Blog Archives

February 20 – 26, 2012

PACIFIC AVENUE 1925. Squint a little and notice the Piggly Wiggly market on the right with the quote “all over the world”(like Trader Joe’s!). The brick building on the close right was the Trust building. Built in 1910 and named after Andrew Trusts. It was demolished in the 1989 earthquake (watch the great footage linked below). It became Borders Books, next it’ll be Forever 21. Also note The New Santa Cruz Theatre across the street. It opened Feb. 12, 1920 and flooded and closed December 22, 1955.

photo credit: Covello & Covello Historical photo collection.

Additional information always welcome: email



1989 SANTA CRUZ EARTHQUAKE. I have as many memories of our 1989 earthquake as anybody…and I’ve forgotten and also remembered just as much about our downtown before, during and after that earthquake as anybody could have. Last Saturday long time Santa Cruzan Andy Fuhrman sent me this 22 minute of his walk down Pacific Avenue on November 1, 1989. All I can say is please watch it. Among other memories it’ll show you just how bad the damage really was. It starts and details what happened to Logo’s Bookstore. Andy wrote, “I spent the next 20 years in construction as a union carpenter and construction superintendent. When the earthquake videos were recorded, I was employed by Devcon Construction as a superintendent in charge of several projects in the Santa Cruz/Scotts Valley area, helping Borland with their damage as well as the stabilizing damaged buildings in the downtown area such as Logo’s, where the video starts documenting the damage. The purpose of the video was to document building damage”. Be sure to watch full screen and watch about 12 minutes in for the walk past The Del Mar Theatre, past Gap and Woolworth’s. Then go past Camouflage, Payless Shoes, Dell Williams, The Palomar Hotel, See Charles Prentiss’ city guide cubes, see where The Cooperhouse has already been taken down, Leasks Department Store (which Sam Leask sold a few months before the quake), Heinz Biergarten (Starbuck’s) Plaza Books (Hotel Metropole), that famous hanging brick on the exterior wall at Soquel and Pacific. Andy Fuhrman also wrote, “Those of us in the Union Trades – Carpenters, Iron Workers, Electricians and Laborers and their respective employers pulled together to stabilize many of the buildings in the downtown area as well as construct the tents in the parking lots where merchants worked from for the next several years. It was fantastic to see how well our community can band together to do good. Would be nice to see our current government work that way, but that’s a totally different story”. When I first looked at the You Tube link, there was a total of only 8 viewers. You’ll be among the first in decades to re-live our tragedy. Andy has more film and more memories I’ll get to them next week. Watch both of these videos.


MUSIC ON PACIFIC AVE. “THE MALL”.By odd coincidence I happened to find this clip of the Abbott Brothers playing bluegrass on Pacific Avenue across from Woolworth’s (World Bazaar). These young Abbott’s are the grandsons of Chuck and Esther Abbott who fought the odds (business owners) and succeeded in creating our Pacific Garden Mall. Go here to read Wallace Baine’s great piece on Pacific Avenue history. Go hear and watch, right here —>

SYLVIA EARLE SAYS WHAT ABOUT DE-SAL? A busier than ever Ron Pomerantz sent this email, (I edited and corrected parts of it)” We found her to be a genuine, down to earth person. We gave her a brief overview of the local desal project and the official reason for the need and the other drivers of the project. Dr. Earle then told us without knowing the particulars of our local project, that based on her knowledge, there are other ways to meet water needs without desal. She spoke briefly about how desal is environmentally destructive on both the intake and discharge sides, and gave us examples. We asked if she would like to see the EIR when available. To our surprise she sincerely said she would, and gave us her card”. Sylvia’s 76 years old and is from New Jersey she packed UCSC’s Recital Hall last Thursday. The Chancellor was there, Bruce McPherson was there, but very few other politicians. Cynthia Mathews and Ron Pomerantz, Gary Griggs, Franz Lanting and Chris Eckstrom were there too. A professional ocean science friend says, Earle has all but left active science and like Jane Goodall is connected with National Geographic. Just like Carl Sagan, she’s made tons of money from her research”. And she’s very inspiring and probably everybody in the audience had their Sierra Club Membership cards with them, just to prove something.

Micaela Neus is back and is learning Russian…she says….

“Rumors about the Russian ice-drilling team at Vostok Station have circulated the continent since before I joined the US Antarctic Program in 2007, all guessing at the fate of the sub glacial lake beneath the station that they wanted to study. As the drill came closer to breaching the water every season, only to withdraw each fall, we had to wonder…Will they or won’t they? Can they or can’t they? Should they or shouldn’t they? Their team answered the first two sets of questions earlier this month by successfully tapping into Lake Vostok, even delivering a cupful of its water to President Putin.. The last of the three major questions — “should they or shouldn’t they?” — has been the subject of this week’s Dinner Debates at Palmer Station, with folks falling on either side of the argument.

Mainstream media coverage suggests that “contamination” is the decisive factor in the ethics of Antarctic drilling: if the Russians enter the lake without polluting it with oil, kerosene (used to keep the borehole from freezing) or other chemicals, then okay — they may drill. If not, good sense should compel them to stop. They claim to have met this condition, and seem confident that further testing next austral summer will prove this point conclusively. I don’t think we have any reasons to doubt them, yet some of my table mates disagree. Time will tell.

For some, the real issue stems from the project itself. People “ought to” drill in the Antarctic for one reason: to extract ice and sediment cores in order to study the climate and ecological history of Antarctica and the Earth in general. We’re down here to understand life on Earth, not to theorize about life in outer space. The Russians may find some extremophiles in the lake, microscopic organisms isolated from the rest of the planet for millions of years, some of which might be unique discoveries… so what? And would waiting another few hundred years matter? Why do this project now (the argument goes), when we have so many other, much more urgent matters that require attention?

I sympathize with this line of thought, but cannot agree. I favor the sci-fi side of NASA to the “practical” side funded by the Defense Advance Research Projects Agency (DARPA), no question about it. But I am concerned about the nationalist tone the discussion has adopted. A few articles compare the project to the Space Race, with Russian and US/British teams competing to be The First to discover life in various subglacial lakes. I’m not sure this is a good development, for us or Antarctica.

Oh, and I found an article from Canada’s National Post that provides a good overview with helpful graphics for readers who haven’t heard about the (literal) breakthrough at Lake Vostok”

p.s. I asked Micaela about the meaning of “austral” she replied, “the dates for our “austral summer” are approximately September through April here at Palmer Station. The summer gets shorter as you head toward the Pole, based on the tilt of the Earth’s axis”.

(Micaela Neus works for Raytheon Polar Services Company as a utilities technician and is currently living at Palmer Station, Antarctica until April 2012.


PATTON’S PROGRAM. Gary Patton talks about desalination….” Desalination is a process by which human beings essentially “manufacture” potable water. Desalination removes the salts from salty water, which is unfit for human use. The process produces what is essentially a new water supply. It’s easy to see the “good” points. If we manufacture our water supply, we don’t have to rely on natural systems and the hydrologic cycle. We put human beings in direct control of one of the resources we absolutely need to live. The City of Santa Cruz and the Soquel Creek Water District are proposing a “desal” plant to help avoid scarcity in times of drought, and to allow the pumps of Soquel Creek to do less pumping of a nearly-over drafted aquifer.

The arguments on the other side are also good. Manufacturing water costs big bucks, both to construct the manufacturing facility, and then to operate it. The process uses mammoth amounts of energy, and contributes to global warming, and when ocean water is the source, the process kills marine life as the water is sucked in, and as concentrated brine is put back into the marine environment. This Wednesday, February 22nd, the Student Environmental Center at UCSC is hosting a “Desal Debate,” at 5:30 p.m. in the Stevenson Fireside Lounge. Former Santa Cruz Mayor Mike Rotkin and I will face off on the issues. You are definitely invited!

(Gary Patton is “Of Counsel” to the Santa Cruz law firm of Wittwer & Parkin, which specializes in land use and environmental law. The opinions expressed are Mr. Patton’s. Gary has his own website, “Two Worlds / 365”

WATER & DE SAL FORUM AT UCSC.(repeat) There will be a forum/debate on water policy (desal being the draw). Morgan Rankin of the League of Women Voters will moderate. Participating will be Rick Longinotti, Paul Brown, Mike Rotkin, and Gary Patton. The City of Santa Cruz and the Soquel Creek Water District both refused an invitation to participate. The public is invited, and please feel free to tell your family and friends. It will be held on Wednesday, February 22nd, starting at 5:30, at the Stevenson Fireside Lounge on the UCSC Campus. That was the site of many of Tom Lehrer’s finest and funniest musical extrapolations. It’s small so get there early, and pay attention to the parking problems.

EAGANS DEEP COVER. Tim E. deals with the dream/nightmare that is Santorum…or Santorum versus reality. Scroll below…

LANDAU’S PROGRES. Saul Landau tells us about Syria in his weekly article titled “The Syrian Dilemma”. He says, “The West should not use “humanitarian” pretexts to intervene in Syrian affairs. But together with Russia and China they should stop outside arms shipments from entering Syria, and urge Assad to end government-backed violence. Syria needs truly free elections and Syrians need to have basic rights. These include ending corruption – Assad cronies collect the money. Sincere parties – including Washington and Moscow – should welcome a chance to let peace and democracy actually work in an Arab country. Read it all here…

Saul Landau is an Institute for Policy Studies fellow whose films are on DVD from


LISA JENSEN LINKS. “Oscar season continues this week at Lisa Jensen Online Express ( Read my annual Fearless (or is that Clueless?) Forecast of Academy Award winners, find out who I’m really rooting for, and follow a link to a cool video on this year’s nominated costumes.”

Lisa Jensen has been writing film reviews and a column for Good Times since 1975.

THE SECRET WORLD OF ARRIETTY. If you loved Princess Mononoke, Ponyo, Howl’s Moving Castle or any of the other Studio Ghibli masterpieces you’ll be disappointed in Arrietty. It’s co-produced with Disney Studios and it looks it. The animation style and color are ok but “The Borrowers” just doesn’t translate into a Japanese genre.

SAFE HOUSE. Denzel Washington’s career seems to be spiraling downwards and this stupid film proves it. He’s an excellent actor and does everything humanly possible with this miserable script. I could tell it was a loser of a movie when all I could think about and watch for was the eyeliner they put on Ryan Reynolds the young CIA agent assigned to protect Denzel. Don’t even waste your hard earned money on renting it.

ANIMATED AND LIVE ACTION SHORTS.Hardly any of these live and animated shorts that are up for Oscars are worth watching. Almost every year there’s at least 2 or 3 that knock your socks off, some actually reach the profound level. Not this/last year.

PINA IN 3D.(repeat). Director Wim Wenders needs a special award for establishing a new criteria in using 3D in films. I’ve always said that 3D has as much future in filmmaking as sound did once upon a time and Wenders proves it in Pina. It’s a biography of Pina Busch who died before he finished the film, but it’s really a collection of her most famous dance works. She was a genius and Wenders who directed Paris, Texas, Wings of Desire, and Buena Vista Social Club has made a masterpiece. See it in 3D if you know what’s good for you…and the Academy!! Who should give this documentary at least 2 Oscars.

FUNNY NATIVITY. Early Lady Gaga footage???

HAPPY ATHEISTS EVENT. Dennis Etler sent this… “Local secularists, including the Secular Student Alliances of UCSC and Cabrillo College, as well as Secular Humanists of Santa Cruz County, will be hosting Tommy Nugent giving an award winning one man humorous talk about his loss of faith. The show is titled “Preacherman: True Story of Pentecostal Pastor Turned Atheist” Feb. 28th, 7pm, UCSC college 10, Building 2 Room 71. Limited seating. On another note, our annual Darwin Day Celebration was a resounding success. We had standing room only attendance for the Harrison’s. They gave an excellent presentation and entertained a host of questions.

ABHINAYA DANCE COMPANY. Featuring Artistic Director Mythili Kumar and Abhinaya Dance Company. The concert showcases Mythili Kumar in classic and acclaimed pieces – ‘Sandhya Tandavam’, & ‘Sudha’s story’ (a poem by award-winning writer Chitra Divakaruni) as well as Abhinaya dancers in exceptional pieces including ‘Prithvi Sooktam’ (Choreographed by Rasika Kumar and featured at the San Francisco Ethnic Dance Festival), and traditional pieces such as Durga Aparajitha, Shanmatha Stuti, and Thillana. Abhinaya dancers include Malavika Kumar, Anjana Dasu, Sindhu Natarajan, Anu Ranganathan, Megha Ranganathan, Eesha Khare, Sindura Ravichandran, Lakshmi Venkatesan, Nilufer Jain, Susmitha Bhat, Devaki Belwalkar, Rekha Nagarajan, & Ishani Joshi.and Abhinaya Dance Company, Cabrillo College Theater Arts presents it’s 5th Annual Evening of World Theatre & Dance. Saturday, February 25, 2012 @ 8 pm
Cabrillo Crocker Theater, Visual & Performing Arts Complex
6500 Soquel Drive, Aptos, CA 95003 Tickets: $18 General, $15 Student/Senior, $13 w/ Student Activity Card or call 831-479-6154
View flier or go to

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 the Feb. 21st program director, playwright and producer Kirsten Brandt will discuss her new classical drama “The Thinning Veil” opening at UCSC March 2 in two separate theatres simultaneously. She’ll be followed by UCSC students Kimberly Schneider and Krysta Thornton talking about a water/campus/desal discussion event happening on campus Feb.22 (see above). On Tuesday March 6 Sandy Lydon will be my co-host while we do the bi-annual Pledge Drive. Tune in, pledge and stump the History Dude. Do remember, any and all suggestions for future programs are more than welcome so tune in, and keep listening.

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 Great Morgani on Street performing, 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 Conpany. 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. “Be firm and take over the corporations with dog pudding“, Philip Lamantia. “The economic consequences of having a nation of pot heads would be dreadful”, Harry Anslinger. “The rich will do everything for the poor but get off their backs”, Karl Marx.


Deep Cover by tim eagan.

Posted in Weekly Articles | Comments Off on February 20 – 26, 2012