Blog Archives

January 24 – 30, 2017

SOQUEL RAINS IN 1955. Taken on the Soquel Bridge looking east we can see that rains and storms have done some damage many times before these last two weeks.                                                    

photo credit: Covello & Covello Historical photo collection.

Additional information always welcome: email

DATELINE January 23, 2017

I FORGOT THAT BURGER JOINT ON “REVITALIZED” OCEAN STREET. Last week I wrote about the unmitigated mess that Ocean Street (and all our other Santa Cruz entrances) have become. Then I wrote about how our City Planning Department shovels out the muck about making Ocean Street vibrant, and revitalized. All the while inviting and encouraging such buck’s up franchises like Dunkin Donuts to open massive new outlets. I forgot that IN THE SAME NEW BUILDING on Ocean Street they’re allowing HabitBurger Grill to add another franchise/joint. From their website… “The first Habit Burger Grill opened in Santa Barbara, California in 1969 and has since grown to more than 150 restaurants in 16 markets throughout California, Arizona, Florida, Idaho, Maryland, Nevada, New Jersey, Utah, Virginia and Washington. More information is available at  Check out their grills, their architecture, their burgers, uniforms…everything!!!

Once again, this is the City of Santa Cruz’s idea of how to beautify our Ocean street entrance. More facts from Wikipedia… The Habit Burger Grill was founded in November 15, 1969 in Goleta, California as a family-owned business.[4] In 2007, it was purchased by KarpReilly, a private equity firm that began to rapidly expand the chain, including franchising. Multiple newspapers reported in 2013 that Habit Burger LLC, the parent company to the chain, was planning an IPO. On November 19, 2014 the company raised $83.7 million in an initial public offering (IPO). And this is supposed to re-vitalize Ocean Street???

SANTA CRUZ WOMEN’S PROTEST PARADE NUMBERS. Chris Krohn was there and he says 10,000, Tony Russomano has the Sentinel saying 8,000, Jodi Frediani has it at 16,000. Nobody really, really knows and someone said it was definitely the biggest protest/crowd/march Santa Cruz has ever created….any evidence otherwise???

FLOODS, THE TANNERY, ARTISTS AND HOMELESS. Reading about the San Lorenzo River flooding again I remembered all the reasons so many of us fought creating and building The Tannery. Santa Cruz can’t get it together to provide adequate shelter for our homeless yet we build affordable housing for people who dabble in art. We ignore the flooding San Lorenzo river and build The Tannery in that flood plain. Why do art hobbyists deserve housing and not teachers, nurses, students, and especially day workers. Throughout history artists have always made art under impossible conditions. Many times those very conditions are what push them to make art. Santa Cruz made a serious error when they made The Tannery exclusivly for art hobbyists.

LAND WATCH MONTEREY  VICTORY. This is taken directly from Landwatch Monterey’s newsletter of Monday January 16. It’s about The Monterey Downs Development being defeated.


The California Coastal Commission voted 9-0 last Thursday to deny the proposed 26-unit Rancho Roberto subdivision in North Monterey County. LandWatch first opposed the project at the County level in 2005, alongside Friends, Artists, and Neighbors of Elkhorn Slough (FANS) which had opposed the project since 1999. FANS appealed the Monterey County Board of Supervisors’ 2005 approval to the Commission in the public interest, and kept a vigilant eye on the project for the last 11 years. Download our letter submitted to the Coastal Commission.  

Testifying on behalf of LandWatch, former Executive Director Gary Patton, urged the Coastal Commission to deny the project. Testifying on behalf of FANS, Mari Kloeppel, and legal counsel Molly Erickson, also expressed strong objections to the project, describing FANS’ sustained opposition over 17 years, the on-the-ground impacts of critical overdraft and citing applicable North County Land Use Plan policies.

GIRL SCOUTS MARCH IN TRUMP’S PARADE. Lee Quarnstrom sent this article “Girl Scouts Defend Their Involvement in Donald Trump Inauguration” check it out… See, it’s not just the cookies!!! Or the uniforms!!!

No Greensite’s Insight this week. Gillian’s beloved partner of 29 years, John Phillip Bergwall, died suddenly on January 19th. Grief takes its own time. Gillian will resume writing after a short break.

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).


This Santa Cruz city council life is serious business. Seven council members can seriously affect the everyday lives of the people who live, work, and play in our “ecological hotspot,” vulnerably located near the thirty-sixth parallel, north of the equator. The city council can intervene to make things better or to make life worse for our residents. We often do both.

At the outset of this column, I take a moment to remember the words of the former editor at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, Joseph Pulitzer. Around 1902 he said it was his business to “afflict the comfortable and comfort the afflicted.” Pulitzer was talking about journalism, but somehow city councils also might pay close attention to those words. I know I will.

The city council frequently offends one group as they go ahead, at any given meeting and support the economic and social interests of another interest group. My intentions are to represent those who either currently have no representation, or who feel like their issues are going unheard, while the interests of “the comfortable” go to the head of the line because somehow they’ve figured out how to get their agenda item near the top of the list. No, it’s not magic. It is the stuff of politics, and one thing I have come to learn in this town is that the squeaky wheel does get the grease. So take heart, our agenda items will be moving up the ladder soon.

The goal of open government is perhaps one of our nation’s most laudable achievements, but also a work in progress. Open government means that elected representatives ought to provide residents with a transparent process, one that is understandable and easy to use. As your city councilmember, my goal is to hear more from the public, not less; provide you with more services, not fewer; and to hopefully place you, the (under represented?) residents, front and center in co-creating a healthy and sustaining civic relationship.

Shall we get started?

WOW! This weekend saw two big marches descend upon downtown Santa Cruz. On Friday I marched with a thousand UCSC students from campus to the town clock. A “General Strike” was called for by the “General Strike Committee of Santa Cruz” for January 20th, the day of the presidential inauguration. It became a day of protest and teach-ins throughout Santa Cruz. When students and staff arrived at the Town Clock they were met by over a thousand “townies.” A loudspeaker was placed atop an old Toyota pick-up and the first teach-in commenced at the intersection of Pacific, Front, and Mission streets. Everyone sat down on the asphalt for an hour to hear from UCSC professor, T.J. Demos and community activist, Ernestina Saldana. Both recounted the “trumposities” that will be visited upon us Californians during the next four years beyond what we already can see: cuts to the Affordable Care Act, calls for deportations, and attacks on iconic figures like civil rights marcher and US Rep., John Lewis from Georgia.

The following day, Saturday, more than 10,000 (yes, you read that right: ten thousand) marched slowly down Pacific Avenue to protest the Donald Trump presidency. The Woman’s March carried out here and in cities around the world was a major push back on the misogynist, homophobic and racist language and actions the incoming President has unleashed on the American people over the past year.

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~Chris Krohn is a father, writer, activist, former Santa Cruz City Councilmember (1998-2002) ex-Santa Cruz City Mayor (2001-2002) an employee of UCSC. And newly re-elected to the Santa Cruz City Council.


Probably the weather or the political climate but nary a word from Becky this week.

~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).


From Gary’s “We Live In A Political World” website…Thursday, January 19, 2017

#19 / Born Bad?

This column is stimulated, in fact, by a column in the January 5, 2017 edition of The New York Times. That column, by Robert Leonard, the news director for two radio stations in Tennessee, was titled, “Why Rural America Voted for Trump.” Mostly, the column describes a number of reasons that rural residents might resent city residents, specifying both tax allocation issues and perceived cultural differences.

Leonard, who says he is a pretty liberal Democrat, was having a hard time understanding why his friends and neighbors seemed to be so willing to vote for Donald Trump. None of them were fascists, racists, misogynists, or otherwise deplorable, at least not visibly so, so what could possibly be motivating them? Here is how Leonard describes his enlightenment: For me, it took a 2015 pre-caucus stop in Pella by J. C. Watts, a Baptist minister raised in the small town of Eufaula, Okla., who was a Republican congressman from 1995 to 2003, to begin to understand my neighbors — and most likely other rural Americans as well. “The difference between Republicans and Democrats is that Republicans believe people are fundamentally bad, while Democrats see people as fundamentally good,” said Mr. Watts, who was in the area to campaign for Senator Rand Paul. “We are born bad,” he said and added that children did not need to be taught to behave badly — they are born knowing how to do that. 

“We teach them how to be good,” he said. “We become good by being reborn — born again.” [Watts] continued: “Democrats believe that we are born good, that we create God, not that he created us. If we are our own God, as the Democrats say, then we need to look at something else to blame when things go wrong — not us.”  
Leonard’s column doesn’t really go much further with this kind of theological differentiation, which hypothesizes that the different political parties are made different by their different approaches to God. What you get from Leonard on this topic is what you have just read, right here, and I personally don’t find the argument very convincing. In fact, I don’t really get the point that Reverend Watts is trying to make in that last sentence. To me, his statement seems contradictory on its face. If Democrats (supposedly as opposed to Republicans) believe that they ARE God, then when things go wrong, who else could those Democrats possibly blame but themselves?

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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 )


CLASSICAL DeCINZO. Water, Water everywhere..or nowhere? Scroll below and see DeCinzo’s take on the problem!!!

EAGAN’S DEEP COVER. See Eagan’s ” Worm’s eye view” 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.

LISA JENSEN LINKS. Lisa too, is missing this week but you should always check out her Good Times review of the week and Check out her Lisa Jensen Online Express ( Lisa has been writing film reviews and columns for Good Times since 1975.    

20th  CENTURY WOMEN. Annette Bening, Elle Fanning, Billy Crudup, and Greta Gerwig do award winning roles in this very independent, off kilter story of a “family” group trying to exist in Santa Barbara in 1979. Bening deserves every possible acting award for her role as a mom trying her damndest to raise her son while surrounded by rapidly aging girls. It’s not an easy film to follow and takes wtists turns and flashbacks with little or no warning…but go see it. You’ll be completely intrigued by it.

FOUNDER. Michael Keaton is just about the only reason to see this McDonald’s Burger saga. Founder is probably President Trump’s favorite movie, both he and Roy Kroc bought and fought their way to the top by every hook and crooked means they could think of. Roy Kroc bought the rights to McDonalds from the McDonald  brothers. He then screwed them out of every deal they made with him. Keaton plays this part perfectly. Laura Dern is in this for about three minutes, a must for Keaton fans., maybe his best role yet.

ELLE. This French (subtitled) film is a cinema masterpiece. Especially because Isabelle Huppert plays the lead role. Isabelle deserves any and all awards she’s up for. She plays the CEO of a Video Game production company that produces very kinky films. Elle too is a very kinky film. Isabelle is strong, puzzling, full of angst, guilt, hatred, and even more strong. Just go see Elle, it’s a shocking and amazingly well done movie.

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)

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.

PATRIOT’S DAY. Mark Wahlberg, J.K Simmons, Michelle Monaghan and the ever popular Kevin Bacon plus a weird John Goodman with odd looking dark eyebrows, all add up to a saga revolving around the Boston Marathon bombing and how the cops found the perpetrators.It’s almost an advertisement for the Boston Police and their speed in shooting the last bomber while he was hiding in a boat in someone’s back yard. There isn’t a point to this docudrama, and Wahlberg’s role is all fictional. But you’ll definitely stay awake all through it.

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.

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!

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.

LIVE BY NIGHT. Ben Affleck both stars in and directed this 1920’s gangster re-hash. He shouldn’t have done ether one. I couldn’t stop from thinking James Cagney, Humphrey Bogart, Edward G. Robinson, and George Raft, plus Ann Dvorak, Merle Oberon, Lauren Bacall, and dozens more molls would show up…they didn’t, darn it. The plot is twisted and pointless and would take pages to even provide an out line. The great old cars are used in wonderful shots (pun). Why in this day and age these films of killing and hatred make as much money as they do is beyond me.

SILENCE. Martin Scorsese has been consumed with the need to portray faith, despair, and tensions of religion in every one of his films. Here he has two Catholic Jesuit Portuguese priests in 17th century Japan searching for a lost brother priest. Adam Driver, Adam Garfield and later Liam Neeson are deeply involved in the roles. You’ll need to be seriously religious especially Christian or Buddhist to enjoy this slow moving twisted exercise in faith. I didn’t like it. Too long (almost three hours) and too twisted and hard to follow, I wouldn’t advise seeing it. Raging Bull, Taxi Driver, Good Fellas, and many of his other films were much better and more understandable and universal.

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 quirkieness 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 FBeast 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.

SLEEPLESS. Jamie Foxx plays a Las Vegas cop who operates undercover in this very bad re-hash, violent, senseless, bloody, meaningless, pointless mess. Michelle Monaghan and Dermot Mulroney are in it too. Only the weird, young and poorly oriented could find anything worth seeing in this waste of time, money and special effects.



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. 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). January 31 has UCSC Professor Linda Burman-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. Feb.14 has author Dave Evans sharing ideas from his new book, “Designing Your Life”. 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

After the week we’ve had, I think we need something like this. I know I do. These two are so cute, it’s almost painful 🙂

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.


“The revolution is not an apple that falls when it is ripe. You have to make it fall”, Che Guevara
“If I can’t dance, I don’t want to be part of your revolution”, Emma Goldman
“Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable”, John F. Kennedy

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Deep Cover by Tim Eagan.

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