Blog Archives

January 10 – 16, 2017

PACIFIC AVENUE December 22, 1955.  This was about between where Rip N’ Curl and PaperVision are today. Many Pacific Ave business basements on the river side still flood today.

photo credit: Covello & Covello Historical photo collection.

Additional information always welcome: email

DATELINE January 9, 2017


SANTA CRUZ PUBLIC LIBRARY,THE HOMELESS AND MAH. Far too many people have been sucker punched by Nina Simon’s attendance numbers at what used to be a very credible Art Museum and a history museum. It took Eloise and Page Smith, and Charles Hilger and hundreds more artists and organizers to establish what was our combined art and history museum. With the City Council’s and many other’s encouragement Nina has ruined the one source and location Santa Cruz had for being exposed to the art of the world. As we know NFL football games outdraw Opera, liquor bars outdraw art galleries, Marvel Comic hero movies bring in higher attendance than Fellini, Kurosawa and Hitchcock films ever did. Now the Santa Cruz Public Library is being talked about as a Homeless Services Center IN ADDITION to remaining a library!!! Or as some folks are noting,  as a way of giving up the present library building so they can justify building that new six story parking structure with a new library on the main floor. It is the same pattern as our Art and History Museum was ruined by events that bring in crowds and provide nothing of lasting value to the community. As one friend emailed…

“Users of our library system encompass all of our community, most certainly including some or many of the homeless.  Right now the library is a daytime place of last resort—at least during the winter months.   It is an institution that has for years existed to encourage reading, provide information and for such other purposes as may be appropriate.   These purposes have been enlarged over the years and now include such things as the upstairs room that is used for meetings and concerts.  I believe libraries are places with a discreet set of functions.  If the community wants, it surely can change those purposes.  I don’t think the community has yet to be heard on this.  It should be.

The assumption behind the librarian’s comments is that the homeless congregate at the library because there is no other place to go.  I believe there should be other places appropriately designed, equipped  probably also close to or in the downtown business center.  Indeed, creation of what the military would call a “dayroom” could well be a priority for the Council.  This is a huge issue.  The primary function of the library is not as a community center, unless the community decides differently.  . Surely anyone may want to and should be encouraged to use the library for such purposes. But those who do not want to use it for its designed purposes should not have to go there by default.  

Another friend emailed on the same issue…” A library is not a homeless services center.  Most of the homeless I see are hanging around, not using library services as they are meant to be used. The City could find a place to long-term lease for a homeless services center, including warming on very cold nights, where the service agencies and charities can send their people to help the homeless.  The old Midas Muffler shop is still vacant on the June streetview of Google Maps, with a sign saying that the current lease holder (Midas) is looking for a sublessee.  The City cleaned up a worse environmental mess when it acquired the Tannery.  This cleanup should be easy in comparison.  The site is next to McDonalds and the new location of Dunkin’ Donuts, on a bus line, not too far to walk to Food-Not-Bombs. There must be other under-utilized places around downtown, too. This would be just an interim solution until the City builds permanent housing.  Watch this: Housing First as Kevin Fagan of the San Francisco Chronicle talks about housing and homeless.  Some folks are saying “gee, I go to events at MAH much more since Nina took over than I ever went before”.  Those people should ask their devoted historian friends  and their serious artist friends whether they went to MAH more before Nina Simon took over or after ?  Remember too, as a tourist, don’t you visit Art Museums, and Historical Museums  more than you visit any Community Centers??

SAN LORENZO RIVER ISSUES…FEW ANSWERS. Jane Mio and Barbara Wiverwoman have a blog “San Lorenzo River Mysteries”  she sent this river update, check it all out..



Some verbal exchanges stick in the mind like mud on a hiking boot. Disgruntled at the majority council decision to permit a planned development on a beautiful piece of open space along Western Drive in the mid-1990’s, I muttered under my breath loud enough for the person sitting next to me to lean in and say, ” but Gillian, it’s housing!” I suppose I was meant to feel that housing is always an inherent good; that more housing will lead to more affordable housing and if we just build more, then the folks who work at low paying jobs in Santa Cruz will eventually be able to afford to live here. This myth has persisted ever since investors noticed that Santa Cruz was ripe for the taking. It is a myth promulgated by both the business and the progressive communities. With housing poised to take center stage at city hall in the coming year it is time to ask some hard questions, challenge some long held assumptions and assess what options remain.

First the “low hanging fruit” as the expression goes. Stop using the term “affordable” housing. It is meaningless without the qualifier “for whom?” Inclusionary housing, that 15% percent of new development required to be offered at lower than market rate (unless the developer opts to pay instead of provide) is no longer affordable to that group of workers for whom it was originally targeted. A one bedroom “affordable” unit will rent for $2,150 a month in one recently approved development and a 500 square foot unit will rent for $2,600 in another. With rents rising 6% a year, some individuals will be able to afford these “affordable” units but not the usual folks that stir housing activists to action.

Second, who are the folks buying and renting these new houses and housing units? Are they local workers? Students? People who don’t yet live here? The answers to these questions should be important guides to policy makers. That information is obtainable but rarely examined. If I were making decisions on whether to approve yet another high rise housing complex such as those springing up like mushrooms on the eastside and downtown, I would have little difficulty approving a development guaranteed to provide housing for a local worker of average means. My guess is that this is the exception rather than the rule. I would have no difficulty not approving a development obviously designed for student housing and would say to the university, no more growth…this town cannot accommodate more of your growth.

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~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).



Last week, I asked the question here about how Santa Cruz County Parks & Open Space could afford to fund the three (maybe more) park rangers to patrol San Vicente Redwoods, privately-owned by Peninsula Open Space Trust (POST) and Sempervirens Fund.  I wrote a letter to County Parks Director Mr. Jeff Gaffney with that question.  He replied rather quickly that the rangers would be funded by the property owners and the Land Trust of Santa Cruz County.  Representatives of those agencies contacted County Supervisor Mr. Ryan Coonerty on November 22, 2016 to ask for his support.  He immediately placed the issue on the December 6, 2016 Board consent agenda as item #17. The formal agreement proposal will be on the February 14, 2017 Board agenda.  The projected three-year budget is $1,230,000.

These private landowners will request Board approval of a fee-for-service structure for patrols to begin during the 2017-18 fiscal year.  The program would run for three years, at which time the agreement and financial structure would be re-evaluated.  County Parks rangers would lead routine maintenance and nature interpretation, conduct nighttime patrols, and enforce the rules and the law.  This  allows the Public Access Plan to move forward with public safety and address local concerns about stewardship.  This would “provide a critical tool (i.e., the Ranger Program) for regional stewardship and natural resource protection.”  The rangers would gain access via other nearby state and federal lands.

County Parks Rangers will be the legal representative for law enforcement and public safety responsibilities and will lead the response for any trespass, illegal activity or emergency within the private property.  “County Parks will collaborate with POST and Sempervirens Fund to resolve any conflicts between public access and their activities on San Vicente Redwoods, recognizing that public access will be SUBORDINATE IN PRIORITY to those activities and must be consistent with the conservation easement held by Save the Redwoods League.”

County Park rangers will also provide guided tours during a period of provisional public access before access is opened to the public.  They will not carry firearms.  The rangers will have a team of seasonal assistants.

I’m still a bit leery of the long-term agreements of County employees being hired to patrol privately-owned land, especially when public access is subordinate to planned activities by the property owners.  WHAT DO YOU THINK?


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Come join us in standing together for a peaceful and family-friendly march and rally that represents our community and joins us together.

WE STAND WITH YOU OUR PARTNERS AND ALLIES, TO MARCH IN SOLIDARITY TO:…protect the rights of all including women, LGBTQ, immigrants, religious freedom, people with disabilities’, and the rights of people of color. And to recognize that our vibrant and diverse communities are the strength of our country. This all-inclusive, non-partisan event allows us to send a bold message to our administration and to the world that all human rights matter.


When: January 21, 2017, 11:00 am – 5:30pm

The Rally starts in Watsonville at the Plaza 11:00 am Joining in Solidarity and Community Strength with North County: at Santa Cruz City Hall, 1:30 PM The March will conclude at London Nelson Ctr., Santa Cruz For up to date information, visit

FREE WOMENS SAFETY TRAINING this Thursday, January 12 at London Nelson Community Center, 6pm-9pm.  Class taught by Jane Weed Pomerantz and Leonie Sherman, self-defense trainer.  This is sponsored by the Women’s March of Washington Santa Cruz County group.

“Participants are suggested to be prepared to face the unknown and stick together.”


~Becky. (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).


BRAND NEW DeCINZO. A well meaning North Coast protector of all that’s good had DeCinzo create this last minute visual saga of the hassle over protecting The Cotoni-Coast Dairies land. It’s worth much more than a thousand words…


PATTON’S PROGRAM. From Gary’s “We Live In A Political World” website…Monday, January 2, 2017.

#2 / Over-Inflated

Loretta Lynch is currently the Attorney General of the United States (but not for long). Lynch was quoted in a recent article in The New York Times, titled “Loretta Lynch’s Parting Message.” She is clearly worried about whether the federal government will continue to “march toward a more just and peaceful future.” That’s something worth worrying about, given that the person whom president-elect Trump has named to succeed her is Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions. Sessions has a record indicating support for racial discrimination, and a commitment, in particular, to preserving Alabama’s long history of “separate and unequal education,” to quote from another article in The Times. By way of an antidote to despair, The Times quoted Lynch to this effect:

The way we achieved voting equality in this country was always from the community level up. It was the leaders on the ground who raised these issues, who had people out there on the streets, who had people out registering people to vote. The Times noted that it was “sobering to hear a departing attorney general implicitly telling vulnerable Americans that the federal government may fail to protect their rights and that they will have to do this work themselves. But any other message would whitewash the painful truth.”

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

The Beach Boys & Annette Funicello – The Monkey’s Uncle

ACLU’S ANNUAL MEETING. The Santa Cruz chapter of the ACLU will hold its annual membership and awards meeting Sunday Jan 15, 2017 at Michaels on Main restaurant (2591 S. Main St Soquel, Ca.) from 2pm to 4 pm. Tessa D’Arcangelew of the Northern California ACLU will be the featured speaker. She’ll  discuss how to protect civil rights and liberties in the Trump presidency. This year the ACLU will be honoring Michael Mehr, Ruth Hunter and Keith McHenry for their outstanding contributions to the community. The public is welcome.  Cost is sliding scale from $10.00 TO $20.00 with no one being turned away. To RSVP  contact Joyce at  335-1060

CLASSICAL DeCINZO. Sad and true rainey day blues…scroll down just a bit.

EAGAN’S DEEP COVER. See Eagan’s “Ethics and Swamps”” just below 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. Be sure to think about and play his “Desert Island Game”

ANNIE LYDON AND DAVE STAMEY AT DON QUIXOTES. Dave Stamey is the winner of more Western Music Association Awards Than He Can Fit in His Saddlebags! ie…
Songwriter of the year (3 times)
• Male Performer of the Year (6 times)
• Entertainer of the Year (6 times) including 2014 Entertainer of the Year

And Annie Lydon will be singing with him. Annie Lydon has been writing and performing the harmonies for Western singer-songwriter Dave Stamey’s recordings for many years. All of the CD work has been done in studio with Annie laying down the harmonies – often three-part and sometimes four-part – over Dave’s already-recorded vocal and instrumental tracks. They have rarely sung together, most frequently at the Monterey Cowboy Poetry Festivals in December and several times at Don Quixote’s in Felton.It’s happening this Thursday, January 12 at 7:30 p.m.

At Don Quixote’s 6275 Highway 9 Felton – 831-603-2294 for tickets (and they sell out every time)   and more about Dave at

SANTA CRUZ CHAMBER PLAYERS. Their concert #3 is titledMADE IN VIENNA” with music by Mozart, Haydn, and Schubert is the third concert in their season.  ‘Made in Vienna’ brings audiences traditional works, such as Haydn’s Trio in C Major for piano, violin, and cello, inspired in London, and composed after Haydn returned to Vienna. Hear well-known Schubert Lieder, including Rosamunde and Der Tod und Das Mädchen for voice and piano, composed in Vienna between 1817 and 1825.The second half of the concert features less common pieces by Mozart, including selections from 6 Preludes and Fugues (from Bach transcriptions) for violin, viola, and cello. They finish with Haydn’s Arianna à Naxos, a setting of the famous Greek mythological story of Princess Ariadne’s desertion by Theseus on the island of Naxos.  Originally written for voice and keyboard, this transcription features mezzo-soprano and string quartet. Solmaaz Adeli, Concert director and voice, Elizabeth Schumann, Co-concert director and piano, Shannon Delaney, violin; Rebecca Wishnia, violin, Chad Kaltinger, viola; and Kristin Garbeff, cello. The concerts happen at Christ Lutheran Church which is at 10707 Soquel Drive near the Calif. Highway Patrol turnoff from Freedom Boulevard in Aptos. Go here for tickets and directions… . These concerts are on Saturday, January 14, 7:30 pm and Sunday, January 15, 3:00 pm.   

LISA JENSEN LINKS. Lisa’s editing her latest tome, saga, epic, or something special and will be back here next week….more than likely. Check out her Lisa Jensen Online Express ( Lisa has been writing film reviews and columns for Good Times since 1975.    

HIDDEN FIGURES. A syrupy, Hollywoody much- altered story of three Black American women who did spectacular mathematical and technical work at NASA while fighting against a lot of racial and female prejudice. All to launch John Glenn into orbit. It’s both a cute and painful story at the same time. It’s a contender and still lacks something that could have made it a classic. It almost outdrew Star Wars on opening weekend!

UNDERWORLD: BLOOD WARS. Kate Beckinsale is back her black, tight tights again in this fifth  kinky mess of the Vampires versus the Lycans battle against the light. I tried to nap during the first half-hour but the sound effects were too loud. The thread (usually called a plot) is so nutsy and impossible that you can’t possibly care or even know who’s winning. It had the poorest opening of any of the previous four films in the series, and it deserved it.

JACKIE. I can’t honestly critique this film. Watching Natalie Portman portray Jackie Kennedy so perfectly as she went through those agonizing moments just seconds before the assassination and a few days after, just ripped me apart. It took just minutes into the film before I was back there in November of 1963 sharing her shock and horror as we all tried to face the reality of losing our president and all the dreams and hope that vanished with him. It’s a sad, monumental film. It also shows the cruel, condescending power of the males surounding Jackie in her time of need. See this film, no matter how old you are

MANCHESTER BY THE SEA. Casey Affleck single handidly sustains this deep, emotional film. It’s on the way to several awards and should win them all. It’s an intelligent, beautifically acted in depth portrait of people going through trauma and relationships. Along with Affleck there’s Michelle Williams, Gretchen Mol, even Mathew Broderick in a bit part and especially the 16 year old Lucas Hedges. It’s a cold and unrelenting film that demands your attention especially since you’ve gone through tragedies too. I’m going again, there’s just so much to watch and think about.

ARRIVAL. Amy Adams has always been an excellent actor and she’s even better in this pretty sophisticated science fiction spellbinder. 11 alien speceships hover around earth just a few feet above ground while Amy and Jeremy Renner attempt to communicate with them. It’s a thoughtful film and it’ll make you wonder just how would anybody relate to aliens (and vice versa) Like the Trump victory the world is in a state of shock over these visitors. No killings, violence or cheap cliches…a fine film. I forgot to add that like so many Special effects films nowadays it is photographed in a very dark style. (Saves money I guess)

LION. A true story of a little 5 year old boy getting lost in India. At last we get to see Dev Patel portray somebody serious and he does an excellent job.  It’s a very cornball plot that you can guess every turn and twist, but still just because it’s India you do stay tuned in all the way through. Rooney Mara is his girlfriend for part of the plot and Nicole Kidman is the Australian wife who adopts him. It’s 100% feelgood and there are much better films out and around now, but it does have a certain charm.

PASSENGERS. Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt do as best they can in this spaceship drama about waking up too soon (90 years too soon) on a 120 year voyage to another planet to find a home away from earth. For obvious reasons it has to be love at first sight after Chris wakes Jennifer up early but “Hollywood level” problems arise and the plot goes lower and more predictable.  Nothing here you haven’t seen before.

LA LA LAND. It all depends on how much you remember the glorious and very bright and brilliant days of the Fred Astaire, Gene Kelly, Betty Grable, even Barbara Striesand, Judy Garland, and especially Ginger Rogers musicals. La La Land works very hard to convince us that the world hasn’t changed since those days and tries earnestly to recreate the innocence, and obvious genius of those performers. Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone make La La Land fun and happy to a degree, but it’s not the same. The music and songs aren’t anywhere near as good and the photography of today’s LA doesn’t add much either, besides that Stone and Gosling are not professional dancers or singers like all of above.  It’s like having Eddie Redmayne play Tarzan.

FENCES. Denzel Washington and Viola Davis acted in August Wilson’s play “Fences” in 2010. Now Denzel directed this film version starring the two of them and most of the rest of that NYC cast. It’s drama after drama and is about a dysfunctional black family that takes place almost entirely in their small backyard. To watch the always articulate and brilliant Denzel play a black jerk who is forever down on his luck and is also mean, poorly motivated, and plain nasty was more than I could believe. I didn’t care for this film at all, and it’s doing very poorly at the boxoffice.

THE EAGLE HUNTRESS. Charming, cute, girl-empowering and all for the sake of tradition and making this very staged “documentary”. Male Mongolian tribes folk trained eagles to kill foxes in the old days probably because they needed the furs and meat. Now that everybody lives in houses, eats in cafeterias, and wears spin off clothing from Target, L.L. Bean, via China why still kill foxes?? But this cute 13 year old girl defies tradition with 100% help from staged camera work and a devoted dad…she too kills a fox. Besides the making of this film it also helps the tourist trade who visit the Mongol Mountains every year to watch the Eagle Hunt with vans, television, and lots of posters in English pushing the event.

ROGUE ONE: A STAR WARS STORY.  We can only guess that now that the Star Wars movie property is Walt Disney Property it would change, but not like this latest mess. Instead of being more cute, cuddly and cartoonish (like traditional Disney films)…Rogue One is darker, colder, meaner and full of war and killing. It has none of the charm, humor, humanity, mystery, history, tradition or fun quirkiness that the original Star Wars films brought us. The plot is tripe stuff about stealing Death Star plans. Darth Vader is back and James Earl Jones voice is too, but he looks thinner and smaller. The biggest afult for me is that it was filmed so dark it’s hard to see details, or look anywhere besides center screen. No great intricate space ships stay in view long enough to enjoy the fantasy. The acting is ok but there’s not much screen time for it to happen. Big disapointment.

FANTASTIC BEASTS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM. The first Harry Potter spinoff from J.K. Rowling, and it’s only the first of four more Beast movies planned!! Eddie Redmayne and Colin Farrell are the only actors we know of. In this very dark, depressing, beast filled mistake. Set in New York City in 1926 it lacks any semblence of the charm, magic, character or even cuteness of Harry Potter’s world of Hogwarts and vicinity. Special effects produced beast like snakes, octopii, Dragons, Hydras, and more than 85 different types according to Rowland’s book. Redmayne and Farrell aren’t given a chance to be likable or empathetic. You probably catch my drift…don’t go.



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. Dr. Rachel Carlton Abrams guests on Jan. 10 talking about her new Rodale Book, “Body Wise.” It is about our “Body’s Intelligence” and health & healing. She’ll be followed by Gillian Greensite talking about wharves, trees,  and environmental problems we are facing. Jewel Theatre’s Julie James talks about “The Book Club Play” that’s playing 1/25-2/19. She’s followed by newly elected Santa Cruz City Councilpersons Chris Krohn and Sandy Brown, They’ll  talk  about their plans and future years on the council. Environmentalist Grey Hayes opens the program January 24 listing and discussing environmental issues in the county. Then former newspaper reporter and author Steve Shender talks about his new Hawaii book, “Once There Was Fire” (Kamehameha and friends).

It’s hard to imagine that there are people still alive, who were alive back when lynchings were a thing. I can’t even begin to imagine all the things and changes in the world that this woman has witnessed.

January 31 has UCSC Professor Linda Berman-Hall informing us about the 2017 season of The Santa Cruz Baroque festival and their Feb.4th concert. Sexpert, author, lecturer, and performer Susie Bright guests on Feb. 7 talking about lots of things. On March 7 Newton and Helen Harrison talk about their book, ” The Time of The Force Majeure”. 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

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, 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.


“Storms make the oak grow deeper roots,” George Herbert
“I’m not afraid of storms, for I’m learning how to sail my ship,” Louisa May Alcott
“Always remember that you are absolutely unique. Just like everyone else,” Margaret Mead
“Behind every great man is a woman rolling her eyes”, Jim Carrey

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Deep Cover by Tim Eagan.

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