Blog Archives

February 17 – 24, 2015

DAVENPORT 1907. This is the huge construction by the Ocean Shore Railroad of the trestle just below Davenport. It was intended to go to Scott Creek up along Swanton Road.

photo credit: Covello & Covello Historical photo collection.

Additional information always welcome: email

DATELINE February 16, 2015

WILLIE “THE LION” SMITH. One of the all time great stride piano artists.

PSYCHEDELICS, THE NEW YORKER and SANTA CRUZ. Whatever else you do be sure to read Michael Pollan’s “The Trip Treatment” article in the latest (Feb. 9) issue of The New Yorker. Michael Pollan usually writes about food. His books like Omnivore’s Dilemma, In Defense of Food, and The Botany of Desire are all best sellers. He teaches at U.C. Berkeley. The New Yorker piece tells about how new research and testing are finding still more beneficial uses and directions for using psychedelics. That’s of course LSD, psilocybin, mushrooms, thorazine and the like. What’s equally interesting is that he talks about Rick Doblin, the Director of The Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies or M.A.P.S. The New Yorker article doesn’t mention that M.A.P.S. and Rick Doblin are located right here in Santa Cruz with an office on Mission Street. They have been doing research on positive uses for psychedelics for years. Pollan reports that Doblin sees a bright future for this research and hopes that the less than positive reaction that happened regarding the testing of psychedelics won’t happen again. It’s a fine article, read it quickly.

SANTA CRUZ SENTINEL UP FOR SALE. Actually from what I can ascertain, it’s either the Digital First Media Company or the Bay Area News Group that’s for sale., and The Santa Cruz Sentinel is a tiny, tiny part of that sale. And now we know why the Sentinel has been making all those tightening changes…they’re trying to make it look like a better buy for some corporate mega machine to buy it. From all I can gather it’s part of a $125 million package of 77 newspapers.. If you look at the Bay Area News Group online you’ll see…

About Bay Area News Group”

As a Digital First Media Company, Bay Area News Group offers the most powerful media buy in America’s 6th largest market. We provide online, print, and mobile advertising solutions to businesses on a local, regional, and national level. Our leading publications include The San Jose Mercury News, Contra Costa Times, and Oakland Tribune, (if you scroll down far enough you’ll see The Sentinel and lots more little dailies) and our websites draw over 12 million unique consumers a month. Our papers carry a history of providing quality news and information to the, culturally and economically important, Bay Area region”. Sadly, reporter J.M. Brown has been canned and as he said in an email, he’s a pay grade or two below the group who know what’s happening. Wallace Baine FB’d that Christa Martin and Kirby Scudder are also gone As we have come to expect, there has been nothing reported in The Sentinel…so far. As many have stated, as bad as the Sentinel has become, wait until we have no daily paper at all. A sad commentary on our community.


Within minutes of this edition hitting the internet J.M.Brown emailed and said, ” I don’t know where you got your information that I was “canned” but I demand you remove that from your website immediately and issue a correction because it couldn’t be further from the truth. I left the Sentinel on my own accord”. I told him about 4-6 people told me he was canned, and I apologized to J.M. Then Scott MacClelland emailed minutes later to ask why I didn’t include The Monterey Peninsula Herald…the answer…I FORGOT!!


B.E.A.R.C.A.T. INFORMATION. Some folks have the wrong idea about these $250,000 citizen removers….they are NOT Army surplus. Each of these machines are separately built to order by THE LENCO ARMORED VEHICLE COMPANY in Massachusetts. The “surplus” idea may be from the surplus money that Homeland Security has to spend to militarize police forces in the USA. Look up BEARCAT on Wikipedia and you’ll see that over 500 are in use in the USA right now. Stockton has one, so does Seaside and San Francisco. Tell anybody you know who knows anyone on our City Council to be courageous and stop the unecessary purchase and expense of this community harming concept.

ELERICK’S INPUT. Mr. Paul Elerick of Aptos writes…


It’s hard to give up subscribing to our local newspaper, and I can afford the latest price increase. But many people can’t and will drop them. There’s nothing against the Sentinel’s content, (De Cinzo is worth the price of the paper), but too many things of local interest go unpublished. It’s hard to keep up with newsworthy items that are reported in real-time social media, but we still like to read details. For example, take the F-15 fighter jet that buzzed mid-county last week.. It was reported on Aptosia, the best Facebook page going, while the plane was still in the air. What’s the answer to keeping the Sentinel publishing a daily newspaper? I don’t know but please support them, or they’ll go the way of so many small town (and big town!) dailies.

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

POLISH SKIMBOARDING OPEN. I happened to watch some local skim boarders…what a different kind of skill, watch this Polish version…

PATTON’S PROGRAM. Gary talks about “plenary” and defines it for us. He talks about new food peddling laws in Monterey. He goes on to tell how strawberries need a lot of water and how groundwater management in Pajaro Valley is all important. Gary closes his week of broadcasts by saying…”Our local economy is significantly tied to agriculture. When I was a public official, it was my belief that the larger community wanted their local government agencies to establish effective land use controls, to help make sure that agriculture remained at the center of our local economy. To achieve that long-term, community objective, it is sometimes necessary to turn down individual applications that might lead to a greater immediate economic gain for an individual agricultural landowner, but that would undermine our agricultural economy in the long run. Turning a farm field into a new subdivision, for instance, is a perfect example”.

Read the complete scripts of the above at Gary Patton’s KUSP Land Use site . Gary is a former Santa Cruz County Supervisor (20 years) and an attorney who represents indivuduals and community groups on land use and environmenatl issues. The opions expressed are Mr. Patton’s \. Gary has his own website, Two Worlds/365” –

CLASSICAL DeCINZO. The Santa Cruz Sentinel…a steal at any price??? See downwards afew pages.

EAGAN’S DEEP COVER. Eagan slices and dices the Greece situation…see below.

MY 10 BEST 2014 FILMS. Lisa Jensen and I decided to end the Meet The Critics event at the Nick after all these 12 or more years. Morton Marcus started it all way back in 2003, and it was great fun. My personal choice for best films of 2014 are The Grand Budapest Hotel, Birdman, Venus In Fur, Two Days, One Night, Still Alice, Gone Girl, Ida, The Imitation Game, and Citizenfour., I didn’t like Boyhood or anybody in it at all.

LISA JENSEN LINKS. Lisa writes: “This week at Lisa Jensen Online Express (, behold the unquenchable urge to make art on a virtual tour of the cut-out paper work of Henri Matisse, done late in life, when he was too infirm to paint. Also, see if my Oscar predictions will fly in a year that’s way too close to call.” Lisa has been writing film reviews and columns for Good Times since 1975.


STILL ALICE. Julianne Moore deseves two oscars for her starring role in this mesmerizing film. As a fictional, and 100% believable 50 year old victim of Alzheimers, she is perfect. She’s a linguistics professor with three kids and married to Alec Baldwin.One of many surprises in the film is how efficiently Kristen Stewart plays her daughter., and Baldwin is surprisingly good too. It’s a sad and thoughtful film that will cause you extra worry about the things you’ve been forgetting lately. It’s also one of the best films of the decade…don’t forget to go.

50 SHADES OF GREY. My biggest problem with this movie is that I liked it too much!!! It’s like secretly wanting a MacDonald’s Burger or cherry jello…a guilty pleasure, you know it’s bad for you and still, and still, and still. This 50 Shades movie with its 28 Rotten Tomatoes score blew away the Valentines Day boxoffice weekend….all from women/girls under 28. It isn’t really very sexy, nor does it get very “dominant or submissive” and makes no sense at all from a masculine or especially a feminine point of view. Just to be sure I’d develop a proper opinion I went with a close friend, she agreed with me…and we had a great time discussing it afterwards. Go see it in Aptos, not so many people will know you there.

KINGSMEN: THE SECRET SERVICE. It’s embarrassing to watch Colin Firth and Michael Caine in this genuinely gross parody of early James Bond films. It’s even more weird to be surprised by Samuel. L. Jackson playing the evil Richmond Valentine, the nasty who seeks world control by killing us through our cell phones and other super nasty schemes!!! One critic said “It relishes low class ugliness”, and I agree. AND it’s over two hours long…it just seems longer!!!


TWO DAYS ONE NIGHT. Marion Cotillard does an absolutely wonderful, brilliant job of acting in this very emotional and powerful saga of a woman who is facing some of life’s biggest challenges. She’s depressed, weakened, alone- even though she has friends and you’ll share all of her life threatening problems. Highly reccomended …in fact please go, IF you like good cinema.

BIRDMAN. Greatest possible cast with Michael Keaton, Edward Norton, Zach Galifianakis, and Lindsay Duncan. Keaton is always good and here he plays an ex Batman/Birdman who tries to make it back to fame in a Broadway play. This is not a simple Hollywood flick!!! Don’t expect some cheap laughs, and takeoffs on Batman movies. It’s a complicated psychological look at egos, fame, friendship, family. It’s a very fine film, worth your going to see by all means. It’s just deeper than the previews make you think. I’m betting on this to take the best film Oscar!!!

A MOST VIOLENT YEAR. Just watching Oscar Isaac and Jessica Chastain plus David Oyelowo act is reason enough to see this not very violent film. It’s set in 1981 New York City where mob control of the furnace oil delivery business is the entire plot. Oscar Isaac is the main Al Pacino– type nice guy fighting the evil truckers. Jessica Chastain doesn’t get a chance to do much but what she does is near-perfect. Go see this film IF you like well made films.

THE IMITATION GAME.Excellent film, and if you care a lot about authenticity look the plot up on Wikipedia (much artistic license) but it doesn’t matter, it’s still a fine film. Benedict Cumberbatch as Alan Turing and Keira Knightly as his best friend are nearly perfect. It’s all about breaking the code that the Germans were using during WW2. Turing invents a machine, and in spite of his extra odd personality, the Germans are defeated. The sub theme of Turing’s then illegal homosexuality, and the deathly consequences he paid for it are strangly underplayed, but significent. See this fine film asap.

THE THEORY OF EVERYTHING.Stephen Hawking is played by Eddie Redmayne who did Les Miserables. Felicity Jones from Spider Man 2 and Emily Watson is in it too but you’ll hardly recognize her. David Thewlis is also perfect and downplays his role nicely. It’s a heart rending- tear jerker- feel very good- movie. Redmayne will be near the top for an Oscar because they always go for handicapped roles (My Left Foot, Rainman etc.). There’s very little of Hawkings actual scientific genius in the film. It’s more about how later he split from his long suffering and eternally supportive wife and went for his beautiful sexy caretaker and how his wife paired up with her choir director!!! Hawkings book A BRIEF HISTORY OF TIME sold more than 10 million copies in twenty years (but only 8 people read it!!). It was translated into 35 languages sez Wikipedia.The Met has commissioned an opera based on the book which should happen in 2015. Wikipedia also says, “the theory of everything, is a physicists’ jargon term for a theory in physics which unifies the four fundamental forces of nature: gravity, the strong force, the weak force, and the electromagnetic force”, but recently Hawking says that theory will probably never happen. Go see it, and bring a hankie.

TURNER. Mike Leigh the director of this partial biography,has made at least 20 films, all without scripts or casts before he starts shooting and he doesn’t make simple films. Secrets & Lies, Life is Sweet, and High Hopes among others. Mr. Turner is famed ‘action” painter J.M.W. Turner (1775-1851). Timothy Spall plays Turner and is so kinky and erractic that you can’t stop watching him. But the story line is so pointless, jumpy, erractic and odd that you constantly keep wide awake just trying to piece it together for your own sake. It’s a curious film, not a great film, and you’ll wonder what point Mike Leigh was trying to make when he directed this beautifully photographed attempt.

SELMA. Given the state of racial affairs in the USA and the world today, this movie should be seen by every thinking human. It’s a powerful document of a shameful historic period in our history that should never be forgotten. There are many facts, lessons, and messages here that need repeating over and over again, no matter how well you think you remember or understand our Civil Rights issues. It gives us a real picture of Martin Luther King and David Oyelowo portrays him beautifully. Tom Wilkinson isn’t a great LBJ but he tries hard and Rotten Tomatoes gives it a 99, so there you are. Go see it.

OSCAR NOMINATED LIVE ACTION SHORTS. A few years ago one of these Oscar Shorts had an interview with a filmaker who said how much deeper, better, easier, cheaper it is to make shorts than to attempt “greatness” or even getting your “statement out” in a full length film. This years live action shorts AND the animated shorts are all so much better in general than the years out- put of feature length films…it just isn’t funny. Butter Lamp from China (and set in Tibet) is worth the price of admission.

OSCAR NOMINATED ANIMATED SHORTS.Try to sneak in and see “Duet” a gorgeous, colorful 4 minute love story. Unfortunately it didn’t make the final cut for Oscar nominations but it’s being shown anyway. Go see this grand grouping of shorts.

AMERICAN SNIPER. Director Clint Eastwood downplays the bar fighting, cruder aspects of this Navy Seal sniper who killed 160 humans and maybe another 95 not confiirmed. Brad Cooper got all big and tubby for the part, and does a great job as an actor. We see a bit of complexity and thoughtfulness from this killing machine, but untimately its’ another Eastwood product. Only go if you like killing, war, and surprise endings, or if you want to see Brad Cooper acting like it’s really a baby and not a doll he holds in one scene!!!

THE HOBBIT: THE BATTLE OF THE FIVE ARMIES. This is supposed to end the Hobbit trilogies, but considering the huge opening weekend they’ll probably squeeze another dwarf flick and go for four. Yes, Martin Freeman is still in it as Bilbo Baggins, the titular lead of the little people. So is Ian McKellen, Elijah Wood, and good old Ian Holm for two minutes at the end. Like Exodus it’s all done with pixels, and it’s impossible to tell one army fromanother. It’s very bloody and violent as all these billion dollar money makers are. So if you want to support more of these torture scenes , just go.

PROJECT ALMANAC. A bunch of teenagers build a time travel machine. They then go through every trite, hackneyed, stupid plot device we’ve ever seen, and then the movie’s over. And just like all time travel movies you’ll sit there and notice all the impossible contradictions as to why it couldn’t work. It’s also very dull, has that cheap hand-held camera look, and doesn’t have 2 minutes of excitement in it. Don’t rent it either..

JUPITER ASCENDING.The special effects must have cost millions for this sci-fi flick. What is odd is that Eddie Redmayne (winner of BAFTRA’s leading actor award for playing Stephen Hawkins in The Theory of Everything) has a part playing the nasty Balem Abrasax, whoever that is. Mila Kunis, Channing Tatum and Sean Bean are in it too but I’ll bet they aren’t proud of it.

KZSC 88.1 FM or live online at

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 WWW.KZSC.ORG. On Feb. 17 Good Times film reviewer Lisa Jensen and I talk about the Oscars. Then cardiologist Dr. Neil Sawhney discusses current news and recent methods of maintaining heart health. Jonathan Marx discusses ADHD in Adults on Feb. 24 and John Malkin follows him bringing us up to date on the B.E.A.R.C.A.T. issue. March 3 has Julie James and Bill Peters from the Jewel Theatre talking about their new production, “Harper Regan”. after that Hedwig Heerschop and Kim Tyler talk about The Pajaro Valley Arts Council exhibit, “Photo Alchemy”. “Santa Cruz County Clerk Gail Pellerin returns March 10 telling us about campaigns, voting, and the election department. 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 5 years here’s a chronological list of just this year’s podcasts. Click here then tap on “listen here” to hear any or all of them… all over again. The update includes 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 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. Hear them all!!!

QUOTES. “All are lunatics, but he who can analyze his delusions is called a philosopher”, Ambrose Bierce. “If you want to make a man angry, tell him you are going to pray for him”, Edgar W.Howe. “How could God do this to me after all I’ve done for him?“, Louis XIV…


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Deep Cover by Tim Eagan.

Posted in Weekly Articles | Comments Off on February 17 – 24, 2015

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