Blog Archives

February 25 – March 3, 2015

DOWNTOWN SANTA CRUZ 1920. Here’s the corner of Cedar and Locust Streets. It was the Hotel Santa Cruz back then. Now it’s the Planet Fresh Burrito place. The two story building on the closest corner used to be where Gary Patton’s dad had his law offices. It’s now that Chinese restaurant with a patio .

photo credit: Covello & Covello Historical photo collection.

Additional information always welcome: email

DATELINE February 23, 2015

UCSC & BORLAND PROPERTY or “Sucking up to Silicon Valley”. UCSC is considering buying the former Borland Property that was opened in 1993 that cost $120 million to build.


The Sentinel’s Jondi Gumz wrote a zinger of a piece (no date!!) about the property that Santa’s Village website re-printed, check it out.

UCSC wants to use it for combining University Relations, Information Technology Services and Business plus Administratvie Services. UCSC claims they’ve outgrown all campus office space, and that they’ve been leasing buildings on Delaware Ave on our Westside. Borland had 1200 employees working up there when it opened. It’ll mean a huge change in vehicle transportation figures. UCSC is going to start “working with the unions that represent involved employees” soon. Does it make you wonder why the old Wrigley Plant didn’t work for UCSC business expansion??? Then we wonder about the impact on rental benefits and the taxes that will be lost to the City of Santa Cruz when they leave for Scotts Valley!!! BUT we can rest assured that our City Council will get to the bottom of this. Somebody should ask if any searching for office space was done in South County…just asking!!!!

TOXIC CRUMB RUBBER & DEPOT PARK OR HARBOR HIGH??? Sunday’s SF Chronicle (02/22/15) had a front page article on the dangers of recycled tires on artificial turf fields and playgrounds. They pose a health risk to people.These surfaces contain rubber from scrap tires. Environmental groups and health advocates say the EPA didn’t study the health effects thoroughly. What about our Depot Park…why was that closed for such a long time….did they ever replace that “crumb rubber” base??? Then too how about Harbor High and that ball park, there was some problem with that “crumb rubber” too. Was all that hassle ever resolved??? Don’t you wish we had more real news reporting around here?

SAN JOSE IS BROKE…WITHER SANTA CRUZ???? By now almost everybody has read or heard the news that San Jose as a city is broke. All that growth, all those jobs, all those great benefits from economic growth meant nothing. Where and how do our Santa Cruz local growth boosters Chamber of Commerce, Board Of Supervisors and our City Council figure our locally encouraged growth will be any different??? Can anybody show us where that growth has resulted in success?

FLUORIDATED WATER ANNIVERSARY. There’s a great article in today’s (2/23/15) New York Times…. “NEW YORK’S FLUORIDATION FUSS, 50 YEARS LATER” by RALPH BLUMENTHAL Among other facts it says that 3/4 of Americans now drink fluoridated water. Then it goes on to say how opponents used to call it a communist plot and how most major cities in the US now fluoridate their water, and the good that it does. Here’s a link, but I don’t think it’ll work…

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


Lots of hoopla this past week when Barry Swenson Builders flattened the Aptos “Post Office” bike jumps. We’re told in Monday’s Sentinel that BSBuilders will be sending plans for construction of their “village” to the County soon. Really? For a plan that has been approved by the County for over two years, what have they been waiting for?

Aptosians are starting to pay attention to what we have in store for us and many are wondering how the Village Plan can solve the traffic increase by adding three stop lights to the already congested area. Other concerns have been voiced on Neighbors Next Door, a community based forum. Most voiced opposition, but one advocate is for the plan because it might “bring us a Chipotle”! But we already have Manuel’s Restaurant! More good info and a chance to voice your opinion can be found on Facebook’s Aptosia page. It includes a link to local Testorff Construction’s site that shows what we’re facing if and when the whole Village Plan ever happens. .

(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).


PATTON’S PROGRAM. Gary talks about the County’s Affordable Housing problem and states, “One of the issues under discussion is whether the developers of five or more units should be required actually to construct affordable units as part of their development, or whether the developers will simply be able to pay a fee, and make County government responsible for turning money into real affordable housing”. Later he says, regarding the development of Fort Ord, “I think that planning that is based on community participation and community goal setting (even over the Internet) is a lot better than the kind of planning that occurs only when landowners and developers have a particular project in mind. It is true, however, that the current planning effort is based on the thought that “urban” development is going to be at the center of future land uses on the former Fort Ord. That might not, in fact, be the “best use” of these lands, particularly since so much of the former Fort Ord is in public ownership. If you care, get involved! He closes with a pithy statement on the proposed Davenport National Monument…” Not everyone is enthusiastic about designating the Santa Cruz County North Coast as a National Monument. No money comes with the designation. Just lots of visitors! 400,000 annual visitors is a figure being suggested as a realistic estimate. Where do they park? How do they get there, and would such a designation actually turn land already protected into what amounts to a nationally advertised resort destination? Will Davenport turn into a hotel/resort gateway? Could the natural resource values of the North Coast actually be compromised, not protected, by the Monument designation? These are all worthy questions. Robust public discussion and participation is advised! 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. Back when CSUMB moved to Fort Ord!!! see below

EAGAN’S DEEP COVER. Eagan hints at Job Fair secrets…scroll downwards.


BUDAPEST AIRSHOW 2014. If you’ve ever been to Budapest…watch this…

HARPER REGAN AND JEWEL THEATRE. Jewel Theatre presents the play by Simon Stephens Harper Ragan from Feb. 26- March 22. Bill Peters is directing. The plot runs something like this…. One Autumn evening, after learning her father is near death, Harper walks away from her home, her family and her job, tossing fate and obligations into the air and embarking on a life journey that becomes an exploration of loyalty, morality and the bonds of family. Harper Regan is part of a body of work that has helped Stephens emerge as one of the most renowned and prolific playwrights of his generation in the UK. It’s at 1001 Center Street (where India Joze used to be, if you’re a long time Santa Cruzan). Buy tickets online here.

SANTA CRUZ CHAMBER PLAYERS. The players present The Last Tempo in Paris, a concert of French musical impressionism, focusing on suggestions, atmosphere, and colors, rather than strong emotions, like a painting by Claude Monet. This program features the late masterpieces of two great French impressionist composers: the Violin and Cello Sonatas by Claude Debussy and Les Chansons Madécasses by Maurice Ravel. And the music of Hector Berlioz, Philippe Gaubert and Cécile Chaminade. Aude Castagna, is the artistic director and plays cello. There’s Shannon Delaney, violin Lars Johannesson, flute, Sheila Willey, soprano, Susan Bruckner, and Michael McGushin, piano. It happens Saturday, February 28, 8 pm and Sunday, March 1, at 3 pm. in the Christ Lutheran Church,
10707 Soquel Drive, Aptos (Off Highway 1 at Freedom Blvd.)

LISA JENSEN LINKS Lisa writes: “This week at Lisa Jensen Online Express (, if you love seals, Celtic mythology, and/or exquisite, hand-drawn animation, don’t miss Song of the Sea (and DO see it on a big screen)! Also, the Oscars have been handed out, and 6 out of my top 8 Oscar predictions were right on. Unfortunately, the two I missed were Best Picture and Best Director. I know by now to follow the trail of the pre-Oscar craft guild awards, but this year I was really pulling for my favorite (Boyhood), so I ignored my own advice. Next year I’ll be back on my game! AND the season isn’t complete without the return of the (dreaded) Oscar Barbies!” Lisa has been writing film reviews and columns for Good Times since 1975.


McFARLAND, USA. This heart breaking-tearful movie is Disney at the best. Kevin Costner and Maria Bello head this solid trite hackneyed saga and yep, I cried too. It’s sort of like seven Rocky’s all in one film, as we watch the local Mexican kids in McFarland become state running champs. You can make up the plot, you’ve seen it many , many times. Yet because of the direction and Costner you’ll fall right into the pathos, cornball story.I forgot where Mc Farland is, I looked it up, route 99 goes right through the center of town, that’s why I even remembered being there…back in the day(or decade) It’s near Wasco, where I always get my gas when I drive to Victorville.

SONG OF THE SEA. Ireland’s Cartoon Studio also created The Secret of The Kells and I didn’t like it much either. It doesn’t compare to the Japanese Ghibli Studio’s classic works such as the current “The Tale Of The Princess Kaguya” or Pono, Howl’s Moving Castle, Princess Monoke or Spirited Away. The backgrounds in Song of the Sea are distracting, the music is too sweet or cute. The plot is cloying too. Plus, it lost the Oscar for animated feature to Big Hero 6.

THE DUFF. “DUFF” stands for “Designated Ugly Fat Friend”. The movie is touted as a teen age comedy, but it’s not very funny. Mae Whitman does a fine job as the Duff in the title, but the story is so over-used and old, you won’t care much for it…unless maybe you liked 50 Shades of Grey.


STILL ALICE. Julianne Moore deseves two oscars for her starring role in this mesmerizing film, and she got the big one!!! 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.

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!!! ( and it did!!!)

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 strangely 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.

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.

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!!!

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.

FOXCATCHER. This is one of the most odd movies I’ve ever seen. You’ll spend almost the entire time just watching Steve Carell’s eagle beak fake nose. Mark Ruffalo and Channing Tatum look and act like a sequel to Planet of The Apes. It’s creepy, non- focussed and I’m not sure why they made the film. Carell will be nominated for sure for something.du Pont was a real psycho and thought he was Jesus Christ, the Dalai Lama and a Russian czar, according to Wikipedia

JUPITER ASCENDING.The special effects must have cost millions for this sci-fi flick. What is odd is that Eddie Redmayne (winner of this year’s OSCAR for best Actor and also 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. 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. She’s followed by UCSC’s Ariane Helou discussing the Shakespeare lectures happening on campus and the next Baroque Festival concert. 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. “March came in that winter like the meekest and mildest of lambs, bringing days that were crisp and golden and tingling, each followed by a frosty pink twilight which gradually lost itself in an elfland of moonshine.”L.M. Montgomery. “Joy is not in things; it is in us,“Richard Wagner. “By March, the worst of the winter would be over. The snow would thaw, the rivers begin to run and the world would wake into itself again. Not that year. Winter hung in there, like an invalid refusing to die. Day after grey day the ice stayed hard; the world remained unfriendly and cold, “Neil Gaiman.


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Deep Cover by Tim Eagan.

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