Blog Archives

August 8 – 14, 2013

SANTA CRUZ BEACH & BOARDWALK 1940. By taking a closer look you can see the historic La Bahia Hotel in the lower left corner. You don’t need to look so hard to see the Historic Casa Del Rey Hotel that vanished with a FEMA payback right after the 1989 quake. Then there’s the Boardwalk pier and the freely flowing San Lorenzo River with the once-named “Opera Island” just before the railroad bridge.

photo credit: private photo collection.

Additional information always welcome: email

DENTIST CHRISTIE AND HIS ROOT CANAL PROBLEM. The case of Dentist William Christie versus his wanting to destroy the 4 Canary Island Pine trees that are on his property isn’t over yet. The deep roots are causing him great pain and obviously something needs to be extracted. Environmentalists and Tree lovers plus the Historical Building Preservationists are at odds over this and are eagerly waiting for the cities’ decision. Former mayor Chris Krohn, former professor Jim Funaro, UCSC’s Gillian Greensite and many others are working hard to save those 70 foot tall pines. Dentist Christie’s office is across the street from the Good Will Store and where India Joze used to be. That’s the corner of Union and Center….you’ve seen and read about this battle I’m, sure. Dentist Christie (and you know what they say about Dentists) has brought wild and weird politics into it Christie was once the Chairman of The Santa Cruz Police Review Board but he was so pro any and all police actions he was removed. Now in his appeal to the City he calls Krohn” a single uninformed individual”, “with too little to do” and that his actions are due to their “radically different political differences”. He even continued by calling ME “poorly informed, but deeply opinionated”. He repeated my line in this space about how Christie’s patients should go to “more environmentally minded dentists”. Near the close of his ranting and bitching he threatens the city with “I feel there could be legal ramifications here”. What a guy! what a dentist. You gotta wonder about a guy who opens a dental practice between and among four very young pine trees and then spends years, dollars and legal time fighting about their growing. It’s like moving to Times Square and complaining about the traffic. Or moving to Death Valley and suing over the amount of sand. There’ll be announcements any day now whether or not Our COURAGEOUS City Council will vote to save those trees. Be sure to read Gillian Greensite’s series on our Heritage Trees and how our Santa Cruz has treated them.

DENZEL WASHINGTON POSITIVELY GUARANTEES. Denzel and his script writers must have a thing about the word “guarantee”. I’d never noticed, but watch this clip, Ralph Davila found it.

LATTE BREAKING NEWS. Michael Bethke told me he is definitely NOT running for City Council or anything because he has a bad hip problem. Don Lane repeated the non-news that he too isn’t running for anything, it just seems like he is. You’ve seen those Segways around town, right? One of the Segway Tour owners set me straight, they are NOT for rent, and they are for tours only and there are two tours per day. Those Segways cost $7,500 each and people were breaking them…so tours only NO rentals.


BAGS FOR SALE. I just learned the news that when our more than benevolent County Board of Supervisors passed that ordinance about plastic bags that they are now charging for what they used to give away for free. The money Safeway, Whole Foods, CVS gets from selling you those bags….they keep!!!. Another corporate crime aided by our Supes!!! That money should go to our arts organizations, our schools, or some environmental cause. Let’s right this wrong ASAP.

LOUIS SATCHMO 1933 INTERVIEW & CONCERT !! This took place in Copenhagen. Listen to him play and sing « Dinah » !!

STORIES FROM THE URBAN FOREST. by Gillian Greensite(The first in a series)

Part 1: “History of the Santa Cruz city’s Heritage Tree Ordinance. Like most cities in California and many across the nation, Santa Cruz has a Heritage Tree Ordinance, designed to protect large, old, unique or historic trees living within the urban boundary. Today, the need for such an ordinance seems a no-brainer. The urban tree cover is declining nation-wide at four million trees per year, according to the US Forest Service. The level of heat-trapping carbon dioxide in the atmosphere recently broke the once unthinkable barrier of 400 parts per million for the first time in three million years. Forty years ago, however, the need for an ordinance to protect our urban forest was not so obvious to the general public. But as is often the case, a few individuals saw the need, put their heads together and with the help of a sympathetic city council, passed the Heritage Tree Ordinance into law in 1973.

The spark that ignited the cause was the felling of an old English walnut tree for the construction of a building behind Holy Cross church. According to the story shared by M. Lachman, this particular walnut tree was not only good eats but had a unique history. It was from this tree in 1812 that the Mission Indians hung Father Quintana due to his cruel treatment of them, including beatings with a metal-tipped whip. While there is no reference to this particular tree in the historical records, its destruction was the incentive for Mr. Lachman to seek out landscape architect Roy Rydell and city planner Joe Hall to begin the process of crafting an ordinance to protect Santa Cruz’s old and significant trees.

There were differences of opinion on what should constitute a heritage tree. Some felt that the ordinance should cover only a limited number of outstanding trees such as the Black Walnut on Cedar St. before it was butchered. Others felt that the ordinance should include protection for a broader range of trees. Undoubtedly there were some who felt no trees needed protection, arguing that the marine terraces were originally treeless. The city council of the day, including the newly elected Bert Muhly, who played a significant role in the establishment of the California Coastal Commission, debated the various points of view and decided to protect trees based on their size, their uniqueness and their historical significance. The council also debated the appropriate size for a tree to be designated as heritage. With few ordinance models from other cities to use as a guide, the council came up with a figure based on a unique calculation. The circumference for a tree to be designated as heritage would be 44 inches or, as the local press reported the council’s deliberations, the size of council member Muhly’s waistline! As it turned out, 44 inches circumference or 14 inches diameter is somewhat similar to the tree size criterion for ordinances in other cities, although most protect trees of even smaller size.

Part 2: Heritage Tree Ordinance: Success or Failure? (Next Issue)

PATTON’S PROGRAM. Gary reports on our County Board of Supes being back and in session. He relates about PG&E and their problems in Monterey and how they relate to San Bruno’s disaster, and if the City should buy the Golden State Theatre. He deals with Monterey’s de-sal plans and plant and how the Monterey Herald newspaper likes the agreement. He tells about Cal Am and who owns the rights to our water…and Monterey’s water. Read all of above at Gary’s KUSP Land Use scripts (Gary Patton is “Of Counsel” to the Santa Cruz law firm of Wittwer & Parkin, which specializes in land use and environmental law. The opinions expressed are Mr. Patton’s. Gary has his own website, “Two Worlds / 365”

VINTAGE DE CINZO. It couldn’t happen here to our very own Starbucks…could it ??See below a few pages.

EAGANS DEEP COVER. Tim Eagan introduces us to Rocco, the peoples candidate. Scroll down a page or four.

LISA JENSEN LINKS. Lisa writes: “In celebration of marriage equality, take a look at my favorite same-sex domestic partnerships in the movies—and feel free to suggest your own—this week at Lisa Jensen Online Express ( After that, I’m on vacation, so meet me back here in two weeks!” Lisa has been writing film reviews and columns for Good Times since 1975.

SHAMU STILL ROCKS AT SEA WORLD. See the Blackfish documentary ASAP. Check out this ad from Sea World in Orlando.

Or check out our very own Sea World San Diego also featuring a performing Shamu.



BLACKFISH. We all need to see the documentary Blackfish. It’s abouthow cruel and even evil SeaWorld treats their Orca Whales. Orca Whales are members of the dolphin family it’s about how one of those killer whales killed a lovable and talented trainer. What it’s really about is how all of us are guilty of making Sea world and all aquariums and zoos and keepers of trapped animals and sea life vast sums of money for continuously torturing jelly fish, gorillas, elephants, just so we can pay and peer into their unnatural habitat. Wikipedia says, “Wild killer whales are not considered a threat to humans,[7] although there have been cases of captives killing or injuring their handlers at marine theme parks.[8] Killer whales feature strongly in the mythologies of indigenous cultures, with their reputation ranging from being the souls of humans to merciless killers”. Yes the Monterey Aquarium is just as guilty as the rest of them. The actual amount of research and legitimate experimentation they do in re the torture of those trapped fish is minimal and we all know it. See the film Blackfish before responding.

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


FRUITVALE STATION. A must see film. Not a documentary, it’s an amateur director’s first attempt, and not just because it’s almost in our neighborhood… it’s simply a “Must See Film”. It’ll give you all the more reasons why our justice system needs so much correcting and not only in the BART-Oscar Grant case. It’s been winning awards everywhere.

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

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

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

RED 2. Sure Helen Mirren, Anthony Hopkins, and Catherine Zeta-Jones are in it,but trust me; John Malkovich and Bruce Willis ruin every scene and any bit of tension or believable minute of this junk flick. I defy anyone who claims to have liked this mess to repeat the plot to us. It is so convoluted, so impossible, so stupid.

MYSTERIOUS FAIRY U.K. INSECT. Just another odd You Tube curiosity.

UNIVERSAL GRAPEVINE, the radio program I host, happens each and every Tuesday from 7:00-8:00 p.m. Universal Grapevine is 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. . . Kevin Newhouse guests on August 13 to tell us about his new Arcadia book on Aptos. He’ll be followed by Dean Kaufman, the Santa Cruz County Veteran Advocate. Santa Cruz County Supervisor Greg Caput talks politics and about his background on August 20. On September 3 Susan Myer Silton tells us about Tom Stoppard’s play Arcadia that she’s directing for our Jewel Theatre Company, and playing Sept.5-22.September 10 has Angelo Grova giving details on his Fashion Art Extravaganza, followed by Jeff Sanford talking about his Cartoon Jazz Orchestra’s newest release. Do remember, any and all suggestions for future programs are more than welcome so tune in, and keep listening. Email me always at

UNIVERSAL GRAPEVINE ARCHIVES. In case you missed some of the great people I’ve interviewed in the last 5 years here’s a chronological list of just this year’s podcasts. Click here then tap on “listen here” to hear any or all of them… all over again. The update includes Nikki Silva, Michael Warren, Tom Noddy, Anita Monga, Mark Wainer, Judy Johnson-Darrow, Wendy Mayer-Lochtefeld, Rachel Goodman, George Newell, Tubten Pende, Gina Marie Hayes, Rebecca Ronay-Hazleton, Miriam Ellis, Deb Mc Arthur, The Great Morgani on Street performing, Paul Whitworth on Krapps Last Tape. Jodi McGraw on Sand hills, 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. Hear them all!!!

QUOTES. “A person should not be too honest. Straight trees are cut first and honest people are screwed first”, Chanakya “I’m an introvert… I love being by myself, love being outdoors, love taking a long walk with my dogs and looking at the trees, flowers, the sky,” Audrey Hepburn. “He plants trees to benefit another generation”, Caecilius Statius.


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Deep Cover by Tim Eagan.

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