Blog Archives

October 15 – 21, 2013

AT THE FOOT OF OUR 100 YEAR OLD WHARF. The Sea Beach Hotel seen behind the Saloon in the front, opened in 1888 and burned up (or down) in 1912. This wharf, one of our three, was called “the railroad wharf” for obvious reasons.

photo credit: Covello & Covello Historical photo collection.

Additional information always welcome: email

COONERTY. Santa Cruz Sanctuary Camp organizers have been working very hard to create a 1/2 acre sanctuary camp for even just a small portion of our homeless. I think it’s a great idea, it’s been working in many places. Santa Cruz City Council person Micah Posner and Land use attorney and former Supervisor Gary Patton have supported it, Don Lane also seems to like it. Two of the Sanctuary Camp organizers were on my Universal Grapevine program Tuesday night (10/15/13). They told our listeners about how they have been making separate appointments to meet with our County Board of Supervisors, just to get feedback on their plans. No problems getting meetings with John Leopold, Greg Kaput, Zach Friend and Bruce McPherson. Guess whose office has said NO and refused to meet with Santa Cruz Sanctuary Camp??? Yes…Papa Supervisor Neal Coonerty’s office simply told them NO MEETING!

DE-SAL AND THE CITY COUNCIL. Huge cheers are in order for our City Council’s move October 8 th of last week. Also, congrats to the Santa Cruz Sentinel for listening and reacting to so many concerned citizens in their supportive non-de-sal editorial, “money down the drain” on Oct. 9th. It seems like the council has a new strength, and is not being as dependent on “Staff” to make their decisions. Even larger kudos to council member Micah Posner for his lonely but strong stand on this life-changing issue. Let us hope that the planned forums, workshops, feedback sessions or whatever their title will be, really means a dialogue and sharing and genuine listening to each other.

OPEN STUDIOS AROUND SANTA CRUZ. As a prelude to getting into more MAH discussion all of us need to recognize the attendance, the money being made and the participation in our Santa Cruz County Open Studios these last weeks. As it says on the Arts Council website, “We launched the Open Studios Art Tour in 1986 to connect artists directly with art lovers. Our program has become a model for art tours across the country. The self-guided tour gives 300+ artists across Santa Cruz County a chance to welcome art admirers and buyers into their studios. One of the most popular annual events in the county, the Open Studios Art Tour welcomes thousands of locals and visitors who come from all over to see the creative process at work and experience first-hand the artistic diversity of our community”. And somehow MAH, our Art & History museum has virtually eliminated bringing and showing the very art and artists that have been inspiring those Open Studio participants.

MISSING ARTISTIC HEROES. What I’ve neglected to mention in now this 5th column questioning of what’s happening to MAH are the many complaints from young and older MAH supporters about the MAH tradition (and the tradition of both brand new and historic museums around the world). Back before Nina Simon, MAH showed and displayed genuine art and equally as important introduced and invited living artists here to talk about their art. Wayne Thiebaud, Joan Brown, Zandra Rhodes, were all here and each of them inspired local artists to grow and learn. We had a large reflecting pool in the main Art Gallery that showed us new ways to look up down and sideways. Later on we saw a great retrospective of local artist Eduardo Carrillo that explored his inner world…and as so many have communicated….what has Nina accomplished except increasing attendance and getting one time grants to pay the bills? My columns have acted as a message center for so many former board members, staff, donors, and especially historians and artists who aren’t yet willing to take on Nina Simon publicly. I’ve written before that you know most of their names, they belong to many of our Non-Profits and local organizations, and won’t involve their organizations by using their names…..yet.

MORE ADDITIONAL HEAVINESS. Wallace Baine in his Sentinel Sunday October 13 Opinion column (see here) stated that folks who are unhappy with the current MAH are a minority or “perhaps a tiny minority”. This is purely his own bias. He has absolutely no idea whether it’s a huge majority or not. Then when he brings up the “ugly generational tone—critics were toothless old coots standing in their boxer shorts” wow, as he says “we can do better than that”. Yes we can, in fact more than half of the unhappy with MAH critics that have spoken with me are either younger or close to Wallace’s age. And I wonder why he brought up the age issue? What if some of the unhappy were Black, Mexican, or Gay would he have seen fit to dig up that completely non relevant point. (Actually many of the “unhappy” are Black, Mexican or Gay!!). It sure would have been nice if Wallace had included a link to my columns as he did Susan Dobrzynski’s in The New York Times and her Arts Journal blog.

ZASU PITTS REVISITED. Mark Bernhard sent this “new” photo of one time resident and genuine Hollywood Star Zasu Pitts and a friend. Zasu was small but not this small and nope, I don’t know what those mysterious numbers are high atop that giant’s chair she’s in.. Does this photo belong in our History Museum??? Your choice.

JUDITH DOBRZYNSKI’S ARTS JOURNAL BLOG. I’ve been negligent in not checking new additions to Judith’s blog titled “Trouble In Paradise” regarding my columns reacting to her column from August 11, 2013 in the New York times. Comments still coming in (as of Oct.8) from readers all over the USA concerned about MAH and Art museums everywhere. There are many dozens of reactions including some from Nina Simon and Santa Cruz locals…as well as many criticisms of both Nina’s and my disagreeing sources. Check them out.

SANTA CRUZ HOSPITALITY “HOST” LOSES IT!!! Many folks sent this terrible clip of one of our Hospitality Hosts dealing with a protester.

LONDON NELSON or “LOUD N’ NOISY” COMMUNITY CENTER. I long ago gave up trying to fight a much smaller cause than MAH by suggesting that LOUDEN NELSON COMMUNITY CENTER be changed to his more HONEST name LONDON. (We’ll never know his African name, but his plantation brothers were named on documents as Cambridge and Marlborough) But the point here is that in a casual conversation with muralist Peter Bartzcak last week he dropped the name “Loud and Noisy” as a moniker for Louden Neslon Community Center. Just passing that on, I’d never heard it before!.

RESTORE STORE RUNNING NICELY. I had a quick meeting with David Foster of Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore out on 719 Swift Street (go here for the hours, volunteers, pick-up days etc. ). David said the store now does at least $10, 000 in weekend sales, and $150,000 of net profits. That money all goes to making houses, their staff has increased, and there are now 34 volunteers…now that’s success. Check out that website.

Tom Noddy sent this clip of some circus friends of his: Die Maiers. He sez, and I agree, that they are one of the funniest acts in show biz. Click this link to view, I can’t embed the video.

ELERICK’S INPUT. Paul Elerick’s weekly “shot at sanity” has…


Back in 1973, water supply in the mid-county was an issue with Soquel Creek Water District customers. The district called for a $5 million dollar bond vote to extend its service area that passed overwhelmingly in a 17% voter turnout. One of the issues that opponents of the bond measure brought forward was an extension of water service areas would be growth inducing and produce seawater intrusion. The opponents turned out to be right, all be it forty years later, especially on seawater intrusion.

Last week Santa Cruz City Council, after investing over $15 million in studying the water problem, backed away from de-sal to solve a potential water shortage in drought years, which leaves Soquel Creek Water District, their partner in de-sal, up a creek. SCWD is now looking into ways to solve their seawater intrusion problem on their own. What do I suggest? Based on a simple experiment I cut my own water consumption in the past two months by 34% over the same period last year by not watering my small area of lawns. Based on that, more water conservation should be the way to start. (Paul Elerick is co-chair, along with Peter Scott, of the Campaign for Sensible Transportation, , and is a member of Nisene 2 Sea, a group of open space advocates).

Peggy Snyder provides this great hunk of vintage Pickle Family Circus footage. Of course it includes her award winning juggling check it out…

PATTON’S PROGRAM. Gary describes the Williamson Act which when enacted properly can preserve agricultural lands. He tells how in June 1978 our own Measure J ensured our Ag land usage. On Wednesday he tells of the Community Water Coalition (of which I am a long time member and supporter) and includes a link to the Santa Cruz City Council video of the last Council meeting centering on the CWC proposal. Probably the major issue right now is whether or not to complete the EIR. Believe it or not he reminiscences about “Chicken Soup with Rice” and closes with the final Master plan for the Monterey Bay Sanctuary Scenic Trail network. Read all of above scripts at Gary Patton’s KUSP Land Use site Gary is a former Santa Cruz County Supervisor, and an attorney who represents individuals and community groups on land use and environmental issues. The opinions expressed are Mr. Patton’s. Gary has his own website, “Two Worlds / 365?

THE DIMKA LIVE JOURNAL. Rich Siebert sent this link.It’s the world famed Codex Seraphinianus. Talks about your odd, weird, and very cool items; check this out .

VINTAGE DE CINZO. How about changing our world famed Fishook Curve…scroll below about four pages…and see DeCinzo’s classic concept.

EAGANS DEEP COVER. “Just a statistic” sez Eagan see below just a page or two.

MACBETH ON THURSDAY AND SUNDAY. The trailers look perfect and with Kenneth Branagh as Macbeth and (Ms.) Alex Kingston as Lady Macbeth we can’t miss. Here’s what the Del Mar Nickelodeon website says, « National Theatre Live MACBETH

National Theatre Live will broadcast Manchester International Festival’s electrifying production of Macbeth, with Kenneth Branagh (My Week With Marilyn, Hamlet) in his first Shakespeare performance in over a decade as Macbeth, and Alex Kingston (Doctor Who, ER) as Lady Macbeth. Directed by Olivier and Tony Award-winner Rob Ashford (Anna Christie at the Donmar Warehouse, Thoroughly Modern Millie on Broadway) and BAFTA Award-winner Kenneth Branagh, this unique production of Shakespeare’s tragic tale of ambition and treachery unfolds within the walls of an intimate deconsecrated Manchester church. Running Time: 180. The telecast runs only once on Thursday night (10/17) at the Del Mar at 7:30 with an encore screening Sunday (10/20) at 11 a.m.

LISA JENSEN LINKS. Lisa writes: “This week at Lisa Jensen Online Express (, celebrate the 25th anniversary of the beloved Pacific Rim Film Festival, help a Santa Cruz artist launch a new one-woman show, and find out where authors get their ideas in a new ebook anthology on writing speculative fiction.” Lisa has been writing film reviews and columns for Good Times since 1975.


……In order of perfection……

ROBERT REICH CARTOON FROM INEQUALITY FOR ALL. This very fun and totally serious film is now at the Nick and will probably only be there a week…please see it.

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

A plus for the junior set is Reich’s self-mocking comic touch. He’s a master of the short end of the shtick. Well over four feet tall, he misses no opportunity to turn this genetic fact into funny stuff, starting with the lead-in scene where he drives up to the U.C. Berkeley campus in his Mini-Cooper. (You can watch this in the trailer on the film’s web site) The theme is simple, and very familiar to those—well, to those to whom it’s familiar. It’s a cliché in some circles: The rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer. Some of us knew that already.

In fact, if you don’t have time to take in an hour and a half movie, you can quickly get the message, complete with clever animation; in this YouTubed short (see above) with Reich’s voice-over narration.Go here for her full review…

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

WADJDA. A sappy, meaningless, predictable Hollywood style attempt at a woman’s film. It was the first film made by a female Saudi filmmaker and is the first feature film shot entirely in Saudi Arabia and that deserves huge credits. Too bad it has no depth, or even good acting but it is the first film…etc…etc.

ROMEO AND JULIET. Only one critic that I read mentioned the fact that “Wherefore art thou” doesn’t mean “Where”, it means “Why”. As in why do you have that name that is my enemy, what’s in a name etc. The rest of this film is nearly as ridiculous. It’s a re-write of Shakespeare, taking almost all of the rhyme and rhythm out of one of the Bard’s finest works. The kid who plays Juliet is a terrible actor BUT and I mean this it’s almost worth seeing just to see the beautiful city of Verona where it was filmed.


(from BEST 2 worst)

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

GRAVITY. Rotten Tomatoes gave it a rare 98%, and many of my favorite reviewers went crazy over Gravity. George Clooney and Sandra Bullock are the astronauts in trouble and they float around in great 3D trying to fix everything and then battle to survive. Lots of Hollywood muck in this one in spite of director Alfonso Cuaron’s enormous talent.. He’s done some excellent films, Pan’s Labyrinth, Y Tu Mama Tambien, Children of Men but Gravity is not in my list of his best works. It’s about like a Saturday matinee war movie where you wonder if so and so will get home alive. BUT go see it in 3D, it’s probably just me. MY ERROR. Judi Grunstra was kind enough to point out that re Gravity I, Pan’s Labyrinth was directed by Guillermo Del Toro, not Cuaron. Thanks for that correction..; it didn’t seem right when I typed it, but deadlines etc, etc.

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

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

DON JON. Joseph Gordon-Levitt directed this nearly hot and sexy film and Scarlett Johansson does a great acting job as a New Jersey citizen. That’s the looney- crazy attempt at comedy part of the film…then Julianne Moore enters the plot and adds the only reasons to see this 1/2 comedy 1/2 tragedy attempt.

UNIVERSAL GRAPEVINE. Each and every Tuesday from 7:00-8:00 p.m. I host Universal Grapevine on KZSC 88.1 fm. or on your computer (live only or sometimes old programs are archived… (See next paragraph) and go to WWW.KZSC.ORG. October 15 has Erin Tools and Stacey Falls discussing the Santa Cruz Sanctuary Camp. Then Ken Koenig and Ted Orland talk about The Community of Artists photographers group and their show at Felix Kulpa. Santa Cruz County Supervisor John Leopold returns to co-host the bi annual Pledge Drive on Oct. 22 October 29 has Laura Bishop from the 418 Project revealing all their plans for the next season.The winners fom this year’s Bookshop Santa Cruz’s Young Writers contest will read their works on the Nov. 19th program. Do remember, any and all suggestions for future programs are more than welcome so tune in, and keep listening. Email me always at

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

QUOTES. “Art is the most intense mode of individualism that the world has known”, Oscar Wilde. “The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance”, Aristotle. “If you hear a voice within you say ‘you cannot paint,’ then by all means paint, and that voice will be silenced”, Vincent Van Gogh. “Life imitates art far more than art imitates Life” Oscar Wilde.


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Deep Cover by Tim Eagan.

Posted in Weekly Articles | Comments Off on October 15 – 21, 2013

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