Blog Archives

August 29 – September 4, 2016

ROMANCE OF ROSY RIDGE, the movie 1947. The one guy in this photo is Van Johnson who was the star of the big budget MGM film Romance of Rosy Ridge, filmed up around Felton. See below for more details.  The girls in this photo are ( left to right) Bunty Braun, Joanne Nielsen, unknown, and Jolene Brogdan.  I watched the crowd scenes carefully and couldn’t spot any of the girls in the film. Besides it was set in 1865.                                                   

photo credit: Covello & Covello Historical photo collection.

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POLITICS NOT AS USUAL. Not since the Santa Cruz SCAN (Santa cruz Action Network) was acting and active a few decades ago have I felt, or inentified with, the energy that happened last Wednesday (8/24) in the London Nelson center at the first real public gathering of Bernie Sanders followers to hear his speech and to start organizing locally to put those beliefs and principles into action. Even the Santa Cruz Sentinel’s weekly Bernie basher Stephen Kessler was there and he actually applauded Bernie’s speech several times!!! More than 250 folks, including lots of young people, watched Bernie’s speech then stayed to adopt Our Revolution bylaws and elect local officers. It felt like there was a new and strong hope for our political future. Especially when it was announced that, like the Brand New Congress goal of the national O.R. organization, the local group will focus on a Brand New Council. That’s Santa Cruz City Council and as you can guess only Chris Krohn, Drew Glover, Steve Schnaar, and Sandy Brown of the council candidates were there. It’s very clear now just where the 10 (or 11?) council candidates stand. Also predictable was that the pro developer, pro police, anti homeless  “right wing” of the Santa Cruz Democrat Party The Democratic Women’s Club  endorsed J.M Brown, Cynthia Mathews, Martine Watkins, and Robert Singleton, and we know what that means. If you want to watch Bernie’s speech go to .

INDIGNATION,  a clip from the excellent showing.
CANNON’S JUG STOMPERS. These were our musical heroes back in the day. The cartoon is just an added award.
PHILIP ROTH 44 MINUTE INTERVIEW ABOUT “INDIGNATION“. This Roth novel won more awards than you can imagine. It’s an excellent film, and learn even more from his interview here…

ENDORSEMENT SEASON.  So the combined membership of the People’s Democratic Club, and members of the  ACLU Santa Cruz County,  Affordable Housing Now!, Citizens Climate Lobby, Economic Justice Alliance, GLBT Alliance, NAACP Santa Cruz, Our Revolution, S.C. Chapter of the Sierra Club all met Monday night (8/29) to hear the 10 candidates (Nathaniel Kennedy was a no show) for their endorsements for the Santa Cruz City Council. London Nelson’s biggest meeting room was full with standing room only. Again, the energy was outstanding. As we’ve come to expect by now The Central Coast Labor Council, The People’s Democratic Club and OUR Revolution all voted to endorse the same four candidates Drew Glover, Steve Schnaar, Chris Krohn, and Sandy Brown. This will certainly be the team that draws the young voters, and draws the old timers back into campaigning and making solid changes in the Santa Cruz City Council.

EARTHQUAKES AND SANTA CRUZ. We’ve all been reading, watching, and hearing about the earthquake tragedies in all those towns and villages in Italy last week. We’ve also seen numerous comparisions with our Santa Cruz location atop another seismic fault that is equally dangerous. It must dawn on more than a few of us….just how prepared is our Santa Cruz city when/if the next”BIG ONE” hits??? Has any citizen ever been informed as to iPhone, cell phone, internet, even land line phone numbers to call when the power goes out (Which it always does even with no earthquakes). Do we know where to go, which routes to drive to, any medical sources, any search crews to help when we need them? What about when Highway One north or south is blocked or Highway 17 is shut down? We were certainly NOT prepatred when the 1989 quake hit us. What’s changed since then? Are all the new high rise hotels being built in the county certified earthquake safe? I think there are dinky maps someplace online showing where the ocean will flow when the next tsunami rushes in. That’s it for tsunami help !!! Experts all tell us another big, very big techtonic plate shift/earthquake is coming within the next 30 years. Isn’t it up to the City Council to be sure we’re ready? Shouldn’t we be better informed and why don’t we know more about how any and all of our related City (and County) departments have prepared or are preparing??? Somebody has to ask these queations….and we need to get those answers ASAP.

OUR REVOLUTION LOCAL DETAILS. Jeffrey Smedberg was/is one of the most active members of the Santa Cruz for Bernie team. He sent an email Friday 9/26 part of which reads, “Arguing that we will be more effective in local politics as a legitimate organization, Jeffrey Smedberg presented draft bylaws, developed by the Organizational Structure Project Team founded at our SC4B meeting in July.  These governing rules, which were adopted, may be viewed on our website here.  The first action under the new Bylaws was election of officers for the remainder of 2016.  Elected were Co-Convenors Marion Brodkey and Magi Amma, Treasurer Mary Graydon-Fontana, Recording Secretary Zena Krakowsky, and Membership Secretary Jeffrey Smedberg.

On behalf of our Local Politics Project Team, Erik Eriksen described their research on Santa Cruz City Council candidates and their plan to build a campaign for a progressive Brand New Council. As tasks were described that are necessary to win an election, Berners eagerly committed to future neighborhood door-knocking and phone calling shifts on this Brand New Council Volunteer Sign-Up GoogleForm to support any progressive Santa Cruz City Council candidates we may endorse. As we read above, that’s now been decided, it’s  Drew Glover, Chris Krohn, Steve Schnaar, and Sandy Brown.

ROMANCE OF ROSY RIDGE, THE MOVIE. Just a slight change of subject, but Romance of Rosy Ridge was one of a very few big Hollywood studio movies ever to bring big stars and film the major part of the film in Santa Cruz County. Back in 1947 MGM, in addition to introducing and starring Janet Leigh in her first big film, brought Van Johnson, Guy Kibbee, Marshall Thompson, Thomas Mitchell, and little Dean Stockwell all to Santa Cruz and more specifically to fields and farms around FeltonTurner Classic Movies (TCM) showed it last week and it’s available on their website. I hadn’t seen it in 69 years, and worked hard at this viewing to spot any identifiable local sights or scenery. Nothing to spot at all. Only the trees and vague valleys looked familiar . And I’d always assumed that with Van Johnson and Janet Leigh and the usually funny Guy Kibbee that it was a comedy or musical…not at all. It’s set in 1865 in the Missouri Ozarks just after the Civil War and centers entirely on the bigotry and hatred between the Yankees and the Rebels. It almost goes without saying that Van Johnson is the Yankee who falls in love with Janet Leigh, the southerner. MacKinly Kantor one of the screen writers also wrote The Best Years of Our Lives. Lester Cole the other screenwriter was a member of the blacklisted Hollywood Ten. So obviously this film meant a lot back then. Check out IMDB to see plenty more details.

WAINER RETROSPECTIVE AT BLITZER. Mark Wainer (retired Orthopedic surgeon) has taken the art of photography to new levels…and he’s been doing that for 25 of the 50 year retrospective that will be featured at the Blitzer gallery starting this First Friday (Sept. 2, 5 -9 p.m.) He began with film, chemicals and enlargers all those years ago  and jumped into computers and PhotoShop decades ago. Check out his 13 portfolios at . especially look at the “Abstract Art” portfolio it’s all done on screen,  no photos were used (like finger painting)That’s the old Wrigley Plant 5 pm. 2801 Mission Street extension. It’ll be there through October 1st.

MERCHANT OF VENICE, GLOBE THEATRE VERSION. The Nickelodeon played London’s Globe Theatre’s 2015 production of Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice at 11 am last Sunday morning (Aug.28). don’t tell Rabbi Rick that the theatre was packed!!! Shakespeare theatre productions rarely have any remarkable size audiences at all in the Del Mar or Nick, but Shylock filled the house. What is increasingly rare anywhere in the world today is that it was staged and acted, cast and costumed exactly the way Shakespeare wrote it!!!Jonathan Pryce was Shylock and was magnificent.

ELERICK’S INPUT. Mr. Paul Elerick of Aptos writes…still vacationing.

(Paul Elerick is a member of, and former co-chair of the Campaign for Sensible Transportation, . He’s a current member of Nisene to Sea, a group of mid-county citizens committed to maintaining an open hiking trail from Cabrillo College to Nisene Marks State Park

Birth and Politics

The Santa Cruz City council appeared glum as they voted to postpone discussion of and vote on the Wharf Master Plan’s Mitigated Negative Declaration (MND) from the August 23rd meeting to the November 22nd. meeting. As project planner Norm Daly explained in requesting such a postponement, “comments came in overnight and it is important to give those comments due consideration.” Really? Due consideration was not given to public comments that were submitted months ago to address inadequacies in the MND, so why the sudden concern at the 11th hour?  

On Monday August 22nd. delivery nurses advised us to return home since there would be no baby coming that day. Labor for my daughter-in-law would be longer than expected. To pass the time at home I decided to see what was on city council agenda for the following day. I hadn’t heard of any big issues expected although one never knows. There it was, the Wharf Master Plan MND, tucked neatly away in the afternoon agenda. I had asked planner Daly to give me a heads-up on a likely date for the issue to be on council agenda and he demurred, telling me to check the agendas myself. As anyone who follows this process knows, council agendas are posted late Thursday, affording just 3 days to read the documents which can be lengthy, craft a response and get that into council by Monday, which they state is the latest for emails to successfully reach them before the council meeting. I had just a few hours. I quickly read the staff report and Daly’s responses to comments on the MND, noting that he placed all environmental impacts from the project in the category of “no impact.” or “less than significant impact if mitigated.”

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~ (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).


PATTON’S PROGRAM. From Gary’s Two Worlds website…

Today, let me highlight an essay by Captain Paul Watson, founder of the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society. Watson has written an article titled, “The Laws Of Ecology And The Survival Of The Human Species.” It is definitely worth reading! Watson’s article makes one of the main points that I have wanted to make as I write this Two Worlds blog, and Watson’s words have given me the title to my posting #232 – The Four Horses Have Arrived: We made the mistake of declaring war on nature, and because of our technologies it looks like we are going to win this war. But because we are a part of nature, we will destroy ourselves in the process. Our enemy is ourselves and we are slowly becoming aware of that indisputable fact.

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~ (Gary is a former Santa Cruz County Supervisor (20 years) and an attorney who represents indivuduals and community groups on land use and environmental issues. The opinions expressed are Mr. Patton’s. Gary has his own website, Two Worlds at


CLASSICAL DeCINZO. DeCinzo makes an incisive UCSC statement!! See downward

EAGAN’S DEEP COVER. Eagan goes deep inside Hillary’s campaign-  scroll below… And there are two new cartoons posted at Deep Cover and Subconscious Comics The latest EaganBlog, Double Take is here.

LISA JENSEN LINKS. Lisa’s on another vacation, some more!! Lisa has been writing film reviews and columns for Good Times since 1975  


DON’T BREATHE. This film has all the makings of a very scary horror flick. Timing, characters, kids locked in a house with a blind army veteran who wants to kill them because they tried to rob him. Yet, it lacks something and I’ve been thinking about it for three days and I still can’t figure why it doesn’t work. Great tension, fine acting, plenty of surprises, and yet it doesn’t add up. Maybe it’s because the blind veteran is also evil, and focused on killing. Maybe it’s because the kids were wrong in the first place in trying to rob him. But if you’ve seen everything else in town…this one won’t bore you, I promise.

MECHANIC: RESURRECTION. This got 24 on Rotten Tomatoes which puts it 3 below Ben Hur and 2 below Suicide Squad. Jason Stratham does what is required while the special effectsdoes all the rest. Jessica Alba cutes her way through the other usual car and boat chases. Just another James Bond, Mission Impossible spy-killer-travelogue, with extra blood. Don’t go.

SOUTHSIDE WITH YOU. This is worse than a Hallmark greeting card! Cloying, genuflecting, dull, and an unjustified view of how Barack wooed Michelle back in their Chicago days. Aside from the apparent facts that Obama smokes a lot and doesn’t like ice cream and that Michelle doesn’t like pie, there’s nothing to gain from seeing this trite mess. It’s genuinely boring too. You’ll keep waiting for something of substance, or conflict, or some kind of problem might be dealt with…nope, all sugar and spice. Well, not even spice actually.


INDIGNATION. If you liked Portnoy’s Complaint, Goodbye Columbus or  any and all of Philip Roth’s novels you’ll love this film. In 1951 a very nice teen age Jewish boy from New Jersey starts college and goes through sexual, religious, moral, and very touching life evolving events (most of which you probably did too!). The acting has no flaws or weak points, the story is pure Philip Roth and you’ll be moved like no other film in the last year or two.

CAPTAIN FANTASTIC.Viggo Mortensen, the lead in this family saga, has never been better, and he’s almost always excellent. The older you are the more you’ll appreciate this extension of our 1950 & 60’s belief system. A film that has Noam Chomsky’s philosophy as a driver, Jesse Jackson, Joy of Sex book, Lolita, Glen Gould’s Bach Variations and some non-christian beliefs added,  has to take you back just a bit. And in a good way. Viggo raises his family in the total wilds and later they have to face modern life and society. It’s as much fun as it is moving, sensitive , and well made. Frank Langella and Steve Zahn add to this hit film. Go for/to it!!  

HELL OR HIGH WATER. Jeff Bridges, Ben Foster and Chris Pine make this one wonderful, exciting, involving, and well acted film. Go see it ASAP. Cops and bank robbers in Texas, internal conflicts, evil bank laws and practices, and ethics and morals are all integrated. It’s hard t o believe that “Hollywood” could still make a film this good after all these years of junk.

WAR DOGSJonah Hill and Miles Teller do some fine acting in this only half – serious drama about how much money shysters in the United States make when we are at war. You’ll wonder if the USA could even stay alive financially if we weren’t always at war or “Peace Keeping” as it’s called. Not a great film but it does get the message across.

CAFÉ SOCIETY. Woody Allen’s newest starring Jesse Eisenberg, Kristen Stewart, Parker Posey and Steve Carell. Woody narates the film and he’s older and his voice has lost that whiney, confused, contradictory warble that we’ve grown to love so much. This film doesn’t rank in his top 4 or 5 films. The story is original, the acting is perfunctory, Kristen Stewart is above reproach, but it’s no Midnight in Paris, Annie Hall, Blue Jasmine, Hannah and Her Sisters or Purple Rose of Cairo.

FLORENCE FOSTER JENKINS. The ever-popular,  award winning Meryl Streep mugs , struts and acts her way through this odd portrait of an eccentric totally tone deaf New York socialite in the early 1940’s, Florence Foster Jenkins caught syphilis from her first husband, divorced him, kept his name and married another rich fellow socialite. She loved music, was friends with Arturo Toscanni but because of the tertiary stages of the disease, was unable to accurately hear her own singing voice. She gave concerts and recorded records and made millions laugh at her bizzarre off key voice. It’s a cute, somewhat serious comedy…and again Meryl Srreep has the lead with Hugh Grant playing a good older version of Hugh Grant, and you know what that means.

JASON BOURNE.The minute you leave the theatre this movie will seem like a dream you had. It’s fuzzy, unclear, random scenes in random order, no real meaning…just like a dream. The director tried to make some new kind of spy killing, car chase, fie, explosion movie. Edits, cuts, dialogue are all mixed up and mixed together…it makes little or no sense at all. Matt Damon, Tommy Lee Jones, Vincent Cassell, Alicia Vikander, and Riz Ahmed from “The Night Of” all do their best, but it’s all the director’s fault. Well, Matt Damon just phoned in his part and he’s terrible. And it’s still better than  Mechanic: Resurrection

BEN HUR. It’s got chariot chases instead of car chases and they even threw in the crucifixation with Jesus carrying the cross not too gladly…and it’s still a jerky movie. Listen for classic Roman dialogue such as “Are we having fun yet brother” during the big chariot fiasco. Charlton Heston’s 1959 movie is still the one to remember. Donald Trump voters will probably like this one. 28 on Rotten Tomatoes.Yes, Morgan Freeman is in it…but it doesn’t matter.

STAR TREK BEYOND. The third in the new Trek movie series this is a waste of eveyone’s time and money. They cop out and show a photo of Leonard Nimoy about half way through and show a snapshot of the entire Enterprise original 1966 crew. Mostly it’s just another throw bombs and shoot around corners (or curves on spaceships). Nothing near the humanity, intelligence, or real wit the original had, which made all of us such lifelong fans. The acting is terrible, the plot is meaningless. Go only if you need your periodic Star Trek Fix, and don’t care how “authentic” it is. ( I didn’t know Capt. James Kirk’s middle name was Tiberius and that Shatner is 85 years old and was born in Montreal).

DON’T THINK TWICE. Rotten Tomatoes gives it a 99 % I give it about 4!!! I’ve always hated Improv Comedy, that’s why. This movie is totally about Improv Comedy and the internal combustion within a group calling them selves the Commune. I can’t tell you how many times I watched San Francisco’s The Committee throughout most of the 1960’s. A lot of the Nickelodeon audience laughed a lot when I watched it…go warned.

SUICIDE SQUADWill Smith, Jared Leto, and Viola Davis could never be accused of acting in this horrible Gotham City disaster. Yep, Gotham City and yes Batman is in it for a few seconds but he doesn’t save this Super Hero flick from being one of the very worst ever made. (read any other review!!!). I could try to tell you about the plot, but there really isn’t one…it’s all violence, weird effects, killing, and to save production money most of it is filmed extra dark so you can’t see what might be around the corner. Don’t let anybody go, except your worst enemy. 26 on Rotten Tomatoes!! One of the producers of Suicide Squad is Donald Trump’s finance director, if  it matters who you give money to!

KZSC  88.1 FM or live online at
www.KZSC.ORG     TUESDAYS 7-8 P.M.

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. On August 30 photographer and Doctor Mark Wainer talks about his forthcoming exhibit at Blitzer Gallery, after which Joan Martin and Lisa Robinson discuss the new MAH history book, “Do You Know My Name?”. Bob Morgan talks about the Widening Won’t Work movement on September 6 followed by Martin Rizzo and his work in the “Do You Know My Name” book. Julie James speaks about the Jewel Theatre’s new season and “Streetcar Named Desire” on September 13.. Angelo Grova unveils his Fashion Art Show on Sept.20. Michel Singher previews The Espressivo Orchestra’s next concert on September 27. Joan Van Antwerp talks about The Sidereal Theatre on Oct. 18. Then October 25 has Santa Cruz County Superior Court Judge Paul Burdick talking about our court system.  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  

NEW UNIVERSAL GRAPEVINE ARCHIVE FEATURE. Stuff changes at KZSC a lot. If you missed 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.

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.


“Best way to live in California is to be from somewheres else”, Cormac McCarthy

“I was awakened by a tremendous earthquake, and though I hadnt ever before enjoyed a storm of this sort, the strange thrilling motion could not be mistaken, and I ran out of my cabin, both glad and frightened, shouting, “A noble earthquake! A noble earthquake” feeling sure I was going to learn something”,John Muir,

“God will break California from the surface of the continent like someone breaking off a piece of chocolate. It will become its own floating paradise of underweight movie stars and dot-commers, like a fat-free Atlantis with superfast Wi-Fi”, Laura Ruby

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Deep Cover by Tim Eagan.

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