Blog Archives

December 15 – 21, 2015

MORE SNOW ON PACIFIC AVENUE, 1957. Not much of this corner left anymore. It’s that Pacific and Front Street meeting Mission and Water Street. The Bank of the West is now where the beautiful McHugh & Bianchi Market was and everything else is gone.

photo credit: Covello & Covello Historical photo collection.

Additional information always welcome: email

DATELINE December 14, 2015

THE NICK, Del MAR, AND APTOS TWO DAY CLOSING. Remember that the three Nick theatres will be closed this Wed (12/16) and Thursday (12/17) as part of the Landmark Theatre group changeover. After some probing, I learned that it’s only because the staff at all three theatres needs to learn how to operate the Landmark computer system. Subscribers to the Nickelodeon Newsletter got an email from the Landmark Film Club last Monday (12/14) saying…

We are honored to welcome The Nick, Del Mar and Aptos to the Landmark Theatres family!

At Landmark, we view the Nickelodeon Theatres as a kindred spirit. We look forward to being able to continue to offer you diverse and entertaining film products in a sophisticated atmosphere. Our theatres showcase a wide variety of films—ranging from independent and foreign movies to Hollywood’s smartest releases. Landmark Theatres is the nation’s largest theatre chain dedicated to exhibiting and marketing independent film. We recognize that the Nickelodeon Theatres are local institutions, and we have no plans to change the features that make them unique. Look for an email from us with showtimes and more later this week.
Thank you for your support, and we’ll see you at the movies!


LINDA HOEGER THOMPSON’S GONE. Linda was a warm-hearted genuine artist, who had love for almost everybody. She died last week. She was serious about genealogy and had more friends than we’ll ever know. We’ll miss her.

MORE ABOUT GORDON PUSSER. I received many, many, heartfelt, loving tributes to our late friend Gordon Pusser. Jennifer Bragar’s was exceptional. She wrote:


Santa Cruz activists and politicians of a particular vintage have sat in Gordon’s living room planning the next tactical decision in land use battles and local campaigns. You experienced those intellectual exercises to formulate a strategy to make people aware of important land use decisions that would affect their daily lives, or to determine how often you had to get your name out in front of the voter to win an upset election. But, what made Gordon’s sessions stand out is that he opened his home and his heart to your cause. And even if you did not know him, his strategies had an impact on voters throughout the County.

Did you ever wonder how those political signs got mounted around the town electric poles in the late 1990s ? It was Gordon’s brainchild – he had the power of a personal copy machine and the resources to rent a cherry picker and knew a person who could post the signs. Meanwhile, he made sure the campaign stayed within the confines of the city’s sign regulations. If you were the candidate you can remember the awe of seeing your name plastered all over town the morning after the sign hanging occurred and you were glad to have Gordon on your side.

If, on the other hand, you were an opponent then you could sense the unspoken signal that Gordon had been up to something and your campaign had been hit hard – a favorite tactic being a mail piece featuring a highly critical deCinzo cartoon. To those of us loyal followers, we did the best we could to carry out Gordon’s fantastic visions for these campaign escapades.

Gordon loved the story of Mike Rotkin and Scott Kennedy being caught ripping campaign signs down near the west side Safeway in 1998 – almost as much as Bruce Bratton loves reporting on the surrounding events. It was great political moments like that when Gordon’s face would light up with a sparkle in his eyes and he’d be inspired to take more offensive action against campaign opponents.

The truth is, we knew him in his golden years when he took on fights he loved – saving Terrace Point, building renowned work/live artist space on Swift Street, and helping local campaigns – the three amigos, Bob Lee, and countless others. This after he’d spent a lifetime involved with the statewide Democratic Party and played important roles in the campaigns of San Francisco Mayor George Moscone, Senator Barbara Boxer, State Controller Ken Cory, and Governor Gray Davis. He knew all about name recognition and get out the vote tactics from all those years of experience and brought these talents to Santa Cruz. The City has not been the same since. Maybe you were there at a protest to save Terrace Point, maybe you were at the roasted lamb picnic he threw in Teresa’s honor, maybe you participated in a campaign run out at the ArtWorkSpace, or maybe Gordon simply touched you deeply. If he did, and you know who you are, continue his legacy and remain active. Most importantly be sure to teach the next generation how to engage in local politics, and in that way, you will build on Gordon’s legacy.

(Jennifer worked with Gordon on legal projects for years and he helped her start her land use and political consulting business, JB Associates, in 1999.


At the request of Aptos activists, the Board of Supervisors agreed to take the Aptos Village Plan approval off their consent agenda and held a public hearing on 12/8.

This one item (heard at 4:00 PM) filled about 80% of the BOS meeting room, with all but three speakers blasting the AVP. The three speakers were Barry Swenson’s attorney, the owner of Testorff Construction who expects to get the contract, and one fellow from Santa Cruz who “liked the project”. More that 20 spoke in opposition to the project despite being told they should only be commenting on the final map approval.

One group, Save Our Aptos, presented the results of an opinion survey mailed to four postal routes adjacent to the AVP. 360 people responded, with the vast majority expressing concern of traffic, water and movement away from what they liked about Aptos. The public input took over a hour, and was proceeded by a brief presentation by the group’s attorney who pointed out the deficiencies in the “final map”, and the short time it was made available to the public, one day before appearing on the BOS agenda. For those interested in exactly what happened, an audio version of this meeting will eventually appear on the County’s website.

After a short deliberation with county staff and legal, the Board unanimously approved the map in question. You might ask what was their reasoning? They were told that if the County Surveyor has approved the map, and he did, nobody could challenge anything that was included in the map, and their action was only “ministerial”. I think that word should be changed to “waste of time”. AVP continues to plod along – stayed tuned.

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).



Each semester I am invited to give a guest lecture on rape for three classes at Cabrillo College. It’s a highlight of the year for me. The students of all genders and ethnicities inspire optimism with their depth of thought, keen insights and desire to create a future free from male sexual violence. (98% of sexual assaults are committed by males, 2% by females). One theme explored is the silencing that has historically surrounded rape: how such silencing keeps those who are raped stigmatized and prevents a community from tackling rape prevention with the urgency it demands. For an example, I shared the recent City Council/Santa Cruz Police Department (SCPD) joint study session, which took place on November 3rd. At this meeting we were treated to about 3 hours of power point and presentations from the chief and deputy chiefs with council questions and comments prior to public testimony. During this time rape was never mentioned beyond its initial inclusion in the list of violent crimes, despite the fact that the rate of reported rape increased from 33 in 2013 to 63 in 2014. When I had a chance to speak during public testimony I urged council to consider it a red flag that the rate of reported rape had almost doubled and that 2015 appears to be on a similar upward trend. The response? Silence. Nothing. No comment. No question directed at the police chief and nothing offered from his end. Since that time I emailed a request to Chief Vogel to meet to discuss the issue of reported rape. No response. This deliberate silencing is nothing new. In the mid-eighties, I evaluated Santa Cruz city police reports on rape and submitted a report to council detailing problems with training, investigation and follow-through. The report was shelved.

In 2006 I was chair of the city’s commission dealing with rape and domestic violence and we presented an in-depth report detailing the high incidence of reported rape, the high incidence of rapes committed by strangers (17% nationally, 60% in Santa Cruz), the poor quality of many investigations and the low incidence of arrests. This time the report garnered vehement opposition from SCPD. Their spokesperson misled the council comparing apples and oranges. I was blacklisted from the commission. The report was shelved.

The high incidence of rape in Santa Cruz (reported rape is a fraction of the full incidence) and the fact that many rapes are committed by strangers, is not something the tourist industry wants broadcast. Similar to the movie Jaws, this information is being kept under wraps. Dissimilar to Jaws, the invisible predator in our town is not part of a movie. When did you last read of a reported rape in the local newspaper? Yet, according to online police data, there is a rape reported in Santa Cruz city almost weekly. We cannot do meaningful work to prevent rape in a climate of silencing.

After my remarks drawing attention to the invisibility of the almost 100 percent increase in reported rape, the council announced that the next topic for the safety sub-committee would be the up-tick in bicycle thefts. ( 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).

PATTON’S PROGRAM. Gary’s abbreviated KUSP Land Use Reports for this week include..

There is no policy document of more importance, where land use is concerned, than a local community’s General Plan. The General Plan is properly called the community’s “Constitution for land use,” since every planning decision, and every local ordinance and regulation, must be “consistent” with the local General Plan. That’s what state law requires. And there is probably no land use issue of more importance to our local communities than housing, and particularly affordable housing, housing that can be afforded by average and below average income families and individuals.


GROUNDWATER MANAGEMENT. I follow water issues in both Monterey and Santa Cruz County. Land use, transportation, and water policy all go together. From the point of view of “land use,” I would say the main idea is to make sure that commitments aren’t made to new development unless there is a clear way to provide necessary water. Additionally, new developments should really only be approved if the development, as proposed, won’t overstress, even further, the transportation networks that serve our local communities.

If you think that’s a “good” approach (a “common sense” approach, some might say), and if you don’t think that kind of approach to development is currently being taken by the local government agencies representing you, then maybe you should get more personally involved in the land use, water, and transportation decisions made by local government. As I say from time to time, stimulating that kind of personal participation is the “unhidden agenda” of the Land Use Report. In today’s blog posting, at, I have a link to an article on groundwater management in Monterey County. It’s worth reading. It could also be well worth your time to get personally involved. One person who is personally involved sent me an email, saying that independent and mutual well owners in rural areas should have a voice in managing groundwater. That’s not now the plan, but it does sound like a pretty good idea to me! More Information: Land Use Links Gary Patton’s Two Worlds Blog Article InMonterey County Herald on Groundwater Management 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. DeCinzo points a ink loaded missile at familiar targets. See below

TIM EAGAN STUFF…Every week for years now Tim Eagan has been sending us his brilliant, clever insightful cartoons. He draws and thinks more than these. Go here and join up to stay abreast of his latest thoughts.More than that, I’ve always though his Subsconscious Comics were among the finest cartoon strips we’ll ever see. Go here to catch up on those. below to see a non-jocular supporter of that flaming red-hair candidate.

MUNCHING WITH MOZART THURSDAY. This is a great and free live performance that happens in the upstairs meeting room of the Santa Cruz Public Library on the third Thursday of every month.

Carol Panofsky (oboe, baroque oboe, recorder) organizes these noon to 1 p.m. concerts and they are sponsored by the Friends of the Santa Cruz Public Libraries. Carol said in an email…” MunchMo provides a venue for musicians who want to work up a solo program, try out a new violin in public, or put together something a little different without a lot of pressure. I have also given opportunities to advanced students to play their competition/audition repertoire for a live, appreciative audience. As regards the audience, going to a formal concert with a friend is $50, minimum. Add in dinner, at least $100. Plus driving at night. And dressing up. This is too big an investment unless you know up front that you are going to really love what you hear. Library concerts are 40-50 minutes long and free–not a big risk. Parking can be found. You can come on your lunch hour. It is next to the childrens’ room at the library. How else can we expose the little ones to live music? There have been occasional complaints about children and lunches (especially if there are onions or things that crunch…), but that is really the whole point. Concerts are informal and accessible. There is no money involved. Musicians are not paid and concerts are free. No fund raising. No grants. No mailings. No thank you letters. The Friends of the Public Libraries staff the door and tune the piano a few times a year. I, in the name of The Santa Cruz Branchof the California Music Teachers’ Association, find the musicians, make up the printed programs, and set up the chairs. The weekend before the concert, I send out an email to everybody who has asked to be on the list. This Thursday (12/17) is “Celebrate Piano Ensemble”. You’ll hear music by Mozart, Dvorak, Borodin, Debussy, Gruber and of course Jingle Bells. Because it’s wonderful and free, you better get there early if you want to sit down.

LISA JENSEN LINKS. Lisa writes: “Want to celebrate the holidays without all the hysteria? I share one radical idea on how to do it this week at Lisa Jensen Online Express ( Also, find out why editing a book is not for sissies.” Lisa has been writing film reviews and columns for Good Times since 1975.


MACBETH. It’s about this guy and his wife, and 4 not 3, witches. Michael Fassbender’s natural German accent added to his hard job of sounding Scottish doesn’t make this an easy film to follow. Marion Cotillard is as good as possible as Lady Macbeth but the extra dark, moody, severly altered script is an extra challenge. But at least it’s nowhere near as laugh producing as Santa Cruz Shakespeae’s insane, inane, poor production last year.I couldn’t see any justification or any significant reason to re-make this film. Plus, it’s extra bloody and violent.

HEART OF THE SEA. It’s about this whale, sort of an early Jaws, look- a- like movie. Supposedly it’s like a prequel to Moby Dick. It’s got some great scenes and interesting moments but it isn’t put together in any logical or interesting way. You can skip this one too.


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 then falls in love with an Italian (very Italian) young man. That seems to be ok but she has to return to Ireland on a visit and falls in love with a young Irish (very) young man. It’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 Draper’s dark- haired sexy wife in Mad Men.

HEART OF A DOG. You’ll have to see this film/poem/saga/ meditation if you are a fan and follower of Laurie Anderson’s works. She tells a story in home movies about her family, death, music, and plenty of her personal artwork. She wowed and stunned us here in Santa Cruz years ago when she appeared and performed with the Cabrillo Music Festival under Dennis Russell Davies in 1979 when she was almost unknown. ( that was the same year that Garret List performed here, but you should never mention that one ). See this grand film and see it quickly.

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 5 year old 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, and give Trembly any acting award you might have.

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%!!!

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.

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 “MissYou 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.

CHI-RAQ. It took me 10 minutes to catch on that the title of this Spike Lee film is really “Chicago-Iraq”. Jennifer Hudson, D.B.Sweeney, Wesley Snipes and especially Samuel. L. Jackson do great jobs as players/actors in Lee’s adaptation of the Greek tragedy Aristophanes’ “Lysistrata,” which was first performed in 411 B.C. It’s mixed up, hard to follow, and suddenly you get the message about Chicago and our world today. It becomes powerful, meaningful and a proud adition to Spike Lee’s growing list of important films. Go see it.

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.

KRAMPUS.This is a genuine mess of an attempt at a horror film. Poor local Harbor High graduate Adam Scott. He once again was given a script that gives him zero chances to use his acting skills. Krampus is a bad Christmas spirit and a fine serious tradition if you believe in that stuff but this cheap effects, poorer animation in spots, it’s a waste of you time…and money, Save both.

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 differences 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, (live only or archived for two weeks… (See next paragraph) and go to WWW.KZSC.ORG. to date we have… 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, Michel Singher talks about the Espressivo Orchestra Concert happening on Jan. 7th. I’m on vacation Dec. 29. Then on Jan. 5th Alexandra Kennedy talks about life and suicide. She’s followed by author, physicist, quantum realist, Nick Herbert. On January 12 actors Scott Kravitz and Mar Nae Taylor discuss this years “8 x 10’s @ 8″ plays playing Jan. 8- Feb. 7. 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.

QUOTES. “For after all, the best thing one can do when it’s raining is to let it rain”. Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. “As against having beautiful workshops, studios, etc., one writes best in a cellar on a rainy day”, Van Wyck Brooks. “It will never rain roses; when we want to have more roses we must plant more trees”, George Eliot. “There is little chance that meteorologists can solve the mysteries if weather until they gain an understanding of the mutual attraction of rain and weekends”, Arnot Sheppard.


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Deep Cover by Tim Eagan.

Posted in Weekly Articles | Comments Off on December 15 – 21, 2015

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