Blog Archives

February 20 – 26, 2017

THE CASTLE AT SEABRIGHT BEACH BEING DEMOLISHED. This was March 23, 1967. It was just about across from where our Natural History Museum with the whale is today.                                                   

photo credit: Covello & Covello Historical photo collection.

Additional information always welcome: email

DATELINE February 20, 2017




City Planning and Community Development just announced that they are doing an Environmental Impact Report (EIR) that will both affect and effect fully one third (12 acres)of our downtown. That’s from Cathcart south to Laurel and from the San Lorenzo river on the east to Front Street on the west. Officially stated they say….”The proposed amendments and potential increased building heights could result in additional development. City staff estimates that the proposed amendment to height zones could result in a net increase of approximately 711 residential units and approximately 2,200 square feet of office space with a net decrease of approximately 14,700 square feet of commercial building space over existing conditions within the study area.”

The announcement goes on to state that the impact would include changes in;

  • Aesthetics. Potential aesthetic impacts related to increased building heights.
  • Air Quality and Greenhouse Gas Emissions (GHG)
  • Potential impacts resulting from emissions related to potential future development.
  • Biological Resources
  • Potential impacts to San Lorenzo River habitat and species  
  • Potential development resulting from increased building heights.
  • Cultural Resources
  • Potential impacts to historical resources with redevelopment under the proposed plan amendments Hydrology and Public Services and Utilities.
  • Fire and police protection services, schools, parks and recreation, wastewater treatment, municipal water service and solid waste disposal. will be reviewed based on potential future development that could occur as a result of the proposed amendments
  • Traffic and Transportation. Findings of a traffic impact analysis, which is being preparedfor the City’s Planning and Community Development Department, will be provided and supplemented as needed in the EIR. Updated traffic counts and level of service analyses.

We have until March 15 to respond. This EIR will be huge, every environmental and human centered group and individual should be concerned. The announcement says,

“Please respond with written comments regarding the scope and the content of the EIR as it may relate to your agency’s area of statutory responsibility or your areas of concern or expertise. Your agency may need to use the EIR prepared by our agency when considering your permit or other approval for the project, if any is required. Responses are due within 30 days of the receipt of this Notice, as provided by State law. PLANNING AND COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT DEPARTMENT 809 Center Street Room 206  Santa Cruz, CA 95060 Alex Khoury Acting Director. We should all place bets on what kind of support or influence our City Council will have on this. It is only the future of our Downtown that is at stake here.

ROBBIE SCHOEN UPDATE. All things considered, Robbie Schoen of Felix Kulpa Gallery and MAH, is doing pretty good after his stroke last week. He’s been moved to a regular hospital room at Stanford and his daughter Nikita has been taking good care of him. Brigette “Jet” Cawiezell is going up there today to stay with him for a while. Streetlight Records who owns the Kulpa Gallery is planning on a benefit to help with the financial costs of Robbie’s setback. Jet sent this…” if folks don’t do online then they can make their checks payable to:

Robbert Schoen Rehab Fund
Santa Cruz County Bank
720 Front St., Santa Cruz, CA 95060
Attn: Mary Ann Carson

Check the Felix Kulpa website for updates, and the gallery will probably be closed for the month of March, while future details are worked out. There’s a special fundraiser being worked on for March’s First Friday.


The more movies I see (maybe 250 per year) and the more I read about and watch the Academy Awards the more I’m convinced that great films and Oscars have little, if any connection. The enormous money influence, the growing support of violence and gross humor in our major film releases have taken the Academy far away from what will be entered into cinema books of fame.

My only Oscar sharing picks this year are Manchester By The Sea, and Moonlight. I’ll bet neither wins for Best Film next Sunday. My really sincere choices are Julieta, Captain Fantastic, Paterson, I am Not Your Negro, 20th Century Women, A Man Called Ove, The Light Between Oceans, The Handmaiden, and Jackie. Down just one small notch are; Demolition, Sing Street, The Innocents, Our Little Sister, Indignation, Hell or High Water, Don’t breathe, The Hollars, Nocturnal Animals and Anomalisa (Charlie Kaufman’s animated masterpiece).

HISTORIC PHOTO DATA. If you scroll down to last week’s flood photo taken at Soquel and Seabright you’ll see cars splashing through the overflow. I asked what year the photo might have been taken John Wilkes repliedBruce — The photo in today’s “Bratton Online” shows a 1949 Oldsmobile and a Studebaker of the same vintage in front of it.  That’s as close as I can come to the date of the photo” . Thanks John, at least we know it was after 1949!!! Maybe the ’55 flood???


Gillian is still in Australia….and the storms knocked out neighboring power lines there too…so no computer, no article this 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).

“Gawd, I love this town!”

Was ICE—Immigration and Customs Enforcement—actually a part of the recent DHS urban blitzkrieg?
Last week in Santa Cruz began with a blitzkrieg-style raid by agents of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). A BearCat-style tank was seen near the Boardwalk. It was reported by several residents that children were left alone after their parents were taken into custody. An immigration raid? Searching for terrorists? Or was it both? Pretty serious stuff.

My week ended at an academic conference on the UCSC hill, “Democratizing the Green City: Sustainability and the Affordable Housing Crisis.” It was a discussion that ranged from Ernest Callenbach’s, Ecotopia to the current research findings of UCSC sociology professors, Miriam Greenberg and Steve McKay concerning the Santa Cruz plague of high housing rates combined with low wages. They invited a bunch of their friends from New York City, Minneapolis, Seattle, Berkeley and Davis to share their research as well. Turns out we’re screwed, but not alone.

I felt like it was a surreal week and that these two events were perhaps interrelated.
While the raid was an out-of-nowhere slap-upside the head to all undocumented area residents who are not members of the Mara-Salvatrucha 13 gang, the conference was a further head-scratching discussion of the age old question, ‘Who gets to live in Santa Cruz?’ The Greenberg-McKay investigation of the extreme differences between the high cost of housing and the miserably low wages paid to workers right here in Surf City often pushed hard against Callenbach’s visionary book. That book was a green revolution bible for many, but essentially it presents a segregated nation-state concept that seeks to transform the Sixties dominant paradigm into a green paradise with a hippie veneer. Who knew that Callenbach’s greening—trees, greenbelts, bike lanes—would end in a boon to real estate developers while failing to produce a cross section of housing for all income groups? Is equity even possible in Santa Cruz? Or Minneapolis, Berkeley, Davis, or New York City?

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~ (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).


It was at the Aptos Village Project, and I was determined to save the world-famous Aptos Post Office Bike Jumps for the kids. I had watched them being built over the years.  But because I did not have the information I needed then, I was tricked and intimidated by Jesse Nickell’s foul language and claim that he had another location set up for the Bike Jumps, and that my action was damaging that deal.  I did not know he was Sr. Vice-President for Barry Swenson Builder….he introduced himself as an advocate for the kids and biking community.  I walked away….and have many, many times regretted it.  I learned alot that day, and have not stopped learning since.  The file of information supposedly available then for public review at the County Planning Department regarding the proposed changes to the Aptos Village Project was EMPTY, except for a photograph of the sign posted at the site.  I started digging for information…and have not stopped.  The world-famous Aptos Post Office Bike Jumps should have, and could have, been saved, had local political leaders done the right thing in the best interest of the area youth and community.

of Executive Order 9066, signed on February 19, 1942 by President Franklin D.Roosevelt.  The action directed the U.S. military to forcibly remove Japanese, Italian and German Americans from their homes and hold them without cause in concentration camps throughout the country.

In Santa Cruz, San Benito and Monterey counties, more than 3,600 Japanese-Americans were forced to the Salinas Assembly Center before being shipped to a concentration camp in Poston, Arizona.  In all, some 120,000 people were detained without cause across the U.S.

We cannot allow that history to repeat itself.  Speak out against President Trump’s Executive Orders that ban immigrants from seven Muslim countries, and to deport thousands.

Write one letter.  Make one call.  Speak out now.

Residents near Soquel Village don’t, but Soquel Creek Water District is moving fast to put one there anyway.  Take a look at the three large banners on Soquel Drive in the 5180 area.  


I wonder why District General Manager Mr. Ron Duncan told the County Water Advisory Commission that, after a few meetings, the local residents now understand the plan and are okay with it?  Hmmm…

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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).


Saturday, February 18, 2017

#49 / Johnny Depp And The Umbrella Revolution

Johnny Depp has been having some problems with money management. At least, that’s what I have gathered from an article in the February 1, 2017, edition of The New York Times. The article was titled, “The Depp Riddle: Who Should Watch the Money?”  On that very same day, a column by Trudy Rubin appeared in the print edition of The (San Jose) Mercury News, headlined, “Hong Kong informs protesters in the U.S.” Rubin is generally considered to be a largely right-wing pundit, though she is showing some exasperation with respect to the presidency of Donald J. Trump. She writes for The Philadelphia Inquirer, which had published her column a few days earlier.

I was struck by an underlying theme, common to both The Times’ article on Johnny Depp and Rubin’s opinion column on the 2014 political protests in Hong Kong, probably best known as “The Umbrella Revolution.”

Depp’s problem was that he trusted other persons to “take care of him,” with respect to the management of his money. Bad idea! According to Mr. Depp, his financial advisors didn’t actually put his interests first, thinking mainly of themselves. There is probably some truth to that, I’d say, based on the article, but The Times writer did have this comment, which also seems pertinent: Mr. Depp should … have paid at least a little attention to what was going on.

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~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


CLASSICAL DeCINZO. Another week, another Girl Scout Cookie shout out!!! See De Cinzo just a bit further below.

EAGAN’S DEEP COVER. See Eagan’s “A Galactic Disease” and it’s  spreading fast… see                  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: “Who’s going home with the gold at the Oscars Sunday night? Compare my fearless (often clueless) predictions with yours, this week at Lisa Jensen Online Express ( Also, what does it means when a girl gets roses from her editor? Good news for the latest revision, I hope! ” Lisa has been writing film reviews and columns for Good Times since 1975.

I AM NOT YOUR NEGRO. James Baldwin began writing a book in 1979 and this documentary uses the 30 pages his finished as continutity between the 6 chapters in the film. The links are stories of Martin Luther King, Malcolm X and Medgar Evans. It’s Baldwin working for unity and equality and we all need to see this film. It’s a lesson in humanity, and probably no Republicans or any of the 22, 438 Santa Cruz Trump voters will see this important film. It’s narrated by Samuel L. Jackson and got a 98 % on Rotten Tomatoes. Please see it!!!

THE SALESMAN. Up for best Foreign language film from Iran …and it’s a winner anyway. Subtle, subtitled, human, complex…it’s a story about a young couple who are acting in a staged version of Death Of A Salesman.  A secret tradegy happens and the plot handles the truth about it very slowly and very beautifully. You could call it searing, emotionally draining, and a lot more. Go see it quickly.

OSCAR SHORTS. LIVE ACTION. There s five of them. 100 % on R. Tomatoes.They range from really, really soapy cornball love story to a really, really, soapy, cornball car attendents secret  dancing between parking cars. One is very heavy and serious about a guy being questioned about his loyalty, and you’ll question yours too after seeing it. All in all nit my favorite year for Live action shorts. All foreign, all subtitled.

OSCAR SHORTS, ANIMATION. There’s five of these animated shorts too. They range from a sickingly slick, cutesy Pixar baby sandpiper confection to an adults only “Pear Cider and Cigarettes” 35 minute graphic saga that is brilliant. Don’t take the kids to any of these shorts they simply aren’t worth it. But see Pear Cider if you can.

JOHN WICK Chapter 2. Keanu Reeves is back as the star of this sequel. That should be warning enough. One of the most splatteringly bloodiest films I’ve seen in years. Seems like all American made big studio films are violent nowadays, but this one is more than that. They justify the plot by adding sworn Mafia type family oaths , scenes in Rome,  and just blood and more blood and as I said, most of it gets splattered on walls… a lot.

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.

THE GREAT WALL. Matt Damon heads this almost all Chinese cast in a huge special effects battle against thousands of 20 foot man killing, organized, queen – led Iguanas during the 12 century. Damon’s accent goes from Ireland to Massachusetts (his birthplace). Damon can and has done some fine acting in the past but he’s lost in this computer generated, darkly filmed big, big box office success (in China). 36 on Rotten Tomatoes.  

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.

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.

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).



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. Dean Kaufman and Travis Deyoung from Veterans Services bring us up to date on veterans issues and programs on Feb. 21…then Becca King Reed  reports in on our Santa Cruz Community Television station.  TBAguests on February 28 talking about TBD 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”. Tony Russomano follows talking about the structure of the Democratic Party in California. 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 followed by Chip from The Downtown Association of Santa Cruz. Roy Malan discusses the Hidden Valley String Orchestra concert happening April 9. John Aird follows with an overview of UCSC growth, water,  and our tourist driven wharf plans.  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

Wow. You could not get me in to that water. Those waves are amazing and scary!

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.                 “FEBRUARY

“February is merely as long as is needed to pass the time until March”, J.R. Stockton

“Good morrow, Benedick. Why, what’s the matter,
That you have such a February face,
So full of frost, of storm and cloudiness?”,
~William Shakespeare, Much Ado about Nothing

“Late February days; and now, at last,
Might you have thought that winter’s woe was past;
So fair the sky was, and so soft the air”, William Morris, The Earthly Paradise: A Poem, 1870

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
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Santa Cruz, CA 95060

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Deep Cover by Tim Eagan.

Posted in Weekly Articles | Comments Off on February 20 – 26, 2017

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