Blog Archives

Column June 2 – 16, 2014

Good old Greyhound bus Depot by the railroad tracks in 1964.

photo credit: Covello & Covello Historical photo collection.

DATELINE June 2, 2014


I’m taking a two week vacation and visiting my sister and her large and spread-out family in Victorville and environs. In the meantime here are a few items I’ve developed over the almost 39 years of writing weekly columns and doing radio programs in Santa Cruz. That of course includes an almost record setting 11 years of writing online weekly at

BEING POSITIVE. A few times each year some folks will ask, “why are you so negative”, “why are you always criticizing and against new plans?” These questions always seem to be from folks who then turn around and tell me how bad Jerry Brown is as governor, how Obama has let us down, how the USA has become such a war-like country. I’m only applying what I believe AND what my friends believe is going wrong on a local level. That’s the difference …I’m talking locally and others are complaining only on a larger scale.

ABOUT PLAY AND CONCERT REVIEWS. I try hard to promote the local performing arts that I believe will be good events to attend, both here and on my radio program. Like movies I wouldn’t send anyone to an event or performance that I don’t think has a good record. However after attending those events and believe that they aren’t up to an acceptable standard I don’t ever review them. I don’t like to knock local attempts. So if you see a notice or coming attraction in this space and I don’t review it, that means I didn’t like it and couldn’t recommend it.

SUPPORTING BRATTONONLINE.COM. I make absolutely zero money from this website. Every dollar goes to my hard working and dedicated internet web friend Gunilla Leavitt (of The Golden Fleece fame). You can and will hopefully consider supporting the column by buying a space on the right of this column. Those spaces are currently being 1. Paid for on an annual basis. 2. Being paid for anonymously and supporting an institution. 3. A trade ad being placed and traded for a service rendered. Email and ask me if you have any questions on all of above.

Runner falls then wins!!!

OUR WHARF PLANS. We really need to buckle down on these new plans for the wharf. At least let’s ask the City Council and the candidates where they stand on the wharf. Ask them how much the actual building is going to cost (we’ve been given no figures so far). Ask them what’s the source of all these millions of dollars? Ask about how big that new building on the end of the wharf will be…and what’s going in it? (a big mystery so far) Ask them why we would want to bring more boats into the National Marine Sanctuary? From the new plans it looks like the sea lion lounge or haul-out would be exactly next to the new boat dock. Is that wise? Can the boats and sea lions co-exist in that close proximity? Many friends are saying that if that lower level walking dock is built on the Cowell Beach side won’t it be washed away with the next big waves? Obviously the city wants to spend this vast sum of money to bring in more tourists and to keep more of their money here. How much of the character integrity, authenticity of our existing wharf are we willing to get rid of ? Will it become another San Francisco Fisherman’s Wharf??

RANCHO DEL MAR FUTURE. Now that the Safeway chain has been sold and will be merging with Albertsons and now that super markets are becoming less super (and going for being smaller) inside betting is that Safeway will NOT do the huge expansion/level adding changes to Rancho Del Mar. We can bet that they’ll do some make over stuff, but since they’ve just re-newed one small business permit there it appears their secret inside plans are changing as we speak (or read).

GMO TREES!!!! Jodi Frediani passed this on to all of us. Check it out carefully and then we should find out which of our area logging companies use or could be thinking of using these GMO TREES!!!

Will Combs had this on his FB page…

Salut Salon “Wettstreit zu viert” | “Competitive Foursome” .

MARILYN MONROE’S PRIVATE THOUGHTS. Bernadette Wilson found this online.

It’s a surprising look at her most sensitive and intelligent thoughts.


It’s been a tradition since forever that as many locals as possible house Cabrillo Fest musicians. The festival wins out the musicians have a good time and the folks that house them learn a lot about music. The Festival runs July 27-August 10. If you have a spare room, couch, or something and hopefully live anywhere near the Civic auditorium call asap 831-426-6966. You’ll be glad you did.

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


It’s that time of year again. The PDC will vote for officers at their June 19th meeting. Members must be present at the meeting and be current with dues to be eligible to vote. The nominating committee submitted the following candidates for next year’s officers: President, Nancy Abbey, Vice-President, Tom Batley, Recording Secretary, Nora Hochman, Corresponding Secretary, Joyce Malone, Treasurer Gail Jack, and Membership Chair Paul Elerick. The PDC has voted to support a local campaign finance reform proposal that will be discussed at the June 10th Santa Cruz City Council meeting. People interested in getting big money out of local politics should attend this meeting and make the voices heard. The May 4 Campaign Finance Reform Forum will be aired on Community Television (Channel 27) for 5 weeks. It can also be live-streamed from anywhere at the same times. Tuesdays at 10 AM through June 10th. Wednesdays at 10 PM through June 11th. Saturdays at 1pm through June 14th.(Paul Elerick is co-chair with Peter Scott of the Campaign for Sensible Transportation, , and is a member of Nisene 2 Sea, a group of open space advocates).

Adorable 3 year old is very happy to dance!

ARANA GULCH WORK DAY. Debbie Bulger Conservation Chair, Santa Cruz Chapter California Native Plant Society sent this notice. There is an upcoming habitat restoration work party at Arana Gulch on Saturday June 14. Volunteers will meet at 10 a.m. at the Agnes Street entrance to rack thatch from the recent mowing. The event is from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Participants can come for all or part of the time. Wear work clothes. Gloves and sun hat suggested. Bring snack and water. Tools provided. We will be raking and bagging cuttings from the mowing giving native plants space and light to grow so they are not crowded out by fast-growing non-native grasses.” Let’s just see if Micah Posner shows up…he cares a lot about Arana Gulch.

PATTON’S PROGRAM. Gary’s KUSP program covers such items as our cities Water Commission meeting on June 2, and how we need to be more active in what’s decided for our wtyaer future. He covers LAFCO and Salinas and their police and how Salinas is growing. A ban Fracking bill failed last week in the State Senate. But our Board of Supervisors passed a county ban on fracking. Legalizing “accessory dwellings and “affordable housing” problems face the City Planning Commission this week.Get involved!!! He ends the week discussing Short Term Vacation rentals and how they affect the neighborhood. Read the complete scripts of the above at Gary Patton’s KUSP Land Use site . Gary is a former Santa Cruz County Supervisor (20 years) and an attorney who represents indivuduals and community groups on land use and environmenatl issues. The opions expressed are Mr. Patton’s \. Gary has his own website, Two Worlds/365” –

CLASSICAL DeCINZO. De Cinzo reminds us that Clint Eastwood has another movie about to be released. Scroll below.

EAGAN’S DEEP COVER. Tim checks out the scene at the Veterans Hospitals. See below.

LISA JENSEN LINKS Lisa writes: “This week at Lisa Jensen Online Express (, the so-called villain from Sleeping Beauty gets a makeover in the flawed, but intriguing revisionist fairy tale, Maleficent. Also, take a sneak peek at the full wraparound book cover for Alias Hook (it’s way cool!), and join me in the ongoing “bookaday” celebrations where we swap stories about our favorite books.” Lisa has been writing film reviews and columns for Good Times since 1975.



EXTRA SPECIAL FILMS TO RENT. One of my favorite habits and hobbies is to thumb and flip through, and then rent the extra unique and usually uncirculated and unseen videos at Cedar Street Video on Cathcart and Cedar Street. Over the years I’ve discovered 100’s of films that were never seen on our theatre screens. That’s mostly because distributers wouldn’t invest the money. For example last week I unearthed two genuine gems.

Mobius” (2014) stars Jean Dujardin (from The Artist), Tim Roth, and the absolutely beautiful Cecile de France. It’s an international spy plus romance type film like Notorious. Only this film is centered on international sneaky finance. The other huge surprising discovery last week was “Simon and the Oaks”. (2012). It’s the story of two boys in Sweden coming of age as Hitler invades Poland and begins the Holocaust. Go rent (locally) these perfectly made films.

FED UP. Katie Couric was behind this documentary centering on the evils of sugar and the politicians, corporations, and media who support the USA’s terrible sugar eating habit. It condemns bad labeling and such products as Prego sauces, yogurt and yes, Girl Scout Cookies. We have a lot to learn and change about the way we eat and purchase all our foods, see this one quickly.

COLD IN JULY. Michael C. Hall shoots a night time thief in this house and Sam Shepard pursues Hall for revenge. That’s the way it starts but the many surprising plot twists keep this movie constrantly interesting. It’s bloody and violent and worth seeing, if gore and guns don’t get to you.

MALEFICIENT. As we all know know this is “Sleeping Beauty” gone bad. Curses, spells, special effects and Angelina Jolie’s fake jawbones plus horns make this an almost silly and phony saga. Elle Fanning who is now 16 years old is still cute as all get out. And you should get out and see some more meaningful movie.



CHEF. Now, check out this cast Jon Favreau, Dustin Hoffman, John Leguizamo, Sofia Vergara, Scarlett Johansson, Robert Downey Jr., and Oliver Platt.It’s an original comedy all centering around food. It’s funny, touching, fast moving, and even educational!!! If you enjoy preparing food, and relish eating good food this is your movie! Chefs, food critics, restaurant owners, and normal people should see this well made film.

IMMIGRANT. Marion Cotillard can, and has done almost no wrong in acting on screen. I can’t say the same for Joaquin Phoenix who is sort of a nutty pimp in this film. So is Jeremy Renner as a two bit magician who doesn’t seem to know what to do with his role. It’s a beautiful looking film, it’s a very, very serious film, but it must be the script that skews the plot into a puzzling change of direction. Go see it, it’s well worth seeing, but it’s not the film it could have, and should have been.

BELLE. A Beautiful British costume drama, that has a little historical stuff about Dido Elizabeth Belle. Tom Wilkinson and Emily Watson are in it, so it’s got to be at least charming. Dido was an illegitmate “mixed race” kid raised by the privileged upper class and the movie gives us all the expected reactions of that upper class. No surprises, no extra thinking required, just go, if you like costume dramas. That means wigs, fans, snooty haughty glances and men wearing white knee hose..that sort of thing.

THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL Like Salvatore Dali and Norman Rockwell Wes Anderson makes brilliant films but the intent, meaning, and any statements behind what you see are confusing. Budapest Hotel is one of Anderson’s simplest films. Lots of laughs, not much subtlety, and Ralph Fiennes is at his funniest best. Tilda Swinton, Bill Murray, Jason Schwartzman, Jeff Goldblum, Willem Dafoe, Adrien Brody, Harvey Keitel, Tom Wilkinson, Jude Law, Owen Wilson, Edward Norton and F. Murray Abraham are also in the film for publicity purposes I guess. Rotten Tomatoes says Johnny Depp, Ursula Kuhnt, and Angela Lansbury are in it too, but I didn’t see them.

X MEN DAYS OF FUTURE PAST. Just consider the cast…Ian McKellen, Patrick Stewart, Scarlett Johansson, Robert Downey jr., Halle Berry, Dustin Hoffman, Jennifer Lawrence, Michael Fassbinder, Peter Dinklage Anna Paquin, and Hugh Jackman !!! Add to that a bit of humor, a sense of Marvel comic book hero errata and you have a teen age boy boxoffice hit. The film isn’t worth $2 admission let alone what you’ll pay to see it, so don’t. The deeper question is (considering that cast) would YOU play a 5 minute part in a Marvel Comic book flick for a million dollars (plus overseas percentages) ???

GODZILLA. There aren’t any recognizable star names in thisgigantic poop of a movie. Oops, yes there are David Strathaim, Juliette Binoche and Sally Hawkins in very small parts, but I’ll bet they’re sorry. Now I’m guessing that Godzilla has had too much film exposure and is expensive in the FX department, so they added MUTO monsters. I shouldn’t mention this but in one closeup scene when a gigantio MUTO (in 3D) lumbers across the screen it looks like it has only one testicle, which would explain the anger I guess. Aside from that, MUTOs invade San Francisco (mostly Chinatown) and after more than one hour into the film Godzilla finally lumbers on and eats most of them up, after burning them with his flaming breath. It’s exactly that kind of flick.

SPIDER MAN, AD INFINITUM. I can’t think of a scene or any part of this film that is worth even mentioning. Four movies of Peter Parker doing Tarzan and swinging through street scenes are almost enough. Adding Jamie Foxx as Electro (in whiteface) could not be more idiotic. This of course guarantees it’ll be an international box office blockbuster. It ends with Paul Giamatti in a techno-monster suit playing Rhino, meaning of course that there will be more such drivel. No, watching it in 3D didn’t help.

NEIGHBORS. Seth Rogen is a credible and even good actor, so is Zac Efron but thisvulgar, sexist, mean- spirited attempt at humor film is not just gross and tastless it also causes you to leave the theatre feeling terrible. Do not attend it, rent it or even click or touch the buttons to preview it.

“WORDS OF WISDOM”. John Malkin sent the following press release

A music/spoken-word album to be produced through new generosity-based crowd-gifting website.

“WORDS OF WISDOM” is an album of dynamic music from Santa Cruz’s John Malkin, infused with the voices of some of the world’s most inspiring social change activists, spiritual teachers, artists, musicians, and philosophers. PLEASE CONTRIBUTE to the production of this CD which will benefit Free Radio Santa Cruz (celebrating its 20th birthday in 2015) and Food Not Bombs. Look at a two-minute video and project details at This is a 45-day crowd-gifting period to raise $8000 — Thank you for contributing!
“WORDS OF WISDOM” will be a diverse set of songs that support the words and ideas of some of the 500 people John has interviewed on his weekly radio show – The Great Leap Forward – over the past seventeen years on Free Radio Santa Cruz ( The interviews include Thich Nhat Hanh (“The Miracle of Mindfulness”), Howard Zinn (“People’s History of the United States”), Noam Chomsky (“Manufacturing Consent”), Ram Dass (“Be Here Now”), Joanna Macy (“World As Lover, World As Self”), Ursula K. Le Guin (“Left Hand of Darkness”), Philip Glass (“Satyagraha”), Amma (Hindu Humanitarian), Utah Phillips (folksinger activist) Amy Goodman (“Democracy Now!”), Michael Meade (“Finding Genius in Your Life”), Marshall Rosenberg (“Nonviolent Communication”), Daniel Ellsberg (Pentagon Papers), Linda Montano (performance artist), Greg Graffin (Bad Religion) and others.

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. On June 3 Brian Spencer discusses his direction of “Freud’s Last Session” coming to the Center Street Theatre then Lisa Robinson talks about MAH‘s new History Journal publication. I’m off on vacation for two weeks and you can hear re-plays of Santa Cruz County Superior Court Judge Paul Burdick and historian Marty Rizzo on June 10. On June 17 a “classic” program featuring Frank Bardacke and about area politics and Jim Mosher discussing alcohol and the law. On June 24 once again the three winners of Bookshop Santa Cruz’s Short Story Contest will read their entries. July 1st has Frank Perry director of The Capitola History Museum telling us about local baseball legend Harry Hooper and their museum exhibit. After Frank, Karla Hawkinson will talk about her online business. Lisa Jensen film critic and author of her new book “Alias Hook” will open the July 15 program and Ellen Primack will then talk about this year’s Cabrillo Festival of Contemporary Music. 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, 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. Hear them all!!!

QUOTES. You should make a point of trying every experience once, excepting incest and folk-dancing”, Sir Arnold Bax (English composer 1883-1953) “If I can’t dance, I don’t want to be part of your revolution”, Emma Goldman. “Writing about music is like dancing about architecture”, Anon.


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Deep Cover by Tim Eagan.

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