Blog Archives

August 1 – 7, 2013

LA BAHIA…FORMERLY CASA DEL REY APARTMENTS. The La Bahia Apartments were originally designed as the luxury Casa Del Rey Apartments. Back in the Golden Age of Santa Cruz Tourism, before WWII, they were part of a sprawling tourist complex that included the Casa Del Rey Hotel (300 rooms), a 150-unit Cottage City, a trolley terminal and railway station, a night club, convention facilities in the Boardwalk Casino, gardens, tennis courts, a putting green, and the golf and country club at Pogonip.

photo credit: private photo collection.

Additional information always welcome: email

like this anymore…from “High Society”

CITY COUNCIL NEWS. It’s only a little early to fan the flames on our City Council status but according to well planted sources Hilary Bryant won’t be running again. She’s had a much tougher time as mayor than she anticipated, they say. David Terrazas will be running and folks are still wondering why he bothers, or what he’s accomplished. Lynn Robinson is termed out of the City Council and it’s entirely possible she’s planning on running for Neal Coonerty’s Supervisor seat. Lynn would have the
support of the “rightish” Pamela Comstock supporters such as Take Back Santa Cruz, Debbie Elston’s Santa Cruz Neighbors, Cynthia Mathews’ Downtown Neighbors and that kind of organization. Names floating around for council seats include Rick Longinotti of the anti de-sal group, Ed Porter, past council member, is thinking about it too. Michael Bethke has
been attending anti-de-sal meetings and trying to make big impressions around town, and I’m guessing he’ll go for it. Richelle Naroyan‘s name has been floating around even though her last Council campaign “didn’t work
for her” and she quit running.

BOARD OF SUPERVISOR NEWS. As we read in last week’s Sentinel, Ryan Coonerty “de-murred” twice about his position on de-sal. That’s odd, especially when you consider that it was Ryan who voted and worked hard, many times, and voted and approved the spending of more than 17 million
dollars so far, just to investigate and promote de-sal.

BEAR HOE DOWN. Ah the joys of nature, before they attack!!!

COASTAL COMMISSION NEWS. Before, during and after his appearance on Universal Grapevine last Tuesday State Assemblyman Mark Stone talked about the past, present and future of the California Coastal Commission. He introduced me to former Commission member Steve Blank over at Lulu’s.

Steve retired from the Commission in June. Mark and every other environmental believer knew that Steve Blank was a vital force on the commission following closely in Peter Douglas‘s footsteps. Mark also added that the Coastal Commission is weakening and is bowing more and more to local government decisions. That’s bad news, because as we know so well in Santa Cruz County so many times local government decisions are controlled
by developers and weak supervisors

HOW SOON WE FORGET. It was two years ago that The California Coastal Commission voted 6-4 against approving a change in our city’s coastal plan to allow Charlie Canfield’s 125 room condo-hotel La Bahia Hotel to be built. Now Charlie Canfield’s back with Craig French as project manager wanting to build a 168 room hotel. We’ll see about those plans later. What caught my eye were statements in the Friday, August 12, 2011 Santa Cruz Sentinel by our then Mayor Ryan Coonerty and Mark Stone, who was our County Supervisor and a Coastal Commissioner (and was one of the 6 votes against changing the coastal plan). Mark Stone was quoted as saying, “I think a project like this can be done within the framework that exists”. Mayor
Ryan Coonerty said, “We are extremely disappointed. This was a good project that reflected the values of Santa Cruz”. “Mark Stone failed to represent the community, and I am extremely disappointed in his leadership”.


DE-SAL ITEMS. It really isn’t a terribly big deal but just when you believe that our City Council is supposed to be representing us and not selling us a bill-of-goods we have Councilperson Cynthia Mathews trailed by Trink Praxel passing out pro De-Sal pamphlets at the League of Women Voters last meeting when the League had invited Gary Patton to talk to them about the area’s water problems. The huge question remains why is our city council so determined to sell us on de-sal? Is it Bill Kocher’s face saving plot? Who and what’s really behind this financial commitment the council has maintained….is something lurking?

SAN FRANCISCO SILENT FILM FESTIVAL. About 16,000 of us saw 17 newly discovered and restored silent films in 3 days and opening night. It’s been happening every year for 18 years in San Francisco’s historic Castro Theatre.

Three films, Denmark’s The Golden Clown (1926), Russia’s The House on Trubnaya Square (1925), and Germany’s The Weavers (1927) are permanently entered in my “Best Films I’ve Ever Seen” list…for life. More than being screened at the proper speed and being shown on the big screen,
the Silent Film Festival goes to great research and expense to bring the finest of live musical accompaniment to each film. Whether it’s The Matti Bye Ensemble from Sweden, the Mont Alto Motion Picture Orchestra from Colorado or the renowned Gunter Buchwald singing and playing his carefully researched film scores, the live music adds considerably to this Silent Film art form. I’ve said before that “comparing Silent films to talkies is like comparing books to television”. That certainly was true again this year.

Please note that The San Francisco Silent Film Festival is moving its play dates to May 29-June 1st 2014 to take advantage of the less expensive hotel and off-season visitor rates. Plan ahead, go here
to check it all out.

VINTAGE DE CINZO. The ever-alert DeCinzo strikes again with dis-arming candor….scroll below.

LISA JENSEN LINKS. Lisa writes: “This week at Lisa Jensen Online Express, find out why the complex Danish drama, The Hunt, hits a bull’s eye. And the celebration of marriage equality
continues with a look at my Top Five favorite domestic partnerships in the movies.” Lisa has been writing film reviews and columns for Good Times since 1975.

THE HUNT. A magnificent Danish film about a kind, loving, father who is undone, and ruined by a little girl’s made-up story about how he molested her. Annika Wedderkopp who plays the little girl is the finest child actor I’ve seen in my life. She’s probably about 5 years old and carries the film. But Mads Mikkelsen as the victim is as superb an actor as always…you’ll recognize him when you see this masterpiece, and you should.

FRUITVALE STATION. A must see film. Not a documentary, it’s an amateur director’s first attempt, and not just because it’s almost in our neighborhood… it’s simply a “Must See Film“. It’ll give you all the more reasons why our justice system needs so much correcting and not only in the BART-Oscar Grant case. It’s been winning awards everywhere.

WOLVERINE. Hugh Jackman actually pulls this comic book hero action flick off….and in a good way. There’s enough of an almost believable (and followable) plot to keep you watching, and almost believing in what you’re watching. It seems like I’m saying this more lately BUT if you like comic book action films (Superman, Batman etc.) this one really works.

THE CONJURING. IF you like scary films, this one is excellent. Vera Famiga seems to outdo herself in any role she’s given and here in this “based on a true story” film she plays a ghost hunter’s wife. Yes, there are the usual cellar stairs, spirit bodies hanging from trees, and so on BUT if you like etc.etc.

RED 2. Sure Helen Mirren, Anthony Hopkins, and Catherine Zeta-Jones are in it, but trust me John Malkovich and Bruce Willis ruin every scene and any tension or believable minute of this junk flick. I defy anyone who claims to have liked this mess to repeat the plot to us. It is so convoluted, so impossible, so stupid..

THE GIRL MOST LIKELY. Just about the first half of this slight comedy is brilliant. It’s like a Sex and The City episode only more subtle. Kristen Wiig and Annette Bening carry the film and Matt Dillon has his first good role in decades. And it does fall apart later but go see it, if it’s still around…or sure rent it.

WAY, WAY BACK. It’s filmed mostly in a rundown family owned seaside water park, and it has some good moments. Steve Carell has a very serious role as a bad step dad and Toni Colette is the teen age lead’s mom. It’s a coming of age film and Sam Rockwell is the kid’s guiding light. Alison Janney is the next door drunk and way overplays it. Save your money.

ONLY GOD FORGIVES. This is an art film. It’s way beyond any Tarantino slasher effort, it has barrels more blood, deeper stabbings, redder blood rivers, and style, style, style. Ryan Gosling is the main drug dealer and chief stabber. He doesn’t say much and later he takes his trusty sword and stabs his Mom, and pulls out lots of her bloody organs. As I said, it’s a style film and is dedicated to Alexander Jodorowsky…which must prove, or excuse, something


TWENTY FEET FROM STARDOM. This documentary makes Stars out of the faceless, nameless back-up singers on hit pop albums. I suppose there’s a point to it, but how about documentaries featuring the recording engineers, the producers, and the musicians who also make a song a hit? Making hits is a very collaborative; sharing process…it ain’t just the back-up singing. But it’s a fun film.

THE LONE RANGER. The SF Chronicle’s film critic Mick LaSalle called this mess “the worst film of the year“. It’s bombing terribly and Mick’s right, no-one should spend a dime, or their time to see this FLOP. Johnny Depp plays Tonto as another insanely odd character, and the Lone Ranger is portrayed and played as a jerk and doofus who hates guns!!! It’s got horse manure jokes, and racist American attitudes. Here’s a quote from Marley Brown of….”While the relationship between the ranger and
Tonto was supposedly one of mutual respect, the stereotypical portrayal of Indians in The Lone Ranger has been a source of anger and disappointment to many Native people, including the writer and filmmaker Sherman Alexie, who told the Los Angeles Times: “In the movies, Indians are always accompanied by ominous music. I always feel that something bad is about to happen. I am always aware of how my whole life is shaped by my hatred of Tonto”.

WORLD WAR Z. As long time movie goers we’ve seen 100’s of zombie stalking, zombie sucking and plenty more of searches for the magic never tried formula that will save the world. That’s all that’s in this “Brad Pitt saves the world” mess. Not that it matters, but there are more and larger plot holes in this film than you could possibly count. My original quote, “Zombies that run, gnaw, puke a lot and bash their heads into windshields do not a good film make”. Save your money.

SUPERMAN (MAN OF STEEL). Super hero films can really only be critiqued by comparing them to other super hero films. It’s a special genre. The plots, the acting, the visuals, direction, editing etc. are like no other film
types. This Superman is not funny, no cutesy Clark Kent-“changing in a phone booth” stuff. No funny Gene Hackman or Marlon Brando villain/dad figures. Man of Steel starts and ends dark. Henry Cavill makes a great Superman. The rest of the cast is strange. Kevin Costner and Diane Ladd as Supe’s earth parents, Laurence Fishburne as Perry White!!, Russell Crowe as Jor-el ??? And of course Michael Shannon as General Zod. Don’t pay extra for 3D glasses there aren’t that many special effects. Plus we learn that the “S” on Supe’s shirt doesn’t stand for Superman it stands for hope. I could go on for pages talking about the religious stuff in this film. Like Clark in church praying with a background shot of Jesus kneeling before he was crucified, etc, etc. Go see it (big screen only) and only if you really like superhero films.

MONSTERS UNIVERSITY. It was cool to see my old UC Berkeley campus buildings in this latest Pixar flick. It has Stanford scenes too but it certainly isn’t up to Pixar’s high standards of film making. It’s boring,
but Pixar has succeeded in that computer generated challenge of how to make hair or fur look real…it may be overdone but it’s clever. The plot of teaching ways to scare kids runs very thin in minutes but damn, Pixar animation techniques especially in 3D look more real than real does!!!

UNIVERSAL GRAPEVINE. Each and every Tuesday from 7:00-8:00 p.m. I host Universal Grapevine on KZSC 88.1 fm. or on your computer (live only, or sometimes old programs are archived…(see next paragraph) and go to WWW.KZSC.ORG. Assemblyman Mark Stone will be on July 23 bringing us up to date on Sacramento and his job He’s followed by Attorney Bob Taren rapping on local issues. Ed Holmes talks about The San Francisco Mime Troupe’s annual visit on August 6. Kevin Newhouse will talk about the new Aptos History picture book on August 13. Do remember, any and all suggestions for future programs are more than welcome so tune in, and keep listening. Email me always at

UNIVERSAL GRAPEVINE ARCHIVES. In case you missed some of the great people I’ve interviewed in the last 5 years here’s a chronological list of just this year’s pod casts. Click here then tap on “listen here” to hear any or all of them… all over again. The update includes Nikki Silva, Michael Warren, Tom Noddy, Anita Monga, Mark Wainer, Judy Johnson-Darrow, Wendy Mayer-Lochtefeld, Rachel Goodman, George Newell, Tubten Pende, Gina Marie Hayes, Rebecca Ronay-Hazleton, Miriam Ellis, Deb Mc Arthur, The Great Morgani on Street performing, Paul Whitworth on Krapps Last Tape. Jodi McGraw on Sandhills, Bruce Daniels on area water problems. Mike Pappas on the Olive Connection, Sandy Lydon on County History. Paul Johnston on political organizing, Rick Longinotti on De-Sal. Dan Haifley on Monterey Bay Sanctuary, Dan Harder on Santa Cruz City Museum. Sara Wilbourne on Santa Cruz Ballet Theatre. Brian Spencer on SEE Theatre Co. Paula Kenyon and Karen Massaro on MAH and Big Creek Pottery. Carolyn Burke on Edith Piaf. Peggy Dolgenos on Cruzio. Julie James on Jewel Theatre Conpany. Then there’s Pat Matejcek on environment, Nancy Abrams and Joel Primack on the Universe plus Nina Simon from MAH, Rob Slawinski, Gary Bascou, Judge Paul Burdick, John Brown Childs, Ellen Kimmel, Don Williams, Kinan Valdez, Ellen Murtha, John Leopold, Karen Kefauver, Chip Lord, Judy Bouley, Rob Sean Wilson, Ann Simonton, Lori Rivera, Sayaka Yabuki, Chris Kinney, Celia and Peter Scott, Chris Krohn, David Swanger, Chelsea Juarez…and that’s just since January 2011. Hear them all!!!

QUOTES. “Awards are like hemorrhoids; sooner or later every asshole gets some”, Frederich Raphael. “I’ve done my bit for motion pictures….I’ve stopped making them”, Liberace. “It’s greater than a masterpiece….why it’s mediocre”, Samuel Goldwyn.


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Deep Cover by Tim Eagan.

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