Blog Archives

January 15 – 21, 2020

Highlights this week:

BRATTON…Show up and Save the church, meet Krohn and Glover personally, The DWC club of Santa Cruz. GREENSITE…on Santa Cruz: a sense of place. KROHN…Council agenda this week, tone of the City Council, 2020 and the differences. STEINBRUNER…Supes and Aptos Village project, Anne Isaacs passed. PATTON…Hot Mess America. EAGAN…Sub Cens and Deep Cover EVENTS  Munching With Mozart, Tandy Beal’s Scoville Units. JENSEN…2019’s lack of films. BRATTON…I critique1917, Just Mercy  UNIVERSAL GRAPEVINE GUEST LINEUP. QUOTES… “Whales”

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EQUAL RIGHTS SYMPATHY MARCH. March 13 1965. This very behaved and organized march was at Lincoln and Center Streets. I can’t read many of the signs they are carrying, but one says “WRITE AND TELL WALLACE TO STOP”. Another says “WRITE TO Pres. JOHNSON, KATZENBACH, WALLACE, SHERIFF CLARK”

photo credit: Covello & Covello Historical photo collection.

Additional information always welcome: email photo@brattononline.com

Sally Rand a great old time burlesque dancer. Not quite Sin Sisters Burlesque.
TWO HUMPBACK WHALES DANCE

DATELINE January 13

SAVE THE CIRCLE CHURCH. Sue Powell, one of the staunchest leaders of the community group working to save the Errett Circle Church from destruction by money-centered developers, sent an email saying… “The Santa Cruz City Historic Preservation Commission Public Hearing on the historic significance of the Circle Church and property at 111 Errett Circle has been RESCHEDULED to Thursday, January 30th, at 7 p.m. in the City Council Chambers Please attend!! The HPC will consider making a recommendation to the City Council to list the property on the City’s Historic Building Survey and to designate the site as a Local Historic Landmark.

The HPC wants to hear community concerns about the historic and cultural importance of this property. Please attend to speak or support speakers. We need a huge turnout!!

At the HPC meeting, public comments may be limited to 2-3 minutes, so be prepared to keep your speeches short. If you can’t attend, please submit your comments in writing to the Historic Preservation Commission, c/o Planning Department, 809 Center Street – Room 206, Santa Cruz, CA 95060. Comments can also be sent by email to cityplan@cityofsantacruz.com.

There is an 11-page review of the developers’ first historic report. Historic Preservation Commissioners Joe Michalak and Jessica Kusz wrote the critique, and concluded that the report was inadequate, incomplete, and full of errors. At the Public Hearing, the HPC will review the developers’ second historic report. The developers’ historic reports and other documents can be accessed via this link  

MEET COUNCILMEMBERS CHRIS KROHN AND DREW GLOVER.  The Coalition For Glover and Krohn — plus the many friends and supporters of both Krohn and Glover — have worked hard to create a great opportunity to actually talk with and discuss whatever you’d like to talk about with these two city Council members on January 17. They have also gathered some art pieces that are really worth looking at (and taking home). We have heard these two councilmember’s names banged around for ages. Talk to them; ask them your most serious questions. We elected them, and they’ve done tremendous jobs representing us. They are friendly, caring, serious, and very dedicated. See for yourselves. This evening represents a unique opportunity to speak to them directly about the issues that concern our beautiful city. Art submitted for a contest on the theme Representation for All will be exhibited during the evening. You will be invited to choose your three favorite pieces, which will be printed on postcards and distributed to the community. Friday, January 17, 5:30 to 9 pm, The Palomar, 1336 Pacific Ave, Santa Cruz, CA 95060. Hors d’oeuvres and drinks will be served. There is no charge for this event.

THE DEMOCRATIC WOMEN’S CLUB OF SANTA CRUZ. No one should be surprised by any move Mike Rotkin makes to get on or back into our political scene. And yet I was surprised to see that Mike is now on the Democratic Women’s Club board. That’s Cynthia Mathews long-time hiding ground, with Carol Fuller holding forth for years. The DWC also came out and endorsed the recalls of Glover and Krohn….skipping a beat….Sheila Carrillo wrote to remind us… “People have no idea that if they are opposing the recall, it is Critical that they vote for Tim Fitzmaurice and Katherine Beiers also. That is very confusing and needs to be spotlighted!! They are the only people that are running as No on Recall candidates and thus placeholders for the progressive torch. But really folks need to know that if Tim doesn’t win, a registered Republican will take over Drew’s seat!  

January 13

A SENSE OF PLACE
San Francisco essayist and author Rebecca Solnit has a quote that resonates with me. “Sense of place is the 6th sense, an internal compass and map made by memory and spatial perception together.” I recently saw the quote and have yet to read the book “Savage Dreams” which contains it, so cannot speak to its significance in that context but I can speak to its significance to me in Santa Cruz.

For me, a sense of place includes all of nature that is familiar as well as structures that have some history, however modest and are of human scale. In the natural world, it includes the weather patterns, the ocean tides, the changing beach profiles, the trees and migratory birds to name a few. It takes time for these to become an internal compass. When I first arrived in Santa Cruz in 1975 I had yet to internalize a sense of place. The birds were sparse compared to Australia, the water cold, and what was this stuff called fog? Yes it was objectively pretty but it was not yet a part of me that I would fight to defend. That would soon change.

“Oh you’re the tree lady?” is a frequent query when introduced to someone new. I say “yes” but sometimes think, “I wouldn’t need that identity if you bastards cared more for big trees.” The number of big trees, especially cypress and eucalyptus that graced the lower Westside in the 1970’s was prodigious, with many close to a century in age. Now they have all but a few been cut down. Gone with them are the owls and hawks. Bearing witness to their removal is not easy and I feel the needle of my compass de-center with each death.  

A sense of place is personal and to each their own. Many prefer a city with bright lights, hustle and bustle. Fortunately for them, no one is working to knock down the tall buildings, turn off the lights and plant trees. My preferred sense of place has sunshine, trees and skies dominant, with human buildings small. Unfortunately for me, there are those who are working to knock down the old buildings, yank out the trees and urbanize the town, destroying my sense of place and imposing their own. That others have done this before to indigenous peoples does not make it more tolerable.  

I didn’t come to Santa Cruz, look around and decide I’d prefer it if the town were bigger, more upscale and then set about to achieve that vision. I should have moved on if Santa Cruz were too funky. I allowed Santa Cruz to reach into my heart and build a sense of place for me. Not so the new urbanites. Where I see familiarity and feel comfort in the small-scale businesses on Soquel, Water, Mission and Front streets they see “underutilized space,” “dated buildings” and apparently feel nothing in their heart. Perhaps the most blatant example of heartlessness was when the head of ROMA, the San Francisco firm hired for a million bucks to write up the Wharf Master Plan, which would morph the wharf into an unrecognizable upscale tourist destination, said over his power point: “And here’s Gilda’s (mispronouncing the name) not awful but we can do better.” My internal compass swung wildly at that insult. If Santa Cruz is in the heart, then the wharf and especially Gilda’s is its center.  

The city’s Economic Development Department and Planning Department are central players in this transformation of Santa Cruz city with developers courted to sit at the table as they figure out how to make the most money out of urbanizing the town.  That most don’t live in the city helps explain their surprise that some of us care about the old buildings and familiar places. Accusing us of “nostalgia” is a cheap shot at dismissing a sense of place that is Solnit’s sixth sense. Destroying our sense of place is like tearing out our eyes. Tearing down the Circles Church is but the latest in a long list of transformative city planning projects. The passion that motivates residents to try to save this iconic center of the lower westside wells up from a deep and sacred place. It should not be underestimated.

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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 January 13

SANTA CRUZ CITY COUNCIL AGENDA
It’s what might be called a medium hot city council agenda this week. That does not mean there are not some very significant issues, but just not so many. Here’s a summary look:

  • 125 Coral Street is on the closed session agenda, “Under Negotiation: Price, terms of payment, or both for potential property purchase” by the city of SC (This property is in the Harvey West area situated next to the Homeless Services Center.)
  • There will be a presentation on the “Three-year Strategic Plan.” This current council has not met to discuss a 3-year strategic plan, so I am not sure if this is just a creation of the city manager’s office, or a new initiative. Do organizations do 3-year strategic plans anymore? The first step of an organization, the city, should be to decide whether a strategic plan is called for. The current city council has not yet had input into whether it should be a 1, 2,3, or 4-year plan. Perhaps we will on Tues., but no vote will be taken as it is a “presentation.”
  • A Long-Range Development Plan Advocate has been hired jointly by the city and county and she, Morgan Bostic, will be introducing herself. Bostic will work “on the implementation of the Council-approved strategy” vis-a-vis University growth. The voters passed Measure U in 2018 with 77% voting in favor of “giving the city council sole authority to implement policies intended to limit enrollment growth and to establish infrastructure requirements…” In other words, as I read it, cap growth at the current 19,500.
  • There are three feel-good, well-intentioned resolutions, two opposing human trafficking and fracking statewide, and a third resolution “Calling for the California Public Utilities Commission and US Bankruptcy Court to fully consider a proposal to transform PG&E into a customer-owned utility.” How about that!
  • The Circle Church, 111 Errett Circle, is back on the council agenda. The reason, writes the Planning Director in an email, is “[Assuming HPC (Historic Preservation Commission) provides a recommendation on 1/30, this will be on the Council’s 2/25 agenda. The Council has an agenda item this Tuesday related to the HPC’s deliberations on the subject site, and the movement of the HPC meeting to 1/30 is noted in that report. 
  • A $235,439 contract forTasers for the Police Dept. is also on the agenda. Seems like the current ones are wearing out? Estimated life of a Taser? I guess five years since the contract is for five years…
  • $10,000 for the Warming Center…the needs of those living in the street are real and Brent Adams has been helping address those needs of storage, showers, and warmth from cold winter nights. It seems to be a good investment and many I have spoken to say why not fund this program even more as he helps alleviate wear and tear on city parks and streets by helping provide shelter and few minor, but very needed services.
  • “Authorizing $6.25 million to remodel the Branciforte and Garfield Park libraries” also is a wise investment of a different kind.
  • The last item on the evening agenda is about the “City Council Request Process.” I am not sure exactly what it is, but it may be seeking to address the historic Byzantine process that seems to change with every new council on an age-old conundrum, how does a city councilmember get something placed on a city council agenda? Stay tuned!

I know, you might be thinking now…this seems like a lot for one agenda, and it is.

Tone of the 2020 Santa Cruz City Council
Oh, it will be different. There is a new mayor and it seems to appear the arrow is pointing up from where we were last January. I look forward to regular meetings with the mayor (any mayor should be meeting regularly with councilmembers who you agree with or not); smoother meeting agendas and realistic time allotments for agenda items; a fairer and more balanced way of calling on councilmembers; regular bathroom breaks; and of course, placing items that affect regular working-class Santa Cruzans on an evening agenda so they can get to the meeting after work. The newbie Mayor, Justin Cummings, may make all the difference in the world concerning the output, tone, and demeanor of this 2020 SC city council, although rainbows and unicorns are unlikely to appear in council chambers anytime soon.

And It is 2020…
I woke up on January 1st and realized it was 2020. It has been 52 years–1969— since earthlings stepped onto the moon and the New York Mets stepped all over the Baltimore Orioles to win a Cinderella World Series when the Cinderella metaphor seemed more real. When I was a high school senior, 1976 that was THE year we were all waiting for, 200 years of official country status. Then Orwell’s year, 1984, just zipped right past us, but Big Brother has become a reality with license plate readers, facial recognition software, and video cameras everywhere. Next was 2000, the millennium, Y2K, and the dawning of the age of Aquarius. As each BIG date played out, a feeling of overhype washed over me. The Mets did win it as Neil Armstrong stepped into the Sea of Tranquility, but Jimmy Carter’s environmental planted seeds quickly faded into a Reagan quagmire of fear. It’s all culminated in a Trumpian free-fall into an abyss defined by an all consumption is good consumption ethos. We have the opportunity locally and nationally to turn a corner in 2020.

So, Why Should 2020 be any Different?
Because it’s about the environment. We have about 10 years to get this climate crisis right. We know that coal, natural gas, petroleum, and everything plastic, has to go. Voters might want to be thinking, which city council will be more willing to take the steps that are needed to not give variances when solar is now required; to offer alternatives to the automobile; to install electric charging stations all over town; to not build any more last-century parking garages; to form city-university partnerships with the best minds on the UCSC campus who are thinking about our climate 24/7; to implement not only a downtown employee eco-bus pass program, but a citywide free-fare box, as Kansas City just did; and to continue aggressive water conservation, and maintain and enhance greenbelt protection. Which city council will be willing to say NO to developers who only want to build more over-priced condos for people who do not live here. Which council majority will take more seriously human rights, voting rights, and housing rights of city residents? These are the political, social, and emotional issues and questions before us as we head into the March 3rd 2020 election, which by the way begins Feb. 3rd when “vote by mail” ballots go out. See you at the ballot box, or at least on the corner by the post box!

(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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January 13

BOARD OF SUPERVISORS TO APPROVE APTOS VILLAGE PROJECT PHASE 2 ON CONSENT AGENDA
The Consent Agenda, by definition, is meant to quickly handle non-controversial and low-dollar matters that are considered more like housekeeping.  However, the County Board of Supervisors likes to do quite the opposite, and shove things that ARE controversial quietly through as items buried in the Consent Agenda, approved without discussion and in one fell-swoop.  

So, here they are, approving the Phase 2 Aptos Village Project Final Map as Consent Agenda Item #61 on Tuesday’s meeting plan.  Disgusting.  This is the last time the public will have any shred of an opportunity to publicly comment on this massive project that few in the community want.  All of Phase 2 is three-story dense development, with reduced setbacks and very little landscaping, thanks to the design modifications the County approved with a discretionary wand three years ago

Drainage plans show the parking lot storm water going into Aptos Creek.  The County gifted the developers the easement across the County-owned Aptos Village Park to dump that oily water into the southernmost stream for Coho salmon.  

The County taxpayer-funded traffic light at Aptos Creek Road is currently out to bid, estimated to be a $2.5 million project that will benefit the developers.  

How sad that neither the County nor developers ever listened to any of the extensive comments voiced by the public.  Clearly, those meetings were all perfunctory.

You can watch a video of Anne describing her passion for the Aptos Community and all the hard work and fun she and her friends had (Anne’ s interview begins at about minute 7:00)

APTOS LADIES TUESDAY EVENING SOCIETY CO-FOUNDER ANNE ISAACS PASSED AWAY
I am saddened to have learned that the wonderful Anne Isaacs, who conspired with Lucille Aldrich back in the day to form the Aptos Ladies Tuesday Evening Society and ultimately the Aptos Parade, has passed away.   Anne and Lucille led the fight against a cement batching plant being built in Aptos Village, and laid down on the railroad tracks to stop Southern Pacific Railroad’s plan to thwart the Aptos Community Picnic.

I met Anne many years ago, and have treasured her spirited outlook.  She inspired me in many ways with her kind, fair and humorous views of the world.  I was honored to have Anne and her husband, Albert, be the first to sign my nomination papers that enabled me to become a candidate for Second District County Supervisor now.  

Anne’s services are scheduled for Saturday, January 18 at 11am in her beloved St. John’s Episcopal Church 9125 Canterbury Dr., Aptos) with internment to follow.  There will be viewing on Friday, January 17, 2pm-8pm at Pacific Gardens Chapel (1050 Cayuga St., Santa Cruz).  

WRITE ONE LETTER.  MAKE ONE CALL.  BE COURAGEOUS AND MAKE A DIFFERENCE. 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). She is running again for Second District County Supervisor right now!!
Email Becky at KI6TKB@yahoo.com
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January 8 #8 / Hot Mess America?


New York Times’ columnist Timothy Egan says America is a “hot mess”. That term is defined as follows by Dictionary.com

Hot mess is used to describe a particularly disorganized person or chaotic situation.

As we venture into an election year, and a year in which the political stakes are extremely high, such a description of the “state of the union” does not, exactly, inspire confidence and an optimistic sense of our future possibilities. However, I think that a thoughtful read of Egan’s opinion-editorial comment might be somewhat comforting.

Egan’s column ran in early December of last year, and in the online version of the column, the “hot mess” aspect of America’s current situation is headlined. Since Egan’s column was written well before President Trump’s assassination by drone of Iranian Quds Force commander Qasem Soleimani, it is fair to say that the “hot mess” Egan mentions is even “hotter” and “messier” now. Let me alert you, however, to the fact that in the hard copy version of the newspaper, which was delivered to my home on December 7th, the headline doesn’t use that “hot mess” language. It reads a little bit differently, and I think we should pay attention to that original headline: 

America Still Has a Story To Tell

I believe that the hard copy headline gets it right. Overcoming adversity is always the way that we find a new way forward. Won’t it be great when we not only “survive,” but “overcome” our hot mess condition, and start leading the world towards a democracy based on the full engagement of ordinary people in the challenges that confront us?* 

Is there any reason to believe that we can’t do that? Here’s some positive language from Egan’s column:

Today, there is no external enemy to unite us — not the British Crown, Nazi Germany or a Communist Soviet Union. For much of the world, and more than half of the United States, Trump is the uniter — the repellent-in-chief. As we saw again this week in Europe, the president is a laughingstock, mocked for his buffoonery, ignorance and bluster. In just a few days abroad, he made 21 false statements, a microcosm of his presidency. 

At home, he wages war on American institutions: the military, the courts, Congress, the press, respect for truth, the Constitution itself. But he also faces certain impeachment, because what he did warrants no other choice. Though he most likely won’t be removed, a majority of Americans say he has committed an impeachable offense. He will be forever remembered for the gross violations of his oath. 

We should be loud and proud with this to the rest of the world: L’état, c’est moi is nowhere in the founding documents. That’s another story America can yet tell.

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 inner selves and bring your friends. Wild, deep and wooly/….that’s Sub Cons!!! See below.

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

MUNCHING WITH MOZART AND FRIENDS. Every Third Thursday like this

Thursday, January 16, from 12:10 – 12:50p.m. there is a free concert upstairs in the threatened Santa Cruz Public Library Downtown Branch in the Meeting Room. This week’s concert is titled The Folk World Meets the Classical World. The musicians will be Linc Russin, mandolin • Nick Royal, mandolin and Lynn Kidder, piano. They’ll play J.S. Bach, Mozart, Johnny Mercer, Gounod and some 17th Century Jewish Mystic plus Jay Unger.

TANDY BEAL & JON SCOVILLE PRESENTTandy Beal and Company presents Scoville Units – a celebration of Jon Scoville’s extraordinary music—on January 18th and 19th, 2020 at the Cabrillo Crocker Theatre – for two shows only!  That’s Saturday night at 7:30 and Sunday at 2 p.m. His music and artistic insights have inspired dances for not only Tandy Beal, but for choreographers around the world. Named after the scale of spiciness for peppers, Scoville Units is a multi-arts celebration of Scoville’s beguiling compositions from cool to hot, with unique films and performances by 30 musicians and dancers. I’ll save you a seat!!!

JEWEL THEATRE. The real details to follow soon. “The Other Place” by Sharr White is the next production starting Jan. 22 through February 16. It’s about a woman scientist who deals with internal and external problems. Great reviews.

LISA JENSEN LINKS. Lisa writes: “If you read my last blog post, you might understand why I didn’t see enough movies last year to compose a traditional Best of 2019 list. However, among the various small, weird, and/or esoteric movies I did see, I have a few favorites! Find out what they are this week at Lisa Jensen Online Express (http://ljo-express.blogspot.com ).” Lisa has been writing film reviews and columns for Good Times since 1975.  

1917Do not see this film if you expect to watch much of Benedict Cumberbatch. IF he’s in it more than 2 minutes I’ll eat my helmet!!! I also wouldn’t give this movie ANY “best of” awards, and am surprised at what it’s won so far. It’s the story of two foot soldiers slogging through, under, and around enemy lines to deliver an important life-saving message. It’s an impressive hunk of movie making, and yet it won’t really draw you into the story. 89RT

JUST MERCY. A fine film starring Jamie Foxx, Michael Jordan, and an excellent role for Tim Blake Nelson. A true story about a guy (Foxx) being sentenced to the chair for a crime he didn’t do. This sounds like a dozen films we seen before BUT it’s better — go see it. 99RT. 

JOKER. I wrote this in November 2019…JOKER. Joaquin Phoenix should just be given the Oscar now, instead of all that fuss in January. Yes this is the origin of why the Joker haunts Bruce Wayne (Batman) and it’s so much more than that. The film is deep, dark, brilliant, violent, clever, absorbing, haunting, and will move you into a different perspective. Forget the criticism about protesters; the Joker is insane and magnetic. See this film if you like films beyond what’s acceptable! It just became the biggest – money making attendance record R-rated film ever!!!.  Now (11/18) it’s taken in over 1 billion dollars. 

THE TWO POPES. Anthony Hopkins plays Pope Benedict XVI and Jonathan Pryce is Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio. Based on a terribly troubled time in the Catholic Church namely 2005 these two leaders argue and discuss their personal and public issues that become completely absorbing. Yes, child abuse is in there too. Just to watch these tow master actors is a reminder of what and where good acting can take audiences. Go see it, but do hurry.

UNCUT GEMS. 92 RT. Adam Sandler is amazingly perfect in this role of a New York City Jeweler/ gambler who risks his family and his own life to make a quick (two days) bundle of money on a gem sale. You will never forget Sandler in this film. Exciting, tense, and believable. Don’t miss it. Sandler’s acting talent is surprising, especially when we have become so used to his comedy roles.

MARRIAGE STORY. A fine and well acted film about a show biz couple, their children , divorce, and some odd choices by Scarlett Johansson the wife to Adam Driver’s husband. Laura Dern does her best role in decades. Alan Alda and Ray Liotta have some small scenes. You are guaranteed to relive some of your own poor choices in your marriage too! 84 audience score on RT.A Netflix production.

HIDDEN LIFE. If and that’s a big IF you are a Terrence Malick fan you’ll love this masterpiece that he directed. Malick directed Paradise, Amazing Grace, The Tree of life, The Knight of Cups, The New World and other lengthy cinematic statements. Hidden Life is almost exact;ly 3 hours long. It’s totally beautiful and is about a family man who refuses to enter the German army during WWII. I tried to like it, but Malick takes so much screen time to get his complex internal messages out I lose contact. I predict that future generations will “discover” Malick’s films and give them the attention he’s not getting from us.

HONEY BOY. This is Shia LaBeouf’s movie. Not only does he star, but he wrote the screenplay and plays his own father’s role. It’s about LaBeouf’s life in show biz and the bad and good influence his dad had, and has, on him. Very few, if any, laughs — but a well done search into what fame and no fortune can do to you. Go for it!

DARK WATERS. You’ll never look at your Teflon or DuPont products the same way after seeing this fine film. Mark Ruffalo plays the real-life attorney who finally wins his case against DuPont, with the political and financial odds stacked 100% in favor of DuPont, the world’s largest chemical company. Just in case you want to stop supporting DuPont, stop using Kevlar, Styrofoam, Corian, Dow Corning, Great Stuff, Prima Green and many more names you can find on their website.

JOJO RABBIT. Centered on Nazi Germany, this is very rare political comedy with funny scenes. A little boy has Adolf Hitler as an invisible buddy. Scarlett Johansson plays the little boy’s mom, and does one of very finest acting jobs, ever. Hitler and the screwed up political/ military scene will make you think of Trump and our own screwed up political/ military scene. A wonderful and rare film, do not miss it!! 

PARASITE. South Korean director Bong Joon-ho outdid his other international screen successes with Parasite. Wikipedia calls it a dark comedy thriller and so do I. It’s winning awards everywhere and deserves them all. There’s brain surgery, murder, basement dwellers, numerous surprises, even some shocks and well worth your seeing it ASAP.

AERONAUTS. Felicity Jones plays a very cute and Disney like character matching Eddie Redmayne’s equally sweet and nerdy partner in this supposedly true story of an early hot air balloon ascension in Britain’s Victorian age in 1862. It’s cute, some funny parts a bit scary due to heights of the balloon.  Being such a cute movie they changed the sex of the person accompanying Redmayne , it was really a male friend of his.It’s on Amazon.

STAR WARS. THE RISE OF SKYWALKER. 54 RT. George Lucas’ Star Wars empire started 43 years ago with wildly clever and intelligent twists and an absolutely brilliant story line. We watched politely while some sad sequels stained our screens, now thanks to Disney buying and producing this concluding finale we have an ending to the saga that isn’t worth your time or expectations. Trite, predictable, and sad to see our old heroes and heroines suffer with a plot as dull and unrewarding as this one. You have to go if you’ve seen more than one of the series…just don’t expect to be satisfied with the conclusion.

CATS. Hard to believe this insanity of a movie is from a book by T.S. Eliot. It’s even more difficult to acknowledge the amazing stage history of the musical. Judy Dench, Ian McKellen, Jennifer Hudson, James Corden and dozens more stars wore whiskers; and danced and made fools of themselves only for millions of dollars in salaries. Andrew Lloyd Webber himself refuses to talk about this flop. It got an 18 RT. As a play it has also been playing on stages around the world for 40 years!!! They spent $95 million dollars to make this movie. I wouldn’t see it if I were you. When D.B. and I saw it we were the only two people in the theatre.!!!

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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. . Peter Klotz-Chamberlin from The Resource Center for Non Violence guests on Jan. 14. He’s followed by Julie and Stu Phillips talking about saving the Tule Elk and the issues at Point Reyes.  Michel Singher conductor of the Espressivo Orchestra talks about their concerts on Jan. 21. Jean Brocklebank talks about our Santa Cruz Public library issues on Feb 11. 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 bratton@cruzio.com 

This I can relate to…

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. 

    “WHALES”

“There are people in this world who can wear whale masks and people who cannot, and the wise know to which group they belong.” Tom Robbins

“If you swim with sharks, make sure you have the appetite of a whale.” Matshona Dhliwayo 

“It’s time to end the cruel slaughter of whales and leave these magnificent creatures alone.” Paul McCartney


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