Blog Archives

December 1 – 7, 2015

SNOW ON PACIFIC AVENUE. 7:50 a.m. 1957. You can still tell this is Cooper Street and Pacific Avenue by the old County Bank building. That was the historic Cooper House on the far right (now Oneill’s Surf Shop) and the nearly historic Leask’s Department store (now Urban Outfitters) on the immediate left.

photo credit: Covello & Covello Historical photo collection.

Additional information always welcome: email

DATELINE November 30, 2015


Paul Elerick does a great job (below) of detailing statistics showing even the hired consultants know widening highway 1 won’t help our grid-locked highway 1. A simpler question for the RTC would be “where in the United States has widening a freeway ever lessened traffic?” Why doesn’t everyone know by now that when a freeway/highway is widened traffic is quickened for a brief time then everyone takes advantage of that faster speed and either moves closer to that freeway or changes their route accordingly. We could use that same much needed money to improve our streets and roads.

CORRECTION TIME. Many thanks to all the folks who wrote to tell me that The Dallas Mavericks is a basketball, not football team. Footballs are the balls with the points at each end, right?

APOLOGY TIME. Somehow in last week’s BrattonOnline the video clip of Charlie Canfield talking about his old organ slipped digitally and covered part of Gillian Greensite’s banner/title. It was totally accidental and became cached. It won’t happen again, probably.

Mr. Paul Elerick of Aptos writes…

Here’s some telling information in the Highway 1 Draft EIR produced by consultants that answers this question. From Chapter 2:

this shows that the Tier I Corridor Transportation System Management Alternative [see definition below] would result in a very slight improvement in traffic congestion when compared to the No Build Alternative.

The delay is reduced in the morning commute but actually gets worse in the afternoon commute compared to the “No Build” alternative:

Delay Traffic delay in the northbound direction during the morning peak hour is expected to average 22 minutes per vehicle, which is a decrease of 54 percent compared to the No Build Alternative.

In the southbound direction during the evening peak hour, delay is expected to be 50 minutes per vehicle, which is a 2 percent increase compared to the No Build Alternative. This slight increase in delay over no-build conditions in the peak evening commute would occur despite the overall increase in traffic throughput that would result from the Transportation System Management (TSM) improvements.

Here’s the definition of the Tier I Corridor TSM Alternative:
The Tier I Corridor TSM Alternative proposes to add auxiliary lanes along the highway between major interchange pairs from Morrissey Boulevard to Freedom Boulevard, provide ramp metering, construct HOV bypass lanes and mixed-flow lanes on on-ramps, and improve nonstandard geometric elements at various ramps. The Tier I Corridor TSM Alternative also would include Transportation Operations System electronic equipment

Everybody should familiarize themselves with all this terminology, as they will be asked either in a survey or on the ballot to spend over $100 million dollars just on these widening lanes. (Paul Elerick is co-chair with Jack Nelson of the Campaign for Sensible Transportation,, and he’s a member of Nisene 2 Sea, a group of open space advocates).


The need is great. The support overwhelming. The proposal well-thought out. Yet a divided city council debated the issue for two hours and ended up voting, with a bare majority, to postpone until January 12th what was obviously an immediate need on November 24th.

With temperatures dipping as they spoke, the organizers and supporters of a Warming Center, a temporary site for homeless people to have a warm place to sleep on only those nights that dip below 34 degrees or 36 degrees with rain, when the Armory is full, presented a compelling and compassionate case for this simple gesture which is already available in San Jose, Monterey, Salinas and other cities that have a homeless population. But not yet, if at all in Santa Cruz, given the cold logic of those who opposed and argued against this small humanitarian gesture.

To their credit, Mayor Lane and council member Micah Posner tried to counter every argument against the proposal that council members Pamela Comstock, Cynthia Mathews and David Terrazas could muster. Comstock led the opposition, grilling the organizers on every aspect of the proposal such as safety, liability, qualifications of volunteers, all reasonable questions ably answered by Brent Adams, one of the two organizers of the Warming Center program. It soon became clear that it was Adams himself that was the focus of Comstock’s and Mathews‘ distaste. In answer to Comstock’s query as to whether he had a criminal record, Adams replied he had pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor trespassing charge as a result of the 2012 Occupy take-over of the former Coast Commercial bank building.

In sharp contrast to this attempt to paint the organizers in the worst light possible, the public testimony in support of the proposal brought inspiring words of compassion from long-time homeless benefactors, pastors, rectors, and those who had been previously skeptical but whose experience in attending and seeing the gratitude of the homeless in having a bed on a cold night, had changed their minds, and many others in support. The letters sent to council reflected overwhelming support. The city would be joining three churches already committed to providing a warm place to sleep and others were being approached.

Despite all the support, the council opponents dug in. Such vehement opposition to this modest, worthwhile, no-cost proposal was hard to comprehend. It wasn’t setting up a new homeless program; it wasn’t taking over a building in use; it wouldn’t take any more staff time than drawing up terms and conditions similar to the scores of events the city supports and for which it makes available our public resources such as blocking off streets for road races or closing west cliff drive for a street event. A few nights for the homeless to sleep under shelter when the Armory is full and the temperatures hover close to freezing was, as stated by the Mayor, a band-aid but sometimes a band-aid is really needed. Then the real source of tension was revealed. The proposal as written was to direct staff to identify a location and the elements needed to make this happen. That is, the council would set policy and staff would carry out that policy. This legitimate power relationship has long slipped away in Santa Cruz politics. As many have noted, staff increasingly sets policy and council often rubber stamps it. Once the question of “how do staff view this proposal?” became center stage the proposal was doomed.

Council member Posner tried to remind the council that it is they who set policy but once the city manager said it was adding too much work and the police chief said he hadn’t vetted the proposal and Comstock said she heard no support from department heads, the proposal quickly degenerated into “asking for staff’s input and returning to discuss the item on January 12th. “Even this proposal only squeaked by with cautious support from council members Cynthia Chase and Richelle Noroyan joining Lane and Posner. Staff input is an important part of any process but should not trump an emergency humanitarian measure to give shelter on a cold night nor trump council’s ability to set policy, which is what we vote them to do on our behalf. There are many cold nights ahead, perhaps no colder than the hearts of the three council members who turned their backs on those in need of a small gesture of compassion on the part of their city” .

(Gillian Greensite is a long time local activist, member of Save Our Big Trees and the Santa Cruz chapter of IDA, International Dark Sky Association. Plus she’s an avid ocean swimmer, hiker and lover of all things wild).

CREED or ROCKY 7. Just a fun peek at this older and ” new” Stallone.

PATTON’S PROGRAM. Gary reports on these items in his KUSP broadcasts

The Sea and Sand Inn, located on West Cliff Drive just above Cowell’s Beach, is hoping the Planning Commission will approve the installation of a ” soil nail wall,” which may or may not have some aesthetic impacts on the City’s most well-used beach. A few years ago, despite the protests of tree advocates, the Seaside Company, which owns the motel, cut down some heritage trees on the Sea and Sand Inn property, and there is at least a good argument that this has had an impact on bluff stability.

Another item that would affect West Cliff Drive is also on the agenda for Thursday Dec.3 when the Santa Cruz City Planning Commission will hold an important meeting at the City Hall

The City proposes to install a combination pull up and dip exercise bar in the landscape area on the east side of the parking lot closest to Its Beach. Lots of people think that the City’s West Cliff Drive walkway is just fine the way it is (I was out there on Thanksgiving, and it was getting a lot of use). Is this the first step towards turning West Cliff Drive into a parcourse? Finally, the Planning Commission is going to consider possible amendments to the City’s Downtown Recovery PlanThis will affect the future of the the Santa Cruz Downtown, also an important topic.

I believe most professional planners would agree that the California Coastal Commission sets the “gold standard” for planning agencies. One reason is that the Coastal Act articulates some very specific policies which are “mandatory,” as opposed to “discretionary” in form. Policies that are structured as “discretionary,” which are quite common at the local government level, aren’t really “policies” at all, since they contain a built-in exit that allows the local agency to disregard the policy if the agency wants to approve a particular development. For instance, if the so-called ” policy” states that the agency should prevent the conversion of agricultural land to urban uses “to the greatest extent feasible,” very common language in zoning codes, the local agency can always determine that it is not really “feasible” to protect farmland when an attractive development opportunity presents itself. If you really want to protect farmland, you have to have a policy that says something like, “commercially viable farmland shall not be developed or divided.” Period! The Coastal Commission is meeting in Monterey, starting on Wednesday, December 9th, through Friday, December 11th. I have links to the agenda at I invite you to review the agenda, and then to attend the Commission’s meeting, to see that “gold standard” planning agency in action” . 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 opinions expressed are Mr. Patton’s. Gary has his own website, Two Worlds/365” –

CLASSICAL DeCINZO. Scroll down for some food for thought, as always.

EAGAN’S DEEP COVER. Tim takes his grand and wild view of worldy stuff …see below.

LISA JENSEN LINKS. Lisa writes: “If you’re interested in backstage Hollywood, the craft and business of screenwriting, or the (belated) triumph of reason over fear-mongering, don’t miss Trumbo. Read all about it this week at Lisa Jensen Online Express (“Lisa has been writing film reviews and columns for Good Times since 1975.


TRUMBO. Bryan Cranston, Helen Mirren, Diane Lane, John Goodman and even Elle Fanning all work nicely together to make this Hollywood Black List- anti HUAC extravaganza.

It’s fun seeing look alikes for John Wayne, Edward G. Robinson, and Kirk Douglas. There’s no mention of Walt Disney’s part, or Adolph Menjou, or Alvah Bessie and Sterling Hayden (both of whom had children living in Santa Cruz) and how Hayden regretted turning stoolie. It is a very complex and sad story. It’s very much worth seeing.

CREED. Even though it’sthe 7th Rocky film with Sylvester Stallone it’s many levels above all the earlier numb trite boxing flicks. Stallone is sincere, the plot (yes there’s a plot) is touching and the acting is completely believable all the way through. It’s almost entirely due to the direction by Ryan Coogler (he directed Frutivale Station) and the acting by Michael B. Jordan.

Even the boxing scenes are just a tiny bit Hollywood, and the ending is surprising too.I don’t agree with many critics saying Stallone should get an Oscar, but it’s not a bad film.

VICTOR FRANKENSTEIN. Daniel Radcliffe (Harry Potter) plays Igor Strausman the hunchback to James McAvoy’s Doctor Frankenstein. Talk about bizarre… Dr. Frankenstein being very kind, stabs Igor right in the Hunch!!! It turns out the hunch was just full of pus which we watch drain out then Igor can stand up straight!!! I’m not kidding. This is a big million dollar saga and it’s impossible to follow. There’s no rhyme, reason, logic, charm, or perceived plot. Go only IF you’ve seen every other Frankenstein film.


SPOTLIGHT. Lots of Oscar buzz around this excellent film. When you have a cast like Mark Ruffalo, Michale Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Billy Crudup, Stanley Tucci and Live Schreiber and a plot involving the Roman Catholic church’s child molesting priests and the “official cover-up” you got a winner. It’s shocking, even though you think you know all there is to know. When you add in the current troubles the Vatican is having…you’ve got a very sick institution. It’s newspaper business at its best. It’s also reporting such as no newspaper can afford today…you’ll see how important that is/was. Rotten Tomatoes gives it a 97%!!!

BROOKLYN. Whew…I knew I loved this film now I see that Rotten Tomatoes gives it 100%

Saoirse Ronan plays the lead Irish (very Irish) girl who comes to New York City in the 1950’s. She adjusts the falls in love with an Italian (very Italian) young man. That seems to be ok but then she has to return to Ireland on a visit and falls in love with a young Irish (very) young manIt’s not too funny, it’s deep, profound, wrenching and perfect acting. You could easily loose your heart in this film. See it if you like wonderful films. It also stars (in a smaller role)

Jessica Pare who you’ll for sure remember as Megan Draper, Don’s dark haired sexy wife in Mad Men.

BRIDGE OF SPIES. Tom Hanks is the big draw for this Russian – German – American spy story. The Nick was packed all opening weekend. Mark Rylance (from Wolf Hall on PBS) plays a Russian “Spy” and is great. It’s all about the cold war,1957-1962, Berlin, USA spy pilot Gary Powers, secret negotians and it’s all directed by Steven Speilberg. That means it’s fast paced, not too demanding/shallow/easy to follow/ some jokes/some tears/ and a happy ending of course. You’ll like it, everybody does.

ROOM. There is some discussion on whether or not this film is based on a novel or reality. Either way it is a well done, angonizing, torturous, moving film. Brie Larson as the teen age mother and Jacob Trembly as her son deserve special acting awards. Kidnapping the young teen ager and raping her in a locked shed for years while she somehow manages to raise her son and maintain a sense of humanity will have you completely fixed to the screen. See this film.

SUFFRAGETTE. Carey Mulligan is almost too cute with those dimples to play the role she does here, and she’s great. Helen Bonham and Brenden Gleeson are at their best and Meryl Streep plays an almost cameo role. Seeing this film about women’s voting rights and also seeing “Miss You Already” has got to make you think deeply how deep the prejudice against women has gone and will women ever be treated as equals…here or anywhere. See this film, and think about Hillary Clinton and Carly Fiorina.

THE SECRET IN THEIR EYES. Not a Santa Cruz film..right now. It’s about a young girl who’s body is found in a dumpster. Even Julia Roberts (her mom), Chiwetel Ejiofor (the cop), and Nicole Kidman ( their boss) doesn’t make this worth seeing. See it in maybe five years, if then.

THE MARTIAN. This Hollywood Matt Damon starring film is like George Clooney and in Gravity. It’s about Damon being left behind on Mars by his team mates (Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig, and Michael Pena). Chiwetal Ejiofor and Jeff Daniels are the NASA, Pasadena JPL business men in charge. It drags in spots and the FX look like they stole them from “2001” . Matt Damon is just too cute and funny and extraordinary to be real, But go see it. You’ll stay awake just to see how it all works out. It’s tense near the end but the ending itself is corney.

SPHINCTER 007. It’ s nearly weird that there have been 24 James Bonds movies in the 53 years since they began. Remember that Pres. John F. Kennedy was a fan of Ian Flemings books. That kicked off the entire Bond Wagon. This Sphincter movie has Daniel Craig playing James Bond for the fourth time!!! Daniel Craig is terrible, this movie is terrible. It would take a book to discuss the differences between Daniel Craig and Sean Connery…you can easily think about those diffrerences and stay away from this disaster of a movie.

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, you should listen live, and it’s also archived for two weeks… (See next paragraph) and go to WWW.KZSC.ORG. Booked so far are… The winners from Bookshop Santa Cruz’s Young Writers Contest read their entries on Dec.1st. Patrick Mayer talks about airplane noise and ” Save Our Skies” on Dec. 8. Patrick is followed by James Mockoski and Ross Gibson talking about their restoration of the 1917 Santa Cruz movie ” Mothers Of Men” . UCSC Chancellor George Blumenthal talks about being Chancellor on December 15, followed by ex- newspaper man and area benefactor Rowland Rebele. December 22 has Amy White ex. dir. of Landwatch Monterey talking about all the land use projects they have in the works. After Amy, there’s an update on what’s happening with the battle between the Community Garden and the Boardwalk Corporation. Then in Jan. 2016 Alexandra Kennedy talks about life and suicide on Jan. 5. Do remember, any and all suggestions for future programs are more than welcome so tune in, and keep listening. Email me always at

NEW UNIVERSAL GRAPEVINE ARCHIVE FEATURE. Stuff changes at KZSC a lot. If you missed either of the last two weeks of Universal Grapevine broadcasts go here You have to listen to about 4 minutes of that week’s KPFA news first, then Grapevine happens.

UNIVERSAL GRAPEVINE ARCHIVES. In case you missed some of the great people I’ve interviewed in the last 9 years here’s a chronological list of some past broadcasts. Such a wide range of folks such as 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.


“I’m addicted to warm Thanksgiving bird meat, but I should just quit cold turkey. To me, the beginning of December is like leftover November,” Jarod Kintz. ” It is December, and nobody asked if I was ready,” Sarah Kay

“The rapid nightfall of mid-December had quite beset the little village as they approached it on soft feet over a first thin fall of powdery snow. Little was visible but squares of a dusky orange-red on either side of the street, where the firelight or lamplight of each cottage overflowed through the casements into the dark world without. Most of the low latticed windows were innocent of blinds, and to the lookers-in from outside, the inmates, gathered round the tea-table, absorbed in handiwork, or talking with laughter and gesture, had each that happy grace which is the last thing the skilled actor shall capture–the natural grace which goes with perfect unconsciousness of observation. Moving at will from one theatre to another, the two spectators, so far from home themselves, had something of wistfulness in their eyes as they watched a cat being stroked, a sleepy child picked up and huddled off to bed, or a tired man stretch and knock out his pipe on the end of a smouldering log.” Kenneth Grahame, The Wind in the Willows.


Subscriptions: Click and enter the box in the upper right hand corner of each Column. You’ll get a weekly email notice the instant the column goes online. (Anywhere from Monday afternoon through Thursday or sometimes as late as Friday!) Always free and confidential. Even I don’t know who subscribes!!

Snail Mail: Bratton Online
82 Blackburn Street, Suite 216
Santa Cruz, CA 95060

Direct email:

Direct phone: 831 423-2468

All Technical & Web details: Gunilla Leavitt @


Deep Cover by Tim Eagan.

Posted in Weekly Articles | Comments Off on December 1 – 7, 2015

Comments are closed.