Blog Archives

January 27 – February 2, 2016

THE ORIGINAL MORRISSEY SAFEWAY. This was back in June 12, 1953. Staff of Life is right there now on Soquel Avenue, and has been since February 2011.

photo credit: Covello & Covello Historical photo collection.

Additional information always welcome: email

Webmistress Video Pick of the Week
This version has the video repeat, but it’s totally worth watching twice. I cry every time!

DATELINE January 25

BEST TALK SHOW EVER. Another Mark Bernhard discovery…maybe if you watch it twice?

APTOS CINEMA & APTOS SAFEWAY. Probably some nation wide chain will be moving into the old Aptos Cinema corner of the Rancho Del Mar. According to Jondi Gumz’s Sentinel piece 60,000 folks per year went to the movies there. Remember too that Terramar Realty (headquartered in Carlsbad , CA) paid $850,000, 000 for the Safeway Rancho property just a couple of years ago. From their website it looks like Terramar buys delapidated centers and signs up just about any chain operation looking to exist. Be sure you don’t think the recent purchase of the Nickelodeon, Del Mar and Aptos Theatres by Landmark has anything to do with the closing of the Aptos screens. Landmark increased their rental offer to keep their 2015 lease, but Terramar said no. It’s important too to guess (we’ll never know) just what Zach Friend’s and Barry Swenson’s new Aptos Village plans had to do with this abrupt change in the Rancho. According to Zach the Swenson Village will have their groundbreaking in February. Just to be fair here’s the Swenson-Friend Stucco and plastic Village. Check it out.

Can you find one unique, specific, local touch? It’s the same fly by night blueprints we see all over California. Note too the word “Affordable” like so many have said…”Affordable for whom? How about “LOW INCOME” – now there’s a phrase we seldom hear in this county.

OUR LITTLEST SAFEWAY. Remember when Albertson’s bought out the Safeway chain? Remember when we all thought that Safeway store on Morrisey would close for sure? Nope! Now Safeway Morrisey is putting in all new flooring and…soon they’ll be knocking down the front of the south end (the one closest to Staff of Life) and putting in a new Starbucks. Santa Cruz sure needs a new Starbucks. We haven’t had a new Starbucks in months.

SPEAKING OF CHAINS. Since losing that Taqueria Vallarta restaurant at Pacific and Cathcart we seem to be gifted with the opening of yet another international fast food chain…Five Guys Burgers and Fries. Taqueria Vallarta was locally owned, and had just five area locations. That means of course, all the profits stayed local. Contrast that to the Five Guys chain. They now have 1000 fast food businesses in the United States, Canada and the Capitola Mall and are going to open 1500 new locations. The Santa Cruz Downtown must be widely successful…we have succeeded in having some national chain on almost every corner of Pacific Avenue. Start with Taco Bell at the Laurel end of Pacific (that’s the “Oakland” end in police terms) then we have Subway at Maple, Streetlight Records at Elm, Sitar at Lincoln, Forever 21 at Soquel, Urban Outfitters and Rip Curl Surf at Church street and we greet the world at the north end with Jamba Juice and Bank of The West. At some point we need to ask our pro-growth politicians like Cynthia Mathews, Ryan Coonerty, Zach Friend, David Terrazas and Pamela Comstock just what and how unique and special they see Santa Cruz in the future…and of course why we give away all the profits to national chains and their distant headquarters.

GORGEOUS PHOTOGRAPHY. My cousin Dean Hagen (from Florida) sent this You Tube link to some awesome, sweeping, tourist-type footage. Gooey, romantic, syrupy but check it out anyways.

HIGHWAY ONE…OR ROUTE 56? Rich Seibert was kind enough to send us pages of data on route one and its history. The most important (local) news was/is..”The route from San Simeon to Carmel (connecting with existing county highways at each end) was one of two sections designated as Highway 1. It and Route 60 were intended as links in a continuous coastal roadway from Oregon to Mexico. A large expansion of the state highway system in 1933 resulted in Route 56 being extended in both directions. To the south, a second section was added, beginning at Pismo Beach on US 101 (Route 2) and heading south through Guadalupe and Lompoc to rejoin US 101 at a junction called Los Cruces (sic), just north of Gaviota Pass. (A short piece near Orcutt and Los Alamos had been part of Route 2, which originally followed present Highway 135 from Los Alamos to Santa Maria.) To the north, Route 56 was continued along the coast from Carmel through Santa Cruz to San Francisco. Route 56 along Big Sur was incorporated into the state highway system and re-designated as Highway 1 in 1939. The section of road along the Big Sur Coast was declared the first State Scenic Highway in 1965, and in 1966 the first lady, Mrs. Lyndon B. Johnson, led the official designation ceremony at Bixby Creek Bridge. The route was designated as an All American Road by the US Government.

ELERICK’S INPUT. Mr. Paul Elerick of Aptos writes…

Here comes “TAKE BACK SANTA CRUZ and their Needle Solutions team (again)

Who is on this team is unknown but suffice it to say , not one medical professional is on the team. Couldn’t help to read a “news” article picked up by the Watsonville Register-Pajaronian about the one “syringe ” found at Aldridge Lane Park and a new version of a story of a child injured. Fortunately the greater community wants no child injured and understands that a Syringe Service Program is part of the solution to needle litter. A press release from our favorite Santa Cruz vigilante group, Take Back Santa Cruz was sent South with immediate reference to the location of the Watsonville Syringe Services and no reference at all to any pharmacies legally allowed to distribute medical supplies. A little check with the staff at the Pajaronian was informative, but they unfortunately didn’t follow up on the legitimacy and background of the press release. They saw an impressive distribution list and assumed it was credible. What was found at the park? One syringe, clearly marked as used for insulin. (They even posted a picture showing the INSULIN label.) It’s an indication we’re entering election season, with 2nd District Supervisor Friend running for re-election and Corralitos being in his district, and John Leopold running for re election . Another other favorite target of TBSC.

(Paul Elerick is co-chair with Jack Nelson of the Campaign for Sensible Transportation, , and he’s a member of Nisene 2 Sea, a group of open space advocates).


In terms of providing bed space for its ever-increasing student population, it appears UCSC is short-sheeting the town. Yes, the university houses slightly more than half of its students on campus, which they claim is the highest in the UC system. That’s not exactly reassuring. Each community that hosts a UC campus is different and differences matter. Berkeley, San Diego and Los Angeles are big cities compared to the town of Santa Cruz. They can absorb a growing student population far easier than can a small town with geographical constraints of mountains, greenbelt and ocean. UC Santa Barbara, closer to Santa Cruz in size is located far from town and students live largely in the student enclave of Isla Vista, historically notorious for its crime rates, including sexual assault.

At the recent annual meeting to update the council on the university’s progress in meeting milestones in housing, the UCSC spokesperson admonished the council to not look at the “glass as half empty.” He reminded the council that UCSC has maintained a bed occupancy rate of 97% or better since 2011. This figure is often misinterpreted to mean that the university houses 97% of its students on campus. Obviously not. The 97% refers to the percentage of all beds on campus that are occupied by a warm, fee-paying body. Thus, 3% of campus beds currently are unoccupied. This occupancy rate is crucial for UCSC and ultimately the town. Housing costs on campus are spread across all students living on campus. If the occupancy rate falls much below 97%, the housing costs for the remaining students who live on campus are raised to cover the aggregate cost of housing which is fixed. The more expensive it is to live on campus, the more attractive the off-campus option appears. The more students who choose to move off-campus, the more expensive the on-campus housing becomes due to lowered occupancy rates and so the upward spiral of housing costs intensifies. As housing costs on campus rise, downtown landlords adjust their rates upwards accordingly. Therefore what happens on campus directly impacts the cost of housing in town. To point this out is not scapegoating the university as Vice Mayor Cynthia Chase was quoted as saying at the meeting but is a realistic assessment of the impact that UCSC growth has on the increasing unaffordability of Santa Cruz.

Those who call for UCSC to house all of its students fail to recognize two realities. The first is that no one can force students to live on campus and after their first year most students are eager to live off-campus where they can party and drink and be more independent. The second is that the construction of new housing on campus is very expensive, is not subsidized and the cost has to be born by the students living on campus. This is where the occupancy rate becomes critical. Years ago, the Bursar of Crown College wrote a paper drawing attention to the fact that with each new building to house students on campus, the costs per month for each student increased by an average of $100. Under today’s construction costs, that growth-fuelled increase is undoubtedly more. As housing on campus becomes more expensive, more students choose to find housing off-campus, driving up rents and driving out local workers.

So far, most of the new beds made available on campus involve turning double rooms into triples. Lounges were long ago lost to bed space. This is an unsustainable trend. It temporarily lowers the cost of on-campus housing but at great social cost. It not only increases the likelihood that off campus housing appears even more attractive after a year of crowded living but increases tensions and social conflicts. Executive Vice Chancellor Alison Galloway said in response to a recent City on a Hill question regarding the housing crisis on campus that, “this is keeping many of us up late at night.” Lost sleep for UCSC; an intensifying nightmare for Santa Cruz; a dream come true for housing speculators. Which is the council representing?

( Gillian Greensite is a long time local activist, 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).

PATTON’S PROGRAM. Gary reports on his KUSP Land Use Reports program…

About Pleasure Point. Debate is brewing around Pleasure Point in Santa Cruz County.

Pleasure Point includes the neighborhoods located between 23rd Avenue and 41st Avenue, and between Portola Drive and East Cliff Drive, which sits right at the edge of Monterey Bay. In 2007-2008, the Santa Cruz County Planning Department undertook a community planning process for the Pleasure Point area. During this process, the Planning Department and its consultant team worked with Pleasure Point neighbors to determine how best to shape the future of the Pleasure Point area.

The focus was on identifying and exploring issues related to residential neighborhood character and appropriate public improvements in the Pleasure Point area. Three facilitated meetings were held as part of the process, culminating in the preparation and adoption of a Pleasure Point Community Plan, given final approval by the California Coastal Commission on May 12, 2010. That Plan is available on the County’s website.

A major new development proposal on Portola Drive, tentatively approved by the County Planning Commission, is causing some consternation and controversy. The County’s approval has been appealed by neighbors to the Coastal Commission. I’ll try to keep you posted. In the meantime, you can get a good idea of what the controversy is all about by reviewing the materials at the website above. Read the complete scripts of the above at Gary Patton’s KUSP Land Use site . Gary is a former Santa Cruz County Supervisor (20 years) and an attorney who represents indivudua ls and community groups on land use and environmenatl issues. The opinions expressed are Mr. Patton’s. Gary has his own website, Two Worlds/365” –

BEST EXIT FROM A REALITY SHOW. Mark Bernhard doesn’t spend all that much time watching but…

CLASSICAL DeCINZO. DeCinzo looks ahead to the next Disneyland. See below.

EAGAN’S DEEP COVER. Tim gives a “positive” view of the job market. Scroll down.

NATIONAL THEATRE LIVE @ THE DEL MAR. A studded cast including Dominic West, Michelle Dockerey, Janet McTeer and the unforgetable Morfydd Clark (no typo) are in “Les Liaisons Dangereuses”. It’s about sex, revenge, intrigue, betrayal and seduction and is a big hit in London. It screens twice at the Del Mar Thursday 1/28 at 7:30 and Sunday 1/31 at 11 am.

JEWEL THEATRE’S “FALLEN ANGELS”. Noel Coward’s comedy “Fallen Angels” has been making audiences laugh since it opened way back in the “20’s”. It’s about two women minus and plus two husbands and wild complications. (note; Santa Cruz Shakespeare’s Mike Ryan played one of the husbands in the Pasadena Playhouse version back in 2013 and Art Manke directed that production and is directing this one too . It plays at the new Colligan Theatre Jan. 28-Feb. 21. Info at


LISA JENSEN LINKS. Lisa writes: “Remember, in the Charlie Kaufman-scripted Being John Malkovich, when the protagonist attempts to stage the tragedy of Abélard and Heloise as a puppet show? In Anomalisa, Kaufman and co-director Duke Johnson grapple with the malaise of modern humanity using stop-motion puppets. How well does it work? Find out this week at Lisa Jensen Online Express (” Lisa has been writing film reviews and columns for Good Times since 1975.




ANOMALISA.If you liked, or loved such Charlie Kaufman films as Synecdoche, Being John Malkovich, The Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind you will definitely worship Anomalisa.It’s done entirely with animated puppets, and voiced by Jennifer Jason Leigh, Tom Noonan and David Thewlis. Like Kaufman’s other films it views the world through a confused man’s mind. We are never sure of the dream, his illusions, the real world, or how deep the plot is going. Many leveled, subtle, intelligent, unforgiving, and completely unsolavable if you need a clean cut story. It’s like Shakespeare’s serious plays and Wagners Ring Operas, if you need simple stories forget it. If you like major contributions to cinema as art….don’t miss it.




ROOM. There is some discussion on whether or not this film is based on a novel or reality. Either way it is a well done, angonizing, torturous, moving film. Brie Larson as the teen age mother and Jacob Trembly as her son deserve special acting awards. Kidnapping the young teen ager and raping her in a locked shed for years while she somehow manages to raise her son and maintain a sense of humanity will have you completely fixed to the screen. See this film.

BROOKLYN. Whew…I knew I loved this film and now I see that Rotten Tomatoes gives it 100% Saoirse Ronan plays the lead Irish (very Irish) girl who comes to New York City in the 1950’s. She adjusts then falls in love with an Italian (very Italian) young man. That seems to be ok but she has to return to Ireland on a visit and falls in love with a young Irish (very) young man. It’s not too funny, it’s deep, profound, wrenching and perfect acting. You could easily loose your heart in this film. See it, if you like wonderful films. It also stars (in a smaller role) Jessica Pare who you’ll for sure remember as Megan Draper, Don Draper’s dark- haired sexy wife in Mad Men.

THE HATEFUL 8. Quentin Tarantino is BACK! A beautiful film. A plot, a tradegy as intriguing as Agatha Christies “Ten Little Indians”and acting as great as any we’ve ever seen. With a cast consisting of Samuel Jackson, Kurt Russell, Tim Roth, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Bruce Dern, Michael Madsen, and Channing Tatum and written and directed by Quentin hisself, how can we miss? It’s in the Pulp Fiction, Reservoir Dogs vein. It’s bloody, beyond violent, extremly funny, thought provoking and mystfying. Go see it on some big screen.

THE REVENANT. What’s odd about The Revenant is that hardly anyone I know, knew what the word meant. Looking it up (I had to) in Wictionary you’ll find… · Someone who returns from a long absence. A person or thing reborn. A supernatural being that returns from the dead; a zombie or ghost. The film is a Big Golden Globes winner for best Drama film and for Leonardo DiCaprio’s best acting and Alejandro Inarritu for best Director. Set in the 1820’s its about Leonardo and his fellow fur trappers being attacked or occasionally helped by Indian tribes such as the Ree, the Ankara,the Pawnee and the Sioux. DeCaprio almost dies from a bear attack and spends the rest of the film crawling and freezing his way to revenge the trappers who left him to die. DeCaprio has only 15 lines in English, he takes off his clothes and sleeps inside a dead horse (after removing the guts) and then he wins the Golden Globes!!! Go figure, and you need to see it on a big screen.

CAROL. Many big nominations and awards for this poignant, touching, sad, pertinant story of women’s love. Rooney Mara reminded me of Audrey Hepburn and does a perfect acting job here. Cate Blanchett is the lead and does all she can, and will continue to win more prizes. Yet there is/was something cold, removed and stiff, stage play-like that kept me from really getting inside the emotions they played onscreen. Go see it by all means.

BRIDGE OF SPIES. Tom Hanks is the big draw for this Russian – German – American spy story. The Nick was packed all opening weekend. Mark Rylance (from Wolf Hall on PBS) plays a Russian “Spy” and is great. It’s all about the cold war,1957-1962, Berlin, USA spy pilot Gary Powers, secret negotians and it’s all directed by Steven Speilberg. That means it’s fast paced, not too demanding/shallow/easy to follow/ some jokes/some tears/ and a happy ending of course. You’ll like it, everybody does.

THE DANISH GIRL. Eddie Redmayne as one of the world’s first transgendered males is of course the main attraction. But Alicia Vikander as his wife and main support, actually does a better job of acting. The script stalls and sleeps part way through, and the pacing is eccentric but you’ll watch it all the way just to see how it ends. Redmayne (who is 33) won an Oscar nomination for his body- bending role as Stephen Hawking in “The Theory of Everything” last year, is being touted for it again this year. Remember him in “My Week with Marilyn”? He’s an excellent actor and will probably play a tree or a screwdriver or a python next, but I’m not betting on him winning anything for this film.

SPOTLIGHT. Lots of Oscar buzz around this excellent film. When you have a cast like Mark Ruffalo, Michale Keaton, Rachel McAdams, Billy Crudup, Stanley Tucci and Live Schreiber and a plot involving the Roman Catholic church’s child molesting priests and the “official cover-up” you got a winner. It’s shocking, even though you think you know all there is to know. When you add in the current troubles the Vatican is having…you’ve got a very sick institution. It’s newspaper business at its best. It’s also reporting such as no newspaper can afford today…you’ll see how important that is/was. Rotten Tomatoes gives it a 97%!!!

THE BIG SHORT.The cast is very well known by now. Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, Christian Bale, Marisa Tomei, and Brad Pitt. This is a Hollywood version of what should have been a Michael Moore documentary of the bankers, real estate brokers, and the rest of the crooks behind the Wall Street explosion of 2008. It bored me to a snooze because I haven’t the foggiest idea , or any knowledge of all those financial dealings. Go only if you’re up on all those money market concepts.

JOY. Jennifer Lawrence outshines every star ever in Hollywood in this nearly true story of a young woman who invents a mop and after some failures, makes (and still is making) vast fortunes on QVC and online sales. Bradley Cooper in in this mess of a film and so is Robert DeNiro, Virginia Madsen, Dianne Ladd and even Isabella Rosselini. They shouldn’t have been and aside from watching Jennifer Lawrence one more time, there’s absolutely no reason to waste your $$ on this one.

STAR WARS The Force Awakens STINKS & MORE. I was actually stunned when I left the theatre after viewing Star Wars: The Force Awakens. My sister and friends immediately asked what I thought about the film, I couldn’t even think about it as I would have with any other film I’ve re viewed in the last 40 plus years. Then I read Michael Hiltzik’s business column in the 12/30/15 edition of the L.A. Times. Michael’s new book is titled Big Science. His column is titled, “Why Star Wars Stinks”. In it he tells how the film is unimaginative, dull in long stretches, and is a poor copy of the original 1977 Star Wars. He says and I agree that it’s not a movie.”It’s the anchoring element of a vast commercial program”. He goes on to say that this film will bring in nearly 5 Billion dollars and that because of the related product sales it wouldn’t matter if NO ONE SAW the film, it still would make those profits. The plot is obscure, the art work is wonderful, and it’s cold, impersonal, and dullRead the critique above. This is not a movie, it’s a product placement showcase for Disney productions and world wide toy manufacturers.

THE MARTIAN. This Hollywood Matt Damon-starring film is cute, humorous , Hollywoody like George Clooney in Gravity. It’s about Damon being left behind on Mars by his team mates (Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig, and Michael Pena). Chiwetal Ejiofor and Jeff Daniels are the NASA, Pasadena JPL business men in charge. It drags in spots and the FX look like they stole them from “2001”. Matt Damon is just too cute and funny and extraordinary to be real, But go see it. You’ll stay awake just to see how it all works out. It’s tense near the end but the ending itself is corney.

13 HOURS: THE SECRET SOLDIERS OF BENGHAZI. It’s the story of the C.I.A. men stationed in Libya and how they failed to defend the USA embassy during an attack on September 11, 2012. It’s 2 ½ hours of poorly edited combat scenes, and we are provided with almost no back story or explanation of what’s happening. Just blood, violence, and the sadness of losing.

SISTERS. This is an almost perfect example of a trash movie. Amy Poehler and Tina Fey outdo each other with crotch, sex, poop and pee jokes that aren’t funny. It’s a shame to see these obviously brilliant, smart, tasteful women sink so low that they have to take roles in movies this low class. Don’t go and don’t let anyone you care for go either.


KZSC 88.1 FM or live online at

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. Veterans Advocate Dean Kaufman and Veteran Buzz Gray discuss Journey for Change and The Veterans Court on Jan. 26, then Gillian Greensite brings us up to date on more local challenges and concerns. Linda Burman-Hall reveals the Santa Cruz Baroque Festival’s new season on February 2. Following Linda, Dana Bagshaw tells us about Judge Blackburn and the Neary Lagoon neighborhood. On February 9 Barry Phillips talks about his Dolcissime Suite premiering at the Santa Cruz Chamber Players on Feb. 13 & 14. Ecologist Grey Hayes is on after Barry talking about our endangered environment. Then on Feb. 16th Josef Sekon talks about pianist Theodora Serbanesou-Martin who performs on Feb. 21st as part of his Aptos Keyboard Series. After Josef, Jacob Martinez follows and tells us of the huge progress that The Digital Nest has been enjoying. Do remember, any and all suggestions for future programs are more than welcome so tune in, and keep listening. Email me always and only at

NEW UNIVERSAL GRAPEVINE ARCHIVE FEATURE. Stuff changes at KZSC a lot. If you missed either of the last two weeks of Universal Grapevine broadcasts go here You have to listen to about 4 minutes of that week’s KPFA news first, then Grapevine happens.

UNIVERSAL GRAPEVINE ARCHIVES. In case you missed some of the great people I’ve interviewed in the last 9 years here’s a chronological list of some past broadcasts. Such a wide range of folks such as Nikki Silva, Michael Warren, Tom Noddy, Anita Monga, Mark Wainer, Judy Johnson-Darrow, 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.


“Look for me in the whirlwind or the storm”, Marcus Garvey. “Tones sound, and roar and storm about me until I have set them down in notes”, Ludwig van Beethoven. “If you spend your whole life waiting for the storm, you’ll never enjoy the sunshine”, Morris West. “When you’re on top and you lead the parade, everyone’s there throwing lilies and lilac water on your head. But when those parades have gone by and there’s a storm in your heart, there are very few people that are going to sit there and listen to you bemoan life”, Sylvester Stallone.


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Deep Cover by Tim Eagan.

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