April 4 – 10, 2016

TOM SCRIBNER THE MUSICIAN. (L to R) Tom Scribner musical Saw, Arlene Sutton accordion and piano, and Herman Olson musical saw and accordion. Because I’m receiving the first ever Tom Scribner Award this next Saturday I thought this would be a good time to share some of his two sided  history. Tom, Arlene and Herman made up “The Country Serenaders” and played many, many senior homes and benefits around the county for years. Tom’s colorful vest says, “The Lost Sound” and he had played the saw for fun and meeting people since 1910. He never “busked” or passed the hat. Tom wasn’t the greatest saw player in the world but because of his creating Santa Cruz’s annual Musical Saw Festival (this year is the 39th annual) we did get to hear many, many of the planet’s greats.                                                

photo credit: photo from my personal collection, courtesy of Tom Scribner)

Additional information always welcome: email photo@brattononline.com

DATELINE April 4, 2016

SANTA CRUZ DOWNTOWN HOSPITALITY HOST PROGRAM ENDING!!!

In spite of the favorable opinions from almost everybody those yellow jacketed Hospitality Hosts vanish as of June 30. As of right now it’s stated …because the contracts weren’t renewed. Paid for by Santa Cruz Businesses and property owners the program is run by the Downtown Management Corporation. The Downtown Management Corporation (online) has probably old data on it, with names like Ceil Cirillo, Bonnie Lipscomb, and Peter Prindle. Anyways we’ll miss those dedicated Pacific Avenue trekkers

TOM SCRIBNER & POLITICS. Tom cared much more about politics than the musical saw. Born in 1899, he was a tree cutter and very active with the Industrial Workers of the World. (I.W.W.). He moved here in the mid 60’s and from his home in Davenport he published a monthly/occasional  publication “The Redwood Ripsaw Review” and took on all comers, locally and internationally. Santa Cruz City Council members (Edler, Mahaney & Ghio) back in the late 70’s didn’t like Tom’s left-Socialist politics and fought hard to stop Marghe McMahon’s statue from being placed in SCOPE park next to the Town Clock in 1978. The square later became known as Scribner Square. The Square was later tagged for development and the statue was moved in front of Bookshop Santa Cruz in July 1993.

The Tom Scribner Award event is The People’s Democratic Club Fun-Raiser happening 3:00-5:00 p.m. Saturday, April 9 at the Live Oak Grange 1900 17th Avenue, Santa Cruz. Supervisor Zach Friend and PDC Vice-president Nora Hochman are emcees. And there’ll be music by Dr. Chris Ring. They’re having three partially crazy contests…

  1. Best Dressed County Supervisor
  2. Worst nightmare candidate of 2016
  3. Best next U.S. President.

There’s also going to be awards given to Desal Alternatives for Achievement of The Year; Sherry Conable, Steve Pleich, Mathilde Rand and Gail Williamson for Unsung Heroes Award. I’m proud to announce, again, that yours truly is being awarded the first ever Tom Scribner Award. This most certainly is not for my musical saw playing, which I’ve almost given up entirely.

Donation at the door. For more information call 465-8272. Of course I’ll see you there.

COUGAR RESCUE. It’s about 6 minutes long and is wonderfullyinteresting to watch. And it’s sure not one of those kissy-poo clips.

“BEEDLE UM BUM”. Just one of my favorite 78’s that our Pasadena gang listened to and later our Palomar String Band (aka. Hot Damn String Band) played many, many times.
SWANTON STRAWBERRIES. Daughter Jennifer found this new clip of our long time Swanton Road neighbor Jim Cochran……..

DILIP BASU DIED. Dilip Basu was an amazing guy. We got to know each other before, during,  and after many Satyajit Ray film screenings that he spent much of his life collecting, lecturing, and restoring. He was UCSC Professor Emeritus in the Humanities division of The History Department. He worked on his book “The Last Poem” for ages. He finished it but we never got the chance to talk about it on Universal Grapevine (as I promised). Cathy Basu Shender wrote…

“Dilip passed away Feb 22nd, in Santa Clarita.  He was working on his Satyajit Ray Archive which was recently moved from UCSC to the Packard Humanities  Institute in Santa Clarita…David Packard will organize something in his  honor this summer at the Stanford Theater in Palo Alto.  Dilip died of TB as a result of the prescription drug Humira. Dilip developed rheumatoid arthritis and was given Humira by a Santa Cruz rheumatologist. He took Humira for the past two years here in Santa Cruz. Humira can lower a person’s immune system and cause many serious infections including TB and lymphoma.  Dilip became ill this fall with a “mysterious infection”. The doctors could not figure out what the infection was until after he died.  It turned out to be TB.  Dilip had TB as a child in India and was exposed to TB. Many Indians are exposed to TB.  So I am frankly very upset that he was given Humira in the first place, and also upset that for 4-5 months the doctors could not put 2 and 2 together. They kept coming up with e coli and samonella typii. He might have been saved had they treated him for TB when his infection and symptoms first emerged in early September. The details are complicated…and TB can be dormant and very elusive. People can test negative for active TB but can still have dormant TB which attacks and it can spread silently. As I mentioned we’ll all miss him.”

HUMANE QUESTION. Just exactly what is the difference (and how is it justified ) between the photos we see of the proud fishermen holding up their dead catches and hunters killing the same age “wild animals” out in the woods?  (don’t give me that LEGAL thing)

LEAH GARCHIK AND FUNNY NAMES. Having nearly a lifetime obsession with unusual names I sent this note to San Francisco Chronicle’s Leah Garchik…
Leah,

Just wanted to report in on a great name in today’s (3/30/16)  issue of the Santa Cruz Sentinel. In an article about new buildings being proposed near an agricultural zone…it stated ..

Juggy Tut, president of Elite Developments, which bought the property last year, remains patient despite the controversy. “We’re just taking it one step at a time,” he said. “Let’s see what the commission says first.”

I think Juggy Tut (I checked it on the Elite Development website) ranks up there with three other local Santa Cruz names I’ve collected….Cashmere Tango Obedience*, E. Pluribus Eubanks,and Fortunato Macadangdang. Leah replied almost immediately…”Thanks Bruce. I Googled Juggy. Looks like he’s a gentleman of East Asian descent. I’m a bit loath to make fun of someone’s name, especially from another culture.Nonetheless, thanks (and I hope you understand). Best, Leah.   * p.s. I met Cashmere Tango Obedience, who’s real name was Kashmiri Obediencia. He actudally changed it because he loved to tango!

Mr. Paul Elerick of Aptos writes…
WHAT’S IN STORE FOR APTOS?

 

I found myself in Los Altos Sunday, looking for a sandwich shop in their “downtown”. It was a quiet, spotless collection of shops, lawyer’s offices, and a nice deli among other things.  Walking around was educational, because there looming before my eyes was a two story parking garage to accommodate a two story Safeway.  It was equipped with elevators for moving shopping carts of groceries to the parking garage.  Could this be what was in store for Aptos before Safeway sold to the next speculator/developer?  My guess is yes, that was exactly the bullet we Aptosians dodged (for now). 

Now we’re facing new developers with “refurbishing” Rancho Del Mar on their mind.  This outfit is from Southern California named Terramar.  2nd District Supervisor Zach Friend has been getting lots of calls as to what we can expect from this company.  Here is Zach’s memo to the Seacliff Improvement Association:   “A lot of people in the community have been reaching out with questions about the status of the Rancho Del Mar Center so I’ve been working with Terramar (the new owners of the center) to hold a community meeting. I wanted our community to have a chance to hear directly from Terramar, provide their input on what they’d like to see at the center, have their questions answered and have points of contact with the company moving forward. Terramar agreed to have the meeting and booked the Seascape Golf Club large conference room for the event. Here are the details that I received from Terramar including a link from them to RSVP:  “April 28th – 6:30 PM, Seascape Golf Club, 610 Clubhouse Dr. If anyone has questions in advance they can contact Bruce Walton at Terramar at bwalton@terramarcenters.com RSVP Link:https://www.eventbrite.com/e/4282016-rsvp-rancho-del-mar-community-meeting-tickets-24296073209
(Paul Elerick is a member of, and former co-chair of the Campaign for Sensible Transportation, http://sensibletransportation.org . He’s a current member of Nisene to Sea, a group of mid-county citizens committed to maintaining an open hiking trail from Cabrillo College to Nisene Marks State Park

GREENSITE’S INSIGHT.

WHARF MASTER PLAN: THIS FISH AIN’T BITING

First a correction. In last week’s piece I wrote that Mayor Mathews had not followed proper procedure for the appeal hearing on the par course equipment on West Cliff Drive. I was wrong. My apologies to the Mayor. I was unaware that the appeal procedures were amended in January of 2015. The procedures now give two formal presentation time slots for staff rather than the previous one time slot, further eroding the right of appeal for the public. The April 12th deadline for comments on the city’s environmental document for the Wharf Master Plan is drawing near. Initial Study (IS) at: http://www.cityofsantacruz.com/home/showdocument?id=51377

If this project is approved with little public opposition it will be a coup for big business and the tourist industry. Among the losers will be the small, historical wharf business owners who will see their leases expire with the city refusing to renew them (think Andy’s Bate and Tackle) as it proactively seeks out the “best in class” through “competitive bidding.” Or favoritism. While new commercial and retail will gain an extra 2,960 square feet of space, and public access an additional 108,000 square feet, zero new space is allocated for parking, vehicular circulation and wharf operations. As for losing an historical icon, the Initial Study (IS) sees no significant impact since they are not going to “demolish, destroy or relocate” the wharf. That’s a low bar for historical preservation.

This project has been fishy from the beginning.

Click to continue… (link expands, click again to collapse)

Our municipal wharf deserves a more honest, forthright evaluation of this radical makeover and its impacts. That will only happen if you care enough to comment.

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

PATTON’S PROGRAM. Gary states in his KUSP Land Use Broadcasts this week….

THE WATER, LAND USE & TRANSPORTATION ALL GO TOGETHER.
AT LEAST THEY SHOULD.

When development decisions ignore the availability of adequate water resources, long term impacts can be severe, and necessary corrections can be costly.

If developments are approvedwithout properly accounting for their traffic impacts, the community ends up with gridlock. The state of Highway One in Santa Cruz County is a good example. It’s not so easy to escape from gridlock once overdevelopment has created it, and necessary corrections can be costly.

The Monterey Peninsula is certainly finding that out!

This rule applies to transportation, too. If developments are approved without properly accounting for their traffic impacts, the community ends up with gridlock. The state of Highway One in Santa Cruz County is a good example. It’s not so easy to escape from gridlock, once overdevelopment has created it, and corrections there are very costly, too.

Providing robust transit services is one way to mitigate the transportation impact of development. Getting people to take transit significantly reduces the traffic congestion caused by everyone trying to get around in an individual vehicle. But what happens when transit mitigation measures are cut back or eliminated? That is the question that the Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commission will be wrestling with this week, Thursday 4/07.

The Transit District is making big service reductions because the District doesn’t have enough money to maintain existing bus routes. The City of Santa Cruz is concerned. If bus service is removed from major transportation corridors, there will be a lot more gridlock in the City of Santa Cruz, and on Highway One. Read the complete scripts of the above at Gary Patton’s KUSP Land Use site http://blogs.kusp.org/landuse.

Gary is a former Santa Cruz County Supervisor (20 years) and an attorney who represents indivudu als 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 DeCINZO. Naturalist DeCinzo treks into butterfly politics…scroll downwards…

EAGAN’S DEEP COVER. Tim takes us airborne with guess who??? See below…

VAN ANTWERP THEATRE COMPANY PRESENTS…. A Delicate Balance by Edward Albee. Featuring: Ali Eppy, Susan Forrest, Ann McCormick, Brian Spencer, Janine Theodore and Frank Widman. It’s description….Wealthy couple, Agnes and Tobias have their complacency shattered when Harry and Edna, longtime friends appear at their doorstep. Claiming an encroaching, nameless “fear” has forced them from their own home, these neighbors bring a firestorm of doubt, recrimination and ultimately solace, upsetting the “delicate balance” of Agnes and Tobias’ household. “An evening of theatrical fireworks”   The New York Times.  Preview April 7th @ 7:30p. Performance Dates: 4/8,9,14,15,16, 22, 23 @ 7:30p, 4/17 @ 3p. Tickets:
http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/2514775

SANTA CRUZ CHAMBER PLAYERS CONCERT. The Players close their season April 9th and 10th with….“Blues and Rags to Riches”. Music by William Bolcom, Maurice Ravel, and Johaness BrahmsRoy Malan, artistic director and violin …Susan Freier, violin; Polly Malan, viola and Stephen Harrison, cello; Ian Scarfe on piano. From blues and rags to riches says it all; a journey from lightheartedness to profundity, at the tiller the creative guiding hands of three master composers. By 1910 Ravel was a famous man, which prompted a young George Gershwin to ask Ravel to teach him to write like he did.  Ravel answered by asking Gershwin how much money he had made from Rhapsody in Blue. William Bolcom’s homages to Jelly Roll Morton and James P. Johnson have become American national treasures.  Like other European composers of his period, Johannes Brahms was affected by folk and gypsy influences, which can be detected in the Scherzo of his Piano Quintet. But providentially for its performers and listeners, his main influence was simply Brahms himself.    

WHEN: Saturday, April 9th at 7:30 pm; Sunday, April 10th at 3:00 pm

WHERE:  Christ Lutheran Church, 10707 Soquel Dr., Aptos

TICKET INFO: $25 general, $20 senior, $10 youth Advance single tickets for all SC Chamber Players’ concerts are available at www.scchamberplayers.org

Single tickets are also available at the door 1/2 hr. prior to each performance

CUSTOMER INFO:  831.425.3149 or www.scchamberplayers.org

LANDMARK THEATRES & FREE PASSES!!! For at least ten years we’ve been awarding two free passes (Nickelodeon and The Del Mar) weekly to the first listener calling in with the correct answer to my movie question on KZSC’s “BushWhackers Breakfast Club” at 8:10am on Friday mornings, right after I do my weekly film critiques. It took a bit of adjustment but Landmark Theatres realized just how popular those passes and the program is and we’re back giving away passes. Thanks Landmark.

LISA JENSEN LINKS. Lisa writes: “Find out what happens when fairy tales once again inspire an episode of Project Runway, this week at Lisa Jensen Online Express (http://ljo-express.blogspot.com). Also, I Saw the Light doesn’t provide much insight into the astonishingly short, but productive life of Hank Williams, but at least Tom Hiddleston has presence to burn in the starring role.” Lisa has been writing film reviews and columns for Good Times since 1975.

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

……..ONLY ONE FILM THIS WEEK DUE TO SERIOUS POLITICS…….

BATMAN V SUPERMAN. Remember when these two heroes were nice guys with even some humanity and humor? Don’t even try thinking about a fully clothed Clark Kent getting into the bathtub with a naked Lois Lane (Amy Adams). Avoid thinking about Batman wanting to kill Superman or space monsters in Metropolis. Metropolis  at least has Laurence Fishburne playing Perry White, editor of The Daily Planet. Ben Affleck as Batman??? Jeremy Irons as Batman’s butler? Then for some reason Wonder woman comes in near the end. They have besmirched our legends…don’t go.

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

THE WAVE. This subtitled, well-acted, disaster film from Norway is excellent. It’ll keep you absolutely glued to the screen, and you’ll be in constant wonder as it takes some unusual twists and plot turns (especially for a disaster film). Films like The Tower, San Andreas, Cave In, Avalanche and Towering Inferno all have so many scenes in common. More than that, good disaster films keep you thinking about “What would I do”? The Wave has all of that and just a little bit of Hollywood at the end. See it on the biggest screen possible. The way it shows a tourist town being flooded will make you wonder if Santa Cruz has ever taken tsunamis and their danger very seriously??

EMBRACE OF THE SERPENT. One of my maybe top 3 films from 2015. It also has a 99% from Rotten Tomatoes. This was Colombia’s best foreign film entry for the Oscars…it shoulda won! Filmed along the Amazon. It’s two separate stories of scientists exploring the jungles for certain rare plants. It’s really about how “whites” have ruined, killed, destroyed,the peoples and the environment as they stoled the rubber and lumber. There’s a very clear message for all of us here, today. (subtitled)

THE VVITCH. That’s not a “w” in “Witch”, for some unexplained reason the film always uses 2 capital v’s in the title.  This completely deadily serious film does a fine job of creating and keeping a very scary mood throughout the whole piece. It’s set in 1630 New England centering on a family just off the boat from the old country. Perfect acting, perfect sets, the Brit/New England accents are hard to follow at times. There isn’t a familiar “ghost” idea in this film. No chainsaws, cellar stairs, hockey masks, or more importantly not one previously used scene in it.

10 CLOVERFIELD LANE. What a surprise…the reviews were coming in saying this is a well done, thrill -film from some very  respected reviewers. They’re right, this is an exciting, involving, mysterious, well-acted, suspenseful movie. John Goodman stars as a creepy, misunderstood, possible deviate, who’s locked up a young beautiful woman Mary Elizabeth Winstead to protect her from what is (or isn’t?) outside the underground home-like prison. Great suspense, nicely filmed, believable, just go and have fun. Don’t read anything else about it, you’ll spoil the excitement and puzzlement.

WHERE TO INVADE NEXT. We liberals/progressives tend to think we know everything that Michael Moore has to say in his films…we sure don’t. His Invade film is full of very well thought out political concepts that we overlook constantly. He takes on women’s rights, slavery, college tuition, pregnancy leaves, bankers going to jail, decrominalizing drugs, prison sentences, school lunches, and many more. Moore is way too heavy handed and sinplistic but there are some very tearful and relevant points he makes in this documentary. He delivers the fact that so many great steps in human legal prigress were started way back when in the good ol’ USA!!! See this film. And vote accordingly! (that would be Bernie, naturally).

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

KNIGHT OF CUPS. Terence Malick’s newest “profound”, “deep”, “introspective” film has Christain Bale leading the cast with Cate Blanchett, Natalie Portman, Brian Dennehy all appearing in flashes,with hardly any lines, and rarely even moving the non-plot forward. It’s  series of images, and if there is a story (plot) it’s probably about a very rich screenwriter son relating to his father and figuring out what his lefe means. It’s shot in Santa Monica, Las Vegas and beaches and lots of parties and some strip joints. Much of the dialogue is purposely undecipherable, like the plot. Don’t go unprepared, and I haven’t any idea how to prepare.

HELLO MY NAME IS DORIS. Sally Field is now 70 and plays a empty-headed ditzy senior in this mean spirited good- for- nothing movie. Like “Big Fat Greek Wedding” tries to make a minority group cute, fun and quirky,  Doris the movie, makes fun of seniors.  Yet Sally Field who hasn’t had work in years does a good job with this piece of junk.

WHISKEY, TANGO, FOXTROT. That’s W.T.F. or “W _ _ _ T_ _  FUCK” ? Tina Fey produced this female TV (CNN type) brand- new-novice–war-correspondent goes to Afghanistan movie. Tina faces the Taliban in Pakinstan and Afghanistan and some heavy sexist dealings and manages to get a few laughs in this deadly serious and pointless movie. Tina is actually very good in this mostly serious role. But there really isn’t any reason for you to spend your hard earned money on it.

ALLEGIANT, Part of the Divergent series. This mess got a 10 on Rotten Tomatoes, and deserved about a 2. Shailene Woodley once again leads her group of troopers out of Chicago and you can’t blame her. It’s the future and Chicago has been destroyed by secret nasty people led by Jeff Daniels. Jeff has something to do with altering genomes and making people nutty. The flimsy, thrown together plot is too confusing and too improbable to explain. Just remember that no matter how bad Chicago is in the future, outside the wall that surrounds it…it’s even worse. So’s the movie, don’t go.

EDDIE THE EAGLE. This movie claims it was based on a true heart tugging story. Hugh Jackman plays a big role as Eddie’s coach/friend and now we find out none of that was true.It doesn’t matter if any of this gross, manipulating, saccharine, dulcet, mellifluous,  sugar coated movie is true…it should be made illegal. It’s that sappy. Why Jackman and nasty ol’ Christopher Walken (only at the end) showed up for filming can only be attributed to a need for money. Don’t go…ever. It’s about psychologically challenged Eddie becoming a British ski jumper in t he Olympics.

LONDON HAS FALLEN. Aaron Eckhart as the President of the USA, is barely believable then there’s Morgan Freeman as vice prez. Angela Bassett plays somebody beautiful and Gerard Butler is the prez’s bodyguard. I must admit that in spite of the miserable ratings and critic’s zingers I was really enjoying the first 15 minutes of chase stuff around London. Evil lurkers killed several world leaders in London  and tried very hard to kill our president. It is one awful movie. Extremely bad diaglogue, way heavy and overdone FX…avoid it at all costs (or even free)!!

BREACHING THE  BOTTOM.  DEADPOOL. To be fair Deadpool is a fairly decent movie, because if you’ve followed the Deadpool comic book character for its many years (since 1991) you might relate to this meaningless , pointless, extra violent mess. Deadpool is a reluctant, foul mouthed superhero. If you like superhero/Marvel type graphic heroes, you could like this movie. Deadpool is making millions at the boxoffice.

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,

UNIVERSAL GRAPEVINE RADIO PROGRAM
KZSC  88.1 FM or live online at
www.KZSC.ORG     TUESDAYS 7-8 P.M.

(live only or archived for two weeks… (See next paragraph) and go to WWW.KZSC.ORG. UNIVERSAL GRAPEVINE. Each and every Tuesday from 7:00-8:00 p.m. I host Universal Grapevine on KZSC 88.1 fm. or on your computer, (live only or archived for two weeks…
(See next paragraph) and go to WWW.KZSC.ORG. There’s no Universal G’vine on April 5 because KZSC is broadcasting Robert Reich’s talk at The Rio Theatre live that same night. April 12 has UCSC’s Matthew Lasar talking about his new book, “Radio2.0 : Uploading the 1st Broadcast Medium”. Then Phil Kramer of the Homeless Services Center gives us the scoop on their plans and accomplishments. April 19 has Joan Van Antwerp describing Albee’s play “A Delicate Balance” opening at the Center Stage (4/8-4/23). She’s followed by Laurie King, author of 14 Mary Russell (Mrs. Sherlock Holmes) mysteries detailing her Bookshop Santa Cruz new book signing on April 20.


This is a little longer than stuff I normall post, but OMG, is it ever neat! Seriously, check this out 🙂

Andrew Austin tells us about UCSC’s latest development plans on April 26. Followed by The Reel Work Film Festival people. The bi-annual KZSC Pledge Drive happens May 3 with County Supervisor John Leopold co-hosting and May 10. On May 17 Brian Spencer from the See Theatre talks about T. McNally’s play, “Mothers and Sons“. He’s followed by Becky Steinbruner discussing Aptos issues and the legal measures in her lawsuit. Anita Monga artistic Director of the San Francisco Silent Film Festival (21st Year) returns May 24. Mark Wainer, Judy Johnson talk about the Community of Artists show on May 31st. The Short Story Winners from Bookshop Santa Cruz take over the June 14 program. Do remember, any and all suggestions for future programs are more than welcome so tune in, and keep listening. Email me always and only at bratton@cruzio.com   

NEW UNIVERSAL GRAPEVINE ARCHIVE FEATURE. Stuff changes at KZSC a lot. If you missed either of the last two weeks of Universal Grapevine broadcasts go herehttp://www.radiofreeamerica.com/dj/bruce-bratton You have to listen to about 4 minutes of that week’s KPFA news first, then Grapevine happens.

UNIVERSAL GRAPEVINE ARCHIVES. In case you missed some of the great people I’ve interviewed in the last 9 years here’s a chronological list of some past broadcasts.  Such a wide range of folks such as  Nikki Silva, Michael Warren, Tom Noddy, UCSC Chancellor George Blumenthal, 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 S wanger, Chelsea Juarez…and that’s just since January 2011.

QUOTES.  “WATER”

“For whatever we lose (like a you or a me), It’s always our self we find in the sea.” e.e. cummings

“Water does not resist. Water flows. When you plunge your hand into it, all you feel is a caress. Water is not a solid wall, it will not stop you. But water always goes where it wants to go, and nothing in the end can stand against it. Water is patient. Dripping water wears away a stone. Remember that, my child. Remember you are half water. If you can’t go through an obstacle, go around it. Water does.” Margaret Atwood

“You can’t cross the sea merely by standing and staring at the water”. Rabindranath Tagore

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Snail Mail: Bratton Online
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BEST OF VINTAGE STEVEN DeCINZO.

Deep Cover by Tim Eagan.

Posted in Weekly Articles | 1 Comment

March 28 – April 3, 2016

OUR WIDE PACIFIC AVENUE JUNE 1964. This is looking North from about where the Metro Station is now. Yes, it’s the Miss California Parade. Mostly the photo is to remind all of us that none of the buildings on Pacific have ever been moved closer than they were back then. In the name of beauty, but mostly greed, we’ve narrowed the Avenue from the FOUR lanes you see here to the barely two lanes we still have on a few blocks.                                                    

photo credit: Covello & Covello Historical photo collection.

Additional information always welcome: email photo@brattononline.com

DATELINE March 28, 2016

CITY DESTROYS PEOPLES GARDEN. Cynthia Mathews (Queen Regnant) and her well-trained, subserviant city council once again has bowed and bent over forward to the power of the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk also known as Charlie Canfield’s  Seaside Corporation. Last Thursday March 24 bulldozers tore up the Beach Flat Gardens. So far I have seen only one color photo in the Sentinel, no article, no words, no reporting at all of this cruel and approved deed. Michael Gasser of the Beach Flats Community Garden Coalition wrote this NEWS release…

City Bulldozes Agreement With Beach Flats Gardeners

For Immediate Release: March 24, 2016

Contact: Michael Gasser
bfgc.outreach@gmail.com
(812-219-2296)

A bulldozer rumbled into the Beach Flats Garden early Thursday morning, tearing out mature fruit trees and nopales plants that city staff had earlier promised would not be touched, and damaging an already strained relationship between the City and community. Parks workers ripped out stakes and string marking out garden plots that had earlier been marked out by parks workers and gardeners. An orange plastic fence dividing the community garden from land to be taken over by the Seaside Company was moved some 30 feet back from the line originally promised to the gardeners.

If this action is allowed to stand, a total of 5 garden plots originally promised to the gardeners under a 3 year lease agreement will be ceded back to the Seaside Company, including one that  would have served as a children’s learning garden. The Seaside Company had previously committed to leasing 60% of the garden and this change would be going back on that agreement.

When contacted by garden advocates, interim Parks and Recreation director Mauro Garcia claimed the destruction of fruit trees and other plants was a ” mistake” due to “miscommunication.” Emilio Martínez Castañeda, a longtime gardener involved in the talks with city staff, was appalled by the destruction and blatant violation of trust on the part of Garcia. ” The city is going back on their word by moving the fence and removing plots,” Don Emilio said, through a translator. “As for the fruit trees, Mauro’s asking for forgiveness, but what good is forgiveness after they’ve been destroyed?” Garden advocate Irene O’Connell expressed disbelief that the destruction was the result of “miscommunication.” Frankly, I feel it’s an insult to be asked to believe that,” said O’Connell. “The latest actions make it apparent that the city never had any intention of true collaboration with the gardeners”.

Former Santa Cruz Mayor and city councilmember Chris Krohn wrote this… This is incredibly bad news I feel compelled to share with you. The City of Santa Cruz, led by an interim out of control parks and rec director, Mauro Garcia,  and Charles Canfield, aka Seaside Co./Boardwalk has bulldozed fruit trees and other plants at the Beach Flats Community Garden that they had previously said they would not touch. It is considerably more than the 40% they initially said they were going to take back. But more importantly, they had worked out an agreement with the gardeners not to bulldoze or take out any trees, nor take out fruit trees in particular until they had been harvested this year…but, they lied and came in this past week and clear cut the garden. Please let city officials (below) know that this is not acceptable. It breaks an agreement and brings real hardship to the gardeners. With hope that we can preserve this community garden…

Don’t Mourn — Organize! Here’s what you can do:

  1. Share this post from our website on social media: https://wp.me/p6voYt-BH
  2. If you are on twitter, tweet your thoughts to  @beachboardwalk,  @CityofSantaCruz and @jardindelaplaya, include #savethejardin
  3. Call Seaside Company representatives and ask them if they approved the bulldozing of trees and going back on the promise to lease 60% of the garden. Emphasize that the Beach Flats Community Garden needs a permanent home!
NTL. Geographic NATURE MATERIAL. From my Florida cousin Dean Hagen again. Just some gorgeous (probably photoshopped) perfect photos.

KRESGE RUINATION…NOT NEW NEWS…. Last week I wrote about what I thought was a secret plot that UCSC had about basically knocking down the architectural award winning Kresge college., so they could add lots more beds for the announced 600 new students they expect. Then I found in my collection of City On The Hill Presses an excellent article by Georgia Johnson in the February 26, 2016 City O.T.H. It’s titled “Campus expansion slated for Kresge, Porter meadow and Family Student Housing” Read it here…

ELECTION YEAR FUN-RAISER. The Peoples Democratic Club (PDC) is having a big Fun-raiser at the Live Oak Grange on 17th Avenue Saturday April 9 at 3 p.m. Supervisor Zach Friend and PDC Vice-president Nora Hochman are emcees. And music by Dr. Chris Ring. They’re having three partially crazy contests…

  1. Best Dressed County Supervisor
  2. Worst nightmare candidate of 2016
  3. Best next U.S. President.

There’s also going to be awards given to… Desal Alternatives for Achievement of The Year…Sherry Conable, Steve Pleich, Mathilde Rand and Gail Williamson for Unsung Heroes Award. I’m proud to announce that I’m being awarded  th e first ever Tom Scribner Award. Which most certainly is not for my Musical Saw playing, which I’ve almost given up entirely. Donation at the door. For more information call 465-8272. Of course I’ll see you there.

SANDY LYDON’S CENTRAL COAST SECRETS. If you’re new around here and don’t want to feel new, check out author, teacher, historian- non pariel Sandy Lydon’s website. It lists all the trips and tours and he throws in deep dark secrets about our local history. He’s got Santa Cruz County tours happening in April and May and another of his nearly notorious China tours happening in October. Go here…you’ll see

Mr. Paul Elerick of Aptos writes…

 LOUIS La FORTUNE

We lost one of the best last week.  Louis La Fortune was a friend to everybody who knew him, and he’ll never be replaced.  His memorial was attended by a standing-room-crowd at the Live Oak Grange, and hosted by his wonderful family that included his wife Nancy, daughter Chloe, and Louis’ four sisters and a son in law.  I’m sure there were many others who helped.  We learned a lot about Louis’s life growing up in Chicago right up to his second career teaching at New School in Watsonville. It would have been wonderful to see all this on Community TV, where Louis spent many years producing and hosting the Voices from the Village TV show.  I had the honor of being on his show a couple of times, scared at first but quickly put to ease and enjoyed every minute of it.  Those speaking at the Memorial shared their experiences with this great man. I’m sure I wasn’t the only one who saw the Monarch butterfly make a pass over the crowd as the family, one by one took the mike and shared stories. A nice touch, Louis.  We are all going to miss you.

(Paul Elerick is a member of, and former co-chair of the Campaign for Sensible Transportation, http://sensibletransportation.org . He’s a current member of Nisene to Sea, a group of mid-county citizens committed to maintaining an open hiking trail from Cabrillo College to Nisene Marks State Park

MONKEY BARS LOSE: MONKEY BUSINESS CONTINUES.

A victory is rare. Therefore, I will save the follow-up on the Wharf Master Plan for next week. The deadline for comments on the Initial Study for the Wharf Master Plan is April 12th. Access the Initial Study here: http://www.cityofsantacruz.com/home/showdocument?id=51323

Thanks to all who took the time to email the City Council with your opposition to the gym equipment proposed for West Cliff Drive. Those 28 emails and the almost 50 signatures on the petition opposing the structure handily outweighed the 5 emails in support. Other than staff, the lone voice and vote in support of placing the equipment on West Cliff came from Mayor Cynthia Mathews. If there had been no monkey business involved, then a paragraph would suffice to share the good news regarding this relatively small issue. What are not so small issues are staff’s misrepresentations of fact for the appeal and failure to follow the code, and the Mayor’s manipulation of the appeal process to favor her position. These warrant scrutiny.

According to the staff report and delivered orally at the hearing by planning staff, Mr. Reed Searle’s appeal, they said, centered on whether the par course equipment fit the definition of “recreation.” His appeal made no mention of such an obviously ridiculous question (of course a piece of gym equipment fits the definition of recreation!) The appeal outlined 3 major issues: that the 8 foot high par course equipment was in violation of Permitted Uses in the Shoreline Protection Overlay District which does not allow structures other than handrails and staircases; that any decisions on any recreation equipment should wait for the Parks Master Plan and West Cliff Drive Master Plan; that par course equipment would negatively affect the ambience of West Cliff Drive and disrupt views between the Drive and the ocean. One can only surmise that the misrepresentation of the appeal by staff was an attempt to throw council off track.

Cynthia Mathews has been on council long enough to know the proper procedure for an appeal. First is a presentation by the applicant, in this case the city; followed by the appellant for 15 minutes; followed by public comment; followed by a 5 minute appellant rebuttal to any new information; followed by council deliberation and vote. Council can ask questions at any time. This appeal had a different order, one that is unprecedented in my years of council experience. The City Planning staff led off with their presentation followed by Mr. Reed Searle, the appellant, after which the Mayor said, “I think we give staff a chance to rebut any points that were brought up here.” Parks staff then gave an additional presentation with power point and comments. All stacked in the direction favored by the Mayor. In the end it made no difference except to erode trust in the Mayor’s role.  

Surprisingly, senior staff attended the hearing, which is somewhat unusual for a small item. The acting director of Parks and Recreation talked about how the community loves to exercise and these days, people don’t like exercising in gyms; the senior Parks planner talked about trade journals and the need for more par courses; the Planning director tried to skirt the Principal Permitted Uses issue, saying the proposed structure is compatible with what’s allowed, which it isn’t. I thought they all looked and sounded a bit depressed which is probably what happens when you are used to manipulating the facts to achieve your goal with the expectation that no one will notice.  Finally, council member Don Lane, while not seeing this issue as something to get worked up about, recognized there is some ordinance language that says this is not a permitted use, that the council is a quasi- judicial hearing body and he didn’t see the opportunity to get around that one. Council member David Terrazas, in support of the par course talked about “activating space in a positive way” but agreed there was a process involved, so he made the motion to uphold the appeal and “fold” the issue back into the Parks Master Plan. Gone for now but not forgotten”..

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

PATTON’S PROGRAM. Gary Patton reads and writes his KUSP Land Use Report…

The Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commissionis also planning for a ballot measure. The SCCRTC, better known as the “Transportation Commission,” calls its proposed tax measure a “Transportation Improvement Plan.” The Santa Cruz County Transportation Commission is also shooting for a “compromise” mix of spending proposals. There are funds for a “Rail Trail,” and funds for local street improvements, and some funds for widening projects to address congestion on Highway One. So far, the Santa Cruz County proposal hasn’t reached a final “compromise” status. The Campaign for Sensible Transportation, in particular, doesn’t think that widening Highway One would be either a good “investment,” or any actual “improvement.” If you care, stay tuned and keep reading!

“We Are Aptos” has litigation on its mind!

I try to keep abreast of what’s happening in the land use arena around the entirety of the Monterey Bay Region. There is almost always something interesting in the works, or in the wings, and I try to pick a few of the most stimulating and important items to feature on these very brief land use reports, presented here on KUSP. My on the air comments do have to be brief, so I encourage listeners to check out the additional information available at kusp.org/landuse. In today’s blog posting, I have a link to an official court document, a complaint filed in the Santa Cruz County Superior Court by a group called “We Are Aptos.” This group charges Santa Cruz County with approving a final subdivision map for the Aptos Village Project without doing necessary environmental analysis, and without making sure that the promises of the developer, made in connection with gaining project approval, will actually be delivered by the project as constructed.  If you care about the future of Aptos, I think you might like to check out this complaint. Here’s what We Are Aptos says about its reason for filing the lawsuit: “This lawsuit is not intended to stop the development of the Aptos Village Project, but is … intended to ensure that all amenities and other Project components are implemented as promised.”

Read the complete scripts of the above at Gary Patton’s KUSP Land Use site http://blogs.kusp.org/landuse. Gary is a former Santa Cruz County Supervisor (20 years) and an attorney who represents indivuduals and community groups on land use and environmental issues. The opinions expressed are Mr. Patton’s. Gary has his own website, Two Worlds/365” – www.gapatton.net

CLASSICAL DeCINZO. De Cinzo presents an annual stage tragedy scroll downwards..

EAGAN’S DEEP COVER. Eagan’s concept of a fearsome three…see below…

SANTA CRUZ BAROQUE FESTIVAL.The Festival presents their fifth concert in this season…FIVE FANTASTIC FLUTES. They say,Come get your Louis the 15th on! Boismortier was the first composer in history to write for the unique combination of five solo baroque flutes. The program also includes the popular London Trios by Joseph Haydn written in 1794. This performance features the entire flute section of the Philharmonia Baroque OrchestraStephen Schultz, Janet See and Mindy Rosenfeld – joined by Bay Area flutists Lars Johannesson and Alissa Roedig, with Amy Brodo on cello.
Sunday April 3 at 4:00pm Holy Cross Church , 210 High Street, Santa Cruz.

Tickets probably/maybe at the door or ? 831-457-9693 ? E-mail ? P.O. Box 482 ? Santa Cruz, CA 95061.

APTOS KEYBOARD SERIES & APRIL 3RD. CONCERT. On Sunday, April 3, at 3 pm at Saint Andrew Presbyterian Church, 9850 Monroe Avenue, Aptos, the Aptos Keyboard Series will present the highly acclaimed 25-year-old Russian pianist Daria Kiseleva. Program Mozart: Allegro in B-flat Major, K.400 (1781) Rachmaninoff: Variations on a Theme of Corelli (1931) Intermission Ravel: Gaspard de la Nuit (1908) Ginastera: Danzas Argentinas (1937) All concert proceeds go to the artist. For more information or advance tickets please call Josef Sekon, Artistic Director of the Aptos Keyboard Series (831) 685 9169.

NATIONAL THEATRE LIVE’S “THE HANGMEN”. National Theatre Live has been bringing us the best live theatre in the world right to the Del Mar. “The Hangmen” following a sell-out run at London’s Royal Court Theatre, Olivier and Academy Award® winner Martin McDonagh (The Pillowman, The Cripple of Inishmaan, In Bruges) returns to the Del Mar with Matthew Dunster’s award-winning production of his deeply funny new play Hangmen, broadcast live to cinemas by National Theatre Live. In his small pub in the northern English town of Oldham, Harry (David Morrissey – The Walking Dead, State of Play) is something of a local celebrity. But what’s the second-best hangman in England to do on the day they’ve abolished hanging? Amongst the cub reporters and pub regulars dying to hear Harry’s reaction to the news, his old assistant Syd (Andy Nyman – Peaky Blinders, Death at a Funeral) and the peculiar Mooney (Johnny Flynn – Clouds of Sils Maria) lurk with very different motives for their visit. It plays March 31 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday April 3 at 11 a.m.

VAN ANTWERP THEATRE COMPANY. Presents Edward Albee’s “A Delicate Balance” It’s Coming April 7 to Center Stage at 1001 Center Street, Santa Cruz. Wikipedia says, “A Delicate Balance” is a play by Edward Albee. It premiered in 1966  and won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1967, the first of three he received for his work. The uneasy existence of upper-middle-class suburbanites Agnes and Tobias and their permanent houseguest, Agnes’ witty alcoholic sister Claire, is disrupted by the sudden appearance of lifelong family friends Harry and Edna, fellow empty nesters with free-floating anxiety, who ask to stay with them to escape an unnamed terror. They soon are followed by Agnes and Tobias’s bitter 36-year-old daughter Julia, who returns home following the collapse of her fourth marriage. It stars Ali Eppy, Susan Forrest, Ann McCormick. Brian Spencer, Janine Theodore, and Frank Widman, 4/7 @ 7:30p, plus 4/8, 9,14,15, 16,17, 22, 23. Tickets: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/2514775  

LISA JENSEN LINKS. Lisa writes: “It’s all about books and food, this week at Lisa Jensen Online Express (http://ljo-express.blogspot.com). My new novel takes one big step closer to publication, and I finally figured out how to upload my cool book trailer for Alias Hook that I promised a few weeks ago! Then discover the world, one meal at a time, in the fascinating foodie doc, City of Gold.” Lisa has been writing film reviews and columns for Good Times since 1975.

TO SEE OR NOT TO SEE

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

THE WAVE.This subtitled,well-acted, disaster film from Norway is excellent. It’ll keep you absolutely glued to the screen, and you’ll be in constant wonder as it takes some unusual twists and plot turns (especially for a disaster film).Films like The Tower, San Andreas, Cave In, Avalanche and Towering Inferno all have so many scenes in common. More than that, good disaster films keep you thinking about “what Would I do”? The Wave has all of that and just a little bit of Hollywood at the end. See it on the biggest screen possible. The way it shows a tourist town being flooded will make you wonder if Santa Cruz has ever taken tsunami’s and their danger very seriously??

HELLO MY NAME IS DORIS. Sally Field is now 70 and plays a empty-headed ditzy senior in this mean spirited good- for- nothing movie. Like “Big Fat Greek Wedding” tries to make a minority group cute, fun and quirky,  Doris the movie, makes fun of seniors.  Yet Sally Field who hasn’t had work in years does a good job with this piece of junk.

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

EMBRACE OF THE SERPENT. One of my maybe top 3 films from 2015. It also has a 99% from Rotten Tomatoes. This was Colombia’s best foreign film entry for the Oscars…it shoulda won! Filmed along the Amazon. It’s two separate stories of scientists exploring the jungles for certain rare plants. It’s really about how “whites” have ruined, killed, destroyed,the peoples and the environment as they stoled the rubber and lumber. There’s a very clear message for all of us here, today. (subtitled)

THE VVITCH. That’s not a “w” in “Witch”, for some unexplained reason the film always uses 2 capital v’s in the title.  This completely deadily serious film does a fine job of creating and keeping a very scary mood throughout the whole piece. It’s set in 1630 New England centering on a family just off the boat from the old country. Perfect acting, perfect sets, the Brit/New England accents are hard to follow at times. There isn’t a familiar “ghost” idea in this film. No chainsaws, cellar stairs, hockey masks, or more importantly not one previously used scene in it.

10 CLOVERFIELD LANE. What a surprise…the reviews were coming in saying this is a well done, thrill -film from some very  respected reviewers. They’re right, this is an exciting, involving, mysterious, well-acted, suspenseful movie. John Goodman stars as a creepy, misunderstood, possible deviate, who’s locked up a young beautiful woman Mary Elizabeth Winstead to protect her from what is (or isn’t?) outside the underground home-like prison. Great suspense, nicely filmed, believable, just go and have fun. Don’t read anything else about it, you’ll spoil the excitement and puzzlement.

WHERE TO INVADE NEXT. We liberals/progressives tend to think we know everything that Michael Moore has to say in his films…we sure don’t. His Invade film is full of very well thought out political concepts that we overlook constantly. He takes on women’s rights, slavery, college tuition, pregnancy leaves, bankers going to jail, decrominalizing drugs, prison sentences, school lunches, and many more. Moore is way too heavy handed and sinplistic but there are some very tearful and relevant points he makes in this documentary. He delivers the fact that so many great steps in human legal prigress were started way back when in the good ol’ USA!!! See this film. And vote accordingly! (that would be Bernie, naturally).

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

KNIGHT OF CUPS. Terence Malick’s newest “profound”, “deep”, “introspective” film has

Christain Bale leading the cast with Cate Blanchett, Natalie Portman, Brian Dennehy all appearing in flashes,with hardly any lines, and rarely even moving the non-plot forward. It’s  series of images, and if there is a story (plot) it’s probably about a very rich screenwriter son relating to his father and figuring out what his lefe means. It’s shot in Santa Monica, Las Vegas and beaches and lots of parties and some strip joints. Much of the dialogue is purposely undecipherable, like the plot. Don’t go unprepared, and I haven’t any idea how to prepare.

WHISKEY, TANGO, FOXTROT. That’s W.T.F. or “W _ _ _ T_ _  FUCK” ? Tina Fey produced this female TV (CNN type) brand- new-novice–war-correspondent goes to Afghanistan movie. Tina faces the Taliban in Pakinstan and Afghanistan and some heavy sexist dealings and manages to get a few laughs in this deadly serious and pointless movie. Tina is actually very good in this mostly serious role. But there really isn’t any reason for you to spend your hard earned money on it.

ALLEIGIANT, Part of the Divergent series. This mess got a 10 on Rotten Tomatoes, and deserved about a 2. Shailene Woodley once again leads her group of troopers out of Chicago and you can’t blame her. It’s the future and Chicago has been destroyed by secret nasty people led by Jeff Daniels. Jeff has something to do with altering genomes and making people nutty. The flimsy, thrown together plot is too confusing and too improbable to explain. Just remember that no matter how bad Chicago is in the future, outside the wall that surrounds it…it’s even worse. So’s the movie, don’t go.

EDDIE THE EAGLE. This movie claims it was based on a true heart tugging story. Hugh Jackman plays a big role as Eddie’s coach/friend and now we find out none of that was true.It doesn’t matter if any of this gross, manipulating, saccharine, dulcet, mellifluous,  sugar coated movie is true…it should be made illegal. It’s that sappy. Why Jackman and nasty ol’ Christopher Walken (only at the end) showed up for filming can only be attributed to a need for money. Don’t go…ever. It’s about psychologically challenged Eddie becoming a British ski jumper in the Olympics.

LONDON HAS FALLEN. Aaron Eckhart as the President of the USA, is barely believable then there’s Morgan Freeman as vice prez. Angela Bassett plays somebody beautiful and Gerard Butler is the prez’s bodyguard. I must admit that in spite of the miserable ratings and critic’s zingers I was really enjoying the first 15 minutes of chase stuff around London. Evil lurkers killed several world leaders in London  and tried very hard to kill our president. It is one awful movie. Extremely bad diaglogue, way heavy and overdone FX…avoid it at all costs (or even free)!!

BREACHING THE  BOTTOM.  DEADPOOL. To be fair Deadpool is a fairly decent movie, because if you’ve followed the Deadpool comic book character for its many years (since 1991) you might relate to this meaningless , pointless, extra violent mess. Deadpool is a reluctant, foul mouthed superhero. If you like superhero/Marvel type graphic heroes, you could like this movie. Deadpool is making millions at the boxoffice.

UNIVERSAL GRAPEVINE RADIO PROGRAM
KZSC  88.1 FM or live online at
www.KZSC.ORG     TUESDAYS 7-8 P.M.

UNIVERSAL GRAPEVINE. Each and every Tuesday from 7:00-8:00 p.m. I host Universal Grapevine on KZSC 88.1 fm. or on your computer, (live only or archived for two weeks… (See next paragraph) and go to WWW.KZSC.ORG. Michel Singher talks about the next concert of the Espressivo Orchestra on March 29. He’s followed by Jack Nelson relating the purposes and achievements of the Campaign For Sensible Transportation. There’s no Universal G’vine on April 5 because KZSC is broadcasting Robert Reich’s talk at The Rio Theatre live that same night. April 12 has UCSC’s Matthew Lasar talking about his new book, “Radio2.0 : Uploading the 1st Broadcast Medium”. Then Phil Kramer of the Homeless Services Center gives us the scoop on their plans and accomplishments. April 19 has Joan Van Antwerp describing Albee’s play “A Delicate Balance” opening at the Center Stage (4/8-4/23). She’s followed by Laurie King, author of 14 Mary Russell (Mrs. Sherlock Holmes) mysteries detailing her Bookshop Santa Cruz new book signing on April 20. Andrew Austin tells us about UCSC’s latest development plans on April 26. Followed by The Reel Work Film Festival people. The bi-annual KZSC Pledge Drive happens May 3 and May 10. On May 17 Brian Spencer from the See Theatre talks about T. McNally’s play, “Mothers and Sons“. He’s followed by Becky Steinbruner discussing Aptos issues and the legal measures in her lawsuit. 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   

This is Sanders linguistically, not politically 🙂 Being a non-native speaker of English, I find accents (and language in general) fascinating!

NEW UNIVERSAL GRAPEVINE ARCHIVE FEATURE. Stuff changes at KZSC a lot. If you missed either of the last two weeks of Universal Grapevine broadcasts go herehttp://www.radiofreeamerica.com/dj/bruce-bratton You have to listen to about 4 minutes of that week’s KPFA news first, then Grapevine happens.

UNIVERSAL GRAPEVINE ARCHIVES. In case you missed some of the great people I’ve interviewed in the last 9 years here’s a chronological list of some past broadcasts.  Such a wide range of folks such as  Nikki Silva, Michael Warren, Tom Noddy, UCSC Chancellor George Blumenthal, 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, Da n Harder on Santa Cruz City Museum. Sara Wilbourne on Santa Cruz Ballet Theatre. Brian Spencer on SEE Theatre Co. Paula Kenyon and Karen Massaro on MAH and Big Creek Pottery. Carolyn Burke on Edith Piaf. Peggy Dolgenos on Cruzio. Julie James on Jewel Theatre Company. Then there’s Pat Matejcek on environment, Nancy Abrams and Joel Primack on the Universe plus Nina Simon from MAH, Rob Slawinski, Gary Bascou, Judge Paul Burdick, John Brown Childs, Ellen Kimmel, Don Williams, Kinan Valdez, Ellen Murtha, John Leopold, Karen Kefauver, Chip Lord, Judy Bouley, Rob Sean Wilson, Ann Simonton, Lori Rivera, Sayaka Yabuki, Chris Kinney, Celia and Peter Scott, Chris Krohn, David Swanger, Chelsea Juarez…and that’s just since January 2011.

QUOTES.

“The air soft as that of Seville in April, and so fragrant that it was delicious to breathe it”. Christopher Columbus.
“Men are April when they woo, December when they wed. Maids are May when they are maids, but the sky changes when they are wives”. William Shakespeare
“Here cometh April again, and as far as I can see the world hath more fools in it than ever”. Charles Lamb

COLUMN COMMUNICATIONS.

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BEST OF VINTAGE STEVEN DeCINZO.

Deep Cover by Tim Eagan.

Posted in Weekly Articles | Comments Off on March 28 – April 3, 2016

March 21 – 27, 2016

PACIFIC AVENUE DOWNTOWN SANTA CRUZ. January 29,1963. This is Pacific and Cathcart where Old School Shoes is now and where Taqueria Vallarta used to be and Five Guys Burgers is going in. Please note cars parked on BOTH sides of the Avenue, and plenty of room for at least two way traffic. NO STORES HAVE BEEN MOVED SINCE THEN. Now we want to add Parklettes? Restrict it to one way traffic? Somehow these changes are supposed to attract more business?  

photo credit: Covello & Covello Historical photo collection.

Additional information always welcome: email photo@brattononline.com

DATELINE March 21, 2016

UCSC’S SECRET BUILDING PLANS. Back in the early days UCSC was referred to as “Uncle Charlie’s Summer Camp” now it’s Unfairly Crowded Student Campus or UCSC.

Times are really bad even desparate for students attending right now at UCSC. With tuition so sky high and required classes too full to admit the students who need those classes to graduate, many leave without graduating because they can’t afford to stay…and that’s tragic. UCSC administration has doubled and tripled bed space so much that students can’t study in their rooms and try to study in the library…but the library is so crowded there aren’t enough seats. That too is a shame on our State University. Note too that UCSC wants to admit 600 more new students. The admin isn’t sending them to UC Merced, nope – jam them into UCSC !!!

With plans to develop the area North of campus with 3 million square feet of buildings UCSC is now mapping, surveying and plotting to develop West Campus, That’s Kresge College, the Porter Cave area, the famed 420 West Meadow (that’ll attract 10-20,000 folks next month on April 20). UCSC is right now boring test holes in Porter Meadow, they are cutting trees, planning to eliminate the age old Trailer Park (long time traditional student dwelling). And the building of Colleges 11 and 12…all on the West side of campus. Right now most of the  students aren’t  aware of what’s going on. As usual, UCSC Administration will race this development all through the summer when there are fewer students to see the environmental and scholastic changes. BUT other students are aware and we’ll be hearing more from them soon. The largest question is how did California ever start allowing our once great University system to turn into this unfair monster?

ABOUT THE CHANCELLOR’S HOUSE. The Chancellor’s House is also known as the University House…and last week I suggested that just maybe since the Chancellor lives over the hill and commutes, that the house could be converted into about 30 student residences. Since then I’ve been informed that… “Effective Nov. 3, 2015  UC Santa Cruz has closed the University House, built in 1967, after determining that the campus will need to make immediate and significant repairs and improvements to have it meet modern standards”. Then it says, “A committee formed this past summer is evaluating the University House to see how it might better meet the needs of the university both as a residence and as a venue for events”. Let’s all guess what that means. By the way, let’s see a show of hands…who remembers the more than  $100,000 dog house and dog run that one of the Chancellors had built in the University House backyard??

OUR TRAFFIC TRAGEDY. The Campaign For Sensible Transportation sent this message…

Slash METRO Service And Spend $100 mil. on Highway 1?
Due to declining state support, Metro is facing a $6.5 million per year deficit. A portion of a proposed sales tax measure for the November ballot would reduce that deficit by $2.2 million. That’s not enough to prevent serious cuts in Metro service. Meanwhile the Regional Transportation Commission (RTC) proposes to spend over $100 million in the sales tax measure on widening Highway 1, a downpayment on a larger highway construction project that Caltrans has estimated will have a “very slight improvement in traffic congestion”.

The Campaign for Sensible Transportation sent the following letter to the Boards of Metro and the RTC.

We believe that the current budgetary crisis at Metro calls for our leaders to step up to the challenge of prioritizing public transit in our County. Thus far, the Metro Board’s response to budgetary constraints is to create a service reduction plan. What we need is a Transit First Policy such as was adopted by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors in 1973. If our community can decide to make public transit a priority, the long-term economic, social, and environmental benefits to our community will be profound.

The following are two steps that you can take immediately in your role as elected leaders to prioritize transit and reduce the need for Metro service cuts.

1. Increase Metro’s portion of the transportation sales tax for November, 2016. The 15% of the revenue allocated to Metro is inadequate. It would reduce Metro’s $6.5 million annual deficit by $2.2 million. To gut Metro service at the same time as allocating funds for an ineffectual widening of Highway 1 worsens social inequity in our County. This runs counter to our deeply held community value for social justice. The EIR on the Highway 1 projects estimates that the congestion relief for the proposed TSM Alternative will be “very slight”. The TSM Alternative is a much larger project than the widening project envisioned in the proposed sales tax measure. So there is no credible evidence that the smaller highway project that could be funded by the sales tax measure will have any measurable impact on traffic congestion.

2. Implement a plan for comprehensive Transportation Demand Management that includes free or discounted employee bus passes. For example, UCSC provides bus passes for employees for $10 per month. We urge you to campaign for a similar program at all large employers in the County as well as all businesses in Downtown Santa Cruz where bus passes could be funded by the Downtown Parking District.”. Get in touch with the Campaign and send emails to the RTC. Also note there will be a Metro Board Meeting, Mar 25, 8:30am: Presentation of Metro service reduction plan at the Santa Cruz City Council Chambers.

ERRETT CIRCLE. Most of the folks around Walk Circle (aka Errett Circle) are having an issue with the Garfield Park (new name) Church across the street.  “The new pastor since mid- to late 2015 is attempting to “clean up” the neighborhood. The Circle neighbors like the neighborhood as it is now. In addition to painting the church, he has installed about 20+ high intensity mercury vapor flood lamps around the perimeter of the building and in the courtyard. These lights are illuminating most of the houses on the circle all night long.  They’ve tried to talk to him and he’s been defensive concerning their installation but finally promised he would install shields (12/15/15). The neighbors have sent him mails and letters which go unanswered.  Talk around the Circle is that he has no intention of doing anything and thinks we’ll “get used to them” NOT! In desperation, one neighbor reported the situation to city code enforcement, and they responded promptly. He (the pastor) bamboozled them into thinking that he was installing them immediately (2 weeks ago).  If you’re in the neighborhood some evening, take a drive and check them out.  Almost like having our bedrooms lit up like a football field”. That was almost word for word what one neighbor/friend sent to me this week. Let’s see what happens. I’ll keep you informed.

MY NEW iPHONE & APPLE. Never in a million years would I have imagined that the Apple Corporation would be the easiest, nicest, most patient manufacturer I’ve ever dealt with. I’ve now had my Apple iPhone 6 plus for 8 days. It’s my first cell phone. In that week I’ve had two free one-on-one half hour sessions and a free Apple workshop in Los Gatos that lasted 2 and a half hours. It was extra long because of some extra linkage details to Cruzio, my ISP. Cruzio’s Chris Neklason was of enormous help too. iPhones are full of tools, treats, and services I never knew existed…and Apple does an amazing job of making sure you know how to use as much of it as you choose. Imagine Comcast coming to your house (free) and showing you how to use your hookup. Think about a new car dealer giving you free lessons on your new car features, think about any new purchase of a device that was complicated…get any help? I’m just impressed with Apple, that’s all and I’ve scheduled two more sessions this week. More than that, near the end of my Los Gatos workshop session at the Apple Store, in walks Rita Wadsworth so I knew I was still on this earth.

SIMPLY BEAUTIFUL (NOT PROFOUND, NOT DEEP OR HEAVY, JUST BEAUTIFUL) PHOTOS FROM MY COUNSIN DEAN.

Click here to see a gorgeous slide show of pictures from all over the world.

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

HONOLULU AND OAHU TRAFFIC.

Just returned from 10 day stay in Hawaii. All 10 days on Oahu.  Sharon and I used to visit this island at least once a year since 1986 mostly to enjoy the beaches and visit my brother and his family. My, how things have changed, traffic wise, since that first visit.  The main freeway artery, the H1, goes from downtown Honolulu to the west side of the island, and in 1986 it was already crammed with cars. Leaping ahead to 2016 there are now long stretches of 10 lanes of H1, and you guessed it, all crammed with cars during rush hour.  Want to drive up to the North Shore and see the rest of Oahu?  Be prepared for a few hours on the weekend crawling along on a two-lane highway that hasn’t changed much since 1956, my first U.S. Navy duty station in Wahiawa. 

There have been mitigation measures, like their “zipper lanes” that move a divider into the lanes that are going this opposite way during commute hours.  They have under construction a light rail system that will basically parallel the H1.  Road beds are built and stations are under construction, but the residents remain skeptical if the rail line will ever be completed due to project slippages.  My guess is that it will, and be heavily used. 

Honolulu has a great bus transit system.  You can get to and from the airport on the bus, straight to the hotels.  A yearly bus pass for seniors is $30. Many seniors on the staff at the hotel I stay at don’t own cars, eliminating that cost and having to pay for parking. 

Sounds like something like that should be workable here?

(Paul Elerick is a member of, and former co-chair of the Campaign for Sensible Transportation, http://sensibletransportation.org . He’s a current member of Nisene to Sea, a group of mid-county citizens committed to maintaining an open hiking trail from Cabrillo College to Nisene Marks State Park.

GREENSITE’S INSIGHT. Gillian writes…

THE MUNICIPAL WHARF’S FUTURE?

The comment period for the environmental review of the Santa Cruz Wharf Master Plan ends on April 12th. Not surprising if you are unaware the comment period had even started. Little publicity has been afforded this project, which will result in a distinctly different, made-over wharf. The Mitigated Negative Declaration (MND) is worthy of your careful scrutiny and comment. The city and its consultants are probably hoping you won’t.

I admit to a preference for the current wharf in all its funky, fish-stained historical appeal. I understand that others may welcome the upscale, gentrified, design-coordinated makeover. All of us however should be concerned with the omissions and assumptions that underlie much of the MND. The document can be found at: (here)  Amidst all the feel good rhetoric and assurances of “no impacts”, “less than significant impacts” or “mitigated significant impact reduced to less than significant” is a troubling omission. The viewing holes for the sea lions are perhaps the biggest draw for visitors. Their delighted exclamations at the first sighting of these protected marine mammals always makes me smile and reflect on how fortunate we are to live here and take such sights for granted. The sea lion viewing holes are gone in the new wharf project. Nor is there any mention of their replacement, either in the MND or the equally long Wharf Master Plan.

What we will have at the end of the wharf is a 45 foot-high warehouse-style building to replicate the original building from the early days when the wharf was a commercial fishing enterprise. This is one of three such large buildings proposed. In the words of the consultants: “new civic-spirited buildings are proposed that are punctuations in the built form of the Wharf as well as in the activity pattern to enrich and expand the visitor experience.” page 27 Wharf Master Plan. Each of these three new buildings of 45 feet in height plus architectural projections are said to be in scale with other larger structures such as the Dream Inn. Renditions of the new buildings are taken from a birds-eye view so you cannot see how much view-shed will be lost from the wharf although the documents assure us there will be plenty left to see.  

The first two elements of the plan to be built will be moving the kiosks further down the wharf about 500 feet south and the construction of an Eastern Promenade which requires an additional 500 pilings to be pounded 30 feet into the sea floor. The placement of the new kiosks is probably a sound idea but there are troubling aspects. This will be a pay-on-foot automated system, requiring 12 pay stations, a parking office and a new “demand pricing strategy”(whatever that means) plus new, metal pilings under the wharf. This system sounds decidedly unfriendly to the elderly who have supported the wharf restaurants such as Gilda’s for decades. I for one will fight to retain the wonderful women and men who currently staff the kiosks. Such human issues of course are irrelevant to a MND.  

What is relevant to the MND is the disconnect between the aim of the project, which is stated as economic growth and increased visitor access and the provision of adequate parking.  There are currently 440 parking spaces on the Wharf.  No additional parking is planned for, although new striping (read, narrower spaces) may yield an extra 40 spaces. Despite the fact that the project aims for an increase of businesses from the current 19 to 35-40, encourages second stories for all businesses, with a wide promenade on the east and a lowered walkway on the westside to encourage  more access, when it comes to discussing how much the visitation to the Wharf will increase due to this project, the language becomes coy. All of this “could” increase the numbers of visitors states the MND,  but it remains mute on predictions. Therefore it concludes that, “future construction would not result in significant traffic or parking impacts” because such impacts will be mitigated by the provision of 65 bicycle parking spots. This, despite the entry stating that, “parking is considered by most of the (Wharf) tenants to be the most essential element to their business success.” Page 35 Wharf Master Plan. There is much more in the MND to critique. Next week’s column will continue.  

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

PATTON’S PROGRAM. Gary’s KUSP Land Use Reports contain such items as…

Lots of things are happening this week in the City of Santa Cruz!

MARIA CALLAS 1965. She sings Puccini.

HOW WHALES CHANGE CLIMATE. Just a bit of supercilious Brit. attitude but interesting.

If you care about the Santa Cruz downtown, and particularly about how automobile traffic flows, or might flow, or wouldn’t flow at all on Pacific Avenue, then you should be aware that there is a meeting this evening 3/21 of the City’s Transportation and Public Works Commission, and this meeting will probably have a big impact on what used to be called the “Pacific Garden Mall.” The Commission meets at 7:00 p.m. in the City Council Chambers. That’s tonight! The big item on the agenda is a proposal to change the direction of automobile traffic on certain segments of Pacific Avenue and related side streets, to facilitate <quote> “Southbound Wayfinding.”

I think this means that the currently somewhat complex traffic patterns downtown would be modified to allow Pacific Avenue to serve as a thoroughfare for people wanting to get to the Beach Boardwalk. That’s what “finding your way South” actually means, as far as I can tell. Some people want a total pedestrian experience. You can weigh in if you show up!

In other City news, the City Council meets tomorrow, Tuesday 3/22 at 1:30 in the afternoon, and will consider whether or not to allow the installation of exercise equipment on West Cliff Drive. If you like our West Cliff walkway the way it is, you should let the City Council know. And, of course, the opposite is true, too”

Gary continues…” Here is another meeting coming up on the Santa Cruz downtown! On Monday 3/21, the City’s Transportation and Public Works Commission considered a proposal to alter traffic patterns in downtown Santa Cruz. Current traffic patterns are designed to prevent cars from using Pacific Avenue as a thoroughfare to get to the Beach. If you have a car, and if you are in the downtown area, and if you want to get to the Beach, the best way to do that now is to use either Front Street or Chestnut, and Front Street is really the most direct route. This could change, and Pacific Avenue could become a more direct route out to the Beach Boardwalk. I’ll keep you posted. Meantime, if you have any preference about this, it’s time to start getting involved. One way to get involved would be to attend tomorrow’s meeting of the Santa Cruz Downtown Commission, and to let the Commission know what you think. The Commission will meet on Thursday morning, March 24th, at 8:30 a.m. in the City Council Chambers. There are links to more information at kusp.org/landuse. Besides hearing from the public under its “Oral Communications” item, the Downtown Commission will be reviewing the City’s Capital Improvement Program for 2016-2018. The infrastructure investments proposed for the next couple of years will have a big impact on City residents, you can be sure of that!

Read the complete scripts of the above at Gary Patton’s KUSP Land Use site http://blogs.kusp.org/landuse . Gary is a former Santa Cruz County Supervisor (20 years) and an attorney who represents indivuduals and community groups on land use and environmental issues. The opinions expressed are Mr. Patton’s. Gary has his own website, Two Worlds/365” – www.gapatton.net

MARIA CALLAS TALKS ABOUT JACKIE KENNEDY AND ARISTOTLE O. Note how she wears her hair long like in the Master Class play.

CLASSICAL DeCINZO. DeCinzo, an experienced Cuba traveler gives us a sneak preview of recent policy changes. Scroll down just a bit.

EAGAN’S DEEP COVER. One step forward for Garland sez Eagan…see below a few pages.

MAH PRESENTS THE KINSEY COLLECTION OF AFRICAN AMERICAN ART & HIISTORY. Spanning 400 years of history, the Kinsey Collection reflects a rich cultural heritage. Includes work by Romare Bearden, Elizabeth Catlett, Jacob Lawrence, and Richard Mayhew alongside archival material related to Frederick Douglass, Zora Neale Hurston, and Malcolm X. The MAH is providing free admission to this exhibition for all Santa Cruz County K-12 students, UCSC and Cabrillo College students. Just show your ID at the desk Feb 27-May 22, Tuesday-Sunday, 11-5, to get in for free. Note: Free Admission does not apply during Third Friday festivals.

SANTA CRUZ BAROQUE FESTIVAL.The Festival presents their fifth concert in this season…FIVE FANTASTIC FLUTES. They say, “Come get your Louis the 15th on! Boismortier was the first composer in history to write for the unique combination of five solo baroque flutes. The program also includes the popular London Trios by Joseph Haydn written in 1794. This performance features the entire flute section of the Philharmonia Baroque OrchestraStephen Schultz, Janet See and Mindy Rosenfeld – joined by Bay Area flutists Lars Johannesson and Alissa Roedig, with Amy Brodo on cello. Sunday April 3 at 4:00pm Holy Cross Church , 210 High Street, Santa Cruz.

Tickets probably/maybe at the door or call 831-457-9693, E-mail info@scbaroque.org, P.O. Box 482, Santa Cruz, CA 95061.

VAN ANTWERP THEATRE COMPANY Presents Edward Albee’s “A Delicate Balance” It’s Coming April 7 to Center Stage at 1001 Center Street, Santa Cruz. Wikipedia says, A Delicate Balance is a play by Edward Albee. It premiered in 1966 and won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1967, the first of three he received for his work. The uneasy existence of upper-middle-class suburbanites Agnes and Tobias and their permanent houseguest, Agnes’ witty alcoholic sister Claire, is disrupted by the sudden appearance of lifelong family friends Harry and Edna, fellow empty nesters with free-floating anxiety, who ask to stay with them to escape an unnamed terror. They soon are followed by Agnes and Tobias’s bitter 36-year-old daughter Julia, who returns home following the collapse of her fourth marriage. It stars Ali Eppy, Susan Forrest, Ann McCormick. Brian Spencer, Janine Theodore, and Frank Widman. Preview 4/7 @ 7:30p, plus 4/8, 9, 14, 15, 16, 17, 22, 23. Tickets: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/2514775

LISA JENSEN LINKS. Lisa writes: “Coming this summer: Alias Hook makes its stage debut in an original production by Santa Cruz Parks & Recreation Teen Theatre! Read all the details this week at Lisa Jensen Online Express (http://ljo-express.blogspot.com).” Lisa has been writing film reviews and columns for Good Times since 1975.  

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

EMBRACE OF THE SERPENT. One of my maybe top 3 films from 2015. It also has a 99% from Rotten Tomatoes. This was Colombia’s best foreign film entry for the Oscars…it shoulda won! Filmed along the Amazon. It’s two separate stories of scientists exploring the jungles for certain rare plants. It’s really about how “whites” have ruined, killed, destroyed,the peoples and the environment as they stoled the rubber and lumber. There’s a very clear message for all of us here, today. (subtitled)

KNIGHT OF CUPS. Terence Malick’s newest “profound”, “deep”, “introspective” film has

Christain Bale leading the cast with Cate Blanchett, Natalie Portman, Brian Dennehy all appearing in flashes,with hardly any lines, and rarely even moving the non-plot forward. It’s  series of images, and if there is a story (plot) it’s probably about a very rich screenwriter son relating to his father and figuring out what his lefe means. It’s shot in Santa Monica, Las Vegas and beaches and lots of parties and some strip joints. Much of the dialogue is purposely undecipherable, like the plot. Don’t go unprepared, and I haven’t any idea how to prepare.

ALLEIGIANT, Part of the Divergent series. This mess got a 10 on Rotten Tomatoes, and deserved about a 2. Shailene Woodley once again leads her group of troopers out of Chicago and you can’t blame her. It’s the future and Chicago has been destroyed by secret nasty people led by Jeff Daniels. Jeff has something to do with altering genomes and making people nutty. The flimsy, thrown together plot is too confusing and too improbable to explain. Just remember that no matter how bad Chicago is in the future, outside the wall that surrounds it…it’s even worse. So’s the movie, don’t go.

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

THE VVITCH. That’s not a “w” in “Witch”, for some unexplained reason the film always uses 2 capital v’s in the title.  This completely deadily serious film does a fine job of creating and keeping a very scary mood throughout the whole piece. It’s set in 1630 New England centering on a family just off the boat from the old country. Perfect acting, perfect sets, the Brit/New England accents are hard to follow at times. There isn’t a familiar “ghost” idea in this film. No chainsaws, cellar stairs, hockey masks, or more importantly not one previously used scene in it.

10 CLOVERFIELD LANE. What a surprise…the reviews were coming in saying this is a well done, thrill -film from some very  respected reviewers. They’re right, this is an exciting, involving, mysterious, well-acted, suspenseful movie. John Goodman stars as a creepy, misunderstood, possible deviate, who’s locked up a young beautiful woman Mary Elizabeth Winstead to protect her from what is (or isn’t?) outside the underground home-like prison. Great suspense, nicely filmed, believable, just go and have fun. Don’t read anything else about it, you’ll spoil the excitement and puzzlement.

WHERE TO INVADE NEXT. We liberals/progressives tend to think we know everything that Michael Moore has to say in his films…we sure don’t. His Invade film is full of very well thought out political concepts that we overlook constantly. He takes on women’s rights, slavery, college tuition, pregnancy leaves, bankers going to jail, decrominalizing drugs, prison sentences, school lunches, and many more. Moore is way too heavy handed and sinplistic but there are some very tearful and relevant points he makes in this documentary. He delivers the fact that so many great steps in human legal prigress were started way back when in the good ol’ USA!!! See this film. And vote accordingly! (that would be Bernie, naturally).

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

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

WHISKEY, TANGO, FOXTROT. That’s W.T.F. or “W _ _ _ T_ _  FUCK” ? Tina Fey produced this female TV (CNN type) brand- new-novice–war-correspondent goes to Afghanistan movie. Tina faces the Taliban in Pakinstan and Afghanistan and some heavy sexist dealings and manages to get a few laughs in this deadly serious and pointless movie. Tina is actually very good in this mostly serious role. But there really isn’t any reason for you to spend your hard earned money on it.

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

EDDIE THE EAGLE. This movie claims it was based on a true heart tugging story. Hugh Jackman plays a big role as Eddie’s coach/friend and now we find out none of that was true.It doesn’t matter if any of this gross, manipulating, saccharine, dulcet, mellifluous,  sugar coated movie is true…it should be made illegal. It’s that sappy. Why Jackman and nasty ol’ Christopher Walken (only at the end) showed up for filming can only be attributed to a need for money. Don’t go…ever. It’s about psychologically challenged Eddie becoming a British ski jumper in the Olympics.

LONDON HAS FALLEN. Aaron Eckhart as the President of the USA, is barely believable then there’s Morgan Freeman as vice prez. Angela Bassett plays somebody beautiful and Gerard Butler is the prez’s bodyguard. I must admit that in spite of the miserable ratings and critic’s zingers I was really enjoying the first 15 minutes of chase stuff around London. Evil lurkers killed several world leaders in London  and tried very hard to kill our president. It is one awful movie. Extremely bad diaglogue, way heavy and overdone FX…avoid it at all costs (or even free)!!

BREACHING THE  BOTTOM.  DEADPOOL. To be fair Deadpool is a fairly decent movie, because if you’ve followed the Deadpool comic book character for its many years (since 1991) you might relate to this meaningless , pointless, extra violent mess. Deadpool is a reluctant, foul mouthed superhero. If you like superhero/Marvel type graphic heroes, you could like this movie. Deadpool is making millions at the boxoffice.

UNIVERSAL GRAPEVINE RADIO PROGRAM
KZSC  88.1 FM or live online at
www.KZSC.ORG     TUESDAYS 7-8 P.M.

UNIVERSAL GRAPEVINE. Each and every Tuesday from 7:00-8:00 p.m. I host Universal Grapevine on KZSC 88.1 fm. or on your computer, (live only or archived for two weeks… (See next paragraph) and go to WWW.KZSC.ORG. . Brian Ragunan tells us about the UCSC Veterans programs and benefits on March 22, and then Chip from the Santa Cruz Downtown Association tells us what’s happening on Pacific and environs.  Michel Singher talks about the next concert of the Espressivo Orchestra on March 29. He’s followed by Jack Nelson relating the purposes and achievements of the Campaign For Sensible Transportation. There’s no Universal G’vine on April 5 because KZSC is broadcasting Robert Reich’s talk at The Rio Theatre live that same night. April 12 has UCSC’s Matthew Lasar talking about his new book, “Radio2.0 : Uploading the 1st Broadcast Medium”. Then Phil Kramer of the Homeless Services Center gives us the scoop on their plans and accomplishments. April 19 has Joan Van Antwerp describing Albee’s play “A Delicate Balance” opening at the Center Stage (4/8-4/23). She’s followed by Laurie King, author of 14 Mary Russell (Mrs. Sherlock Holmes) mysteries detailing her Bookshop Santa Cruz new book signing on April 20. Andrew Austin tells us about UCSC’s latest development plans on April 26. Followed by The Reel Work Film Festival people. 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  

This is perhaps one of my guilty pleasures… clips from the various “got talent” shows. I never watch whole episodes, and I don’t like the bad ones that make you cringe, but when someone comes on and out of left field blows everyone away – I love that. This is a good example.

NEW UNIVERSAL GRAPEVINE ARCHIVE FEATURE. Stuff changes at KZSC a lot. If you missed either of the last two weeks of Universal Grapevine broadcasts go herehttp://www.radiofreeamerica.com/dj/bruce-bratton You have to listen to about 4 minutes of that week’s KPFA news first, then Grapevine happens.

UNIVERSAL GRAPEVINE ARCHIVES. In case you missed some of the great people I’ve interviewed in the last 9 years here’s a chronological list of some past broadcasts.  Such a wide range of folks such as  Nikki Silva, Michael Warren, Tom Noddy, UCSC Chancellor George Blumenthal, Anita Monga, Mark Wainer, Judy Johnson-Darrow, Wendy Mayer-Lochtefeld, Rachel Goodman, George Newell, Tubten Pende, Gina Marie Hayes, Rebecca Ronay-Hazleton, Miriam Ellis, Deb Mc Arthur, The Great Morgani on Street performing, and Paul Whitworth on Krapps Last Tape. Jodi McGraw on Sandhills, Bruce Daniels on area water problems. Mike Pappas on the Olive Connection, Sandy Lydon on County History. Paul Johnston on political organizing, Rick Longinotti on De-Sal. Dan Haifley on Monterey Bay Sanctuary, Dan Harder on Santa Cruz City Museum. Sara Wilbourne on Santa Cruz Ballet Theatre. Brian Spencer on SEE Theatre Co. Paula Kenyon and Karen Massaro on MAH and Big Creek Pottery. Carolyn Burke on Edith Piaf. Peggy Dolgenos on Cruzio. Julie James on Jewel Theatre Company. Then there’s Pat Matejcek on environment, Nancy Abrams and Joel Primack on the Universe plus Nina Simon from MAH, Rob Slawinski, Gary Bascou, Judge Paul Burdick, John Brown Childs, Ellen Kimmel, Don Williams, Kinan Valdez, Ellen Murtha, John Leopold, Karen Kefauver, Chip Lord, Judy Bouley, Rob Sean Wilson, Ann Simonton, Lori Rivera, Sayaka Yabuki, Chris Kinney, Celia and Peter Scott, Chris Krohn, David Swanger, Chelsea Juarez…and that’s just since January 2011.

QUOTES. SPECIAL FLOOD QUOTES…

“The only thing that stops God from sending another flood is that the first one was useless”.  Nicolas Chamfort
“The flood of money that gushes into politics today is a pollution of democracy”. Theodore White
“Nobody’s strong enough to stand up under a flood of weak material”. Alan Ladd

COLUMN COMMUNICATIONS.

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

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

Direct email: Bratton@Cruzio.com

Direct phone: 831 423-2468

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

BEST OF VINTAGE STEVEN DeCINZO.

Deep Cover by Tim Eagan.

Posted in Weekly Articles | Comments Off on March 21 – 27, 2016

March 14 – 20, 2016

SANTA CRUZ’S OPERA HOUSE 1877-1921.  Not just traveling operas but John L. Sullivan spoke there too. Plays and all sorts of culture happened there. It was hauled to Capitola and later demolished on June 7, 1961.                                                
photo credit: Covello & Covello Historical photo collection.

Additional information always welcome: email photo@brattononline.com

  DATELINE March 14, 2016

SANTA CRUZ MYTHS. Too many citizens/voters  not just in Santa Cruz just accept what local politicians, developers, tell them and vote accordingly..or support and trust those politicians in their desire to somehow improve our way of life. We hear these pleas and hear the myths repeated constantly in spite of the evidence that surounds us.

THE MILLS BROTHERS & DICK POWELL (1934). Just a bit ‘O  rhythm and jive
LOUIS ARMSTRONG AND FRANK SINATRA. Birth of the blues, and show biz at its bext!! (1955)

1. Growth Helps Pay for Social services (and brings in more business). We’ve all seen (and lived in) many towns and cities, especially in California, that have grown by leaps and bounds. Not one of them ever has actually improved the ever-lasting problem of not having an adequate Social Service system. From Capitola to San Jose, from Santa Cruz to Menlo Park, has any city established a better way to keep up their roads, schools, water and gas pipes  or feed their homeless or hungry ? Yet still we hear the Chamber of Commerces, Business Councils, and developers constantly encouraging growth. They also swear growth will mean more business for them, not admitting it also brings in more and larger competition, like box stores and franchises, that kill local business. It’s a proven fact.

2. Widening Highway One. The most obvious example of non thinking or failure to see the evidence is to hope that widening Highway One will help our terrible traffic jams. Along with that is the also odd thinking that adding auxilliary lanes “isn’t widening the highway” even though it adds new lanes. Where has widening highways ever worked? Ask your “pro-widening” friend or the Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commission (RTC) for evidence that it has worked someplace. Santa Clara County and Highway 85 do come to mind. When highways are widened, traffic moves faster for a while then developers build new houses at the end of those highways and more people start using that widened section because it’s faster…then it too jams up, and everyone is back where they started. Literally.

3. Corridor Stacking helps …and is sustainable. This is one of the latest developer schemes to build and sell more apartments within city limits. Obviously Santa Cruz is about totally “built out” and still can’t provide “affordable” housing for any income level. So stack apartments on top of stores and call it “sustainable”. Aside from jamming more citizens per square foot in town the additional cars, the parking spaces, the noise, and the high rent or sale prices makes those neighborhoods poor places to enjoy life. These sales people talk about walking and bicycling around Santa Cruz. Aside from the statistically proven dangers from bicycling folks should realize  that getting from Costco or the Tannery to your City Hall or drugstore in Santa Cruz means miles and miles of life threatening traffic. Besides that our corridors Mission Street, Water Street, Ocean Street, and Soquel are simply ugly now. Just imagine those corridors stacked with Mark Primack buildings, which the City jumped at and supported. Go out to 2110 -2120  Delaware Avenue and see what his structures look like. Would YOU want to live near those?

VERY DEARLY DEPARTED. Louis LaFortune died Sunday  morning (3/13). In addition to being a dedicated brilliant host of years of Voices from The Village Louis was a wonderful human. He was a much loved teacher at New School High School in The Pajaro Valley School District. As a father, grandfather, singer, guitarist…he was nearly pure. He’ll be greatly missed.

VENICE, THE JEWS, AND SHAKESPEARE. Ghetto and foundry. In English Merchant

Sunday’s (March 13) New York Times had a fine feature article on the Jewish Ghetto in Venice, Italy. Firstly, it told how “ghetto” the word was once “getto” meaning “foundry”, but word experts disagree on where it started. The most interesting part of the article was that this summer a theatre group is going to present Shakespeare’s “Merchant of Venice” (in English!) right in the Ghetto where Shakespeare set it. Which I think is a giant step forward in appreciating Shakespeare’s genius and eternal appeal. I wonder if they’ll replace Shylock’s daughter role with some male actor. Do you think?? I see that the British film of Hamlet opens at the Del Mar on May 2nd. It stars Ms. Maxine Peake as Hamlet!!!She plays Hamlet as a young boy it says here. This gender-crossing thing is catching on.

VACANCY AT THE CHANCELLOR’S HOUSE? It probably wouldn’t work out, but one way UCSC could ease their campus housing problem would be to rent out the Chancellor’s house on campus. He commutes from over the hill anyways and I’ll guess that 30 students could triple up in there…just a thought.

MONKEY BARS & MONKEY BUSINESS.

Should an eight-foot high piece of outdoor gym equipment be installed near Its Beach on the northern edge of the West Cliff Drive bike path between West Cliff Drive and the ocean? If you follow the law, as in city ordinances and codes, the answer is clearly “no.”  If you skirt around the law, as did city Planning, city Parks and Recreation staff and three out of five members of the city Planning Commission, the answer is “yes”.

The final answer will be determined at the March 22nd city council meeting. The vote to approve the gym structure (or parcourse structure) by the three Planning Commissioners was appealed to council by long-time local resident, Reed Searle. He needs our support.

West Cliff Drive and the bike path lie in the Shoreline Protection Overlay (SP-O) District. The code for this district requires the city to “maintain public view corridors between the sea and the first public roadway parallel to the sea and maintain natural views of the coastline.”  (24.10.2430 (4)

Installing an eight-foot high, chair-like structure in this protected view shed was a non-issue for staff and the three commissioners, even though it will stick out like a sore thumb. The staff report to the Planning Commission posits that such a structure “maintains public view corridors” since you can see the ocean through the bars.

Then there’s the city code for Principal Permitted Uses in the SP-O District. This section of the code allows for “surf access ways” and “public beach-recreation activities but not including the use of any building or structure other than stairways and handrails.”  (20.10.1900). This proscription against any structure is repeated in each sentence of the code on permitted uses in the SR-O District. Since the city determined that this parcourse equipment installation requires a building permit, they must consider it a structure. This is not allowed by city law.

In attempting to skirt this clear legal direction, staff argues that since there is no language in the code specifically saying “no gym or parcourse equipment” then its up to the Zoning Administrator to make the determination and he approved it. That’s more than a stretch. There is no language specifically prohibiting any variety of uses such as zip lines, cable cars, stadium seating etc. along West Cliff. The prohibition on any structures except for stairways and handrails should be sufficient to prohibit an eight foot tall piece of gym equipment that requires a building permit. That is, unless you are trying to get around the law. In my experience, top-level city staff routinely try to skirt the law. Examples abound. An early example was a development on Meder St. along the western tributary of Arroyo Seco, which the city claimed was a drainage ditch, not an intermittent watercourse, and therefore they said the development didn’t require the necessary stream set-backs. They were challenged and lost. A more recent example was weakening the Heritage Tree Ordinance, which the city claimed was CEQA exempt. That was a costly attempt to skirt the law. They were challenged and lost.

In this case, beyond legalities, there is a whole host of questions about whether a piece of large gym equipment is in character with what most people love about West Cliff Drive. From my experience, approaching people to sign the petition against this structure, the vast majority feel strongly that West Cliff Drive is not an appropriate location for this use. There are other suitable and legal locations for outdoor gym equipment.

If you agree, take a minute to email city council:

citycouncil@cityofsantacruz.com and let them know you oppose the installation of parcourse equipment along West Cliff Drive. It can be as simple a statement as that. Deadline is Monday March 21st.  

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

ACC-CEN-TU-ATE THE POSITIVE. Paul MCartney. (2012)
ACCENTUATE THE POSITIVE. Patti Page and Jo Stafford duet in this 1958 live-TV  clip.
BING CROSBY AND THE ANDREW SISTERS (1947) Just after the war, when swing was the thing.

PATTON’S PROGRAM.

CEMEX PLANT AND DAVENPORT TOURISM.

On the Consent Agenda of the Santa Cruz County Board Tuesday March 15, as Item #13, the Board is proposing to carry out a study, costing about half a million dollars, which would result in a plan to reuse the CEMEX property adjacent to Davenport. It’s possible that Davenport would become a major tourism center and the gateway to a North Coast National Monument.

Residents of the City of Santa Cruz should be thinking about going to a Planning Commission meeting.tomorrow night.

SANTA CRUZ CITY AND GROWTH.

The City of Santa Cruz Planning Commission is meeting this Thursday March 17, at 7:00 p.m. Review the Land Use Report blog at kusp.org/landuse for more information.

The Commission doesn’t have any projects on its agenda tomorrow night. Instead, the Commission will be looking at three major policy documents that set out goals and objectives that are intended to drive the City’s future growth and development. “Growth and development” is probably a pretty good way to put it, too. As listeners and readers may be aware, the University of California is planning big new growth on its Santa Cruz campus, and a lot of the impacts will hit the City. In general, I think it’s fair to say that the City itself has growth in mind. The proposed “Corridors Plan,” currently winding its way through a public process, would increase heights and density along Mission, Soquel, Ocean, and Water. The City’s General Plan pretty much goes along with that. The City’s Housing Element anticipates a significant amount of new growth, and the Climate Action Plan doesn’t suggest that Santa Cruz should be looking for a low-growth future. If you care about growth and development in the City Santa Cruz, the Planning Commission will be discussing the City General Plan, the City Housing Element, and the City’s Climate Action Plan at its meeting . Read the complete scripts of the above at Gary Patton’s KUSP Land Use site http://blogs.kusp.org/landuse . Gary is a former Santa Cruz County Supervisor (20 years) and an attorney who represents indivuduals and community groups on land use and environmenatl issues. The opinions expressed are Mr. Patton’s. Gary has his own website, Two Worlds/365” – www.gapatton.net

CLASSICAL DeCINZO. Reviewing the Boardwalk…think about it! Then scroll below.

EAGAN’S DEEP COVER. Another classic Subsconscious Comic!!! See downwards

MOZART, MUNCHING WITH. Every third Thursday at 12:10 pm in the upstairs meeting room there’s a free concert produced and directed by Carol Panofsky.  This Thursday it’s “What’s so great about classical music”, The Three Kinds of Music with John Orlando, speaker and pianist. His program is Domenico Scarlatti (1683-1757) Sonata in G Major, Longo 14…Isaac Albenez (1860-1909)…Iberia Suite, Book I: El Puerto…and Frederic Chopin (1810-1849). Nocturne in  Major, Op. 55, No. 2. It is absolutely free which means get there early.

LISA JENSEN LINKS. Lisa writes: “Cultures clash and worlds collide along the Amazon in the haunting and powerful Embrace of the Serpent (shot in captivating back-and-white), this week at Lisa Jensen Online Express (http://ljo-express.blogspot.com). Also, Maria Callas teaches a Master Class,  con brio, in the vibrant new Jewel Theatre Company production.” Lisa has been writing film reviews and columns for Good Times since 1975.

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

10 CLOVERFIELD LANE. What a surprise…the reviews were coming in saying this is a well done, thrill -film from some very  respected reviewers. They’re right, this is an exciting, involving, mysterious, well-acted, suspenseful movie. John Goodman stars as a creepy, misunderstood, possible deviate, who’s locked up a young beautiful woman Mary Elizabeth Winstead to protect her from what is (or isn’t?) outside the underground home-like prison. Great suspense, nicely filmed, believable, just go and have fun. Don’t read anything else about it, you’ll spoil the excitement and puzzlement.

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

COMMENT ON THE LADY IN THE VAN. Few or almost no one ever talked about the delightful film starring Maggie Smith is really all about the treatment of the homeless. That maybe those homeless folks are real people with personalities, needs, loves and other human facets !! The film is leaving Thursday. Go see it.

WHERE TO INVADE NEXT. We liberals/progressives tend to think we know everything that Michael Moore has to say in his films…we sure don’t. His Invade film is full of very well thought out political concepts that we overlook constantly. He takes on women’s rights, slavery, college tuition, pregnancy leaves, bankers going to jail, decrominalizing drugs, prison sentences, school lunches, and many more. Moore is way too heavy handed and sinplistic but there are some very tearful and relevant points he makes in this documentary. He delivers the fact that so many great steps in human legal prigress were started way back when in the good ol’ USA!!! See this film. And vote accordingly! (that would be Bernie, naturally).

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

THE VVITCH. That’s not a “w” in “Witch”, for some unexplained reason the film always uses 2 capital v’s in the title.  This completely deadily serious film does a fine job of creating and keeping a very scary mood throughout the whole piece. It’s set in 1630 New England centering on a family just off the boat from the old country. Perfect acting, perfect sets, the Brit/New England accents are hard to follow at times. There isn’t a familiar “ghost” idea in this film. No chainsaws, cellar stairs, hockey masks, or more importantly not one previously used scene in it.

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

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

WHISKEY, TANGO, FOXTROT. That’s W.T.F. or “W _ _ _ T_ _  FUCK” ? Tina Fey produced this female TV (CNN type) brand- new-novice–war-correspondent goes to Afghanistan movie. Tina faces the Taliban in Pakinstan and Afghanistan and some heavy sexist dealings and manages to get a few laughs in this deadly serious and pointless movie. Tina is actually very good in this mostly serious role. But there really isn’t any reason for you to spend your hard earned money on it.

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

EDDIE THE EAGLE. This movie claims it was based on a true heart tugging story. Hugh Jackman plays a big role as Eddie’s coach/friend and now we find out none of that was true.It doesn’t matter if any of this gross, manipulating, saccharine, dulcet, mellifluous,  sugar coated movie is true…it should be made illegal. It’s that sappy. Why Jackman and nasty ol’ Christopher Walken (only at the end) showed up for filming can only be attributed to a need for money. Don’t go…ever. It’s about psychologically challenged Eddie becoming a British ski jumper in the Olympics.

LONDON HAS FALLEN. Aaron Eckhart as the President of the USA, is barely believable then there’s Morgan Freeman as vice prez. Angela Bassett plays somebody beautiful and Gerard Butler is the prez’s bodyguard. I must admit that in spite of the miserable ratings and critic’s zingers I was really enjoying the first 15 minutes of chase stuff around London. Evil lurkers killed several world leaders in London  and tried very hard to kill our president. It is one awful movie. Extremely bad diaglogue, way heavy and overdone FX…avoid it at all costs (or even free)!!

BREACHING THE  BOTTOM.  DEADPOOL. To be fair Deadpool is a fairly decent movie, because if you’ve followed the Deadpool comic book character for its many years (since 1991) you might relate to this meaningless , pointless, extra violent mess. Deadpool is a reluctant, foul mouthed superhero. If you like superhero/Marvel type graphic heroes, you could like this movie. Deadpool is making millions at the boxoffice.

UNIVERSAL GRAPEVINE RADIO PROGRAM
KZSC  88.1 FM or live online at
www.KZSC.ORG     TUESDAYS 7-8 P.M.

UNIVERSAL GRAPEVINE. Each and every Tuesday from 7:00-8:00 p.m. I host Universal Grapevine on KZSC 88.1 fm. or on your computer, (live only or archived for two weeks… (See next paragraph) and go to WWW.KZSC.ORG. March 15 has Dru Glover talking about the aims and goals of Project: Pollinate Santa Cruz Then Michael Tierra talks about the music of “The Northwest Passage” happening March 20. Brian Ragunan tells us about the UCSC Veterans programs and benefits on March 22, and then Chip from the Santa Cruz Downtown Association tells us what’s happening on Pacific and environs.  Michel Singher talks about the next concert of the Espressivo Orchestra on March 29. He’s followed by Jack Nelson relating the purposes and achievements of the Campaign For Sensible Transportation. There’s no Universal G’vine on April 5 because KZSC is broadcasting Robert Reich’s talk at The Rio Theatre live that same night. April 12 has UCSC’s Matthew Lasar talking about his new book, “Radio2.0 : Uploading the !st Broadcast Medium”. Then Phil Kramer of the Homeless Services Center gives us the scoop on their plans and accomplishments.  Joan Van Antwerp describes Albee’s play “A Delicate Balance” opening at the Center Stage (4/8-4/23). 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  

Self-taught is not a negative in my world. Generally, if you are self-taught at something, that means it’s something you really wanted to learn, and that alone gives you a head start 🙂 Check out this girl; she’s great! 🙂

NEW UNIVERSAL GRAPEVINE ARCHIVE FEATURE. Stuff changes at KZSC a lot. If you missed either of the last two weeks of Universal Grapevine broadcasts go herehttp://www.radiofreeamerica.com/dj/bruce-bratton You have to listen to about 4 minutes of that week’s KPFA news first, then Grapevine happens.

UNIVERSAL GRAPEVINE ARCHIVES. In case you missed some of the great people I’ve interviewed in the last 9 years here’s a chronological list of some past broadcasts.  Such a wide range of folks such as  Nikki Silva, Michael Warren, Tom Noddy, UCSC Chancellor George Blumenthal, Anita Monga, Mark Wainer, Judy Johnson-Darrow, Wendy Mayer-Lochtefeld, Rachel Goodman, George Newell, Tubten Pende, Gina Marie Hayes, Rebecca Ronay-Hazleton, Miriam Ellis, Deb Mc Arthur, The Great Morgani on Street performing, and Paul Whitworth on Krapps Last Tape. Jodi McGraw on Sandhills, Bruce Daniels on area water problems. Mike Pappas on the Olive Connection, Sandy Lydon on County History. Paul Johnston on political organizing, Rick Longinotti on De-Sal. Dan Haifley on Monterey Bay Sanctuary, Dan Harder on Santa Cruz City Museum. Sara Wilbourne on Santa Cruz Ballet Theatre. Brian Spencer on SEE Theatre Co. Paula Kenyon and Karen Massaro on MAH and Big Creek Pottery. Carolyn Burke on Edith Piaf. Peggy Dolgenos on Cruzio. Julie James on Jewel Theatre Company. Then there’s Pat Matejcek on environment, Nancy Abrams and Joel Primack on the Universe plus Nina Simon from MAH, Rob Slawinski, Gary Bascou, Judge Paul Burdick, John Brown Childs, Ellen Kimmel, Don Williams, Kinan Valdez, Ellen Murtha, John Leopold, Karen Kefauver, Chip Lord, Judy Bouley, Rob Sean Wilson, Ann Simonton, Lori Rivera, Sayaka Yabuki, Chris Kinney, Celia and Peter Scott, Chris Krohn, David Swanger, Chelsea Juarez…and that’s just since January 2011.

QUOTES.

“We need Hawaii just as much and a good deal more than we did California. It is Manifest Destiny.” William McKinley

“There is science, logic, reason; there is thought verified by experience. And then there is California.” Edward Abbey

“The apparent ease of California life is an illusion, and those who believe the illusion real live here in only the most temporary way.” Joan Didion

“California deserves whatever it gets. Californians invented the concept of life-style. This alone warrants their doom.” Don DeLillo

“Dean’s California–wild, sweaty, important, the land of lonely and exiled and eccentric lovers come to forgather like birds, and the land where everybody somehow looked like broken-down, handsome, decadent movie actors.” Jack Kerouac, On the Road

COLUMN COMMUNICATIONS.

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

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

Direct email: Bratton@Cruzio.com

Direct phone: 831 423-2468

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

BEST OF VINTAGE STEVEN DeCINZO.

Deep Cover by Tim Eagan.

Posted in Weekly Articles | Comments Off on March 14 – 20, 2016

March 9 – 15, 2016

THE ORIGINAL SANTA CRUZ PUBLIC LIBRARY’S DEATH. This was taken September 12, 1966. Even back then our City Council made stupid decisions. They destroyed this classic library and built what we have to live with now. It’s the same location…you can see the once upon a time funeral home complete with incinerator just across Church street.  Now it’s the Prophet Elias Greek Orthodox Church Greek Orthodox Church.                                                  

photo credit: Covello & Covello Historical photo collection.

Additional information always welcome: email photo@brattononline.com

DATELINE March 7, 2016

CITY COUNCIL RACE UPDATE. If you scroll down to last week’s Brattononline you’ll see the first attempt at listing the “maybe” candidates for the upcoming Santa Cruz City Council race. You’ll see J.M Brown, Robert Singleton, Dru Glover and Gloria Nieto…so far.

Gloria “Glo” Nieto just informed me that she’s not going to run. She said she’s too involved with the Santa Cruz County Latino Affairs Commission. Steve Pleich (rhymes with “H” ) told me that he’s definitely going to run this time , and that he would have run as he usually does in the last election but other stuff got in the way. I’m betting we see plenty of changes in this list because I was informed many times that “we’ve got a great candidate but we’re just now either convincing them or clearing their backgrounds before announcing who it is”.

USING YOUR MARBLES.

BICYLISTS DEATHS IN SANTA CRUZ. UCSC’s City On The Hill newspaper just gets better and better at reporting news we all need to know. Like Santa Cruz being drempt of and pictured as a bicyclists heaven. According to the March 3rd issue of C.O.T.H. in an article by Alex Wilkins it says, “The City of Santa Cruz was recognized as a “gold-level bicycle friendly community” by the League of American Bicyclists (LAB) last year, but the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS), in its most recent 2013 report, ranked Santa Cruz first for number of bicyclists killed in California cities of comparable size”. Later in the article it says, “Rogerson pointed out that neither bicyclists nor drivers are solely to blame for bike incidents, but that both parties are normally at fault. Countywide statistics from a 2013 California Highway Patrol report show that 54 percent of the accidents were the bicyclist’s fault and the rest the fault of the driver.

Read it all here…

Suppe’s Light Cav. Overture. Watch this machine!!!

11,000 MARBLES. I’m not sure why humans do this…on the other hand, why not?

UC CHANCELLORS OTHER MONEY. In the March 4, issue of The Sacramento Bee there was an article  subtitled “UC Davis Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi under fire for paid corporate board seats”. The article stated, “As a Sacramento assemblyman called for her to resign Friday, UC Davis Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi apologized for accepting questionable corporate board positions and pledged to give $200,000 in textbook company stock to a scholarship fund for UC Davis students. The article then said, “She faced additional criticism Thursday after The Sacramento Bee reported that Katehi received a total of $420,000 in income and stock across the 2012-2014 fiscal years as a board member for John Wiley & Sons, a publisher of textbooks, college materials and scholarly journals. Her tenure came as students and state leaders sought to reduce the cost of textbooks and encouraged public colleges to use free, digital alternatives’. Beyond that, the SCTO.Bee has a list of UC Chancellors and the positions they hold on/in  other profit and non-profit organizations. It lists UCSC Chancellor George Blumenthal as follows…

2013 Blumenthal, George R. Santa Cruz Chancellor Helius Education For Profit Member

2012 Blumenthal, George R. Santa Cruz Chancellor Helius Education For Profit Board Member

If you look up Helius Education, its headquarters are in Tampa and Phoenix. They work with kids in Arizona and Florida to further their education…and it looks just fine. Assemblyman Jose Medina, D-Riverside, chairman of the Assembly Higher Education Committee, called Friday for oversight hearings as the Legislature considers UC funding.”Chancellor Katehi’s paid positions with private, for-profit corporations raise important questions about UC’s conflict of interest and outside employment policies,” he said in a statement. “This information is particularly concerning in light of the positive strides that the state has made to increase funding for the system.”

Be sure to read the entire article…it’s tricky.

ONE MORE INTERPRETATION OF SHAKESPEARE Santa Cruz Shakespeare just announced its first season in the DeLaveaga Glen as featuring a woman playing Hamlet himself, along with Midsummer Night’s Dream and Orlando.What’ll they think of next???   Last year S. Cruz Shakespeare’s version of  Macbeth had more laughs than Monty Python, and some of us saw all or part of the all woman cast for Hamlet at our Center theatre a couple of years ago. Now can we look forward to The Monterey Bay Aquarium doing King Lear with an all fish cast?? Go to here..https://www.santacruzshakespeare.org  and check out the artist’s concept of what the new Glen theatre will look like, which isn’t bad at all.

HILLARY BRATTON TO SING IN REDWOOD CITY. Daughter Hillary Bratton has a band together and will be singing the songs from her new album “Tears on My Pillow but the Rest of the Bed’s OK” at The Club Fox 2209 Broadway in Redwood City at 7:30 this Saturday night. Go here for more info and tickets… . Her show at the Federal Bar’s Mimosa Series  in L.A. last weekend was jam packed and KCRW and WPKN played her album.

APOLOGIA PRO VITA SUA or something like that. On last Friday’s Bushwhackers Breakfast Club doing my usual film critiques (13 years now!) I mentioned Lady Gaga’s musical performance on the Oscar show and said there were 50 survivors of  Roman Catholic priest  molesting that appeared with her. I was wrong and a listener called in to say so. He was correct, those courageous youngsters who appeared with her were survivors of campus sexual attacks. An equally scary and dangerous part of our world today.

For those looking to shop at the New Leaf Market in a “new” Aptos Village, it is going to be awhile.  Barry Swenson Builders has prepared a level surface for the old Apple Barn to be moved onto to accommodate New Leaf, but for some reason they’re saying the market won’t be open until August 2017.  If you drive by the fenced off area, try to picture the market, 6 or 7 retail shops, a restaurant and 69 residences. I can’t.

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

APTOS VILLAGE UPDATE

At least we locals can start getting used to the traffic this project will generate. Not sure what caused the traffic stack-up one morning this past week, but it was bumper-to-bumper from Trout Gulch to State Park Drive. And it wasn’t moving. Still don’t see the logic in adding two more traffic signals to accommodate BSB’s project in this stretch to “mitigate” such jams.

 
Not directly related to the Aptos Village Project, but the word is out that “Terrific Cuts” in Rancho Del Mar will be gone by the time you read this. This shop has been there for over 20 years, at least I’ve been going there for that long.  Vacancies in that part of Rancho Del Mar continue to spread, especially after the closing of Aptos Cinemas.  One might ask, “What did we Aptosians do to deserve this!” I’ll be gone to Hawaii for a couple of weeks to help my brother celebrate his newest granddaughter’s first birthday. Aloha.  

(Paul Elerick is a member of, and former co-chair of the Campaign for Sensible Transportation, http://sensibletransportation.org . He’s a current member of Nisene to Sea, a group of mid-county citizens committed to maintaining an open hiking trail from Cabrillo College to Nisene Marks State Park

GREENSITE’S INSIGHT.

HALT THE GROWTH ~ STUDENTS & TOWN SHARE COMMON GROUND!

In an unprecedented course of action, the UCSC Student Union Assembly (SUA) passed a resolution calling on Chancellor George Blumenthal to tell UC President Janet Napolitano that UCSC cannot accept more students without severely compromising the quality of education for all students. In an op-ed piece in Sunday’s Sentinel, reprinted from a longer version in City on a Hill Press, the SUA president, Julie Foster, outlined a slew of negative impacts from continued student growth.  Services and resources listed as stretched too thin to accommodate further growth are transportation and dining facilities; unaffordable on-campus housing; library space; classroom space, wellness centers (aka gym and pool) and counseling services. Double dorm rooms have been converted to triples (a violation of the 2008 Comprehensive Settlement Agreement (CSA) between the city and UCSC) and lounges and common areas lost to bed space.  A proposed plan, shortly to go before the Academic Senate, to shorten classroom blocks and squeeze in more lectures earlier and later has impacts on students, academics, transportation and support services. In reference to the resolution the SUA chair wrote, “We do not do this out of malice or ill intent but out of desperation for our situation and concern for future students.”  

About time! During my 30 years working for students at UCSC, I was actively involved in highlighting the detrimental effects of growth on student life and quality of education. When the student population passed the 10,000 mark I naively anticipated that surely now students en masse would protest their inability to get into classes for graduation; the overcrowded buses; the loss of faculty engagement; the rising housing costs; the rising tuition costs: the overworked staff and ever growing gaggle of Vice- Chancellors, Associate Vice Chancellors and Assistant Vice Chancellors in non-academic areas. But that critical mass never materialized. Students are renewed every 4 years and accept the conditions they find themselves in as given, not noticing the slipping away of the quality of their education until perhaps their fourth year and then they are gone, replaced by another group.

Throughout our protests and marches and rallies, we were attacked as elitist and ignored. We were scolded as forgetting that the original campus goal was 30,000 students. Never mind that that goal, proposed prior to any environmental awareness of sustainability, was re-examined and early on tempered to 10,000 as a recommendation by the Academic Senate. The growth continued. During those years the city council vigorously critiqued UCSC growth as negatively impacting rents and rental availability in town. They were ignored.

When UC Merced was opened in 2005 we assumed that there was now no excuse for continuing the destructive path of growth at UCSC, since all students who wished to attend a UC could do so. We were wrong. We forgot who benefits from continued UCSC growth. Academic departments jostle for status. Numbers matter. Business interests capitalize on more students. Landlords in town check the latest growth-fuelled campus housing costs and adjust their rents upwards. Ryan Coonerty was applying for more secure employment on campus as he was negotiating the CSA. How many current council members have this conflict of interest, even if legal?

The SUA Resolution provides an opening for our community to join forces with the students to halt the destructive growth on the hill, which similarly impacts our town. Think Corridors Plan. For whom is this housing infill developed if not students? And the students need to join forces with our town, which bears the brunt of UCSC growth. The city council should find the courage to support the students’ demands. And if they won’t, then neighborhood groups, environmental groups, water supply groups and anyone who has trouble finding a rental in Santa Cruz should join with the SUA voice in this historic awareness that growth has its limits and we have exceeded them.

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

PATTON’S PROGRAM. From Gary Patton’s KUSP Land Use Reports for this week….

A local newspaper columnist is calling for a revolution at City Hall.

Jeff Mitchell writes a “Civic Chronicles” column for the Salinas Californian. In his column on March 4th, Mitchell addresses “Millennials,” those who are between eighteen and thirty-four years of age right now, and his message is nothing less than a call for a civic “revolución,” using the Spanish spelling. That’s “revolution” to the English-only speakers.

Exactly what, specifically, is Mitchell calling for, by way of this revolution? Well, it’s not guns! That’s some good news. In fact, the civic revolution that Mitchell would like to see is to have millennials “start participating in local government and community affairs.”

Now, there is a message I can definitely endorse. In fact, long time listenersknow that I’ve been advocating just this kind of revolution for a very long time, and Jeff Mitchell is absolutely right: civic engagement can have truly revolutionary impacts. There is a Presidential candidate, in fact, who seems to be saying the very same thing.

Jeff Mitchell is asking interested persons to contact him, so they can get an invitation to attend a March 16th workshop on how to obtain access to public records. I hope Millennials and others will take him up on this offer. Listeners and readers can get links to more information at kusp.org/landuse.  

Read the complete scripts of the above at Gary Patton’s KUSP Land Use site http://blogs.kusp.org/landuse . Gary is a former Santa Cruz County Supervisor (20 years) and an attorney who represents indivuduals and community groups on land use and environmenatl issues. The opinions expressed are Mr. Patton’s. Gary has his own website, Two Worlds/365” – www.gapatton.net  

SANTA CRUZ BAROQUE FESTIVAL. The next concert is titled , “Cutting Edge Bach & Beyond”. Power duo and Santa Cruz Baroque Festival favorites, Caterina Lichtenberg and Mike Marshall mandolinists  return with a new program featuring the timeless compositions of J.S. Bach. Hailing from classical European and traditional American music backgrounds, respectively, they bring a singular musical aesthetic to the Baroque . The concert happens  
Saturday March 12 at 7:30pm and Sunday March 13 at 3pm Peace United Church of Christ , 900 High Street, Santa Cruz.For info and tickets 831-457-9693 ? E-mail ? P.O. Box 482, Santa Cruz, CA 95061.

FELIX KULPA GALLERY. CID PEARLMAN PERFORMANCE presents rare dance performances titled “Economie of Effort: 3″at the main gallery. Show dates March 17-20 & March 24-27 7:30 & 9:30pm Free admission.Reservations suggested and entry is limited to 35 people per performance. Go to cidpearlman.org to reserve your spot. The F.Kulpa main Gallery is at 107 Elm Street by the telephone booth.

CLASSICAL DeCINZO. See below a few pages for an aquatic view of Monterey.

EAGAN’S DEEP COVER. Check out Tim Eagan’s blog for his “Trust Me Sucker” thought. Scroll low down for his classic Subconscious Comic….

LISA JENSEN LINKS. Lisa writes: ” Come along for the ride this week at Lisa Jensen Online Express (http://ljo-express.blogspot.com), as my next novel passes another milestone en route to publication! Also, despite what you’re thinking, find out why The VVitch is NOT another cheesy horror movie.” Lisa has been writing film reviews and columns for Good Times since 1975.  

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

LONDON HAS FALLENAaron Eckhart as the President of the USA, is barely believable then there’s Morgan Freeman as vice prez. Angela Bassett plays somebody beautiful and Gerard Butler is the prez’s bodyguard. I must admit that in spite of the miserable ratings and critic’s zingers I was really enjoying the first 15 minutes of chase stuff around London. Evil lurkers killed several world leaders in London  and tried very hard to kill our president. It is one awful movie. Extremely bad diaglogue, way heavy and overdone FX…avoid it at all costs (or even free)!!

WHISKEY, TANGO, FOXTROT. That’s W.T.F. or “W _ _ _ T_ _  FUCK” ? Tina Fey produced this female TV (CNN type) brand- new-novice–war-correspondent goes to Afghanistan movie. Tina faces the Taliban in Pakistan and Afghanistan and some heavy sexist dealings and manages to get a few laughs in this deadly serious and pointless movie. Tina is actually very good in this mostly serious role. But there really isn’t any reason for you to spend your hard earned money on it.

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

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

THE VVITCH. That’s not a “w” in “Witch”, for some unexplained reason the film always uses 2 capital v’s in the title.  This completely deadily serious film does a fine job of creating and keeping a very scary mood throughout the whole piece. It’s set in 1630 New England centering on a family just off the boat from the old country. Perfect acting, perfect sets, the Brit/New England accents are hard to follow at times. There isn’t a familiar “ghost” idea in this film. No chainsaws, cellar stairs, hockey masks, or more importantly not one previously used scene in it.

WHERE TO INVADE NEXT. We liberals/progressives tend to think we know everything that Michael Moore has to say in his films…we sure don’t. His Invade film is full of very well thought out political concepts that we overlook constantly. He takes on women’s rights, slavery, college tuition, pregnancy leaves, bankers going to jail, decrominalizing drugs, prison sentences, school lunches, and many more. Moore is way too heavy handed and sinplistic but there are some very tearful and relevant points he makes in this documentary. He delivers the fact that so many great steps in human legal prigress were started way back when in the good ol’ USA!!! See this film. And vote accordingly! (that would be Bernie, naturally).

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

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

THE LADY IN THE VANMaggie Smith is now 81 years old. She’s played everything from Desdemona in the 1965 Othello to Exotic Hotels and Harry Potter roles. Her real acting strength has saved many dull minutes in Dowmnton Abbey, as we all know. She’s just as good in this one as the cranky, haunted, funny, brittle, homeless old lady living in a van…obviously. You’ll laugh a bunch of times, the plot does get bogged down, but if you’re a fan of Maggie’s, it’s well worth seeing.

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

TRIPLE 9. What a cast…Woody Harrelson, Chiwetal Ejiofor, Kate Winslet, with Casey Affleck as the only honest cop. This bloody movie will definitely fill your need for buckets of blood and vans of violence. A group of crooked cops plan and execute a robbery. There are some surprises, but you won’t care. There are some smirks (not quite laughs), and you’ll leave the theatre wondering why they make movies like this. Box office reports aren’t in yet.

HAIL CAESAR. Let’s face it…the Coen Brothers just can’t get it together to direct great films anymore. Think back to Blood Simple, Raising Arizona, Fargo, Oh Brother Where art thou, and more. Hail Caesar stars Goerge Clooney, Tilda Swinton, Josh Brolin, Scarlett  Johanessen, Channing Tatum, and Ralph Fiennes and it still will provide you with about two half laughs. It’s a very polite, condescending, wholesome satire on the Hollywood of MGM, Esther Williams, Ben Hur, Charlton Heston, Gary Cooper et al. Its sophmoric, easy, nearly stupid attempts at humor are embarrassing. Wait and rent it.

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

EDDIE THE EAGLE. This movie claims it was based on a true heart tugging story. Hugh Jackman plays a big role as Eddie’s coach/friend and now we find out none of that was true.It doesn’t matter if any of this gross, manipulating, saccharine, dulcet, mellifluous,  sugar coated movie is true…it should be made illegal. It’s that sappy. Why Jackman and nasty ol’ Christopher Walken (only at the end) showed up for filming can only be attributed to a need for money. Don’t go…ever. It’s about psychologically challenged Eddie becoming a British ski jumper in the Olympics.

BATTLING FOR BOTTOM = DEADPOOL & ZOOLANDER 2. To be fair Deadpool is a better movie, because if you’ve followed the Deadpool comic book character for its many years (since 1991) you might relate to this meaningless , pointless, extra violent mess. Deadpool is a reluctant, foul mouthed superhero. If you like superhero/Marvel type graphic heroes, you could like this movie. Zoolander 2 for some reason attracted Benedict Cumberbatch to play a maybe trans gendered monster in a few scenes and scads of other stars cameoing to blink on screen. Neil deGrasse Tyson does a thing too, so does Willy NelsonBen Stiller must accept all the blame for this sequel to a film that sucked its first time around. I could continue but you can imagine where this is going. Deadpool is making millions at the boxoffice as of 3/07/16.

UNIVERSAL GRAPEVINE RADIO PROGRAM
KZSC  88.1 FM or live online at
www.KZSC.ORG     TUESDAYS 7-8 P.M.

UNIVERSAL GRAPEVINE. Each and every Tuesday from 7:00-8:00 p.m. I host Universal Grapevine on KZSC 88.1 fm. or on your computer, (live only or archived for two weeks… (See next paragraph) and go to WWW.KZSC.ORG. On March 8 Julie James and director  Susan Myer-Silton  discuss Jewel Theatre’s “Master Class” production, that’s the Maria Callas sessions on stage. Also on the 8th David Foster from Habitat For Humanity tells us about their new Senior Home Project. March !5 has Dru Glover talking about the aims and goals of Project: Pollinate Santa Cruz Then Michael Tierra talks about the music of “The Northwest Passage” happening March 20. Brian Ragunan tells us about the UCSC Veterans programs and benefits on March 22. Michel Singher talks about the next concert of the Espressivo Orchestra on March 29. He’s followed by Jack Nelson relating the purposes and achievements of the Committee For Sensible Transportation. There’s no Universal G’vine on April 5 because KZSC is broadcasting Robert Reich’s talk at The Rio Theatre live that same night. April 12 has UCSC’s Matthew Lasar talking about his new book, “Radio2.0 : Uploading the !st Broadcast Medium”. 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  

Wouldn’t these be great in Santa Cruz?

NEW UNIVERSAL GRAPEVINE ARCHIVE FEATURE. Stuff changes at KZSC a lot. If you missed either of the last two weeks of Universal Grapevine broadcasts go herehttp://www.radiofreeamerica.com/dj/bruce-bratton You have to listen to about 4 minutes of that week’s KPFA news first, then Grapevine happens.

UNIVERSAL GRAPEVINE ARCHIVES. In case you missed some of the great people I’ve interviewed in the last 9 years here’s a chronological list of some past broadcasts.  Such a wide range of folks such as  Nikki Silva, Michael Warren, Tom Noddy, UCSC Chancellor George Blumenthal, Anita Monga, Mark Wainer, Judy Johnson-Darrow, Wendy Mayer-Lochtefeld, Rachel Goodman, George Newell, Tubten Pende, Gina Marie Hayes, Rebecca Ronay-Hazleton, Miriam Ellis, Deb Mc Arthur, The Great Morgani on Street performing, and Paul Whitworth on Krapps Last Tape. Jodi McGraw on Sandhills, Bruce Daniels on area water problems. Mike Pappas on the Olive Connection, Sandy Lydon on County History. Paul Johnston on political organizing, Rick Longinotti on De-Sal. Dan Haifley on Monterey Bay Sanctuary, Dan Harder on Santa Cruz City Museum. Sara Wilbourne on Santa Cruz Ballet Theatre. Brian Spencer on SEE Theatre Co. Paula Kenyon and Karen Massaro on MAH and Big Creek Pottery. Carolyn Burke on Edith Piaf. Peggy Dolgenos on Cruzio. Julie James on Jewel Theatre Company. Then there’s Pat Matejcek on environment, Nancy Abrams and Joel Primack on the Universe plus Nina Simon from MAH, Rob Slawinski, Gary Bascou, Judge Paul Burdick, John Brown Childs, Ellen Kimmel, Don Williams, Kinan Valdez, Ellen Murtha, John Leopold, Karen Kefauver, Chip Lord, Judy Bouley, Rob Sean Wilson, Ann Simonton, Lori Rivera, Sayaka Yabuki, Chris Kinney, Celia and Peter Scott, Chris Krohn, David Swanger, Chelsea Juarez…and that’s just since January 2011.

QUOTES

“Life isn’t about waiting for the storm to pass…It’s about learning to dance in the rain.”
Vivian Greene

“There is peace even in the storm”
Vincent van Gogh, The Letters of Vincent van Gogh

“The rain set early in tonight,
The sullen wind was soon awake,
It tore the elm-tops down for spite,
And did its best to vex the lake:
I listened with heart fit to break.
When glided in Porphyria; straight
She shut the cold out and the storm,
And kneeled and made the cheerless grate
Blaze up and all the cottage warm;”
Robert Browning  

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BEST OF VINTAGE STEVEN DeCINZO.

Deep Cover by Tim Eagan.

Posted in Weekly Articles | Comments Off on March 9 – 15, 2016

February 29 – March 6, 2016

AN EARLIER OUT DOOR THEATRE GLEN/GLADE. This historic photo is titled “MIRACLE OF THE TREES” and is dated May 7, 1949. I think Carolyn Swift told me years ago that this huge outdoor “theatre” was somewhere in Scotts Valley.

photo credit: Covello & Covello Historical photo collection.

Additional information always welcome: email photo@brattononline.com

DATELINE February 29, 2106

CITY COUNCIL CAROUSEL. Secret meetings, pledges, pleas, quesses, denials, “and much, much more” all happening around and in Santa Cruz City limits as the merry-go–round keeps spinng to see who gets the brass ring and a seat or two at our City Council. Right now these names are best known as rumors…and subject to change, denial, or pleas for campaign funds.

One of the earliest names is J.M. Brown, formerly of the Santa Cruz Sentinel. He’s well liked and no one is sure of whether he’ll be on the Cynthia Mathews right side of politics or Micah Posners left progressive side. Robert Singleton is another oft-mentioned candidate. He’s a co-founder of Civinomics. He’s also an office holder of the Santa Cruz County Business Council a well known pro-growth, to hell with the environment, establishment club. Then too he’s a member of the Association of Realtors…so we know where he’s at. Gloria Nieto is mulling it over. A forceful feminist-activist,  her online credits list her as a garden consultant and house sitter. Dru Glover is mulling things over. He was born in Santa Cruz and, contrary to rumors, is no relation to actor Danny Glover. Dru would be the most progressive council candidate so far and is the director/founder of Project: Pollinate Santa Cruz go to www.projectpollinate.org to learn about their quarterly event on March 19 in San Lorenzo Park. All of above will change weekly, let me know if you hear of anything!!!

UCSC STUDENT THEATRE ACTION. On the boards right now (through March 6) is the UCSC Theatre Arts department’s production of “Marques: a narco Macbeth“. It’s Macbeth goes to Baja fights to control the drug trade and forgets Shakespeare. There are some brilliant creative and thought provoking moments in this production and some odd additions like the 10 minute scene of 6 or 8 G-stringed male strippers/dancers dancing for the Marques in a Gay Bar. Maybe that was when “Birnam Wood came to …”??? But if you like adventuresome theatre and want just occasional reminders of the original Macbeth, go see it. Not having heard a word or a press release or any references to UCSC’s Barn Theatre in years I was amazed when Adrien Centeno, the Barn’s managing director told us on the Universal Grapevine program that the Barn is very much alive and quite well and has all kinds of student productions happening nearly constantly. Go to the very out of date website http://barnstorm.ucsc.edu  and get some idea of their scope or better yet, go to this Facebook group page for weekly updates on Barnstorm productions. They also have a new website: www.ucscbarnstorm.weebly.com

If we called UCSC’s “Marques” “Macbeth in Mexico” we could call the just finished Barn Theatre play “WOYZECK IN COMPLETE”. I’ve seen Georg Buchner’s 1830 play Woyzeck done as an opera by Alban Berg about three times, I’ve watched Werner Herzog’s Woyzeck film many times, I’ve missed Tom Waits musical version, and on it goes. The Barnstorm Theatre version had an all female cast. (Remember a copule of seasons ago when we saw an all female cast do Hamlet at the Jewel theatre?? whew!). Lots of running, posing and way too much shouting instead of some deep dialogue, but still an adventuresome and creative student product. Watch the Barnstorm Theatre notices for plays we won’t see anywhere else.

GIRL SCOUT COOKIE RIPOFF…REVISITED. Yes I watched the Oscars when Chris Rock’s daughter and her G.S.Troop sold over $65,000 worth of that junk food to the millionaires seated at Dolby Centre last night. New readers should be aware that I’ve been campaigning against Girl Scouts selling cookies for decades. My main points are 1. The competitive internal bickering within the troops. 2. The amount of thievery it encourages from Moms being jailed for stealing $$$ in the drives (proof & data, upon request). 3. The cookies are junk food and why, IF it’s necessary to sell something, why not sell organic and/or useful or educational items? 4. Lastly, the vast profit that the Girls take on go to the corporate bakers/cookie manufacturers. Ah well. Check out this religious take about Girl Scouts…(From Daily Kos 2/22/16) In an article about how the Archbishop tells believers that their Girls shouldn’t go into Girl Scouts and churches should  be cafreful about letting troops use facilities then comes the part about Girl Scout Cookies…it says…”There is a licensing fee attached to each box of Girl Scout cookies produced, paid to GSUSA. Licensing fees paid to GSUSA on all trademarked Girl Scout items (cookies, Girl Scout curriculum books and badges, ice creams, coffee creamers, etc.) amounts to millions of dollars every year. (See: Does any of the money from cookie sales go to Girl Scouts of the USA?) On average, only 10-20% of the total cookie revenue remains with the troop selling the cookies. (See: How can I be sure that Girl Scout Cookie Program revenue supports the local Girl Scouts in my community?) We echo the statement of Girl Scouts of Eastern Missouri, that it is important not to debate these issues with individual girls who are selling cookies. These conversations must “remain among adults”.

WINDY CORRIDORS

It’s no secret that the Sentinel’s headlines are often skewed to mislead the reader. A good example was the recent Long-term planning addresses growth” headlining the article on the Corridors Plan, which is the proposed re-zoning of Mission, Water and Ocean Streets and Soquel Avenue to allow for a far higher density of housing and retail than is permitted under current zoning.  A more accurate headline would have read, “Long-term planning accelerates growth.” Reporters don’t choose headlines and the accompanying article of the public forum on the eastside by reporter Jessica York did a good job of covering the issue from the city planning staff and neighborhood perspectives.

It is understandable that staff is pushing the re-zoning and increased density, both from a General Plan perspective and the fact that the Planning Department relies on ever-increasing growth to keep paying substantial salaries and hiring new staff.  A less obvious influence may be that the city Planning Director lives outside the city. How many other senior planners live outside our city?  It’s easy to favor growth and crowding us in like sardines if you live somewhere else. A sort of WINIMBY effect. (well it’s not in my back yard).

At the neighborhood forum, city principal planner Ron Powers downplayed the impact of high density by assuring the large eastside neighborhood turnout that the growth will be all market-driven and, ” If the property owner doesn’t want to develop, they don’t have to.” That’s true on the face of it and also highly misleading.  The urban consultants hired by the city to develop the Corridors Plan noted that there is little vacant land in the corridors (the Sentinel photos were only of the rare vacant land) and most land is already developed, making it necessary they wrote, to “incentivize” the higher density development. It’s likely that owners of properties along the four corridor streets are already being approached by developers offering large sums of money to sell for the windfall that will accompany re-zoning. Local long-time businesses that currently rent will be forced out if they cannot afford the new in-fill rents that will be far higher than current rents.  This happened on Pacific Avenue. New construction is expensive.  

The city has a Corridors website which is finely tuned to promote the plan. (santacruzcorridors.com). It contains a number of articles on housing that justify high density as producing lower housing costs based on “supply and demand.” The site excludes articles readily available which are critical of supply and demand and increased density as a means to a more affordable housing future. On a national and state level, infilling is already being criticized as not delivering on its promises. Feel good phrases such as, “walk-able streets” have not materialized. Traffic has increased. Housing costs and rents have risen.  

I readily admit to a long-time preference for the already existing small- scale local businesses and low density neighborhoods which give Santa Cruz its character and sense of place in a rapidly urbanizing, homogenized world. I understand that many younger new arrivals in Santa Cruz favor high density and have little desire to protect the small-scale familiar businesses and livable neighborhoods in our town. To these newcomers I’d say, if you like high density, choose to live in a high-density area. Don’t annihilate what’s left of our town in the pursuit of your urban lifestyle.

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

CHRIS KROHN Questions…

Attached is the budget report from UCSC 2015-16 if you haven’t seen it…lots of interesting tidbits like this one…they estimate that it is about $5,200 less to live off-campus than on-campus. (page 17).  I have to ask why that is…just makes no sense at all…I keep hearing too that there is a tidal wave of new students coming this fall. In addition the legitimate bed space has only increased by 376 in 8 years…(which I would predict is around how many beds the “Rental Inspection Ordinance” alone has taken out of circulation in town.) I say “legitimate” because “overflow bed-space” (on page 20 in the budget report) indicates that they’ve added 1520 beds not in any new buildings but in existing spaces…It’s been by doubling and tripling rooms and taking out any study lounges that used to exist. I spend a lot of time in the library and McHenry Library is a giant study lounge…it’s getting to the point of overcrowding—just packed–because, I conclude there are no places to study in the dorms any longer. It has an effect on the quality of education and student life. The report is here http://planning.ucsc.edu/budget/reports/birdseye (Chris is a former City Council member and Mayor of Santa Cruz. He sent this timely question…).

PATTON’S PROGRAM. From Gary’s thrice weekly KUSP Program

IS GROWTH ALWAYS GOOD? LET’S THINK ABOUT IT!

In general, we tend to think that growth is “good.” Parents want their children to grow and thrive, and “thrive” and “grow” are almost synonyms in that context. We want our bank accounts to grow. That’s always a good sign. Presidents are always trying to get the economy growing, and I have always loved Bob Dylan’s take on that issue. Do you remember these lyrics?

Well, my telephone rang it would not stop
It’s President Kennedy callin’ me up
He said, “My friend, Bob, what do we need to make the country grow?”
I said, “My friend, John, Brigitte Bardot, Anita Ekberg, Sophia Loren.
Country’ll grow.”

Land use and growth are very distinctly related, and one of the premises of land use planning is that all growth is not good. Growth needs to be managed, and sometimes it even needs to be discouraged. Growing traffic goes along with job growth and new high-density development. Global warming impacts grow as the economy heats up. If you care about crops growing, and that’s a big thing around the Monterey Bay, then all sorts of new development and new growth put that agricultural economy at risk. Check out today’s Land Use Report blog posting, found at kusp.org/landuse, and think about that question: “Is growth always good?”

Check it out at   Gary Patton’s Two Worlds Blog or  Two Worlds – Is Growth Always Good? Read the complete scripts of the above at Gary Patton’s KUSP Land Use site http://blogs.kusp.org/landuse . Gary is a former Santa Cruz County Supervisor (20 years) and an attorney who represents indivuduals and community groups on land use and environmenatl issues. The opinions expressed are Mr. Patton’s. Gary has his own website, Two Worlds/365” – www.gapatton.net

CLASSICAL DeCINZO. DeCinzo looks at Student loans scroll below

EAGAN’S DEEP COVER. The Bully Pulpit updated see downwards…

LISA JENSEN LINKS. Lisa writes: “I was 12 for 13 in my Oscar predictions this year. But as few surprises as there were in the show, we still have the “Return of the Oscar Barbies” to amuse us 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.

TO SEE OR NOT TO SEE

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

2015 OSCAR AWARDS. I made no predictions this year, I watched the damned Red Carpet and the awards for almost 6 hours straight. About a half hour into the first Red Carpet stuff it dawned on me…I couldn’t name last years Oscar winner for best picture!!! NOW without peeking…Can YOU name any winners from last year? Does it really matter much? Is Spotlight any better or different from any/all Hollywood newspaper movies??? Well yes, there’s the Catholic- molesting plot thing instead of bootleg booze or illegal drugs as the story. But what’s new, different, memorable ??…and I’ll bet we all forget Spotlight’s Oscar next year at this time as well. Please remember that I plugged and touted Mad Max a lot last year…and it got six (6) Oscars!!!

TRIPLE 9. What a cast…Woody Harrelson, Chiwetal Ejiofor, Kate Winslet, with Casey Affleck as the only honest cop. This bloody movie will definitely fill your need for buckets of blood and vans of violence. A group of crooked cops plan and execute a robbery. There are some surprises, but you won’t care. There are some smirks (not quite laughs), and you’ll leave the theatre wondering why they make movies like this. Box office reports aren’t in yet.

EDDIE THE EAGLE. This movie claims it was based on a true heart tugging story. Hugh Jackman plays a big role as Eddie’s coach/friend and now we find out none of that was true.It doesn’t matter if any of this gross, manipulating, saccharine, dulcet, mellifluous,  sugar coated movie is true…it should be made illegal. It’s that sappy. Why Jackman and nasty ol’ Christopher Walken (only at the end) showed up for filming can only be attributed to a need for money. Don’t go…ever. It’s about psychologically challenged Eddie becoming a British ski jumper in the Olympics.

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

SON OF SAUL. This great film won the best Foreign Film Oscar last night and Landmark killed it the day after….so rent it or something. There will always be more stories about the holocaust. This is an excellent film and just won the best foreign film award at the Oscars.(Hungary). Saul, the Jewish hero of the film is forced to work at Auschwitz as part of the Sonderkommando work crew. They had the job of making sure the killing of the Jews was as fast, clean and profitable as possible. Saul see the body of his son and goes beyond human limits to have a traditional Jewish burial instead of the furnaces for him. It starts sad and tormenting and ends the same way. It’s somber, stark, and again another reminder of what hatred and prejudice can do. See this film.

THE VVITCH. That’s not a “w” in “Witch”, for some unexplained reason the film always uses 2 capital v’s in the title.  This completely deadily serious film does a fine job of creating and keeping a very scary mood throughout the whole piece. It’s set in 1630 New England centering on a family just off the boat from the old country. Perfect acting, perfect sets, the Brit/New England accents are hard to follow at times. There isn’t a familiar “ghost” idea in this film. No chainsaws, cellar stairs, hockey masks, or more importantly not one previously used scene in it.

WHERE TO INVADE NEXT. We liberals/progressives tend to think we know everything that Michael Moore has to say in his films…we sure don’t. His Invade film is full of very well thought out political concepts that we overlook constantly. He takes on women’s rights, slavery, college tuition, pregnancy leaves, bankers going to jail, decrominalizing drugs, prison sentences, school lunches, and many more. Moore is way too heavy handed and sinplistic but there are some very tearful and relevant points he makes in this documentary. He delivers the fact that so many great steps in human legal prigress were started way back when in the good ol’ USA!!! See this film. And vote accordingly! (that would be Bernie, naturally).

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

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

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

THE LADY IN THE VANMaggie Smith is now 81 years old. She’s played everything from Desdomona in the 1965 Othello to Exotic Hotels and Harry Potter roles. Her real acting strength has saved many dull minutes in Dowmnton Abbey, as we all know. She’s just as good in this one as the cranky, haunted, funny, brittle, homeless old lady living in a van…obviously. You’ll laugh a bunch of times, the plot does get bogged down, but if you’re a fan of Maggies, it’s well worth seeing.

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

HAIL CAESAR. Let’s face it…the Coen Brothers just can’t get it together to direct great films anymore. Think back to Blood Simple, Raising Arizona, Fargo, Oh Brother Where art thou, and more. Hail Caesar stars Goerge Clooney, Tilda Swinton, Josh Brolin, Scarlett  Johanessen, Channing Tatum, and Ralph Fiennes and it still will provide you with about two half laughs. It’s a very polite, condescending, wholesome satire on the Hollywood of MGM, Esther Williams, Ben Hur, Charlton Heston, Gary Cooper et al. Its sophmoric, easy, nearly stupid attempts at humor are embarrassing. Wait and rent it.

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

BATTLING FOR BOTTOM = DEADPOOL & ZOOLANDER 2. To be fair Deadpool is a better movie, because if you’ve followed the Deadpool comic book character for its many years (since 1991) you might relate to this meaningless , pointless, extra violent mess. Deadpool is a reluctant, foul mouthed superhero. If you like superhero/Marvel type graphic heroes, you could like this movie. Zoolander 2 for some reason attracted Benedict Cumberbatch to play a maybe trans gendered monster in a few scenes and scads of other stars cameoing to blink on screen. Neil deGrasse Tyson does a thing too, so does Willy NelsonBen Stiller must accept all the blame for this sequel to a film that sucked its first time around. I could continue but you can imagine where this is going.

UNIVERSAL GRAPEVINE RADIO PROGRAM
KZSC  88.1 FM or live online at
www.KZSC.ORG     TUESDAYS 7-8 P.M.

UNIVERSAL GRAPEVINE. Each and every Tuesday from 7:00-8:00 p.m. I host Universal Grapevine on KZSC 88.1 fm. or on your computer, (live only or archived for two weeks… (See next paragraph) and go to WWW.KZSC.ORGStuart Thornton and Eric Henze discuss their Monterey Bay travel books, “Monterey & Carmel” (it includes Santa Cruz) and ” Henry Cowell Redwoods State Park” and Wilder Ranch State Park on March 1. They’re followed by M. Sophia Santiago talking about her show of ” The Long View” being shown 3/4 -3/30. On March 8 Julie James discusses Jewel Theatre’s “Master Class” production, that’s the Maria Callas sessions on stage. Then also on the 8th David Foster from Habitat For Humanity tells us about their new Senior Home Project. March !5 has Dru Glover talking about the aims and goals of Project: Pollinate Santa Cruz Then Michael Tierra talks about the music of “The Northwest Passage” happening March 20. Brian Ragunan tells us about the UCSC Veterans programs and benefits on March 22. Michel Singher talks about the next concert of the Espressivo Orchestra on March 29. He’s followed by Jack Nelson relating the purposes and achievements of the Committee For Sensible Transportation. 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

My stepfather was an opera singer, and he even looked a little like Pavarotti. Watch this thing all the way to the end; it’s hysterical!

NEW UNIVERSAL GRAPEVINE ARCHIVE FEATURE. Stuff changes at KZSC a lot. If you missed either of the last two weeks of Universal Grapevine broadcasts go herehttp://www.radiofreeamerica.com/dj/bruce-bratton You have to listen to about 4 minutes of that week’s KPFA news first, then Grapevine happens.

UNIVERSAL GRAPEVINE ARCHIVES. In case you missed some of the great people I’ve interviewed in the last 9 years here’s a chronological list of some past broadcasts.  Such a wide range of folks such as  Nikki Silva, Michael Warren, Tom Noddy, UCSC Chancellor George Blumenthal, Anita Monga, Mark Wainer, Judy Johnson-Darrow, Wendy Mayer-Lochtefeld, Rachel Goodman, George Newell, Tubten Pende, Gina Marie Hayes, Rebecca Ronay-Hazleton, Miriam Ellis, Deb Mc Arthur, The Great Morgani on Street performing, and Paul Whitworth on Krapps Last Tape. Jodi McGraw on Sandhills, Bruce Daniels on area water problems. Mike Pappas on the Olive Connection, Sandy Lydon on County History. Paul Johnston on political organizing, Rick Longinotti on De-Sal. Dan Haifley on Monterey Bay Sanctuary, Dan Harder on Santa Cruz City Museum. Sara Wilbourne on Santa Cruz Ballet Theatre. Brian Spencer on SEE Theatre Co. Paula Kenyon and Karen Massaro on MAH and Big Creek Pottery. Carolyn Burke on Edith Piaf. Peggy Dolgenos on Cruzio. Julie James on Jewel Theatre Company. Then there’s Pat Matejcek on environment, Nancy Abrams and Joel Primack on the Universe plus Nina Simon from MAH, Rob Slawinski, Gary Bascou, Judge Paul Burdick, John Brown Childs, Ellen Kimmel, Don Williams, Kinan Valdez, Ellen Murtha, John Leopold, Karen Kefauver, Chip Lord, Judy Bouley, Rob Sean Wilson, Ann Simonton, Lori Rivera, Sayaka Yabuki, Chris Kinney, Celia and Peter Scott, Chris Krohn, David Swanger, Chelsea Juarez…and that’s just since January 2011.

QUOTES

“It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade”, Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

“Joy is not in things; it is in us”,Richard Wagner

“In March the soft rains continued, and each storm waited courteously until its predecessor sunk beneath the ground”,John Steinbeck, East of Eden

COLUMN COMMUNICATIONS.

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

BEST OF VINTAGE STEVEN DeCINZO.

Deep Cover by Tim Eagan.

Posted in Weekly Articles | Comments Off on February 29 – March 6, 2016

February 24 – March 1, 2016

THE PEOPLES BANK, WELLS FARGO BANK, THE ID BUILDING, AND NOW THE SOCK SHOP. This is the corner of Locust and Pacific. January 4, 1965. As usual, I like to point out the width of Pacific Avenue back then. See the parked cars, and the line of cars driving south with plenty of room. That’s before cut outs, parkletts, and “lamb chops” were inserted.

photo credit: Covello & Covello Historical photo collection.

Additional information always welcome: email photo@brattononline.com

DATELINE  February 22, 2016

BEACH FLATS GARDEN ISSUE.  Anyone who follows the political history of how the City Of Santa Cruz deals with Charlie Canfield’s Seaside Boardwalk Corporation knows that the ever greedy, monoply Boardwalk always wins. They win because The Boardwalk has more money and better attorneys than the City Of Santa Cruz. The City has always backed down in any possible confrontation. The Beach Flats Garden problem is a perfect example of Boardwalk greed added to City Council fear.

The Beach Flats Garden Coalition put out a press release on Feb. 1 among other things it said, “that the coalition urges the city to drop threats to the gardeners and try to seek creative solutions. The Beach Flats Garden Coalition announced it is organizing a community fundraising campaign to help the City of Santa Cruz purchase the Beach Flats Community Garden property. Neighborhood volunteers have spent over 20 years transforming this once derelict dumping ground into a verdant oasis, cited recently by researchers for its outstanding biodiversity and cultural significance. Meanwhile, the city has indicated it intends to fence off 40% of the site (well over half of the cultivated land) on Tuesday, February 2, and eject all but one of the current gardeners from their plots. In October, the City Council voted unanimously to negotiate purchase of the current site as a public park.  Current gardeners, as well as hundreds of community supporters, have spent hours in meetings with city officials in the effort to cooperate and support creative plans to save the entire garden. On January 25th, three gardeners delivered a letter signed by seventeen of their colleagues, saying they are “hoping and trusting in the work being done by the city to buy the land.” The letter, delivered in person to Ms. Shoemaker, stated that all gardeners who signed “wish to continue growing food here in the Beach Flats garden.”  

Community members now fear that City leaders are showing signs of backing away from their commitment to the garden. Despite the City Council’s October resolution to attempt to purchase the entire garden, city staff has not yet begun the negotiations process.  Instead, as expressed in an unexpected statement sent to gardeners on January 30, the City Council “has directed the City Attorney to prepare to initiate appropriate legal action” against them, ignoring the gardeners’ continued interest in gardening.
The Santa Cruz community is stepping up to help the Council achieve its promise. “At the moment, we are speaking with major donors who are interested in making matching grants. If every one of the 3900 people who signed the petition in support of the garden donates just $10, we will be able to raise a significant part of the purchase price ,” said Lynne Cooper, fundraising committee member.  “While this is just the beginning, we hope the City sees how excited we are to find a creative solution to this community need.” Cooper said the group plans to hold a fundraising kickoff event later this month. Garden supporters hope that the fundraising campaign will encourage the City to do just that. To contribute, go to https://www.everribbon.com/ribbon/donate/26087

BABY PENGUIN HATCHES (ON CAMERA) FOR THE BBC.

CORRECTION TO AUXILIARY LANES…A WIDER VIEW. (Repeat from last week with added correction) It took me awhile but after hearing about the concept of “auxiliary lanes” as somehow being different or environmentally better than “Widening Highway One” the dawn came!! Look at the stretches on Hwy 1 that have had “Auxiliary  Lanes” added…it’s just a sneakier way of widening a stretch at a time. Don’t fall for it…keep attached to The Campaign For Sensible Transportation website…they’re on top of this battle to stop the drive to have that $$$ 450 Million Dollar $$$ Transportation Tax happen in November. Jack Nelson co-chair of the Campaign For Sensible Transportation emailed me right after the column went online. He said last Friday  and, at my invitation, wrote a correction on Monday it reads…”Your February 17 Bratton Online column reports CFST is opposing the $450 million sales tax proposal, but that’s not accurate.

We are challenging one piece of the proposal: the $100 million-plus funding component that would widen Highway 1 with new auxiliary lanes.  CFST supports having a local transportation sales tax measure considered by the voters, to include sustainable transportation measures that help reduce automobile dependence in Santa Cruz County along with providing funds to maintain the existing transportation system.  We’re asking the Regional Transportation Commission to move in that direction, instead of including funds for adding lanes on Highway 1 in projects that have been shown will not perform, either to provide long term congestion relief or to promote livable communities.

So, as you may see on our website at www.sensibletransportation.org, CFST supports a sales tax that would provide funds toward improving Santa Cruz Metro bus and paratransit services (and avoiding the looming cuts to service), transit on the rail corridor, safer/better routes for bicyclists and pedestrians including the rail-trail, and funds to local public works departments to maintain existing local streets and roads. You may view CFST’s Highway 1 slide show and sign our petition to the Regional Transportation Commission at our website.  We agree there’s a traffic congestion problem on Highway 1; the necessary question is, what’s smart to do about it, while not helping hand the children of the future a destabilized climate?’End of Jack Nelsons correction.

WHOLE FOODS… A RIPOFF. It’s an old (2015) article in Daily Kos…but I just found it. It tells of faulty labeling, illegal weighing, overcharging, and it goes on to say that the owner of Whole Foods thinks that climate change is A OK and that Obamacare is fascism. Why do Santa Cruzans support such businesses? Check this article…

Think Whole Foods is a ripoff? It’s worse than you thought.

OUR SOCCER PLAYER STATUE. M. Sophia Santiago revealed somewhere in her Facebook outings that our nearly hallowed Surfer Statue created byThomas Marsh was really modeled by a 21 year old soccer player in 1993. M. Maris stated that’s why his shoulder muscles are different from surfer shoulder muscles. I hadn’t noticed. Maybe from now on we should be hanging soccer nets around him instead of surfer type leis.

ACADEMY AWARDS & FILMS AS ART. Good or great films? I had about a two minute with long time friend Eli Hollander UCSC’s film professor a few weeks ago and I’ve been thinking about his  simple statement there are good films and there are great films. ( He convinced me that Anomalisa was a good not great film). We agreed that there were no great films this past year…and only a few good ones. That’s important, especially to me. I took about seven or eight years of film classes at UC Berkeley and UC Santa Cruz. I planned and researched for a cinema book at The American Film Institute, The Berlin Film Museum and the Academy of Motion Pictures, I see about 200 films on screens in Santa Cruz annually and another nealry 200 films at home. I enjoy the role of voicing my opinion on terrible, good and great films here and on KZSC every week. With the Academy Awards happening this weekend I just wanted to bring this up. Again this week friends are reacting to Son of Saul saying “it looks too grim”, “I don’t like sad movies” etc. To me that’s like saying I won’t look at Picasso’s  La Guernica, no Shakespeare tradegies, no Beckett, no Goya Disasters of War… films too are art. The most popular art in the world, ever. Like theatre plays, they aren’t real they’re only movies. Go see more good and great movies in spite of The Academy.

GIVING SAFEWAY/ALBERTSONS MORE PROFITS PER BAG. There were a lot of folks around our territory who were opposed to grocery stores like Safeway/Albertsons  being allowed to charge extra money for the shopping bags they used to give away for free. We’ll never know how much more money they are taking in from those shoppers who don’t bring their own environment friendly re-usable bags. Did anybody notice even a penny drop in shelf prices after the anti-plastic bag people won their battle?

HILLARY BRATTON TO SING…. Daughter Hillary sings this Sunday (2/28) in North Hollywood for those readers amongst you…who are in that neighborhood. The note states…Come join us for brunch and see and hear Hillary Bratton and The Mynabirds at the next Mimosa Music Series 2/28 at The Federal Bar in North Hollywood. Hillary will be performing with Barry Reynolds (Marianne Faithfull…) and Sebastian Sternberg. Her cool album, “Tears On My Pillow, but The Rest Of The Bed is OK” is produced by Anton Fier !Doors open at 11AM. More info on Hillary Bratton: here!

Mr. Paul Elerick of Aptos writes…

PAUL’S VIEW OF SENSIBLE TRANSPORTATION AND THE TAX MEASURE.

 

Passing a 1/2 cent sales tax to fix our streets and roads moves us ahead on the rail trail, funding for METRO to provide additional  services, especially for the elderly and disabled plus major bicycle and pedestrian improvements will be funded in the tax measure.  And yes, 20% of the tax measure goes to building auxiliary lanes on Highway 1, from Soquel Ave. to State Park Drive in stages. Included in the 20% is $8 million dollars for a highway bike and pedestrian overpass.  Auxiliary lanes should not be considered  as highway widening since they start at stop and freeway entrances and exits. These are very different than  2004’s Measure J that featured aux lanes and HOV lanes from the Fishhook to San Andreas Rd..  The best example of a useful aux lane is the northbound aux lane from Soquel Ave. to Morrissey Blvd., used by many who never use the freeway lanes but use these aux lanes to get around faster.  The proposed aux lanes can’t help but get people who live north of State Park Drive to work and home faster!

 

Passing the tax measure will require a 2/3 majority, which to me is an impossibility without including something for highway users. The tax measure’s passage became even more important after last week’s announcement of losing state funding for a long list of transportation projects for Santa Cruz County.  So without going into too much detail, I am no longer a co-chair of the Campaign for Sensible Transportation.  Their effort currently is to convince voters to support their version of a transportation measure with zero dollars for the aux lanes.  This is a sure way to kill any tax measure; my effort will continue to be to oppose CFST on this and to support a tax measure presented by the Regional Transportation Commission that offers something for everybody.  (Paul Elerick is a member of, and former co-chair of the Campaign for Sensible Transportation, http://sensibletransportation.org . He’s a current member of Nisene to Sea, a group of mid-county citizens committed to maintaining an open hiking trail from Cabrillo College to Nisene Marks State Park

GREENSITE’S INSIGHT. Gillian emailed to say…” I have family in town and will be back next week.

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

PATTON’S PROGRAM. Gary states on his 3 times weekly KUSP program…

In Monterey County, the City of Marina has an Urban Growth Boundary, established by an initiative measure enacted by the voters some years ago. I am pretty sure that Marina is the only city in Monterey County that has taken action to stop the kind of urban sprawl that is still all too typical around the state. Supposedly, each county’s Local Agency Formation Commission, or LAFCO, is supposed to set boundaries against sprawl, but in Monterey County, at least, that system has allowed cities like Salinas and Greenfield to annex and develop huge areas of agricultural land.

Santa Cruz County jurisdictions have taken a more positive approach to Urban Growth Boundaries. The City of Santa Cruz has a voter-approved “Greenbelt Ordinance.” Watsonville has also established a voter-approved line, to prevent sprawl, and of course the County’s Measure J Growth Management System, adopted by the voters in 1978, prevents the kind of unincorporated sprawl development that would undoubtedly have occurred in Santa Cruz County without the enactment of that measure.

In Santa Clara County, where sprawl was king for many years, keeping pace with precedents in Los Angeles and Orange Counties in the South, voters in Gilroy are now likely to get an opportunity to enact an Urban Growth Boundary for that city. There is a link to more information at kusp.org/landuse. Read the complete scripts of the above at Gary Patton’s KUSP Land Use site http://blogs.kusp.org/landuse . Gary is a former Santa Cruz County Supervisor (20 years) and an attorney who represents indivuduals and community groups on land use and environmenatl issues. The opinions expressed are Mr. Patton’s. Gary has his own website, Two Worlds/365” – www.gapatton.net

CLASSICAL DeCINZO. DeCinzo reveals our darker side…scroll below…

EAGAN’S DEEP COVER. Tim Eagan  detects a rampant case of elefantiasis and the Supreme Court…see downwards.

SANTA CRUZ BAROQUE FESTIVAL’S SECOND CONCERT. Their press release says,

“Santa Cruz Baroque Festival continues their 43rd season with The Bass Revolution. Rebecca Rust and Friedrich Edelmann, The San Francisco-Munich Trio, join us to perform High Baroque pieces in explorative and exciting new ways. The cello and bassoon will be the center of attention with their expressive “male” solo voices. 

The Baroque cello and bassoon (originally named the violoncello and dulcian) became passionate ‘male’ solo musical voices expressing a previously unsung heroism.  Experience how Bach, Vivaldi and other High Baroque composers opened new territories of expression through these instruments, that Mozart and Beethoven developed even further while musical sensibilities evolved to the Classical and Romantic eras.  Rebecca Rust and Friedrich Edelmann are the revolutionary upstarts, from the ranks of supportive orchestral musicians, to take us on this musical journey”. It happens this Sunday, February 28, 2016 at 3:00 pm in the UCSC Music Center Recital Hall, University of California Santa Cruz campus

Presented by the Santa Cruz Baroque Festival as a part of their 2016 Season, “Cutting Edge Early Music” and Tickets available online: http://www.scbaroque.org

LISA JENSEN LINKS. Lisa again writes: “The underpinnings of a longtime marriage are revealed by subtle, seismic degrees in the fine-tuned 45 Years, this week at Lisa Jensen Online Express (http://ljo-express.blogspot.com). Also, check out my predictions in this year’s (very limited) Oscar field.”

TO SEE OR NOT TO SEE

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

THE VVITCH…Official trailer. This gives you some idea of the seriousness and setting and dialects in this unnerving and good film.

SON OF SAUL. There will always be more stories about the holocaust. This is an excellent film and is up for best foreign film award at the Oscars.(Hungary). Saul, the Jewish hero of the film is forced to work at Auschwitz as part of the Sonderkommando work crew. They had the job of making sure the killing of the Jews was as fast, clean and profitable as possible. Saul see the body of his son and goes beyond human limits to have a traditional Jewish burial instead of the furnaces for him. It starts sad and tormenting and ends the same way. It’s somber, stark, and again another reminder of what hatred and prejudice can do. See this film.

THE VVITCH. That’s not a “w” in “Witch”, for some unexplained reason the film always uses 2 capital v’s in the title.  This completely deadily serious film does a fine job of creating and keeping a very scary mood throughout the whole piece. It’s set in 1630 New England centering on a family just off the boat from the old country. Perfect acting, perfect sets, the Brit/New England accents are hard to follow at times. There isn’t a familiar “ghost” idea in this film. No chainsaws, cellar stairs, hockey masks, or more importantly not one previously used scene in it.

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

WHERE TO INVADE NEXT. We liberals/progressives tend to think we know everything that Michael Moore has to say in his films…we sure don’t. His Invade film is full of very well thought out political concepts that we overlook constantly. He takes on women’s rights, slavery, college tuition, pregnancy leaves, bankers going to jail, decrominalizing drugs, prison sentences, school lunches, and many more. Moore is way too heavy handed and sinplistic but there are some very tearful and relevant points he makes in this documentary. He delivers the fact that so many great steps in human legal prigress were started way back when in the good ol’ USA!!! See this film. And vote accordingly! (that would be Bernie, naturally).

45 YEARS.  Charlotte  Rampling deserves at least two Oscars and something more meaningful for the role she plays in 45 Years.This quiet, subtle, masterful, very British film is a masterpiece. Watching Rampling and Tom Courtney play a couple “celebrating”  their 45th wedding anniversary has the power to enter your subconscious and make you wonder about your relationships. You have to pay very close attention to every expression Rampling shares. She has never been more expressive or more difficult to “read”. As I said, it’s a British film. Don’t miss it especially if you’ve ever had a long relationship.

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

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

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

THE LADY IN THE VANMaggie Smith is now 81 years old. She’s played everything from Desdomona in the 1965 Othello to Exotic Hotels and Harry Potter roles. Her real acting strength has saved many dull minutes in Dowmnton Abbey, as we all know. She’s just as good in this one as the cranky, haunted, funny, brittle, homeless old lady living in a van…obviously. You’ll laugh a bunch of times, the plot does get bogged down, but if you’re a fan of Maggies, it’s well worth seeing.

PRIDE AND PREJUDICE AND ZOMBIES. As you can guess this film is adapted from two books one is Jane Austen’s and the other one sure isn’t. It’s a big British costume drama like “would you care for some blood with your tea..m’dear? “. It’s James Darcy chasing after Elizabeth Bennett again but this time Elizabeth knows martial arts and straps knives and weapons in her semi-private places. A weird film, the zombies aren’t as menacing as they should be and the Bennett sisters are too menacing. It’s best on a big screen, if you have to go.

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

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

HAIL CAESAR. Let’s face it…the Coen Brothers just can’t get it together to direct great films anymore. Think back to Blood Simple, Raising Arizona, Fargo, Oh Brother Where art thou, and more. Hail Caesar stars George Clooney, Tilda Swinton, Josh Brolin, Scarlett  Johansson, Channing Tatum, and Ralph Fiennes and it still will provide you with about two half laughs. It’s a very polite, condescending, wholesome satire on the Hollywood of MGM, Esther Williams, Ben Hur, Charlton Heston, Gary Cooper et al. Its sophmoric, easy, nearly stupid attempts at humor are embarrassing. Wait and rent it.

BATTLING FOR BOTTOM = DEADPOOL & ZOOLANDER 2. To be fair Deadpool is a better movie, because if you’ve followed the Deadpool comic book character for its many years you might relate to this meaningless , pointless, extra violent mess. Deadpool is a reluctant, foul mouthed superhero. If you like superhero/Marvel type graphic heroes, you could like this movie. Zoolender 2 for some reason attracted Benedict Cumberbatch to play a maybe trans gendered monster in a few scenes and scads of stars to blink on screen. Neil deGrasse Tyson does a thing too, so does Willy NelsonBen Stiller must accept all the blame for this sequel to a film that sucked its first time around. I could go continue but you can imagine where this is going.

UNIVERSAL GRAPEVINE RADIO PROGRAM
KZSC  88.1 FM or live online at
www.KZSC.ORG     TUESDAYS 7-8 P.M.

UNIVERSAL GRAPEVINE. Each and every Tuesday from 7:00-8:00 p.m. I host Universal Grapevine on KZSC 88.1 fm. or on your computer, (live only or archived for two weeks… (See next paragraph) and go to WWW.KZSC.ORGFeb.23 has Chase Sullivan telling us all about the Five Branches University. After Chase, UCSC dramaturg Adrian Centeno talks about “Marques”. That’s the Narco-Macbeth play running 2/26-3/6 at UCSC. Stuart Thornton and Eric Henze discuss their Monterey Bay travel books, “Monterey & Carmel” (it includes Santa Cruz) and ” Henry Cowell  on March 1. They’re followed by M. Sophia Santiago talking about her show of ” The Long View” being shown 3/4 -3/30. Michael Tierra talks about the music of “The Northwest Passage” happening March 20. Brian Ragunan tells us about the UCSC Veterans programs and benefits on March 22. Michel Singher talks about The next concert of the Espressivo Orchestra on March 29. 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

This guy is one of my favorites! Magic and comedy in combination is a great thing, in my opinion.

NEW UNIVERSAL GRAPEVINE ARCHIVE FEATURE. Stuff changes at KZSC a lot. If you missed either of the last two weeks of Universal Grapevine broadcasts go herehttp://www.radiofreeamerica.com/dj/bruce-bratton You have to listen to about 4 minutes of that week’s KPFA news first, then Grapevine happens.

UNIVERSAL GRAPEVINE ARCHIVES. In case you missed some of the great people I’ve interviewed in the last 9 years here’s a chronological list of some past broadcasts.  Such a wide range of folks such as  Nikki Silva, Michael Warren, Tom Noddy, Anita Monga, Mark Wainer, Judy Johnson-Darrow, Wendy Mayer-Lochtefeld, Rachel Goodman, George Newell, Tubten Pende, Gina Marie Hayes, Rebecca Ronay-Hazleton, Miriam Ellis, Deb Mc Arthur, The Great Morgani on Street performing, and Paul Whitworth on Krapps Last Tape. Jodi McGraw on Sandhills, Bruce Daniels on area water problems. Mike Pappas on the Olive Connection, Sandy Lydon on County History. Paul Johnston on political organizing, Rick Longinotti on De-Sal. Dan Haifley on Monterey Bay Sanctuary, Dan Harder on Santa Cruz City Museum. Sara Wilbourne on Santa Cruz Ballet Theatre. Brian Spencer on SEE Theatre Co. Paula Kenyon and Karen Massaro on MAH and Big Creek Pottery. Carolyn Burke on Edith Piaf. Peggy Dolgenos on Cruzio. Julie James on Jewel Theatre Company. Then there’s Pat Matejcek on environment, Nancy Abrams and Joel Primack on the Universe plus Nina Simon from MAH, Rob Slawinski, Gary Bascou, Judge Paul Burdick, John Brown Childs, Ellen Kim mel, Don Williams, Kinan Valdez, Ellen Murtha, John Leopold, Karen Kefauver, Chip Lord, Judy Bouley, Rob Sean Wilson, Ann Simonton, Lori Rivera, Sayaka Yabuki, Chris Kinney, Celia and Peter Scott, Chris Krohn, David Swanger, Chelsea Juarez…and that’s just since January 2011.

QUOTES

“A film is – or should be – more like music than like fiction. It should be a progression of moods and feelings. The theme, what’s behind the emotion, the meaning, all that comes later”, Stanley Kubrick

“If you want a happy ending, that depends, of course, on where you stop your story”, Orson Welles

“A wide screen just makes a bad film twice as bad”, Samuel Goldwyn

“Cinema should make you forget you are sitting in a theater”, Roman Polanski

COLUMN COMMUNICATIONS.

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BEST OF VINTAGE STEVEN DeCINZO.

Deep Cover by Tim Eagan.

Posted in Weekly Articles | Comments Off on February 24 – March 1, 2016

February 17 – 23, 2016

                                             
MEMORIAL DAY 1948. AT 10:48 am. (or 10:41am. depending on which visible clock we can trust) Do also notice the two way Pacific Avenue, and note the two lanes of parked cars and still plenty of room for 5 lines of the marching bands. That’s Locust Streetgoing off to the right, and hardly a franchise-chain store in sight!     

photo credit: Covello & Covello Historical photo collection.

Additional information always welcome: email photo@brattononline.com

                                                                                        DATELINE FEBRUARY 15, 2016

CRUSADING FOR CORRIDORS. Just like using the term “auxiliary lanes” as a coverup for Widening Highway 1 developers and pro-growth politicians are claiming that building clumps of 3 and 4 story high rises along our most heavily used streets is environmentally OK. By claiming that we’ll use fewer gas miles by walking (or biking) from these ugly dwellings to shop. These money-minded developers know damned well that in our spread out county (and cities) few if any, would or could walk from COSTCOto their Doctors, or from TARGET to their Dentists, or from the movies to their car repair place. Think about how “thin” our County is because of the mountains and the coast line. Think about how ugly the new PAMF (Palo Alto Medical Facility) on Mission (Highway 1) is and how it’s built right up to the sidewalk. The approaches and major streets in our county are ugly enough…stop the corridor push.

AUXILIARY LANES…A WIDER VIEW. It took me awhile but after hearing about the concept of “auxiliary lanes” as somehow being different or environmentally better than “Widening Highway One” the dawn came!! Look at the stretches on Hwy 1 that have had “Auxiliary  Lanes” added…it’s just a sneakier way of widening a stretch at a time. Don’t fall for it…keep attached to The Campaign For Sensible Transportationwebsite…they’re on top of this battle to stop the drive to have that $$$ 450 Million Dollar $$$ Transportation Taxhappen in November. http://sensibletransportation.org

PIANO JUGGLER! Cousin Dean Hagenalso sent this crazed juggler and his piano

A SHOW OF HANDS. Now that no one can see us , on the count of three, let’s everybody who feels funny about voting for candidates with the last names of Panetta and Alejo raise our hands….ready? One, Two and….

IRRUPTING GREY HAYES. Grey was my guest on Universal Grapevine last Tuesday (2/09,  and it’s archived). We talked about saving the unique nature of our North Coast from it becoming a National Monument. He reported on Frans Lanting’s sold out two productions at the Rio the week before, and how Frans talked about  and showed the graffitti along the north Coast Cliffs. More than that we talked about the irruption of robins and the rare biota that exist all long the coast and how we have to constantly be on our guard against the Land Trusts and other money making attempts to sell off our unique treasure lot by lot. It’s important that if you want to be kept abreast of local nature go and subscribe to Grey Haye’s website. He’s busy at Elkhorn Sloughand updates it as often as he can …check it out…http://greyhayes.net

ODD QUESTION. Judi Riva asks, “How come I never heard of these people” check out the clip… How two Santa Cruz artists changed the course of environmental history .  I gotta admit, I never heard of them either.

Mr. Paul Elerick of Aptos writes…
APTOSIANS TAKE IT ON THE CHIN (AGAIN)

In a series of setbacks, still another quality of life issue has hit the Aptos community.   As reported in the Sentinel, the ceramic tiles that had survived for years on “memory wall” at Seacliff Beach State Parkwere scraped clean in the middle of the night.  The purported owner of the wall isn’t returning calls, she lives in Los Gatos and her beach home is a second home.  Citizens who commemorated lost loved ones with their names on tiles can’t even find out where the removed tiles are located.  This was not done by State Parks, it was done by person or persons unknown.  Having the access road to the wall closed to park users due to storm damage made this overnight desecration easier.

 

Two weeks ago, the latest owner of Rancho Del Mar closed the Aptos Cinemas and ripped out the newly installed chairs, with a promise of “holding public meetings” to determine what we want there.  That’s funny if it wasn’t so sad.  WE WOULD LIKE OUR MOVIE THEATER BACK.  The new owners, Terramar shopping center developers from Southern California appear far more aggressive than previous owners of the property.  I learned that the chairs from the Aptos Cinema will be reused at another of the theaters owned by operators of the Nick in Santa Cruz.

 

As I write this, demolition of the attached structure to the Aptos Apple Barn is underway.  All in preparation for the first big move to create an “Aptos Village” by moving the Apple Barn a short distance away from where it is to accommodate a “new” grocery store. We’re preparing (but not sure how) for two or more years of new traffic signal installation , street widening and then construction of the new Aptos Village.

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

COWELL BEACH COVER UP: PART 2.

When Scott Collins, assistant to the city manager announced at a public meeting on February 1st that the council hearing on the Cowell Beach Water Quality issue was to be held on February 23rd, he misspoke. Made a mistake. Can happen to anyone. That he waited until 3 hours before the actual hearing on February 9th to alert members of the Cowell Working Group (CWG) of his mistake, despite his putting the item on the council agenda the previous week, suggests something more calculated.

By chance, I caught his email, was able to cancel previous commitments and make it to the council hearing that same afternoon. Not so fortunate were the mothers of small children who wanted to comment and who thought it was the 23rd. Nor anyone who read my last BrattonOnline piece with the 23rd date included and who might have liked to comment or attend. Explaining this to council at the hearing, I requested a continuance to the 23rd. That went nowhere.  The Sierra Club’s recommendation that multiple source DNA testing be the first line of attack went nowhere.  

The staff recommendations, unanimously approved by council members, include allocating $50,000 to place screens high under the wharf near the shoreline, to deter pigeons that roost under the wharf. Never mind that pigeons have been at the wharf forever and the water quality has deteriorated only since 2006, the birds the word. Perhaps birds are a contributing factor but until scientifically rigorous DNA source testing is conducted to determine the main sources (human, canine, bird) this is throwing money at a hypothesis. It is reminiscent of Avalon Beach on Catalina Island, which also topped the beach bummer list. Based on a few samples, which turned up negative for human fecal DNA, the city printed up pamphlets for visitors getting off the ferries stating that there was no risk and the birds were the source. Turns out they were wrong. Testing with only a few samples can give misleading results. In the end it was discovered they had faulty sewage infrastructure. It took ten years for them to admit it was true.

Further on the topic of potentially misleading conclusions, the county report delivered to council last December claims that “low level detection of human specific bacterioides in ocean samples at Cowell Beach have declined from 75% to 17%.” This is true. What is omitted from the report is that the higher bacterial samples from 2011 and 2012 were collected in the early morning before the sun rose whereas the lower bacterial samples from 2013 were collected in late morning and the presence of sunlight could affect data interpretation, as enteric bacteria are believed to be broadly sensitive to sunlight.

And so after a year of meetings, a council-appointed committee with city and county water quality professionals ends where it began: with a speculation that it might be the pigeons.  Had I not experienced it first hand, I would not have believed such a cover-up could be conducted with a straight face.  You too will be able to follow the progress of this PR campaign on a new website that the council voted to fund to the tune of $10,000.

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

OK Go, Upside down and Inside Out. This free space clip is real and shot aboard a Russian vehicle. Courtesy of Dr. Mark Bernhard
JONATHAN WINTERS WITH JOHNNY CARSON…AGAIN.

Two absolute masters of their trade go at it.

PATTON’S PROGRAM.Gary’s former daily KUSP Land Use Programstates…

There is a statewide uproar over coastal protection! As many listeners may know, the California Coastal Commission met last week in Morro Bay, and considered whether or not to fire Dr. Charles Lester, the Commission’s Executive Director. The Commission gave notice to Dr. Lester that it intended to terminate him, and he exercised his right to have a public hearing on this termination notice. It was quite a public hearing! Starting at 10:00 in the morning and running to dinner time, the Commission heard from Dr. Lester and hundreds of individuals and organizations. Allthe testimony was in favor of Dr. Lester. A letter signed by 95% of the Coastal Commission staff supported him, and as one person said, when you added up all the members of the various organizations who supported Dr. Lester, more than a million people were asking the Commission to keep him on. With no public explanation at all all, and in a closed door session, the Commission voted 7-5 to fire Dr. Lester. The Governor’s four appointees, who serve at the Governor’s pleasure, led the charge, and while Commissioners denied it, it sure looks like a developer “coup d’etat!” Assembly Member Mark Stone, who represents the Monterey Bay Region, had an immediate reaction. Stone has announced his intention to introduce legislation that will change how the Commission conducts its business. There are links to more information at kusp.org/landuse. Read the complete scripts of the above at Gary Patton’s KUSP Land Usesite http://blogs.kusp.org/landuse. Gary is a former Santa Cruz County Supervisor (20 years) and an attorney who represents indivuduals and community groups on land use and environmental issues. The opinions expressed are Mr. Patton’s. Gary has his own website, Two Worlds/365” – www.gapatton.net

CLASSICAL DeCINZO. Addresses the age old mighty San Lorenzo River problem, scroll downwards…

EAGAN’S DEEP COVER. Eagan shows us how to “head ‘em off at the Pass”. See below..

APTOS KEYBOARD SERIES PRESENTS…Josef Sekon’s Aptos Keyboard Series continues this Sunday (2/21) at St. Andrew Presbyterian Church at 3 p.m. The church is upp the hill at 9850 Monroe Avenue in Aptos. Theodora Serbanescu Martin will plays works by Chopin, Beethoven and Brahms. Tix at the door.

LISA JENSEN LINKS. Lisa writes: “Little things mean a lot this week at Lisa Jensen Online Express (http://ljo-express.blogspot.com), as the underpinnings of a longtime marriage are revealed by subtle, seismic degrees in the fine-tuned film 45 Years.” Lisa has been writing film reviews and columns for Good Times since 1975

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

WHERE TO INVADE NEXT. We liberals/progressives tend to think we know everything that Michael Moorehas to say in his films…we sure don’t. His Invade film is full of very well thought out political concepts that we overlook constantly. He takes on women’s rights, slavery, college tuition, pregnancy leaves, bankers going to jail, decrominalizing drugs, prison sentences, school lunches, and many more. Moore is way too heavy handed and sinplistic but there are some very tearful and relevant points he makes in this documentary. He delivers the fact that so many great steps in human legal prigress were started way back when in the good ol’ USA!!! See this film. And vote accordingly! (that would be Bernie, naturally).

45 YEARS.  Charlotte  Ramplingdeserves at least two Oscars and something more meaningful for the role she plays in 45 Years.This quiet, subtle, masterful, very British film is a masterpiece. Watching Rampling and Tom Courtneyplay a couple “celebrating”  their 45thwedding anniversary has the power to enter your subconscious and make you wonder about your relationships. You have to pay very close attention to every expression Rampling shares. She has never been more expressive or more difficult to “read”. As I said, it’s a British film. Don’t miss it especially if you’ve ever had a long relationship.

BATTLING FOR BOTTOM = DEADPOOL & ZOOLANDER 2. To be fair Deadpool is a better movie, because if you’ve followed the Deadpool comic book character for its many years you might relate to this meaningless, pointless, extra violent mess. Deadpool is a reluctant, foul mouthed superhero. If you like superhero/Marvel type graphic heroes, you could like this movie. Zoolender 2 for some reason attracted Benedict Cumberbatchto play a maybe transgendered monster in a few scenes and scads of stars to blink on screen. Neil deGrasse Tysondoes a thing too, so does Willy NelsonBen Stillermust accept all the blame for this sequel to a film that sucked its  first time around. I could go continue but you can imagine where this is going.

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

ANOMALISA.If you liked, or loved such Charlie Kaufmanfilms as Synecdoche, Being John Malkovich, The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind you will definitely worship Anomalisa.It’s done entirely with animated puppets, and voiced by Jennifer Jason Leigh, Tom Noonan and David Thewlis. Like Kaufman’s other films it views the world through a confused man’s mind. We are never sure of the dream, his illusions, the real world, or how deep the plot is going. Many leveled, subtle, intelligent, unforgiving, and completely unsolavable if you need a clean cut story. It’s like Shakespeare’s serious plays and Wagners Ring Operas, if you need simple stories forget it. If you like major contributions to cinema as art….don’t miss it.

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

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

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

THE LADY IN THE VANMaggie Smithis now 81 years old. She’s played everything from Desdomona in the 1965 Othello to Exotic Hotels and Harry Potter roles. Her real acting strength has saved many dull minutes in Dowmnton Abbey, as we all know. She’s just as good in this one as the cranky, haunted, funny, brittle, homeless old lady living in a van…obviously. You’ll laugh a bunch of times, the plot does get bogged down, but if you’re a fan of Maggies, it’s well worth seeing.

OSCAR NOMINATED SHORTS. If you’ve a tradition of watching Oscar Nominated shorts (5 animated, 5 Live action) you’ll see a few religious rituals and how painful and cruel they are . Then there’s  the usual cutesy, quaint ones, and as usual, there are some you can’t possibly grasp. All in all it’s just about the average run-of-the-mill Oscar Nominated Shorts. No GREAT stuff this year again. None that you’ll remember one hour later.

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

PRIDE AND PREJUDICE AND ZOMBIES. As you can guess this film is adapted from two books one is Jane Austen’s and the other one sure isn’t. It’s a big British costume drama like “would you care for some blood with your tea..m’dear? “. It’s James Darcy chasing after Elizabeth Bennett again but this time Elizabeth knows martial arts and straps knives and weapons in her semi-private places. A weird film, the zombies aren’t as menacing as they should be and the Bennett sisters are too menacing. It’s best on a big screen, if you have to go.

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

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

HAIL CAESAR. Let’s face it…the Coen Brothersjust can’t get it together to direct great films anymore. Think back to Blood Simple, Raising Arizona, Fargo, Oh Brother Where art thou, and more. Hail Caesar stars Goerge Clooney, Tilda Swinton, Josh Brolin, Scarlett  Johanessen, Channing Tatum, and Ralph Fiennes and it still will provide you with about two half laughs. It’s a very polite, condescending, wholesome satire on the Hollywood of MGM, Esther Williams, Ben Hur, Charlton Heston, Gary Cooper et al. Its sophmoric, easy, nearly stupid attempts at humor are embarrassing. Wait and rent it.

THE FINEST HOURS. Chris Pine, Ben Foster, Casey Affleck and Eric Bana are all in this Coast Guard, brave and true rescue movie. You wouldn’t believe they are in it because the film is so dark you can hardly tell who’s talking (or swimming). It’s a saga and seems to be six hours long. Other reviewers who saw it in 3D said is almost unwatchable because the 3D makes it even darker. Something doesn’t work in this plot. We aren’t given enough time to identify (and share) the fear, tragedy, and losses these super brave Coast Guardians have to face. It would even less exciting watching it at home…be warned.

THE CHOICE. Let’s hope Landmark doesn’t bring (or keep) any more really, really bad movies like this to town. Especially when there are reports of brilliant, exciting films being made world-wide. This movie got a miserable 8 points on Rotten Tomatoes. It’s a trashy,trite,over- used Hollywood B movie sex film with no laughs, no surprises, and a plot that you can, but wouldn’t bother writing at home. Stop everybody you know from going to this.

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

UNIVERSAL GRAPEVINE RADIO PROGRAM
KZSC  88.1 FM or live online at
www.KZSC.ORG     TUESDAYS 7-8 P.M.

UNIVERSAL GRAPEVINE. Each and every Tuesday from 7:00-8:00 p.m. I host Universal Grapevine on KZSC 88.1 fm. or on your computer, (live only or archived for two weeks… (See next paragraph) and go to WWW.KZSC.ORG. On Feb. 16th Josef Sekontalks about pianist Theodora Serbanesou-Martin who performs on Feb. 21stas part of his Aptos Keyboard Series. After Josef,  Jacob Martinez follows and tells us of the huge progress that The Digital Nest has been enjoying. Feb.23 has Chase Sullivan telling us all about the Five Branches University. After Chase, UCSC dramaturg Adrian Centeno talks about “Marques”. That’s the Narco-Macbeth play running 2/26-3/6 at UCSC. Stuart Thorntonand Eric Henzediscuss their Monterey Bay travel book, “Monterey & Carmel” (it includes Santa Cruz)  on March 2. 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

“Sweden has distributed author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s feminist manifesto, “We Should All Be Feminists,” to every 16-year-old student in the country.” The essay is an adaptation of the TEDx talk below. When you have a half hour, watching this video is an awesome way to spend it.

NEW UNIVERSAL GRAPEVINE ARCHIVE FEATURE. Stuff changes at KZSC a lot. If you missed either of the last two weeks of Universal Grapevine broadcasts go herehttp://www.radiofreeamerica.com/dj/bruce-brattonYou have to listen to about 4 minutes of that week’s KPFA news first, then Grapevinehappens.

UNIVERSAL GRAPEVINE ARCHIVES. In case you missed some of the great people I’ve interviewed in the last 9 years here’s a chronological list of some past broadcasts.  Such a wide range of folks such as  Nikki Silva, Michael Warren, Tom Noddy, Anita Monga, Mark Wainer, Judy Johnson-Darrow, Wendy Mayer-Lochtefeld, Rachel Goodman, George Newell, Tubten Pende, Gina Marie Hayes, Rebecca Ronay-Hazleton, Miriam Ellis, Deb Mc Arthur, The Great Morganion Street performing, and Paul Whitworthon Krapps Last Tape. Jodi McGrawon Sandhills, Bruce Danielson area water problems. Mike Pappason the Olive Connection, Sandy Lydonon County History. Paul Johnstonon political organizing, Rick Longinottion De-Sal. Dan Haifleyon Monterey Bay Sanctuary, Dan Harderon Santa Cruz City Museum. Sara Wilbourneon Santa Cruz Ballet Theatre. Brian Spenceron SEE Theatre Co. Paula Kenyon and Karen Massaroon MAH and Big Creek Pottery. Carolyn Burkeon Edith Piaf. Peggy Dolgenoson Cruzio. Julie Jameson Jewel Theatre Company. Then there’s Pat Matejcekon environment, Nancy Abramsand Joel Primackon the Universe plus Nina Simonfrom MAH, Rob Slawinski, Gary Bascou, Judge Paul Burdick, John Brown Childs, Ellen Kimmel, Don Williams, Kinan Valdez, Ellen Murtha, John Leopold, Karen Kefauver, Chi p Lord, Judy Bouley, Rob Sean Wilson, Ann Simonton, Lori Rivera, Sayaka Yabuki, Chris Kinney, Celia and Peter Scott, Chris Krohn, David Swanger, Chelsea Juarez…and that’s just since January 2011.

QUOTES

“I never desire to know anything of the detail of political measures, lest even those which I think best should lose anything of their intrinsic value to me, by seeing what low, paltry, personal motives and base machinery and dirty hands have helped to bring them about”. FANNY KEMBLE, Further Records,Feb. 14, 1874.

The radical invents the views. When he has worn them out the conservative adopts them”. MARK TWAIN, Mark Twain’s Notebook.

“No one you’d really like to see in public office has the bad taste to run”, F. PAUL WILSON,Implant

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BEST OF VINTAGE STEVEN DeCINZO.

Deep Cover by Tim Eagan.

Posted in Weekly Articles | Comments Off on February 17 – 23, 2016

February 10 – 16, 2016

THE ONCE GRAND SOUTH PACIFIC COAST RAILWAY STATION # 1905. As you can probably tell this was the way the Train Depot at Depot Park looked back then. Maybe it was known as the Union Railroad depot. (It depends on which train book you look at).                                                  

photo credit: Covello & Covello Historical photo collection.

Additional information always welcome: email photo@brattononline.com

DATELINE February 8, 2016

SANTA CRUZ AFTER HEAVY RAINS. Great shots of our “new” Lighthouse.
SANTA CRUZ’S Shawn Dollar shows us some wave action.

BOOKSHOP SANTA CRUZ AND 1000 HARRY POTTER FANS. More about the health and welfare of having and supporting local businesses is the news about bookshop Santa Cruz’s Harry Potter party last Thursday, Feb.4. Along with bookstores around the country our Bookshop celebrated the dedication and devotion to the Harry Potter books. The

Bookshop attracted over 1,000 kids, and adults. Another item…while placing an order at Palace Art and Office Supply store on Pacific a guy comes up and asks us “where can we get a good lunch around here?”. A very usual and typical question. What he said next was important…”we don’t want one of those cookie cutter places” we sent him to Zoccoli’s. It’s those cookie cutter businesses that take the profits away. Think again about how Pacific Cookie Company started on Pacific Avenue, and also Pizza My Heart, and Lulu Carpenters. Give a small cheer to seeing the tiles vanish from Noah’s Delicatessen, and be sure to attend the opening of the Buttercup Cakes and Farmhouse Frosting’s new store opening Feb. 14 at Noah’s old location. They moved from Locust to Pacific.

FULL DISCLOSURE…I worked for the Santa Cruz Downtown Association for many years, that was before, during and after the 1989 earthquake. I also was a marketing consultant for the SBDC (Small Business Development Center) at Cabrillo College for 15 years and worked with nearly 250-300 small locally owned businesses. I’m very opinionated in favor of locally owned  businesses and our Santa Cruz Downtown.

SANTA CRUZ VETERANS AND JOURNEY FOR CHANGE. It’s a fact that few Americans are willing to face… 22 American veterans commit suicide every day. That’s 22 every day. A bit of perspective is that 2 of our Armed forces die on active duty per day. Because of the need to obtain more and better psychological care some of our local veterans are walking, hiking , marching from Santa Cruz to Sacramento to ask The Department of Defense and The Veterans Administration to change the laws so that..

  • Screening would be conducted by qualified mental health professionals.
  • After discharge, veterans have access to Veterans Administration mental health services within two weeks of their requests.
  • State agencies inform veterans of local services in their home area, contacting them within 30 days of discharge.
  • County agencies make contact with returning veterans within 30 days and conduct a nine-month follow up to offer Veterans Affairs services.

The organizing vets ask, “We are currently in the process of securing places to throw our sleeping bags down at the end of each day of walking. Please let us know if you have any suggestions for the following: San Jose, – Mt. View, – Redwood City, – and Walnut Creek. We are not sure of the numbers yet. Probably 20-100”. Read their Facebook page at  https://www.facebook.com/journeyforveteranchange

SECRET SANTA CRUZ CITY POLITICS. Now’s the time of the political season when political folks of all stripes and angles are looking for possible City Council candidates.It takes very little quesswork to see that the job of council person has become less and less rewarding. Rumors are rife about who could care enough or…know enough to make the council run. Watch this space…

COWELL BEACH COVER UP.

For the past 3 years, Cowell Beach has been an embarrassment for the city due to its top spot on the Heal the Bay’s, CA-wide Beach Bummer list. This tourist-killing distinction is based on state-wide and state-required weekly testing, which documents high levels of e-coli bacteria during the summer months at Cowell’s. This has resulted in an F grade for water quality in the area between the wharf and the lifeguard tower to the west, close to shore. The vast majority of Santa Cruz county beaches earn an A or a B, including Main Beach and the San Lorenzo river mouth, except in the wet season which typically results in worsening grades for most CA beaches near an outfall or river mouth. Not so for Cowell’s, except when the city pumps Neary Lagoon into the ocean during the wet season. What is the source (s) of this high fecal indicator bacteria (FIB) at Cowell’s in the summer? Why is it limited to this area?  Why was it so much cleaner in the 6 years prior to 2006 when it tested at A, A+ with C the lowest?

To address the problem the city council formed a Cowell Beach Water Quality Group (CWG) over a year ago at the initiative of council member David Terrazas, Members include the city and county plus a number of ocean and water-related non-profits. I represent the Sierra Club on the group. As a year-round swimmer at Cowell’s I was eager to get to work to help solve the problem.

I was not invited to the first meeting. At that meeting the group decided that the main goal was to change the public’s perception of the problem. I have some sympathy with that. Many erroneously believe that the sewage treatment plant pumps out at Cowell’s rather than a mile out to sea off Natural Bridges. The city has done serious work to ensure that Neary Lagoon is sealed off from the ocean. Pipes have been cleaned, gates installed. After all this work, the e-coli problem persists at essentially the same level as before, according to a December 2015 county report, despite significantly fewer water samples containing bacteria of human source. This same report minimizes the area of pollution and erroneously confines it to “under the wharf.” Neither Stanford nor the county tested under the wharf and the city tested only 5 samples, an insufficient number from which to draw any conclusion.   

Gillian has much more to report on the above. Read it here….. (link expands, click to collapse)

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

PATTON’S PROGRAM.Gary reports on his KUSP Land Watch Programs…

OLD SANTA CRUZ SURF MOVIES 1973-74. It looks like there were waves even way back then. And the crowds weren’t as serious.

There is a meeting February 15th (President’s Day) on the proposed Coastal Rail Trail. The proposed Coastal Rail Trail in Santa Cruz County would have lots of positive impacts, and maybe some negative impacts, too. It is to be expected that a proposed project of this kind would be controversial, and so it is, though I think it’s fair to say that the majority opinion is that building a new trail from Watsonville to Davenport, along the existing rail right of way, would have lots of positive benefits. The “rail” part is, perhaps, more controversial than the “trail” part, but the current conception is that there would, ultimately, be a genuine “Rail Trail.”

Let me tell you about a meeting to be held Monday, Presidents’ Day, February 15th. Friends of the Rail Trail will be hosting Jeff Boothe, an expert transit consultant from Washington, D.C., who will present specifics on a variety of light rail systems around the United States. This will be an opportunity for interested persons to get an idea about what kind of options might be out there for rail transit, and how it might be possible to fund rail transit in Santa Cruz County. Bruce Sawhill, Chair of Friends of the Rail and Trail, will give a short exposition on the specific demographics of Santa Cruz County, and its suitability for rail transit. The meeting on Monday will begin at 6:30 p.m. at the Vet’s Hall in downtown Santa Cruz, located at 846 Front Street.

Read the complete scripts of the above at Gary Patton’s KUSP Land Use site http://blogs.kusp.org/landuse . Gary is a former Santa Cruz County Supervisor (20 years) and an attorney who represents indivuduals and community groups on land use and environmenatl issues. The opinions expressed are Mr. Patton’s. Gary has his own website, Two Worlds/365” – www.gapatton.net

CLASSICAL DeCINZO. It’s Girl Scout Cookie Time…DeCinzo shares an idea. See below.

EAGAN’S DEEP COVER. Eagan creates another view of IOWA last week….see downwards.

THE ADAM SCOTT FAMILY NEWS. Our only locally born movie star Adam Scott* has a mother who paints, and paints beautifully. That’s Anne Scott-Chambers (they look a lot alike!) She writes… I arrived in Santa Cruz in 1944 at age 3 months: a sleepy little kid in a once-sleepy little town. I have been rooted here since, with many rich forays out, always to return. I began scratching away with crayon, chalk, pencil from my first vertical years and haven’t stopped since, having hopefully strengthened technique since those early days. She has a show at Lulu Carpenters at The Octagon on Cooper Street now through Sunday, April 3. (* Adam Scott starred in The Aviator, Friends with Kids, Passenger Side, Knocked Up and dozens more).

SANTA CRUZ CHAMBER PLAYERS. There’s a world premiere of Grammy-award winning Barry Phillips’ original Santa Cruz Chamber Players composition for mezzo-soprano, flute, clarinet, cello, and piano, ” Dolcissime: O Sweetest Sound” this weekend at the Chamber’s fourth concert of this season. There’ll also be musics by W.A. Mozart, Gunnar de Frumerie, Lou Harrison, and Erich KorngoldTheir PR says, “The musicians will perform some of the most melodic and beloved music from around the globe, including the world-premiere of This magnificently crafted chamber ensemble parallels – in miniature – the multi-faceted sonorities associated with the full orchestra and chorus, creating a singular and uniquely soulful chamber music experience. Expressed in songs both with and without words, and in delightful combinations of voice and instruments alone, immerse yourself in the very best that chamber music can provide for your listening pleasure. Jeff Gallagher, is the  artistic director with clarinet and Solmaaz Adeli, mezzo-soprano, Lars Johannesson, flute, Barry Phillips, cello and composer, with Don Adkins at the piano. it’s happening Saturday, February 13, 7:30 pm and Sunday, February 14, 3 pm at the hard-to –find Christ Lutheran Church off Freedom Blvd. In Aptos.

LISA JENSEN LINKS Lisa writes: “Time-travel back to Golden Age Hollywood with the Coen Brothers’ sly Hail, Caesar!,  this week at Lisa Jensen Online Express (http://ljo-express.blogspot.com). Also, check out my cool new book trailer for Alias Hook!” Lisa has been writing film reviews and columns for Good Times since 1975.

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

THE LADY IN THE VANMaggie Smith is now 81 years old. She’s played everything from Desdomona in the 1965 Othello to Exotic Hotels and Harry Potter roles. Her real acting strength has saved many dull minutes in Downton Abbey, as we all know. She’s just as good in this one as the cranky, haunted, funny, brittle, homeless old lady living in a van…obviously. You’ll laugh a bunch of times, the plot does get bogged down, but if you’re a fan of Maggie’s, it’s well worth seeing.

PRIDE AND PREJUDICE AND ZOMBIES. As you can guess this film is adapted from two books one is Jane Austen’s and the other one sure isn’t. It’s a big British costume drama like “would you care for some blood with your tea…m’dear? “. It’s James Darcy chasing after Elizabeth Bennett again, but this time Elizabeth knows martial arts and straps knives and weapons in her semi-private places. A weird film, the zombies aren’t as menacing as they should be and the Bennett sisters are too menacing. It’s best on a big screen, if you have to go.

HAIL CAESAR. Let’s face it…the Coen Brothers just can’t get it together to direct great films anymore. Think back to Blood Simple, Raising Arizona, Fargo, Oh Brother Where art thou, and more. Hail Caesar stars Goerge Clooney, Tilda Swinton, Josh Brolin, Scarlett  Johanessen, Channing Tatum, and Ralph Fiennes and it still will provide you with about two half laughs. It’s a very polite, condescending, wholesome satire on the Hollywood of MGM, Esther Williams, Ben Hur, Charlton Heston, Gary Cooper et al. Its sophmoric, easy, nearly stupid attempts at humor are embarrassing. Wait and rent it.

THE CHOICE. Let’s hope Landmark doesn’t bring any more really, really bad movies like this to town. Especially when there are reports of brilliant, exciting films being made world-wide. This movie got a miserable 8 points on Rotten Tomatoes. It’s a trashy,trite,over- used Hollywood B movie sex film with no laughs, no surprises, and a plot that you can and wouldn’t bother writing at home. Stop everybody you know from going to this.

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

ANOMALISA.If you liked, or loved such Charlie Kaufman films as Synecdoche, Being John Malkovich, The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind you will definitely worship Anomalisa.It’s done entirely with animated puppets, and voiced by Jennifer Jason Leigh, Tom Noonan and David Thewlis. Like Kaufman’s other films it views the world through a confused man’s mind. We are never sure of the dream, his illusions, the real world, or how deep the plot is going. Many leveled, subtle, intelligent, unforgiving, and completely unsolavable if you need a clean cut story. It’s like Shakespeare’s serious plays and Wagners Ring Operas, if you need simple stories forget it. If you like major contributions to cinema as art….don’t miss it.

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

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

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

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

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

OSCAR NOMINATED SHORTS. If you’ve a tradition of watching Oscar Nominated shorts (5 animated, 5 Live action) you’ll see a few religious rituals and how painful and cruel they are . Then there’s the usual cutesy, quaint ones, and as usual, there are some you can’t possibly grasp. All in all it’s just about the average run-of-the-mill Oscar Nominated Shorts. No GREAT stuff this year again. None that you’ll remember one hour later.

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

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

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

THE FINEST HOURS. Chris Pine, Ben Foster, Casey Affleck and Eric Bana are all in this Coast Guard, brave and true rescue movie. You wouldn’t believe they are in it because the film is so dark you can hardly tell who’s talking (or swimming). It’s a saga and seems to be six hours long. Other reviewers who saw it in 3D said is almost unwatchable because the 3D makes it even darker. Something doesn’t work in this plot. We aren’t given enough time to identify (and share) the fear, tragedy, and losses these super brave Coast Guardians have to face. It would even less exciting watching it at home…be warned.

13 HOURS: THE SECRET SOLDIERS OF BENGHAZI. It’s the story of the C.I.A. men stationed in Libya and how they failed to defend the USA embassy during an attack on September 11, 2012. It’s 2 ½ hours of poorly edited combat scenes, and we are provided with almost no back story or explanation of what’s happening. Just blood, violence, and the sadness of losing.

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

UNIVERSAL GRAPEVINE RADIO PROGRAM
KZSC  88.1 FM or live online at
www.KZSC.ORG     TUESDAYS 7-8 P.M.

UNIVERSAL GRAPEVINE. Each and every Tuesday from 7:00-8:00 p.m. I host Universal Grapevine on KZSC 88.1 fm. or on your computer, (live only or archived for two weeks… (See next paragraph) and go to WWW.KZSC.ORGOn February 9 Barry Phillips talks about his Dolcissime Suite premiering at the Santa Cruz Chamber Players on Feb. 13 & 14. Ecologist Grey Hayes is on after Barry talking about our endangered environment. Then on Feb. 16th   Josef Sekon talks about pianist Theodora Serbanesou-Martin who performs on Feb. 21st as part of his Aptos Keyboard Series. After Josef,  Jacob Martinez follows and tells us of the huge progress that The Digital Nest has been enjoying. Feb.23 has Ron Zaidman and Chase Sullivan telling us all about the Five Branches University. Then UCSC dramaturg Adrian Centeno talks about “Marques”. That’s the Narco-Macbeth play running 2/26-3/6 at UCSC.

Do remember, any and all suggestions for future programs are more than welcome so tune in, and keep listening. Email me always at bratton@cruzio.com

NEW UNIVERSAL GRAPEVINE ARCHIVE FEATURE. Stuff changes at KZSC a lot. If you missed either of the last two weeks of Universal Grapevine broadcasts go herehttp://www.radiofreeamerica.com/dj/bruce-bratton You have to listen to about 4 minutes of that week’s KPFA news first, then Grapevine happens.

If you haven’t seen this video, it’s definitely worth a viewing. It’s amazing how their faces change the moment they realize what the photographer said.

UNIVERSAL GRAPEVINE ARCHIVES. In case you missed some of the great people I’ve interviewed in the last 9 years here’s a chronological list of some past broadcasts.  Such a wide range of folks such as  Nikki Silva, Michael Warren, Tom Noddy, Anita Monga, Mark Wainer, Judy Johnson-Darrow, Wendy Mayer-Lochtefeld, Rachel Goodman, George Newell, Tubten Pende, Gina Marie Hayes, Rebecca Ronay-Hazleton, Miriam Ellis, Deb Mc Arthur, The Great Morgani on Street performing, and Paul Whitworth on Krapps Last Tape. Jodi McGraw on Sandhills, Bruce Daniels on area water problems. Mike Pappas on the Olive Connection, Sandy Lydon on County History. Paul Johnston on political organizing, Rick Longinotti on De-Sal. Dan Haifley on Monterey Bay Sanctuary, Dan Harder on Santa Cruz City Museum. Sara Wilbourne on Santa Cruz Ballet Theatre. Brian Spencer on SEE Theatre Co. Paula Kenyon and Karen Massaro on MAH and Big Creek Pottery. Carolyn Burke on Edith Piaf. Peggy Dolgenos on Cruzio. Julie James on Jewel Theatre Company. Then there’s Pat Matejcek on environment, Nancy Abrams and Joel Primack on the Universe plus Nina Simon from MAH, Rob Slawinski, Gary Bascou, Judge Paul Burdick, John Brown Childs, Ellen Kimmel, Don Williams, Kinan Valdez, Ellen Murtha, John Leopold, Karen Kefauver, Chip Lord, Judy Bouley, Rob Sean Wilson, Ann Simonton, Lori Rivera, Sayaka Yabuki, Chris Kinney, Celia and Peter Scott, Chris Krohn, David Swanger, Chelsea Juarez…and that’s just since January 2011.

QUOTES; FOOTBALL

“If a man watches three football games in a row, he should be declared legally dead.”Erma Bombeck . “Some people think football [soccer] is a matter of life and death. I don’t like that attitude. I can assure them it is much more serious than that.” Bill Shankly . “The same boys who got detention in elementary school for beating the crap out of people are now rewarded for it. They call it football.” Laurie Halse Anderson

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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

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BEST OF VINTAGE STEVEN DeCINZO.

Deep Cover by Tim Eagan.

Posted in Weekly Articles | Comments Off on February 10 – 16, 2016

February 3 – 9, 2016

PACIFIC AVENUE, SANTA CRUZ. CIRCA 3:31 p.m. 1925-1928. There may have been a few chain stores on Pacific Avenue back then but I can’t spot any. We can see the original location of our Town Clock Tower atop the O.D.D. Fellows Building. Yes, it’s a parade  and yes, Pacific Avenue was at least FOUR CARS wide!!!

photo credit: Covello & Covello Historical photo collection.

Additional information always welcome: email photo@brattononline.com



Bruce has picked a bunch of Santa Cruz videos this week. I am therefore countering with my home town; Göteborg (Gothenburg), Sweden. I’m a little torn on the time lapse – I both love it and hate it – and darn if I’m not homesick now!

DRONE SHOTS OF SANTA CRUZ. This video clip almost convinced me to buy a drone camera. It is an amazing job of photography & piloting.

DATELINE February 1, 2016

THE CHAINS THAT BIND. Many kind , grateful, thoughtful reactions to last week’s words on the franchising and chain stores on Pacific Avenue.  So many of us are deeply concerned that our weaker and more commercial Santa Cruz City Council will continue offering up and bowing down  to out of town, out of county, out of state corporations that there will be fewer and fewer reasons for anyone to visit or shop downtown. I listed many chain operations located just on our main street corners on Pacific Avenue. I’ve been reminded of many other big chains NOT on our Pacific Street corners. Gap looms large, so does Peets, Regal Cinemas, and Verizon. The Sandwich Spot whew, I missed that one. They have about 30 locations. 14 in Sacramento, some in San Francisco, Palm Springs, LasVegas and San Jose. There’s Cold Stone Creamery with 19 locations “near us” plus stores in Vietnam, India, Cambodia, and Sri Lanka. American Apparel has stores in at least 12 countries and too many states to list. We could add Salvation Army and Western Union but that doesn’t seem fair somehow. They were there before almost all of us.

Does anyone remember Sam Farr’s “Enterprise Zone”? That was a business tax break given to locally owned businesses. We need to stay focussed on just how we continue to market Downtown Santa Cruz. Once upon a time it was a place where local residents went to shop and share in our unique community.

COASTAL COMMISSION’S ON-SHORE BATTLE. By now every environmentalist knows and is shivering over two huge issues. 1. Which way will Governor Jerry Brown vote on the many environmental land use issues facing him right now. He’s always  voted on both sides in the past. The next issue he’ll vote on is to the possible changing of the guardian Charles Lester of the California Coastal Commission. We’ve seen a lot of press even local, with pro- Lester angles. Pat Matecjek sent this LA Times piece from Jan. 26, 2016  It’s one of the best I’ve found.  Check it out. http://www.latimes.com/opinion/op-ed/la-oe-blank-coastal-commission-uproar-20160126-story.html


ELERICK’S INPUT. Mr. Paul Elerick of Aptos writes…
APTOSIANS ARE FEELING THE PAIN OF THE FREE ENTERPRISE SYSTEM.

We’ve followed the saga of Rancho Del Mar’s ownership movements over the past few years.  It was first sold to Safeway’s development company, that was sold later to at least one other corporation.  Now it has landed under ownership of Terramar, a Southern California shopping center developer.  Terramar closed the Aptos Cinema on January 31st and ripped out the theater seats the next day, killing any chance for negotiation to keep the theaters open. There went almost 50 years of Aptos tradition and history.  Also gone was the draw for local small businesses, mostly restaurants and specialty stores, when movie goers were there.

 

From what I understand the rent was raised to an amount that shut out the current movie operator. Terramar placed it at the level of “what it could get under today’s new rent levels”.  What can we expect?  Developers will hold community meetings to find out “what we want”.  When Safeway tried this, they heard the answer of “Nothing!” and decided to sell the center as is and move on.  Terramar appears to be more aggressive. Of course their first strategy will be to tell us “locals” that we really need to replace the “dated” existing Rancho Del Mar.  It’s hard to guess what they will do with the traffic problems already there, and water not there. 

As if to accentuate the loss of our theater, we met several of our Aptos neighbors at the Nick on Sunday night. We all enjoyed “Brooklyn“, and we’ll continue to enjoy movies there.

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

GREENSITE’S INSIGHT.
IT’S THE OLD FOLKS’ FAULT.  

At regular intervals, the Sentinel editorial board trots out a piece to convince readers that the housing problem in Santa Cruz is a direct result of growth control. Last Sunday’s editorial was no exception. It did add a new twist by pointing an additional finger of blame at those older Santa Cruz residents who own homes. Why? Because they vote and younger folks tend not to. Whose fault is that? Plus the older folks get organized to try to preserve the small town quality of Santa Cruz. How selfish of them to want to slow the gentrification and urbanization of their town! Never mind that many older Santa Cruz folks on fixed incomes are also being squeezed out by the ever increasing costs of water, power, food and transportation and many younger folks who work in the tech industry and earn big salaries are snapping up properties. According to the Sentinel editors it’s the old folks who are privileged and the younger folks are paying the price. Such ageism!

The national marketing blurb for the Craig French/Mark Primack 20 acre live-work Delaware Addition (on Delaware Avenue near Swift Street)  touts Santa Cruz as “a great place to be young, single and rich.” Not much room for older folks in that promotion. Most older homeowners in Santa Cruz are of moderate means, with a lifetime of working and contributing to their community. Many were able to buy a house decades ago when you could buy a decent house for under a hundred thousand dollars. At today’s housing prices they could never even consider living in Santa Cruz. When this generation dies out, Santa Cruz will indeed be a town of and for the rich, mostly young, with small pockets of lower income workers in subsidized housing and a huge student population of renters whose parents pay the exorbitant rents.

The editors would have you believe that “growth control policies in particular have an impact on affordability and availability for those young people just starting out.” This has a good ring to it for those who want to promote growth and who stand to profit from it but is it true? Firstly, what growth control?  Santa Cruz County’s growth is on par with the rest of the state. The city’s growth rate is substantial if you factor in the UCSC student population increase of 8000 in the past two decades, half of whom live in the community. Then there’s the question of housing availability. According to the city’s online summary of housing that has been recently constructed, is under construction, has been recently approved or is pending, this adds up to 604 new housing units in a town of 13 square miles. I don’t recall in the past two decades, any housing project opposed by neighbors that was voted down by the city council. The city council did vote to approve a Hyatt hotel on an acre on Broadway which was zoned for housing but you can’t blame the old neighbors for that one. They begged the council to keep it zoned for housing.

As housing activists in the Bay Area say, you cannot build your way into affordability. Housing is a market commodity and a lucrative one for speculators. Economists note that supply and demand simply do not apply where you have an affluent, expanding young high tech workforce over the hill and a ballooning student rental constituency on the hill, ready to snap up whatever is built. Housing prices will continue to climb whatever the supply and we have seen this trend for the past 20 years. Increasing density will not bring down housing prices but will lead only to congestion, urbanization, traffic gridlock and pressure on finite resources such as water. Are housing prices cheaper in dense San Francisco?  

The Sentinel’s dredging up the old myths of growth control and selfish older homeowners indicates they are aware that folks, particularly on the eastside, are getting organized to oppose the city’s Corridors Plan. Expect more of the same from the Sentinel as this fight to save our town from rampant speculation heats up. (Gillian Greensite is a long time local activist,  member of Save Our Big Trees and the Santa Cruz chapter of IDA, International Dark Sky Association. Plus she’s an avid ocean swimmer, hiker and lover of all things wild).

SANTA CRUZ 1955. If you’re new here this’ll show you a taste of our once famed (and often infamous) Miss California contest. Miss California + Miss Watsonville

SANTA CRUZ AGAIN IN 1955. Check out the changes you see around us

PATTON’S PROGRAM. Gary Patton’s KUSP Land Use Report for Wed. Feb 3 sez…

DOWNTOWN SANTA CRUZ MAY BE GOING UP, UP UP!

Decisions about land use have incredibly important impacts on the shape and character of our local communities. Of course, they have economic and environmental impacts, too. Currently, the City of Santa Cruz is engaged in lots of planning efforts that will, if carried through to where they seem to be going, lead to fundamental changes to the city. What is envisioned is a generation of much denser and higher rise developments. A “Corridors Plan,” currently under consideration, would promote these higher, denser developments along all of the City’s major thoroughfares: Mission Street, Ocean Street, Water Street and Soquel.

But that model of higher, denser development is also proposed for downtown Santa Cruz, and specifically for the very extensive area bounded by Soquel Avenue, Front Street, Laurel Street, and Pacific Avenue.

I advise anyone who cares about the future of the City to go the Planning Commission meeting Thursday Feb. 4th . The meeting starts at 7:00 p.m. at the City Council Chambers, and the so-called “Downtown Recovery Plan Amendments” is the only real topic for discussion. As proposed, the “Amendments” will turn downtown Santa Cruz, along both Front and Pacific Avenues, into a much different place. There is more information at kusp.org/landuse.

Read the complete scripts of the above at Gary Patton’s KUSP Land Use site http://blogs.kusp.org/landuse . Gary is a former Santa Cruz County Supervisor (20 years) and an attorney who represents indivuduals and community groups on land use and environmenatl issues. The opinions expressed are Mr. Patton’s. Gary has his own website, Two Worlds/365” – www.gapatton.net

CLASSICAL DeCINZO. Hasta La Juego tourists…here’s an only somewhat dated classic on one of DeCinzo’s favorite topics. See below

EAGAN’S DEEP COVER. Eagan’s Deep Cover goes into Deep Water and the Supreme Court scroll down a little.

LISA JENSEN LINKS. Lisa writes: “Grab some champers for Jewel Theatre Company’s fizzy revival of Noel Coward’s Fallen Angels, this week at Lisa Jensen Online Express (http://ljo-express.blogspot.com). Also, the revels continue for the 20th anniversary of the Gail Rich Awards.” Lisa has been writing film reviews and columns for Good Times since 1975.  

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

THE FINEST HOURS. Chris Pine, Ben Foster, Casey Affleck and Eric Bana are all in this Coast Guard, brave and true rescue movie. You wouldn’t believe they are in it because the film is so dark you can hardly tell who’s talking (or swimming). It’s a saga and seems to be six hours long. Other reviewers who saw it in 3D said is almost unwatchable because the 3D makes it even darker. Something doesn’t work in this plot. We aren’t given enough time to identify (and share) the fear, tragedy, and losses these super brave Coast Guardians have to face. It would even less exciting watching it at home…be warned.

OSCAR NOMINATED SHORTS. If you’ve a tradition of watching Oscar Nominated shorts (5 animated, 5 Live action) you’ll see a few religious rituals and how painful and cruel they are . Then there’s the usual cutesy, quaint ones, and as usual, there are some you can’t possibly grasp. All in all it’s just about the average run-of-the-mill Oscar Nominated Shorts. No GREAT stuff this year again. None that you’ll remember one hour later.

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

ANOMALISA.If you liked, or loved such Charlie Kaufman films as Synecdoche, Being John Malkovich, The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind you will definitely worship Anomalisa.It’s done entirely with animated puppets, and voiced by Jennifer Jason Leigh, Tom Noonan and David Thewlis. Like Kaufman’s other films it views the world through a confused man’s mind. We are never sure of the dream, his illusions, the real world, or how deep the plot is going. Many leveled, subtle, intelligent, unforgiving, and completely unsolavable if you need a clean cut story. It’s like Shakespeare’s serious plays and Wagners Ring Operas, if you need simple stories forget it. If you like major contributions to cinema as art….don’t miss it.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

THE MARTIAN. This Hollywood Matt Damon-starring film is cute, humorous , Hollywoody like George Clooney in Gravity…AND IT’S BEEN PLAYING ON OUR LOCAL SCREENS SINCE October 2015!!! It’s about Damon being left behind on Mars by his team mates (Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig, and Michael Pena). Chiwetal Ejiofor and Jeff Daniels are the NASA, Pasadena JPL business men in charge. It drags in spots and the FX look like they stole them from “2001”. Matt Damon is just too cute and funny and extraordinary to be real, But go see it. You’ll stay awake just to see how it all works out. It’s tense near the end but the ending itself is corney.

13 HOURS: THE SECRET SOLDIERS OF BENGHAZI. It’s the story of the C.I.A. men stationed in Libya and how they failed to defend the USA embassy during an attack on September 11, 2012. It’s 2 ½ hours of poorly edited combat scenes, and we are provided with almost no back story or explanation of what’s happening. Just blood, violence, and the sadness of losing.

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

UNIVERSAL GRAPEVINE RADIO PROGRAM
KZSC  88.1 FM or live online at
www.KZSC.ORG     TUESDAYS 7-8 P.M.

UNIVERSAL GRAPEVINE. Each and every Tuesday from 7:00-8:00 p.m. I host Universal Grapevine on KZSC 88.1 fm. or on your computer, (live only or archived for two weeks… (See next paragraph) and go to WWW.KZSC.ORG. Linda Burman-Hall reveals the Santa Cruz Baroque Festival’s new season on February 2. Following Linda, Dana Bagshaw tells us about Judge and Mrs. Blackburn and the Neary Lagoon neighborhood.  On February 9 Barry Phillips talks about his Dolcissime Suite premiering at the Santa Cruz Chamber Players on Feb. 13 & 14. Ecologist Grey Hayes is on after Barry talking about our endangered environment. Then on Feb. 16th   Josef Sekon talks about pianist Theodora Serbanesou-Martin who performs on Feb. 21st as part of his Aptos Keyboard Series. After Josef,  Jacob Martinez follows and tells us of the huge progress that The Digital Nest has been enjoying. Do remember, any and all suggestions for future programs are more than welcome so tune in, and keep listening. Email me always at bratton@cruzio.com

NEW UNIVERSAL GRAPEVINE ARCHIVE FEATURE. Stuff changes at KZSC a lot. If you missed either of the last two weeks of Universal Grapevine broadcasts go herehttp://www.radiofreeamerica.com/dj/bruce-bratton You have to listen to about 4 minutes of that week’s KPFA news first, then Grapevine happens.

TRIP TO SANTA CRUZ. 1937 & 1938. I’ve linked this before but have had many requests for a repeat.

UNIVERSAL GRAPEVINE ARCHIVES. In case you missed some of the great people I’ve interviewed in the last 9 years here’s a chronological list of some past broadcasts.  Such a wide range of folks such as  Nikki Silva, Michael Warren, Tom Noddy, Anita Monga, Mark Wainer, Judy Johnson-Darrow, Wendy Mayer-Lochtefeld, Rachel Goodman, George Newell, Tubten Pende, Gina Marie Hayes, Rebecca Ronay-Hazleton, Miriam Ellis, Deb Mc Arthur, The Great Morgani on Street performing, and Paul Whitworth on Krapps Last Tape. Jodi McGraw on Sandhills, Bruce Daniels on area water problems. Mike Pappas on the Olive Connection, Sandy Lydon on County History. Paul Johnston on political organizing, Rick Longinotti on De-Sal. Dan Haifley on Monterey Bay Sanctuary, Dan Harder on Santa Cruz City Museum. Sara Wilbourne on Santa Cruz Ballet Theatre. Brian Spencer on SEE Theatre Co. Paula Kenyon and Karen Massaro on MAH and Big Creek Pottery. Carolyn Burke on Edith Piaf.  Peggy Dolgenos on Cruzio. Julie James on Jewel Theatre Company. Then there’s Pat Matejcek on environment, Nancy Abrams and Joel Primack on the Universe plus Nina Simon from MAH, Rob Slawinski, Gary Bascou, Judge Paul Burdick, John Brown Childs, Ellen Ki mmel, Don Williams, Kinan Valdez, Ellen Murtha, John Leopold, Karen Kefauver, Chip Lord, Judy Bouley, Rob Sean Wilson, Ann Simonton, Lori Rivera, Sayaka Yabuki, Chris Kinney, Celia and Peter Scott, Chris Krohn, David Swanger, Chelsea Juarez…and that’s just since January 2011.

QUOTES. “FEBRUARY”.

“The February sunshine steeps your boughs and tints the buds and swells the leaves within”. William C. Bryant. “The most serious charge which can be brought against New England is not Puritanism but February”. Joseph Wood Krutch. “February – the month of love..?!! No wonder the shortest one in the calendar.” Dinesh Kumar Biran. “The day and time itself: late afternoon in early February, was there a moment of the year better suited for despair?” Alice McDermott

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 | 1 Comment