Blog Archives

November 14 – 20, 2018

Highlights this week:

BRATTON…Nouveaux Santa Cruz, money and candidates, local trumpo voters, Cotoni Coast Dairies updates. GREENSITE…on Gentrification. KROHN…Rent Control Epitaph or Reinvigoration? STEINBRUNER…Measure H failed, Supes to meet re building height and density, Soquel Creek and raising rates, Twin Lakes well project. PATTON…Against Impeachment. EAGAN…Subconscious Comics, and Deep Cover. JENSEN…reviews Bohemian Rhapsody. BRATTON…critiques Wildlife, The Girl in The Spiderweb and Suspiria UNIVERSAL GRAPEVINE GUEST LINEUP. QUOTES…on “VOTING”.
                                 

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SANTA CRUZ BEACH…before the boardwalk! 1889. Note the horse-drawn streetcars and the steam-powered merry-go round. There’s also an ad for the Santa Cruz Surf newspaper, and a “Museum” sign off in the distance. Those were the days.      

photo credit: Covello & Covello Historical photo collection.

HAND CLAP SKIT. I’m not sure about this one…it seems a bit odd. BUT millions have watched it!!

THE LIVING STATUE OF JEROME MURAT. This has been online for ages, and it’s still weird.

DATELINE November 12, 2018

THE NEW SANTA CRUZ. Enough of the votes are in, and as so many of us wondered and predicted… money bought out the community of peaceful co-existence that Santa Cruz used to be noted for. One reader wrote: “Greg Larson was the only candidate who declined to agree to the city’s voluntary expenditure limit, and is at $52,411 as of the Nov. 1 reporting. I think Drew Glover’s amount is around $13,000. How much per vote would Larson have spent, if he could have continued asking for money, evidently he has no limit… The difference between their cost per vote will be of interest when it’s over”. We watched — and are watching — as landlords turned against renters, and defeated Measure M. We’ve seen who the developers and real estate money backed in THAT election. Now we watch while a weak and manipulated city council supports, as Gillian Greensite notes in her article below, “proposed new high-rise, mixed-use development for Pacific, Laurel and Front streets”.

MORE ON NOUVEAU SANTA CRUZ. Again from a reader… “There’s a discussion on Nextdoor that someone started about de-annexing UCSC? It’s gotten pretty interesting, as it has moved on to suppression of votes, district elections, etc., and finally today’s comments about  “is it legal for candidates to drive voters to register to vote?” It sounds like that side is freaking out about the chance they may lose, and our team will have 4 on the council. The comments are from the Westlake to Seabright neighborhoods”.

There’s an important Santa Cruz Planning Commission meeting this Thursday (Nov. 15), about the hundreds of downtown units being proposed by developer Owen Lawlor and the city. They plan to put the cheap seats in a separate building, but the city is ready to green light the market rate/luxury building before any concrete plans have been made for the “affordable” portion. Gee, why don’t I trust this unplan that the city supports ? Are we just supposed to wait and guess when the afterthought affordable ones will be built, while more and more people will have to move far away — or annoy the upper crust by living in cars or bushes? The need is not in the above average income level, but that is what is being approved, time after time.

ONE LAST THING. We need reminding again that 22,438 Santa Cruz County residents voted for Trump in 2016.

COTONI-COAST DAIRIES UPDATES. Ever-alert Pat Matejcek sent this announcement, and because every single change in the Cotoni Coast Dairies plans affects everyone in our County, we all need to get on this mailing list…

———- Forwarded message ———
From: Powers, Michael mpowers@blm.gov“>
Date: Fri, Nov 9, 2018 at 3:37 PM
Subject: Update: Cotoni-Coast Dairies, upcoming Public Workshops
To: Michael Powers mpowers@blm.gov“>

Hello, 

Hope all is going well for you.  You indicated an interest previously in receiving updates regarding the Bureau of Land Management’s Cotoni-Coast Dairies in Santa Cruz County. I would like to invite you to participate in one of two public workshops scheduled in December that will explore future recreational access opportunities at Cotoni-Coast Dairies (see attachments). These public workshops are being held in advance of our formal planning process. 

Please RSVP if you would like to participate in one of the workshops using the website noted in the attached information.

Note that the content and activities will be the same at both workshops.   

Thank you for your interest in Cotoni-Coast Dairies, and for all the communication we have had regarding these BLM lands to date. We look forward to seeing you at one of these workshops, or at another time in the future. 

Thank you, 

Mike   

Mike Powers
U.S. Department of the Interior
Bureau of Land Management
Central Coast Field Office
940 2nd Ave., Marina, CA, 93933-6009
mpowers@blm.gov 

November 12, 2018

ILLUMINATING GENTRIFICATION
Sometimes gentrification hits you in the face like a bucket of ice water. Two experiences this week afforded a glimpse into how quickly Santa Cruz is being transformed into a city that caters to the well-to-do whose consumption patterns and lifestyles are reshaping this town.

Walking home from the far westside, my best friend and I stopped to take a look in a new lighting store close to Kelly’s bakery. I need a new floor lamp. A rather nice one caught our eye and I turned over the tag to see its price.  A dollar twelve cents seemed wrong; it wasn’t a Goodwill store. It slowly became clear that the period was a comma and the price was $1,120. For a lamp! Disbelief turned into a strong desire to leave the store but we had been spotted. The very nice store manager showed us other examples at the more reasonable price of 300 and 400 dollars. For a lamp!  It seemed

almost insulting to tell him we were thinking more in the $50 range. We didn’t. Stepping out into the sunlight I gasped for fresh air as if I had been holding my breath throughout. Holding my nose may have been more appropriate. What on earth is happening when a store selling obscenely expensive lamps and light fixtures apparently can stay in business in an area that not long ago was a low and moderate-income working class neighborhood? Some may judge this as whining at change that is inevitable or nostalgia for a Santa Cruz that no longer exists. Those who hold such viewpoints are usually profiting off the demographic changes or prefer an urban lifestyle. Change is never inevitable. Those who are the agents of change would like you to believe that it is since that attitude will make it less likely that you will take an active part in preserving what’s left of our town.  
The other experience was downtown on Pacific Avenue. A friend and I had just finished a very nice Indian meal at Mumbai Delights. When we stepped outside after dinner we spotted the public notice for the proposed new high-rise, mixed-use development for Pacific, Laurel and Front streets. I’ve read the plans and my friend has attended the public meeting on the project. We know it is tall, large and boxy. However until you realize what will be torn down to make room for this behemoth and stand in the street to visualize the scale, it doesn’t fully register. This project will be discussed and voted on at the city Planning Commission at 7pm Thursday November 15th. You can see the plans via this link.

As we were walking up Pacific Avenue counting the current stores and businesses that will be bulldozed to make room for the new development, we intersected with a group of folks coming out of one of the fun businesses. We started talking and a lively conversation ensued with their side seeing growth as inevitable and defending the need for more market rate housing pitted against our side stating that none of this development will create housing for those who live here now and are struggling to pay rent but will be high priced apartments for wealthier folks who don’t yet live here: that this demographic shift will mean we lose the current businesses who will be unable to afford the future rents in the new big building and we will lose even more working class folks as this form of gentrification and UCSC growth lead to even higher rents. They hadn’t heard that perspective before so there was a pause for thought.

The new city Planning Department momentum is seeking more of this type of development and the current city council majority has drunk the “growth is good” Kool Aid so our only hope to preserve what’s left of Santa Cruz waits on the results of the city council race. That plus an engaged community willing to challenge this push for gentrification. Only when a $1,120 lamp doesn’t raise an eyebrow shall we call it quits.

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.

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November 12, 2018

Rent Control Epitaph or Reinvigoration?

Measure M: Our ‘Network’ Moment?
The 2018 election is now over. The counting continues. How much were voters paying attention? Was this one of those once every 20-year major community skirmishes? Nineteen eighty-one was one, and 1998 was another. These were perhaps two other historical election-year markers in which the electorate sought out real change. You know it’s happening when local politics begins to leak into casual fall conversations about the World Series, or how the beginning of the UCSC school year brings smiling students and mega traffic back to the Westside. People found themselves this fall asking casual strangers, ‘So, what do you think about this rent control thing?’ Could this year’s election be a voter ‘aha’ moment? Many are on edge about the cost of housing and the inability to find solutions to homelessness as well. Could this be a Peter Finch moment we are living in?

Network
Remember, that old, and a bit odd, 1976 drama, Network, where Finch played a Walter Cronkite-type news anchor who at a certain moment instructs his audience to open their windows and shout, “I’m mad as hell and I’m not going to take this any longer.” Well, I hear what’s coming out of Santa Cruz windows and it’s something like, ‘I’m mad as hell and I just can’t pay this kind of rent any longer.’ Unlike what ensued in the fictional movieNetwork, real people in Santa Cruz came together this past winter and wore out their flip-flops and running shoes pounding the pavement to gather signatures, over 10,000 in only 87 days! Measure M is the result. Hundreds entered the political fray, some for the first time, to qualify this initiative. Never before had so many signatures been gathered so quickly in the city of Santa Cruz. But are these activists ready for the mad dash towards the November 6th finish line? Measure M got some major pushback from landlords, real estate developers, and outside corporate interests to the tune of $1 million. A local group, Santa Cruz Together opposed M, and combined with this outsider money they had a corporate war chest.It was an epic local battle. Tons of outsider Goliath money far exceeding the Movement for Housing Justice’s meager $50,000 effort. Who will prevail? Big money or big heart? There are still over 10,000 votes in the city of Santa Cruz still to count.

An Every 20-year Revolution?
Could this all be a local form of Thomas Jefferson’s revolutions cycle? “God forbid we should ever be 20 years without such a rebellion…”This Santa Cruz “rebellion” was sparked by a whirlwind of national and international events, but a simpler truth is that rent is too damn high. We may live in a Santa Cruz bubble, but it is a bubble of our own making. History tells us that when hundreds participate in a local movement and gather over 10,000 signatures in the process, something in our community is awry and change is likely close at hand.

Stories Abound
Many UCSC grads and undergrads were accepted to go here, but were never told much about the depth of this community’s housing crisis. Immigrants living and laboring in Santa Cruz for the past two decades, making what many of us would consider middle-class incomes, have suddenly seen their rents rise 30-50%, while their wages remain stagnant. Locals who grew up here surfing, hiking, and loving the hell out of this place have found themselves all at once displaced as their parents sold during “a hot market,” while other parents were renters and wanted to retire, but can’t because if they keep working they can stay near their children. Santa Cruzans are “mad as hell” and Measure M is but one way of saying, ‘We not going to take it any longer.’ A whole new generation is becoming politically active. A movement? Maybe, but Measure M will be but one barometer if any movement is to take off here.

(Chris Krohn is a father, writer, activist, former Santa Cruz City Councilmember (1998-2002) and Mayor (2001-2002). He’s been running the Environmental Studies Internship program at UC Santa Cruz for the past 12 years. He was elected last November to another 4-year term on the Santa Cruz City Council).

Email Chris at ckrohn@cruzio.com

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November 12, 2018

MEASURE H FAILED BECAUSE VOTERS WERE WELL-INFORMED
Countywide, property owners rejoiced last week when Measure H failed because it will hopefully send a strong message to the County Board of Supervisors that people are tired of being taxed to death.  Many are struggling to pay property taxes already.  Let’s hope the Board of Supervisors will listen. 
MAKE ONE CALL.  WRITE ONE LETTER.  ATTEND A PUBLIC HEARING.  MAKE A BIG DIFFERENCE.   BUT JUST DO SOMETHING!

The voters were well-informed, thanks to efforts of a handful of citizens who recognized the need to truly inform people about the bigger picture of Measure H, a poorly-written initiative placed on the ballot by the Board of Supervisors August 7, but that was nebulous and violated state law.  There would have been no exemptions for seniors for that new 35-40 year vaguely-written bond tax measure.   Many citizens independently took to the streets in their neighborhoods to talk with people.  Truly a grassroots effort, the No on H campaign budget was a mere pitance compared to the hundreds of thousands of dollars the Yes on Measure H corporate giants and Monterey Bay Economic Partnerships interests spent, paying people thousands of dollars to show up at forums and Farmer’s Markets.  Take a look at the Campaign Reports here: http://votescount.com/  

Really?  Think of all the good those non-profits could have done with that big money instead.  Rest assured, Measure H will likely return in June in some other form, with lots more big corporate money behind it.  FYI, voters in Santa Rosa also refused to approve a similar bond tax as Measure N, for the same reasons, calling the attempted bond passage “crisis capitalism at it’s worst”. Ditto for Measure H in Santa Cruz County.

COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS WILL HOLD CRITICAL PUBLIC HEARING NOVEMBER 20 TO DECIDE HOW DENSE AND HIGH TO MAKE YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD’S BUILDINGS
Mark your calendar for Tuesday, November 20 when the Board of Supervisors will decide whether to allow very dense development anywhere in the County that developers want to put it, and grant special concessions if some of it is affordable, calling it the “Near-Term Enhanced Density Bonus Program”.  The Board Agenda may not describe it as such, however, and only list it as a Public Hearing for changes to County Codes 13.01, 13.10, 17.10 and 17.12.  That was the secretive description listed on the Board of Supervisor Consent Agenda to set the date of the November 20 public hearing. It is being pushed forward by Monterey Bay Economic Partnerships, a corporate machine with many non-profits, developers and bankers at the table.

The impacts of these changes would not necessarily be confined to the areas within the Urban Services Line where public transportation and infrastructure would be in place to support up to 30 units/acre.  Developers could wait to pay the impact fees of their projects; these fees are in place to help mitigate the impacts to schools, parks, and infrastructure until the units are sold and/or occupied.

Developers could go directly to the Board of Supervisors to ask for tentative permission to proceed with such dense R-Combining District development studies to support their approval, not even paying attention to the General Plan for how an area is zoned or planned for use.  Is the Board of Supervisors really qualified to make such determinations?  At the Planning Department’s recommendation, all these changes would be exempt from California Environmental Review Act (CEQA) process and just get shoved through without real transparent public process down the road. 

Take some time to read through the County Planning Commission staff report and findings for the September 26 meeting, Item #7, where the discussion was continued from the earlier September 12 meeting.

Send your written comments to the Board of Supervisors on the November 20 Hearing matter as soon as the agenda is published (usually noon of the Friday before the meeting) so that Supervisors have a chance to read it and it will get recorded as correspondence on the matter.  Show up to the Tuesday, November 20, 9am meeting in the 5th Floor Chambers (701 Ocean Street, Santa Cruz) and testify. 

I am worried the developers and Monterey Bay Economic Partnerships big money interests are launching a wholesale attack on Santa Cruz County that will toss reasonable growth out the window and change the quality of life as we know it, all in the interest of corporate profits.  

The County is in crisis, we keep being told, and in fact, the Board declared a Shelter Crisis in order to accept the $10Million state grant recently.  But where is UCSC in this dicussion?  When will Santa Cruz follow the leadership of the City of Davis, which finally got UC Davis to agree to house 100% of its students?  Why has the County Board of Supervisors allowed developers to choose whether or NOT to build the 15% affordable inclusionary housing as is stipulated by the 1978 Measure J law approved by voters during an affordable housing crisis back then???

click here to continue (link expands, click again to collapse)

Cheers, Becky

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.

Email Becky at KI6TKB@yahoo.com

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November 7, 2018 #311 / Against Impeachment

At 8:19 p.m. on election night, I got an email from Tom Steyer, who has founded and funded a group called “Need to Impeach.” The group is promoting an online petition asking the House of Representatives to impeach President Trump. Over six million people have signed this petition so far.

Steyer is identified by Wikipedia as “an American billionaire.” Here was Tom Steyer’s election night message to me:

Gary, you did it. The polls just closed on the West Coast, and it’s official: You and 6.2 million members of this movement made the difference in electing Democrats to a majority in the House of Representatives. We voted against Donald Trump’s inhumane, destructive policies and for a Congress that will hold him accountable. Tonight is a step forward not just for Democrats, but for the future of America. This is your moment — thank you for all you did to help.

This is what we set out to do. With control of the House, Democrats can release Trump’s tax returns, subpoena his family members, and, yes, launch impeachment proceedings. Now, we need to keep the pressure on. In the coming weeks, I’ll be counting on you to call on your representatives to actively support impeachment.

Savor this victory, but know that the fight continues. Ask your friends to sign the petition and demand that our new Congress impeach Donald Trump.

Thanks again,

Tom Steyer, Founder …Need to Impeach

I do not much like overfamiliar emails, which assume a relationship not existing in fact. I do not like deceptive and manipulative emails, either. I consider this email to me from Tom Steyer to have been both “overfamiliar,” and “deceptive,” and “manipulative.” I am not one of the six million plus persons who have signed the “Need to Impeach” petition, and I don’t know Tom Steyer personally. That reference to my name, “Gary,” and his statement that I am part of “this movement,” along with the complimentary “you did it” assertion, assumes a relationship that does not exist in fact. Steyer is clearly operating in just the same way that Kirsten Gillibrand is operating. I have complained about this kind of politics before. I am complaining again.

Furthermore, since Steyer’s email referenced the closure of the polls on the West Coast, and reached me only nineteen minutes after the polls closed, I have deduced that the message was actually prepared ahead of time. It was not (as it presents itself) a quick note to supporters from someone who is feeling very good about the results of the November 6th midterm elections, written when those results were known.

Most importantly, while, I do happen to agree with Steyer that the policies being pursued by President Trump are both inhumane and destructive, an immediate move towards the impeachment of the President is not, in my opionion, a good way to show Mr. Trump to the door. In fact, I think that approach would quite likely have exactly the opposite effect. Pursuing impeachment in the way proposed by the “Need to Impeach” group is to turn the public into the bull, charging a presidential matador who will put the sword to its heart after driving the poor animal insane. Frank Bruni, columnist for The New York Times, has written an article, recently, talking about how best to beat the president politically. The following image, from the article captures exactly how the president is playing his opposition:

It probably did not escape Mr. Steyer’s notice, though he did not mention it, that the results of the election mean that the President’s support in the Senate has grown, even as the President’s support in the House of Representatives has declined. The Senate is the body that must try the President, if Articles of Impeachment against the President are ever adopted by the House. It is also true that Mr. Steyer probably knows that a judgment against the President, that would actually remove him from office, requires the Senate to convict the President by a two-thirds vote.

In other words, if the impeachment of the President is to be successful, the process needs to be based on something more than the fact that six million people and more would really like to replace President Trump with someone else (presumably with Vice President Mike Pence).

I would like to suggest that the new House of Representatives not spend time trying to prove that the President should be impeached, but instead pass a series of bills that would address, directly, the main concerns of the citizens of the United States, which include a secure system of health care for the people, income inequality, confronting the climate change crisis, and providing adequate housing for every person who lives in this country. The House might also propose ways to end the never-ending wars that presidents of all parties seem so fond of pursuing. It could even address the dysfunctional laws that relate to aslyum and immigration. Is the Senate likely to agree with such initiatives? Highly doubtful, but perhaps more possible than getting the Senate to agree to convict president Trump on Articles of Impeachment.

If we want a new president (and we definitely need a new president), we are only going to get there if our elected representatives (and the political candidate who eventually opposes president Trump in 2020) are able to offer up a positive set of programs and policies that will persuade the voters that someone else ought to be running our government.

Attacking the president personally, which is what pursuing impeachment would do, helps the President politically, not the opposite. Let’s get serious. That’s my thought. Beat the president and his supporters on policy, instead of attacking the president on personality. He loves to be the victim!

Gary is a former Santa Cruz County Supervisor (20 years) and an attorney for individuals and community groups on land use and environmental issues. The opinions expressed are Mr. Patton’s. You can read and subscribe to his daily blog at www.gapatton.net

Email Gary at gapatton@mac.com

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EAGAN’S SUBCONSCIOUS COMICS. Check out Eagan’s “racing against time and everything” Subconscious Comic for the week just below a few scrolls.

EAGAN’S DEEP COVER. See Eagan’s ” You’re All Fired” 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.

MUNCHING WITH MOZART AND FRIENDS. Every third Thursday there’s a free concert in the upstairs meeting room of our threatened Santa Cruz Public Library from 12:10-12:50p.m. This Thursday ( Nov.15)  it’s …

“Celebrate Piano Ensemble”
Presented by
Santa Cruz County Branch of
Music Teachers’ Association of California

PROGRAM

Sonata in D Major, Op. 6                                             

Ludwig von Beethoven  (1770-1827) • Stefanie Malone and Dorothy Roberts

Ma Mère L’0ye

Maurice Ravel  (1875-1937) • Rose Georgi and Carol Panofsky

Jazz Suite for Piano Duet                                               

Mike Cornick (1947- )   • Anne Lober and Lynn Kidder

Andante, K. 497                                                                

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart  (1756-1791) • Roger Emanuels and Carol Panofsky

Grand Waltz and Tarantella, from the ballet Anyuta

Valery Gavrilin  (1939-1999) • Rose Georgi and Marina Thomas

LISA JENSEN LINKS. Lisa writes: “Find out why they were the champions in the high-octane Freddie Mercury/Queen biopic Bohemian Rhapsody,  this week at Lisa Jensen Online Express (http://ljo-express.blogspot.com ). It’s more than just a killer soundtrack!” Lisa has been writing film reviews and columns for Good Times since 1975.

WILDLIFE. With a 94 RT rating — plus the astounding acting by Carey Mulligan and Jake Gyllenhaal — you can’t go wrong. This is actor Paul Dano’s first director job, an award-winning film about a teenage boy in the 1960’s trying to make sense of his mom and dad’s near-crazed decisions and problems. It’s sad, tense, frustrating, and an excellent film…go for it.

THE GIRL IN THE SPIDER WEB. I think Claire Foy is probably the best actor/actress in the business. She could have made Lisbeth Salander (“The Girl With The…”) unforgetable — but the script, the directing, and the characters all let her down. The other Lisabeth Sanlader films were well-done and incredibly exciting. This one is loaded with obscure references, dull explanations and few chase scenes. See it some other time.

SUSPIRIA. This re-make of a scary, bloody, slasher classic fails miserably. Tilda Swinton plays both a male and female role, but even that doesn’t make it worthwhile. It seems to last for 5 hours, much of the dialogue is hard to hear, the revised plot is next to impossible to follow and it’s just plain disappointing…don’t go.

CAN YOU EVER FORGIVE ME? A well-deserved 98 on RT! Melissa McCarthy plays real-life author Lee Israel, who, when she’s down on her luck, starts forging and selling fake letters from famous literary stars. McCarthy is better for my money at being straight than she is as a comic. An excellent movie, based on a book that Lee Israel wrote confessing the entire plot. Go see it…it’s why they make movies, and why we like to go see them.

BEAUTIFUL BOY. A long and drawn-out saga/story of a teen age boy Timothee Chalamet in his first real role. He becomes a crystal meth addict and his Dad — played by Steve Carell — goes the full distance as a parent trying to relate and help. The movie is as sad as real life when parents lose touch with their kids. The background music is way too loud, the acting is perfect, and it is a very sad, depressing film, without an ending that will leave you satisfied.

FREE SOLO. A National Geographic documentary of young Alex Honnold free-climbing El Capitan in Yosemite. It is beautiful, terrifying, and the most tension you’ve ever felt from anything ever on screen. He climbs the three thousand-plus feet in a little over three hours. It’s a nearly perfectly-made film, on a topic you’ll never forget. See it on the big screen at the Del Mar…you won’t regret it, trust me!!! Oh yes 98 on RT!!.

OLD MAN AND A GUN. Sissy Spacek (and her well-known nose) play foil to Robert Redford, in what he says will be his last movie. He’s 82 (and was born in Santa Monica, by the way). Sissy is 69 years old and is from Texas. Based on a true bit of muck, this movie has Redford as an old man who can’t quit robbing banks, or being very nice to everybody involved. Tom Waits is in it but I didn’t notice him! Casey Affleck is Redford’s foil, and does a brilliant low-key job. Danny Glover is in it too, and it’s good to see him working albeit in a very small part. Don’t miss this film. It’s cute, charming, friendly, and nicely done. CLOSES THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 15.

COLETTE. Dominic West from HBO’s The Wire (filmed in and centered in Baltimore)  Eleanor  Tomlinson from Demelza Poldark (filmed in and centered in England), and the lead Keira Knightly all play French people but have British accents. The music score is by Thomas Ades who was here once with the Cabrillo Festival of Music. It’s an almost trite and overused true story of a woman who does all the writing while her husband gets the credit. It’s veddy, veddy British, clever, lightweight, fun, go for it. CLOSES THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 15.

FIRST MAN. 88 on RT. Ryan Gosling as Neil Armstrong steals this saga about our landing on the moon in 1969. He’s nowhere near the type of human that Armstrong seemed to be, or must have been, to carry off this moon landing, marriage, fame, and some failures too. Claire Foy (The Queen) is wasted here as Neil’s wife. The movie is tense at times, nerve-wracking at others and is a full two hours and 18 minutes long. Armstrong died in 2012. It is such a tribute to our US space program, and such a hunk of our national pride, that it’s impossible not to enjoy. Go see it. Nope, they didn’t include the planting of the American flag.

A STAR IS BORN. Yes, the crowds are right: Lady Gaga is a genuine actor now. She takes almost all the movie away from Bradley Cooper. Cooper directed, financed most of it and plays and sings too. It’s a saga, a melodrama, and shares almost zero with any of the other 4 or 5 Star is Born flicks. Go see it, even if like me you’ve never seen or heard Lady Gaga before. According to Wikipedia… Lady Gaga is Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta (born March 28, 1986 in NYC)

MID 90’S. Comic Jonah Hill directed this mid 1990’s near-documentary of skateboarder teen agers coming of age in Los Angeles. My grandsons are going through the same period of life, and in the same area right now — but I could not sense what point or comment Jonah Hill was trying to make with this short (84 minutes) drama. The story seemed disjointed and pointless, but maybe that was the point?

HALLOWEEN. Yes, Jamie Lee Curtis and her nemesis Michael Myers are back in another awkward attempt to make money…not cinematic progress. The usual scare attempts are used over and over and they just plain flop. There isn’t a single reason to see this latest version of the 1978 original. Save your money for Candy Corn.

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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. Pledge Drive Night has UCSC teacher Maria Herrera, her students Ruvim Gavrilchik and Adrian Mendez talking about revolutionary on Nov. 13. They are followed by Ken Koenig and Judy Allen discussing the Common Ground part of Santa Cruz Indivisible. November 20 has UCSC folks bringing us up to date on The East Meadow development, followed by ex County Supervisor Gary Patton. Bookshop Santa Cruz’s traditional night featuring the winners of their Young Writers Contest happens Nov. 27. Tandy Beal talks about her special performances on Dec. 4th. Then Carla Brennan shares news about her Insight Meditation workshops. OR…if you just happen to miss either of the last two weeks of Universal Grapevine broadcasts go herehttp://www.radiofreeamerica.com/dj/bruce-bratton You have to listen to about 4 minutes of that week’s KPFA news first, then Grapevine happens. 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 bratton@cruzio.com

1963. The Stomp was all the craze in Australia. It was not a complicated dance – “all you have to do is shake yourself about and keep time with the music” – I think we should bring it back!

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.

QUOTES. “VOTING”

“The people who cast the votes don’t decide an election, the people who count the votes do”. Joseph Stalin

“Nobody will ever deprive the American people of the right to vote except the American people themselves and the only way they could do this is by not voting.”  Franklin D. Roosevelt

“This is a frightening statistic. More people vote in “American Idol” than in any U.S. Election”. Rush Limbaugh


COLUMN COMMUNICATIONS. Subscriptions: Subscribe to the Bulletin! You’ll get a weekly email notice the instant the column goes online. (Anywhere from Monday afternoon through Thursday or sometimes as late as Friday!), and the occasional scoop. Always free and confidential. Even I don’t know who subscribes!!

Snail Mail: Bratton Online
82 Blackburn Street, Suite 216
Santa Cruz, CA 95060

Direct email: Bratton@Cruzio.com
Direct phone: 831 423-2468
All Technical & Web details: Gunilla Leavitt @ godmoma@gmail.com


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