Blog Archives

December 21, 2011 – January 2, 2012

OUR TOWN CLOCK’S ORIGINAL POSITION ON JULY 27, 1964. This shows the removal of the clock from high atop the International Order of Odd Fellows Building on Pacific Avenue. It went from here to sit in Harvey West Park for 10 years before Gene Corridon with financial help and guidance from Bob Darrow, got it re-situated in 1975. Check out the more formal and detailed history here…

photo credit: Covello & Covello Historical photo collection.

Additional information always welcome: email

SUPPORT THE REAL SIERRA CLUB. Paul Elerick and many Sierra Club members and friends sent in the following bulletin and data. It’s important enough to lead off this week’s column…


Attention Sierra Club Members – Keep the Sierra Club Strong and Independent

In the critical Santa Cruz Group of the Sierra Club election this December please vote for Kevin Collins, Dennis Davie, and Mark Sullivan. Their credentials are printed in this month’s Ventana Newsletter.The Santa Cruz Group of the Sierra Club is the oldest and largest independent environmental group in Santa Cruz County. Locally, the Sierra Club has been effective in challenging policy-makers on many conservation issues, including zoning and land use, timber harvest plans, biodiversity ,transportation, open space, water use, storm water management, oceans and fisheries, and climate change.

These successes are now at risk. A coalition of groups that support many projects that the Sierra Club opposes is attempting to take over the Executive Committee of the Sierra Club in the board election this December. This could silence a critically important independent voice in local conservation efforts.

If you believe that the Sierra Club should keep its historic focus on protecting wildlife and wild lands, please join me in supporting the current Executive Committee members, Kevin Collins, Dennis Davie, and Mark Sullivan in their bid for re-election.

If you are a Sierra Club member, you should have received your Ventana Newsletter by now, it has been mailed to Sierra Club members. Please complete the ballot on the back page, and mail the original per the instructions on the ballot page, (not a copy) before January 5. If you have a joint membership, remember that you can vote twice.

If you are not a Sierra Club member, you can help by forwarding this message to your friends that are members or have friends that are members. For more details on this takeover attempt, click here.

(Paul Elerick is thechair 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).

MORE ON SIERRA CLUB TAKEOVER. Paul Elerick’s link, and this one, takes you to a story in Santa Cruz Indy Media. The article, “Bicycle Wars: Cycling advocates seek control of Santa Cruz County Sierra Club” contains statements such as, ” But in a move that has some long time Sierra Club members crying foul, cycling advocacy groups are running a slate of three candidates for the board of the Santa Cruz County Group of the Sierra Club in the December election. This would be the second cyclist-sponsored candidate slate in two years, and is expected to decide control of the Santa Cruz Group Executive Committee. And, “The candidates have no prior history of volunteering for the Sierra Club, but do have extensive ties to local cycling advocacy groups. Tawn Kennedy is coordinator of Green Ways to School, a K-12 education project that is funded by a grant through People Power and the Hub for Sustainable Transportation. Greg McPheeters is the immediate past Chair of the Silicon Valley Bicycle Coalition, and Mary Odegaard joined People Power in advocating for the King Street bike boulevard. The trio is attempting to unseat the current Santa Cruz Group Executive Committee Chair, Kevin Collins, a long time Sierra Club forestry activist, as well as the Forestry Committee Chair, Dennis Davie, and the Secretary / Treasurer, Mark Sullivan, a local environmental attorney”. Read that entire Indy Media piece. It tells about Arana Gulch, the bicycle path through Pogonip, King Street’s bike boulevard, and more of Posner’s plots.

MICAH POSNER & PEOPLE POWER. I should have charged a dollar for every person who’s asked me about Micah Posner and his 350-500 member People Power club in the last year. Lately the questions center on Posner being one of the folks behind using the upcoming election to stack the Sierra Club with pro-development people. Check out People Power website at . Now YOU can look for their non profit status, look for what happens to monies “donated” to People Power, how much does Micah take home? Do they have 350 members or 500 members? The P.P. website claims both! Do they donate $100 each? Why does Micah’s name creep into each development scheme around the County? I can’t figure it out. One deal/reason is that IF those pro-development people over take and outnumber the environmentally committed Sierra Club members there won’t be the Sierra Club opposing those developers deals and the toady’s that go with them.

LAND TRUST VICTORY PARTY??? What’s really happening behind the scenes of that Cemex Deal up in Davenport? The highly trained BrattonOnline spies reported that just last week That the Land Trust threw a victory party up in Davenport, that was nice, but how come County Supervisor Neal Coonerty wasn’t invited and Janet Webb, the president of Big Creek Lumber did get an invite?

Satchmo singing…what else?

MONSTER ATTACKS SMITH GRADE. Bonny Doon neighbors plus The Rural Bonny Doon Association, The Native Plant Society and Back Ranch Road folks are have started their own firestorm over Robert Mansfield’s plans to build a monster house on Smith Grade. Bob is Senior VP of Hardware Engineering at Apple. Check him out at the Apple website Depending on how you look at it, and it’s so big you’ll be forced to look at it, Mansfield is planning on a 9,300 square foot mansion. He’s planning on it being four stories high!! That includes his 4 “barns”, and his basement theater. They erected “story poles” last week and everyone from Empire Grade to Back Ranch Road and miles around are very angry, and worried because the CEQA comment period ends this Wednesday, and the planning dept hearing is scheduled for January 20th. As one neighbor stated “the story poles show the outlines of the facade, four stories high on a promontory visible from many locations all over the north coast. One issue is an Open Space Easement attached to the property in 1981, which was signed by Gary Patton as our Supervisor at that time” This invasion could happen to you and your property next month, tell the County Planning Department what you think about your environment, your neighborhood and our County before it’s too late.

CHICKEN WIRE MONSTER MACHINE. Trained docent Ken Sievers sent this clip of a genuine chicken wire making machine. Ken noticed that the late Barney Bricmont and I both handled that stuff at Orchard Supply Hardware. Before Orchard I did the same job at Eastside Hardware working for Ted Giubbini back in 1970. But who remembers Eastside Hardware anyways??? Barrios Unidos is at the Eastside location now. Look below for the clip of a barbed wire machine…geez!!

FAREWELL BERT MUHLY. I first met Bert and Lois Muhly at Jim and Katie Heth’s house when Lois was teaching at Soquel. Burt was one of the first people I called to connect with in our fight to stop P.G. & E. from building their Nuclear Power plant up in Davenport. We remained on the same side of almost every local progressive political issue for over 40 years. Bert always talked a lot and when he was scheduled to speak at Leon Panetta’s first local fundraiser for Congress way back in 1976 at Paul Dragavon’ s house I printed “Bert Muhly…brief political update 2:00 p.m.-4:15 p.m.”. He and I laughed about that nearly forever. More than being missed, Bert was essential.

BARBED WIRE MACHINE. Be very afraid of watching this clip!!! The accompanying music either makes the device nearly sexual, or it’s time for a vacation.

PATTON’S PROGRAM. Gary warns that a “Fresh and Easy” grocery store is moving into Monterey. He pleads with us to get involved next year with land use issues and the setting of local policies. He talks about a Bill Monning Bill and praises the many gifts that Bert Muhly gave our community. Read all of Gary’s weekly KUSP scripts 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”

(Editors note; Fresh and Easy Grocery Stores are owned by TESCO. Tesco is British owned and is the third largest retailer in the world after Wal-Mart and Carrefour Hypermarkets. Tesco now has stores in 14 countries around the world. Santa Cruz will probably be next!!)

SANTA CRUZAN LU WATTERS…an early recording.

LU WATTERS BIRTHDAY. Lucius “Lu” Watters was one of Santa Cruz’s most famous musicians. He was born here on December 19. His trumpet style and love of Jelly Roll Morton style jazz made Lu the leader of the San Francisco jazz revival back in 1949 through the 50’s. Turk Murphy, Bob Scobey, Clancy Hayes and sometimes even Woody Allen on clarinet played his arrangements. Bruce Engelhardt sends this…Hi Bruce E. “All the Jazz programs out here are celebrating and playing the music of Santa Cruz’s own Lucius “Lu” Watters as the centenary of his birth fall on the 19th of December. Anything happening in Santa Cruz?
To BrattonOnline…” The note above is from my friend Tony Dunn who lives in Airey’s Inlet, which I believe is in Victoria state in southern Australia. It’s a coastal community. He’s a big traditional jazz fan, plays jug and sings with the Gut Bucket Jug Band and is a recently retired economics teacher at the equivalent of our city college which is located in Melbourne. If the Watters he’s speaking of is the founder of Dixieland jazz in San Francisco (out of which sprang Turk Murphy), his birthday should be noted and celebrated in Santa Cruz but so far, I’ve seen and read nothing about it. Perhaps we should organize some sort of celebration or commemoration for Watters next year. I was embarrassed to report back to Tony that I heard and read no mention at all about Watters’ birthday in Santa Cruz in this or past years. Bruce Engelhardt. I agree about us not doing anything to salute Lu Watters. How great to have one of the 10,000 ukulele artistes at least dedicate an evening to his music, or name a development or some meeting room in one of the four new hotels going up…after him!!! Why not???

ANCHOR IN ANTARCTICA. Our cold on the outside/warm on the inside correspondent sends season’s shivers…

“We celebrate holidays according to traditions that have sprung up at Palmer Station since it opened in 1968, each season’s crew tweaking the customs carried over from previous years. All of them have a very “handmade” flavor because we don’t go shopping for gifts or decorations at the local mall. Someone made our menorah from brass plumbing parts, for instance– it’s beautiful, if a bit heavy. The stockings come from recycling bits our everyday life: mesh nets used to catch krill samples, scraps of Carhart work pants, produce bags from the freshies.

The true highlight of the season is the Christmas gift exchange, when we employ our unique talents to create fantastic, one-of-a-kind gifts that we then use to torture one another. Everyone has a chance either to open a gift from under the plastic pine tree or to steal one already opened by someone else. Because the gifts range from stunning to so-so, the emotional roller coaster picks up momentum with every round of unwrapping (and of homemade eggnog) until no packages remain. I lost a gorgeous graphite drawing of seal in a handmade frame in the final round last year, and instead walked away with a package of hot chocolate powder. I would feel silly hanging a picture on the wall of my storage unit, anyway.

One day, I hope to celebrate Christmas at the South Pole with The Anti-Santa Claus– a worker with a naturally white beard who dresses up in a black Santa outfit, a mirror-image of the North Pole original, and runs around station playing pranks. He’s normally a quiet guy, I’m told. He simply understands that some jokes require such rare and precise conditions for the setup that you have a clear obligation to put the punch line in the proper place if you ever find yourself There to make them.

…Holidays spent “on ice” remind us of the simple truth– no matter how long we stay here, Antarctica is not Home. Christmas in particular has a special power to point out everything and everywhere that Palmer Station is not– a home with a partner, visiting aging parents or grown children, and out with friends you’ve known since childhood. Here will never be There, and we cannot recreate the rituals of holidays spent at out respective homes. So why try?”

(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. Monster homes get the DeCinzo holiday spirit…scroll down.


EAGANS DEEP COVER. Tim E. and animal friends warm up to global warming…see below.

THE NUTCRACKER ON A GLASS HARMONICA. The Shadowbrook’s Ted Burke sent this holiday gem. It says glass harp but it’s really an updated copy of Benjamin Franklins’ glass harmonica. Ted says he’s never tried it in the restaurant….maybe next year?

LANDAU’S PROGRES. Saul’s provocative article title is “Where’s Captain Hook in NPR’s Peter Pan”. In it he writes…”Operation Peter Pan (recall the Disney film?) used Cuban kids and parents to further their goal: overthrowing the revolutionary government. NPR’s claim of “no evidence” of CIA involvement would have dissolved had they asked Veciana or questioned why the CIA still refuses to release its 1,500 plus documents on that Operation – while de-classifying archives on the Bay of Pigs and the 1962 Missile Crisis”. There’s plenty more about this patently evil plot; read it all here…

Saul Landau’s WILL THE REAL TERRORIST PLEASE STAND UP – available on DVD from . Nelson Valdes came to Florida in Operation Peter Pan and is Professor Emeritus at the University of New Mexico. Saul Landau is an Institute for Policy Studies fellow whose films are on DVD from

3 DIMENSIONS & YOUR BASIC SIDEWALK. Artist Ray Ginghofer sends this link to a cool new art form…

LISA JENSEN LINKS. Lisa (in her theatrical voice) humbly requests….”Clear the decks in your holiday schedule, and put on your dancing shoes, for one of the absolutely best movies of the year. I rave all about The Artist, and examine some of its silent-era forebears, this week at Lisa Jensen Online Express ( Lisa Jensen has been writing film reviews and a column for Good Times since 1975.

YOUNG ADULT. Charlize Theron must love to “play ugly” then change into her glamour self…she does that a lot and does it big time in Young Adult. It’s an “interesting” film and she plays a disturbed, alcoholic, partly funny children’s book writer. I liked it, it keeps you wondering, she’s always great to look at, and I hope she doesn’t win anything for this role.

SHERLOCK HOLMES: A GAME OF SHADOWS. Camping and flapping it up Robert Downey Jr. and Jude Law repeat and even add more silliness to this series in #2. The first Downey/Law/Holmes flick made nearly ½ billion dollars…that’s why there’s number 2, surely to be followed by guess what? It isn’t quite as silly as I expected but unlike the almost 235 Sherlock Holmes films listed on IMDB dating back to silents in 1908 and 1916 which take Holmes very seriously, this is just for fun. No one could follow the plot, there’s no tension, no suspense, and nobody tries to act. If that’s your favorite type film go for it.

WHO THE HELL IS JULIET. If you care about Cuba or appreciate excellent documentaries, this 1997 film breaks all the rules. Juliet is a 16 year old prostitute the director met while filming a story of a famous model’s life in Havana. Ten stars at least, it’s fresh, wild, free flowing and has a life rarely seen in films. It took two years to film, and its well worth renting. Go to East Cliff Video to rent it.

STUDENT SERVICES. Another DVD gem from Cedar Street Video. This 2011 French film is about a beautiful student who can’t afford college tuition (one of 40,000 young women in France) who work as occasional prostitutes. Excellent film, produced by IFC. Rent it locally. It wasn’t widely if ever, shown in the USA.


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. Forest critic Jodi Frediani talks about Cemex on December 20, then Pat Matecjek talks about the recent Arana Gulch decision and developments. (I’m taking December 27th off and we’ll do a re-play of UCSC Prof. Winifred Frick talking about Brown Bats and Gray Hayes detailing local effects of global warming). 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 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. Hear them all!!!

QUOTES. “Be always at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let each new year find you a better man”, Benjamin Franklin. “New Year’s Day: Now is the accepted time to make your regular annual good resolutions. Next week you can begin paving hell with them as usual”, Mark Twain. “Time has no divisions to mark its passage; there is never a thunder-storm or blare of trumpets to announce the beginning of a new month or year. Even when a new century begins it is only we mortals who ring bells and fire off pistols”, Thomas Mann. “New Year’s eve is like every other night; there is no pause in the march of the universe, no breathless moment of silence among created things that the passage of another twelve months may be noted; and yet no man has quite the same thoughts this evening that come with the coming of darkness on other nights”, Hamilton Wright Mabie


Deep Cover by tim eagan.

Posted in Weekly Articles | Comments Off on December 21, 2011 – January 2, 2012