Blog Archives

August 21 – 27, 2017

Highlights this week: KU KLUX SUPPORTER IN SANTA CRUZ…New buildings coming on Pacific…Greensite on vacation…Krohn about Housing issues, City poll results, City employees salaries…Steinbruner tells Soquel Creek Water has no answers, Bulldozing another historic house, Soquel’s Washington DC lobbyist, CalAm swinging in SCTO…Patton relates Liberal Democracy…DeCinzo deals with dogs…Eagan and Snacking…Jensen and Wind River…I critique  Logan Lucky, Wind River  and The Hitman’s Bodyguard….Quotes on Eclipses.  

PACIFIC AND COOPER STREETS 1894. That’s what fires used to do to our downtown when it was mostly built of wood. Note the Town Clock made it through unscathed on top of the IOOF building on the far right.    
photo credit: Covello & Covello Historical photo collection.

Additional information always welcome: email

JOHN KELLY LISTENING TO PRES. TRUMP. An expert interprets Chief of Staff John Kelly’s body moves as he listens.
This apartment has not opened since 1939. A true, if unintentional, time capsule. Look at these photographs; they are amazing!

DATELINE August 21, 2017

SANTA CRUZ CHECKUP LIST. Somehow we never seem to hear about projects like these. Watch for them…they’re in the works…

The boarded up building next to the Catalyst on Pacific will most likely be torn down and 17 units built there. They’ll come complete with earplugs to drown out Catalyst noise!

The remaining earthquake hole on Pacific next to Lulu Carpenters is being pushed for 79 expensive condos. Nope, none will be affordable or even middle income…it’s a Barry Swenson project and yes that historic tree on Cedar Street will have to go…so it will all “pencil out”.

We should  thank IndyMedia, Linda Carson and some good folks for doing the research and letting us know that Roger Grigsby of The Omei Restaurant contributed $500 to David Duke the  head of the Ku Klux Klan just last year when he ran for U.S. Senate.  There wasn’t time to check out Grigsby’s entire local career, but he was also one of the major supporters of the Republican student newspaper on the UCSC campus. Some folks told me that he has sold the Omei Restaurant that he opened out on Mission.  His wife April Shen owns Shen’s Gallery at the other end of the Omei Restaurant shopping strip.

Go here for the IndyBay article…

A few years (17) ago I wrote this weekly column in The Metro….check it out. It’s full of Santa Cruz political history… you can read about Scott Kennedy, Cynthia Mathews, Mike Rotkin, Arnie Leff, Dan Dickmeyer, Sandy Brown, and where their support was way back then. Among other items it says..

METRO NEWSPAPER September 13-20, 2000 issue
NEW NOODLES. Now that Shen’s Gallery has left the Redtree building on Pacific and moved into the old Linda Vista market building out on Mission Street a few doors down from Omei Restaurant, Omei is going to open a noodle shop in the Shen’s Gallery place on Pacific, next to Artisan’s. Roger Grigsby, who owns Omei (and funded the right-wing newspaper on the UCSC campus) is married to April Shen, which explains the coincidental moves”. If you’ve got recent data on R. Grigsby send it to me, and we’ll share.

Gillian’s taking a week off…and swears it’ll only be a week!

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).

By: Chris Krohn    Email Chris at

Imagine Affordable Housing, Houselessness, and UCSC Growth, Oh My!
The three issues I heard about most during the city council campaign from August to November of 2016 were the lack of affordable housing, the overall community sense that we need to do more for our burgeoning homeless and houseless population, and UCSC growth. Nothing else really even came close, although farther down the issues list were petty crime (car break-ins and bike theft), too much traffic, and concerns for the future of downtown. The recent poll the city paid for underscores these concerns, except, and it’s a pretty big EXCEPTION; any university growth issue questions seem to have been omitted.

Housing, or Lack Thereof
Imagine there’s no affordable housing, it’s easy to do. As the city council went “dark” in July, it seems that the Bregman & Associates polling firm was burning the midnight oil and running another number, er, poll on the residents under the direction of the Santa Cruz city manager’s office. The staff report for item #21 on this week’s city council agenda notes that the twenty-minute survey was administered to 400 Santa Cruzanos, “likely voters.”Well, Bregman & Associates were paid thousands in city resident’s

With S.C. County Supervisor John Leopold and his nephew recently, aboard the peace ship, “The Golden Rule.”

semolians (love that word!) to tell us what most of us experience every day: 1) there’s not enough housing to go around, 2) the cost of living in Surf City is too damn high compared to the meager wages paid to “most” of us (see below), and 3) the traffic is currently unbearable (and about to get worse when the 600 more approved hotel rooms come on-line). Did we have to pay for a poll to tell us this, you wonder? Me too.

According to this survey, 92% of the 400 polled either thought the cost of living here “very serious[ly]” or “somewhat serious[ly]” out of whack…with? wages? housing costs? The boardwalk all-day wristband price? It was hard to tell. Eighty-four percent thought “traffic congestion” was a “very serious” or “somewhat serious” issue…and if that is not enough, 92% also thought the subject of housing “for people who work here” is “very serious” or “somewhat serious.” Funny thing though, while 86% said it was “important” or “somewhat important” to provide AFFORDABLE HOUSING, I could find nowhere in the poll results where respondents were clamoring for more market-rate housing. Surprise! And guess what? Not many folks said parking (19%)–read library with four-story garage overhead–or remodeling the civic auditorium (17%) were very “important” issues confronting our city right now. BUT, 46% said that there is a “very serious” lack of “not enough services for homeless people.” Wow! Is our Santa Cruz city staff and council listening?

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What to know what some Santa Cruz city employees made in 2016:

Position total pay total compensation
Fire Battalion Chief $248,715 $345,534
Fire Chief $202,333 $259,519
Fire Captain $218,126 $297,968
City Manager $235,000 $269,517
Assistant City Manager $206,646 $264,611
Fire Division Chief $226,000 $319,566
Police Chief $211,361 $283,280
Police Sergeant $179,675 $255,628
Human Resources Dir. $175,316 $227,075

Note: Out of the top 50 highest paid Santa Cruz city employees, only three are women.


For a basic monthly department head pay rate go to:

Bernie Tweet of the Week…

“Immigrants should have a rational path toward citizenship, not just a dark corner to hide in. We must vigorously #DefendDACA.”

Also, check out Bernie’s Op-Ed in Fortune this week on why universal healthcare is actually good for the economy.

(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).

By: Becky Steinbruner    Email Becky at

Those were the words of Soquel Creek Water District Board Vice President Mr. Bruce Daniels at last Tuesday’s Board meeting when a customer wanted to know more about an illegal water connection being used by construction crews in the Aptos Village Project.  The customer had written the Board earlier to report the connection with no meter or backflow device to prevent system contamination.  General Manager Ron Duncan responded to the letter immediately, stating “appropriate action has been taken”.  (see Item 8.1 in the August 15 Board packet).

The customer wanted to know why Mr. Duncan had responded to his letter instead of the Board (and did so before the Board even met to authorize his action) and also what was meant by “appropriate action”?  Mr. Duncan, upon questioning by the Board, explained that the service connection was not metered and was irregular but that the developer would “take care of things in the future.”   The customer wanted to know more, but Mr. Daniels quickly silenced him by stating that if getting an answer to questions requires staff time to provide it, the customer had no right to expect an answer. The Board then hastily adjourned the meeting and went into closed session, insisting that everyone in the audience leave.  I tried to ask Mr. Duncan about the illegal service connection, but he refused .  I waited outside the meeting room with other equally-shocked audience members and again asked Mr. Duncan to just repeat what it was he had said about the connection earlier.  He refused to speak, and quickly left the site. Shocking, isn’t it?  Do you think Soquel Creek Water District really merits those Transparency Awards earlier granted?  I don’t.

That’s what the Soquel Creek Water District Board approved Tuesday, despite pleas from neighbors and other members of the public to offer the historic home of the prominent Millsap family and nationally-recognized artist Darrell Millsap to be saved and moved, or allow the salvage of historic materials.  NOPE.  One neighbor wanted to know why a backhoe had been digging adjacent to his fence early one morning without any notice?  Another wanted to know what the rush is all about if the site use is not going to be determined until after the PureWater Soquel Project Environmental Impact Report (EIR) is complete next year?   That person also wondered why the Board would choose to send the splintered house to the landfill instead of salvaging any part of it?  The Board did not reply…but approved the demolition. Transparency?    Hmmm….

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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).

By: Gary Patton    Email Gary at

Saturday, August 19, 2017
#231 / Liberal Democracy In Extremis

E.J. Dionne, Jr. writes a column for The Washington Post. One of his recent columns had this title, as it appeared in The San Francisco Chronicle: “Stand up for liberal democracy.” 

Listing a number of contemporary challenges to human civilization, running from climate change to the current confrontation between the United States and North Korea, Dionne says that “the challenge to liberal democracy is far and away the most consequential question facing the world.” This is true, says Dionne, because “liberal democracy is essential for solving every other problem.” Liberal democracy, Dionne says, “assumes that history is open and that free electorates can change their minds and their governments. Oppressed groups have a right to agitate and organize against injustices, and new ways of reforming society are given room to emerge.” In other words, “liberal democracy” is the way that we can address our collective challenges and opportunities, and jointly fashion a world that meets our deepest aspirations.

For Dionne, “liberal democracy” means “a belief in governments created through free elections and universal suffrage; an independent judiciary; and guarantees of the freedoms of speech, assembly, religion and press.” 

Dionne also states that “the right to private property is a characteristic of liberal societies,” and insists that “there is also an important place for social insurance, government provision of various services (education and health care among them), and rules protecting workers, consumers and the environment.” Indeed, Dionne says, “the vast inequalities that capitalism can produce when unchecked typically undermine liberal democracy, and are doing so now.”

Looked at analytically, it seems to me that Dionne too easily conflates the governmental procedures that establish democracy (free elections with universal suffrage, a free press, freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of assembly, and an independent judiciary) with some of the accomplishments that Dionne attributes to the operations of this “liberal democracy” – things like “rules protecting workers, consumers, and the environment, and governmentally-provided health care and education.”

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~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 his blog at

AFTER-ECLIPSE. 12 Key Events That Are Going To Happen Between August 21st and September 30th…plan ahead!!!  

CLASSICAL DeCINZO. It’s another “Dog-Gone” great DeCinzo classic…just below a few turns…

EAGAN’S DEEP COVER. See Eagan’s “Eating Alone” 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.

LISA JENSEN LINKS. Lisa writes: “Alias Hook becomes a meme, thanks to one enthusiastic book-blogger, this week at Lisa Jensen Online Express (  Also life is brutal and brutalizing on a Wyoming Indian reservation, but director Taylor Sheridan makes a profoundly eloquent suspense thriller out of the material in Wind River. Read all about it in this week’s Good Times.” Lisa has been writing film reviews and columns for Good Times since 1975.  

WIND RIVER. Jeremy Renner and young beauty Elisabeth Olsen track down a killer on an Indian Reservation in the very cold Wyoming winter. Much better than average, you’ll stay with the plot and quite decent acting…all the way. It males some obvious social comment along the way, and that works too. The conclusion is a bit crude and drunken, but Renner is almost always worth watching.

LOGAN LUCKY. This film has just about everything that should guarantee greatness or at least give you two hours of “Good Movie”. It’s a robbery movie that takes place at the annual Coca Cola NASCAR race in Concord North Carolina. Channing Tatum isn’t very impressive, but Adam Driver steals many, many scenes with his one arm. Katie Holmes is in it too but it’s Daniel Craig who is most watchable. It’s odd and weird but Hillary Swank shows up in the last few minutes that must hint that there’ll be Logan Lucky 2. Steven Soderbergh has done better.

THE HITMANS BODYGUARD. Samuel L. Jackson probably says “motherfucker” at least 100 times in this car chase, bloody, violent flick. Audiences laugh nowadays at the violence and I have a tough time with that. Jackson is the Hit man and Ryan Reynolds is supposed to be his body guard for some reason that I slept through. Salma Hayek is supposed to be Jackson’s wife and I guess to prove it, she too says “motherfucker” at the very end of the movie. Don’t expect to enjoy Gary Oldman, because he only has about 10 lines.

AN INCONVENIENT SEQUEL: TRUTH TO POWER, We should never forget that there were 22,438 Trump Voters in Santa Cruz County and they should all be allowed in free to see Al Gore’s update on Climate Warming. As you know climate warming is worse than ever. Facts, experts, news clips, common sense and a great documentary team show us just how bad itreally is right now. ENDS Thursday August 24.

THE BIG SICK. Kumail Nanjiani the Pakistani jerk from the “Silicon Valley” tv sit com not only wrote this plot but he and his real wife lived it. The film is a bit long but it’s well worth seeing. It’ll grab you when you least expect it. He’s a standup comic and falls in love with Zoe Kazan, a “white” girl. It’s heart rending, funny and  a tale told of cultural differences between his traditional Pakistani family and her very contemporary Mom  (Holly Hunter) and dad. Go see it…it’ll surprise you.(and I’ll predict some Awards around December-January).

ATOMIC BLONDE. Charlize Theron does a nearly perfect job as the Blonde in this James Bond – Berlin Wall era action movie. Very well done fight scenes, complex spy loyalty plot, John Goodman is getting more and more difficult to believe, and he’s in it too. James McAvoy is there too but he doesn’t matter much. It’ll be the first of many sequels believe me, even though it didn’t do that well on opening weekend. Charlize T. also produced the film, and it’s based on a graphic novel.

DUNKIRK. Acclaimed auteur Christopher Nolan directs this World War II thriller about the evacuation of Allied troops from the French city of Dunkirk before Nazi forces can take hold. co-star, with longtime Nolan collaborator Hans Zimmer providing the score.

Dunkirk is a city in France and during WWII the Nazis drove the allied troops to Dunkirk’s beaches. There were 400, 000 troops stranded there with no ships to take them to safety. Tom Hardy, Kenneth Branagh and Mark Rylance are in the film briefly and do fine acting jobs. The film is all war and is well made and directed…better than most war films. But with City Of Ghosts playing now that’s the one to see IF you like genuine war films.

MAUDIE.  A 90 on Rotten Tomatoes and Sally Hawkins plus Ethan Hawke play a severely crippled arthritic and her cruel, stubborn husband…and it’s a true story. The film is sad, poignant, heart gripping and maybe even mawkish. Other than some fine acting by all involved I’m not sure why they made this film, or why you might enjoy it. Me? I’m not sure if I did.

THE GLASS CASTLE. Woody Harrelson, Naomi Watts and especially Brie Larson bring this autobiographical life story to the screen. “Dysfunctional family” doesn’t come close to describing their family problems. The problem is that Woody Harrelson almost always plays exactly Woody Harrelson (as do John Goodman,Vin Diesel, Sylvester Stallone, etc.) He’s an incurable drunk and takes his family on his 100’s of trips through hell. It qualifies as a sob story except that Brie Larsen is just mesmerizing and perfect in the role. Plus you have to believe that Naomi Watts is an old wrinkled mountain woman married for life to Woody. ! Go see it and bring a hanky.

WONDER WOMAN. IF you like comic book heroes or heroines (hope its ok to use that term) Wonder woman is several cuts about the usual no brainer/ violent/monster filled box office smashes we keep seeing. Gal Gadot is a former Miss Israel and we keep hearing about that. She plays W. Woman. Robin Wright, is in it too and she is a long time favorite of mine. She is Sean Penn’s ex. Chris Pine just jumps around looking like the usual Hollywood cutie pie. If you remember that she’s a comic book star and is supposed to battle, fight and pose in tight pants all the time you could enjoy this more than most of that ilk. Do remember too that Wonder Woman is a DC comics creation NOT a Marvel Comic character…there’s a big difference, and I was recently corrected on KZSC’s Bushwhackers Breakfast Club.

WAR ON PLANET OF THE APES. This should really be classified as an animated saga. It’s all digital ape stuff with Woody Harrelson as an evil human. It has a plot that could make you think seriously…if you can take the computer apes seriously. It could eb said to relate to the Democrats versus the Republicans. Republicans (Harrelson) want to build a wall among other plot devices and the more liberal apes just want to have peace.  About 90 % of the film is centered on wars between the two forces and who will rule in the future. Better to go to one of our museums or galleries instead.

SPIDERMAN:HOMECOMING. Michael Keaton completely steals every movie he’s ever made and he sure does playing an evil “Vulture” in this latest version of the web spinner (there have been at least 13 versions of Spidey on TV and the movies!!) Spidey is a high school student with Teresa Tomei as his mom. Robert Downey jr. is back as Iron Man. It doesn’t matter much but Gwyneth Paltrow is in it too. It’s a little better than most of the Marvel Comics hero movies but not much.

ANNABELLE:CREATION. This is supposed to be the prequel to the Conjuring series (in case you’ve seen this haunted doll series). You can stay home and write the tired old script in seconds. Dark cellar stairs, creepy doll in closet, innocent orphan girls, scarecrows, dumbwaiters,  you’ve seen it dozens of times if you haven’t been careful.

THE DARK TOWER. How can a movie from books by Stephen King, and produced by Ron Howard, and which stars Mathew McConaughey and Idris Alba be so bad?? (18 on RT). It’s intergalactic, bloody, complexly stupid plot…and it’s filmed mostly in the dark. That saves tons of money spent on special effects. McConaughey is the bad guy and Alba is the good guy, in case somebody forces you to go. It’s more depressing than watching Fox news!!



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. August 22 has Faisal Fazilat explaining what Ranked Choice Voting is all about…followed by Magi Amma and Danny Drysdale talking  about the Santa Cruz Bernie Organization. On August 29 The San Francisco Mime Troupe’s Marilet Martinez tells us about their 9/9, 9/10 performances here. She’s followed by  UCSC Astrobiologist and author David Deamer talking about new theories on the Origin Of Life . September 5 has Lisa Hadley and Davis Banta previewing their Quality Of Life play. Then therapist Alexandra Kennedy talks about her Awakening to Life In Transition retreat. UCSC’s Gary Griggs discusses his newest book, “Coasts In Crisis” on Sept.12. On October 10 Phyllis Rosenblum discusses the Santa Cruz Chamber Players 2017-18 season. The top winners of the Bookshop Santa Cruz Young Writers contest read their works on November 28.    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  

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.


Zeus, the father of the Olympic Gods, turned mid-day into night, hiding the light
of the dazzling Sun; and sore fear came upon men.Archilochus (c680-c640 BC),

In addition to this, there is evidence for the truth of what I have stated in the observed facts with regard to total eclipses of the sun; for when the centre of the sun, the centre of the moon, and our eye happen to be in one straight line, what is seen is not always alike; but at one time the cone which comprehends the moon and has its vertex at our eye comprehends the sun itself at the same time, and the sun even remains invisible to us for a certain time, while again at another time this is so far from being the case that a rim of a certain breadth on the outside edge is left visible all round it at the middle of the duration of the eclipse. Hence we must conclude that the apparent difference in the sizes of the two bodies observed under the same atmospheric conditions is due to the inequality of their distances (at different times).Aristotle (Greek, 384-322 BC)

Nations, like stars, are entitled to eclipse. All is well, provided the light returns and the eclipse does not become endless night. Dawn and resurrection are synonymous. The reappearance of the light is the same as the survival of the soul”,  Victor Hugo

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Deep Cover by Tim Eagan.

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