Blog Archives

January 23 – 29, 2018

Highlights this week:
Genuine and unique historic photo, LONDON Nelson shamed again, the still empty Octagon, About going topless?…Greensite on library issues…Krohn on What Homeless shelter Crisis?, the Mayor and Department Head meetings, Sierra Club changes, Santa Cruz Women’s March…Steinbruner and Aptos Village secret modifications, Nisene Marks closed, Swenson Builders and illegal storm water, Aptos Fire District and the Brown Act, our County Railroad failures, AMBAG question… Patton and Putin Problems…DeCinzo and the Pope’s ongoing issues…Eagan and Trump’s inner secret…Jewel Theatre’s Silent Sky…Jensen and #timesUp movement and The Golden Globes…I critique The Phantom Thread and most of the rest…Universal Grapevine guests…Quotes on FLOODS.


VERY HISTORIC PHOTO. For the first time since creating BrattonOnline almost 15 years ago, we decided to have a get-together/meeting. Not all the group had met all the other contributors. Some great, new, challenging ideas sprung forth…you’ll see them in a while. It was good fun and very friendly. We met at the East side of the obvious (and empty) Octagon Building. Front row seated left to right; Gunilla Leavitt our webwoman, Me, Lisa Jensen film reviewer,Tim Eagan cartoonist.                                                       

Back row, standing left to right; Gary Patton columnist, Chris Krohn city councilmember/columnist, Gillian Greensite columnist. Becky Steinbruner had to miss it because she works at a very busy nursery and couldn’t get off that day. Steven DeCinzo wasn’t present because he, his wife and new baby live in France. Michael Smith our new and erstwhile part editor also missed it due to incredibly engaging commitments.  

photo credit: Jeffery Sargent
Additional information always welcome: email

IGUANAS AND SNAKES. Another contribution from R. Davila. Like your worst dream!!!

PERPETUAL MOTION. As a kid I used to work on and dream up some wild perpetual motion ideas…this one works…or seems to!
5 OCTAVE MBIRA. I still have an 8 note African mbira that Fantasy Records gave me in lieu of the royalties they owed our Goodtime Washboard 3 trio for the album.

DATELINE January 22, 2018

THE NEW LONDON NELSON SIGN…I’ve been campaigning, pleading and questioning why the people in charge of the “LOUDEN NELSON” Community Center stop disrespecting the honor of London Nelson, a good man, former slave, and a very honorable Santa Cruz citizen. In the last week or two again the dimwits unveiled the new sign/plaque once more misspelling London’s name. It isn’t just me that cares or knows the correct way he spelled his name: check out these sources…

Read what the Good Times story on LONDON NELSON — with much data from historian Phil Reader — says, in the article by Elizabeth Limbach from May 3, 2013,  titled: ” Seven Things to Know About London Nelson”. If the dimwitted City admin needs more evidence re LONDON NELSON, the local Wikipedia says, “London’s first name was erroneously changed to “Louden” in documents after the 1930s, but almost no documents before that time show his name as anything other than “London.” London Nelson was buried in Evergreen Cemetery,where his headstone can be visited; the specific location of his grave is uncertain”.

Still more of LONDON NELSON’s story is at Mobile Ranger
Santa Cruz Waves also has a story titled… The Early Schools of Santa Cruz and London Nelson’s Legacy by Julia Gaudinski on May 4, 2015.
The Santa Cruz public Library History collection has this piece by Phil Reader… “Once these intrepid pioneers established themselves in the Monterey Bay area, they went on to leave their mark on local history. Much has been said and written about London Nelson, the Carolina born ex-slave, who, through a generous bequeath, saved the floundering Santa Cruz School District”.

Good Times also has this definitive piece …

“Nelson’s legendary act of generosity to the local school system has been a cultural touchstone in the community for more than a century. But for much of that time, the legend was more than a bit vague, if not distorted, and a significant error was made in the spelling of his name from London to Louden. Eventually, historical research caught up to the legend. Using slave records and genealogical materials originally compiled by the Mormon Church in Utah, historian Phil Reader was able to trace Nelson’s birth to a North Carolina (not Tennessee) cotton plantation owned by a slave master named William Nelson. As was the practice at the time, slaves were forced to assume the family name of their owner. William Nelson, in turn, named the slave children born onto his plantation after English place names: Canterbury, Marlborough, Cambridge—and London. William Nelson’s youngest son, Matthew, eventually inherited the Nelson slaves from his father, and moved the family plantation to Tennessee.

The discovery of gold in California in 1949, however, lured him farther westward. Promising both London and his younger brother, Marlborough, their freedom if they joined him, Matthew set up a claim on the American River, where the trio was to mine successfully for four years. With his freedom secured, London Nelson eventually found his way to Santa Cruz in 1856, where, with his earnings from the goldfields, he bought a small piece of land (near what is today the rear parking lot of the downtown post office”. In spite of all of the above our city refuses to do the decent think and give credit and devotion where its due…shame.

OCTAGON STILL EMPTY. Every time I sit at my favorite spot at the Octagon Platz corner of Front and Cooper Streets many, many folks either climb the new steps or walk around the corner of the historic Octagon building hoping to enter it and see either (1) The historic Octagon as a museum store, (2) Lulu Carpenter’s Coffee Shop, or (3) something befitting one of our most precious historic buildings. The Octagon has been vacant since October 2016, when Nina forced Manthri Shrinath and Lulu Carpenter’s great Coffee Shop to leave. And why did that happen? It has become a huge shame to Nina Simone and the Museum of Art & History, as well as the San Jose-based developer John McEnery IV — who brought in and controls/manages the out-of-town restaurants in Abbott Square. As of last Wednesday (1/17) a staff member told me there are no plans in sight for any new Octagon occupant.

WOMEN’S RIGHTS TO GO TOPLESS? What about that? A strange and very current freedom topic. Taken further, don’t we all have a right to go totally naked? Now? Somebody way back when decided that women’s breasts had to be covered…but not men’s??? The entire concept of nudity is odd, when you think about it.

Dateline: January 22, 2018

While I often disagree with Stephen Kessler’s analyses, especially when it comes to his Freudian take on male sexual aggression against women, I found his column in Saturday’s Sentinel (1/20/18) to be an eloquent statement against the odious plot to tear down and relocate the downtown public library under a future 5 story parking garage on the site of the current weekly Farmers’ Market. I recommend you read his column.

I don’t believe that using the term “plot” is hyperbole. What else can one conclude of a process whereby a committee (Downtown Library Advisory Committee or DLAC) charged by the city council to involve the public in discussions about options for the future of the downtown library, makes little if any effort to publicize its nine meetings so far, with the last and deciding one on Thursday January 25th; allows no public comment until the end of the meetings; ignores the 90 attendees at the last meeting who expressed their preference to keep the existing library onsite with renovations and instead chooses the option of tear down and relocate under a five story parking garage?  There are other factors such as questionable estimates on the cost of renovation versus tear down and build anew but the overall message is clear: public be damned! Try to attend this last meeting in the upstairs library meeting room at 6:30 PM on Thursday January 25th.

This last DLAC meeting is where the final vote will be taken before the issue is forwarded to city council for its vote. If the discussion at the council meeting when the issue was first addressed in mid 2016 is any guide, it will be an uphill battle to have the will of the public represented by the council majority. At that meeting which I attended, I heard no murmur of concern for locating the library under a parking garage, no voice raised to preserve this long-standing familiar public resource in our downtown center, no word of respect for the institution of a library itself. And while it was laudable that the council voted to form a committee to hear from the public, that the public has largely been excluded and ignored is why committees are often so roundly lampooned.

Another indication of the city’s lack of respect for libraries and for library patrons is staff’s decision to locate one of its 25 hubs or stations for 20 rental bikes in front of Garfield Park library, which serves the west side. I wrote on this topic in the January 4th issue of BrattonOnline. An update is timely. While I support the bike-share program and wish it success, the choice of some of the locations reveals lack of care and shoddy decision-making. The choice to remove 40 feet of parking in front of a public library that has no onsite car parking space is one example. Parents who can now easily drop off and pick up children for and from library activities will no longer be able to do so. I wanted to appeal this unwise decision but was prevented from doing so by the Transportation Code, which states that one has to live within 300 feet of the site in order to appeal a decision to remove public parking. Given that the reach of the library is far wider, this should have been an occasion to allow for a wider appeal range. Since no one within that limited radius appealed, the decision is final. I plan to attend this evening’s Transportation and Public Works commission, which has already approved this site and speak to the issue at oral communications but no action can be taken at oral communications. The only small hope for wiser heads to prevail is when the permits come for approval before city council, probably on the consent agenda. We can request that the council reconsider this site and deem it inappropriate. There are many better alternatives.

In the late 1970’s Westside Neighbors, including leaders in the long-standing Black community fought hard to save Garfield Park library from closure by the city. I was part of that effort. This beautiful Carnegie library is deep in my heart. That its patrons can be so easily ignored disturbs me. When disturbed I tend to act. I hope you will join me. Email council members at

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.

Dateline: January 22, 2018


Declaration of a Homeless Shelter Crisis
The WTF Dept. A homeless shelter crisis will likely have been declared, officially, by the Santa Cruz city council by the time you are reading these words. “Declaring a Homeless Shelter Crisis enables the city to suspend any state or local regulatory statute, regulation, or ordinance prescribing standards of housing, health, or safety to the extent that strict compliance ‘would in any way prevent, hinder, or delay mitigation of the effects of the shelter crisis.'” OMG. Who would’ve known there was a shelter crisis without this declaration, raise your hand? The most recent “point in time” homeless census count was 2,249 countywide last year, with 1,204 individuals residing in the city of Santa Cruz…934 were “unsheltered,” that’s 78% of the total number of homeless-houseless. Why is there a shelter crisis now because most of us who have been paying attention for the past decade know there has been a crisis for a long while? Has there also been a concomitant crisis of governing? Why haven’t our various city departments been working in concert to address the growing problem of the housing…until…until a certain police chief came along and said, ‘Hey, let’s try something new!’

The hope here is that by declaring a crisis we can a get torpid bureaucracy when it comes to the homeless, rolling into action. Where will they roll to? First stop, San Lorenzo Park Benchlands. I counted 57 tents at 1pm last Sunday (1/21). This encampment will be relocated by city staff (I hope the homeless and their advocates have been asked for their input into this move…) to 1220 River Street. When? Dec. 15th? Jan. 15th? Now, we’re hearing Feb. 15th. It is expected that there will be storage and charging stations, and the with the Homeless Services Center’s extended shower hours, the plight of the homeless will be lessened as we move toward the longer term (intractable?) issues surrounding homelessness. Yes, the addiction and mental health issues. But as you read this you may be wondering, what about the encampment along the bike path alongside Holy Cross Church, or the Highway 1 encampment, or the various 2 and 3 tent encampments along the river that are now so visible? Folks, we have a crisis and it did not just begin because the council declared an emergency on January 23rd. The good news is that we are finally getting people to the table, city and county, and will be moving forward with (a) a relocated campsite, (b) a temporary structure with camping, and (c) an expansion of the current Homeless Services site to include a 24/7 year-round shelter.

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Binders Full of …
The Collective Power of Women Dept. Remember Mitt Romney’s comment during the 2012 election? No, not the “47%” one maligning the folks who would never vote for him, but the “binders full of women” that were just waiting for him to be elected so they could get jobs in his administration, he maintained. Well, women were out in full force in Santa Cruz this past weekend, reclaiming history and maybe a whole lot more. It was anti-Trump but also pro-peace and love and understanding. I asked a 13-year old who was wearing a tee-shirt that had the word “feminist” written across, what the word meant. She said, “For me, it’s the idea that women and men are equal.” Women had a lot of allies joining them too on the march down Pacific Avenue from Cooper Street to the Louden Nelson Community Center. I was struck by all the signs people displayed. Truly remarkable. (click each image for a larger version)

Bernie Tweet of the Week

“People are more determined than ever to build a nation based on love and compassion, not hatred or division. Congratulations to the women around the world who are once again sending a powerful message of solidarity today.”#WomensMarch2018

(Chris Krohn is a father, writer, activist, former Santa Cruz City Councilmember (1998-2002) and Mayor (2001-2002). He’s been running the Environmental Studies Internship program at UC Santa Cruz for the past 12 years. He was elected last November to another 4-year term on the Santa Cruz City Council).

Email Chris at


Dateline: January 22, 2018

That is what Assistant Planning Director Wanda Williams kept saying during the meeting I was finally able to arrange with her to discuss what the “Minor Modifications” to the Aptos Village Project Phase 2 Building Designs really entail.  I was glad a couple of other citizens joined me because it was amazing to hear Ms. Williams repeatedly stonewall us every time we asked for clarification on various issues. She did not have the document available that outlined the proposed building design changes.  I found it later in the Records Room…and she had signed it, along with Planner Randall Adams. She refused a follow-up meeting with us next week before the Appeal deadline.  She refused to recommend a Community Meeting to have staff discuss the proposed design changes with the public. She instructed us to continue to send our comments to Planner Randall Adams.  “But he has already approved the changes,” I pointed out.  She looked at me sternly, “Well, then you can appeal.”  She did not seem to know the process, even though an appeal action would be referred to her, as the Zoning Administrator.  

She wrote down our questions (I think) and told us she would “get back with answers” but said it might take a week….after the Appeal deadline.

Stay tuned for more about your local “transparent” government.

Last Saturday, Nisene Marks State Park was again closed to vehicle access because there was just no more parking available inside the Park.  People parked alongside the narrow road, on blind corners, and any other place available…what would this picture look like during fire season?  Not good. Obviously, the highest use of the Phase 2 Aptos Village Project area is to re-establish the parking for the Community who used to park in the dirt along Aptos Creek Road and run/bike into Nisene Marks and to re-build the Post Office Bike Jumps.  Is State Parks paying attention?  Is the County?  How about you?

Contact State Parks District Services Manager Mr. Chris Spohrer 831-234-5140.

Please contact me if you are interested in working on this project.  Time is running out. Becky Steinbruner, email or phone 831-685-2915.

The crews working for Barry Swenson Builder once again pumped muddy storm water from the utility trenches in the Aptos Village Project into nearby Valencia Creek last Friday morning.  I saw the muddy water draining directly into the storm drain at the intersection of Cathedral Drive and Trout Gulch Road at 8:30am…and again at 10:30am.  The State’s Regional Water Quality Control Board frowns on such illegal activity.  

Barry Swenson Builder, contractor license #342751, ought to know better.  Call them up and ask why their crews and Santa Cruz Underground Paving (SCUP) crews continue to pump storm water from the construction site into local creeks, smothering any possible salmonid eggs with silt from an area with a history of diesel tank soil contamination.  Remember the illegal underground storage tank these same two contractors extracted, transported and tried to cover up?  Thank goodness, the District Attorney issued a Judgment and fines for all those violations, but the fact remains that the real site of the tank was never remediated because it all got covered up before County Environmental Health got tipped off and arrived on scene over a week later.

Here is the contact for Mary Gourlay, Swenson Project Manager: 415-302-4634  or

Here is the contact for Carolyn Burke, County Environmental Planner: 831-454-5721 who oversees compliance with storm water and erosion control matters for the Project.

Try contacting Public Works inspector assigned to the Project:Geoffrey Padgett 831-454-2160 or Public Works Information Officer Ms. Christine Berge 454-2160

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I attended the Santa Cruz Regional Transportation Commission (RTC) Board meeting last week to comment at the Public Hearing regarding the Draft Environmental Impact Report regarding the RTC 2040 Transportation Plan.  This document is being shepherded by the Associated Monterey Bay Area Governments (AMBAG), a nebulous regional group currently holding some public hearings on the matter.  I wrote about this last week.  It is really worth investigation.  Several members of the public requested an extended comment period for the document, but the Board refused to grant it.  AMBAG is really the lead agency on this document.

Plan to attend the AMBAG public hearing January 30 at the Simpkins Swim Center (the flyer has already re-named it to “the Live Oak Community Center”) at 6pm to learn more about the ‘Moving Monterey Bay Forward’ Draft Plan.  Research it in advance on the AMBAG website.

~Cheers, 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.

Email Becky at

Dateline: Jan 20, 2018 #20 / Mr. Nice Guy?

Whether or not Donald J. Trump and his campaign “colluded” with Vladimir Putin, President of the Russian Federation, to influence the 2016 United States presidential election in Trump’s favor, is not yet clear. Many Democrats seem to be extrapolating from smoke to fire, and have made up their minds that there was such collusion, but that isn’t, actually, how our legal system, or even “science,” works. Appearances can be deceiving. Maybe, in this case, they are. 

President Trump says there was “no collusion,” and he says that repeatedly! Such repeated denials, of course, mean nothing – particularly taking into account the president’s well-known propensity for prevarication. Still, maybe there really wasn’t any collusion about the election. Maybe money laundering, not campaign assistance, was what was discussed in the various meetings that are now public knowledge. Or, maybe something else was going on! Let’s wait for what radio commentator Paul Harvey used to call “the rest of the story.” 

As we do wait for some more definitive word about why Trump family members and campaign representatives were in significant contact with various persons connected to Vladimir Putin and the Russian government, it might be well to consider what kind of a guy Vladimir Putin really is. 

Our current president has been known to shower Mr. Putin with fulsome praise. A 2015 book by Garry Kasparov, who was the world’s number-one-ranked chess player for twenty years, presents a contrary view. Kasparov thinks that our president’s words of praise are just one more example of how successful Putin has been in convincing governmental officials in Western democracies (including former President Obama) that Putin is just one more democrat like they are, and that the Russian President is really desirous of being a great partner in various kinds of governmental good works. 

Kasparov calls that the “audacity of false hope.” He thinks that Putin is a world class dictator, right up there with Hitler and Stalin, and that we had better wise up before it’s too late. Kasparov’s book is titled, “Winter is Coming,” referencing the popular television series Game of Thrones (and the books that came before that). 

Kasparov’s book appeared in my house as a Christmas present, and I’ve just read it. I don’t really know enough about the former Soviet Union, and the current situation in Russia, and in the former parts of the Soviet Union, to be able to evaluate the book in any definitive way. However, when journalists and others who oppose Mr. Putin keep turning up dead, in suspicious circumstances, that is not a good sign. 

Our current president is wrong in many ways. I think he is wrong to be praising Putin.
Kasparov makes a good case that Putin is no “Mister Nice Guy!”

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

Email Gary at


CLASSICAL DeCINZO. DeCinzo views the Pope’s latest challenge!! Just below a ways.

EAGAN’S DEEP COVER. See Eagan’s “A wrinkle in time” down a few pages. As always, at you will find his most recent  Deep Cover, the latest installment from the archives of Subconscious Comics, and the ever entertaining Eaganblog with his new saga “Sweat Logic”.

SILENT SKY…the play. Jewel Theatre is presenting this play about the women at Harvard from 1920 to the late 30’s who made great astronomical discoveries and had to fight their way through enormous pressures from the man’s world. It plays Jan. 24 through Feb 18 at the Colligan Theater in the Tannery . Tickets and info at their website.  or 831 425-7506.

LISA JENSEN LINKS. Lisa writes: The powerful #Time’s Up woman’s movement swept through this year’s Golden Globes like a rampaging Fury. What might it portend for this year’s Oscars? Let’s take a look, this week at Lisa Jensen Online Express ( ). Also — stop the presses! (Gee, I’ve always wanted to say that!) Literally — my publishers (and me, too!) are so delighted with this endorsement from the great Laurie R. King, they’re re-designing the jacket for my new book, Beast: A Tale of Love and Revenge, to include it!”

~Lisa has been writing film reviews and columns for Good Times since 1975.

Director Paul Thomas Anderson first made Boogie Nights, then topped it with Magnolia, There Will Be Blood, and Inherent Vice. Now there’s Phantom Thread. Daniel Day-Lewis is the star, and watching him and Anderson work together in this one makes it not just a film but an experience. Day-Lewis starred in A Room With A View, My Left Foot, The Unbearable Lightness of Being, and became greater and greater with each role. Now he’s promised to never make another film. If that’s true, Phantom Thread is a brilliant masterpiece on which to end a career. It’s the story of a driven, crazed artist who designs women’s clothes…and that’s all you need to know. As critics are saying, it’s not a film for mass audiences, just for those folks who appreciate genius.

CALL ME BY YOUR NAME. No matter where you’re at sexually this beautiful film deals with a young 17 year old boy in Italy working his way through his sexual coming of age. Armie Hammer plays the 30 year old scholarly hunk who visits the kid’s parents. You remember Armie Hammer heir to the Armand Hammer oil fortune and who played The Lone Ranger to Johnny Depp’s Tonto (2013)!!!

LADY BIRD. This film restored my faith in great films! RT gives it 100% and it’s the highest rated film in RT’s history!!! Greta Gerwig directed  Saorise Ronan and others in this sincere, well thought out movie. A teen aged daughter and her Mom have a terrible, never ending battle over clothes, religion, dating, sex, college and everything. It all happens in Sacramento in about 2003 , which is somehow appropriate. It’s sensitive, subtle, and surprising. Gerwig breaks many directing rules and creates new plot possibilities. Go see this film. Ps….as I’ve told many folks, it’s definitely  not about Lady Bird Johnson!!!

THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI. First, please note the 95 RT rating. When you have Frances McDormand, Woody Harrelson and Sam Rockwell working in a film directed by an Oscar winning director you almost can’t miss. It is definitely a dark comedy. The plot contains murder, rape, loyalty, cancer, and some absolutely brilliant acting. Go see it, and force all your friends to see it too.

DARKEST HOUR. Gary Oldman takes the role of Winston Churchill to new heights…and depths. Its world War II history and it’s the background story of what Churchill had to endure when he first took office as Prime Minister. He deserves the Oscar like few stars ever have. The story is absorbing, educational, and it makes you wonder why the USA doesn’t have someone like Churchill to handle Trump like Churchill handled Hitler and Mussolini.

THE SHAPE OF WATER. A 93 on RT and that means something! Sally Hawkins plays a beautiful mute working in a lab who cares for, and falls in love with a mysterious water creature. It’s a fable, a fairy story, and reminds us of the black and white fantasy films from the 40’s and 50’s. It’s vital to know that it’s directed by Guillermo Del Toro who also did Pan’s Labyrinth  and Hellboy. It is such an enormous change from every other film we’ve seen in years that its’ worth going just for the fun of it.

THE POST. This is Steven Spielberg’s answer to the Trump administration’s corruption and misuse of presidential power. Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks rip up the acting as we expect them to do. It’s the story of the then little Washington Post trying to catch up to The New York Times printing Daniel Elsberg’s Vietnam exposure papers. It makes easy parallels to Nixon and Trump’s dictatorships. It also makes great pitches for freedom of the press…and what we need to do to keep that freedom alive…especially now. Go see it, bring your friends. But truthfully it’s not as interesting or revealing as the MSNBC documentary two weeks ago… “The Most Dangerous Man In America” the same story from Elsberg’s view.

MOLLY’S GAME. This is an unusual “true” film about a once Olympic ski champion who becomes the owner/manager of zillion dollar poker games. Jessica Chastain and Idris Elba play the top roles and good old Kevin Costner has a bit part as Jessica’s father. It’s a fancy film with plenty of cinema tricks to keep us interested, and the acting’s ok too. But think twice before going, especially if you’re trying to give up movies for the New Year.

I TONYA. A very dark, depressing movie about some very depressed people. It’s got loud rock period music as the film score which almost qualifies it as a fun comedy but you’ll be able to count your laughs. Somewhere in the movie somebody says Americans love to hate or love their current sport stars…and its sure true here. Allison Janney plays Tonya’s seriously disturbed mother and deserves her many Awards this Award season…but not for this one. Warning IF you do got you’ll leave wondering why you cared about Nancy Kerrigan or Tonya Harding.

COCO. A genuine Pixar animated cartoon. And, the animation is amazingly three –dimensional. The plot is totally focused on the very rich and traditional Mexican culture. Day of the Dead, plenty of food, religion, music, and only a little boring after the first half hour. It’s completely original, you’ve never seen anything like this before, its way more creative and developed than what we usually think of as a Disney Cartoon. Go see it.

STAR WARS: THE LAST JEDI. Yes, 93 on RT and I thought it was a complete fake of a billion dollar move machine. I’ll always remember going to our Soquel Drive in (just a little stoned) and being completely taken into outer space with Star Wars 1. It had humor, empathy, great imagination, tension and a story you could care about. The franchise now stages monotonous, uncaring, space attacks and wars so numerous that you can’t remember who is on who’s side…and you don’t care much either. There’s the Dark Side, the Resistance, Adam Driver, R2D2, a very dull Carrie Fisher, an aging Mark Hamil as Luke Skywalker and those endless space battles that take up probably 33 1/3 of the movie. A great disappointment…go at your own peril, and its 2 1/2 hours extra long.

THE GREATEST SHOWMAN. This is Hugh Jackman trying his best to bring life to the bio of P.T.Barnum. Jackman is an excellent dancer, singer and showman but this movie just doesn’t have the heart or solidity that a good film should have. The music is just more copying of Andrew Lloyd Weber’s gooey showbiz. It’s shallow, trite, and repetitious to a fault. Don’t bother seeing it.



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. Carlos Arcangeli, noted PAMF Urologist, bring us up to date on those problems on Jan.23. He’s followed by  UCSC Professor emeritus Ralph Abraham talking about his newest book, “Hip Santa Cruz Vol. 2” about the hip Santa Cruz scene in the 1960’s and 70’s with articles by local veterans. Then on January 30 UCSC Music prof. Linda Burman Hall talks about the 45th annual Santa Cruz Baroque Festival opening February 10. February 6 has Espressivo Orchestra director, conductor Michel Singher talking about their Feb. 15 concert. AND/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

This is Halsey. She spoke at the women’s march in New York City, and it’s a very powerful performance. (TW: rape, sexual assault)

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.


“What is the appropriate behavior for a man or a woman in the midst of this world, where each person is clinging to his piece of debris? What’s the proper salutation between people as they pass each other in this flood?”. Buddha

“We must build dikes of courage to hold back the flood of fear”. Martin Luther King, Jr.

“Nobody’s strong enough to stand up under a flood of weak material“, Alan Ladd

I noticed that volcanoes, earthquakes and floods, though are not good events, they are better than the silence of good people when bad people take the podium. The latter are to an extent uncontrollable, but the former can be stopped”. Israelmore Ayivor,

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Deep Cover by Tim Eagan.

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