Blog Archives

December 1 – 14

HOLIDAY SPIRIT DOWNTOWN SANTA CRUZ @2 p.m. DECEMBER 1946. The great and grand original St. George Hotel. Then nest door there’s one of our early “not shop local” businesses Montgomery Ward’s Catalog Store. Down the street we had Woolworth’s, J.C. Penney, and other conglomerates.

photo credit: Covello & Covello Historical photo collection.

Additional information always welcome: email

Double column….again!!! I too dislike having the material dated but I can’t fight internet and uploading problems. Besides, it’s all Gunilla’s fault. She said so herself!

DATELINE December 1, 2014

December 8, 2014

EX MAYOR LYNN ROBINSON. That lovey-dovey fluff Sentinel piece on Lynn Robinson didn’t go anyways near far enough to tell us all that she accomplished in her 8 years. Mainly it didn’t mention even one word about the millions of dollars she and the City Councils she was on gave to The Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk. We tend to forget that the Seaside Corportation pays part of Lynn’s husband salary. That has always seemed to me to be more than just a conflict of interest, but we don’t care… do we Santa Cruz??? Wouldn’t it be fun to have tapped into husband John Robinson’s conversations with Charlie Canfield over the last 8 years.John is of course, a former Sentinel reporter but more importantly (from CAPA’s website)” John Robinson serves as the President and Chief Executive Officer of the California Attractions and Parks Association (CAPA). He is responsible for all operations of the association including legislative outreach, industry communications, regulatory issues, membership and public relations”. Then of course we have (from the CAPA website) “Director of External Affairs and General Services
Kris Reyes, Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk, Santa Cruz, CA. Chris and Ryan Coonerty are close buddies, but that’s another story.So when your Holiday visitors ask you about Santa Cruz let them know who really runs this town.

BOTTLE MUSIC. The extra musical Mark Bernhard discovered this gem…

DON’T SIGN THAT PETITION!!! I was curious about a petition a guy was collecting signatures for last week in front of Save-Mart. He said at first it was for stopping grocery stores from selling paper bags. Then after I asked for more info he added that it also says bring back the plastic bags to grocery stores. Then he added that yes, it was a petition paid for by the Plastic bag industry…topping all that off was that he was making an amazing (to me) $3 per signature!!!

BE sure to ask that next signature guy lots of questions before you sign…unless you want plastic bags.

LA BAHIA & THE COASTAL COMMISSION ON THURSDAY. Here’s how it reads officially when The Coastal Commuission meets in Monterey this week. Appeal No. A-3-STC-14-0049 (La Bahia Hotel, Santa Cruz) Appeal by La Bahia Coalition of City of Santa Cruz decision granting permit with conditions to La Bahia LLC for partial demolition of, and new development associated with, existing historic La Bahia complex, to accommodate a 165-room hotel, including meeting and banquet rooms, restaurant, retail space, day spa, swimming pool, hotel support space, and parking garage at 215 Beach Street fronting Santa Cruz Main Beach, City of Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz County. (KG-SC). Ross Gibson filed the issue on behalf of the coalition. The Boardwalk wons the property and needles to say, the Sentinel quotes Lynn Robinson, “Mayor Lynn Robinson said she hopes the commission finds the project, which was approved by the city’s Planning and Historic Preservation commissions, has merit. “We had three different decision-making bodies weigh in and ultimately a unanimous vote by the City Council,” Robinson said. “We have fully vetted the project, and I feel the merits are very strong.”

Goodbye Lynn, some of us will miss you….guess who???


(LAST WEEK) DOWNTOWN SANTA CRUZ DECISIONS AND POLICIES.. Gary Patton in his KUSP program gives us a head’s up …and we need it!!! He says, The Downtown Commission of the City of Santa Cruz is meeting Thursday morning (12/04) at 8:30 a.m. in the Santa Cruz City Council Chambers.The public is absolutely welcome to attend. Here are the topics that I found on the Commission’s agenda:

  • An informational item on Loitering on Sidewalks
  • An update on the Parking Validation Program
  • An update on Parking Meter Rate Increases
  • An update on the City’s Parking Project
  • Crime Statistics for September and October 2014
  • Consideration of the “Downtown Work Plan for 2015,” and
  • An Update on the proposed Pacific Station Project

Virtually every item just listed is controversial, and how the City conceptualizes and manages its Downtown is of real importance to City residents, and to City visitors. Lots of people have very strong feelings about these topics, so I’d encourage interested persons to get a flavor for how the City is currently addressing these issues by attending the meetings of the Downtown Commission. The proposed “Pacific Station” development, as an example, really should be the subject of spirited discussion. This proposed project would transform the existing Downtown Transit Center, and one version would result in a new five-story structure, and the demolition of an adjacent office building”. He urges us to attend, or at least to become better informed.

IN TIME FOR CHRISTMAS. As longtime BrattonOnline readers may know by now, I was part of a trio titled The Goodtime Washboard 3. We recorded for Fantasy and Capitol Records, played the Hungry I (with Shelley Berman) and the Purple Onion back in the 60’s and even dueted with Bing Crosby on his Hollywood Palace nationwide TV show. Go here for Bing and the 3 of us… . Later on we wrote and recorded 4 Christmas songs for Fantasy. Check out “The Little Boy and Santa Claus”, “Teki, The Funny Elf”, “When Santa Charges Through Your Bank Acccount”, and “Don’t take the Christ out of Christmas” at . Then there’s two more of our creations “Oakland” and “Don’t Blame P.G.& E., Pal” which we wrote protesting their plot to build a Nuclear Power Plant at Bodega Bay, listen to them as well. More on this later.

GREY BEARS HOLIDAY DINNER. (LAST WEEK) The Grey Bears got some fine publicity for all that they have done, and are doing in this 40th year of their existence. I remember well how Kristina Maillard (of the San Francisco Maillard’s) and significant other Gary Denny started it back in 1973. They now have almost 5000 members, and send out 4400 Brown Bags each month full of fresh groceries. I’ve emceed their annual Holiday Dinner for 39 years and along with Denise Elerick and Linda Bixby we’ll put on another spectacular show at the Civic Auditorium this Sunday. It’ll feature The Santa Cruz Dancecenter Dancers, The Te Hau Nui School of Hula and Tahaitian Dance, 14 year old violinist Benjamin Rivers, Elaines Dance Studio and in their first year appearance the UCSC Hightones, a 14 member female student vocal group. It starts at 11:30 and goes to about 1 :30 any, all adults age 55+ are welcome and I’ll see you there.

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


At least two important elections look like they will come out in favor of candidates that didn’t “win” on election night. In the Santa Cruz City Schools TA-3 (At Large) race, Alisun Thompson is now ahead of incumbent Cynthia Hawthorne by 81 votes. In the race for the third open seat on Soquel Creek Water District’s Board of Directors, challenger Carla Christensen pulled ahead of Aptos Chamber of Commerce slate candidate Bill Mc Gowan by 80 votes. Final certification of the November 4th election will be on December 2nd, possibly before this reaches readers of Bratton Online. No matter what the final certified election numbers end up with, voters who voted should feel good that they voted and especially in these two close races. We can only wonder what a better voter turnout in Santa Cruz City would have produced. (Paul Elerick is co-chair with Peter Scott of the Campaign for Sensible Transportation, , and he’s a member of Nisene 2 Sea, a group of open space advocates). NOTE….County Clerk Gail Pellerin will be on Universal Grapevine Tuesday, Dec.9 at 7:30 p.m.

DIE MEISTERSINGER von NURNBERG ONSCREEN. The Metropolitan Opera is presenting Richard Wagner’s DIE MEISTERSINGER von NURNBERG live onscreen at the Cinema 9 for two performances, Saturday December 13 at 9 a.m and Wednesday December 17 at 6:30 p.m. James Morris sings Hans Sachs and good old James Levine conducts what they call this “epic comedy”. It’s an excellent intro to Wagner’s music and it’s happening at our Regal Cinema 9.



Susan Leask found this gem. Well, there might be one or two of you who haven’t watched it yet!!!

PATTON’S PROGRAM (THIS WEEK) Dec. 8-12. Gary says the S.C.. Board of Supervisors will deal with Affordable Housing Regulations and the Vacation Rental Ordinance. He then explains “PC” and “ZA” and why we should care.There’s Elkhorn Slough news about water quality and closes with “Is My PropertyNear a Nitrate-Impacted Water Well?”

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” –

PATTON’S PROGRAM. (LAST WEEK)Dec. 1-5. Gary discusses cell towers on Freedom Boulevard, system development fees in Santa Cruz and a subdivision in Monterey County. There’s plans to do a massive development on old Fort Ord. The Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commission talks about the Santa Cruz Branch Rail Line Bridge Rehabilitation Project and the Unified Corridors Plan which he states, “The Unified Corridors Plan will provide the Commission, and the public,with information about how future small and large multimodal investments might work together to improvethe unified local transportation network.North-south transportation is our big transportation problem, so this is a hopeful effort”.He adds that the California Coastal Commission is going to be meeting in Monterey. The meeting will be held at the Portola Plaza Hotel, and runs from Wednesday, December 10th through Friday, December 12th. They’ll be dealing with The tearing down of the historic La Bahia Hotel. Stay tuned.

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. DeCinzo reveals yet another questionable “Police Action” scroll downwards just a few feet/inches.

EAGAN’S DEEP COVER. This week Eagan peeks at Oil prices in Putin’s hometown.

Last week we asked is it really “Fox News” or “Fox Noose”??? Check out Eagan a few pages below.

LISA JENSEN LINKS. Lisa wrote last week: “He may be 110 years old, but Captain Hook is still in his prime; in fact, he’s enjoying a mini-Renaissance right now on stage, screen, and TV. Find out what’s new with the old rogue this week at Lisa Jensen Online Express ( ” Lisa has been writing film reviews and columns for Good Times since 1975.


THE HOMESMAN. It’s cutesy, snarly Tommy Lee Jones as we all love him and as he himself directed in this quickly forgettable tale of crazy women in the early west. Hilary Swank does her best, and she’s very good as the survival spirit of the plains, and an equal match for T.L.Jones but it’s still his picture. Only go IF you’ve seen everything else.


CITIZEN FOUR. This is Laura Poitras’ mesmerizing, courageous, and 100% scary documentary of Edward Snowden and his battle for free speech. If you’ve ever used Amazon, You Tube, Facebook,Google, or communicate online in any way, the government has collected all your data…and continues to do so. You’ll like Snowden, he appears as friendly and honest as we all want him to be. It should be mandatory viewing for every citizen. Many screenings have been sold out…get there as rapidly as possoible.

BIRDMAN. Great cast with Michael Keaton, Edward Norton, Zach Galifianakis, and Lindsay Duncan. Keaton is always good and here he plays an ex Batman/Birdman who tries to make it back to fame in a Broadway play. This is not a simple Hollywood flick!!! Don’t expect some cheap laughs, and takeoffs on Batman movies. It’s a complicated psychological look at egos, fame, friendship, family. It’s a very fine film, worth your going to see by all means. It’s just deeper than the previews make you think.

THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING.Stephen Hawking is played by Eddie Redmayne who did Les Miserables. Felicity Jones from Spider Man 2 and Emily Watson is in it too but you’ll hardly recognize her. David Thewlis is also perfect and downplays his role nicely. It’s a heart rending- tear jerker- feel very good- movie. Redmayne will be near the top for an Oscar because they always go for handicapped roles (My Left Foot, Rainman etc.). There’s very little of Hawkings actual scientific genius in the film. It’s more about how later he split from his long suffering and eternally supportive wife and went for his beautiful sexy caretaker and how his wife paired up with her choir director!!! Hawkings book A BRIEF HISTORY OF TIME sold more than 10 million copies in twenty years (but only 8 people read it!!). It was translated into 35 languages sez Wikipedia. The Met has commissioned an opera based on the book which should happen in 2015. Wikipedia also says, “the theory of everything, is a physicists’ jargon term for a theory in physics which unifies the four fundamental forces of nature: gravity, the strong force, the weak force, and the electromagnetic force”, but recently Hawking says that theory will probably never happen. Go see it, and bring a hankie.

NIGHT CRAWLER. Wow and damn, this got an incredible 93% on Rotten Tomatoes!!! It is excellently done and Jake Gyllenhaal is near perfect in the lead role as a creepy wanna be TV news cameraman.Bill Paxton is hardly in it at all, that’s too bad, but Rene Russo still has some (not all) of her acting talent left.It’s a fine movie. You won’t forget it, and you’ll think about our visual news media and what we put up with, and pay for…and still call it news!!!

WHIPLASH. J.K. Simmons will get big Oscar time press for his role as Mr. Nasty and newcomer Miles Teller is honestly impressive as the young wanna be drummer in this New York City jazz orchestra contest extravaganza, it’s very good.

FURY. Do not confuse or compare this Brad Pitt war movie with Inglorious Basterds. I. Basterds was a near classic and original piece of art… Fury is just another fairly good war movie. It’s tense at times, nicely acted, but has nothing you haven’t seen before. It does however make you think that maybe humans killing humans must be political and I’ve concluded, more than likely….genetic!!!

ROSEWATER TV personality Jon Stewart wrote and directed this prison drama. Gael Garcia Bernal plays a journalist born in Tehran who lives in Canada and gets captured by some official and dumb jerks in Iran., and torture him. It’s boring in places, pointless and repetitive in others, and still makes a point.

PELICAN DREAMS. Because we see so many pelicans flying along our coast this documentary simply has to interest you, and it will. It’s not great, the naration is nerve wracking and poorly done. The photography is passable. Only if you want to know more about pelicans, or especially the one that was wounded and landed on the Golden Gate Bridge should you go for this one.

INTERSTELLAR. This over hyped piece-of-crap movie starring Mathew McConaughey, Michael Caine and Anne Hathway should refund every admsssion dollar it takes in. It’s pretentious, full of phoney intelligence, and uses such concepts as black holes, three dimensions and even five dimensions, singularity, string theory and voices from “them” who exist beyond Saturn. It’s not as bad as UCSC’s recent production of Birth Of Stars ..but almost. Once in a great while I’ll look up other critics to see who’s with me in disliking (or seeing) a film the way I do. Here’s what Critic David Thomson of the New Republic wrote…check it out

HUNGER GAMES, Mockingjay Part 1. A stunning cast, plus what has to be Phillip Seymour Hoffman’s really, really last role – forever. He’s joined by Julienne Moore, Donald Sutherland, Woody Harrelson, Stanley Tucci, and Elizabeth Banks….and it’s a waste of your time and money. That is unless you’ve read the Hunger Games trilogy. Ashlyn Adams of Westside Video read the books saw this movie and even then said this new film is puzzling. I could not follow the plot, who’s good, who’s evil…and what is it all about anyways. And Jennifer Lawrence the star of the Games carries a bow and arrow while everyone around her shoots and kills things with future zap and zing future type weapons. I repeat DO NOT GO unless you’ve read all three books and even then Ashlyn says you can’t always trust anybody in the story.

ST.VINCENT. The world agrees that Bill Murray is a great actor, he just makes many, many, bad movies. This one has him as a mean, drunken, nasty, bitter and fat man. He’s supposed to have a heart of gold (see film title). It’s not even worth renting even though Naomi Watts plays a pregnant Russian hooker and Melissa McCarthy does a fine acting job. Forget you ever heard of it.

KZSC 88.1 FM or live online at

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. Then December 2has Ashlyn Adams owner of Westside Video telling film and video rental secrets.. She’s followed by Sentinel’s restaurant reviewer Ann Parker talking about eating out during the holidays. Attorney Bob Taren guests on December 9 opining on recent local politics. Then Santa Cruz County Clerk Gail Pellerin tells us all about County Voting and mail ballots. Donna Maurillo longtime food editor for the Santa Cruz Sentinel tells us about Holiday cooking on December 16. She’s followed on 12/16 by Rick Longinotti who’ll bring us up to date on our local water issues, and possible solutions.!!! 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. “As we struggle with shopping lists and invitations, compounded by December’s bad weather, it is good to be reminded that there are people in our lives who are worth this aggravation, and people to whom we are worth the same.” Donald E. Westlake. “Come, woo me, woo me, for now I am in a holiday humor, and like enough to consent,” William Shakespeare. “Your body is a temple, not a visitors Center”, anon. “Christmas is a time when you get homesick – even when you’re home”, Carol Nelson. “Christmas is a necessity. There has to be at least one day of the year to remind us that we’re here for something else besides ourselves”, Eric Sevareid.


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Deep Cover by Tim Eagan.

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