Blog Archives

August 22 – 28, 2013

CABRILLO/CABRILHO COLLEGE. Circa 1962. Plenty of parking spaces here. According to Kevin Newhouse’s Aptos book…it was 1958 when the County voters voted to create a junior college. The location was a hassle then and it still is, being between Watsonville and Santa Cruz. Wally Trabing, longtime columnist for the Santa Cruz Sentinel, suggested the name “Cabrillo” even though Cabrillo or Cabrilho (his Portuguese name) never saw any of California north of Santa Cruz island.

photo credit: Covello & Covello Historical photo collection.

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GREAT QUOTE“Only when the last tree has died and the last river been poisoned and the last fish been caught will we realize we cannot eat money.” –Nineteenth century Ne-hilawe- (Cree) proverb

DE-SAL AND BILL KOCHER. Pages can and should be written about the history and manueverings behind Santa Cruz and the de-sal battle. I’m with Jean Brocklebank’s warning that the city also went ahead with the EIR on Arana Gulch after it seemed to be a dead issue. They turned around and passed it later after the EIR was certified….they’ll do the same thing with De-Sal. I spoke with Bill Kocher just after he announced retirement. He said there wre plenty of people in the department who could handle his old job. Why they are looking so far afield seemed to baffle him. He said that the city will now be cutting all ties with Cal Desal. I’m personlly betting that Kocher never again links his name as a consultant or anything dealing with De-sal plants. He said, in many words and in many ways, that he was doing what the city asked him to do re: de-sal, and that they changed their minds. I’m betting that Rotkin, Keeley, Coonerty (Ryan and Neal) plus Mathews all truly believed in, and still believe in de-sal and pushed the rest of the council and staff into this mess.

Out of all this was Mayor Hilary Bryant’s statement and unbelievable quote in last week’s Sentinel…”You can’t let the community make the decision when they don’t have all the information,” Bryant said. Isn’t this what all bloated, better-than-thou politicians believe? That they have all the pure, undeniable facts with no bias, no angles, no financial ties, just pure information??? She doesn’t have “all the information”, the City Council doesn’t have “all the information”…and what’s worse, rumors now have it that she is thinking about running again. Let’s hope she has more information this time.

SAUL LANDAU— BOTH SAD AND GREAT NEWS. I’ve mentioned before that Bob Taren, a close friend of Saul Landau’s told me that Saul Landau has cancer of the bladder. Now Bob informs us that The Cuban government has awarded Saul Landau its highest honor the, “Cuban Medal of Friendship”. Alarcon is the past president of the Cuban Assembly. Bob said he was told that among those present at the ceremony was Pablo Armando Fernandez the port laureate of Cuba and other dignitaries. Ricardo Alarcon said “Saul Landau deserves this recognition and much more. He has given our people a sincere, unlimited, authentic friendship all his life. In his early youth he embraced revolutionary ideas and never abandoned them. He always upheld these ideas far from dogmatism, bureaucratic or sectarian distortions. He has been a loyal friend since the long gone times of Ramparts Magazine and Studies on the Left to Progreso Weekly, and his intense participation in the struggle for the liberation of our five compañeros unjustly punished for fighting against terrorism”… he said more than that.

In accepting the award Saul stated, “The Medal of Friendship and ICAP represent the virtues of the Cuban Revolution as in 1959, when I began supporting the solidarity movement as President of the Students Fair Play for Cuba Committee. Then, Cuba represented, as it does now, justice and equality as a force for global progress toward peace and the end of oppression. These values deserved universal support in the beginnings of the Revolution, in the same way they deserve it in 2013.I feel deeply honored and touched by this recognition. Read the entire piece from Radio Havanna Cuba . Saul’s an old friend from our days together in the San Francisco Mime Troupe and I’ve re-printed his weekly Progreso Weekly articles in BrattonOnline for over a decade.

Saul Landau is an Institute for Policy Studies fellow whose films are on DVD from

OUTER SPACE MONSTER. Tom Noddy found this one.
Click for a larger image of this article from 1970…

CRAZIEST IDEA YET. Don Webber shook most of the western world with a question…”Why doesn’t UCSC build their own De-Sal plant?” They have the land, and from all we hear they have a crying need to expand, so they can build their own water source…who’s to stop them?

LATTÉ BREAKING NEWS & RUMORS. Supervisor Greg Kaput told me that if all goes well, and apparently it is going well that the Santa Cruz Veterans Memorial Building will open in September. He said all of our County Supervisors now support the re-supporting of the building….which they didn’t before. WE can now assume that oft-mayor and council person Mike Rotkin will change his prefix to “De-salinist, Feminist, Socialist Mike Rotkin“. Rumors have yet to be checked, but it’s being whispered that Greg Archer really isn’t Polish and that he’s just trying to pass. That DeCinzo cartoon last week the two of us “curmudgeons” sitting in front of Lulu’s at The Octagon was nearly scurrilous….I don’t hate Girl Scouts or even the forcing those little girls to wear uniforms and them having to make god pledges, I just think their door to door selling and competing over junk food cookies teaches them bad ideas.

NEW JAPANESE 2011 TSUNAMI FOOTAGE. Dale Matlock sent the clip shown to the right and added, “It’s amazing to see how this thing builds within the 26 minutes shown- and the relative calm of those behind and around the camera(s). You’ll need a tall glass of your favorite beverage to assist you to the end, where the fires are then raging. Not sure of the exact locale, or how close to the sea it is, but all I could think of was the San Lorenzo River and its tributaries during such an event. Cheers, Dale”. To which I’d add just how do you think our City Council would respond to a disaster of this size? How prepared is Santa Cruz? But of course it could never happen here. But when it does, the Tannery will be the first to go, then Pacific Avenue will flood out. But since the City Council has all the information about tsunamis and how we’ll be saved we don’t need to worry.

ELERICK’S “INPUT” & LISA JENSEN’S “LINKS”. Both Paul Elerick and Lisa Jensen are on vacations. No, not together…I don’t think they even know each other. Paul went to Michigan and Lisa and husband Jim Aschbacher went to Sweden, for some reason.

PATTON’S PROGRAM. Gary’s on vacation now too but he writes and broadcasts aboutWater Wisdom and the State Water plan.He talks about The New Complete Streets Guidebook and how it minimizes car usage. There’s a Land Trust Bar BQ thiss Saturday August 24 (see details) there’s also a new Carmel River Stewardship Manual that could and should be applied to other rivers we all deal with. He closes with news about a rules for De-Sal projects happening in Sacramento next Wednesday.Read all of above at Gary’s KUSP Land Use scripts (Gary Patton is “Of Counsel” to the Santa Cruz law firm of Wittwer & Parkin, which specializes in land use and environmental law. The opinions expressed are Mr. Patton’s. Gary has his own website, “Two Worlds / 365”

MAGIC MEMORY METAL. Even though you see it, you won’t believe it.
VINCE GUARALDI & BOLA SETE. They play “Star Song” on Ralph Gleason’s TV show back in 1963. Just so we can remember what it meant to swing.

EDUARDO CARRILLO MUSEUM. (MUSEO EDUARDO CARRILLO). Betsy Andersen tells us « We are seeking to reconnect with old friends of Eduardo’s. We would love to be able to stay in touch with them and hear their stories and let them know about news regarding Eduardo. We are having an event…See the video, meet our director Pedro Pablo Celedon at MAH, Thursday September 19th 5:30-7:30. She added that there is aRetrospective of Ed’s work scheduled for 2015 at the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento. More news upcoming. On top of that…Museo Eduardo Carrillo has been awarded $50,000.00 toward the completion of the documentary “Eduardo Carrillo: A Life of Engagement”. In awarding the grant, Peter Mithoefer, representing The Robert T. Keeler Foundation, said, “We look forward to the realization of this tribute to Ed’s inspiring life and work.” Professor Dr. Gilberto Cardenas, The Julien Samora Chair Latino Studies and the Director of the Institute of Latino Studies in at University of Notre Dame, Indiana says, “Eduardo was a true pioneer. He exhibited his art and was recognized in the early 1960’s. That was so early for a Mexican-American to gain recognition”. Ralph D’Oliveira, co-founder of the Tortuga Patrol mural project in Watsonville, CA states,“He was always just ahead of his time in terms of his art view. He didn’t believe you built fences to get ahead, you opened up fences-you opened up doors.” While earning his Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degrees at University of California, Los Angeles the arts of Mexico were missing from the curriculum. In 1972, when his teaching career began at UC Santa Cruz, Eduardo developed culturally relevant classes for an increasingly diverse student population. He taught there for 25 years until his death in 1997. Our film will trace Eduardo’s discovery of his Mexican heritage in Baja, California. The simplicity of life, beauty of the land and authenticity of the people drew him back again and again. “Eduardo Carrillo: A Life of Engagement” will underscore his connection to his roots in San Ignacio, Baja, California. As the cultural environment of the 1960’s changed global perspectives so did his understanding of his place in the world. We will share how his evolving relationship to his ancestral homeland exerted its influence on his art. It was a geographical connection, a familial connection but beyond that it was a spiritual relationship that evolved over many decades. This story will be told in our film.For more information please contact: Betsy Andersen ,Director, Museo Eduardo Carrillo 831 239- 411 or and Visit

VINTAGE DE CINZO. Curmudgeon DeCinzo checks out a “more uniform approach” to learning. See below.

EAGANS DEEP COVER. Check out Tim’s approach to GOP politics and how we really feel. Scroll a few feet downwards.

BLUE JASMINE. Don’t expect to see much of San Francisco in this one, even though Woody loves “The City”, he didn’t show us much of it onscreen. Cate Blanchett goes beyond acting…she digs deeper into her character than we’ve ever seen onscreen. She is simply brilliant. Alec Baldwin is perfect as a sleek, snaky “Mr. Smarmy” type. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry. You’ll fall all over in your praise of Mr. W. Allen and his “on again-off again” directing technique. See this movie just as soon as you posspbly can.

IN A WORLD. An odd-ball Los Angeles recording studio drama with comedy thrown in. It’s very hip, contemporary, next generation, flip material about the so-called voice over commercial recording business. Having cut several voice overs in my time in both LA and San Francisco, it didn’t seem all that cut-throaty to me but that was decades ago. Go see it but only if you speak today’s LA lingo. Yes, I liked it.

THERESE & AIN’T THEM BODIES SAINTS. This is just an advance suggestion to plan on seeing both of these fine films. We got to see them ahead of time. Audrey Tautou stars in Therese and has grown way past her “Amelie” cutesy muck. More later.

ELYSIUM. Matt Damon , through some Hollywood miracle is becoming a much better actor than anyone thought possible. Jodi Foster is always a magnetic screen attraction except that her “accent” in this sci-fi film gets way out of her control. It’s about the year 2159 and how all the rich and perfect people live on a “2001” type wheel circling in outer space. The poor people who live on a savaged and depleted earth suffer a lot just like Bladerunner stuff. Earthman Matt Damon works hard to save the earth people. IF (that big word again) IF you like sci-fi films this is a fairly good one. An overused plot but effective…but only on a big screen.

THE BUTLER. A very odd film. At moments it’s moving, deep, and influential. But Oprah Winfrey will always be Oprah, and you won’t forget that it’s Oprah being Mrs. Butler. Forest Whitaker has never been my favorite actor and he’s worse in this feel-almost-good flick. Robin Williams playing Eisenhower? John Cusack as Nixon? Alan Rickman as Ronnie Reagan? But Jane Fonda as Nancy Reagan is terrific!!And nope, you never get to see who would have played Obama. Wait a couple of weeks and rent it.

PARANOIA. This could have been a contender…but it is so full of overused plot pieces you could just as easily take a nap at home. Harrison Ford isn’t too bad and neither is Gary Oldman but the so- called script is so hackneyed and predictable, it’s just sad. Don’t go…ever.


BLACKFISH. We all need to see the documentary Blackfish. It’s abouthow cruel and even evil SeaWorld treats their Orca Whales. Orca Whales are members of the dolphin family it’s about how one of those killer whales killed a lovable and talented trainer. What it’s really about is how all of us are guilty of making Sea world and all aquariums and zoos and keepers of trapped animals and sea life vast sums of money for continuously torturing jelly fish, gorillas, elephants, just so we can pay and peer into their unnatural habitat. Wikipedia says, “Wild killer whales are not considered a threat to humans, although there have been cases of captives killing or injuring their handlers at marine theme parks.[8] Killer whales feature strongly in the mythologies of indigenous cultures, with their reputation ranging from being the souls of humans to merciless killers”. Yes the Monterey Aquarium is just as guilty as the rest of them. The actual amount of research and legitimate experimentation they do in re the torture of those trapped fish is minimal and we all know it. See the film Blackfish before responding.

STILL MINE. It’s another “crabby, but lovable old people” movie. This time it’s grandma played by a surprisingly old Genevieve Bujold who’s nearly nuts. (She’s really only 71) James Cromwell plays the 89 year old husband (he’s really only 73) who loves her and builds a house without a permit!! So you know it couldn’t have happened in Santa Cruz. Go see it, and bring a hankie, and your cane.

THE WOLVERINE. Hugh Jackman actually pulls this comic book hero action flick off….and in a good way. There’s enough of an almost believable (and followable) plot to keep you watching, and almost believing in what you’re watching. It seems like I’m saying this more lately BUT if you like comic book action films (Superman, Batman etc.) this one really works.

THE CONJURING. IF you like scary films this one is excellent. Vera Famiga seems to outdo herself in any role she’s given and here in this “based on a true story” film she plays a ghost hunter’s wife. Yes, there are the usual cellar stairs, spirit bodies hanging from trees, and so on BUT if you like etc.etc.

TWENTY FEET FROM STARDOM. This documentary makes Stars out of the faceless, nameless back-up singers on hit pop albums. I suppose there’s a point to it, but how about documentaries featuring the recording engineers, the producers, and the musicians who also make a song a hit? Making hits is a very collaborative; sharing process…it ain’t just the back-up singing. But it’s a fun film.

WAY, WAY BACK. It’s filmed mostly in a rundown family owned seaside water park, and it has some good moments Steve Carell has a very serious role as a bad step dad and Toni Colette is the teen age lead’s mom. It’s a coming of age film and Sam Rockwell is the kid’s guiding light. Alison Janney is the next door drunk and way overplays it. Save your money.

UNIVERSAL GRAPEVINE. Each and every Tuesday from 7:00-8:00 p.m. I host Universal Grapevine on KZSC 88.1 fm. or on your computer (live only, or sometimes old programs are archived…(see next paragraph) and go to Podcasts. New Capitola History Museum Frank Perry guests on August 27th followed by Cabrillo College Gallery director Tobin Keller. On September 3 Susan Myer Silton tells us about Tom Stoppard’s play Arcadia that she’s directing for our Jewel Theatre Company, and playing Sept.5-22. Then Doug Keegan the program Director of the Santa Cruz County Immigration Project (SCCIP)brings us new news about their program.September 10 has Angelo Grova giving details on his Fashion Art Extravaganza, followed by Jeff Sanford talking about his Cartoon Jazz Orchestra’s newest release. Patricia Matejcek returns on Sept. 17 to talk about South Couny issues. Author, poet, retired Cabrilho College professor Don Young also returns on September 24 to talk about his two new collections. Do remember, any and all suggestions for future programs are more than welcome so tune in, and keep listening. Email me always at

UNIVERSAL GRAPEVINE ARCHIVES. In case you missed some of the great people I’ve interviewed in the last 5 years here’s a chronological list of just this year’s podcasts. Click here then tap on “listen here” to hear any or all of them… all over again. The update includes Nikki Silva, Michael Warren, Tom Noddy, Anita Monga, Mark Wainer, Judy Johnson-Darrow, 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, Paul Whitworth on Krapps Last Tape. Jodi McGraw on Sandhills, Bruce Daniels on area water problems. Mike Pappas on the Olive Connection, Sandy Lydon on County History. Paul Johnston on political organizing, Rick Longinotti on De-Sal. Dan Haifley on Monterey Bay Sanctuary, Dan Harder on Santa Cruz City Museum. Sara Wilbourne on Santa Cruz Ballet Theatre. Brian Spencer on SEE Theatre Co. Paula Kenyon and Karen Massaro on MAH and Big Creek Pottery. Carolyn Burke on Edith Piaf. Peggy Dolgenos on Cruzio. Julie James on Jewel Theatre Conpany. 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. Hear them all!!!


QUOTES. “There are fools , damn fools, and jockeys who remount in a steeplechase“, John Oaksey. “Of course I have played outdoor games. I once played dominoes in an open-air café in Paris”, Oscar Wilde. “Anybody can win, unless there happens to be a second entry”, George Ade.


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Deep Cover by Tim Eagan.

Posted in Weekly Articles | Comments Off on August 22 – 28, 2013

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