Blog Archives

December 14 – 20, 2016

PACIFIC AND COOPER STREETS. 7:50 am WINTER 1957. That’s of course the Cooper House on the right and Leask’s Department Store on the far left.  Also on the right had side as we’re looking at it….Santa Cruz County Bank, Montgomery Ward Catalog Store, Saddle Back Coffee Shop, Hotel St. George, Sportsmens Shop, Pet Shop, The Tea Cup Bar and restaurant. Then on the left, after Leask’s is Melvin’s Drugs, The Hardware Store and Cigar Store, Bubble Bakery and to sum it up…back then locals had plenty of reasons to shop downtown.                                                     

photo credit: Covello & Covello Historical photo collection.

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DATELINE December 12, 2016

CHANGING OF THE CITY COUNCIL. Wouldn’t you think that with the farewell and last night of our recent City Council changeover that they would at least have had their proudly acquired “Lenco Bearcat” (Ballistic Engineered Armored Response Counter Attack Truck) in front of the City Hall with a lighted Christmas tree on top? That way we’d never forget who was in office  when our City acquired that so called and sneaky  “Peacemaker”??

STRANGE MUSICAL INSTRUMENT INVENTIONS. Absolutely amazing and a tribute to our minds and love of music.

FLUORIDE IN SAN JOSE For the 22,438 Santa Cruz County Voters who voted for Trump the news that San Jose is finally going for fluoridating their City Water must be devastating. Trump hates fluoridated water and as we know the oft backward Santa Cruz has also successfully fought against our City water being fluoridated for decades. Here’s an excerpt from Dana Milbank (frequent Santa Cruz Sentinel columnist)  from the Washington Post Nov. 25, 2016 in an article titled …


“As the Right Wing Watch website has documented, Jones has alleged that the U.S. government was responsible for the Sept. 11 attacks (Jones posted an old video Monday in which Trump appeared to suggest that aircraft alone couldn’t have brought down the towers), the Oklahoma City bombings and mass shootings such as Sandy Hook. Jones has said that ““chemtrails” from airplanes spread a “weaponized flu,” that juice boxes are part of a chemical-warfare operation to make children gay, that Justin Bieber is brainwashing children to create an American police state, that Obama murdered publisher Andrew Breitbart, that an “alien force not of this world” is targeting Trump, that intergalactic shape-shifting reptilian humanoids secretly control the world, and, of course, that water fluoridation is mass mind control”.

Personally, I’ve fought FOR fluoridating city water since the 1960’s and my KGO days when the John Birch Society worked so hard to convince us that Russian Communists were behind the fluoride plot. Every one of my dentists and all professional dental associations and doctors everywhere know how much good fluoride can do for age folks. But this is Santa Cruz; folks fight fluoride here…I’ve never figured it out.


You have to wonder why Traci Hukill and Eric Johnson (noted “Hill Trompers“) would say in Sunday’s (Dec. 11) issue that Coast Dairies still needs protection. They wrote…”Well then, what about the property itself? It’s fully protected, right? From oil and gas drilling, yes. From development, no. When the 5,800-acre Coast Dairies property was officially transferred to the Bureau of Land Management in 2014, its deed came with it. The deed prohibits commercial timber harvest and off-road vehicles, and it leaves the mineral rights safely with the Trust for Public Land, a conservation nonprofit. On the subject of development, though — houses, golf courses, stables — nothing. It’s time to protect the Coast Dairies property once and for all with national monument designation”. Yet we should all know that completely contradicts the deed restrictions that are in that editorial itself. It quotes the deed restrictions: One more thing about that deed: The first thing it says — before the ban on logging, before the ban on ATVs and dirt bikes — is that the property “shall be used and managed for open space and public recreation in a manner consistent with the protection and preservation of natural habitats.” That’s the very first thing.  How does a golf course, housing, whatever development is envisaged, not violate the deed language of “protection and preservation of natural habitats.”? The deed restrictions and language are binding on any owner of the property, the federal government or anyone they might decide to sell it to (which is highly unlikely anyway.) As one friend stated and I agree… “That the Sentinel published this self-contradictory propaganda is shameful”.

WILLIAM MANDEL DIED. William Mandel was a personal hero of mine. He was also a very long time broadcaster on KPFA in Berkeley. He was most known as the courageous guy who told the House Un-American Activities Committee is San Francisco… Addressing the committee members as “honorable beaters of children and sadists,” Mr. Mandel condemned their actions and motives at length. “If you think,” he said, “that I’m going to cooperate with this collection of Judases, of men who sit there in violation of the United States Constitution, if you think I will cooperate with you in any way, you are insane.” He lived to the ripe age of 99. He and Jessica Mitford* and her husband Bob Truehaft* guested on quite a few of the programs I produced at KCBS and KGO. The three of them also attended on of my wedding receptions!”

MORE ABOUT JESSICA MITFORD AND BOB TRUEHAFT. Jessica Mitford  wrote “The American Way of Death”. Treuhaft worked for “labor union” and “radical left” causes much of his life. From the early-to-mid-1940s to 1958 he and Mitford were members of the “Communist Party USA”, leaving the party after Khrushchev’s revelations about the Stalin era.” Hillary Clinton” worked as a summer intern with Truehaft’s Oakland law firm in 1971. In 1964, Treuhaft represented more than 700 “Free Speech Movement” students arrested during a two-day sit-in at the University of California in Berkeley. He and his firm also represented anti-Vietnam War protesters, “Black Panther Party”, the “Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee” (SNCC), the “Congress of Racial Equality” (CORE).

MUSICAL SAW AND THEREMIN. Don’t go away, these two actually play on key and it’s not that bad.”
WINTERGATAN… a marble machine like you’ve never seen before. [Webmistress piping in with a Sweden connection: Wintergatan (or Vintergatan) is Swedish for The Milky Way! It literally means “Winter Street”.]

CASUAL SAX ON PACIFIC. Next Sunday(Dec.18) we’ll all get a rare chance to hear the saxophone quartet Casual Sax play on Pacific Avenure in front of O’Neills. They tell us , “We like to say it’s a sax quartet with a math problem since there are actually five of us in the group (two baritone saxes). Pro’s and amateurs together they consist of Clark Baldwin, our band leader, plays soprano and alto saxes, Ralph Boroff, plays alto sax, David Shoaf, tenor sax, Sandra Whalen, baritone sax and their titular head Ken Koenig, plays baritone sax. They’ll be there from 11:30am to 1:30pm . And yes they even got a permit to play!!!

KROHN AND SANDY BROWN ON UNIVERSAL GRAPEVINE. We all know that the results of our Santa Cruz City Council race will produce some “interesting” results. To that end we’re starting the new year off properly. Chris Krohn and Sandy Brown will be on my first of the New Year’s Universal Grapevine on Tuesday January 3. Tune in KZSC 88.1 fm or online at the program starts at 7 with Patricia Rain talking about her favorite topic Vanilla. Then it’s Chris and Sandy from 7:30-8 p.m. Nope, we don’t take phone calls..not ever!!

DON MacCASLIN at 90 !!! The Sentinel’s Wallace Baine ran a grand tribute to Don McCaslin who turns 90 this week in Monday’s Sentinel.  Wallace didn’t know any of the details behind McCaslin’s first warmth gig. Here’s what I wrote in the Metro Weekly back in November 2001.

“DEMOCRAT POLITICS IN SANTA CRUZ 1972”. The photo above was taken early in the morning at the front door of the original Cooper House*. That’s Julian Camacho praying on the left; he was running for state Senate. In the middle is Henry Faitz, a local attorney who ran for state Assembly against incumbent Frank Murphy. Next is Alan Cranston also praying, who ran for state controller. Right behind Cranston is old friend and near-legendary late jazz musician Phil Yost, who was there to play with Don McCaslin’s new group, premiering that day: Warmth. (Full disclosure: I ran Faitz’s campaign against Murphy; we lost.)

(* PS. The Cooper House was NOT destroyed by the ’89 had been retrofitted and withstood the quake. It was torn down by its new owner to get the FEMA money).

Top-level city management staff and city council members would do well to heed the words of Nina Simon, executive director of the Museum of Art and History. At a recent Chamber of Commerce luncheon, Simon as invited speaker shared these words: “Instead of creating a program and selling it, start with the community and figure out how to do what they want.”

What a wonderful and novel concept! Think how much money, time and effort could have been saved if the city had first turned to the community and asked a simple question:  “What changes, if any, would you like to see done to your wharf?” Judging by the recent outpouring of sentiment opposed to the Wharf Master Plan, the resounding answer would most likely have been, “Change very little! Keep it as close as possible to what it is now.” But the city ignored the community, substituting for it, “stakeholders,” a small group who by definition has an interest, usually monetary, in the outcome. Lacking a firm community base of support, the city then proceeded down a slippery slope to “sell” its program, with false claims of tsunami damage to the wharf to gain federal funds for its SF urban design team, by skirting the required full environmental review for expediency, by keeping the project out of the public eye as much as possible until it could be slid under the sleepy eyes of the council close to midnight for final approval. Fortunately, this plan failed due to community vigilance and action. However the project is just postponed. There has been no change of heart; no self-examination of how to serve the community better by “starting with the community.”

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~( Gillian Greensite is a long time local activist, a 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).



It was hard to watch the demolition crew operator smash the last wall of the 140-year-old little yellow house at 8057 Valencia Street in Aptos Village recently.  Other than the mudsill wood directly on the soil, the virgin redwood timbers of the house were solid.

But that is not the picture that a local structural engineer gave to the County Historic Resources Commission last April when that group approved a demolition permit for the oldest house remaining in the historic Hihn Subdivision.  The new owner had visited the Commission about two years ago just after buying the historic NR-3 (very significant and eligible for the State Historic Registry) and assured that group that he would preserve the little yellow house.

Then he hired a local architect who happens to be a friend and neighbor of the structural engineer who helped the Aptos Village Project developers convince the Historic Resources Commissioners that the NR-5 (a lower level of historic significance due to structural alterations) Aptos Firehouse/VFW Hall was too hazardous and decrepit to try to relocate, as was promised to the public throughout the planning process.  The bulk of the photos showing rot and termite damage were from the porch area.  The Commissioners approved the demolition without any cost comparison of preservation vs. demolition.  A County building inspector red-tagged the structure.  And then….the developer, Pete Testorff, moved in his construction business office and ran it from the red-tagged, “hazardous” Aptos Firehouse for over three years until last February when I pointed out this interesting little situation to Assistant Planning Director Ms. Wanda Williams, who is overseeing the compliance issues of the Aptos Village Project.  She seemed surprised to hear that Testorff Construction was operating in a red-tagged building scheduled for demolition by the Historic Resources Commission due to extremely unsafe and hazardous condition, even though records show that she had attended several site meetings there (along with Supervisor Zach Friend).  Hmmmm….   Well, Testorff Construction moved out quickly, cut down the two heritage trees, and began demolition before acquiring a permit to do so.  My, my.

But I digress….the little yellow house on Valencia was posted as a “PARTIAL demolition” with addition of 20SF new construction.  So, most residents did not feel it necessary to take the morning off work to attend the public hearing on the issue in April, 2016.  I did, and was shocked to hear Planner Ms. Annie Murphy describe the project as a FULL DEMOLITION and re-build of similar structure.  It seemed very deceptive to me, and I testified that many people were under the impression that only a wall would be removed for an addition, that the wording on the notices did not explain that “partial demolition” really meant complete destruction.  I asked for an extension of time and re-hearing.

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~(Becky Steinbruner is a 30+ year resident of Aptos. She has fought for water, fire, emergency preparedness, and for road repair. She ran for Second District County Supervisor in 2016 on a shoestring and got nearly 20% of the votes).”

PATTON’S PROGRAM. From Gary’s Two Worlds website…from December 9, 2016.”


If you have been following politics in the Silicon Valley, you will know about Congress Member “Mike Honda”. Honda has represented “California’s 17th Congressional District” in the Congress since 2001. The 17th Congressional District includes all or part of Santa Clara, San Jose, Cupertino, Sunnyvale, Fremont, Milpitas, and Newark. It is, in other words, a Congressional District that is at the very heart of the Silicon Valley.

Honda is a member of the “Democratic Party”, and has done a workmanlike job for voters in what is the only Asian American-majority district in the continental United States. In this November’s election, Honda was replaced by “Ro Khanna”, also a Democrat.

Reliable, hard working, and well-liked incumbents (like Honda) are not usually replaced by someone from their own party. Recent changes in California’s election laws have made this a bit easier, since the “Top Two” system, in a heavily Democratic District like the 17th Congressional District, will now usually pit two Democrats against each other in the general election, giving non-Democratic Party voters an increased chance to decide which Democrat will represent the District. Running against a Republican, Honda would almost certainly have won handily. Running against another Democrat, “Honda lost with about 40% of the vote, to Khanna’s 60%”.”

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~(Gary is a former Santa Cruz County Supervisor (20 years) and an attorney who represents indivuduals and community groups on land use and environmental issues. The opinions expressed are Mr. Patton’s. Gary has his own website, “Two Worlds at”  “”


THAT VIDEO CLIP OF HIGHWAY ONE. If you scroll back a week you’ll see the You Tube clip of a racing, roaring trip soutrh on Highway One. I wondered in print, where it was filmed

Dan Dickmayer a relatively new Canadian emailed, “I still have not gotten(pardon my Nebraska vocabulary) to drive through the new Devil’s slide tunnel before Pacifica but its on my bucket list.  That youtube is the next best thing.  I think it is heading south”. Eric Rice stated, “The youTube video in this week’s column is of San Mateo County, starting at the southern end of Ocean Beach and traveling south through Pacifica, Devil’s Slide, Half Moon Bay, and ending just before Martin’s Beach south of Half Moon Bay”. Now we know, and it’s still good fun to watch.”

MUNCHING WITH MOZART. Every third Thursday (as per this Thursday December 15) there’s a free concert upstairs in the Main Library. Carol Panofsky creates and manages these. This Thursday there’ll be music by Schubert, Dvorak and Persichetti plus Moszkowski and Nystrom. Players include; Carol Panofsky, John Orlando, Ellen Khayat, Lynn Kidder, Stephanie Malone, Nicki Kerns, Dorothy Brown and Cheryl Dougan. It goes from 12:10 to 12:50. So get there early and munch amongst yourselves, but quietly.”

CLASSICAL DeCINZO. Takes an upper view of Christmas in those Monster Homes. See downwards.”

EAGAN’S DEEP COVER. See Eagan’s “Tweets” down a few pages. As always, at “” you will find his most recent “ Deep Cover”, the latest installment from the archives of “Subconscious Comics”, and the ever entertaining “Eaganblog”.

LISA JENSEN LINKS. Lisa writes: “The Oscar season is in full swing, this week at Lisa Jensen Online Express. The characters may not talk much, but their feelings run deep in the poignant, much-lauded Manchester by the Sea. Up next week: “La La Land!” Lisa has been writing film reviews and columns for Good Times since 1975.

MANCHESTER BY THE SEA. Casey Affleck single handidly sustains this deep, emotional film. It’s on the way to several awards and should win them all. It’s an intelligent, beautifically acted in depth portrait of people going through trauma and relationships. Along with Affleck there’s Michelle Williams, Gretchen Mol, even Mathew Broderick in a bit part” and especially the 16 year old Lucas Hedges. It’s a” cold and unrelenting film that demands your attention especially since you’ve gone through tradegies too. I’m going again, ther;s just so much to watch and think about.”

THE EAGLE HUNTRESS. Charming, cute, girl-empowering and all for the sake of tradition and making this very staged “documentary”. Male Mongolian tribes folk trained eagles to kill foxes in the old days probably because they needed the furs and meat. Now that everybody lives in houses, eats in cafeterias, and wears spin off clothing from Target, L.L. Bean, via China why still kill foxes?? But this cute 13 year old girl defies tradition with 100% help from staged camera work and a devoted dad…she too kills a fox. Besides the making of this film it also helps the tourist trade who visit the Mongol Mountains every year to watch the Eagle Hunt with vans, television, and lots of posters in English pushing the event.”

OFFICE CHRISTMAS  PARTY. This gross, sexist, not-funny attempt at comedy should be banned from the industry except that it’ll make millions from the morons who like this genitalia- filled flick. It’s a perfect example of how low Hollywood will sink to make millions. Do NOT take the kids or allow them to even peek at this mess. I went because I couldn’t believe the bad reviews!!!

MOONLIGHT. For starters Moonlight  has a 98 % on Rotten Tomatoes, so it’s not just me who really not only enjoyed this tale of drugs, gangs, and love, but people who like deep, serious films loved it too. Set in Miami, this sharp, delicate, brilliant story of a Black man’s life is told in three parts. It’s best not to read too much about the plot and just watch with wonder as it unfolds. You’ve never seen a film like this one. Please go and go quickly. Landmark may not keep it too long if we don’t support it.”

NOCTURNAL ANIMALS. Jake Gyllenhaal, Amy Adams, Michael Shannon and Laura Linney are simply perfect in their lead roles in this intelligent, puzzling, tense thriller. It wowed them at the Cannes Film Fest and it’s an impressive job of film making by director Tom Ford who knows what he’s doing. Jake and Amy are divorced, he writes a book based on their relationship that’s only half true. Plenty of violence, suspense, and a plot that will keep you 100% involved…that’s rare nowadays. Go see it ASAP.”

HACKSAW RIDGE. Another extra bloody, super hero film from Mel Gibson.  A World War II Okinawa battle film about a Seventh Day Adventist (true story) who wouldn’t touch or carry a gun and rescued 75 wounded soldiers under extra heavy gunfire. Maybe too bloody, probably too goofy a hero, and yet…the battle scenes are some of the best I’ve ever seen onscreen. Go only if you like well made films that are over the top violent.”

ALLIED. Gee, I thought that Brad Pitt was leaving Angelina Jolie because he fell in love with Marion Cotillard his co-star in this 1942 Casablanca war and spy semi-thriller. Not many thrills or mystery or surprises…it’s mostly just a pretty WWII Casablanca wanna- be Hollywood movie. After I found out that Brad and Angelina are really splitting up  there was no way to remember anything else about this movie. 😉

LOVING. A great and inspiring true story of Richard and Mildred Loving and how and why their racially mixed marriage were convicted in 1958 and went all the way to the Supreme Court in 1967 and won!! Ruth Negga plays the Black American wife and Joel Edgerton is the dull, stoic, mechanic husband. It’s a fine film, and it’s sterile, lacking human-ness, or reasons why they love each other. It’s even inspiring, involves two well meaning jerk attorneys from the ACLU and once again…it’s just not very heart-felt.

ARRIVAL. Amy Adams has always been an excellent actor and she’s even better in this pretty sophisticated science fiction spellbinder. 11 alien speceships hover around earth just a few feet above ground while Amy and Jeremy Renner attempt to communicate with them. It’s a thoughtful film and it’ll make you wonder just how would anybody relate to aliens (and vice versa) Like the Trump victory the world is in a state of shock over these visitors. No killings, violence or cheap cliches…a fine film. I forgot to add that like so many Special effects films nowadays it is photographed in a very dark style. (Saves money I guess)

DOCTOR STRANGE. I had to work very hard all through this latest Marvel Comic special effects spectacular to remind myself….it’s a comic book, it’s a comic book. etc. It doesn’t make any sense, there’s little logic in any character’s role and We get to see Benedict Cumberbatch do his American accent (it’s flawless). Not only does Cumbarbatch play Dr. Strange but Chiwetel Ejiofor, Rachel McAdams, and the always wonderful Tilda Swinton all do their damndest to out do any/all previous Marvel Comic special effects silliness. Dr. Stephen Strange’s hands are ruined in a car accident and he goes to Kathmandu and tons of mysticism to repair his surgeon’s hands. Go only if you truly believe in comic books…then you’ll love it.”

FANTASTIC BEASTS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM. The first Harry Potter spinoff from J.K. Rowling, and it’s only the first of four more Beast movies planned!! Eddie Redmayne and Colin Farrell are the only actors we know of. In this very dark, depressing, beast filled mistake.” Set in New York City in 1926 it lacks any semblence of the charm, magic, character or even cuteness of Harry Potter’s world of Hogwarts and vicinity. Special effects produced beast like snakes, octopii, Dragons, Hydras, and more than 85 different types according to Rowland’s book. Redmayne and Farrell aren’t given a chance to be likable or empathetic. You probably catch my drift…don’t go.



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 archived for two weeks… (See next paragraph) and go to “WWW.KZSC.ORG”. . December 13 has Jennifer Horne from UCSC’s Film Dept. discussing The National Film Registry choices” . PAMF’s Dr. Paul Ware follows Jennifer to tell us some of his theories about health and the role food plays. On December 20, author Lois Watson talks about her popular book, “Growing Up In Santa Cruz”. UCSC retiree Lincoln Taiz and Lee Taiz follow Lois and tell us about their new book, “Flora Unveiled” (plant” sex).  I’ll be on vacation Dec. 27 and Sylvanna Falcon from UCSC’s  Latin American and Latino Studies will interview UCSC Sociology professor Hillary Angelo. Starting the New Year properly on Jan. 3 Patricia Rain will be my guest telling us all about Vanilla. Then newly elected Santa Cruz City Council members Chris Krohn and Sandy Brown will give us previews of the future City Council issues. Do remember, any and all suggestions for future programs are more than welcome, so tune in, and keep listening. Email me always (and only) at “”  

I think I’ve shown you before that I like beatboxing. This guy is from Australia, and he’s amazing 🙂

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, UCSC Chancellor George Blumenthal, Anita Monga, Mark Wainer, Judy Johnson, 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. 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.


“Christmas isn’t a season. It’s a feeling”, Edna Ferber

“In the old days, it was not called the Holiday Season; the Christians called it ‘Christmas’ and went to church; the Jews called it ‘Hanukkah’ and went to synagogue; the atheists went to parties and drank. People passing each other on the street would say ‘Merry Christmas!’ or ‘Happy Hanukkah!’ or (to the atheists) ‘Look out for the wall!”, Dave Barry

“The main reason Santa is so jolly is because he knows where all the bad girls live”, George Carlin

“Oh look, yet another Christmas TV special! How touching to have the meaning of Christmas brought to us by cola, fast food, and beer….Who’d have ever guessed that product consumption, popular entertainment, and spirituality would mix so harmoniously?” Bill Watterson, “The Essential Calvin and Hobbes”

“If my Valentine you won’t be,
I’ll hang myself on your Christmas tree”.  Ernest Hemingway, “88 Poems”

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Deep Cover by Tim Eagan.

Posted in Weekly Articles | Comments Off on December 14 – 20, 2016

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