Blog Archives

April 1 – 7, 2019

Highlights this week:

BRATTON…UCSC demolishes onward, Save historic Circle Church. GREENSITE…on Senate Bill 50 and losing local control. KROHN…City Council and no strategic plan, library garage, homeless shelter, rent stabilization, climate action, buying Beach Flats garden. STEINBRUNER…Senator Wiener’s pro-housing talk, bond measures, aquifers, Soquel Creek Water, auxiliary lanes, beached boats and oil. PATTON…Neighborhood government. EAGAN…exonerates them all. JENSEN…takes a break. BRATTON…I critique Mustang, Hotel Mumbai. UNIVERSAL GRAPEVINE GUEST LINEUP. QUOTES… “Horror Movies”



SANTA CRUZ COUNTY FAIRGROUNDS. Once upon a time I was treasurer of the Santa Cruz County Fair (really!) This photo from 1956 used to drive me crazier until I figured out it was reversed. It’s from Webber’s Photo Shop that used to be at 1374 Pacific Avenue.

photo credit: Covello & Covello Historical photo collection.

SANTA CRUZ FLOOD OF December 23, 1955. 6 minutes of amateur footage of THAT flood. Courtesy of the Capitola Historical Museum.
DOWNTOWN SANTA CRUZ. Music plus stock photos of Santa Cruz and some in color.

DATELINE April 1, 2019

REGENTS OK UCSC TO DEMOLISH AND ADD 3000 BEDS. The following is an “official announcement” from University of California Physical & Environmental Planning in Oakland.

The Regents of the University of California approved the UC Santa Cruz Student Housing West Project on March 29, 2019. The University has issued the attached Notice of Determination for this approval, in compliance with the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA).

The Environmental Impact Report as well as all of the CEQA notifications for the project are available online. (Go here to figure out the rest of this.)

UCSC CEQA Notice of Determination. Project Description: The Project consists of the construction of housing for approximately 3,000 students at two sites on the UC Santa Cruz main campus. The project will demolish the existing 200-unit family student housing complex and child care center west of Heller Drive, and redevelop the 13-acres site with approximately 2,900 student beds in six apartment buildings. The project will develop approximately 140 units of housing for student families, and a childcare center on a 17-acre site at the intersection of Glenn Coolidge and Hagar Drives. The project includes an amendment to the UC Santa Cruz 2005 Long Range Development Plan to change the land use designation of 17 acres from Campus Resource Land to Colleges and Student Housing.

SAVE HISTORIC CIRCLE CHURCH. The Wilkes Circle or Errett Circle community arms are up and waving, because their historic Garfield Park church is in danger of being torn down and replaced by some possibly 30 very unaffordable housing units. Check out last week’s BrattonOnline and see the many disputes between the present church owners (Circle of Friends) and the community. More than that, there are serious differences between the City’s Historic Preservation and City planning. Also do check out the “SAVE THE CIRCLE CHURCH” Facebook Page . Organizing a neighborhood isn’t easy. How organized is your neighborhood, for example? I attended a meeting of the Friends of The Circle Church last Sunday (3/31). Their petitions are out, around and being signed rapidly. A member/leader of the newest church “The Greater Purpose Community Church” was at the meeting. He said we could see that the church is drawing great-sized congregations there every Sunday, and yet the Circle of Friends wants to destroy all of this. The Circle of Friends consists of Bret Packer, Mark Thomas and spouse, Joe Combs and Tad and Caitlin Davies who are living in the RV on the church property. If you know any/all of this circle of friends, ask them if the money they are investing is worth destroying the church and circle community?

April 1, 2019


Ever since UCSC’s expansion plans turned an asset into a liability, Santa Cruz city residents have understood that we have little say over UC decisions that affect our town. Despite the fact that a third of the population growth of the town over the past 20 years is a result of UCSC growth and skyrocketing rents, a result of fifty per cent of an ever increasing student body seeking off-campus housing, local voices of protest have largely fallen on deaf state ears. We have consoled ourselves that at least we have some control over local zoning and planning decisions. All that is about to change if Senate Bill 50 passes the state legislature. Local control over land use decisions and especially zoning will pass to the state, which will dictate where dense, high rise housing is mandated to be built.

The Senate bill, authored by state Senator Scott Wiener, is ostensibly aimed at “solving” the housing “crisis” by building more, especially in communities which are viewed as having dragged their feet in approving denser, infill housing. If you believe pro-growth folks who post on Next Door or speak at public hearings, Santa Cruz is a NIMBY outpost where nothing gets built due to draconian zoning ordinances and stubborn locals who yearn for a former small town era. This, despite the fact that new developments are popping up like mushrooms after rain.

You can get a jaw-dropping preview of what has already been council approved to be built in our 13 square mile city by checking out the city website.

The rendition included here is of the already approved Front St./Riverfront Apartments. They will be built adjacent to the river levee, along with the bulldozing of all the small businesses located there, and you can guarantee that rents will start around $2700 for a one-bedroom unit. Call me a stubborn local but I find such developments out of scale, out of character and out of sight in terms of affordability.  Welcome to Palo Alto by the Sea, minus the majestic trees.

The belief that building more and more and more will translate into lower costs for a commodity, housing, is a pipe dream unless speculation is curbed by legislation. That is unlikely given the influence of financial institutions and business councils on the local and state levels.

If you want to hear what the state has in mind for us, attend the heavily promoted forum entitled “Why Say Yes To Housing” on Friday April 5th, 6-8 pm at Peace United Church, 900 High St. You will notice that the topic is posed as a rhetorical question.  The forum features Senator Scott Wiener as well as a rep from Monterey Bay Economic Partnership (MBEP), which I wrote about last week. SB50 has already been endorsed by Santa Cruz County Business Council, whose Executive Director is a city Planning Commissioner. The Council’s Board of Directors includes such entities as UCSC, Bay Federal Credit Union, Driscoll’s, Shadowbrook, Sentinel, Kind Peoples among others. Are you feeling a little bit like David facing Goliath? Just don’t forget who prevailed.

Front St. /  Riverfront Apartments.
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    Plus she’s an avid ocean swimmer, hiker and lover of all things wild.

April 1, 2019


The new council is entering its fifth month and still no Strategic Plan in site. It has been a “Waiting for Godot” chess match with the current city manager, Martin Bernal, when and if a council strategic planning session will be held. This council-manager form of government can be tricky. I believe the city council wants to go forward with this session asap, but the city manager needs to be in the room too. The city council hires and fires the city manager and city attorney, but the city manager hires and fires the rest of the 800-plus city work force. The absence of a strategic planning session is not because there is a lack of will on the part of councilmembers. I believe we want to craft a two-year plan now and we are already a half year behind. The traditional “Two-year Strategic Plan” is now looking like a 1.5-year project instead. The clock is ticking and the “other side” knows it. The previous city council’s two-year-old plan is over. The Corridors Plan, Wharf Master Plan, Library-in-a-Garage plan and homeless services non-plan are all either on hold or on life-support. When will a new two-year strategic plan be implemented? The community must be heard from.

New Council, New Plan?
A group of Santa Cruz activists, homeowners, renters, volunteers, and students have now met three times since last November’s election in order to come up with a community strategic plan, or perhaps a People’s Plan. More than 60 people have attended these people’s planning meetings, and a broad range of topics have been discussed including council communication, the Brown Act, rent control, raising the minimum wage, separating the library from the garage, a permanent site for the downtown Farmer’s Market coupled with a community town commons, halting UCSC student growth, implementing effective police review, and how to best address our homeless and houseless crisis. Topics also included how to best spend the gas tax money to support alternative transportation, formation of a people’s budget committee, and how best to allocate parking fund revenue in the pursuit of affordable housing. A single issue kept coming up again and again: if Santa Cruz has a “15% inclusionary” to create more affordable housing then why aren’t we raising more concerns about the “85% unaffordable housing” that is currently being proposed?

A People’s Strategic Plan
What’s possible over the next year and six months? This Community-Council group met three times for a total of 9 hours. Here is a brief summary of issues which might be a part of a city council Two-year Strategic Plan:

  • Separating the Library-in-a-Garage Concept
  • creating a “town commons-plaza” and permanent farmer’s market space if that is where constituents want to go
  • remodeling the current library (pretty big constituency for this, far larger than city manager-staff constituency)
  • Homeless Shelter—city put a bid in on Seaborg property next to the current Homeless Services Center…how to get this up and running once the escrow period is over?
  • Housing and Rent Stablization Task Force—how do we light a fire and get people moving on this…David Ceppos is the consultant from the Sacramento-based Center for Collaborative Policy (CCP) who interviewed the entire council and now will choose 20 community members to interview to determine make-up of task force.
  • Climate and Bio-Diversity Commission—begin with a city council subcommittee and work with current Climate Action Taskforce coordinator, Tiffany Wise-West.

Other honorable mentions
There are so many good ideas out there in our community. At some point, we will have to decide what does a one-year, two-year, three-year, and four-year strategic plan look like. Then, a tentative calendar for moving agenda items forward from the community onto the city council agenda needs to be formed and out of this process it could be determined which issues might be placed before voters. The following is a list of issues under discussion by the Community-Council group, ones that could also go onto the city council Two-Year Strategic Plan agenda if that meeting ever occurs. If not, the community will continue to carry on with its own strategic planning.

  • Form a Human Rights Commission and a Youth Commission
  • Buy the Beach Flats Garden
  • Reform the Rental Inspection Ordinance to favor tenants and keep safe but unpermitted properties in the housing pipeline
  • Institute a police review board (“Cop Watch”)
  • Pass a $15 an hour minimum wage ordinance
  • Pass a “public banking” ordinance
  • Write a General Plan amendment restoring urban-rural transition to Golf Club Drive area
  • Build a minimum of 200 units of affordable housing on parcels that the city currently owns. These include the NYAC building (between bus station and old Tampicos) and the former thrift store site on Front Street. The city should be receiving some $8.4 million coming into its coffers from the recent sale of the Sky Park property in Scotts Valley.
“How do we have trillions of dollars to spend on endless wars, but we don’t have the money for education and health care? How do we have money for tax breaks for billionaires, but not to feed hungry children? Together we are going to change those priorities.” (April 1)
(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

April 1, 2019

This Friday, April 5, State Senator Scott Wiener will part of a panel discussion at Peace United Church (900 High Street, Santa Cruz) with representatives of groups who want development to boom in Santa Cruz County. Senator Wiener has led the charge to push through legislation to force cities and counties to approve developments under state mandates, regardless of whether there exists the infrastructure to support it.  The event is co-hosted by Santa Cruz YIMBY (Yes In My Backyard), the Santa Cruz County Business Council, and the Monterey Bay Economic Partnership (MBEP) and begins at 6pm.

The panel will include Senator Wiener, Business Council Member and President of New Way Homes, Mr. Sibley Simon (he wrote the enhanced density bonus regulations that many local jurisdictions have since adopted), MBEP President Ms. Kate Roberts, YIMBY Board Member and Co-Founder of Work Bench, Ms. Jamileh Cannon (Work Bench is an architectural/developer company based in Santa Cruz and whose star project is “The Dwellings” in Soquel).

Senator Wiener will be talking about the need for more housing throughout California, and what he hopes to work on as the Chair of the Senate Housing committee this year  He will also be providing an overview of his highest legislative priority, Senate Bill 50, the More HOMES Act, which is an amendment to the State Density Bonus Law that allows for greater densities for more affordable housing.  If the proposed development is within a “job-rich” area (which will be mapped and listed effective January 1. 2020 by the State Dept. of Housing and Community Development) and within a “transit-rich” area, jurisdictional shall waive control over height restrictions, density maximums, floor area ratios, and parking requirements. Here is the text of proposed SB 50 (please note Section 6518.53(a)(1) and (c).

In my humble opinion, this event this Friday is meant to begin beating the drum for SB 50 and the ballot measure that could be on the November 2020 election to make it easier to get the necessary voter approval to fund bonds for single purposes (read more about that below), but   I encourage you to attend this Friday and see what you think.

Take a look at who is behind the Monterey Bay Economic Partnerships, the group who wanted to shove Measure H, a poorly-written and illegal property tax bond measure on all parcels in Santa Cruz County last November, but thankfully, the voters read the measure and rejected it:

That is just what is in the works with a proposed constitutional amendment that would lower how much voter support communities need to get at the polls in order to pass single-purpose bond and tax measures.  Currently, a single-purpose bond or tax measure must get 2/3 voter approval to pass, whereas multiple-purpose tax increases only require 51% (that is how the County slipped the Measure G 1/2-cent sales tax increase through last November).  However, this constitutional amendment, proposed by Assemblyman Todd Gloria (Dem-San Diego) and sponsored by Assemblywoman Cecelia Aguiar-Curry, would lower the required threshold of approval for single-purpose NEW DEBT to 55%.  

“These two-thirds thresholds are meant to enable a boisterous minority to impede progress,” said Assemblyman Todd Gloria.  Sponsors hope to gain the necessary 2/3 legislative approval for this constitutional amendment and place it on the November 2020 ballot, where it would require a simple majority of 51% of the voters to pass.   It would apply to projects including affordable housing, wastewater treatment, fire and police buildings, parks, public libraries, broadband expansion, hospitals and more.  Local governments typically fund those projects through bonds or special taxes, like the parcel ta or a dedicated sales tax.

The Santa Cruz Sentinel featured this information on page A3 on March 28, 2019, but no link for it comes up with a search, so here is a link to another source that seems to have used the same AP report

I suggest you write your representatives now with your thoughts on the matter:

Assemblyman Mark Stone:
State Senator Bill Monning

Amazingly, that is the essence of the report given the MidCounty Groundwater Agency Advisory Committee by consultant Mr. Cameron Tana of Montgomery & Associates (formerly HydroMetrics) last week.  This was part of the blatant commercial praising the virtues of Soquel Creek Water District’s proposed plan to inject millions of gallons of treated sewage water into the drinking water supply for the MidCounty area.  Mr. Tana explained that the hypothetical model he has created (largely paid for by Soquel Creek Water District) to show what would happen if the treated sewage water gets injected AND Santa Cruz City Water Dept. were to also inject de-chlorinated potable water in three possible new wells nearby, the aquifer level would rise to surface levels and become undesirable.  He stated, therefore, that Santa Cruz City’s location of the new injection wells is too close to the Soquel Creek Water District’s three planned treated sewage water injection sites associated with Pure Water Soquel Project.  

This information did not comport with that of other previous presentations where Mr. Tana’s hypothetical models showed increased surface stream flows with increased groundwater levels, and recharge impacts leveling off due to the water “leaking” into streams beds and flowing out under the Monterey Bay.    

I pointed this out to the Advisory Committee, and stated that it seemed the Pure Water Soquel Project was not necessary, given the existing infrastructure for the City to recharge the aquifer in troubled areas, but no one responded.  Members of the public are NOT ALLOWED to ask questions or expect any answers, only to register comment.  

The members of the Advisory Committee were selected to represent specific stakeholder groups who have interests in the MidCounty Groundwater Basin plan that the group is supposed to be formulating and submit to the State for approval in January, 2020.  There is no method for any such stakeholder to directly contact their liaison representative on this Committee, an issue that has been raised since the group formed over one year ago.  Even though the agency’s Board recently approved new policy that would allow such direct e-mail addresses to be issued and posted on the website, the matter was not even on the Advisory Committee’s agenda.  The Advisory Committee will be dissolved in June.  Policy changed a few months ago, such that this citizen-based group will NOT formulate the Plan for sustaining groundwater levels in the Basin, but rather they will only prioritize and rate those recommendations spoon-fed to them from the Executive Committee, which consists of a handful of people who manage the water agencies in the Basin, and whose meetings are never open to the public.

There are no public stakeholder meetings planned until July, after the Plan has been pretty much made a “Done Deal” and the Advisory Committee is gone.  Somehow, this just does not smell right to me.  How can private well and small water company owners and customers be expected to have any trust in this process, and walk smoothly along with the big pumpers like Soquel Creek Water District, whose Junior Water rights legally allow them only to excess water in the aquifer for their sales and distribution (and revenue)?  

If you have concerns about lack of public participation, Soquel Creek Water District’s plan to inject treated sewage water into the area’s drinking water, or the process the MidCounty Groundwater Agency is taking, contact Ms. Amanda Peisch-Derby at the State Water Board:

Amanda Peisch-Derby   559-230-3307.

Here is the link for the MidCounty Groundwater Agency, where you can listen to audio recordings of the meetings, and find information about the proposed Plan:

The City of Santa Cruz is committed to “an inclusive, transparent, thorough, and equitable process” in completing the “Resilient Coast Santa Cruz” Initiative, which will commence community meetings this Spring.  According to information distributed at the recent “State of the San Lorenzo River Symposium”, the West Cliff Drive Adaptation and Management Plan will be available soon here as part of the Development of Local Coastal Program Strategies a& Policies to Support Beach and Public Access Protection.  At the County level, that has meant no new armoring of the eroding coastal areas, and possible sand loss mitigation fees to coastal property owners.  

The City intends to begin holding community meetings soon, and invites the public to also stop by for a once-a-month open office hour at the City Hall courtyard Conference room on the first Thursday of each month from 4pm-5pm to talk about the initiative with the City’s project managers.  You can e-mail  and get on their mailing list.

If you are interested in learning more about the very complex problem of local traffic congestion, and to learn more about possible solutions, attend this free event at the Aptos Library, Saturday, April 13, 10:30am.

If you commute to or through the Watsonville-to-Capitola areas of the County, you know it is a nightmare.  Come listen to what local activist and sensible community leader, Mr. Rick Longinotti, has to say.

Over a week ago, many people saw a sunken ship near the iconic Cement Ship at Seacliff State Beach, and wondered what was going to happen with it.  I asked the State Park ranger about it, and was told the Coast Guard was aware of it, but did not plan to take action.  I called the Harbor Patrol, and got a similarly vague answer.  

Last week, a private salvage company, Parker Diving & Salvage, showed up and pulled a sunken tri-maran and the sunken cabin cruiser to shore for demolition on the beach.  Wow, was the air heavy with diesel fumes from the leaking fuel on the beach by the 35-foot cabin cruiser languishing at the tide level.  Surfers were exiting the water, complaining of fuel on their skin.

I called 9-1-1 to report the fuel spill on the beach.   I received a call a couple of hours later, around 9pm, from the Harbor Patrol, thanking me for my call, and assuring me the Coast Guard would contact me shortly.  No call.  I phoned 9-1-1 again to check up on the progress of addressing what smelled like a major fuel spill.  The Harbor Patrol called back and said that I MIGHT receive a call from someone.  I did….at 2am, from the San Francisco Sector of the Coast Guard, letting me know they were aware of the problem.

The ship stayed on the beach, leaking fuel, and was finally demolished on the beach by the salvage company.  Because the smell of diesel was so unhealthy, yet no officials seemed to be monitoring the problem, I called County Environmental Health to ask about the monitoring.  NO ONE HAD CONTACTED COUNTY ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH to assess the problem or to monitor the fuel leak, later estimated at over 200 gallons.  Wow.

The lesson here is, do not assume that officials charged with monitoring a problem have been contacted, or are even aware that a problem exists.

Here is a photo of the cabin cruiser, compliments of the Register-Pajaronian.   Oddly, Harbor Patrol has been mum, and the owners of the two ships seem unknown.

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

April 1, 2019 #91 /Neighborhood Government

I have been a member of the Mono Lake Committee for many years – perhaps even from 1978, the year it was founded. That is Mono Lake that is pictured above, in a “Photo of the Day” from the National Wildlife Federation blog

As a member of the Mono Lake Committee, I receive its periodic newsletters, and I just received the Winter & Spring 2019 issue, which had an article on “Staff migrations.” I don’t know Lisa Cutting personally, but the description of her work with the Committee, presented below, made me think: 

After 17 years as Eastern Sierra Policy Director, Lisa Cutting is moving into a part-time role as Associate Policy Director. Lisa started with the Committee as an intern in 1999 and quickly developed a deep commitment to the protection of Mono Lake and restoration of the tributary streams. She then served as Environmental Resource Coordinator for two years before becoming Eastern Sierra Policy Director in 2002.

Lisa has seen many policy issues during her tenure — from shaping Caltrans projects to incorporate Mono Basin- specific revegetation techniques, to keeping the Mono Lake Tufa State Natural Reserve open, working with state and federal agencies to achieve goals in an era of diminishing resources, and accomplishing the daily work of implementing State Water Board-ordered mandates for Mono Lake and its tributary streams. But her passion has always been stream restoration—specifically bridging the gaps between restoration science, land management, and rules and regulations to achieve the most successful on-the-ground ecological health possible. 

Lisa’s calm and deft approach to complex water issues combined with her ability to bring often-polarized parties together to garner positive results for Mono Lake has set the bar for navigating future balanced solutions. She is excited to have more personal time for fishing, backpacking, and exploration, but fortunately for the Committee Lisa will also continue to put her skills to work on focused projects with the policy team.

Lisa Cutting is employed by the Committee, which is a non-profit corporation. The Committee, and Lisa, and other staff persons and many volunteers, have taken responsibility for the “neighborhood” in which Mono Lake is located. There are physical, social, economic, and governmental challenges that require attention, and the Committee, and its dedicated staff and volunteers, have taken responsibility for meeting those challenges, and for “maintaining, protecting, and improving the neighborhood.” 

Mono Lake, of course, is a rather remote, East of the Sierras environmental and wildlife wonderland. It is quite different from the neighborhoods that most of us inhabit, mostly located in cities or in unincorporated urban areas, but what this “Staff migrations” column got me to think about is the whole idea of “neighborhood government.” 

Almost every neighborhood is beloved by those who live there and know it best. Almost every one of our neighborhoods has some unique and wonderful feature that residents treasure. In the heyday of community-based politics in Santa Cruz, California, which is where I am from, neighborhood associations preserved and protected all that was best in the neighborhood, and the community-based involvement stemming from the neighborhoods is what sustained one of the healthiest and most vital examples of democratic self-government I have ever heard about. That was also, of course, a time in which I was privileged to be personally involved in that effort at self-government. I think the description of what Lisa Cutting has been doing for her neighborhood made such an impression on me because I was a kind of “Lisa Cutting” figure, for Santa Cruz County, from 1975 to 1995.

If government in the United States of America is in trouble (and it is), I think we should start looking  for solutions by developing ways to stimulate, fund, and sustain neighborhood-level community involvement. 

That could be done! No fooling!

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

Email Gary at


EAGAN’S SUBCONSCIOUS COMICS. Scroll below to peek inside that other scene of so much activity in our other lives.

EAGAN’S DEEP COVER. See Eagan’s ” Exonerated ” down a few pages. As always, at 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 IV: ‘Bach & the Virtuoso Violin’. Featuring Edwin Huizinga, Baroque violin, Lynn Tetenbaum, Viola da Gamba and

Linda Burman-Hall, Harpsichord. Join us for a walk through the dark and secret heart of the Baroque. Keep your mind balanced on that daring knife-edge of unaccompanied violin tone ~ Heinrich von Biber in his Passacaglia in the 1670s and half a century later J. S Bach in his Chaconne take innumerable risks in building thrilling chords and counter-melodies for a single brave player to deliver. After all the solo miracles, we’ll conclude the evening with buoyantly optimistic mid-Baroque trios for violin, harpsichord and obbligato viol by Bach’s Danish-German hero, Dietrich Buxtehude. presented by the Santa Cruz Baroque Festival Sunday April 14, 2019 –  3:00pm UCSC Recital Hall.

LISA JENSEN LINKS. No words from Lisa this week…must be either cooking or editing. Read her reviews at Lisa Jensen Online Express ( Lisa has been writing film reviews and columns for Good Times since 1975.

MUSTANG. 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.

HOTEL MUMBAI. This is NOT the documentary showing the 2008 attack by 10 Pakistani terrorists of the Taj Hotel in Mumbai. It is a ruthless, uncaring re-staging of the savage killing of 166 victims over 3 days, with no police or soldiers to protect them. Why anyone would want to produce such a film that has no plot, no message, and hackneyed acting is a serious question. Why anyone would want to see such a depressing film is another serious question. If this brutal movie makes box office profits, should we be expecting acting versions of Parkland or the recent mosque tragedies?

GLORIA BELL. Julianne Moore and John Turturro are the struggling twosome trying to be a couple in this semi-serious drama set in Los Angeles. Julianne is great as the insecure, horny, pot-smoking single working mother who’s trying hard to find a mate. Turturro is even more confused in his search for a woman to replace his ex-wife, and to help him forget her and the drain she places on him. Good film, very engrossing: Julianne Moore has never been better — and that’s saying a lot. 93 on RT.

  1. 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.

APOLLO 11. Surprising, important, relevant, heart rending, tense …Apollo 11 is all of these and more. Assembled from much never seen NASA footage this documentary got a 100 Rotten Tomatoes score. The flight was 50 years ago and yet this film is so deftly handled that you’ll be on the seat’s edge hoping they make it. Numb nuts who noted that there are no stars in the background when you walk on the moon will be shut up finally. If you liked the tension and identification of Free Solo you’ll definitely like Apollo 11.



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 2 has Jena Casey from Africa Matters talking about their organization and goals. April 9 has Lisa Sheridan and Robert Morgan discussing the Nissan Dealership in Soquel and Sustainable Soquel plans. Then Julie Phillips talks about the proposed Bay and Cliff development across from the dream Inn. Kristin Brownstone and Jerry Lloyd discuss the Actors Theater  “Looking For Normal” play on April 16th. They’re followed by folks from the Reel Work Film Festival listing the screenings around the county and Bay. 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 here   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

Here’s some magic for you! 🙂

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. “Horror Movies”
“Some people ask why people would go into a dark room to be scared. I say they are already scared, and they need to have that fear manipulated and massaged. I think of horror movies as the disturbed dreams of a society”. Wes Craven
“Horror movies don’t exist unless you go and see them, and people always will”. Joss Whedon
“My adult life is filled with the things horror movies are made of“. Tim Kennedy

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

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