Blog Archives

February 14 – 20, 2017

SEABRIGHT AND SOQUEL AVENUES 3:22 pm but CIRCA??? Car enthusiasts should be able to pin point the year this was taken. Maybe these aren’t flood waters, maybe just drain/plumbing water department problems? Do note that Horsnyder’s Pharmacy was located right there where Ace Hardware is now.

photo credit: Covello & Covello Historical photo collection.

Additional information always welcome: email

DATELINE February 13, 2017

ADELE. Since she won so big on the Grammys this week I think we should join the 1,874,170,338 folks who have seen this clip from an earlier album of hers. There’s a bit of acting before she sings. Be patient.

SUGAR CHILE ROBINSON. Plus Van Johnson and  Keenan Wynn

DESTROYING OUR OCEAN VIEW. Many, many reactions to my words last week (scroll down) about that almost constant addition by our officials of junk and art and exercise equipment and water fountains that subtract and diminish the pleasure of having an ocean view.

Lee Taiz wrote to the City Council, “Hello Council, I dislike having the view from West Cliff Drive disrupted by artwork, even good artwork.  There are a great many other places for art.  The view of the Bay from West Cliff is a unique treasure, and marring it unnecessarily with human structures of any kind is cruel.  I was happy to hear that one of our misplaced, and now deteriorating, artworks was about to be removed at last. Now it seems that not only will it be repaired, and continue to blight the view, but a tall ugly fountain has been added in another spot.  A peaceful view of the Bay without human structures is priceless.  I don’t understand why humans are so bent on destroying natural spaces with ill-placed human constructs.  When you gild a lily, it dies. I hope both the old artwork and the new fountain will be removed”.

Adding to that, let’s be clear  it’s not about ART… even statues by masters such as Rodin, DaVinci, Picasso, Moore and Andy Warhol would ruin the view. Sure it’s possible to become attached to almost anything. I’ve got an ugly coffee cup with a broken handle that I’ve kept on my shelf for decades because I used it so long it’s like a friend but I don’t expect others to like looking at it. Another constant reader wrote, ” Count me as one who loves Guardian I on West Cliff. It’s always been a part of my Santa Cruz, for the last 30+ years”. Guardian I is that sculpture that is rotting out and apparently will be refurbished at some cost by our City funds. Let’s not re-live that battle over the tacky, un-necessary Surfer Boy sculpture. Keep our cliffs clean. As I said before tourists do NOT come here to see that huge amount of stuff our City allows to ruin our Ocean View.

ROBBIE SCHOEN’S STROKE.  (Felix Kulpa Gallery) Friends and professional connections were shocked, amazed and hurt by the news that Robbie Schoen who runs the Felix Kulpa Gallery had a stroke Friday (2/10) while working at MAH and is still (Monday 2/13) in ICU and is rated CRITICAL  at Stanford Hospital. Not only did Robbie hang all the art and do all the booking at F. Kulpa, he also did almost all of the display work at MAH and was very good at it. Friends tell me he had high cholesterol levels before,  but this stroke was a total surprise. In the meantime friends are planning to run the Felix Kulpa Gallery just as before and will soon have the schedule figured out. If you happen to know anyone who still prays tell them about Robbie. We are all hanging in there. MAH’s Nina Simon adds, ” Robbie has given so much to the MAH and to our artistic community. We want to do whatever we can to help him and his family at this time. Marla Novo is in conversation with his daughter Jett. Jett has encouraged us to set up a fund where people can donate to support Robbie. We are working today on how to do so… We will let you know as soon as we have information on that” Plans are also underway to do a benefit plus a Kickstarter thing. Go to the Felix Kulpa website for late breaking details.

SYPHILIS & GONORRHEA IN SANTA CRUZ COUNTY. Speaking of love, the latest issue of City On A Hill Press (Feb. 9) says…”Santa Cruz county has had a higher percentage increase in cases of gonorrhea and syphilis compared to the rest of the U.S. Nationwide”. The article by Sydney Griffith Gladu also has a chart showing there was a 41 % increase of syphilis in Santa Cruz County (2015-16) compared to a 19% national increase. The chart also shows a 31% increase of gonorrhea in Santa Cruz County (2015-16) compared to a 13% national increase. In case you’re ok as of the moment, the same article leads off with….”Over half of all people will contract a sexually transmitted infection(STD) in their lifetime” . Unfortunately the article doesn’t say why or who…we’ll just have to guess.

POLICE CHIEF RETIRING. Santa Cruz Police Chief Kevin Vogel is retiring in June after 30 years on the force and with no replacement in sight. Yet another reader asks if this is the first time a Police Chief has retired while a killing by Santa Cruz Police is still under investigation. Seems like an awkward move. Any clues on this???

GREENSITE’S INSIGHT. Gillian went to Australia to visit family AND will give us a “down under” view of politics next week.

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).


       The Santa Cruz city council chambers was packed last Tuesday night (2/7) with well over one hundred coming to voice their comments and concerns about the future of city sponsored recreation. There was also an overflow crowd of some sixty more who watched the proceedings across Church Street in the ABC Room at the Civic Auditorium.  Whether folks realized it or not, political urgency was in the air because this PMP—Parks Master Plan—laid out what some Santa Cruzans believe might be our recreational priorities going forward over the next fifteen years. Of course those priorities took a hit when no clear consensus on what “passive” recreation might be; mountain biking? hiking? bird watching? They’re all listed as “passive” activities in the PMP.

Exactly fifty members of the public addressed the council. They were each given the paltry sum of 60 seconds—one minute each, that’s it—to sum up their thoughts on the 500-plus page PMP document. There have been plans before such as the Pogonip Master Plan, Jesse Street Marsh Plan, Wharf Master Plan and about 10 or 12 others, and this one pretends to merge many of them into one document. These plans have been presented to the city council over the past 20-plus years as defining documents. But were they ever much followed?

Plans come and plans go, and so do city staff members, and with each new era there seems to come another plan. That’s not so much my cynicism as it is an observation. Planning for any future is generally a good thing. Planning for our city parks future is essential for any improvement in our quality of life, the continued expansion and preservation of our green spaces, and a way to analyze the upside and down side of what we think our priorities should be.

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

~Bernie Sanders quote (tweet) of the week: “Donald Trump was going to drain the swamp. Well guess who’s running the swamp now? The same Wall Street guys.”

Chris Krohn is a father, writer, activist, former Santa Cruz City Councilmember (1998-2002) and Mayor (2001-2002). He’s been running the Environmental Studies Internship program at UC Santa Cruz for the past 12 years. He was elected last November to another 4-year term on the Santa Cruz City Council).


Current Rancho del Mar Center owners, Terra Mar Center (TRC) is hosting a public meeting on Thursday, February 23, 6:30pm-7:30pm at Seascape Golf Club (610 Clubhouse Drive, Aptos) to unveil the plans for renovation of what locals call “the Safeway shopping center”.  

Doors will open at 6pm with TRC representatives available to discuss the renderings that will be available of what the proposed improvements will look like.  TRC executive, Mr. Bruce Walton, has assured me that citizens may photograph the drawings that will be displayed, so that they may be shared with those (like me) who cannot attend.

I have talked with current tenants of the Center who attended the tenant meeting last week with TRC (some did not get the notice).  Those who attended felt encouraged that the actual footprint of the development will not change, not even the empty building where Kentucky Fried Chicken used to be.  Second-story offices will actually be removed from the area above the “food court” and now-empty theater area.  The store fronts of all shops are due for change.  The Center will be better for those with mobility issues. The biggest worry of the existing tenants is how the construction will affect their business, and if they will get leases at a price they can afford.  That is indeed a BIG worry. I wonder if local construction companies (NOT Barry Swenson Builder) will be doing the construction work?  I wonder if there will be storm water catchment facilities for the expansive parking areas that could help recharge the overdrafted aquifer? Attend the meeting on February 23, ask questions, and stay tuned…..

at their meeting Tuesday, February 7 when I asked that three items from the Consent Agenda be pulled and placed on the Regular Agenda to allow discussion.  “Ms. Steinbruner, are you making full use of staff before hand to get answers to your questions?” said Chairman John Leopold, obviously irritated.

I replied that I research the supporting documentation of agenda items and when I am concerned, I bring it publicly before them for discussion.

“Well, you can call the Department Heads and talk with them to get your questions answered,” he replied, “and not make staff wait here to answer questions.”  I have two problems with this suggested course of action:

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

~WRITE ONE LETTER.  MAKE ONE CALL.  MAKE A DIFFERENCE. Cheers, Becky Steinbruner (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).

From Gary’s “We Live In A Political World” website… Feb. 11, 2017

#42 / Predictions Are Not The Same As Destiny

David Talbot is a longtime leftist San Franciscan, journalist and author. His book, Season of the Witch, is a history of San Francisco from the 1960s to the 1980s. Talbot is also the author of The Devil’s Chessboard: Allen Dulles, the CIA and the Rise of America’s Secret Government. Talbot founded the pioneering online news site Salon, and was an editor at the Hearst-owned San Francisco Examiner. He has been published in The New Yorker, Time, The Guardian, The Los Angeles Times, and many other publications. Talbot’s columns are now running three times a week in The Chronicle, found online at That’s where I got this biographical information.

On February 9th, the print edition of the Chronicle put the following headline on Talbot’s column: “The case for calm in resistance to Trump.” I appreciate the sentiment, and recommend the column. “Calm” resistance seems like a good strategy to me. “Resistance,” per se, is what many have identified as the appropriate response to the actions and statements of our current president, but without the modifier, “resistance” could quickly get out of hand. The idea that “resistance” to ill-considered and unconstitutional actions ought to be carried out “calmly” seems like very good advice.

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

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

EUBIE BLAKE. Great real musical, not like La La Land.

CELEBRATE PIANO ENSEMBLE. Everybody loves piano music and there’ll be a huge piano concert on Sunday, Feb. 19.This annual piano extravaganza presents music for piano 4-hands and for two pianos, featuring 18 of Santa Cruz County’s finest pianists. From Schubert to Gottschalk, the program includes the lively Sabre Dance for 8 pianists. Performers are Amy Beal, Susan Bruckner, Mary Jane Cope, Ben Dorfan, Roger Emanuels, Rose Georgi, Nicki Kearns, Ellen Khayat, Lynn Kidder, Lavinia Livingston, Stefanie Malone, John Orlando, Carol Panofsky, Ivan Rosenblum, Michel Singher, Marina Thomas, Vlada Volkova-Moran, and Leah Zumberge.  All proceeds go to the scholarship fund for Santa Cruz County music students, presented by the Santa Cruz Branch of Music Teachers’ Association of California. Suggested donation at the door: $10. It’s at 2 p.m. at the UCSC Recital Hall.

CLASSICAL DeCINZO. Scroll down to see one of my favorite DeCinzo rain and flood masterpieces.

EAGAN’S DEEP COVER. See Eagan’s “week number 4 ” 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: “Now that Oscar front-runner La La Land is racking up the accolades, the inevitable backlash is in full swing. Find out why I still love it, this week at Lisa Jensen Online Express ( Also, a workaholic daughter copes with her fun-loving father — and vice-versa — in the offbeat German comedy Toni Erdmann.” Lisa has been writing film reviews and columns for Good Times since 1975. .

TONI ERDMANN.Aside from Billy Wilder and Ernst Lubitsch’s films  Germany has never been known for producing great comedies…and Toni Erdmann tries very hard to be a funny film. It’s gross and not subtle, it tries total nudity in a stunbling, embarrasing way…plus it’s boring. It’s about a father and daughter relationship, and that’s a very complex topic, no matter how you look at it.

FIFTY SHADES DARKER. I must confess to having seen Fifty Shades of Grey back a few years ago (In the now dead Aptos Cinema). It was beyond dumb and didn’t qualify as a movie. This sequel (9% on Rotten Tomatoes) is even worse. What sex is on scrreen isn’t believable or sexy, the characters are 1) Poor actors and 2) Dull and unbelievable. If you’re out for cheap thrills it would be cheaper to go to Frenchy’s.

JULIETA.We are lucky that directors as good as Pedro Almodovar are still able to make films. His films are usually excellent and have been getting even better over the years. Julieta is a masterpiece.Filmed in Spain and subtitled this is a woman’s film in more ways than one. Deep, complex, heartbreaking, sensitive…it’s a story about a mother and her daughter. Just go see it but only if you appreciate great filmmaking.

PATERSON. Jim Jarmusch is one of a very few directors working today whose films are so unique and so stylized that you could guess who directed them without reading the credits. Think of films such as Sling Blade, Ghost Dog, Mystery Train and Down By Law. More than that, they are major additions to cinema mastery. Adam Driver plays a Paterson, New Jersey bus driver and we become part of his life for a week. That’s all you need to know…just don’t miss it if you appreciate great filmmaking.

MANCHESTER BY THE SEA. Casey Affleck single handidly sustains this deep, emotional film. It’s on the way to several awards and should win them all. It’s an intelligent, beautifically acted in depth portrait of people going through trauma and relationships. Along with Affleck there’s Michelle Williams, Gretchen Mol, even Mathew Broderick in a bit part and especially the 16 year old Lucas Hedges. It’s a cold and unrelenting film that demands your attention especially since you’ve gone through tragedies too. I’m going again, there’s just so much to watch and think about.

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. Yes, It’s back again…many nominations did it.

20th  CENTURY WOMEN. Annette Bening, Elle Fanning, Billy Crudup, and Greta Gerwig do award winning roles in this very independent, off kilter story of a “family” group trying to exist in Santa Barbara in 1979. Bening deserves every possible acting award for her role as a mom trying her damndest to raise her son while surrounded by rapidly aging girls. It’s not an easy film to follow and takes twists, turns and flashbacks with little or no warning…but go see it. You’ll be completely intrigued by it.

ARRIVAL. Amy Adams has always been an excellent actor and she’s even better in this pretty sophisticated science fiction spellbinder. 12 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)

LION. A true story of a little 5 year old boy getting lost in India. At last we get to see Dev Patel portray somebody serious and he does an excellent job.  It’s a very cornball plot that you can guess every turn and twist, but still just because it’s India you do stay tuned in all the way through. Rooney Mara is his girlfriend for part of the plot and Nicole Kidman is the Australian wife who adopts him. It’s 100% feelgood and there are much better films out and around now, but it does have a certain charm.

FENCES. Denzel Washington and Viola Davis acted in August Wilson’s play “Fences” in 2010. Now Denzel directed this film version starring the two of them and most of the rest of that NYC cast. It’s drama after drama and is about a dysfunctional black family that takes place almost entirely in their small backyard. To watch the always articulate and brilliant Denzel play a black jerk who is forever down on his luck and is also mean, poorly motivated, and plain nasty was more than I could believe. I didn’t care for this film at all, and it’s doing very poorly at the boxoffice. Yes, it’s back again.

HIDDEN FIGURES. A syrupy, Hollywoody much- altered story of three Black American women who did spectacular mathematical and technical work at NASA while fighting against a lot of racial and female prejudice. All to launch John Glenn into orbit. It’s both a cute and painful story at the same time. It’s a contender and still lacks something that could have made it a classic. It almost outdrew Star Wars on opening weekend!

LA LA LAND. It all depends on how much you remember the glorious and very bright and brilliant days of the Fred Astaire, Gene Kelly, Betty Grable, even Barbara Striesand, Judy Garland, and especially Ginger Rogers musicals. La La Land works very hard to convince us that the world hasn’t changed since those days and tries earnestly to recreate the innocence, and obvious genius of those performers. Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone make La La Land fun and happy to a degree, but it’s not the same. The music and songs aren’t anywhere near as good and the photography of today’s LA doesn’t add much either, besides that Stone and Gosling are not professional dancers or singers like all of above.  It’s like having Eddie Redmayne play Tarzan.

SPLIT.  M.Night Shyamalan makes some pretty weird and frequently awful movies. But Split has James McAvoy playing a very disturbed guy with 23 distinct and split personalities (and most of them are very crazy). He’s lured and locked up 3 teen aged girls and it’s scary and more or less predictable after that, but you’ll stay glued to the screen and your seat…go for it …if you like scary stuff. Not anywhere near as a good as Hitchcock, but he tries. (Shyamalan even makes a secret cameo appearance like Hitch always did).

ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY.  We can only guess that now that the Star Wars movie property is Walt Disney Property it would change, but not like this latest mess. Instead of being more cute, cuddly and cartoonish (like traditional Disney films)…Rogue One is darker, colder, meaner and full of war and killing. It has none of the charm, humor, humanity, mystery, history, tradition or fun quirkieness that the original Star Wars films brought us. The plot is tripe stuff about stealing Death Star plans. Darth Vader is back and James Earl Jones voice is too, but he looks thinner and smaller. The biggest afult for me is that it was filmed so dark it’s hard to see details, or look anywhere besides center screen. No great intricate space ships stay in view long enough to enjoy the fantasy. The acting is ok but there’s not much screen time for it to happen. Big disapointment.

THE COMEDIAN. This is a sad movie. Sad because Robert DeNiro is or was a fine actor BUT he’s not funny. He tries hard in this pathetic movie but he’s not any more likable than he is laughable.  You’ll cringe a lot at the “jokes” and wish DeNiro once again would be offered some challenging acting roles. Don’t go.

THE SPACE BETWEEN US. In an effort to stop you from seeing this disaster Rotten Tomatoes gave it an 18%. A boy born to an astronaut on Mars goes back to earth when he’s a teenager and meets a girl and it gets even worse than that. Tacky, unbelievable, meaningless, plot holes larger than the Milky Way. Trust me.

GOLD.  Mathew McConaughey went to a lot of trouble and looks a lot like Marlon Brando in Gold. He gained 40 pounds and actually shaved most of his hair and added a phoney false front tooth, and the movie still isn’t very good. Not that anybody cares, but it’s based on some real story about bank fraud, gold mining, illegal gold salting, and almost a total cast of illegal characters…with no redeeming interest or plot. Forget about 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 archived for two weeks… (See next paragraph) and go to WWW.KZSC.ORG. Feb.14 has Lisa Robinson director of The San Lorenzo Valley Museum talking about their new exhibit re…the Explosive history of the Valley. Then author Dave Evans shares ideas from his bestselling book, “Designing Your Life”. Veterans Advocate Dean Kaufman brings us up to date on veterans issues and programs on Feb. 21…after Dean, Becca King Reed  reports in on our Santa Cruz Community Television station.  Sculptor, artist Peggy Snider guests on February 28 talking about her political sculpture show opening March 3rd. Then Cynthia Berger and Zav Hershfield talk about the Santa Cruz Tenants Association. On March 7 Newton and Helen Harrison talk about their book, ” The Time of The Force Majeure”. Patrice Vecchione returns March 14 to talk about her one-woman show “Dressed and Undressed” happening March 17 & 18. Espressivo conductor and artistic director Michel Singher talks about their March 30 concert on March 21.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

This week’s video is positively hypnotic!

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.

QUOTES.                      “CALIFORNIA

“Best way to live in California is to be from somewheres else”, Cormac McCarthy, No Country for Old Men
“Things are tough all over, cupcake, an’ it rains on the just an’ the unjust alike…except in California”, Alan Moore, Watchmen
“If you’ve had good gin on a hot day in Southern California with the people you love, you forget Nebraska. The two things cannot coexist. The stronger, better of the two wins”, Ann Patchett, The Magician’s Assistant
“God will break California from the surface of the continent like someone breaking off a piece of chocolate. It will become its own floating paradise of underweight movie stars and dot-commers, like a fat-free Atlantis with superfast Wi-Fi”, Laura Ruby, Bad Apple

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!!

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 @


Deep Cover by Tim Eagan.

Posted in Weekly Articles | Comments Off on February 14 – 20, 2017

Comments are closed.