Blog Archives

February 11 – 17, 2014

BEFORE THE COUNTY BUILDING AND AFTER THE 1955 FLOOD. That’s Soquel Street and the Soquel Bridge at the bottom and way atop the photo is the new Highway One Bridge. At the very bottom on the right you can see Riverside Electric. In between is the cleared area where the County Building would be built. (photo courtesy Covello & Covello Historical Photo Collection)

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DATELINE February 10, 2014

SANTA CRUZ WATER SUPPLY ADVISORY COMMITTEE By now the names of the Chosen People who will serve on the SCWSAC (I guess we’ll call it “Screwsack”??) have been announced and denounced. What this committee will do is to allow the City Council to throw up their hands and say,” Gee, that water issue is something that “Screwsack” will have to handle”. For months the committee will meet, write up things, make meager suggestions, take even more pressure off the Council and in about 10 months (or sooner) will fall completely apart because it was so ineffectual. By the way has Mayor Lynn Robinson or Chris Reyes ever told us just how much water the boardwalk uses? I don’t remember ever seeing any statistics on that…anyone know???

JONATHAN WINTERS wows the audience…with a stick! I’ll guarantee you’ll laugh at this great ad-lib comic. Ted Burke sent it in and deserves thanks for it!!

NEW PARKING LOTS AND CATCHING RAINWATER. We all must know by now that capturing rainwater for re-use involves a huge expense. The words infrastructure and catchment are big here. But it’s impossible to not think about it, especially during the last week of rain. Lets hope that dynamite “Screwsack” (Santa Cruz Water Supply Advisory Board) at least proposes that all new parking lots (like PAMF’s on Mission Street) are all paved with porous material so that part of the rain will soak downwards. Then a new ordinance saying any new paving like patios, driveways, sidewalks etc will be made of porous stuff. It makes sense.

PLAY ON and the CHANCELLOR’S LETTER. As you might have guessed the UCSC Chancellor’s email plea for funding/donations to help Play On Shakespeare Santa Cruz was the biggest factor in the successful fund drive that allows the Shakespeare season to happen again this year. UCSC had been witholding all the SSC subscriber lists from the Play On group for some reason/ At least UCSC and the Chancellor finally helped by creating that emailed plea but why not sooner so Play On would have the best possiblke opportunity to hire and make choics for their next season?? Makes you wonder.

COLLECTORS ITEM FOR SALE (BRIEFLY). Jim MacKenzie and Renee Flower put together a wonderful book titled “From These Woods, the guitar makers of Santa Cruz County”. It’s an excellent collection of grand photographs and fine storys of our master local luthiers. Here’s the real deal….they only printed up 500 copies, it sells for $25 and is only available at Blitzer Gallery during the current Art of Guitar Festival now through March 15.. If you know any guitar makers, play guitar, love guitars, you have to buy this book, fast. It’s not for sale at any bookstore, and was only printed as part of the Guitar exhibit at Blitzer. Alex de Grassi wrote an introduction and Jaime Kelly Curtis did all the contacting. It’s an historic detailing of our guitar makers that dererves as much prestige and recognition as our surfing fame. Go here (Blitzer Gallery site) to get necessary details.

AGED & UNDATED FIRE DEPARTMENT PHOTO. Last week I ran an old photo of the Santa Cruz Fire Department in fron of their Santa Cruz Civic hangar. I couldn’t find my data on it and asked about a date for the photo. Len Klempnauer formerly of the Sentinel and author of “Wrong Side of the Highway,” responded and said, “You showed the fire station photo once before and had it dated – 1941” See below just a bit to check out the photo.

ELERICK’S INPUT. Paul Elerick says…


For those of you who missed this event, here’s a rundown on what took place at People’s Democratic Club’s Dinner Party/Fundraiser, attended by about 80 enthusiastic progressives at the home of Nancy Elliot and Paul Johnston.

PDC President Nancy Abbey got the evening program going by introducing MC John Laird, a former PDC president and currently California’s Secretary for Natural Resources. John introduced special guests County Supervisor John Leopold and Santa Cruz City Councilmember Micah Posner, and other elected officials and candidates. Watsonville Mayor Karina Cervantez, also a special guest was unable to attend, but wrote a letter that was read to the group. Both John Leopold and Micah Posner spoke, giving us a picture of local government as seen by the only progressive office holders at these levels.

PDC recognized their progressive activists of the year, Rachel Goodman for her work getting more women involved with running for office and Rick Longinotti for his work enlightening the community on the alternatives to increasing our water supply. A special award went to Stationary Engineers Union Local 39 who stuck it out for an astounding 70 days in a David and Goliath struggle against Dominican Hospital, and won. PDC members walked with them.

Among the PDC’s goals are “We believe that a democracy requires constant participation by its citizens. The PDC was founded to foster this participation”. Is this something you would like to be part of? You can become involved with the People’s Democratic Club by coming to their next meeting, February 20, 7:00 P.M. The meeting is at Democratic Party Headquarters in the Galleria on Front St. in Sana Cruz. (Paul Elerick is co-chair, along with Peter Scott, of the Campaign for Sensible Transportation, , and is a member of Nisene 2 Sea, a group of open space advocates).

TANDY BEAL FOUND THIS young and great Rwanda Dance Troupe.

PATTON’S PROGRAM. Gary talks about our County Supes considering a 40 unit senior housing development in Live Oak. The Soquel Creek Water District meets Tuesday night. The Aptos Local Economies also meets Tuesday to talk more about Safeway plans. The he talks about the Santa Cruz City Council appointments to “Screwsack” (SCWSAC). The Coastal Commission meets Wednesday in Pismo Beach and deals with Fracking. He gets a bit complex talking about the Sudden Oak Death survey. He went to the 10th Annual California Water Law Symposium and stated, that atmospheric scientists believe that the melting of Arctic ice, related to global warming, is a major cause of the high-pressure ridge that has blocked rainfall from reaching California this water year. I also learned (or had reconfirmed, more accurately) that water planners think that we are in the middle of an historic drought, despite the precipitation so evident last weekend. It is a time to stop fooling around on water, and fundamentally to reform our water system”.

Read all of above scripts at Gary Patton’s KUSP Land Use site Gary is a former Santa Cruz County Supervisor, and an attorney who represents individuals and community groups on land use and environmental issues. The opinions expressed are Mr. Patton’s. Gary has his own website, “Two Worlds / 365?

CLASSICAL DE CINZO. DeCinzo faced the «new» coffee prices….scroll down a bit..

EAGANS DEEP COVER. Tim illustrates our major addiction see below

LISA JENSEN LINKS. Lisa writes: “The Beatles anniversary revels continue this week at Lisa Jensen Online Express (, with a fond look backwards from the front lines of Beatlemania. Also, there’s only one week left to discover the best art deals in town at two user-friendly local art shows. And say hello to my brand new cover for the US edition of Alias Hook! ” Lisa has been writing film reviews and columns for Good Times since 1975

ROMEO AND JULIET at THE DEL MAR .Orlando Bloom (Pirates of the Caribbean, The Lord of the Rings) and two-time Tony Award® nominee Condola Rashad (Stick Fly, The Trip to Bountiful) turned up the heat this fall as Broadway’s hottest, rule-breaking, heart-aching couple, ROMEO AND JULIET. Jealousy. Prejudice. Betrayal. And the chance that true love could actually conquer all. It could only be the greatest love story of all time, and, for the first time in over 36 years, it played live on Broadway in a stunningly modern production from five-time Tony® nominee David Leveaux. The acclaimed cast of 25 included Tony Award® winners Brent Carver (Kiss of the Spider Woman), Chuck Cooper (The Life), two-time Tony® nominee Jayne Houdyshell (Follies) and Christian Camargo (All My Sons).It’ll be broadcast live only twice at the Del Mar Thursday February 13 at 7:30 and Sunday morning at 11 am.

SANTA CRUZ CHAMBER PLAYERS. The fourth concerty in their series is..

“A Thread of Time: The Old Becomes New”. “A Thread of Time” explores some of the ways in which composers use old material or ideas, and set them in new ways. For this concert we selected 20th and 21st century works for an ensemble of flute, clarinet, violin, cello and piano. The pieces in this program draw their inspiration from renaissance songs, gentle folk tunes, complex baroque ideas, and devotional music of the American Shakers. It’s Music by Bolling, Wourinen, Martinu, and Barry Phillips. Lars Johannesson, is the artistic director and flute guy. Then there’sJeff Gallagher, clarinet, Natalie Carducci, violin, Amy Brodo, cello
Susan Bruckner, piano and Barry Phillips, composer and drums. It happens Saturday, February 15, 8 pm and Sunday, February 16, at 3 pm. Their concerts are all at… Christ Lutheran Church 10707 Soquel Drive, Aptos (Off Highway 1 at Freedom Blvd.). Tickets at the door, probably.

RETURN OF THE FILM CRITICS. Back in 2004 Morton Marcus, Lisa Jensen, Wallace Baine and I began our annual Critics and the Oscars smackdowns at the Nick. Morton passed on to heaven (where there are no bad movies) and Wallace doesn’t get to see very many movies anymore. So this year on Sunday February 23 Lisa Jensen from Good Times, Christina Waters from The Santa Cruz Weekly and I will hold forth. We’ll give our own best ten, predict what “THEE ACADEMY” will do and give everyone attending a chance to tell us your opinions and choices. It’ll be at NICK at 11 am and yes, it’s free!!!.

……In order of perfection……

MY PERSONAL REVELATION. I realized just this week that I have an infallable “Inner Critic”. After studying cinema and writing about it for over 30 years including research at The Academy of Motion Pictures, The American Film Institute , The Berlin Film Museum all for a book that never happened…my “Inner Critic” finally made itself known. Less than 10 minutes into The Monument Men I was sound asleep…my Inner Critic had taken over!!! I’m not fooling about this. It was the 1:40 p.m. screening, I had a good nights sleep the night before, and wham I was asleep. It surprised me, I fully intended to watch the entire film, even with the terrible reviews. It doesn’t happen often, and it isn’t even when I consciously don’t like the film. It’s just certain films that the “Inner Critic” takes over and I wake up somewhere later during the movie. I’ll be ready next time.

THE LEGO MOVIE. Check it out Rotten Tomatoes gives it a 95 % (Monuments Men got 34%!!!). It’s notTHAT great but its clever, sort of Pixar clever. Yes it’s all animated with those little Lego people doing all the acting”. Voices like Morgan Freeman, Elizabeth Banks, and Chris Pratt are just fine, but there are dozens of almost secret throwaway lines that will really grab you. Many product take offs, huge slaps at our commercial lives, and it ends up with what you might even call a moral lesson!!! The 3D version is extra cute…but you could rent it in a year and still enjoy!!

MONUMENTS MEN. As mentioned above this movie is boring. It is terribly miscast with George Clooney, Bill Murray, Matt Damon, John Goodman, Hugh Bonneville (from Downton Abbey) Jean Dujardin and Cate Blanchett. This is supposed to be about art experts seeking masterpieces of art that Hitler’s troops had hidden. What’s funny about that?? Yet, the music, those funny actors, just weird that’s all. No continuity, little empathy, a few killings…not a bit of cleverness in it. Absolutely no reason to see this film. You might get something out of renting for a rainy night!!

(from BEST 2 worst)

HER. “Her” got the Golden Globe award for screenplay, it deserved it and many, many more.

Joaquin Phoenix’s brilliance and Scarlett Johansson as the voice in his computer make an unsettling and endlessly fascinating team. Amy Adams plays exactly the opposite role from her American Hustle babe and is still great. It may unnerve some folks because it hits closer to home than is comfortable…it’s one of the most original films of the decade, go see it.

THE INVISIBLE WOMAN. This is from a thoroughly researched book on the secret love affair Charles Dickens had with a very young woman while he was married. Ralph Fiennes plays Dickens (age 45) and Felicity Jones plays Nelly, the young actress (age 18). Dicken’s chubby, dull wife had 10 children with Dickens. You’ll wonder why Nellie stayed with Dickens, aside from his fame and celebrity standing. It’s a good film, but not a great film.

THE WOLF OF WALL STREET. I have to say that finally, finally, finally Leonardo Di Caprio and Martin Scorsese paired tocreate a superb and excellent film that fully utilizes their talents. Di Caprio proves that his brief moments in earlier films was no accident…he is awesome in this lewd, vulgar, cocaine extravaganza. Based on the book by the films supreme con artist hero, you’ll sit on the edge of your seat for the full three plus hours. It’s what we all believed goes on behind Wall Street’s doors and even more than that.The action never stops and it is as completely breathtaking in every sense of the word. Go see it, unless you have scruples or a vestige of decency or get jealous easily.

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

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

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

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

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

AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY. It’s an over the top version of the stage play and deals with so much nastiness, hatred, jealousy, fear and miserable people that you’ll leave the theatre feeling a lot better about your own life…whatever it is!!! Meryl Streep and Julia Roberts battle it out for Queen of Suffering, and the rest of the cast is perfect. See it only if you like great, but melodramatic, films.


OSCAR NOMINATED ANIMATED SHORTS. Someday, somehow I’ll find outwhere and when these animated and live action short films are shown throughout the year. As always some are stunning and have touches of cinematic greatness and some are boring, bad and pointless. Mr. Hublot is one of the great ones and opens the animated program. The digitally animated giraffe and duck who act as emcees for all this animated program are vulgar, gross, unfunny…and require enormous patience just to sit through their miserable bits. Possessions is a Japanese meditation on keeping possessions and isn’t worth mentioning. Feral is supposed to be profound but fails. However Room on The Broom is cute, traditional, and doesn’t set any new artistic standards. Get a Horse is a Disney product and combines 1930’s style animation with current talent, but it’s also sort of brutal, go warned.

OSCAR NOMINATED LIVE ACTION SHORTS. Helium is touching, poignant, and deals with a young boy dying in a hospital. The Voorman Problem is also well worth watching, and centers on a guy who claims to be God (maybe he is!!!) An African short That Wasn’t Me is brutal, anti-war and mystifying. Just Before Losing Everything tells us about a battered woman and her kids who are trying to get away from her husband. It’s fast, nervous, and well done but I’m not sure of the point it tries to make. Do I Have to Take Care of Everything is sort of funny but to spend that much time filming, directing, financing it just for a one line joke was way beyond my understanding.

LONE SURVIVOR. It’s actually an old time “War Movie” only it’s based on fact and a book all about Navy Seals fighting the Taliban in Afghanistan. Mark Wahlberg financed it and is the Lone Survivor. I kept thinking of John Wayne in the Sands of Iwo Jima (1949). It’s an excellent war movie, if you like them.

JACK RYAN, SHADOW RECRUIT.. Just another film and another actor in the Jack Ryan franchise. Chris Pine is very cute as Ryan and he does as agood a job as you can expect. The plot isn’t from a Tom Clancy book this time. It’s about Russia destroying our financial system and somehow Kiera Knightly is Jack Ryan’s love partner. She shouldn’t have been because she just doesn’t fit in somehow. You keep thinking gee, that’s Keira Knightly playing that role. Kevin Costner plays Jack’s boss and he’s ok, just ok. BUT the plot is tight and complex enough that it will hold you all the way through. Go if you like spy type thrillers.

THAT AWKWARD MOMENT. Zac Efron and Miles Teller are two parts of a trio of GUYS (that’s “GUY” all in caps!!) It’s about how guys fear commitment, want to drink a lot, and have little or no clue about relating to women. Lots of body part jokes and unconvincing acting and I wouldn’t even suggest renting it.

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 W WW.KZSC.ORG. On February 11 Officer Brad Sadek of The California Highway Patrol will tell us about highways and safety then director Bill Peters and Julie James of the Jewel theatre Company will talk about their play, “Three Days of Rain” playing 2/27-3/16. February 18 has retired UCSC Professor Lincoln Taiz discussing his New Yorker interview on plant neurobiology. Then Lisa Jensen and I will talk about this years movies and The Oscars Smackdown we’re doing 2/23 at the Nick.. On February 25 Anastasia Torres-Gil will inform us about the status of local foster parenting. She’s followed by David Wright, owner of The Hidden Peak Teahouse talking aboutthe world of tea. Historian, tour guide Sandy Lydon returns March 2 to help support the KZSC Pledge Drive. Kathleen Crocetti guests on March 11 to talk about developments of art in public schools. Patricia Castagnola will bring us up to date on The Santa Cruz Aids Project on March 18.Do remember, any and all suggestions for future programs are more than welcome so tune in, and keep listening. Email me always at

UNIVERSAL GRAPEVINE ARCHIVES. In case you missed some of the great people I’ve interviewed in the last 8 years here’s a chronological list of just this year’s podcasts. Click here then tap on “listen here” to some of them… all over again. The update includes Nikki Silva, Michael Warren, Annie Morhauser, Tom Noddy, Anita Monga, Mark Wainer, Judy Johnson-Darrow, Wendy Mayer-Lochtefeld, Rachel Goodman, George Newell, Tubten Pende, Frank Perry, Gina Marie Hayes, Rebecca Ronay-Hazleton, Miriam Ellis, Deb Mc Arthur, The Great Morgani on Street performing, Paul Whitworth, Dr. Larry DeGhetaldi, Jodi McGraw, Bill Richter, Bruce Daniels, Deutron Kebebew, Sandy Lydon on County History. Ramona Turner, Stephen Slade, Dr. Alfred Petrocelli, Stephen Bignell, 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, Neal Coonerty, 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, Ryan Coonerty, 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 “Finishing second in the Olympics gets you silver. Finishing second in politics gets you oblivion”, Richard Nixon. “If you don’t try to win you might as well hold the Olympics in somebody’s back yard”, Jesse Owens.. “In Hollywood you can see things at night that are fast enough to be in the Olympics in the day time”, Will Rogers..


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Deep Cover by Tim Eagan.

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