Blog Archives

Column September 4 – 10, 2013

DREAM INN BEING CONSTRUCTED. This was April 26, 1963. On the far left you can see the old Sisters Hospital which moved to the Branciforte Plaza on Soquel. The Dream Inn is often considered the local environmentalist’s biggest loss, and spurred them on to organize more efficiently.

photo credit: Covello & Covello Historical photo collection.

Additional information always welcome: email

THE DE-SAL ISSUE. So much has been said….and will continue being said about this learning experience for our community. We should not lose track of the lessons, and stay on point. Gary Patton as our attorney in a letter to the City Council on behalf of our Community Water Coalition sums up the situation nicely. And I repeat most of his points here (he took 33 pages to write it!!).

(LESSON ONE).It isn’t just the 400 letters that were written in response to the EIR it’s that to continue and to pursue completing the EIR is pursuing the De-Sal water plant.

(LESSON TWO). It isn’t just the people of the City of Santa Cruz who say that the plans for our De-Sal were and are faulty and dangerous, it’s the State and Nation wide agancies that have judged our de-sal and the EIR report so negatively. The California Department of Fish and Wildlife says that the discharged brine and the proposed dredging and pproject construction plans are dangerous. In their words, “CDFW recognizes the City’s significant efforts to date to evaluate both the City’s water supply needs and adequate flows for fish; however, the results of those efforts have not been accurately reflected in the draft EIR”. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) says that the EIR is full of faults. (NMFS) The National Marine Fisheries Service say the cities data is insufficient, and that the City doesn’t have all the information. The Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary (MBNMS) also recommends exploring land use alternatives before continuing with the present thrust towards a de-sal plant.

(LESSON THREE). Hold a series of educational meetings working with the community so we can reach a consensus.

(LESSON FOUR). We should never forget the people who pushed so hard and so long for a de-sal plant. People like Ryan Coonerty, Cynthia Mathews, Mike Rotkin, Neal Coonerty and Fred Keeley. These folks have woven themselves into our political fabric…they won’t go away, they are convinced they know what’s best for the community, and they haven’t given up on De-sal.

STEAMER LANE BY DRONE FILMING. Photographer Eric Cheng used his drone to take 5 minutes of absolutely stunning views of the Lighthouse, the surfers, the sea lions, and the stunning waves at Steamer lane on July 21 of this year. Jason Hopin wrote fine words when the Sentinel linked to this in July. I just found it….and you need to see it. The music was an excellent choice too.

LENZ ARTS AND PAINT. Over the last few years I’ve gripped a few times about how crappy Lenz Arts building used to look. Now they’ve painted it… and we all need to say thanks. Lenz is on of the most used corners in downtown and you’d think especially since they sell paint*, it would never have become as shabby as it did….thanks. *( I know that house paint isn’t the same as… etc.).

SHAKESPEARE SANTA CRUZ. I’m not sure what to say that hasn’t been said already. As readers of BrattonOnline must know by now, I was part of the small band of sisters and brothers led by Audrey Stanley who created Shakespeare Santa Cruz back in 1980 and before. I had a part in King Lear, the very first play presented and I’m almost positive that I attended every single play in its 32 year history. For an interesting dialogue including reactions from Marco Barricelli go to Isaac Butler’s “Parabasis” blog.

VETERANS HALL RE-OPENING (A CORRECTION). I mentioned in the last BrattonOnline that Greg Caput was the only member of the Santa Cruz County Board of Supervisors voting to re-build, re-hab and re-construct the Vet’s Hall. I’ve heard that from my fellow members of the Disabled Veterans of Santa Cruz County and lots of places. The truth is (from deep in the trustworthy bowels of our County government) that “the entire Board of Supervisors has always supported full reconstruction of the Vet’s Hall, and the Board has voted unanimously on every single item regarding the bidding, re-bidding and awarding of the
construction contract for the Vet’s Hall. To imply otherwise is factually wrong at best and disturbingly disingenuous”. I’m happy to print that correction, and happy too that the Santa Cruz Vet’s hall will re-open in a few weeks.

TRIPS TO SANTA CRUZ 1937 & 1938. See Highway 17 the way you always knew it could be.

NEW CLASSICAL RADIO STATION. KYZZ 97.9 FM. Dan Morookian of KZSC fame told me about KYZZ 97.9 fm. the new all classical station. It’s automated, no announcers, no identifying of any music being played, no commercials. It plays “Tchaikovsky tchotchkes” endlessly. That means big orchestra-romantic drivel. The recorded message keeps saying “Bach is Back, Beethoven is back” but after listening off and on for days, I never heard those guys at all. KYZZ I think is simulcast from KMZT a pseudo-Mozart station in LA.

NEW OLD HISTORICAL COWELL KILNS UCSC PHOTOS FROM 1920’S. Frank Perry the new director of The Capitoila Historical Museum told us on the Universal Grapevine program (Tuesdays 7-8 p.m. KZSC 88.1 fm) that more than 50 “new” photographs from the limestone quarry days on the Cowell UCSC campus were given to UCSC recently. They were from a limestone worker named Silva who took the photos with his Kodak Brownie camera. The photos had been in Portland all these years. Hopefully we’ll be seeing them soon.

JENNIFER BOULANGER’S NEW FENCE IDEA. Daughter Jennifer spied this fascinating and nearly bizarre yard decoration.
ANIMALS ON TRAMPOLINES. Carolyn Lagatutta (noted photographer) sent this one.

TIM GONCHAROFF OFF AND RUNNING FOR CITY COUNCIL.I met with Tim Goncharoff (his idea) last week. He’s really, really running for City Council. If you are on Facebook you’ve seen all his messages and plugs. He thinks that the City made a big mistake in their de-sal plans and wants to pursue water capturing and other measures long before pursuing de-sal again. He’s not setting a top on campaign limits and figures on spending $30,000 or more. He supported the warriors Arena. He was in favor of widening Highway One. He liked the ” bike trail on Arana Gulch”. He’s pro minimum wage for Santa Cruz. He couldn’t give me any names of supporters yet, but promised he would as soon as he got their OK. He wouldn’t say whether he’d vote more like Pamela Constock or Micah Posner. He’s got a degree in Planning and has worked as a professional for our county. He’s a member of the City Planning Commission. And has worked hard and suceeded in creating many environmentally sound County and City practices, such as the plastic bag ordinance. He has many good sounding conservation plans like wind power, solar power and more. He’s smart and works well with others. More later.



The city’s Heritage Tree Ordinance was not passed by city council in 1973 as I described in Part 1 of Stories from the Urban Forest. Carole DePalma was able to find an old Sentinel article that jogged her memory of the sequence of events from those early years and gives us a more accurate historical record. The efforts started in 1973 and an emergency ordinance was imposed at that time but it was not until 1976 that the actual ordinance was voted into law. The removal of some large eucalyptus trees on the site of the former Santa Cruz hospital on Soquel Avenue sparked council member DePalma to initiate the proposal for a permanent heritage tree ordinance, which passed on a 5 to 2 vote. We owe Carole DePalma a vote of thanks for her vision and commitment to environmental protection at a time when the significance of preserving big trees was not so obvious as it is today.

So has the Heritage Tree Ordinance (HTO) done the job it was intended to do? Are the city’s large, significant or historical trees still alive 37 years after the ordinance was passed? The city has never made inventory of its heritage trees so complete numbers are unavailable but the data that is available suggests that the HTO has failed to protect our heritage trees.

In 2000, the Parks and Recreation Commission requested data from the then city arborist, Ray Sherrard, on how many heritage trees had been cut down in the previous 5 years. The results were staggering. Out of requests for permits to cut down 2,500 heritage trees, 2,350 permits were granted. According to the current city arborist, last year, permits were granted to remove 170 heritage trees and 11 were denied. She confirmed that last year was a typical year. That adds up to an additional 2,200 heritage trees removed, making a total of 4,550 heritage trees removed in less than 20 years. In a city less than 16 square miles in size.

Some loss of heritage trees over time is to be expected. Some trees may become a hazard, some may become diseased, some may cause structural damage with no options for addressing the problem. However, in my 38 years experience trying to save big trees, particularly on the lower westside, few fell into those categories justifying removal. In the majority of cases, the trees were healthy and sound, any structural problems fully capable of being resolved. So why are so many tree removal permits granted? I suspect that it’s the easy way out for the decision-makers. There has always been a tension between private property rights and the public good. Many don’t see trees as a public resource. They are outraged if they are told they can’t cut down a healthy big tree on their property. The city, instructed by the city attorney, caters far more to the tree owners than the trees or the ordinance that was passed to protect them. The Heritage Tree Grant program that was passed by council in 2002 to help property owners financially with the care of their big trees was de-funded a few years ago. The Parks Department could have added it to this year’s budget request but didn’t, which reflects their low priority for heritage trees. An ordinance is only as good as the people implementing it. Our remaining heritage trees will only be saved if we demand their protection”. Gillian Greensite. (Coming soon Part 3: Heritage Tree Ordinance Revisions: Sharpening the Axes).



A lot has been said about Ryan Coonerty’s early announcement for the 3rd District County Supervisors election in 2014. His early announcement has raised some eyebrows as to why people are endorsing Ryan before the election cycle won’t start until next spring. These early endorsers shouldn’t come as a big surprise, except for a few. Ryan collared a long list of business, labor, electeds and developers during his run for a 2nd term on Santa Cruz City Council in 2010. Most, if not all, of these endorsers will certainly be on Ryan’s 2014 list for County Supervisor.

So who is missing from this who’s-who list in Santa Cruz County? Most of the environmental activists and all of the Progressive community. It might appear that the 3rd District election will be over in the June 14th primary unless somebody steps up. Remember, name recognition isn’t everything. Ask Eric Hammer who came within 145 votes of beating career politico Bruce McPherson last November. With the vote on Desal possibly being on the same ballot with Ryan, this race is far from over! (Paul Elerick is co-chair, along with Peter Scott, of the Campaign for Sensible Transportation, , and is a member of Nisene 2 Sea, a group of open space advocates).

A DEER DAY AT THE BEACH. Deer meet harbor seals at Hopkins Marine Station beach.

HEAL THE SICK…EVEN LOCALLY?? We probably don’t “have all the information” as our Mayor sez, but how come in the last very few years, the HMO Secure Horizons has dumped all Santa Cruz citizens from coverage, Kaiser Permanente hasn’t allowed any locals to belong to their plan for decades, we hear hundreds of Medical professionals complaining about ever lowering reimbursements…and yet…and yet PAMF (Palo Alto Medical Foundation) is growing by leaps and bounds all over our county!!! Doctors from private practices and other services are joining PAMF, they are sure huge hereabouts. Somebody who knows should explain how this works. I like PAMF, they treat me “excellent well”, but how does this happen?

PATTON’S PROGRAM. Gary again discusses the concept of Land Use and what our involvement could and should be. He pushes the Carmel Valley Association as an example. He then tells us about the Aptos Local Economies (ALE) group who are working on action against the Safeway expansion in Aptos. Here’s their website. . The Pajaro River Flood Prevention Authority meets Friday 9/6. Their website is . He closes with news about a Seaside Sustainable Living tour on Sunday, 9/8. Read his website for full details. 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. DeCinzo has been on vacation, that’s why we haven’t seen his works in the Sentinel and won’t until next Friday. Scroll down for a classic DeCinzo now !!!

EAGANS DEEP COVER. Tim gives us a lesson in the recesses of our Congress. Wheel below.

LISA JENSEN LINKS. Lisa writes: “What? You haven’t seen 20 Feet From Stardom yet? Not even once? Find out why you should this week at Lisa Jensen Online Express ( Also more good news about the US edition of my novel, “Alias Hook,” coming soon from St. Martin’s Press!” Lisa has been writing film reviews and columns for Good Times since 1975″


SPECTACULAR NOW.Remember Shailene Woodley? Well, not by name – nobody does, but she was George Clooney’s fantastic teen age daughter in The Descendents. She’s back as anolder teenager in this serious, beautifully directed, thoughtful movie. There’s a bunch of teen- age- angst movies lately and I like them, mostly. We’ve all been there and done that, and this movie will touch all of your rough memories.

CLOSED CIRCUIT. This movie is almost like part of PBS’s “Silk” series, and that’s good. Eric Bana and Rebecca Hall act as two London lawyers and there’s a lot about British law problems. The main deal is a terrorist action and who’s secretly involved. You really don’t need to see this one…there are plot holes, and doesn’t it seem like many movies have plot holes recently?? Rotten Tomatoes gave it a 44. R. Tomatoes gave Getaway a 2!!!

GRANDMASTER. I took about three years of film classes in Asian film from Earl Jackson at UCSC. He taught us a lot about Asian Film. Then he moved to Korea to teach Koreans about film!! He taught us how and why Wong Kar Wai the director of Grandmaster, is a great and exciting film maker. Wong Kar Wai directed Chungking Express, In The Mood For Love, Ashes of Time, and more masterpieces. Grandmaster is a dramatic bio-pic of Ip Man, an iconic martial arts teacher. It’s historical, perfectly photographed, grandly acted, confusing, and disapointing…unless you like any and all of Wong Kar Wai’s films, and I do.

THE WORLDS END. This is part of a genre-parody- comedy- trilogy (which I didn’t know or remember) Shaun of the Dead, and Hot Fuzz being the other two movies. These guys (Simon Pegg is one of them) attempt to drink one beer at each of a bunch of pubs. The World’s End is the name of the last pub. Shaun of The Dead parodyied zombie films and this one parodys another genre. It’s as if you were watching Mary Poppins and all of a sudden Bruce Willis comes in and shoots everybody. I sure wouldn’t see it twice.

YOURE NEXT. A ” scarylonely big house in the woods, and who gets shot with an arrow next” plotline. Creepy, well acted, canyon-size plot holes like why don’t they close the drapes instead of having all those killer arrows knock them off. Who is doing it and why, is almost an unique twist, the killers wear animal masks and all in all IF you like “10 little indian” plots go see it.

GETAWAY.This Ethan Hawke action car chase movie is and was a complete waste of time for everybody involved in making it….so don’t you waste your time in seeing it. The acting is literally non-existent. The car chase (about 95% of the movie) is poorly filmed, the plot is impossible and you’ll hate yourself if you do go..

THERESE & AIN’T THEM BODIES SAINTS. This is just an advance suggestion to plan on seeing both of these fine films. We got to see them ahead of time. Audrey Tautou stars in Therese and has grown way past her “Amelie” cutesy muck. More later.


BLUE JASMINE. Don’t expect to see much of San Francisco in this one, even though Woody loves “The City”, he didn’t show us much of it onscreen. Cate Blanchett goes beyond acting…she digs deeper into her character than we’ve ever seen onscreen. She is simply brilliant. Alec Baldwin is perfect as a sleek, snaky “Mr. Smarmy” type. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry. You’ll fall all over in your praise of Mr. W. Allen and his “on again-off again” directing technique. See this movie just as soon as you posspbly can.

IN A WORLD. An odd-ball Los Angelesrecording studio drama with comedy thrown in. It’s very hip, contemporary, next generation, flip material about the so-called voice over commercial recording business. Having cut several voice overs in my time in both LA and San Francisco, it didn’t seem all that cut- throaty to me but that was decades ago. Go see it but only if you speak today’s LA lingo. Yes, I liked it.

ELYSIUM. Matt Damon , through some Hollywood miracle is becoming a much better actor than anyone thought possible. Jodi Foster is always a magnetic screen attraction except that her “accent” in this sci-fi film gets way out of her control. It’s about the year 2159 and how all the rich and perfect people live on a “2001” type wheel circling in outer space. The poor people who live on a savaged and depleted earth suffer a lot just like Bladerunner stuff. Earthman Matt Damon works hard to save the earth people. IF (that big word again) IF you like sci-fi films this is a fairly good one. An overused plot but effective…but only on a big screen.

THE BUTLER. A very odd film. At moments it’s moving, deep, and influential. But Oprah Winfrey will always be Oprah, and you won’t forget that it’s Oprah being Mrs. Butler. Forest Whitaker has never been my favorite actor and he’s worse in this feel-almost-good flick. Robin Williams playing Eisenhower? John Cusack as Nixon? Alan Rickman as Ronnie Reagan? But Jane Fonda as Nancy Reagan is terrific!!And nope, you never get to see who would have played Obama. Wait a couple of weeks and rent it.

PARANOIA. This could have been a contender…but it is so full of overused plot pieces you could just as easily take a nap at home. Harrison Ford isn’t too bad and neither is Gary Oldman but the so- called script is so hackneyed and predictable, it’s just sad. Don’t go…ever.

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.

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.

WAY, WAY BACK. It’s filmed mostly in a rundown family owned seaside water park, and it has some good moments Steve Carell has a very serious role as a bad step dad and Toni Colette is the teen age lead’s mom. It’s a coming of age film and Sam Rockwell is the kid’s guiding light. Alison Janney is the next door drunk and way overplays it. Save your money.

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 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. Then Doug Keegan the program director of the Santa Cruz County Immigration Project (SCCIP) brings us new news about their program.September 10 has Tina Brown and Rose Sellery giving details on their Fashion Art Extravaganza 9/28, followed by Jeff Sanford talking about his Cartoon Jazz Orchestra’s newest release. Thom Zajac discusses the 29 years of Comic News on Sept. 17. Patricia Matejcek returns that sema night to talk about South Couny issues. Author, poet, retired Cabrilho College professor Don Young also returns on September 24 to talk about his two new collections. Linda Hoeger- Thompson talks about Companion for Life programs and services after Don Young. 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 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. 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. All are from Henry V.

“O! for a Muse of fire, that would ascend
The brightest heaven of invention!
A kingdom for a stage, princes to act”.

“Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more”.

“We few, we happy few, we band of brothers”.

“Thus far, with rough and all-unable pen,
Our bending author hath pursued the story”.


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Deep Cover by Tim Eagan.

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