Blog Archives

February 29 – March 6, 2012

PACIFIC AVENUE 1960. Most of this photo shows the Hotel St. George. Built mostly in 1893, and damaged beyond repair in the 1989 earthquake. It had a Garden Court, and held The People’s Bank (according to John Chase) Tanners Drug Store. It had a rare elevator on Pacific Avenue.

photo credit: Covello & Covello Historical photo collection.

Additional information always welcome: email

KIRBY NICOL FOR SUPERVISOR IN ELLEN PIRIE’S DISTRICT?? Kirby Nicol, long time Capitola Realtor is making all those campaigning, questioning, supporting type phone calls finding out just how much support he’ll have if he runs for 2nd District Supervisor. That leaves Zach Friend to worry about Antonio Rivas and the world’s only Doug Dietch. So far hardly anybody has brought up Kirby Nicol’s being Capitola Mayor in 2008 and also the drunk night when he called 911 asking for police to drive a friend of his home becaue neither of them was in any shape to drive. Nicol twice identified himself as Mayor and requested no lights and no siren be used. But he apologized and it may come up in the campaign, but probably not.


INDEPENDENT SPIRITS, OSCARS AND MICHELLE WILLIAMS. After watching the Independent Spirit Awards decline from a genuine, creative, fun-filled spontaneous event into a less exciting and forced commercial gig that the big stars no longer attend, I’ve concluded that last year’s films (2011) were just a small improvement over many previous years. That’s mainly due to excellent films such as “Another Earth” Bellflower,” “A Better Life,” “50/50,” “Take Shelter,” “Toast,” “Margin Call,” “Bill Cunningham, New York,” “Martha Marcy May Marlene” and more. Michelle Williams won best female actress for “My Week With Marilyn.” She gave an incredibly honest acceptance speech…here’s what The New York Daily News said, “Williams gave the best performance among the Spirit Awards winners with a touching acceptance speech acknowledging her kinship with low-budget independent filmmakers and recalling her first time at the ceremony a decade ago. “I wore my own clothes back then, which were not very good, and I cut my own hair, which also was not very good,” Williams said. “I still remember the feeling that in this room, unlike others, that that was OK. Possibly even preferred. And what I thought then and I still feel now is that it’s because this room was a room full of misfits, outcasts, loners, dreamers, mumblers, delinquents, dropouts. Just like me.” When we read about the off-stage lives of actors we usually tend to forget where they were coming from before being hit by FAME.

BRUCE MCPHERSON AND OUR VOTING MACHINES. Debra Bowen’s campaign ran this TV spot about then Secretary of State Bruce McPherson’s voting for and accepting shady voting machines….lest we forget.

Coming to Oakland; only 4 performances! Read more here

THE FAMED CRITERION COLLECTION AVAILABLE HERE.Since 1984 the Criterion Collection has re-produced the world’s finest classic films on tape, disc and now online. Film nuts everywhere know that any film re-edited, polished and released on the Criterion label has to have something going for it. The crew at Cedar Street Video (Cedar Street and Cathcart) have taken all the Criterion Releases in their store and put them on one shelf just inside the door on the left. You can browse there and find quality films you’ve only dreamt about plus all the cinema world’s favorites. Stop by Cedar Street Video, I always do.

PATTON’S PROGRAM. On Tuesday Gary deals again with The City and it’s water problem. He says, “A week from tomorrow, the Santa Cruz Local Agency Formation Commission, or LAFCO, will decide whether or not to permit the City of Santa Cruz to extend its water service, to allow UCSC to build over 3,000,000 square feet of new buildings on the UCSC “North Campus.” The plan is to convert this 240-acre natural area into a densely populated academic neighborhood. While LAFCO doesn’t second-guess the University’s land use priorities, it does have the responsibility for deciding whether the City has the service capacity to provide adequate water. Obviously, the City doesn’t have any extra water; that’s why the Council wants to build a $100 million dollar desalination plant. The last time that LAFCO considered the matter, the Commission decided that it could only approve the extension of City water service if all that 3,000,000 square feet of new growth ended up being “water neutral.”

Today, the Santa Cruz City Council will consider a strategy that the City staff thinks can accomplish that result. I represent the Community Water Coalition, a community group that has been opposing this expansion of City water service. The CWC is skeptical. Federal and state agencies whose job it is to protect fish habitat also agree that this isn’t a good idea. If you’d like to review the City’s plans yourself, there’s a link to relevant materials in today’s transcript. (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”


Our very Southern Correspondent Micaela Neus covers this headline news in an exclusive for

I got the chance to go on a boondoggle last week, taking a trip north to King George Island and back in order to pick up some Distinguished Visitors (DVs) from the airport at Frei Base (Chile). “Boondoggle” has a special meaning on ice– an extra-duty activity required by work yet comes with some sort of perk or pleasure that makes it desirable. I had to give up my room on station to live aboard the ARSV Laurence M. Gould (our research and supply vessel) for the week, but I got to see the gorgeous Neumayer Channel on a rare clear day as well as a number of international bases situated around Maxwell Bay. Unfortunately, I did not get to go ashore to visit the bases… that would have made it a Boondoggle Extraordinaire!

While we floated off-ashore waiting for our DVs to land, we noticed a great deal of helicopter traffic above the island. King George Island hosts about a dozen bases and meteorological stations within close proximity to one another, and so at first we didn’t think much of it. Then we got the news– Ferraz Base, a Brazilian research station in Admiralty Bay on the other side of the island, burnt nearly to the ground earlier in the morning after an explosion in the station’s generator room.

The helicopters were evacuating injured personnel out of Arctowski Station
where about 60 survivors first mustered for shelter. When people back home ask about dangers I might face in Antarctica, most expect me to put hypothermia and frost bite at the top of the list. In truth, we fear mostly fire— it destroys our shelter and supplies, and causes injuries that we cannot treat very well such as smoke inhalation.

Fires may spread very quickly, stretching our limited emergency response capacities to the breaking point. We cannot avoid dealing with a blaze of any size, obviously, and yet dealing with it carries additional risks– the only casualties at Ferraz Base were two soldiers who died because they stayed to fight the fire.

My day-to-day life in Antarctica is pretty prosaic, honestly. However, I’ve never lived anywhere with such a slim buffer between an average Tuesday and absolute disaster. One easily imagines how a chain reaction of relatively minor errors would lead to major problems for everyone–Ferraz reminded me of how short that chain really is down here.

So, I enjoyed my boondoggle… especially the end of it, when we came into the harbor and I saw Palmer Station still in one piece!

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


VINTAGE DE CINZO.Steven recalls an old film and new chain store approaching. scroll below

EAGANS DEEP COVER. Tim, The Messenger Eagan helps the devil get his due…or at least his request…see wahy down there…end of column.

LANDAU’S PROGRES. Saul Landau’s article in Progreso Weekly is « The Persecution Of Judge Garzon”. He states, “On September 11, 1973 (28 years before the World Trade Center-Pentagon attack), General Augusto Pinochet, leading a gang of treasonous officers, ordered Chilean air force jets to fire missiles at the Presidential Palace. By the end of the day Pinochet had seized power in a bloody, U.S.-backed coup against the elected socialist government of Dr. Salvador Allende who died in the assault on the Palace. In 2006, Chilean judge Juan Guzman ordered divers to search for evidence relating to missing bodies of Pinochet victims in Chile. Guzman accumulated evidence about the whereabouts of the 1,200 “disappeared” people – euphemism for avoiding paper trails for murder. No arrest records. No corpse! No crime! Then the divers found evidence of human remains. The families of the disappeared had proof: Pinochet’s thugs had murdered their loved ones. Garzon’s persecutors now want to hide the Franco era crimes by removing the withering rays of light that this brave judge had shined on the odoriferous deeds”. Read it all here.

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

LISA JENSEN LINKS. Lisa writes: “This week at Lisa Jensen Online Express (, brace yourself for (oh no! Oh yes!) The Return of the Oscar Barbies! Also, it can’t be March already, but the next First Friday Art Tour is just around the corner.” Lisa Jensen has been writing film reviews and a column for Good Times since 1975.

MARBLE QUARRY OF CARRARA.Where marble sculptors get their marble.

COELEEN KIEBERT SHOW AT FELIX FIRST FRIDAY. Students past and present of clay and bronze sculptor Coeleen Kiebert will have a showing of their works at Felix Kulpa Gallery and Sculpture Garden, 107 Elm Street behind Streetlight Records. It’s titled “One’s Own Voice” It opens First Friday March 2 and goes through April 29th .

DRINK MORE COFFEE. Wide awake and exceptionally eager daughter Jennifer Boulanger formerly of this town and Santa Cruz High sends this article on why we need to drink more coffee. Pour yourself a cup and read it here.

THE REAL JEAN DUJARDIN. After the stupendous success of “The Artist” and all its awards, and especially for the big star himself Jean Dujardin, you’ve got see his early work also for director Michel Hazanavicius. Minutes after the Oscars last night daughter Hillary, son in law Martin and grandson Henry and I watched “OSS 117- Lost In Rio” (2009). Dujardin plays a James Bond spin-off not unlike Peter Sellers or Steve Martin. The plot is very French, not Jerry Lewis, or even “Mr. Hulot” French. The genuinely strange and laughable plot is mostly based on anti-semitic, anti Asian jokes and it’s as shocking as it is odd-ball. And Dujardin plays the same type hero even dressing and talking about Douglas Fairbanks Sr!!!

SEPARATION.Big time and huge Foreign Language award winner this year. I waited weeks to see it…and didn’t like it. I couldn’t take the nasty, bitter, arguing, and deeply personal struggles and the human issues that it focused on. I’m sure it was an excellent film. Great acting, almost too real for me. I couldn’t take their pain, their cultural struggles, their traditions that were killing them. Too painful.

COMEDY OF ERRORS AT THE DEL MAR. 2X’S. Next Thursday March 1st at 7:30 p.m.& Sunday March 4th at 11 a.m. The Del Mar Theatre & National Theatre of Great Britain present Shakespeare’s The Comedy of Errors in a live telecast in HD!! Directed by Dominic Cooke (artistic director of London’s Royal Court Theatre), starring the hugely popular comedian and actor Lenny Henry making his NT debut.

Two sets of twins separated at birth collide in the same city without meeting for one crazy day, as multiple mistaken identities lead to confusion on a grand scale.And for no one more so than Antipholus of Syracuse and his servant Dromio who, in search of their brothers, arrive in a land entirely foreign to their distant home. A buzzing metropolis, to the outsiders it appears a place of wonderment and terror, where baffling gifts and unexplained hostilities abound. Consistently recognised by strangers, the visitors question their very selves as the turmoil escalates.

Meanwhile, Aegeon, father to the Antipholus twins, has been captured searching for his sons and, as an illegal immigrant, is sentenced to death at sunset. Shakespeare’s furiously paced comedy will be staged in a contemporary world into which walk three prohibited foreigners who see everything for the first time. Lenny Henry plays Antipholus of Syracuse.

THE THINNING VEIL This unique play opens and runs March 2,3,4 & March 8,9,10, 11. It’s a new classical drama written and directed by Kirsten Brandt based on the ancient Greek dramas and will be staged in two theaters simultaneously and linked by internet. It’s for mature audiences and will be both in the Experimental Theatre up by UCSC’ Main Stage and in the new Dark Lab at the Digital Arts Research Center. Very limited seating, no reserved seats. Go here for necessary details.

HELLO & GOODBYE. The Jewel Theatre Company’s latest production is Athol Fugard’ Hello & Goodbye. Julie James says, “It is a drama by South African writer Athol Fugard. It is being directed by Jessica Heidt, a well known Bay Area director and casting director who also attended U.C. Santa Cruz. She has done a lot of work with new plays from new writers, so this is kind of a treat for her to work on an old (but rarely done) piece by a tried and true playwright. HELLO AND GOODBYE is a two-person piece with local favorite Mike Ryan and me”. As luck has it, we can read all about Athol Fugard in the latest New Yorker. It plays March 1-18 for full information go to or call 425-7506

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. Do remember, any and all suggestions for future programs are more than welcome so tune in, and keep listening. On February 28 Capitola Museum Director Carolyn Swift tells us about the latest and future exhibits. Then New Santa Cruz County Poet Laureate David Swanger returns to read his latest and some favorite poems. History Dude and author Sandy Lydon co-chairs The March 2nd Grapevine which is our Pledge Drive…so call in. Nickolas Conrad will guest on March 13, he’s with the UCSC Secular Student Alliance.and then Laura Kasa and Colleen Bednarz from Save Our Shores will talk about the Plastic Bag Stoppage happening March 20. Julie James will tell us latest plans and plays such as Blithe Spirit from The Jewel Theatre on March 20. Send me more program ideas when you have them!!!

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 last 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. “There cannot be a world crisis next week, my schedule is full“, Henry Kissinger. “Not only is there no God, but try getting a plumber on weekends“, Woody Allen. “God made everything out of nothing. But the nothingness shows through”. Paul Valery.


Deep Cover by tim eagan.

Posted in Weekly Articles | Comments Off on February 29 – March 6, 2012