Blog Archives

December 21st, 2010 – January 4th, 2011

SANTA’S VILLAGE. May 9, 1959. (Right to left) Real reindeer, Santa Claus (aka Hocus Pocus), George Liberace (Liberace’s real brother) and some odd-looking Pee Wee Herman type guy. Santa’s Village opened in 1955 in Scotts Valley and went bankrupt in 1977. But the freeway sign is still there. Merry Christmas.

photo credit: Covello & Covello Historical photo collection.
Additional information always welcome: email

FIRST CARS EVER ARRIVE IN SANTA CRUZ. Historian, author and Editor Stan Stevens sent this… from the Santa Cruz Surf Feb 3, 1912
CARLOAD OF AUTOS ARRIVE AT THE DEPOT TODAY FROM DETROIT. A carload of Studebaker E.M.F. “20s” and Flanders “20s” for the local agent, J. O. Cedar, are being unloaded at the S. P. depot this afternoon. This is the first carload of automobiles ever shipped to Santa Cruz and speaks well for the prosperity of this city. The autos are from Detroit and are attracting much attention”.


Members of the Santa Cruz Group of the Sierra Club received an unusual mailer from County Treasurer Fred Keeley last week (click here to see it open in a new window) endorsing a slate of candidates (Casterson, Durham and Howerton ) for the annual Executive Committee election. Eyebrows shot up at the list of “celebrity endorsers” such as Gary Griggs and Rowland Rebele who aren’t known for any previous interest in or support for, Club committees, activities, processes or positions. Usually a low-key annual rite with candidates’ statements and pictures presented to members in the newsletter, the sudden surge of high-profile interest and investment in this year’s election generates a big “WHY?”

3 seats are open on the Executive Committee each year; with 3 candidates endorsed on the mailer, it appears that the goal is to “take out” the one incumbent (Pat Matejcek) who is running again. She is known for her staunch defense of the Arana Gulch Greenbelt and her support for the east-west bike route in the rail right-of-way and the route of the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary Scenic Trail and even more. Could the mailer’s endorsement of cyclists be only about Arana Gulch? Not bloody likely.

There are only 2 independent non-profit environmental organizations operating in Santa Cruz County – California Native Plant Society and The Sierra Club. Only their members and consultants evaluate proposed development projects, private and governmental, and comment on the environmental impacts, as required by the California Environmental Quality Act, the Coastal Act, the National Environmental Quality Act, the Clean Water and Clean Air Acts. These organizations are the only ones that function solely on members’ dues and receive no government funds. Only these organizations have sued when all other attempts to bring proposed projects into compliance with state and federal laws have failed.

The Sierra Club has never faced a concerted, manipulative effort to influence/co-opt Group members’ votes. Given the “high profile” of the local “celebrity endorsers”, several of whom just joined the Club in time to be able to get the list of members and vote in this election, this must have to do with far more than the fate of Arana Gulch or even of Pogonip. It’s about the Club’s integrity and history, on members’ ability and readiness to evaluate and comment appropriately on the flood of governmental and private projects coming forward – desalination, UC expansion, city and county General Plans, the Pajaro River watershed/flood control proposals, transportation projects, Poor Clares, Aptos Village, timber harvest plans, storm water plans, climate change proposals.

The initiator of the mailer Fred Keeley, a county staffer, has a history of political manipulation of national Sierra Club staff to quash the voices of members and the public on projects his business supporters want. For their sleazy moves like this mailer, may they get coal in their stockings and by ignoring the mailer they’ll get their just desserts.

CHRISTMAS, CLEVEREST CLIP I’VE SEEN. Welles B. Goodrich sent this in. Agnostics, Atheists, plus Christians and your best friends should love this clip.

PART TWO. In response to all of above Pat Matejcek sent the following:

Dear friends and colleagues in the Sierra Club-Santa Cruz Group:

I am asking for your vote so that I may continue to serve on the Executive Committee of the Santa Cruz Group. I believe the experience that I have gained while serving on the Executive Committee, as the Group’s Conservation Committee Chair, as a current member of the Pajaro River Watershed Committee, as past Political Committee member, as delegate to the California/Nevada Regional Conservation Committee and its annual Convention, as a member of the CA Coastal Committee and the Sierra Club California Nominating Committee, and the National Marine Action Team will continue to be useful to Club members in addressing the numerous and increasingly complex resource issues facing our County.

You may have received a mailer from Fred Keeley and a faction of bicycle/mountain bike advocates who are trying to hijack this election by recently joining the Sierra Club. The politicos are trying to assure the Santa Cruz Group’s compliance with the local political support for excessive growth and development, while the bicyclists are trying to develop support for putting paved bikeways through natural preserves like Nisene Marks in Aptos, and Arana Gulch and Pogonip in Santa Cruz.

None of the candidates endorsed by this mailer, except Keresha Durham, have ever been active in or with any of the local issues. Their mobilizing issues have been bikes in Arana Gulch and, recently, Pogonip, but any evidence of interest or capability beyond “bikes belong everywhere” and economic self-interest is not demonstrated in their candidates’ statements.

The ballot is on page 15 of the most recent Ventana newsletter. Put a check mark by my name, tear off the page and post the ballot as soon as possible – the deadline is JANUARY 2. See instructions at the top of page 15.

Thank you. Patricia Matejcek

THE GHOST OF MORTON MARCUS!!! Absolutely amazing, is what you’ll say if you’ve never seen or heard of JJ Webb and Beau Blue’s . Go there, and then click on “Stage Directory”. Then you’ll see all these sites with poet avatars reading their poems. Morton Marcus reads The Angel Incident inside “Stage Upstairs” . Good ol’ Mort does The Tooth Fairy there too. He performs Shouting Down The Silence if you open “Green Room”. Local poets like Ellen Bass and Robert Sward are in there too. Then again so are Al Young, William Carlos Williams, Kenneth Patchen, Nick Herbert, and Robert Bly.

CHRISTMAS SONGS FOR ATHEISTS. Over on AlterNet, Greta Christina says:
“What do you do if you’re an atheist who likes Christmas carols? It’s widely assumed that atheists, by definition, hate Christmas. And it’s an assumption I’m baffled by. I like Christmas. Lots of atheists I know like Christmas.” Read the rest and see her list of songs!

ELERICK’S INPUT. Wikileakers – no heroes of mine

I’m sure I’m out of step with most of my progressive brothers and sisters on this one, but in my opinion these Wikileakers are a bunch of spoiled-brat hackers. Ever since data-sharing, email, computer conferencing came about, it’s never been impossible to invade others privacy. Financial institutions and corporations in general have been burned many times, each time tightening up the access to “their data”.

Key words – THEIR DATA. We like to think our own computer data is safe from hackers too, our email files, documents, photos, and personal information, but it’s not. Most of us know that any time you hit “enter” on your computer keyboard, there’s a chance somebody is recording what you do. Anything you send or receive via the net has a good chance of being read by the world. Would any of the Wikileakers fan club like their personal information broadcast to the press?

The Wikileakers are expecting a hero’s welcome by the public for publishing some government files made available to them by an Army PFC. Nothing I’ve read about these “leaks” is shocking or unexpected. Of course the media is having a field day with this, much like they did with Tiger Woods’ sex life last year. Unfortunately, people in high places want their Wikileader declared a terrorist or worse, giving the movement the publicity they are after. The best thing that could happen to the Wikileakers is just ignore them and hope they’ll go away.

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

MOBIUS STRIP EXPLAINED. Mobius strips are fun but deep. Try these two attachments during a down time this week.

PATTON’S PROGRAM. Gary opens by wanting to create a Land Use Academy“. He carries on giving us lesson one on Land Use Decisions. Then he tells us about monks and bowing and judges and judicial deference. He gets involved with how we should elect the right people. He closes on Friday saying, We can provide the operations and maintenance our environment needs only by close attention, and diligent work. Actively participating in the governmental decision-making affecting our environment is one way to do that. Start thinking about that for the New Year coming! We can all probably do better”.

(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” )

EAGANS DEEP COVER. Again in full color Tim takes on talk shows…scroll below.

DAVE BRUBECK AT THE BLACKHAWK. Watch Mort Sahl as emcee with the young Brubeck who just turned 90 last week. Ken Koenig sent this clip.

LANDAU’S PROGRES. Just in time for the holidays and the roasting of Julian Assange Saul Landau gives us “The Wikileaks Cookbook” .

Read it all and here’s a sample… “Julian Assange should write a new cookbook, and a certain best-seller. Take a Leak* would offer not only recipes about what to do with that rarely used political vegetable, but also what not to do when preparing the diplomacy menu. President Obama’s “friends and allies” dinner guests, for example, could certainly take a leak – especially after dinner when they’ve drunk forbidden spirits and feel vulnerable. The Saudi royalty and other “moving slowly toward democracy” rulers in that vaguely Middle Eastern area, will not eat Congressional pork, but anything else the waiters put on their plates – and in their glasses — will inevitably draw compliments, no matter how the stuff tastes. These friends and allies never tell us the truth – are they even honest with their own multiple wives? – And we don’t care: they sell us oil and make sure the residents of their kingdoms, who detest us, don’t get a chance to vie for political power. Incidentally, those straightforward residents of the oily realms — the majority – possess different levels of negativity toward the Western world: ranging from violent hatred to murderous dislike. Don’t miss the rest of the Landau lumping”.

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

LISA JENSEN LINKS. This loonar week Lisa says, ” Don’t you love Christmas surprises? What’s under the tree at Lisa Jensen Online Express this week is so hush-hush, even I don’t know about it yet. But expect an update on the extended Art 4 Art show on the west side, some thoughts on holiday windows downtown, and more ideas for a cool Yule in Santa Cruz.

Lisa Jensen has been writing film reviews and a column for Good Times since 1975.

BLACK SWAN. A dark, arty drama starring Natalie Portman in her best acting role yet…and she’s done some very fine acting. Ballet is a demanding art and so is this film.

Tragedy, psycho drama, and as one friend said reminded her of Catherine Denueve and Roman Polanski’s Compulsion. See it only if you like very good movies.

FIGHTER. Not quite up to Raging Bull but still with Mark Wahlberg’s love of boxing, and Christian Bale’s award winning crack head role it is a well done film. These two guys even with such showy screen personas can’t top Amy Adams in her floozy barmaid part of the action. She does it all. Doubt, Julie & Julia, Sunshine Cleaning, Junebug, and she deserves an Oscar or something even better for Fighter.

I LOVE YOU PHILIP MORRIS. Ewan McGregor does cute, wimpy and gay like you can’t imagine and Jim Carrey acts out this true yet unbelievable story like we’ve never seen him before. There’ll be squirming in the audiences but it’s very well worth seeing…not with the visiting family for example.

TRON LEGACY. It’s really just a mind blowing collection of effects leading nowhere. Actors don’t act, plot is beyond comprehension, pointless, and it steals stuff from every good sci-fi movie ever made. Entire sets were copied from 2001, Star Wars, never mind just go if you have youngsters who are our for cheap thrills. But be sure to at least see it in 3D.

HOW DO YOU KNOW. Jack Nicholson looks and acts simply washed up in this lighter than air flick. What’s worse Owen Wilson is in the same boat and can’t act his way out of this asinine script either. Reese Witherspoon has a few cute dimply moments but this is a shameful waste of your hard earned money especially at this time of year.

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 on “blog”) at WWW.KZSC.ORG. UCSC Professor of History Dana Frank will be reporting on her latest Honduras trip on December 21st followed by County Supervisor Neal Coonerty telling us what’s the latest about our County especially District 3 and an update on the Cemex problem. December 28th will feature a re-broadcast of an earlier Grapevine while I drive back from Victorville. 2011 starts off on January 4th with Chris Kenney conservator of Paintings and owner of Mobius Art Conservation. Peter and Celia Scott follows on the 4th talking about The Campaign for Sensible Transportation and what’s new with that. Any and all suggestions for future programs are more than welcome so tune in and keep listening. Karen Kefauver will be back later in January and Kinan Valdez from El Teatro Campesino will be on in February. Any and all suggestions for future programs are more than welcome, so tune in and keep listening.

A CLASSIC “VINTAGE” DISNEY CARTOON. Dawn Gable sent this poignant and surprisingly meaningful Disney 1939 cartoon. She added, “Please take a look at this gem of a video… it really sums up the reasons why we all need to continue trying to bring about peaceful policies and rational relationships among all who share this beautiful earth and wondrous universe. Thanks to each of you for your unique and invaluable contribution. Have a Joyful and Peaceful New Year.

That goes for me too, I’ll be in Mar Vista and Victorville until the middle of next week. See you right back here the first week of January.

QUOTES. “There is less in this play than meets the eye“, Tallulah Bankhead. “I can take any amount of criticism, so long as it is unqualified praise”, Noel Coward. “Scratch an actor and you’ll find an actress”, Dorothy Parker


Deep Cover

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