somewhere I have a photo of Walt sucking on a cigarette at our very own Boardwalk when he came here to get ideas for the Autoland Ride at Disneyland.

DALLAS BUYERS CLUB. No doubt about it Mathew McConaughey stars in and steals most, but not all of this film. What’s odd is that I ended up thinking more about and reacting to Jared Leto’s superb job inplaying the transvestite role. Jennifer Garner and Steve Zahn are perfect in their roles too. It’s a fine film, but it is such a tour de force , so completely laid out, so perfectly designed that I never “got into” the film. It’s a spectacle, so in your face, no subtlety. And it’s an award winner for sure.

HUNGER GAMES; CATCHING FIRE. Did you ever arrive late for something and then wonder what’s been going on before you got there? That’s how I felt about Hunger Games Catching Fire. I did see Hunger Games, the first one and it was exciting but I didn’t memorize or even remember much of it. So go warned about this sequel. Who are their friends, who will kill you…and more importantly WHY the killing?… are some questions this epic leaves you with. It’s exciting and sci-fi scenic, but I couldn’t get into it…or care much. Yes, Jennifer Lawrence is a fine actress, even in this.

THE HOBBIT: The desolation of Smaug.. Seeing This part 2 of The Hobbit the same weekend I saw The Wizard of OZ in 3D and the Disney film made the Hobbits a very poor comparison to The Oz Munchkins or Snow Whites Seven Dwarves. Those charecters became icons, legends and part of our history. The Hobbits, not so much. elves, dwarves and Hobbits, no comparison. Want to bet that any of The Hobbit films aren’t remembered and revered like Wizard of Oz? Then there’s J.R.R. Tolkien’s story line of a Gold ring, a vast fortune guarded by a dragon, and the music….this film sure owes a lot to Richard Wagner and his 4 Ring Operas. Sure Benedict Cumberbatch is in it, he’s Smaug the nasty dragon, but you won’t recognize him. Don’t expect any charm, trickyness, or inventiveness if you do go. Expect instead lots of blood, rolling ,chopped off heads and lengthy amounts of fights. Dwarves vs. elves vs. Hobbits…why?

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. Remember that KZSCis off the air 12/20-1/0214. Then on Jan. 7, 2014 Bill Richter and Audrey Stanley will bring us up to date about Shakespeare Play on. Then Gerry Gerringer and Wilma Marcus talk about “8 Tens @ Eight”, Which runs Jan. 3-26. January 14 has Sandy Skees telling us about their group “100+ Women” and their good works. Deutron Kebebew follows to share news and info about “PAPAS” and how that organization helps children. Do remember, any and all suggestions for future programs are more than welcome so tune in, and keep listening. Email me always (and only) at bratton@cruzio.com

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.

“An optimist stays up until midnight to see the New Year in. A pessimist stays up to make sure the old year leaves”, Bill Vaughn. “New Year’s Resolution: To tolerate fools more gladly, provided this does not encourage them to take up more of my time”, James Agate. “Ring out the old, ring in the new, Ring, happy bells, across the snow: The year is going, let him go; Ring out the false, ring in the true”, Alfred, Lord Tennyson. “Many years ago I resolved never to bother with New Year’s resolutions, and I’ve stuck with it ever since”, Dave Beard.

COLUMN COMMUNICATIONS.

Subscriptions: Click and enter the box in the upper right hand corner of each Column. You’ll get a weekly email notice the instant the column goes online. (Anywhere from Monday afternoon through Thursday or sometimes as late as Friday!) Always free and confidential. Even I don’t know who subscribes!!

Snail Mail: Bratton Online
82 Blackburn Street, Suite 216
Santa Cruz, CA 95060

Direct email: Bratton@Cruzio.com

Direct phone: 831 423-2468

All Technical & Web details: Gunilla Leavitt @ gunilla@thegoldenfleece.com

BEST OF VINTAGE STEVEN DeCINZO.

Deep Cover by Tim Eagan.

Posted in Weekly Articles | Comments Off on December 26, 2013 – January 6, 2014

December 18 – 24, 2013

TRADITIONAL SANTA CRUZ HOLIDAY PHOTO. If you look very closely you’ll note that this photo was taken at 7:50am. It was taken in 1957 and is of course the corner of Pacific and Cooper Streets. As we know the only remaining architecture is the façade of the then Santa Cruz County Bank on the right, now it’s The Pacific Wave Surf Shop.

photo credit: Vester Dick Photography andCovello & Covello Historical photo collection.

Additional information always welcome: email photo@brattononline.com

DATELINE Monday December 16

POURING MOLTEN ALUMINUM INTO AN ANT HILL

BIRD TOBOGANNING DOWN A ROOF. Trust me , you haven‘t seen everything yet. Could this be a very clever digital creation???

MAH, MORE ON THE FRONT STREET ENTRANCE. After reporting all those reactions to Nina Simon’s changes to The Museum of Art and History a couple of months ago…and suggesting that everyone send their complaints to the head of the MAH board of directors, the personal contacts and the emails still come in.People really care about their former Santa Cruz Art and History Museum. But still they plead “don’t use my name”, so I won’t. . Now the anger, pain and sorrow is focused on the painted entrance on Front Street. Firstly is the billboard appearance of that white walled entrance. Santa Cruz worked hard to stop billboards and now we have to face that MAH wall. So couldn’t businesses justify doing the same thing? Woodstock Pizza would be entitled to decorate their outside walls with CHEW, SLURP, BELCH, GULP and one or two words in Spanish. Trader Joes should be able to paint, BUY, SHOP, PAY, SAMPLE, you can fill in hundreds more. Then an email pointed out that of all those words painted there two words are missing…”ART” and “HISTORY” but maybe it’s just as well. As folks have said before just forget Art and History and change the name to McPherson Community Center. Another often heard complaint is MAH no matter what it’s called, or what goes on inside just isn’t a special place anymore. It certainly isn’t a place you’d want to send tourists to see. Yes I heard that Nina got a good sized grant to re-do the Abbott Square area. That space used to be special too.

APTOS & SAFEWAY EXPANSION.

Cathy Shender has been a resident of Rio Del Mar since 1971. She has always been concerned about preserving the natural beauty and amenities of Santa Cruz County. She wrote and sent this perfectly timed article.

Our local Safeway at Rancho Del Mar (State Park Drive intersection) bought up the entire Rancho Del Mar Shopping Center a few years ago. They are now planning to completely demolish the shopping center,expand its store to a Mega Safeway, take out many of the stores that have been at the center for as long as I can remember, like the Aptos Twin, locally owned stores. They are planning to expand the gas station which now has 4 pumps to 18 pumps…the infrastructure at State Park Drive cannot support this….it is completely out of scale with Aptos Village.

Safeway is planning to completely “level the terrain” which is now as Nature planned it, and build 40 foot concrete block walls…they are planning to build a 60,000 square foot Safeway which will require a 40 foot ramp for access as the entire project will be 40 feet above Soquel Drive…this will block all views of the hills and trees…they are also planning to have Safeway store underground with parking on top of it…we are just a few miles from the Loma Prieta epicenter!!! I do not want to shop underground. So I am forwarding a petition if you would care to sign it, to help us persuade our Supervisor Zach Friend that we want more design review before the bulldozers arrive. Even if you do not live in this part of the county, it really impacts all of us, down the road. Husband Steve Shender and I are working with local economies to try to preserve local stores and local economies, and to demand a more stringent environmental review beforewe find Aptos Village looking just like 41st Ave. Safeway’s planned mega-store expansion at the Rancho Del Mar Shopping Center will drive away local businesses that we depend on, increase traffic congestion at the already overburdened intersection at State Park and Soquel Drive and threaten the character of Aptos with a development that is radically out of scale with our community. Please sign our petition to Supervisor Zach Friend at http://www.change.org/petitions/ reject-the-aptos-safeway-mega-expansion and help us persuade Safeway to respect our unique small town. We only ask that Safeway support and partner with local businesses and protect the integrity of our environment. Working together, we can persuade Safeway Corporation to improve Rancho Del Mar in a way that will enhance our community and our lives..

Another point that was made at a meeting I went to last week (Aptos Local Economies) The local merchants feel that what Safeway really wants is to sell cheap gas…so we now have a Safeway Store with a 4 pump gas station…the plan is to have a huge gas station with a

Safeway store…So the real financial motive is to have a huge (largest in the county) gas

station to sell gas off the freeway. That off ramp at State Park Drive can barely handle the traffic right now and they are not planning any infrastructure improvements…not that we want a huge 41st style road improvement anyway. So selling gas is a top priority with this project…Aptos Village cannot handle this.. Join us on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/groups/SaveAptosfromSafewayExpansion/ Thanks for your help.

GOODTIME WASHBOARD 3 NOW ON iTUNES. After last week’s column and the re- revealing of my musical, professional background with my trio, I didn’t include the links to hearing The Goodtime Washboard 3 on iTunes. The first link is to the album that contains our Oakland Song, Don’t Blame P.G. & E, Pal and 10 others. http://phobos.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewAlbum?id=776308885
The second link is to our four original Christmas songs. I wrote the first two…”The Little Boy and Santa Claus” (a recited saga), and “Teki the Funny Elf”.
http://phobos.apple.com/WebObjects/MZStore.woa/wa/viewAlbum?id=776219910

ELERICK’S INPUT. Paul’s repeating a lot of last week’s Input because this one has the link to a website that explained how the same thing is happening in the area north of SF. They point out that the culprit isn’t COMCAST, but FOX who has been given the authority by government to dictate who gets to watch what on TV.

What’s happening to Santa Cruz County’s TV availability?

Our Community TV is in jeopardy. It seems that funding to support the TV broadcasting hardware is in good shape, but the funding for the people that make it work is being axed. This after a long hard struggle by CTV’s staff to cut costs. When the Sentinel editorial writers see this as a problem, as do I, you know something must really be wrong. Could the TV advertising lobby have something to do with this?

Then we have Comcast’s axing of KTVU Channel 2 from their list of cable box channels. This one remains a mystery to me also. Comcast sent a postcard to subscribers in November warning us that this would happen on December 12, (it began going away on December 4). When I called then to complain about this, a real person said not to worry, KTVU would be available on Comcast Channel 44. I was right not to believe them. Yesterday they said, yes KTVU Channel 2 was gone, but not to worry, we have KCBA (FOX) on Channel 3. Channel 2 was broadcasting, but just endless commercials. So after explaining how much I HATED FOX, and had watched the morning news on KTVU Channel 2 for over 40 years, she admitted a flood of calls to Comcast with the same complaint. It appears that KTVU is now “blocked” on the COMCAST channels available to our area. Lengthy calls to COMCAST finally got produced at least an answer; “this problem must be resolved by upper management”. I was told that somebody would call me regarding this issue. To get a bigger picture of how much we have to say about our TV choices, check out this website. FOX Broadcasting is another example of corporate control of our lives.

(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).

THE LOTTERY ILLUSION. My cousin Dean Hagen found this « magic trick » it is truly mystifying.

MORE ON COMCAST. Bonline reader Jim Munro says “I am away in South Africa at the moment where we get basic satellite TV here for $3 per month” but more than that he tells us, “Many years ago when Comcast came to town, they cancelled the ‘lifeline’ minimum cable service provided by Santa Cruz Cable. The City/County came to our defense and sued them to restore it. Their solution was to put low pass filters up on the utility poles which effectively blocked all channels above CH30, but we still got the basic channels (which is all that worth watching really!) Now, with the digital conversion, those who have the low pass filter which is owned by Comcast and installed on Comcast infrastructure to block the ‘premium’ channels are finding that the new digital boxes don’t work. When this is reported to Comcast, they send someone out, climb the pole and remove the filter. Hey Presto! the digital box starts working. No one in the Comcast office has the slightest notion of what this is all about, but the mobile technicians certainly do. The catch is that they then charge the customer for a call-out, and since they are merely doing necessary work on their own infrastructure, I would guess that this comes within the definition of financial fraud. Since I am an engineer who fully understands the cable system I argued them out of my $39 bill, but I doubt that many have………..”. To be continued I’m sure.

PETER O’TOOLE STORY. After seeing the live, brilliant, professional telecast of Noel Coward’s “Private Lives” at the Regal Cinema 9 last Wednesday night, I was reminded of what Noel Coward said to Peter O’Toole. He said, “If you were any more beautiful in that movie, they would have had to change it to “Florence of Arabia”.

PATTON’S PROGRAM. Gary talks about Monterey County and transient occupancy tax, and a new proposal that would make new developments in rural areas impossible!!! (check that one out!!!). He talks about Sand City and some proposed giant developments and gives statistics. He talks about the commercial agricultural use of groundwater and seawater intrusion. His classes at UCSC dealt with “majoritarian democracy,” and how people can change and influence land use changes. 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. A traditional DeCinzo Holiday greeting (but not to mega home dwellers) scroll downwards.

EAGANS DEEP COVER. Tim gives us an inside view of Corporate persons decking the seasons with Holy decisions. See below.

SHAKESPEARE PLAY ON NEWS. They just sent this… »We have a new website: http://www.shakespeareplayon.org/. Check it out for the latest info.’Tis the season of giving, please donate to Shakespeare Play On by the end of 2013. We’ve partnered with the Arts Council of Santa Cruz County who will help collect donations. Thanks.

LISA JENSEN LINKS. Lisa writes: “What’s the next act for Shakespeare Santa Cruz? Read all about it this week at Lisa Jensen Online Express (http://ljo-express.blogspot.com)—and find out how you can help. Also, discover which potential Oscar nominee movies on local screens are worth seeing, and consider with me the (slowly) evolving brand of Disney fairy tale heroines —and heroes.” Lisa has been writing film reviews and columns for Good Times since 1975.

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

THE GREAT BEAUTY. This piece of art is almost beyond and above the classification of film. It’s the story of a very important and very rich man turning 65. Take two minutes and watch this official trailer.

It is much like a Fellini film and tells his life but more than that it tells the life of Rome. Director Paolo Sorrentino also gave us Il Divo and Il Caimano films. It’s 2 hours and 40 minutes and you’ll wish it was longer and it’s getting super important nominations.

INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS. Llewyn is pronounced “Lou-enn” and is the Coen Brothers newest creation. F. Murray Abraham, John Goodman, Carey Milligan, and Justin Timberlake are part of the cast, the lead is Oscar Isaac and they do magnificient acting jobs. If you know or care about the 1961 New York and Chicago folk music scene and specifically about Dave Van Ronk you’ll love this film.It’s not as crazy or funny as Oh Brother, Where Art Thou. The plot ambles as much as the folk singer guitarist lead character and the plot is as pointless as his life seems to be. You’ll get out of the film exactly as much as you put into it.

SAVING MR. DISNEY. This film will grab you more the older you are or in direct proportion to the amount of attachment you have to the Disney world. I have a lot of attachment to Disney. Seeing Fantasia as a young boy changed my life by introducing me to classical music. Snow White, Pinocchio, even Dumbo were some of my favorite child memories. That means I cried a lot during Saving Mr. Banks. I made sure that the first film my daughter Hillary saw in a theatre was when I took her to see Mary Poppins. Emma Thompson deserves an award for playing Mrs. P.L. Travers author of Mary Poppins. I could go on for paragraphs about this film, just go see it. Maybe you don’t know that Walt Disney was not only a chain smoker but he swore constantly, a genuine foul mouth. Somewhere I have a photo of Walt sucking on a cigarette at our very own Boardwalk when he came here to get ideas for the Autoland Ride at Disneyland.

THE HOBBIT: The desolation of Smaug.. Seeing This part 2 of The Hobbit the same weekend I saw The Wizard of OZ in 3D and the Disney film made the Hobbits a very poor comparison to The Oz Munchkins or Snow Whites Seven Dwarves. Those charecters became icons, legends and part of our history. The Hobbits, not so much. elves, dwarves and Hobbits, no comparison. Want to bet that any of The Hobbit films aren’t remembered and revered like Wizard of Oz? Then there’s J.R.R. Tolkien’s story line of a Gold ring, a vast fortune guarded by a dragon, and the music….this film sure owes a lot to Richard Wagner and his 4 Ring Operas. Sure Benedict Cumberbatch is in it, he’s Smaug the nasty dragon, but you won’t recognize him. Don’t expect any charm, trickyness, or inventiveness if you do go. Expect instead lots of blood, rolling ,chopped off heads and lengthy amounts of fights. Dwarves vs. elves vs. Hobbits…why?

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

PHILOMENA. I saw this beautifully touching film again 2 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.

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.

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. Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Dano, and Paul Giamatti 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.

DALLAS BUYERS CLUB. No doubt about it Mathew McConaughey stars in and steals most, but not all of this film. What’s odd is that I ended up thinking more about and reacting to Jared Leto’s superb job inplaying the transvestite role. Jennifer Garner and Steve Zahn are perfect in their roles too. It’s a fine film, but it is such a tour de force , so completely laid out, so perfectly designed that I never “got into” the film. It’s a spectacle, so in your face, no subtlety. And it’s an award winner for sure.

BOOK THIEF. Not many family oriented films take place inside Nazi Germany. This was originally a novel probably for young readers and is heartfelt, gooey, and even weird. Having Geoffrey Rush and Emily Watson play German parents is odd but why Geoffrey Rush has to play the father as dull and slow witted and Emily Watson play a mean nasty mother is never explained in the book or film…and their accents are terrible. By the way Death is the narrator of the film. Wait and rent it. Or at least check Rotten Tomatoes first.

ENDERS GAME. I enjoyed this film very much and no I’d never even opened any of the 6 Enders Game books. It’s sort of a Harry Potter goes Sci-fi idea. Except that Ender is a subtle and even mean kid. In the future young boys and a few girls are trained to lead military battles against the dreaded Formics. Great effects, Harrison Ford and Viola Davis are in it and aMaori- type tattoed Ben Kingsley have good roles and if you like sci-fi, this is a good one. Go for it. If you care, Orson Scott Card the author of the series is a Mormon, teaches at Southern Virginia University and has serious problems with homosexuality and same-sex marriage.

HUNGER GAMES; CATCHING FIRE. Did you ever arrive late for something and then wonder what’s been going on before you got there? That’s how I felt about Hunger Games Catching Fire. I did see Hunger Games, the first one and it was exciting but I didn’t memorize or even remember much of it. So go warned about this sequel. Who are their friends, who will kill you…and more importantly WHY the killing?… are some questions this epic leaves you with. It’s exciting and sci-fi scenic, but I couldn’t get into it…or care much. Yes, Jennifer Lawrence is a fine actress, even in this.

DELIVERY MAN. There is something I don’t like about Vince Vaughn. It’s nearly the same reaction I have to Alec Baldwin. I wouldn’t want to ever have to meet either of them and Vaughn is exactly that same smarmy and unbelievable in Delivery Man., The plot is pure ancient, trite Hollywood. Way over-used laughs, cheap tricks, phoney reactions and yet, the plot could have been deep and meaningful. It’s based on a true story of a man who donated sperm and how it was delivered and resulted in 533 children. A bunch of thoose kids file a lawsuit to find out who Dad is. Wait and rent it, it’s not at all funny, and it tries too hard.

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. Remember that KZSCis off the air 12/20-1/0214. Then on Jan. 7, 2014 Bill Richter and Audrey Stanley will bring us up to date about Shakespeare Play on. Then Gerry Gerringer and Wilma Marcus talk about “8 Tens @ Eight”, Which runs Jan. 3-26. January 14 has Sandy Skees telling us about their group “100+ Women” and their good works. Deutron Kebebew follows to share news and info about “PAPAS” and how that organization helps children. Do remember, any and all suggestions for future programs are more than welcome so tune in, and keep listening. Email me always (and only) at bratton@cruzio.com

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.

A place where there isn’t any trouble. Do you suppose there is such a place, Toto? There must be. It’s not a place you can get to by a boat or a train. It’s far, far away. Behind the moon, beyond the rain… [begins to sing “Over the Rainbow”] Dorothy in Wizard of Oz.

“A heart is not judged by how much you love; but by how much you are loved by others,”
Scarecrow, Wizard of Oz.

“Some people without brains do an awful lot of talking, don’t you think?”, The Wizard in Wizard of Oz.

“Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!”, The Wizard in Wizard of Oz.

COLUMN COMMUNICATIONS.

Subscriptions: Click and enter the box in the upper right hand corner of each Column. You’ll get a weekly email notice the instant the column goes online. (Anywhere from Monday afternoon through Thursday or sometimes as late as Friday!) Always free and confidential. Even I don’t know who subscribes!!

Snail Mail: Bratton Online
82 Blackburn Street, Suite 216
Santa Cruz, CA 95060

Direct email: Bratton@Cruzio.com

Direct phone: 831 423-2468

All Technical & Web details: Gunilla Leavitt @ gunilla@thegoldenfleece.com

BEST OF VINTAGE STEVEN DeCINZO.

Deep Cover by Tim Eagan.

Posted in Weekly Articles | Comments Off on December 18 – 24, 2013

December 11 – 17, 2013

TOUCHING UP JESUS AND FRIENDS. This may be the two women who actually sculpted this nearly life sized Last Supper in 1950. It shows Katherine Stubergh and her daughter, also named Katherine, touching up those guys on April 23, 1954. According to “228 Things to see in SC County” we can only view this wax sculpture the week before Easter at the Santa Cruz Memorial Park.

photo credit: Covello & Covello Historical photo collection.

Additional information always welcome: email photo@brattononline.com

DATELINE December 9, 2013

THE INGENUES-BAND BEAUTIFUL (1928). So why aren’t there more all women bands today??

THE ROSS SISTERS. Mark Levy “re-found” this stunning trio. No, it definitely does not remind anyone of Lynn Robinson, Hilary Bryant and Pamela Comstock. How could a person think such a thing???

SHAKESPEARE SANTA CRUZ LIVES AGAIN!!! Just about the greatest news I’ve heard in ages is that a band of stalwarts is putting together a new and revised version of Shakespeare Santa Cruz titled “Shakespeare Play On”. More than that, if we all pitch in they’ll be “playing” this 2014 season. Who are the stalwarts you ask…well there’s Bill Richter past president of Shakespeare Santa Cruz, and of course as Bill calls her “the unstoppable” Audrey Stanley, Actor and SSC veteran Mike Ryan, SSC board president Jean Shimoguchi, Renee Winter and a growing “cast” . Bill Richter’s email states… Shakespeare Play On has been incorporated as an independent nonprofit to carry on the traditions and aesthetic of SSC!* The Arts Council Santa Cruz County, our fiscal sponsor, can accept your charitable gifts and donations to Shakespeare Play On starting right away!* UCSC and Shakespeare Play On are working hard to identify, address and finalize details relating to Shakespeare Play On‘s production of a 2014 season in the Glen under the Shakespeare Santa Cruz name!

Bill Richter continues..Shakespeare Play On has exciting plans for artistic leadership and the 2014 season (and beyond). The business model is simple yet stark: Forward fund the 2014 season between now and January 15, 2014 so that your favorite actors and directors can be hired, and future revenues can fund 2015. The goal is $885,000, and kick-off contributions from the Board and commitments from friends have taken us 1/4 of the way there! There are many unknowns, and we can’t promise this will be easy, but we will be transparent and bold in the pursuit of our artistic and budgetary goals. We want to let people who are fighting their own fights on behalf of endangered institutions know that we are all in this together, and we can

fight for important things and prevail We look forward to sharing future exciting announcements with you! In the meantime, help Shakespeare Play On at: http://www.artscouncilsc.org/get-involved/donate-now/ and follow the link, listing “Shakespeare” in the “special purpose” dedication box.

Proceed, proceed: we will begin these rites, As we do trust they’ll end, in true delights”. As You Like It.

GUANG DONG. Tom “bubbles” Noddy sent this one.
GOODTIME WASHBOARD 3 AT THE BING CROSBY SHOW.
DOLL FACE. A completely absorbing animated fantasy by Andrew Huang.

BOARDWALK IMPROVEMENTS ALREADY??? How fast those oiled wheels turn!!! Lynn Rapunzel Robinson hadn’t even been sworn in as mayor and we get the news that The Boardwalk/ Seaside Company will ask the City Council to split the costs of improving one of the Boardwalk parking lots. Writing this on Monday 12/09 I’m taking all bets that the council will kiss butt once again and give the Boardwalk what it wants. We need to remember that the now new Mayor Lynn Rapunzel Robinson is married to John Robinson. John’s the former Sentinel reporter, former flack for The Boardwalk Seaside corporation and now president and chief executive officer of the California Attractions and Parks Association. Conflict of interest there????impossible!!! And just because Kris Reyes now has John Robinson’s old PR job for Charlie Canfield’s Boardwalk Seaside Corporation and is a member of the Public Safety Citizen Task Force and is one of Ryan Coonerty’s closest friends, how could that possibly influence the City Council’s decision to give our money to improve the Boardwalk Parking lot??. I forgot…how many years ago was it that the City Council gave the Boardwalk (for absolutely free) the other parking lot next to the river???

RADIO STATION KZSC OFF THE AIR 12/20 – JAN. 2. Because A.T.& T is going to do some adjustments to their antenna/antennae, and because KZSC is part of that antenna hook-up the station will go offf the air entirely from 4 p.m on December 20 though January 2 some time. It’s some kind of progress I guess but it’s a shame too.

GOODTIME WASHBOARD 3 NOW ON iTUNES. Once in a while I’ve mentioned my show biz and musical history with a trio I put together at UC Berkeley back in the late 50’s. We called it ” The Goodtime Washboard 3″. Probably the peak of our careers was appearing with Bing Crosby on his Hollywood Palace nation-wide TV show. Go to You Tube and open Bing Crosby- Bruce Bratton and see and hear Bing join our group. A few years after that we wrote and recorded the biggest, most successful song about Oakland ever written. That too is on You Tube with visuals created by Ben Fong Torres of The S.F. Chronicle. Go to “Oakland Song”. Now just last week my daughter Hillary, her husband Martin Kloiber and a very long time friend Doug Pomeroy all combined their talents and got The Goodtime Washboard 3 into iTunes. You can go to iTunes and hear our four Christmas songs ( I wrote two of them). They’re called “The Goodtime Washboard 3 Sing Christmas”. Then you can hear (and buy) our entire album including the Oakland song and another song we wrote titled, “Don’t Blame PG& E, Pal” which was our way and part of helping to stop the nuclear power plant at Bodega Bay.

PETER SELLARS IS A GENUINE JERK. Precious, unctuous, “rightous bullshit” (his words), and he should just stick to communicating and set designing with composer John Adams. He sure didn’t communicate with the UCSC Maitra Memorial Lecture audience that happened last Thursday (12/5). Bored, mystified, numbed, and more bored would about sum up the reactions I shared with everyone I talked to after Sellars tour de farce. We think he talked about the world community and sharing the undefinable arts and how everything is art or something like that. The odd thing was that Sellars talked about colleges and teaching and arts and no one asked him about UCSC killing Shakespeare Santa Cruz and what kind of benefit that was. Plus, the chancellor was sitting right there too.

ELERICK’S INPUT. Returning from Hawaii Paul asks…

What’s happening to Santa Cruz County’s TV availability?

Catching up from a two-week vacation, only to learn that our Community TV is in in jeopardy. It seems that funding to support the TV broadcasting hardware is in good shape, but the funding for the people that make it work is being axed. This after a long hard struggle by CTV’s staff to cut costs. When the Sentinel editorial writers see this as a problem, as do I, you know something must really be wrong. Could the TV advertising lobby have something to do with this?

Then we have Comcast’s axing of KTVU Channel 2 from their list of cable box channels. This one remains a mystery to me also. Comcast sent a postcard to subscribers in November warning us that this would happen on December 12, (it went away on December 4). When I called then to complain about this, a real person said not to worry; KTVU would be available on Comcast Channel 44. I was right not to believe them. Yesterday they said, yes KTVU Channel 2 was gone, but not to worry, we have KCBA (FOX) on Channel 3. Channel 2 was broadcasting, but just endless commercials. So after explaining how much I HATED FOX, and had watched the morning news on KTVU Channel 2 for over 40 years, she admitted a flood of calls to Comcast with the same complaint. Later that morning KTVU Channel 2 appeared on Comcast Channel 3. Go figure! (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).

500 YEARS OF FEMALE PORTRAITS…IN WESTERN ART. Alyce Vestal Cadwallder found this masterpiece of digital art.

PATTON’S PROGRAM. Gary delivers such items as..The Development of Fort Ord and a colloquium happening on 12/12 and 12/13. He talks about our Board of Supes and the County’s money matters i.e. The Chamber of Commerce and the Santa Cruz Business Council are eager to make more money, etc, etc. A water related meeting in Salinas occurs 12/12 to talk about losing their aquifer. There are grants available to reduce greenhouse gases and we should let our City and County officials know we care about that. He closes his radio reports by telling us about agricultural water run-off and what can be done with it. 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. Christmas, Santa, reindeer, presents etc. De Cinzo gets almost mushy…but not quite. Scroll downwards.

EAGANS DEEP COVER. Tim Eagan gives insight to the question…is our goivernment working? See below a few pages.

LISA JENSEN LINKS. Lisa writes: “This week at Lisa Jensen Online Express (http://ljo-express.blogspot.com ), follow me on my tour of potential Oscar nominees now playing on local movie screens, and find out about the new, phoenix-like reincarnation of Shakespeare Santa Cruz and what you can do to help launch its 2014 season.” Lisa has been writing film reviews and columns for Good Times since 1975.

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

PHILOMENA. I saw this beautifully touching film again last week 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.

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.

BOOK THIEF. Not many family oriented films take place inside Nazi Germany. This was originally a novel probably for young readers and is heartfelt, gooey, and even weird. Having Geoffrey Rush and Emily Watson play German parents is odd but why Geoffrey Rush has to play the father as dull and slow witted and Emily Watson play a mean nasty mother is never explained in the book or film…and their accents are terrible. By the way Death is the narrator of the film. Wait and rent it. Or at least check Rotten Tomatoes first.

12 YEARS AS A SLAVE. This is 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.Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Dano, and Paul Giamatti 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.

DALLAS BUYERS CLUB. No doubt about it Mathew McConaughey stars in and steals most, but not all of this film. What’s odd is that I ended up thinking more about and reacting to Jared Leto’s superb job inplaying the transvestite role. Jennifer Garner and Steve Zahn are perfect in their roles too. It’s a fine film, but it is such a tour de force , so completely laid out, so perfectly designed that I never “got into” the film. It’s a spectacle, so in your face, no subtlety. And it’s an award winner for sure.

GRAVITY. Rotten Tomatoes gave it a rare 98%, and many of my favorite reviewers went crazy over Gravity. George Clooney (5’10”) and Sandra Bullock (5’7″) are the astronauts in trouble and they float around in great 3D trying to fix everything and then battle to survive. Lots of Hollywood muck in this one in spite of director Guillermo Del Toro’s enormous talent.. He’s done some excellent films, Pan’s Labyrinth, Y Tu Mama Tambien, Children of Men but Gravity is not in my list of his best works. It’s about like a Saturday matinee war movie where you wonder if so and so will get home alive. BUT go see it in 3D, it’s probably just me.

OLD BOY.Park Chan-wook’s original 2003 Old Boy wowed everybody at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival. It’s gained a world wide group of fans ever since, including me. It was/is a brilliant, beautiful, 100% creative work of art. We studied it a lot in Earl Jackson’s Asian film classes at UCSC. Spike Lee can and has, directed some fine films in the past lie Malcolm X and She’s Gotta Have It but he doesn’t have a clue how and why Park Chan-wook’s film is great. Do not see this film unless you see the original within 24 hours prior. I did.

ENDERS GAME. I enjoyed this film very much and no I’d never even opened any of the 6 Enders Game books. It’s sort of a Harry Potter goes Sci-fi idea. Except that Ender is a subtle and even mean kid. In the future young boys and a few girls are trained to lead military battles against the dreaded Formics. Great effects, Harrison Ford and Viola Davis are in it and aMaori- type tattoed Ben Kingsley have good roles and if you like sci-fi, this is a good one. Go for it. If you care, Orson Scott Card the author of the series is a Mormon, teaches at Southern Virginia University and has serious problems with homosexuality and same-sex marriage.

HUNGER GAMES; CATCHING FIRE. Did you ever arrive late for something and then wonder what’s been going on before you got there? That’s how I felt about Hunger Games Catching Fire. I did see Hunger Games, the first one and it was exciting but I didn’t memorize or even remember much of it. So go warned about this sequel. Who are their friends, who will kill you…and more importantly WHY the killing?… are some questions this epic leaves you with. It’s exciting and sci-fi scenic, but I couldn’t get into it…or care much. Yes, Jennifer Lawrence is a fine actress, even in this.

THOR: THE DARK WORLD. Is idiotic, beneath dumb, and of course was the biggest box office smash over the opening weekend…which proves my point. It’s another Marvel Comic Book Hero movie made by The Disney Studios. Chris Hemsworth and Tom Hiddleston, plus Natalie Portman, Idris Elba and Stellan Skarsgard are all fine actors, but good gods… the plot!!!! Oops I forgot that Anthony Hopkins (Odin) and Rene Russo (Frigga) are in it too. It’ s a mess of science fiction, Norse Gods and Natalie Portman running around saying things like “wow” and “gee” to a slew of Gods who don’t know their Asgards from a hole in the earth.

DELIVERY MAN. There is something I don’t like about Vince Vaughn. It’s nearly the same reaction I have to Alec Baldwin. I wouldn’t want to ever have to meet either of them and Vaughn is exactly that same smarmy and unbelievable in Delivery Man., The plot is pure ancient, trite Hollywood. Way over-used laughs, cheap tricks, phoney reactions and yet, the plot could have been deep and meaningful. It’s based on a true story of a man who donated sperm and how it was delivered and resulted in 533 children. A bunch of thoose kids file a lawsuit to find out who Dad is. Wait and rent it, it’s not at all funny, but it tries hard.

EVENT CALENDAR.

DRIFTWOOD CONSORT CONCERT. The Driftwooders say it is… “An Evening of Music for your Enjoyment or… “Telemann not Television”. Started in 2012, Driftwood Consort presents concerts played on period instruments at venues in Santa Cruz County and some repeat concerts in the Bay Area. Under the artistic direction of Lars Johannesson and Alissa Roedig, the ensemble brings together musicians from the greater Bay Area who play with groups ranging from Monterey to Berkeley and beyond. They will be playing all Telemann works. That’s 2 trios and one solo from Telemann’s “Tafelmusik” collection. Another trio for flute, solo viola da gamba and harpsichord. Also at least one duo for 2 flutes. Performing are Lars Johannesson and Alissa Roedig (baroque flutes), Roy Whelden (viola da gamba) and Jonathan Salzedo (harpsichord). This concert takes place on Saturday, December 14 at 7pm at St. Andrew Presbyterian Church (9850 Monroe Avenue, Aptos). Tickets are $20 (advance), $22 (door) and $5 (youth, door only) and are available at http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/524245 or at the door from 6pm onwards. For more information please visit http://www.driftwoodconsort.org, or call 831-706-8408.

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. Dr. Alfred Petrocelli discusses osteoporosis and Don Grube talks about theatre at Cabrilho College on Dec. 10. Stephen Slade from The Land Trust of Santa Cruz County tells us of their latest plans and projects on Dec. 17, then Mike Wallace ex-reporter and author of the new MAH book publication “The Borina Family of Watsonville” tells about his research. KZSC off the air 12/20-1/0214. Then on Jan. 7, 2014 Bill Richter will bring us up to date about Shakespeare Play on. Do remember, any and all suggestions for future programs are more than welcome so tune in, and keep listening. Email me always (and only) at bratton@cruzio.com

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. “If music be the food of love, play on”, Shakespeare. “Better three hours too soon than a minute too late”, Shakespeare. “It is not in the stars to hold our destiny but in ourselves”, Shakespeare.

COLUMN COMMUNICATIONS.

Subscriptions: Click and enter the box in the upper right hand corner of each Column. You’ll get a weekly email notice the instant the column goes online. (Anywhere from Monday afternoon through Thursday or sometimes as late as Friday!) Always free and confidential. Even I don’t know who subscribes!!

Snail Mail: Bratton Online
82 Blackburn Street, Suite 216
Santa Cruz, CA 95060

Direct email: Bratton@Cruzio.com

Direct phone: 831 423-2468

All Technical & Web details: Gunilla Leavitt @ gunilla@thegoldenfleece.com

BEST OF VINTAGE STEVEN DeCINZO.

Deep Cover by Tim Eagan.

Posted in Weekly Articles | Comments Off on December 11 – 17, 2013

December 4 – 10, 2013

LIBERACE’S BROTHER GEORGE (middle) and our own Hocus Pocus with reindeer (and somebody) at Santa’s Village May 9 1959. Newcomers missed Santa’s Village in Scotts Valley. It was built in 1955 and went bankrupt in 1959.
photo credit: Covello & Covello Historical photo collection.

Additional information always welcome: email photo@brattononline.com

DATELINE December 2, 2013

ALMOST CITY COUNCIL CANDIDATE CYNTHIA CHASE… Cynthia Chase is and has been the program director of GEMMA, the program helping woman and men re-adjust to life outside jail. GEMMA is part of The Santa Cruz County Community Action Board. Before GEMMA she was a probation officer and a non-profit service treatment provider. As she said,” my professional work has allowed me the opportunity to work with both victims and offenders and understand the depth and complexity of the issues and needs that impact the whole community”. She also stated, ” I offer the community a broad spectrum of skill and experience related to public safety”. I interviewed her last week on Universal Grapevine but only about Gemma, it was afterwards we had a chance to talk politics. She’s dealt with boards of directors, thousands of community members from all levels, and knows how to handle and facilitate all kinds of issues and challenges. Plus, she’s smart and involved and very caring about the future and present of our Santa Cruz community. If you know Cynthia Chase encourage her to run for City Council. If you don’t know her make it a point to know her…and then vote for her. She’s the best candidate we’ve had in decades!!!

SPRAY ON MIRACLE. Jennifer Boulanger spotted this amazing product that’s been around for ten years.

ARANA GULCH …gone. This article is from Jean Brocklebank the longest fighting, most fearless Gulch protector, who worked for so many years to preserve Arana Gulch. ” The Arana Gulch greenbelt is no more. No matter how the thing will be spinned by the City and all those who supported the so-called bike “path,” our greenbelt is gone, “drawn and quartered,” as Michael Lewis penned in his “So Long Arana Gulch” essay on November 15 (HERE). Friends of Arana Gulch (FOAG) showed up for the City’s groundbreaking, dressed in black. We stood, right at the front of the gathering (sic), to mourn the death of a greenbelt and not let the destructors have their day unmarred in celebration. We were successful in this at least. Our message was clear to the gathered crowd, who tried not to look at us but couldn’t help themselves. We threw mournful water on their party. We were tolerated, as the politicos made their speeches and shoveled their dirt. For pictures of our funereal presence click HERE.

The destruction of Arana Gulch began in earnest on November 12, with the mowing of huge swaths all over the grassland to make construction corridors from the Agnes Street entrance all the way to Hagemann Creek and to the harbor entrance. Then the 20′ – 30′ – 48′ wide corridors were fenced (both sides), covered with fabric and lain with a thick layer of base rock, snuffing out the life of the ancient soil under it all. The scale of the project began to take form visually. FOAG knew all along (yet so many people failed to understand) that Broadway Brommer was not going to be a simple “path,” but rather an industrial scale building project. Look HERE at the kind of stuff that Proven Management, the low bidder on the project, does and you’ll understand. In the three weeks since the project began, the public is seeing, with shocked eyes, the extent of the ruination of the greenbelt. FOAG is up there daily, monitoring the destruction and has heard from so many “I never knew it was going to be like this!” Some say “I supported the project as described by the City, but now I regret my support.”

FOAG has found several violations (just three weeks into a year long project) of best management practices, photo-documented them and is sending them to the City, the CA Dept. of Fish & Wildlife, and the Coastal Commission. One has to wonder where the required City “biologist monitor” and construction monitors are. Three weeks into the project trees are cut, soil upturned, wildlife scattered, equipment oil leaking, critical habitat impacted beyond what was promised. FOAG will be putting up pictures as the destruction continues. Stay tuned.


OCEAN STREET HERITAGE TREE MESSAGE. An email states, re last weeks article by Gillian Greensite…”The beautiful chestnut tree is slated to be cut down to make way for a Hyatt Hotel on Broadway just a few houses down from Ocean Street, the site of the former Unity Temple. The Heritage Tree Ordinance mandates protection for heritage trees unless “a construction project design cannot reasonably be altered to accommodate existing heritage trees.” (Criteria and Standards #3). The tree is near the sidewalk and a minor change in design could easily allow for the development and the tree to coexist. (Greensite). I agree with Greensite and Bratton. Please find a way to leave the tree alone. People come here to see the beauty of Santa Cruz, not its destruction”.
Gail Cruse

SPACE SHOWER CLOSED LOOP SHOWER HEAD. Peggy Snider sent this photo from the Smithsonian Magazine saying it might help our water situation. I can’t make heads or tails of what it does, but it looks cool.

COMMISSION OPENINGS NOW!!! Santa Cruz Neighbors ie. Deborah Elston send out this notice last week. Being on a commission is about the fastest way to learn how “the system” works. The notice said, “There are openings or reappointments available on the Arts Commission, Downtown Commission, Parks and Recreation commission, Historic Preservation Commission, Planning Commission, Water Commission, Sister Cities committee, Measure K Oversight Committee and Board of Building Appeals. Applications are available in the City Clerks Office 809 Center St. Room 9 by phone at 420-5030 OR online at www.cityofsantacruz.com. The deadline for submission is by noon Jan15, 2014. Applicants will be invited to meet with council members in the council chamber at 7pm Jan 21 and appointments will be made Jan 28th. Notice there are openings on the water commission and the planning commission…no small potatoes there.

WHO IN FICTION ARE YOU?? Follow this link, take the quiz, and find out!

LAKE BAIKAL ICE MUSIC. Music played by a percussion group on a frozen lake..beautiful. Verna Bacon found it.

PATTON’S PROGRAM. Gary talks about Alcohol Beverage Control rules and regs and what locals can do to enforce them. He talks about Monterey County and “Farmland Security Zones” and LCP’s and the Coastal Commission. He deals with the Monterey Shale Formation and fracking and how Jerry Brown thinks fracking is a good thing!!! RTIP or Regional Transportation Improvement Program is centering on Santa Cruz County and big money and good projects are involved, you should be too. Gary closes telling us about a book he wrote and about the importance of the Coastal Commission. 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. Ambulance chaser DeCinzo gives a never ending turn of events on Highway 17. Scroll lower down.

EAGANS DEEP COVER. Another in- depth news report on disasters. See below.

LISA JENSEN LINKS. Lisa writes: “This week at Lisa Jensen Online Express (http://ljo-express.blogspot.com ), watch me scramble around trying to catch up with all the new movies in town—including Dallas Buyers Club and The Book Thief.” Lisa has been writing film reviews and columns for Good Times since 1975.

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

PHILOMENA. 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.

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.

BOOK THIEF. Not many family oriented films take place inside Nazi Germany. This was originally a novel probably for young readers and is heartfelt, gooey, and even weird. Having Geoffrey Rush and Emily Watson play German parents is odd but why Geoffrey Rush has to play the father as dull and slow witted and Emily Watson play a mean nasty mother is never explained in the book or film…and their accents are terrible. By the way Death is the narrator of the film. Wait and rent it. Or at least check Rotten Tomatoes first.

OLD BOY.Park Chan-wook’s original 2003 Old Boy wowed everybody at the 2004 Cannes Film Festival. It’s gained a world wide group of fans ever since, including me. It was/is a brilliant, beautiful, 100% creative work of art. We studied it a lot in Earl Jackson’s Asian film classes at UCSC. Spike Lee can and has, directed some fine films in the past lie Malcolm X and She’s Gotta Have It but he doesn’t have a clue how and why Park Chan-wook’s film is great. Do not see this film unless you see the original within 24 hours prior. I did.

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

12 YEARS AS A SLAVE. This is 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.Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Dano, and Paul Giamatti 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.

DALLAS BUYERS CLUB. No doubt about it Mathew McConaughey stars in and steals most, but not all of this film. What’s odd is that I ended up thinking more about and reacting to Jared Leto’s superb job inplaying the transvestite role. Jennifer Garner and Steve Zahn are perfect in their roles too. It’s a fine film, but it is such a tour de force , so completely laid out, so perfectly designed that I never “got into” the film. It’s a spectacle, so in your face, no subtlety. And it’s an award winner for sure.

GRAVITY. Rotten Tomatoes gave it a rare 98%, and many of my favorite reviewers went crazy over Gravity. George Clooney (5’10”) and Sandra Bullock (5’7″) are the astronauts in trouble and they float around in great 3D trying to fix everything and then battle to survive. Lots of Hollywood muck in this one in spite of director Guillermo Del Toro’s enormous talent.. He’s done some excellent films, Pan’s Labyrinth, Y Tu Mama Tambien, Children of Men but Gravity is not in my list of his best works. It’s about like a Saturday matinee war movie where you wonder if so and so will get home alive. BUT go see it in 3D, it’s probably just me.

ENDERS GAME. I enjoyed this film very much and no I’d never even opened any of the 6 Enders Game books. It’s sort of a Harry Potter goes Sci-fi idea. Except that Ender is a subtle and even mean kid. In the future young boys and a few girls are trained to lead military battles against the dreaded Formics. Great effects, Harrison Ford and Viola Davis are in it and aMaori- type tattoed Ben Kingsley have good roles and if you like sci-fi, this is a good one. Go for it. If you care, Orson Scott Card the author of the series is a Mormon, teaches at Southern Virginia University and has serious problems with homosexuality and same-sex marriage.

HUNGER GAMES; CATCHING FIRE. Did you ever arrive late for something and then wonder what’s been going on before you got there? That’s how I felt about Hunger Games Catching Fire. I did see Hunger Games, the first one and it was exciting but I didn’t memorize or even remember much of it. So go warned about this sequel. Who are their friends, who will kill you…and more importantly WHY the killing?… are some questions this epic leaves you with. It’s exciting and sci-fi scenic, but I couldn’t get into it…or care much. Yes, Jennifer Lawrence is a fine actress, even in this.

THOR: THE DARK WORLD is idiotic, beneath dumb, and of course was the biggest box office smash over the opening weekend…which proves my point. It’s another Marvel Comic Book Hero movie made by The Disney Studios. Chris Helmsworth and Tom Hiddleston, plus Natalie Portman, Idris Elba and Stellan Skarsgård are all fine actors, but good gods… the plot!!!! Oops I forgot that Anthony Hopkins (Odin) and Rene Russo (Frigga) are in it too. It’ s a mess of science fiction, Norse Gods and Natalie Portman running around saying things like “wow” and “gee” to a slew of Gods who don’t know their Asgards from a hole in the earth.

DELIVERY MAN. There is something I don’t like about Vince Vaughn. It’s nearly the same reaction I have to Alec Baldwin. I wouldn’t want to ever have to meet either of them and Vaughn is exactly that same smarmy and unbelievable in Delivery Man., The plot is pure ancient, trite Hollywood. Way over-used laughs, cheap tricks, phoney reactions and yet, the plot could have been deep and meaningful. It’s based on a true story of a man who donated sperm and how it was delivered and resulted in 533 children. A bunch of thoose kids file a lawsuit to find out who Dad is. Wait and rent it, it’s not at all funny, but it tries hard.

DRIFTWOOD CONSORT CONCERT. The Driftwooders say it’s… “An Evening of Music for your Enjoyment or Telemann not Television”. Started in 2012, Driftwood Consort presents concerts played on period instruments at venues in Santa Cruz County and some repeat concerts in the Bay Area. Under the artistic direction of Lars Johannesson and Alissa Roedig, the ensemble brings together musicians from the greater Bay Area who play with groups ranging from Monterey to Berkeley and beyond. They’ll be playing 2 trios and one solo from Telemann’s “Tafelmusik” collection. Another trio for flute, solo viola da gamba and harpsichord. Also at least one duo for 2 flutes. Performing are Lars Johannesson and Alissa Roedig (baroque flutes), Roy Whelden (viola da gamba) and Jonathan Salzedo (harpsichord). This concert takes place on Saturday, December 14 at 7pm at St. Andrew Presbyterian Church (9850 Monroe Avenue, Aptos). Tickets are $20 (advance), $22 (door) and $5 (youth, door only) and are available at http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/524245 or at the door from 6pm onwards. For more information please visit http://www.driftwoodconsort.org, or call 831-706-8408.

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. . Steven Bignell & Susan Bruijnes talk about their brand new book, “228 Things to See in Santa Cruz County, after which former Santa Cruz Supreme Court Judge Bill Kelsey relates his time on the bench. Dr. Alfred Petrocelli discusses osteoporosis and Don Grube talks about theatre at Cabrilho College on Dec. 10. Stephen Slade from The Land Trust of Santa Cruz County tells us of their latest plans and projects on Dec. 17, then Mike Wallace ex-reporter and author of the new MAH publication “The Borina Family of Watsonville” tells about his research. 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. “A happy family is but an earlier heaven”, George Bernard Shaw. “Insanity runs in my family. It practically gallops”, Cary Grant. “Sister is probably the most competitive relationship within the family, but once the sisters are grown, it becomes the strongest relationship”, Margaret Mead.

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Snail Mail: Bratton Online
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Santa Cruz, CA 95060

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BEST OF VINTAGE STEVEN DeCINZO.

Deep Cover by Tim Eagan.

Posted in Weekly Articles | Comments Off on December 4 – 10, 2013