Blog Archives

August 24 – 30, 2011

OLD HABIT. CITY DESTROYING GRAND HISTORIC BUILDING. Back on September 12, 1966 Santa Cruz destroyed the Carnegie City Library and built the main library we have there now. End of comment.

photo credit: Covello & Covello Historical photo collection, click for bigger version.

Additional information always welcome: email

AEOLIAN WIND HARP. I was telling a friend about Aeolian wind harps. I heard one in Berkeley back in the mid ’60’s and never forgot it. Listen to this one…3 or 4 minutes into it, there are some superior sounds.

MAYOR COONERTY GETS LESSON IN RUNNING A BUSINESS AND ON HOW TO BE A MAYOR. Brilliant and forceful member of The Coastal Commission Steve Blank gave Mayor Ryan Coonerty some sharp and quick lessons on how to make plans, how to make presentations, and how to run a business two weeks ago at that Coastal Commission meeting when Ryan made such a miserable, losing pitch for his friends at the Boardwalk and Barry Swenson’s La Bahia Condo Hotel. Blank’s credentials from his website say, “I moved from being an entrepreneur to teaching entrepreneurship to both undergraduate and graduate students at U.C. Berkeley, Stanford University and the Columbia University/Berkeley Joint Executive MBA program. The “Customer Development” model that I developed in my book is one of the core themes in these classes. (My presentations are here.) In 2009, I was awarded the Stanford University Undergraduate Teaching Award in the department of Management Science and Engineering. The same year, the San Jose Mercury News listed me as one of the 10 Influencers in Silicon Valley. In 2010, I was awarded the Earl F. Cheit Outstanding Teaching Award at U.C. Berkeley Haas School of Business. In 2011 the National Science Foundation adopted my Lean Launchpad class.

So, after his urging Ross Gibson to tell the Commission about the historical value in restoring The La Bahia and telling Ryan where to go and that he should have had a plan B, Steve Blank wrote on his website things like,

Everyone has a plan ’till they get punched in the mouth”, Mike Tyson.

One of the key distinctions between an entrepreneur and an operating executive is an entrepreneur’s almost seamless agility in the face of changing circumstances versus an operating executive’s intense execution focus on a plan. World-class entrepreneurs learn how to combine both”. Blank continues…

Driving home over the mountains from a Coastal Commission hearing, I had time to ponder an email I received from a city official (ed. that would be Ryan Coonerty) as the road wound through the Redwood trees. The Coastal Commission had found that a zoning change his city requested didn’t conform to the Coastal Act, and we denied it. I felt sorry for him because he had put together a project that depended upon the property owner, developer, unions, hotel operator, local neighbors, city council, weather, wind speed, phase of the moon and astrological sign all aligning just to get the project in front of us. It was like herding cats and pushing water uphill. Reading his email I was sympathetic realizing that if you substituted customers, channel, product development, hiring, board of directors, and fund raising, he was describing a typical day at a startup. I felt real kinship until I got to his last sentence: “Now we’re screwed because we had no Plan B.”

Read the rest of Commissioner Steve Blanks website…telling Ryan where he goofed and what he has to learn…

Blank goes on to say that he shared Coonerty’s email with the other commissioners and:

“When I shared it with the other commissioners who were public officials, all of them could see that there could have been tons of alternate plans to get a project approved, and there were still several options going forward. But the mayor just had been so intently focused on executing a complex Plan A he never considered that he might need a Plan B”. Let’s hope some lessons were learned.

BERKELEY NEWSPAPER EDITOR LOOKS AT THAT COASTAL COMMISSION DECISION. The editor of the Berkeley Planet newspaper was at that Coastal Commission meeting. Read her report…

RYAN COONERTY AND LYNN ROBINSON. We all live here (or say we do) because ” it isn’t like Los Angeles or San Jose or Waikiki”. You hear that statement 100’s of times each year. Why don’t people see that its people like Ryan Coonerty and Lynn Robinson sitting on City Councils in LA, San Jose and Waikiki who voted for spot zoning exceptions to local codes and regulations that allowed those cities to grow into monsters. What would stop the next developer from getting another exception to build higher than that La Behemoth would have been…and the next, and the next.

SUSAN McCABE, COONERTY’S, SWENSON AND BOARDWALK’S LOBBYIST. It doesn’t take much guessing or Googling to figure out why the Coastal Commission’s pre decision meetings mentioned Susan McCabe so often she’s the hired lobbyist for the Coonerty/Boardwalk/Swenson Group. Read this

about Susan from the San Luis Obisbo New Times, For three months of work as a contracted lobbyist, Susan McCabe will have probably made $37,500 before her contract is suspended. After that, she’ll make $650 per hour; her assistant will make another $325 per hour”. In The same article it said, “In doing so, project officials for the Morro Bay/Cayucos treatment plant shifted from referring to Susan McCabe, the aforementioned lobbyist, from hired guide through state regulators to an as-needed consultant. By the time her contract expires, McCabe will have pulled in $37,500 (not counting travel and other expenses, estimated at about $800 so far) for three months of her services. In that time, she’s produced precisely six pages for the public record and made one public appearance. That was the May 12 meeting”. I really don’t know yet where her hourly fee of $700 came from or who paid it. Probably the city of Santa Cruz.

CALIFORNIA COASTAL COMMISSION, A STATEMENT. Commissioner Steve Blank said elsewhere in his website, “The Commission has been able to stave off the tragedy of the commons for the California coast. Upholding the Coastal Act had it taking unpopular positions upsetting developers who have fought with the agency over seaside projects, homeowners who strongly feel that private property rights unconditionally trump public access and local governments who believe they should have the final say in what’s right for their community”. And Blank was appointed by Guv Schwarzenegger!!!



ABOUT WHALES TALE RESTAURANT. From your reactions I guess I didn’t make it clear that I think that butt end of a whale restaurant design is the worst looking Roadside attraction I’ve ever seen. “Whale of a bad idea’, James Aschbacher artist, designer, muralist. “Terrible eyesoreJenny Heth graphic artist. Lee Quarnstrom was a bit more poetic he says, “Why don’t they just drag a dead goddamned big whale up onto the wharf and drape it over the guy’s restaurants, etc.? That way people would not only be able to see it from afar, they could smell it all the way to Bonny Doon“.

(Lee has a way with words).Paul Hostetter (of Bonny Doon) asks, “Is Mark Gilbert one of the former owners of Pearl Alley? If so, I can’t believe he’d evidence such colossally bad taste”.

DIVING NAKED WITH BELUGA WHALES IN minus 15 DEGREES!!! Check this lesson in meditation from Paul Hostetter.

Impressive photos right here…

WHERE’S JOHN LAIRD LATELY? With Bill Monning’s eager, rapid announcement of his running for the 2012 California State Senate you gotta wonder where John Laird’s usual candid statements are involving that decision. Is it that comfortable a job as Governor Jerry Brown’s appointee as the new Secretary for Natural Resources. Whassup wi dat?

ROADSIDE ATTRACTIONS. Add that Whale Restaurant to this collection.

CABRILLO FESTIVAL OF CONTEMPORARY MUSIC. Having attended just about every concert of the CabFesto ConMu for the last 39 years and hearingand seeing some geniuses such as John Adams, Philip Glass, Conlon Nancarrow, John Cage, and Arvo Part, I have to add this year’sstunning debut of Anna Clyne’s “Within Her Arms”. Anna is all of 31 years old. The CabFesto ConMu program states, “Born in London, Great Britain, Clyne received a Bachelor of Music degree from the University of Edinburgh in Scotland, and a Masters degree from the Manhattan School of Music. Recent commissions include works for Carnegie Hall and the Los Angeles Philharmonic. Last fall she began a two-year residency with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. She made her Festival debut last season with the West Coast Premiere of rewind. Within Her Arms was a 2009 commission from Music Director Esa-Pekka Salonen as part of the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s Green Umbrella series. Salonen conducted the Los Angeles Philharmonic strings in the premiere on April 7, 2009 at Walt Disney Hall. Alex Ross of The New Yorker described it as “a fragile elegy intertwining voices of lament that bring to mind English Renaissance masterpieces of Thomas Tallis and John Dowland.” We’ll be hearing much more of her just about forever, trust me.


Our Regional Transportation Commission is going to have to face reality. So far, (eight years?) they have spent $12,000,000 on an as-yet incomplete environmental document for their pet project, widening Highway 1. The winners in this extravaganza? Most likely the consultants who landed this piece of work. Not one inch of the highway has been widened, so that leaves one wondering when it will stop. I can’t imagine the size and even the weight of such a document. As of today, there is no realistic plan to fund the building of the project.

As the Sentinel reported on August 19th, the Federal Highway Administration is now beginning to ask questions, and has the RTC scrambling to answer them. What we’re probably going to hear from the RTC at their September meeting is a “tiered” approach to widening, i.e. piecemeal. The money would be taken from the state’s transportation funds allocated to the RTC for all Santa Cruz County road projects, including transit and road repair. Has anybody checked the status of Amesti Road lately? This road that affects several hundred south county residents has been closed since 1995. Santa Cruz County Public Works website reports that it is “Closed Indefinitely, Study in Progress”. Check this website for a long list of other public works projects that will likely suffer funding delays in exchange for widening Highway 1, piece by piece over many years.

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

VINTAGE DE CINZO. DeCinzo re-cycles cyclists…scroll downwards

EAGANS DEEP COVER. God’s not sure what hits him !!! scroll down.

LANDAU’S PROGRES. Saul says in his “The Bush Legacy” column in Progreso Weekly. “`Scores of millions of Americans – many who laughed at his fumble mouth antics – now feel the impact of George W. Bush’ eight year legacy. The man who made comedians’ careers has had his revenge. His tax cuts – they paled before the importance of the Iraq war – kissed the asses (the G spot) of the top corporate executives, and other extremely wealthy individuals (they’ve had a fine time since the 1970s, but super good under Bush). By 2001, thanks to the tax cut, Washington received reduced revenues as expenses rose thanks to W’s wars”. Read it all here… Saul Landau is an Institute for Policy Studies fellow whose films are on DVD from

TRINI LOPEZ SINGING “IF I HAD A HAMMER“. Former County Supervisor Phil Baldwin sent this clip

LISA JENSEN LINKS. This week at Lisa Jensen Online Express (, cure the gloomy summer blahs with a couple of incendiary new movie thrillers, and help celebrate the 10th anniversary of my swashbuckling novel, The Witch From the Sea, with a rogues’ gallery of private artwork from the book. Thanks for reading! Lisa Jensen

Lisa Jensen has been writing film reviews and a column for Good Times since 1975.

NATIONAL THEATRE LIVE COMING TO THE DEL MAR. The Del Mar is installing a special dish and will be receiving live telecasts of many Brit productions. They start September 15 with One Man, Two Guvnors by Richard Bean and more live plays include Comedy of Errors, and The Kitchen by Arnold Wesker. We’ll hear more soon.

RITA PAVONE SINGING THAT HAMMER SONG. I found this one all by myself.


THE GUARD. Brendan Gleeson one of England’s best actors (you’ll know him when you see him), heads up a great cast along with American Don Cheadle, another great actor. This is a very funny, brittle, inside, racial comedy about killing and drug trafficking…don’t miss it IF you like laughing and good films.

THE TREE. Charlotte Gainsbourg and her family have an affair with a tree. AND I mean every word of that sentence!!! It’s nearly as kinky as it sounds and Gainsbourg has done better in every other film she’s been in. Wait and rent this.

ONE DAY. The ever lovely Anne Hathaway plays an average girl and is ridiculous. She’s not average anything, and she meets some average guy on July 15. Then every July 15 we have to watch their relationship. Looking at a calendar is more interesting. But I saw it at The Scotts Valley Cinema with all their new theatres plus the re-doing and raking of seats in their biggest auditoriums…wow!!! Just wow!!!


The Tony Award-winning SF Mime Troupe opens August 27 & 28 in San Lorenzo Park with its 52nd season premiering “2012 – The Musical!”
A small political theater company, Theater BAM!, finds itself at a crossroads: should they keep telling the stories they feel can change the world (and starve while telling them), or feed at the corporate trough, sell out, and be the mouthpiece for The Man. Tough decision. But before having to make it, they are offered an artistic commission that may save the company; all they have to do is create a new play, “2012 – The Musical!” But is it political? Will it keep with the company’s original mission? What’s the true purpose of this frivolous production, and who’s really bankrolling the thing?

Wilma Bonet directs Lizzie Calogero, Keiko Shimosato Carreiro, Cory Censoprano, Siobhan Marie Doherty, Michael Gene Sullivan, and Victor Toman in this musical satire about the art of Mass Distraction. Written by Michael Gene Sullivan, with additional dialogue by SFMT, music & lyrics by Bruce Barthol, and musical direction and additional lyrics & composition by Pat Moran. San Lorenzo Park Sat, Aug 27th @ 3:00 PM (Music 2:30) Sun, Aug 28th @ 3:00 PM (Music 2:30)
Ticket Info: FREE (donation)

LETTER TO THE EDITOR…from David Weiss, “I always read and enjoy your newsletter! I loved the photo-op of you and Ferlinghetti. Having visited City Lights Bookstore in San Francisco many times in the early Bohemian era brought back rich memories. Thanks especially for re-raising the issue in your recent column regarding motorcycle noise in Santa Cruz. I share your concerns. Each weekend, the motorcycles rumble up through the San Lorenzo Valley. I live across the river from the highway in Felton and the migrating gaggle of cycles resonates through the bones of every resident as loudly as the take-off of a vintage B-52 bomber might. It’s not that I have an issue with motorcycles per se, I don’t. It’s just that law enforcement doesn’t seem to hesitate to give citations to folks whose car muffler systems cause any noise at all. ..And this is not a knock on law enforcement, which does an outstanding service and job.

It just seems that law enforcement, in general, ignores and dismisses motorcycle muffling….especially since factory muffling, which many quiet motor motorcyclists choose, provides factory sane restrictions on noise. This is a constant complaint of many, many citizens that continually frustrates us all. Yes, I know…they have more important things to do…and I agree. But how about sending a message to the motorcyclists with a series of blockades on occasion to issue fix-it tickets? They should at least raise the issue to a priority…once in a while. And, by the way, you mentioned what a difficult choice it would be to choose between Monning and Laird for the newly created Senate seat. That may be true as each is an outstanding public servant. For me, however, my choice will be John Laird. Best to you, Dave Weiss, Felton.

UNIVERSAL GRAPEVINE. Each and every Tuesday from 7:00-8:00 p.m. I host Universal Grapevine on KZSC 88.1 fm. or on your computer (live only, or sometimes old programs are archived…(see next paragraph) and go to WWW.KZSC.ORG. Tuesday Aug 23rd has Wilma Bonet from The San Francisco Mime Troupe in town and previewing their performances the 27 & 28th. Susanna Waddell talks about the Mary Warshaw Show also on the 23rd. Sara Wilbourne and Meg Sandow will be talking about Tandy Beal’s HereAfterHere on August 30 then City Museum Director Dan Harder returns that same night. Jewel Theatre’s Chad Davies and Mary James talk about The House of Blue Leaves on September 6th. Sept. 13 KUSP’s Opera host Jim Emdy and I will discuss up coming Opera seasons. September 20th has Christopher Krohn discussing one of UCSC’s student programs, then that same program, Rita Bottoms author of the new book “riffs & ecstasies” will talk about that book..Do remember, any and all suggestions for future programs are more than welcome so tune in and keep listening.

UNIVERSAL GRAPEVINE ARCHIVES. In case you missed some of the great people I’ve interviewed in the last 5 years here’s a chronological list of just this year’s podcasts. Click here then tap on “listen here” to hear any or all of them… all over again. The Great Morgani on Street performing, Paul Whitworth on Krapps Last Tape. Jodi McGraw on Sandhills, Bruce Daniels on area water problems. Mike Pappas on the Olive Connection, Sandy Lydon on County History. Paul Johnston on political organizing, Rick Longinotti on De-Sal. Dan Haifley on Monterey Bay Sanctuary, Dan Harder on Santa Cruz City Museum. Sara Wilbourne on Santa Cruz Ballet Theatre. Brian Spencer on SEE Theatre Co. Paula Kenyon and Karen Massaro on MAH and Big Creek Pottery. Carolyn Burke on Edith Piaf. Peggy Dolgenos on Cruzio. Julie James on Jewel Theatre Conpany. Plus Rob Slawinski, Gary Bascou, Judge Paul Burdick, John Brown Childs, Ellen Kimmel, Don Williams, Kinan Valdez, Ellen Murtha, John Leopold, Karen Kefauver, Chip Lord, Judy Bouley, Rob Sean Wilson, Ann Simonton, Lori Rivera, Sayaka Yabuki, Chris Kinney, Celia and Peter Scott, Chris Krohn, David Swanger, Chelsea Juarez…and that’s just since January 2011. Hear them all!!!

QUOTES. “Have you ever had the measles, and if so, how many?”, Artemus Ward. “A psychiatrist is a man who goes to the strip show to watch the audience“, Christopher Morley. “I don’t mind dying: the trouble is you feel so bloody stiff the next day”, George Axelrod.


Deep Cover by tim eagan. Taking god in a humorous vein…

Posted in Weekly Articles | Comments Off on August 24 – 30, 2011

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