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
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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
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Santa Cruz, CA 95060

Direct email: Bratton@Cruzio.com

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BEST OF VINTAGE STEVEN DeCINZO.

Deep Cover by Tim Eagan.

Posted in Weekly Articles | Comments Off on 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
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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.

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 4 – 10, 2013

November 26 – December 2, 2013

CIVIL RIGHTS SYMPATHY MARCH. March 13, 1965. Back in 1965 this was probably 98% of the Santa Cruz Democrats. It was at the corner of Lincoln and Center Streets according to the street sign. I believe Herb and Ellie Foster are in there someplace and so is Norm Lezin but I can’t find them.

photo credit: Covello & Covello Historical photo collection.

Additional information always welcome: email photo@brattononline.com

DATELINE Nov. 25, 2013

DE-SAL & RE-SET AND THE DROUGHT SOLUTIONS CITIZENS ADVISORY COMMITTEE & MAYOR ROBINSON.

Many eyes and hopefully many more voters will be watching closely as mayors Bryant and Robinson push, wedge and screw their choices onto the 19 member Drought Solutions Citizens Advisory Board (DSCAB or de-scab). As we’ve read this hand picked board could spend $1 million in the next year on their water solutions. It’s proposed that up to $300,000 be spent on a facilitator for this board which is slated to exist for at least a year. With Robinson’s connections to the Boardwalk and the Theme Park industry you can bet the Boardwalk will never have to reveal just how much water they use (has anyone ever dared ask how much water the Boardwalk uses…especially with their water rides?) We see that the Sustainable Water Coalition is guaranteed a seat on the DSCAB. Who’s behind the Sustainable Water Coalition just Mike Rotkin, Cynthia Mathews, Chamber of Commerce and every right wing Democrat you’ve heard of. The Lodging Association, Developers, Conference Visitors Assoc., The Downtown Association all those 100% De-Sal supporters. On the other hand The Community Water Coalition has never been officially asked, consulted or considered on thi siiissue or about the DSCAB board. I’m writing this on Monday, 11/25. The City Council meeting on 11/26 will give us a preview of how our waters future will pan out…scabs and all.

John Brumbry talks about De-salination. Brumbry was the 45th Premier of Victoria and a Member of the Australian Parliament for Bendigo. Australia has a long record of dealing with De-Sal.

MORE WORDS ON OUR HERITAGE TREE ORDINANCE. Gillian Greensite sent in what she calls …STORIES FROM THE URBAN FOREST

Part #4 A TREE THAT CAN BE SAVED.

The beautiful chestnut tree pictured below 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.

The issue is back before the council since significant design changes for the project are being proposed. Such changes should include saving this tree. At the last council hearing on this project where the vote was to approve the project and remove the tree, an elderly woman with tears in her eyes grabbed my arm outside the council chambers and begged me to save the tree. She said her father had planted the tree and showed me a tiny black and white photo from the 1930’s showing the tree which had size and stature even at that time. The Heritage Tree Ordinance is meaningless if it cannot protect a tree such as this one. If you care, please email the council at citycouncil@cityofsantacruz.com and urge them to save this heritage tree. The meeting is on Tuesday December 3rd. Thank you, Gillian Greensite, Save Our Big Trees

ARANA GULCH NOTE. Just a note I received this week… “Thank you so very much for writing and letting people know what is happening in Arana Gulch. Perhaps you have been informed about the latest proceedings there. They have installed a double row of chain link fence diagonally across the meadow, completely blocking parts of the trail previously available to hikers around the circumference. It is no longer possible to walk the circumference, and certainly not possible to walk in peace, with no noisy machinery. I am 77 and I’ve been walking in Arana Gulch for many years, almost every morning. I have greatly valued those early morning walks, and being able to enjoy the birds and other wildlife, when they were undisturbed. Thank you very much for writing about this. Have a lovely day, (I will leave it anonymous)

GEORGE CARLIN TALKS ABOUT ASSASSINATIONS!!!

DAN DEPP’S BOOKSHOP. Rita Bottoms was eagle eyed and kind enough to write and remind me that she wrote about Johnny Depp’s brother Dan’s bookshop that was here in Santa Cruz. From her book “Riffs & Ecstasies; True Stories” (chapter 12) here are some of the details from the book…

 
DAN’S BOOKSHOP
“At the edge of Santa Cruz just before you head north through Brussels sprouts and artichoke fields on Highway 1, there was once a small bookshop called “Frugal Bookworm” wedged between a narrow liquor store and a pharmacy in a short shopping strip with a carpet emporium and a Chinese restaurant at either end. From the parking lot you really couldn’t see into the shop and sometimes the windows were blocked or covered with paper. It was never large enough for all the books that were in it and shelves and boxes were jammed and stacked where there was room. It was 1993 and the bookshop would be open irregular days and hours and then closed for several weeks while its proprietor was in Los Angeles or Paris. When it was open
I’d go during lunch to shoot the breeze with its bookseller, Dan Depp, whose wife, Nazee, I knew from the library. It was total joy to be there, kibitzing with someone who reveled in the life of the mind and creativity of all sorts, who loved books, and had them for sale at affordable prices. In our many conversations we hashed over writers, photographers, painters and, of course, Paris.

….”For years Dan been writing screenplays, short stories and poems and a decade after closing Frugal Bookworm, he was a published writer with a well-received novel under his belt, making the rounds of European literary circuits. In August 2009, as we were packing our bags for France, out of the blue from Paris where he was working on his second novel, Dan sent an email wondering if “by some miracle” we were heading over to Europe. I wrote back ” how about next Monday!”….

…”There’s nothing like Frugal Bookworm now in Santa Cruz, the small neighborhood used bookshop. Twenty years later seeing the price of “9.00” penciled into Deirdre Bair’s biography of Simone de Beauvoir takes me back to that great good place. Unique at the time and now as well, Dan had no idea what it meant to me.”

Rita’s book of Riffs is available at Literary Guillotine, La Sirena Antiques, Bookshop Santa Cruz and City Lights Bookshop.

FAMOUS FLAG POLE SITTER. This was a big deal way back when. Just imagine..

SAM VESTAL REMEMBERED. Sam Vestal was an ace photographer and a certified character in this county a few years ago. He worked for decades at the Watsonville Register Pajaronian. Here’s what the San Jose Mercury wrote about him and his photograph of JFK. Then after that GO HERE TO SEE VESTALS PHOTOS… . Sam’s widow Alyce sent us all of the above, thanks Alyce.

EDDIE MURPHY ON THE JOHNNY CARSON SHOW. About a black president, secret service agents, talking cars..

PATTON’S PROGRAM. Gary talks about de-sal and the cities “re-set” proposal. He talks about The Community Water Coalition and Desal Alternatives and how hopeful so many voters are that maybe now we can work with the city in deciding our water’s future. Tuesday he talks about Graham Hill Road and LAFCO. On Wednesday Gary defines “Complete Streets”. Then he hopes we all have a Happy Thanksgiving on Thursday, and thanks the California Coastal Commission. He closes by giving us some news about UCSC’s Life Lab program and what we can all learn from their projects. 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 flutters around with nature and development. See about 4 pages downwards.

EAGANS DEEP COVER. Mr. Eagan looks at politics as a career…for those who think young. See below.

LISA JENSEN LINKS. Lisa didn’t send a teaser plus link this week so let me tell you to go to her website and read her handy tips on how to write a novel. This is because of National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo). Some rare details there. She also has an unusual take on the SSC production of “It’s A Wonderful Life“. Go to Lisa Jensen Online Express (http://ljo-express.blogspot.com). Lisa Jensen has been writing film reviews and a column for Good Times since 1975.

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

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, but it tries hard.

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

MOSAIC, dances by Karl Schaffer and friends. There will be a performance of Mosaic, dances by Karl Schaffer and friends about peace, justice, culture, and conflict in the Mideast, followed by discussion with the congregation led by Senior Minister Dave Grishaw-Jones. The title “Mosaic” refers to the range of subjects that inspired the choreography, from the Palestinian/Israeli struggle to “video mosaics” of tiling designs common in Middle Eastern art. Includes dances set to music recorded by Santa Cruz world music group Zambra. Free, the public is invited, location 900 High Street in Santa Cruz.More information: Karl Schaffer, 831-480-5114 or movespeakspin.org. It happens on Sunday, Dec. 1, at 10:30 AM, the PEACE UNITED CHURCH OF CHRIST (formerly the First Congregational Church).

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. Alcohol Policy Consultant Jim Mosher guests on Nov. 26, after which Cynthia Chase, program director of GEMMA tells us about their program. 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. “The widower reviewed his past in a sunless light which was intensified by the greyness of the November twilight, whilst the bells subtly impregnated the surrounding atmosphere with the melody of sounds that faded like the ashes of dead years”, Georges Rodenbach. “October extinguished itself in a rush of howling winds and driving rain and November arrived, cold as frozen iron, with hard frosts every morning and icy drafts that bit at exposed hands and faces,” J.K. Rowling. Remember, remember the Fifth of November, The Gunpowder Treason and Plot, I know of no reason,Why the gunpowder treason, Should ever be forgot,” Alan Moore, V for Vendetta

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!!

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BEST OF VINTAGE STEVEN DeCINZO.

Deep Cover by Tim Eagan.

Posted in Weekly Articles | Comments Off on November 26 – December 2, 2013

November 19 – 25, 2013

COOPER STREET REVISION, 1967. For some reason Cooper Street must cry out for revisions. Back in January 1967 Dave Armstrong drew up this plot to close off the Street. Obviously it never happened. That’s Front Street on the right margin, The Octagon is pretty obvious and Pacific Avenue is on the left. We’ll be seeing newer but similar plans soon, from what I hear.

photo credit: Covello & Covello Historical photo collection.

Additional information always welcome: email photo@brattononline.com

DATELINE.. Monday, November 18, 2013

MORE NUDES THAN YOU’VE EVER SEEN IN YOUR LIFE. I got a link from Brad Cava….thank him!!!

OUR HARD FOUGHT SIGN ORDINANCE & HOTEL DENSITY. Santa Cruz County has many reasons to be proud of some of our unique laws, ordinances and legal stuff. One of those accomplishments was the banning of billboards and relatively tight control over signage relating to commercial buildings. Now word on the street has it that our Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors is working on easing standards to allow for more hotels and motels to be built around the county. For starters they want to allow four stories and decrease the amount of parking spaces. We need to watch that tricky all male quintet. They are pushing for zoning code changes that will make it easier to build hotels/motels in Santa Cruz than in almost all other Pacific Coastal towns. Has anybody brought up the source of drinking water for all these dreamed of high risers??

LITTLE LOCAL HISTORY NOTE. Last Friday afternoon Candy Coonerty Protti, dad Neal Coonerty and I were discussing the big booksale and our Hot Damn String Band performance that would happen that night.(It went great!!!) One of the Bookstore employees came up and said a customer was phoning asking if anybody knew about a bookstore owned by someone named Depp. Luckily I could and did, help out. It was Johnny Depp’s brother who did indeed have a book store here. It was out on Mission Street between the Omei Restaurant and Shen’s Gallery. Katherine Beiers told me about it. Probably about 10 years ago..it’s long gone now, and I don’t know if Bro Johnny ever did visit the store.

THE NICHOLAS BROTHERS AND CAB CALLOWAY…

A LATE VETERANS DAY THOUGHT. I first met David McReynolds in Pasadena in 1953, he was brilliant and sensitive back then too. This is one of his EdgeLeft columns.

EdgeLeft: We Are All Wounded Veterans by David McReynolds

There is something infinitely sad and even repellent about the current celebration of Veterans Day. This was once Armistice Day, the observation of the 11th minute of the 11th hour of the 11th day in November, 1918 when the guns fell silent and the great war ended. The war to end all wars. There is certainly a difference between those veterans who survived a war in defense of their country, and those who took part in a war of aggression. Whatever pacifists may feel about war, there was a purpose for those in the Allied forces in World War II who were defending their countries after they had been attacked. Sadly, this cannot be said about the wars in Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan.The whole veteran thing is complex. War, for those who actually experienced it – who didn’t serve their time at a supply base – is hell. I remember, as a child, wondering how any man could get out of the trenches and walk through a field of death with sounds beyond thunder bursting all around. I still don’t know. I only know I would never have the courage to do it.

My father, when a visiting pastor at our church assured the men in the congregation who had served in the military that they need not feel burdened by a sense of guilt over what they might have done, since they had only carried out orders from the State, took the pastor aside after the service and, with barely controlled fury, said “Don’t you dare tell me that I am not guilty for what I did. I did it because I didn’t know what else to do, and only the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ can redeem me for the sins of violence”. Even in the best of good wars what of the men on the losing side, who suffered the same horrors but had no brass bands to welcome them home, no mayors and pastors to bless them? The Nazi side was criminal, but the soldiers in their army – and in the Japanese army – fought with courage and returned home to ruins. What can we say of those wars in which we had no real national interest? The Vietnamese did not attack us, Iraq posed no national threat, nor did the Afghans. Our men and women fought because they were ordered to. Some – a very small handful of them – enjoyed the violence. Most were terrified or brutalized by it. Most of all, what I think of on this day, is that, with the miracle of modern medicine, the men and women who, in other wars would have died from their wounds, now survive, and return without all of their limbs, missing parts of their faces, or brains, facing a life ahead of them of physical therapy.

It is one thing for me, at 84, to remind myself that, if I want to ease the pains of walking, I need to do prescribed exercises. But how unfair that these youth, who should be returning home to run, to play baseball with their children, to make love with vigor, must instead adjust to artificial arms and legs, to endless painful hours of physical therapy. Those who saw combat do not return whole. Their dreams reek of death, of comrades torn apart, of foreign children shot by accident.

And we do nothing at all to bring to justice those who sent these men and women into wars which were, in a fundamental sense, unjust. And even in the good wars there is still the memory of an enemy who, in death, turned out to be only an adolescent. In the bad wars – which are the only wars we have fought for some time now – there is the terrible knowledge that the enemy was never really the enemy. That if there is an enemy it is the government that asks us to celebrate the service of the veterans. Let us honor the veterans – all of them, of any nationality. But remember also that in these wars there are other veterans whose fate is not mentioned by Obama, the mothers in Iraq, the wives in Vietnam, the children in Afghanistan, and all the wounded in distant lands, for whom there is no modern medical science. Only dust, blood and pain.

So our goal, and a goal I suspect I share with a great many veterans, is to work for a world where there are no new veterans and where, perhaps to diminish the chance of such wars, we bring to justice those who so lightly send our young into foreign lands”.(Edgeleft is an occassional column written by David McReynolds, who was on the staff of War Resisters League for many years, and was twice the Socialist Party’s candidate for President. He is retired, and lives on Manhattan’s Lower East Side with his two cats. He can be reached at: davidmcreynolds7@gmail.com. His writings can be found on his website: Edgeleft.org)

ELERICK’S INPUT…Just prior to a two week Hawaiian Vacation Paul writes…

APTOS RANCHO DEL MAR – SAFEWAY EXPANSION

Safeway’s development spokesperson, Deborah Karbo continues on her mission to convince Aptos residents that they need a larger Safeway store, plus an “upgrade” to Rancho Del Mar Center. Her reasons certainly benefit Safeway, but do Aptos residents really need:

· An 18 – pump gas station on the corner of State Pak and Soquel, making it the largest in Santa Cruz County?

· An “upgrade” to the Center with some stores built within 5 feet of Soquel Drive?

· A mega-Safeway?

· More traffic and more traffic signals between State Park and Trout Gulch, along with more signals when the Aptos Village Plan comes online?

· An outdoor “gathering place” for shoppers to view the traffic on Soquel Drive?

The strategy Safeway appears to be using is to continue to fawn over “stakeholders”. What is a stakeholder? The only stakeholders I recognize are my friends and neighbors who don’t support Safeway’s expansion. Whenever Safeway actually submits a plan for review by the county (and the public), we’ll get a chance to comment. The part we’ll find most interesting is their traffic study and congestion mitigation plan. (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).

VIRGIN AMERICA SAFETY FILM.

PATTON’S PROGRAM. Gary’s KUSP Land Use Reports this week cover…growing marijuana legally or not, and the neighborly impacts. Read all about DOGGR and fracking and the Sierra Club. He goes on to talk about CPUC and a PG&E project in Santa Cruz County (a main power line in Aptos-Watsonville). He warns of a Capitola City General Plan Update on Thursday 11/21. He closes by telling how Verizon backed down on a plan/plot to build a cell phone tower!!! He adds that we should all get involved, and stay involved in our community, because we can make a difference. 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. Arms and the man…like it or not !!! Scroll lower.

EAGANS DEEP COVER. Tim illustrates what it means to be « in arms way ». see below some more.
LISA JENSEN LINKS. Lisa writes: “This week at Lisa Jensen Online Express (http://ljo-express.blogspot.com ) I bring you news from the publishing front re: National Novel Writing Month (don’t hit Send until you read this), and wonder where the magic went in the latest—possibly last—Shakespeare Santa Cruz holiday show.” Lisa has been writing film reviews and columns for Good Times since 1975.

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

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.

KILL YOUR DARLINGS. A very wordy attempt to capture the Beat literary scene at Columbia University in NYC in the mid 1940’s. Allen Ginsberg (Daniel Radcliffe) is in love with Lucien Carr (Dane DeHaan) and William Burroughs (Ben Foster) just sort of goofs around, stoned and drugged a lot. Jack Kerouac (Jack Huston) is in a few scenes. There’s a stabbing, and Jennifer Jason Leigh, Kyra Sedgwick and Michael C. Hall are in it too, but I’m not sure why. The film drags on and we aren’t given any reason to care much about anybody. Very disappointing.

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

BLUE IS THE WARMEST COLOR. This film is in a class by itself. One hundred years from now it’ll still be talked about as a classic. It’s a three hour long masterpiece about a young girl coming of sexual age. The acting, the plot, the sensitivity will take you places no other film has ever achieved. Yes, lots of bold and beautiful lesbian sex scenes and it’s in French with subtitles.

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.

ALL IS LOST. Robert Redford (5’9″) is absolutely perfect in this non speaking role. Tense, lost at sea, survival, passing merchant ships (who, by the way, rarely tie down their top most cargo freight containers and lose them constantly!!). Just see this film. Thrilling, believable, better than Gravity by far, and it will be a presence at Oscar time for sure.

CAPTAIN PHILLIPS. A much better film than Gravity. More tension, better acting and like Gravity it deals with the dangers dealing with the elements.( water not space)Tom Hanks has always been an excellent actor but he’s even better in this « true story ». One of the most multi focused films I’ve seen in years. Give Hanks some more Oscars. See my new « Gravity II » script below.

ENOUGH SAID. Julia Louis Dreyfus and James Gandolfini create a perfectly complex and brilliant relationship movie. There are some genuine laughs in it, but the truth is you’ll be deeply touched by the tenderness and the pain they go through. Gandolfini does an excellent acting job here. Far better than I ever thought he could….we’ll miss him. See this grand film asap.

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 a Maori-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.

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.

LAST VEGAS. It is pitiful to see such stars-icons-great actors such as Robert DeNiro, Morgan Freeman, Michael Douglas, and Kevin Kline lower themselves to act in this kind of crap.Somehow, I’m guessing due to her ego Mary Steenburgen is great in her role as singer/temptress. You’ve seen 100 Las Vegas films, and they are all better than this one. Don’t go.

MACBETH “LIVE FROM LONDON” STARRING KENNETH BRANAGH.

National Theatre Live will broadcast Manchester International Festival’s electrifying production of Macbeth, with Kenneth Branagh (My Week With Marilyn, Hamlet) in his first Shakespeare performance in over a decade as Macbeth, and Alex Kingston (Doctor Who, ER) as Lady Macbeth. Directed by Olivier and Tony Award-winner Rob Ashford (Anna Christie at the Donmar Warehouse, Thoroughly Modern Millie on Broadway) and BAFTA Award-winner Kenneth Branagh, this unique production of Shakespeare’s tragic tale of ambition and treachery unfolds within the walls of an intimate deconsecrated Manchester church.

Running Time: 131. Thursday, Nov. 21 @ 7:30pm and Sunday 11/24 @ 11am. Del Mar Theatre.

KOKO THE CLOWN (Cab Calloway) SINGS ST. JAMES INFIRMARY. Very early and great animation….and music !!!

DISNEY’S STORY OF MENSTRUATION (seriously!!) I can’t find a date on this 10 minute film but it’s well done.

UNIVERSAL GRAPEVINE. Each and every Tuesday from 7:00-8:00 p.m. I host Universal Grapevine on KZSC 88.1 fm. or on your computer (live only or sometimes old programs are archived… (See next paragraph) and go to WWW.KZSC.ORG. The winners fom this year’s Bookshop Santa Cruz’s Young Writers contest will read their works on the Nov. 19th program. Alcohol Policy Consultant Jim Mosher guests on Nov. 26, after which Cynthia Chase, program director of GEMMA tells us about their program. 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. Do remember, any and all suggestions for future programs are more than welcome so tune in, and keep listening. Email me always at bratton@cruzio.com

UNIVERSAL GRAPEVINE ARCHIVES. In case you missed some of the great people I’ve interviewed in the last 5 years here’s a chronological list of just this year’s podcasts. Click here http://kzsc.org/blog/tag/universal-grapevine then tap on “listen here” to hear any or all of them… all over again. The update includes Nikki Silva, Michael Warren, Tom Noddy, Anita Monga, Mark Wainer, Judy Johnson-Darrow, Wendy Mayer-Lochtefeld, Rachel Goodman, George Newell, Tubten Pende, Gina Marie Hayes, Rebecca Ronay-Hazleton, Miriam Ellis, Deb Mc Arthur, The Great Morgani on Street performing, and Paul Whitworth on Krapps Last Tape. Jodi McGraw on Sandhills, Bruce Daniels on area water problems. Mike Pappas on the Olive Connection, Sandy Lydon on County History. Paul Johnston on political organizing, Rick Longinotti on De-Sal. Dan Haifley on Monterey Bay Sanctuary, Dan Harder on Santa Cruz City Museum. Sara Wilbourne on Santa Cruz Ballet Theatre. Brian Spencer on SEE Theatre Co. Paula Kenyon and Karen Massaro on MAH and Big Creek Pottery. Carolyn Burke on Edith Piaf. Peggy Dolgenos on Cruzio. Julie James on Jewel Theatre Company. Then there’s Pat Matejcek on environment, Nancy Abrams and Joel Primack on the Universe plus Nina Simon from MAH, Rob Slawinski, Gary Bascou, Judge Paul Burdick, John Brown Childs, Ellen Kimmel, Don Williams, Kinan Valdez, Ellen Murtha, John Leopold, Karen Kefauver, Chip Lord, Judy Bouley, Rob Sean Wilson, Ann Simonton, Lori Rivera, Sayaka Yabuki, Chris Kinney, Celia and Peter Scott, Chris Krohn, David Swanger, Chelsea Juarez…and that’s just since January 2011. Hear them all!!!

QUOTES. “After a good dinner one can forgive anybody, even one’s own relations,” Oscar Wilde. “I celebrated Thanksgiving in an old-fashioned way. I invited everyone in my neighborhood to my house, we had an enormous feast, and then I killed them and took their land,” Jon Stewart. “I always think it’s funny when Indians celebrate Thanksgiving. I mean, sure, the Indians and Pilgrims were best friends during the first Thanksgiving, but a few years later, the Pilgrims were shooting Indians. So I’m never quite sure why we eat Turkey like everybody else”, Sherman Alexie.

COLUMN COMMUNICATIONS.

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

Snail Mail: Bratton Online
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Direct email: Bratton@Cruzio.com

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BEST OF VINTAGE STEVEN DeCINZO.

Deep Cover by Tim Eagan.

Posted in Weekly Articles | Comments Off on November 19 – 25, 2013

November 14 – 20, 2013

CONSTRUCTION OF CVS (LONG’S ) DRUG STORE. This was taken July 22,1965. You can see The Del Mar Theatre on the far left. Van’s Super Market in the photo is about where Oswald’s Restaurant and that ugly three story parking structure is located on Front Street.

photo credit: Covello & Covello Historical photo collection.

Additional information always welcome: email photo@brattononline.com

DATELINE November 11, 2013

BY WAY OF EXPLANATION. I’m glad that so many folks wonder about how and why BrattonOnline is sometimes “late” and sometimes “right on the deadline date”. I write and finish all the words, pictures, links, edits, everything, by Monday afternoon. I send all of it to Gunilla Leavitt (my web person) owner of The Golden Fleece Emporium of Wonderment and Yarn Shop over at the entrance to the Sashmill. Gunilla is one busy woman. She runs the store, manages her family, and has been re-creating all my stuff online for, lo these almost 12 years. She gets to it as soon as she can…she does this for little more than a short song, so to speak. So sometimes BrattonOnline gets online on Mondays sometimes it’s later, but I always have made that deadline on Mondays. Now you know. Another thing don’t send any stuff to me at photo@BrattonOnline or Info@BrattonOnline. That just makes more work for Gunilla, send everything to me at bratton@Cruzio.com. I like Cruzio, and always have, so send all rumors, opinions and even facts to bratton@cruzio.com. Please.

WELCOME TO SANTA CRUZ. Wish I could see a show of hands of how many people realize that all those horrible, terrible, adjectives that we Santa Cruzans now say about our homeless population…we used to say about Blacks, Mexicans, Jews, Chinese, and other humans we didn’t like??

WE HELP SOME OF THE WORLD’S STARVING. Africa, Cuba, India, Phillipines, you name it and there’s an abundance of American Agencies and lots of Santa Cruzans helping those poor people…but not our own homeless!!! What’s that about? Are they not human, do they not bleed?

ENGINEERS STRIKE AT DOMINICAN DRAGS ON!!! Nancy Abbey of The People’s Democratic Club (PDC) sends this..The Engineers Strike at Dominican drags on – six weeks now for these 15 skilled workers who keep the hospital equipment and facility running. Dignity Health is still not willing to discuss the workers’ proposals or negotiate a contract (they’ve been working without one for over two years) that would preserve their 40 hour work week. So they just keep walking that picket line. Let’s walk with them!!! They’re out there from dawn to dusk every day so you can join them almost any time for an hour or two and be most welcomed. Better still; get a friend to walk with you.

What do they want? They want a contract and a guaranteed 40 hour work week. Without the contract there’s no guarantee that their hours won’t be cut back, and more people hired halftime to avoid paying benefits – as so many huge corporations have done and are doing. But they’re a small union and Dignity can ignore them. Let’s show them that we’re not ignoring them. Call dignity Healthcare CEO, Lloyd Dean (who is compensated over $500,000 per month – yes, per month!) And tell him to go back to the bargaining table. His phone number is 415-438-5500. For more information check out the PDC website at www.pdclub.org.

FAMOUS PAINTINGS ANIMATED.

MORE WORDS ABOUT OUR DOWNTOWN HALLOWEEN. One item I forgot in my last week’s sadness over the militarization of our Santa Cruz Halloween downtown was why do we have the Cooper Street Concentration Camp set upo every year. That’s the 12 foot high chain link fence enclosure that takes up all of Cooper Street. Then I learned it is the Watsonville Police Incident Command Center. Which officials approve that structure every year? After hearing and reading the complaints about the helicopter flying overhead most of Halloween night, I received this email from a concerned and longtime local citizen…

“This is to thank you for your column highlighting a reality I have not read or heard about anywhere else in our community. I have experienced as you did the chilling and intimidating feeling one has had on Halloween night on Pacific Avenue in the last few years, a night meant to be scary and fun. But instead, it’s scary and not fun. Floodlit, chain link fenced and military style police-surveillance. This feels like the war in Iraq coming home and all its costly and overpowering machinery with nowhere to go but be sold to local governments who lack trust in its locals to handle potential vandalism and other issues. I would love us see a return to the old way, maybe with a couple cops on the beat with the ability to call for reinforcements. No floodlights, no fences. Having lived in SC for 33 years and watched and participated in many downtown Halloweens, I trust Santa Cruz and I know we can handle problems moderately. Thanks again and hope this issue continues to be addressed”.

WORK BEGINS ON ARANA GULCH. (without a permit!) Jean Brocklebank writes..

The City, chomping at the Broadway Brommer Bit, has begun its work at Arana Gulch. A 40′ construction trailer is installed on Agnes Street. Signage at both entrances is posted. Survey stakes for the paved route are in place. Not able to build bridges this winter, apparently they decided to pave the meadow first. The City has decided to proceed without an Incidental Take Permit (ITP) and is doing so based on their faulty logic that the definition of “take” (aka harm or kill) only applies to an actual tarplant above ground. According to the City seed in the soil (seedbank) doesn’t count. With this logic, any land owner could slowly develop “critical habitat” of any annual plant on the endangered species list, as long as there were no plants above ground that were “taken” by development. Eventually the species would have nowhere to go. So, the City forges ahead without an ITP, thumbing their uninformed, uneducated, unscientific noses at the world. Because they can”. We need to thank Jean for keeping us abreast of what our City Council is up to.

WOODY ALLEN ON WHAT’S MY LINE. Back in the day…1967

MORE WORDS ON OUR HERITAGE TREE ORDINANCE. Gillian Greensite sent in what she calls

EDDIE IZZARD TALKS ABOUT STONEHENGE.

STORIES FROM THE URBAN FOREST

Part 3: Council majority ignores legal challenge

Despite testimony from many members of the public imploring the council to not weaken the Heritage Tree Ordinance and despite a letter from attorney Ryan Moroney of Wittwer & Parkin LLP, on behalf of Save Our Big Trees, advising the council that such changes require CEQA review, the city council majority voted on October 24th to adopt the most draconian of alternatives that expand the grounds for removing heritage trees in the city of Santa Cruz.

Members of the public described the changes as creating a Heritage Tree Removal Ordinance. Indeed, the numbers of trees removed under the old Ordinance are alarming enough. In the past 17 years, 4,350 heritage trees have been removed with a permit. This figure does not include heritage trees removed under the Planning Department as they approve each new development. Nor does it include heritage trees removed illegally. Given this context, there should have been a concerted effort to strengthen the Ordinance to protect our last remaining big trees, not weaken it to allow even more big tree removal. Grounds for removal will now include “allergies,” ” economic hardship” and “compromised structure,” all subjective categories which can be easily exploited. Blue gum eucalyptus and acacia are targeted for easy removal. This is bad news for the many bird species that call blue gums their home and bad news for those of us who love big trees of all species. The good news is that a lawsuit has been filed by Ryan Moroney on behalf of Save Our Big Trees. The city’s insistence that this project was CEQA exempt may well prove to be unfounded. In that case, our heritage trees may get a reprieve. We will keep you posted. Gillian GreensiteSave Our Big Treesgumtree@pacbell.net

CLASSICAL DE CINZO. He dissects our local attitudes…scroll down..

EAGAN’S DEEP COVER. Eagan takes us to a tea party whether we like it or not !!! See below.

LISA JENSEN LINKS: Lisa writes: “See what’s cooking at the Jewel Theatre Company’s lighthearted musical revue, Pump Boys and Dinettes, this week at Lisa Jensen Online Express (http://ljo-express.blogspot.com). And even though the new Thor movie mangles mythology, find out why it’s still kinda fun.” Lisa has been writing film reviews and columns for Good Times since 1975.

THAT IS THE QUESTION

……In order of perfection……

BLUE IS THE WARMEST COLOR. This film is in a class by itself. One hundred years from now it’ll still be talked about as a classic. It’s a three hour long masterpiece about a young girl coming of sexual age. The acting, the plot, the sensitivity will take you places no other film has ever achieved. Yes, lots of bold and beautiful lesbian sex scenes and it’s in French with subtitles.

HOW I LIVE NOW & THE PIN. These are two absolutely wonderful films that could only be played at the Nick for a weekend. How I live Now stars Saorise Ronan and is a shocking, beautiful, romantic film about war, survival and dreams and love. You should definitely rent it as soon as it’s available. The Pin is another war film about memories, Jewish traditions and love. It is sad, haunting, and unforgetable. Maybe Temple Beth El will show it in the future.

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.

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.

ALL IS LOST. Robert Redford (5’9″) is absolutely perfect in this non speaking role. Tense, lost at sea, survival, passing merchant ships (who, by the way, rarely tie down their top most cargo freight containers and lose them constantly!!). Just see this film. Thrilling, believable, better than Gravity by far, and it will be a presence at Oscar time for sure.

CAPTAIN PHILLIPS. A much better film than Gravity. More tension, better acting and like Gravity it deals with the dangers dealing with the elements.( water not space)Tom Hanks has always been an excellent actor but he’s even better in this « true story ». One of the most multi focused films I’ve seen in years. Give Hanks some more Oscars. See my new « Gravity II » script below.

ENOUGH SAID. Julia Louis Dreyfus and James Gandolfini create a perfectly complex and brilliant relationship movie. There are some genuine laughs in it, but the truth is you’ll bed deeply touched by the tenderness and the pain they go through. Gandolfini does an excellent acting job here. Far better than I ever thought he could….we’ll miss him. See this grand film asap.

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.

LAST VEGAS. It is pitiful to see such stars-icons-great actors such as Robert DeNiro, Morgan Freeman, Michael Douglas, and Kevin Kline lower themselves to act in this kind of crap.Somehow, I’m guessing due to her ego Mary Steenburgen is great in her role as singer/temptress. You’ve seen 100 Las Vegas films, and they are all better than this one. Don’t go.

GRAVITY…FOR PEOPLE WHO HATED THE FILM. Many, many folks have asked, and told me that they really, really didn’t like Sandra and George’s Gravity film. Not just didn’t like it, they were disturbed by the attitude of the films’ fans. What’s weird is that so many millions love it and want to see Oscars evenly distributed. Then I came across Peter Hartlaub’s article in Friday’s Chronicle. http://www.sfgate.com/default/article/Didn-t-like-Gravity-You-re-not-alone-4904686.php . Read it, especially if you’ve seen Gravity. As I wrote in my critique I was only impressed by the 3D…the acting was non-existent, the plot was Hollywood, etc. etc.

GRAVITY II. With a deep bow and inspired by Lisa Jensen’s review I’ve scripted the Sequel to Gravity I now playing at theatres around us. Sandra Bullock and George Clooney are back of course and the new Gravity II opens with a shark biting off Sandra Bullock’s right leg as she continues her crawl up the beach. She rips apart of her tee-shirt off ( adding more of the sex we saw with her “skin-tight boy shorts”) and wraps her shark bite, stands up and waves from the beach. Panning back, we see that she landed on Guantanamo Beach in Cuba in the free zone between the USA and the Cuban property lines. Both sides start firing at each other over this “invasion” Sandra crawls to the top of the nearest ridge just in time to grab on to some flying object just passing by. Lo and behold it’s none other that a very much alive George Clooney who has climbed into another space capsule, this time from India!! Painted on the side of the Indian capsule is Outer Spice. George looking even more like Buzz Lightyear than in Gravity I, gets Sandra inside and together off they go.

SPECIAL EVENTS

BOOKSHOP SANTA CRUZ ANNUAL BIRTHDAY SALE. If you’re a member of Bookshop Santa Cruz’s Readers Club you’re invited to the members only Birthday party Friday night (11/15) starting at 7:30. Yep, ice cream and cake and 20% off storewide!!! But the big deal is that our Hot Damn String Band will again be playing our old favorites, and some of yours too!! We’ve been playing the Bookshop parties for way over 35 years. The Hot Dam String Band consists of Jim Reynolds on guitar, Annie Steinhardt on fiddle, Todd Kimball Mandolin, Dave Magram Banjo, Steve Larkin String bass and as per usual I’ll be playing washboard. Stop by and say hello, have some cake and sing along….and pick up on that book sale.

THE HABIT OF ART PLAY (NTL) AT THE DEL MAR. National Theatre Lives’ 2010 broadcast of Alan Bennett’s acclaimed play The Habit of Art, with Richard Griffiths, Alex Jennings and Frances de la Tour, returns to cinemas as part of the National Theatre’s 50th anniversary celebrations. Benjamin Britten, sailing uncomfortably close to the wind with his new opera, Death in Venice, seeks advice from his former collaborator and friend, W H Auden. During this imagined meeting, their first for twenty-five years, they are observed and interrupted by, amongst others, their future biographer and a young man from the local bus station. Alan Bennett’s play is as much about the theatre as it is about poetry or music. It looks at the unsettling desires of two difficult men, and at the ethics of biography. It reflects on growing old, on creativity and inspiration, and on persisting when all passion’s spent: ultimately, on the habit of art. Running Time: 180. That’s Thursday 11/14 @ 7:30 PM and Sunday 11/17 @ 11:00 AM at the Del Mar.

MACBETH LIVE FROM LONDON STARRING KENNETH BRANAGH.

National Theatre Live will broadcast Manchester International Festival’s electrifying production of Macbeth, with Kenneth Branagh (My Week With Marilyn, Hamlet) in his first Shakespeare performance in over a decade as Macbeth, and Alex Kingston (Doctor Who, ER) as Lady Macbeth. Directed by Olivier and Tony Award-winner Rob Ashford (Anna Christie at the Donmar Warehouse, Thoroughly Modern Millie on Broadway) and BAFTA Award-winner Kenneth Branagh, this unique production of Shakespeare’s tragic tale of ambition and treachery unfolds within the walls of an intimate deconsecrated Manchester church.

Running Time: 131. Thursday, Nov. 21 @ 7:30pm and Sunday 11/24 @ 11am. Del Mar Theatre.

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. Annie Morhauser of Annieglass talks about glass business and Jeff Lyon developer of the ” Flagger” security app describes it on November 12. The winners fom this year’s Bookshop Santa Cruz’s Young Writers contest will read their works on the Nov. 19th program. Alcohol Policy Consultant Jim Mosher guests on Nov. 26, after which Cynthia Chase program director of GEMMA tells us about their program. 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. 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.

“I always like walking in the rain, so no one can see me crying”, Charles Chaplin.
“Some people walk in the rain, others just get wet,” Roger Miller.
“Kiss me with rain on your eyelashes, come on, let us sway together,under the trees, and to hell with thunder“, Edwin Morgan (A Book of Lives)
“The only noise now was the rain, pattering softly with the magnificent indifference of nature for the tangled passions of humans,” Sherwood Smith.

COLUMN COMMUNICATIONS.

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BEST OF VINTAGE STEVEN DeCINZO.

Deep Cover by Tim Eagan.

Posted in Weekly Articles | Comments Off on November 14 – 20, 2013

November 6 – 12, 2013

The once Santa Cruz County Bank. This was taken January 4, 1965. Now the bank has become Pacific Wave Surf Shop.You can see Montgomery Ward’s catalog store on the left of the Bank. Down Cooper Street behind the bank was where Logo’s bookstore used to be. Upstairs from that store was where I spent the first few minutes of the 1989 earthquake.

photo credit: Covello & Covello Historical photo collection.

Additional information always welcome: email photo@brattononline.com

DATELINE Nov. 4, 2013

HALLOWEEN DOWNTOWN AND POLICE POWER. What we never see or hear about after our Pacific Avenue Downtown Halloween Celebrations are the emergency chain link fences, the prison-like floodlights on tall poles, the actual fenced in enclosures on Cooper Street. What we do read about, and that many folks wait to learn is how many were arrested that night. We know that if the City Council allows the police to hire 100 extra security, off duty police, National Guard we’ll get that many more arrests, and justify spending that much more money. If they hired 500 extra policers we’d have that many more arrests. How has our once happy Halloween complete with sanctioned costume contests, happy celebrants, and lots of community input (like First Night used to be) turned into this police state? It’s the same mentality that has turned or beaches into a show of force between Police and People on the Fourth of July.

IT’S ALL SAMUEL. L. JACKSON’S FAULT. Even if you don’t listen to Bushwhackers Breakfast Club on Friday am’s.on KZSC 88.1 fm and hear our weekly homage to this great actor you’ll love this clip.

CITY TO DEFY CALIFORNIA FISH & WILDLIFE? Friends of Arana Gulch and earnest leader Jean Brocklebank point out that work on the two proposed bridges over Arana Creek and Hagemann Creek must be constrained to happen between June 15 and October 15 of 2014. That’s one setback, the other one is that the City might be defying California Fish & Game if they proceed without a certain permit…Ms. Brocklebank and Margaret Mead

explain it all here [link expands, click again to collapse]

SANTA CRUZ’S GREEK FESTIVAL 2013. See if you can spot Louis Rittenhouse and Steven DeCinzo in the crowd.

SLAVERY IN THE NORTH U.S.A. Amy Goodman’s Democracy Now had some shocking news last Wednesday about just how widespread slavery was in our northern states. ie..Rhode Island had more slaves than any southern state!!! Here’s her interview with Craig Steven Wilder author of “Ebony & Ivy:Race, Slavery, and the Troubled History of America’s Universities”.

Then Amy interviewed Katrina Browne director of the documentary “Traces of the Trade: A story From the Deep North”. Katrina talks about herown De Wolf family who were once the largest slave trading family in U.S. history. That’s where you see and hear the painful and shameful slavery history of our northern states.

More than that, be sure to see “12 Years as a Slave” now at the Del Mar asap and read my review down a few pages.

THE THRILL OF MOUNTAIN BIKING. Just watch this from your easy chair and try to figure why anyone would ever attempt such a thing.

BEST JACK-O-LANTERNS I’VE EVER SEEN. I know it’s late but these carvings add an entire dimension to the genre!!!

ELERICK’S INPUT.

TRANSPORTATION UPDATE FROM SUPERVISOR JOHN LEOPOLD

Last week’s meeting with John Leopold and members of People Power and the Campaign for Sensible Transportation left the audience with hopes for something besides the money pit, better known as Widening Highway 1. The Regional Transportation Commission (RTC) voted to remove the HOV (High Occupancy Vehicles) highway widening project from their number one priority status. This is welcome news for those of us, including most members of the RTC who want to see local roads fixed, the rail trail between Watsonville and Davenport built, and alternative transportation methods explored. A letter written to the RTC members from their Director pointed out the fact the even if every dollar we could depend on from the state far into the future, plus the passage of a sales tax measure and an increase in the vehicle license fee , would still not pay for the HOV lanes that are wanted by widening advocates. Amazingly, the RTC members from Scotts Valley still hung in there for the HOV lanes, for a highway that doesn’t even touch where they live.

We still may see a supportable tax measure in the future to fix local streets and roads that might have a chance of passing without being dragged down with a multi-million dollar HOV widening project around its neck. (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 Patton talks about Assemblyman Mark Stone and local land use decisions. Our Board of Supes may change the rules on building hotels and motels, and raising their own pay, as you probably know. Then there’s Election Day in Salinas and other related issues such as manure and the Wild Farm Alliance. Gary makes note of fracking in Monterey County and San Benito County. He ends by giving details about the EcoFarm Conference at Asilomar in January. 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 gives us a peek at the more sensitive side of Santa Cruz.

Scroll a ways downwards to see his point of view.

EAGANS DEEP COVER. Wheel down a few pages to see what Eagan knows about what the president knows about.

CRYING BABY WHEN MOM SINGS. I know there are a zillion “likes” and views on this clip but watch it anyways…so cute !!! http://vitaminl.tv/video/652?ref=rcm

LISA JENSEN LINKS. Lisa writes: “Is it too early for the ‘O’ word? (Oscars, I mean.) The Academy Awards race is heating up, and now’s the time to see the contenders, while they’re still up on the big screen. Catch up with some of my favorites this week at Lisa Jensen Online Express (http://ljo-express.blogspot.com).” Lisa has been writing film reviews and columns for Good Times since 1975.

THAT IS THE QUESTION

……In order of perfection……

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 ture story written by the central character in the pre-civil war days. Just see this film…now.

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.

LAST VEGAS. It is pitiful to see such stars-icons-great actors such as Robert DeNiro, Morgan Freeman, Michael Douglas, and Kevin Kline lower themselves to act in this kind of crap.Somehow, I’m guessing due to her ego Mary Steenburgen is great in her role as singer/temptress. You’ve seen 100 Las Vegas films, and they are all better than this one. Don’t go.

STILL PLAYING AT A THEATRE NEAR US

(from BEST 2 worst)

ALL IS LOST. Robert Redford (5’9″) is absolutely perfect in this non speaking role. Tense, lost at sea, survival, passing merchant ships (who, by the way, rarely tie down their top most cargo freight containers and lose them constantly!!). Just see this film. Thrilling, believable, better than Gravity by far, and it will be a presence at Oscar time for sure.

MUSCLE SHOALS. Another fine documentary about the music business. I got curious about the word MUSCLE in the city’s name. The town website says, “No one knows when the name Muscle Shoals was first used for this area, however, there are many theories of where the name originated. One theory is that at one time there were piles of mussel shells found along the shoals in the Tennessee River. Another theory is that the shape of the river looks like the muscle in a man’s arm, therefore, Muscle Shoals. The last theory comes from several booklets that were published before Muscle Shoals incorporated. This theory states: “Muscle Shoals, the Niagara of the South, derives its name from the Indians, who, attempting to navigate upstream, found the task almost impossible because of the strong current.” Thus came the word muscle, symbolic of the strength required to “paddle a canoe up the rapids.” But the list of famous artists that made their first hit records at Muscle Shoals is staggering. Even much longer are the dozens maybe hundreds of albums recorded there that hit the top. Good fun, great music. Go see it for sure.

INEQUALITY FOR ALL. I thought I was complètely impressed and excited about the importance of all of us seeing Robert Reich’s “Inequality For All” then I read Becky O’Malley co-owner and editor of The Berkeley Daily Planet review of this documentary of our world and how it got this way. She says, Berkeley Prof Tackles Inequality: Inequality Persists By Becky O’Malley Friday October 04, 2013. Almost by accident, the other night I saw the new documentary Inequality for All, which features Robert Reich, now Professor of Public Policy at the University of California here in Berkeley. I know, I know, Paul Krugman called him a “non-economist”… In fact, Krugman once wrote of Reich “talented writer, too bad he never gets anything right.” But he’s a pretty good teacher and journalist, skilled at communicating important points so that other non-economists like me understand them. This new movie, which relies heavily on animated graphs, is very simple, and much of it is incontrovertible.

A plus for the junior set is Reich’s self-mocking comic touch. He’s a master of the short end of the shtick. Well over four feet tall, he misses no opportunity to turn this genetic fact into funny stuff, starting with the lead-in scene where he drives up to the U.C. Berkeley campus in his Mini-Cooper. (You can watch this in the trailer on the film’s web site) The theme is simple, and very familiar to those — well, to those to whom it’s familiar. It’s a cliché in some circles: The rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer. Some of us knew that already.
In fact, if you don’t have time to take in an hour and a half movie, you can quickly get the message, complete with clever animation; in this YouTubed short (see above) with Reich’s voice-over narration.Go here for her full review… http://berkeleydailyplanet.com/issue/2013-10-04/article/41499?headline=Berkeley-Prof-Tackles-Inequality-Inequality-Persists–By-Becky-O-Malley

CAPTAIN PHILLIPS. A much better film than Gravity. More tension, better acting and like Gravity it deals with the dangers dealing with the elements.( water not space)Tom Hanks has always been an excellent actor but he’s even better in this “true story”. One of the most multi focused films I’ve seen in years. Give Hanks some more Oscars. See my new “Gravity II” script below.

ENOUGH SAID. Julia Louis Dreyfus and James Gandolfini create a perfectly complex and brilliant relationship movie. There are some genuine laughs in it, but the truth is you’ll bed deeply touched by the tenderness and the pain they go through. Gandolfini does an excellent acting job here. Far better than I ever thought he could….we’ll miss him. See this grand film asap.

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 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. MY ERROR. Judi Grunstra was kind enough to point out that re Gravity I, Pan’s Labyrinth was directed by Guillermo Del Toro, not Cuaron. Thanks for that correction..; it didn’t seem right when I typed it, but deadlines etc, etc.

GRAVITY…FOR PEOPLE WHO HATED THE FILM. Many, many folks have asked, and told me that they really, really didn’t like Sandra and George’s Gravity film. Not just didn’t like it, they were disturbed by the attitude of the films’ fans. What’s weird is that so many millions love it and want to see Oscars evenly distributed. Then I came across Peter Hartlaub’s article in Friday’s Chronicle. . Read it, especially if you’ve seen Gravity. As I wrote in my critique I was only impressed by the 3D…the acting was non-existent, the plot was Hollywood, etc. etc.

GRAVITY II. With a deep bow and inspired by Lisa Jensen’s review I’ve scripted the Sequel to Gravity I now playing at theatres around us. Sandra Bullock and George Clooney are back of course and the new Gravity II opens with a shark biting off Sandra Bullock’s right leg as she continues her crawl up the beach. She rips apart of her tee-shirt off ( adding more of the sex we saw with her “skin-tight boy shorts”) and wraps her shark bite, stands up and waves from the beach. Panning back, we see that she landed on Guantanamo Beach in Cuba in the free zone between the USA and the Cuban property lines. Both sides start firing at each other over this “invasion” Sandra crawls to the top of the nearest ridge just in time to grab on to some flying object just passing by. Lo and behold it’s none other that a very much alive George Clooney who has climbed into another space capsule, this time from India!! Painted on the side of the Indian capsule is Outer Spice. George looking even more like Buzz Lightyear than in Gravity I, gets Sandra inside and together off they go.

FIFTH ESTATE. Another Benedict Cumberbatch starring role. I have to say Benedict Cumberbatch is probably my favorite actor, at least of this year. He plays Julian Assange the Wikileaks guy who leaked all those international espionage secrets. Laura Linney and Stanley Tucci are in it too, but they don’t count for much. The film sort of presents both sides of whether the leaking was good or bad. It pretty much makes Assange into a nerdy, kinky character…and you’ll leave frustrated because Assange looks into the camera and says it’s up to YOU. An odd film that will tell you more than you know about that leaking. Bradley Manning’s leaking plays a very small part.

RUSH. Ron Howard directed it. That means it “feels good” and that it will end happily. It’s got a sound track of racing cars that sounds like Pacific Avenue on weekends. Hulky Chris Hemsworth appears to be a rare good looking actor who can act, at least he does in this 1970’s Formula One race car epic. The racing scenes are exciting, but the pseudo bios linking all the action fall very flat. Save your money and rent it, even though it should be seen on the big screen.

ACOD. (Adult Children Of Divorce) Even with our locally born actor Adam Scott (5’9″) and a cast including Richard Jenkins, Amy Poehler and Catherine O’Hara this so called comedy has a meaness, a bitterness and, there is nobody to like in it. The idea of studying and watching the growth of ADULT CHILDREN OF DIVORCE is absolutely fascinating because it seems like that covers almost all of us…you’ll squirm more than laugh. Go but go warned , or rent it locally in a week or two.bE very sure to stay and watch all the clips of actual ACOD kids during the ending titles.It is far more painful, shocking, and revealing than the film.

CARRIE. Julianne Moore plays Carrie’s mother and she’s the only reason to see this re-make. Buckets of blood, locked in the closet, teen age bullying, it’s all there …again. But you will sure remember Sissie Spacek and Piper Laurie in the original. I didn’t remember that John Travolta was in that 1976 Brian De Palma/Stephen King Masterpiece but Rotten Tomatoes says he was.You could rent it during Thanksgiving when the relatives are here.

ESCAPE PLAN. Sylvester Stallone (5’9″) plays the brains in this prison break film. More than that, he actually plays the author of a book, which should give you some clue as to the I.Q. level of this numb-nuts movie. Nope, Arnold Schwarznegger (6’1 ½”) isn’t any better at acting and lying, even after all the years doing the same thing in Sacramento.

SPECIAL EVENTS

50 YEARS OF LONDON’S WORLD FAMED NATIONAL THEATRE. To celebrate its 50th anniversary, the National Theatre of Great Britain presents a once-in-a-lifetime performance, broadcast to cinemas around the world. From its early golden period under the leadership of Laurence Olivier at the Old Vic theatre to its now iconic building in the heart of London, the National Theatre has been home to Britain’s finest theatrical talent, premiering works by renowned writers such as Harold Pinter, Peter Shaffer, Tom Stoppard, Alan Bennett and David Hare, and staging celebrated performances by Maggie Smith, Derek Jacobi, Judi Dench, Michael Gambon and the rising stars of today.

From Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead to The History Boys, from The Mysteries to Angels in America, from Guys and Dolls to War Horse – Nicholas Hytner directs a thrilling evening of live theatre, with rare glimpses from the archive, featuring many of the original actors who have performed on the National’s stages over the past five decades.

Running Time: 180. Sunday Nov. 10 at 11 a.m. at the Del Mar.

PIANIST HASKELL SMALL TO PLAY “MUSICA CALLADA”. World renowned pianist Haskell Small is furthering his fascination with music that is primarily quiet, spacious and of a mystical nature with a series of solo concerts throughout the United States and Europe. He will perform the complete 28-part magnum opus of Musica Callada (“Silent Music“) composed by Federico Mompou in four books, started in 1959 and completed in 1974. Its title is Journeys in Silence: Piano Meditation in the Round. The complete 28-part magnum opus of Federico Mompou’s Musica Callada (“Silent Music”). Sunday, November 10th at 3:00 PM First Congregational Church, 900 High St. Santa Cruz. Go here to read more about Haskell, then go here to hear and see him play Erik Satie

MACBETH LIVE FROM LONDON STARRING KENNETH BRANAGH.

National Theatre Live will broadcast Manchester International Festival’s electrifying production of Macbeth, with Kenneth Branagh (My Week With Marilyn, Hamlet) in his first Shakespeare performance in over a decade as Macbeth, and Alex Kingston (Doctor Who, ER) as Lady Macbeth. Directed by Olivier and Tony Award-winner Rob Ashford (Anna Christie at the Donmar Warehouse, Thoroughly Modern Millie on Broadway) and BAFTA Award-winner Kenneth Branagh, this unique production of Shakespeare’s tragic tale of ambition and treachery unfolds within the walls of an intimate deconsecrated Manchester church.

Running Time: 131. Thursday, Nov. 21 @ 7:30pm and Sunday 11/24 @ 11am. Del Mar Theatre.

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 November 5 Peter Klotz Chamberlin from the Resource Center for Non-Violence talks about their origin and their events, followed by Stephanie Flores program director of the Davenport Resource Service Center. . Annie Morhauser of Annieglass talks about glass business and Jeff Lyon developer of the ” Flagger” security app describes it on November 12. The winners fom this year’s Bookshop Santa Cruz’s Young Writers contest will read their works on the Nov. 19th program. Alcohol Policy Consultant Jim Mosher guests on Nov. 26, after which Cynthia Chase program director of GEMMA tells us about their program. Dr. Alfred Petrocelli discusses osteoporosis and Don Grube talks about theatre at Cabrilho College on Dec. 10. 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. (about rain) “The best thing one can do when it’s raining is to let it rain”,
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.The way I see it, if you want the rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain”,Dolly Parton. You pray for rain, you gotta deal with the mud too. That’s a part of it”, Denzel Washington.

COLUMN COMMUNICATIONS.

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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 November 6 – 12, 2013