Blog Archives

December 26, 2013 – January 6, 2014

THE FABLED COOPER HOUSE 1971. Once upon a time (1915) this was our County Courthouse. Located at Pacific and Cooper Streets. It became our beloved and much used Cooper House in the early 1970’s. With great stores, restaurant, and the Oak Room Bar. It was retrofitted BEFORE the 1989 earthquake but the City Council allowed it to be destroyed for financial reasons. The City has never been the same since. O’Neills is there now.

photo credit: a Shmuel Thaler photograph

Additional information always welcome: email


DATELINE December 22, 2013

Bratton Online. I’m taking my usual one and a half weeks vacation from BrattonOnline and Universal Grapevine. Bratton Online will be back up the week of January 6. Universal Grapevine will be back on KZSC fm January 7th with Audrey Stanley and Bill Richter talking about Shakespeare Santa Cruz and “PLAY ON”. So nothing on MAH this week and I’m getting the now predictable reactions like “thanks for doing this”. Have a Happy Holiday Time, drive safely, send me radio program ideas, send me anything you want to send…I love hearing from you all. In the meantime, I’ll be in Mar Vista and Victorville for a week. Somebody has to go to Victorville!!!

GARY PATTON SUMS UP OUR DE-SAL BATTLE. See the link below to link to Gary Patton’s website. In it he said some extra-wise things such as…”The politics of the City of Santa Cruz cannot really be called “progressive” nowadays, at least not with respect to the way the City Council conducts its business. An article in Dec.20 edition of the Santa Cruz Sentinel reminded me of just how far we have come. The title of the article (in the print edition) is “Applicants sought for new water panel.” The story is about how the City Council will soon establish a new “citizen-led advisory panel that will study water supply and management options for at least the next year.”

The establishment of this new advisory group is billed as a way to “reset” the City’s conversation with the public about water supply issues. Since at least 2008, the year The Leftmost City was published, the City has been completely dedicated to the construction of a costly and energy-intensive desalination plant. Efforts to get the City to consider “alternatives” have been routinely and summarily dismissed by the Council. Earnest members of the public would get up at Council meetings, and make their case, and once they had exhausted their two minutes at the podium, begging for the City to consider alternatives, the Council would then move on, totally ignoring all these pleas that the City give “alternatives” a real chance….thats just the beginning read the rest at this link…it’s important Patton’s KUSP Land Use site Gary is a former Santa Cruz County Supervisor, and an attorney who represents individuals and community groups on land use and environmental issues. The opinions expressed are Mr. Patton’s. Gary has his own website, “Two Worlds / 365?

YOUR PERSONAL DIALECT MAP. Maybe it was Nada Miljkovic or Andrea Webster who found this stunning dialect map. I didn’t believe it, but after 25 questions it nailed my accent as Buffalo or Rochester, New York!!! 100 % right on…and no spam or sales tricks either. Give it a whirl yourself, right here!

BBC Documentary of Mary Poppins- P.l. Travers. 58 minutes long. There’s a lot of stuff that’s in Saving Mr Banks but hear the true story…it dceals with the integrity, heartbreak, and

Reality that the movie forgot.

ELERICK’S INPUT. We’re giving Paul and his weekly input, output and wide ranging takes on that part of the county a break until the week of January 6th. (Paul Elerick is co-chair, along with Peter Scott, of the Campaign for Sensible Transportation, , and is a member of Nisene 2 Sea, a group of open space advocates).

CLASSICAL DE CINZO. The ever timely and timeless DeCinzo has a Dickens of a time with UCSC…scroll below

EAGANS DEEP COVER. Eagan exposes John Boener’s inner self. I think John Boener is like he is because he had to go through grade school with a name like that….remember what they did with your name ??? scroll down.

LISA JENSEN LINKS.Lisa’s off this week too, be sure to check out her website. Lisa Jensen Online Express ( Lisa Jensen has been writing film reviews and a column for Good Times since 1975.

DOUG McCLELLAN’S RETROSPECTIVE. There’s a big show of Doug’s paintings, collages, sculpture, digital works and poetry opening January 3rd at Michaelangelo Gallery 1111-A River Street, Santa Cruz, CA (831-426-5500) Gallery Hours: Sat. & Sun. 12-4 or by appointment. The press release says, “Doug McClellan, Santa Cruz Artist of the Year in 1992, was one of the founders of the UCSC Art Department where he served as chairman during its early years. His exhibiting career spans the last 65 years, with 12 one-man shows and a string of etceteras. . He taught art for 37 years at art Institutes, colleges and UCSC. His art has been widely exhibited including solo shows in northern and southern California, and group exhibitions on the east and west coasts, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York and the Library of Congress in Washington, DC. At age 70, after a long stint as a painter/sculptor and several eras of teaching visual art, he started writing poetry again, “aided largely by the computer with its cut-and-paste-permissiveness.” He is the author of seven slender volumes of poems. The latest is So Many Chairs (Many Names Press, 2013).He currently alternates between digital collage and poetry. The show runs through the month of January.


……In order of perfection……

THE AMERICAN HUSTLE. Clever, smart, twisted, greatly acted, and even more clever. What more can you ask from a film?Seeing Amy Adams as a very sexy babe is a long ways from her princess role in Enchanted. Christian Bale, Christian Bale, Bradley Cooper, Jeremy Renner and even Robert DeNiro keep the level of who’s conning whom at a fever and funny pitch. It’s a circus version of the real ABSCAM scandal that took down a bunch of politicians. I really meant the word clever. See it asap.


(from BEST 2 worst)

12 YEARS A SLAVE. This film has received dozens of nominations for Awards, and well deserved. It’s a hard hitting, brutal, honest, surprising film. It is also beautifully acted, well cast, and a film you won’t forget for a very long time. Chiwetel Ejiofor is a magnificient actor and carries the film. Benedict Cumberbatch, Paul Dano, and Paul Giamatti do good jobs but it’s Ejiofor you’ll think about a lot. It’s a true story written by the central character in the pre-civil war days. Just see this film…now.

PHILOMENA. I saw this beautifully touching film again 2 weeks ago just to make sure it was/is that good…it is. Judi Dench is never less than wonderful in her wide ranging roles. How she pulls off this true story of a human, less than brilliant mother looking for her orphaned son is magnificient. In case you wonder…Steve Coogan does NOT turn out to be her son. Go see it asap.

NEBRASKA. Bruce Dern plays an almost 80 year old geezer who gets suckered by a million dollar Publishers Warehouse type con and goes on this father/son road movie through Nebraska to collect it. It’s funny at times but it’s also mean, ageist, and cruel. Alexander Payne makes films like that. Dern plays a character named Woody Grant, that’s Grant Wood spelled differently. See it but be prepared.

INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS. Llewyn is pronounced “Lou-enn” and is the Coen Brothers newest creation. F. Murray Abraham, John Goodman, Carey Milligan, and Justin Timberlake are part of the cast, the lead is Oscar Isaac and they do magnificient acting jobs. If you know or care about the 1961 New York and Chicago folk music scene and specifically about Dave Van Ronk you’ll love this film.It’s not as crazy or funny as Oh Brother, Where Art Thou. The plot ambles as much as the folk singer guitarist lead character and the plot is as pointless as his life seems to be. You’ll get out of the film exactly as much as you put into it.

SAVING MR. DISNEY. This film will grab you more the older you are or in direct proportion to the amount of attachment you have to the Disney world. I have a lot of attachment to Disney. Seeing Fantasia as a young boy changed my life by introducing me to classical music. Snow White, Pinocchio, even Dumbo were some of my favorite child memories. That means I cried a lot during Saving Mr. Banks. I made sure that the first film my daughter Hillary saw in a theatre was when I took her to see Mary Poppins. Emma Thompson deserves an award for playing Mrs. P.L. Travers author of Mary Poppins. I could go on for paragraphs about this film, just go see it. Maybe you don’t know that Walt Disney was not only a chain smoker but he swore constantly, a genuine foul mouth. Somewhere I have a photo of Walt sucking on a cigarette at our very own Boardwalk when he came here to get ideas for the Autoland Ride at Disneyland.

DALLAS BUYERS CLUB. No doubt about it Mathew McConaughey stars in and steals most, but not all of this film. What’s odd is that I ended up thinking more about and reacting to Jared Leto’s superb job inplaying the transvestite role. Jennifer Garner and Steve Zahn are perfect in their roles too. It’s a fine film, but it is such a tour de force , so completely laid out, so perfectly designed that I never “got into” the film. It’s a spectacle, so in your face, no subtlety. And it’s an award winner for sure.

HUNGER GAMES; CATCHING FIRE. Did you ever arrive late for something and then wonder what’s been going on before you got there? That’s how I felt about Hunger Games Catching Fire. I did see Hunger Games, the first one and it was exciting but I didn’t memorize or even remember much of it. So go warned about this sequel. Who are their friends, who will kill you…and more importantly WHY the killing?… are some questions this epic leaves you with. It’s exciting and sci-fi scenic, but I couldn’t get into it…or care much. Yes, Jennifer Lawrence is a fine actress, even in this.

THE HOBBIT: The desolation of Smaug.. Seeing This part 2 of The Hobbit the same weekend I saw The Wizard of OZ in 3D and the Disney film made the Hobbits a very poor comparison to The Oz Munchkins or Snow Whites Seven Dwarves. Those charecters became icons, legends and part of our history. The Hobbits, not so much. elves, dwarves and Hobbits, no comparison. Want to bet that any of The Hobbit films aren’t remembered and revered like Wizard of Oz? Then there’s J.R.R. Tolkien’s story line of a Gold ring, a vast fortune guarded by a dragon, and the music….this film sure owes a lot to Richard Wagner and his 4 Ring Operas. Sure Benedict Cumberbatch is in it, he’s Smaug the nasty dragon, but you won’t recognize him. Don’t expect any charm, trickyness, or inventiveness if you do go. Expect instead lots of blood, rolling ,chopped off heads and lengthy amounts of fights. Dwarves vs. elves vs. Hobbits…why?

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. Remember that KZSCis off the air 12/20-1/0214. Then on Jan. 7, 2014 Bill Richter and Audrey Stanley will bring us up to date about Shakespeare Play on. Then Gerry Gerringer and Wilma Marcus talk about “8 Tens @ Eight”, Which runs Jan. 3-26. January 14 has Sandy Skees telling us about their group “100+ Women” and their good works. Deutron Kebebew follows to share news and info about “PAPAS” and how that organization helps children. 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

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 update includes 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. Hear them all!!!


“An optimist stays up until midnight to see the New Year in. A pessimist stays up to make sure the old year leaves”, Bill Vaughn. “New Year’s Resolution: To tolerate fools more gladly, provided this does not encourage them to take up more of my time”, James Agate. “Ring out the old, ring in the new, Ring, happy bells, across the snow: The year is going, let him go; Ring out the false, ring in the true”, Alfred, Lord Tennyson. “Many years ago I resolved never to bother with New Year’s resolutions, and I’ve stuck with it ever since”, Dave Beard.


Subscriptions: Click and enter the box in the upper right hand corner of each Column. You’ll get a weekly email notice the instant the column goes online. (Anywhere from Monday afternoon through Thursday or sometimes as late as Friday!) Always free and confidential. Even I don’t know who subscribes!!

Snail Mail: Bratton Online
82 Blackburn Street, Suite 216
Santa Cruz, CA 95060

Direct email:

Direct phone: 831 423-2468

All Technical & Web details: Gunilla Leavitt @


Deep Cover by Tim Eagan.

Posted in Weekly Articles | Comments Off on December 26, 2013 – January 6, 2014

Comments are closed.