Blog Archives

February 17 – 23, 2016

MEMORIAL DAY 1948. AT 10:48 am. (or 10:41am. depending on which visible clock we can trust) Do also notice the two way Pacific Avenue, and note the two lanes of parked cars and still plenty of room for 5 lines of the marching bands. That’s Locust Streetgoing off to the right, and hardly a franchise-chain store in sight!     

photo credit: Covello & Covello Historical photo collection.

Additional information always welcome: email

                                                                                        DATELINE FEBRUARY 15, 2016

CRUSADING FOR CORRIDORS. Just like using the term “auxiliary lanes” as a coverup for Widening Highway 1 developers and pro-growth politicians are claiming that building clumps of 3 and 4 story high rises along our most heavily used streets is environmentally OK. By claiming that we’ll use fewer gas miles by walking (or biking) from these ugly dwellings to shop. These money-minded developers know damned well that in our spread out county (and cities) few if any, would or could walk from COSTCOto their Doctors, or from TARGET to their Dentists, or from the movies to their car repair place. Think about how “thin” our County is because of the mountains and the coast line. Think about how ugly the new PAMF (Palo Alto Medical Facility) on Mission (Highway 1) is and how it’s built right up to the sidewalk. The approaches and major streets in our county are ugly enough…stop the corridor push.

AUXILIARY LANES…A WIDER VIEW. It took me awhile but after hearing about the concept of “auxiliary lanes” as somehow being different or environmentally better than “Widening Highway One” the dawn came!! Look at the stretches on Hwy 1 that have had “Auxiliary  Lanes” added…it’s just a sneakier way of widening a stretch at a time. Don’t fall for it…keep attached to The Campaign For Sensible Transportationwebsite…they’re on top of this battle to stop the drive to have that $$$ 450 Million Dollar $$$ Transportation Taxhappen in November.

PIANO JUGGLER! Cousin Dean Hagenalso sent this crazed juggler and his piano

A SHOW OF HANDS. Now that no one can see us , on the count of three, let’s everybody who feels funny about voting for candidates with the last names of Panetta and Alejo raise our hands….ready? One, Two and….

IRRUPTING GREY HAYES. Grey was my guest on Universal Grapevine last Tuesday (2/09,  and it’s archived). We talked about saving the unique nature of our North Coast from it becoming a National Monument. He reported on Frans Lanting’s sold out two productions at the Rio the week before, and how Frans talked about  and showed the graffitti along the north Coast Cliffs. More than that we talked about the irruption of robins and the rare biota that exist all long the coast and how we have to constantly be on our guard against the Land Trusts and other money making attempts to sell off our unique treasure lot by lot. It’s important that if you want to be kept abreast of local nature go and subscribe to Grey Haye’s website. He’s busy at Elkhorn Sloughand updates it as often as he can …check it out…

ODD QUESTION. Judi Riva asks, “How come I never heard of these people” check out the clip… How two Santa Cruz artists changed the course of environmental history .  I gotta admit, I never heard of them either.

Mr. Paul Elerick of Aptos writes…

In a series of setbacks, still another quality of life issue has hit the Aptos community.   As reported in the Sentinel, the ceramic tiles that had survived for years on “memory wall” at Seacliff Beach State Parkwere scraped clean in the middle of the night.  The purported owner of the wall isn’t returning calls, she lives in Los Gatos and her beach home is a second home.  Citizens who commemorated lost loved ones with their names on tiles can’t even find out where the removed tiles are located.  This was not done by State Parks, it was done by person or persons unknown.  Having the access road to the wall closed to park users due to storm damage made this overnight desecration easier.


Two weeks ago, the latest owner of Rancho Del Mar closed the Aptos Cinemas and ripped out the newly installed chairs, with a promise of “holding public meetings” to determine what we want there.  That’s funny if it wasn’t so sad.  WE WOULD LIKE OUR MOVIE THEATER BACK.  The new owners, Terramar shopping center developers from Southern California appear far more aggressive than previous owners of the property.  I learned that the chairs from the Aptos Cinema will be reused at another of the theaters owned by operators of the Nick in Santa Cruz.


As I write this, demolition of the attached structure to the Aptos Apple Barn is underway.  All in preparation for the first big move to create an “Aptos Village” by moving the Apple Barn a short distance away from where it is to accommodate a “new” grocery store. We’re preparing (but not sure how) for two or more years of new traffic signal installation , street widening and then construction of the new Aptos Village.

(Paul Elerick is co-chair with Jack Nelson of the Campaign for Sensible Transportation, , and he’s a member of Nisene 2 Sea, a group of open space advocates).


When Scott Collins, assistant to the city manager announced at a public meeting on February 1st that the council hearing on the Cowell Beach Water Quality issue was to be held on February 23rd, he misspoke. Made a mistake. Can happen to anyone. That he waited until 3 hours before the actual hearing on February 9th to alert members of the Cowell Working Group (CWG) of his mistake, despite his putting the item on the council agenda the previous week, suggests something more calculated.

By chance, I caught his email, was able to cancel previous commitments and make it to the council hearing that same afternoon. Not so fortunate were the mothers of small children who wanted to comment and who thought it was the 23rd. Nor anyone who read my last BrattonOnline piece with the 23rd date included and who might have liked to comment or attend. Explaining this to council at the hearing, I requested a continuance to the 23rd. That went nowhere.  The Sierra Club’s recommendation that multiple source DNA testing be the first line of attack went nowhere.  

The staff recommendations, unanimously approved by council members, include allocating $50,000 to place screens high under the wharf near the shoreline, to deter pigeons that roost under the wharf. Never mind that pigeons have been at the wharf forever and the water quality has deteriorated only since 2006, the birds the word. Perhaps birds are a contributing factor but until scientifically rigorous DNA source testing is conducted to determine the main sources (human, canine, bird) this is throwing money at a hypothesis. It is reminiscent of Avalon Beach on Catalina Island, which also topped the beach bummer list. Based on a few samples, which turned up negative for human fecal DNA, the city printed up pamphlets for visitors getting off the ferries stating that there was no risk and the birds were the source. Turns out they were wrong. Testing with only a few samples can give misleading results. In the end it was discovered they had faulty sewage infrastructure. It took ten years for them to admit it was true.

Further on the topic of potentially misleading conclusions, the county report delivered to council last December claims that “low level detection of human specific bacterioides in ocean samples at Cowell Beach have declined from 75% to 17%.” This is true. What is omitted from the report is that the higher bacterial samples from 2011 and 2012 were collected in the early morning before the sun rose whereas the lower bacterial samples from 2013 were collected in late morning and the presence of sunlight could affect data interpretation, as enteric bacteria are believed to be broadly sensitive to sunlight.

And so after a year of meetings, a council-appointed committee with city and county water quality professionals ends where it began: with a speculation that it might be the pigeons.  Had I not experienced it first hand, I would not have believed such a cover-up could be conducted with a straight face.  You too will be able to follow the progress of this PR campaign on a new website that the council voted to fund to the tune of $10,000.

(Gillian Greensite is a long time local activist,  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).

OK Go, Upside down and Inside Out. This free space clip is real and shot aboard a Russian vehicle. Courtesy of Dr. Mark Bernhard

Two absolute masters of their trade go at it.

PATTON’S PROGRAM.Gary’s former daily KUSP Land Use Programstates…

There is a statewide uproar over coastal protection! As many listeners may know, the California Coastal Commission met last week in Morro Bay, and considered whether or not to fire Dr. Charles Lester, the Commission’s Executive Director. The Commission gave notice to Dr. Lester that it intended to terminate him, and he exercised his right to have a public hearing on this termination notice. It was quite a public hearing! Starting at 10:00 in the morning and running to dinner time, the Commission heard from Dr. Lester and hundreds of individuals and organizations. Allthe testimony was in favor of Dr. Lester. A letter signed by 95% of the Coastal Commission staff supported him, and as one person said, when you added up all the members of the various organizations who supported Dr. Lester, more than a million people were asking the Commission to keep him on. With no public explanation at all all, and in a closed door session, the Commission voted 7-5 to fire Dr. Lester. The Governor’s four appointees, who serve at the Governor’s pleasure, led the charge, and while Commissioners denied it, it sure looks like a developer “coup d’etat!” Assembly Member Mark Stone, who represents the Monterey Bay Region, had an immediate reaction. Stone has announced his intention to introduce legislation that will change how the Commission conducts its business. There are links to more information at Read the complete scripts of the above at Gary Patton’s KUSP Land Usesite 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/365” –

CLASSICAL DeCINZO. Addresses the age old mighty San Lorenzo River problem, scroll downwards…

EAGAN’S DEEP COVER. Eagan shows us how to “head ‘em off at the Pass”. See below..

APTOS KEYBOARD SERIES PRESENTS…Josef Sekon’s Aptos Keyboard Series continues this Sunday (2/21) at St. Andrew Presbyterian Church at 3 p.m. The church is upp the hill at 9850 Monroe Avenue in Aptos. Theodora Serbanescu Martin will plays works by Chopin, Beethoven and Brahms. Tix at the door.

LISA JENSEN LINKS. Lisa writes: “Little things mean a lot this week at Lisa Jensen Online Express (, as the underpinnings of a longtime marriage are revealed by subtle, seismic degrees in the fine-tuned film 45 Years.” Lisa has been writing film reviews and columns for Good Times since 1975


WHERE TO INVADE NEXT. We liberals/progressives tend to think we know everything that Michael Moorehas to say in his films…we sure don’t. His Invade film is full of very well thought out political concepts that we overlook constantly. He takes on women’s rights, slavery, college tuition, pregnancy leaves, bankers going to jail, decrominalizing drugs, prison sentences, school lunches, and many more. Moore is way too heavy handed and sinplistic but there are some very tearful and relevant points he makes in this documentary. He delivers the fact that so many great steps in human legal prigress were started way back when in the good ol’ USA!!! See this film. And vote accordingly! (that would be Bernie, naturally).

45 YEARS.  Charlotte  Ramplingdeserves at least two Oscars and something more meaningful for the role she plays in 45 Years.This quiet, subtle, masterful, very British film is a masterpiece. Watching Rampling and Tom Courtneyplay a couple “celebrating”  their 45thwedding anniversary has the power to enter your subconscious and make you wonder about your relationships. You have to pay very close attention to every expression Rampling shares. She has never been more expressive or more difficult to “read”. As I said, it’s a British film. Don’t miss it especially if you’ve ever had a long relationship.

BATTLING FOR BOTTOM = DEADPOOL & ZOOLANDER 2. To be fair Deadpool is a better movie, because if you’ve followed the Deadpool comic book character for its many years you might relate to this meaningless, pointless, extra violent mess. Deadpool is a reluctant, foul mouthed superhero. If you like superhero/Marvel type graphic heroes, you could like this movie. Zoolender 2 for some reason attracted Benedict Cumberbatchto play a maybe transgendered monster in a few scenes and scads of stars to blink on screen. Neil deGrasse Tysondoes a thing too, so does Willy NelsonBen Stillermust accept all the blame for this sequel to a film that sucked its  first time around. I could go continue but you can imagine where this is going.


ANOMALISA.If you liked, or loved such Charlie Kaufmanfilms as Synecdoche, Being John Malkovich, The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind you will definitely worship Anomalisa.It’s done entirely with animated puppets, and voiced by Jennifer Jason Leigh, Tom Noonan and David Thewlis. Like Kaufman’s other films it views the world through a confused man’s mind. We are never sure of the dream, his illusions, the real world, or how deep the plot is going. Many leveled, subtle, intelligent, unforgiving, and completely unsolavable if you need a clean cut story. It’s like Shakespeare’s serious plays and Wagners Ring Operas, if you need simple stories forget it. If you like major contributions to cinema as art….don’t miss it.

BROOKLYN. Whew…I knew I loved this film and  now I see that Rotten Tomatoesgives it 100% Saoirse Ronan plays the lead Irish (very Irish) girl who comes to New York City in the 1950’s. She adjusts then falls in love with an Italian (very Italian) young man. That seems to be ok but  she has to return to Ireland on a visit and falls in love with a young Irish (very) young man. It’s not too funny, it’s deep, profound, wrenching and perfect acting. You could easily loose your heart in this film. See it, if you like wonderful films. It also stars (in a smaller role) Jessica Parewho you’ll for sure remember as Megan Draper, Don Draper’s dark- haired sexy wife in Mad Men.

THE REVENANT. What’s odd about  The Revenantis that hardly anyone I know, knew what the word meant. Looking it up (I had to) in Wictionaryyou’ll find…   Someone who returnsfrom a long absence. A person or thing reborn. A supernatural being that returns from the dead; a zombie or ghost. The film is a Big Golden Globes winnerfor best Drama film and for Leonardo DiCaprio’sbest acting and Alejandro Inarritufor best Director. Set in the 1820’s its about Leonardo and his fellow fur trappers being attacked or occasionally helped by Indian tribes such as the Ree, the Ankara,the Pawnee and the Sioux. DeCaprio almost dies from a bear attack and spends the rest of the film crawling and freezing his way to revenge the trappers who left him to die. DeCaprio has only 15 lines in English, he takes off his clothes and sleeps inside a dead horse (after removing the guts) and then he wins the Golden Globes!!! Go figure, but you do need to see it on a big screen.

ROOM. There is some discussion on whether or not this film is based on a novel or reality. Either way it is a well done, angonizing, torturous, moving film.  Brie Larsonas the teen age mother and Jacob Tremblyas her son deserve special acting awards. Kidnapping the young teen ager and raping her in a locked shed for years while she somehow manages to raise her son and maintain a sense of humanity will have you completely fixed to the screen. See this film.

THE LADY IN THE VANMaggie Smithis now 81 years old. She’s played everything from Desdomona in the 1965 Othello to Exotic Hotels and Harry Potter roles. Her real acting strength has saved many dull minutes in Dowmnton Abbey, as we all know. She’s just as good in this one as the cranky, haunted, funny, brittle, homeless old lady living in a van…obviously. You’ll laugh a bunch of times, the plot does get bogged down, but if you’re a fan of Maggies, it’s well worth seeing.

OSCAR NOMINATED SHORTS. If you’ve a tradition of watching Oscar Nominated shorts (5 animated, 5 Live action) you’ll see a few religious rituals and how painful and cruel they are . Then there’s  the usual cutesy, quaint ones, and as usual, there are some you can’t possibly grasp. All in all it’s just about the average run-of-the-mill Oscar Nominated Shorts. No GREAT stuff this year again. None that you’ll remember one hour later.

SPOTLIGHT. Lots of Oscar buzz around this excellent film. When you have a cast like Mark Ruffalo, Michale Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Billy Crudup, Stanley Tucci and Live Schreiberand a plot involving the Roman Catholicchurch’s child molesting priests and the “official cover-up” you got a winner. It’s shocking, even though you think you know all there is to know. When you add in the current troubles the Vaticanis having…you’ve got a very sick institution. It’s newspaper business at its best. It’s also reporting such as no newspaper can afford today…you’ll see how important that is/was. Rotten Tomatoesgives it a 97%!!!

PRIDE AND PREJUDICE AND ZOMBIES. As you can guess this film is adapted from two books one is Jane Austen’s and the other one sure isn’t. It’s a big British costume drama like “would you care for some blood with your tea..m’dear? “. It’s James Darcy chasing after Elizabeth Bennett again but this time Elizabeth knows martial arts and straps knives and weapons in her semi-private places. A weird film, the zombies aren’t as menacing as they should be and the Bennett sisters are too menacing. It’s best on a big screen, if you have to go.

THE BIG SHORT.The cast is very well known by now. Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, Christian Bale, Marisa Tomei, and Brad Pitt. This is a Hollywood version of what should have been a Michael Moore documentary of the bankers, real estate brokers, and the rest of the crooks behind the Wall Street explosion of 2008. It bored me to a snooze because I haven’t the foggiest idea , or any knowledge of all those financial dealings.  Go only if you’re up on all those money market concepts.

STAR WARS The Force Awakens STINKS & MORE. I was actually stunned when I left the theatre after viewing Star Wars: The Force Awakens. My sister and friends immediately asked what I thought about the film, I couldn’t even think about it as I would have with any other film I’ve re viewed in the last 40 plus years. Then I read Michael Hiltzik’sbusiness column in the 12/30/15 edition of the L.A. Times. Michael’s new book is titled Big Science. His column is titled, “Why Star Wars Stinks”. In it he tells how the film is unimaginative, dull in long stretches, and is a poor copy of the original 1977 Star Wars. He says and I agree that it’s not a movie.”It’s the anchoring element of a vast commercial program”. He goes on to say that this film will bring in nearly 5 Billion dollars and that because of the related product sales it wouldn’t matter if NO ONE SAW the film, it still would make those profits. The plot is obscure, the art work is wonderful, and it’s cold, impersonal, and dullRead the critique above. This is not a movie, it’s a product placement showcase for Disney productions and world wide toy manufacturers.

HAIL CAESAR. Let’s face it…the Coen Brothersjust can’t get it together to direct great films anymore. Think back to Blood Simple, Raising Arizona, Fargo, Oh Brother Where art thou, and more. Hail Caesar stars Goerge Clooney, Tilda Swinton, Josh Brolin, Scarlett  Johanessen, Channing Tatum, and Ralph Fiennes and it still will provide you with about two half laughs. It’s a very polite, condescending, wholesome satire on the Hollywood of MGM, Esther Williams, Ben Hur, Charlton Heston, Gary Cooper et al. Its sophmoric, easy, nearly stupid attempts at humor are embarrassing. Wait and rent it.

THE FINEST HOURS. Chris Pine, Ben Foster, Casey Affleck and Eric Bana are all in this Coast Guard, brave and true rescue movie. You wouldn’t believe they are in it because the film is so dark you can hardly tell who’s talking (or swimming). It’s a saga and seems to be six hours long. Other reviewers who saw it in 3D said is almost unwatchable because the 3D makes it even darker. Something doesn’t work in this plot. We aren’t given enough time to identify (and share) the fear, tragedy, and losses these super brave Coast Guardians have to face. It would even less exciting watching it at home…be warned.

THE CHOICE. Let’s hope Landmark doesn’t bring (or keep) any more really, really bad movies like this to town. Especially when there are reports of brilliant, exciting films being made world-wide. This movie got a miserable 8 points on Rotten Tomatoes. It’s a trashy,trite,over- used Hollywood B movie sex film with no laughs, no surprises, and a plot that you can, but wouldn’t bother writing at home. Stop everybody you know from going to this.

SISTERS. This is an almost perfect example of a trash movie. Amy Poehler and Tina Fey outdo each other with crotch, sex, poop and pee jokes that aren’t funny. It’s a shame to see these obviously brilliant, smart, tasteful women sink so low that they have to take roles in movies this low class. Don’t go and don’t let anyone you care for go either.  

KZSC  88.1 FM or live online at
www.KZSC.ORG     TUESDAYS 7-8 P.M.

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. On Feb. 16th Josef Sekontalks about pianist Theodora Serbanesou-Martin who performs on Feb. 21stas part of his Aptos Keyboard Series. After Josef,  Jacob Martinez follows and tells us of the huge progress that The Digital Nest has been enjoying. Feb.23 has Chase Sullivan telling us all about the Five Branches University. After Chase, UCSC dramaturg Adrian Centeno talks about “Marques”. That’s the Narco-Macbeth play running 2/26-3/6 at UCSC. Stuart Thorntonand Eric Henzediscuss their Monterey Bay travel book, “Monterey & Carmel” (it includes Santa Cruz)  on March 2. Do remember, any and all suggestions for future programs are more than welcome so tune in, and keep listening. Email me always at

“Sweden has distributed author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s feminist manifesto, “We Should All Be Feminists,” to every 16-year-old student in the country.” The essay is an adaptation of the TEDx talk below. When you have a half hour, watching this video is an awesome way to spend it.

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 have to listen to about 4 minutes of that week’s KPFA news first, then Grapevinehappens.

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, Anita Monga, Mark Wainer, Judy Johnson-Darrow, Wendy Mayer-Lochtefeld, Rachel Goodman, George Newell, Tubten Pende, Gina Marie Hayes, Rebecca Ronay-Hazleton, Miriam Ellis, Deb Mc Arthur, The Great Morganion Street performing, and Paul Whitworthon Krapps Last Tape. Jodi McGrawon Sandhills, Bruce Danielson area water problems. Mike Pappason the Olive Connection, Sandy Lydonon County History. Paul Johnstonon political organizing, Rick Longinottion De-Sal. Dan Haifleyon Monterey Bay Sanctuary, Dan Harderon Santa Cruz City Museum. Sara Wilbourneon Santa Cruz Ballet Theatre. Brian Spenceron SEE Theatre Co. Paula Kenyon and Karen Massaroon MAH and Big Creek Pottery. Carolyn Burkeon Edith Piaf. Peggy Dolgenoson Cruzio. Julie Jameson Jewel Theatre Company. Then there’s Pat Matejcekon environment, Nancy Abramsand Joel Primackon the Universe plus Nina Simonfrom MAH, Rob Slawinski, Gary Bascou, Judge Paul Burdick, John Brown Childs, Ellen Kimmel, Don Williams, Kinan Valdez, Ellen Murtha, John Leopold, Karen Kefauver, Chi p 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.


“I never desire to know anything of the detail of political measures, lest even those which I think best should lose anything of their intrinsic value to me, by seeing what low, paltry, personal motives and base machinery and dirty hands have helped to bring them about”. FANNY KEMBLE, Further Records,Feb. 14, 1874.

The radical invents the views. When he has worn them out the conservative adopts them”. MARK TWAIN, Mark Twain’s Notebook.

“No one you’d really like to see in public office has the bad taste to run”, F. PAUL WILSON,Implant


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Deep Cover by Tim Eagan.

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