Blog Archives

February 24 – March 1, 2016

THE PEOPLES BANK, WELLS FARGO BANK, THE ID BUILDING, AND NOW THE SOCK SHOP. This is the corner of Locust and Pacific. January 4, 1965. As usual, I like to point out the width of Pacific Avenue back then. See the parked cars, and the line of cars driving south with plenty of room. That’s before cut outs, parkletts, and “lamb chops” were inserted.

photo credit: Covello & Covello Historical photo collection.

Additional information always welcome: email

DATELINE  February 22, 2016

BEACH FLATS GARDEN ISSUE.  Anyone who follows the political history of how the City Of Santa Cruz deals with Charlie Canfield’s Seaside Boardwalk Corporation knows that the ever greedy, monoply Boardwalk always wins. They win because The Boardwalk has more money and better attorneys than the City Of Santa Cruz. The City has always backed down in any possible confrontation. The Beach Flats Garden problem is a perfect example of Boardwalk greed added to City Council fear.

The Beach Flats Garden Coalition put out a press release on Feb. 1 among other things it said, “that the coalition urges the city to drop threats to the gardeners and try to seek creative solutions. The Beach Flats Garden Coalition announced it is organizing a community fundraising campaign to help the City of Santa Cruz purchase the Beach Flats Community Garden property. Neighborhood volunteers have spent over 20 years transforming this once derelict dumping ground into a verdant oasis, cited recently by researchers for its outstanding biodiversity and cultural significance. Meanwhile, the city has indicated it intends to fence off 40% of the site (well over half of the cultivated land) on Tuesday, February 2, and eject all but one of the current gardeners from their plots. In October, the City Council voted unanimously to negotiate purchase of the current site as a public park.  Current gardeners, as well as hundreds of community supporters, have spent hours in meetings with city officials in the effort to cooperate and support creative plans to save the entire garden. On January 25th, three gardeners delivered a letter signed by seventeen of their colleagues, saying they are “hoping and trusting in the work being done by the city to buy the land.” The letter, delivered in person to Ms. Shoemaker, stated that all gardeners who signed “wish to continue growing food here in the Beach Flats garden.”  

Community members now fear that City leaders are showing signs of backing away from their commitment to the garden. Despite the City Council’s October resolution to attempt to purchase the entire garden, city staff has not yet begun the negotiations process.  Instead, as expressed in an unexpected statement sent to gardeners on January 30, the City Council “has directed the City Attorney to prepare to initiate appropriate legal action” against them, ignoring the gardeners’ continued interest in gardening.
The Santa Cruz community is stepping up to help the Council achieve its promise. “At the moment, we are speaking with major donors who are interested in making matching grants. If every one of the 3900 people who signed the petition in support of the garden donates just $10, we will be able to raise a significant part of the purchase price ,” said Lynne Cooper, fundraising committee member.  “While this is just the beginning, we hope the City sees how excited we are to find a creative solution to this community need.” Cooper said the group plans to hold a fundraising kickoff event later this month. Garden supporters hope that the fundraising campaign will encourage the City to do just that. To contribute, go to


CORRECTION TO AUXILIARY LANES…A WIDER VIEW. (Repeat from last week with added correction) 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 Transportation website…they’re on top of this battle to stop the drive to have that $$$ 450 Million Dollar $$$ Transportation Tax happen in November. Jack Nelson co-chair of the Campaign For Sensible Transportation emailed me right after the column went online. He said last Friday  and, at my invitation, wrote a correction on Monday it reads…”Your February 17 Bratton Online column reports CFST is opposing the $450 million sales tax proposal, but that’s not accurate.

We are challenging one piece of the proposal: the $100 million-plus funding component that would widen Highway 1 with new auxiliary lanes.  CFST supports having a local transportation sales tax measure considered by the voters, to include sustainable transportation measures that help reduce automobile dependence in Santa Cruz County along with providing funds to maintain the existing transportation system.  We’re asking the Regional Transportation Commission to move in that direction, instead of including funds for adding lanes on Highway 1 in projects that have been shown will not perform, either to provide long term congestion relief or to promote livable communities.

So, as you may see on our website at, CFST supports a sales tax that would provide funds toward improving Santa Cruz Metro bus and paratransit services (and avoiding the looming cuts to service), transit on the rail corridor, safer/better routes for bicyclists and pedestrians including the rail-trail, and funds to local public works departments to maintain existing local streets and roads. You may view CFST’s Highway 1 slide show and sign our petition to the Regional Transportation Commission at our website.  We agree there’s a traffic congestion problem on Highway 1; the necessary question is, what’s smart to do about it, while not helping hand the children of the future a destabilized climate?’End of Jack Nelsons correction.

WHOLE FOODS… A RIPOFF. It’s an old (2015) article in Daily Kos…but I just found it. It tells of faulty labeling, illegal weighing, overcharging, and it goes on to say that the owner of Whole Foods thinks that climate change is A OK and that Obamacare is fascism. Why do Santa Cruzans support such businesses? Check this article…

Think Whole Foods is a ripoff? It’s worse than you thought.

OUR SOCCER PLAYER STATUE. M. Sophia Santiago revealed somewhere in her Facebook outings that our nearly hallowed Surfer Statue created byThomas Marsh was really modeled by a 21 year old soccer player in 1993. M. Maris stated that’s why his shoulder muscles are different from surfer shoulder muscles. I hadn’t noticed. Maybe from now on we should be hanging soccer nets around him instead of surfer type leis.

ACADEMY AWARDS & FILMS AS ART. Good or great films? I had about a two minute with long time friend Eli Hollander UCSC’s film professor a few weeks ago and I’ve been thinking about his  simple statement there are good films and there are great films. ( He convinced me that Anomalisa was a good not great film). We agreed that there were no great films this past year…and only a few good ones. That’s important, especially to me. I took about seven or eight years of film classes at UC Berkeley and UC Santa Cruz. I planned and researched for a cinema book at The American Film Institute, The Berlin Film Museum and the Academy of Motion Pictures, I see about 200 films on screens in Santa Cruz annually and another nealry 200 films at home. I enjoy the role of voicing my opinion on terrible, good and great films here and on KZSC every week. With the Academy Awards happening this weekend I just wanted to bring this up. Again this week friends are reacting to Son of Saul saying “it looks too grim”, “I don’t like sad movies” etc. To me that’s like saying I won’t look at Picasso’s  La Guernica, no Shakespeare tradegies, no Beckett, no Goya Disasters of War… films too are art. The most popular art in the world, ever. Like theatre plays, they aren’t real they’re only movies. Go see more good and great movies in spite of The Academy.

GIVING SAFEWAY/ALBERTSONS MORE PROFITS PER BAG. There were a lot of folks around our territory who were opposed to grocery stores like Safeway/Albertsons  being allowed to charge extra money for the shopping bags they used to give away for free. We’ll never know how much more money they are taking in from those shoppers who don’t bring their own environment friendly re-usable bags. Did anybody notice even a penny drop in shelf prices after the anti-plastic bag people won their battle?

HILLARY BRATTON TO SING…. Daughter Hillary sings this Sunday (2/28) in North Hollywood for those readers amongst you…who are in that neighborhood. The note states…Come join us for brunch and see and hear Hillary Bratton and The Mynabirds at the next Mimosa Music Series 2/28 at The Federal Bar in North Hollywood. Hillary will be performing with Barry Reynolds (Marianne Faithfull…) and Sebastian Sternberg. Her cool album, “Tears On My Pillow, but The Rest Of The Bed is OK” is produced by Anton Fier !Doors open at 11AM. More info on Hillary Bratton: here!

Mr. Paul Elerick of Aptos writes…



Passing a 1/2 cent sales tax to fix our streets and roads moves us ahead on the rail trail, funding for METRO to provide additional  services, especially for the elderly and disabled plus major bicycle and pedestrian improvements will be funded in the tax measure.  And yes, 20% of the tax measure goes to building auxiliary lanes on Highway 1, from Soquel Ave. to State Park Drive in stages. Included in the 20% is $8 million dollars for a highway bike and pedestrian overpass.  Auxiliary lanes should not be considered  as highway widening since they start at stop and freeway entrances and exits. These are very different than  2004’s Measure J that featured aux lanes and HOV lanes from the Fishhook to San Andreas Rd..  The best example of a useful aux lane is the northbound aux lane from Soquel Ave. to Morrissey Blvd., used by many who never use the freeway lanes but use these aux lanes to get around faster.  The proposed aux lanes can’t help but get people who live north of State Park Drive to work and home faster!


Passing the tax measure will require a 2/3 majority, which to me is an impossibility without including something for highway users. The tax measure’s passage became even more important after last week’s announcement of losing state funding for a long list of transportation projects for Santa Cruz County.  So without going into too much detail, I am no longer a co-chair of the Campaign for Sensible Transportation.  Their effort currently is to convince voters to support their version of a transportation measure with zero dollars for the aux lanes.  This is a sure way to kill any tax measure; my effort will continue to be to oppose CFST on this and to support a tax measure presented by the Regional Transportation Commission that offers something for everybody.  (Paul Elerick is a member of, and former co-chair of the Campaign for Sensible Transportation, . He’s a current member of Nisene to Sea, a group of mid-county citizens committed to maintaining an open hiking trail from Cabrillo College to Nisene Marks State Park

GREENSITE’S INSIGHT. Gillian emailed to say…” I have family in town and will be back next week.

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

PATTON’S PROGRAM. Gary states on his 3 times weekly KUSP program…

In Monterey County, the City of Marina has an Urban Growth Boundary, established by an initiative measure enacted by the voters some years ago. I am pretty sure that Marina is the only city in Monterey County that has taken action to stop the kind of urban sprawl that is still all too typical around the state. Supposedly, each county’s Local Agency Formation Commission, or LAFCO, is supposed to set boundaries against sprawl, but in Monterey County, at least, that system has allowed cities like Salinas and Greenfield to annex and develop huge areas of agricultural land.

Santa Cruz County jurisdictions have taken a more positive approach to Urban Growth Boundaries. The City of Santa Cruz has a voter-approved “Greenbelt Ordinance.” Watsonville has also established a voter-approved line, to prevent sprawl, and of course the County’s Measure J Growth Management System, adopted by the voters in 1978, prevents the kind of unincorporated sprawl development that would undoubtedly have occurred in Santa Cruz County without the enactment of that measure.

In Santa Clara County, where sprawl was king for many years, keeping pace with precedents in Los Angeles and Orange Counties in the South, voters in Gilroy are now likely to get an opportunity to enact an Urban Growth Boundary for that city. There is a link to more information at 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 opinions expressed are Mr. Patton’s. Gary has his own website, Two Worlds/365” –

CLASSICAL DeCINZO. DeCinzo reveals our darker side…scroll below…

EAGAN’S DEEP COVER. Tim Eagan  detects a rampant case of elefantiasis and the Supreme Court…see downwards.


“Santa Cruz Baroque Festival continues their 43rd season with The Bass Revolution. Rebecca Rust and Friedrich Edelmann, The San Francisco-Munich Trio, join us to perform High Baroque pieces in explorative and exciting new ways. The cello and bassoon will be the center of attention with their expressive “male” solo voices. 

The Baroque cello and bassoon (originally named the violoncello and dulcian) became passionate ‘male’ solo musical voices expressing a previously unsung heroism.  Experience how Bach, Vivaldi and other High Baroque composers opened new territories of expression through these instruments, that Mozart and Beethoven developed even further while musical sensibilities evolved to the Classical and Romantic eras.  Rebecca Rust and Friedrich Edelmann are the revolutionary upstarts, from the ranks of supportive orchestral musicians, to take us on this musical journey”. It happens this Sunday, February 28, 2016 at 3:00 pm in the UCSC Music Center Recital Hall, University of California Santa Cruz campus

Presented by the Santa Cruz Baroque Festival as a part of their 2016 Season, “Cutting Edge Early Music” and Tickets available online:

LISA JENSEN LINKS. Lisa again writes: “The underpinnings of a longtime marriage are revealed by subtle, seismic degrees in the fine-tuned 45 Years, this week at Lisa Jensen Online Express ( Also, check out my predictions in this year’s (very limited) Oscar field.”



THE VVITCH…Official trailer. This gives you some idea of the seriousness and setting and dialects in this unnerving and good film.

SON OF SAUL. There will always be more stories about the holocaust. This is an excellent film and is up for best foreign film award at the Oscars.(Hungary). Saul, the Jewish hero of the film is forced to work at Auschwitz as part of the Sonderkommando work crew. They had the job of making sure the killing of the Jews was as fast, clean and profitable as possible. Saul see the body of his son and goes beyond human limits to have a traditional Jewish burial instead of the furnaces for him. It starts sad and tormenting and ends the same way. It’s somber, stark, and again another reminder of what hatred and prejudice can do. See this film.

THE VVITCH. That’s not a “w” in “Witch”, for some unexplained reason the film always uses 2 capital v’s in the title.  This completely deadily serious film does a fine job of creating and keeping a very scary mood throughout the whole piece. It’s set in 1630 New England centering on a family just off the boat from the old country. Perfect acting, perfect sets, the Brit/New England accents are hard to follow at times. There isn’t a familiar “ghost” idea in this film. No chainsaws, cellar stairs, hockey masks, or more importantly not one previously used scene in it.


WHERE TO INVADE NEXT. We liberals/progressives tend to think we know everything that Michael Moore has 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  Rampling deserves 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 Courtney play a couple “celebrating”  their 45th wedding 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.

BROOKLYN. Whew…I knew I loved this film and  now I see that Rotten Tomatoes gives 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 Pare who 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 Revenant is that hardly anyone I know, knew what the word meant. Looking it up (I had to) in Wictionary you’ll find…   Someone who returns from 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 winner for best Drama film and for Leonardo DiCaprio’s best acting and Alejandro Inarritu for 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 Larson as the teen age mother and Jacob Trembly as 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 Smith is 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.

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’s business 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 Brothers just 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 George Clooney, Tilda Swinton, Josh Brolin, Scarlett  Johansson, 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.

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 Cumberbatch to play a maybe trans gendered monster in a few scenes and scads of stars to blink on screen. Neil deGrasse Tyson does a thing too, so does Willy NelsonBen Stiller must 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.

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.ORGFeb.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 Thornton and Eric Henze discuss their Monterey Bay travel books, “Monterey & Carmel” (it includes Santa Cruz) and ” Henry Cowell  on March 1. They’re followed by M. Sophia Santiago talking about her show of ” The Long View” being shown 3/4 -3/30. Michael Tierra talks about the music of “The Northwest Passage” happening March 20. Brian Ragunan tells us about the UCSC Veterans programs and benefits on March 22. Michel Singher talks about The next concert of the Espressivo Orchestra on March 29. Do remember, any and all suggestions for future programs are more than welcome so tune in, and keep listening. Email me always at

This guy is one of my favorites! Magic and comedy in combination is a great thing, in my opinion.

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, 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 Kim mel, 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.


“A film is – or should be – more like music than like fiction. It should be a progression of moods and feelings. The theme, what’s behind the emotion, the meaning, all that comes later”, Stanley Kubrick

“If you want a happy ending, that depends, of course, on where you stop your story”, Orson Welles

“A wide screen just makes a bad film twice as bad”, Samuel Goldwyn

“Cinema should make you forget you are sitting in a theater”, Roman Polanski


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Deep Cover by Tim Eagan.

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