Blog Archives

December 13 – 19, 2011

SNOW AND TWO WAY TRAFFIC ON PACIFIC AT 7:50AM. IN 1957. You say global warming, I say nostalgia, but whatever works we do have occasional snows around these Mediterranean parts. That lovely building for you newcomers was The Cooper House, formerly our “County Building”. It went down bureaucratically after the 1989 earthquake. It had been retrofitted just before the quake, but big bucks won out and we lost.

photo credit: Covello & Covello Historical photo collection.

Additional information always welcome: email

CEMEX SALE. That selling of the Cemex Davenport Territory last week was huge news*. I asked Jodi Frediani (Forestry Consultant for Sierra Club and Director of Central Coast Forest Watch) to tell us her side of that story. She wrote…

Land Preservation Goes Down a Slippery Slope…by Jodi Frediani

Clearly the media, along with the environmental groups that have joined to purchase the Cemex property near Davenport, are willing to look past the harm that logging can do when they chant land ‘protection’ or ‘preservation’. *Paul Rogers, San Jose Mercury News, calls this one of “the largest land preservation deals in the Bay Area in a generation”. According to Miriam Webster, the definition of ‘preservation’ is ‘to keep safe from injury, harm, or destruction; protect’. Even the land trusts themselves are saying the land will be ‘protected’, but from what? It seems the key factor will be to reduce or protect the property from development.


Rogers tells us the ‘conservation easement’ that will be prepared will ‘limit development, logging, and other uses.’ The land trusts will then sell the property to a new owner, ‘probably a timber company’. Hmm. I question just how strong those limitations on logging can be, if the anticipated buyer is a timber company. Clearly the Devil will be in the details.

San Vicente Creek, which runs through the heart of the Cemex forest, is the sole water supply for the town of Davenport. It is anything but pristine which is also true for those streams that traverse Big Creek’s lands. And it is a crucial stream for the survival of Coho salmon and steelhead trout.

A number of enhancement projects have recently been implemented in the lower stream reaches to benefit fish, but the creek is listed as ‘Impaired for Sediment’ under the Clean Water Act. Logging was originally listed as the cause of the impairment, but was changed to ‘unknown’ after strenuous objections from the timber industry. Sediment is bad for fish.

Let’s hope that the conditions in any conservation easement will include substantial no-cut buffer zones along all segments of the watercourse, as well as ‘off-limits’ areas for preservation (that word again!) and retention of old growth. And how about reducing the rate of cut? The Cemex forest has been logged repeatedly and continuously for the past 50 years. Except for the handful of old growth, still there in part due to restrictions by the Department of Fish and Game, the rest of the forest is missing large trees, snags, downed wood and other components of a healthy forest ecosystem.

How about selling carbon credits instead of continuing to log? Why not use this land to grow and retain large trees, which sequester more carbon due to their size? Let this ‘working forest’ work for us all. And let’s hope the conservation easement over such a huge swath of our North Coast is developed in a transparent, open process soliciting and incorporating public input”. End of Jody’s story. There will be more to follow, you can be sure.

ELERICK’S INPUT. Arana Gulch – Coastal Commission decision

It appears that the project to build a bike path through and over Arana Gulch has moved ahead, an idea I never supported. The California Coastal Commissioners approved the AG “multi-use” plan on a 10-1 vote that included Commissioner Mark Stone’s amendments, the most important being that the City actually have the funds in place to pay for ongoing maintenance of the changes planned for Arana Gulch.

This issue has managed to split the environmental (and bike) communities, but its time to move ahead. It would have been nice to see an AG plan that saved the endangered species, and provided access to people with disabilities without the paved “trail”. One of the commissioners asked this question but didn’t get a straight answer. For those who want to see replay of this Coastal Commission hearing, it’s on their website and worth watching. You’ll find it the last item on their December 8th meeting agenda.

Are we going to be facing this same pressure when changing the bike rules comes up again for Pogonip? Most likely, but this one is outside the Coastal Zone so local government will have the call. It seems their strategy has been lately to have a “staff recommendation” that staff knows is what the majority of a council or commission wants so then gets a rubber stamp approval when it comes before them. You can expect the “mountain biker” community to be pushing for access to Pogonip; we’ll be hearing more on this from local candidates for office in 2012.

(Paul Elerick is the chair of the Campaign for Sensible Transportation, , chair of the Transportation Committee of the Santa Cruz Group Sierra Club. and is a member of Nisene 2 Sea, a group of open space advocates).


PATTON’S PROGRAM. Gary states re LAFCO’s decision on UCSC’s water demands “Last week, the Santa Cruz County Local Agency Formation Commission, or LAFCO, voted to authorize the City of Santa Cruz to extend water service to the UCSC North Campus. This means the University can transform 240 acres of natural area into a new, dense development, with over 3,000,000 square feet of new buildings. My law firm represents the Community Water Coalition, and I testified that there really isn’t a secure water supply for all this proposed new development. While the Chairperson of the Commission agreed, saying, “I do not believe that the City has an adequate, reliable, and sustainable water supply,” he and most other Commissioners* voted to support the University’s application. The Chancellor of UCSC, who was present, had warned the Commission, in a letter threatening a lawsuit, that town-gown good will was on the line, to quote a headline in the Santa Cruz Sentinel. The fact that LAFCO has indicated that it will allow the City to commit its admittedly scarce water supplies to new development on the campus should make everyone pay even more attention to water policy issues. Tomorrow, Item #35 on the Board of Supervisors’ agenda provides a good overview of “water challenges in Santa Cruz County.” I recommend you read it, and I recommend you get personally involved!” Read the rest of Gary’s KUSP broadcasts here

(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”

ANCHOR IN ANTARCTICA. Each passing day actually grows four minutes longer as we spin closer to Summer Solstice in the southern hemisphere, thereby providing us four more opportunities to get into trouble. Yesterday, our research and supply vessel seized the chance to experiment with an irritating but thankfully rare form of mischief: an environmental spill.

The vessel has a large main crane used to move our shipping containers full of supplies onto shore. As cargo operations began Saturday evening, one of the crane’s hoses sprung a leak and squirted some hydraulic fluid into our tiny marina. How much? Less than a quart, certainly. But enough to launch our emergency Spill Response Team into action. The official work day had ended, so some people responded to the call for help in their jeans and tennis shoes, simply adding wools, hats and life vests as necessary. We deployed our floating barriers to stop the slick from spreading, wicked the oil out of the water with specialized, fuzzy-blue rags stuffed into nylon mesh (called absorbent berms), and then this morning packed the contaminated material into 55-gallon drums to ship it all the way to Port Hueneme, CA for hazardous waste processing.

Twenty people gave up their free time to spend over an hour cleaning up less oil than you’d find in a bottle of salad dressing. Add another few hours writing official reports, preferably illustrated with pictures of people in gym clothes using nets to scoop the oily blue fluff out of the water. And yet no one complained: we take even these minuscule spills seriously because the attitude about pollution in the past was a complete joke.

On another note, I had a moment that evening to survey the scene while I was kneeling on the pontoon of a Zodiac (our rubber boats). I was struck by how the ways we split up into teams, adopted roles or took on specific tasks mirrored our common partnerships and personal strengths in everyday life. Some stood advising from the deck while others got busy taking pictures, fetching absorbents, skimming with the nets, distributing the berm, etc. If I had a camera and a hot air balloon, I could have drifted through the scene capturing amazing portraits not only of individuals but of the group as a unique and contradictory whole. But I was busy doing stuff…

(Micaela Neus works for Raytheon Polar Services Company as a utilities technician and is currently living at Palmer Station, Antarctica until April 2012.

VINTAGE DE CINZO. Monarchs adjust to local atmosphere…see DeCinzo fluttering below.


EAGANS DEEP COVER. Eager Eagan shows us what a Trump Roast is like…scroll below..

LANDAU’S PROGRES. Saul’s article, « When Number 2 Acts Like Number 1 » closes with, “U.S. policy rests on false assumptions. Pakistan, Washington decided, has no choice but to obey its aid-giving ally. The Chinese, however, understand the possibilities that will open to them as Washington marches to the beat of imperial ignorance. China has moved resources and advisers to Pakistan, including nuclear experts. Washington can’t seem to grasp a decline that the rest of the world sees, in their once undisputed world power. It cannot keep its home in good repair, but it still acts as if it can make other nations bend to its will. The 24 dead Pakistani soldiers might become the symbol for the beginning of the end of U.S. Empire. It’s all here…

Saul Landau is an Institute for Policy Studies fellow whose films are on DVD from

GOODBYE BARNEY BRICMONT. I first met Barney when he and I were clerks at Orchard Supply Hardware back in 1974. I worked in the “Industrial” section and cut chicken wire, and glass. Barney was in “paint” I think, and we remained friends through all those decades. Politically we were in The Peoples Democratic Club a lot and he’ll be missed very much. His daughter announced… Services will be on Friday, December 16th at 2 pm at the Pacific Garden Chapel, 1050 Cayuga Street in Santa Cruz. A reception will follow at 5 pm at the Silver Spur on 2650 Soquel Drive in Santa Cruz. In lieu of flowers, Barney’s family requests that donations go to the Public Schools Foundation of Santa Cruz County. Their address is 1840 41st Avenue Suite 102-244, Capitola, CA 95010.

LISA JENSEN LINKS. Lisa wishes you & yours to “join Christina Waters and me this season as we fight to restore the unfairly maligned reputation of the holiday fruitcake. She’s doing the baking over at her blog (, from a recipe I scored decades ago from my Danish Aunt Chris. I provide the back-story this week at Lisa Jensen Online Express ( Lisa Jensen has been writing film reviews and a column for Good Times since 1975.

DINNER AT GABRIELLA’S. Charles Prentiss’ paintings were on the walls and he was in the corner, Paul Cocking was maitre’de ing and so we had Gastrique apples and Brussels Sprouts, pulled pork and linguine con squid. All great, tasty, and excellently presented. I mention this because I hadn’t’ been to Gabriella’s in a long time. Good non-touristy place to take your visitors.

NO NEW FILMS ON BIG SCREENS. Just be sure to see My Week With Marilyn, The Descendants, Like Crazy, Melancholia, Into the Abyss, and maybe Hugo or J. Edgar, if you run out of places to go.

GREAT FILMS ON LITTLE SCREENS. As previously stated (for many years) just about my favorite hobby/hangup/interest is to discover absolutely great and totally unknown (not distributed in USA) films at Cedar Street video or East Cliff Video. I have found nearly 200 masterpieces that way. I found this 100% perfect French thriller-kidnap-millionaire-ransom-enigma. You will never figure ahead in any step of the story. No blood (only a cut finger), masterful thinking, brand new (2011) never released here, great acting, superb photography it’s called “Rapt” directed by Lucas Belvaux. Just get it and restore your faith in intelligent, well directed thrillers.

“The Last Circus” is also beautiful, but gory, bloody like Fellini’s meeting with Chain Saw Massacre. From a Toronto critic… “There’s no doubt de la Iglesia intended The Last Circus — originally titled Ballad of the Sad Trumpet, after a popular Spanish song performed by a singer in clown-face — to be a showpiece. It is masterfully constructed, brilliantly photographed, and every frame blazes with commitment, imagination and inspiration. Even the copious allusions to past masters, including Fellini, Tarantino, Hitchcock, Chaplin, Peter Greenaway and Ken Russell, can’t dilute its originality.And in the end, that will be The Last Circus‘s major claim to cult glory. It’s a jaw-dropping, barnstorming mess of a yarn ramped up to 11 on every level. It may be bewildering, de trop, offensive, even sickening, but you won’t forget it and you’ll never see anything like it again”. I couldn’t have said it better.

SOUTH KOREA FILMS. Back in the day (like late 40’s and 50’s) films from certain countries changed the way films were made. First Italy, then Sweden, then Japan (De Sica, Bergman, Kurosawa) all made huge monies from subsidizing film those directors. Now it’s Argentina and South Korea who are making great cinema contributions. Go to the video stores and learn to read the secrets hidden in each labeling….great fun (and enlightenment).Films such as Tae Guk Gi, I Saw The Devil, Today and Tomorrow…all great, and available to RENT LOCALLY!!!

GEOFF HOYLE’S GEEZER. If you haven’t seen Mr. Hoyle do this solo show and especially at The Marsh theatre in San Francisco, just do it. He’ll be there February 9 – March 18, 2012. “Who knew that dying could be so side-splittingly funny? But then, given that “Geezer” is a solo by physical comedy maestro Geoff Hoyle, perhaps that’s not the right question. Who knew that Hoyle could be so deeply poignant?”—Robert Hurwitt, SF Chronicle. Hoyle trained in Paris with Marcel Marceau’s teacher, Etienne Decroux, developing his unique bravura comic style, a combination of court jester, vaudevillian and English music hall comedian. His regional appearances include Berkeley and Seattle Rep, A.C.T. and La Jolla Playhouse. His award-winning shows Feast Of Fools, The Convict’s Return, (Geni(us) and The First Hundred Years have been seen in Paris, London, New York, Berlin and the former Soviet Union. He was the original Zazu in The Lion King on Broadway and first made his mark in the Bay Area as the Pickle Family Circus’ beloved clown, Mr. Sniff.Thursday & Saturday at 8:00 pm; Sunday at 5:00 pm. at The Marsh San Francisco, MainStage, 1062 Valencia Street at 22nd Street.

HOSTETTER’S HOT STUFF. Howdy – (ed. Paul says things like “howdy” because he lives in Bonny Doon). “Amidst the turmoil of daily life I’ve managed to assemble a few new things to look forward to, and will endeavor to add more soon. Of immediate interest, especially if you fancy eastern European folk dancing to socket wrench rhythms, is a dance—tomorrow—at Cabrillo with a particularly choice live band. Then the Festival of Living Music has a fine concert in the offing this weekend featuring seasoned and emerging artists (one of the things I love about FLM) as a lead-up to their season of many pleasures. More about that in due time. Maybe you missed Paul Mehling and the Hot Club of SF when they played in Santa Cruz, but they have a double-header coming up at Yoshi’s in Oakland, so all is not lost. Then there’s the Annual New Years Eve Balkan Blowout at Ashkenaz, with Brass Menažeri and the always-killer Édessa and then, ta da, it’s 2012 and there’ll be more to discuss in the near future about all that. Details here, of course: Support live music!!! yrs, ph.

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.

Santa Cruz County Superior Court Judge Paul Burdick returns to talk about justice on December 13th, then UCSC professor and author Patricia Zavella will talk about her new book published by Duke University , “I’m Neither Here nor There” all about Mexicans’ daily struggles with migration and poverty with lots of focus on our local problems. Forest critic Jodi Frediani talks about Cemex & Timber on December 20, then Pat Matecjek talks about the recent Arana Gulch decision and developments.. (I’m taking December 27th off). Claudia Sternbach guests on January 3 to talk about her new book, “Reading Lips” after which Kathy Bisbee discusses film and community TV. Jim Mosher returns on January 10th to talk more about his work on regulating alcohol and marketing it to young non drinkers. Do remember, any and all suggestions for future programs are more than welcome so tune in, and keep listening.

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 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 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. ” Christmas is a time when you get homesick – even when you’re home”, Carol Nelson. “Isn’t it funny that at Christmas something in you gets so lonely for – I don’t know what exactly, but it’s something that you don’t mind so much not having at other times”, Kate L. Bosher. “Once again, we come to the Holiday Season, a deeply religious time that each of us observes, in his own way, by going to the mall of his choice”, Author Unknown.


Deep Cover by tim eagan.

Posted in Weekly Articles | Comments Off on December 13 – 19, 2011