Blog Archives

April 10 – 16, 2014

THE ORIGINAL FISHERMAN’S WHARF. Once we had a fisherman’s Wharf and a Railroad Wharf right next to each other. The Sea Beach Hotel is on the right, it opened in 1888, and burned up (or down) in 1912. (Covello & Covello Historical Photos)

photo credit: Covello & Covello Historical photo collection.


GOOD TIMES ALL THE TIME. By now just about everybody who reads hard copy is aware of the buy-out of Good Times and some other weeklies by Dan Pulcrano. Here are the “legal” details if you missed them.

What many folks may not remember (or know) are some of the changes Good Times has gone through in the last 39 years. Not even counting the time when the Good Times offices were moved to Capitola (next to AAA). I can remember at least four different office locations just on Pacific Ave alone. You probably remember too that for a while Rupert Murdoch who also owned or owns The Wall Street Journal, Dow Jones, Harper Collins, The New York Post and more, was the owner of our Good Times too!!! Then there were the great parties, like the very first Good Times Halloween Party up at the old Pogonip Country Club in 1975. It was jointly celebrated with The Santa Cruz Symphony. The party got so out of hand, both groups were told never, never come back!!! Here’s more of the story…. Lisa Jensen has still more in her section. Scroll down a little bit.

SAVE THAT TREE. Gillian Greensite works hard to save our Heritage Trees. She was on my radio program last Tuesday night talking about one tree in particular…I asked her to write something about saving that tree. She writes…

“There is a beautiful tree at 407 Broadway, between the levee and Ocean Street, soon to be killed to make way for a Hyatt Hotel. It is a red horse chestnut, one of only three in Santa Cruz. Described as “sacred” and “a guardian of the property” by the original owners of the land, it is now being sacrificed in the name of profit by local developer Tejal Sood. Ms. Sood, her architect Peter Bagnall and Planning director Juliana Rebagliati presented the city council with misleading and incorrect testimony in order to secure their tree removal permit. By stating that the tree had a “very large root ball” and “very very sensitive roots” and is a “tree in decline” they managed to sway the council into believing that the tree could not be saved and was not worth saving.

By contrast, tree experts David Cox of Environmental Design and Barrie Coate, local, esteemed arborist, both inspected the tree and assessed it as “in excellent health” with a life span of many centuries, a “unique” specimen that could be preserved with a retaining wall and a planting space of 24 feet. Unfortunately such information came in after the fact and the Soods have their tree removal permit. It’s too late for legal action. The only hope left is to appeal to the Soods to spare the tree with a slight design modification which should have happened from the beginning if the city had followed its Heritage Tree Ordinance. Tejal Sood declares her family’s roots in the community and her desire to be a good neighbor at every opportunity. With only one week left before the tree will be killed, it may help if we all email Ms. Sood and respectfully ask that she do everything possible to save this beloved tree. Her email is

If we cannot convince Ms. Sood to change her mind, we plan to hold a demonstration on the sidewalk in front of the tree with signs for all to see who drive by. Nothing illegal. If you wish to be kept informed of developments- email me at Gillian Greensite, Save Our Big Trees.

MUNICIPAL WHARF WIDENING, THE REAL COST. According to the Sentinel (3/29) The cost just for implementing the master plan for the 2 acre widening of the Santa Cruz Municipal Wharf will be $1.02 million dollars. That’s for the master plan. A lot of that preliminary money (according to the Sentinel) will come from our Parks and Recreation Departments park maintenance fund. And why should we bother maintaining our parks when we can add all those new businesses on the wider wharf? We need to ask our sitting City Council (or any future candidates) just how much are the estimates for the actual construction of the wider wharf?? WE should all guess just how much it costs to sink just one redwood tree piling and multiply it out. Then there’s the adding of more 100 ton ships and boats to our Monterey Bay Sanctuary. Will we eventually see Viking Lines, Royal Caribbean, Carnival and Princess Cruise ships docking here…or a few feet off shore with little boats bringing those tourists straight to Charlie Canfield’s Boardwalk???

APTOS VILLAGE…NOT YET!!! With all the talk and debate over the pros and cons of the development of the new Aptos Village I wondered exactly what step of the creation the village is in. I asked Jesse Nickell senior vice president of Barry Swenson Builder about it. He said it probably won’t be happening this year. They are still in the design stages, and they haven’t yet even applied for permits. That should give plenty of time for any and all the neighbors to give lots of input…and for elected officials to figure out traffic problems and EIR’s in general.


PATTON’S PROGRAM. Gary opens this week’s broadcasts with “Water and Development” plus “Transportation”. He details more of Sand City’s Eco-Resort a 184 room condominium that the Coastal Commission staff recommends approval…and lawsuits are following!!! More Monterey County Land use stuff like a farming ordinance is involved. The Carmel River Watershed Conservancy that involves The California American Water Company is back in the news. He closes with the issue of Measure O and that we should all stay in touch with The Carmel Valley Association through their weekly bulletin. Link here…

Read all of above scripts at Gary Patton’s KUSP Land Use site Gary is a former Santa Cruz County Supervisor, and an attorney who represents individuals and community groups on land use and environmental issues. The opinions expressed are Mr. Patton’s. Gary has his own website, “Two Worlds / 365?

CLASSICAL DE CINZO. De Cinzo re-visits nature and UCSC… see downwards.

EAGANS DEEP COVER. Tim takes a poke at Republican Senator Barrasso and the cooking of the books…see below.

LISA JENSEN LINKS. Lisa writes: “What just happened? Read all about the unexpected merger between Good Times and Santa Cruz Weekly, this week at Lisa Jensen Online Express ( Also, as if there isn’t enough drama around here, join me in celebrating the return of Game of Thrones!” Lisa has been writing film reviews and columns for Good Times since 1975.

……In order of perfection……

LE WEEKEND.Be very aware that the previews you may have seen are 100% misleading. This is NOT a fun filled weekend in Paris romp for a two senior- long time- married couple. Jim Broadbent and Lindsay Duncan who is 64 (you’ll wonder when you see her) star in this bittersweet, soul searching, awkward view of a marriage. It’s about devotion, growing old, egos, and suffering alone. Broadbent you know about but Lindsay Duncan was in the HBO series Rome, films like Under The Tuscan Sun, a bunch of Pinter plays, Prick Up Your Ears, Mansfield Park, and Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland. Oops, she was also in the last Sherlock Holmes “His Last Vow” with Mr. B. Cumberbatch. See this most excellent film but remember, it’s not fun just wonderfully thoughtful.

EARNEST AND CELESTINE. An Oscar nominee for Best Animated Feature. Don’t be put off by the ” animated” word. This is absolutely beautiful, intelligent, sensitive and very clever animation. Not Disney, not Pixar, sort of like Beatrix Potter illustrations. The film is in French which adds to the brilliance. Go see it and bring the kids!!!

CAPTAIN AMERICA, Winter Soldier.You take Scarlett Johansson, Robert Redford, Samuel L. Jackson, and put them in a film like Captain America and what do you have?? Not much, just another bloody, violent, superhero, Marvel Comic blockbuster. It does have a few seconds where we can think about security versus fear as a way to run the USA. Redford plays an evil Wall Street warmonger, and Johansson jumps around a lot and she ereally does have an intriguing voice, if you stop looking and listen to her. She’s a good “guy” and works with Chris Evans as the Captain. Just go if you’re under 16, and bored.

OTHER SIDE OF THE TRACKS. Remember how we used to wonder why the french liked Jerry Lewis so much…and how we’d wonder about the French sense of humor??? You’ll experience it again if you see this smart cop with “dumb” assistant flick. It’s is so obvious a plot you’ll go nuts trying to think up as many plot changes as possible, but don’t bother. Good thing it’s only here for a week.

THE PLAYERS.Another reason to be thankful this dopey French comedy is here for just a week. Jean Dujardin (“The Artist”) and friends created this dopey mess of 6 or maybe 8 short segments with only a second- long black screen to separate them. It’s about two guys and their wives, girlfriends, and much more vulgar, slutty, anti – women humor. Never mind about this film…hopefully it’s gone by now!!!


(from BEST 2 worst)

ENEMY. . (Damn, it has gone already!!) but it was/is so good, I’ll repeat “This film is from the book “The Double” by José Saramago. Saramago is one of my favorites. Jake Gyllenhaal plays the lead; he is one of my favorite actors. I loved every second of this film. Darker than Noah and as surrealistic as Bunuel it’s a piece of art to ponder deeply. Wikipedia says, “Saramago addresses serious matters with empathy for the human condition and for the isolation of contemporary urban life. His characters struggle with their need to connect with one another, form relations, and bond as a community, and also with their need for individuality, and to find meaning and dignity outside of political and economic structures”. If you need easy, clear cut non provoking entertainment this isn’t it. But if Fellini, Bergman, and Tarkovsky give you stuff to think about go see Enemy asap. P.S. Isabella Rossellini plays his mother

LUNCHBOX.You’ve seen the lead Irrfan Khan in great films if you’ve seen any Indian films lately. HBO’s In Treatment, The Life of Pi, Slumdog Millionaire etc. It’s the touching, sensitive, no big action story of a non-relationship. It’s also a tour of contemporary Mumbai, India. It’s a wonderful film.

CESAR CHAVEZ. Michael Pena who plays Cesar in the film is no Cesar Chavez. We learn nothing of Chavez’s upbringing, why he’s such a great leader and where he got the guts to do what he did. We learn nothing about who or what role Dolores Huerta played in all the struggle. It’s interesting to us locally because we all knew a little or a lot about Chavez’ fights and it does give us a framework for what we knew but it’s not much of a portrait of such an important person. It should have been titled “5 years in the life of Cesar Chavez”.

BAD WORDS. This is a much more serious film than the trailers would have you believe. Jason Bateman, the lead actor ( and also the director) is excellent in his role. But there’s a dark side, a deep reason that Bateman is competing against the kids in this spelling bee movie, and it’s not funny. Tons of swear words in this film, and the spelling words are fun to learn, but there are a lot of better films out and running at the moment.

THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL.Like Salvatore Dali and Norman Rockwell Wes Anderson makes brilliant films but the intent, meaning, and any statements behind what you see are confusing. Budapest Hotel is one of Anderson’s simplest films. Lots of laughs, not much subtlety, and Ralph Fiennes is at his funniest best. Tilda Swinton, Bill Murray, Jason Schwartzman, Jeff Goldblum, Willem Dafoe, Adrien Brody, Harvey Keitel, Tom Wilkinson, Jude Law, Owen Wilson, Edward Norton and F. Murray Abraham are also inthe film for publicity purposes I guess. Rotten Tomatoes says Johnny Depp, Ursula Kuhnt, and Angela Lansbury are in it too, but I didn’t see them.

DIVERGENT. Shailene Woodley has come a long way from George Clooney’s daughter in The Descendents, or her wonderful job in “The Spectacular Now”. She’s the main thing in Divergent. She diverges from the approved 5 factions in this Chicago land of the far distant future. It’s a lot like Hunger Games and Shailene reminds me a lot of Jennifer Lawrence in looks and in the roles they play in both these flicks. Ashley Judd is in this too, so is Kate Winslett. Much war, blood, fights, teen age stuff. You could stay home and study about oil deposits in Santa Cruz County and be better off.

NOAH. A very dark, non-human, bloody, director’s version of one part of the bible. If you liked the Bible you probably won’t like this special effects version.There are so many ” non biblical” characters and adventures that the entire movie just looses it completely. Check out this biblical source to see just some of the problems. What is amazing is Aronofsky’s addition of huge silly looking stone monsters (looking like Hollywood Transformers) called Watchers that help Noah fight off the humans. But Russell Crowe does as good a job as he can with his funky role and script to match.

THE LEGO MOVIE. Check it out, Rotten Tomatoes gives it a 95 % (Monuments Men got 34%!!!). It’s notTHAT great but its clever, sort of Pixar clever. Yes it’s all animated with those little Lego people doing all the acting”. Voices like Morgan Freeman, Elizabeth Banks, and Chris Pratt are just fine, but there are dozens of almost secret throwaway lines that will really grab you. Many product take offs, huge slaps at our commercial lives, and it ends up with what you might even call a moral lesson!!! The 3D version is extra cute…but you could rent it in a year and still enjoy!!

NON STOP. It’s not a “who dunnit” but a “who’s doing it” murder mystery on board an airliner. It’s really confusing, and Liam Neeson holds it together as best he can. It’s odd and disappointing to see Michelle Dockery from Downton Abbey have such an almost non speaking part. Julienne Moore does her usually fine acting as does Lupita Nyong’o from 12 years as a Slave. Go if you want to, but you won’t like it very much.

NEED FOR SPEED. It’s difficult to put all of this racing saga in the overflowing movie trash bin. Aaron Paul and his relationship with co-star Imogen Poots is fascinating and well done. The racing footage is ok even in 3D it’s not great, but ok. The film has such a Hollywood ending like you’ll never believe.

MR. PEABODY AND SHERMAN. I only watched 6 minutes of the part where Peabody and Sherman confront Leonardo DaVinci. It was enough to convince me that none of the wit, cleverness, sharpness of the Rocky & Bullwinkle, Dudley Do Right days were gone. This is just another witless money grubbing Hollywood cartoon.

300: RISE OF AN EMPIRE. It’s got an evil queen Menses (who looks like a dark, mysterious Margaret O’Brien) fighting the pure-at-heart Sphinctus Erectus who’s from grease or maybe it’s Greece. It’s full of blood and a PG type warning “no acting was performed during the making of this film” should have been given before we had to watch it.

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 sometimes old programs are archived… (See next paragraph) and go to WWW.KZSC.ORG. UCSC Music prof. Ben Leeds Carson talks about April in Santa Cruz events on April 1st then Gillian Greensite discusses the new Santa Cruz Municipal Wharf plans and Heritage trees. April 8th has Kathleen Johnson from Advocacy Inc.telling us about Senior Care facilities then Marco Romanini guests to talk about Neighbors Organized to Protect Our Community (NOPOC) and their battleagainst PG&E. On April 15 Peggy Dolgenos from Cruzio discusses the Santa Cruz Business Council followed by Gary Patton on the topic of Land Use and water issues. April 22 we have Ricardo de La Cruz and Kate Minott talking about the new plans for a Memory Care facility to be built here. Jeffrey Smedberg follows them telling us about the 13th annual Reel Work Film Festival (4/26-5/6) Santa Cruz County Superior Court Judge Paul Burdick returns April 29 to talk more about issues from the bench. Marty Rizzo follows on 4/29 by telling us “new” details in our earliest Santa Cruz Mission Days. Do remember, any and all suggestions for future programs are more than welcome so tune in, and keep listening. Email me always at

UNIVERSAL GRAPEVINE ARCHIVES. In case you missed some of the great people I’ve interviewed in the last 5 years here’s a chronological list of just this year’s podcasts. Click here then tap on “listen here” to hear any or all of them… all over again. The update includes Nikki Silva, Michael Warren, Tom Noddy, Anita Monga, Mark Wainer, Judy Johnson-Darrow, 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. Hear them all!!!

QUOTES. “Often undecided whether to desert a sinking ship for one that might not float, he would make up his mind to sit on the wharf for a day”, Lord Beaverbrook. “When it blows here, even the seagulls walk”, Nick Faldo. “If Columbus had an advisory committee he would probably still be at the dock”, Arthur Goldberg.


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Deep Cover by Tim Eagan.

Posted in Weekly Articles | Comments Off on April 10 – 16, 2014

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