Blog Archives

April 16 – 22, 2014


photo credit: Covello & Covello Historical photo collection.

FOUNTAINS OF CHAIN. I found this science mystery in the N.Y. Times.
GREAT AD. Wait for the ending…



A courageous group of Aptos neighbors have organized to try to stop P.G.& E. from erecting nine (9) miles of 40-to 100 foot tall poles across their backyards, berry farms and apple orchards. There’s an EIR report due in June but that’ll just say that P.G.& E. have to plant 150 new trees someplace because they are cutting down that many for these new power lines. N.O.P.O.C. has hired land use attorney Bill Parkin to represent them. P.G. & E. has never revealed the reason why they want to put in these new lines. Of course it is in direct conflict with local zoning regulations and the County General plan. P.G.& E. stated in January 2012 when they applied to the California Public Utilities Commission that the new 115 kilovolt transmission lines will connect the Green Valley substation in Watsonville with the Rob Roy substation in Aptos. This will be added to the 7.1 mile line going through Watsonville, Corralitos, Pleasant Valley and Day Valley on new steel power poles with bases of poured cement holes going 30 feet deep. I got all of this from Marco and Elizabeth Romanini who were on my Universal Grapevine program last Tuesday (4/8/14). NOPOC can sure use your support (read $$$, money) so go to thjeir excellent website and get all the details and help them out. You can also hear our KZSC interview at their website…

SHERIFF CANDIDATES FORUM 4/28. The three candidates for Santa Cruz County Sheriff for the June 3, 2014 election, Jim Hart, Bob Pursley, and Roger Wildey, will be speaking at a forum co-sponsored by the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the People’s Democratic Club (PDC), the NAACP, the Latino Democrats, the Valley Women’s Club, the GLBT Alliance, the Santa Cruz County Coalition for Overcoming Racism, and the Pajaro Valley Cesar Chavez Democratic Club. There will be an opportunity for questions from the audience. The PDC will vote their endorsement for Santa Cruz County Sheriff at this event. This should be a perfect time to try to nail these guys down. Ask them where they stand on license plate scanners, how about legalizing marijuana, capital punishment, things like that. I’ll bet none of them will give direct answers but it’s worth a try. It’ll be at the Police Community Room (at Center and Laurel near the London Nelson Community Center).It’s 7-9pm, Monday April 28, it’s also free and open to the public. Light refreshments will be served. For more information, contact Ron Pomerantz 831-239-5542;

PATTON’S PROGRAM. Gary says that our Board of Supervisors Supervisors “will decide whether or not to establish a “Seascape Seawall Geologic Hazard Abatement District”. Seawalls and their problems are defined. He talks about Monterey Peninsula’s “Governance Committee” and about California American Water Company. He sends us to the website of the Valley Women‘s Club and gives us a reality check on old growth forests. There’s news of the Santa Cruz Planning Commission and two important issues they are deciding on. He closes by telling us about Earth Day happening on April 22nd and events related to that celebration. 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. DeCinzo has hard advice for the bikers amongst us. Scroll down…

EAGANS DEEP COVER. T. Eagan takes a swipe at the Washington version of The Supremes…see below three or more pages.

LISA JENSEN LINKS. Lisa writes: “This week at Lisa Jensen Online Express (, discover the most exciting and mysterious 20th Century photographer you’ve never heard of in the excellent doc, Finding Vivian Maier. Also, more publishing news as my new book Alias Hook sails toward it release date.” Lisa has been writing film reviews and columns for Good Times since 1975.

ELERICK’S INPUT. Paul writes…



As reported by Bruce Bratton right here last week, according to Swenson project manager Jesse Nickell, the long awaited Aptos Village Plan won’t be started this year. Could there be financing problems? Did the lenders take a drive through today’s Aptos Village area and ask about how the traffic was going to work?

From what has been reported, there are no more government hurdles for the project. So what’s the problem? In “penciling out” this huge development, did the pencil snap?


Now we’re expected to believe that nothing has changed in Safeway’s plan to expand Rancho Del Mar shopping center, even when the sale of Safeway to a huge development conglomerate requires Federal approval. All that we are told is that plans will be submitted “in the spring”, with perhaps a smaller grocery store. How much smaller? Still 18 gas pumps? Can you see Safeway’s Property Development Corporation proceeding without Safeway getting a clean bill of health on the sale of their company? Do they know there is organized opposition to their proposed expansion plan, at least to the preliminary plan we have seen? You can follow the organized opposition to Safeway’s expansion plan here. (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).

……In order of perfection……


NYMPH( )MANIAC VOLUME 1. Like seeing Ingmar Bergman films back in the 50’s and 60’s when he was breaking into the world film consciousness Lars Von Trier has been doing the same for the last 25 years. His Zentropa, Breaking The Waves, and Dancer in the Dark were milestones in cinema. Nymph (O ) maniac Vol. 1 is another great piece of story telling.

( Think Bergmans’ Persona). The sex scenes will shock you no matter where you come from the techniques Von Trier uses to tell this story are unique and only his. Charlotte Gainsbourg is the Nymphomaniac, Uma Thurman is the angry wife, Shia LaBeouf is one of the confused and used lovers, and Christian Slater who is way underused in movies plays the Nympho’s dad. Stellen Skarsgård is the patient listener to the story and next week (4/18) we get to see Volume 2. I’ll probably go done now and wait….it’s that good a film.

UNDER THE SKIN. If you liked Enemy and wonderfully challenging plots that will leave you wondering this is your film. I loved every minute of it. It’s intelligent, non Hollywood, beautifully photographed and of course it stars Scarlett Johanessen. Like Enemy the recent Jake Gyllenhaal piece of cinema history theending to Under The Skin will knock off your socks permanently. Check out the trailer…

THE RAID 2. Just like Ernest and Celestine is a nearly perfect animated feature and 2001 is a nearly perfect science fiction film The Raid 2 is a nearly perfect,violent, 2 ½ hour long saga of blood, bones, brutality, beauty and cruelty we’ve rarely seen on screen.Violence may not be your favorite genre (Schwarzneggar, Stallone, Willis, ad nauseum) but this is an excellently made film. Try to remember that no one was hurt during the filming, and that they are all acting, not dying. I’ll probably go again, it’s that good.

FINDING VIVIAN MAIER. A surprising and well made documentary about a very shy woman who hid her photography “hobby” from the world all her life. As the Nick’s site says, “She never showed her work to anyone, but since its recent (and accidental) discovery, she is now considered among the 20th century’s greatest photographers. Walking the streets of Chicago and New York City, Maier quietly captured faces, moods and moments (as well as many self-portraits) with her Rolleiflex and created unforgettable imagery that has only come to light in the last few years. Her strange and riveting life and art are revealed through never-before-seen photographs, films and interviews with those who thought they knew her”. You’ll see a huge number of her photos; go if that’s your thing, or if you like good documentaries.

(from BEST 2 worst)

LE WEEKEND. Be very aware that the previews you may have seen are 100% misleading. This is NOT a fun filled weekend in Paris romp for a two senior- long time- married couple. Jim Broadbent and Lindsay Duncan who is 64 (you’ll wonder when you see her) star in this bittersweet, soul searching, awkward view of a marriage. It’s about devotion, growing old, egos, and suffering alone. Broadbent you know about but Lindsay Duncan was in the HBO series Rome, films like Under The Tuscan Sun, a bunch of Pinter plays, Prick Up Your Ears, Mansfield Park, and Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland. Oops, she was also in the last Sherlock Holmes “His Last Vow” with Mr. B. Cumberbatch. See this most excellent film but remember, it’s not fun just wonderfully thoughtful.

EARNEST AND CELESTINE. An Oscar nominee for the 2013 Best Animated Feature. Don’t be put off by the ” animated” word. This is absolutely beautiful, intelligent, sensitive and very clever animation. Not Disney, not Pixar, sort of like Beatrix Potter illustrations. The film is in French which adds to the brilliance. Go see it and bring the kids!!!

LUNCHBOX.You’ve seen the lead Irrfan Khan in great films if 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.

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 inthe 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.

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.

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 Winslett. Much war, blood, fights, teen age stuff. You could stay home and study about oil deposits in Santa Cruz County and be better off.

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 looses 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.

THE LEGO MOVIE. Check it out, Rotten Tomatoes gives it a 95 % (Monuments Men got 34%!!!). It’s notTHAT 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!!

CAPTAIN AMERICA, Winter Soldier.You take Scarlett Johansson, Robert Redford, Samuel L. Jackson, and put them in a film like Captain America and what do you have?? Not much, just another bloody, violent, superhero, Marvel Comic blockbuster. It does have a few seconds where we can think about security versus fear as a way to run the USA. Redford plays an evil Wall Street warmonger, and Johansson jumps around a lot and she ereally does have an intriguing voice, if you stop looking and listen to her. She’s a good “guy” and works with Chris Evans as the Captain. Just go if you’re under 16, and bored.

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 never does 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. On April 15 Peggy Dolgenos CEO of Cruzio discusses the Santa Cruz Business Council followed by Gary Patton on the topic of Land Use, high speed rail and water issues. April 22 we have Julie James from the Jewel Theatre talking about “What the Butler Saw”. Jeffrey Smedberg follows her telling us about the 13th annual Reel Work Film Festival (4/26-5/6) Santa Cruz County Superior Court Judge Paul Burdick returns April 29 to talk more about issues from the bench. Marty Rizzo follows on 4/29 by telling us “new” details in our earliest Santa Cruz Mission Days. Traci Hukill and Eric Johnson tell us about Hilltromper Santa Cruz on May 6. 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. “A peptic ulcer is a hole in a man’s stomach through which he crawls to escape from his wife”, J.A. Anderson. ” What is a human being but an ingenious assembly of portable plumbing?”, Christopher Morley. “Show me a sane man and I will cure him for you”, Carl Jung.


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Deep Cover by Tim Eagan.

Posted in Weekly Articles | Comments Off on April 16 – 22, 2014

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