Blog Archives

April 22 – 28, 2013

“NEW” HISTORIC PHOTOGRAPH. These four “heritage” or historical trees could be killed if Dentist Bill Christie has his way. They are very prominently located at 918 Center Street at the intersection of Center Street and Union Street across from The Goodwill Store. UCSC almost always goes to great trouble to preserve trees and has built many structures in and around trees. Doc Christie should do the same.

photo credit: editor’s photo collection.

Additional information always welcome: email


Wondering where our “urban canopy” (formerly known as trees) is going? Me too. It is phenomenal, and frankly unconscionable, that so many trees, “heritage trees” as defined in the city ordinance 9.56, have been demolished in our fair city over the past five years. (If you know of any please send me a before and after picture.) There was a time we were trying to achieve “Tree City USA” status, up there with the City of Davis, Calif.. Now we are vying for an infamous place on the “Stump City USA” site.

The most remarkable event of attempted tree murder is currently underway. The dentist, Bill Christie, has applied and received a permit to cut down four large, healthy, and by the looks of it, happy pine trees in front of his office at 918 Center Street, across from the Goodwill store (see picture below). Please go by and check out the trees and let Dr. Christie know how much they mean to you. If you want to appeal these Heritage trees go to the Parks and Recreation office, pay $50 and fill out the form. You will have until 5pm on April 25th (that’s THIS THURSDAY!) to file the form. But maybe a nice conversation with Dr. Christie can avoid this disaster in the making. Besides that, if all of Christie’s patients told everyone else who wants to save the trees to go to other more environmentally minded dentists, he’ll probably feel bad.


As oft and previously mentioned, I write these columns early Monday mornings. It takes that long to get them posted online. Rick Longinotti, leader of the battle to make sense of what we as a City and County need to know about buying into a de-salination system wrote this during the week. He titled it, “Beyond Curtailment” It applies to the City Council meeting on April 23…but the battle will go on long after this Tuesday.

“On Tuesday, April 23, the Santa Cruz City Council will consider a recommendation from the Water Department to implement a Stage 1 drought curtailment, intended to result in a 5% drop in water consumption during the dry season. The Water Department estimates that this modest reduction in water use will result in a Loch Lomond Reservoir level of 75% at the end of the dry season on October 1st. We think this reservoir level borders on too risky. Desal Alternatives has recommended a target of at least 80% reservoir capacity on October 1st, in order to be prepared should the next winter be critically dry. That means we need to conserve more than 5% this summer.

INVENTING HISTORY. Sandy Lydon was my guest on Universal Grapevine last March 5th. This is us at KZSC just before going on-air to pull off another Pledge Drive. We were not talking about his Roast that’s happening Friday, May 10th at The Cocoanut Grove.

Why wouldn’t the Water Department ask for a higher level of conservation this summer, just to be safe? One contributing factor may be the unpleasant task of policing water restrictions. “We don’t want to have a water-police state,” is how one official put it. To offer an alternative to an authoritarian approach to water conservation, we reprint an excerpt from “Beyond Curtailment”, which was part of an 18 page set of recommendations on alternatives to desalination we submitted to the City in 2011. One public office holder who enjoys keeping his lawn green told me that he would rather be allocated an amount of water in accordance with the community’s drought constraints, and decide himself on how to achieve that goal, rather than have to follow various rules on how to use water”. –Rick Longinotti. Go to to see where you stand in our battle against City Hall.

CABRILHO’S SOCIAL JUSTICE CONFERENCE. Linda Burman-Hall co-organizer of the conference sent this report…

“Cabrillo College’s 7th Annual Social Justice Conference (4-20-13) brought together a wide spectrum of people from all continents, all socio-economic and educational backgrounds, and all gender and religious orientations into an intense and productive dialogue on local, regional and global topics ranging from agriculture and food justice to prison arts to transgendered visibility and much more.

The conference opened with an indigenous blessing by Ohlone-Rumsen elder Lloyd Rodriguez and a welcome from Cabrillo Governing Board Trustee Margarita Cortez. An inspiring keynote address was given by the renowned political activist Bettina Aptheker of UCSC’s Feminist Studies Department. Since Cabrillo College has just launched a new Social Justice Journal, the principal honorees at the luncheon reception included the SJJ’s production team (editor Yaming Shen and many volunteers), Melanie Stern, the widow of civil rights activist Tony Hill (in whose memory the first SJJ issue was dedicated), and Shirley Ancheta, the widow of nationally-known Filipino poet and

Cabrillo writing instructor Jeff Tagami (in whose memory the second SJJ issue will be dedicated). The closing ceremonies featured a high-energy multi-sensory Kinesthetic Learning Program’ highlighting numerous social justice issues through poetry, dance and theater, with Cabrillo Dance faculty Yasmina Porter and members of UCSC’s Rainbow Theater, among many other multi-cultural talents”.

THE SEX LIFE OF DOLPHINS!!! Muralist Peter Bartczak recently moved back to Santa Cruz and almost immediately landed a commission to paint some murals at Vallejo’s Six Flags Park. He writes, “The advantage of working on two 200’x20′ backdrops for the dolphin shows at the Sea World at Vallejo’s Six Flags is going behind the scenes with the trainers and having a one on one with the dolphins (not the sports team). They are so smart and happy – the dolphins, too. Their skin/hide/whatever feels like very thick plastic, stuffed. They weigh about 500 pounds, can be up to 9 feet long, and are worth about $500,000 each. They don’t have to perform if they don’t want to. Supposedly, they’re like high school kids – everything changes all of the time – who loves who, who has broken up, who’s popular, etc. They’re supposed to be real sex fiends, which ruined my high minded impression about them. Isn’t it a little weird to have a mammal living in water? Or is that just me?”

ELERICK’S INPUT. Paul Elerick waxes nicely about that arena and contents..

What’s next for the Basketball Arena?

The Santa Cruz Warriors basketball team is wrapping up a great season, going into the Development League championship series this week. The team brought exciting games and great family entertainment to the greater Santa Cruz area. Santa Cruz is now evaluating holding concerts there in the off-season. The best of the Warriors? Winning, of course with near-NBA level players putting on exiting, high scoring games. The staff at the Arena was courteous and even assisted people finding and getting to their seats. Ticket prices were reasonable. Security was efficient and polite. But the parking , as expected, was a big problem. Could there be shuttle busses from the County Center’s free parking lot to and from the Arena? Could Walgreen’s open up their parking lot for games? Neighbors on Beach Hill are still impacted by the noise generated at the games; mostly amplified music intended to rev up the crowd’s enthusiasm, not really needed. The crowd produces plenty of noise. The Warriors management should now take the initiative and replace that bubble roof with something more acoustically functional. If they could build the entire arena in a few weeks, surely they could spend a few bucks to put a soundproof roof on it during the off-season. But overall, nice job Santa Cruz!”.

(Paul Elerick is co-chair, along with Peter Scott, of the Campaign for Sensible Transportation,, and is a member of Nisene 2 Sea, a group of open space advocates).

PATTON’S PROGRAM. Gary talks about Aromas being a fracking target and how Assemblyman Luis Alejo didn’t vote at all on the bill to increase The Coastal Commission’s enforcement potential. Assemblyman Mark Stone did vote for it, as you’d expect. Gary talks some more about UCSC and their invulnerability to land use controls. He states, “The University of California at Santa Cruz is not subject to local land use controls. Local General Plans and zoning restrictions don’t apply to lands owned by the University of California. Instead of being subject to local land use authority, the University follows a Long Range Development Plan (or LRDP) adopted by the University Regents. The Long Range Development Plan for the Santa Cruz campus proposes a very significant expansion of development into the “North” or “Upper” Campus area, an area that was previously set aside as a natural reserve.

This plan has always been controversial, both on campus and in the community, and no actual implementation of the plan has yet occurred. If you would like to see what all the discussion is about, you might want to go on one of the “Forest Walks” that are being held over the next couple of months. These “Forest Walks” are intended to give members of both the campus community and the larger community a chance to see for themselves exactly what is at stake. Tomorrow evening, for instance, “Cosmic” Joe Jordan of NASA and the SETI Institute will guide what he is calling a “Walk Through The Universe,” taking place on the North Campus, but especially exploring the sky. The walk begins at the North Remote Parking Lot at 8:00 p.m. on Thursday, April 25th. A full moon is promised! You can get more information at Or Facebook Group – Save Upper Campus

Forest Walks Flyer – Facebook Group

UCSC – Long Range Resistance

UCSC Campus Map – Parking Lot Locations

Read all of above at Gary’s KUSP Land Use scripts (Gary Patton is “Of Counsel” to the Santa Cruz law firm of Wittwer & Parkin, which specializes in land use and environmental law. The opinions expressed are Mr. Patton’s. Gary has his own website, “Two Worlds / 365”

VINTAGE DE CINZO. Steven dealt with violence in our schools a long time ago. Scroll downwards…

EAGANS DEEP COVER. I’m now caught up on Eagan’s shots across the bow…this is his real reaction to “The Skies Will Burn“, (as mentioned last week). See below.

LANDAU’S PROGRES. Saul writes, « Obamas Syria Horror. In this week’s articlehe says, “President Obama has fueled Syria’s civil war flames and lied to Congress about his “modest” role in that conflict. Between 2002 and 2007, I visited Syria four times. I drove through the fertile valleys that parallel the Mediterranean coast, and to the Golan Heights’ barbed-wired border with Israel. Obama feigned outraged when the media reported chemical weapons use in Syria. Did he forget the tons of Agent Orange U.S. planes dropped on Vietnam, when he warned Assad against even thinking of using chemical weapons? Syria had actually accused the rebels of using the chemicals, which Washington dismissed without investigating. Syrian rebels, however, admitted they had used chemical weapons to kill 16 Syrian government soldiers and 10 civilians. The rebels then claimed the government had accidentally bombed themselves with those chemicals. Obama has not responded to claims of rebel atrocities against the Syrian population. Why should Washington get so invested in the Syrian war? To weaken Iran, Syria’s ally, and strengthen NATO’s sordid Middle East partners? In his quest to overthrow the Assad government, Obama has focused exclusively on the strategy “to weaken Iran’s strategic position, and incite a movement to spark the Islamic Republic’s overthrow.” Read all of Saul here… Saul Landau is an Institute for Policy Studies fellow whose films are on DVD from

LISA JENSEN LINKS. Lisa writes: “Step into an Impressionistic painting in Renoir, visit a bleak, dystopian future (is there any other kind?) in Oblivion, and discover what a “full flat” is in publishing lingo this week at Lisa Jensen Online Express (” Lisa has been writing film reviews and columns for Good Times since 1975.

OBLIVION.In spite of all his jerky ways, I still enjoy watching Tom Cruise make adventure films .Actually; he’s made several excellent non-action films too. Oblivion seems to be about how Thetans came to earth andtook their e-meters to kill almost everybody. Only L.Ron Cruise could save them etc, etc. No, I jest, but if you aren’t tired of sci-fi earth survivors like cigar-smoking Morgan Freeman vs. the awful invaders from somewhere, go see it, I liked it more than I should have.

UPSTREAM COLOR.The first viewer to figure out this film should win something. So far no one has deciphered any part of it. It’s sort of aboutleeches, tapeworms, your intestinal track, true love, sperm, and lots of maggots. Here’s a link, but all it shows are pigs, escalators, and what looks like a plot but it really isn’t. Only go IF you’ve seen everything else.

RENOIR. It should have been titled “Sundays with The Renoirs” or more accurately Very Dull Sundays with The Renoirs”. Renoir actor Michel Bouquet looks so much like local painter Will Saar it was stunning. Dull, and rich, old Auguste Renoir just keeps painting and dealing with his women servants, his luscious models, and of course his famous film director son Jean. They should have focused on the son and his film techniques. It’s a beautiful film but blah and so what?

TO THE WONDER. Even with his local Santa Cruz connections Terrence Malick doesn’t deliver any message in this mess of a film. Ben Affleck stumbles around like he’s waiting for a script to arrive. Olga Kurlenko who is perfect in Oblivion with Tom Cruise just keeps spinning around a lot. Everybody like Rachel McAdams also spins around in this vague guess at art. Javier Bardem is in it too and even he can’t bring any focus to whatever it is Malick tried to accomplish. It’s a terrible, artsy, ego-driven waste.

The Jewel Theatre Company is doing a collaborative production with Shakespeare Santa Cruz running from April 25-May 19th. (that’s 4 weekends!!). Two Harold Pinter one-acts – ONE FOR THE ROAD directed by Marco Barricelli and starring Paul Whitworth, and THE LOVER directed by Julie James and starring Mike Ryan. Advance word has it that these are genuine Pinter Plays. One for The Road is, “This powerful drama is a mesmerizing, terrifying, and brilliantly organized piece of theatre that will resonate long after the play is over”. The Lover is, “Sexy, unsettling and funny, this play sheds creative new light on the world of the paramour”. Go to

Or call 425-7506 for tickets.

PIANIST ANG LI TO PERFORM CONCERT. Ang Li is ranked among the top 30 pianists in the world by The 2009 Cliburn Competition. She has appeared at Carnegie Hall in New York, The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington D.C., and at The Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts in New York.

Piano Recital 8 PM. She’ll play Mozart’s Sonata in C, K. 330, Schumann’s “Scenes from Childhood”, Debussy’s Preludes, Liadov‘s “The Music Box”, GranadosAllegro de Concierto and Chopin‘s Polonaise No. 6 in A-Flat Major “Heroic”. Saturday, April 27, First Congregational Church 900 High St. Santa Cruz.

Tickets at Brown Paper Tickets, here

Information at & or call 831-539-0000.

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. On April 23 Jennifer Colby talks about The Reel Work Film Festival and environmental activist Pat Matecjek returns to bring us up to date. Julie James talks about Harold Pinter One Act plays at The Jewel Theatre on April 30, followed by UCSC’s Chris Wilmers discussing the research they are doing on Pumas. .Do remember, any and all suggestions and requests 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, 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 Conpany. 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. “Friendship and money: oil and water”, Mario Puzo. “I never drink water because of the disgusting things that fish do in it”, W. C. Fields “Let there be work, bread, water and salt for all”, Nelson Mandela


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Deep Cover by Tim Eagan.

Posted in Weekly Articles | Comments Off on April 22 – 28, 2013

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