Blog Archives

April 11 – 17, 2018

Highlights this week:
BRATTON…The Del Mar and Nickelodeon are up for sale, A new Parks and Rec. director for Santa Cruz, Thomas Pynchon news, Tom Lehrer news at the age of 90, Lou Harrison Civic Auditorium…GREENSITE on the Affordable Housing bond measure.…KROHN and Rent Control maneuvering, Affordable rent fraud, Scotts Valley Skypark deals…STEINBRUNER with prop. 68 and clean water, Capitola trestle safety, Saving Silva barn, Soquel and new water connections, Aptos Village and Barry Swenson Builders…PATTON with dangers from Robot Cars!…EAGAN and The Trump Dream…DeCINZO looks at our deputies again…JENSEN misses a week of movies, but…Bratton critiques A Quiet Place, Chappaquiddick and Blockers…UNIVERSAL GRAPEVINE GUESTS…QUOTES about The White House.

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HEART OF SOQUEL 1951. This is (or was) the corner of Soquel Drive and Center Street. The Congregational Church was built in 1868. For more church history http://ccsoquel.org/history

photo credit: Covello & Covello Historical photo collection.

LENNY BRUCE AND FAKE NEWS. 1957.
COMIC JUGGLER WITH THE REAGANS AND TIP O’NEIL.
TOM LEHRER AND NATIONAL BROTHER HOOD WEEK.
This is from an old friend. It shows that you’re never too old to learn new things!

DATELINE April 9, 2018

NICK AND DEL MAR UP FOR SALE? Ever-alert Joe Blackman sent the news that billionaire Mark Cuban — star of the Shark Tank tv show, owner of the Dallas Mavericks and as we know from the last few years… owner of the Landmark Theatre chain — is looking for buyers of the theaters. Landmark bought our Del Mar, Nickelodeon and Aptos Theaters from Jim Schwenterly, who bought them from Bill and Nancy Raney, who started Santa Cruz’s love affair with art, independent and foreign films. I just learned the the Regal Theater chain is now owned by Britain’s Cineworld. Cineworld paid $3.6 billion for the 561 theaters. AMC is the biggest chain in the USA, with 626 theaters and 8,123 screens. What’s happening from the sources I can reach is that attendance in the USA movie theaters has been dropping. Local managers will agree on that. Now international fund sources are eager to take over. More later on this.

NEW PARKS AND REC. DIRECTOR — WHO CARES? (and why?) We’ll be getting a new Parks & Recreation Director pretty soon. Current director Mauro Garcia is retiring and Martin Bernal is planning on doing a national search. Carol Scurich will be the interim director. It’s vital that we pay attention to this appointment, because the position holds more influence than is generally realized. As council member Chris Krohn stated… “Remember, the director of Parks and Rec. has enormous latitude in making decisions about the natural and built environment. He currently oversees the greenbelt lands, oversees policy and purchases of harmful pesticides, hires consultants (with reputable enviro credentials, or not…), purchases  vehicles and equipment, and oversees the golf course, community gardens, and beaches (even covering who gets a permit to operate a surf school). This position has great responsibility and a budget that runs into the millions”. Candace Brown will be talking about this on the April 24 broadcast of Universal Grapevine KZSC 88.1 fm.

PUBLIC LIBRARY. The forces behind the concept of building a five story building and putting a new Santa Cruz Public Library on the ground floor — and problems with the entire concept — got a deep introspection on my Universal Grapevine show last Tuesday (April 2). Jean Brocklebank, Chris krohn, Judi Grunstra and Rick Longinotti all spoke every excitedly and knowingly in opposition to the idea. You can hear it for two weeks at   http://www.radiofreeamerica.com/dj/bruce-bratton go to April 2. They talked about Downtown Merchants that don’t want it. They talked about renovating the present library, they spoke of the problem of more car traffic in our downtown, the relocating of the weekly Farmers Market, ugliness of the structure, misuse of the bond money we voted for…and lots more. Listen to the program and get involved… it seems like if the folks opposed to building student housing on the East Meadow at UCSC can get 45,000 signatures against such waste, we should aim to beat that and stay in charge of our Downtown environment.

PYNCHON WINS GREAT AWARD!! Years later and I’m still impressed by Pynchon’s desire to remain so secretive. Meeting him in Aptos as I did years ago when he was living here and working on his book, “Vineland”, he sure didn’t seem like such a non-social guy.  He liked listening to Charlie Lang’s Two Steps from the Blues on KUSP and Upper Crust Pizza. This just in from The Mercury News…NEW YORK (AP) — Thomas Pynchon is receiving a $100,000 prize this spring from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. But that doesn’t mean he’ll turn up to accept it. The academy told the Associated Press that the 80-year-old Pynchon has been named the first winner of the Christopher Lightfoot Walker Award, a lifetime achievement honor. Academy executive director Cody Upton said the media-shy author was aware of the prize, but he isn’t expected to attend the May 23 ceremony in New York. Pynchon’s eight novels include “Gravity’s Rainbow,” “Mason & Dixon” and “Inherent Vice.” He is known as being extremely protective of his privacy and has not consented to be photographed in decades. He did, however, provide his voice for an animated version of himself — a character wearing a bag over his head — for two episodes of “The Simpsons.”

TOM LEHRER AT 90!!! According to the article in “nature-international journal of science”… famous personality Tom Lehrer lived and taught here at UCSC from 1972 through 2001, when he retired. He still lives here part time. Many, many of us were lucky enough to attend his class sessions in UCSC’s Stevenson’s Fireside Lounge to hear him play and summarize the plot of the musicals that his students would sing. Them were the days… and he added a lot to those days.

LOU HARRISON CIVIC AUDITORIUM. Phyllis Cardoza once a Santa Cruzan, still reads Bonline and sent this… Having read your piece in your latest Bratton Online, I agree that there should be something with Lou’s name on it.  Remembering the many times I saw him sitting in the Civic Auditorium for the Cabrillo Festival concerts, perhaps the auditorium or indeed the entire building can be named for him with a sign outside and inside bearing his name.  I’ll be glad to sign a petition to that effect. What a great idea. Let’s get a petition going and if they get around to modernizing the Civic we could re-name it.

April 9th 2018

BOND OR BONDAGE?
A proposed $250 million bond measure for affordable housing was introduced to the public with a press conference on the county courthouse steps, spearheaded by Don Lane and Fred Keeley of Affordable Housing Santa Cruz County. It was well covered by Sentinel reporter Jondi Gumz. The same reporter the next day covered a different story with the headline ” Santa Cruz County Sees Building Boom” announcing that “Santa Cruz County is in the middle of a $320 million construction boom, the biggest since the 2008 crash” with $250 million of that sum going to new housing, the rest to hotel renovation and construction.

Why the disconnect? asks a visitor from Mars unaware that housing construction is based on profit not need.

The vast majority of the new housing will be sold at market-rate, which as we know has inflated beyond imagination. Only 46 affordable units are in the mix. Much of the new housing is being built in Watsonville with little regard for the environmental impact on the delicate bird habitat hot spot known as the Sloughs. To see the massive houses under construction on Harkins Slough Road, looming over the slough like medieval castles; to imagine the fertilizer, pesticide run-off and human with canine impacts on this environment is a jaw-dropping experience. That is if you give a hoot about the sloughs. These bloated houses are brought to us by the architect firm of Thacher and Thompson who in the 1990’s, tore down the bucolic farmlets on Western Drive and built expensive tract mansions, forever changing the class and character of the city’s western edge. And here they go again, this time in Watsonville. Assuming some of the higher income new home -buyers commute to their jobs, what the impact on the roads? If they spawn new high tech and professional jobs in Watsonville, what the impact on the lower income workers? On home prices? On agriculture? Such questions are buried and the answers unknown when we simplistically regard any and all housing construction as a good thing.

The drivers of the Affordable Housing Santa Cruz County ballot measure can be applauded for tackling a very difficult problem. And I take Don Lane at his word that ” we want to get it right.” If so, there are already aspects of this campaign waving red flags that hopefully will be lowered.

The folks who have been involved so far in the Affordable Housing coalition include restaurateurs, real estate agents, business owners, employers and building trades, according to the Sentinel. Hmm. Not an environmentalist nor neighborhood activist in sight. Not a good start. I’ve heard Ted Burke of the Shadowbrook restaurant address housing issues at city council meetings and he sounds like a gung-ho developer with nary a nod to neighborhood concerns.

Then there’s the assessment that homeowners would be paying for the bond, based on assessed value of their home. This is a regressive choice if there ever was one. While $29 per $100,000 is chump change for a recent home-buyer, it’s food on the table or not for older homeowners on fixed incomes who bought their homes prior to the 1980’s and who worked all their lives in Santa Cruz at low or moderate paying jobs with many existing today on Social Security. The assessment should be calculated on property taxes paid, not assessed value and raised if necessary to meet the funding goal.

A further red flag that caught my eye is that decisions on how to spend the money would be up to the local jurisdictions.  “They can work out the politics,” Fred Keeley was quoted as saying. What a disaster that would be in the city of Santa Cruz!

Those of us who have attended countless Planning Commission meetings on housing issues over the past few years and for some, many years can attest that neighborhood livability and the over-used but under-valued term, neighborhood integrity is routinely ignored. At council meetings it is sometimes better but overall it’s a low priority. And the other impacts of any new housing on top of the 500 market rate units under construction in the city, such as traffic, schools, water, parks, police and fire services are rarely given their due. To be palatable, the bond measure must include wording that protects the environment, provides housing for current low-income residents and protects existing low and moderate -income neighborhoods. If it just fuels the Corridors Plan, it has Buckley’s chance of achieving its goal.

Gillian Greensite is a long time local activist, a member of Save Our Big Trees and the Santa Cruz chapter of IDA, International Dark Sky Association  http://darksky.org    Plus she’s an avid ocean swimmer, hiker and lover of all things wild.

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April 9, 2018

Let My People Go

Santa Cruz Renters sing:

  • Well, I looked over Jordan and what did I see
  • Coming for to carry me home
  • A band of Angels coming after me
  • Coming for to carry me home

Santa Cruz Landlords respond:

  • We’ve seen this movie before.

Rent Control Fear in River City: Anti-Rent Control People Win One Battle, 17-14
The evening council meeting on March 27th was all about housing, and it appeared to pit a large group of renters against an even larger number of landlords, developers, and real estate interests. It was a night when the California Apartment Association perhaps out-organized the Movement for Housing Justice and Students United with Renters. Maybe the two latter groups didn’t show in even greater numbers because they were out gathering signatures on the rent control petition. As 31 people addressed the council on the agenda item, the Housing Blueprint Committee Report, the landlord-developer group won. By my

“I want to thank the teachers across the country who are saying loudly and clearly that taking care of our kids and schools is more important than giving tax breaks to billionaires and large corporations.” (April 3, 2018)

unofficial tally, there were 17 speakers opposed to rent control and 14 were in favor. This housing committee is made up of councilmembers Martine Watkins, Cynthia Chase, and Sandy Brown, and even though rent control is not really part of the committee’s charge, the public clearly showed up to either support or denounce rent control.

After hearing from city staff and the public, the final results on the council side of the podium were minimal. No actual housing or city resources would be expended, just more time to study the housing issue. The final motion included language that requested the Housing Blueprint Committee and staff  “to prioritize specific projects that may yield more immediate results, specifically highlighting ADUs and legalization of unpermitted units and inclusionary rates…” All good stuff if enacted, but council direction seemed to be to simply study the issue more and return to council at a future unknown date. Councilmember Sandy Brown and I were able to get a slight opening on the 20-25% housing inclusionary that Brand-New Council candidates campaigned on in 2016. In the end, Councilmember Cynthia Mathews tossed a bone by including this language in the motion: “Explore an increase in the inclusionary rates.” Oh yeah, one BIG concession too: staff was directed to send letters to all landlords and let them know, ‘er, umm…by the way, the city is in a state of emergency with respect to housing and you are hereby directed by the rent freeze ordinance NOT to raise the rent on your tenants.’ This last part of the motion is significant. But, isn’t telling landlords they can’t raise their rent prices a little bit like telling Donald Trump he can’t Tweet? Folks, the fight is on.

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

There’s an old adage to politicos, “If you want a friend in this town, get a dog.” I would expand it to include a cat and baby goat too. Virgina Wolf, a baby goat, is our newest edition…and I would recommend one to every councilmember who is ever feeling sad, depressed, or lonely.

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See you next week.

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

Email Chris at ckrohn@cruzio.com

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April 9, 2018

MAKE ONE CALL.  WRITE ONE LETTER.  ATTEND A PUBLIC HEARING.  MAKE A BIG DIFFERENCE.   BUT JUST DO SOMETHING!

WILL PROP. 68 MONEY REALLY MAKE A DIFFERENCE FOR LOCAL PARKS AND WATER?  AREN’T WE ALREADY BEING TAXED FOR THIS?

The Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors just endorsed State Proposition 68.  This is the California Drought, Water, Parks, Climate, Coastal Access for All Act of 2018 that will ask for $4 Billion in bond sales and lots more public debt. It is what Kevin DeLeon sponsored as SB 5 and is now going to be on our June, 2018 ballot as Proposition 68.  Mr. DeLeon is also backing Senator Monning’s SB 623 tax action (Safe and Affordable Drinking Water for All Act that allows polluters to continue contaminating groundwater as long as they pay the tax).

It would re-allocate hundreds of millions of dollars not yet issued from previous bonds regarding clean water (Prop 1, 40 and 84) approved by the voters to do the many of the same things, but throws in the parks issues as well as workforce investment and boosting tourist economies.  It provides more money to prevent groundwater pollution and implement the CALIFORNIA WATER ACTION PLAN.  Never heard of that?  Me neither, but here’s a link to those “Actions” that include mandatory consolidation of water systems.

Here is a good article explaining the history of State Park funding, and past funding abuses.  It is important to understand because it asks voters to go further into debt that will extend for two generations.

I think it is interesting that in Santa Cruz County, the Alba Recreation and Park District was awarded $220,000 in Prop 40 funding in 2005 but, according to the County Parks Budget report presented to the Parks Commission last week, “the District was not able to capitalize on this opportunity.”  No Commissioners asked “Why not?”   

Here is another good examination of the issue, pointing out the history of four similar State ballot measures passed since 2000  to accomplish exactly what Prop. 68 is supposed to do:

Here is the link to the actual SB 5 language.  Drink some coffee before you try to wade into this one… but it is worth your time.

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

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

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Thursday, April 5, 2018 #95 / Progress?


Abigail Shrier is a writer and a graduate of Yale Law school. She lives in Los Angeles, and she also “raise[s] little monkeys.” That description is pretty much all she tells us about herself. There is no Wikipedia entry. Shrier does not monkey around in her discussion of robot cars, published in the Tuesday, March 7, 2018, edition of The Wall Street Journal. She is not really a fan.

If you are thinking that self-driving cars are probably a good thing, check out her article before you put yourself on the waiting list. Here is just a sample of what Shrier suggests may be coming: Perhaps we shouldn’t worry about hacking — the possibility that a malevolent programmer could send 100 cars vaulting over the rails of the Chesapeake Bay Bridge or colliding at high speeds on the Schuylkill Expressway. Or to realize that stickers on stop signs can confuse robotic vehicles, which mistake them for speed-limit signs and race on. Or that routine car washes can ruin their cameras. Or that two armed robbers—or even troublemakers—might one day step in front of your driverless car, which will stop politely and effectively trap you on the road.

I particularly like that last one. It seems so true to life!

In essence, Shrier’s article is about “progress.” Or, “so-called” progress. The last line of her article in The Wall Street Journal, commenting on the death of Elaine Herzberg, 49, who was struck down by a self-driving car under the corporate control of Uber, summarizes her thinking:

Auto makers have decided to “use the public as guinea pigs,” with the cheering support of our elected representatives. Elaine Herzberg was never given the chance to opt out. And why should she have been? In this brave new world, our lives exist to improve technology. Our deaths are simply the price of progress. There is quite a bit of truth in Shrier’s observation that our lives, these days, seem to exist “to improve technology.” But the technology we are “improving” is, as Shrier notes, creating a less caring and friendly world: “The less we need one another, the less we interact, the less reason we will have to care or forgive or cut one another a break.”  

I got the picture at the top of this posting from one of the many stories on the #NeverAgain marches. I think I saw it on Facebook! The picture sums my thought, when taken together with the headline on my posting:  “Progress?  We call BS”

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

Email Gary at gapatton@mac.com

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CLASSICAL DeCINZO. Checking in with our favorite Sheriff’s Deputies …twirl below just a little ways.

EAGAN’S DEEP COVER. See Eagan’s “Hanging Around with Trump “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.

SECRET FILM FESTIVAL. The 13th Annual Secret Film Festival takes place at the Del Mar Theatre from Saturday, April 14 at 11:55pm until Sunday, April 15 at noon. The festival runs all night with the titles revealed as each screening begins. All of the films are Santa Cruz premieres. Last year’s festival included the premieres of The Little Hours, Free Fire and Train to Busan. Concessions is open all night. Wear your PJs, bring a pillow and spend the night watching movies!

ESPRESSIVO ORCHESTRA. April 15. This concert is titled, “Eight, Nine, Ten—Go! ” It happens Sunday, April 15, 2018 at 3:00 pm at the Colligan Theater at the Tannery Arts Center located at 1010 River Street, Santa Cruz, California. They will play Ludwig van Beethoven Rondino (Octet), WoO 25 (1795) – Franz Lachner Nonet (1875) – and Jean Francaix Dixtuor (1987. For tickets and information go to  http://www.espressorch.org

MUNCHING WITH MOZART, a series of monthly concerts at the Central Branch of the Santa Cruz Public Library presents a concert of music for two pianists with guest soprano, Sheila Wiley. Hear art songs by Schubert, Brahms, R. Straus, as well as music from Oklahoma. Also piano duets by Kurtág, Inghelbrecht, and Leó Weiner. The pianists are Irene Herrmann and Mickey McGushin. This FREE concert is April 19, from 12:10 to 1:00 at the Central Branch of the Santa Cruz Public Library, 224 Church Street, Santa Cruz. For more information, email Carol Panofsky at panofsky@cruzio.com.

LISA JENSEN LINKS. Lisa writes: “Friends, I’m taking a brief hiatus off the blog before the summer (movie) madness begins next month! And while I buckle down to the REAL work of editing my next novel (the one coming after Beast) — after having finally completed a (very) rough first draft. But do keep checking back for more news, reviews, and updates at Lisa Jensen Online Express (http://ljo-express.blogspot.com ).” Lisa has been writing film reviews and columns for Good Times since 1975.

A QUIET PLACE. Whew!!! This earned 97 % on Rotten Tomatoes — and is a genuinely scary movie. It’s well-paced, with fine acting, and Emily Blunt does a perfect believable mother, guardian and victim role. It’s upstate New York sometime in the future, and aliens (much like the Shape of Water Thing with longer legs) have taken over. The monsters attack and kill anything they hear, so everybody has be deathly silent…which makes for great suspense and tension. The kid who plays the deaf child Regan is Millicent Simmonds: she’s genuinely deaf, and she’s fabulous. Go see this IF you love scary movies.

CHAPPAQUIDDICK. I didn’t remember that Chappaquiddick was in Martha’s Vineyard. This docu-drama (half true and half BS) is only worth seeing if you remember who Mary Jo Kopechne was, or Robert McNamara or Ted Sorensen. Many of us old-timers look at the Ted Kennedy involvement in Mary Jo’s drowning as another unsolved murder mystery. This film does NOT provide a single new fact or angle to that infamous near-presidential saga — it’s also a very slow, with no notable actors or acting, except Bruce Dern as Joe Kennedy senior.

BLOCKERS. It’s billed as a teenage sex comedy, and while it does have the raunchy, crotch, rectal, sex stuff… it’s got ZERO comedy. Lots of the audience howled at it, I was bored and disgusted at what passes for humor nowadays. It’s about parents trying to stop their three daughters from losing their virginity on prom night. Don’t go!!!

LEAN INTO THE WIND. Andy Goldsworthy’s saga. I had forgotten just how influential Andy Goldsworthy’s message to humanity was, and will continue to be long after we’ve all left. Much like Christo and Jean Claude (“Running Fence”, “The Gates” in NYC) these artists/sculptors force us to appreciate the earth we live on…and in. Like his “Rivers and Tides” documentary from 2003, this movie was filmed in San Francisco and a dozen otherplaces where Goldsworthy has and continues to build and sculpt beautiful and thoughtful designs from the very ground we appear to be destroying more and more rapidly. See this film…I guarantee you’ll love our earth even more than you do now.  HURRY!!! It closes Thursday April 10.

THE DEATH OF STALIN. This would-be comedy is much like “Veep” — the TV series based on inside White House “secret” humor. They are similar because both are directed by the same guy. The problem is that we (or I especially) don’t know anything about the Russian government under Stalin. In addition it’s based on a graphic novel. If you know the roles Khrushchev or Malenkov played, or just who Beria supported, you’ll be way ahead and might even laugh. It’s a bitter, biting, mean type of humor and not my style.

ISLE OF DOGS. This is Wes Anderson’s latest, and I didn’t like it any more than any of his other sideways attempts at new cinema statements. The Royal Tannenbaums, Darjeeling Limited, Moonrise Kingdom, and The Grand Budapest Hotel all not just bored me but left me mystified. Rushmore was a notch up. Isle of Dogs uses cute Japanese-themed names like Kobayashi, Atari, Watanabe, Yoko-ono, and the clever Major Domo. The very famous and excellent Hollywood persons who do the voices are near legendary, but Anderson’s attempt at cleverness, brilliance and just plain story telling once again leaves me very cold and bored.

READY PLAYER ONE. The last video game I remember playing was Atari’s “Pong” back in 1972 or 73 with Manny Santana and John Tuck in “The Med” (Mediterranean Restaurant), next door to Manuels Restaurant on Center Street in Aptos. Video games have evolved since, and this Spielberg  FX extravaganza is all about avatars, time travel, old timey movies, TV shows and memorabilia…and features so much space jumping and time warping that I lost interest after about 15 minutes. It was too much trouble, and besides that it’s set in Columbus, Ohio in 2045. A very large and long and dull film from a director who usually can focus more sharply.

UNSANE.Real film followers know what to expect when it’s a Steven Soderbergh film, and Unsane is one of his best works. Claire Foy (star of The Queen) is the tortured lead and Joshua Leonard (Blair Witch Project and Higher Ground) is her stalker/torturer. It’s the scary, numbing story of a woman who is troubled psychologically to begin with,and then makes the scary mistake of signing documents that she didn’t read. That possibility alone should scare and wake all of us. Soderbergh shot the entire film on an iPhone, edited it at night and in 10-12 days had it finished. That he has the courage and talent to go against the billion dollar corporate films being produced today is extraordinary. A unique film, as are most of Soderbergh’s creations…it’s not easy to watch, and the acting is near-perfect. Full& happy disclosure, I sat with Joshua Leonard’s parents, who are old friends, who left their Watsonville home for Santa Cruz’s Del Mar theatre to see his newest. Go for it!!!

LOVE, SIMON. This is a very light, music background, story of a teen age boy coming out as gay. It contains drama, real pain, peer and penis envy and it’s still “lighter than heir”.(Pun intended). No stars involved, but it’s a nice movie.

ANNIHILATION. This is the Natalie Portman science fiction thriller that got an 87 on RT. If you pay close attention there is quite a moral, philosophic base to the plot. Like one line I can’t forget…”all humans self destruct either by suicide, drinking or smoking”. The same director did “Ex Machina” so you can tell he’s got something to say. But it’s way too hard to follow. There’s a sort of foggy, swirly, shimmer wall and people go through the wall. The dead come back to life, time goes back on itself, and on and on. Maybe if you really concentrate and stay awake you’ll get some kind of profound meaning from Annihilation…I’m not sure.

BLACK PANTHER. Like Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman created a lot of good will and empowered women Black Panther does the same for Blacks in America and around the rest of the world. Both are based on comics – DC and Marvel respectively – and are full of violence, killings and special effects. I’m finding it more and more difficult to see these action films with messages like revenge, torture, and blood and guts as having any semblance of cinematic art. Black Panther is science fiction, space travel and still the characters use spears and super hi tech weapons to kill each other. There are messages in this movie so I read…but I sensed nothing positive in it. Now I wonder since this has been such a blockbuster if we’ll see Mexican Panther, Chinese Panther, Croatian Panther? Got beat by …..

TOMB RAIDER 2018. Angelina Jolie (Oscar winner and ultra conservative actor Jon Voight’s daughter) starred in the first two Tomb Raider films, in 2001 and 2003. Now, with a 50 RT score Alicia Vikander, Dominic West and Kristin ScottThomas (in a very small role) have tried to bring back that comic book-type spectacle. It’s 98% special effects, and centers on a search for some mythical spirit power…I think. Sleep overtook me, at about 11:30 am on a Saturday morning. Tomb Raider was once a video game, if that gives you any more clues whether or not you’d like it.

A WRINKLE IN TIME. The much hyped adapting of this hugely popular children’s book by black woman director Ava DuVernay is a flop. Even with Oprah Winfrey, Chris Pine, Reese Witherspoon and Zach Galifianakis it’s still a flop, and got a 42 on Rotten Tomatoes. Many women friends have told me Wrinkle was their favorite book when they were little. It’s so far out so otherworldly so fantastical it becomes unwakeable while you try to watch it. Think of time world-travel children’s classics like Wizard of Oz, Harry Potter, ET, Fantasia and more. I saw it in 3D and it didn’t help, I couldn’t follow it…and there didn’t seem to be any reason to do so.

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UNIVERSAL GRAPEVINE. Each and every Tuesday from 7:00-8:00 p.m. I host Universal Grapevine on KZSC 88.1 fm. or on your computer, (live only or archived for two weeks… (See next paragraph) and go to WWW.KZSC.ORG. April 10 has Santa Cruz Veterans advocate Dean Kaufman discussing news and programs created for our veterans. He’s followed by Robert Morgan talking about the Frankenstein 200th Anniversary Celebration conference happening at MAH. On April 17 Davis Banta director of Assassins at Mountain Community Theatre talks about the Sondheim musical. Then folks from The Reel Work Film Festival reveal this year’s festival films. Candace Brown discusses the choosing of a new Parks and Recreation Director on April 24. May 1st has Kathy Bisbee talking about Virtual Reality and Air Pollution. May 8 is KZSC’s bi-annual Pledge Drive time. OR…if you just happen to miss either of the last two weeks of Universal Grapevine broadcasts go herehttp://www.radiofreeamerica.com/dj/bruce-bratton You have to listen to about 4 minutes of that week’s KPFA news first, then Grapevine happens. Do remember, any and all suggestions for future programs are more than welcome so tune in, and keep listening. Email me always and only at bratton@cruzio.com

If you build one of these machines, let me know! 🙂

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.  “The White House”
“On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last, and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.  H. L. Mencken
“People say satire is dead. It’s not dead; it’s alive and living in the White House”. Robin Williams
“I wake up every morning in a house that was built by slaves, and I watch my daughters – two beautiful, intelligent black young women – playing with their dogs on the White House lawn. And because of Hillary Clinton, my daughters, and all our sons and daughters, now take for granted that a woman can be president of the United States”. Michelle Obama


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BEST OF VINTAGE STEVEN DeCINZO.

Deep Cover by Tim Eagan.

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