Blog Archives

February 26 – March 3, 2020

Highlights this week:

BRATTON… gives us the scoop… GREENSITE…Greensite on a recent op-ed & the recall. KROHN… on the student strike. STEINBRUNER… videos from last week, in case you missed them. PATTON… Measure R… EAGAN… Deep Cover JENSEN… on a trilogy of Fools… UNIVERSAL GRAPEVINE GUEST LINEUP. QUOTES…”BATTERIES”


UCSC STUDENT VIGIL AGAINST TUITION May 18, 1967. Now it’s 53 years later, and campus activism seems alive and well, unfortunate as it is that it’s still needed.

photo credit: Covello & Covello Historical photo collection.

Additional information always welcome: email

I’m sorry for not sharing. I was at Dominican, Palo Alto Med. and mostly at Santa Cruz Post Acute for at least 3 weeks (and still am ) Tests and treatment for lungs, lower back, and heart stuff. During all of that time I managed to add days of search, plus merriment, to all my medical staff’s humor by actually swallowing two hearing aid batteries!! I’m waiting for one more to appear. I’ll be back ASAP. In the meantime, thank the Omni present Gunilla Leavitt for the weekly assemblage of digits…and fidgets.

February 24, 2020

Grossed Out

If you read the February 21st. Sentinel op-ed by Kevin Grossman, who quit as chair of the city’s Commission for the Prevention of Violence Against Women over what he labeled as harassment during and after the meeting of October 9th 2019, you might have concluded as I did that it must have been a raucous meeting, out of control, needing 5 cops to help the commissioners “feel safe” as the “evening escalated.” I started by believing and then checked the facts: in this case an audiotape of the October 9th 2019 meeting, available online under Commission agendas. I spent a couple of hours listening to the tape. I kept waiting for speakers at the podium to start yelling and making threats, requiring police presence as described by chair Grossman. I’m still waiting. None of what he describes is an accurate summary of the meeting. 

At the meeting, some of the city’s long time feminist leaders spoke, as well as others I did not know. In his op-ed Grossman describes them as, “one angry person after another approached the podium and berated us over and over again. They also threatened to ‘come after us’ if we continued to support the women and the public censure the city council voted against the night before.” I kept checking to make sure I had the correct tape since the speakers were calm, respectful, articulate and reasoned. Only one, a regular at city council meetings could have been described in the background as disruptive. She is easily calmed down and is often spot on. She is and was not threatening. Grossman’s description is hyperbole. 

His contempt for the public comes through clearly on the tape. He rivals past Mayor Watkins with his bored, dismissive “time’s up” abrupt cut-off for speakers. For the last item on the agenda, public comment was limited to 1 minute despite the topic’s importance and a two-month wait for the next Commission meeting. 

In his op-ed Grossman berates the public for being at the meeting. He complains that they weren’t there to “hear about the second annual Transforming Together conference or the county-wide needs assessment we just completed” when it was he and the commission that voted to remove those items from the meeting’s agenda despite Ann Simonton objecting. 

This hijacking of the Commission for the Prevention of Violence Against Women from within for political purposes is unprecedented in my experience and I’ve had a lot of experience with this commission including as co-founder. Sure, politicians have used the commission as a feather in their campaign hat but never has the commission been exploited to eradicate political rivals. That the commission’s staff, (who is now on tape extolling the excellent recent working relations with Drew Glover) could influence commissioners to demand the censure of two council members for charges that an independent investigation did not substantiate, suggests some commission members had an a priori interest in the recall campaign, despite their protestations to the contrary. If a laugh and a curt remark (the only substantiated charges against Krohn and Glover) can be elevated to the seriousness of rape and domestic violence, the commission’s mandate, then we have taken a giant leap backwards. Co-optation is ugly.

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.


Feb. 25, 2020

Grad Student Strike, Week 3
Some negotiation is happening. The strikers are back on the line. I wanted to share this beautifully crafted letter sent by military veterans to the brain-trust of UCSC sent on February 23rd. It points out the ridiculous force that was used last week against unarmed, peaceful graduate students, undergraduates, faculty, and staff. Seventeen students were arrested.

Subject: A message from UCSC military veterans regarding police presence during the wildcat strike

Dear Chancellor Larive, EVC Kletzer, AVC Scott, and Chief Oweis,  

As military veteran members of the UCSC community (students and faculty) we are morally and ethically compelled to voice our condemnation of the employment of militarized police in our academic setting. As veterans, the position we occupy is not easy, having been part of an organization that has been ordered to subjugate people of color for decades, with no end in sight; it is therefore our duty to speak up against perpetual war and metaphysical catastrophe, whether it be abroad or in the US. 

Especially on Mon-Wed (2/10-2/12), the similarities of tactics, techniques, and procedures, regularly called TTPs by those “in the know,” were alarming and disappointing. The intimidation tactics utilized those days, such as batons, body armor, and paddy wagons in plain sight, were distressing. To us, who can receive or have received COLA via the GI Bill, we recognize these tactics as tools to ramp up fear and intimidate those already in precarious situations. The penultimate example of how inappropriate the response was exists in the rifles presented on Wednesday, 2/12. We, as veterans, are intimately familiar with them as tools to inflict death from near and far. The rifles from Wednesday were, of course, to our military trained observation, non-lethal. Yet, imagine being a 20ish-year-old civilian, where rifles are tools of domestic murder, oppression, mass shootings, and fear; this is especially the case for people of color in our community, whose neighborhoods are over-policed and who are more likely to experience police intimidation, violence, and murder. 

Many of us have been present since day one of this struggle. We have witnessed the progression of events. Students have shown passion, frustration, joy, anger, and love as they have engaged in nonviolent political protest, yet they have been labeled as dangerous. This is a farce, especially when the structural violence perpetrated by a system that pays staff, lecturers, and graduate students too little to live on is not held accountable. In the military, there is a process in terms of who calls for escalation and subsequent accountability. We demand transparency and accountability in the UC, in terms of our leaders, and institutionally.  Our criticism is therefore directed toward administrators who readily employed personnel, funding, and equipment disproportionately and, as a result, escalated this situation and implied brutality against those with little institutionally recognized power: those trying to make it on poverty wages, which is more likely to be first generation students and people of color, but especially students who are undocumented and Black. We call on administrators to show constraint and de-escalation as this wildcat strike advances and as tensions rise with this continuing strike, as was mostly shown from 2/13 to 2/21, which we recognize and appreciate. We also call for a drawing down of resources spent on police presence.

Respectfully submitted,

Regina Day Langhout, PhD, USNR, Operation Desert Shield/Storm, HM2/E-5 
Matthew Enders, Undergraduate Student, USMC, Operation New Dawn, Sergeant/E-5
Francisco Munoz, Undergraduate Student, USMCR, Operation Enduring Freedom, Corporal/E-4
Sara Al-Hawi, Undergraduate Student, USN, Operation Tomodachi, AE3/E-4
Tommi D. Hayes, PhD Candidate, US Army, Operation Iraqi Freedom II, Specialist/E-4

Wow! What a letter, what a rebuke, what a statement from former soldiers who were there and here and know the difference.

Don’t Forget to VOTE!
Voting in California began on February 3rd and will continue up until the March 3rd primary. Tell your family, friends, and anyone on the bus who will listen: You can register and vote up until March 3rd. Use your franchise and cast a ballot.

Bernie Tweet to UC Grad Students on the Picket Line:

“UCSC grad students are fighting to have their labor rights acknowledged. I strongly urge the president of the UC system to stop threatening them, especially immigrant students, for organizing. I stand with @payusmoreucsc” (Feb. 19)
(Chris Krohn is a father, writer, activist, and was on the Santa Cruz City Councilmember from 1998-2002. Krohn was Mayor in 2001-2002. He’s been running the Environmental Studies Internship program at UC Santa Cruz for the past 14 years. He was elected the the city council again in November of 2016, after his kids went off to college. His current term ends in 2020.

Email Chris at

[Here is a holdover from last week, I had some technical difficulties and will update content as it comes in. -Gunilla]

That’s the consensus as I travel around the Second District, meeting with constituents.  People are fed up with being ignored and their concerns diminished, they are tired of traveling on congested roads that are falling apart, and just really want a new outlook on the solutions possible to get something done.

The League of Women Voters has reconsidered the unfortunate decision to cancel a forum that would have allowed voters to learn more about District 1 and District 2 County Supervisor candidates, as well as Measure R and the local school bonds.  Oddly, when Supervisor Friend told the leader of the League that he may have a conflict, she cancelled the entire forum!  Luckily, two women who are determined to uphold the goals of the League (to educate voters) convinced them to organize another forum opportunity in Capitola, hopefully some time next week.   Stay tuned for the date.

I really want to thank Community Television for respectfully granting me interview time when I recently requested equal time commensurate with what the station had given Supervisor Zach Friend in late December, 2019.

Take a look at two recent interviews on Community Television:

Voices of the Village with Host Steve Pleich
and Community Cafe with host Datta Khalsa
When you are done, go back and watch the beginning interview with Rick Longinotti – No on Recall.


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.

Email Becky at


By request, here is Gary Patton’s blog post about Measure R

#47 / R We Ready To Vote (YES) on Measure R?

A friend who saw my blog posting about the recall elections currently underway in the City of Santa Cruz sent me a follow-up inquiry: What do you think about Measure R? Well, I do have “view” on Measure R, too. I am strongly in favor of Measure R. In fact, being one of those early voter types, I have already cast my ballot, and I voted YES on R.

As far as I am concerned, Cabrillo College is one of the local institutions that has helped make Santa Cruz County into a very special place, indeed. I speak from personal experience. My entire family has benefitted from the education that Cabrillo College provides. Lots of other families can say the exact same thing! Cabrillo is, as the name states, a  true “community” college, and it makes education available to all of us, to every one of us – and at every stage of our lives.

Cabrillo is where I learned Spanish, when I was almost fifty years old, and Cabrillo is where my son took courses he needed to advance his career. My daughter got a very good start in life in Cabrillo’s outstanding Early Childhood Education preschool. Her son, my grandson, will soon be in high school, and he is already planning to take some courses at Cabrillo, to get him beyond high school, and ready for a four-year university. I am now teaching in the Legal Studies Program at UCSC, and I am very much impressed by the diverse and motivated students that Cabrillo College is sending up to that City on a Hill!

Here is the problem that some find with Measure R: it will cost us money! If you think you can get everything for free on the Internet (even a bogus education at PragerU), maybe the fact that it will cost us money will seem like a real strike against Measure R. The amount of money being requested will mean less than 2% of the average total of our property tax bills, but Measure R will cost us money. This is not a deal killer for me!

I come from parents who taught me that “you get what you pay for,” and that has, in fact, been my personal experience. If we want to continue and build upon the wonderful work that Cabrillo College has done, and is doing in this community, we need to continue to invest. In the case of Measure R, I think we get a lot for our investment. The fact sheets I have seen indicate that the funds produced by Measure R will not only rennovate and upgrade many aging campus facilities, specifically including the Library, but that these funds will also let Cabrillo build a new science building on the main campus and a new public service training center in Watsonville.

Deciding to borrow money (and that’s what a bond act is) always requires some thought. If you borrow money and don’t invest it wisely, you are worse off than before. You don’t have much of value to show for your money, and you’re deeper in debt. I think that investing in our premier institution of community education is an investment worth making, and that is why I voted “YES” on Measure R.

YES on “R.” That’s my view about that one!

Gary Patton is a former Santa Cruz County Supervisor (20 years) and an attorney for individuals and community groups on land use and environmental issues. The opinions expressed are Mr. Patton’s. You can read and subscribe to his daily blog at

Email Gary at


EAGAN’S SUBCONSCIOUS COMICS. New (old) subconscious goodness next week.

EAGAN’S DEEP COVER. See Eagan’s comic 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 reviews a trilogy of books by Robin Hobbs. She says “Reviewing one book at a time would be like writing a film review after only seeing one third of the movie”, so you can find reviews of all three — this week at Lisa Jensen Online Express ( ” Lisa has been writing film reviews and columns for Good Times since 1975.



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 and archived for two weeks… (See next paragraph) and go to WWW.KZSC.ORG. Peter Klotz-Chamberlin from the Resource Center for Non Violence guests on February 4. After which Nancy Macy who is  Environmental Committee Chair of the Valley Womens Club talks about PG&E and other problems. Jean Brocklebank and Michael Lewis will talk about our Santa Cruz Public library issues on Feb 11. Distinguished Artists Series founder John Orlando and pianist Lembit Beecher guest on March 3. OR…if you just happen to miss 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. 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 

Medieval finger loop braiding! This looks like a lot of fun 🙂

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. 


“Marriage has no guarantees. If that’s what you’re looking for, go live with a car battery.”
~Erma Bombeck

“I feel that sin and evil are the negative part of you, and I think it’s like a battery: you’ve got to have the negative and the positive in order to be a complete person.”
~Dolly Parton

“Without vision, even the most focused passion is a battery without a device.”
~Ken Auletta

“I think of the sun as my battery, my charger.”
~Alexis Ren

COLUMN COMMUNICATIONS. Subscriptions: Subscribe to the Bulletin! 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!), and the occasional scoop. Always free and confidential. Even I don’t know who subscribes!!

Snail Mail: Bratton Online
82 Blackburn Street, Suite 216
Santa Cruz, CA 95060

Direct email:
Direct phone: 831 423-2468
All Technical & Web details: Gunilla Leavitt @

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