Blog Archives

April 1 – 7, 2014

THE ORIGINAL SANTA CRUZ FISHERMAN’S WHARF circa 1910. You can see the Sea Beach Hotel in the upper right hand corner. The fish were for local consumption and according to Sheila O’Hare and Irene Berry most of the fish were packed and shipped to San Francisco. That’s Louis Perez on the left and the boy facing the camera is Stephen Ghio, who died two years after this photo was taken.

photo credit: Covello & Covello Historical photo collection.

DATELINE March 31, 2014

CRUISE SHIPS AND THE “NEW” WHARF. The proposed renovating of our Santa Cruz Wharf has now been revealed, at least in the Sentinel. Good old Roma Design Group has said it’ll be “like adding 2 acres of recreational open space on the bay”. Of course it’ll also be like taking away two acres of the bay, but that’s progress. I hope the city council gives Santa Cruzans a chance to be heard on this. Recently we heard almost at a rumor stage that cruise ships would be able to dock at this 2 acre wharf. We need to think and re-think the consequences of making this wider wharf dockable for cruise ships. Just how much of our Santa Cruz character do we give up to become a Cruise ship stop? Where will these cruise shippers shop? Will they all go to the Boardwalk? Will The Boardwalk be contributing any $$$ to this wider wharf? Does the home grown character and historical significance of our wharf matter to anybody? Is this another not so great idea like the “new” Exploration Center?? Citizen input is necessary here…be sure to ask any and all Cioty Council candidates where they stand on the development of the wharf. …ask them out and out “is the expansion of the wharf a good idea or not?” and don’t let them waffle on it. Speaking of which, where are the current City Council persons stands on this 2 acre wharf??

MAN IN CEMENT MIXER. Not much to comment on here, it’s just one of those stupid things we’ve all tried ONCE.

ETHICS & GOLF. Ted Burke of Shadowbrook and Crow’s Nest pursuits, sends in this one..“This video at the link below is about 78 seconds long, and although a golf situation, it presents a real-life dilemma regarding ethics. . . .
Click here to see for yourself


I’ve had a lot of questions and comments on that new (2012) Exploration Center down by the Wharf and Boardwalk. They all say the same thing…” why was it built?”, “who ever goes there?”, “why is it so boring?”. The answer to those queries is that it cost $15.9 million dollars, the city of Santa Cruz gave the land for free, and I hear that no one, not even the expected number of school children are forced to go there. We need to ask for attendance figures. Turns out that there’s only even just ONE Google review of the place…and that’s got to tell you something. The open hours are only Wednesday-Sunday 10-5 p.m. It’s gotta be our biggest bayside bomb! I know you probably have never been, I went once when it first opened. Who’s responsible for such a waste of good parking spaces? Or the historical waste of that great old Gas station/surfboard rental shop that once stood there??? Youy think there’s other ways $15.9 million dollars could have been spent???



Shortly after 1:00 PM on March 29th, about 40 dedicated hiking advocates met at the entrance to the long awaited Nisene2Sea trail. It was a beautiful event, even with the rain, and after a short briefing by Nisene2Sea leader Kathryn Britton, off we went to walk the trail from Kamian Drive. in Vienna Woods to the fence line at Cabrillo College. Parents and kids, grandparents, dogs on leashes were all there. Space does not permit to document the history of this project that started conceptually back in 1998 when neighbors met with the new property owners to propose selling some of the 142 acres to State Parks and were rebuffed. Our thanks go to County Parks, County Planning, former County Supervisor Ellen Pirie and current County Supervisor Zach Friend for staying with us on this quest.

In the end, the only down side of our trail walk was seeing the rampant desecration of old trees within sight of the trail done by the property owners. We’ll be there when they come forward with their plan to subdivide their land, to make sure County Code Enforcement is being done.

(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).

PATTON’S PROGRAM. Gary opens with the Monterey Peninsula and their water issues. Then he deals with Santa Cruz County’s water problems. Santa Cruz’s City Zoning Administrator or ZA gets a good review and he talks about our civilian Planning Commission. He saves up to deal with The Coastal Commission and the “Ghandour Project” in Sand City and their proposed 1.34 million square feet of new construction!!! He closes by giving us the “Three E’s”. Check him out!!! 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?

EAGANS DEEP COVER. Tim reveals Hobby Lobby inner drives see below…

APRIL IN SANTA CRUZ. Every year UCSC’s music department presents their “Contemporary Music Festival“. They call it ” April In Santa Cruz“. There are six concerts this year. Check it out at . It opens Friday April 6th with Ensemble Nova and guests. Then there’s music by Lou Harrison and all sorts of new music. I wouldn’t miss them.

LISA JENSEN LINKS. Lisa writes: “Find out if the massive Noah sinks or swims, this week at Lisa Jensen Online Express ( Also, more adventures in writing as I discover that even after you write the book, an author’s work is never done.” Lisa has been writing film reviews and columns for Good Times since 1975.

……In order of perfection……

ENEMY. This film is from the book “The Double” by José Saramago. Saramago is one of my favorites. Jake Gyllenhaal plays the lead, he’s one of my favorite actors. I loved every second of this film. Darker than Noah and as surrealistic as Bunuel it’s a piece of art to ponder deeply. Wikipedia says, “Saramago addresses serious matters with empathy for the human condition and for the isolation of contemporary urban life. His characters struggle with their need to connect with one another, form relations and bond as a community, and also with their need for individuality, and to find meaning and dignity outside of political and economic structures”.If you need easy, clear cut non provoking entertainment this isn’t it. But if Fellini, Bergman, and Tarkovsky give you stuff to think about go see Enemy asap. P.S. Isabella Rossellini plays his mother.

LUNCHBOX. You’ve seen the lead Irrfan Khan in great films is you’ve seen any Indian films lately. HBO’s In Treatment, The Life of Pi, Slumdog Millionaire etc. It’s the touching, sensitive, no big action story of a non-relationship. It’s also a tour of contemporary Mumbai, India. It’s a wonderful film.

CESAR CHAVEZ. Michael Pena who plays Cesar in the film is no Cesar Chavez. We learn nothing of Chavez’s upbringing, why he’s such a great leader and where he got the guts to do what he did. We learn nothing about who or what role Dolores Huerta played in all the struggle. It’s interesting to us locally because we all knew a little or a lot about Chavez’ fights and it does give us a framework for what we knew but it’s not much of a portrait of such an important person. It should have been titled “5 years in the life of Cesar Chavez”.

BAD WORDS. This is a much more serious film than the trailers would have you believe. Jason Bateman, the lead actor (and also the director) is excellent in his role. But there’s a dark side, a deep reason that Bateman is competing against the kids in this spelling bee movie, and it’s not funny. Tons of swear words in this film, and the spelling words are fun to learn, but there are a lot of better films out and running at the moment.

NOAH. A very dark, non-human, bloody, director’s version of one part of the bible. If you liked the Bible you probably won’t like this special effects version. There are so many “non biblical” characters and adventures that the entire movie just loses it completely. Check out this biblical source to see just some of the problems. What is amazing is Aronofsky’s addition of huge silly looking stone monsters (looking like Hollywood Transformers) called Watchers that help Noah fight off the humans. But Russell Crowe does as good a job as he can with his funky role and script to match.

(from BEST 2 worst)

THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL. Like Salvatore Dali and Norman Rockwell Wes Anderson makes brilliant films but the intent, meaning, and any statements behind what you see are confusing. Budapest Hotel is one of Anderson’s simplest films. Lots of laughs, not much subtlety, and Ralph Fiennes is at his funniest best. Tilda Swinton, Bill Murray, Jason Schwartzman, Jeff Goldblum, Willem Dafoe, Adrien Brody, Harvey Keitel, Tom Wilkinson, Jude Law, Owen Wilson, Edward Norton and F. Murray Abraham are also in the film for publicity purposes I guess. Rotten Tomatoes says Johnny Depp, Ursula Kuhnt, and Angela Lansbury are in it too, but I didn’t see them.

DIVERGENT. Shailene Woodley has come a long way from George Clooney’s daughter in The Descendents, or her wonderful job in “The Spectacular Now”. She’s the main thing in Divergent. She diverges from the approved 5 factions in this Chicago land of the far distant future. It’s a lot like Hunger Games and Shailene reminds me a lot of Jennifer Lawrence in looks and in the roles they play in both these flicks. Ashley Judd is in this too, so is Kate Winslet. Much war, blood, fights, teen age stuff. You could stay home and study about oil deposits in Santa Cruz County and be better off.

TIM’S VERMEER. The Art of Vermeer would be better titled as Art of Da Mirror. A billioneer engineer thinks Vermeer used mirrors to paint his masterpieces. Maybe he did, so what? What if Van Gogh used his ear as a paintbrush? It is a barely interesting docuumentary, if you’re not too busy, or in a really good mood and have nothing else to do.

THE LEGO MOVIE. Check it out, Rotten Tomatoes gives it a 95 % (Monuments Men got 34%!!!). It’s not THAT great but its clever, sort of Pixar clever. Yes it’s all animated with those little Lego people doing all the acting”. Voices like Morgan Freeman, Elizabeth Banks, and Chris Pratt are just fine, but there are dozens of almost secret throwaway lines that will really grab you. Many product take offs, huge slaps at our commercial lives, and it ends up with what you might even call a moral lesson!!! The 3D version is extra cute…but you could rent it in a year and still enjoy!!

NON STOP. It’s not a “who dunnit” but a “who’s doing it” murder mystery on board an airliner. It’s really confusing, and Liam Neeson holds it together as best he can. It’s odd and disappointing to see Michelle Dockery from Downton Abbey have such an almost non speaking part. Julienne Moore does her usually fine acting as does Lupita Nyong’o from 12 years as a Slave. Go if you want to, but you won’t like it very much.

NEED FOR SPEED. It’s difficult to put all of this racing saga in the overflowing movie trash bin. Aaron Paul and his relationship with co-star Imogen Poots is fascinating and well done. The racing footage is ok even in 3D it’s not great, but ok. The film has such a Hollywood ending like you’ll never believe.

MR. PEABODY AND SHERMAN. I only watched 6 minutes of the part where Peabody and Sherman confront Leonardo DaVinci. It was enough to convince me that none of the wit, cleverness, sharpness of the Rocky & Bullwinkle, Dudley Do Right days were gone. This is just another witless money grubbing Hollywood cartoon.

SON OF GOD.Going to see this saga is way easier than reading the book. It is also more straight from the bible not like the Noah movie. It should have said at the end “No saviors were injured during.. etc”. This shortened version of a made for TV series at least has everyone in the cast liooking Jewish or Italian/Roman. Except of course “HIMSELF” who appears to have come from the Hills of Beverly or Mount Malibu. It’s a sappy, gooey, mass marketed and n ever did tell us how the Shroud of Turin ended up in Santa Cruz!!

300: RISE OF AN EMPIRE. It’s got an evil queen Menses (who looks like a dark, mysterious Margaret O’Brien) fighting the pure-at-heart Sphinctus Erectus who’s from grease or maybe it’s Greece. It’s full of blood and a PG type warning “no acting was performed during the making of this film” should have been given before we had to watch it.

UNIVERSAL GRAPEVINE. Each and every Tuesday from 7:00-8:00 p.m. I host Universal Grapevine on KZSC 88.1 fm. or on your computer (live only or sometimes old programs are archived… (See next paragraph) and go to WWW.KZSC.ORG. UCSC Music prof. Ben Leeds Carson talks about April in Santa Cruz events on April 1st then Gillian Greensite discusses the new Santa Cruz Municipal Wharf plans and Heritage trees. April 8th has Kathleen Johnson from Advocacy Inc.telling us about Senior Care facilities then Marco Romanini guests to talk about Neighbors Organized to Protect Our Community (NOPOC) and their battle against PG&E. On April 13 Peggy Dolgenos from Cruzio discusses the Santa Cruz Business Council followed by Gary Patton on the topic of Land Use and water issues. Santa Cruz County Superior Court Judge Paul Burdick returns April 29 to talk more about issues from the bench. 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 Santa Cruz City Museum. Sara Wilbourne on Santa Cruz Ballet Theatre. Brian Spencer on SEE Theatre Co. Paula Kenyon and Karen Massaro on MAH and Big Creek Pottery. Carolyn Burke on Edith Piaf. Peggy Dolgenos on Cruzio. Julie James on Jewel Theatre Company. Then there’s Pat Matejcek on environment, Nancy Abrams and Joel Primack on the Universe plus Nina Simon from MAH, Rob Slawinski, Gary Bascou, Judge Paul Burdick, John Brown Childs, Ellen Kimmel, Don Williams, Kinan Valdez, Ellen Murtha, John Leopold, Karen Kefauver, Chip Lord, Judy Bouley, Rob Sean Wilson, Ann Simonton, Lori Rivera, Sayaka Yabuki, Chris Kinney, Celia and Peter Scott, Chris Krohn, David Swanger, Chelsea Juarez…and that’s just since January 2011. Hear them all!!!

QUOTES. “The first of April is the day we remember what we are the other 364 days of the year”, Mark Twain. “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”, Shakespeare. “Here cometh April again, and as far as I can see the world hath more fools in it than ever”, Charles Lamb. And of course…..”April is the cruellest month“, T.S.Eliot.


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Deep Cover by Tim Eagan.

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