DATELINE November 7, 2016
OUR NEXT TRAFFIC SOLUTION? Ignore the narration just watch the diamond pattern traffic flow!!
|MYTH CALIFORNIA 1982. I’d never seen this clip…such memories.
|DOCTOR STRANGE. Benedict Cumberbatch as we’ve never seen him…plays Dr. Stephen Strange.
TRUMPING OF SANTA CRUZ. Writing this on the Monday before Election Day really makes me wonder just how far to the Right Santa Cruz politics has changed. I’ve been voting here since 1970 and have never seen or heard or read such a negative mess ofTrump – like political happenings. There was much more of the stealing of political signs and the wildly nasty statements on Nextdoor.com. Back in the day The Santa Cruz Sentinel could be depended upon to attack and zing County Supervisor Gary Patton and Mayor, County Supervisor Mardi Wormhoudt at least once every week and of course there’s last years Sentinel’s low blows to Leonie Sherman. This campaign The Sentinel leveled even more poisonous and lower down attacks on the four city council candidates who promise change in our City Council priorities. We live in a very different divided Democrat oriented community, if we can still call it that.
ANOTHER HISTORICAL MARKER ON WEST CLIFF. What’s with yet another addition to “stuff” along West Cliff Drive. Now they want to add a memorial stone to honor Michael Anthony Sweeney just about where they had that exercise equipment on the much threatened West Cliff. Sweeney seems like he was a fine fellow and was related to Elihu Anthony an early Santa Cruz developer. He developed The Anthony Block at the north end of PacificAvenue and was a buddy of Fred Augustus Hihn. But shouldn’t we have more rigorious rules before we let folks erect their memorials in such a beautiful and scenic location? What about a replica of Fred Swanton’s historic outhouse? How about Charlie Canfield’s first car (bronzed), or Barry Swenson’s horse? Maybe the new City Council could look into this???
EVIL LEAF BLOWERS ALL AROUND US. Roni Shepherd was very kind and shared an article from the Nov. 4 Sants Cruz Sentinel by Kathryn McKenzie. Among other things it said about gas powered leaf blowers… “Somebody has to lead the way to ban leaf blowers,” he wrote. “Just as health organizations led the way restricting smoking using second-hand smoke as the vehicle; it will have to be health organizations that lead the way to banning dust/carcinogenic particle-blowing leaf blowers.” So what’s so bad about leaf blowers? There are three major issues with gas-powered blowers: the pollution, the noise, and the fact they blow particulate matter around that could impact respiratory health. Like any other gasoline powered appliance, leaf blowers spew hydrocarbons and carbon monoxide, but more so in the case of leaf blowers. A 2011 test done by car experts at Edmunds found, amazingly, that a consumer-grade leaf blower emitted more pollutants than a large SUV. The California Air Resources Board concurs, stating that one hour of operating a leaf blower, compared to an average large car, emits 498 times as much hydrocarbons, 49 times as much particulate matter, and 26 times as much carbon monoxide. As for the noise, it’s something no one likes, and in fact could damage your hearing. Leaf blower noise measures 70 to 75 decibels from 50 feet away and higher at a closer range. The World Health Organization recommends levels of 55 decibels or less, and prolonged noise levels over 75 decibels have been found to cause hearing loss.
And then there’s that particulate matter issue. Not only do leaf blowers blow leaves, but also dirt, dust, and whatever tiny bits of things are on the ground and sidewalk. This could include everything from toxins such as lead and pesticides to molds and fungus.
With all of that going on, no wonder that there’s an anti-leaf-blower movement going on across the country. Hundreds of municipalities have banned or restricted the use of gas-powered leaf blowers; much more information is available at Noise Free America, noisefree. org. (Incidentally, Carmelby- the-Sea was one of the first cities in the country to ban leaf blowers — way back in 1975.) I’m about to run out of room for today, but next week I’ll expand more on alternatives to gas-powered blowers and what else can be done to remedy this issue. Read more about Gas blowers at firstname.lastname@example.org
Transparency in government or the lack thereof is important on a local as well as a national level. The democratic process is fragile and its survival depends on those in power acting with integrity with an informed populace holding them accountable. I had a recent experience with the city that confirms what others have experienced: if you support their agenda all is fine but if you are critical of their agenda, the going is not so smooth. Here is some background on the issue and my experience with negotiating the tangled web of city politics.
The Cowell Water Quality Group (CWG) was formed by city council at the initiative of council member David Terrazas over a year ago to respond to Cowell Beach’s top ranking on Heal The Bay’s Beach Bummer List with an F grade for the past 7 years. In other words, the state mandated water testing during the summer months ranks Cowell Beach as the most polluted in the state. Not good news for a tourist town! While the ranking is appropriate given the water quality data, public perception that the whole beach is a sewer drain is not. People jump to conclusions and incorrectly assume that the outfall from Neary Lagoon is a sewer outfall and everyone has their pet perspective on the source. I understand the city’s frustration with such misinformation and have done my part to clarify for folks the parameters of the problem. I serve on the CWG as the Sierra Club representative. It has been a challenging experience. I have found it frustrating that the CWG group has studiously avoided conducting DNA microbial source testing to determine which species is/are contributing to the high fecal indicator bacteria levels that are limited to the summer months and usually limited to the west side of the wharf up to the east side of the Dream Inn. Rather than taking a scientific approach with multiple DNA source testing that experts would recommend, the group has taken a shotgun approach by assuming that the source of the problem is birds. Months have been wasted on anecdotes and opinions. After a year of such deliberations, the recommendation to council which received approval, was to spend $50,000 to install stainless steel rigid mesh where the pigeons roost along the entrance and first part of the wharf. I presented to council the Sierra Club’s position that it would be wiser to conduct DNA source testing prior to allocating dollars on hypotheticals but was ignored. The mesh was installed over the summer and the pigeons moved further down the wharf.
~Gillian Greensite is a long time local activist, a member of Save Our Big Trees and the Santa Cruz chapter of IDA, International Dark Sky Association http://darksky.org Plus she’s an avid ocean swimmer, hiker and lover of all things wild).
I have continued to research the status of the Rancho del Mar Center upgrade status this past week. I was finally able to speak directly with Mr. Bruce Walton via telephone but did not get much information. He said Terra Mar Center’s policy is “No Comment”, only stating that the Center’s improvement plans are “a work in progress”. When I asked about any possible Community meetings in the future, he replied that nothing is currently scheduled (although apparently Supervisor Zach Friend has also inquired about this) because it would not be productive until there is a solid plan to present to the public. He did say there will be “no wholesale change” in the basic Rancho del Mar Center design, there will be mostly renovations. He would not discuss any future tenant deals. I would encourage any citizens who are interested in the future plan to contact Mr. Walton to make sure our Community interests stay on Terra Mar Center’s radar: “Bruce Walton” BWalton@trcretail.com
I also visited the County Planning Department to review files for the two Assessors Parcel Numbers (APN) for the Center: 039-221-11 and 039-221-12. Anyone can monitor building permit application status at the Santa Cruz County Planning Department website. At the Assessor’s Office, one is able to access a good deal of information regarding a parcel, such as owner name and address, taxes and assessments. and changes in ownership and reappraisals. I was amazed to learn that the total 2016-17 property tax assessment for the two lots composing the Rancho del Mar Center total $637,238.57. One only has to compare that sum with the existing property tax assessment of $12,560.14 for the portion of the Aptos Village Project that is slated to become home of the New Leaf Market to better understand why the County government is SO anxious to push the Aptos Village Project through. Once again, folks, just follow the money….
Well, I follow that, but I also like to follow the water issues.
~Becky Steinbruner is a 30+ year resident of Aptos. She has fought for water, fire, emergency preparedness, and for road repair. She ran for Second District County Supervisor in 2016 on a shoestring and got nearly 20% of the votes).
#312 THE LESSER EVIL. Monday , November 7, 2016
I went to the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia last July, as an official delegate for Bernie Sanders. I was an alternate. I wrote about the Convention at length, here in this Two Worlds blog, and I wasn’t very happy about the way the Convention was conducted. I did six different blog postings from Philadelphia, and I invite anyone who hasn’t read them already to go back and take a look at my contemporary comments. My final post can be accessed right here.
As a delegate for Bernie Sanders, I was naturally disappointed that he didn’t get the Democratic Party nomination. Other delegates for Bernie Sanders felt the same way, and there has been a fair amount of debate among former Sanders’ delegates about whether or not to support Hillary Clinton. On that question, I’m with Bernie. He’s voting for Hillary. I am, too. Other people have different views, and some of the debate can be sampled in this recent article from In These Times. The article is titled, “Up For Debate: The Lesser Evil.”
I have a comment about “The Lesser Evil” concept. I think it is profoundly wrong to import the categories of “Good” versus “Evil” into a discussion of politics. It’s misleading. Those categories are “religious,” not “political.” “Evil” should be avoided (evil actions, evil thoughts). Big or little, greater or lesser, it is never right to support or vote for “Evil.”
~(Gary is a former Santa Cruz County Supervisor (20 years) and an attorney who represents indivuduals and community groups on land use and environmental issues. The opinions expressed are Mr. Patton’s. Gary has his own website, Two Worlds at www.gapatton.net
CLASSICAL DeCINZO. “It’s a Wonderful Life” starring Jimmy Stewart and DeCinzo. Scroll lower down.
EAGAN’S DEEP COVER. See Eagan’s “Post-Voting Clean-up” down a few pages. As always, at TimEagan.com you will find his most recent Deep Cover, the latest installment from the archives of Subconscious Comics, and the ever entertaining Eaganblog.
LISA JENSEN LINKS. Lisa writes: “Discover a sly entertainment of sex, larceny, double-crosses, and female liberation — that would be The Handmaiden, by Korean bad-boy director Chan-wook Park — this week at Lisa Jensen Online Express (http://ljo-express.blogspot.com). Skip this one if you’re squeamish about sex onscreen, but otherwise, enjoy the plunge into Park’s perverse, yet weirdly moral worldview. Also — if it’s still Tuesday when you read this — get out there and VOTE! (Hint: I’m NOT with Him.)” Lisa has been writing film reviews and columns for Good Times since 1975.
THE HANDMAIDEN….warning…you have to love Asian/Korean subtitled films especially ones directed by Chan-Wook Park before you can enjoy this one. Ever since taking three or more years of film classes from UCSC’s Earl Jackson (now teaching in Korea)I am a complete devotee of films by Chan-Wook Park. The sex, violence, even murder in his films are so unique, so subtle,and sensitive that they take on different meanings. Oldboy, Sympathy for Lady Vengence and Snowpiercer must be seen to be hallowed. This latest masterpiece contains three versions of the same plot. Con-artists out to cheat a wealthy woman of her estate. It has a 94 on Rotten Tomatoes, so it’s not just me.
AQUARIUS. Even though the film is set in 1980 in Recife, Brazil (their largest metropolitan city), it seems more like it all takes place in Santa Cruz…another beach side city. Sonia Braga perfectly remembered from “Dona Flor and Her Two Husbands” and “Kiss of The Spider Woman” plays a 65 year old hell bent for leather woman fighting her way into older ages, and still staying in touch. It’s almost too easy and unavoidable to Santa Cruzans to imagine Sonia Braga living in an apartment she owns in the La Bahia while Charlie Canfield, The Boardwalk and Barry Swenson pull the dirtiest tricks in the book to get her to sell so they can develop some new stucco piece of trash building and make millions. Just as we are seeing our historic La Bahia being developed, our municipal wharf being “modernized?, the inflatable basketball arena being made permanent and losing our soccer field so too do we watch as this strong, principled woman stand up for her rights.See this film ASAP and vote for Sonia Braga for a lifetime Oscar or something even better!!!Hurry…it ends Thursday 11/10.
CERTAIN WOMEN. A genuine women’s film with three separate stories going deep inside the frustrations of three or four women as they deal with our society. Laura Dern is a Montana attorney frustrated by the lack of respect in her taking the case of a potentially suididal man. Michelle Williams keeps her family frustrations hidden as she tries to add life, love and a future to her husband and daughter. Kristen Stewart floats and drifts through an insecure part of her life while new actor Lily Gladstone tries to add love, respect and friendship to their tenous relationship. Slow moving, intense, even boring at times, you’ll think about this delicate film lang after it’s over. Kelly Reichardt directed it and once again proves she creates great films unlike any other director.
DOCTOR STRANGE. I had to work very hard all through this latest Marvel Comic special effects spectacular to remind myself….it’s a comic book, it’s a comic book. etc. It doesn’t make any sense, there’s little logic in any character’s role and We get to see Benedict Cumberbatch do his American accent (it’s flawless). Not only does Cumbarbatch play Dr. Strange but Chiwetel Ejiofor, Rachel McAdams, and the always wonderful Tilda Swinton all do their damndest to out do any/all previous Marvel Comic special effects silliness. Dr. Stephen Strange’s hands are ruined in a car accident and he goes to Kathmandu and tons of mysticism to repair his surgeon’s hands. Go only if you truly believe in comic books…then you’ll love it.
DENIAL. A subject like denying the holocaust has about as much relevance as alien kidnappings, the earth is flat, and denying climate change. And this is a very serious film starring Rachel Weisz, Tom Wilkinson (one of his very best roles), and the evil and believable Timothy Spall. Courtroom, Auschwitz, anti-semitism, Adolf Hitler, and it’s all true. It’s full of suspense, and you’ll think a lot about a Trump- run USA.
A MAN NAMED OVE. A Swedish film with subtitles. Whew…93 on Rotten Tomatoes!!! It’s worth every tomato too. The film centers on 59 year old Ove and his attempts at suicide. He fails many times and dreams back to his near perfect and lovely wife who died, and why he wants to join her. He’s beyond crabby, he’s angry, mean and yet, and yet, there’s something so magnetic and powerful and redeeming in him that you’ll watch and wait for his every move. It’s a wonderful film…and I think he’s older than 59, and I remember 59 fairly well. Rolf Lassgard who plays Ove is actually 61 and has been in many films and even played Puck in a production of Midsummer Night’s Dream!!
THE ACCOUNTANT. Ben Affleck plays an autistic criminal bookeeper who is also a ruthless killer, and yes, that makes as little sense as does 98 % of this murder filled mess of a movie.
Anna Kendrick, J.K. Simmons, Jeffrey Tambor and even John Lithgow all do what they can in such a miscast cast that makes you feel like you’re watching an audition session, that nobody cares if they get the parts or not. You won’t believe the plot, or the acting, or the fact that you paid money to see this flick. ps. Jack Reacher is better…if you like these type flicks.
JACK REACHER: NEVER GO BACK. It’s actually one of the better action –merciless- blood filled- escapist movies. There’s a semblence of a plot that makes even Tom Cruise seem human at times!!! It only got a 39 on Rotten Tomatoes so maybe Cruise’s Scientology friends haven’t gone yet!!! The skimpy plot has maybe a daughter for Cruise, several incredibly manic mindless, brutal killings BUT some scenes are very exciting. But you must really this type of film before paying to see it.
GIRL ON A TRAIN. Emily Blunt stars in this heavily/crazily adapted book to film release. You’ll figure it all out about three-quarters of the way through the flash back-fast forward sections. What’s also a problem is that (on purpose) some of the women look like each other! Ex-wives, murder, drinking, cliches galore. I think you’d be better off reading the book. I’ll bet most of your friends have.
MRS PEREGRINE’S HOME FOR PECULIAR CHILDREN. Tim Burton who was born in Burbank in 1958 has made cinema greatness by directing Beetlejuice, Pee Wee Herman, Edward Scissorhands, James and The Giant Peach. Miss Peregrine is a mess, and unfathomable, confusing, pointless. And even sad and painful..DO NOT TAKE OR SEND CHILDREN…it is not a children’s movie, or yours either. Besides all that, the film is heavily critized for having one very evil character in it…played by the one Black actor in the cast Samuel L. Jackson.
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 archived for two weeks… (See next paragraph) and go to WWW.KZSC.ORG. Voting Night Nov.8 we have former Mayor Celia Scott discussing politics and elections the first half hour. Then, former Santa Cruz County Supervisor Gary Patton also talks about local and national elections, issues, and politics. Nov. 15 has Deborah Muth talking about her new book on Scotts Valley history. Attorney Bob Taren returns that same November 15 to share views on THAT election. Christina Waters guests November 22 talking about her new book. After Christina, Sean Michael Conley discusses genealogy and their local chapter functions. Sean Van Sommeran emerges on Nov. 29 to tell us about the Pelagic Shark Research Foundation. Minutes after author and historian Sandy Lydon returns to talk about his future historical adventures. Keeping traditional, The winners of Bookshop Santa Cruz Young Writers Contest read their entries the full hour on December 6. Jennifer Horne from UCSC’s Film Dept. discusses changing techniques in film development. PAMF’s Dr. Paul Ware follows Jennifer to tell us some of his theories about health and the role food plays. On December 20, author Lois Watson talks about her popular book, “Growing Up In Santa Cruz”. 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 email@example.com
This is amazing, and no politics! I hope you vote, though.
NEW UNIVERSAL GRAPEVINE ARCHIVE FEATURE. Stuff changes at KZSC a lot. If you missed either of the last two weeks of Universal Grapevine broadcasts go here… http://www.radiofreeamerica.com/dj/bruce-bratton You have to listen to about 4 minutes of that week’s KPFA news first, then Grapevine happens.
UNIVERSAL GRAPEVINE ARCHIVES. In case you missed some of the great people I’ve interviewed in the last 9 years here’s a chronological list of some past broadcasts. Such a wide range of folks such as Nikki Silva, Michael Warren, Tom Noddy, UCSC Chancellor George Blumenthal, Anita Monga, Mark Wainer, Judy Johnson, 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.
“After a good dinner one can forgive anybody, even one’s own relations”, Oscar Wilde,
“Thanksgiving dinners take eighteen hours to prepare. They are consumed in twelve minutes. Half-times take twelve minutes. This is not coincidence”, Erma Bombeck
“Here in Britain, of course, it’s Thank Fuck We Got Those Weird Jesus Bastards On The Boat Day”, Warren Ellis
“Superficial social niceties are far different from the deep emotion of thanksgiving”, Alexandra Katehakis,
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BEST OF VINTAGE STEVEN DeCINZO.
Deep Cover by Tim Eagan.