Blog Archives

April 12 – 18, 2017

EARLIEST KNOWN PHOTO OF DOWNTOWN SANTA CRUZ. Somehow you can almost tell that this is the corner of Water, Front (then called  Willow) Pacific Mission and Main  Streets. The year was 1860. Just think how back then the folks had no Jamba Juice or Bank of The West.

photo credit: Covello & Covello Historical photo collection.

Additional information always welcome: email

DATELINE April 10. 2017

SANTA CRUZ’S & UCSC’S FUTURE. UCSC is going through a special study to develop their next LONG RANGE DEVELOPMENT PLAN.(LRDP). Their LRDP plans


forever change the lives of everyone who lives, works, and commutes to Santa Cruz. Many very involved Santa Cruzans had opinions on UCSC’s future. I’ve cut, edited and included as many shades and aims of these opinions to help all the rest of us catch up and not lose focus on where and how we are growing. Gillian Greensite’s ideas rang very straight and to the point she emails..

  1. UCSC has grown too big for the town to accommodate without severe and negative impacts. With close to half the students competing for off-campus rentals, every increase in student numbers worsens the ability of local workers and families to find rental housing. Affordability is a pipe-dream.
  2. Building more housing on campus does not solve the problem. UCSC cannot force students to live on campus and most prefer to move off-campus after their first or second year for independence. Building more housing on campus results in higher rents both on and off campus due to the high cost of building on complicated geological and soil lands and the fact that the cost of building has to be born by students.
  3. It is frustrating that UCSC keeps repeating that they house a higher % of students than any other UC campus. While true, it avoids facing the reality that Santa Cruz has far less land availability for housing growth than other UC campuses.
  4. The vast majority of off campus people who support UCSC growth are those making money from such growth ( landlords, developers and businesses who profit off students consumption needs.) The rest of the community is strongly opposed to continued growth and has a low opinion of UCSC as a result.
  5. UC Merced was built to accommodate the increase in student numbers. UCSC is not playing fair in continuing to advertise for extra students when it could be better responding to the impact of such growth on the town.
    1. If a poll or ballot measure was circulated amongst residents who live here and do not own rental property for “A moratorium on further growth at UCSC” it would win by a huge majority.

    Another voice.. “One calculation which would indicate the significance of this imbalance would  be to count ( in five-year increments) the number of single family homes in each block near the university that house students and then move further out geographically as the dynamic of single home conversion to student housing occurred.  This has a very direct impact on the quality of residential living in a neighborhood and among other things also negatively effects single-family housing values”

    And another view.. “UCSC cannot force students to live on campus and most prefer to move off-campus after their first or second year for independence.”    UCSC cannot control where students live; UCSC can control enrollment”.

    More…”The issue of percentage housed on campus is real, but is also part of a “shell game” strategy to take attention away from the key issue: enrollment, enrollment, enrollment…

    I believe students would definitely live on campus if it was a whole lot cheaper regardless of the independence issue…I speak with students all the time and many say they would rather live on campus because it’s “easier,” but too costly”. 

    The main issue is cost…independence does factor in, but not as much as cost.

    Still more…”The most common local belief is that if there were just more parking on campus, or more housing on campus, then things would not be so bad.  When really, to me, those things (parking, inexpensive housing on campus) are just pie-in-the-sky and the ultimate issue is enrollment. I think if the issue were clear, then essentially all my neighbors (and yours) would realize that they are against enrollment growth. (And that doesn’t make them against education or against diversity or any of the other distracting arguments one hears.)”

    Another source stated, “the point is to stop further growth not debate whether it should be on or off campus”. On the same point, and Chris Krohn also includes Coonerty’s letter in his “minority report” column…

    In a letter to the Board of Supervisors on April 4, 2017 Supervisor Ryan Coonerty says among other good points… “On the other hand, UCSC also has impacts in terms of housing, traffic, and water demand. The County has a legitimate and significant interest in the University’s plans and policies for the UCSC campus”. The impact of students, faculty, and staff on our community, especially the City of Santa Cruz, is significant and is a contributing factor in the high cost of housing in Santa Cruz and traffic congestion on our roads.

    In my view, given the relatively small size of Santa Cruz, the capacity of the community to absorb campus growth has been reached and, ideally, there should be no further increase beyond the 2020 LRDP projections in student population. However, if the University, which is not regulated by local government, determines that additional growth should be allowed, the amount should be as low as possible and all increases, including students, faculty and staff, should be housed on campus”.

    A partially related comment that just few in and …adding to Ryan’s UCSC comments above is his guest speaking at the PDC.. People’s Democratic Club (4/20)  presupposed that …just maybe Ryan’s running for Mark Stone’s Assembly seat?? And gee, now (4/10) UCSC sent out a UC Advocacy Network message saying they care about our feelings and input.

    UCSC STUDENT VIEW. UCSC Student Andrew Austin emails…

    This Winter, a new student group called the Campus Expansion Student Coalition began to re-organize the students who came together for “anti-expansion” events last Spring. We’ve only had three or four events so far, but we also have a Facebook page called ‘UCSC Beyond Capacity’ and we’re going to be sending out a lot of informative literature and outreach materials for events very soon this Spring.

    About actual UCSC growth: there are currently a few different on-campus construction projects in planning and preliminary stages, all of which will probably face direct resistance from “anti-expansion” activists and other forms of resistance from students more concerned with the accessibility and affordability of new housing. Some examples include a proposed extension to Crown College, redevelopment of Kresge College, a new residential college, and possibly new parking spaces/facilities. Over spring break UCSC cleared some trees near the Kerr Hall bus stop, but it turns out it’s not for housing it’s for an “Environmental Health and Safety Facility” which has been quietly public for a year or so. Some students are strongly in favor of new construction and are putting on pressure for more housing as soon as possible, and others are strongly opposed and more concerned with the current capacity. But almost everyone involved seems concerned with the lack of transparency and the lack of university response in general. It seems unlikely at the moment that UCSC will take into account either of these student viewpoints, as long as it continues to rely on fees/tuition and research profitability as revenue sources” . Gillian Greensite added to Austin’s news a question…This Winter, a new student group called the Campus Expansion Student Coalition began to re-organize the students who came together for “anti-expansion” events last Spring. We’ve only had three or four events so far, but we also have a Facebook page called ‘UCSC Beyond Capacity’ and we’re going to be sending out a lot of informative literature and outreach materials for events very soon this Spring. Gillian Greensite added a question to Austin’s news… “Are students aware that the new facility will store nuclear waste?”.

    GREENSITE’S INSIGHT. Gillian emails… “traveling back to Santa Cruz. Column resumes next week.”

    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).


    (Note:   See answer and New feature this week : I love footnotes, so check’em out at                 the end of the column)

    When will the city begin exercising its negotiating powers in confronting university student growth? Eighteen thousand students and growing, and no new bed space. Singles, doubles, triples and quads with a five-day meal plan now range in price from $1468 (quad) to $1967. This means, if four students live in a “Quad,” (the cheapest available dorm), they would collectively pay a total is $5,872. They used to be able to score a five-bedroom house with a yard near the ocean for less than that, but there aren’t any left because guess who is driving up the rents in Santa Cruz? (Of course, the real estate folks are lovin’ it since the norm that’s resulted is to place ever larger numbers of students into single family homes and charge them per head. It ends up being a bargain for students after 1-2 years of high dorm prices. The result is that local families are on the edge of extinction in many neighborhoods.)

    Eco-Hotspots and Mountain Bikes

    I went walking this week up Chinquapin Road, past the campus fire station and the UCSC Crown-Merrill apartments; the asphalt soon gives way to an upper campus dirt trail. I was invited for a hike by my old friend, emeritus physics professor, Peter Scott. His two-foot long flowing white beard makes him appear like Moses, and he walks briskly in leading me toward his Promised Land—the “ecological hot spot” that is upper campus. At eighty-plus years old I wondered how he so easily outpaced me on this hike. I follow him to a trailhead that he says is “new” to his eyes.

    “Where does it go?” I ask.

    “Not sure, but let’s just go and see where it takes us,” he says with a joyful grin.

    Peter’s taking me out to look for signs of erosion, tire tracks that have formed new gullies and will lead to future seasonal streams. The tire markings are abundant in this area of campus. There are now herds of mountain bikers among the deer, fox, and mountain lion populations. Many of the spandex-clad riders perhaps do not realize they are traversing an area that the Smithsonian Institute has made a place for on their ecological hot spot map. It is also an area that’s said to have been one of Henry Cowell’s favorite places to ride his horse back in the late 1800’s.

    Later, I’m still trailing Peter as we emerge from our forest walk. He wanders toward McLaughlin Drive and I follow. We turn right and walk up Science Hill. Peter marvels at how many students are waiting at both bus stops between Baskin Engineering and the Science Library. There are literally hundreds. It is 5:15 pm after all, and a great human tide is about to descend off campus. But as we walk, there are both white campus shuttles and Metro buses passing up the hundreds who are waiting.

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

    Bernie quote of the week:”The goal of a health care system should be to keep people well, not to make stockholders rich.” (Tweeted April 8, 2017)

    ~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.


    Last week, the entire membership of Aptos/La Selva Firefighters local 3535 signed a VOTE OF NO CONFIDENCE against Chief Jon Jones.  This has never happened in the 87-year history of the District.  What is happening?  I spoke with Local President Captain Ryan Peters to find out.  Captain Will Wingert, the Vice-President, sent written clarification and is quoted below. Since Chief Jones was hired in October, 2014, there has been a steady decrease in services offered to the public. “This is alarming since even during the greatest economic recession witnessed since the 1930s Aptos/La Selva always managed to find ways to expand its base of service. And now in a time of economic expansion the fire department is offering less than it did 3 years ago. ”

    *GONE:   “A well used car seat program for expectant families is gone. This valuable program offered car seat education, proper installation and helped parents to understand how best to keep their children safe while in a car.”  

    *GONE:  “The Surf Rescue Program which has saved many many lives has had to struggle to justify itself and is still at an impasse about holding training off duty so that members can all get trained. On duty training is problematic as call volume pulls people away and people sometimes miss training altogether. The Chief has been recalcitrant to allow off duty training because he doesn’t want to pay overtime costs for it, but the cost would be minimal.”

    *GONE:  The Fire/Arson Investigation program.  ” There has been no succession planning on the part of the Fire Chief. Division Chief Conrad retired in December. He was our chief investigator. There was nearly a year to forecast this.  Individual members are interested in taking classes and filling this important position. Presently the program has not been funded, and no classes to get people trained have been authorized although requests have been made. Waiting for the outcome of a strategic plan is not an excuse to not train and fill existing needs. ”

    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).


    Saturday, April 8, 2017

    Publicity is justly commended as a remedy for social and industrial diseases. Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants…

    I was reminded of Brandeis’ advice when I read the David Talbot column in the April 2, 2017, edition of The San Francisco Chronicle. Talbot’s column was titled, “Hot Trump story gets little media attention.”  

    Citing to WhoWhatWhy, an online provider of responsible investigative journalism, Talbot noted that James Comey, Director of the FBI, has apparently been “sitting on” information demonstrating that our current President is directly tied to Russian mobsters, and specifically to Semion Mogilevich, “a Russian crime kingpin closely connected to Putin.” 

    This information about Trump’s ties to Russian mobsters was supposedly known by Comey prior to the November 2016 election. I am betting that the information might have been of interest to the voters had it been disclosed prior to the balloting. Comey chose to highlight possible irregularities in how Hillary Clinton dealt with her State Department-related emails, instead of saying anything about this particular topic.

    Comey, in other words, is no friend of the Democrats. So says Talbot. And Comey appears to be a friend of President Trump, in terms of how Comey conducts the official business of the FBI. That’s Talbot’s conclusion.  Here is a link to the WhoWhatWhy story that Talbot is talking about, if you’d like to read it.  In the meantime, ponder what Justice Brandeis had to say about sunlight and secrecy. Maybe we ought to have a system that lets the American people have access to all that “information” that we are paying that “Federal Bureau” to collect!

    Brandeis said it: “Sunshine is said to be the best of disinfectants!”

    ~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 his blog at


    CLASSICAL DeCINZO. DeCinzo took a look at the only am radio station in Santa Cruz. See downwards just a bit.

    EAGAN’S DEEP COVER. See Tim Eagan’s “Another trophy”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.

    LISA JENSEN LINKS. Lisa writes: “Discover one of the best, unsung movies of the year, Frantz, a haunting tone-poem to love, loss, and absolution, this week at Lisa Jensen Online Express ( ). Run out and see this beautiful French film right this minute, before it disappears! Also, check out my Beast of the Month for April, courtesy of another great French filmmaker, Jean Cocteau!” Lisa has been writing film reviews and columns for Good Times since 1975.

    FRANTZ. Subtitled and in French and German this is another masterpiece from the young (40)  Francois Ozon (Swimming Pool, See The Sea). Subtle, sensitive, perfectly paced and engrossing acting by all concerned. It’s about the aftermath of WW1 and the heart tearing effects it has on the soldiers and the families that survived. Love, enemy hatred, family loyalty, a soldiers duty are all paced and packed together in a film that will keep you completely involved up to and including the closing scene. See it quickly, Landmark closes these films way too quickly.

    T2 TRAINSPOTTING. Danny Boyle is one of the most effective and wide ranging film directors working today. Not only did he direct the original down, gritty and dirty original Trainspotting in 1996 but he also did Slumdog Millionaire, and Steve Jobs fils. T2 takes us back to the original four druggies, thugs, and crazy guys who did that heroin robbery 20 years ago. They get together again and NO they don’t do “another job” they argue, hug, fight and give us a very busy film full of creativity, brilliance and Edinburgh Scotland atmosphere. It too has Iggy Pop music and Ewan McGregor in the lead. You have to see it if you liked the original.

    THE ZOOKEEPER’S WIFE. Jessica Chastain and her husband ran the Warsaw Zoo in Poland in 1939 before, during and after the Germans invade. A true story adapted from the book it details how the couple managed to hide 300 Jews from the Nazis inside the zoo during the invasion. You might get to thinking, as I did about half way through the film about the contrast, similarity, duality of watching the animals escape from behind bars and then keeping the Jews in the same place. Or of watching the animals escape to their freedom or posible death…well you see what I’m getting at. Besides that I’m against Zoos, Aquariums, animal parks, and all that cruel stuff. So go se this film, Jessica is very good in the lead role except that her fake Polish accent sounds fake.

    GET OUT. Rotten Tomatoes gives this one an amazing 99%. Plus, it’s a huge box office hit !!! That’s surprising to everybody because it’s a low budget semi horror-comedy, black and white theme film. Probably released in February because that’s when they release films that aren’t expected o make much money. Catherine Keener is about the only actor whose name any of us might know. It’s a white girl brings home a black boyfriend topic. Only it goes into zones and situations that will amaze and get you laughing!! Wild, inventive, new, fine acting, twisted…you’ll love it.

    LIFE. Jake Gyllenhaal and Ryan Reynolds and a “nice” interacial crew are trapped aboard a space station with an ever-growing giant calamari from space, that almost kills everybody. Yes, it’s the old Alien plot, and it’ll do just fine for 12 years olds. I mean that, it’s tense, exciting only a few fuck words in it and plenty of 2001 scenic memories.  To be honest I got to thinking (which you’ll have plenty of time to do) what if that space creature just wants to save it’s own fate and travel to earth with “our guys”? Why not write a movie where somebody from earth wants to escape its dying future and tries to climb aboard an extraterrestial vehicle and the outer space visitors keep fighting him/her away like we treat our extraterrestial visitors? Send the kids, don’t take them.

    GHOST IN THE SHELL. If you can stand watching Scarlett Johansson running, jumping, leaping, shooting and maybe being a robot for 106 minutes while she’s wearing just a skin tight, white, thin, body suit…then go see this movie. It’s a zillion dollar Japanese Studio production and another good thing about it is that Takeshi Kitano has a brief appearance and it’s amazingly powerful. Then again, he always is. The plot is way too complex and unbelievacle to fathom out. It’s copied from a Japanese comic book. Not to insult them, but 12 year olds will love it.

    BEAUTY AND THE BEAST. Total 100% Disney sights, sounds and drech. You couldn’t possibly tell the songs from this Disney production from any of the last 30 years of Disney product songs.  A wasted cast includes Emma Watson, Kevin Kline, Ewan MacGregor, Ian McKellan, Emma Thompson, Stanley Tucci, and Audra McDonald. BUT most of these actors play the roles of animated tea pots and candlesticks. There is or are no reasons to see this re-hash of every commercial triumph the Disney Factory has turned out for more than 50 years. And the kids will probably love it.

    LOGAN. Hugh Jackman and Patrick Stewart lower themselves considerably by playing the lead roles in this last of the Wolverine series. I’ve tried hard and failed to stop thinking that this is exactly the kind of film I’ll bet that Donald Trump likes. Even though the Wolverine (Jackman) is a comic book character and the special effects are just about 90% of the picture, the cruelty, killing, blood, evil, are all so typical of today’s biggest boxoffice hits, it’s too over the top for me. No plot, no emotions, no humanity…just more blood and more killing. Even the ending when Wolverine is in a stone covered grave I kept worrying  and watching to see if some of the stones didn’t start shaking, meaning we’ll be tortured by an even worse Wolverine # 10. Yes Jackman has played the part nine times!!!  Go if you like Donald Trump type movies.  



    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. Carson Kelly tells us about the political force “Santa Cruz Indivisible” on April 11. Followed by Brian Spencer talking about the See Theatre play “The Nether” opening April 14 at the Center Stage Theatre. We’ll talk first about the Reel Work Labor Film Festival on April 18, then Lloyd Kahn author of “Small Homes” illumines us on their virtue. Carla Brennan discusses Mindfulness and Awareness on April 25.  On May 2nd UCSC Film Professor emeritus Earl Jackson talks about films and his Asian teaching experiences. Bookshop Santa Cruz features its top Short Story Winners on may 30. 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  

    NEW UNIVERSAL GRAPEVINE ARCHIVE FEATURE. Stuff changes at KZSC a lot. If you missed 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.

    (You are not going to believe this, but I picked out my video before I had a clue that Bruce was putting one, let alone TWO, juggling videos in this week’s column!! Weird, huh?)

    This is interesting. I like juggling. Can’t juggle myself to save my life, but this guy is good, and he’s funny in an understated sort of way 🙂

    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.


    One of my very favorite e.e. cummings poems for many decades….

    “sweet spring is your
    time is my time is our
    time for springtime is lovetime
    and viva sweet love

    (all the merry little birds are
    flying in the floating in the
    very spirits singing in
    are winging in the blossoming)

    lovers go and lovers come
    awandering awondering
    but any two are perfectly
    alone there’s nobody else alive

    (such a sky and such a sun
    i never knew and neither did you
    and everybody never breathed
    quite so many kinds of yes)

    not a tree can count his leaves
    each herself by opening
    but shining who by thousands mean
    only one amazing thing

    (secretly adoring shyly
    tiny winging darting floating
    merry in the blossoming
    always joyful selves are singing)

    sweet spring is your
    time is my time is our
    time for springtime is lovetime
    and viva sweet love”
    E.E. Cummings   

    “Spring is the time of plans and projects.” Leo Tolstoy, Anna Karenina

    “When spring came, even the false spring, there were no problems except where to be happiest. The only thing that could spoil a day was people and if you could keep from making engagements, each day had no limits. People were always the limiters of happiness except for the very few that were as good as spring itself.” Ernest Hemingway, A Moveable Feast

    “If people did not love one another, I really don’t see what use there would be in having any spring.” Victor Hugo, Les Misérables

    COLUMN COMMUNICATIONS. Subscriptions: Click and enter the box in the upper right hand corner of each Column. 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!) Always free and confidential. Even I don’t know who subscribes!!

    Snail Mail: Bratton Online
    82 Blackburn Street, Suite 216
    Santa Cruz, CA 95060

    Direct email:
    Direct phone: 831 423-2468
    All Technical & Web details: Gunilla Leavitt @


    Deep Cover by Tim Eagan.

Posted in Weekly Articles | Comments Off on April 12 – 18, 2017

Comments are closed.