Blog Archives

December 15 – 28, 2014

THE WAX LORD’S LAST SUPPER. That’s probably Katherine Sturbergh and her daughter also named Katherine brushing up himself’s hair on this 3/4 size wax sculpture they made in 1950. We can only see this creation the week before Easter at the Santa Cruz Memorial Park & Funeral Home.

photo credit: Covello & Covello Historical photo collection.

Additional information always welcome: email


SANTA CRUZ CITY ADVISORY BOARD OPENINGS. Our “fair” city released this list two weeks ago saying there are openings on lots of our Advisory Boards. Legally they stated,” The City of Santa Cruz encourages public participation in local government through its advisory bodies. These are boards, commissions, committees, and task forces that deal with a variety of issues and make recommendations to the City Council. Applicants must be City residents and/or City voters for most of the advisory bodies”. Normally you’d figure this would be a decent thing to volunteer for. Wow, a chance to actually participate in choices for our ever-growing Santa Cruz!!! Make a difference, an active citizen, a real democracy, etc.,etc..“Recommendations” is the key word here. Read the list…

  • Arts Commission (Two (2) reappointments and one (1) vacancy)
  • Board of Building and Fire Appeals (Six (6) reappointments)
  • Commission for the Prevention of Violence Against Women (Two (2) reappointments
  • and one (1) vacancy)
  • Downtown Commission (Two (2) vacancies)
  • Historic Preservation Commission (One (1) vacancy)
  • Measure K Oversight Committee (Two (2) vacancies and one (1) reappointment;
  • Parks and Recreation Commission (One (1) reappointment and two (2) vacancies)
  • Planning Commission (Two (2) reappointments)
  • Sister Cities Committee (Two (2) reappointments and one (1) vacancy)
  • Transportation and Public Works Commission (One (1) reappointment and one (1) vacancy)
  • Water Commission (One (1) reappointment).

Read it again and see if you can remember any issue of any importance that Cynthia Mathews, Lynn Robinson, Mike Rotkin, Scott Kennedy, Ryan Coonerty or any of our pro-growth, screw the environment council members ever listened to those recommendations of any one of those committees. Yes, I was on the Downtown Commission (Tom Bihn convinced me to volunteer) I lasted about 3 months, couldn’t take the hypocrisy and quit. We need to change the power of the council , or get some good, forceful folks on these commissions.

FAREWELL LA BAHIA HISTORICAL LANDMARK. Historian and preservationist Ross Gibson representing The La Bahia Coalition worked very hard to save the La Bahia Apartments from Charlie Canfield’s Boardwalk development headed by Craig French. I asked Ross to write up his reaction to the loss of another historical landmark. Ross wrote a lot.

You can read his complete statement HERE… THE UNTOLD STORY OF LA BAHIA By Ross Eric Gibson

MILITARY VEHICLE & THE CITY COUNCIL. Brent Adams posted this on You Tube. Of course Mayor Don Lane doesn’t see this as militarization of our police force, even though other cities are turning these tanks away. Check out this You Tube clip.

You’ll read such statements as… “The City of Santa Cruz designated the La Bahia Apts. one of the most important historic assets on the waterfront, eligible for the National Register of Historic Places, whose restoration in tandem with other important nearby landmarks would restore the historic character of the Beach-Front for heritage tourism. So it was shocking when developer Craig French proposed to demolish 90% of the landmark, de-list it, and build a Corporate International Style modern hotel in its place. Ross’s conclusion…”

With the La Bahia”s demise, what we”re losing is that unique, intimate nature-oriented kind of landmark that characterizes the artistic soul of Santa Cruz, and was intended to knit-together a vista of waterfront landmarks to attract the deep-pockets Heritage Tourism as a cultural destination. Instead, we”re getting bland Freeway Vernacular motel-modernism (not allowed in the certified Architectural Guidelines), noted for its uniformity of mass-produced elements (not allowed in the certified Architectural Guidelines), imposing Corporate International Style to reflect the Corporate ambitions of the City, and attract a hopefully self-indulgent Corporate crowd.

PRECEDENT: Meanwhile, a development plan to enfranchise the largest number of Santa Cruzans, has turned into a project to disenfranchise neighbors and preservationists. Those defending the development of La Bahia according to the Beach South of Laurel (SOL) Plan are accused of being anti-business and trying to stop progress. The City spent time and money devoting 56 pages to a La Bahia Preservation Plan (exceptional in Santa Cruz preservation history), and still ended up with the Worst Case Scenario that was warned against if the B/SOL Plan weren”t approved. Seeing nothing wrong with this, the Coastal Commission has set a low bar by creating the La Bahia Precedent for developers who don”t want to keep a protected landmark. All they have to do is reinterpret the LCP protections into non-protections, dismiss the authors of the requirements as having no authority over what it means, rewarding lack-of-maintenance with demolition, and planning to ruin a landmark”s historic integrity with delisting”. Ross had a lot of help and support in that battle.


ARANA GULCH. Opening-ribbon-cutting day has been moved to January 14.Watch and see which politicians show up for their picture op. Then see how they deal with what they did to our vanishing natural environment. Lets hope the ever-healthy bicyclists in the county don’t decide they need more of these destructive, expensive short cuts. And listen to the Jan. 6th Universal Grapevine 7p.m. (KZSC 88,1 fm and live online at for both Ross Gibson talk about La Bahia and Jean Brocklebank talk about Arana Gulch.

ELERICK’S INPUT. Mr. Paul Elerick of Aptos writes…(On December 23,’14)


Everybody I know agrees that our law enforcement officers are risking their lives every day to keep our community safe. Anything we can do to support them should be done, even obtaining bulletproof vehicles to be used when necessary. That being said, our elected officials can do their part by getting timely input from the public. Sometimes they are on it, when the council saw to it that Deputy Police Chief Steve Clark was removed as police spokesman after issuing an inflammatory verbal attack on a candidate for the Santa Cruz City Council. We’ll never know how many votes that took away from that candidate, but it could have cost her a seat on the council. It would be good to get input from the entire community on things like license plate readers too. Not just from city residents, but from the rest of us who love Santa Cruz and don’t need another reason not to go there.




It’s hard to believe, but our City Council has approved the “gift” of a quarter million dollar “defensive armored vehicle” from the Feds Homeland Security organization. This is the “tank” like thing we’ve gotten used to seeing on TV following citizen demonstrations in several parts of the country. We are shown only a few incidents. Interesting to see this offer was made to Santa Cruz City PD. I can’t imagine any other city or county law enforcement organization in the county accepting such an inappropriate “gift”. How about Santa Cruz residents just asking for the tax money back that paid for this ugly “tank” and use it to get people safely housed out of the rain and cold?

Lots of testimony opposed the acceptance of this vehicle, in fact the only people that went for it were 6 of the 7 members of the City Council when it was approved. I’ll predict that this thing will be rolled out on New Year’s Eve to go along with the chain-link fences and spotlights to keep “unapproved” revelers in check”. (Paul Elerick is co-chair with Peter Scott of the Campaign for Sensible Transportation, , and he’s a member of Nisene 2 Sea, a group of open space advocates).

LA PROGRESSIVE. David McReynolds a life long Socialist sent this link to LA Progressive . Check it out. It’s created and run by Dick and Sharon.David wanted us to read ALL LIVES MATTER…EVEN IN CALIFORNIA!!! by Richard Shaffer. A tough subject, byt worth looking at, and thinking about. Then check out the other writers for LA Progressive…Tom Hayden, Robert Reich, Norman Solomon, Jim Hightower, and dozensmore of that same tone, temper and leanings.

Watch the Boswell Sisters in a rare film appearance.

THE BOSWELL SISTERS. Ken Koenig sent out a link to a book on the famed Boswell Sisters…and the mystery of why they broke up. Here’s that link…

LIVE FROM ANTARCTIC.. BrattonOnline readers may remember I had a friend Micaela Neus who lived and worked in Antarctica for many years. She sent weekly emails for the column about the carrying-ons way down there. It’s too late now to see the one week only documentary “Antarctica –One Year On Ice“, at The Nickelodeon. It was great, rent it or something. By luck I found this new You Tube clip on Micaela’s FB page. It only had 75 views so far. It gives you an instant taste of the friendship and relations and conditions down there. Take a peek and decide if you’d ever work there.

PATTON’S PROGRAM. Gary has a lot of holiday stuff to talk about so check out his blog. He also talks about Land Use and the Monterey Bay…he says, “The Land Use Report focuses on the “land,” and not on the marine environment that is of such great importance to everyone who lives around the Monterey Bay. That said, the land, and the coast, and the ocean are related, of course, and it is particularly true that what we do on the land affects water quality and the health of our marine environment. Let’s not forget that! It also happens to be the case that the powerful ocean environment out there has direct impacts on the land, and on land use. Saltwater intrusion, long endangering water supplies in the Pajaro Valley, and more and more of a concern in mid-Santa Cruz County, is one example.


Another example is the impact that the processes of coastal erosion have on our land uses near the coast. Gary Griggs, a professor at UCSC, has educated us on this topic for years. For those who would like to hear more, be advised that there will be a free seminar on Wednesday, January 7th, at 6:30 p.m., featuring a presentation by coastal wilderness enthusiast and local sailor, Dr. David Revell. He will be speakingon “The Santa Cruz Beachfront: A Look At How The Effects Of Coastal Engineering And Climate Change Are Affecting The Harbor, Boardwalk And Beaches.”This presentation will take place at the Santa Cruz Yacht Club, located at 244 4thAvenue, Santa Cruz, and everyone is welcome! Read the complete scripts of the above at Gary Patton’s KUSP Land Use site . 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 opions expressed are Mr. Patton’s. Gary has his own website, Two Worlds/365” –


CLASSICAL DeCINZO. Our Sheriff’s Department is hiring!!! See De Cinzo below… a bit!!!


EAGAN’S DEEP COVER, twice the pleasure!!! Internet Devils one week and Putin’s ride into the sunset. See downwards.


LISA JENSEN LINKS. Lisa writes…”Anything might happen this week at Lisa Jensen Online Express ( While still embroiled in a couple of secret projects, I’ll be keeping tabs on the latest Oscar-bait movies (as well as a few vintage Christmas chestnuts). Stay tuned!


CINEMA 9 CHANGE. After a very productive and challenging time as General Manager of The Regal Cinema 9 Nicole Snyder is leaving “show biz” to “pursue some other directions” as we say. She’s been great to work with and had to deal with the biggest changes in “The House” of any general manager since it opened. Wish her great luck when you see her. Mr. Paul Spencer takes over as manager right now.



WILD. Any Santa Cruzan will be totally sucked in when Reese Witherspoon starts hiking the Pacific Coast Trail and starts reading a copy of one of Adrienne Rich’s books. Somebody mentions Adrienne latsr in the film too. Cheryl Strayed did hike the PCT and wrote the book.Thomas Sadoski from HBO’s The Newsroom is in it too. Good acting, a few award nominations are already happening and it’s a very good feel-good movie. Not a great movie but a good feel good thing….especially for women.

FOXCATCHER. This is one of the most odd movies I’ve ever seen. You’ll spend almost the entire time just watching Steve Carell’s eagle beak fake nose. Mark Ruffalo and Channing Tatum look and act like a sequel to Planet of The Apes. It’s creepy, non- focussed and I’m not sure why they made the film. Carell will be nominated for sure for something.du Pont was a realpsycho and thought he was Jesus Christ, the Dalai Lama and a Russian czar according to Wikipedia.


THE HOBBIT: THE BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES. This is supposed to end the Hobbit trilogies, but considering the huge opening weekend they’ll probably squeeze another dwarf flick and go for four. Yes, Martin Freeman is still in it as Bilbo Baggins, the titular lead of the little people. So is Ian McKellen, Elijah Wood, and Ian Holm for two minutes at the end. Like Exodus it’s all done with pixels, and it’s impossible to tell one army fromanother. It’s very bloody and violent as all these billion dollar money makers are. So if you want to support more of these torture scenes , just go.


A NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM. Not even Robin Williams in his last role gets a laugh here neither does Mickey Rooney in his last cameo appearance.Even with Owen Wilson, Ben Kingsley, Steve Coogan, Dick Van Dyke, Hugh Jackman andmostly Ben Stiller in two roles, it’s not a funny film. They try very hard, but the joke material has run out on late night museum happenings. Save your money.


EXODUS. This digitalized piece of junk movie topped the boxoffice two weekends ago. Probably because it had so much violence, bloodshed and killing in it. It’s all about the Hebrews and the Egyptians not getting along. Christian Bale (great first name for this God –driven spectacle). By the way, God appears to Moses Bale as a ten year snotty boy!!! The bush doesn’t burn very brightly either and if you can imagine Brooklyn-born John Turturro as Seti, Rameses father, you’re much more of a believer than I am. ( Rameses, aside from being the greatest ruler Egypt ever had, also had the honor of having a brand of prophylactics named after him, which is odd and puzzling).See below. With all of today’s special effects, they don’t come close to what Cecil B. De Mille and Charlton Heston could pull off in the glory years of biblical spectacular films. Save your money, go see Wild, or Birdman, or even The Homesman or The Theory of Everything…they’re all award winning nominees.





BIRDMAN. Great cast with Michael Keaton, Edward Norton, Zach Galifianakis, and Lindsay Duncan. Keaton is always good and here he plays an ex Batman/Birdman who tries to make it back to fame in a Broadway play. This is not a simple Hollywood flick!!! Don’t expect some cheap laughs, and takeoffs on Batman movies. It’s a complicated psychological look at egos, fame, friendship, family. It’s a very fine film, worth your going to see by all means. It’s just deeper than the previews make you think.

THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING.Stephen Hawking is played by Eddie Redmayne who did Les Miserables. Felicity Jones from Spider Man 2 and Emily Watson is in it too but you’ll hardly recognize her. David Thewlis is also perfect and downplays his role nicely. It’s a heart rending- tear jerker- feel very good- movie. Redmayne will be near the top for an Oscar because they always go for handicapped roles (My Left Foot, Rainman etc.). There’s very little of Hawkings actual scientific genius in the film. It’s more about how later he split from his long suffering and eternally supportive wife and went for his beautiful sexy caretaker and how his wife paired up with her choir director!!! Hawkings book A BRIEF HISTORY OF TIME sold more than 10 million copies in twenty years (but only 8 people read it!!). It was translated into 35 languages sez Wikipedia.The Met has commissioned an opera based on the book which should happen in 2015. Wikipedia also says, “the theory of everything”, is a physicists jargon term for a theory in physics which unifies the four fundamental forces of nature: gravity, the strong force, the weak force, and the electromagnetic force”, but recently Hawking says that theory will probably never happen. Go see it, and bring a hankie.

WHIPLASH. J.K. Simmons will get big Oscar time press for his role as Mr. Nasty and newcomer Miles Teller is honestly impressive as the young wanna be drummer in this New York City jazz orchestra contest extravaganza, it’s very good.

THE HOMESMAN. It’s cutesy, snarly Tommy Lee Jones as we all love him and as he himself directed in this quickly forgettable tale of crazy women in the early west. Hilary Swank does her best, and she’s very good as the survival spirit of the plains, and an equal match for T.L.Jones but it’s still his picture. Only go IF you’ve seen everything else.

INTERSTELLAR. This over hyped piece-of- crap movie starring Mathew McConaughey, Michael Caine and Anne Hathway should refund every admsssion dollar it takes in. It’s pretentious, full of phoney intelligence, and uses such concepts as black holes, three dimensions and even five dimensions, singularity, string theory and voices from “them” who exist beyond Saturn. It’s not as bad as UCSC’s recent production of Birth Of Stars ..but almost. Once in a great while I’ll look up other critics to see who’s with me in disliking (or seeing) a film the way I do. Here’s what Critic David Thomson of the New Republic wrote…check it out

HUNGER GAMES, Mockingjay Part 1.A stunning cast, plus what has to be Phillip Seymour Hoffman’s really, really last role–forever. He’s joined by Julienne Moore, Donald Sutherland, Woody Harleson, Stanley Tucci, and Elizabeth Banks….and it’s a waste of your time and money. That is unless you’ve read the Hunger Games trilogy. Ashlyn Adams of Westside Video read the books, saw this movie, and even then said this new film is puzzling. I could not follow the plot, who’s good, who’s evil…and what is it all about anyways. And Jennifer Lawrence the star of the Games carries a bow and arrow while everyone around her shoots and kills things with future zap and zing future type weapons. I repeat DO NOT GO unless you’ve read all three books and even then Ashlyn says you can’t always trust anybody in the story.

KZSC 88.1 FM or live online at

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. I’m on vacation for December 23 and will repeat UCSC Professor Emeritus Lincoln Taiz talking about Population Growth and Climate Change followed by Social Media strategist Lydia Snider who’ll give us internet hints. Then on December 30 we’ll repeat Santa Cruz County Superior Court Judge Paul Burdick returning to talk more about issues from the bench. Marty Rizzo follows by telling us “new” details in our earliest Santa Cruz Mission Days. As previously mentioned I return on Jan.6, 2015 and will have historian and preservationist Ross Gibson discussing the destruction of The La Bahia Apartments by our Santa Cruz City Council and the Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk Corporation. Then Jean Brocklebank talks about the sad loss of Arana Gulch to the so called bicyclists, and politicians. 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 the last few 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. “Love is just a dirty trick played on us to achieve the continuation of the species”, Somerset Maugham. “I sold the memoirs of my love life to a publisher—they are going to make a board game out of it”, Woody Allen.”I married beneath me. All women do”, Nancy Astor.


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Deep Cover by Tim Eagan.

Posted in Weekly Articles | Comments Off on December 15 – 28, 2014

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