Blog Archives

August 10 – 16, 2011

THE HUGE PROPOSED LA BAHIA. FROM BARRY SWENSON’S & CHARLIE CANFIELD’S OWN VIEW. For more than six years we’ve tried to get Barry and Charlie to scale it down, not stop building it…they haven’t listened. We’ve pointed out that it ruins a coastal land form. We’ve shown that it will be as high as the highest phone pole up on 1st street, because the City Council refused to have them erect “Story Poles”. Here’s their own front-on view.

photo credit: photo courtesy Don Webber collection

Additional information always welcome: email


SCRP (Santa Cruzans for Responsible Planning) wrote a letter trying to save Beach Street and the Beach Street view. READ IT here. It details almost all the points and positions we’ve asked for over the years. We need to remember too that there are very few Conference facilities proposed for the La Bahia….there are really just rooms to stay in while the conference goes on across the street. Remember too that Santa Cruz can’t now and never will be able to compete as a conference destination with San Francisco, Carmel, or Monterey or even the Chaminade. The condominium aspect will soon fail and Charlie will turn the La Bahia into a 100% condo hotel. Remember too it’s a non union business, if that means anything to you. It’ll be six (6) times the size of the present La Bahia. The Casablanca is an older structure, it’s been maintained beautifully, why has Charlie let the La Bahia deteriorate?? Even the Coastal Commission staff report syas at the conclusion that it’s a “judgment call” in allowing it to be torn down. Why not a “Judgment call” to restore it…which by all accounts would be less expensive. See you there this Thursday.

LA BAHIA & COASTAL COMMISSION DATA. Don Webber provides us with… “Here is a link to the California Coastal Commission website. On the homepage, in the left hand column, just below the governor’s mug shot, are the links to view the live webcast of Coastal Commission meetings. There are several options to receive the webcast (with or without the agenda alongside or audio only). Choose one. If you have any trouble receiving the webcast using Windows Media Player, not to worry, you can click on the link to watch it using the Silverlight portal, which seems to work on all computers. You may be asked to download or update your Silverlight player, but that’s relatively painless. This month’s meeting of the Coastal Commission is being held in the Watsonville City Council Chambers on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday (the 10th, 11th, and 12th). Meetings begin at 9 A.M.

GARY PATTON ABOUT LA BAHIA. As Gary says on his KUSP program this week…” The California Coastal Commission is meeting today in the Watsonville City Council Chambers, located at 275 Main Street in Watsonville. On their agenda is the proposed demolition of the La Bahia apartment building in the City of Santa Cruz, and its replacement by a hotel of substantially greater height and bulk.

As the staff report says, there are really two sets of issues before the Commission: First, is the demolition of the existing La Bahia appropriate? Second, if the Commission decides that demolition of the existing structure is appropriate, what are the appropriate standards for redevelopment following such demolition?

The Commission staff recommendation backs up the City’s determinations in each of these areas. Yes, demolition is appropriate. Yes, the bulk and scale of the proposed new structure is acceptable under Coastal Act policies. It’s not clear that the Commission itself will necessarily agree with the staff. The City and the developer want to ignore current requirements, and change planning standards to facilitate the developer’s desires, instead of requiring the developer to follow the existing plan guidelines. In general, this approach is the opposite of what good planning demands. If you care about the outcome, you should be at the Coastal Commission meeting Thursday”. Gary Patton.

BIG QUESTION RIGHT NOW. If you could vote tomorrow for the 2012 California State Senate race, who would you vote for Bill Monning or John Laird? Such great representatives, so hard to choose….too bad we will have to, probably.

Often wrongfully attributed to Ginger Rogers, this is Sarah Paddy Jones, dancing an amazing Salsa Acrobatica – at 75!

LEE QUARNSTROM AND THE MERRY PRANKSTERS. After seeing The Magic Trip (now at The Nick) I asked Lee Quarnstrom former Watsonville Pajaronian and Mercury News Reporter/Columnist to outline his involvement with Ken Kesey’s Merry Pranksters. He’s writing a book about it someday, but he sent this reply…

My Merry Prankster Career in a Nutshell
In early 1964 I interviewed Kesey for the San Mateo Times, where I was working, at his home in La Honda almost immediately after he’d returned from that bus trip to New York. I liked him, liked the Pranksters, joined up, rented a cabin nearby and moved to La Honda from the Haight-Assbury (then still part of the Fillmore) and, by April, had quit the San Mateo paper, gotten busted with Kesey and a dozen other Pranksters and had my photo handcuffed to him & Neal Cassady on the front pages of the SF Chronicle and the SJ Mercury, where I later worked for 19 years. I stayed in La Honda — with Prankster bus trips here & there, mostly around the Bay Area and northern California, until we moved to Santa Cruz (actually, to “The Spread,” a huge farm with a shabby old farmhouse and a barn, in Soquel, on the north edge of Rodeo Gulch) a year-and-a-half or so later. We lived at The Spread and I worked at the Hip Pocket Book Store — and, after Kesey had fled facing two pot busts, including the La Honda bust (they dropped charges on most of us after some court hearings) we took the Acid Test on the road with the Grateful Dead. Eventually we headed south and caught up with Kesey in Mexico, finally renting a place to live on the outskirts of Manzanillo. Zonker and Hassler and I came back to LA, then to Santa Cruz and San Jose and a while later Kesey came back and was arrested by the FBI on a federal fugitive warrant. Longer version will appear, if I ever finish it, in “My Life as a Dynamiter,” a memoir. Lee Q

POSTSCRIPT TO ABOVE. I also asked Lee Q. about Magic Bus tripper “Hassler” in the movie being Ron Bevirt (whom I knew briefly back in the early 70’s from Last Chance Road near Swanton). Lee said, “Yes, Ron Bevirt is Hassler; he lives in Eugene, Ore. His son Joe Ben invented, among other things, the Gorrilapod or whatever it’s called tripod, ingenious”. end of ps.

INA RAY HUTTONS ALL GIRL ORCHESTRA 1936. Don’t even think of Marin Alsop as you watch this.

RESPECTING OUR SANTA CRUZ POLICE??? The next time you see Santa Cruz Police flack Zach Friend ask him or any real police person, how they expect to gain genuine respect in this town when they continue to write $35 tickets for noisy car radios and still allow those Wild Ones on un-muffled motorcycles to rev up and roar away from Starbuck’s up Pacific and every which way on Front Street, especially on weekends…it isn’t fair, or economically sound, tourist wise.

INA RAY HUTTON SINGS WITH HUEY LONG!!! Unbelievable, but check it out!!

FORGET OCEAN STREET MOTELS, SPRUCE UP LENZ ARTS. The concept of our city council awarding privately owned motels on Ocean Street city revenue money to improve the approach to The Boardwalk is simply beyond comment. BUT if they are going to paint places, how about getting Lenz Art store right there at River Street and North Pacific to paint their store??? Maybe even chose some great colors? Maybe even make it attractive to customers or passersby or just in case someone moves in across the street at 2030 Pacific???


PATTON’S PROGRAM. Here’s Gary’s summary of his daily KUSP broadcasts… read it all here:

MONDAY. The Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors is finding out that railroads still have a lot of privileges. Get more information right here.

TUESDAY. Some important decisions relating to the future of “redevelopment” in Santa Cruz County are on the Board’s agenda today. More right here!

WEDNESDAY. The Coastal Commission is meeting in Watsonville today, tomorrow, and Friday. Get an overview on today’s Land Use Report.

THURSDAY. Today, the Coastal Commission, meeting in Watsonville, takes up the controversial La Bahia Hotel item. Get more information right here!

FRIDAY. Here’s an important item from the Coastal Commission’s current agenda, affecting not only Pismo Beach, but areas along the entire California coast.

(Gary Patton is “Of Counsel” to the Santa Cruz law firm of Wittwer & Parkin, which specializes in land use and environmental law. The opinions expressed are Mr. Patton’s. Gary has his own website, “Two Worlds / 365” )

VINTAGE DE CINZO. Ahh…the ocean, the surfing, the…scroll down.

EAGANS DEEP COVER. Tim sees that special something, scroll below…if you know what’s good for us…

LANDAU’S PROGRES. Saul’s article this week “The Good, The Bad and The Crazy” begins with…” The political elite and its stenographic media don’t classify types of terrorists. If they did we would get the good, the bad and the crazy. Since no one is perfect, the virtuous purveyors of death and destruction naturally need flexibility. Mistakes occasionally occur. For example, when U.S. drones – a basic weapon for virtuous terrorists – routinely whack civilians in Pakistan, Yemen and other remote areas, the Pentagon occasionally admits its honest mistake. The drone directors, of course, had every reason to believe that the corpses, when alive, were terrorists and not school children and housewives” Read the rest here Saul Landau is an Institute for Policy Studies fellow whose films are on DVD from

ELERICK’S INPUT. Coastal Commission meetings, this week and beyond

One of the most important issues to be decided by the California Coastal Commission that has ever been up of approval by the group will take place on Thursday, August 11, right here in Watsonville. That, of course, is the decision whether or not to grant a number of exceptions to the Local Coastal Program that will allow demolition of the La Bahia Hotel on Beach Street in Santa Cruz. Don Weber’s input to Bratton Online last week describes in detail what the City of Santa Cruz and Barry Swenson Builder are up to, so that needs to be read if you missed it.

If you disagree with this proposal to tear down the old hotel in the name of “progress” and “revenue for the City”, show up at the Coastal Commission meeting on Thursday, August 11, at 8:00 am. (to make sure you get a seat) at Watsonville’s City Hall to have your say. The Coastal Commission will be meeting in the City Hall; parking is available in the multi-story garage that adjoins the building. Quickest route is Highway 1 to Riverside Drive off-ramp and following Riverside Drive to the large intersection with Main Street, left 2 blocks on Main to City Hall on the left side of the street. It’s important to be there, as you can bet the developer and city council and staff will all be there touting why the structure needs to be torn down and replaced by a larger, taller condo-hotel.

Next Coastal Commission issue that pertains to Santa Cruz County.

The Coastal Commission’s actions will be watched closely by Save our Seacliff, a group of Seacliff residents who are staying on top of what’s happening in their community. At the top of their list is what’s in store for the Poor Clares property. The owners (Dominican Hospital) will be asking for variances much similar to La Bahia’s, in order to change existing coastal zoning from visitor serving to accommodate a medical facility and/or other development. Without even filing for this variance, Dominican has already requested a “replanting permit” from the county to remove 36 mature trees from Poor Clares, obviously a step in their development plans. How about just LEAVING THE 36 trees alone and a “replant” won’t be needed. Chopping down mature trees and then pleading “oopsy” seems to be the new mode of operation of developers.

(Paul Elerick is thechair of the Campaign for Sensible Transportation, , chair of the Transportation Committee of the Santa Cruz Group Sierra Club. and is a member of Nisene 2 Sea, a group of open space advocates).

GOAT ON A WIRE. Watch this entire clip especially when the goat actually TURNS AROUND on the wire, with a monkey on his back (no pun here)

LISA JENSEN LINKS. This week at Lisa Jensen Online Express (, get inspired by Muse (headlining this weekend at the Outside Lands Music Fest in SF), get a crash course in silent movie-style swashbuckling in preparation for Laurie King’s upcoming novel, “The Pirate King” (set in the world of silent filmmaking), and—now that it’s kitten/puppy “season”—get some wild into your life by adopting a new companion from Animal Services or the SPCA. (We did, and here’s why we’re insanely happy about it!) Lisa Jensen has been writing film reviews and a column for Good Times since 1975.

PLANET OF THE APES, The Rise of. I miss Charlton Heston, Roddy McDowall and Kim Hunter. I missed them even more after seeing this thinly sliced piece of tripe. There’s no real people or plot in this one, it’s just the Hollywood version of part two of “Project Nim”, which is a much finer film.

ANOTHER EARTH. Sounds like a good film, a parallel earth, our living duplicates, star approaching earth, etc. But it’s full of “Tree Of Life” saccharin, pretentious, murky stuff. Maybe rent it, and watch certain parts you can’t understand a few times, it might get better.

POINT BLANK. It doesn’t open at the Nick until August 19th, but be the first in line to see this most excellent tight, suspense, kidnapping, murder, race- against- the- clock thriller. More to follow, but don’t forget…Point Blank.


This show is about the conflict between economics, aesthetics and the environment.

Artist’s reception, This Saturday, August 13th from 4-7 pm. Please come meet the artists and learn more about their ideas and inspirations. Cash/Clash Culture includes fantastic work by:
James Collum – large format photos of industry, Russel Brutsché – acrylic paintings

Virginia Draper – photography, T. Mike Walker – collage
Alanni Winkler – acrylic paintings, Nora Sarkassian – ceramic sculpture
Kelley Richardson
– photos and found object sculpture , Jake Thomas -inter media
Tamara Smith-drawings and Kerry Boon-digital painting.

Also, be sure to check out our new historical exhibit that helps tell the story of Davenport and its place in the history of Santa Cruz County. The show runs through August 28th. The September show is Color! We hope to see you soon, All of us at The Davenport Gallery on facebook too
Phone # for info 831-426-1199
450 Highway 1, Davenport, CA 95017
Hours 11am to 5pm Wednesday Through Sunday (closed Monday and Tuesday only)

SERIOUS MUSIC LOVERS ONLY. Russian animation clip of a glass harmonica composition.

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. On August 9th local raker of muck Don Webber who’s been fighting for years to protect our Beach street neighborhood and coastwill detail the problems with the La Bahia plans followed by writer John Deck talking about his new book “Joan Linville.. Seven Steps to an Acting Career“. Tuesday Aug 23rd has Wilma Bonet from The San Francisco Mime Troupe in town and previewing their performances the 27 & 28th. Tandy Beal appears August 30 discussing her production of Hereafter Here. Sept. 13 KUSP’s Opera host Jim Emdy and I will discuss up coming Opera seasons. Christopher Krohn will discuss one of UCSC’s student programs then that same program, Rita Bottoms author of the new book “riffs & ecstasies” will talk about that book..Do remember, any and all suggestions for future programs are more than welcome so tune in and keep listening.

UNIVERSAL GRAPEVINE ARCHIVES. In case you missed some of the great people I’ve interviewed in the last 5 years, here’s a chronological list of just this year’s podcasts. Click here then tap on “listen here” to hear any or all of them… all over again. The Great Morgani on Street performing, Paul Whitworth on Krapps Last Tape. Jodi McGraw on Sandhills, Bruce Daniels on area water problems. Mike Pappas on the Olive Connection, Sandy Lydon on County History. Paul Johnston on political organizing, Rick Longinotti on De-Sal. Dan Haifley on Monterey Bay Sanctuary, Dan Harder on Santa Cruz City Museum. Sara Wilbourne on Santa Cruz Ballet Theatre. Brian Spencer on SEE Theatre Co. Paula Kenyon and Karen Massaro on MAH and Big Creek Pottery. Carolyn Burke on Edith Piaf. Peggy Dolgenos on Cruzio. Julie James on Jewel Theatre Conpany. Plus 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. “You never leave the bus. Nobody ever leaves the bus. The bus may spit you out for a while but nobody ever leaves the bus“, Ken Kesey. “You are a wish to be here wishing yourself”, Philip Whalen. “Speak in French when you can’t think of the English for a thing—turn out your toes when you walk—and remember who you are!“, Lewis Carroll.


Deep Cover

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