Blog Archives

December 7 – 13, 2016

SNOW ON PACIFIC AVENUE 1957. 7:46 am. A long time tradition of printing snow and Christmas scene photos this month. As you can almost see this is Church street and Pacific Avenue. It’s about in front of the Regal’s Cinema 9 across from O’Neil’s Surf Shop.                                                        

photo credit: Covello & Covello Historical photo collection.

Additional information always welcome: email

DATELINE December 5, 2016

SANTA CRUZ CITY COUNCIL VOTES CRY FOR CHANGE. Just seeing Martine Watkins outdraw Cynthia Mathews is an indication that folks want to change the way our city is governed. A much bigger sign of wanting change is the election of progressives Chris Krohn back onto the City council and especially  Sandy Brown‘s election to the council. Drew Glover came in at only 604 votes (as of Monday 12/05) behind Sandy. I think Bernie Sanders cry for a “Brand New Council” was certainly heard and acted on. Let’s hope this signals the ending of Cynthia Mathews control over the downward spiral of growth and meaness. There’s going to be a huge party to celebrate all the work and dedication that went into those victories. It’ll be Friday, December 9th from 6-9pm at the 418 Project on Front Street along with laughs and fun there’ll be music by the marimba band, Kazunga and food by India Joze. This will be the start of something big!!!

HYPER DRIVE DOWN CABRILLO HIGHWAY. Not all that sure where this was shot but watch it and drive slowly.

COAST DAIRIES, A TOUR. Only a few weeks left before we learn about this possible loss of aready protected land into National monument status.

NEW LIBRARY AND PARKING LOT & STOP THE FARMERS MARKET??? Rick Longinotti sent an important message about the second attempt in just a few years to build a huge new parking structure downtown. It’s another  example of  Cynthia Mathews ongoing belief that all development and growth are wonderful, or even necessary. Rick stated, ” there is/ was a staff proposal for a 5-story parking garage at the lot where the Downtown Farmers Market meets.  Before taking action, the Council would benefit from reviewing advice that it received from expert parking consultants. 

On October 15, 2015, a joint meeting of the Downtown Commission and Planning Commission heard a presentation from three different consultants on how to address parking demand Downtown. It’s worth watching the video of this session. Go to this page and enter Santa Cruz Planning Commission in the search box.
The consultants all agreed that the cost of building new parking capacity is so high that it is cost-effective to implement “demand management” measures that provide incentives for people who work downtown to commute to work by means other than a car.  Janis Rhodes told the Commissioners that the cost of parking spaces in a new garage is so high that, “No agency will make enough on user fees to pay for that space. We’ve become very conservative—maximizing existing inventories before we step out into that arena of financing new resources.”
The Nelson-Nygaard company estimated the cost of building a new parking garage in Berkeley, “The cost to construct new parking garages in Downtown can be expected to be in the range of $40,000 per space. This equates to a total cost to build, operate and maintain new spaces of approximately $280 per month per space, every month for the expected 35-year lifetime of the typical garage.”  The City of Santa Cruz estimate for the cost of new spaces is even higher. The 489 net new spaces in the proposed garage (632 new spaces minus 143 space in the existing lot) would cost $33-$37 million. That’s $67,000 -$75,000 per space.
The good news is that there is a lot of potential to provide more customer parking without building a single new space. Many parking spaces are occupied by people with monthly parking permits. The City has 2916 parking spaces Downtown and sells 1831 monthly parking permits. These permits cost $30-$35 per month. The City would save a lot of money by paying downtown employees not to park, offering free bus passes, and credit at bike stores. And  the City could run a shuttle from Downtown to the enormous parking lots at the Boardwalk, which lay empty a large part of the year. 

The consultants offered the City a valuable message: Implement parking demand management incentives before you consider building new parking capacity. Rick concluded by saying “On Tuesday (Dec. 6 when the Council heard this) , let’s remind the City Council that our priorities are to reduce automobile use and greenhouse gases. You can’t get there by building new parking, then subsidizing it for users”.

108 SYCAMORE PROJECT. Down at the end of Pacific Avenue across from Lott’s Audio and right next to that Barry Swenson apartment complex (that has that too much water problem) is 108 Sycamore street. Reed Searle brings us some facts, data and ideas that demand attention. He states …

If you go look at the building you will see it is surely decrepit, but so was the historic La Bahia. There is an anomaly in the applicable code:  if tenants are evicted so the building can be remodeled, then the tenants must be replaced or rehoused.  But if the building is deemed dangerous by the authorities (without thought of whether it could be economically repaired) then there is no obligation to spare the house.  So all a landlord would have to do is to let the building become a safety hazard, opt to tear it down—-and in this case to change a 5 unit apartment building (the oldest concrete structure in the city) into a somewhat larger hotel.  And this could set one hell of a precedent for developing the whole beach area.

Then there’s a question of why this project wasn’t referred to the Santa Cruz Historic Commission. It is evident from the reference below (to the city attorney) that there is a problem with the code section;  But the code section is clear as is, even though I’m sure that wasn’t intended.

The first question involves the purview of the Zoning Administration (ZA).  If that purview is only to see whether a proposed project meets the technical requirements of the code, even if to allow the project involves shoe-horning, that is one thing—-it is pretty much a mechanical exercise.  On the other hand, if the ZA may determine issues related to policy, we are in a different ballpark. 

We all know that we have a serious housing problem. This application does present a policy issue that should be resolved by the City Council.  If this app is granted, we will have a precedent applicable to the entire area and will gradually exclude residents in favor of commercial interests.   If this is what we want there should be a clear statement by the Council. We do not help that by removing rental units and converting the property to visitor services.  Current use in the area is multi-family residential uses as well as commercial.  “Hotel uses are principally permitted” but so are multi-family residential. The General Plan encourages a mix of uses in his area.  

Replacement housing is normally required when housing units are being demolished.  But # 24.08.1380 grants exceptions and DN apply when the building people or fire marshal decides it is dangerous and needs to be replaced.  Why should it make any difference as to later use if

a building is demolished because the building is dangerous.  “This code section was reviewed by the City Attorney’s office in regards to this project and determined to be applicable. Therefore replacement housing is not required as part of this application.” says the report . About the possible height:  whatever  can be done to build a hotel can also be done with residential units.

The hotel plans call for an eleven (11) parking space garage.  The hotel rooms rooms, at 600 square feet with two bedrooms, bathrooms, living room and kitchenette, are completely compatible with long term rental housing.  What this means is that its use as a hotel is intended to be more economically rewarding than it would be possible as rental units.  It is basically the same issue as with vacation rentals. The plans also include 20 bike storage spaces on the roof deck—-not a nice view and it reduces the space on the roof for anyone desiring a view”. ( Reed Searle is a former attorney, a member of The Community Water Commission and other activist activities).

RACIAL HATRED NEVER WENT AWAY. Sandy Lydon guesting on my Universal Grapevine radio program last Tuesday 11/29, (archived at had a special segment titled, “What The Hell Is Happening” (also available online now at Sandy’s Central Coast Secrets).  He talked about how we repatriated over 1,000,000 Mexican/Mexican Americans between 1929 and 1936. He spoke of the torch light mobs chanting “The Chinese must go” in downtown Santa Cruz in 1879 and the cross-burnings by the Ku Klux Klan at Lighthouse Point in the 1920’s. Then there was the anti-Filipino murder of a farm worker in the Pajaro Valley in 1930. There are photos of the Ku Klux Klan marching on Pacific Avenue, and more photos of the double lynching of Francisco Arias and Jose Chamales under our Water Street bridge in 1877. We do have an embarassing history, and with a revival looming in our very near future we need to be extra aware and sensitive.

BEST BUY BEGETS BITTER BACKSTABBING BATTLE. If you ever wondered why the sales staff at Best Buy loves you so much the instant you walk in the door you won’t be surprised to learn that any and all the regular salesfolk must meet a $300 (three hundred dollars) PER HOUR minimum sales quota!!! Salespeople in the computer and Television departments must meet an even higher quota PER HOUR. If they don’t meet it they are soon placed behind the checkout counter. That’s also why they aren’t too eager to turn you over to another clerk who might know more about your wishes.


I was struck by the front -page Sentinel article and photograph (12/4/16) of the couple fishing from the Santa Cruz Municipal wharf. They travel from Salinas twice a month to fish and grew up fishing from the wharf since they were kids. Fishing from the very same spot that her Dad fished, Jeri Gile was quoted as saying that “just being here I sense his presence.” Such sentiment apparently has no place in the hearts of the city’s economic developers. They point out that people will still be able to fish from the wharf under the expensive make-over should it ever become reality. True, but there are essential differences that matter. It’s obvious that the vast majority of folks who fish from the current wharf are working -class, of modest means. They park their vehicle next to their favorite fishing spot, open the trunk of the car for handy access to supplies, set up a couple of seats and spend the day with rod and reel and for many, childhood memories. Under the Wharf Master Plan this will not be possible. The design from the San Francisco based firm, ROMA, has the fishing area thirty feet away from the parked cars, separated by a 24 foot wide multi-use pathway for bikes, pedestrians, segways, whatever. Try casting in that confusion.  The old weathered wooden railings replaced by stainless steel. Try drumming up childhood memories on those surfaces.

I grew up fishing with my Dad in an area north of Sydney, Australia, known as Pittwater. An area of singular beauty, it has undergone a similar transition as Santa Cruz from a place where working class folks could afford a modest home and drop a mooring for a small boat, to a place where the same houses sell for millions of dollars and the area is nick-named, “The Golden Triangle.” While I could never afford to live there now, when I return for a visit, I can walk on the same piers, fish from the same spots, enjoy the same trees only bigger and feel the presence of my Dad. In other words, the community and its elected council have preserved the essential feel and nature of the place despite its shift into upper class price range. They don’t hire urban planners from Sydney to come and design makeovers that would change the essential character of the place just to squeeze out more money. If they ever did, I guarantee there would be swift and stiff opposition as there has been to the Santa Cruz city’s Wharf Master Plan.

click here to continue (link expands, click again to collapse)

~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    Plus she’s an avid ocean swimmer, hiker and lover of all things wild).

PATTON’S PROGRAM. From Gary’s Two Worlds website…Monday December 5, 2016 #340 / OCEAN SCORES AND DARK POSTS ON FACEBOOK

On November 20, 2016, the Sunday New York Times printed an opinion piece titled, “The Secret Agenda of a Facebook Quiz.” The article was of interest to me, as someone who is an active participant on Facebook, where this Two Worlds blog is routinely republished. I have, from time to time, taken such quizzes, offered on Facebook – as perhaps some of my readers have, too. 

McKenzie Funk, the author of the Times‘ opinion piece, is a reporter who works on global environmental issues. He has an impressive resume that you can review by clicking the link. Funk’s article tells us that various “quizzes” found on Facebook are, actually, efforts by Cambridge Analytica, a Republican Party political consulting firm, to amass a psychological profile of Facebook users. 

According to Funk, the company now has a database of some 230 million adult Americans, and this database was mobilized during the Trump presidential campaign, and may well have played a part in helping Trump to win the election. 

The profiles being amassed by Cambridge Analytica are based on so-called “OCEAN” scores – psychological profiles that evaluate “how you rate according to the big five psychological traits of Openness, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness and Neuroticism.”

In the future (and probably already), Facebook advertisers, including political advertisers, can use the Cambridge Analytica system of OCEAN scores to send you “dark posts,” which are fine-tuned to appeal to a very restricted group, all of whom have the same psychological profile. Those with different profiles will get different ads.

Read all about it by clicking this link. Then, watch out! As Funk says, if you don’t understand what’s going on here, “you may … be responsible the next time America is shocked by an election upset.”  Hey, the last time was bad enough!!

(Gary is a former Santa Cruz County Supervisor (20 years) and an attorney who represents indivuduals and community groups on land use and environmental issues. The opinions expressed are Mr. Patton’s. Gary has his own website, Two Worlds at


CLASSICAL DeCINZO. Santa Cruz’s “Holiday Carriage Rides”, as viewed by DeCinzo see below just a few scrolls.

EAGAN’S DEEP COVER. See Eagan’s “Student Driver” down a few pages. As always, at 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: “The best girl-power stories are true. Meet the 13-year-old heroine of the stunningly beautiful documentary The Eagle Huntress, a daughter of Mongolian nomads who defies tradition to master the male-dominated art of hunting with eagles, this week at Lisa Jensen Online Express  Also, I am hourly expecting an update of the progress of my Beast book, so please stand by! ” Lisa has been writing film reviews and columns for Good Times since 1975.  

MOONLIGHT. For starters Moonlight  has a 98 % on Rotten Tomatoes, so it’s not just me who really not only enjoyed this tale of drugs, gangs, and love, but people who like deep, serious films loved it too. Set in Miami, this sharp, delicate, brilliant story of a Black man’s life is told in three parts. It’s best not to read too much about the plot and just watch with wonder as it unfolds. You’ve never seen a film like this one. Please go and go quickly. Landmark may not keep it too long if we don’t support it.

NOCTURNAL ANIMALS. Jake Gyllenhaal, Amy Adams, Michael Shannon and Laura Linney are simply perfect in their lead roles in this intelligent, puzzling, tense thriller. It wowed them at the Cannes Film Fest and it’s an impressive job of film making by director Tom Ford who knows what he’s doing. Jake and Amy are divorced, he writes a book based on their relationship that’s only half true. Plenty of violence, suspense, and a plot that will keep you 100% involved…that’s rare nowadays. Go see it ASAP.

A MAN NAMED OVE. A Swedish film with subtitles. Whew…93 on Rotten Tomatoes!!! It’s worth every tomato too. The film centers on 59 year old Ove and his attempts at suicide. He fails many times and dreams back to his near perfect and lovely wife who died, and why he wants to join her. He’s beyond crabby, he’s angry, mean and yet, and yet, there’s something so magnetic and powerful and redeeming in him that you’ll watch and wait for his every move. It’s a wonderful film…and I think he’s older than 59, and I remember 59 fairly well. Rolf Lassgard who plays Ove is actually 61 and has been in many films and even played Puck in a production of Midsummer Night’s Dream!!

HACKSAW RIDGE. Another extra bloody, super hero film from Mel Gibson.  A World War II Okinawa battle film about a Seventh Day Adventist (true story) who wouldn’t touch or carry a gun and rescued 75 wounded soldiers under extra heavy gunfire. Maybe too bloody, probably too goofy a hero, and yet…the battle scenes are some of the best I’ve ever seen onscreen. Go only if you like well made films that are over the top violent.

ALLIED. Gee, I thought that Brad Pitt was leaving Angelina Jolie because he fell in love with Marion Cotillard his co-star in this 1942 Casablanca war and spy semi-thriller. Not many thrills or mystery or surprises…it’s mostly just a pretty WWII Casablanca wanna be Hollywood movie. After I found out that Brad and Angelina were still together there was no way to remember anything about this movie. 😉

LOVING. A great and inspiring true story of Richard and Mildred Loving and how and why their racially mixed marriage were convicted in 1958 and went all the way to the Supreme Court in 1967 and won!! Ruth Negga plays the Black American wife and Joel Edgerton is the dull, stoic, mechanic husband. It’s a fine film, and it’s sterile, lacking human-ness, or reasons why they love each other. It’s even inspiring, involves two well meaning jerk attorneys from the ACLU and once again…it’s just not very heart-felt.

ARRIVAL. Amy Adams has always been an excellent actor and she’s even better in this pretty sophisticated science fiction spellbinder. 11 alien speceships hover around earth just a few feet above ground while Amy and Jeremy Renner attempt to communicate with them. It’s a thoughtful film and it’ll make you wonder just how would anybody relate to aliens (and vice versa) Like the Trump victory the world is in a state of shock over these visitors. No killings, violence or cheap cliches…a fine film. I forgot to add that like so many Special effects films nowadays it is photographed in a very dark style. (Saves money I guess)

DOCTOR STRANGE. I had to work very hard all through this latest Marvel Comic special effects spectacular to remind myself….it’s a comic book, it’s a comic book. etc. It doesn’t make any sense, there’s little logic in any character’s role and We get to see Benedict Cumberbatch do his American accent (it’s flawless). Not only does Cumbarbatch play Dr. Strange but Chiwetel Ejiofor, Rachel McAdams, and the always wonderful Tilda Swinton all do their damndest to out do any/all previous Marvel Comic special effects silliness. Dr. Stephen Strange’s hands are ruined in a car accident and he goes to Kathmandu and tons of mysticism to repair his surgeon’s hands. Go only if you truly believe in comic books…then you’ll love it.

FANTASTIC BEASTS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM. The first Harry Potter spinoff from J.K. Rowling, and it’s only the first of four more Beast movies planned!! Eddie Redmayne and Colin Farrell are the only actors we know of. In this very dark, depressing, beast filled mistake. Set in New York City in 1926 it lacks any semblence of the charm, magic, character or even cuteness of Harry Potter’s world of Hogwarts and vicinity. Special effects produced beast like snakes, octopii, Dragons, Hydras, and more than 85 different types according to Rowland’s book. Redmayne and Farrell aren’t given a chance to be likable or empathetic. You probably catch my drift…don’t go.

THE ACCOUNTANT & DONALD TRUMP MONEY. For some mysterious reason this lousy, nearly insane movie is back again playing in several chain and independent theatres. We should all remember that Steven Mnuchin of Wall Street’s Goldman Sachs is one of the film’s producers, is now Donald Trumps pick as our next Secretary of the Treasury!!! It’s just if you care where your money goes…that’s all. The movie??? Well… Ben Affleck plays an autistic criminal bookeeper who is also a ruthless killer, and yes, that makes as little sense as does 98 % of this murder filled mess of a movie. Anna Kendrick, J.K. Simmons, Jeffrey Tambor and even John Lithgow all do what they can in such a miscast cast that makes you feel like you’re watching an audition session, that nobody cares if they get the parts or not. You won’t believe the plot, or the acting, or the fact that you paid money to see this flick. ps. Jack Reacher is better…if you like these type flicks



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. Keeping traditional, the winners of Bookshop Santa Cruz Young Writers Contest read their entries the full hour on December 6. December 13 has Jennifer Horne from UCSC’s Film Dept. discussing changing techniques in film development. PAMF’s Dr. Paul Ware follows Jennifer to tell us some of his theories about health and the role food plays. On December 20, author Lois Watson talks about her popular book, “Growing Up In Santa Cruz”. UCSC retiree Lincoln Taiz and Lee Taiz follow Lois and tell us about their new book, “Flora Unveiled” (plant sex).  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     

Here’s what they have in Canada…

NEW UNIVERSAL GRAPEVINE ARCHIVE FEATURE. Stuff changes at KZSC a lot. If you missed either of the last two weeks of Universal Grapevine broadcasts go here You have to listen to about 4 minutes of that week’s KPFA news first, then Grapevine happens.

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 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.


“Often undecided whether to desert a sinking ship for one that might not float, he would make up his mind to sit on the wharf for a day”
, Lord Beaverbrook

“A life spent at the edge of the pier is a life full of regret, a life full of fear.”
Ryan Lilly

“Voyage upon life’s sea, to your own self be true, And, whatever your lot may be, Paddle your own canoe”, Anon.

COLUMN COMMUNICATIONS. 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!!

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Deep Cover by Tim Eagan.

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