Blog Archives

February 5 – 11, 2019

Highlights this week:

BRATTON…Recommends BORGEN on iTunes, Dick Doubrava died. GREENSITE…on rail trail Segment 7 Phase 2. KROHN…Our library, homelessness, Camp Ross, lawsuits. STEINBRUNER…Legal action against Soquel Creek Water Dist., future water levels, Santa Cruz and Soquel Creek merge?, Santa Cruz Law library. PATTON…On Washington and power in office. EAGAN…Flights to…?, JENSEN…Oscar nominees. BRATTON…I critique Cold War. UNIVERSAL GRAPEVINE GUEST LINEUP. QUOTES… “LOVE”.


                                 

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SANTA CRUZ’S CHINATOWN ca. 1905-1955. Known as Birkenseer’s China Lane. That’s the Garibaldi Hotel on the far left.                                                 
                                 

photo credit: Covello & Covello Historical photo collection.

3D DOMINO PYRAMID!!!
ANOTHER WHALE JUMP!! (at about 2 min.)

DATELINE February 4. 2019

JOHN LAIRD CANDIDATE AND HISTORIAN. John was on Universal Grapevine last Tuesday (1/29). We had a fine talk about his campaigning for State Senate. Last week I ran a historical photo here of Thrash Motors that stood at the corner of Front and Cathcart Streets. John sent this neat note re that photo.

“Bruce – I enjoyed the photo of Thrash Motors. I do extensive family history research, and my Danish immigrant great-grandmother had a brother who died in 1903 in Oklahoma and left a widow and four young children. I looked in records, and was surprised to find the widow and one child in Santa Cruz, California in the 1920 census. Further research showed that the daughter, Maree Christensen – married Sylvan “Pop” Thrash. He was the owner of Thrash Motors that you pictured and they lived in Santa Cruz together for fifty years until their deaths in the 1970’s. I don’t think my grandmother ever knew she had a first cousin in Santa Cruz. Great to be on your show last Tuesday”. It’s probably too early for endorsements!!

BORGEN. Borgen translates as “the castle” in Danish, and I must tell you that I’ve been totally immersed in this three season iTunes saga since my daughter Hillary found and recommended it. It’s the story of a woman who becomes the first female Prime Minister of Denmark. If you like politics and wonder what a politician’s life is like, forget any American versions and watch this instead. The show started in 2010, and from what I hear it won’t go past the third series. Forget “Veep”, “House of Cards”, “The West Wing” and the rest… Borgen is far superior. I’d give you your money back IF and etc….but it would be too much trouble, and you’ll love it too.

DICK DOUBRAVA DIED. Dick’s good friend Fred Geiger wrote to tell us that Dick Doubrava had congestive heart failure for a while, it steadily worsened, and he finally went on Tuesday afternoon at home. His wife Diane was with him. Dick was active in the Terrace Point Action Network with Gordon Pusser, and he was also on the City Planning Commission for 5 years, including a term as Chair. Additionally he was part of SCRP for quite a while — including being involved in stopping the massive Dream Inn expansion — and ran for City Council in 2000. He was also active in the Seniors Center for many years, and bus Captain at the Senior Follies at the Civic for quite a few years. A great guy and liked by all who knew him!

February 4th, 2019

WHAT MONARCHS?
Few issues arouse such intense feelings as that of the proposed 32-mile rail trail for Santa Cruz County. Trail only advocates and rail trail advocates square off from opposite sides of the ring, hurling verbal challenges and opposing facts. Into the ring steps the city of Santa Cruz whose job it is to assess the environmental impacts of the rail trail for the segments that lie within its boundary. Theoretically, such assessment should be objective and accurate, allowing for an emotion- free evaluation of how the project will impact the environment, whether the impacts are significant and if they are , how or whether they can be mitigated.  So it was not encouraging that the city’s environmental review of Segment 7 Phase 2, the stretch of rail line that is less than a mile long, running from California and Bay Streets down past the Water Treatment Plant and ending at the wharf roundabout omitted any mention of the monarch butterfly habitat next to the trestle bridge in the eucalyptus grove pictured. There’s even a plaque at the site recognizing it as a monarch site. Somehow the city, in this case Public Works, didn’t notice it, like a referee who fails to notice a strike to the groin.

As is often the case, it took community members, in this case the Sierra Club, which supports the rail trail, to point out the monarch omission and other environmental inadequacies. As a result, Public Works re-circulated the environmental document, this time with the inclusion of the monarch site. If you were expecting a valid environmental review of the butterfly habitat you will be disappointed. Despite this being a recognized monarch overwintering habitat, the city claims, with no evidence, that “the current habitat suitability (for monarchs) is low due to the lack of low branches and nearby nectar sources.” The trees in the grove never had low branches and the nearby nectar sources have not disappeared. The city’s 2030 General Plan on page 127 states that to evaluate the current habitat value for monarch butterflies,  “multi-year surveys are required during the winter roosting season.” Since the city has had this segment of the rail trail on its radar for a number of years, the lack of proper environmental review for this monarch habitat is negligence or indifference or both. When placed in the context of other environmental review shortcomings on the part of the city, (Heritage Tree Ordinance changes for example) it is hard to not conclude that the city is failing in its task of an objective reviewer of the environmental impacts of its various projects. One might even conclude it is deliberate bias to favor pet projects, this being one of them, leaving the community little options other than lawsuits.

The project itself is fraught with environmental and cost problems. Less than a mile long, this Segment 7, Phase 2 is projected to cost $10 million to construct a trail next to the existing rail line. It requires 3,500 cubic yards of earth removal to create the width of the trail into the western bank, a retaining wall between 3.5 and 19.5 feet high to shore up the remaining bank, the removal of 42 trees, many of them heritage size, the channelizing of year-round springs, the removal of riparian vegetation and the displacement of birds, butterflies, amphibians, reptiles and mammals. The suggestion in the city’s review that the aforementioned fauna can relocate suggests a lack of environmental awareness or a lack of caring or both.

Meanwhile up on Bay Street, bike lanes run all the way to West Cliff Drive and another bike/walking path winds through La Barranca Park. Perhaps not ideal but perhaps sufficient if the environmental losses and costs for this project are more carefully evaluated with a cool head and unbiased mind. The Planning Commission is expected to review and vote on the Mitigated Negative Declaration for this project at its March 7th meeting.

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  http://darksky.org    Plus she’s an avid ocean swimmer, hiker and lover of all things wild.

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Feb.4. 2019

THIS WEEK ON THE CITY COUNCIL
Not much in-public council biz is taking place these past couple of weeks, and behind the scenes political chess pieces continue to move lethargically if at all. Our last council meeting took place on January 22nd and at that time I suggested two study sessions, one on homelessness and another on the library-in-a-garage project. The city manager said staff would likely not be prepared for a study session, so I was forced to make a motion that the council place an agenda item concerning homelessness on its next regularly scheduled meeting, February 12. It passed unanimously, but it was unusual to have to make such a motion. I simply wanted to ensure that the council begins to address the critical situation behind the Gateway shopping center, now dubbed, Camp Ross. It has become a metaphor for the houseless in this community. Call me paranoid, but the more the new council wants to move forward on addressing homelessness, tenant protections, inclusionary housing, and the library-in-the-garage project, the more we seem to be met with murmurs of slow down! Not so fast now…got to get the new councilmembers up to speed. But yet we are seeing two separate Tuesdays (Jan. 29 and Feb. 5), days all councilmembers presumably have marked in their calendars for city business, pass by with nary a public meeting. Go figure.

Lawsuits, Lawsuits, Lawsuits
Five major projects are either being threatened with a law suit, or already find themselves in the midst of litigation. Bruce Bratton reported on two of those last week, Sustainable Soquel vs. Nissan Dealership and East Meadow Action Committee vs. UCSC and Regents. What I’ve learned while working in government is that often filing a law suit is the only way to get the attention of either a municipality’s decision-makers or a corporate board room. The stopping of bad, and sometimes a good, projects take time and money, but money is key, you usually need a lawyer. As the former Executive Director of the California Coastal Commission, Peter Douglas, was fond of saying, the coast is never saved, the coast is always being saved. The law suits before us generally offer the picture of a community that cares about quality of life, increasing affordable housing, and providing transportation options. I will offer brief updates on the other three current or potential cases of litigation.

Hatch and Pomerantz v. City of Santa Cruz
Local environmental attorney Bill Parkin states early in his Dec. 11, 2019 letter to the Santa Cruz City Council, “It has become obvious that the City pays lip service to the need for affordable housing and uses the need as a tool to endlessly promote development within the City.” What’s at issue for Parkin and his clients is that they do not believe the city of Santa Cruz is enforcing the will of the voters as enshrined in the language of 1979’s ballot initiative, Measure O. “Measure O’s mandate is clear: It shall be the policy of the City of Santa Cruz that at least 15% of those housing units newly constructed for sale or rental each year shall be capable of purchase or rental by persons with average or below average incomes.” What’s at issue is that Parkin’s clients want the 203-unit Devcon project at Laurel and Pacific Avenue to build the inclusionary units.  The 6-story project was approved last year by the city council majority at zero units of affordability, Measure O seems to indicate that approximately 31 apartments in that project ought to be built as “affordable.” The “Notice of Intent to Commence Litigation” arrived on the council doorstep on January 4th, and this law suit takes issue with ignoring the intent of Measure O and CEQA requirements as well.

Ocean Street Extension
This law suit is over the property at 1935 Ocean St. Extension across from Santa Cruz Memorial Cemetery. It concerns the neighbor’s law suit at odds with a city council-majority approval of a 32-condominium project for that site. The property was originally zoned for nine single-family homes. The case is moving toward the courts, but mediation is always an option. Word has it that the owners of the property have offered it as a temporary camp site to the city for one year as the law suit plays itself out.

Potential Litigation to Stop Highway widening
This is currently only a threatened law suit by unnamed individuals (some who have been successful in the past), if the Regional Transportation Commission moves forward with using Measure D funds to widen Highway 1 all the way south to Freedom Blvd. This battle has been playing itself out over the past 30 years and it is unlikely there will be a resolution soon, but anyone who drives this corridor knows how excruciatingly slow traffic can be during the 7-9 am and 3-6 pm commutes. On one side, there is considerable support to widen the highway to at least three lanes–some would prefer four–each way on this key north-south county artery. On the other side is a vocal and active opposition that sincerely believes widening highways does not work. The opposition wishes to block any more space for cars until a variety of transportation options are put into place including the rail-trail project, on-ramp metering lights, and a bus-on-highway-shoulder configuration. Also, on a side note I wonder if car-pooling is essentially dead, except for UCSC van pools, as I am hearing about it less and less as an option.

Three people own more wealth than the bottom half of our country. 25 hedge fund managers earn twice as much as all 140,000 kindergarten teachers. One family (Kochs) spent $400 million to buy elections. That’s why we need a political revolution.” (Feb. 4)

(Note: Is Bernie in favor of a palace coup in Venezuela? One political scientist I spoke with this past week was convinced he is. Stay tuned.)

(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 ckrohn@cruzio.com

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Feb. 4, 2019

LEGAL ACTION FILED AGAINST SOQUEL CREEK WATER DISTRICT FOR ALLEGED MULTIPLE VIOLATIONS OF CEQA 
I have filed legal action in appeal of the Soquel Creek Water District Board approval of the expensive Project that would inject millions of gallons of treated sewage water daily into the aquifer that provides drinking water for most of the MidCounty area.  I allege that the Board certified a deficient Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the Project (Resolution 18-30) and approved the Project’s Findings, Mitigation Monitoring and Reporting Program, (MMRP), and Statement of Overriding Consideration, thereby approving the Project (Resolution 18-31).  A Petition for Writ of Mandate is simply a demand that the District follow CEQA law, to correct and cure the violations I feel they have committed.  I am not suing the District for money, other than the costs of my filing and creating an administrative record of documents for the judge to review.

MAKE ONE CALL.  WRITE ONE LETTER.  ATTEND A PUBLIC HEARING.  MAKE A BIG DIFFERENCE.   BUT JUST DO SOMETHING!

A local grassroots group of well-educated, informed and engaged citizens called ‘Water for Santa Cruz County’ had planned to file this legal action, but as an unincorporated association, was restricted to hiring an attorney to represent them.  Two legal counsels advised the group that the effort would cost $80,000-$100,000, and that was prohibitive.    Compelled by the Board’s actions and the potential negative impacts that are broad and irreversible, I chose to file the action myself, in Pro Per, under Citizen Standing for the public benefit.  The case is No. 19CV00181.  It is not a perfect document, but it was action that was required to stop the District’s arrogant hyper-focus action to shove through the Pure Water Soquel: Groundwater Recharge and Seawater Intrusion Prevention Project on a FAST TRACK CONSTRUCTION model for a Design-Build-Operate scenario.   Mr. Steve Wait, representative for IDE Technologies, a large multi-national company specializing in these projects, has already been circling the Board, attending the November 6, 2018 meeting when the Board approved the proposed rate increases that are modeled solely on whether or not the District gets grant funding for the Pure Water Project, and again, at the December 18, 2018 Board meeting when the EIR was certified and the Project was approved.

The Soquel Creek Water District Board will meet this Tuesday, Feb. 5, at 7pm in Closed Session to discuss the legal action (right after their two-hour Ethics Training).  Under Brown Act Rules, the Board MUST allow public comment on the Closed Session topic in advance of adjourning into Closed Session.  I urge members of the public to attend and testify.  Write the Board with your thoughts about their plan to inject millions of gallons of treated sewage water into the Purisima Aquifer, the drinking water supply for the MidCounty area, not just the District.  Shouldn’t all those people have a voice in this, too?  I think so, and so do the 300 or so people who signed petitions submitted to the District and the MidCounty Groundwater Agency to allow a public vote on this disgusting and arrogant action the District is taking.

Perhaps, in desert areas, this technology makes sense because there is no other potential water supply.  That is not the case in Santa Cruz County, where there is abundant water supply, but inadequate storage mechanisms.  Please look at the Water for Santa Cruz County website to learn more: www.waterforsantacruz.com/

You can write the Board of Directors of Soquel Creek Water District bod@soquelcreekwater.org      and copy the Secretary of the Board,  Emma Olin emmao@soquelcreekwater.org

Here is the link to the Feb. 5 Board Agenda and materials

SOQUEL CREEK WATER DISTRICT CUSTOMERS NEED TO FILE SPECIFIC WRITTEN RATE AND FEE PROTESTS
Attend the FREE educational workshop Tuesday, February 12 at the Aptos Library to learn how to file correct written rate increase protests letters to the Soquel Creek Water District.  These rate increases have been calculated by an expensive consultant, Raftelis, to craft the revenue levels necessary for the District’s plan to build a project that will inject treated sewage water into the area’s drinking water supply.  The District hopes to get $70 Million in state and federal grants for the disgusting project, but Raftelis also calculated what rates would have to be in the event that no grant money were awarded for the Pure Water Soquel Project.  The Board selected this most-expensive option, with the idea that if the grant money comes through, they could reduce rates more easily than raise them if the grants did not get awarded.  Mind you, THIS ACTION WAS ALL TAKEN BEFORE THE BOARD CERTIFIED THE PROJECT EIR AND APPROVED THE PROJECT.  

click here to continue (link expands, click again to collapse)

ARE THE PARKING SPACES IN THE APTOS VILLAGE PROJECT REALLY GOING TO PROVIDE SAFE PARKING AND THOROUGHFARE?
The Aptos Village Project Phase 1 is complete, including the new 3220 Square foot office space for Second District Supervisor Zach Friend and various law enforcement staff (with two dedicated parking spaces).  However, the widths of the parking spaces that line the new Aptos Village Way thoroughfare have recently been REDUCED.  Hmmm…..  

Take a look….do you think this will be safe for fire engines responding if there are vehicles sticking out into the road way on both sides of the road, like this County-owned pickup in the photo?   I wonder how many bicyclists will get injured by motorists opening their doors into the lane of traffic?  

Shouldn’t the developers be made to fix this before Phase 2 construction in the area behind the pickup begins?  The Phase 2 Final Map approval has not yet gone before the Board of Supervisors, and may still be on the desk of County Public Works.  CONTACT PUBLIC WORKS DIRECTOR MATT MACHADO and insist the Aptos Village LLC developers tear out and fix this narrow, dangerous Aptos Village Way thoroughfare as a condition of approval for the Phase 2 Final Map.  

It is my understanding that Aptos Village Way will become County-owned once the Project is complete.

This dense mixed-use development has parking spaces calculated only for 61% occupancy to begin with, and the public has been consistently promised throughout the planning process that there will be free and unlimited parking for Nisene Marks State Park users and other public use.  

These parking spaces are just too narrow, and for public safety, must be fixed.  Allowing parking on one side only will only compound the lack of parking that everyone in the area understands will be a problem already.

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.

Email Becky at KI6TKB@yahoo.com

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February 2, 2019 #33 / Changing Of The Guards

Here is a question posed by the New York Times columnist David Brooks, in his column published on Tuesday, January 8, 2019. Brooks’ column was titled, “Washington’s New Power Structure.”

There’s one question … I’d like to ask of practically every member of Congress.

“Why are you so dispossessed? “

You take all the trouble to run for public office and, against all odds, you actually get in a position to wield influence. But then you accede to a thousand small decisions that you and your predecessors have made, and you give it all away.

There are 535 Americans elected to Congress, but the way things are arranged now only three have real power — Nancy Pelosi, Mitch McConnell and Chuck Schumer. Only a handful of others — in leadership — have a whiff of power. The rest of you have rendered yourselves less powerful, in a way never envisioned by the founders. 

You Senate Republicans are in a double bind because what power you didn’t give to the majority leader you gave to Trump.

Now, that is a good question, David! On January 31, 2018, I pretty much asked the same question, though I posed the question to each one of us, individually, in our capacities as citizens of a democratic country, and thus persons in whose hands governmental power is supposed ultimately to reside. 

I had an answer to my question, as well, and it may be that this same answer would provide a correct explanation for what puzzles Brooks. He wants to know why Members of Congress aren’t really trying to deal with the nation’s problems, even though they are, of course, officially designated as the persons who are supposed to represent the citizens who elected them, and who are thus supposed to serve as the mechanism by which we, the citizens, achieve self-government. 

Here is my answer from that January 31, 2018 column:

I tend to think that one reason we do not assert our democratic control over our government more than we do is because we would prefer not to be implicated in any admission that we are in charge of what the government is actually doing.

My son recently discovered one of my favorite Bob Dylan songs, “Changing Of The Guards.” My favorite line from that song goes like this:

Eden is burning, either brace yourself for elimination 
Or else your hearts must have the courage for the changing of the guards

It does require courage to assume responsibility for the way things are – and then to assume responsibility for trying to change things, when things are unacceptable. Dylan’s lyrics are a poetic way to convey just this point. If “Eden is burning,” then we need to have the courage to try to change the unacceptable realities we confront. We will need courage to insist upon a “changing of the guards.”

Politically, courage must always come from the “bottom up” (that means us, folks). Eden is burning, and if we lack courage now, then Dylan tells us exactly what to expect.

David Brooks’ column and Bob Dylan’s insights: same message!

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 www.gapatton.net

Email Gary at gapatton@mac.com

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EAGAN’S SUBCONSCIOUS COMICS. Visit our wildest dreams and super projections…just a scroll down.

EAGAN’S DEEP COVER. See Eagan’s “Flights To…?” down a few pages. As always, at TimEagan.com 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. “Christina Waters, and I continue our face-off over this year’s Oscar nominees, this week at Lisa Jensen Online Express (http://ljo-express.blogspot.com ). And speaking of Oscar, what do this year’s crop of nominated live-action and animated short films say about the (evidently dire) state of the world? Read my review in this week’s Good Times!” Lisa has been writing film reviews and columns for Good Times since 1975.

COLD WAR. One of the very best films I’ve seen in YEARS! A 1950’s relationship between two very involved lovers that endures the Cold Wars in Germany, Poland, Yugoslavia, and in Paris and Berlin. It’s perfectly acted, all in black and white, and very serious. Only 1 ½ hours long, it’ll stay with you for a very long time… don’t miss it. 94 on RT.

STAN & OLLIE. Full disclosure…as you can figure out from the photo nearby, I had a wonderful afternoon with Stan Laurel and his wife in their upstairs beach front apartment in Malibu in the fall of 1962..  Stan told me about their European tour in 1953 which is the focus of this new film. He said it gave both of them some much needed boosting. He also talked about their appearance on Ralph Edward’s “This Is Your Life” in 1954 and how awkward that appearance was. Stan and I sent a few Christmas cards back and forth for a few years. Stan & Ollie has a 92 on Rotten Tomatoes, and Stan died in 1965. When I find those notes from him, I’ll share. The movie is “bittersweet” well acted and does lay out the semi business-friendly relationship the two comics had all their lives together. Go see it. Ps.

I had an equally enlightened visit with Aldous Huxley and his wife in their Berkeley apartment while he was teaching at UCB someplace around 1962. We talked about my then recent LSD and psilocybin experiences. He was one of the most friendly, accessible people I’ve ever met and yes, I still have his personally autographed copy of “Doors Of Perception“.

SHOPLIFTERS. Famed and great Japanese film director Hirokazu Kore-eda’s film about an impoverished makeshift family won the Palme d’Or at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival. And it earned a 99!! On Rotten Tomatoes. A very poor family “adopts” a cruelly treated little girl and gives her sensitive and true family love while teaching her to shoplift as they do to stay alive. The relationships and bonds of love are  a bit confusing and near boring yet it’ll rip your tears out and maybe even cry. Not your Hollywood saga…but a piece of cinematic art.

IF BEALE STREET COULD TALK. A 94 on Rotten Tomatoes, Golden Globes and Oscar talk, this is a deeply moving story about a black Harlem family in the 70’s, facing the very real race problems that remain with us all. James Baldwin wrote the book, and the Beale Street reference is only to drive home the fact that time and equality haven’t changed. Rape, pregnancy, mother’s love, are combined with super acting to wrench hidden feelings from all of us. Don’t miss this excellent film.

ROMA. What’s extra perfect about Roma is that you can see it on the theatre screen right now, realize how perfect a film it is, and then go home and watch it again on Netflix. I did exactly that. Alfonso Cuarón (Gravity, Children of Men, Y Tu Mama Tambien) directed this complex self-biography/masterpiece. I’m not sure what’s best… the acting, the photography, or the story. It’s Mexico City in the 1970’s, and we watch the changes in the life of a housekeeper and of the world she lives in. See it, especially if you like award-winning classics.

ON THE BASIS OF SEX. If you saw the recent documentary “RBG” there’s no reason to see this nearly religious tribute to Ruth Bader Ginsberg. But she is a lot prettier in this version. We know by now that RBG is some kind of saint and that she had a lung problem a few weeks ago. Felicity Jones is a British actress and manages to sound about 80% American with just some New Yorker accent that flips on and off. It’s sort of a mix between Joan of Arc and Mary Poppins

VICE. Not a GREAT movie but an important one. Christian Bale is completely unrecognizable as Dick Cheney and his performance is for sure Oscar-worthy. I had no idea how evil and powerful Cheney became working under and on top of George W. Bush. It is a scary movie and lacks continuity but politics fans need to see it.

CAN YOU EVER FORGIVE ME? A well-deserved 98 on RT! Melissa McCarthy plays real-life author Lee Israel, who, when she’s down on her luck, starts forging and selling fake letters from famous literary stars. McCarthy is better for my money at being straight than she is as a comic. An excellent movie, based on a book that Lee Israel wrote confessing the entire plot. Go see it…it’s why they make movies, and why we like to go see them.

FAVOURITE. Emma Stone, Rachel Weisz, and Olivia Colman work together nicely in this  costume drama that tries to be a comedy or else it’s a comedy that looks like a costume drama. Olivia Colman is Queen Elizabeth in this 18th Century and she’s been winning all sorts of awards and praise for her slap stick fun. The movie is intentionally full of out of proper time words and gestures. They say fuck a lot and make very modern gestures. Not my favorite movie but just maybe it’s yours?

+MARY POPPINS RETURNS. This is a NEW Mary Poppins movie.  Emily Blunt is no Julie Andrews and if you’re old enough to remember seeing the 1964 original you’ll realize just how wonderful it was. There’s not a single memorable song in this take, there’s no purity, innocence, or genuinely creative additions to the 54 year old original. Lin-Manuel Miranda, Ben Whishaw, Emily Mortimer and Julie Walters with Colin Firth and Meryl Streep added just to give it hype. Meryl Streep is sort of the Ed Winn character but she’s not as good.

GREEN BOOK. Viggo Mortensen and Mahershala Ali (from Oakland) are getting extra-super praise for their roles in this almost-true story of a white chauffeur driving a black jazz pianist through the American south in 1962. I couldn’t buy the entire plot. Both Viggo and Mahershala play their roles way over the top…becoming caricatures. There isn’t a surprise, revelation, or any lesson to be learned from this movie. It’s a story we are all too familiar with. If Slumdog Millionaire got an Academy Award, this one could too. But not from me.

BOHEMIAN RHAPSODY. I should note that I’m no fan of “Queen” the band, or of Freddie Mercury, their Mick Jagger-copying lead singer. Nonetheless this Hollywood-style movie is shallow, hammy, trite, and adds nothing to film, music, or history. It’s actually boring for much of its screen time of two hours and 15 minutes.

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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. .  Ellen Grace O’Brian talks about her book, ” Jewel Of Abundance” on February 12. Then Willow Katz discusses Solitary Confinement and prison care. Authors and Publishers Doug and Rachel Abrams discuss their new book on finding, maintaining relationships “Eight Dates” on Feb.19. Vets Service Officer Dean Kaufman follows them and talks about many new veterans’ benefits and area events. February 26 has George Fogelson discussing his book, “Between The Redwoods and The Bay- a History of Jews In Santa Cruz”. Jean Brocklebank and Judi Grunstra discuss Santa Cruz library plans following Fogelson. Workers comp attorney Bob Taren returns March 5 to share his thoughts on the political scene. Then Ellen Primack exec. dir of the Cabrillo Fest of Contemporary Music talks all about plans to upgrade the Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium. OR…if you just happen to miss either of the last two weeks of Universal Grapevine broadcasts go herehttps://www.radiofreeamerica.com/schedule/kzsc  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 bratton@cruzio.com

Shut up and take my money!!

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. “LOVE”
“Love doesn’t make the world go round. Love is what makes the ride worthwhile.” – Franklin P. Jones
“There are never enough I Love You’s.” – Lenny Bruce
“To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance.” – Oscar Wilde
“Love is what you’ve been through with somebody.” – James Thurber


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: Bratton@Cruzio.com
Direct phone: 831 423-2468
All Technical & Web details: Gunilla Leavitt @ godmoma@gmail.com


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