Blog Archives

April 29 – May 5, 2019

Highlights this week:

BRATTON…TWO-2-“TWO” LAWSUITS TO STOP ucsc GROWTH.GREENSITE… on Cowell bluff failure: a short history of seven trees. KROHN…Ross Camp indecisions, UCSC and community advisory group, City Block Grant and $$. STEINBRUNER… Water in mid-county meeting and plots, Sewage into drinking water, County Strategic Plan PATTON…Partisan Squabbles. EAGAN…Self Discipline JENSEN…Looks at Chaperone and relives last year. BRATTON…I critique Peterloo, Sunset and Chaperone. UNIVERSAL GRAPEVINE GUEST LINEUP. QUOTES…”May”


                                 

...

COWELL RANCH and BLACKSMITH SHOP AND QUARRY WORK. This was 1855. The oxen team was hauling rock from the quarry.  Now it’s UCSC and Sarah Cowell (ranch owner Henry Cowell’s daughter) haunts the entire area after her mysterious death in 1903.

photo credit: Covello & Covello Historical photo collection.

21 QUESTIONS ABOUT UCSC. Mostly positive campus plugs.
TOUR OF UCSC DINING HALLS.

DATELINE April 29, 2019

Here is last week’s complete press release from the East Meadow Action Committee. There is no need to change a word. On Last Tuesday’s Universal Grapevine EMAC’s lead organizer Jim Clifford talked about this. We also talked about his sensitive, surprising and unique book. “In The Ecotone”. He wrote it in 2015 and it’s around and at Amazon too. The book relates some of the many unique natural havens on the UCSC Campus, and more about the”hidden” reasons why the campus should be preserved.

UCSC’S EAST MEADOW ACTION COMMITTEE SUES THE UNIVERSITY TO PROTECT THE EAST MEADOW.
The East Meadow Action Committee (EMAC) filed suit against the University of California on Thursday April 25.  The lawsuit challenges the University administration’s decision to put prefab sprawl development in the East Meadow, the iconic gateway to the University.

In making that decision, the University violated its own long-standing design principles that protected the Meadow.  In its proposed 3000-plus bed student housing project, the University would develop the East Meadow for only 140 beds, less than 5% of the total project.  EMAC has argued for more than a year that while there is an unmet need for additional on-campus student housing, there are alternative sites on campus for those 140 beds.

The lawsuit alleges that the University violated the California Environmental Quality Act by failing to objectively and fairly evaluate those alternative sites.  Even Hadi Makarechian, the UC Regent most knowledgeable about building projects (and a developer himself), expressed strong skepticism concerning the administration’s rationale for rejecting all the alternative sites. However, the administration would not budge from its decision to back a plan originally proposed by their chosen Alabama-based for-profit developer.

EMAC today made the following statement: “We are gratified and encouraged by all the support we have had from the University’s own Design Advisory Board, faculty, alumni, Trustees of the UCSC Foundation, former Trustees, former Regents, the Student Union Assembly, past Campus Architects, the community, and over 80,000 petition signers.  We look forward to getting this needed housing built in a way that is consistent with the long-standing values of UCSC. We are taking this stand now, and forcefully, not only to protect the East Meadow, but to serve notice to the University administration, as it contemplates further development, that it must do so in an environmentally sound, socially responsible way.”

For further information, go to www.eastmeadowaction.org   

UCSC NAMED AGAIN IN LAWSUIT FILED THE NEXT DAY. A group named Habitat and Watershed Caretakers also sued UCSC and the regents over the proposal to develop the East Meadow into a bedsite for 3000 new students. It was filed Friday, April 26.

MARY KELLY KONTRIBUTIONS. Mary has a rare condition…she not only sees funny stuff everywhere she looks….she also sends it to her friends. Por ejemplo…

The meaning of opaque is unclear.
I wasn’t going to get a brain transplant, but then I changed my mind.
Have you ever tried to eat a clock?  It’s very time consuming.
A man tried to assault me with milk, cream and butter.  How dairy!
I’m reading a book about anti-gravity.  I can’t put it down.
If there was someone selling marijuana in our neighbourhood, weed know about it.
It’s a lengthy article about ancient Japanese sword fighters, but I can Sumurais it for you.
It’s not that the man couldn’t juggle, he just didn’t have the balls to do it.
So, what if I don’t know the meaning of the word ‘apocalypse’?  It’s not the end of the world.
Police were called to the daycare centre.  A 3-year old was resisting a rest.
The other day I held the door open for a clown.  I thought it was a nice jester.

If you see Mary be sure to smile!!!

April 29

A TALE OF SEVEN TREES

It gives me small comfort to see the bluff top failure at Cowell Beach. Of course there’s the “I told you so” satisfaction.  But nothing can compensate for the loss of the grand old trees that gave beauty to the area and most importantly, stability to the bluff, which supports the Sea and Sand Inn owned by the Seaside Company.  It’s a tale of money, power and influence with a compliant city, compliant “experts” and a cold disregard for science and the truth.

There were originally 7 trees on the bluff and they were planted some time before 1928, which is when they first appear in photographs. I had long admired them. They lifted my spirits whenever I passed by on West Cliff or swam at Cowell’s, watching the birds flying in and out of their branches. Sure they had been topped, as was the standard pruning custom at the time to reduce the height of tall trees. Today we know better.  Despite that, they had grown back with sturdy trunks and handsome canopies. In 2003, when I wasn’t paying attention, two of the trees were cut down with permit at the request of the Seaside Company. It spoiled the form of the full grove but the other 5 trees still retained a beauty and gave Cowell’s a fine backdrop. At night, soft lighting uplit their sculpted branches.

In 2010 the Seaside Company sought a permit to cut down the rest of the grove, probably to open up views from their new second story addition. The city saw no problem with that request and was poised to grant a permit for removal, which I intended to appeal. As fate would have it, before the permit was granted, a large portion of the bluff top collapsed onto the beach, directly under the area where the two trees had been removed 7 years earlier. Anyone without an agenda would have concluded the obvious….that the removal of the two trees and the resulting decay of their roots caused the bluff to fail. It is widely accepted that roots stabilize steep cliffs, especially in the deposits that lie on top of the Purisima formation and which comprise the bluffs at Cowell’s and elsewhere along West Cliff Drive. It is also widely accepted that erosion from waves at this site is minimal due to the wide beach, which protects the bluff from erosion at the toe. Rather than seeing the need to protect the remaining 5 trees, the city used the cliff failure to justify giving the Seaside Company an emergency permit to remove all remaining 5 trees. Never mind that “emergency” is defined in the code as a “sudden, unexpected occurrence” creating an “imminent danger” that “requires immediate action,” a month went by between granting the emergency permit and the felling of the trees. The advantage/disadvantage of an “emergency” permit is that it cannot be appealed. Not knowing that such a permit had been granted, I just happened upon the chainsaw massacre with the largest, most western tree in the process of being cut down, lying in massive pieces on the sidewalk. The rest were felled during the next two days. Due to the location, between the road and the ocean, such work required a Coastal Permit, which the city applied for after the fact. Although the trees were gone, the spin and fabrication in the geologist’s and city staff’s reports was such that I decided to appeal the Coastal Permit to the CA Coastal Commission (CCC) to document that by removing the trees, a dangerous situation for future bluff failure had been created. As I wrote in my appeal of December 2011:  “It is likely that the rest of the bluff was not at all in “imminent danger” of collapsing but on the contrary, was stabilized by the remaining trees.  If this is accurate, then removal of the remaining trees was a serious mistake and will lead to ongoing serious erosion problems.”  At that time I estimated 7 years for the roots to decay and further bluff failure to occur. April 2019 is just over 7 years so I was close.  You can see the dead tree roots jutting out where the bluff top material collapsed, directly under where the tree was cut down. There are 4 more sites of potential collapse where the other 4 trees once grew. It’s only a matter of time. I predict the biggest collapse will occur under the dead stump of the largest western tree. I wonder what the city, the Seaside Company and the CCC will do now? Oh what a tangled web we weave…

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.

...
April 24, 2019

HOUSELESS HOLD-ONS AND HOLDOVERS.
Wow, it was another historic Santa Cruz city council meeting last Tuesday night (April 22)! As the “closing” of the Ross Camp discussion ambled along, suddenly, a bomb shell meeting-stopper occurred. It slowly seeped into council chambers that a San Jose judge had just issued a TRO–Temporary Restraining Order–that would effectively keep the city from moving Ross campers out until last Friday’s 9am court hearing. Then, as the news was registering in the minds of councilmembers there was a 4-3 city vote to keep the camp open. Take a deep breath…Next, Justin Cummings made a motion for the council to recess and go into closed session, immediately.

Dynamic Camping Situation
Coming out of the closed session meeting Cummings reversed himself and voted to proceed to order the closing of the camp, albeit after the camper’s court case is resolved in San Jose. (How easily will it be resolved?) Earlier in the city council meeting, Susie O’Hara who works in the Santa Cruz city manager’s office, informed the council that at least 88 current Ross Camp residents had already accepted a voucher to move over to the San Lorenzo Park Bench lands where city workers and Salvation Army personnel were preparing tent platforms, setting up bathrooms and hand-washing stations, all inside a secure (?) chain-link fence at the base of county building at 701 Ocean Street. The city had previously contracted with the Salvation Army to run this proposed 5-day encampment before the TRO threw caution to the wind. Upon hearing the news that the Ross Camp would stay open longer perhaps Bench lands voucher-holders might have a change of heart and decide to stay at the Ross Camp. They were scheduled to begin moving their possessions out of The Gateway-Ross Camp last Wednesday morning. Talk about a fluid situation.

Back and Forth and Back
Through much back and forth conversation on the dais, before the final 4-3 vote, Justin seemed to indicate he would consider the Ross Camp location as a backup to 1220 River Street if after it was cleaned, a census of homeless individuals conducted, and there was no more room at any other shelters then yes, a move back to Ross site would be appropriate. He went ahead and voted with Mathews, Meyers, and Watkins (MMW) on this most crucial of votes to close the camp. Perhaps he is trying to finesse it? Buy time? Has alternative master plan? But given what I will report below, I don’t believe he’s gone over to any “other side.” He has though, positioned himself to become the Anthony Kennedy of the Santa Cruz City Council.

Ninth Circuit Ruling
When the parties met in San Jose, Michael Sweat, et. al. v. the City of Santa Cruz represented by the Police Chief, Fire Chief, City Manager, Mayor, and three lawyers (how much does this cost $?), it was a hearing to determine the rights of the Ross Campers to occupy the current space at Highway 1 and River Street, a property owned in part by the City of Santa Cruz and another part by Caltrans, in the face of a US Federal court ruling by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in a now famous case, Martin v. Boise. The court essentially directed municipalities not to levy fines on people camping on public property when not enough shelter beds exist in a given community. The ruling does not appear to order cities to provide a bed, just not to criminalize the act of sleeping. When the parties arrived to court in San Jose, US District Court Judge Edward Davila worked out an arrangement with US Magistrate Judge Nathan Cousins to work to mediate a solution, a future or a dissolving, of the now 5-month-long encampment. As of 5pm last Friday no settlement between the parties had been reached and apparently, the result was at least three more days of camping for Ross denizens. All parties were scheduled to be back in court today, Monday, the same day as the BrattonOnLine deadline, so stay tuned for a result.

Camping Addendum
By the way, yesterday, a partly-cloudy and partly-sunny weather-tranquil day in Santa Cruz, Councilmember Drew Glover and I met with Ross Camp liaisons. We also walked the one-half mile-long river levy path separating Ross from the recently revived Bench lands Camp. The Ross Camp spokespeople reiterated their original deal to the city: relocate campers to the Bench lands, clean the Ross Camp area, work with campers and the city Fire Chief to safely set up a revised camp structure to be managed by both campers and an outside non-profit, while also relocating anyone who wanted to go to the 1220 River Street camp site. This process would also permit time for a houseless census, the weeding out of drug dealers, and the separation of campers into the basic needs categories (addiction program, job training, abuse counseling) while lending integrity to the process by involving campers and restoring some of their trust in local government. Councilmember Glover and I were informed by the six Bench lands Salvation Army employees (two were First Alarm guards) that at first several of the 88-voucher holders arrived and were offered tent spaces, but after the TRO was issued, many returned to the looser structure of Ross. Currently, they said 28 campers remain at the Bench lands, but they will all be required to move to 1220 River Street come Tuesday (April 30) when the temporary camp is set to close.

City v. UCSC
Earlier in the meeting, councilmembers were asked to report on what has been happening on the committees we were appointed to in representing the city of Santa Cruz. I reported on the remarkable results of a CAG–Community Advisory Group–meeting that took place last Monday. This is a group that is advising the University administration on how to best move forward vis -a-vis the Santa Cruz community on formulating the next Long Range Development Plan (LRDP). In a unanimous vote of those present concerning a 7-point statement of principles the group committed to, and challenged UCSC also to “commit consistently to advocate with Legislators, the Regents, and the Office of the President to secure resources needed to provide the infrastructure required to support any new growth, ideally prior to that growth occurring, and the local campus will not support additional enrollment growth when the needed infrastructure is not provided,” and to “[F]ully mitigating adverse off-campus impacts of University growth authorized by the LRDP and recognizing the profound effects of this growth on the almost fully built out Santa Cruz community, is a critical outcome of the LRDP process.”This group is made up of Ryan Coonerty, Cynthia Mathews, Chris Krohn, Lee Butler, Ceil Cirillo, Don Lane, Ted Benhari, John Aird, Bill Tysseling, Robert Orrizzi, Gary Patton, and Andrew Schiffrin (Schiffrin and Butler did not vote, but participated in the discussion). This is a clear sign of the city and county moving forward to confront future university growth as asked for by voters in the 2016 Measure U vote. Almost 80% voted to stop any more UCSC growth.

Wait, There’s More
The Four (Brown, Glover, Krohn, Cummings) seemed to prevail in a big-time battle with the MMW Three (Mathews, Meyers, Watkins) on how to best spend almost half a million dollars in Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funding. The Four voted to double the amount suggested by the Community Programs Committee(CPC)–Watkins, Mathews, Glover–for the Nueva Vista and Beach Flats Community Center, as well as for the Homeless Garden Project (HGP), which is set to move to the Pogonip this summer. Both Nueva Vista and HGP’s total went from $50,000 to $100,000, a sea virtual change considering last year’s council majority did not wish to fund either request. The most consequential news here is where some of the funding was transferred from counter to the CPC majority’s wishes. Some of it came out of the Planning Department’s Rental Inspection-Code Enforcement bureaucratic fiefdom. The CPC’s recommendation was $95,000 for code enforcement, but the council shaved that back to $40k. If folks remember, the rental inspection ordinance and arbitrary code enforcement has pitted neighbor against neighbor and basically has eliminated many safe but unpermitted units throughout the city in recent years. So, in keeping with a campaign promise to scale back this city “service” and focus on tenants, the council made a powerful statement. The city council also funded the California Rural Legal Assistance (CRLA) request of $20k. CRLA assists low-income people and tenants with legal advice and representation, another council-majority focus.

Climate change is here + we’ve got a deadline: 12 years left to cut emissions in half. A #GreenNewDeal is our plan for a world and a future worth fighting for. How did we get here? What is at stake? And where are we going?(April 17) Watch the video, wow! https://twitter.com/RepAOC?lang=en  

  

(Chris Krohn is a father, writer, activist, and was on the Santa Cruz City Councilmember from 1998-2002. Krohn was Mayor in 2001-2002. He’s been running the Environmental Studies Internship program at UC Santa Cruz for the past 14 years. He was elected the the city council again in November of 2016, after his kids went off to college. His current term ends in 2020.

Email Chris at ckrohn@cruzio.com

...

April 29

SOQUEL CREEK WATER DISTRICT INTERPRETS INFORMATION TO SUIT THEIR PROJECT
The League of Women Voters sponsored a great event last Saturday at the Capitola City Council Chambers to educate the public about water issues in the the MidCounty area.  Unfortunately, it was sparsely attended, but was recorded and  will soon be available on the League website.

The panel of speakers included Darcy Pruitt (MidCounty Groundwater Agency), Heidi Luckenbach (City of Santa Cruz), and Melanie Mow-Schumacher (Soquel Creek Water District).  What bothered me was the incomplete and deceiving information presented by Ms. Mow-Schumacher regarding the alternatives to the current District’s plan to rush forward on a nearly $200 million project to inject treated sewage water into the drinking water supply of the MidCounty area.  When asked, she would not divulge the cost of the project (Pure Water Soquel) when debt financing is included.  When asked why the District is rushing forward to act independently with this costly and risky project, rather than waiting until Santa Cruz City makes decisions on future supplemental water supply and storage projects that could be mutually supportive and beneficial to both agencies if they were to share costs for necessary system upgrades, she said the groundwater overdraft problem is just too urgent.  Consider that the groundwater levels are at historically-high levels due to customer conservation and rain.

The most irritating reaction however was when she displayed a slide of information claiming the City of Santa Cruz cannot supply water to the District to meet its needs for conjunctive use.  In reality, the table shows that, under a number of different possible climate change scenarios, the City could not guarantee 1500 acre feet/year to the District 100% of the time to meet what the District has determined is the amount needed to replenish the MidCounty Basin due to their over pumping (with Junior Water Rights, and thereby illegal).  The table shown, which you can see by looking on page 37-38 of the April 2, 2019 Soquel Creek Water District Board agenda packet does NOT accurately display the forecasts as presented to the City Water Advisory Commission on April 1, 2019, which reduced the amount the City needs to 2.5 billion gallons/year.

Acknowledge and mitigate for the risks to revenue stability associated with moving to a more volume based rate using two strategies:

1. Maintaining the conservative assumption at 2.5 billion gallons per year;
2. Beginning with the planned July 1, 2018 rate increase, apply a $1.00 surcharge per unit of water consumption (a hundred cubic feet or CCF) to increase the amount of the Rate Stabilization Reserve from the current minimum level of $2.3 million to a total of $10 million. In any normal water year where 2.5 billion gallons of water is not sold, the revenue shortfall associated with this situation would be covered by resources from this fund.7

http://scsire.cityofsantacruz.com/sirepub_watercom/cache/2/qpev3wq00uhbzh0hik5ubj44/482023204292019020017287.PDF

(taken from the agenda packet)

Just as the question/answer period was becoming interesting, with Ms. Mow-Schmacher dodging one pointed question after another regarding the District’s actions, the event was abruptly closed, even though there were still several questions submitted on cards from the audience to be addressed.  Time was up.

I urge you to take a look at Water for Santa Cruz County website and really see what is possible.

CITIZEN SCIENCE OR A FREE COMMERCIAL FOR INJECTING TREATED SEWAGE WATER INTO YOUR DRINKING WATER?
This Thursday, May 2, you can have the chance to hear how Soquel Creek Water District will once again spin the facts to support the District’s expensive and risky project to inject millions of gallons of treated sewage water into the MidCounty area’s drinking water supply.  The Downtown Library is hosting District General Manager, Ron Duncan, and District Board member Bruce Daniels to present a Citizen Science lecture “The Science Behind Water”, 6:30pm-8pm. 
Here is information

Expect a glowing report and free advertisement of the Pure Water Soquel Project, bar none. 

MAY 4 IS NATIONAL WILDFIRE COMMUNITY PREPAREDNESS DAY…..NEED A CHIPPER?
As the weather warms, the grasses made lush by this winter’s lovely rains soon will be dry.  If you live in the rural areas, or near them, you know all about wildfire danger.  The neighborhoods in Prospect Heights and Paradise Park are working to organize neighborhood clean-ups during the week ahead to recognize the May 4 National Wildfire Community Preparedness Day, established by the FireWise and National Fire Prevention  Administration.

If your community wants to organize your efforts, contact the Fire Safe Santa Cruz to submit your project request.  Grant money will be available for chipping programs this fall. 

WHAT IS THE MEANING OF ALL THOSE BEAUTIFUL WORDS?
Last week, I attended one of the County Strategic Plan Community Meetings.  It was in Watsonville, but there were a couple others that had been held in Santa Cruz previously.  I saw many County staff there, and a couple of Watsonville City Council members, but no members of the general public.  I was given three strips of stickers showing green smiley faces, yellow puzzled faces, and red frowning faces, and was instructed to visit the different stations in the room with Strategic Plan Goals outlined.  I was to cast my vote with my stickers.

Here are the categories identified, and each had two or more goals to achieve:

  • Reliable Transportation
  • Dynamic Economy
  • County Operational Excellence
  • Sustainable Environment
  • Attainable Housing
  • Comprehensive Health & Safety

I asked for an explanation of what the Strategic Plan will actually accomplish for the average citizen:  “How will this Plan change how the County operates, and makes policies?  What will be the boots-on-the-ground changes that citizens can expect?”  I wanted to know.  I was shown several glossy full-color brochures, and even a 2018 County Annual Report that detailed the Strategic Plan and boasted (without any real concrete figures) what the County had accomplished. 

“How will you use the information you gather here today?”  I asked.  Staff informed me that it will all be compiled into a report for the Board of Supervisors at the June, 2019 Budget Hearings. 

I spent over an hour reading through the beautiful words on the walls and in the glossy full-color brochures and reports, but still wondered what changes can and will come from all this seemingly very expensive process???

Hmmmmm…..  Take a look at the beautiful words here and decide where you would put your smiley faces

THE REAL STORY BEHIND THE APTOS QUILT AND HOW THE SHORTEST PARADE IN THE WORLD GOT STARTED.
Mark your calendars for Saturday, May 11 (10:30am-noon) to attend a great opportunity to hear first-hand from Anne and Albert Isaacs about how the Aptos July 4th Parade really began, and hear the story about the amazing Aptos Quilt displayed in the Aptos Library Community Room.  The event is free and open to the public, and naturally, will be held at the Aptos Library.  Light refreshments included, and a great chance to meet the people who worked alongside legendary Lucille Aldrich to really shape the Aptos Community.

WRITE ONE LETTER.  MAKE ONE CALL.  ATTEND A PUBLIC MEETING.  FILE A PUBLIC RECORDS ACT REQUEST.  MAKE A BIG DIFFERENCE. BUT GET SCRAPPY, AND JUST DO SOMETHING!!

Cheers, Becky Steinbruner

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

...
April 27, 2019 #117 / Partisan Squabbles


The picture collage comes from a January 25, 2019, opinion column by Shamila N. Chaudhary, published in The Hill. The title of Chaudhary’s column was “Partisan Squabbles Degrade Public Servants – At America’s Risk.

I came upon the collage above after I started searching for images associated with the phrase “partisan squabbles.” I did that after reading an opinion column published in The New York Times on April 13, 2019. That column, by Samara Klar, Yanna Krupnikov and John Barry Ryan, was titled, “Polarized Or Sick of Politics?” Here’s the photo that was used in the online version of The Times’ column, illustrating a group of people who are “sick of politics”:

The political science professors who wrote for The Times reported on a series of experiments and surveys that they contend demonstrate that Americans are not, really, as “polarized” as we sometimes think. Rather, Americans just hate “politics.” The “pull quote” that attracted my attention to the column proclaimed: “Most Americans just really don’t like partisan squabbles.” Again, according to the authors, that’s not because Americans are so “partisan.” It’s because they just don’t like the “squabbles” that seem to define what “politics” is all about. I am not sure how convincing that set of surveys and experiments actually is. Read The Times’ column for yourself and make up your own mind. 

What I do think, though, is that the large number of Americans who make clear that they really don’t like “politics” are voicing their complaints and concerns about something that is not what we really ought to call “politics,” at all. 

When “politics” is seen as a set of squabbles and maneuverings between various elites who are  fighting about who gets to run the country, ordinary men and women have little reason to like it. “Politics” does become an arena in which “everything is possible and nothing is true.” If politics is just deciding to whom one should show allegiance, among the various “leaders” on offer, there really isn’t much to like. It’s no wonder that the “squabbles” between the candidates and the various ideologies being discussed are rejected as unworthy and distasteful. 

But what if “politics” were actually understood to be what it actually is, the mechanism by which we decide for ourselves, as self-governing citizens, what we should do, collectively, to meet the challenges we face and to accomplish the hopes and aspirations we cherish?

The key to a right relationship to “politics,” for me, is citizen engagement in the political process. We need to see ourselves (because it is true) as the actors who will determine the political choices and outcomes that will govern our present and future. If we see ourselves as mere “observers,” as opposed to “actors,” then the “partisan squabbles” of those who present themselves as the persons who are entitled to “act,” will become very tiresome and distressing indeed. This is what politics has become, an entertainment, a spectator sport, and it is a hugely ignoble spectacle. Take our current president, as an example!

The idea that we (each of us) are part of a self-governing society is slipping away. If all we can do it to watch while others “squabble,” it’s no wonder that we hate politics. 

Gary Patton 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

...

EAGAN’S SUBCONSCIOUS COMICS.Look in at Eagan’s Self-Discipline lesson to see if the shoe fits!!!

EAGAN’S DEEP COVER. See Eagan’s ” A game for the whole nation” 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.

SANTA CRUZ BAROQUE FESTIVAL. Their concert number 5. “Bach’s Coffeehouse”

Will be performed Saturday, May 4, 2019 at  7:30pm at UCSC Recital Hall. They’re playing Bach’s hilarious Coffee-Cantata. Featuring…Sheila Willey, Soprano as Lieschen, a young coffee-addict, Jonathan Schmucker, Tenor as the Narrator, Ben Brady, Bass-Baritone as Herr Schlendrian, the vengeful father, and Lars Johannesson, Baroque Flute, with The Festival Baroque Strings with Linda Burman-Hall, Director and Harpsichord. Also on the Baroque Festival docket for May 12 is.. Flamenco presented by aficionado vocalist Carlitos de Santa Cruz and guitarist Erik Jarmie. This will be a day to delight all the senses, in the company of fellow musicians and music lovers. Santa Cruz Baroque Festival presents Music In The Garden. May 12, 2019, 1-5pm. $45 presale, $50 at the door Tickets available at scbaroque.org

LISA JENSEN LINKS. Lisa writes: “Some random thoughts after the first year without my Art Boy, this week at Lisa Jensen Online Express ( http://ljo-express.blogspot.com ). When is it all right for those left behind to survive? Also, we knew the clothes would be fabulous, but read my review of the rest of The Chaperone — the first feature film from the folks at PBS Masterpiece — in this week’s Good Times.” Lisa has been writing film reviews and columns for Good Times since 1975.

SUNSET. Set in Budapest in 1913 just before WW1, this is a difficult film to both watch and even follow the plot. It’s directed by the same guy who did the Oscar Award winning “Son Of Saul”. A young woman goes through Budapest looking for any traces of her family. She encounters thugs, rapists, and mean people everywhere. Go prepared for a real challenge. CLOSES THURSDAY MAY 2.

PETERLOO. It’s almost like a future view of Santa Cruz City politics and police meeting a crowd of pacifists. It’s a sad and true story of what happened in Manchester, England in 1819. The crowd of 80,000 peaceful protesters who are fighting for the right to vote meets police force. Real film followers know by now that this is a Mike Leigh film. That means he forces his message /script on the audience – no matter how long and how complex the film must be. The title is from St. Peters Field where the event happened, and of course it entered the history books after Waterloo. Go warned, and its 152 minutes extra long, and 15 protesters died. CLOSES THURSDAY MAY 2

CHAPERONE. A dull, Hollywood story about one of the most exciting, beautiful, talented actresses ever….Louise Brooks. Elizabeth McGovern plays a straight, up tight, dull chaperone. Haley Lu Richardson who plays Louise Brooks looks and acts absolutely nothing like her. This is a movie from a novel that was “based on facts”.  But based on facts….you should stay home and try Mindfulness, if you haven’t already.

HIGH LIFE. Deep, very deep space and a bunch of criminals including Robert Pattinson  and Juliette Binoche are sentenced to ride in a space ship to the Black Hole for years. This is the long, very long, movie about the crimes they committed before the space ship. Pattinson has become an excellent actor….even with just a few words in his script. What’s sort of cool is that their spaceship isn’t the usual immaculate vessel but is dirty, dusty and old. It’ll keep you interested just trying to figure out what the plot really is.

AMAZING GRACE. Sometime in the mid 50’s three friends and I went to a church in the darkest part of Los Angeles to hear Mahalia Jackson, an amazing  experience I’ve never forgotten. Watching Aretha Franklin sing gospel songs in this 1971 documentary doesn’t come close. Gospel is it’d own art form and Aretha is and was one of our greatest singers but there’s something lacking in this film.

MUSTANG. It’s a simple minded movie about some Nevada State prisoners who turn wild mustangs into saddle broken riding horses to sell at an auction every year. It’s apparently factual. It stars Bruce Dern at his cranky, snarly best teaching the boys/men how to handle themselves and their steeds. Predictable, corny, and will remind you of My Friend Flicka or any other old horse movie.

US.So much of this movie was shot at our Boardwalk and has hundreds of nearly unrecognizable locals in it…you simply have to see it. It’s a socially-aware horror movie with a very complex plot, and truly scary. Jordan Peele— who also directed Get Out— made sure it also contains a serious critique of racial inequality and our attitudes to living “the good life”. It’s disturbing, puzzling, well-acted, and a little better than Lost Boys… but not as good as Harold and Maude. A 94 on Rotten Tomatoes.

PET SEMATARY. A remake that shouldn’t have been remade. John Lithgow is frankly boring as the nervous farmer neighbor. Stephen King’s book was fantastic…as I remember from way back when. The original movie version (1989) had some scary scenes, but avoid this sad copy.

...

...

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. . April 30 has land use attorney and former S.Cruz county Supervisor Gary Patton discussing the “Save Santa Cruz” organization. Then Rachel Kippen the new ex.dir of the O’Neill Sea Odyssey talks about her job and the Monterey Bay. Greg Cotton from Protect Juristac, a group fighting to save tribal lands from oil and other development talks on May 7th. Juristac will be followed by Jean Marie Scott UCSC’s associate vice chancellor speaking about an increase in UCSC student’s bus fares. Dr. Shawna Riddle returns to discuss many current health issues in our community on May 14.  May 21st has concertmaster Roy Malan discussing the Hidden Valley String Orchestra concert occurring on June 2nd. OR…if you just happen to miss either of the last two weeks of Universal Grapevine broadcasts go herehttps://www.radiofreeamerica.com/schedule/kzsc   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

Trevor Noah is one of my favorite comedians 🙂

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.   “MAY”

In the deepening spring of May, I had no choice but to recognize the trembling of my heart. It usually happened as the sun was going down. In the pale evening gloom, when the soft fragrance of magnolias hung in the air, my heart would swell without warning, and tremble, and lurch with a stab of pain. I would try clamping my eyes shut and gritting my teeth, and wait for it to pass. And it would pass –but slowly, taking its own time, and leaving a dull ache behind.” Haruki Murakami, Norwegian Wood

Spring is nature‘s way of saying, “Let’s party!” Robin Williams

“As full of spirit as the month of May, and as gorgeous as the sun in Midsummer.”                              William Shakespeare


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


Posted in Weekly Articles | Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.