Blog Archives

August 30 – September 5, 2011

THE HIHN MANSION. The “only full Italian Villa style residence ever built in Santa Cruz” (Chase.” Santa Cruz Architecture”) The 1872 residence of Frederick Augustus Hihn,. Designed by Charles A. Davis. It’s on the site of our present City Hall and was destroyed to build what’s there now.

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

Additional information always welcome: email

KEELEY SHOWS HIS SMARM’S STILL WORKING. County Treasurer Fred Keeley has oozed and smarmed his way through items and issues before but this letter he wrote to Jesse Nickell, Barry Swenson, and Charlie Canfield is a new degree lower even for him. To see and read his use of Mardi Wormhoudt’s name is beyond belief.

Keeley writes…

Thank you, Barry, Charles and so many more.

The Mayor and City Council, in my view, demonstrated that a progressive/pro-environment City of Santa Cruz can also have a strong, serious economic development policy, and that can all come together in a project such as the one in front of the Coastal Commission. Even after a few days, I continue to be in stunned disbelief that there is some mythical “precedent” that would have been set if the Coastal Commission would have approved the project; and, that such a “mythical” precedent would have caused a cascade of similar LCP amendments or variances from other communities.

Frankly, in my view, there was no precedent here at all. The Coastal Act, the related statutes, and case law all contemplate LCP amendments and what amount to variances, in tightly limited circumstances. If that is not the case, the Coastal Commission should do away with LCP amendments altogether. They have not because there is a legitimate role for such a tool to be used in limited circumstances, and this was certainly such a case.

Leadership is important in such matters. I am not trying to hurt myself patting myself on the back, but when faced with a critically important matter for the community during my services in the California Assembly (the so-called third high school in Watsonville), I spent seven months holding community-based negotiations every single Friday afternoon and into the evening (the City of Watsonville, the County of Santa Cruz, the Pajaro Valley Unified School District, the Coastal Commission, the environmental community). The result of that intensive work on the part of all parties was the approval (with an LCP amendment, I might add) of Pajaro Valley High School, an interlocking agreement that no further development would take place west of Highway One in the Pajaro Valley, and the support of a significant element of the environmental community (including Watsonville Wetlands Watch, and CAFF, among others). The point here is not “hey, how swell am I”, but to say that such matters are the time to get in and work like hell, and see if a positive outcome can be achieved.

I could go on about why I do not understand why a segment of the building trades (who have always supported by electoral ventures) were willing to not only take 100% of nothing instead of 70% of something, and I could inquire of my friends at SEIU why they, who have a direct and on-going stake in the $700,000 annual revenue from the now-dead project, sat on the sidelines and allowed their brothers and sisters in the trades to give away many of their jobs. Instead, I want to end on a note that is so strange and offensive that I cannot close without sharing it.

After my testimony in support of the Coastal Commission staff recommendation to approve the project, Ralph Meyberg, who said that he was speaking for “local environmentalists”, came up to me and said, “You will be visited by the ghost of Mardi Wormhoudt tonight.” Needless to say, I was speechless. Mardi Wormhoudt was one of the most dedicated, intelligent, and hard-working public officials that this community has ever produced. You could disagree with her, but there was not ever an ambiguity as to her beliefs or advocacy. Her passing from this community left a giant hole in many of our hearts, including mine. For Mr. Meyberg to invoke her memory as a weapon is the single most despicable act that I have witnessed in my 30 years in public life and public policy in this wonderful community.
Finally, thank you again. This may, unfortunately, be the end of this project, but it is not the end of this matter. Sincerely,

Treasurer, County of Santa Cruz

NATURE BY NUMBERS. Nope, the music isn’t Philip Glass it’s Wim Mertens

WHALE RESTAURANT NO JOKE. Somehow I failed to get across my point that the Whale’s Tale restaurant as pictured here two weeks ago was, and is no joke. Many people thought I wasn’t being serious following the La Bahia decision that I was joking about some ugly impossibly bad designed restaurant being proposed for the entire end of our Municipal Wharf. No joke scroll down, look at that Whale restaurant then go to the Dolphin Restaurant and sign something saying how much you hate that whale behemoth.

UCSC’S DICKENS UNIVERSE IN THE NEW YORKER.Don’t miss the August 29th issue of the New Yorker. Jill Lepore who teaches history at Harvard and is writing a book on Charles Dickens in America wrote a great article on our very own UCSC’s Dickens Universe or Dickens’s Camp that has been happening here every summer since 1983. It tells about Murray Baumgarten, John Jordan numerous Dickens impersonators, no mention of the now defunct Dickens Players but read it anyways. Here’s another link to another recent story about our annual July Dickens Project

FRACTAL MUSIC. Just having the Philip Glass festival near us produces some special re-actions

WHAT IS SACRED? Alex Darocy sent me a link to . I’d never found it before…well worth checking out. Mainly, Alex is concerned about the destruction of the Ohlone Village. Read on and think about your reaction if KB Home was going to dig up your Mom and Dad’s graves.” SCWiki says, “Market Street Field is located along Branciforte Creek, adjacent to Market Street and Highway 1. It is directly across the street from the intersection of Market Street and Goss Avenue. For years, locals have known the site to be a former Ohlone village, and also as a contemporary gathering site for Native Americans into the 20th century. Today, Market Street Field continues to be visited by people who seek to gather medicinal herbs, and by a variety of other people interested in Ohlone culture. Due to the possibility of disturbing this history, the commercial development of Market Street Field traditionally has been avoided, until KB Home decided to build on the site. Despite the statement in 2007 from Judy Warner a Planning Commissioner from the City of Santa Cruz that Market Street Field was, “the oldest and most significant cultural area in the City,1 the plan to build was approved.

On August 2, 2011 during construction by KBHome the remains of a 6000 year old Ohlone child were unearthed. The remains are now in the possession of the California Native American Heritage Commission, which believes that Ann Marie Sayers of Hollister is the “Most Likely Descendant.” Sayers called for all earth moving at the site to be halted, and area residents quickly formed the group the Save the Knoll Coalition, which organized a series of meetings and protests with the goal of protecting the burial site and Ohlone village which began with the March to Protect the Ancestors (a protest and march from Pacific Avenue to Market Street Field) on August 14, 2011. I missed the march but we need to follow up on this.

Who or what is KB Home? Wikipedia says among other things “KB Home (NYSE: KBH) is a homebuilding company based in the United States, founded in 1957 as Kaufman & Broad in Detroit, Michigan. It was the first company to be traded on the NYSE as a home builder and is a Fortune 500 company. Its headquarters are in Los Angeles, California. In fiscal 2008, the company delivered 12,438 homes in the United States and had revenue of over $3 billion. This is down from close to 40,000 homes and more than $9 billion in revenue at the height of the real estate boom in 2005.

MORE ON OHLONE SITE DESTRUCTION.Read this website and learn even more about Culture Change

POOP AT THE ZOO. Peter Scott sent this clip about how composting toilets work.

PATTON’S PROGRAM. Gary talks about how and why we seem to think that widening and building new roads to alleviate traffic is expensive and wrong. He tells us about Non-Conforming Structures and The County Planning Department. He gives some history on his own “Measure J” and talks about the Pedestrian Safety Work Group. (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”

POOP CLIP #2. Bollywood gets the poop treatment….adults or mustard lovers only.

QUERY FROM QUARNSTROM. Lee writes, “Could you pass along to DeCinzo my weekly enjoyment of his latest cartoon at the bottom of your column. His depiction of bicyclists in your most-recent column is priceless! Also, David Weiss’s note about motorcyclists echoes a question I once asked a Santa Cruz policeman, i.e.; why do cops tolerate loud motorcycles, almost always Harley-Davidsons, that are obviously exceeding legal noise limits? “Because,” he told me, “almost every police officer either has a Harley-Davidson or wants a Harley-Davidson.” Oh.

VINTAGE DE CINZO. DeCinzo’s shot at logging locally…spin down just a few feet.

EAGANS DEEP COVER. Tim monkey’s around with our deepest fears…spin downwards near that drawing of the Whale’s Tale restaurant.

LANDAU’S PROGRES. Saul Landau (formerly of the San Francisco Mime Troupe) writes “Riots, Demonstrations, and New Agencies of Change” in this week’s Progreso Weekly“. He states, “An angry demonstration virus spreads to country after country in response to negligent and callous political leaders who have ignored the basic needs of their citizens. Instead, they have bowed or eagerly catered to demands of multinational corporations and banks, thus deepening the already profound world’s income gap. In 2011, billions face hunger, or even starvation. A smaller elite has accumulated even more wealth. In 2011, the shit hit the proverbial fan. The “Arab Streets” revolted. In Greece, Spain and England the socialists had already assumed the politics of the capitalists. The banks became the means and ends for policy”. Read all of it here Saul Landau is an Institute for Policy Studies fellow whose films are on DVD from

ANCHOR IN ANTARCTICA. I mentioned a few weeks ago that Micaela Neus was going to send BrattonOnline lots of her news from Palmer Station in Antarctica. I met her at July’s Silent Film Festival in San Francisco. We were watching a silent documentary of Scott’s trip down there. Micaela first went to the much larger (maybe 1200 people) McMurdo Station in October 2007 and stayed just a week or so past a full year, she left in October 2008. She then traveled in SE Asia before returning to Antarctica– this time to Palmer Station, from September 2010 to April 2011. Now, she’s headed back for another “seven month summer”. Micaela works for Raytheon Polar Services Company, the current contractor for the US Antarctic Program, administered by the National Science Foundation. She’s a machinist and her job is to keep certain things running so that the scientists can do their job. I think it is absolutely fascinating to have a connection and news from Antarctica, and I mentioned before that she just turned 30!

ANCHOR Micaela writes…
Antarctica is a place where grown men exchange strong words over a bottle of Tabasco sauce left momentarily unattended on a galley table. The necessarily communal nature of our living means that the best dinner is the one least objectionable to the greatest number of people. No butter, no salt, no spice except that which you add to your own plate after you come through the buffet line. We stock basic condiments like soy sauce and mustard, but we typically run out of one thing or another. That’s when people turn to their private stores, bringing out bottles and jars of whatever they need to keep life on ice palatable to their particular sensibilities. A few pilfered dashes of Personal Tabasco, brought down in bubble-wrap from the other side of the world, will add heat to more than the scrambled eggs.

Regarding packing — the Program issues ECW* before letting us board the plane or vessel, but leaves the rest up to the individual. What do you need to stay warm, to stay healthy, and to stay sane? Simple questions, until you have to answer them in 70lbs or less. Like other fingees**, I devoted most of suitcase to myself that first year. Fingees always worry about what they themselves will lack, and consequently over-pack. I know a woman who mailed herself 10lbs weights, in case we didn’t have a gym! Veterans know to save some room in their bags for gifts to friends already on continent, ranging from their preferred brand of toothpaste to a pound of real bacon. One year, I surprised a friend by bringing him Indian take-away from his favorite restaurant in Christchurch, New Zealand. I got the idea from others who had delivered pizza, I must admit, and it’s still a good one if you’re headed our way.

What did I kick myself for forgetting that first year? Dried fruit and the manual to my camera. This year I plan to bring something to help stuff the stockings. All that other junk is surprisingly easy to live without… at least, in Antarctica.

* Extreme Cold Weather, shorthand for the head-to-toe insulation and water-proofing gear issued by the Program before deploying to station.
** Pronunciation of FNG—f—ing new guy. Common form of address for a first-timer.

(more from Micaela just as soon as I hear anything)

LISA JENSEN LINKS. This week at Lisa Jensen Online Express (, find out what’s up with Open Studios this year with the release of the 2011 Open Studios Art Tour Calendar and Guide. And rejoice! Tandy Beal’s exuberant and haunting multi-media dance ensemble piece, Here After Here, is coming back to Cabrillo for one weekend only. Lisa Jensen has been writing film reviews and a column for Good Times since 1975.

LAWRENCE FERLINGHETTI AT THE DEL MAR-IN PERSON. Santa Cruz has more than the average number of poets. It also has more than a number of average poets, but never mind. Lots of people have been working hard to bring major poet, writer and owner of City Lights Bookstore Lawrence Ferlinghetti to Santa Cruz. BrattonOnline readers will remember that he was in Davenport in June. We’ll see a documentary about Lawrence showing what a force he’s been in social change and literary freedom over the years. Mark your calendars for Tuesday October 18th 7p.m.


THE DEBT. Helen Mirren has only made a couple of middling films in her career and I can’t even remember what they were. She and Tom Wilkinson work hard to cover some mistakes they made in tracking down the real life mad Butcher-Doctor of Birkenau. It’s a re-make of a 2007 Israeli film and is a bit confusing to follow all the flashbacks and duel casting but it’s an excellent film. Go see it. John Madden directed it, that’s why it’s confusing.

OUR IDIOT BROTHER. Paul Rudd is the big star but Santa Cruzan Adam Scott does a fine job too in this sometimes clever, sometimes just weird, dysfunctional family comedy-tragedy. The 3 sisters finally realize that goofball bro Rudd is pure, simple but may have some clues after all. But mostly he’s simple.

A MATADOR’S MISTRESS. This is truly a secret movie that stars Penelope Cruz and Adrien Brody. Brody plays the most famous matador ever, Manolete himself. Mostly because he looks so much like him. Penelope plays his mistress…with a gold tooth! I’m not making this up…and the movie is terrible. And was never released. It’s probably on Netflix and for sure at Cedar Street Video. It was directed by Menno Meyjes who did The Color Purple and one of the Indiana Jones. It’s so terrible, it’s weird.

COLOMBIANA.This film is almost as bad as Matador’s M. but it’s new. It stars Zoe Saldana who was much better in Avatar as a cartoon….well she’s just about a cartoon in this one. It’s got some good chase-blood-violence scenes if that’s your thing, but wait and rent it so you can see it on as small a screen as possible.

SAN FRANCISCO MIME TROUPE’S 2012-THE MUSICAL.Watch just a sample here…then go see it asap!!! Live and FREE Now through the end of September

SAN FRANCISCO MIME TROUPE BEST EVER.Quick, go online and find the next dates and locations for the Mime Troupe. Palo Alto Sept.1, SF’s Dolores Park Sept 3,4,5 then Hayward, Sonoma, Berkeley, and Petaluma through the end of September. Call your friends in those towns and tell them this “2012-The Musical” is one of the most clever, funniest, best choreographed, meaningful shows they’ve ever done….and I’ve seen a lot of them. The songs are great, the phoney eco friendly Green Planet Corporation is spot on with their re-cycling and compost pitches.

They hit Starbuck’s, Banana Republic, Gym memberships, and even have the nerve to ask the audience for a show of hands of those folks who work for corporations!!! Go see it and take everybody you know and work with.

MORE MIME TROUPE. Just last Monday Rich Siebert sent me a PDF link to an ancient San Francisco Mime Troupe program of their “Civil Rights In A Cracker Barrel”. Take a look way down there at the bottom, I got thanked. I was the original white Interlocutor (before John Cobb) back in February 1964. The show didn’t get on the boards until June 1965. Please note other distinguished names such as music by Steve Reich, script by Saul Landau, more help by Nina Serano Landau, and Peter Arnott played banjo with our Goodtime Washboard 3.Arlene Sagan was music director of Bella Musica, the sublimely beautiful and talented Sandra Archer died last year and of course R.G. Davis was the creator of the Mime Troupe.

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. Sara Wilbourne and Meg Sandow will be talking about Tandy Beal’sHereAfterHere” on Tuesday, August 30 then City Museum Director Dan Harder returns that same night. On Sept. 6th Land Use Attorney Bill Parkin will describe current issues then Jewel Theatre’s Chad Davies and Mary James talk about their The House of Blue Leaves play. Sept. 13 Angelo Grova, Rose Sellery and Tina Brown talk about FashionART happening on Sept 24 followed by KUSP’s Opera host Jim Emdy and I discussing 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. On Sept.27 Brian Spencer and Al Muller talk about The Letters Play coming to the Actors theatre in October. Also on the 27th, ceramic sculptor Peggy Snider discusses her works and Open Studios. 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. “Most people wouldn’t know music if it came up and bit them on the ass”, Frank Zappa. “You are a wish to squirt pleasantly“, Philip Whalen. “Don’t patronize the chain bookstores. Every time I see some author scheduled to read and sign his books at a chain bookstore, I feel like telling him he’s stabbing the independent bookstores in the back”, Lawrence Ferlinghetti


Deep Cover by Tim Eagan.

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