Blog Archives

August 1 – 7, 2018

Highlights this week:
BRATTON…about our UBER’s Jump Bike monopoly, Santa Cruzans and vaccinations, the Octagon’s new Sushi Bar, Dan Haifley’s replacement, farewell Angelo Grova’s FashionArt show Art Pearl’s rememberances. GREENSITE…on rail/trail follies. KROHN…about Costanoa Commons encroachment rent freeze, the garage library debate, Sugar beverage tax. STEINBRUNER…Gary Griggs expensive water project? Soquel Creeks Water Board expenses, Bayview Hotel’s permit, Rancho Del Mar’s progress.PATTON…going door to door as a real force. EAGAN…Truth or Dare according to guess who? DeCINZO…and the red tide. JENSEN…Reviews “Eighth Grade” and “Romeo and Juliet”. BRATTON…critiques Eighth Grade, Blindspotting, Don’t Worry He Won’t Get Far, and Mission Impossible:Fallout. UNIVERSAL GRAPEVINE GUEST LINEUP. QUOTES…about AUGUST.


THE PALO ALTO CONCRETE TANKER. 1947. This once upon a time oil tanker was built by the U.S. Government for 2 million dollars in 1918. This is the Centennial Year!!! It’s made of course of concrete not cement like everyone has labeled it. It broke in half in 1932. It continues to break every season.                                               

photo credit: Covello & Covello Historical photo collection.


DATELINE July 30, 2018

BIKESLAND UBER ALLES. Many friends and readers didn’t know that our spanking new “JUMP BIKES” are owned and operated by UBER. As it says on the UBER websiteUber Bike is currently available in San Francisco, Sacramento, Santa Cruz, Washington DC, Chicago, and Austin’. According to their map I counted about 65 JUMP Bike stations in Santa Cruz. The Mercury News stated   “The ride-hailing giant agreed to pay more than $100 million in cash and stock to buy the electric-bicycle provider, a person familiar with the matter said, asking not to be identified because the figure isn’t public. Technology news site TechCrunch first reported acquisition talks. Uber declined to disclose the terms of the deal, which the companies unveiled in a joint statement Monday”. I asked Chris Krohn how and why Santa Cruz ended up with JUMP Bikes along with metropolises such as San Francisco, New York, Chicago etc. He replied… “They responded to the Request for Proposals put out by our Public Works staff, headed by Claire Fliesler.  There is a local guy who owns Epicenter on Mission St. who applied and had a solid plan, but they went with the outside New York group, Jump, which as you may know was bought by Uber a few months back…and what is that about? Would love to know  Uber’s plans”. Reactions to the bikes have been really and severely mixed to say the least. They range from out and out hatred to folks believing JUMPS are the greatest environmental gift god ever gave us.

ROBERT SINGLETON NEAR WRAP-UP?  It was a week of collecting  emails, phone calls, and in person opinions and suggestions from many folks. The woman who wrote the 2016 letter re-stated that it was all true and gave addresses, possible other victims, and more. She does not want to carry this on any further and has “moved on”. I called Robert Singleton and left a message.  He called me back Monday afternoon (7/30) and said that he had decided about three weeks ago not to run for City Council. He said it is a huge task and that he is feeling good about not doing it. There was a pause then he said that “he did not physically or sexually abuse this person”. So I guess that’s that for the 2016 letter to the “Brand New City Council”. By the way I haven’t talked to any members of the “Brand New City Council” about this letter or the follow-up, just many concerned citizens.  That’ll end that issue… unless folks know of any more information.

SANTA CRUZ AND VACCINATIONS. Dr. Larry DeGhetaldi CEO of Sutter Health and President of Palo Alto Medical Foundation (PAMF) talked about Santa Cruzans and vaccinations on last Tuesday’s Universal Grapevine. (7/24) He said that there are a lot of Santa Cruz folks still opposing vaccinations. I asked him which diseases had been eliminated or controlled by vaccinations. He replied “All of them. I would rank their importance as Smallpox. No longer needed because it was eradicated. Polio. Measles (combined with mumps and German measles). Pertussis. Several meningitis vaccines.  Hepatitis a and b. Chicken pox.

Now HPV (Human papillomavirus) for young teens.  Might eradicate cervical cancer“. It always surprises me to hear issues like that, when we usually seem so inclined to think of Santa Cruz as being an enlightened community . No I didn’t ask him about Fluoride.  

OCTAGON UPDATE. Great weather, and more sitting outside the Octagon last week provided me with the information that the workers are creating another Sushi Bar inside the historic Octagon!! It’ll take maybe three more months according to one of them. That’ll make three Sushi Bars with one downtown block. There’s Mobo Sushi across Front Street,s a Poke Bowl inside that so called Abbott Square place and now this new one. What’s weird is that the management threw out Lulu’s Coffee because they didn’t want to competition. Yes the workers have been gutting the inside of the Octagon and even adding a small balcony to allow the Sushi Bar to open. Back in the more reverent and historically careful day, the former manager of the MAH Store that was there told me they weren’t allowed to hardly touch or even hang anything on the walls or change anything inside the Octagon structure.

DAN HAIFLEY’S REPLACEMENT. O’Neill Sea Odyssey News. By now most folks have heard that their executive director Dan Haifley is retiring. The new news is that Cyndi Dawson will be replacing him in November. Cyndi is currently the lead policy advisor to the Ocean Protection Council up in Sacramento. She’s a Marine ecologist and got the O’Neill appointment over some absolutely enormous competition.

FAREWELL FASHION ART. After 11 years Angelo Grova and his extra hard working crew decided not have any more FashionArt Shows. They were great fun…I attended them all at the Civic Auditorium and even the very first one at the Michelangelo Gallery in their parking lot. Another Santa Cruz tradition bit the dust.

ART PEARL DIED. There are good people; important people and then there are a very few folks like Art Pearl who are institutions. He was an inspiration and a joy to be with. Here’s what his daughter wrote… I am writing this to all of you to ensure that everyone knows that my dad, Art Pearl, passed away on July 5th at our home in Oregon City, Oregon. My dad knew so many people that it is difficult to know if everyone has been informed. I wanted to also let you all know that there have been two celebrations of life planned to honor my dad’s life and legacy. 

The first memorial will be held at Stevenson College Event Center on the University of Santa Cruz on August 25th at 11am. Here is the evite link

The other memorial will be held at McArthur Court on the University of Oregon campus on October 20th at 1:30pm. Here is the evite link

Please help me to inform those who need to know. Thank you for all of your support. This is a very difficult time for my family. My dad was my very best friend and my hero. The loss of him will be forever mourned. 

Best, Rachel Pearl

July 30,2018

If you care about saving trees and saving lots of public money read on. The city Public Works Department has released its environmental review of the second phase of Segment 7 of the controversial rail/trail project. This segment starts at Bay and California Streets, dips down past Neary Lagoon, past the Wastewater Treatment Plant, under the West Cliff trestle bridge and ends near the wharf roundabout. It is a distance of .79ths of a mile.

Personally I’m a supporter of keeping the rail line if possible and a bike/pedestrian trail seems a great idea but this small section of the full 32-mile project strikes me as insane. To create a 12 -foot trail next to the existing rail line in this less than a mile segment, according to the environmental review, the following will be necessary:

  • 3,500 cubic yards of soil removed for fence posts and retaining walls.
  • 47 trees removed. (unless at the time of construction it is determined that they can be root pruned and retained)
  • 21 of the trees to be felled qualify as heritage.
  • 15 willows from Neary Lagoon habitat removed.
  • A retaining wall of 3,140 feet built.
  • The height of the wall to range from 3.5 feet to 19.5 feet.
  • A fence 54″ high required to separate the trail from the rail
  • The city responsible for maintenance including signs, striping, fencing, security cameras, lighting, repairs, replacements and fencing.
  • A biologist on contract for an extended period of time to ensure the replacement willows and saplings actually live, as well as to check for nesting birds whose habitat can be destroyed after they have nested.

The city finds that “although the proposed project could have a significant effect on the environment, there will not be a significant effect in this case because revisions in the project have been made by or agreed to by the project proponent.”  Say what?  If the above constitute revisions one can only wonder what the project looked like beforehand. Based on this claim, a MND (Mitigated Negative Declaration) was prepared rather than an EIR (Environmental Impact Report), which is required when a project may have an impact on the environment.  Given the list above I’d say there’s no question about significant environmental impacts but that’s just me.

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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    Plus she’s an avid ocean swimmer, hiker and lover of all things wild.

July 30, 2018

What’s Been Coming into the Email Inbox this Month?

Imagine street furniture on Cooper Street, downtown?!? Year ’round. We have a new “downtown host” model beginning soon and they could also be responsible for teh moveable street furniture…locking and unlocking it each day. Movaeble furniture is important in order to make a space active, a place to meet friends and family downtown, and a place where pedstrians feel safe to walk, hang out, and enjoy the downtown. The picture below is alongside the sidewalk in Union Square, NYC. New York has become a model in the past decade on how to activate space by using moveable furniture.

So much for a sleepy, ‘lights out” city council month. There have been no council meetings, but others in the city have been busy, and as a result my inbox constituents have been lighting it up on several significant issues: landlords raising rents in the face of a rent freeze ordinance prohibiting it; development at 335 Golf Club Drive pitting developers vs. families with learning disabled members who  planned an intentional community; will the now infamous “library-garage” atop the current Farmer’s Market site be agendized; and the city council’s “special meeting” with two agenda items that perhaps should not happen. Let’s get into it.

Rent Control, Rent Freeze and a Missed Deadline
Somehow, some way the over-the-top moneyed interest group fighting with a holy war zealotry has now stepped in two mounds of doo-doo. First, it was a mailer with a picture of another community’s lighthouse that lambasted the Santa Cruz rent control ballot measure. Then the group that can’t seem to put a campaign together missed their opportunity to place their argument before voters in November. You heard that right. The Movement for Housing Justice dotted their “i’s” and crossed their “t’s” and submitted a strong statement in favor of rent control. “The other side,” represented by Santa Cruz Together and financed in part by some formidable big buck$ outsider interests,appear to be cowering because not only is there a local voter initiative to lower rents, there’s also a statewide measure to repeal the Costa-Hawkins that is to be on the same ballot. This latter initiative currently severely limits rent control in the entire state of California. Okay, game on!

Three Thirty-Five Golf Club Drive…What is Going on?
Here’s likely the most mind-numbing issue to hit my inbox this month and I try to offer at least two sides here, one from our Planning Department and one from the lawyer representing the Costanoa Commons community.

Peter Ziblat of the law firm Pelosi Law Group wrote: We represent the sponsors of the proposed development of ten residential units for the developmentally disabled and the restoration of a historic single-family structure at 335 Golf Club Drive (“Project”) that is on the July 18, 2018 Zoning Administrator agenda…Our clients, who formed a partnership of families of the disabled to develop this Project, have navigated the complex planning process and are close to the finish line to provide affordable housing for approximately 22 residents and their invaluable and underpaid support staff. The Project’s very-low income residents have a range of physical and developmental disabilities such as Down Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, Autism, and Global Developmental Delay.

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The Special City Council Meeting That Should Not Be…
The powers that be, overseeing (?) the city council, apparently are going ahead and scheduling a “special meeting” for August 7th in order to 1) allow anti-rent control advocates a second bite at the apple to get their November ballot argument approved, since they missed a July deadline. The city council evidently can do this by over-riding its own rules and allowing the group opposing rent control to submit their written argument to be included in the voter manual. This meeting could be interesting and fun. I urge all to attend and participate in this discussion. Number 2) the council is being asked by (staff? sugar industry reps?) to pull its 1.5 cents per ounce sweetened beverage tax initiative because BIG SUGAR made a deal with Sacramento legislators not to allow cities to tax soda until 2031. I don’t believe the health of this community can wait that long. As diabetes and obesity increase our state reps are telling us to wait on doing something about it. Even if the teeth have been removed from the current soda tax initiative, why not leave it on the ballot and allow Santa Cruzans to weigh in. It would be a vote for health and I believe the public deserves to weigh in. The question is, why pull this initiative from the November ballot?

“When we talk about justice, we have to understand that there is no justice when so few have so much and so many have so little. There is no justice when the top one-tenth of 1 percent today in America owns almost as much wealth as the bottom 90 percent.” (July 28)
(Chris Krohn is a father, writer, activist, former Santa Cruz City Councilmember (1998-2002) and Mayor (2001-2002). He’s been running the Environmental Studies Internship program at UC Santa Cruz for the past 12 years. He was elected last November to another 4-year term on the Santa Cruz City Council).

Email Chris at

(Chris Krohn is a father, writer, activist, former Santa Cruz City Councilmember (1998-2002) and Mayor (2001-2002). He’s been running the Environmental Studies Internship program at UC Santa Cruz for the past 12 years. He was elected last November to another 4-year term on the Santa Cruz City Council).


July 30, 2018


Local well-known UCSC Professor Gary Griggs published an article in the Santa Cruz Sentinel July 21, 2018 that whole-heartedly supports expensive water projects for Santa Cruz, and compares our area to San Diego.  Many in the community were puzzled and in fact, alarmed, that he would make such public statements and cost comparisons.    He insinuated that the massive San Diego water project cost to ratepayers of $5-$7/month is an acceptable amount to expect local ratepayers to also shoulder for a long-term water supply solution.  One has to wonder if he is supporting the Soquel Creek Water District’s PureWater Soquel Project through the back door?

Here is a link to his article

First of all, San Diego has a much larger customer base than does any municipal water agency in Santa Cruz County. Soquel Creek Water District has 15,800 service connections, according to their website.  Santa Cruz City has a population (Chamber of Commerce website) of 64,220.  San Diego had a 2010 Census population of 1,307,402.  Is it fair to compare Santa Cruz City or Soquel Creek Water District with San Diego for per capita cost burden?  I don’t think so.

Second of all, San Diego relies mostly on surface water.  While Santa Cruz City does also, there also are groundwater sources used when the City activates the Beltz Wells in the Live Oak area.  Soquel Creek Water District relies 100% on groundwater, unless emergency inter-tie connections that already exist with Santa Cruz City are activated. Would the PureWater Soquel Project construction and operational costs pan out to a level similar to what Professor Grigs stated in his article ” a price of a latte”?  Soquel Creek Water District already has the second-highest rate for a system their size in the entire state of California (according to the District’s 2017 rate analysis presented at the 2017 Budget Hearing). 

Really, what is Professor Gary Griggs thinking?

I recommend investigating the Water for Santa Cruz County website to learn more about the possible REGIONAL solutions to the water storage problems our communities need to consider

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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

July 29, 2018 #210 / The Young And Naive Go Door To Door

That is Rose Strauss in the picture on the right. She is an eighteen-year-old climate activist who is an environmental science major at the University of California, Santa Barbara. On July 18, 2018, Strauss confronted Scott Wagner, a Republican candidate for Governor in Pennsylvania. Here is a link to a YouTube recording of the encounter. The actual video is available below. 

The video of Strauss confronting Wagner (very politely, let me say) quickly “went viral,” nationally. If you watch, you will see Wagner calling Strauss “young and naive” for asking whether the $200,000 in campaign contributions that Wagner has received from fossil fuel companies has influenced his views on climate change. Wagner has said that he actually does believe that the Earth is warming, but that “body heat” is a major reason. Wagner lets the oil companies off the hook!

In the July 26, 2018, edition of The New York Times, Dan Levin interviewed Strauss. Levin is a foreign correspondent for The Times who reports on climate change issues. Levin was particularly interested in how Strauss might use her recently-acquired fame to advance the issue she cares about so deeply. Strauss’ answer was that she (and lots of other motivated young people) would go “door to door” this summer, opening a dialogue. 

I was particularly happy about Strauss’ answer to Levin’s question, since “door to door” is where real people who care about a political issue will meet real people who may well never have thought about it. Viral video is great, but “real people” are the people who can make “real change.”

Going door to door is also a good way to discover the truth of what I said in my blog posting yesterday: “good people do exist.”

Gary 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

Email Gary at


CLASSICAL DeCINZO. Our Ranger’s Tourist Guide wisdom…scroll below.

EAGAN’S DEEP COVER. See Eagan’s ” Truth or Dare” down a few pages. As always, at you will find his most recent  Deep Cover, the latest installment from the archives of Subconscious Comics, and the ever entertaining Eaganblog.

CABRILLO FESTIVAL OF CONTEMPORARY MUSIC. NOW -Aug.12. From their website (… Each summer Cabrillo Festival brings together music lovers, community members, professional orchestra players and extraordinary composers for an inspired gathering that offers a musical experience like no other. For the 2018 season, Music Director Cristi Macelaru has summoned voices from around the globe and across diverse cultural backgrounds to present 18 contemporary works that reflect the human spirit and the stories we tell, the grandeur of the planet, and the vastness of the cosmos. You’re invited to journey deep into the creative process through our open rehearsalstalks and the intoxicating experience of live performance. Cabrillo Festival delivers spectacular musicianship, coupled with a warm and welcoming environment for listeners at all levels, plus that famously special Santa Cruz vibe. It’s a rare thrill, and you’re invited! So much is new in 2018!

New pay-what-you-can Community Night Concert This new event welcomes the                     wider community to experience just how fun new music can be. Earlier concert times All our evening concerts now begin at 7pm! New $20 Youth tickets Invite your favorite young person (age 6-25), and inspire a future Festival fan! New Prix Fixe Dinner on our Grand Finale night.

41st ANNUAL MUSICAL SAW FESTIVAL. This happens AUGUST 11 & 12. On 
Saturday August 11, 2018 at  2:00 pm there’ll be an Open jam at the Tom Scribner Statue1520 Pacific Avenue, Santa Cruz, CA, in front of Bookshop Santa Cruz. That night at 6:30 pm there’ll be a potluck and jam up at Roaring Camp‘s outer parking lot in Felton, CA.On Sunday August 12 from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm will be the genuine 41st Annual Saw Festival  up at Roaring Camp in Felton, CA. Highlights of the festival.11:00 am Musical Saw Contest The 41st annual Saw Contest is the longest running saw contest in the world and they will crown their 2018 champion.
12:00-4:00 Featured performers, awards, chorus of the saws. At the festival you can jam, meet other saw players, take part in the contest, take a workshop, and hear some great saw players literally from all over the world.

CELEBRATING JAMES ASCHBACHER. Many, many of Jim Aschbacher’s friends are putting together a memorable celebration of his life. Free champagne, free event, lots of music, talks by some good friends, collections of photos and a great sense of community will all happen
August 25 at the Rio Theater from 6-9 p.m.

LISA JENSEN LINKS. Lisa writes: “The excruciating angst of being 13 is captured to poignant comic perfection in Eighth Grade, this week at Lisa Jensen Online Express ( ). Also, Santa Cruz Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet inspires me to ponder how a viewer’s ever-altering perspective can reshape even the most familiar plays.” Lisa has been writing film reviews and columns for Good Times since 1975.

EIGHTH GRADE. A 99 on RT and the lead actor Elsie Fisher deserves at least an Oscar for her role as a conflicted and nearly typical eighth grader. The incredibly talented, funny, and  profound Bo Burnham directed it. (See his Comedy special on Netflix!). You’ll relive the anxiety, insecurity, and fears we all had in eighth grade. It’s billed as a comedy and some of the audience laughed when I was watching it…but see it for the insights, the reality, and the remembrances of those times.

BLINDSPOTTING. Has a 93 on RT…and deserves it. A “blindspot” as we learn in the film, is when something is right in front of you and you can’t see it. In this case it’s the racial scene in Oakland and the rest of the USA. Violent, conflicted, heartwarming, well acted, and painful. It’ll leave an impression on you long after you leave the theatre.

DON’T WORRY HE WON’T GET FAR ON FOOT. It seems that Joaquin Phoenix can’t make a bad movie, and this one is deep and brilliant. Jack Black, Rooney Mara and Jonah Hill play very serious parts in this nearly true biographical film about a wheelchair bound cartoonist. I looked up the word “sardonic” just to make sure it fit Phoenix’s role…it definitely does. I wish they’d make more films like this one. Better hurry before Landmark takes it away.

MISSION IMPOSSIBLE :FALLOUT. Another Tom Cruise do it yourself stunt movie. Simon Pegg and Alec Baldwin are back again too. It has some wild and inventive stunt scenes that we’ve never seen before. Plus a music score that keeps almost all of the movie at a very intense level. It’s thrilling, mindless, pointless, but full of kicks. It’s made for the big screens.

LEAVE NO TRACE. It’s difficult to critique a film with a 100% RT rating. Ben Foster and Thomasin McKenzie play a father and daughter who live in the woods around Portland, Oregon. Why they live outdoors, and how they face the real world, makes a near perfect film. Sensitive, thoughtful — and it forces us to think again about our definition of what a home is and what will happen after the movie ends. See this excellent film quickly.

THREE IDENTICAL STRANGERS. (94 RT) A very serious documentary about Jewish twin and triplet babies that were secretly separated and placed around carefully-chosen Jewish families in New York City in the 50s, as part of an experiment that has still never been made public. The previews make you think it’s about triplets and the fun they have finding each other. It’s much more than that, and will have you questioning your own behavior and your DNA inheritance. SEE THIS FILM!!!

WON’T YOU BE MY NEIGHBOR? A well deserved 99 on RT and Mr. Rogers turns out to be all that we’d hope to see in this bio. That he was a lifelong Republican is about the only surprise, but it’s not important. It’s no surprise to learn about his faith-based upbringing and he practiced love and kindness in his entire television career. Go see this film. You’ll agree with him about the glut of violence in other children’s tv shows. We can only guess how he’d deal with Trump’s presidency. He handled Robert Kennedy’s assassination and 9/11 with amazing taste and skill. His neighborhood tv show started in 1968 and lasted until 2001. He died in 2003. As I mentioned go see this film, it’s one of the few uplifting things available nowadays.

RBG. This nicely-done documentary tells us a lot more than has ever been made public before. Ruth Bader Ginsberg (RBG) is a surprisingly quiet, shy woman. It reminds us that Bill Clinton got her the job as Supreme Court Justice: oddly enough it does not remind us that Ronald Reagan appointed Sandra Day O’Conner as the first woman to serve on the court. See this film. It’ll give you hope that you can fight against the odds. It’s been packing ’em in for weeks at the Nick, and it deserves it. CLOSES THURSDAY AUGUST 2.

SORRY TO BOTHER YOU. A 95 on Rotten Tomatoes, this is a crude take-off on telemarketers and their lowly status in life. It takes place in Oakland and is nearly all African-American themed. That means that to be a successful telemarketer you have to use your “white voice”. Danny Glover has a small part, and we can only hope he gets some decent roles again. This wasn’t one of them. There is too much racism, role-playing. and politic switching played as humor for me to really like this movie. You are on your own.

EQUALIZER 2Denzel Washington is back again as a vigilante. Unlike all the rest of the bloody, violent, killing, revenge movies, Denzel makes this one a little deeper, more thoughtful, and yet at the same time heavy-handed. There’s nothing new, imaginative or startling in it, but because it’s Denzel you’ll be able to sit through all of it.

ANT-MAN AND THE WASP. It’s embarrassing to watch Michael Douglas, Laurence Fishburne and especiallyMichelle Pfeiffer having to take roles in yet another factory-produced Marvel Comic mass-produced monster hit. (85 RT) Paul Rudd is back in this sequel, and does the best possible job as the Ant-Man. He shrinks; he grows, flies around on the Wasp’s back and does what little he can with this comic book movie. I’m guessing that these Marvel movies are best enjoyed by eight-year-olds. If you’re older than that, think at least twice before attending

JURASSIC WORLD: FALLEN KINGDOM. A big 50 on RT and it didn’t deserve that much. Chris PrattJames Cameron, Geraldine Chaplin and Jeff Goldblum are the only names you might remember from other movies but they can’t help this weak, predictable, rip off. Dinosaurs escape…like duh!!! Gee and they eat humans or stomp them to death. It is very far removed from the realistic, character driven original Jurassic Park of 1993 starring Richard Attenborough, Sam Neill, Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum and B.D. Wong. Send the kids, don’t accompany them!!

INCREDIBLES 2. I liked Incredibles 1. Now Pixar/Disney has shifted to centering on Mrs. Incredible as a Wonder Woman who goes through numerous violent bloody battles against the one concept I thought was funny…the evil Screenslaver. Very little of the original charm, family stuff, human frailties, it’s another cutesy version of the Marvel Comics blockbusters

SKYSCRAPER. What is it with bald-headed movie stars like The Rock/Dwayne Johnson? There’s Vin Diesel, Bruce Willis, Samuel Jackson, Yul Brynner, Jason Statham, Patrick Stewart, and of course Ben Kingsley. As Shakespeare or somebody once wrote…, “Be not afraid of baldness: some are born bald, some achieve baldness and some have baldness thrust upon them”. This is a flop of a movie. Maybe a few moments of scary views down the 200 floors above Hong Kong. I almost forgot: in addition to his baldness, Dwayne’s hero role is a guy with just one leg!!!

MAMMA MIA! HERE WE GO AGAIN. It’s all of the original cast (even Meryl Streep for two songs) and ABBA music. It’s mindless, pointless, meaningless, and lacks almost all of the charm or naiveté of the first one. If you wait until almost the end you can watch a 72 year old Cher in tights singing to her daughter Meryl Streep — who is 69 years old!!! You could also watch Stellan Skarsgard, Pierce Brosnan, Colin Firth and Julie Walters embarrass themselves in this strictly for-the-money prequel. Or I could say, “here we go again… BUT you shouldn’t”.



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. On July 31 Angela Franklin and Dave Weaver from C.F.O.G. Citizens For Orderly Growth in Scotts Valley will talk about their area issues. Then Heidi Cartan from Costanoa Commons Farm will detail some issues they are facing. On August 7 Dr. Shawna Riddle of PAMF talks about staying healthyShe’s followed by Hina Pendle from US Partners. On August 12 Barry Scott from Friends of Rail and Trail is the guest. He’s followed by Attorney Bob Taren discussing politics and problems on August 14th. On Aug.21 cardiologist and Doctor Neil Sawhney talks about heart problems. Then Lisa Sheridan and Robert Morgan from Sustainable Soquel talk about car dealerships and Soquel traffic. Aug. 28 has Lisa Rose and Ken Koenig from Santa Cruz Indivisible talking about their latest plans and events. September 11 Michel Singher from the Espressivo Orchestra will describe their upcoming concerts.  Sept. 18 has Don Stump pres. and CEO of CCH housing returning to discuss affordable housing. Nora Hochman guests on September 25 to talk about rent control and Housing Justice. OR…if you just happen to miss either of the last two weeks of Universal Grapevine broadcasts go here 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

I love this guy.

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.


We can’t possibly have a summer love. So many people have tried that the name’s become proverbial. Summer is only the unfulfilled promise of spring, a charlatan in place of the warm balmy nights I dream of in April. It’s a sad season of life without growth…It has no day.” F. Scott Fitzgerald, This Side of Paradise
“The month of August had turned into a griddle where the days just lay there and sizzled.” Sue Monk Kidd, The Secret Life of Bees
“August was nearly over – the month of apples and falling stars, the last care-free month for the school children. The days were not hot, but sunny and limpidly clear – the first sign of advancing autumn.” Viktor Nekrasov

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Deep Cover by Tim Eagan.

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