Blog Archives

August 28 – September 3, 2019

Highlights this week:

BRATTON…More, much more on MAH’s hidden problems. Placido Domingo’s Salzburg success. GREENSITE…Will be back next Week. KROHN…The Joe Rose Report, allegations, apologies, laughs, unsubstantiated charges. STEINBRUNER…Lompico and evacuating issues, Cal Fire fees and taxes, measure G and prop 172, Soquel Creek and public correspondence, Nissan dealership in Soquel. PATTON…looks at Joe Biden. EAGAN…more classic Sub Cons JENSEN…and Robin Hobb. BRATTON…I critique Luce, Ready or Not. UNIVERSAL GRAPEVINE GUEST LINEUP. QUOTES… “Détente”



SANTA CRUZ’S NEW POST OFFICE. July 1, 1911. You can easily see that this is looking Southwest. It also shows the Plaza Land Office where Jamba Juice stands now. On the far left the sign says it’s the Roseland Hotel. I can’t find mentions of any Roseland Hotel in Santa Cruz!

photo credit: Covello & Covello Historical photo collection.

Additional information always welcome: email


DATELINE August 26

MOPPING UP MAH…part II.  Check out the August 12 issue of BrattonOnline column. I passed on information, ideas, concerns and fears that the county’s MAH Museum of Art & History was in serious trouble. It turned out to be worse than any of us knew. Deep sources inside MAH sent me a letter from a highly-regarded and highly-placed MAH person, written August 22. The letter went to the Friends of The Museum of Art & History.

It says … “Finally I decided to put together a letter to the board of trustees expressing that concern particularly with the lack of quality and frequency of art and history exhibitions. Perhaps I should say the lack of any art and history exhibitions of the kind that an art and history museum should be mounting. If you have not been to the Museum in some time you would be shocked. There is an art exhibition in the small third floor Forum Gallery and there is the large standing history exhibition on the second floor though it has been altered beyond recognition from what it was before. The current exhibition in the Solari Gallery is intended to be up for nine months. (9 months! As far as I can tell it is not related to art or history. Items you see on the hallway walls are intended to hang for a year before they will get changed”. 

The Friends letter continued… “Additionally, at some point the past Executive Director had all names removed that honored people who donated at a level to be remembered outside the door of a specific room. To my knowledge this was not a board discussion or decision. For inexplicable reasons only the Solari Gallery has a name but not the original Richard and Mary Corrigan Solari Gallery, just Solari Gallery “. 

“The original executive director search yielded two very qualified people who both turned the job down after they became aware of the disarray throughout the museum. Furthermore the staff seems to want the power of approval of the decision of the next ED hire”. 

There are even more concerns expressed in the follow-up letter from the same author… this time to the MAH Board of Trustees.

“We are sending this letter out of our deep concern for the future of the Museum of Art & History. Our concerns reflect those of others as well: former supporters, participants, board members and donors, many dating back to MAH’s inception. Months and years were devoted to gathering the resources to secure a place where our community could experience and learn about art and local history. MAH fulfilled the vision of a museum for the whole of Santa Cruz County. Over the past several years we have greatly appreciated the community events, workshops, classes, and certainly the crowds these have drawn”. 

“But we have been extremely distressed to see that the very essence of the museum itself, as a place that informs and inspires through art and history, was dissipating. We witnessed the continual de-emphasis of art exhibitions and the near-total abandonment of historical exhibitions. Sadly, we’ve now seen the eradication from the museum the names of those whose generous acts of faith as founding donors were to be acknowledged in perpetuity. The MAH appears to be at a critical juncture, a fact which has not escaped the notice of the media nor of the community at large. The status of museum operations appears unknown. Even those of us who have worked, volunteered and donate resources to the MAH have no idea as to its financial health. Contrary to customary and appropriate nonprofit practice, the public has ceased to be provided visibility into the finances of its own publicly-funded institution. In addition to popular and meaningful community events, we believe a museum requires art and history exhibitions in their rightful places in the galleries where they can once again inform, inspire, and make our community proud. Clearly this is not an either/or proposition. Both can and should be done at MAH. We also believe that the board must reinstate appropriate acknowledgment of the donors who were promised a small but important legacy in this building that-without them-was only a hope. Donor names that were removed from rooms should be replaced. A history museum that chooses to deny its own history has abandoned its community. It is our request that the board recognize this moment as an important time in which to carefully re-evaluate the mission, the meaning, and the community-serving purposes for which the Museum of Art and History was established. Cultural resources and community engagement are far from mutually exclusive; they are a natural convergence in most public institutions, and MAH should be no exception”. 

That is one hell of a letter. I wish I could give credit to the author, but at least we are beginning to hear some of the issues with our public museum.

Questions arise, such as: Did Nina Simon know all this financial chaos was coming to a peak? Is that why she left? Who on the County Board is responsible for watching the finances of MAH? Why weren’t more questions asked while Nina drove up attendance numbers, killed art and history, and disregarded the money situation? It’s the County Administrative office that’s responsible for managing the lease with the Museum, which includes money matters. There is an analyst that works on it but, if anybody calls 454-2100 and asks to speak to the Museum analyst, we’ll get started or pointed in the right direction. Plenty more questions and answers are due. 

PLACIDO DOMINGO GETS STANDING OVATION IN SALZBURG. Just to pass on the news…78 year old Placido Domingo and his wife got a great reception outside and inside while he was there to perform Verdi’s “Luisa Miller” opera in Salzburg, Austria. He got a huge standing ovation at his on stage entry, and a 10 minute standing ovation at the end. Read the full report…. One reader asks “where are all the feminists?” Another asks “where are all the women who have used stars to further their careers?” 


August 19



Santa Cruz, as well as many other local jurisdictions in California, is required by the State to increase its housing stock at a rate similar to the population increase in CA.  Unfortunately, the overwhelming majority of new units in SC approved and built, have been at market rate prices and very few at affordable rates.

Even worse, previous City Council majorities have allowed a large development of over 300 units to be used as rentals, thus eliminating affordable unit’s sales.  In addition, a proposed 200+ unit, 6 story development south of the bus terminal was approved without any specific designation for affordable units.

Many people believe this is in violation of the City’s Measure O initiative that specifically requires 15% affordable units. This apparent violation by the previous Council has resulted in a lawsuit against the City for dereliction in this duty which will no doubt cost the taxpayers sizable legal fees. (Somehow,  San Francisco has managed to require  50% of units in some projects to be affordable units.)

Currently, there is a recall attempt against council members Glover and Krohn (2 of the 4 council majority) that have tried to stand up for affordable housing.  This recall effort is supported by the Real Estate industry and statewide Apartment Owners assoc., as well as 2 failed City Council candidates and other conservatives associated with the Republican Party.  The bogus harassment investigation, instigated by current Council conservatives, which has finally been released, only found Krohn guilty of laughing at a staff member’s opinion, and Glover and accuser council member Myers, equally guilty of being unpleasant.

It is obvious if Conservatives regain power, they will continue to push a council members’ (whose re-election failed)  stated belief that ” all housing is good housing”.  The beneficiaries of this mindset would not be the local community, which cannot afford rents such as $2500/ mo for a studio, which is the going rate. At these prices, our community would be flooded with hundreds (there are over a thousand units pending at the moment) of high-paid tech workers from over the hill and the beneficiaries would be the developers and local businesses who lust after these new residents’ fat paychecks.

What can we do?

Obviously, we need to defeat the attempted recall and continue to elect Council Members who are not beholding to developers and the business community who fund $40,000 election campaigns.

Additionally, according to the City’s figures as far back as 1987, there are over 2000 unpermitted ADU’s  (Accessory Dwelling Units) such as former garages and sub-divided houses in the City.  Recent changes to State law have minimized parking and set-back requirements and made it easier to build new ADU’s.  Since the majority of legal houses and ADU units in Santa Cruz, while meeting health and safety codes, are not compliant with every minute detail of current building codes, why not allow approval of currently unpermitted units who meet health and safety codes?

Is it in the community’s interest to require unpermitted ADU owners to spend tens of thousands of dollars to change details like shower sizes, door heights, pipe sizes, etc. And accordingly increase rents?   

Wouldn’t it be better to move beyond requiring this bureaucrat pettiness in exchange for these thousands of units to be legitimatized but only if they are restricted to be rented at a very affordable rate in perpetuity?

This would be a win-win-win situation.

Affordability and Health and Safety would be guaranteed for the tenants. 

Owners would gain legitimization of their units, increasing property values without encountering major expense. Property tax revenue would be increased to the City.  

Residents (who currently contribute to the character of our town) would be able to continue living in our city, maintaining friendships and keeping family connections intact.

August 26

“Gillian back next 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.


August 26, 2019


The Rose Report is Finally In
I sent out the following in response to an investigation initiated by Santa Cruz Human Resources Director, Lisa Murphy after she heard public allegations of “bullying” put forward by Mayor Martine Watkins at the February 12, 2019 Santa Cruz City Council meeting. I received a lot of advice and positive feedback from friends, family, and colleagues concerning the following remarks, which were originally part of a press statement I sent out. I have edited the original and incorporated some of the suggested changes. It is essentially my critique of the overall Rose Report. I sincerely hope the city can move to a place of healing while acknowledging the communication breakdowns as we plan and carry out the work of governing our city. 

Allegations Not Substantiated

  1. The accusation that I “bullied” Mayor Watkins because of her gender is not substantiated.

Investigator Joe Rose, describes Mayor Watkins’ basis for her allegation: 

“In support of her complaint that Councilmember Krohn intentionally bullied her based upon her female gender, Mayor Watkins cited Councilmember Krohn’s frequent interruptions during City Council meetings, speaking or asking questions of staff without first being recognized by her as the presiding officer of those meetings, and the subjective perceptions of her father, members of the County Board of Supervisors, and other unnamed persons in the community who watch City Council meeting and conjecture that Councilmember Krohn would not interrupt or ask questions to the same degree or in the same manner without first being recognized if the Mayor were a man.”The investigator’s conclusion after watching many hours of Council meeting video’s, including during the tenure of Mayor Terrazas, is:

What I observed in Councilmember Krohn’s conduct on the dais toward Mayor Watkins was a passionate public servant who asks sometimes pointed questions of staff, challenges and vigorously debates with his colleagues on the City Council regarding policy, can be highly opinionated on some issues, and zealously advocates for his policy positions. Although I observed instances where Councilmember Krohn did not strictly observe Robert’s Rules of Order during City Council meetings, that was also true of my observations of other members of the City Council too such as, for example Councilmember Mathews.

Serious Councilmember

The investigator, Joe Rose, acknowledges my attempt to heal the rift between myself and the Mayor:

When interviewing Councilmember Krohn, and in reading his February 24 and March 10, 2019 to Mayor Watkins…I found him to express a serious, non-cavalier attitude about the allegations, a genuine concern about his contribution to her negative experience, a sincere desire for rectification and reconciliation, and an unequivocal acknowledgment of his respect for Mayor Watkins as a person and a woman in a leadership role.

  1. The accusation that I uttered a “sarcastic laugh” during a staff presentation is substantiated.

Although I don’t recall the incident, I need to trust that the staff person and my colleague on the Council are not making this up. So, I am assuming that I did utter a sound that sounded to the staff person as disrespectful. I apologize.

  1. The accusation that the “sarcastic laugh” was motivated by the gender of the staff person is not substantiated.
  1. The accusation by another staff person that I was disrespectful because I went to the City Manager to inquire about the employee’s performance is not substantiated

Investigator’s recommendations
The very first recommendation by Joe Rose is:
Councilmembers should avoid making public accusations of misconduct or bad faith against one another and against City staff without first privately and internally addressing these concerns and attempting conflict resolution and rectification when possible. I would concur with this recommendation.

Response to the report
I am grateful for the care and time that the investigator spent on this report. I am glad that he read my intentions correctly. I never intended to “bully” the Mayor. I feel hopeful that the Mayor will understand me better by the way the investigator characterized me, which I think is pretty accurate: “a passionate public servant who…zealously advocates for his policy positions”. This experience has taught me that my style of vigorous debate can be received in a way that might strain relationships. I will continue to work on delivery-style as well as the tone of my comments. The accusation against me by the Mayor is “unsubstantiated,” but it has nevertheless taken its toll on my reputation, my family, and my work life. There is currently a recall attempt against me, which is using this unsubstantiated accusation as a justification for recalling me from office. The results of this investigation make that argument unjustified. I am hopeful that the media coverage of this report will set the record straight. Beyond the fate of my tenure on the City Council, what good does it do our community to have a recall effort based on falsehoods? The media has an opportunity to fact check all of the recall group’s allegations so that a politics of dishonesty does not take root in our community. 

Looking Forward
As a human being and a father of two daughters I am heartened by the #MeToo movement that has brought credibility to the huge number of women who have suffered harassment. I believe that false accusations of harassment detract from that movement. I want for myself and others the ability to take seriously someone’s accusation, and still accord the accused the practice of waiting for proof before judgment. That practice has come to us the hard way, through the painful experience of many generations. I harbor no ill will toward Mayor Watkins. I look forward to fulfilling the recommendations of the investigator, which include: All members of the City Council and selected staff members should immediately participate in professional mediation and conflict resolution.

One Final Thought
We on the Council have the people’s work to do. I am committed to healing our relationships and finding common ground as we move forward. You should be able to find the entire report (redacted by city attorney) here. 

“This election isn’t about “red states” or “blue states.” In every state, there are working people who are desperate for change and an economy that works for more than just the billionaires. We stand with them and together we are going to win.” (August 26)
(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 26

Imagine what your neighborhood roadways would be like if all of you had to evacuate at once…maybe in the middle of the night.  If you live in Lompico, a nationwide data analysis puts your neighborhood at very high risk in this scenario.  In fact, it is listed as the #1 toughest evacuation community of the 23 Bay area communities evaluated.  Here is the link to the Mercury News article.

So, let’s hope the County Board of Supervisors will take  action on Item #77 this Tuesday, August 27, to expedite the 2016/17 Storm Damage repairs on Lompico Road, rather than delaying approval of the contract until November 5:  just in time for the rainy season but no help to any possible fire season evacuation effort.   

Contact Supervisor Bruce McPherson  or Public Works Director Matt Machado  and ask that Lompico Road be given priority for expedited repair.  

According to an article about County Service Area (CSA) 48 in this month’s Aptos Life newspaper, there ought to be a public hearing before the Board of Supervisors this Tuesday, August 27 to consider beneficial assessment fee increases to all rural property owners in the CalFire jurisdiction.

However, there appears to be nothing listed on the Board agenda for such action?   Hmmm…..

Here is Supervisor Friend’s article in the Aptos Life: Life, August, 2019

Staff replied to my question about the matter, saying that more time is needed to work through some logistical items.  I hope the staff will work at convincing the County Administrative Officer, Carlos Palacios, to start funding CSA 48 County Fire Dept. with some Prop. 172 Statewide Public Safety sales tax money…it brought about $18 million to Santa Cruz County last year, yet the CAO Palacios gave ZERO $ from that lodestone to fund fire protection in the County’s rural areas.  

Why not do this instead of gouging rural property owners for a larger tax hike?

I learned last week, in reviewing some Public Information Act request documents that when Prop. 172 was passed overwhelmingly by voters in 1992 on the heels of a devastating wildland fire in southern California and when the Governor took money from Counties and Cities to fund school budgets, it was left up to each County how the money would be distributed.  After about five years of getting no money at all, the County Fire Chiefs Association complained to then CAO Susan Mauriello.  The CAO threw a meager amount to the Fire Chiefs Association, but stopped after a couple of years. 

Then, CAO Mauriello decided the Fire agencies should pay for the County’s radio communication system, which would amount to more money than the Prop 172 crumbs would cover.  There were more meetings.  It was agreed that fire agencies would get 12% of the increase in Prop. 172 revenues received over the previous year.  

Finally, somehow a set funding formula got adopted in 2013 that seemed like a real smoke-and-mirrors show, resulting in 0.5% of the base fund got set aside for the County Fire Chiefs Association, which is not a governmental agency and is not open to the public, after first passing the money through the County Fire Dept. account on the books.   Hmmm….

What does the County Fire Chiefs Association do with this money?  Who knows…staff is having a difficult time finding documentation about that.  I am sure the Chiefs are putting the money to good use, but the question is….where is the public safety money going so as to benefit the public?  Shouldn’t that be transparent???

Write your County Supervisor:

or phone them and ask: 831-454-2200

Here is one of the Frequently Asked Questions that is Answered on the County Fire website:

Don’t we receive Measure G and Prop 172 funds? 
No. Unfortunately, Santa Cruz County Fire – CSA 48 does not receive any funds from Measure G or Prop 172. All funding generated by the Prop 218 benefit assessment under consideration would go directly to Santa Cruz County Fire – CSA 48. No funds from this assessment can go to the County’s General Fund. The State cannot take this funding away.


Maybe YOUR County Supervisor will have some answers.

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


Make sure you take a look at the County’s re-worked EIR for the Nissan Dealership at 41st Avenue and Soquel Drive.  If you look on the Santa Cruz County Planning Dept. website, on the left, is Special Projects and EIR’s .  That takes you to a list of projects that are undergoing environmental review, and there you will find Recirculated EIR’s for this project.

Somehow, the County thinks it will all work, having magically found money for the traffic light at Robertson and Soquel.  Doesn’t Supervisor John Leopold remember assuring his constituents at a meeting at Main Street School that “we have heard you loud and clear”?  There will be no light at Robertson.” in response to loud public objection to the idea presented by then-Public Works Director John Presleigh?

Send your written comments to Nathan MacBeth

Why put a car dealership in a spot where citizens said they wanted affordable housing and mixed-use amenities? 


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 23
#235 / Can We Just Forgive Joe And Forget?

On August 5, 2019, The Wall Street Journal ran a column by David French, who is a senior writer for National Review and a columnist for Time. French’s column was titled, “When Biden Was Tough on Crime.”

The basic point made in French’s column is that it is wrong to blame Biden, today, for the very unwelcome results of the so-called criminal justice “reform” legislation that Biden sponsored in 1994. That legislation, the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, has jammed America’s prisons with more prisoners than are incarcerated in any other nation in the world, including nations, like China, that are vastly larger in terms of their population. Oh, and those persons incarcerated in the United States are very disproportionately people of color. 

As French noted, Cory Booker, in particular, went after Biden for his support of this legislation, and Biden didn’t have any truly effective comeback, at least not in my opinion: 

Sen. Cory Booker told Joe Biden at last week’s debate, “because you stood up and used that ‘tough on crime’ phony rhetoric that got a lot of people elected but destroyed communities like mine. This isn’t about the past, sir. This is about the present right now.” Mr. Biden replied: “The fact is that we’re talking about things that occurred a long, long time ago. And now, all of a sudden . . . everybody is talking about how terrible I am on these issues.”

French’s column attempts to say that there were some “good things,” too, that came out of that so-called “crime reform” legislation that Biden sponsored. Maybe French is right. However, Biden didn’t try to point to any of these potentially positive results, if any exist, during the Democratic Party Presidential Primary Debate. When Biden was challenged by Booker, Biden didn’t, in any real way, engage on the substance. Instead, Biden’s response was that Booker was complaining about things that “occurred a long, long time ago.” That came across, as I saw it, as a very weak defense, but maybe we should think a little bit more about Biden’s response.

After all, Biden has had to defend himself on a number of issues involving his past political actions, and he has had to use the same defense – the defense that his alleged errors in judgment were made a “long, long time ago.” Kamala Harris, for instance, made an attack not unlike Booker’s attack, but focused on Biden’s past opposition to school busing. Biden appeared to be almost dumbstruck by Harris’ attack, and by the fact that someone would try to judge his past actions by today’s standards.

Is it fair to judge a candidate’s current suitability for office by reviewing what that candidate has done in the past? It is obvious, to me, that the answer is “yes.” That is certainly appropriate. Did the candidate vote to authorize the Iraq War, for instance? Biden did. I, personally, think that his “yes” vote on the Iraq War is absolutely pertinent to our decision about whether we should select him, now, to act as our Commander in Chief.

That said, I do think we need to give some weight to a political defense – made by any candidate – that the candidate’s past actions “occurred a long, long time ago,” and thus aren’t very probative of what the candidate would do now.

It is important to recognize that our political choices are inevitably made and are effective on a “looking forward” basis. Whatever we did “yesterday” (or whatever we did a “long, long time ago”) does not limit or determine the future actions we can take “today.” What a candidate has done or said in the past does not limit or determine what that candidate can or will do if elected now. We are wrong if we decide that just because a candidate did something in the past that we now judge or know to have been a mistake, that candidate should be disqualified from election now.

In his plea that the complaints made against him were for actions that “occurred a long, long time ago,” Biden is appealing to this truth. We need to determine what every candidate (including Biden) would or will do now.

Past actions and decisions can help us evaluate that fundamental question, but they don’t determine our future actions. That is true for us all, and that is the essence of our human freedom. We can always do something “new,” something different, something never known or thought of before.

As we search, in these desperate times, for who will best represent us as president, we need to know everything we can about the character of the candidates from whom we will choose. However, going for the “gotcha” is not the right way to evaluate a candidate. Who will do the right thing for us in the future has to be our focus.

I am not much of a fan of “old Joe” Biden. But what he did in the past (and whatever the other candidates have done in the past) is not my primary concern. I am looking to the future. The past can give us some clues, but the future is the realm of freedom. Who can best take us to a future that will be worth having?  That question, not what “occurred long, long time ago,” is the pertinent question, and that is the question we will answer next year.

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. Scroll below for another time bending revelation of the ” Sub Con’s”.

EAGAN’S DEEP COVER. See Eagan’s “Classic Peeks Deep Inside ” 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

SAN FRANCISCO MIME TROUPE. By now I assume that everyone in the world knows that the Mime Troupe not only speaks but shouts out annual messages to the world that need to be heard. The Troupe started in 1959 and has been going strong ever since. They always close their long season with their two performances here in Santa Cruz. This year’s play is “TREASURE ISLAND”-is it the mythical isle where untold wealth awaits marauding pirates, or the freezing cold, artificial island in the middle of San Francisco Bay awaiting cut-throat developers? Or is it both? That’s the question for Jill Hawkins when an old sea-dog of a developer drops anchor in her office at City Hall, and drops a mystery in her lap. “Developers…they scour the map looking for cities with fat purses, ready to be plundered, damn the regulations!” But if Treasure Island is such a wonderful opportunity why has no one developed it yet…? What about the people who live there now? And who is the one-legged developer Hawkins was warned about?

It’s in San Lorenzo Park near the county building. Bring blankets, lawn chairs and whatever.

 Sat, Sep 7th @ 3:00 PM (Music 2:30)
Sun, Sep 8th @ 3:00 PM (Music 2:30)
Ticket Info: FREE (Suggested donation $20) No dogs, alcohol, or smoking allowed in park. 

LISA JENSEN LINKS.Lisa writes…”All right, folks, move along, nothing to see at the movies right now, so I took the week off. (Let me know if I missed anything!) Join me instead as I plunge deeper into to the oeuvre of my new favorite fantasy author, Robin Hobb, this week at Lisa Jensen Online Express ( ).” Lisa has been writing film reviews and columns for Good Times since 1975. 

LUCE. Kelvin Harrison Jr., and Naomi Watts do very professional and believable acting jobs in “Luce”, and Octavia Spencer achieves the absolute peak of her talent here. Kelvin Harrison Jr. is 25 years old and yet plays a high schooler, but you do end up believing him anyways because the plot/script is so involving. The story (adapted from a play) centers on racial issues and the wealthy classes, and also weaves in gender problems. It’s a tricky story but you’ll stay with it all the way. It wouldn’t surprise me if Octavia gets many Oscar nods for this one.

READY OR NOT. A very worn out plot of a murder chase through a wealthy house is a sad way to waste your time and admission fee. No noticeable actors or acting, a futile poke at people with money being extra cruel, it goes on and on for 96 minutes. The plot holes are large enough to drive garbage trucks through, and they should have.

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.

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 

 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. 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. September 24 has John Hall updating us on The Downtown Commons Advocates and their plans. 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 can’t imagine bouncing around like this while playing an instrument…

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. 


“I don’t know why you use a fancy French word like detente when there’s a good English phrase for it – cold war”. Golda Meir 
“Detente is a readiness to resolve differences and conflicts not by force, not by threats and sabre-rattling, but by peaceful means, at the conference table”. Leonid Brezhnev 
“Detente – isn’t that what a farmer has with his turkey – until Thanksgiving? Ronald Reagan 

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