Blog Archives

December 18 – 24, 2013

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

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

Additional information always welcome: email

DATELINE Monday December 16


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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

PATTON’S PROGRAM. Gary talks about Monterey County and transient occupancy tax, and a new proposal that would make new developments in rural areas impossible!!! (check that one out!!!). He talks about Sand City and some proposed giant developments and gives statistics. He talks about the commercial agricultural use of groundwater and seawater intrusion. His classes at UCSC dealt with “majoritarian democracy,” and how people can change and influence land use changes. Read all of above scripts at Gary Patton’s KUSP Land Use site 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?

CLASSICAL DE CINZO. A traditional DeCinzo Holiday greeting (but not to mega home dwellers) scroll downwards.

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

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

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

……In order of perfection……

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

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

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

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

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

(from BEST 2 worst)

PHILOMENA. I saw this beautifully touching film again 2 weeks ago just to make sure it was/is that good…it is. Judi Dench is never less than wonderful in her wide ranging roles. How she pulls off this true story of a human, less than brilliant mother looking for her orphaned son is magnificient. In case you wonder…Steve Coogan does NOT turn out to be her son. Go see it asap.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

UNIVERSAL GRAPEVINE. Each and every Tuesday from 7:00-8:00 p.m. I host Universal Grapevine on KZSC 88.1 fm. or on your computer (live only or sometimes old programs are archived… (See next paragraph) and go to WWW.KZSC.ORG. Remember that KZSCis off the air 12/20-1/0214. Then on Jan. 7, 2014 Bill Richter and Audrey Stanley will bring us up to date about Shakespeare Play on. Then Gerry Gerringer and Wilma Marcus talk about “8 Tens @ Eight”, Which runs Jan. 3-26. January 14 has Sandy Skees telling us about their group “100+ Women” and their good works. Deutron Kebebew follows to share news and info about “PAPAS” and how that organization helps children. Do remember, any and all suggestions for future programs are more than welcome so tune in, and keep listening. Email me always (and only) at

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


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

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

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

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


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Deep Cover by Tim Eagan.

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

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