Blog Archives

April 8-14, 2019

Highlights this week:BRATTON…UCSC’s Book-burning revisited. GREENSITE…on Wiener event. KROHN…Highway 1 & 9 and eminent domain, cell towers, Depot Park, Camp Ross, evaluating Jump Bikes. STEINBRUNER…City Water Supply, Soquel Creek Water rates rising, Environmental law suit support, drinking sewage water, Wieners Yimby event.PATTON…Drones and Death. EAGAN… “Brexit…briefly”. JENSEN…Hamilton happening and Mustang movie. BRATTON…Critiques Best Of Enemies and Pet Sematary. UNIVERSAL GRAPEVINE GUEST LINEUP. QUOTES… “Boardwalks”

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TRICKY DICK NIXON, COCOANUT GROVE, SANTA CRUZ October 3, 1950. This was the year Nixon got elected to the U.S. Senate, and went on to handle the Alger Hiss debacle.

Anyone have clues to the other two guys in the photo?

photo credit: Covello & Covello Historical photo collection.

BOATS BEACHING ON SAND. Let’s hope this doesn’t catch on here!!!
YOUNG SAMMY DAVIS JR. Better than Michael Jackson?

DATELINE April 8

BURNING OF 86,000 BOOKS AT UCSC. Yes it’s old news that the Science and Engineering library at UCSC — under the direction of its librarian Elizabeth Cowell — burned, destroyed, or got rid of 86,000 books (that’s eighty six thousand books). It was the summer of 2016 and somehow, even though the San Jose Mercury reported it, little note or reactions were made in public.. Go here to read the Mercury. The books were destroyed to make room for more study space. That is for more tables and chair footage. The value of those books was between two and six million dollars. In hindsight it was a symbol of “who needs books when we have the internet?” More than that, it’s still being argued that it was done in secret with no faculty or staff being notified. The Santa Cruz Sentinel stated on September 11, 2018, in a letter from Michael Nauemberg … “In his Sentinel commentary on drafting a blueprint for UCSC’s future, Chancellor Blumenthal enthused about its importance as a planning tool for the development of our campus. But at the time that we are celebrating the value of science, Blumenthal’s administration demolished our Science and Engineering Library collection, withdrawing about 80,000 volumes without any consultation whatsoever with our faculty and students. And in spite of a formal request by the faculty to stop further withdrawals of the remaining volumes, his administration is blatantly ignoring it, announcing instead plans for the future withdrawal of most of the remaining volumes from our library”.Michael Nauenberg, Santa Cruz.

More than that,  City on a Hill stated…

“Research professor Michael Nauenberg said the administration failed to adequately communicate the drastic changes to the library collection. While the administration did inform faculty the collection would be consolidated, Nauenberg said there was miscommunication and that the faculty did not understand the project’s gravity”.

But in spite of this resolution, on Feb 10, 2017, Chancellor Blumenthal signed a Science and Engineering Library Renovation, Business Case Analysis (BCA), without consulting any faculty or department chairs. Moreover, the author of this BCA, University Librarian Elizabeth Cowel, refused to release it to the faculty. For example, the Academic Senate Committee on Library and Scholarly Communication (COLASC) was not allowed to see the secret plan. The Chair of Physics requested a copy from Dean Koch, but was refused. Finally Professor Emeritus Michael Nauenberg made a California Public Records Act request to obtain a copy.

For his actions Michael Nauenberg had every one of his campus and teaching privileges and rights taken away. Campus parking, use of any UC facilities other than what the public is entitled to, his UC email address, everything.

To bring this up to date, the Chancellor has restored Mike’s emeritus status, pending the results of an academic senate Privilege and Tenure committee hearing. There are pages of facts, opinions, notes and details I could have linked. Let me know if you want more on this. As one of the ten chancellors who have run UCSC, we can only guess how Chancellor Blumenthal will be remembered.

April 8,YOU SAY YIMBY, I SAY NIMBY: LET’S CALL THE WHOLE THING OFF.
It was a who’s who of housing developers at the Why Say Yes To Housing event with State Senator Scott Wiener as keynote to promote his Senate Bill 50, the one that wrests zoning from local control and punts it to the state.

The event, moderated by Robert Singleton, Executive Director of the County Business Council and a city Planning commissioner, was tightly scripted. It allowed no questions from the floor and only 3 selected written questions.

The evening was kicked off with a slide presentation from YIMBY member and founder of Santa Cruz Workbench, Jamileh Cannon. It was all generic pro-development rationale until a comment caught my attention. According to Jamileh, “our housing stock is old, tired and dilapidated” and we need to, “re-imagine the type of city we want Santa Cruz to become.” Somewhat presumptuous for a newbie, I thought.

Wiener’s presentation was compelling if you accept his assumptions and premises which I don’t. He blamed the housing shortage on local control of zoning, which since the 1960’s has favored down zoning and single family homes. According to Wiener, such zoning has created a housing shortage since the state’s population has tripled and housing has not kept pace. There are 80,000 housing units built in CA each year, a far smaller number than in earlier decades. Much was said about density reducing carbon emissions but nothing about density displacing low- income workers and high tech workers’ lifestyles producing carbon gentrification.

City Plans for Urban Density Should Address Affordable Housing

The scale was weighted on the supply side as the source of the problem. Nothing about speculation or the demographic impact of building expensive high-rise units for hundreds of newly arrived single, high paid tech workers who in ten years may want one of those single family homes for their growing single family. Nor was water or traffic a problem according to Wiener since, “building housing does not increase the population.” This, despite the central question he posed: “Do we have enough housing for the people who live here now and who are coming here?” I may be overly logical but if people are here now they have some form of a house, unless they are houseless and let’s be real…all this development is not for them. No-where is it written that a town has to provide housing for people who are coming. I love that image: “we’re coming! start building!”

John Laird was in the audience and Wiener paid tribute to John, referring to him as a “friend.” It might be worthwhile asking John where he stands on SB50. The SF Board of Supervisors has voted against SB50 as currently written, citing the displacement of low- income workers among other concerns.

The evening ended with a panel of three, including the aforementioned Jamileh Cannon of YIMBY, Sibley Simon of Homeless Services and Kate Roberts, head of Monterey Bay Economic Partnership (MBEP).  Of the three, Simon seemed the only one aware of the contradictions involved. The well-endowed, well-connected, powerful MBEP is going to be a familiar presence at all upcoming hearings on development projects in Santa Cruz, as is the motivated local YIMBY chapter upon which Wiener heaped praise. This is a new ball game with well-funded outside backers heavily involved. We have our work cut out for us if we want to save what’s left of small-scale working class Santa Cruz.

“Awesome!” was the word used by the YIMBY representative to describe the proposed expensive Front Street/Riverfront apartments plus retail pictured here.  She added, “it’s going to be a fun five years.”

Rendition of the proposed Front Street/Riverfront mixed-use retail plus apartments.

Up to seventy feet tall.

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 8.LAST WEEK ON THE COUNCIL THIS WEEK

“A Taking?”
I missed last week’s city council meeting, but I am including the Cliff Notes version summary here. In “closed” then “open” session the city council voted to acquire by eminent domain part of the property where Central Home Supply now has its business. The idea is to widen the Highway 1 and 9 intersection, which is arguably one of the most chaotic in Santa Cruz. City Council adopted a resolution that made the finding “that public necessity requires the acquisition by eminent domain of the real property…” owned by the Santee family at 744 River Street and 708 River Street. I am not sure I would’ve voted to acquire by eminent domain this property, for two reasons: 1) I do not believe we need more asphalt at that intersection, and 2) it is a very significant action on the part of government, any government, to force a property owner to sell against their will. There must be a clear “public benefit.” Perhaps legally, the case for a “public benefit” can be made, but for me Central Home Supply is business Santa Cruz needs and benefits from and this forced property sale may very well cause them to leave town. They have another similar business in Scotts Valley, but…it’s in Scotts Valley.

Damn Cell Towers, Boxes, Small Devices, Conduits, and Polls
Verizon Wireless finally got their encroachment permit “for the installation and maintenance of underground conduits, vaults, at grade cabinets and wireless canister antennas mounted on utility pole at 117 Morrissey Blvd. within the City’s right-of-way.” This permit was turned down twice before by the city council, but a letter was recently received by the council from a Verizon suit threatening legal action. And, like most city councils around the state, we rolled over with the threat of costly litigation being the dagger hanging perilously over the head of our local government. At least Councilmember Sandy Brown stuck in a “friendly amendment” “regarding efforts by cities to modify regulations to make it difficult for Verizon and other telecom companies to install cell towers. ” Go Sandy!

Health-in-All?
Just the facts ‘mam…From the minutes of March 26th meeting: “Councilmember Mathews moved, seconded by Mayor Watkins, to approve the Health in All Policies Work Plan and $20,000 budget for consultants and materials.” Just sayin’! As Deep Throat advised Bob Woodward back in the summer of 1974: follow the money.

Lot 24
The evening meeting saw many dozens of neighbors fill council chambers to say NO to the use of the staff inspired Lot 24 for a homeless transitional camp. It is a parking lot near the end of Chestnut Street adjacent to Depot Park. I believe the council heard neighbors loud and clear. Personally, I am not sure I would’ve voted for it (and certainly NOT the other staff suggestion of putting an encampment in the Jessie Street Marsh!?! Not sure what the thought was there.) How about this as a tentative plan: 1) clean up Ross Camp using state money (part of the $10 million that came to Santa Cruz to address homelessness), 2) have a non-profit group come in and manage the camp, 3) hire social workers to perform a needs census, 4) open 1220 River Street campsite and find out who would move over to that camp, and at the same time keep a managed Ross Camp open with a reduced number of tent sites. What if we disbanded the Ross Camp immediately as some of my council colleagues wish to do (it’s also on the April 9th agenda)? Campers will move back to the site alongside Holy Cross, to the Pogonip, to DeLaveaga Park, and to other neighborhoods that have since seen their campers move to the Ross site. This item segue-ways into this week’s agenda…

This Week on the City Council
Item #7 SB 1 Road Maintenance and Rehabilitation Account, FY 2019-20. Senate Bill 1 was the 12-cents per gallon gas tax that passed in 2016 and had to be re-passed in 2018. Santa Cruz receives between $1-2 million per year from this tax. The council was sent a list of Public Works projects. It was their list and not the city council’s list. I have been asking for a while for a comprehensive list of what SB 1 funds can be used for. I have not yet received that list. I will ask again.

Item #10 (UBER) Jump Bike Contract Amendment #2.
These bright red bikes seem to be everywhere. People are using them. Is this program the unmitigated grand slam hit and sexy alternative to the gasoline engine vehicle that some are saying? We would like to think so; myself included, but like a certain policy pop culture buzzy-fuzzy word suggests, are these Jump Bikes feelings data driven? What are the numbers…of users, injuries, bikes left in the right-of-way, satisfied customers, where people are leaving bikes, i.e. most popular places to ride to…we want to see all of it? City Council needs to look at the data before approving any more contract amendments, electric outlets, or dedications of more SC public real estate to this endeavor. Many questions concerning this program need answers. Please, show the city council and the community the numbers.

Item #14 City of Santa Cruz Commitment for Civility Proclamation.
Sure, as long as it does not interfere with people’s First Amendment rights. I urge everyone to listen to this NPR piece “Charlottesville Debates Civility.

It’s about the Charlottesville, Va. city council. Seems that two African Americans were elected after a white supremacist killed activist Heather Hyer with his car in 2017 in a tragic political (madman) act. The radio piece concerns establishment politicians railing against the “incivility” of the new councilmembers.

Item # 15 Homelessness and the Gateway Encampment.
(see “Lot 24” above.)

P.S. I believe this item will allow members of the community who brought forward issues about possible location of homeless-houseless transitional encampments to see that their voices were heard by the city council. They perhaps changed the course of history in their neighborhood(s). It is a good feeling when as a member of the public you try and fight city hall and you end up feeling like someone in local government listened.

Item #1 City Council Work Plan and Strategic Planning.
As I mentioned last week, this council is coming up on five months being in office and still no “strategic” plan for the next couple of years. So, council will have the opportunity to plan to have a planning meeting. This agenda item is only to schedule a “strategic” planning session. Contact city councilmembers and let them know what they should be planning for…Affordable housing? An emergency homeless shelter and day-use facility? Enacting mitigations to climate change? A permanent home for the Farmer’s Market? A new downtown library which might crown a real civic plaza at Church and Center Streets? A city-wide composting program? A Human Rights Commission? Buying the Beach Flats Community Garden? Let the city council know what you would like to see…this is your government.

“The DCCC’s new rule to blacklist + boycott anyone who does business w/ primary challengers is extremely divisive & harmful to the party. My recommendation, if you’re a small-dollar donor: pause your donations to DCCC & give directly to swing candidates instead.”(March 30). (Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee =DCCC)
(Chris Krohn is a father, writer, activist, and was on the Santa Cruz City Councilmember from 1998-2002. Krohn was Mayor in 2001-2002. He’s been running the Environmental Studies Internship program at UC Santa Cruz for the past 14 years. He was elected the the city council again in November of 2016, after his kids went off to college. His current term ends in 2020.Email Chris at ckrohn@cruzio.com
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April 8SANTA CRUZ CITY WATER RECOMMENDATIONS
Members of the City Water Supply Advisory Committee (WSAC) studied the City’s water storage problems and ultimately released a report in 2015 with recommendations for solving the problem.  Conjunctive water use with Soquel Creek Water District was top priority.  The City Council approved the report and recommendations, and current Water Dept. Director Ms. Rosemary Menard has aligned work and investigations to support the WSAC report.  Last week, the current City Water Advisory Commission met jointly with the WSAC members, and reviewed the progress.

Several changes have occurred since the recommendations were approved, the greatest being that water consumption by City customers has stayed minimal since the mandatory restrictions that were imposed during the 2014-2015 drought were lifted.  This could be related to rate increases, but the demand forecast is flat for the next 20 years, and the new water supply total for planning has been reduced from 3.2 billion gallons/year to 2.6 billion gallons/year.  The model for the City to store water in the Purisima Aquifer assumes 3 billion gallons could be stored, with a 20% loss due to leakage into local streams due to increased groundwater levels.  The model did not analyze the recharge ability of the area for more than the City’s needs.

Other factors that have changed since the WSAC report is that the City has made, or is in the process of making, such as the Pasatiempo Golf Course now being irrigated with recycled water from Scotts Valley Water District, improvements to the Graham Hill Water Treatment Plant, and real progress on the Environmental Impact Report work regarding Water Rights Amendment for the San Lorenzo River (the City will be able to send more water to Soquel Creek Water District for conjunctive use and thereby allow the groundwater levels to rise naturally), and a Habitat Conservation Plan updated to clearly specify how much water must be left in the River for healthy fish and other aquatic populations.

The final factor that has altered possible water sharing agreements between the City and Soquel Creek Water District is the Climate Change Modeling for the area.  There are many different such models in use, but the one the WSAC report used is one of the more drier, hotter predictors for this area.  The MidCounty Groundwater Agency, where Soquel Creek Water District territory is, uses a different model.  Using that model, it does not appear that there would be enough water to supply both the City demand and Soquel Creek Water District demand 100% of the time, however, there would be enough

Water Supply Advisory Committee Recommendations | City of Santa Cruz
Here is a link to the Staff Summary of Recommendations
You can find a lot more information about what was presented here

SOQUEL CREEK WATER DISTRICT WILL DECIDE HOW MUCH EXTRA TO CHARGE CUSTOMERS
At their next Board meeting on April 16, Soquel Creek Water District customers will have a public hearing regarding which Stage of Water Shortage will be imposed this year, allowing the District to charge higher prices for water to reflect reduced revenue when customers conserve water.  The District has imposed Stage 3 Emergency Rates every year since 2015, even though groundwater levels are historically high in most areas of the Purisima Aquifer service areas.  Plan to attend this public hearing at 6pm in the Capitola City Council Chambers.

When I asked about the criteria of the Stages of Water Shortage and that the November 6, 2018 rate increase recommendations were to drop Stage 3 conditions if the new rate increases were adopted, the Conservation Manager commented, “Our water stage shortage keeps evolving.”  but noted that it looks like conditions are “close to Stage 0”.    Hmmmm…..

“WE HAVE NO CONTROL OVER THE AQUIFER OR THE RIVER”
Those were the words of Soquel Creek Water District Vice-Chairman Bruce Daniels when the Board was discussing the outcome of the information presented at the City’s Water Supply Advisory Committee (WSAC) and City Water Advisory Commission meeting on April 1.  Clearly, he is right.  Until Santa Cruz City’s Water Rights Amendment is finalized to allow water volumes reflective of the amounts taken from the San Lorenzo River to be sent to the Soquel Creek Water District and even Central Water District, only the amount needed by the City may be extracted.  However, that is in the process of changing, and may be approved within a year.

Interestingly, Soquel Creek Water District has no water rights to Soquel Creek surface water, which has been adjudicated, but could apply to obtain rights to take water during high-flow periods.  No one is talking about that option.

The issue of control over the aquifer is an interesting one, because Soquel Creek Water District has only “Junior Water Rights” to the Purisima Aquifer, and is allowed, BY LAW, only to extract and sell water that is in surplus of what the “Senior Water Rights” holders need.  When the aquifer reaches overdraft status, California Water Law specifies that Prescriptive Water Rights begin, and those with Junior Water Rights must stop pumping.

Here is the explanation from this website: https://aic.ucdavis.edu/events/outlook05/Sawyer_primer.pdf

Prescriptive rights do not begin to accrue until a condition of overdraft begins. Therefore, it is first necessary to determine when a condition of surplus ends and overdraft begins. The definition of overdraft was articulated by the California Supreme Court in 1975. There, the court held that overdraft begins when extractions exceed the safe yield of a basin plus any temporary surplus. Safe yield is defined as the maximum quantity of water which can be withdrawn annually from a groundwater supply under a given set of conditions without causing a gradual lowering of the groundwater levels resulting, in turn, in the eventual depletion of the supply. “Temporary surplus” is the amount of water which can be pumped from a basin to provide storage space for surface water which would be wasted during wet years if it could not be stored in the basin.

Once a groundwater basin reaches a condition of overdraft, no new appropriative uses may be lawfully made. If overlying users (who, as discussed below, have priority over appropriative users) begin to consume a greater share of the safe yield, the existing appropriators must cease pumping in reverse order of their priority as against other appropriators. Typically, however, appropriators continue extraction activities unless and until demand is made and/or suit is brought. If an appropriator continues pumping from an over drafted basin for the prescriptive period (which, as in other contexts, is five years) after the other users from the basin have notice of the over draft condition (through decline of groundwater levels or otherwise), then that appropriator may obtain a prescriptive right good as against any other private (i.e., overlying) user.

So, tell me, is Soquel Creek Water District illegally overpumping the Purisima Aquifer?    The Board just keeps accepting $55,000/Acre Foot of water required for new developments (like the 19-unit hotel in Seaclif on North Street) and claiming that Smart Meters will save 86 AcreFeet of water a year to justify the money grab.       Hmmmmm…..

PLEASE HELP FUND MY ENVIRONMENTAL LAW SUIT AGAINST SOQUEL CREEK WATER DISTRICT’S PLAN TO INJECT TREATED SEWAGE WATER INTO THE AREA DRINKING WATER SUPPLY

I am troubled by the District’s arrogance to inject treated sewage water into the aquifer that supplies drinking water to the MidCounty area, including private well owners and small water company customers.  The Board has repeatedly denied the requests to allow all Basin users to vote on whether this project, known as Pure Water Soquel Project, happens.  The Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the Project was deficient in many ways, and General Manager Ron Duncan refused to extend public comment periods for voluminous and complex documents when he had the ability to do so.

I have filed the Petition for Writ of Mandate against the District, not to extract money, but rather to insist that the District correct the violations I allege.  I have filed this with beneficial public standing, on behalf of the greater community and environmental good.  I am doing the legal research myself, because I cannot afford the $100,000 an attorney would require to do the job.

Can you help fund the nearly $3000 that the District is requiring that I pay them to obtain the internal communication history for the Project?  Also, I will have to supply written transcripts of the eight Special Board meetings that were held last year at unorthodox times and locations and were not recorded for the public not in attendance, but at which the Board and staff made critical decisions about proceeding quickly on the Pure Water Soquel Project, and how to fund it.

I have set up an account at Bay Federal Credit Union specifically for this law suit and would appreciate any amount that you or others you know might be able to contribute.  Here is the account #33799357.

You can also send me checks directly, with a notation “CEQA Legal Action”:

Becky Steinbruner
3441 Redwood Drive
Aptos, CA 95003

The first court hearing will be sometime this summer.  Thanks!

YIMBY SANTA CRUZ EVENT

I attended the event last Friday, where Senator Scott Wiener was the keynote speaker.  He explained why it is so important to wrestle away significant local control over land use issues.  Essentially, local people are not qualified to figure out how to fix housing problems, and in many cases, it has only made the problem worse to allow for discretionary permit process and accommodate the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) laws.  He feels that state mandates, such as his SB 50 and a host of others now coming down the pike, would “streamline” the permitting process.

When questions perhaps taken from the audience brought up infrastructure problems, he and people on the panel later expressed the sentiment that we just have to take care of the people here now, and not worry so much about the projected numbers of the future.  As panelist Sybley Simon stated, “We just have to enforce the Regional Housing Needs Assessment (RHNA) requirements.”  Jamileh Canon, another panelist stated “Tasking local authorities with this burden is unfair.” with reference to the problem-solving aspect of housing and land use.

Many people left after Senator Wiener’s presentation. 

I have learned about a State requirement that all new development be able to verify water supply sufficient for 20 years in order to be approved.  Any amendments to a City or County General Plan must include such information  in detail before the amendments are approved, according to SB 610 and SB 221, both passed in 2001 to heal the disconnect between land use and water supply.  Hmmmm……

Santa Cruz County is in the process of updating its 1994 General Plan.   Please contact your County Supervisor to request that there is a Water Supply Assessment report approved before any changes in the General Plan get finalized.

MAKE ONE CALL.  WRITE ONE LETTER.  ATTEND A PUBLIC MEETING / HEARING.  MAKE A BIG DIFFERENCE.
BUT JUST GET SCRAPPY AND DO SOMETHING!

Cheers, Becky Steinbruner

Becky Steinbruner is a 30+ year resident of Aptos. She has fought for water, fire, emergency preparedness, and for road repair. She ran for Second District County Supervisor in 2016 on a shoestring and got nearly 20% of the votes.Email Becky at KI6TKB@yahoo.com
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April 5 #95 / Combat Without Risk

On Sunday, March 31, 2019, The New York Times ran an editorial titled, “The Secret Death Toll of America’s Drones.” So far, the United States has an “exclusive” on the use of military drones. It is unlikely that this death-dealing monopoly will continue forever. In the meantime, however, drones operated by the United States are killing lots of people, including people classified as “civilians,” and the United States government is suppressing the evidence. That was the main point of the editorial:A lack of transparency and accountability for civilian deaths helps enemies spin false narratives, makes it harder for allies to defend American actions and sets a bad example for other countries that are rapidly adding drones to their arsenals. It could also result in war crimes, as some critics have claimed.

I was struck by a sentence right at the end of The Times‘ editorial:

“There is no such thing as combat without risk”.

I found this sentence singularly inappropriate with respect to the phenomenon being discussed; namely, the military use of drones by the United States.

“Combat,” it seems to me, is properly defined as a “fight.” This is the definition supplied by Merriam-Webster. In a fight, the “combatants” put each other at risk. The word “combat” shouldn’t be used if that isn’t the case.

The military use of drones is not a “fight,” or a “combat,” because the so-called “combatants” do not each have an equal ability to damage each other – or actually any ability to damage each other, to be more accurate. A sentence talking about an “unequal combat,” could be a valid use of the word “combat.” Take the example of how the U.S. Cavalry, with guns, matched off against Indian tribes equipped with bows and arrows. This is an example of an unequal combat. Still, in that kind of case, there is at least some chance that an Indian warrior could do damage to a soldier. Indeed, we know that the Indians won, sometimes, as in the case of Custer’s last battle at the Little Bighorn.

The military use of drones is not a “combat.” A drone operator, located just outside Las Vegas, Nevada, perhaps, steers a drone airplane over Afghanistan, with the plane operating three miles above the ground. Using modern technology, the drone operator pushes the button to kill people whom someone has told the operator are people who ought to be killed. Others in the vicinity are killed, too. Those are the “civilian” casualties The Times is talking about.

Think about it, though. What sort of “combat” is this? There is no risk whatsoever to the drone operator. There is no “combat.” Let’s call it what it is. The military use of drones by the United States government is murder, albeit murder that is sanctioned by military or intelligence authorities. There isn’t any “combat” involved. These are “executions,” and nothing else – and executions that often wind up killing other people, who weren’t specifically designated to die.

A nation that thinks it can sail around the world executing people whom it has decided ought to die is inviting people around the world to try to figure out some way to even the odds, and to turn these executions into a genuine “combat.”

We do know some ways that those who take the side of those being executed are trying to turn the military use of drones into an actual “combat,” where there is, indeed, “risk” on both sides.

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.netEmail Gary at gapatton@mac.com
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EAGAN’S SUBCONSCIOUS COMICS. Check below for those inimitable interior peeks.

EAGAN’S DEEP COVER. See Eagan’s ” Brexit briefly” 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.

SANTA CRUZ BAROQUE FESTIVAL. Their concert number IV: ‘Bach & the Virtuoso Violin’. Featuring Edwin Huizinga, Baroque violin, Lynn Tetenbaum, Viola da Gamba and

Linda Burman-Hall, Harpsichord. Join us for a walk through the dark and secret heart of the Baroque. Keep your mind balanced on that daring knife-edge of unaccompanied violin tone ~ Heinrich von Biber in his Passacaglia in the 1670s and half a century later J. S Bach in his Chaconne take innumerable risks in building thrilling chords and counter-melodies for a single brave player to deliver. After all the solo miracles, we’ll conclude the evening with buoyantly optimistic mid-Baroque trios for violin, harpsichord and obbligato viol by Bach’s Danish-German hero, Dietrich Buxtehude. presented by the Santa Cruz Baroque Festival Sunday April 14, 2019 –  3:00 pm at the UCSC Recital Hall.

LISA JENSEN LINKS. Lisa writes: “I was in the room where it happened! When the national touring company brought the blockbuster musical Hamilton to the Orpheum Theatre in San Francisco, that is! Read all about it this week at Lisa Jensen Online Express (http://ljo-express.blogspot.com/). Also, catch up with my review of the thoughtfully profound tone poem, The Mustang, in this week’s Good Times!” Lisa has been writing film reviews and columns for Good Times since 1975.

PET SEMATARY. A remake that shouldn’t have been remade. John Lithgow is frankly boring as the nervous farmer neighbor. Stephen King’s book was fantastic…as I remember from way back when. The original movie version (1989) had some scary scenes, but avoid this sad copy.

BEST OF ENEMIES. This is actually a feelgood movie disguised as a statement on racial bigotry in 1971. It’s about a Ku Klux Klan chief (Sam Rockwell) becoming friends with a black woman activist, brilliantly played by Taraji Henson. Santa Cruzans should be reminded of our KKK connection when we learned that Roger Grigsby — owner of the local OMEI restaurant — was a supporter of David Duke the head of the KKK. Then too, the film’s opening scenes of the City Council meeting in Durham North Carolina will remind active locals of our current council charade.

APOLLO 11. Surprising, important, relevant, heart rending, tense …Apollo 11 is all of these and more. Assembled from much never seen NASA footage this documentary got a 100 Rotten Tomatoes score. The flight was 50 years ago and yet this film is so deftly handled that you’ll be on the seat’s edge hoping they make it. Numb nuts who noted that there are no stars in the background when you walk on the moon will be shut up finally. If you liked the tension and identification of Free Solo you’ll definitely like Apollo 11. CLOSES APRIL 11

MUSTANG. It’s a simple minded movie about some Nevada State prisoners who turn wild mustangs into saddle broken riding horses to sell at an auction every year. It’s apparently factual. It stars Bruce Dern at his cranky, snarly best teaching the boys/men how to handle themselves and their steeds. Predictable, corny, and will remind you of My Friend Flicka or any other old horse movie.

GLORIA BELL. Julianne Moore and John Turturro are the struggling twosome trying to be a couple in this semi-serious drama set in Los Angeles. Julianne is great as the insecure, horny, pot-smoking single working mother who’s trying hard to find a mate. Turturro is even more confused in his search for a woman to replace his ex-wife, and to help him forget her and the drain she places on him. Good film, very engrossing: Julianne Moore has never been better — and that’s saying a lot. 93 on RT.

USSo much of this movie was shot at our Boardwalk and has hundreds of nearly unrecognizable locals in it…you simply have to see it. It’s a socially-aware horror movie with a very complex plot, and truly scary. Jordan Peele— who also directed Get Out— made sure it also contains a serious critique of racial inequality and our attitudes to living “the good life”. It’s disturbing, puzzling, well-acted, and a little better than Lost Boys… but not as good as Harold and Maude. A 94 on Rotten Tomatoes.

HOTEL MUMBAI. This is NOT the documentary showing the 2008 attack by 10 Pakistani terrorists of the Taj Hotel in Mumbai. It is the ruthless, uncaring re-staging of the savage killing of 166 victims over 3 days with no police or soldiers to protect them. Why anyone would want to produce such a film that has no plot, no message, hackneyed acting is a serious question. Why anyone would want to see such a depressing film is another serious question. If this brutal movie makes box office profits should we be expecting acting versions of Parkland or the recent mosque tragedies?

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UNIVERSAL GRAPEVINE. Each and every Tuesday from 7:00-8:00 p.m. I host Universal Grapevine on KZSC 88.1 fm. or on your computer, (live only or archived for two weeks… (See next paragraph) and go to WWW.KZSC.ORG. . April 9 has Lisa Sheridan and Robert Morgan discussing the Nissan Dealership in Soquel and Sustainable Soquel plans. Then Julie Phillips and Stu Phillips talk about the proposed Bay and Cliff development across from the Dream Inn. Kristin Brownstone and Jerry Lloyd discuss the Actors Theater  “Looking For Normal” play on April 16th. They’re followed by Jeffery Smedberg  and Franco Picarella  from the Reel Work Film Festival listing the screenings around the county and Bay. May 21st has concertmaster Roy Malan discussing the Hidden Valley String Orchestra concert occurring on June 2nd. OR…if you just happen to miss either of the last two weeks of Universal Grapevine broadcasts go here https://www.radiofreeamerica.com/schedule/kzsc   You have to listen to about 4 minutes of that week’s KPFA news first, then Grapevine happens. Do remember, any and all suggestions for future programs are more than welcome so tune in, and keep listening. Email me always and only at bratton@cruzio.com

Here is more than you ever thought you’d know about parmesan cheese!

UNIVERSAL GRAPEVINE ARCHIVES. In case you missed some of the great people I’ve interviewed in the last 9 years here’s a chronological list of some past broadcasts.  Such a wide range of folks such as  Nikki Silva, Michael Warren, Tom Noddy, UCSC Chancellor George Blumenthal, Anita Monga, Mark Wainer, Judy Johnson, Wendy Mayer-Lochtefeld, Rachel Goodman, George Newell, Tubten Pende, Gina Marie Hayes, Rebecca Ronay-Hazleton, Miriam Ellis, Deb Mc Arthur, The Great Morgani on Street performing, and Paul Whitworth on Krapps Last Tape. Jodi McGraw on Sandhills, Bruce Daniels on area water problems. Mike Pappas on the Olive Connection, Sandy Lydon on County History. Paul Johnston on political organizing, Rick Longinotti on De-Sal. Dan Haifley on Monterey Bay Sanctuary, Dan Harder on Santa Cruz City Museum. Sara Wilbourne on Santa Cruz Ballet Theatre. Brian Spencer on SEE Theatre Co. Paula Kenyon and Karen Massaro on MAH and Big Creek Pottery. Carolyn Burke on Edith Piaf. Peggy Dolgenos on Cruzio. Julie James on Jewel Theatre Company. Then there’s Pat Matejcek on environment, Nancy Abrams and Joel Primack on the Universe plus Nina Simon from MAH, Rob Slawinski, Gary Bascou, Judge Paul Burdick, John Brown Childs, Ellen Kimmel, Don Williams, Kinan Valdez, Ellen Murtha, John Leopold, Karen Kefauver, Chip Lord, Judy Bouley, Rob Sean Wilson, Ann Simonton, Lori Rivera, Sayaka Yabuki, Chris Kinney, Celia and Peter Scott, Chris Krohn, David Swanger, Chelsea Juarez…and that’s just since January 2011.

QUOTES. “Boardwalks”
I love an arcade. I love a boardwalk game. But I also love a rollercoaster. Though I think the rollercoaster love comes from the fact that it took a really long time for me to reach the height requirement, so I promised myself very early on that when I reach that, I will not take it for granted”.  Melissa Rauch
“I remember riding my bike down the boardwalk with nowhere to go and looking at the girls. It was really innocent”.  Mark Ruffalo
“We must take down the carnies. I think we need to start a campaign to defeat their scamming ways. I never win the boardwalk basketball game”. Melissa Rauch

 

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!!

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

Direct email: Bratton@Cruzio.com
Direct phone: 831 423-2468
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