BRATTON…about Common Roots farm threats from developers Curry and Swift, Judge Ari Symons unfit for office, more jokes from Mary Kelly. GREENSITE… Still in Caernarfon, Wales. KROHN…deadlines, planning sessions, top ten council accomplishments. STEINBRUNER…County budget murky, County Fire Department budget decrease!, Soquel Creek Water and S.Cruz City meeting behind closed doors. UCSC Mission bell in wrong location. PATTON…about Elizabeth Warren and Green Imperalism. EAGAN…The Trump Flu. JENSEN…The Last Black Man in San Francisco. BRATTON… I critique Non Fiction (it leaves Thursday, June 27) see it ASAP! And The Last Black Man in San Francisco. UNIVERSAL GRAPEVINE GUEST LINEUP. QUOTES…”RAILROADS”
“What’s wrong with these photos” compilation from Ellen
Everybody loves a blooper reel! This one’s a classic, from Young Frankenstein, 1974
DATELINE June 24
GRAPEVINE GOSSIP. ABOUT COMMON ROOTS FARM.
IF you listened to Universal Grapevine last Tuesday (6/18) you heard manager Philippe Habib talk about how developers Dave Curry and John Swift are trying to stop Common Roots Farm (formerly Coastonoa Commons) from building “a pocket neighborhood for disabled children”. Swift and Curry want to build 400 or more expensive houses near where Common Roots has just about all the approvals and plans to create five small houses for residents and visitors. Curry and Swift are trying to force Common Roots to pay for projects in their development that have no connection to the Common Roots project. Our City Planning Dept. has been making it even more difficult for Common Roots. It’s become very complex, very expensively legal. To get in touch with Common Roots go to their weekly Saturday farm stand and get the freshest handpicked produce possible. Go to their website at commonrootsfarm.org support them, they are very worthy of your time and love.
JUDGE ARIADNE J. SYMONS…CONCERNING STIPULATION FOR DISCIPLINE. How many times and how many “screw the law” scenes do we have to put up with before Ari Symonds is taken off her bench? Over and over we read and hear neighbors tell of her illegal and totally improper actions involving decisions that affect our lives? AND she’s running for re-appointment!!! So far only a few folks know about the link between her and Dan Coyro‘s photos. I almost forgot that she was born and raised in Canada. Lastly here’s from an article in Internet Defamation Blog from this month’s issue…” The trial was assigned to Judge Ariadne Symons, who by her own admission was probably not the best choice for this case, confessing that she knew nothing about the internet and computers”. Time will tell I’m sure if her bench mates support her OR our community.
MARY KELLY JOKE DEPARTMENT. Mary has some secret way of keeping happier than lots of folks. She sent this….see if it works for you. Click here for a laugh or two.
Still in Caernarfon, Wales.
|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.|
Deadlines are tough, but we all have them in life and somehow, they have a way with getting you organized. The deadline for BrattonOnLine is Monday at noon. I strive to make it. I usually do, but sometimes it’s just not possible given the weekly stresses and duties of the triple life–city council, UCSC job, and family life. Some weeks, something’s gotta give. Of course, when I’m under more stress it is probably better to write to not only relieve stress, but to get information out before it languishes on page 14.3 of a staff report (where is the $115k coming from and is that only .25 FTE for that position?), or buried on the city’s web site (for example, all of the past city “strategic” plans and at least two previous homeless task force list of recommendations. What do they really mean?), or some causal remark made at a public meeting (like the city of Santa Cruz spends less than 1.5% of its General Fund budget on social services. Oh, really?). Well, almost didn’t make it this week.
So, given that the city council had a Saturday “planning” session from 8a to 5:30a and I have a Public Safety Committee meeting today and a city council meeting starting at10:30a tomorrow, this week’s Report may be less than usual, but I’m a big fan of less often being more. Looking at this week’s agenda, I notice the Mayor has placed a “Public Employee Performance Evaluation” for the City Attorney (Tony Condotti) and City Manager (MartínBernal) on closed session for the June 25th city council meeting. The city calendar has been moved to the beginning of the agenda from its usual last agenda item on the afternoon position. It has yet to be set in stone how a councilmember gets an item on the council’s agenda. If you remember from past columns, when the mayor rejects a councilmember’s item, or when an issue is topical and pressing in the community (like homelessness, housing, or wages) councilmembers have an opportunity at this point during the meeting to decide on whether to place an item on the very next city council meeting agenda by garnering four votes to do so. For example, this is how item #35 “Recommendations for Data Collection Related to Rental Housing” made it on to this week’s agenda. It is simply an item to directing city staff to gather more information about the crazy SC rental market. This information was seen as critical in moving forward in addressing this ugly market, i.e. it’s an emergency. Four members of the council voted to get this information sooner than later. But the issue here remains, why has the “calendar” item been unceremoniously moved to the beginning of the agenda? Perhaps councilmembers will forget to use it? (I’m not sure.) And finally, the only item on the evening agenda is “Response to Homelessness: Community Advisory Committee on Homelessness (CACH) Nominations and Work Plan.” I suspect, if you go back and look at the previous two homeless committees, one a task force and the other a council subcommittee, and look at their recommendations that were never implemented, but come back in implement them now because little has changed for the homeless and houseless, then we would not need a new committee. Just sayin’.
Work Done and Work on the Horizon
I’m going to play it safe and list what this council has accomplished over the past six months and then what work we have laid out before us. Make no mistake, there have been some big issues like rent control, homelessness, and worker salaries confronted, but still needing continuing attention. There are other issues that have been successful and have opened doors towards a new day in Surf City. Your votes have meant new ideas and actions on the city council.
Top Ten List of Accomplishments
- Free bus passes and Jump Bike credit for all workers in the Downtown
- Held a special study session on transportation and parking
- City staff commitment to establish campground at 1220 River Street & the purchase of a property for a 24/7 indoor homeless shelter and day-use center
- Funding for additional toilets, refuse pickup, and staffing services
- Tenant protection
- Direction to staff to carry out a rental data collection information effort
- Increased funding for tenant legal services
- City Advisory Commission appointments on Planning, Parks, Downtown, Transportation and Public Works resulting in potentially opening up the city’s General Plan with questions related to over-development; sending the Parks Master Plan back for an EIR; and commission members supporting for more pedestrian and bicycle amenities
- Approved a city worker contract (SEIU) with significant pay raise (not enough, but better)
- The regular agenda “oral communication” was moved from a floating time and put back put back to its former time-certain at 7pm
- Planning Commission meetings are now televised
- City declared a “Climate Emergency,” and will place greater emphasis and care on the issues of the environment and our changing climate.
- This city council did not cut the “Community Programs” budget, and found money in other places to avoid hurting the most vulnerable in this community.
- Confronting UCSC growth. Partnered with SC County Board of Supervisors to hire a full-time person to work with UCSC, the state legislature, students, staff, faculty and the community to limit growth without first sending the requisite resources from the UC Regents to mitigate past growth.
What do we have left? Plenty.
- Resolve the question of “how to get something on the agenda?” Support the concept that any councilmember can place an item on the agenda and it must appear within a reasonable, council agreed upon, time period.
- Change to threshold for staff bringing items to the council from the current $100,000 to $50,000.
- Explore the creation of a police review board.
- Improve Environmental Review procedures and follow existing environmental guidelines.
- Explore the creation of both a Human Rights Commission and a Climate & Biodiversity Commission.
- Make Santa Cruz a “Fair Trade” city.
- Create policy that begins phasing out diesel and gasoline vehicles in favor of a city policy of only purchasing electric and hybrid ones. In addition, establish a policy in which the city council has to approve all gasoline or diesel vehicle purchases.
- Expedite and support the installation plan for electric plug-in stations across Santa Cruz.
- Reduce greenhouse gas emissions to “net zero” for the entire city by 2030.
- Increase market-rate developer in-lieu fees to 33% as San Francisco has done.
- Revisit the General Plan in order to resolve the conflicts that exist pertaining to land use protection vs. development.
- Review anew the Front Street, Corridors, and Golf Club Dr. plans.
- Explore how all new construction in the city can be carbon-neutral; this includes the use and purchasing of asphalt.
- The golf course in DeLaveaga Park must pay for itself through course fees by 2020.
Please let me know what I’ve left off this to-do list? email@example.com
(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 firstname.lastname@example.org
SANTA CRUZ COUNTY BUDGET IS MURKY
I went to great effort to attend the evening session of the County Board of Supervisor Budget Hearing in Watsonville last week where I learned that the budget in 2020/2021 will have a $6-$12 MILLION DEFICIT. There were no handouts for the public. There was no copy of the actual new two-year County budget for the public to look at, and not even an agenda for the public to review. County Administrative Officer, Carlos Palacios, gave a very quick summary of tables and figures, moving from one PowerPoint slide to the next without really giving anyone much time to absorb what he was discussing. “There are challenges,” he said, and predicts a recession. The Parks Department, even though the Measure G half-cent sales tax supported that Department heavily, will be in trouble, and Behavioral Health care will be in trouble. County roads will be difficult to maintain due to lack of funds.
I spoke during public comment, asking for clarification of certain informational items presented. During mid-sentence of my questioning about lack of funding for County Fire Department, Chairman Ryan Coonerty cut me off, declaring that my “three minutes are up.” I asked for more time. “No. Send us an e-mail,” was his reply.
I WAS THE ONLY MEMBER OF THE PUBLIC THERE. ALL THE REST WERE COUNTY STAFFERS. Do you think this is responsive or respectful government? I don’t.
On Thursday, I was able to attend the final portion of the budget hearing regarding County Fire Department. The information on the website showed a 13.7% decrease in that budget, followed by another 8.2% decrease the next year. I wanted to know why. I wanted to know why the County is allocating ZERO in the Measure G sales tax monies that were sold to the public as a way to fund fire and emergency responders? I wanted to know why the Board of Supervisors continues to give ZERO to County Fire Department from the statewide Prop. 172 monies that totaled $18 MILLION to the County last year (law enforcement gets 99.5% of it, with a .5% getting passed through the County Fire account and sent to County Fire Chiefs Association)?
Will the Board of Supervisors be liable if there is a large wildland fire in Santa Cruz County that escalates because they continually REFUSE TO FUND County Fire’s Budget???
Well, Supervisor Friend stopped Mr. Michael Beaton, Director of General Services, from explaining anything after my comment. Is this respectful or responsive government? I do not think so.
Take a look at the week’s hearing calendar, and listen in on the recordings for Departments that concern you…..what about fixing the County roads???? Look at last Wednesday’s calendar to see why we can expect a 5.5% decrease in that budget next year, and a 20.4% decrease the next.
JUST SLIP THIS IN ON THE CONSENT AGENDA, OKAY?
Why is an agreement that was crafted behind closed doors and will not be vetted by a Commission that has expressed reservations being placed before the City Council for approval as a Consent Agenda item that will not be publicly discussed? Look at Consent Agenda Item #24 for June 25
Soquel Creek Water District and the City of Santa Cruz have been busily crafting behind closed doors the language for the 35-year agreement that would allow the District to design, build and start-up operation of a tertiary sewage treatment plant on the City’s wastewater treatment facility site. The District brought a vague version to the City Transportation and Public Works Commission on May 20 (I didn’t even know such a commission existed), and to the City Water Commission on June 3, imploring both to quickly bless the agreement and shove it before the City Council for approval on June 25 before they go on vacation.
The Water Commission had many concerns about the proposed agreement, but bowed to the pressure of District Manager Ron Duncan to get the deal approved because, he said, every month of delay to the Pure Water Soquel Project costs ratepayers $400,000. Really? The Commission agreed to form a subcommittee to work out something that would address the concerns voiced, and approved the agreement in concept. So, that led to a flurry of behind-the-scenes meetings and a much larger document (19 pages instead of 13). That agreement WILL NOT HAVE BEEN VETTED BY THE FULL WATER COMMISSION before going to the City Council on June 25.
MIDCOUNTY GROUNDWATER AGENCY DRAFT PLAN TO SUSTAIN THE BASIN IS COMING NEXT MONTH
The Santa Cruz MidCounty Basin Sustainability Plan will be released for public viewing next month at the Board meeting. The Advisory Committee for the effort held it’s final meeting last week, approving the Sustainability Indicators that the Board asked them to approve. Public Comment will begin July 18, with an Open House on July 20 and July 22, and a Question and Answer Session on August 28. Public Comment closes on September 19 after the Board meeting that evening. Find more information here
I am very grateful for the work the Advisory Committee volunteers did and for the Board to agree to add an extra Q & A session in August, after the Plan is unveiled, but before the public comment closes at the September Board meeting.
CALIFORNIA BILL WOULD REDUCE BALLOT MEASURE TRANSPARENCY
I saw this article in the June 19, 2019 Mercury News “California bill would reduce ballot measure transparency”. It is a sneaky trick to do away with the requirement of AB 195 that requires local governments and school districts to tell voters how proposed bond and tax issues would affect our tax bills…..Santa Cruz County Measure H on the November, 2018 ballot violated it! Now, Senator Scott Wiener has introduced SB 268 after a “gut-and-amend” trick, removing the contents of the original bill that had dealt with welfare benefits and already had passed the Senate. He stripped the bill’s contents and inserted a new bill that would allow local officials to remove the required information about tax consequences from the ballot summary that voters read before casting votes, and bury it somewhere else where it would be less likely to get attention. Here is the link to the article: https://www.mercurynews.com/2019/06/19/walters-bill-reduces-ballot-measure-transparency/ This is unacceptable. Please let others know about this, and write letters to the editor. https://www.santacruzsentinel.com/submit-letters/
WIPING AWAY HISTORY?
I read the news report about the removal of the California Mission Bell from the UCSC Campus last weekend and pondered the significance of learning history. I am glad this particular bell is being removed from an incorrect location. I want to be clear that I support the Native Americans, and all people, but have a problem with wiping away history that is there to remind us all of the mistakes made and not to be repeated. The other problem is that the bell removed was not in the correct location….it had been stolen years ago from the correct location along the El Camino Real leading to the Santa Cruz Mission, and somehow placed on the UCSC Campus.
I know a bit about this and the other three bells that were gifts to the City of Santa Cruz many years ago by a philanthropic group interested in preserving history. I think the two other bells that are correctly placed at the Santa Cruz Mission and along the El Camino Real (now Soquel Avenue) should stay, but the one in the Shadowbrook Restaurant parking lot that has been altered to serve as a light should be taken down. I think all four bells, given to the City as gifts to help interpret an historic dirt road travelled by many as California was settled, need to be correctly placed and educational signage added.
If we do not understand where our society came from, and the mistakes made, we will surely repeat them. That would be a real tragedy.
What do you think? I welcome your comments.
WRITE ONE LETTER. MAKE ONE CALL. ATTEND ONE PUBLIC MEETING. MAKE A BIG DIFFERENCE. BUT JUST DO SOMETHING!
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
#169 / Green Imperialism
One might think that a publication supporting progressive policies would be delighted that a presidential candidate is demanding that the United States military start taking action to help reduce the greenhouse gas emissions that are putting all life on the planet in harm’s way. That includes human life, too, just in case that might have escaped your notice.
Truthdig calls Warren’s plan “Green Imperialism.” That strikes me as just a tad unfair.
I do think that the United States acts with an imperialistic hubris that assumes that the United States should be the last arbiter of what happens on Planet Earth. I would like to hope that the next President of the United
States might start redirecting current military efforts into more positive channels. Our country should start taking steps to eliminate expenditures on military activities aimed at destroying things, and redirect such expenditures into activities that would have a positive impact on the natural environment and on human beings. Current spending patterns are aimed at this: Spending billions to develop (and then use) weapons to kill and destroy is not what our country should be doing. I totally agree with Truthdig on that point.
BUT…. all of our national activities, whatever they are, should also be aimed at eliminating, or reducing to the greatest degree possible, contributions to the greenhouse gas emissions that have led to the global warming that imperils our future, and the future of all living things.
I am happy that Elizabeth Warren is making clear that she wants to do more than “say” the right things, and that she has some ideas about how to make concrete and specific changes that might actually reduce our greenhouse gas and global warming footprint.
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 email@example.com
EAGAN’S SUBCONSCIOUS COMICS. Go ‘subbing” with our favorite duo deep down inside….a few scrolls below.
EAGAN’S DEEP COVER. See Eagan’s ” The Trump Flu ” 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. Eaganblog contains another view of Joe Biden abilities.
LISA JENSEN LINKS. Lisa writes: “Look out for the remarkably assured and absorbing The Last Black Man In San Francisco, this week at Lisa Jensen Online Express (http://ljo-express.blogspot.com ). Directed by Joe Talbot from a story concocted with star Jimmie Fails, it’s an atmospheric meditation on home and identity in a rapidly-evolving city. Find out why they ate it up at Sundance!” Lisa has been writing film reviews and columns for Good Times since 1975.
THE LAST BLACK MAN IN SAN FRANCISCO. An excellent, touching film about two close buddys who face the changing city…and the world. Great footage of THE CITY and a story that will have you thinking about it for days or longer. The story of love of an old San Francisco house, and everything that surrounds it. Don’t miss it. ps.Lisa Jensen tells me that the director Joe Talbot is 1940’s-50’s movie star bad guy Lyle Talbot’s grandson.
LATE NIGHT. Don’t believe the “dramatic comedy” label the distributers put on this no-laugh drama with Emma Thompson as a failing late night tv host, and the always dependable John Lithgow as her husband and protector.Predictable, unrewarding, lack of direction. Emma is a favorite of mine but she just mugs her way through this one.
THE DEAD DON’T DIE. Jim Jarmusch has always been talked about as some sort of great director but not by me. Somebody could make a hilarious zombie comedy…the world needs one, and this isn’t it. Too much killing going on in our real world, is it because violence is too present now? I’m not sure but even when you add a cast like Bill Murray, Adam Driver, Chloë Sevigny, Tilda Swinton, Iggy Pop, Steve Buscemi, and Tom Waits you have barely a few snickers.
GODZILLA: KING OF THE MONSTERS. Many, many evil monsters in this version. The meanest is a three headed monster named CynDonnaMar who lives only to kill humans.
Godzilla freaks will tell you that more than 35 Godzilla movies have been made so far and the ending of this newest one hints that Godzilla will not be so pro humanity in the next one. That next one is probably the King Kong Godzilla production they promise in 2020. This one’s absolutely zero fun from any perspective. It’s serious, ¾ of it takes place on desktops, inside offices on computer screens…very few wide screen anything. It’s moralistic, and then too it contains Vera Farmiga and a little Sally Hawkins and they are always good but wasted here.
BOOKSMART. A surprising 98 on RT. This comedy about two smart high school girlfriends on their last night before graduation escaped me completely. I’m so removed from high schoolers today that I couldn’t relate or follow any part of their adventures. It’s feminist, brave, clever, even sexual and rapid moving. CLOSES THURSDAY JUNE 27.
AVENGERS: ENDGAME. Over 2 billion dollars at the opening weekend box office!!! A world record-shattering Marvel-Disney experience. It’s too much for me to critique. Even if I could accept all the other world characters that inhabit this Marvel–Disney franchise, Rocket the wise talking raccoon would be a step too far. The rest of the cast could be — and are — contained in Wagner’s Ring operas, Greek and Roman legends and dozens of comic books throughout the last 60 years. Like most successful movies today, this one is full of violence, hatred, bloodshed. I’m sorry I saw it, and you know if you’ll like it, so there you are!!! I should add that there are cameos by Benedict Cumberbatch, Tilda Swinton, Natalie Portman, Michelle Pfeiffer, Robert Redford, Tom Hiddleston and probably more but it doesn’t matter. Oh yes, it got a 95 on RT.
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. June 25 has UCSC Math Professor Emeritus Ralph Abraham talking about his brand new and revised Hip Santa Cruz book, volume 1. Then Barry Scott from Rail AND Trail discusses how necessary it is to have both rail AND trail.
Listen on July 2 when Laura Bishop exec dir. of the 418 Project discusses development on Front Street. She’s followed by Anita Webb who’ll cover the problems of that monstrosity being proposed by the Dream Inn. OR…if you just happen to miss either of the last two weeks of Universal Grapevine broadcasts go here… https://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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Trevor Noah interviews his 91 (and 9 months) old grandmother in South Africa.
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.
“I believe in Liberty for all men: the space to stretch their arms and their souls, the right to breathe and the right to vote, the freedom to choose their friends, enjoy the sunshine, and ride on the railroads, uncursed by color; thinking, dreaming, working as they will in a kingdom of beauty and love”. W. E. B. Du Bois
Top of Form
If we are indeed nostalgic for the weight of clock time, it is worth remembering that the standardized time that most of us know has only been around since the mid-nineteenth century. It was invented for the railroads“. Stacey D’Erasmo
“Railway termini are our gates to the glorious and the unknown. Through them we pass out into adventure and sunshine, to them, alas! we return”.– E. M. Forster
“The only way of catching a train I have ever discovered is to miss the train before”.
– Gilbert K. Chesterton
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