Blog Archives

August 21 – 27, 2019

Highlights this week:
BRATTON…City Hall havoc, Dream Inn expansion, Money and UCSC. GREENSITE…on the Dream Inn Development. KROHN…Green New Deal, Small cell 5G, Rental Housing data collecting, Dream Inn expansion, Elizabeth Warren and housing. STEINBRUNER…Soquel Creek water rates and elections, Capitola’s 5 story hotel, medical center on Capitola Road, Dream Inn expansion. PATTON…about Revolution. EAGAN…classic Sub Cons. JENSEN…had tech flare-ups. BRATTON…I critiqued Where’d you go Bernadette and Tel Aviv on Fire. UNIVERSAL GRAPEVINE GUEST LINEUP. QUOTES…”RENT”.



THE FAMED SEA BEACH HOTEL. This developer’s dream hotel was planned to get the tourists from staying in Carmel and Monterey. It was built in the 1870’s and was luxury and class all the way. Presidents Teddy Roosevelt and Benjamin Harrison stayed there.  It had 170 rooms and burned down (and up) on June 12, 1912.                                                      

photo credit: Covello & Covello Historical photo collection.

Additional information always welcome: email


DATELINE August 19.

CITY HALL HAVOC.  It can’t really be true that the re-call Glover and Krohn people are paying clip boarders to collect signatures is it? Money, money, money. It’s also becoming more clear and predictable that our Vice Mayor Justin Cummings is the 3.5 vote on any and all Council votes. Remember how he got the vice mayor spot?? So Mathews, Krohn, Brown and Watkins terms are up in 2020. You know this will be a huge campaign season. 

Several neighbors and involved residents combined thoughts, reactions and ideas and sent this email “Here are some comments re: 190 West Cliff Drive Project (Dream Inn expansion) from the Thursday, August 15 Planning Commission Meeting”.: 

It is clear that the Commission had many many concerns and questions about this project.  The meeting was just under 6 hours – and went from 7:00 until adjourned just before 1:00 am.  The Commission vote was 3-2  (to move the project forward to the City Council) so there are concerns about this project by commission members.  So the decision was not unanimous. The meeting was packed with people and, we believe, a majority of them were opposed to the project as is.  We believe a majority of those speaking before the commission were opposed to the project as well. 

In regards to CEQA (California Environmental Quality Act),  Commissioner Schiffrin, said he believes there are legitimate issues that demand more information, and issues peculiar to the property that haven’t been studied, such as noise and vibration effects on Clearview Court, and traffic impacts to California Ave.

Many people at the meeting demanded a FULL EIR (Environmental Impact Review) and there were numerous people standing and sitting with ‘DEMAND AN EIR” signs in the audience.  Several stated that it is irresponsible to allow a project of this magnitude in this very busy lifeline corridor/intersection as well as a 2 story underground excavation into sandstone right across from the cliffs. Those concerns should automatically trigger an EIR. A local community group put forth this quote from CEQA – “the CEQA (California Environmental Quality Act) requires that a full environmental review be prepared for any proposed project that MIGHT have a significant adverse impact on the environment.”  We all believe there is no doubt this project will have an impact and an EIR should be prepared prior to approval of the project. 

The traffic study, again, has many many flaws and they did not seem able to answer the many questions about the impacts on that key intersection and surrounding roads/neighborhoods including California Avenue.

Even commissioners who voted for the project seemed to have concerns; Commissioner Peter Spellman stated “This project will have a significant impact on the area”. Also, Commissioner Greg Pepping, stated “So confusing the zoning for this site”. There is some confusion about the interpretation of the zoning for this site! 

Commissioner Schiffrin also requested that before removal of the heritage trees a qualified tree remover assess the trees, to see if relocation is feasible.  He noted, looking at a photo, that the 2 tall trees (the Canary Island pines slated for removal) have real scenic value.  He also thought the developer should increase the setbacks on the third and fourth floors on the Clearview Court side, but that amendment was voted down.  And he also asked many questions on traffic flow in and around the project as well as many other questions (see Santa Cruz Sentinel article, Jessica York, August 17). 

Both Commissioners Schiffrin and Greenberg felt that there should be 10 inclusionary units in addition to 8 density bonus units, and that in this market it would be economically feasible for the developer. Commissioner Miriam Greenberg noted that we are far, far behind in the supply of low end housing, and adding so much at the high end will only make the disparity worse. She also pointed out that affordable housing that allows a worker to walk to work every day improves traffic, as a opposed to a tech commuter who buys a market rate condo and drives over Highway 17 every weekday.

It seemed that the developers were often confused by some of the Commissioners questions about certain aspects of the project – the height of 56′ was questioned by one of the Commissioners – why is it going higher? Planning Dept spokesman said “it was a very hard to interpret – but it was a matter of interpretation and we (the Planning Dept) interpret it this way.” So the developer gets an extra floor from 47′ to 56′ enabling 26 stair towers and roof decks with trellises over them for the “private” condos. 

The planning guidelines says the building needs to be terraced from its setbacks from each floor – the Planning Dept interpreted this as only along Bay and West Cliff and not the driveway on the other 2 sides that are adjacent to residences – there the building goes straight up. 

The developers continuously commented that they have had many community meetings with the public and nearby neighbors who will be impacted by this project – they forgot to mention that they did not incorporate most (if any) of the many many concerns expressed at those meeting into the proposed project. We know this, because we attended almost every meeting except those with the Clear View Court community’.

MONEY, MONEY, MONEY AND COLLEGE. is now a website devoted to money stories; it used to be a magazine that started back in 1972. They just did a survey and a story titled…” The Best Colleges in America, Ranked by Value”. It stated, “Going to college shouldn’t mean a lifetime of debt. To find the schools that successfully combine quality and affordability, MONEY weighed more than 19,000 data points, including tuition fees, family borrowing, and career earnings. Explore our list, then build your own”. 

What’s great is that UC Irvine came in at #1. UCLA #4, UC Davis #5 UC San Diego #9 and UC Berkeley #17. Check out the entire list here. Just in the small chance you’re wondering where UC Santa Cruz came in (spoiler alert)  you’ll find it at #103 !!! read about that decision and a description of the campus here. Strange isn’t it?

MURDERSVILLE, USA. The casting call is out, they need nearly anybody to fill in for this new film Murdersville, USA. It’ll be filmed here. It says …Director:Travis Clinton Lipski Writer:Travis Clinton Lipski Stars:Gregory Sporleder, Russell Sams, Taylor Stammen . I hadn’t heard of any of them. We did have a couple of extra murders back in the early 70’s, but how has Santa Cruz earned such a reputation as a death city? It says re the plot in the IMDB link synopsis, “When people start disappearing in Surf City a rabid media floats the idea of a serial killer and everyone tries to cash in.” Check out this title shot of Murdersville with the Boardwalk as the biggest feature. Don’t we have a City paid person who is responsible for the cities promotions? And why is this film allowed to use us this way? Check it out…

August 19

What’s the connection between the application for the development of 79 luxury apartments at the Dream Inn parking lot on the corner of Bay and West Cliff and the application by Venus Spirits for a restaurant with alcohol service and tasting room/distillery at the Delaware Addition? The former generates the need for the latter and both serve to worsen the affordable housing crisis in Santa Cruz. 

Not directly, of course. The future owners of the luxury apartments may never go to this particular new restaurant if it is approved at Wednesday’s Zoning Administrator meeting and the restaurant owners may never buy one of the luxury apartments if that project is approved by city council in September. But the equation holds. If it’s not this new restaurant it will be another. Above market rate housing attracts newcomers with high-end consumption tastes (in food, clothing, entertainment, household appliances, interior decorating, cleaning services, cars, bikes, dogs etc.) and those consumption tastes create the need for workers, low-income workers. (Our consumption patterns explain why the USA, with a fraction of the world’s population generates a high percentage of its carbon emissions.) 

Those who work in the food and other service industries who serve the needs of the well-to-do earn low wages and unless they are already living in local subsidized housing or are long-time residents, are either searching for non-existent low rental housing or are commuting long distances, very long distances in many cases. The more high-end residents we attract with all the new high-end housing, the more low-income service workers are needed and in a full employment economy, that means new, not existing workers, travelling into Santa Cruz from far away. Climate activists are curiously absent at the hearings where such large-scale high-end projects are routinely approved. No amount of rail trail posturing will offset the impact of this trend since a rail line will spur more development and the low to high- income ratio imbalance will continue.

The mantra “we need housing” is simplistic, basically wrong and is getting in the way of a careful analysis of proposed new developments to determine which may help solve the housing cost crisis and which will make it worse.  As it stands now, The Dream Inn development will serve to make it worse. On that score alone it is worth turning down. Despite its inclusion of below market rate housing for a total of 89 units (79 luxury, 10 low income) that still falls short of what researchers determine are needed. According to the Nexus study, for every 100 units of above-market rate housing there is a concurrent need for between 20 and 43 low-income units just to keep the status quo, which is already untenable. You can read more in the links. The city was supposed to do its own Nexus Study, which for some reason has never been released. Maybe the results didn’t fit the agenda.
The Planning Commission approved the Dream Inn project by a vote of 3 to 2 (one absent and Singleton recused for passing out pro- Dream Inn development literature at one of the community meetings.) Commissioners Schiffren and Greenberg stood out as the only ones informed of the ramifications of the Nexus study and the only ones by their actions, concerned about low -income housing. And if you want to draw connections…they would not have been appointed to the Planning Commission without the votes of Krohn, Glover, Brown and Cummings. 

There is a way to increase the numbers of low-income units in the proposed Dream Inn development from 10 to 18 but only Schiffren and Greenberg supported that option. The developer is making use of what is called a “density bonus.” This state-mandated provision allows developers to increase the height of the project if they add more low-income units. That sounds all good except if they don’t add more low-income units they still get the density bonus! The rationale is that it’s still housing. Here we go again! Ignoring the Nexus study and ignoring the impact of all that extra height, mass and traffic on the neighborhoods. Schiffren and Greenberg tried to get the votes to insist that the developer provide the numbers of low- income units (18) that the density bonus should require but the majority (Spellman, Pepping and Conway) opposed that move. The developer may sue but that’s a lawsuit that has justice on its side and could create a precedent with far-reaching positive impacts for truly helping low-income workers and the housing cost crisis. It separates those who give lip service to the need for more low-income housing but who really just favor development and those who truly care about the low- income workers who service the rich. 

An even better solution would be to deny the development altogether. Even with the maximum of low-income units, the housing cost crisis is worsened by this development. Its impact on thousands of lower Westside residents is undeniable and particularly hard hit are the low-income residents of adjacent Clearview Court. It makes mockery of the requirement for the city to protect neighborhood integrity and exposes the true motive: bring in more wealthy residents to fill the coffers and who cares if others have to commute from far away to fill their cappuccinos.

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.

August 19, 2019


Green New Deal
A real Green New Deal (GND) for Santa Cruz would really change everything we do if we tailor it after House Resolution 109 put forward by US Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. The city council endorsed the House version of the GND and now we need to envision what that would look like for city of Santa Cruz. What elements of the GND can be replicated here? Buy-in must be gotten from department heads down to line staff if we really want to implement the goals of good green job creation, significantly reducing our collective carbon footprint while zeroing out our large carbon diet by 2045 (we really need it by 2025!) We’ve got to begin now. The Sunrise Movement and the Extinction Rebellion group are hot on the trail and hope to push, prod, and thrust this city council and the community into a fossil fuel, coal-free, and carbon-free future. We must ask ourselves; do we currently have policies in place that make a peaceful energy revolution possible? If the answer is no, then we need to begin, at the city council, staff, and commission levels of collectively working our way toward, as Barack Obama once said, the change we want to be. While the lunar surface was reached long ago, and displayed incredible visionary achievement, we’ve barely scratched the GND surface and it may take even more ingenuity to get to that carbon-free future many are talking a lot about.

Small Cell Wireless
It has become increasingly difficult for cities to regulate the placement of electromagnetic fields (EMF radiation) cell phone boxes, towers, and antennas. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has taken away land-use power from cities, and also limits the amount a city can charge for installation and right-of-way permit fees. Of course, to top it off, even though many residents experience several health-related illnesses from EMF radiation, there is a law that says health-related effects cannot be taken into consideration in any local rule-making concerning cell phone towers. The council was able to limit the placement of towers and antennas to every 1500 feet; in addition we are considering allowing locals to appeal small cell wireless “facilities” by invoking ADA–Americans with Disabilities Act–regulations. This latter policy concern is a novel one and will likely be tested in court as we proceed into the brave new world of the coming ominous 5-G technology. A subcommittee was formed to look into relieving potential appellants of the $645 appeals fee as well. Here’s an article from the New Yorker raising health, privacy and security concerns as they all emanate from this 5G technology.  

Six-month City Council Work Plan
The city council’s 6-month work plan will include: Rental Housing Data Collection; taking up the Inclusionary Housing Ordinance (15% or 25%? In-lieu fees? How much?); “options” to the Rental Inspection Ordinance (we’ve been waiting awhile for that one); Accessory Dwelling Unit parking and ordinance implementation; and finally, to kill or not to kill the “Corridors Plan.” We were informed by the city manager that this 6-month plan will briefly precede the next big plan, a three-year one. Stay tuned on this front as well, the work plan will be coming back to council at its August 27th meeting.

Data Collection Related to Rental Housing
This agenda item was deemed by councilmembers as not yet ready for primetime. If you are scoring at home, 14 pro-tenant can’t-we-get-something-done-now voices came to the city council podium disappointed that the resolution being discussed came nowhere near what tenants need. Interestingly, there were 8 “supporters” in favor of collecting data–including the rep. from the California Apartment Association. This tells you why what was in front of council was really dead on arrival. The council voted to let Councilmember Sandy Brown and Vice-Mayor Justin Cummingsto work with staff to hopefully achieve a more balanced and relevant approach to gathering the kind of data about the SC housing market that would ultimately assist renters, aka, bring rents down, keep tenants in their units, address large rent increases, open an office where tenants and landlords could more easily address differences, and maybe bring a bit of sanity to an out of control market. The issue of rental data collection will be back at the first council meeting in October.

Planning Commish Meeting: 190 W. Cliff Drive
Wow, well over 100 community members came out to hear debate and discussion over a very significant building project that was before the Planning Commission last Thursday night. City staff explained the particulars on the “four story mixed use building: 16,188 square feet of commercial and 89 residential condominium units” at 190 West Cliff Drive. It’s the parking lot across the street from the Dream Inn. I am happy I attended the first part of the meeting. It opened my eyes to some surprising possibilities on a currently not very attractive asphalt surface. To my mind, the parking lot is not much of an eye-catching coastal amenity. Seems to me something great could happen on this property. Developing the parcel in a tasteful way could very well yield some positive results for our community. Included in the project are 10 units of affordable housing, 8 are targeted at “very low” income levels. Tyson Sayles, one of the project applicants, is the first developer I’ve ever encountered who actually stated precisely what he figured one of the low-income units would sell for: $192,000. To his credit, Sayles is apparently not trying to segregate income levels in this project by asking for in-lieu fee relief rather than building some affordable units, and he is to be commended for that. My councilmember mind is currently wide open, as it should be, on the viability and success of this project. Office holders are elected precisely because they have particular views about important community issues–like growth and development–and the voters want those views represented. That said, those coming before the Council do have the right to a fair hearing. I’m concerned about axing several heritage trees and the impacts on neighbors at Clearview Court that also may result from development at this site, but there is time to hear arguments on the many sides of the issue. After all, it is important to take into consideration the questions and needs of all parties before making any decision.

Elizabeth Warren on Affordable Housing for All

“The cost of housing is squeezing American families in communities all across the country — rural, suburban, urban — whether they’re struggling to pay rent or trying to buy a home. The legacy of government discrimination and negligence means that communities of color have been hit the hardest. It’s time to stop nibbling around the edges and, instead, pass this big, bold proposal to solve our housing crisis and take the first steps to address the legacy of housing discrimination head on.” (March 13, 2019) [press release] 

(Chris Krohn is a father, writer, activist, and was on the Santa Cruz City Councilmember from 1998-2002. Krohn was Mayor in 2001-2002. He’s been running the Environmental Studies Internship program at UC Santa Cruz for the past 14 years. He was elected the the city council again in November of 2016, after his kids went off to college. His current term ends in 2020.

Email Chris at


August 19

Because Soquel Creek Water District shoved through a Prop 218 protest vote in February, 2019, stating that the average cost increase per household would be only $5/month and requiring 51% of their 15,800 customers to mail in protest letters,  the real truths have hit the fan and wallets of their customers… is not a pretty picture for anyone.

Read the correspondence linked to this Tuesday’s August 20 Board meeting packet, and then take a look (if you are able) at NextDoor comments.  There is a tsunami of angry customer discussion there about exorbitant water bills and poor customer service in trying to get things settled with the new sloppy system, causing late fees for many who have never missed a payment in their decades of being customers.  

Most District customers do not know that this is only the beginning of the FIVE YEARS OF ANNUAL 9% RATE INCREASES APPROVED BY THE BOARD IN ORDER TO PAY FOR THE PLAN TO INJECT TREATED SEWAGE WATER INTO THE AQUIFER (aka “Pure” Water Soquel Project).

One of the letters in the Correspondence asks why not build a reservoir?  The District response admits to purchasing the 160 acres on Glenwood Drive for the purpose of doing this, but shoves it aside as infeasible and problematic.  Yet this very expensive plan to inject treated sewage water into the aquifer is supposedly  feasible and NOT problematic???  Hmmmm…..

The District rebuts that they have no water rights for Soquel Creek, for which all rights have been adjudicated.  But have they applied for a reconsideration or amendment?  NO.  They could then store some water in a reservoir and do natural recharge into the aquifer they claim is in critical overdraft. 

Instead the District is making  customers pay through the nose for this expensive plan to inject treated sewage water into the aquifer, which would demand massive amounts of electricity.  It would  cause potential environmental degradation at 18 stream crossings for the pipes that would carry this contaminated water to the Live Oak area treatment plant, then another pipe carrying the contaminants removed there back to Santa Cruz to get dumped into the Bay.  The only reduction in contamination this Project would bring is by the injection into the aquifer of the pharmaceuticals and other unregulated pollutants in the sewage water that CANNOT BE 100% REMOVED BY THE TREATMENT PROCESS.

Let me repeat that: the PureWater Soquel Project will NOT reduce the contamination going into the Monterey Bay, it will concentrate it by removing 1.3 million gallons of water extracted by processing per day.  All Contaminants, including some of those created in the heavy disinfection treatment process that are carcinogenic, would be put back into the Bay.

The District could find another supplemental supply, and use existing infrastructure to make use of it, according to a thorough legal analysis by Best, Best & Krieger attorneys.   According to this document, the District could apply for water rights for the San Lorenzo River during the wet months of November 1 through May 31, and do so independent of the City of Santa Cruz.  (see the attachment at the end of this blog) They could provide that water to the City to treat and sell, perhaps at a discounted rate, to the District and let the wells in the MidCounty area rest by not pumping.  The aquifer has shown itself to be very resilient, and would respond with rising groundwater levels that would naturally prevent seawater intrusion.  That is the stated purpose of the expensive Project to inject treated sewage water into the aquifer.

The District could also take that “new” water from the San Lorenzo River (or Soquel Creek, if there were an amendment sought) during storm events,  and pump the water to that reservoir on Glenwood, store it for recharge,  and reduce flood danger to downstream communities.  There probably are some good state and federal grants for that…..

Has the District pursued this at all?  NO.

Soquel Creek Water District still hangs on to the ownership of that 160 acre parcel on Glenwood Drive.  If they do not intend to use it for a reservoir, why do they never declare it “excess property” and sell it as they do every year with other assets?

For some unknown reason, Soquel Creek Water District staff and Board is intent on raising customer rates 9% every year for the next four years to pay for an expensive project that is, in my opinion, unnecessary and could pose long-term health risks due to chronic low levels of unregulated and unknown contaminants injected into the drinking water supply for the entire MidCounty area.

Write the Board and let them know what you think. Email the Soquel Creek Water District Board of Directors: Copy the Clerk of the Board, Emma Olin:, to make sure your letter is publicly available.

Attend the next Board meeting on August 20, or the first and third Tuesdays in September, 6pm at the Capitola City Council Chambers.  Public Comment is right at the very beginning of the meeting.  Chairman Tom LaHue usually does his best to rush past this inconvenient public comment opportunity, so speak up quickly when “Oral and Written Communications” comes up, usually right after the Board sails through a quick approval of the Consent Agenda. 

Make sure to visit the Water for Santa Cruz County website for dependable and clear information, and contact Scott McGilvray to really answer your questions about what is really possible for a regional water supply solution.

Chairman Tom LaHue and Vice-Chairman Bruce Daniels are both up for re-election to the Board of Directors for the Soquel Creek Water District in March, 2020. If you are a District ratepayer and are fed up with how this District is handling things, you need to run for a place on the Board.  

The County Election Dept. has deadlines posted   

Start now in talking with your neighbors…the District really needs you! Contact the Election Dept. about getting support signatures to offset campaign filing costs beginning Sept. 12 through November 6. 

Too many people who attend Board meetings never return, having been treated in a dismissive or disrespectful manner, and never receiving any answers to their questions.  The Chairman, which historically is either Tom LaHue or Bruce Daniels (despite the request of two other Board members to have a chance at being Chair), always makes the excuse that there can be no dialogue between the public and the Board, due to the Brown Act, but that is inaccurate and not at all consistent with District meetings in the past.

Under the Brown Act, to encourage public participation, the Board can do three things:

  1. Allow brief discussion to clarify points the public has raised (The Directors usually claim “misinformation” and expound upon how wrong the member of the public was, but not allow any rebuttal);
  2. Direct staff to contact the member of the public to assist them in finding the answer or solving the problem brought forth; or (very rarely done)
  3. Place the item on a future Board agenda that would allow better public discussion and possible action.  (very rarely done)

There really needs to be new blood on the Soquel Creek Water District Board that will be honest with the public.  Why did the Board approve an environmental assessment of their Twin Lakes Church Recharge Well Project that claimed no water would be pressure-injected for evaluating the groundwater recharge capability of the well, then later used massive diesel-powered generators that caused the air near four schools within 1/4 mile of the project to reek of unhealthy diesel exhaust? 

Why did then-Chairman Bruce Daniels assure the public at length when some questioned this issue that “it will all be via gravity-feed, and the City is making us do this!”

Why did Chairman Daniels tell one ratepayer who testified, “You can ask all the questions you want but you can’t demand any answers!”  Wow.

Why did Director LaHue tell one member of the public “You’re a liar!” in the company of other public audience members?

Hmmm…..Directors LaHue and Daniels need to go and let someone else step up who will be respectful of the public and truthful about the intentions of Board decision-making processes.

The deadline to declare your candidacy is December 6.  PLEASE JUST DO IT!

click here to continue (link expands, click again to collapse)

The rural Bonny Doon folks were interested to know more about the proposed County fire CSA 48 fee increases discussed last week at the final Town Hall meeting.  People were not happy to learn that the proposed weighted vote would give large and wealthy property owners more power at the ballot issue set for discussion August 27 at the Board of Supervisors meeting. The benefit assessment fee is very vague, and people were told they would not know how much their fee would be until they receive their special election mail-out ballot this fall.  

Why do a special election mail-out ballot process that is very expensive?  Well, it would be easier to pass, because this type of fee assessment structure only requires 50% of the votes plus one vote to get the issue approved.  A more simple parcel tax, wherein everyone would be charged the same rate and whose vote would carry equal weight, requires a 2/3 majority for approval. 

WHY WON’T THE BOARD OF SUPERVISORS AND COUNTY ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE just give some of the State Proposition 172 statewide half-cent sales tax money….about $18 million every year for this county…to County Fire instead of giving 99.5% to law enforcement???

WHY WON’T THE BOARD OF SUPERVISORS AND COUNTY ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICE use some of the Measure G Countywide half-cent sales tax that voters approved last November with the understanding that it would fund fire and emergency responders.   ZERO DOLLARS of this new tax that voters were tricked into approving will actually go to fund County Fire.  

Do you think the Board of Supervisors is being negligent about protecting public health and safety by actively CHOOSING NOT TO FUND COUNTY FIRE WITH MONEY READILY AVAILABLE AND INSTEAD ASKING VOTERS TO PAY MORE TAXES?????  Measure G was fraudulently presented to the voters, all with the knowledge and complicity of the Board of Supervisors and CAO Carlos Palacios.  

Xavier Becerra, please step forward!  Write and ask for an investigation into why none of the Measure G money is being spent on County Fire when voters were promised it would be with the language printed on the ballot:  Xavier Becerra, or call 916-210-6062  or file an online complaint

It is critical to hold our elected officials accountable for their actions.  If a wildland fire takes off and ravages the County because the equipment was inadequate to quickly fight the blaze, will the Board of Supervisors and CAO Palacios accept responsibility for that tragedy?

Supervisors Zach Friend, John Leopold and Bruce McPherson are up for re-election in 2020.  I’m just sayin’……


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

August 12, 2019 #224 / Who’s Afraid Of Revolution?

Americans like bold, aspirational ideas, such as sending a man to the moon. It’s less clear that they like revolutions and forced upheavals in their own lives … Karl Rove (pictured)

The article from which the above quote was taken appeared in The Wall Street Journal on Thursday, August 1, 2019. Rove is a Republican Party political consultant and policy advisor. He was commenting on the “Medicare For All” program endorsed by Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, and supported by groups like National Nurses United

What Rove said made me wonder. Why would anyone think that Americans are unwilling to think about politics as a kind of “revolution?” A political “revolution,” of course, is exactly what Bernie Sanders has been calling for as part of his campaign for president. For those unclear about what Sanders is advocating, here is a link to his book, Our Revolution, and here (for those with shorter attention spans, or with bedside tables already overflowing with reading material) is a Wikipedia article that provides a very brief outline of Sanders’ program

This nation began with a revolution, and people like Bernie Sanders, who couch their call for political change in terms of “revolution,” are not, very clearly, calling for armed combat or violence. They are using the word “revolution” to mean substantive, real political change. 

What do you think about “revolution,” if that’s what we are talking about? I am for it!

My favorite book in the world, as I have revealed in other postings to this blog, is Hannah Arendt’s On Revolution. Her most poignant chapter, in my view, is titled, “The Revolutionary Tradition And Its Lost Treasure.” That “lost treasure” is the “revolutionary spirit” that infused those who brought our nation into existence, and I am hoping that no one will really be afraid of trying to find, and make manifest, that revolutionary spirit once again.

Gary Patton 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


EAGAN’S SUBCONSCIOUS COMICS. The darkest and funniest “inner views” from  not that long ago…see below.

EAGAN’S DEEP COVER. See Eagan’s ” classic Deep Cover” 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 that she is technically mucked and will have it fixed by next week. Lisa has been writing film reviews and columns for Good Times since 1975. 

WHERE’D YOU GO, BERNADETTE. It’s listed as a comedy because it’s an adapted from a book regarded as funny. Cate Blanchett makes the story of a woman looking for her place on earth and a settling of her life into a deep depressed saga. Billy Crudup is her over the top understanding partner who has to live with her searching. Kristen Wiig acts as her troubled neighbor who becomes one of a few good friends. By luck I also watched Ingmar Bergman’s Persona the next day and found a very sensitive revealing story of a woman in search. Both are  fine films and well worth seeing.

TEL AVIV ON FIRE. This is an unusual feel- good and low key film about Israelis and Palestinians trying to work together on a television program. The history and culture of both groups plus the senses of humor do not work together and the movie gets boring, light weight, and not worth your time…or admission. CLOSES THURSDAY AUGUST 22.

MIKE WALLACE IS HERE. A very insightful documentary about this major player in our USA news reporting history. A showman, actor, gadfly turned into a brilliant interviewer who changed the way we can become informed. Wallace fights depression, alcohol, drugs and the media bosses to unearth truth and the nonsense behind many of our most famous faces. See it ASAP. You’ll appreciate what source of news you’ll be watching a lot more. CLOSES THURSDAY AUGUST 22.

ONCE UPON A TIME IN HOLLYWOOD. The more movies you’ve seen in your lifetime the more you’ll like Quentin Tarantino’s latest. With Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio in the leads and it all happening in L.A. in 1969 it almost can’t miss. Slightly under the cuteness of the relationship between Pitt and DiCaprio is knowing that the film ends with the Manson Family killings of Sharon Tate and four other characters at the house that she shared with her husband, Roman Polanski. Add Al Pacino for about two minutes to all of that and you’ll be forced to like it.

MAIDEN.  A very significient tribute to women’s empowerment. With a well deserved 97 audience score and a 98 Rotten Tomato meter score you can be sure this documentary is very well worth watching.  It’s the very detailed story and back story of how one woman gathered the all woman crew and won the Whitbread Round the World sailboat race in 1989. It’s also an example of a very well made documentary. With great camera work, and a super amount of tension it should be seen by anyone who cares about the arorementioned women’s empowerment.

YESTERDAY. Imagine if the entire world forgot who the Beatles were except for one pretty good guitarist and singer of Indian heritage. An excellent feel good movie that has a fun plot, the greatest Beatle songs and good acting. Go see it especially if you have forgotten how much those songs affected you when their albums were first released. CLOSES THURSDAY AUGUST 22.

 THE FAREWELL. Whew, 100% on the Rotten Tomato meter and 91% on their audience score. The cast is mostly Asian and handles the problem of how to tell Grandma that she’s dying of cancer. It’s funny, deeply sad, superior acting and will hold you to the unfolding story right to the unusual ending. Well worth seeing….and remembering.



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. Former Santa Cruz Mayor Bruce Van Allen will cover many area developments on August 20. Then Julie James alerts us to The Jewel Theatre’s exciting new 2019-2020 season. The small intense Espressivo Orchestra’s new season is Michel Singher’s subject on August 26. After that Bill Henry and Jeb Bishop from Groundswell Coastal Ecology talk about their organization and future goals.  On September 3 John Orlando talks about his Distinguished Artists 2019-2020 season. Lisa Sheridan and Robert Morgan return on September 12 to update the Nissan-Soquel dealership issue. They are followed by Brooke Newman discussing the work and purpose of the Downtown Streets Team. 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’m keeping up this standup thing for a bit…

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. 


“12% of people marry because they are completely in love. 88% of people marry just so they are then liable for only half of their rent.”  Mokokoma Mokhonoana 
“Environmental radiation research is the rent I pay for living on this planet.” Steven Magee, Solar Radiation, Global Warming and Human Disease 
“[I] shall never use profanity except in discussing house rent and taxes. Indeed, upon second thought, I will not use it then, for it is unchristian, inelegant, and degrading–though to speak truly I do not see how house rent and taxes are going to be discussed worth a cent without it.” Mark Twain 
“ATTENTIONANTI-RENTERS! AWAKE! AROUSE! . . . Strike till the last armed foe expires, Strike for your altars and your fires-Strike for the green graves of your sires, God and your happy homes!” Howard Zinn, A People’s History of the United States

COLUMN COMMUNICATIONS. Subscriptions: Subscribe to the Bulletin! 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!), and the occasional scoop. 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:
Direct phone: 831 423-2468
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