Blog Archives

April 30 – May 6, 2012

AFTER THE 1894 FIRE. This is looking South on Pacific Avenue just about at the corner of Cooper and Pacific. Note the future town clock on top of the Odd Fellows Building and the fireproof bank vault sitting where the County Bank used to be.

photo credit: Covello & Covello Historical photo collection, click for bigger version.

Additional information always welcome: email

McPHERSON AND HIS LOCAL REPUBLICAN APPOINTMENTS. Far too many folks fail to realize the local political dangers in voting for the so-called “moderate” Republican Bruce McPherson. Not even counting these statements gathered recently..

  • He is official sponsor of 2012 “Government Accountability” initiative which would allow local governments to veto state environmental laws
  • As CA Secretary of State he certified the easily hacked Diebold voting machines and
  • He disqualified 40% of newly registered voters (mostly Latino) as part of national pattern of Republican voter suppression
  • As state assembly member, he refused to help Felton residents (FLOW) win back control of their water supply from German multinational company.
  • As state assembly member, he voted AGAINST state laws expanding domestic partner rights, outlawing bullying in schools, other GLBT rights.
  • He voted against state laws banning sweatshop conditions in state contractor workplaces
  • He supported other Republican candidates like Meg Whitman and Carly Fiorina

The 5th District Supervisor is the only local government elected representative that the San Lorenzo Valley has — there is no city representative like the portion of the district that falls in Scotts Valley or Santa Cruz. For the first time ever, Pasatiempo in Santa Cruz is in the 5th, and Bruce McPherson of Pasatiempo is running for the seat.

On his 12/31/11 filing of donations, he showed that he raised nearly $50,000 — but not A SINGLE DONATION was from San Lorenzo Valley! On his 3/17/12 filing, ( he had raised a whopping $85,934 to date — with a total of $2,450 from San Lorenzo Valley. That’s less than 3% when we’re the bulk of the district.

Please. Let us have representation. It is the only one we can possibly get.

MORE THAN THAT…are the appointments that he’ll be able to make as County Supervisor. Think about the Republicans he’ll appoint to the County Planning Commission, the very important Civil Services Commission, LAFCO, The Air Pollution Control District, he himself will be on the Transportation Commission, The Metro Board, his influence on the Coastal Commission and his bringing more heavy Sacramento influence to Santa Cruz?

If you’d like to really help Stop Bruce McPherson:
here’s a sign up page….
And here’s a link to a donations page.

VINCENT PRICE & POE’S “The Raven”. See the film review below.

MICAH POSNER AND STEVE PLEICH’S WORRIES. The Santa Cruz City Council race is causing even more”buzz” than usual. Campaign money is getting really tough to collect and while both Micah Posner and Steve Pleich have pledged to specific spending limits they are wondering about whether or not Richelle Noroyan will do the same. My guess is that like Ryan Coonerty did, she’ll take everything she can get, developers, realtors, Business Council, et al.

A BOOK ABOUT TOM SCRIBNER’S STATUE. Marghe McMahon and husband Luke were in town last week. Marghe is the sculptress who created the Saw playing Tom Scribner statue now sitting in front of Bookshop Santa Cruz. She’s beginning a book on the facts and stories behind the creation, location, and politics of the statue. She and I were very involved in the early years of the Musical Saw Festival that Tom suggested as a way of financing the bronze casting of the statue up at UCSC. She and I topped each other last week with statue stories. How Eloise Smith (UCSC Prof. Page Smith’s wife) was completely against locating the statue anywhere downtown. City Council men Joe Ghio and Larry Edler fought hard to keep the statue suppressed due to Tom’s Labor Organizing background. Marghe and I talked about how Tom never played the saw for money on Pacific Avenue…just fun. And he was far from the best saw players, as we found out when sawyers came from all over the world to play at our Saw Festivals. Humphrey Bogart’s cousin Rene came here from France to play his saw and tap dance too…there’s more coming as soon as Marghe finishes that book. Remember where the statue used to be???



Once in a while I pick up calls from unknown area codes and phone numbers, usually a mistake. However the other day I was called by somebody saying they were from PG&E, but didn’t want to talk about Smart Meters. I’m on their “be last to install” list and expected an arm twisting, for that product.

However this was a sales pitch for … Appliance Insurance! The caller reminded me that appliances in the home break down over the years, and would I like to receive more information on their insurance plan. I declined. PG&E already has so much personal information on us, like when we buy our appliances, our ages, phone numbers, etc. Why is PG&E selling appliance insurance? Probably getting set up to use Smart Meter data they expect to see, matching customers, their ages, and when they bought their appliances. Aging customers are assumed by PG&E to be stupid, I guess.

I’ll continue to wait it out on Smart Meters; the deadline for opting out is this week. I’m not eager to pay the $75 to leave my existing meter alone and the extra $10 per month, so will wind up taking one, but will have it removed after the first glitch in service or unexplained increases in monthly bills. (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)

MR. DIETY & THE BELIEVING BRAIN. Kit Birskovich sent this threat to part of Santa Cruz.

PATTON’S PROGRAM. Gary talks about the CEMEX meeting happening on Wed. May 2. “Wednesday, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m., the Land Trust of Santa Cruz County will be holding a meeting in Davenport, at the Davenport Elementary School, to discuss the future of the 8,532-acre CEMEX property, recently acquired by a consortium of land trust and conservation organizations. The CEMEX property is the largest expanse of unprotected redwoods and wildlife habitat in the Santa Cruz Mountains, and is the largest private landholding in Santa Cruz County. It extends from the gently rolling hillsides along Highway One through steep, forested slopes reaching all the way to the ridgeline along Empire Grade. Conservation of the CEMEX property will link 26,000 acres of contiguous protected lands, and will provide a critical wildlife linkage in the face of growing impacts from both development and climate change.

Santa Cruz County residents have worked hard to preserve and protect the Santa Cruz County North Coast. Just recently, the California Coastal Commission took action to provide permanent protection for the former Coast Land and Dairies property. Protecting the CEMEX property, which is adjacent to the Coast Land and Dairies property, is the next step in North Coast conservation.

The stakes for the future of Santa Cruz County and the North Coast couldn’t be higher. I hope you’ll attend the meeting tonight in Davenport. There is more information at (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”

ANCHOR IN ANTARCTICA. Micaela Neus emails weekly from the Antarctic Peninsula.

My foreman during the last two summer seasons is a lesbian, kicked out of the Navy under the recently overturned “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell,” who worked her way up from a Boiler Mechanic and Maintenance Technician to become the Foreman of our entire Trades shop. We were the only two women in the shop, a fact that caused us both to bond and to butt heads throughout the season. She shipped north on the last boat, and her departure made me consider how many women down here work in the trades compared to up north.

Once again, Antarctica offers a stark contrast to the ways things are done in the Real World. When I worked as “overhire” for trade unions installing conventions at the Moscone Center, I could look across the hall at hundreds of workers and count only a dozen women. We still form the minority on ice, but the gap between the genders is more like a country ditch than a grand canyon: you can get across with a little effort if you don’t mind some muck on your boots. Our Corporate Sponsors would tell you that their non-discriminatory hiring practices can account for the greater equality, but I’m not convinced. Those same practices haven’t done much to change things in the States. More likely, several aspects of ice culture come together to create the conditions for women to move into the trades.

First, I would say our general respect for self-reliance and grit. We have more work than people, and no time for slackers. If someone does the job well, with good cheer and few complaints, then they tend to keep the job. For this reason, the ice has fewer ideological barriers to women entering the trades and less tolerance for harassing them once they arrive. Not that you won’t meet a jerk or two, naturally, but usually the men don’t like them either.

Of course, women have to apply to the jobs in order to get them. People want to work with familiar faces, and the social intimacy of station life gives everyone equal access to that kind of networking. If a woman gets a job and likes it, the word starts to spread and demographics shift. Women now dominate some very physically and mechanically

challenging departments, such as Fuels and Cargo, that are absolutely male-dominated up north. A huge percentage of the Marine Technicians (a grueling job on the research vessels) is women and has been for years.

Perhaps one day some of the foremen I worked for in San Francisco will pick up some of these subtleties (so obvious to trades women), and share them with the world in general. I’m doing my part, I hope. I’ve moved over to Logistics (cargo and supply) for the winter, a dramatic shift from my days at an Apprentice Mechanic. We’re an all-women team—even though there are only two of us!

(Micaela Neus works for Raytheon Polar Services Company as a utilities technician and is currently living at Palmer Station, located on Anvers Island, Antarctica until at least October 2012.

VINTAGE DE CINZO. Mountain Lions aren’t exactly a new problem…scroll downwards a few pages…

EAGANS DEEP COVER. Tim Eagan versus Mitt…and facing the people. See below.

LANDAU’S PROGRES. Saul’s weekly contribution is “The Last Summit-Thank God” In it he states, “Fidel Castro scored one big political victory last week without speaking or even leaving his house – and one sort of amusing little win. By a lopsided score at the Summit of the Americas meeting in Cartagena, Fidel beat President Obama 31-2. The USA and Canada still want to exclude Cuba from future meetings, but the rest of the Hemisphere rejected the U.S. position. Excluding Cuba, most Presidents maintained (Ecuadorian President Correa and Nicaragua’s Ortega refused to attend this session because Washington insisted on excluding Cuba), would mean these Western Hemisphere countries would not attend future meetings. Read the rest here…

Saul Landau is an Institute for Policy Studies fellow whose films are on DVD from

NICKELODEON NEWS. Nickelodeon owner Jim Schwenterly told me last Thursday that his Aptos Cinema lease was extended to 2013 then it becomes the new Safeway. He added that it’ll be a rough go until then because real “FILM” film is being so rapidly replaced by digital stuff, and that it costs $150,000 per theatre to install digital equipment. He said Europe will continue to use FILM film and digital stuff. The Nick continues to look better and better thanks to big time re-decorating. The re-decorator told me not to worry about the framed photos of local actors like Rory Calhoun, John Beal and Walter Reed. She promised that they’ll be back in an even better display as soon as possible.

LISA JENSEN LINKS. “This week at Lisa Jensen Online Express (, set sail for exuberant silliness with the new animated pirate movie. Also, here’s your chance to support local artists doing it for themselves with a festive spring bouquet of weekend art shows.” Lisa Jensen has been writing film reviews and a column for Good Times since 1975.

CORIOLANUS. Ralph Fiennes stars and directed this truncated version of Shakespeare’s play. It looks like “Hurt Locker” and was shot in Belgrade. Vanessa Redgrave plays Mom and Gerard Butler is excellent too. With the cuts and changes I’m not sure what the intent of the film is but it’s a fine action film, with obviously classic lines and internal conflicts.


THE RAVEN. Just because it’s recent, you have to compare this to Robert Downey’s Sherlock Holmes films… And John Cusack is way better. No laughs in The Raven and it’s only a bit nonsensical, and it’s a murder mystery that you have to figure out. Maybe you can , but I couldn’t. Go if you like murder mysteries set in early Baltimore.

DAMSELS IN DISTRESS. Three girl students in some east coast college head this very stylized comedy about coming of age, college age. Eccentric, quirky dialogue, forced delivery and kinky attitudes didn’t work for me and other critics loved it. Take you choice, go warned…and let me know what you thought.

SAFE. Another mindless, plotless, poorly edited, poorly conceived, bloody violent action film. Jason Stratham martial arts a lot in NYC to protect a little 11 year old Chinese girl from the Russian Mafia because she memorized a code…don’t go, or rent. It makes “Raid Redemption” look like a cinema masterpiece.

UCSC SITAR CONCERT. Here’s a rare chance to hear a master sitar artist. Ustad Shujaat Hussain Khan is perhaps the greatest North Indian classical musician of his generation. He belongs to the Imdad Khan gharana (tradition) of the sitar (lute) and is the seventh in the unbroken line from his family that has produced many musical masters. His style known as the gayaki ang, is imitative of the subtleties of the human voice. Khan is the son and disciple of master sitarist Ustad Vilayat Khan. He’ll be accompanied by

Samir Chatterjee on tabla. They’ll play Saturday, May 5, 2012 – 7:30pm – 10:30pm at the Music Center Recital Hall (UCSC) and it’s presented by The UCSC Music Department. More details

MUSIC IN MAY 2008. Here’s a clip of some Dvorák’s Romantic pieces that we heard 4 years ago.

MUSIC IN MAY. Music In May is now a classical tradition in Santa Cruz. Their concerts the last years have been simply excellent. They’ll be happening May 11 and 12. For details go here!

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. Ruth Rabinowitz will tell us about Domestic Violence and Children’s’ Art on May 1st. Then Dr. Michael Shorenstein will update us testosterone, diabetes, colonoscopies and that sort of thing. May 8th has Orville Cantor working hard to save UCSC’s Student Family Housing. On May 15th Gina Hayes will talk about the UCSC production of Chang & Eng. Rachel Goodman will bring us up to date on Tannery Doings on May 22. May 29 has Ken Koenig discussing details of the annual photography exhibit opening around that time at Felix Kulpa Gallery. 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 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. These are all from Shakespeare’s Coriolanus

“He’s a very dog to the commonalty“, “What’s the matter, you dissentious rogues,
That, rubbing the poor itch of your opinion, Make yourselves scabs?”,
and “Nature teaches beasts to know their friends”.


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Deep Cover by tim eagan.

Posted in Weekly Articles | Comments Off on April 30 – May 6, 2012