Blog Archives

December 5 – 11, 2011


Santa’s Village was built in Scotts Valley right off to the east on hwy 17. about 1955. It went bankrupt in 1977. George Liberace played the violin and was the butt of many of his brother’s onstage jokes.

photo credit: Covello & Covello Historical photo collection, click for bigger version.

Additional information always welcome: email

WATER TO UCSC OR TO YOUR FAMILY AND FRIENDS?It would seem like just about everybody in the County must know about the City of Santa Cruz’s water supply problem. But they don’t. The Sentinel prints it’s own Chamber of Commerce, LOBA, single sided pro- growth, pro- UCSC give away point of view, with little to no mention of any other way of looking at what’s happening. Basically it’s that Santa Cruz has very little extra water to even maintain status quo usage. Do we want to give that water (150 million gallons per year to UCSC’s 3 million square feet of new buildings on their proposed North Campus ~~~~ or do we want to give it to our normal city growth like our kids who want to build here, or when we want to add on an addition to the house…we can’t have both ~~~~~ even with de-sal? That’s what the LAFCO meeting Wednesday am (see Patton) is really about.

FEAR WORKSHOP. Almost like a Santa Cruz City Council meeting, but funny ha-ha not funny peculiar.

McPHERSON A “McNOTHING” SO FAR. Folks who know politics up in Scotts Valley, Felton, and all along the mighty San Lorenzo River are waiting and worrying about the Republican money and Power machine to get cranking to start up Republican Bruce McPherson’s Supervisor campaign. He’s been suspiciously absent from their area get togethers, has done no noticeable or audible door knocking, while the other supe candidates are really working it. What has most folks wondering is, if McPherson has the know how or even the interest in taking care of the genuine local problems. Trying to imagine him handling drug houses, or dog and leash hassles, or neighbor’s property rights and your driveway makes for an impossible McPherson task. Does he understand the area? What’s he ever done in the San Lorenzo Valley? are huge questions. The existing conservatives and Republicans are excited and waiting for the balance and big bucks to tip their way both in the Valley AND because of both Ellen Pirie’s and John Leopold’s Supervisor Seats, this election could throw the entire County into an even more pro-growth conservative pocket. More and more George Wylie, with his long time hard work on the local Library and School boards is the person to vote for to replace Mark Stone as Supervisor. Check Wylie out. See that Arnie Levine, Harry Berggren, Dr. Kip Tellez, Chris Ungar and other notables endorse Wylie. And stay very aware.

THE ORIGINAL JINGLE BELLS.A little mood music and charming too.


Peace Vigil – War Protest Dec. 13 You’re invited to join WILPF, MoveOn, and other peace activists at the intersection of Morrissey, Water, and Soquel NEXT Tuesday 12/13 from 5:00pm to 6:00pm for a peace vigil and war protest that connects the dots between war and corporate greed. We’ll send photos of the event to Farr, Boxer, Feinstein and Panetta so we’re not just protesting to each other. Wear warm, light colored jackets and bring a candle or flashlight. We’ll provide WILPF peace doves and peace posters – “peace not profits” – “books not bombs” – “ground the drones” – or bring your own favorite message to our legislators. WILPF Santa Cruz. So meet us at the triangle of Morrissey, Water and Soquel – 5pm – Tuesday Dec. 13

ARANA GULCH & THE COASTAL COMMISSION. Pat Matecjek writes, “If the California Coastal Commission is convinced to approve the bike road across Arana Gulch, it will tear apart an important section of the Coastal Act which will lead to similar threats to endangered species habitat in other areas of the CA Coastal Zone. Please sign the petition.

Our fervent hope is that the Commission will pull the bike road out of the Master Plan and pass the rest of it. 3 meetings are scheduled the following week to involve the public in planning for the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary Scenic Trail along the rail corridor. So it makes fiscal sense to reallocate the $5 million allocated to the bike road to speeding up the development of the real east-west bike/ped route along the rail corridor”. Pat Matecjek.

END OF “FILM” AT THE NICK.The day (nights mostly) have arrived when technology has replaced one more part of our lives. In another week or so there won’t be any more “FILMS” projected on the four screens at the Nickelodeon Theatre. They’ll all be digital projections. Gone will be scratches and those little circles in the upper right that told us to turn around quickly and see the projector switch (up until you were 12). Gone too will be those huge 8 sided steel boxes with last weeks films standing in the corner waiting to be shipped. I didn’t ask if the new “cinema product” will be mailed to the theatre like Netflix dvd’s or will magically be digitally cabled and copied “online” or some other plan from the devil. I’m told that the latest screening invention will give us better resolution, and improved color. It’s sad news too that the Nick will be cutting back on the special “films” they’d play for a week just because they were important and wonderful and very few would attend. This “progress” sure is wonderful. Isn’t it??


Check this out…

STARTING GREY BEARS. The 38th Annual Grey Bears Holiday Dinner at the Civic last Sunday was so successful they ran out of food, but everyone had a great time. I remembered and Facebooked Gary Denny Sunday morning. Gary Denny was an UCSC student and along with another student Kristina Maillard they actually and truly started the Grey Bears. I think they fed about 150 folks that first December Holiday. This year it was over 1500 seniors in the Civic and another 1000 home delivered meals. Not bad for UCSC students.

CHUCK MOORE DIED. Back in the day (1964-and all of the 70’s) Moore’s Graphic Arts Print Shop over on Potrero printed (and mostly donated) every piece of Democratic Party literature in the County. Chuck Moore and his widow Elizabeth (Jimmie) attended, worked, cleaned up and hosted so many Democrat fund raisers they became synonymous. Good Times even chose Chuck and Jimmie the “Valentines Day In Love Couple” of the year award a few years ago. Old friends are welcome to a celebration of Chuck’s life at the old Moore household way up that damned winding road on April 28th. Elizabeth was at that Grey Bears dinner last Sunday she looked just fine. See you at that party in April, if not before.



This 12 member commission failed to support their community at their last meeting, by not passing a compromise motion by Supervisors Pirie and Stone to delay spending $4 million dollars on another highway widening project. This will go to future “auxiliary lanes” between Soquel and 41st Avenues, a distance of less than one mile. The $4 million will go to design and land purchase, but not one foot of concrete for the lanes. The compromise would have delayed the highway widening for two years and used the $4 million dollars to fix local streets and roads that are falling apart. Road repair was the clear choice of citizens who spoke at the meeting. Nobody spoke against the compromise except a representative from the Santa Cruz Business Council who actually just supported the highway, not against the compromise. Thirty letters were submitted in favor of the compromise.

Unfortunately the 12 member RTC commission was deadlocked 6-6 on the compromise. You’ll be able to watch the replay of this contentious debate on Community TV, but it’s hard to explain how elected officials from all five Supervisorial districts and the City of Santa Cruz couldn’t get one more vote to pass the compromise. The three representatives from the Metro District, Capitola, Scotts Valley and Watsonville stuck together to kill it. It was especially revealing during deliberation that the Commission is all about widening the highway. Commissioners representing the Metro District and Scotts Valley commented that they seldom used Highway 1. Especially painful was the support of the one non-elected member of the RTC representing the Metro District voting against the compromise. Sometime it needs to be explained why one agency has three votes on the RTC, one of these being a non-elected “at large” member but still votes with the same weight as a county supervisor”.

(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).


PATTON’S PROGRAM. Gary talks about LAFCO in Monterey on Monday, LAFCO in Santa Cruz on Tuesday and explains LAFCO and UCSC’s legal problem like this…

“In summary, state law gives LAFCO the job of deciding whether or not it is appropriate to allow a water service provider (in this case the City of Santa Cruz) to extend its water service to an area outside its jurisdictional boundaries. That is what UCSC is asking for, and there are some arguments in favor, but there are lots of arguments against that, too, particularly at a time of water supply uncertainty”. Read the rest 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”

ANCHOR IN ANTARCTICA. Micaela declares…” The weather has turned nasty once again, but it doesn’t matter because this week I received one of the most prized Antarctic possessions: my own room. When seven people finished their tours of duty and shipped north on our vessel last week, I snapped at the chance to live alone for December. Since I tend to grow to the size of my container, like a goldfish or a guppy, I already made a mess of the place. But it’s my mess, and that makes it gorgeous!

Our rooms started out as basic military barracks built by Navy Seabees in the late 1960s, equipped with same standard-issue furniture, but nothing here stays normal for long. Over the generations, each room has been customized in some way, such as a homemade nightstand, extra shelves in the wardrobe, or varnished wood to replace the laminate on the desk. These items tend to stay with the room to be inherited by each season’s occupants, and so people naturally develop favorites. Last year, I lived in a room with a nautical knot display frame given to station years ago by the crew of the Lautaro, a Chilean ship that operates along the coast. In my new room, I enjoy a particularly well-built headboard that stops my pillows from sliding down the wall.

Most people rate sharing a room as the worst part of living in Antarctica. I guess not many people over thirty like bunk beds, and people under-thirty want a place to bring a lover. People at other stations will even hang bed sheets from the ceiling tiles to get some privacy (not here: the rooms are too small). One hears outrageous stories about bad roommates, and I did have one awful experience with a woman who wore a coonskin cap and a bolo tie, yet I don’t think that fully explains why we covet private rooms. We all have such different ways of doing the exact same thing. Rarely will a person drawn from a random pool fit into our own subconscious schedule perfectly, and we all feel a slight strain when forced to work into someone else’s routine.

The opportunity to be alone, however brief or contrived, belongs to the same category of healthcare as sunshine or good-tasting food. No artificial substitute has ever been found for the sense of well-being they impart, nor remedy for the ache of their absence. That’s how I’m justifying laying around in my underwear talking to myself, at any rate, since no one’s here to contradict me”.

(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. Professor DeCinzo expands his views scroll down

EAGANS DEEP COVER. The deep Republican Dream revealed, scroll below.

CUBA BEFORE LANDAU. These Life mag photos show us “Back in The Day” before Castro.

LANDAU’S PROGRES. Saul says in his Progreso Weekly column, “Last month a Super Committee (12 Members of Congress) failed to decide – fortunately – our economic destiny: where our tax money would go – or not. Yes, capitalism failed again. And with it went democratic procedures in the political arena. Big Facts: Since 2008, millions got laid off, evicted or foreclosed and lost their pensions. Capitalism’s answer: “So you think we might have put a few people out of business today,” Jeremy Irons explains to a lower executive (playing the role of a failing investment bank chief in a fictionalized Lehman Brothers in “Margin Call”). Read it all here.

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

RABINDRANATH TAGORE.For no explainable reason, this Nobel prize winning poet and novelist (1861-1941) is just about unknown outside of India. UCSC professor Dilip Basu (almost retired now) has just finished translating Tagore’ s 3rd novel into English. It’ll be available soon and he’s coming on my Universal Grapevine radio program to talk about it, when the time is right.

LISA JENSEN LINKS. Lisa states…”This week at Lisa Jensen Online Express (, I revisit one of my all-time favorite movies about movies, onscreen this weekend via the Dante Society Italian Film Series. Also, since we’re officially the 5th most artistic metro in the U. S. (based on number of artists per square inch, or something), I offer up some ideas for simple, cheap, yet arty holiday details”. Lisa Jensen has been writing film reviews and a column for Good Times since 1975.

INTO THE ABYSS. As we know it’s mostly Republicans who still support the death penalty but everybody should go see Werner Herzog’s latest film, “Into The Abyss

Like all good Herzog films this documentary looks deep into the human psyche/soul and forces you to think about killing people. It features interviews with the real Texas murderers in their holding cells just days before they’re poisoned. You meet the victims and the murderers families ~~~~ it’s shocking. Then a former Texas executioner tells us about his more than 100 executions and why he quit doing them. Only Herzog could pull this off… if you have any Republican friends take one with you and see this film.

ARTHUR CHRISTMAS in 3D. It’s very true that this movie has received super reviews ~~~ not from me. It’s a high tech explanation of how Santa can get all the presents to every kid in the world, and on time!! The voices with this about average 3D animation are the best of and from the Brit studios but it’s dull, long, wordy, certainly doesn’t have any Pixar –type adult humor.

“THE DESCENDANTS”(FROM AN ISLAND VIEW). Before The Sentinel’s Wallace Baine there was film critic Rick Chatenever. Rick and wife and kids moved to Maui decades ago. Now Rick writes about film for The Maui Times. Here’s a link to his film column for last week, where he gives his impression of Clooney’s The Descendants and Hugo and much more. Read it all here… He wrote about The Descendants, “”The Descendants” is expected to land Oscar nominations for star George Clooney, director Alexander Payne and 18-year-old supporting actress Shailene Woodley, for openers. Set on Kauai and Oahu, kamaaina audiences will find everything onscreen feeling familiar. It feels mostly real, too, from the slack key soundtrack featuring Gabby Pahinui, Keola Beamer, Sonny Chillingworth, Jeff Peterson and more, through the Kauai locations, right down to the casual informality creeping into even the most tragic situations. The film’s title refers to the descendants of the islands’ earliest haole arrivals, who now own thousands of acres of paradise that they didn’t earn … and their ancestors didn’t exactly earn, either. Clooney plays the father of two daughters, whose wife lies in a coma in a hospital bed after an unfortunate speedboat accident. The upheavals in his life come in waves, and his struggle just to keep his head above water is another multifaceted acting achievement cloaked in his trademark understatement. Director and co-writer Payne’s contribution comes in a sense of bathos —truly tragic developments in the story may turn comic in the next instant. “The Descendants” is equal parts real family dynamics and actual island style — which turns out to be far more appealing than Hollywood’s usual drinks-with-umbrellas variety. Like a wiser, hipper, funnier “Hawaii Five-0,” it exports visions of what aloha actually looks like — warts and all —to audiences on the Mainland and elsewhere. While some little part of me wants to point out that film industry professionals don’t quite “get it” as much as they think they do, I can imagine airline reservations to the islands soaring after audiences get this heartwarming hit of all things local”. Thanks to Rick. Go see this film.

MOON WATCHING. Simon Kelly forwards this…” NASA Science News for Nov. 26, 2011…On Saturday morning, Dec. 10th, sky watchers in the western United States and Canada will witness a total lunar eclipse swollen to super-sized proportions by the Moon illusion”. And stay very aware.

BEST CHRISTMAS GIFT EVER!!! Don’t get too excited, I looked these balls up. They sell from $39 to $75, and get dirty easily, and must be maintained carefully.

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. Tuesday December 6th has Youth Symphony conductor Nathaniel Berman followed by UCSC’s Leta Miller author of “Music and Politics in San Francisco”. Judge Paul Burdick returns to talk about justice on December 13th, then UCSC professor and author Patricia Zavella will talk about her new book published by Duke University , “I’m Neither Here nor There” all about Mexicans’ quotidian struggles with migration and poverty with lots of focus on our local problems. “quotidian” means daily or commonly. I looked it up. I thought a “quotidian” was something The Great Morgani played with his foot , like an accordion only smaller. Jim Mosher returns on Dec 27 to talk more about his work on regulating alcohol and marketing it to young non drinkers. Next year Claudia Sternbach guests on January 3 to talk about her new book, “Reading Lips“. 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. Plus 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. “Liza Minelli comes out looking like a giant rodent en route to a costume ball”, S. Kaufmann. “What is Uncle Vanya about? I would say it’s about as much as I can take”, Roger Garland. “Critics are pygmies with poison darts who live in the valley of the sleeping giants”, Dagobert D. Runes


Deep Cover by tim eagan.

Posted in Weekly Articles | Comments Off on December 5 – 11, 2011