Blog Archives

February 10 – 17, 2021

Highlights this week:

BRATTON…Humans, dishonesty and Trump, Bookshop revisited, Palm Oil dangers. GREENSITE…on cutting down our future. KROHN…UCSC Growth Strategy, Joe Biden’s presidency, podcast suggestions. STEINBRUNER…Supervisors changing county properties, Seabreeze Tavern ownership issues, County Fairgrounds and animal evacuations, Nevada’s big tech giveaways. PATTON…Cellphones and privacy. EAGAN…classic Deep Covers and Subconscious Comics. QUOTES…”Valentines”. 


CHUCK AND ESTHER ABBOTT AT HOME. The Abbotts were mostly responsible for bringing and encouraging businesses to open in the Pacific Avenue Downtown. They also donated funds to build our noted lighthouse, in honor of their son who drowned surfing. This photo was taken June 3, 1965, in front of the Abbotts house at Lincoln and Chestnut Streets. It shows the Abbotts with some volunteers and friends.                                                         

photo credit: Covello & Covello Historical photo collection.

Additional information always welcome: email

DATELINE February 8


DISHONESTY, TRUMP, THE INTERNET. In between all the robo scam calls I get every day, I got to thinking that Trump didn’t create the terrible racial hatred in the United States – he just allowed what was already there to become visible. Same thing for the internet: it only gave voice to the evil, crooked human nature that was already there, or here. We live amongst infinite attempts to cheat us out of what is rightfully ours. It’s not just us; it’s present all over the world, as we see by the daily reports of war and murder. Human beings are now, and always will be, just like our animal relations: constantly fighting, and at war over what we perceive to be our “given rights”. Look back at the records of our ancestors, even at the early Hawaiian folks who lived in paradise and yet fought horrendous bloody fights among their groups. Is there ever hope for a peaceful world? Will we ever “come together” and share? More to follow!!!

BOOKSHOP HISTORY REVISITED. Dr. Paul Lee, author, lecturer, co-host of the Penny University writes… “Just to fill out one more step in the Bookshop Santa Cruz History. I visited Santa Cruz prior to moving here, and was told by Page Smith and Byron Stookey of UCSC to go meet Al DiLudovico at the Catalyst deli, and to contribute to the founding of the Catalyst as a town/gown project of Stookey’s. So I did. Al told me the Hip Pocket book store had recently folded, and they were looking for a month’s rent to carry it until a new owner could be found. I wrote him a check. And then Ron Lau arrived to take it on.” 

THINK ABOUT IT! BrattonOnline can certainly use some financial help to meet the internet technical support. As previously mentioned none of us who write for BrattonOnline receive any funds at all and… the best things in life are never free. Domain fees and charges keep increasing and we need to support webwoman Gunilla Leavitt so she can deal with these increases. You can use PayPal directly, or click the donate button. The PayPal email is and you can use the send to family and friends feature. The name that comes up when you send money is “Online Payment”. You can also use Venmo (@Godmoma) or CashApp (@Godmoma9) if you would rather. We thank you for the support!

PALM OIL DANGERS CONTINUED. Last week we heard from Sara Cloud about the dangers from palm oil in Girl Scout Cookies. Linda Burman-Hall of the Santa Cruz Baroque Festival and KSQD writes…

“I’ve worked in southeast Asia, especially Indonesia, since 1978 and I’ve kept my eye on the palm oil situation since I first learned about the terrible effects on local communities in 2011. Although your readers will probably know me as the director of Santa Cruz Baroque Festival (SCBAROQUE.ORG), I work as a research ethnomusicologist annually with shamans of tribes living in the rainforest.

The forest is owned communally by clan tradition, and clans live off the forest bartering for all needs using the forest rather than cash. But if the government forces a tribe to contract with a palm oil company for government payoffs, then the palm oil company will not only clearcut the forest and sell all the wood, depriving the tribe of their ability to grow fruits, the staple of their traditional diet, but also assigning each family a small plot of individually owned land of what was previously collective land. The family must then mortgage their newly titled land to pay for training in how to farm the oil palm, which provides no food, and buy food from the company store.

Typically, the plantations are visited by ‘foreign’ men with cash money who teach the locals to gamble, woo and impregnate the young daughters of the locals with no intention to be there to raise the resulting children, and teach the young people to want coca cola, jeans, radios, TVs and phones, all available on credit from the company store. With these pressures, realistically, a family never can clear the mortgage on their land; and if the younger generation opts to leave the plantation to go to the city to live under a bridge and try to drive a pedicab for a living (for example), then the aging generation can only hire sharecroppers, further subdividing their own minimal income which becomes solely from palm oil.

Usually, as a consequence of government poor choice to opt for oil palm the rainforest families will lose the land of their ancestors in a generation or two in this manner, along with their culture, traditions and self-respect. Endangered primates and all animals who lived in the natural jungle lose out with the destruction of their habitat, and the hungry ones still left will still try to eat oil palm after the land is converted, which becomes a death sentence since the fences are usually inadequate to keep them out, and they are poisoned or shot, or both, by the plantation guards.

Ultimately, vigilant consumers are among the best guardians of the orangutans, gibbons and the rainforest itself: JUST SAY NO TO ALL PALM OIL.

SPECIAL NOTE….Don’t forget that when you’re not too sure of a plot or need any info on a movie, to go to Wikipedia. It lays out the straight/non-hype story, plus all the details you’ll need including which server (Netflix, Hulu, PBS) you can find it on.

MALCOLM AND MARIE. (NETFLIX SINGLE) Zendaya, the co-star of this movie, is from Oakland. She and John David Washington plus a few friends filmed this in a “glass house” in Carmel during the pandemic, and did a super job. The plot involves John, a filmmaker who has just received a great review of his new film in the LA Times, arguing throughout the entire film with Zendaya. Their fights are our fights, their issues are our issues and it’s an excellent movie. 

ADU. (NETFLIX SINGLE).Some poor directorial decisions mar the weaving of three almost totally unrelated stories into one heartwarming movie. Adu is a little boy who has to escape his warlike Africa hometown. Another story centers on the conflicting feelings of border guards. The most involved saga deals with illegal elephant ivory tusks, and a father/daughter entanglement. It’s a fine movie, but hard to follow. 

FIREFLY LANE (NETFLIX SERIES) a 48 on RT. Katherine Heigl and her BFF Sarah Chalke go through some show biz type plots, and make this a pretty ditzy movie. There are laughs and cute twists – but nothing, absolutely nothing here that you’ll remember while you’re looking for a new mask to wear later today.

BLISS. (AMAZON PRIME SINGLE) I’m giving up trying to figure out the plot of this one. Owen Wilson gets fired from his job and meets Salma Hayek and it goes into sci-fi and nonsense from there on. Local fans should watch for Joshua Leonard, son of Bob and Joann Leonard of Watsonville, who plays a character called Cameron. The movie switches from realities to fantasies and back again. You’ll probably give up long before it’s over… don’t worry about it.

LADY AND THE DALE. (HBO SERIES) This nearly unbelievable documentary has a 100 RT – the result of executive directing by the Duplass brothers, which makes any movie near great to begin with. Jerry Dean Michael was a con artist from birth. He later changed his name to Elizabeth Carmichael – a trans woman – and managed to convince a lot of the world that a motorcycle with two tires in front would change the world. See it as soon as possible, great fun betwixt the grimaces.

RADIOACTIVE. (AMAZON PRIME Single) The lovely and effervescent Rosamund Pike plays the Polish-born Marie Curie, the first woman to win the Noble Prize. This pointless drama covers both Curie’s secret love affair, and her belief in the occult. It lacks a driving force, in spite of showing us Curie’s fight against sexism, and ethnic prejudice, and being beautifully filmed. I’d give it a 5 out of 10 if I was giving anything. 

HACHE. (NETFLIX Series) You’ll remember that the lead woman’s name is HACHE, which begins with H as does Heroin. Set in Barcelona in 1960, it’s the story of Hache, a prostitute who eventually (about three episodes) figures out how to not just break into the controlling mob scene, but become a significant player. You’ll see lots of violence, much police illegal activity, plus brutality and sex. There are better things to do with your time.

PALMER. (APPLE TV+ Single)The big deal here is that it stars Justin Timberlake as Palmer, a football star in high school but then got sent to prison. He returns to his hometown and becomes a full time parent to a gay little 7 year old boy. Many sobs later, Palmer settles into his leading role and it’s fairly predictable. Watch it if you want to feel good about something.

BELOW ZERO (NETFLIX Single) A Spanish film about a trailer transporting prisoners between prisons. The trailer is stopped by spiked tires, and a long search ensues among the prisoners for one in particular. Which prisoner, and why him, is the plot. It’s tense, exciting, and nearly believable. Don’t miss it for sure! It was number one on Netflix a week ago!!!

THE VANISHED. (NETFLIX Single) I’ve always liked Anne Heche, but she wasted her time and talent in this mixed-up saga. A couple with their little daughter go to a trailer park. The daughter disappears, and it takes a long time to stage the reason why. Do not waste your time trying to outwit the movie…take a nap instead. 21 on RT.

THE DIG. (NETFLIX SINGLE) You can’t beat the pairing of Britain’s Carey Mulligan and Ralph (“Rafe”) Fiennes in this 1939 setting that centers on the excavation of an Anglo-Saxon burial ship named Sutton Hoo from the seventh century. British Museum’s battle over the rights to own and move the ship and Mulligan fights them. Brilliant, absorbing, great scenic splendor and never better acting. See this one as soon as possible. Checking upon this I read… The 27 meter long Anglo-Saxon ship from Sutton Hoo no longer exists. It was made of oak and after 1,300 years in the acidic soil, it rotted away leaving only its ‘ghost’ imprinted in the sand. The movie never deals with this fact making us believe that the wooden ship itself was three dimensional. 

 LOSING ALICE.(APPLE + Series) It’s filmed and set in contemporary Israel. A woman film director is facing getting older while raising three daughters and living with her husband who’s a famous movie star. Much sensitive game playing between them as they deal with a beautiful young screen writer who wedges her way between and amongst them. A first class movie, with fine directing, good camera work and a plot that will keep you completely involved. Don’t avoid it. It has a 71 on Rotten Tomatoes.

PENGUIN BLOOM. (NETFLIX Single) One of the most shallow, corny, cutesy movies in decades. Naomi Watts becomes wheel chair bound and a magpie named penguin is supposed to be some message to her to keep living. It’s a 100% Australian production, which adds some interest but it’s so treacley you’ll have a tough time staying with its predictable and weak plot.

ONE NIGHT IN MIAMI. (APPLE + SINGLE)Try to imagine an intimate get together with Muhammed Ali, Malcolm X, Sam Cooke and Jim Brown from the NFL in 1964. Their shared and unshared reactions to the racial issues of their time is amazingly realistic and educational. It has a 98 on RT and deserves it. It’s an adaption of the play and shows the sensitive, delicate reactions to racial prejudice. Watch it and think about the genius behind Regina King’s first big time director achievements 

THE WHITE TIGER.(NETFLIX Single) A wonderful story and movie from a book about the class system in India. It takes place in Delhi and centers on Balram a young boy who grows from a very wise to near genius level in fighting India’s rigid social structure. Struggling upwards in the illegal government system Balram succeeds and ends up controlling a business of his own. A long war between servants, ruling classes, mobsters, and family ties, it’s brilliant, go for it by all means.

THE RIPPER.(NETFLIX Series) There was a mass murderer in London in the late 1970’s and early 80’s who patterned his killings after the famed Jack the Ripper the century before (1888) . This documentary is not only well done but it centers on the very poor and later exposed police investigations. A real change in online viewing… it’s perfectly assembled, logically developed and surprising in the exposing the lousy job the police and other authorities did in the decades they tried to catch The Ripper. The real Jack the Ripper (1888)  was never caught even though he’d sent letters to the police.

GIRI / HAJI. (NETFLIX Series) Giri Haji means Duty/Shame. Tricky, involved, many flashbacks, stabbings and only a fair series.  It’s set in London and Tokyo where a detective goes searching for his gang involved brother.  Yakusas (Mafia) battle each other and share very weak promises and loyalties to their gangs.  No standout acting or direction, it just seems to go in circles with no purpose. You can easily avoid this one, and no-one will know the difference. Trust me.  

BRIDGERTON. (NETFLIX Series) Set in 1813 London this is a poor copy of Downton Abbey (1912-1926). Even the music background sounds like Downton Abbey, but the acting is miserable, the casting lacks class and the sub plots are boring. One interesting thing is that the casting is multi-racial. That means there are blacks and Asians in roles that seem out of historical accuracy, but it is odd to think about what the real times were like. Julie Andrews does the entire voice over for the series, but it doesn’t help the overall phoniness. 

KILL BILL. (HBO MAX parts one and two). Quentin Tarantino created a masterpiece of movies with these dramas. Uma Thurman and David Carradine keep us totally absorbed in this saga of blood, sweat and brilliance. Sure you’ve seen it before (back in    ) but watch it again, there’s so many subtle touches we missed the first time.

PRETEND IT’S A CITY.(NETFLIX SERIES) 86 on rt. There are seven episodes in this diatribe about New York City by author and critic Fran Lebowitz. Martin Scorsese is both her producer and her interviewer and enabler as Fran takes apart the many sides of why people live in New York. If you like or even love New York City you’ll howl over the issues, problems and challenges she makes such good fun of hour after hour. High rents, street crimes, crowds, weather, she covers them all.

TIGER. (HBO) This is a two part documentary on HBO that tells us, or reminds us of all the troubles Tiger Woods has faced in his golfing career. His sex life, his injuries, his children, his completely domineering father; it’s all in this expose. Still we watch and admire Tiger for the way he’s survived. Completely riveting and revealing. Watch it quickly while HBO is still featuring it.

PIECES OF A WOMAN. (NETFLIX SINGLE) This movie is just a bit corny and cute but it’ll grab you in many different ways. A young couple has a baby with the help of a midwife. The baby dies and the plot thickens around the midwife and mom’s mother. The mother is well played by Ellen Burstyn. You could guess the ending but I’m not going to help you. If you need to shed a tear or two during these sad times go for it. I liked it a lot.

LUPIN. (NETFLIX SERIES). A neatly twisted robbery plot of Marie Antoinette’s necklace from the Louvre. There’s revenge, politics (French politics) and many, many Louvre scenes. The plot is complex enough to keep you glued to your viewing device for all seven episodes. What is outstanding is that the acting is excellent and believable. Reader Judi Grunstra writes…” In your blurb about the Netflix show “Lupin,” you say there are 7 episodes.  There are only 5 (more to come in a 2nd season)”.

THE KING OF STATEN ISLAND.(HBO MAX SINGLE) Staten Island like New Jersey has a nutty and not too good a reputation around the New York City area. Marisa Tomei does a great job as mother to a bunch of teen agers trying to grow up on the island. Steve Buscemi has a bit part too. The boys hopes, dreams, smoking weed, and trying to face their predictable future make this a near tear jerker, I recommend it.

NOTES FOR MY SON (NETFLIX SINGLE). An 80 on R.T. this is a nearly true to life sad saga of a well known Argentine woman is dying of ovarian cancer. She’s got a 4 year old son and an engrossing husband who combine to make this a vastly superior movie. It deals with assisted suicide, euthanasia, sedated death in a completely realistic way. Be prepared to be overwhelmed by the emotions, and it’s a fine movie.

THE MIRE (NETFLIX SERIES). A Polish murder mystery taking place in the early 80’s . An important community leader and a prostitute are found dead and some competing journalists/ writer’s  search for the guilty guy or woman will keep you centered. Well done, nicely acted, and another season is coming soon.

February 8

I know how this man feels. If I had to pick a negative from my 46 years in Santa Cruz, anguish over the wanton killing of big trees would be at the top. The sound of a chain saw evokes dread. 

So many big trees on the lower west side have been cut down during my time here and many more before that. Lighthouse Field was a forest until it was cleared of trees in the 1960’s to make way for a shopping center, predating the plan for a Convention Center. A few survivors remain. The nesting owls and hawks have gone.

I’ve been through the appeal process to try to save a few neighborhood big trees where tree safety or health was not at issue. No support from the city and never support from the various council majorities. Hostile homeowners hell bent on getting rid of the heritage tree that graced their yard and pre-dated their arrival, only to sell and move on when the tree was sacrificed to their hubris. Some are big players such as the Seaside Company, owner of the Sea and Sand Inn and whose bidding any number of geologists and tree “experts” are willing to accommodate. The sky is falling! 

In the early days the imperative to save the big trees focused on their beauty and habitat value. If that wasn’t enough, now climate change offers us the compelling need and still we sacrifice them as though our survival weren’t linked with theirs. 

Recent scientific studies in the Pacific Northwest show that big trees are superb carbon sinks (three per cent of the largest trees contain almost half the forest’s carbon). Yet even with this knowledge, people, including some who call themselves environmentalists, seem satisfied with a couple of saplings planted as mitigation for the loss of an 80-foot tall tree. Some don’t see a problem with 47 trees to be cut down for a three quarter mile rail trail section between California Street and the Wharf Roundabout. After all, there will be tree art on the retaining wall, which is needed to shore up the bank when the trees are removed. No one it seems has counted the number of big trees that will be cut down over the 32 miles of the Monterey Bay Sanctuary Scenic Trail in order to accommodate a rail and trail. It may be in the thousands. Beauty, shade, habitat, carbon apparently don’t count for much in this context. Even expressing concern over such environmental impacts led to a disinformation campaign by rail trail activists to oust two members of the Sierra Club Executive Committee a year ago.

In the spirit of Gramsci’s “Pessimism of the intellect: optimism of the will” it is heartening that many in the community are mobilized to protect the big magnolias in the parking lot where the library/parking garage development is planned for downtown. Leaving aside the bad idea of relocating the library and building a parking garage, a more enlightened city leadership, both staff and council, would assure the public that the trees will be saved. After all the Heritage Tree Ordinance states that, outside of reasons of health, safety or compromising a structure, a heritage tree can be removed only if a building design cannot accommodate the tree. Since there is as yet no specific design, saving the magnolia trees on the outside perimeter should be a given. Trees within the footprint could be relocated rather than killed. 

A recent grant funded the planting of 500 young trees throughout the city. A positive step but negated by the number of big trees cut down every month. If we were serious, every big tree that the city permits to be cut down for a new development would be required to be relocated at the developer’s expense. Such big tree relocation is doable and has a 90 per cent success rate. 

While the city’s Heritage Tree Ordinance has failed to protect many big trees, (disproving the urban myth that it is impossible to get a city permit to remove a tree) county trees have even less protection. Outside of the narrow coastal zone, county trees are unprotected. The photo below shows a small number of the total stumps of approximately 40 trees hacked down for the planned new complex on Capitola Road next to the Live Oak Supermarket. A sad sight indeed. These are the small ones. Maybe not the best specimens but at some point in our future, if we have one, some will look at such pictures and exclaim, “what were they thinking!” Apparently we aren’t.

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.


February 8

University Growth Strangling Community
Is there anything more infuriating to Santa Cruz voters than the mere fact that University of California, Santa Cruz “planners” are going forward with a growth plan that is sure to make life worse in Surf City: more traffic, higher rents, more pressure on our water supply, and of course it will lead to larger class sizes and a drop in the quality of the UC education experience. There is no longer an argument that the growth of the university will at some future time disrupt and put asunder the idea of a healthy Santa Cruz community controlling its own political and social destiny because UC’s growth has already drastically altered done so, and the notion of a sane, predictable, or just housing market is in tatters. What part of the June 2018 vote does Oakland, where UC is based, not get? Just asking. Seventy-six percent of Santa Cruz voters said YES to the following question:
“Shall an Ordinance be adopted expressing the Santa Cruz community’s opposition to the proposed enrollment growth at the University of California, Santa Cruz?” 

Yes: 12,606, No: 3,783

Again, what is not clear? This ballot initiative included the following language:

–There should be no additional enrollment growth at UCSC beyond the 19,500 students allowed by the current 2005 LRDP (UCSC has already reached this number)


But Growth There Will Be?

Growth is not inevitable. There is no freeway down Chestnut Street. The Dream Inn steroid project was defeated. Wilder Ranch, Lighthouse Field, and the Pogonip have all been preserved for open space. Any growth is always dependent on the will of the voters vs. the real estate and developer duo, but in this case, throw in the University of California. In spite of voters, the Long-Range Development Plan (LRDP) seems to call for a 30% growth in students on campus and thousands more in support staff and faculty in spite of the strong anti-growth 2018 vote. I was a member of the Community Advisory Group, which had members from the Chamber of Commerce, Santa Cruz Neighbors, and the Monterey Bay Economic Partnership along with former Supervisor Gary Patton, current Supervisor Ryan Coonerty, Councilmember Cynthia Mathews, and Westside activist, John Aird. In all my time in and out of local government spanning over 25 years, I had never seen such unanimity on any single issue across the political spectrum as I witnessed in this group. The group message was consistent to the then Chancellor George Blumenthal: UCSC is big enough and future growth should be constrained as much as possible. This advisory group met several times and each time the no more growth sentiment only became stronger, so strong that the group was evidently disbanded because scheduled meetings were cancelled and then no more meetings were held that I am aware. The message the Community Advisory Group was sending to the university administration was not a welcome one, but it without a doubt it was reflective of the community’s dissent for any more university growth.

Draft Environmental Impact Report (DEIR)

The Draft EIR is now out and needs to be responded to by the community. It is an important piece of the LRDP process. This is what the UCSC web site states:

“The Draft EIR has been released for a 60-day review period, beginning on Thursday, January 7, 2021 and concluding on Monday, March 8, 2021. Written comments on the EIR will be accepted anytime during the EIR review period. Please state “LRDP EIR Comments” in the subject line, and send your electronic responses via email to  or written responses via U.S. mail to the following address by 5:00 pm on Monday, March 8, 2021.”


Let’s All Keep Our Eyes Wide-open and Focused on the Biden Presidency Because…

Remember, Joe Biden:

Podcast Suggestions

The Daily Poster, with David Sirota and Thomas Frank’s, on how the “liberals” led by Larry Summers, are trying to downsized the once $2000 care package, now $1400 and possibly going down fast,  [link here]    

On The Media, with Brooke Gladstone and Bob Garfield, “Slaying the Fox Monster,” [link here] 

Le Show, with Harry Shearer is a summary of the week’s politics with music and Shearer’s theatrics which are enshrined in his Simpson’s voice-overs. [link here] 

Blindspot: The Road to 9/11, with Jim O’Grady is eight-part series on the political, social and economic implications leading up the 9/11 attack on the World Trade Center. [link here]  

And, if you still wonder if Black people have not been short-changed economically and legally segregated into poorer conditions than their white counterparts, here’s a segment from Terry Gross’ Fresh Air that really makes the case if not for reparations for our Black brothers and sisters, then at least it deserves some hard thinking about how to move beyond systemic racism, which created economic ghettos, consider Levittown, Daily City, Baltimore and St. Louis. [link here]   

“I congratulate Speaker Pelosi, Chairman Scott@USProgressivesfor including a $15 minimum wage in the House reconciliation bill. In 2021, a job should lift workers out of poverty, not keep them in it. 

Bookshop workers vote to affiliate with the Communication Workers of America (CWA) union. Wow!

(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 to the city council again in November of 2016, after his kids went off to college. His term ended in April of 2020.

Email Chris at

February 8

The parking lot at 701 Ocean Street could be eliminated and sold for a mixed-use development.  All but one building at the County Emeline Street Health Facilities would be demolished, two new multi-story building constructed, and the rest of the land sold for mixed-use development.  The empty lot next to the County offices on Freedom Boulevard where FEMA trailers provided shelter for nearly 100 families displaced by the Loma Prieta Earthquake damage would be sold for mixed-use development. The Roy Wilson Maintenance Yard in Watsonville may disappear.

Amazing changes, with no money currently budgeted to do anything.

However, consider the benefits of consolidating the many services for which the County taxpayers now pay to lease properties to provide various services.

Freedom Boulevard facilities would become four-stories tall, if the City of Watsonville allows that. (see page 106 of the Long Range Facilities Plan and the map on page 102): DOC-2021-106 Consider presentation on the Long-Range Facilities Plan, as outlined in the memorandum of the Deputy CAO/Director of Public Works – Santa Cruz County, CA

*175 Westridge Drive, Watsonville: Eliminate lease and relocate 15 Ag. Commissioner staff 
*420/ 440 May Ave., Santa Cruz: Eliminate lease and relocate 54 CSS staff 
*245, 432 Westridge Drive, Watsonville: Eliminate lease and relocate 97 HSD staff 
*18 W. Beach St., Watsonville: Eliminate lease and relocate 
*169 HSD staff County Government Center: Relocate 33 HSA (Environmental) staff and 8 CAO (Cannabis) Staff 
*215 E. Beach Street, Watsonville: Relocate 3 BOS (district 4) staff

Emeline facilities would become three stories tall, and provide a logical area for transitional housing for those served. (See page 97 of the Plan)

Support a “one-stop shop” for Health, Human, and Homeless Services » Provide housing and/or supportive or transitional housing alongside relevant HSA/HSD services. Redevelop the campus to accommodate the growing headcount of the existing HSA and HSD departments. In addition, HSA and HSD leadership have expressed interest in providing much needed supportive housing, transitional housing, and navigation centers. This campus would be a good candidate for integration of such uses. Furthermore, explore potential for affordable housing, market-rate housing, and/or other non-County uses, as the residential neighborhood character adjacent to the southern section of the campus makes this area a good candidate for housing development.

Sell the 701 Ocean Street parking lot for a mixed-use development???

(See pages 90-92 of the Plan):

» Capitalize prime downtown location 

» Densify site with non-County uses. Surface parking consumes approximately 4 acres of the site, which can be monetized through non County uses. This can be achieved by engaging a private development partner to develop the eastern portion of the site. 

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

Here is a shocking development.  Keep your eyes on this, as it would seemingly allow large corporations to have their own jurisdictions to rule as they wish, including courts.

According to a draft of the proposed legislation, obtained by the Review-Journal but not yet introduced in the Legislature, Innovation Zones would allow tech companies like Blockchains, LLC to effectively form separate local governments in Nevada, governments that would carry the same authority as a county, including the ability to impose taxes, form school districts and justice courts and provide government services, to name a few duties.

Bill would allow tech companies to create local governments.

This is the Draft Bill linked in this other article.


Cheers, Becky Steinbruner 831-685-2915

Becky Steinbruner 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. She ran again in 2020 on a slightly bigger shoestring and got 1/3 of the votes.

Email Becky at


#39 / Their Apps Betrayed Them

On Saturday, February 6, 2021, The New York Times ran an article by Charlie Warzel and Stuart A. Thompson. The headline on the hard-copy version of the article said, “Capitol Mob’s Phone Apps Betrayed Them.” The message of the article was that our cellphones are collecting, at all times, a detailed record of our physical location. This is true whether or not we permit the applications on our phones to use “location services.” 

Cellphones work by communicating with cell towers that pick up the signals from our phones, and then relay those signals on, whenever we become involved in a call, or when we use some application that requires network or internet connectivity. However, even if we are not actually “using” our phone to make a call or to access the internet, our phones and the nearest available cell tower are in continuing contact. Since the location of each cell tower is precisely known, anyone who can access “Cell Site Location Information,” so-called CSLI, can pretty much pinpoint the location, at all times, of any cellphone user. 

If you didn’t know this before, now you do. I can guarantee you that every student in my Legal Studies class at the University of California, Santa Cruz has definitely been made aware of the implications of this technology. My course is titled, “Privacy, Technology, And Freedom,” and hopefully you can see that issues of privacy and freedom are most definitely implicated in our use of cellphones. 

The Supreme Court has held, in a very important case, Carpenter v. United States, that law enforcement authorities must get a search warrant, based on some probable cause, before they can access CSLI for a specified person. Read The Times‘ article (paywall permitting) and you will learn that a “source,” perhaps someone within a telephone company, was easily able to get access to CSLI for those involved in the January 6th insurrection, and then decided to “leak” such information, which is one way that The Times has been able to prove who was actually involved.

The source shared this information, in part, because the individual was outraged by the events of Jan. 6. The source wanted answers, accountability, justice. The person was also deeply concerned about the privacy implications of this surreptitious data collection. Not just that it happens, but also that most consumers don’t know it is being collected and it is insecure and vulnerable to law enforcement as well as bad actors — or an online mob — who might use it to inflict harm on innocent people. (The source asked to remain anonymous because the person was not authorized to share the data and could face severe penalties for doing so.)

“What if instead of going to you, I wanted to publish it myself?” the source told us. “What if I were vengeful? There’s nothing preventing me from doing that. It’s totally available. If I had different motives, all it would take is a few clicks, and everyone could see it (emphasis added).”

So, heads up, folks. Tin foil hats, unfortunately, are unlikely to provide a workable solution!

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

Email Gary at


EAGAN’S SUBCONSCIOUS COMICS. View classic inner view ideas and thoughts with Subconscious Comics a few flips down.

EAGAN’S DEEP COVER. See Eagan’s ” Deep Cover” 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


“A heart is not judged by how much you love, but by how much you are loved by others”.
~Frank Morgan

“All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt”.
~Charles M. Schulz

“I’ll love you, dear, I’ll love you till China and Africa meet and the river jumps over the mountain and the salmon sing in the street”.
~W. H. Auden

“How did it happen that their lips came together? How does it happen that birds sing, that snow melts, that the rose unfolds, that the dawn whitens behind the stark shapes of trees on the quivering summit of the hill? A kiss, and all was said”.
~Victor Hugo

You can find a “reaction video” for pretty much anything! This one is pretty cute.

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:
Direct phone: 831 423-2468
All Technical & Web details: Gunilla Leavitt @


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