Blog Archives

December 4 – 10, 2019

Highlights this week:

BRATTON…Update on UCSC’s East Meadow plans, Chip visits from Boulder. GREENSITE…“Only one more week without a piece from Greensite”. KROHN…about weather, and water, the March 3rd primary, recall notes and fact-checking. STEINBRUNER…Her own Supervisor campaign news, Soquel Creek Water District plans and plots. PATTON…why he’s voting for Bernie. EAGAN…Subconscious Comics and Deep Cover. JENSEN…Me and My Girl. BRATTON…I critique Dark Waters, Queen & Slim, A Beautiful Day in The Neighborhood. UNIVERSAL GRAPEVINE GUEST LINEUP. QUOTES…”RAIN”
                                 

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GALA CHRISTMAS DECORATIONS, PACIFIC AVENUE DECEMBER 2 P.M. 1946. Don’t overlook the “majestic” St. George Hotel and the “Monkey Ward” catalog store. I think Bookshop Santa Cruz is where we see the Beauty Salon Sign. Any additional info would be appreciated.

photo credit: Covello & Covello Historical photo collection.

Additional information always welcome: email photo@brattononline.com

THE MOST UNUSUAL INSTRUMENTS IN THE WORLD.
KPIX NEWS AND HOMELESS ON THE BEACH. This is from Sept.1, 2019.

DATELINE December 2 

UPDATE ON UCSC’S EAST MEADOW DEVELOPMENT. The East Meadow Action Committee or (EMAC) issued an email last Friday (11/29). It talks about a lawsuit, the Long Range Development plan, and because they are talking about the next 20 years they ask for our financial help. Read the complete email…

“Thanks to all who have worked to protect it, the East Meadow is still undeveloped, a year and a half beyond its originally scheduled destruction. We can be grateful for this. But the struggle continues. Last August, a group from EMAC met with UCSC’s new Chancellor Cynthia Larive and new acting Vice Chancellor Lori Kletzer. Its administration might be open to a reconsideration of its plans for Student Housing West. It was also clear, however, that the presence of a lawsuit has been an important factor in keeping alternate possibilities alive.

Now, several months after that meeting, with no word from the administration, it seems clear that litigation is probably the only way to spare the meadow. We and our attorneys believe that we have a strong case that will prove the university violated California environmental law when it rushed to put prefab sprawl in the meadow. We are now preparing our legal brief, due in mid-January. The court date is scheduled for May 1, and we anticipate a ruling later that month. 

The upcoming phase of the process will be costly, and we are therefore asking for your further support. The fight could have implications beyond the meadow itself. The university has been holding discussions on its new Long-Range Development Plan, to guide campus growth for the next twenty years. By continuing to hold the administration to account we help ensure that further development will adhere to environmental law and good planning principles.  Saving the East Meadow is a victory for the campus, for what makes UCSC special.  Your support will be decisive.

With thanks,

East Meadow Action Committee (EMAC)

CHIP AND BOULDER THAN EVER.
Chip, our dedicated and devoted executive director of the Downtown Association, moved on to become chief executive officer (CEO) of the Downtown Boulder Partnership, in Boulder, Colorado. I bumped into him and his family when they were visiting here last Friday. I asked for a quote re his new job. He said, “Boulder is like Santa Cruz with a budget”. Now we know.

GREENSITE’S INSIGHT. She’s still in Australia but says“Only one more week without a piece from Greensite”. (ie. Dec. 9)

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  http://darksky.org    Plus she’s an avid ocean swimmer, hiker and lover of all things wild.

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December 2 

Winter of Our Content
Now, it is suddenly winter. The rain is here and we are so luxuriantly content, at least if it does not all fall at once. It certainly has been coming down. Nothing for months and then an avalanche of water. I’m loving it so far because it means the wildfire effect is minimized and things begin to turn green and greener. Life is a bit slower. Getting around is slightly impaired by all this water that is replenishing Loch Lomond Reservoir (that needed only a bit of replenishing), groundwater aquifers, and rainwater run-off systems are all revived. Lying in bed listening to the thud, thud, thudding of rain is so glorious that rest itself increases.

Politics of Water
The good news is we won’t be talking about drought for a while and the Fire Department just might get a deserved rest after fighting the blazes of autumn. The bad news is the Water Department infrastructure has to be maintained and Santa Cruzans have become so adept at conserving water, the same water that the system sells less of and therefore has to contemplate raising fees even with all this water around. We have entered a decade-long upgrade of city water infrastructure and over $100 million is planned to be spent on improving the system. So, water bills are not going down anytime soon.

March 3rd Primary
CA is in play! The California primary is now March 3rd and it could be a bell-weather state for Kamala Harris, Bernie Sanders, or Elizabeth Warren. It appears that Joe Biden has given up on the Golden State for now having chosen to skip two Democratic Party conventions this year. His handlers generally keep him away from any direct policy questions. Biden is likely banking on prevailing in two or three of the first primaries–New Hampshire, Iowa, South Carolina, Nevada–building his Joe-mentum thing and then asking California voters: who has the best chance of beating Trump? Harris is not doing so well in state polls and is likely banking on second or third place finishes in Iowa and South Carolina in order to get some traction in CA. Pete Buttigieg is seeking to do an Obama and be so many things to so many people and it just might work. His resume–military, mayor of small American city, boy-genius– is still pretty slim. He’s probably thinking if only I was a billionaire…

Santa Cruz, March 3, 2019
There will be local issues too on the primary ballot, the Recall being most close-up and personal to me. How it got this far is quite the discussion, but how to run and defend my record while combating many of the lies told to petition-signers is what is now most important. Here is a three-parter, number one is my record, number two is a plan for the rest of this year, and number three, is a way to disseminate the facts from the fiction and ultimately create more openness and transparency in local government.

Record

  • More general fund money went to projects and programs supporting kids, workers, and tenants than would have otherwise if the four-person majority had not been elected;
  • The Service Employee International Union (SEIU) received one of their largest raises in years–10% over three years;
  • All downtown employees now have access to free Metro bus passes;
  • Kaiser-Permanente’s 13 doctors and their staff now have a home in downtown Santa Cruz at the Cooper House;
  • Tenant Sanctuary received funding to work with struggling renters when they have disputes with landlords;
  • This council recently passed the state’s rent control and just cause eviction legislation, several weeks earlier than it would have taken effect otherwise throughout the state
  • on (Jan. 1);
  • Two new pro-affordable housing Planning Commissioners were appointed by our majority;
  • A climate emergency was passed;
  • stopped the Corridors Plan and redirected staff’s work;
  • Oral Communication was moved to the 7pm session so more residents could have access to the city council.

Plans for 2020

  • Direct Economic Development and Planning staff to begin negotiating with non-profit housing providers to initiate affordable housing projects on three city-owned downtown parcels;
  • Renovate the Downtown Library;
  • Go forward with plans to acquire a much needed 24/7 emergency homeless shelter;
  • Form a resident Climate and Bio-diversity Commission to help assist and plan for climate change;
  • Bring together all city commissioners for a retreat on how commissions can integrate their work with each other, and with the city council;
  • Continue working on Traffic Demand Management strategies to bring traffic relief to neighborhoods while offering alternatives to resident’s use of single-occupancy vehicles;
  • And of course, BEAT this recall through vigorous discussion, debate, and information-sharing.

StopSantaCruzRecalls.org

This is a fact sheet prepared by the Stop Santa Cruz Recalls group. It is on their web site at stopsantacruzrecalls.org

The California Constitution does not provide a legal remedy for false claims in recall petitions. Hence the voters need to educate themselves about the facts. 

Allegation: “[Councilmembers Krohn and Glover] repeatedly voted against closing the Ross Camp, while failing to pursue legal, realistic, and humane solutions to homelessness in the City of Santa Cruz. By opposing the closure of the Ross Camp, he contradicted the recommendations of Fire Chief Hajduk and County Health Officer Leff, and endangered the health and safety of Santa Cruz residents, both housed and unhoused.”

Fact Check. 

Councilmembers Krohn and Glover:

  • voted with the Council majority not to close Ross Camp until other locations were in place for residents to go.  When other locations were identified, the Ross Camp was closed. 
  • sought increased health and safety measures at the Ross Camp pending its closure.

Allegation: “[Councilmembers Krohn and Glover] attempted to establish permanent RV parking sites and permanent homeless encampments in residential neighborhoods and city parks in Santa Cruz, without regard for public safety or potential damage to local businesses, and without consulting neighborhood residents, the Fire Department, or the Police Department.”

Fact Check: At Council request, City staff presented several possible alternative locations to shelter Ross camp residents.  Many members of the public expressed concerns about all the locations.  As a result, the Council, including Krohn and Glover, dropped consideration of all locations other than re-opening the Salvation Army camp on upper River St. 

Allegation: “Councilmember Krohn betrayed public trust and violated the Brown Act by requesting closed city council sessions to discuss relocation of the Ross Camp.” 

Fact Check: The minutes and video of the City Council meeting on April 23, 2019, record Councilmember Krohn voting against a motion to go into closed session to discuss the Ross Camp closure.

Allegation: “Council member Glover participated on behalf of the plaintiffs in a federal suit against the City to keep the Ross Camp open.  In a sworn declaration, Glover falsely claimed that there was no health and safety risk at the Ross Camp, contradicting the Fire Chief and County Health Officer.”

Fact Check

  • Freedom of speech and public trust in government requires that elected officials be permitted to testify when called in a lawsuit, even when it is against their City.
  • Glover did not deny health and safety risks at Ross Camp. He testified that those risks could be corrected in order to avoid dispersing hundreds of people back onto the streets and into parks and open spaces.

Allegation: “Councilmember Glover has introduced a culture of chaos, bullying and disruption to public meetings and general City business.”

“Councilmember Krohn… has failed to abide by the Rules of Procedure for Conduct of City Council Business by refusing to treat his fellow Councilmembers with respect.” 

Fact Check: The City hired an investigator to study allegations of misconduct against Krohn and Glover. The investigator’s report found:

  • The sole substantiated allegation against Krohn was that he uttered a sarcastic laugh during a staff person’s presentation to the Council. 
  • The sole substantiated allegation against Glover is that he got angry with a fellow Council member over the scheduling of a conference room. 
  • There is no evidence to substantiate that these incidents were motivated by gender. 
  • The investigator recommended that, “Councilmembers should avoid making public accusations of misconduct or bad faith against one another and against City staff without first privately and internally addressing these concerns and attempting conflict resolution and rectification when possible.”

Conclusion:Our community needs to come together to solve our challenging problems.  The diversity of representation on the Council may be the best way to solve our problems in a way that the needs of all people are addressed. Diverse points of view can sometimes lead to conflicts around policy.  Factual distortions and groundless accusations damage the community’s ability to successfully resolve difficult problems.

Look out for those in politics who like to label themselves “fiscally responsible,” yet only seem to care about the price of justice – not the cost of oppression. Everything has a price. And an unjust society is far costlier than one that invests in & values all people. (Nov. 27)

(Chris Krohn is a father, writer, activist, and was on the Santa Cruz City Councilmember from 1998-2002. Krohn was Mayor in 2001-2002. He’s been running the Environmental Studies Internship program at UC Santa Cruz for the past 14 years. He was elected the the city council again in November of 2016, after his kids went off to college. His current term ends in 2020.

Email Chris at ckrohn@cruzio.com

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December 2

READY TO RUN!
Many thanks to all who donated money and good wishes for my campaign to become the  County Supervisor  in the Second District.  I will have enough money to take out nomination papers and will officially be a candidate by Friday, December 6.  I look forward to working with those interested in supporting my campaign and intend to run with a serious intent of winning.  There are big problems not only in the Second District, but throughout the County that I feel need better leadership that represents and is responsive to the concerns and needs of the people in rural areas as well as the urban parts of the County. You can look forward to reading more about who I am and what I stand for in next week’s column.  

GAVIN NEWSOM RELATED TO NANCY PELOSI?
In doing more research about political process, and listening to some excellent radio programs, I learned an odd bit of trivia…Gavin Newsom and Nancy Pelosi are related.  While it may not affect Santa Cruz County infrastructure and housing problems, I think it is interesting to ponder.

Take a look here and see what you think 

CHANGING THE CITY’S CHARTER TO ACCOMMODATE SOQUEL CREEK WATER DISTRICT’S TIME CONSTRAINT FOR CONSTRUCTION?
This week’s  City of Santa Cruz Water Commission agenda included the informational item 6.6 that would place on the March, 2020 ballot the initiative to change the City’s Charter regarding how Public Works projects are handled.  It would allow the City to no longer be required to put projects out to bid and accept the lowest bidder. as is the current language in Section 1415.  It would instead allow the City Manager to approve a public works project contract using vaguely-defined “best alternative delivery model”, that would seemingly cater to Soquel Creek Water District’s recently-funded project to inject treated sewage water into the drinking water supply of the MidCounty.

 Governor Brown signed SB 785 five years ago to allow cities to use this alternative bidding method.  Why would the City just now decide to change the City Charter to be able to use this method?  In my opinion, it’s all because of Soquel Creek Water District, and the agreement the City has with them to build the tertiary treatment plant for the PureWater Soquel Project on the premises of the City’s wastewater treatment facility.  The $50 Million state grant that the District just got requires that they MUST have their Project online by 2022.

Soquel Creek Water District has already issued a call for RFQ (Request for Qualifications) for the Project treatment plant in Live Oak and conveyance system from Santa Cruz to Live Oak.

The District has also have issued an RFQ for the company that would manage the very risky business of making sure the treatment processes work properly and not inject contamination into the aquifer….what a tragic and irreversible disaster it would be to inject treated sewage into the aquifer. 

Now, it seems the City of Santa Cruz is willing to change the City’s Charter, just to accommodate the Soquel Creek Water District’s misguided focus to inject treated sewage water, using vast amounts of energy, cause significant negative damage to the environment during construction,  and potentially causing irreversible contamination of the aquifer if there were system malfunctions.  Doing so, however, would allow the City to keep it’s agreement with the District, approved by the City Council on June 27, 2019, to share the tertiary treatment facility at the City’s wastewater treatment plant.  The District would build the plant, the City would operate it (unless some design-build-operate model were used, but is currently not allowed by the City’s Charter), and the City would provide the sewage water to the District for free.

Look at page 140 of the City Water Commission December 2, 2019 agenda packet.  It is nearly the exact same slide as was shown to the Soquel Creek Water District Board in July, 2018 when they were considering how to build the PureWater Soquel Project by 2022 and thereby get the State to help pay for it:

http://www.cityofsantacruz.com/Home/ShowDocument?id=78246

Take a look at page 13 of the Soquel Creek Water District Special Board Meeting held on July 24, 2018 agenda when the Board met with a consultant to outline the various “fast-track construction” options the District could take in order to get the PureWater Soquel Project online by 2022. https://www.soquelcreekwater.org/sites/default/files/documents/board-meeting/meeting-minutes/07-24-18%20Special%20Meeting%20Minutes_final.pdf   We should also note that the Board was considering all this at a time when they were telling the public that they had not made any decisions about action on the PureWater Soquel Project, which was still undergoing environmental review under the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) process.

Write the Santa Cruz City Council and ask for justification of this proposed City Charter amendment Section 1415 that would, in my opinion, not encourage a level playing field for local construction contractors, and would remove the transparency of the public works bidding process.  You can compare the new language with the existing on page 144 of the Water Commission agenda packet: http://www.cityofsantacruz.com/Home/ShowDocument?id=78246

Santa Cruz City Council <CityCouncil@cityofsantacruz.com>

COUNTY BOARD OF SUPERVISORS HOLD SPECIAL MEETING TO DISCUSS LEGISLATIVE PRIORITIES
The Board of Supervisors scheduled a Special Meeting on Monday, December 2, at the County Sheriff Center in Live Oak.  The agenda posted was rather vague, but I attended as well as submitting written comment in advance.  I was surprised to see a full house…mostly County staff.  Congressman Jimmy Panetta, State Senator Bill Monning, State Assemblyman Robert Rivas, and State Assemblyman Mark Stone all spoke about legislative priorities that affect our area.  County Supervisors then each spoke.    I will report more about this next week….it was audio recorded by CTV.  

As usual, Chairman Ryan Coonerty would not grant me an extra minute to speak when I asked.  He wanted to give everyone a chance to speak; he said…all four of us.

WRITE ONE LETTER.  MAKE ONE CALL.  ATTEND ONE PUBLIC MEETING.  DO SOMETHING! Cheers, Becky

Becky Steinbruner is NOW running for Second District County Supervisor. She 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.

Email Becky at KI6TKB@yahoo.com

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Saturday, November 30

#334 / Why I Am Voting For Bernie Sanders

Bernie Sanders, in Burlington, Vermont, from an article in The New York Times

Today’s blog posting is a kind of “follow-up” to my blog posting yesterday. In that Friday blog post, I suggested that our political system (at the national and state levels, though not at the local level, of course) operates as if we had a “parliamentary” system of government. And we don’t have a parliamentary system of government; at least, that is not the way the United States Constitution indicates that our governmental system is supposed to work.

When I read The New York Times on Thanksgiving, I was struck by an article on Bernie Sanders’ first successful political campaign, as Sanders ran for Mayor in Burlington, Vermont, and won. Here is a link to the article, which is titled “Sanders Forged Idea of Change Inside City Hall.” Actually, that is the title I found in the hard-copy edition that showed up on my front walkway. Online, the article is called, “Bernie Sanders vs. The Machine.” The article focused on Sanders’ campaign for Mayor, outlines a theory of political change that is most definitely not “parlimentary,” or “partisan.” I think it has a lot to tell us about how we could change our politics today – and how that would be a huge improvement.

I have some positive feelings about the presidency of Barack Obama, but anyone who cares about putting the “people” over “party,” in the politics of our nation, probably understands the following comment by Sanders, which indicates why he regards the Obama presidency as a lost opportunity for the restoration of democracy in our country: 

Throughout the 2020 campaign, Mr. Sanders has sounded like an echo of his younger self … He has pledged to campaign in even the reddest of states against lawmakers who oppose his ideas, including against conservative Democrats. It is a method of governing untested in the modern presidency. 

Mr. Sanders suggested in the interview that the last Democratic president, Mr. Obama, would have done well to apply relentless pressure of the kind he envisions, rather than seeking “middle ground” with Republicans. 

“Obama ran one of the great campaigns in American history — a brilliant campaign,” Mr. Sanders said. “Do I think he should have maintained that grass roots support and activism in his first term, in a way he did not do? Yeah, I do.” 

Mr. Sanders said he had discussed the subject with Mr. Obama in a private meeting. “He will tell you that it’s harder than it looks, which it is,” he said. 

He declined to elaborate on the details of their discussion. But asked whether Mr. Obama had raised any doubts in his mind about his theory of power, Mr. Sanders answered in a word — “No” — and pointed to Burlington. 

“At the end of a few years,” he said, “a sleepy political city became one of the most politically conscious and progressive cities in America.”

I was a Sanders’ delegate to the Democratic National Convention in 2016, and I am supporting his presidential candidacy this year, too. The Times’ article outlines why. I believe that the kind of politics that is described in this article can work, even on the national level. I hope those reading this will review the article, and consider its argument as they cast their votes in the California Presidential Primary election on March 3rd. Incidentally, since The New York Times maintains a “paywall,” and that may prevent some or even all persons reading this blog posting from clicking through to the online version of the article, I have not only included a significant quote, above, but have also downloaded the article as a PDF. No pictures, but you can click right here to read the text if The Time’s paywall prevents you from reading the article on The Times’ website. 

I formed my own idea of how politics works (or can work) in local politics in Santa Cruz County during the 1970s and 1980s. I know what happened here, and it was very much like what happened in Burlington, Vermont. Our experience in Santa Cruz County indicates that politics can produce truly “revolutionary” changes in the way our communities operate. Measure J, the Growth Management Referendum Measure enacted by the people of Santa Cruz County in 1978, fundamentally changed land use policy in our local community.

I agree with Sanders that we need to try to bring the techniques that worked in Burlington (and in Santa Cruz County in the 1970s and 1980s) to the national level. 

President Obama is right, as Sanders says, that this is “harder than it looks.” Admitted. But the stakes are pretty high. For instance, this upcoming presidential election may well determine the possibility of a continued commitment to democracy in the United States of America. This, also, may be an election that will decide the fate of human civilization, given the reality of global warming, and the fact that the United States must radically change what it does, and lead the world in making comparable changes, if we wish to stave off the growing likelihood of a civilization-ending environmental disaster. 

To be successful with the kind of politics that Sanders is advocating is definitely “harder than it looks.” But I think it’s worth a try. Think about that. Without going too “religious” on you, and with the recognition that Sanders is Jewish, consider this timeless observation, from Rabbi Hillel, as you cast your vote: 

“If I am not for myself, then who is for me? 
If I am for myself alone, then what am I?   
 If not now, when?”

Gary Patton is a former Santa Cruz County Supervisor (20 years) and an attorney for individuals and community groups on land use and environmental issues. The opinions expressed are Mr. Patton’s. You can read and subscribe to his daily blog at www.gapatton.net

Email Gary at gapatton@mac.com

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EAGAN’S SUBCONSCIOUS COMICS. Just a peek at what makes everything so obvious and confusing. scroll downwards.

EAGAN’S DEEP COVER. See Eagan’s ” Classic Covers ” down a few pages. As always, at TimEagan.com 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: “Hands up, everybody who remembers Fat Freddy’s Cat! Why am I hanging on to this recently unearthed relic of hippie nostalgia? It’s a souvenir of the day I first walked into Atlantis Fantasyworld and met my future. Read all about it this week at Lisa Jensen Online Express (http://ljo-express.blogspot.com ). Also: only one more weekend to catch Me And My Girl, the cornball but lavishly entertaining holiday musical from Jewel Theatre Company!” Lisa has been writing film reviews and columns for Good Times since 1975.

DARK WATERS. You’ll never look at your Teflon or DuPont products the same way after seeing this fine film. Mark Ruffalo plays the real-life attorney who finally wins his case against DuPont, with the political and financial odds stacked 100% in favor of DuPont, the world’s largest chemical company. Just in case you want to stop supporting DuPont, stop using Kevlar, Styrofoam, Corian, Dow Corning, Great Stuff, Prima Green and many more names you can find on their website.

QUEEN & SLIM. Some character in this movie calls Queen and Slim the “Black Bonnie and Clyde”,and it fits. It’s a long chase featuring this mostly likable couple, caused by Slim killing an insane cop, and their adventures on the lam. There’s even some jokes and humor in it. But it’s really a vivid reminder of the police brutality, racism, and violence we read and hear about daily under the Trump administration. Go see it.

A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD. I think Americans now regard Mr. Rogers as our own Dalai Lama. Tom Hanks is the only actor in the world who could take and do so well in this movie. But before you go, if you haven’t already,  emember that this is not really about Mr. Rogers, but about an Esquire magazine writer who interviewed Rogers and his rigid, tormented life and choices. Chris Cooper is back as the writer’s father. It’s an oddly structured film, with many unusual directors’ touches. After skimming around the internet to see what the real Mr. Rogers was like, all I found was that he was an ordained Presbyterian minister, and went to Dartmouth. His mom knitted all his sweaters, he liked his wife’s dirty jokes, he had fun farting and he was a registered Republican. 

JOJO RABBIT. Centered on Nazi Germany, this is very rare political comedy with funny scenes. A little boy has Adolf Hitler as an invisible buddy. Scarlett Johansson plays the little boy’s mom, and does one of very finest acting jobs, ever. Hitler and the screwed up political/ military scene will make you think of Trump and our own screwed up political/ military scene. A wonderful and rare film, do not miss it!! 

JOKER. Joaquin Phoenix should just be given the Oscar now, instead of all that fuss in January. Yes this is the origin of why the Joker haunts Bruce Wayne (Batman) and it’s so much more than that. The film is deep, dark, brilliant, violent, clever, absorbing, haunting, and will move you into a different perspective. Forget the criticism about protesters; the Joker is insane and magnetic. See this film if you like films beyond what’s acceptable! It just became the biggest – money making attendance record R-rated film ever!!!.  Now (11/18) it’s taken in over 1 billion dollars.

THE IRISHMAN. When you have Robert De Niro , Al Pacino , and  Joe Pesci in a mobster film directed by Martin Scorsese you have a monumental achievement in motion pictures.  Yes it’s 3 ½ hours long and you’ll love every minute of it. It’s a gang driven recalling of their past by these masters,  all in their 70’s. Al Pacino plays Jimmy Hoffa and at long last we find out what happened to Hoffa’s body (at least according to this film adaption from a book) when he disappeared in 1975. Go online now and see that people are still today wondering and predicting where Hoffa’s body is, but see the movie first. 96 on RT. (CLOSES THURSDAY December 5)

THE GOOD LIAR. Helen Mirren and Ian McKellen two of the finest actors in contemporary films had never made a movie together. It’s too bad that this one wasn’t the predictable, slow moving cute product that it is. It is a treat to watch these pros work together; they are as great as almost every movie goer knows but the script is a poor copy of a plot that deserved to be better. But, in spite of all that,  go see it…they are perfect in their parts.

PARASITE. South Korean director Bong Joon-ho outdid his other international screen successes with Parasite. Wikipedia calls it a dark comedy thriller and so do I. It’s winning awards everywhere and deserves them all. There’s brain surgery, murder, basement dwellers, numerous surprises, even some shocks and well worth your seeing it ASAP.

MOTHERLESS BROOKLYN. Actor Edward Norton not only plays the Tourette syndrome plagued detective posing as a reporter but he directed the movie too. It takes place in NYC in the 1950’s . Alec Baldwin plays a character based on Robert Moses the evil developer of NYC. Willem Dafoe and Bruce Willis have small parts. The movie is not only confusing, but it drags on and on with little if any conclusion. And no, you won’t believe Norton’s actors version of faked Tourette’s either.  (CLOSES THURSDAY December 5)

HARRIET. A real Hollywood tear jerker of Harriet Tubman’s amazing life and what she accomplished fighting slavery. Cynthia Erivo is excellent as Harriet and even looks like her. However the crashing crescendos of sobbing music, the homey corniness of so much of the plot and much of the acting makes this look and feel like a 1940’s Hollywood soap opera.

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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. Winners from Bookshop Santa Cruz’s Young Writers program read their entries on December 3. Alicia Kuhl from the Santa Cruz Homeless Union opens the December 10 program. She’s followed by Felicia Van Stolk, executive Director of the Santa Cruz Natural History Museum, talking about their new exhibits and some exciting changes. Environmentalist Grey Hayes returns December 17 talking about saving our local environment. OR…if you just happen to miss either of the last two weeks of Universal Grapevine broadcasts go here… https://www.radiofreeamerica.com/schedule/kzsc  You have to listen to about 4 minutes of that week’s KPFA news first, then Grapevine happens. 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 bratton@cruzio.com 

I love her accent so much…

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 Wilbourneon 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.

“RAIN”

“A bank is a place where they lend you an umbrella in fair weather and ask for it back when it begins to rain” Robert Frost

“I always like walking in the rain, so no one can see me crying.”  Charlie Chaplin 

“Being soaked alone is cold. Being soaked with your best friend is an adventure.” Emily Wing Smith, Back When You Were Easier to Love

“It was a rainy night. It was the myth of a rainy night”. JACK KEROUAC, On the Road 


COLUMN COMMUNICATIONS. Subscriptions: Subscribe to the Bulletin! 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!), and the occasional scoop. 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: Bratton@Cruzio.com
Direct phone: 831 423-2468
All Technical & Web details: Gunilla Leavitt @ godmoma@gmail.com


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