Blog Archives

April 6 – 12, 2022

Highlights this week:

BRATTON…No on Greenway, No on D, Cummings and Ami Chen, Tim Eagan’s book, Film critiques, Live Here Now. GREENSITE…on yet another riverfront development. KROHN…letters from Poland and about housing. STEINBRUNER…development, Capitola and preservation, chopping historic tree, Kaiser Site and housing, no on Greenway, Soquel Creek Water District snarl, Zach Friend at home much? HAYES…Teach your children well, Mountain Bikers Takers PATTON…What If? MATLOCK…A SLAP IN THE FACE, EARNS A SLAPlivehere ON THE BACK WITH A SLAP ON THE WRIST…EAGAN… Subconscious Comics and Deep Cover. QUOTES…”Easter”

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TRAINS IN BOULDER CREEK!! This was back in 1895 and part of the South Pacific Coast Railway. That’s Locomotive #5 or possibly #13. I can’t tell them apart from the old photos. Yes, they were primarily used to eliminate our forests.                                                        

photo credit: Covello & Covello Historical photo collection.

Additional information always welcome: email bratton@cruzio.com

DATELINE April 4

VOTE NO ON D AND GREENWAY (CONTINUED).
Once again many thanks to our kind and observant readers who contribute so much. Last week we received this…”Rail transit is competition for autonomous vehicles and the entire auto industry.   Freight by rail is competition for the job-killing self-driving truck industry. Koch Industries invests in both technologies, rail is their enemy. And check this out… 

Greenway and Koch Brothers, tied at the hip?  Did you know that Greenway’s official spokesperson Jack Brown is a lead developer at Waymo– a leader in self-driving cars and trucks?     And guess who pours money into that industry?    
    Guess.     
    Guess again.     
    Did you guess yet?
    
NO ON D…and Greenway continued some more. In case you need more “official reports on the woefully inadequate Greenway plot read what yet another reader sent in…

Independent Bay Area Transit Org Issues Scathing Greenway Statement

The Transportation Solutions Defense and Education Fund, known as TRANSDEF, is a non-profit environmental organization created by transit activists to advocate for better solutions to transportation, land use and air quality problems in the San Francisco Bay Area. TRANSDEF promotes cost-effective transit, Smart Growth, and market-based pricing as fiscally and environmentally preferable responses to traffic congestion. 

TRANSDEF read the county staff report analyzing the Greenway ballot measure and found it to be woefully inadequate. The negative effects of this measure on our ability to address the real transportation needs of our community is striking. We should all be aware of the consequences this deceptive measure will dish out. In their letter to the Board of Supervisors, TRANSDEF found more than eleven negative impacts to our county from the Greenway Ballot Measure. This includes blocking a key transportation corridor that could help reduce traffic and emissions.

“The [Greenway] Initiative would block the only non-highway high-capacity transit mode available to the County “to reduce automobile trips and congestion.” It would also block commuter rail’s ability to reduce the impact of weekend beach traffic.” – David Schonbrunn, President TRANSDEF

CUMMINGS VERSUS AMI CHEN.
The progressive left leaning/voting citizens of our Santa Cruz County are debating and even arguing over which candidate to support for Third District supervisor. The Democratic Socialists of America Santa Cruz Chapter held a debate between Justin Cummings and Ami Chen Mills. But there was no endorsement because the meeting was so full. The endorsement or support will happen at their next meeting. Cummings made some votes earlier since being in office that are still disturbing to many voters. His vote to support the building a new library and parking garage, his vote on the Dream Inn expansion project, and to not cut the police department budget cloud his image. I’m going to email him now about his present stands on those issues plus where he stands on the Greenway Rail Trail problem and what his take is on BLM’s plans for the Cotoni Coast Dairies National Monument. I’ll let you know next week what Cummings reply is/was.

TIM EAGAN TIME…
Support your local cartoonist! Tim Eagan has been using his time wisely during the pandemic. His first graphic novel, Head First, will be crowdfunding on kickstarter beginning March 30th. It’s based on his strip Subconscious Comics, and Tim says it’s the biggest single cartoon project he’s ever taken on. Support the kickstarter here!

Kickstarter is an all-or-nothing deal, and the campaign is only up for the month of April. If you are a Subconscious Comics fan, you need this book!

Be sure to tune in to my very newest movie streaming reviews live on KZSC 88.1 fm every Friday from about 8:10 – 8:30 am. on the Bushwhackers Breakfast Club program hosted by Dangerous Dan Orange.

SIN SENAS PARTICULARIES – “No Identifying Features”. (HBO MOVIE) (99RT). An exciting, revealing, deeply researched and tragic view of the lives of Mexican immigrants dealing with entry into and exit from the USA. A mother searches for he son who ran away probably to get to the United States. What she has to suffer under official hands is inhuman, illegal, and depressing and educational. An excellent film with superior photography.

YOU WON’T BE ALONE. (DEL MAR THEATRE) (93RT). A baby is stolen by a wolf-eatress and takes on the lives of many victims as she ages. It’s mysterious, violent, and takes place in a Macedonian village and countryside.  Noomi Rapace is just one of the lives the newly born takes over. It’s tricky, artsy, profound and also baffling. It’s not for the get happy film watcher.

SLOW HORSES. (APPLE SERIES). This opens with a spectacular car chase scene even though you’ve seen 1000’s on screen. It also lists Will Smith as exec.pdcr if that makes any difference. Gary Oldman is the crusty head of the official London authority and Kristin Scott Thomas works with him. It’s a well done spy drama at least as far as the first few episodes.

DEEP WATER. (HULU MOVIE) (37RT). Ben Affleck plays the hi tech rich husband who can’t stop his gorgeous wife from having multiple affairs for some reason. Tracy Letts is the beautiful, playful wife and together they create tension and unbelievability. The plot is full of holes, it happens in New Orleans and Oregon and no one needs to know more about this flop.

THE GIRL FROM PLAINVILLE. (HULU SERIES) (100RT). A very grim and tragic true story starring Elle Fanning and Chloe Sevigny. An 18 year old guy has severe mental problems and has a relationship (mostly online) with a witty, brilliant, self-confident girl. He considers suicide many times and to spoil this one she pushes him into actually killing himself. It takes place near Boston and it’s about her innocence or guilt that makes it so watchable.

JUVENILE JUSTICE. (NETFLIX SERIES). This South Korean drama features a very tight, tense woman judge takes on the details of the young offenders assigned to her court and both helps and hinders their cases. Well-acted, excellent production, and the judge becomes as vivid as a Sherlock Holmes. Watch it.

SPECIAL NOTE….Don’t forget that when you’re not too sure of a plot or need any info on a movie to go to Wikipedia. It lays out the straight/non hype story plus all the details you’ll need including which server (Netflix, Hulu, or PBS) you can find it on. You can also go to Brattononline.com and punch in the movie title and read my take on the much more than 100 movies.  

“SERVANT OF THE PEOPLE” (NETFLIX SERIES) (100RT) This great comic series was filmed in 2015 The reason it’s so watchable and enjoyable is because the star/lead in the series is none other than Volodymyr Zelensky himself …the president of the Ukraine. In the very first episode (they only run about 25 minutes) Zelensky is a history teacher who suddenly becomes President of the Ukraine. It’s funny, good humored and it gives us a chance to “know” Zelensky himself, who is a very likable, intelligent human being. If you stop to think about it we’ve had both body builder Arnold Schwarzenegger and astrology believer Ronald Reagan as our political leaders and where did those clowns get us? Zelensky is much more personable and talented then those guys. 

PSEUDO. (HBO MAX MOVIE) (5.7 IMDB) It’s Bolivia and we watch while a conniving taxi cab driver steals money, robs passengers and gets deeply involved in a plot to kill an important politician. There’s run ins between two gangs, lots of politics poorly explained, and plot holes like you wouldn’t believe. Watchable but unforgettable.

DON’T KILL ME. (NETFLIX MOVIE). (4.2 IMDB). Two teenagers in love go crazy and crash to death in a car flipover. They come back from their graves and seek revenge for some reason. They can only stay active by eating people. They are referred to as “the overdead” and there are no reasons why anyone should care (or watch this one).

MARILYN’S EYES. (NETFLIX MOVIE). (6.6 IMDB).This probing movie is titled a comedy but it probes deep and yet thinly into the lives of a mental health therapy group. Actors and real live people portray folks with Tourette’s syndrome plus mental and physical disabilities. I tried but couldn’t find anything comedic about this and watched about 20 minutes of only the first episode. 

MASTER. (AMAZON PRIME MOVIE) (75RT). An amazingly deep and dark portrayal of the racial prejudice found in a so called enlightened university near Boston. It’s been called a horror film by the distributors but the horror is really the fake and phony treatment by so many in our world today. It’s deeper than intended and better than predicted. Don’t miss it. 

COMPARTMENT NUMBER 6. (Del Mar Theatre movie) (96RT). A lonely young woman meets a rugged, rude, and mysterious man while she’s on her way to view petroglyphs in Russia. This is a beautifully told story of the two of them and how they react to their all too human touches while they share a tiny compartment onboard a train. It’s deep, touching, well-acted and expertly produced, do not miss this one 

THE WORST PERSON IN THE WORLD. (Returned to Del Mar Theatre) (7.9 IMDB). (96RT). Along with two Oscar nominations this is one fine movie. There are genuine laughs plus some painful scenes when we watch this near 30 year old woman go through the changes and questions that face her while being in and out of love. It’s a Norwegian film and the fifth one directed by Joachim Trier. You’ll recognize each and nearly every one of the dilemmas she faces in her bohemian social circle. Don’t miss it.

WE CRASHED. (APPLE TV SERIES) (NO RT) (7.0 IMDB). Based on true events Anne Hathaway and Jared Leto reenact the growth and prenominal failure of WeWork which was a high tech office rental space much like Ryan Coonerty’s NextSpace here in Santa Cruz. It’s partly funny but just another movie about startups in the tech age that fail but rob many people on the way to success and failure.

THE WEEKEND AWAY. (NETFLIX MOVIE). (50 RT) (5.6 IMDB). A gorgeous scenic tour plus a murder mystery all set in Croatia….which has to be a great place to visit. Two flashy longtime girlfriends meet again and one is found floating face down a bit later. Who dunnit? The taxi driver, the girlfriend, the landlord, the cop? Fine mystery and shows how developed Croatia is right down to the shoreline…unlike Santa Cruz so far! 

BAD VEGAN: FAME.FRAUD.FUGITIVES (NETFLIX SERIES) (100 RT). Sarma Melngailis is and was the subject of this completely absorbing documentary that beautifully details her rise to fame and fortune as the owner, operator, and main chef in her famous “Pure Food and Wine” restaurant in NYC. She talks about how she stole enormous sums of money from her employees to pay off a swindler she fell for. Bill Clinton, Alec Baldwin, and Howard Stern were among her faithful restaurant followers. Because she is so open and naïve we tend to believe and pity her in her on camera interviews. It’s a totally involving series, go for it!

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JEWEL THEATRE PRESENTS. Playing now through April 24 is “Remains To Be Seen”. Kate Hawley wrote the play and it’s a world premiere. Their program states…Every five years, a group of old drama department friends reunite. This year it’s at Jack and Clare’s and Clare is dreading it. Are these old friends really still friends, or are they just old habits drained over the years of any genuine fondness or rapport? It is certain that everyone will drink too much and Gordon will talk too much and Sissy will bring her damned little dog when she was specifically asked not to. On top of it all, recent widower Stuart is bringing a mysterious new love. What’s happened to their dreams and old ambitions? Good actors as they may have been, they can’t prevent the truth of their lives from making an appearance.  It features Paul Whitworth and Mike Ryan. Go here for tickets and info… 

SANTA CRUZ BAROQUE FESTIVAL.

Their next concerts are; “Spanish Harpsichord- Folk to Classical”. It’ll feature Lillian Gordis and will be April 10 at 4 p.m. at the Holy Cross Church.

Then it’s “Music in the Parks, part 2” “Music of Mexico” featuring William Faulkner on Jalisco Harp and the Mariachi Eterno directed by Russell Rodriguez. They’ll be at Laurel Park (London Nelson Comm. Center) on April 30 at 5:30 and May 1, 5:30 at Beach Flats Park. Free admission. 

CABRILLO FESTIVAL OF CONTEMPORARY MUSIC. Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music Celebrates its 60th Anniversary Season and Returns to In-Person Concerts 60th Anniversary highlights on July 24-August 7. They include the return to in-person concerts with three world premiere commissions; the live orchestral premiere of Jake Heggie‘s INTONATIONS: Songs from the Violins of Hope featuring mezzo-soprano Sasha Cooke and violinist Benjamin Beilman; and works commemorating women’s suffrage in America and exploring the recent impact of drought and wildfires in the Western United States.

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April 4

JUST THE BEGINNING

Once upon a time in a town called Santa Cruz, the above development proposed for the San Lorenzo River at Soquel and Front streets would have been unimaginable. Even without knowing that the market rate for heavy projects such as this one cause overall rents to rise and low-income workers to leave, such an out of character and out of scale monstrosity would have generated howls of protest, including from an elected city council. Then the state government stepped in with heavy boots, fur-lined by real estate interests and proclaimed that Santa Cruz will suck it up: that local control over land-use decisions is a thing of the past. 

This project from Swenson Builders will breeze through the process to join a long list of what the city calls “significant” developments. Some have already been approved, some like this one is in the works and many more are a twinkle in the Planning Department’s eye as the Economic Development Department courts property owners to sell, consolidate and kick out the long-time local businesses. Meanwhile back at the state level, that shifty bit of legislation called “a density bonus” is a bonanza for investors and does nothing to increase the supply of “affordable” housing here or elsewhere in CA. 

Here’s how it works. In Santa Cruz we have an Ordinance called the Inclusionary Ordinance that mandates a certain percentage of units in a large development be earmarked for below-market rate rents or sale price. That percentage was raised from 15% to 20% over objections from staff with a 4-3 vote when the council had a progressive majority of Drew Glover, Christopher Krohn, Sandy Brown and Justin Cummings. Meanwhile the state legislature, under the guise of providing more “affordable” housing ruled that if a developer agreed to provide a certain percentage of housing at below-market rates, the developer would get a bonus to go higher than the zoning allows. It would be illegal for a city or city council to deny the project or reduce it in size.

 At first blush that might seem reasonable. After all, who is not in favor of “affordable” housing even if it is not affordable to our local service workers. Here’s the deceptive part: the “affordable” number of units is based on the zoned height aka the base height and excludes the added height that comes with the “bonus.” At present the density bonus for this project is 50%, meaning the developer can raise the base height by a half while providing no extra “affordable” units. Talk has it that density bonuses of 100% are being worked out at the state level, meaning double the height with zero additional “affordable” units.

Let’s examine this project which doesn’t yet have a name. I could suggest one, but this is a family blog.

The base size of this project allows for a height that could accommodate 184 units of housing. Our Inclusionary Ordinance (20%) would require that 37 of those units be “affordable.” With the density bonus the developer can go as high as 89 feet (8 stories) for a total of 276 units with 37 of them being “affordable.” That pencils out at 7.5% “affordable”. A bonanza for investors and developers, nothing for increased “affordability.” 

The whole riverfront from the Soquel bridge to the Laurel Street bridge will be a wall of similar buildings, the last one being a high-end hotel. The goal of the Planning Department, the Economic Development Department and pro-development council members Brunner, Kalantari-Johnson, Meyers and Watkins is to extend this type of development with its pittance of “affordable” units beyond downtown, towards the Wharf to the first roundabout. Then there’s the eastside just ripe for investor picking. 

The 276 units in this development include 5 two-bedroom units, 102 one-bedroom units, 53 studios and 110 micro units, which reveals for whom the units are designed.

So, if local voices of protest are squelched by state law, why even bring this up? Because some cities are fighting back at losing local control and their city council members are better serving their community’s interests. Ours could join that effort with enough local pressure. Right now, the most active and vocal groups at council hearings are YIMBY, Student Housing Coalition and Monterey Bay Economic Partnership, none of which has any feeling for the soul of Santa Cruz, and all are pro-development with the obligatory crocodile tears for affordability. Then there are our elected representatives at the state level who have a spotty record on these state housing laws. They are hearing from only the pro-development groups.

Finally, there is the required “community” virtual meeting on this development. It will be held on Wednesday, April 13th from 5-6 pm. You can register for the zoom here. 

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 4

LETTERS

This week I turn my column over to an old friend from Poland. She wrote to me recently about the unfolding refugee crisis in Europe. It is tragic.

News from Poland, 

A Letter from Marta,45, a university professor and researcher

This is terrifying time. We can see victims of this stupid war everywhere now. There are many (thousands) people, refugees, mothers and children, elders coming to every large city in Poland. People organize help, go to the borders to transport the most deprived, prepare food at the help spots, clothing and blankets and so many other activities are undertaken. Many people offer their homes, rooms to stay. I am really proud how people act in this hard situation.

Unfortunately, the government support is not enough. There is a need for school, pre-school for children, work for their mums, psychological and health care for so many broken human beings.

In my girls’ school there is a temporary help and temporary room in the gym for 120 persons. These people will be relocated after 7 days. They are asked to agree for relocation to other countries in western or northern Europe. But it is difficult because of language problems or need to stay as close as possible to their husbands and sons who are in Ukraine. We try to help there as volunteers.

Karina my daughter, has Ukrainian twin classmates. She wanted to invite them during winter holidays to play (it was at the end of February). I chatted with their mum and she told me that they are in Ukraine for holidays. Luckily, they were in the central part and decided to come back. They spent 5 days in the car, two days at the border because of huge traffic. Now, they are safe. Uff!

I feel very bad. I feel like we watch his evil play on the TV screens, let him [Putin] destroy people lives, homes, hospitals, the whole cities. He doesn’t care about his people, about all the sanctions. If they don’t hit him directly and they will not stop him. Ok. He lost his black belt in judo – it might have hurt him. But that’s it. Yes, we are afraid of war coming closer and closer. The situation resembles 1939 so much. Don’t you think so?

We were just starting to recover from the pandemic crisis and now this. 

At the end of March and beginning of April I am going to Bergen (Norway) for Hydrozoan workshop. I will have a lecture there and meet my colleagues in the field. Two Russians were supposed to be there, but they cannot come because of the ban. This is also controversial. These people (athletes, musicians, scientists) will pay very high price for this war. Then, my family will come for few days and we will try to visit some scenic views there if the weather is fine.

Take care. 

Hugs, Marta

Video and TV

Oliver Stone’s, Ukraine On Fire, was recently banned from You Tube. Not sure why, but it does push against some party lines. Check it out here. Also, here is Oliver Stone’s mea culpa concerning some earlier statements he made about the Russian war on Ukraine.

Also, I will underline what Bruce Bratton earlier promoted, Voldymyr Zelenskyy in Servant of the People. Filmed in 2015 It is about a comedian who is elected to the presidency. It becomes very meaningful in that the character was really elected to be the Ukrainian president. It’s on Netflix and it comes in half-hour spoonfuls. I suggest trying to stick with the Ukrainian subtitles for maximum effect. 

“For the very first time, workers at Amazon   www.amazonlaborunion.org were successful in organizing a union at an Amazon facility. I congratulate them on their extraordinary victory. I believe it’s going to be a shot in the arm for this country’s labor movement”. (April 4) 

[Scary] Picture of the Week

“Monstrosity of Monstrosity” Meeting–530 Front Street Wednesday, April 13th, 2022 from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. You are invited to join the applicant, Swenson Builders, as they present the proposed mixed-use project located at 514, 516, 518, 524, & 530 Front Street. ZOOM LINK

direct zoom link

Chris Krohn is a father, writer, activist, and a Santa Cruz City Council member from 1998-2002 and from 2017-2020. Krohn was Mayor in 2001-2002. He’s been running the Environmental Studies Internship program at UC Santa Cruz for the past 16 years. On Tuesday evenings at 5pm, Krohn hosts of “Talk of the Bay,” on KSQD 90.7 and KSQD.org His Twitter handle at SCpolitics is @ChrisKrohnSC Chris can be reached at ckrohn@cruzio.com

Email Chris at ckrohn@cruzio.com

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April 4

HOW DENSE CAN THE COUNTY GET AND STILL BE LIVABLE?
What does 45 dwelling units/acre look like?  We’re not sure, but it likely means big changes for how life in our County as we know it will be.  Now is the time to speak up loudly for what you think matters. 

Last week’s virtual public meeting explained the Draft “Built Environment” chapter of the Draft Sustainability Plan and Code changes.  It was interesting.  The planners read from an obvious script of empty words, and many were left wondering what a 50′-tall commercial building might look like in our communities, and exactly where we might expect to begin seeing them if the Plan is approved?

Those participating via computer could take the occasional surveys responding to the information presented….i.e., “Which do you support?  Very dense development?  Very, very dense development?  Very, very, very dense development?”  There was not a choice for “None of the above.” and telephone participants could not even vote.

The good thing is that members of the public who want to speak are not restricted on time to speak, and can ask questions that the staff really does try to answer.  

The County finally removed the blocked access to the 2014 Sustainable Santa Cruz County Plan

This week (on Tuesday evening), the virtual public meeting will focus on “Transportation”

The Plan is generally a bunch of words that really don’t say much about what will actually happen, but take a look at this (pages 3-63)

AM-7.1.2 Rail Freight. Support the use of existing rail lines for freight and encourage commercial, industrial, and agricultural businesses to use rail freight.

AM-7.1c Work with the SCCRTC to continue to upgrade railroad crossings. (Responsibility: Public Works, SCCRTC)

AM-7.1e Continue and expand the use of discretionary permit conditions regulating the amount of bulk commodities such as sand, gravel, cement, and lumber that must be shipped by rail. (Responsibility: Planning Department) 

AM-7.1f Require commercial facilities located near existing rail to retain access for rail shipping facilities. (Responsibility: Planning Department)

AM-10.1b Install bicycle detector loops in all existing and proposed intersections when intersection improvements are made and support future technology that allows vehicles to detect the presence of bicyclists. (Responsibility: Public Works)

But what is this??? (page 3-65):

AM-8.1f Work with other cities in the County and the SCCRTC to develop a countywide regional impact fee for the improvement of regional and state highway roadway operations including improvements on Highway 1.

and on page 3-71…

GOAL AM-10.0 DATA + SMART INFRASTRUCTURE

 Invest in smart infrastructure and prioritize data collection, understanding that data is no longer just a tool, but rather a form of infrastructure.

Hmm….weigh in on these and other important issues, and attend as many of the Planning Dept. virtual meetings as you can.

DOES CAPITOLA CARE ABOUT HISTORIC PRESERVATION?
This Thursday at 7pm, the Capitola City Planning Commission will consider approving an application to demolish an historic home built in 1900…to make something bigger.  The agenda calls it “Does anyone on the Planning Commission care about preservation?  

Here is information about the historic bungalow at 1410 Prospect Avenue sent to me by a reliable historic resources informant, The west side of the creek was “Camp Fairview” developed by D.C. Feeley around 1890. Most of the little summer cottages were informally constructed as vacation cabins. Eventually the Hihn Company acquired the tract. But it was never included in an historic district and only a smattering of houses in “The Jewel Box” are in the city historic inventory. Only a handful have been saved from demolition as the land becomes outrageously expensive.”

Learn more about the charming historic neighborhoods in Capitola.

Maybe you can be a voice to ask why historic homes in Capitola are not being preserved?  Here is the April 7 Planning Commission virtual meeting link (see Item #4C on page 3 for the 1410 Prospect Avenue):

https://mccmeetings.blob.core.usgovcloudapi.net/capitolaca-pubu/MEET-Agenda-b4d4696765b84185ae665064621718a6.pdf

No plans showing what the applicant wants to build are included in the Commission agenda packet, but here is a link to the photos of what the historic bungalow looks like.

JUST CHOP THAT HERITAGE TREE DOWN

If it matters to you that our lovely Heritage Trees are preserved, you need to speak up this week, and here is why. 

The venerable Heritage Trees in our communities matter because they provide a sense of history, place and important ecological significance.  However, the Santa Cruz City Zoning Administrator will consider approval of an application this Wednesday morning to chop down a mature Monterey Cypress tree at 1307 West Cliff Drive that is 80″ in diameter, deeming it’s removal would be CEQA exempt as a minor land alteration, and therefore requiring no environmental review.

The amazing tree at 1307 West Cliff Drive is indeed having trouble, but it only has appeared in distress for the past year of drought.  No treatments to attempt to improve the tree’s health were recommended by arborist Kurt Fouts, and he could find no clear cause of the tree’s distress.

But Diedre Hamilton, consultant hired by the applicant to make sure the tree gets chopped down for who-knows-what-purpose is bringing this to the City Zoning Administrator, sans evaluation of impacts to nesting birds, roosting solitary endangered bats and Monarch butterflies, or aesthetic impacts to the scenic coastal corridor….just chop the tree down, and pay a paltry $300 bucks to make the City happy.

If it matters to you, please write the City of Santa Cruz Zoning Administrator, and participate in the April 6 10am virtual public hearing if you can

MORE BACKGROUND ON THE LARGE KAISER MEDICAL FACILITY AND AFFORDABLE HOUSING REQUIREMENT

It seems that the issue regarding the Kaiser Medical Facility and parking garage and re-zoning the land to eliminate 102 affordable housing units has been known to the County for two years. Take a look at this Memorandum from County Planning Dept. staff

So, where will those 102 units go, if the County is intent upon bringing in this monstrous Kaiser facility, without any public transportation routes to serve it, no water to give it, and traffic congestion that leaves everyone scratching their heads about how to solve? 

Contact County Supervisor Manu Koenig manu.koenig@santacruzcounty.us   and ask. 

ENVIRONMENTAL GROUP GIVES A “THUMBS DOWN” ON COUNTY ANALYSIS OF GREENWAY INITIATIVE (MEASURE D ON JUNE BALLOT)

I think it was right that the County Board of Supervisors voted to approve the citizen initiative to be placed on the June 7, 2022 ballot as Measure D, but it absolutely stinks that the Board accepted the deficient report analyzing the potential impacts and that Chairman Manu Koenig (former Greenway Executive Director) did not abstain from voting on the matter.

The County’s Report was vague and incomplete:

Bay Area Transit Org Issues Scathing Greenway Statement   

However, here we go for another expensive political battle at the ballot box.

Make sure you read things carefully!  

VIRTUAL TOURS OF THE RAIL TRAIL IN LIVE OAK AND APTOS

Last week, the Regional Transportation Commission (RTC) showcased the 2.2 mile-long areas of the Monterey Bay Scenic Trail that is set to be built between Pacific Avenue in Santa Cruz to the 17th Avenue area of Live Oak (Segments 8 and 9).  

This Wednesday, the RTC virtual tour will roll on down the tracks to virtually tour the trail’s 4.5 mile continuation from 17th Avenue to State Park Drive in Aptos.  There will be another virtual public meeting about this Segment 10 & 11 on April 13.

City of Santa Cruz, Public Works Projects: Coastal Rail Trail

Two Public meetings Coastal Rail Trail

Here is your chance to weigh in on how the Trail is built, how it connects to your neighborhood, and making sure to protect the opportunity for mass public transportation that could actually be happening right now.  This could accommodate bus conversions to allow existing Metro buses to travel on the rails.  That’s safe to do…Metro buses run adjacent to the existing bike lanes now.  Having them run near what would essentially be a protected bike lane (the Trail) would be safer than what is happening now while providing an alternative public transportation mode for those who are physically unable to ride a bike (think blind, low-vision, handicapped and elderly people). 

Critics of a possible public transportation that could make concurrent use of the rail corridor tracks seem to think there just would not be enough room for both, not even with the 12′-16′-wide pedestrian/bicycle pathway the RTC plans to build.  Hmmmm……..  What do YOU think?

WHAT A BIG HOLE AND PILE OF CONTAMINATED SOIL
Work began on the Parade Street connection to Soquel Drive in Aptos Village.  It seems the track replacement and construction work will go through the summer.  In order to replace the track ballast, crews excavated contaminated soil and seem to be storing it on the Phase 2 Aptos Village Project area, behind the developer’s construction trailer.  Hmmmm…..  I wonder if County Environmental Health Services is watching?  Call 831-454-2022 and ask.

Excavated railroad bed (not much dust control, is there?)

Stockpiled contaminated soils from railroad bed excavation.

JUST DRILL IN THE MIDDLE OF THE ROAD
Soquel Creek Water District continues to snarl traffic and disrupt businesses with their feverish work on the Modified PureWater Soquel Project throughout areas of Santa Cruz, Live Oak, Capitola and Aptos.  In addition to wholesale trenching, I am amazed to see the District drilling monitoring wells right in the middle of busy Park Avenue.  

It seems the District has figured out a cheap method of installing wells that will monitor the flow of treated sewage water pressure-injected into the pristine waters of the Purisima Aquifer.  The District wants to pump that recycled water out again after a few weeks and sell it to their customers to drink.  The costs are unbelievable, and the energy demand of the Modified Project has tripled since the District Board certified the Final EIR in 2018.  

I’ll bet you didn’t know that, did you?  No…The Soquel Creek Water District staff and Board have refused to hold public comment periods on those major modifications to the Project, and won’t even put the EIR documents on display at the Capitola Library.  Maybe sneaky actions like that caused them to NOT get any “Transparency Awards” from the State Special Districts Association?

Link to the Draft EIR

and the vague and circuitous Responses to Comments in the Final EIR certified in December, 2018

Link to the 2020 Major Project Mofifications
Link to the 2021 Major Project Modifications


Park Avenue, near Soquel Drive in Aptos.

WATER FROM THE AIR (NOT THE SEWER)
Wouldn’t it be great to extract water from the foggy air, using solar energy, and get clean drinking water at a low cost? Take a look at this farm in the Bay Area that is doing just that!

You can do this, too!:

Making Water on My Roof for 1 year – Source Hydropanel Review 

REPEAL THE DEATH TAX
State legislators tricked voters into narrowly approving Proposition 19 in November, 2020 elections.  Sadly, many who voted in favor of this did not read the language tucked in that removed the ability of parents and grandparents to pass down their family property to their kids and grandkids without it being taxed at market rate values.  Properties put in trusts also lost all protection.

“California’s County Assessors recognized immediately the damage inflicted by the new law. Los Angeles County Assessor Jeffrey Prang bluntly stated in a commentary for the Santa Clarita Signal that, “Proposition 19 may actually drive working-class families of modest means into selling their homes, family farms as well as other property to avoid an enormous unintended tax burden because the property faces reassessment.”

Repeal the Death Tax – Urgent Action Alert for Taxpayers

If you want to sign this petition, let me know, or come to the Cabrillo Farmer’s Market on Saturday. 

WELL, HOW WOULD I KNOW?
I received an anonymous letter from a Bratton Online reader, chiding me for stating that County District Supervisor Zach Friend is not available because he is hanging out with his wife, Tina Friend, in Coronado, where she has a new job.

Here is what the anonymous letter stated:

“Every week in the Bratton Online column, I read some disparaging remark from you about Zach Friend being in Coronado all the time.  You should get your facts straight and not print lies. If you had taken the time to get the truth, Zach is a full-time, stay at home dad taking his little boy to elementary school in the Soquel area every day.  He is with him full-time during the week here in Santa Cruz County.  Sometimes, he flies down on week-ends to Coronado but he is in Santa Cruz County for most of the time…Instead of spreading false information, you should respect a man who is so committed to his child.”

I sure wish the anonymous reader would let me know how they are so privy to Supervisor Zach Friend’s private life.  The comments I have made in my recent blogs were based on information from respected elected individuals whom I trust and that have inside information from meetings that Supervisor Friend attends ….always on Zoom.  I personally do not stage myself in surveillance of Supervisor Friend’s home in Seacliff, but it seems the anonymous writer does.

More information, please.  And explain how a full-time Dad can also be a full-time elected County Supervisor, accountable and responsive to his constituents?   Hmmm…..

GO SEE THIS AMAZING ARTWORK!
Your visit to the County Government Building at 701 Ocean Street is now greatly improved by the wonderful youth artwork displayed on the 1st and 5th floors.  Over 450 pieces of art from schools countywide are on display now through May 13, with the First Friday Artist Reception scheduled for May 6, 4pm-7pm. I think this is the best display I have seen in years, and really appreciate the work the Santa Cruz Arts Council staff has done to make it happen.  Bravo!

MAKE ONE CALL.  WRITE ONE LETTER.  SPEAK UP FOR WHAT MATTERS TO YOU.  JUST DO SOMETHING THIS WEEK, AND MAKE A BIG DIFFERENCE.

Cheers, Becky

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. She ran again in 2020 on a slightly bigger shoestring and got 1/3 of the votes.

Email Becky at KI6TKB@yahoo.com

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April 3

TEACH YOUR CHILDREN WELL 

Five shovels, five rakes, and ten of us sweating and smiling as we worked to restore trails in UCSC’s Upper Campus Natural Reserve. For a few years in the mid-1990s, UCSC undergraduate volunteers joined me, Campus Reserve Steward, one Saturday a month to reverse the harm that hundreds of mountain bikes were causing. We spent the most time along 7 Springs Trail and the Interpretive Trail. Both trails were off limits to bicyclists and clearly signed; they still are. These are very sensitive ecological areas replete with wetlands, springs, and highly erosive soils. They have been set aside for teaching and research, visited by classes and sites of long-term forest research. While we worked, we frequently encountered bicyclist after bicyclist, some skidding to avoid hitting the volunteers. Our team was trained and eager to inform the bicyclists about the trails being closed and why. More than half of the bicyclists were aggressive and unfriendly, unwelcoming to such an interaction. We were yelled at, called all sorts of names, and there were occasional threats of violence, and even spitting. I was thrown to the ground and stepped on once by a particularly aggressive individual. Our work to close the trail was regularly and expertly vandalized and signs frequently defaced. This is a dominant culture of mountain biking. These instances are not outliers, the behavior far too common. I have been hearing similar stories from many people for years. Once, I told a person with his son that I would call a ranger if they jumped a gate headed into a closed, sensitive natural area. He responded, “I AM A RANGER!” And I recognized him as one of the head rangers for State Parks…and off he went, a fine example for his son.

Givers Vs. Takers

I recommend reading Daniel Quinn’s book “Ishmael”; one of the things I recall from the book is a characterization of humans as being either “givers” or “takers.” Santa Cruz County has been fortunate to have a historic giving culture. A very large percentage of the County has been set aside as parks or is stewarded by large private landowners who take very good care of their land. There is little area for urban sprawl, but now we are facing the next biggest threat: natural areas recreation, one of the top threats to biodiversity on the planet. Leading the assault are trails advocacy groups, some of which have been at this for decades. There will apparently never be enough new mountain bike trails for the funders of these groups. These groups and others like them around the world are being funded by industry through organizations such as the Outdoor Industry Association. Mountain biking trails-building volunteers working for these advocacy groups are spending their free time expanding corporate profits while repairing a small fraction of the damage they’ve collectively caused with their thrill-seeking sport. These are what Ishmael would call ‘takers.’ Together, mountain biking (aka ‘trails’) advocacy groups and the outdoor recreation industry are pressuring every public land management agency in the Bay Area to expand mountain biking trails in an apparent bid to turn every inch of natural area into a high-speed playground, maximizing profits at the expense of the wildlife and the quiet walks once enjoyed by families with small children, bird watchers, and contemplative hikers. On this subject, someone urged me to consider Hanlon’s razor: “Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.”

The Corruptors’ Rule: Keep Them Stupid

I suspect that a fraction of those building new trails at Cotoni Coast Dairies innocently think they are doing the right thing. The groups organizing these events certainly won’t educate the volunteers about the dubious nature of their work. They won’t share with them the long and expertly crafted critiques of the park’s planning process by the region’s leading biologists. They won’t tell the volunteers already riding mountain bikes on the trails that a broad coalition of conservation groups oppose using the trails before a biological baseline is collected. They won’t tell the volunteers that their sponsoring group has, without expertise, testified in contradiction to conservationists during the planning process in an apparent bid to gain points, and a sole-source trail building contract, with the BLM. The volunteers, knowingly or not, have become active participants in the commodification of nature. So, they are “takers.”

Our Chance

Conservationists (aka “givers”) point out that we have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity at Cotoni Coast Dairies to collect a biological baseline before trail use commences. With this baseline, we can better understand how trail use affects wildlife, plant communities, soils processes, and the spread of invasive species. The property has been very lightly visited by humans for more than 100 years. Because the property is designated as part of the California Coastal Monument and as part of the federal National Conservation Lands network, there are extensive policies that support and even require such a baseline…this level of policy support is absent with any other conservation land in the County. Do the volunteers building trails know that, through their work, they are supporting BLM in shirking critical land conservation responsibilities?

Snap!

I have put these arguments to volunteers of trails groups working at Cotoni Coast Dairies and have been reminded of a series of fallacious arguments that have been trotted out for decades. The most common statement is: “It’s a done deal, trails were approved and are under way, get over it!” This statement ignores the ongoing and active appeal to the planning process by a coalition of conservation groups. And, even without such an appeal, the statement overlooks the need to manage trails forever and land management agencies’ responsibility to adaptively manage trails to avoid impacts to protected natural resources and user conflicts that would favor certain user groups (such as mountain bikers). 

Avoid the Trap

In a bid to trap the unwary, some of the leaders of the trails advocacy groups have suggested that their groups are ‘conservation’ groups. If you are confused, ask the leaders of these groups about what is ‘enough’ and what is ‘too much?’ For instance, when will there be ‘enough’ mountain bike trails? What specific metric would indicate too much soil erosion on a given stretch of trail? What, specifically, is too much user conflict- such as how much displacement of families with small children who fear their 3-year-olds getting hit by mountain bikes (like one person recently reported to me)? How specifically will we know when there has been too much wildlife loss due to natural areas recreation? If the trails advocacy group truly had a conservation platform, they would have answers, created through methods of carrying capacity analysis and they would be able to offer threshold limits of acceptable change (‘enough’ or ‘too much’). I have long interacted with these groups, and this is where I see evidence favoring ‘malice’ instead of Hanlon’s razor ‘stupidity.’ Through this kind of experience, one can discover which groups are primarily interested in the commodification of nature, and are, thereby ‘takers.’

Past Evidence

In the 1990’s, one of these trails advocacy groups began their ugly but organized, well-funded campaigns to expand mountain biking trails in this region. I was at the table when the group negotiated the opening of the U-Con trail from UCSC to Henry Cowell. They promised volunteers to close and keep closed the myriad of unsanctioned trails bleeding tons of sediment into the San Lorenzo River; they said that they would post volunteers at trail heads to “self-enforce” closure. They did no such thing. I was also there when mountain biking representatives showed up at the first Gray Whale Advisory Committee meeting, having worked with State Parks for a year to prepare detailed plans for an extensive network of new trails through that property (now part of Wilder Ranch State Park) without any understanding of/interest in the extensive areas with sensitive ecology and erosive soils. Because of their intransigence at coming to agreement with Parks and the Committee, there is still no long term trails management plan and no plan for protecting critical sensitive species. A group consulted with me when Nisene Marks State Park General Plan was being drafted and mountain biking advocates were aggressively advocating for more mountain bike trails, in contradiction to permanent deed restrictions against such use….wasting extensive State and private resources and, once again, needlessly dividing our community. More recently, I countered a mountain biking group publicity campaign that sought to educate the public falsely about the ‘need’ for more mountain bike trails because of the purported paucity of such in the County. After correction, they walked back the campaign and it subsequently disappeared. These situations are, in my opinion, more evidence of ‘malice’ rather than ‘stupidity.’

We are Winning

Despite all of this, the ‘givers’ are winning, pushing forward protections for Nature in parks around Santa Cruz. We realize that the vast majority of us want healthy wildlife AND access to natural areas where we can recreate without fear. We reject the politics of division that those whose object is the commodification of nature so enjoy. Together, we won protections for Nisene Marks State Park. We expanded protections prohibiting mountain bikes in extensive wilderness areas of Castle Rock State Park. We created extensive Natural Preserves at Wilder Ranch State Park, thwarting miles of new mountain bike trails. We have (thus far) maintained prohibitions against mountain biking on single track trails at UCSC. A coalition of conservation groups has recently made great headway in improving the poor recreational planning at Cotoni Coast Dairies. With community support, the San Vicente Redwoods conservation coalition is enacting the most progressive recreation and conservation adaptive management regime our region has ever seen. Expanding awareness even forced one mountain biking advocacy group to change their name to seem more PC. And soon, we may have Congressional representative Jimmy Panetta instead of Anna Eshoo- a massive step forward in leadership to better manage the impacts of natural areas visitors to our communities and to wildlife. I have been fielding so many requests to help on these issues that I can’t keep up. Together, we are turning the tide: there is hope that future generations will be able to enjoy peaceful strolls and see sensitive wildlife in our natural areas, after all.

Your Time

Meanwhile, when you consider how to spend your outdoor volunteer time, focus your attention on groups that know how to help you to truly become a ‘giver’– groups like the Peninsula Open Space Trust, the Land Trust of Santa Cruz County, and the California Native Plant Society. 

Grey Hayes is a fervent speaker for all things wild, and his occupations have included land stewardship with UC Natural Reserves, large-scale monitoring and strategic planning with The Nature Conservancy, professional education with the Elkhorn Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve, and teaching undergraduates at UC Santa Cruz. Visit his website at: www.greyhayes.net

Email Grey at coastalprairie@aol.com

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April 3

#93 / What If?  

Both The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times have lent their pages to columnists who are making a rather “upbeat” appraisal of what has been happening in Ukraine – at least upbeat with respect to seeing the Russian invasion of Ukraine as a test of whether democracy or autocracy is the stronger and more successful political system. 

On Wednesday, March 30, 2022, writing in The Times, columnist Thomas Friedman has opined that Putin (and Russia) have made a big mistake. In fact, says Friedman, “Putin … got it all wrong.” Putin “overestimated the strength of his own armed forces, underestimated the willingness of Ukrainians to fight … and misread the willingness of the West to unite to support Ukraine.” The way Friedman sees it, events have demonstrated that the Russian invasion of Ukraine is a kind of “case study” proof that democratic societies and democratic governments are almost always going to be stronger and more effective than autocracies. Presuming you can pierce the paywall, the following link will take you to Friedman’s column, entitled, “The Strongmen Follies.”

Holman W. Jenkins, Jr., writing in The Wall Street Journal – and writing on the very same day as Friedman – arrives at pretty much the same conclusion. His column is titled, “Putin’s Crisis of Authoritarianism.” Jenkins says that “Russia’s debacle in Ukraine shows democracy isn’t the model that’s failing.” 

 I actually agree with both these columnists that democracy is inherently a stronger and more resilient form of government than autocracy, and for the reasons they suggest. However, there was another column in The New York Times on March 30, 2022, that does make one stop and think. That column, by Bret Stephens, is headlined as follows: 

What if Putin Didn’t Miscalculate?

It is Stephens’ suggestion that Putin may not, in fact, be a semi-demented and distracted dictator who has made a big mistake. Stephens thinks that Putin may well never have intended to take over Ukraine in its entirety, and that what Putin wants to do is to consolidate Russian control over the energy resources of the eastern portions of Ukraine, which Stephens says has Europe’s second-largest known reserves of natural gas. Energy dominance, not the mystic reunification of the entirety of the Russian-speaking world, could be what Putin is really shooting for. If that’s the actual goal, says Stephens, Putin’s invasion may well work out quite well for him. 

It is always wiser to treat one’s adversary as a “canny fox, not a crazy fool.” That is Stephens’ advice, and that is pretty good advice, it seems to me. Evaluations of the invasion of Ukraine, premised on the belief that Putin and Russia have made a big mistake, could be significantly off the mark. 

What is not off the mark, in my judgment, is the fact that the horrors of what is happening in Ukraine – visible to us now in a way that similar horrors that the United States itself perpetrated in Iraq were not – indicate that the world’s efforts to end this invasion must be carried out under the banner, “Never Again.” The United States can use this occasion to concede that it, too (and maybe more than any other country) has used military means to try to achieve goals it thought important, and that this way of trying to achieve national objectives is not only a failure, as strategy, but it morally unacceptable. 

The nations of the world (and that definitely includes the United States) need to abandon the idea that military might is the way to guarantee peace and stability. It is not. Ukraine proves it. If we didn’t see this before, we see it now.

The world has a pressing, global challenge to confront – global warming and climate change. The United States is the only nation in the world that can credibly call upon all nations to start demilitarizing, and start investing their resources, now spent on armies and armaments, in the actions that may succeed in averting the global catastrophe that we know is looming before us. But, of course, we can only do that when we repurpose our own military spending, and give up the idea that the United States, instead of the United Nations, should be making decisions about how the world should work.

Democracies can adapt. Democracies can change. Jenkins and Friedman are right about that, and now is the time we need to prove it. 

Gary Patton 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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April 4

A SLAP IN THE FACE, EARNS A SLAP ON THE BACK WITH A SLAP ON THE WRIST…

The headlines this week pushed the Ukrainian dilemma, and domestic politics below the fold in most newspapers, and below the computer frame as well, covering the ‘Oscar Slap’ heard ’round the world. Seems that a lot of slapping was going on that merits more attention, however. Rep. Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez called for Justice Thomas to step down after revelations of his wife’s emails during the J6 insurrection to overturn the 2020 election, or for an investigation into Justice Thomas’ attempted blocking of key information from the National Archives as requested by the House January 6 Committee, which could lead to his impeachment. A multitude of calls for his resignation, recusal from any J6 decisions, or impeachment have been met with silence by the Thomas duo, but has stirred a hornet’s nest of attacks by right-wingers who value the judge’s presence on the Supreme Court. Prepare to duck!

In an essay by Mehdi Hasan of MSNBC, he questions why Pelosi and House Democrats are sitting on their hands regarding impeachment, a rules process paralleling that of prosecuting a President. Many fear that the lifetime appointment of Court Justices would impede such a move, although the Constitution is clear on the matter, calling for a ? majority vote of the Senate to convict, and enforce removal. Hasan brings up the case of Samuel Chase, who served for nine years, and was impeached in 1804 on eight charges by the House, but even the Senate dominated by Thomas Jefferson’s Democratic-Republicans was unable to convict. Chase had a prominent résumé, his signature being on the Declaration of Independence, a member of the Maryland General Assembly, member of the Continental Congress, and the eighth justice appointed to the High Court. He managed to make many enemies, being known as “a restless incendiary, a foul-mouthed and inflaming son of discord and faction,” and Chase was quick to hit back, calling his detractors “despicable tools of power, emerged from obscurity and basking in proprietary sunshine”…poetic!…how does that compare to “fake news!” and “not my type!” rebuttals?

So, if an impeachment proceeding with Thomas Jefferson at the helm was unable to see success, what does that say about our current situation? Chase was never accused of conflict of interest, or any violation of judicial ethics, only of being too partisan to rule fairly or impartially, and remains the only Supreme Court Justice to be impeached. Clarence Thomas, on the other hand, has never recused himself from cases involving a family member (wife ‘Ginny’) and her work, as have other justices. ‘Ginny,’ well-known as a conservative operative/lobbyist, heads a lobbying firm, being paid by far-right activist Frank Gaffney’s Center for Security Policy. The Judge never disclosed the money or the source of his wife’s income of $200,000, a key element in the required annual financial disclosure. 

‘Ginny’ also served on the board of CNP Action, a secretive right-wing group whose members pressured Republican lawmakers to challenge the election results in November 2020 by appointing alternate slates of electors. What are we to take from her activism toward a coup attempt, and undisclosed income sources, and her husband’s non-recusal from cases that relate directly to her participation? It seems blatantly apparent that Justice Thomas is violating ethics, and has conflicts of interest; and while our justices are not bound by a formal judicial and ethics code, we expect them to regulate themselves, even as Thomas denounces the mounting criticism. Did you feel that ‘slap?’ And, did you feel the other one? You shouldn’t have turned the other cheek! Be forewarned – ‘Ginny’ has her jackbooted thugs ready for your other two cheeks!

Judge Thomas should prepare for a new associate on the bench, with the upcoming vote to seat district Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, which looks to be a certainty after her experiencing such childish, amateurish and racist mistreatment by the opposition. Ted Cruz and others on the Senate Judiciary Committee vowed to get revenge for the Democrats grilling of Brett Kavanaugh in 2018, but the American public supports Jackson’s confirmation more so than recent appointees, with a 51% to 30% margin. There are more undecideds in the polls, perhaps as a result of less attention as compared to Kavanaugh’s more sexually-charged interviews. With a six-pack to go!

Trump and his minions continue their daily bombardment of emails to the unsuspecting, the fervent followers, the curious, and the F.B.I./I.R.S. (we wish), as the grifting continues for donations to his ‘possible campaign coffers’ or for membership on his Trump Social media site. He’s pulling in cash like a Banana-Republican dictator! The Washington Post’s Dana Milbank offered his experience with Truth Social, “so you don’t have to,” and comes up with some keen observations. After weeks on the waiting list, and numerous glitches, he finally gained access, to discover that Hunter Biden is responsible for bio-labs in Ukraine, which were put into operation by the CIA, after George Soros funded them. Or this – the COVID-19 pathogen was not originated in China, but in Shpyl’chyna village in Ukraine. Another shocker – Russia’s war-crimes were staged! And Joe Biden is a pedophile, a money launderer, with proof ‘evidenced’ by poorly-Photoshopped characterizations of him and administration appointees. Would you believe Satanic rituals by the ‘Deep State,’ attacks on Disney, and plenty of ‘Lets’ Go Brandon’ marketing? Check out Dana’s April 2 contribution on the Washington Post website for a more complete admonition to steer clear of Trump’s cesspool. 

And below the fold in Section B you could probably find the announcement that the human genome has been fully mapped, over two decades after the initial results from the Human Genome Project were released. The HGP remains the largest collaborative biological project in human history, studying the molecules that make up the set of genetic instructions for biological organisms. From these studies scientists attempt to understand the functions of each gene, with resulting work on treatments for a wide range of disorders. But, the study concludes that 8% actually remains undescribed or unexplored…wait! What? A couple of good places to start might be in the halls of governance in Washington, D.C., or at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences in L.A. Both places seem to be a bit more slap-happy than necessary, and surely the full genome would be decoded in short order, if not blown to smithereens. 

(Dale Matlock, a Santa Cruz County resident since 1968, is the former owner of The Print Gallery, a screenprinting establishment. He is an adherent of The George Vermosky School of journalism, and a follower of too many news shows, newspapers, and political publications, and a some-time resident of Moloka’i, Hawaii, U.S.A., serving on the Board of Directors of Kepuhi Beach Resort. Email: cornerspot14@yahoo.com

Dale Matlock, a Santa Cruz County resident since 1968, is the former owner of The Print Gallery, a screenprinting establishment. He is an adherent of The George Vermosky school of journalism, and a follower of too many news shows, newspapers, and political publications, and a some-time resident of Moloka’i, Hawaii, U.S.A., serving on the Board of Directors of Kepuhi Beach Resort. Email: cornerspot14@yahoo.com

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EAGAN’S SUBCONSCIOUS COMICS. View classic inner view ideas and thoughts with Subconscious Comics a few flips down.

EAGAN’S DEEP COVER. See Eagan’s “Deep Cover” 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. And remember to check out the Kickstarter for his new book!!

    “Easter”

“There would be no Christmas if there was no Easter”.  
~Gordon B. Hinckley

“At one time I smoked, but in 1959 I couldn’t think of anything else to give up for Lent so I stopped – and I haven’t had a cigarette since”.  
~Ethel Merman

“Somehow we just don’t make the same boisterous fun of Holy Week that we do of Christmas. No one plans to have a holly, jolly Easter”.     
~Frederica Mathewes-Green

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Taylor Hawkins passed away recently, and that is very, very sad.


COLUMN COMMUNICATIONS. Subscriptions: Subscribe to the Bulletin! 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!), and the occasional scoop. Always free and confidential. Even I don’t know who subscribes!!
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