Blog Archives

August 14 – 20, 2018

Highlights this week:
BRATTON…Tom Noddy film exxed by Santa Cruz Film Festival, KSQD fm about to air, shutting down Aptos Coffee Roasting Company, Cabrillo Music Fest & big ending, more on UBER JUMP BIKE profits. GREENSITE…on Golf Club Drive. KROHN…Justin Cummings City Council Campaign kickoff, pro Rent Control kickoff party, Library / Garage and Downtown Association meeting. STEINBRUNER…John Laird’s talk about natural resources, Soquel Creek Water District and the draft EIR, Support Gary Lindstrum, County Board of Supes stifles public input, raise our taxes and increase their salaries. PATTON…about College politics. EAGAN…and Subconscious Comics plus Deep Cover. JENSEN…re Venus In Fur. BRATTON…critiques BlacKKKlansman, Generation Wealth, Miseducation of Cameron Post. UNIVERSAL GRAPEVINE GUEST LINEUP. QUOTES…from Robert Mueller.
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PACIFIC AVENUE maybe 1865? I can’t confirm details, but it looks like Williamson & Garrett Grocery Store was at this #12 Pacific Avenue location then, and moved northward on Pacific later. Notice the trolley tracks. Best guesses are that this was taken at the corner of Walnut and Pacific. That’s where that Super Silver Store is now.                                                        

photo credit: Covello & Covello Historical photo collection.

FROM MY COUSIN, here’s a funny.
Tom Noddy about a month ago, at the Live Oak library

DATELINE August 13, 2018

TOM NODDY DOCUMENTARY REFUSED BY SANTA CRUZ FILM FESTIVAL!!!
Tom emails to tell us… “I just heard from the filmmaker, Charles Poekel, about his application to the Santa Cruz Film Festival. Charlie had made a documentary short, 13 minutes long, called “tomnoddy”. It was invited to many festivals this year, including Boston and Dallas (where it won the “Audience Award”) but SCFF rejected it. He tells me he sent a cover letter to be sure that they understood the connection… It won the Dallas Texas International Film Festival Audience Award. Go here  to see the great films and awards from this year’s Boston Independent Film Festival. Scroll down and there’s the Tom Noddy minute documentary! You’ll see the same tribute at the Sarasota Film Festival presentation. What possible reason could The Santa Cruz Film Festival have for turning down a tribute to Tom Noddy — who has given our community so much pleasure and fun?

KSQD RADIO STATION NEWS. If all goes well KSQD is set to go on-air September 1st. They’ll be at 90.7 on your FM dial. Howard Feldstein  has taken the lead on getting it all together. They’ve got over 150 program proposals. Many from former KUSP folks.

CLOSING APTOS COFFEE ROASTING COMPANY. Since developers gave notice to the Aptos Coffee Roasting Company in Rancho Del Mar to shut down, many locals are incensed and hurt that their favorite community gathering place will cease to exist. It’s been there for over 20 years. Liz Minvielle wrote to say… “you know that they were forced to close due to those Fat/Rich Developers. They booted the Everlasting Aptos Coffeehouse with less than 30 days’ notice because they erased them from their last-minute blueprint plans, very similar to our president! There’s a heck of a lot of Community Camaraderie and putting All those Wonderfully Hard-Working People out of their employment livelihood!”. Liz continued to say that she “honestly knows a lot of the Rancho Del Mar Complex in Aptos regulars will be going elsewhere. Therefore, your expected profits will decline! Your last minute plans to eliminate the Aptos Coffee Roasting Company with its great Community Camaraderie, where people get IDEAS from each other about items they need, which can be found in the Rancho Del Mar complex is like a 47.5 magnitude Richter scale earthquake!” Go here to see the history and tradition of the Aptos Coffee Roasting Company.  

CABRILLO FESTIVAL OF CONTEMPORARY MUSIC. Another season of wildly interesting concerts concluded the festival’s 55 year history last Sunday night. Attendance was down a bit from last year. Looking back at the conductor changes in the past, attendance has always dropped a bit for a season or two. Then new fans of the new conductor/director bring in their friends, and seats fill up again. I was curious and asked one of this year’s composers about royalties and publishing their works. He said that yes, they do receive royalties from performances like Cabrillo — but very little. He said also that many composers are now self-publishing. Those royalties depend on the size and importance of which orchestra plays them, and yes, Cabrillo is considered one of the important and bigger ones. Scott McClelland told me Open Rehearsals are very popular and many, many festivals have them — such as Carmel’s Bach Festival.

JUMP BIKE PROFIT. Phil Boutelle writes to say poor UBER isn’t making much money from their JUMP BIKE monopoly. He states… “I read your comment about how Jump/Uber must be making so much profit by renting the bikes at $1/15 minutes. I don’t think this is true. I got a tour of the local Jump office, and they said that of the 250 bikes deployed in SC now, peak usage means about 100 bikes being used at once. At $4/hour, that’s a revenue rate of $400/hour, only during peak times on weekends. They have an office staff, plus mechanics and drivers in two shifts, so I’d say a dozen local employees at least. There is no way that they are making profits at such low revenue rates.” Do you agree with this math? Let’s all chip in $100 to help save poor UBER!!!

August 12, 2018

PARADISE FOUND…FOR HOW LONG?
If you’ve never walked up Golf Club Drive it’s worth taking the time to do so. Others besides me have made similar observations: it is like stepping back in time; a “Shangri-La” as a long-time resident of the area was quoted as saying in the article by Sentinel reporter Jondi Gumz in last Sunday’s (8/12) paper.  The article well captured the feel of this bucolic piece of Santa Cruz’s past and present as well as the forces at work that will in time lead to its loss. With no sidewalks, no bike path, no streetlights, it’s a planner’s blank slate and a developer’s dream. You can still pick blackberries from the side of the road and only the sounds of birds break the silence. “Smart” growth advocates have their vision of dense high rise housing with smart people walking to work or to the corner coffee shop with low income workers whisked away to somewhere else hopefully on public transit. While change is never inevitable, depending on decisions made by people, usually those with money and political influence, the changes ahead for Golf Club Drive unless rejected or tempered, threaten to erase its current beauty and rural character. In its place will come the generic, dense, mostly market- rate housing development that is becoming the norm in Santa Cruz. While some of us who prefer rural to urban were sleeping, others, namely developers and progressives who favor “smart” growth were not. They were busy updating the 2030 General Plan to include a template for Golf Club Drive’s future, which includes 200 to 400 housing units. The two developers behind this future plan, Swift and Cury, I’m sure see themselves as providing a service for all the people who want to live in Santa Cruz, a seemingly bottomless pit of desire. People want to live in Santa Cruz for a variety of reasons; one of them being its quiet, semi-rural environment such as is found at Golf Club Drive, which is then transformed to urban to make room for their arrival.

I support the Costanoa Commons project for Golf Club Drive. It will provide a unique safe haven for many youth with developmental disabilities and their families while preserving an organic farm, a historic building and truly improving the habitat of Pogonip Creek. Talking with the owners and listening to their testimony at the Zoning Administrator’s meeting one gets the sense that if development is going to come to this Shangri-la, then let it be of this nature. The rest… not so much.  The old tension between urban and rural is on full display when city planners and developers use the word, “improvements.” For them, “improvements” mean widening the trestle, installing curbs, gutters, sidewalks, streetlights, bike paths and changing the Golf Club Drive/Highway 9 intersection. A more honest word would be “urbanization.” I get nervous when well-meaning transportation and housing activists use big cities such as Seattle, Paris or Copenhagen as models for Santa Cruz  to “improve” its public transport and housing. There seems an absence of gut level love for nature, an indifference to the need for us to tread lightly on the soil. Such sentiments are dismissed as “sentimental”; stuck in the past; nostalgia; “get over it.” Don’t fall for that urban arrogance. And next time you hear a planner or a developer use the word “improvements” know what they really are saying.

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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August 13

SMÖRGÅSBORD

Justin Cummings Hits the Right, er…Left Notes!


In my trip to Washington, I could not help but be favorably impressed by the exterior of Rep. Barbara Lee’s office in the Cannon Office Building on Capitol Hill. She gives life to the staid officious atmosphere present in most of the rest of the building, the location of many US congressional offices.

Well over 100 supporters and interested voters showed up last Saturday (8/11) at Santa Cruz city council candidate Justin Cummings’ campaign kickoff. Cummings spoke eloquently and passionately about housing (“…more than twenty friends have had to leave town”), and homelessness (“…I know personally six friends who work and live in their cars.”) He also mentioned that growing up on the Southside of Chicago included an early political baptism with his mom dragging him to meetings including ones to support super-progressive, Harold Washington, who took on an entrenched white-Mayor Daley political machine and won. Washington was elected Mayor of Chicago in 1983 and again in 1987. Although he died of a heart attack weeks after his second victory, Washington left an amazing political legacy including increasing voter turnout and community participation. Cummings is also a strong progressive and says he will hit the ground running on other issues too, including incentives to keep local businesses from leaving, alternative transportation–he uses the Jump-Uber bike program–and advocating for greater transparency in how affordable housing money is spent by city hall. Check him out on Facebook

Rent Control Kick-Off: Yes on Measure M!
Wow, the backyard of Ron Pomerantz and former SC Mayor Jane Weed could barely fit the 150-plus walkers, talkers, researchers, tenants, renters and homeowners who showed up last Sunday afternoon to tout Measure M, “The Santa Cruz Rent Control and Tenant Protection Act.” Enthusiasm ran high as everyone experienced a relative calm moment and the joy of community before the hard work of hitting the streets and making the case for rent control begins. Best arguments I heard were that rent control 1) will protect renters who live in Santa Cruz NOW; 2) it will offer time for local wages to catch up with the 40% rent increase that’s taken place over the past six years; 3) it will provide a respite so that the recently passed state money for homeless programs, housing and mental health programming reaches our city and we begin to see results; and 4) because stable rents help lead to stable communities…too many people at this large gathering talked about changing their housing 3 and 4 times over the past two years, going from one neighborhood to another. Everyone seemed to agree that rent is too damn high and sky high rents do not support thriving and healthy communities.

Will the”Library-Garage” Project Go Away? Only if the community gets involved.
Be ever-watchful, ever-vigilant my friends if you want our $23 million bond money to be spent on the library. I attended a “members only” Downtown Association (DTA) meeting last week. (DTA director “Chip” reminded Campaign for Sensible Transportation’s Rick Longinotti that he would not be allowed in. Longinotti was passing out flyers in front of the Food Lounge on Cedar Street to all those attending the meeting. I thought it was bad form not to allow Rick’s voice into the meeting. If Rick is anything, he is a calm and cool mediator. He listens and presents his points well.) So, I took copious notes.

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“We can honor Heather Heyer’s memory by standing up to all forms of oppression and bigotry in this country – racism, sexism, homophobia, xenophobia and religious intolerance. All of us must do our part in creating a just society.” (Aug. 11)
(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 ckrohn@cruzio.com

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August 13, 2018

JOHN LAIRD AND AN OVERVIEW OF CHALLENGES TO NATURAL RESOURCES
John Laird, former Santa Cruz City Councilmember, is the appointed Secretary of Natural Resources for California.  He gave a great overview presentation last week to the Watsonville Wetlands Watch group about the state of natural resource challenges.  Here is the YouTube link for the video of that presentation

Many thanks to Mr. Bruce Tanner for video recording the presentation, much of which was public questions and answers.  I found that refreshing.

Of special interest is the lead that California is taking, along with Oregon and Washington,  to form a coalition with international representatives to address ocean acidification and marine debris issues.  There will be a meeting of that coalition next month in San Francisco.  Mr. Laird also had interesting information regarding water, fire protection and forest health and anticipated climate change impacts.

To review John Laird’s background (he is getting ready to retire and return to Santa Cruz) take a look here.  Many thanks to the Watsonville Wetland Watch group for making possible the opportunity to meet with John Laird.   Here is their website link, for future events.

SOQUEL CREEK WATER DISTRICT GENERAL MANAGER, RON DUNCAN, REFUSES TO EXTEND PUBLIC COMMENT ON DRAFT ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT REPORT
Sadly, the public will not be given more time beyond the minimally-required 45 days to read and review the massive Draft Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the PureWater Soquel Project.  This is the District’s plan to inject treated sewage water into the drinking water for the MidCounty region and incur tremendous financial debt burden for ratepayers.  Many people have requested more time because of the complex issues and the volume of material involved, but Mr. Duncan refused to extend the Public Comment deadline from August 13, 5pm.

Some people tried to take their letters to the address given in the Community Handbook and EIR, but could not find the address (it is the UPS Store at 41st Ave. and Soquel Drive), and upon subsequently taking their letter to the District Offices, were told they should send their comment there.  District staff knew nothing about the 4041 Soquel Drive address).  The Community Handbook, which the District distributed widely, is incomplete and misleading (no summarization of all topics or reference to critical information available in the EIR Appendices.)  

Despite all this and multiple requests from the public for an extension in the Public Review Process (which IS allowable under California Environmental Quality Act or CEQA guidelines), Mr. Duncan refused.  Normally, such decisions would be made by the Board of Directors, but the Board cancelled their August 7 meeting and will not meet again until August 21.  

Is this transparent government?  Is this respectful of the public?  I don’t think so at all.

Write the Board with your thoughts.  Make sure that you specify that your letter needs to be included in the Board Agenda packet communication.

SUPPORT GARY LINDSTRUM, CANDIDATE FOR SOQUEL CREEK WATER DISTRICT BOARD
I was delighted to see that Mr. Gary Lindstrum, long-time resident of Aptos and active Water for Santa Cruz County participant, filed as a candidate for the November 6 ballot election of Soquel Creek Water District Board members.  Three incumbents filed also: Carla Christensen, Bruce Jaffee and Rachel Lather).  This Board really needs someone like Gary who will bring a true voice of the ratepayers to the decision-making policy.  Stay tuned for future updates, but in the meantime, pay attention to the September Board meeting where yet another rate increase will be considered, along with postponing critical capital improvement projects, in order to pay for PureWater Soquel.

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FILING DEADLINE EXTENDED FOR SOME LOCAL DISTRICT CANDIDATE OFFICES
Some local District candidate filing deadlines were extended last Friday, August 10, in cases where no incumbent filed for re-election.  I had been given incorrect information by Election Department staff that led me to report last week that both incumbents for the Aptos / La Selva Fire District had filed for re-election.  That is not true: neither Mr. Abendschan nor Mr. Hurley filed for re-election, so the filing deadline for this and other similar select Boards has been extended to August 15, 5pm.  

Here is the list of those offices where the filing deadline has been extended.  Please consider running for an office in your area, and encourage others whom you feel would be honest and accountable to the public to file.

TRC RETAIL SILENT REGARDING FORCED CLOSURE OF APTOS COFFEE ROASTING IN RANCHO DEL MAR CENTER
Despite many customers contacting TRC Retail to protest their sudden eviction notice to the Aptos Coffee Roasting Company next door to the Safeway, no one has received any response.  This long-time Community hub will close August 19.  TRC Retail is disgusting.  Contact Scott Grady , the Vice President of development for TRC Retail of Orange County sgrady@trcretail.com and let him know YOUR thoughts!

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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August 8, 2018; #220/Rethinking College

The Wall Street Journal is suggesting that we should be “rethinking college.” A book review in The Journal, on July 18, 2018, advanced the following criticism:

Higher education is in a lot of trouble, barely kept on track by massive price increases, grade inflation that keeps the mostly inattentive customers sedated, and a class of academic serfs, called adjuncts, who work for meager wages. The adjunct system is telltale: a classic bait-and-switch operation, wherein customers—that is, students and their parents—imagine that, for the money they are paying, they are accessing professors though they are mostly renting local substitutes.

Speaking as one of those “local substitutes” and “academic serfs,” since I do work as an adjunct professor at UCSC, I believe there is some merit in this critique. Continual price increases, foisted on students who don’t have many personal or family resources, require those students to incur significant debt in order to get access to higher education. These ever-higher prices are undermining our educational system, and are crippling the future of those debt-ridden students. 

The academic product being delivered, at the ever-escalating prices being charged, is also not up to past standards. The “adjunct” system does have some real problems, though I don’t agree that things are quite as bad as The Journal suggests (at least not from what I have seen at UCSC). I am the holder of a J.D., not a Ph.D, but I do think I know quite a bit about government and politics, and that I am delivering at least some significant value to the students who take the classes I teach in the University’s Legal Studies Program. 

Still, I actually do think that students would benefit from having more contact with professors who have a deep, academic familiarity with the subjects being taught, and I do think that they come to college expecting that (and sometimes don’t find it).

The main critique mounted in The Journal’s book review, however (and in the book being reviewed, The University We Need, by Warren Treadgold) is not the complaint outlined above. Here seems to be the actual concern:

The campus left has tightened its grip on college and universities. The tighter the grip … the simpler the message—that Western civilization, including the history of the American republic, is a long narrative of oppression. The essence of the humanities has thus been transformed into the study of victim groups and their supposed oppressors—capitalism, colonialism, religious belief, “privilege”—at the expense of other subjects. Relatedly, the demand for “diversity” now drives the curriculum, not to mention the admissions process. 

One result of this approach has been, Mr. Treadgold says, a growing intolerance toward traditional points of view—including incidents of confrontation and virtual censorship. Another is a growing anti-white sentiment. Arguably, the sentiment was latent in the early stages of identity-politics protests, but it has become overt in recent years, with attacks on “white privilege” and courses deriding “white culture.”

Too much focus on “diversity!” That is basically the problem that The Journal and professor Treadgold identify. In my view, this critique is almost totally wrongheaded. 

“White culture” is not an endangered species. “White privilege” is an historical and still-extant reality. History, including American history, has treated people of color badly, here at home and elsewhere. A genuine education requires that we all confront these realities, and discuss them, and understand both our history and our current situation, taking these real facts into account. The faculty at UCSC, by the way, are definitely trying to do just that in the classes I know about – and are succeeding, too. I don’t read this educational effort as “the left” tightening its grip on colleges and universities. But let me go on.

My real concern about The University We Need is its prescription for change. After providing what I think is a flawed analysis, Treadgold provides the following suggested solution to the hypothesized problem: Treadgold wants “the billionaire class” to establish new, private universities that would try to teach courses that don’t let the students know that there has been a long history of oppression of people of color by white people. 

Candidly, this is not going to equip anyone who gets this kind of education to function well in our contemporary world. Trying to erase the facts, in the name of an ideology, is exactly the opposite of what genuine education is all about. The Journal accuses “the left” of trying to do that, and to the extent that this happens, it is wrong. But what is being proposed by professor Treadway is to mobilize exactly this kind of education as ideology. His proposal is even more horrible in that he explictly calls for the creation of private institutions, built on the enormous wealth of the 1%, which will never have to have any public accountability.

Should we want to “rethink college?” That’s not a bad idea! But instead of asking new high-tech billionaires to set up quadrangles of privilege, in which young, rich white people will be shielded from the real world, how about trying the prescription advanced in a recent study by the Century Foundation. The idea is summarized in an article in a July 19, 2018, article in Pacific Standard

What is this solution? Making college free!!

That approach, not the exclusive educational preserves promoted by The Wall Street Journal, is what this nation needs.

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 www.gapatton.net

Email Gary at gapatton@mac.com

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EAGAN’S SUBCONSCIOUS COMICS. Huge thanks for the responses and welcomes for adding Tim Eagan’s Subconscious Comics. Scroll downward for the next excursion into our inner thoughts. Lee Quarnstrom long-time reporter and county observer sent the following…Re. Tim Eagan’s run for district attorney: Not only did he wear rabbit ears at some public appearances, he also gave eventual winner Phil Harry a hard time at one of the debates. As the third candidate in the race was at the microphone, Tim, sitting behind the speaker, next to Phil, suddenly looked at Phil Harry with shock, then started to fan the air, as if to waft away the stench of a gaseous eruption from the eventual winner of the race. I can’t recall whether Phil knew that Tm was making fun of him, but we in the audience had a fine laugh as the befuddled third candidate, at the mic, was wondering why the hell we were in stitches! Tim just kept fanning the air with a look that said he wanted to be pinching his nose closed. I asked Tim about Lee’s note he replied…” Phil Harry, by the way, was not the eventual winner of the race. That was Art Danner, who dispatched us both in June, obviating the need for a November run-off”. Scroll below a bit for this week’s addition/edition.

EAGAN’S DEEP COVER. See Eagan’s “FREE SPEECH” 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. Read his “Waiting for the Fat Lady” re-creating our news as Opera!!!

MUNCHING WITH MOZART CONCERT…FREE. One per month on the third Thursday there’s a free concert in the upstairs meeting room in the main Library. This month it’s
Kumaran Arul doing a piano solo. The concert title is..”Chopin for Piano”. Kumaran will play Chopin Favorites, including: Impromptu on A-Flat…Etude in E, Op.10 #3…Scherzo No.1 in B Mino…Selected Mazurkas and Selections from Piano Sonata #3, op.58 in B minor. That’s Thursday, August 16, 2018…12:10 – 12:50 p.m…in the threatened Santa Cruz Public Library…Downtown Branch.

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: “Santa Cruz Shakespeare” goes devilishly modern with its seductive production of Venus In Fur, this week at Lisa Jensen Online Express (http://ljo-express.blogspot.com ). Meanwhile, still missing my Art Boy, I reflect on the best present I ever gave him, and encourage everyone to join me at the Rio next week, August 25, to celebrate James Aschbacher’s inspiring life!” Lisa has been writing film reviews and columns for Good Times since 1975.  

BLACKKKLANSMAN. Spike Lee’s newest and most effective critique on what’s happening in America. It’s the progressive Democrats’ best statement since Michael Moore’s last film. Not subtle, but funny, bitter, and painfully true. It’s based on the true story of a black police officer who finagles a way to get a white guy into the KuKluxKlan. More than that, he has meetings with David Duke, head of the KKK. Alec Baldwin has an opening scene, Adam Driver is the “hero” and you have to see it. It earned 97% on RT

GENERATION WEALTH. It’s an odd documentary that is supposed to be about the negative aspects of wealth in the USA. The first third centers on Los Angeles teenagers and is more than revealing…it’s tragic and true. Then it goes into fortunes spent on “plastic surgery” and insane devotion to real estate and Mumbai and nutsy statements. If you watch and listen closely, about 2/3 of the way through a woman talks about “going to Santa Cruz“. Right after that there’s a posed photo of a family with a guy on the left that looks amazingly like Randall Grahm from the Bonny Doon Winery Days. Let me know if you see the resemblance. CLOSES THURS. 8/16

THE MISEDUCATION OF CAMERON POST. Chloë Grace Moretz stars as the high school girl caught kissing another girl student and gets sent to a Christian “gay correction”  camp. Plenty of messages here, the acting is fine but somehow the pace and the purpose of the film gets sidetracked by not so great direction. It could have been tighter, more focused and much more meaningful. Go anyways if you care about the terrible “gay conversion” movement. CLOSES THURS. 8/16

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.

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!!! CLOSES THURS. 8/16

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.

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.

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.

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.

THE SPY WHO DUMPED ME. Mila Kunis and Kate McKinnon play buddies from LA who for some kinky reason become involved with an international killers. The two of them go to Holland, Hungary, Berlin, Austria, Denmark and Atlanta, Georgia.  After more than two hours those locations plus the foolish, overused dialogue between the two women aren’t enough to make this flick worth paying to see.

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

CHRISTOPHER ROBIN. Ewan McGregor does the best possible job he can with a boring, depressing, and very commercial attempt to make more money from A.A. Milne’s Winnie The Pooh books. It isn’t even Disney cute or Pixar creative it’s simply not interesting. And old Christopher Robin is forced by animated versions of Eeyore, Piglet, Tigger and other stuffed toys to remember how much fun he had as a boy. Don’t even send the kids.

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”.

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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. 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. Then Phyllis Rosenblum president of the Santa Cruz Chamber Players talks about their new season (2018-2019) concerts. On September 4 Rotimi Agbabiaka from The San Francisco Mime Troupe discusses their performances here on Sept. 8 & 9. September 11 Michel Singher from the Espressivo Orchestra will describe their upcoming concerts. Then Julie James from The Jewel Theatre shares news of their new play season. 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.   

This is for my husband, Thomas. He’d live here, chained to the books, if he could… 🙂

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 bratton@cruzio.com

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.  ROBERT MUELLER

“Perimeter defense may not matter if the enemy is inside the gates“. Robert Mueller
“You don’t eat before your troops eat, and you don’t ask your troops to do anything you won’t do, too”.  Robert Mueller
“We need to take lessons learned from fighting terrorism and apply them to cyber crime”. Robert Mueller
“We cannot turn back the clock. We cannot undo the impact of technology. Nor would we want to”. Robert Mueller

COLUMN COMMUNICATIONS. Subscriptions: Click and enter the box in the upper right hand corner of each Column. 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!) 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
All Technical & Web details: Gunilla Leavitt @ godmoma@gmail.com


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